Email About Discrimination and Investigation

Hi Dan,

So I feel like I’m in this body because my sense perceptions are always localised on it. Like I see things from the perspective of my physical eyes, hear from my ears and so on. I can only experience something else in my imagination, like if I close my eyes and imagine being someone or somewhere else but then when I open them I’m automatically back in my body.

And I’m in this particular body. I assume that other people have conscious experience of being in their bodies. It’s weird in a way I can’t describe that I’m in this body at this time and not in another body at another time… it just seems strange because my awareness could have been in any body at any time… but it so happens I’m David in the year 2014. I can’t wrap my head around what that means

David

__________________

Hi David,

It seems like the way this investigative process goes is, we start checking out what is going on here and what we seem to be. Initially we become aware of what we think is the evidence of who or what we are. But because we may not have much skill yet at discriminating between interpretation, or what we THINK about experience, and direct, bare perception of what is actually present, both aspects of experience tend to get jumbled together and can seem the same. In reality however, they are completely different things, like comparing photos of fruit with the fruit itself. Your direct experience has specific characteristics that tell you it’s here, now, in your perceptual senses (seen, heard, touched, etc.) Thoughts about experience of course are just mental constructs that one can get “lost in”, but which have no basis in any of the senses.

This discrimination is very important to clear seeing of reality. Because without it, you can waste alot of time believing you are investigation something when you are just taking an imaginary walk through a thought.

So a good way to approach this is, look at your explanation of what is happening and check if it’s true or not, if the statement is verifiable and evident or an assumption, interpretation or belief. Let’s start with the first part of your statement:

“So I feel like I’m in this body because my sense perceptions are always localised on it. Like I see things from the perspective of my physical eyes, hear from my ears and so on. “

You want to really check this out for accuracy and verify everything about your belief that you are “localized in the body”. Really turn it around and pull it apart and make sure it’s solid and true. Is it true that the sense perceptions are localized on the body? What does that mean exactly, “localized on”? Is that the same as being identical to? Are you the perceptions you speak of or something else? What is the “you”you that sees things from another perspective? Doesn’t that description point out that you are noticing this “I” from somewhere else?

So that’s a little bit of the process I recommend for discovering the answer to your original question about being locked in a body.

From here, it doesn’t occur to me to see myself in a body. The body and mind are really not directly experienced as “containers” of me at all. They are more a bunch of loosely associated, floating appearances within awareness. This isn’t a mystical vision, it’s just clearly seeing what is the case. I recognize that what the “I sense” exists as is constantly changing forms which vanish and reappear.

Take a look, try to lock in on the very core of what you seem to be………….is it constant and clear, or fuzzy and evasive and moving?

And of course, if you are noticing these belief/spatial location/sensation appearances, aren’t you something else?   What might that be?

That’s enough for now, take this approach for a ride and let me know about your experience.

Best,
Dan

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2 thoughts on “Email About Discrimination and Investigation

  1. Robert says:

    In his response to David’s email, Dan is pointing one big obstacle that we might overlook when we have started to pay attention to the so-called self. I have met it:

    “This discrimination is very important to clear seeing of reality. Because without it, you can waste alot of time believing you are investigating something
    when you are just taking an imaginary walk through a thought.”

    Most importantly, Dan points out the way out as well:

    “So a good way to approach this is, look at your explanation of what is happening and check if it’s true or not, if the statement is verifiable and evident
    or an assumption, interpretation or belief.”

    Isn’t that precious?

  2. Ibn Alhaitham says:

    This discrimination skill Dan talks about can be developed by practicing awareness of the breath and being mindful or remembering to often be purely aware of the here-and-now throughout the day. Gradually, like ancient fish that crawled out of water and into land and evolved into an amphibian and finally into a tetrapod, the brain will learn how to travel in life fully aware, but at the same time practical enough to use or play with models of reality for communication and relationship with other beings and also ready to throw overboard any model that has gone beyond its utility to where it has become a paradigm leading to conflict, fear, sadness, boredom and suffering; there are no holy models! Every life or thought model is as liable to be thrown overboard as has happened to all old models of reality in physics when observations and experiments forced physicists to do just that despite the beauty and simplicity of the old models and their strong attachment to them.
    What I want to say is that practice is the key for acquiring the skill of discrimination..

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