Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Conversation On Thought and Its Association as a Self

i understand more clearly now, what you mean about not being so invested in assumptions.

well, its the association with the assumptions that is the problem

assumptions in themselves can sometimes be alright, but when we define ourselves by our 

associations then we feel the need to defend them and that causes problems

that's what i meant by invested in the assumptions.

you have something riding on them, emotionally or intellectually, i guess.


your identity?

well, its a bit more than that

we mistake ourselves as those assumptions

and most action is based upon defending those assumptions as coherent and relevant

right. like 'i believe in this idea and that says something about the kind of person i am, and i have to 

stand by that"


so one looks upright, or respectable or whatever in others eyes

well screw that.

why don't we focus on finding out what is true together instead of worrying about being wrong because 

we've aligned ourselves already?

not sure what you mean by that

i mean 'we' in general, not you and me.

isn't that dialogue? talking with eachother instead of defending our assumptions?

right, like meaning flowing between 2 people, finding out together...

what do you mean by aligning?

aligned ourselves with assumptions

"this is what i think and i need to stand by it because it's part of me'



i think some people close themselves down to new information because they're so identified with what 

they think they already know. that seems very limiting.

like, man. there's always more to learn.


well, if we truly believe that we are our associations, our ideas, then we dont want others 

dismantling 'us'


but we aren't. what is, is, but it isn't anything or anyone else.

do you think there is such thing as objective truth?

well of course

i mean you could philosophize it and say that 'the sky is blue' is only true if you aren't colorblind.

but that's pretty impractical.

you know, like, 'if a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it does it make a sound?"

right, well, thats where some of the new agers take this and say, 'everything is relative'

its not

there is a reality

how do you know?


i'm playing devil's advocate.

i believe in reality.

but i do think it is a belief.

one cant know reality


you ask, 'how do you know?'

that is just coming from the program 

the program is asking 'how do i capture it?' It wants to come first

by first i mean... we think the thought is 'what is', but the thought is only the 'what was'... 

it doesnt perceive its own backside, so it runs in circles chasing its own tail so to speak

it puts thought first, as most important, so it is confused and says, 'yes, but how do i know reality... 

how do i capture it?'

i understand.

and so it gets faster and faster at being reactionary, and continually disguising itself as the 

'what is' in order to remain coherent to a dynamic environment... but thats the thing, its thought 

and thought is memory, which is the past as it was percieved and recorded, and therefore it is limited

it can never be rational when it is first

when the cart is in front of the horse

but how can we have dialogue without thought?

i guess what i'm saying is we perceive a reality. how can we be sure our perception of that reality is accurate?

we can't, can we?

yes, well you see, this is where many people are confused. although it has already been established 

in our conversation that the problem is not thought in itself, but the mistaken identity as thought 

being the center, or central to the makeup of an 'individual' 

It believes it is the ideas it associates with and so it tries to defend , 

the associations are the ideas it has created from memory


i'm following

thought has its place, but it is not primary

we may have mistaken it as primary and, as we can see it leads to this whole mess

putting the cart in front of the horse

can we define 'thought'

i'm not asking that rhetorically

well i think thats pretty simple

i mean define it for me so i know what we're talking about specifically

thought is based on memory


thought is the active process of awareness mixing various memories in orders that appear coherent


oh, nevermind.


my mind just went in 15 different directions

it can also maintain its creations, what we call 'ideas', and in a way sort of 'overlay' these 

ideals/ideas in our perceptions... actively

so really it is just our previous conscious and/or subconscious perceptions, represented 

in a sort of theatrical way to awareness in the present moment.

alright, tell me if I've got this straight

are 'the present' and 'reality' the same thing?

in the sense that all that really is is what is now

well, reality only exists in the present, there is no past

or future 

and everything before and after is thought,

memory or prediction

right, i would say that

so to question reality is to question the present, which is the only thing that is, at all?

we have this distorted view of time, as if there is a past and future... of course, this is useful 

in a certain field, but when it is used as becoming (the psychological becoming) it is just 

meaningless, it has no place cause this implys escaping from 'reality', the present, to this image 

we have of the future, this ideal...

this only causes conflict and prolongs our suffering state by 'suppressing' it... we say, "i feel hurt, 

i will become happy"

you see? 

and now we are just where we started, we are caught in the whole mess of chasing our own tails... 

our tails being the past, which is limited and can not be the 'solution' psychologically, to freedom... 

it puts us in a state of ignorance, cause we are ignoring what is and 'striving' for what we 

desire to become

hate to use the word ignorance cause it is such a loaded word, but we are using it in the true 

sense of the definition

we are taught to go have fun when our mates hurt us or break up with us; to strive when 

we are feeling down.

you don't have a lot of people to talk about this with, do you?

well, not many people are interested in this, they are so caught up in creating their pet monster 

that they believe is them (as if they can) and in one sense they can, but as we see its just 

causing all this conflict in the world

this is why its such a dangerous thing... it is exactly not what appears to be what it needs to escape.

(laughter), that may be a difficult sentence to understand

if it is aware of the process... like it is aware of the fire that burns the hand, there is no confusion then

but you see, it doesnt see this whole process cause it is ignoring purposefully that very thing 

that may be capable of freeing itself

but i think if the mind is capable of seeing, by some means, the whole workings of it, it may 

then be free of the incoherence. 

when there is enough discomfort it seems that then the mind starts to question... 

or if by some other means it happens to be sensitive enough to get a clue as to 

what it is doing; chasing its own tail


too many "it's"

let me try to rephrase this back to you


* i meant if the mind is capable


i know

nice catch, though. that could've been taken pretty badly



what is "the process"?

the process of trying to create oneself by identifying with our thoughts?



the whole process of identification issss the 'my mate broke up with me, i will become 'happy' thing

the whole of it... the becoming

well, yeah, please dont accept what i say, or believe me, you must find out if its true and see it 

yourself if you are so interested ('must'

i mean that you will find out

if so interested)

(laughter), you know what i mean? it is difficult to say

that last part



i am definitely interested


  1. Very interesting, Trevor. I like the idea that thought isn't primary- kind of like yin and yang, taking a side, or the 10000 things. I like looking for wuji ( sometimes :) )... the greyness out of which all else arises. Or wuji, the place of central equilibrium. Or wuji, nothing. Or wuji, the Dao.

    Cool conversation here...

    I think imagination is so cool... being able to be creative and to choose, to be open to seeing new ways, and imagine what could be. And yet everything is kind of imagination in some form, since our perception of reality is subjective.

    I think, like you're saying, the trouble is in "proving yourself right" or proving that your own subjective views are the best. Of course they're the best for each person, now. Like you said, I think it's important to be able to see memories and thoughts with a certain lightness, and be willing to examine them in light of what is.

    In the spirit of dialogue, I believe that thought is a biproduct in some ways, just like we talk about chi feelings, sweating, shaking, etc. as biproducts. Or apples as biproducts of a strong tree. I believe thought is a biproduct of who we are, and that it is possible to use thought to change who we are, develop and grow. For me, it is useful to reflect on times I may have hurt my friends or family, and follow deeply myself back into a point of understanding, out of which new growth can come. It is, though, important to keep a reference to who I am now, in the present, to allow me to examine these thoughts with my own eyes, and not get lost in the memory.

    My thoughts are a mirror in which I see my own reflection.

    I'm very attached to thought, but I also enjoy perception. As I sit here listening to the rain, the words are just appearing on my computer screen in this little comment box. I hear the whoosh of a passing car, and notice that thought is very mysterious to me. Words in my head, or a vision, or a feeling... are all manifestations of what? But I can let them go a little bit and release the grasp to see what happens, and I feel the cool air and smell zucchini bread and rain. I guess I don't know a lot about this, past what I can experience. I am looking at a ceramic sculpture on my desk and wondering what would happen if the very idea of it was absent from my mind...

    It's possible that even though I have decent vision (with my glasses) I'm not really seeing anything at all.

    I find it interesting to read so many thoughts about thought, and I have many of my own. I'm curious about you, too, Trevor.

  2. " I believe that thought is a biproduct in some ways" - Dan

    This reminds me of tracking animals. Some native americans view that everything leaves tracks, like a wake behind a boat. When tracking animals there is the wake of their influence that one can follow when hunting, or observing. Every thing seems to leave a track in some way or another, whether its an imprint in the mud, a hair, a broken branch, a moved stone... or on the deeper levels it can be the tracks we leave as communicated ideas, and even now i see memory as the tracks of awareness.

    When people train under various masters, their influence is apparent in the way that they move. When i observe someones posture i am able to see the tracks that have been left by the various events or lack of events in ones life.

    Let me relate what i said in the conversation by saying, we can learn so much from the tracks that various things leave, but walking with our head down, observing the tracks in the mud (and in the case of psychological becoming even mistaking the tracks as the animal), we may easily miss the animal or whatever it is that may lie beyond.

    The presence of a substance in matter appears eternally elusive to the known; intangible as a substance... yet the influence of something (or beyond a thing). A reality that can not possibly be grasped by the known.

  3. Declairations

    WOW... This is so cool... (The Feeling)

    No need to defend a declairation (This is more of an assertion)

    When people confuse declairations with assertion and assertions with declairations then defending can show as well (Even more assertions here)

    Feeling... and expressing... the primal... YES!

    Feelings simply are... basic... assertions tend to show up afterward... with many people in internal auditory first... explaining it... why is it this way... YES... feels good expressing what is in my heart... of the matter

    Assertions can be good too... remembering it is all subjective

    Check into http://groups.google.com/group/dharmaville/about and ask about assertions and declairations... some fun stuff there on this