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"What is" . . . and "what isn't", a micro perspective


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mtony502's picture
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From one perspective "what is" is limitless, immaterial, indescribable, emptiness, spaciousness, silence, stillness, non-conceptual, consciousness, the Absolute . . .

And "what isn't" are all interpretations, explanations, stories, definitions, opinions, hypotheses and points of view of . . . "what is".

Meaning . . . in the understanding game sometimes less is more? Not that this understanding is any kind of end point, it isn't, it's simply another way of framing how I see . . . from the impersonal or the personal?

Or looked at from another inquiring perspective, can I tell the difference between "what is story" (personal) and "what isn't story" (impersonal)?

With a nod to Nisagardatta Maharaj (1) . . . "What is": is everything. "What isn't": is nothing. And between the two I live my life."

Or nod (2) to Nisagardatta . . . "What is story": is nothing. "What isn't story": is everything. And between the two I live my life?"

Just reminders to self . . . to figure out my own understanding (story) before thinking about editing anyone else's understanding (story)?

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Tony

YouTube Channel: Ordinary Consciousness
By: MTony502
http://www.youtube.com/user/Mtony502

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IS AND ISN'T

We identify two, the is(es) and the isn’t(s).  Then other times we say that what is, is everything.  But we don’t really believe that. We prefer to have the two, the is and the isn’t, because in that way we can store what we don’t like in the isn’t box. 

My (practical) observation would be that there is never an is without it’s isn’t.  The two are inseparable.  Remember, there doesn’t exist any is or isn’t.  There are no two that always accompany each other.  It is just the product of a B.S. philosophy.  B.S. because it doesn’t reflect reality, and it doesn’t really serve our life on earth.  Of course the best would be to trash the philosophy and never be troubled by figuring it out again.

When have you ever had a number one (limitless) experience without an interpretation?  Of course that is a loaded question and if you answer, that’s the interpretation.  So now you say I have tons of them, but I can’t say anything about it.  So why not just keep quiet?  It is a declarative null discussion point.

 

The next stage of rumination is pondering if a little interpretation is preferable to a large interpretation?  Is it more close to a “truth”?  How about I propose this?  

When you are approaching zero (no interpretation, which is supposedly a pure experience), is it logrhythmic?  

In that case a thousandth is just a significant as a hundredth or as a tenth.  Perhaps an interpretation of weight one millionth is more damaging than an interpretation of weight one million.  That’s because the tiny one is undetectable, but the big one we all know is a glaring error, and it will be dealt with.

n/a
mtony502's picture
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No proselytizing here . . .

Richard,

Please excuse this potentially presumptuous response but for the sake of discussion and experimentation let me begin by asking . . . what "we" are you talking about? I'm going to presume it's actually you speaking for Richard? In that case I'm going to tweak your first paragraph and switch every "we" to "me", "my" or "I" to see if that ownership changes the tone or meaning of the message some?

RM: I identify two, the is(es) and the isn’t(s). Then other times I say that what is, is everything. But I don’t really believe that. I prefer to have the two, the is and the isn’t, because in that way I can store what I don’t like in the isn’t box.

Hmmm . . . I think I can actually see you a little more clearly and hear your story a little better? My initial response is . . .that's interesting . . . that the things, people, facts, stories, relationships, circumstances, conditions, philosophies, teachings, etc, etc, you don't like . . . you store in some "isn't box"? Hmmm . . . not exactly how I'd think or act .. . after all, just because I say or act as if it isn't doesn't mean it isn't? But I suspect you have your reasons for feeling, believing, thinking and narrating your story the way you do? Plus . . . I get that "we" all have differing coping mechanisms for dealing with things "we" don't like?

Shall I tweak the second paragraph and see what comes out of the microwave this time?

RM: My (practical) observation is that there is never an is without it’s isn’t. The two are inseparable. Remember, there doesn’t exist any is or isn’t. There are no two that always accompany each other. It is just the product of my B.S. philosophy. B.S. because it doesn’t reflect reality, and it doesn’t really serve my life on earth. Of course the best would be to trash my philosophy and never be troubled by figuring it out again.

Hmmm . . . again . . . interesting (a little rough on oneself?). . . and I kind of agree conceptually . . . "there is never an is without it’s isn’t. The two are inseparable." But as to . . . "Remember, there doesn’t exist any is or isn’t. There are no two that always accompany each other. It is just the product of my B.S. philosophy" . . . I say let's have a brief time out!

First, it seems you switch abruptly from the "relative" (there is never an is without it’s isn’t) to the "absolute" (Remember, there doesn’t exist any is or isn’t)? Then you negate your "practical observation that there is never an is without it’s isn’t" . . . and conclude that the idea of inseparable coexisting opposites is the product of your B.S. philosophy? Then you suggest it might be best "to trash my philosophy and never be troubled by figuring it out again"? Whew!! That's one helluva a neck twisting mind boggling ride! And I totally get why you'd want to get off! If you're not in it for the thrills and whoops of mental roller coasting . . . then yeah . . . ditch it . . . if you can.

Hmmm . . . as you and I have noted in other posts . . . our writings tend to be more "self-revealing" than "other-revealing", no? So shall I tweak the third paragraph?

RM: When have I ever had a number one (limitless) experience without an interpretation? Of course that is a loaded question and if I answer, that’s the interpretation. So now I say I have tons of them, but I can’t say anything about it. So why not just keep quiet? It is a declarative null discussion point.

Hmmm . . . I don't know if you've ever had a limitless experience without an interpretation. But, speaking for myself only, I have had and continue to have non-conceptual experiences, however, the moment I describe the experience to myself or anyone else . . . than that description is interpretation. So I fully grasp your observation that, "if I answer, that’s the interpretation".

I'll simply note that for me the experience itself is not interpretation . . . meaning, there is the experience (whatever it is, sensory, emotional, etc) and then there's the "story" of the experience? (For me, understanding the difference is one way I guide my actions.)

But Richard, if you have tons of stories, why should you keep quiet? I don't know why you can't tell them? And what is a "declarative null discussion point" and why would you give credence to it?

Be that as it may, . . . and in closing, I think I can safely say that my every day observations of "what is" (appearances?) lead me to different interpretations (stories) of what is and what isn't than you? Which is no big deal really, since "we" each have to figure what is and isn't (relevant, practical, true, real, illusory, etc, etc) for "ourselves"? That's all I mean to underscore in my posts. No proselytizing here.

Tony

YouTube Channel: Ordinary Consciousness
By: MTony502
http://www.youtube.com/user/Mtony502

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Hey, that was fun

I did write “WE”, so I already admitted to what you have discovered.  But I don’t think that you can claim I am the author of those ideas, since I wouldn’t have thought to write any such thing without your coaching.

I am glad you called me on a few other things, since I see that I was thinking between the lines, and failed to write those assumptions down.

Of course there exists IS-NOTS.  Example:  write a thousand words on both sides of 1000 pieces of paper, and throw a handful of them on the floor.  If you can piece together any sentence, you’ll probably come up with the description of an IS NOT.  This could demonstrate the infinite potential for IS NOT.

The IS NOT’s that I claim doesn’t exist are my body, mind, thoughts, memories, emotions, health, and things, people, facts, stories, relationships, circumstances, conditions that some writings claim are illusion or non-existent.  Your last two entries that might claim this (philosophies and teachings), I would therefore probably put into the IS NOT box, with all those papers off of the floor.

 

Then my second paragraph was based on your initial premise, 

From one perspective "what is" is limitless, immaterial, indescribable, emptiness, spaciousness, silence, stillness, non-conceptual, consciousness, the Absolute . . .

And "what isn't" are all interpretations, explanations, stories, definitions, opinions, hypotheses and points of view of . . . "what is".

authored by M. Tony (but not said to be his favorite perspective)

What I wrote in this 2nd paragraph does not stand alone nor out of this context.  It sounds like a banal comment on duality.  To make that statement stand by itself I would have to say that there is never an experience worth talking about without an interpretation.  (And actually, if there is any recognition of such an experience at all, there is already a hidden world view under it, which is an interpretation.)  Then I go on to propose that experience and interpretation are so inexorably mixed that they actually cannot be two, and that only a series of intricate concepts could make that delicate surgery.  (Sorry that I didn’t clearly reference to your 2 categories of "what is” and the interpretation of “what is”.)

Actually, why in the heck would anyone want to deny my statements?  Only to substantiate a philosophy that they have hung their hat on. (Made their home.)

You’re absolutely right, I give no credence to declarations of a no-thing, with claims that there are no words that go with it.

n/a
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Interesting proposals . . .

Thanks for being receptive to experimentation and also for your further explications. However . . .

RM:" . . . I don’t think that you can claim I am the author of those ideas, since I wouldn’t have thought to write any such thing without your coaching."

While you are not the author of "those ideas" . . . you are the author of the idea that the "isn't box" is where things you don't like can be stored? And as such, you essentially expressed the idea(s) you wanted to. In fact . . . I didn't coach you (or anyone) about which perspective to prefer?

However, before drafting a response . . . please know that the above purported perceptual differences are examples of self-inquiry issues I deal with daily; i.e., "am I or am I not" aware of the difference between what is and my "story" of what is?

Meaning . . . that at any given moment I may find myself inadvertently conflating awareness of story with awareness itself. For example, I have a horrible headache . . . and my inner story starts, "It's a brain tumor!" And for however long I buy into the story, I experience fear and dread. But once I clearly see it's just a story, fear and dread evaporate, and what remains is awareness of headache.

In other words, my experience is that many "experiences and interpretations" intertwine not just experiences worth talking about.

RM: ". . . I . . . propose that experience and interpretation are so inexorably mixed that they actually cannot be two, and that only a series of intricate concepts could make that delicate surgery."

Hmmm . . . interesting commentary about mind's surgical prowess . . . but for me, experiencing noticing (bare attention?) is noticing silence without concepts. However, I appreciate how describing experience after the fact, searching for the right words and order (interpretation), appear to create "two" through "a series of intricate concepts . . . [and] . . . delicate surgery."

What I find intriguing about your proposal is (1) how you straddle the "relative dualistic" (experience and interpretation) and the "absolute one" (experience and interpretation: inexorably mixed), (2) how you discernibly appear to lean towards the "absolute," even as (3) you also argue the "relative", i.e., the existence of your body, mind, thoughts, memories, emotions, health, things, people, facts, stories, relationships, circumstances, and conditions. Is this contradictory? Perhaps? But so what? From one perspective everything is included in Absolute Reality and any apparent conceptual contradiction is no real contradiction at all?

Another interesting RM proposition:"When you are approaching zero (no interpretation, which is supposedly a pure experience), is it logarithmic? In that case a thousandth is just as significant as a hundredth or as a tenth. Perhaps an interpretation of weight one millionth is more damaging than an interpretation of weight one million. That’s because the tiny one is undetectable, but the big one we all know is a glaring error, and it will be dealt with." (Are you sincerely interested in nuanced measurements or . . . tactically raising straw man distractions?)

The fact is there are many interesting stories on this forum I do not respond to for the following reason(s): sometimes I catch thinking mind acting like monkey mind . . . attending to certain questions and proposals not as a means of focusing attention in inquiry but as a means of diverting attention away from what is aware.

Thus I observe monkey mind jumping excitedly from branch to branch taking a bite out of this interesting proposal (what is this?), dropping it to the ground, leaping to another branch and query, another bite (what is that?), another dropping to the ground, until before I know it my mental landscape (including this forum) is littered with hundreds of partially digested insights!

Note to self: to be or not to be . . . partially digested insights busboy or selective nutritionist?

Tony

YouTube Channel: Ordinary Consciousness
By: MTony502
http://www.youtube.com/user/Mtony502

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I am not creating a distraction

Nor am I giving any credence to mathematics, as related to perception.  I am only using the concept of logarithms to illustrate a ground belief that more is better.  (In this case “less is better”).  I am merely stating that this is a conceptual cartesian viewpoint that you have learned from your lifespan in your society on earth.

It's real in science and technology too.  It is called "doping".  Put a millionth part of an impurity (metal or something) into silicon, a semiconductor material, and this is what makes it work, makes it into a semiconductor.  It is more than significant, it is fundimental.

I am asking, How do you know less is better, (or any closer to reality)?

I am asking if this concept is present in all of your “pure awareness experiences”, and if so, they are a mix of perception and interpretation just like every other experience.

Thanks for questioning this.

n/a
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The importance of examining "self-talk" . . .

I've been following some of your recent conversations with folks on the Duality forum regarding "The WORLD, in the Radius of the Three Contexts of Appearance, Part Two", etc. And one of the things that struck me was the following . . .

RM:"There is a mystery about existence/reality. But we are here to demystify it, not to further mystify it with talk of illusions. Discovery requires that we continually plough the field of our basic beliefs and assumed axioms, on which we base our life philosophies. When we get to a deeper foundation (simple perceptions and not just verbal constructs), we will immediately find a deeper understanding."

I happen to share this particular sentiment . . . which has led to discovering that a fundamental aspect of the "mystery of existence/reality" . . . is "self-talk".

"Self-talk" (what I say to myself individually, what we say to ourselves collectively) includes all kinds of things, like:
* "the world is an illusion",
* "I have a story or world view that has a small space in it for me to act",
* "because of my negative story I have very bad feelings whenever I think of or engage with worldly events",
* "I have to remain open to new knowledge and discoveries of the universe and myself, which may later contradict knowledge I now accept",
* "I don't think that non-duality leads me to a life of silent suicide, and an absence of knowledge and engagement with/about life and the world",
* "reality doesn't have a point of view, therefore everything I claim to know is illusory",
* "we all embody consciousness and therefore it is consciousness that enables me to be conscious of myself and my surroundings, but not conscious of consciousness itself",
* I can inspect my beliefs to see if they arrived through perceptions, or if they are assumptions and/or logical extensions,
* etc, etc, etc

It seems there's a lot of self-talk going on in my (our) head(s) moment by moment, day in and day out, and not always necessarily guided by common sense, facts, or first hand experience, but by magical thinking, authority figures, and conceptual modeling?

As it turns out . . . my particular "deeper understanding" involves a heightened appreciation of the enormous impact my self-talk has on how I feel about the world and how I interact with it.

And a significant part of this exploration entails noticing when self-talk "doesn't" occur . . . and how this apparent silence comes about.

What I've noticed is there are many moments in a day when there is no self-talk. And not because of any effort on my part to "not self-talk". It seems to happen effortlessly and naturally. And for moments at a time I experience the world without self-talk. And experiencing absence of self-talk is to experience an absence of anxiety, dissatisfaction, or any sense of insufficiency.

Additionally, what I notice not occurring in this silence . . . is how often (if not always) the "world" doesn't happen how my "self-talk" says it does or should. And in terms of perceiving the "world", less self-talk tends to allow for greater clarity of apprehending it than more self-talk. As such I don't view "silence" as concept but as experience (simple perception, not verbal construct).

Hmmm . . . as far as this OP goes, I probably could just as easily have titled it "What is" and "what isn't" self-talk, a micro perspective".

Well, be that as it may, as far as this post goes, nice chatting with you . . . and good luck in changing the content of your self-talk from a narrative that purportedly immobilizes (the world is illusory), to one that purportedly empowers (what I do is vital to the world's survival), to one that creates a system of philosophy (conceptual modeling - the Radius of the Three Contexts of Appearance, the Four Noble Truths, the Seven Habits of Successful People, the Eight-fold Path, the Twelve Steps of AA, etc, etc), to one that . . . eases your angst?

Namaste

Tony

YouTube Channel: Ordinary Consciousness
By: MTony502
http://www.youtube.com/user/Mtony502

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Hi Tony,

It is nice to know someone has read my posts.  A pretty good summary too.

1.  Maybe reality has all points of view, not no point of view, since 8 billion interpretations are apparently in the mix.

2.  “Consciousness enables me to be conscious” but not to decode every mystery.  Kind of like a tautology, no?  Life enables me to live.

3.  I can inspect my beliefs, as evidenced through my self-talk, Yes.

4.  When self-talk falls away, we notice that. While it’s impossible to strive for, since any effort is just more self-talk.

5.  Clear moments become apparent with less chatter.  Could happen through deconstructing (at least re-evaluating) philosophies.

Really I don’t care about any philosophy or belief in illusion as a starting point.  You can be stuck in the La Brea Tar Pits for all I am concerned.  I am just trying to rescue a minimal belief in the power of words, so that you are enabled to look at your self-talk.  Without that willingness, I think you may be dead meat.

Am I trying to construct a new philosophy?  A four noble, or seven successful, or eight fold, or twelve stepper? Far from it.  That is up to each individual. I want to make you solid with the awareness of what you are telling yourself, and to follow the links from beliefs to talk to bad feelings to (misguided) action.

All the rest will take care of itself.  Words are just an obvious and convenient “handle” to grasp life.

n/a

Part of the Action

We remain committed to be on the forefront of what will support life, both in your family and on planet earth. 

 

My interaction with you is an Experiment to further enable this vision to be true, and up to the rhythm that you are a part of the action.  

 

Please contribute to make this vision real.  

With Heart Felt Thanks, Richard Miller.

  

 

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