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What is it that sees (hears, feels, thinks)?

Hi everyone! Newbie nobody here with a question I return to over and over again:

What is thinking up this sentence?
What is feeling fingers tap on keys while writing this?
What is seeing this appear word by word on the screen?

What is it?

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Culturally, sociologically, I see myself in time, and then there is something happening, I am thinking, writing, etc. and I have not thought it, experienced it before.
Anyone will say it is human nature to see, hear, feel, think, etc. Isn’t asking these questions something of a psychological concern? What is the brain trying to resolve?
Is this a newness, or is it my experience with thought? Is there ability, creativity, or is thought producing the whole affair? Is thought all the human verbal library, and I have opened a book and looked at a page?
Is wanting to know what I am doing confused with thought? I can carefully, attentively discover what I am doing by watching, aware, negating, the complications of thought.

It is something that thinks and feels. This response is from another something that thinks and feels. Hello.

Yes! “What is it?” questions are grounded in time, they don’t make sense without it. And time is grounded in thought, without thought there is no past, future, or present, there is only … this.

Hello fellow thinker-feeler!

What are we? What are these ‘somethings’ that think, feel, see, hear, emote, love, hate, come into the world at some point and at some point leave it?

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First of all, we are temporary; we have a limited period of time in which to think and feel. So doesn’t what we do with this time define our nature?

Sartre and the existentialists would agree with you: You are (become) what you do.

I wonder if there is an ‘essential nature’ to us that has nothing to do with time?

What do you think?

We are time. We are the product of time as well as being caught in the limitations of time. So perhaps we could put the question a little differently. Is the desire to uncover this essential nature of oneself part of the trap of time? Is it that in being aware of one’s own temporariness one is then seeking permanence as an escape from the fact?

Hello there nobody.

I see that, the difference we face between us, because of our ‘conditioned self’( i.e. ‘me and ‘you’) based on the forms of environment we grow and live.

But the ‘essential nature’ that not differ between us, that has nothing to do with time is, when we born as a child, the ‘nothingness’ we share. Our essential nature is ‘nobody’. Isn’t it?. Like an empty black board. We draw in that, create something from that, learn what is written in that, store it as a knowledge even when it is erased(past), imagine it as our own. Strive to decorate it with many colour chalk pieces. When one chalk piece is finished/stolen, searching for another chalk piece, goes on till the end and finally time comes - it is broken and again a new empty board is given.

We are ‘nobody’ and from there every thought, as a wave, as a heartbeat, arises, goes up and down.

Is this feeling of ‘nothingness’ is the beauty/love/relationship/god?

This is one thing that drives humans to search for their essential nature. But not the only thing. And not always the main thing. We are a massively curious species (in both ways), we are driven to find out what makes things tick, ourselves included.

Hi Viswa.

This is a powerful and compelling way to look at the truth of ourselves. It frees you from the limitations of conditioning. The past (memory, habit, reflex) doesn’t stick to a nobody. Nor does the future.

It can definitely feel that way, that’s part of its power.

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Which is why we have so many theories about what we are. But what is the fact? Maybe there is no essential nature at all. And is this the same as saying, ‘I am nobody’?

Yes, maybe. Maybe ‘essential nature’ is an invention of the human mind. (But if it is … does that mean it doesn’t exist, isn’t real?)

To say that I am anything … even “I am nobody” … is to reify one’s identity. It’s subtle, but it’s there.

Seeking an answer is the beginning of the movement. In order to “be” mind has to look at itself. “What is” is unknowable! All attempt to know “What is” will be from the known. Can the mind look at the nature of itself?

Yes, that’s the point, isn’t it? Is it possible to look without capturing any fragment of truth? The fragments that are collected will form to create a centre; and then any further looking will be motivated and controlled by that centre. I am listening to you; I am looking at you; I am thinking and feeling. To impose a known structure on to this activity is impossible without destroying it.

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I don’t know, but let’s say it is. Would the experience-recorder stop, or would it continue to record in the background, unconsciously? Is a moment of full crest-of-the-wave awareness unrecorded, forever lost to memory?

Yes. As if we are constantly building/rebuilding a psychological rudder that keeps us from tipping over.

Without modifying it, as in the ‘observer effect’ of science. Is modifying equivalent to destroying?

It is not lost to memory; it is not stored in memory. Do you see the difference? If something tremendous happens to me I am always going to remember it. But the memory is not the important thing, so I don’t need to record it. Or, to put it another way, insight has nothing to do with me; so it is not mine to generate, to keep, to use again. The insight comes about only because I am out of the way, because a space has opened up in which I am playing no part. To grab hold of this insight brings me right back into the centre of things and thus denies the possibility of further insights.

In this sense, the creation of the observer is the destructive element.

This doesn’t make sense to me. To remember is to retrieve from memory, to be retrievable the memory must have been recorded. Yes?

This makes sense within a certain point of view. From a different pov, insight involves thought and the egoic I. Insight cannot imo be reduced to a facile definition. Do you agree?

I see something amazing about the nature of hurt, something I haven’t seen before. So there is the memory of seeing that amazing thing. But what that amazing thing is, I cannot now tell you. There was insight; but the insight has gone. What remains is the memory of having had an insight. Does this make more sense?

Yes, I agree. There cannot be insight into greed without the accompanying fact of greed. Otherwise it is just a theory.

Yes, thank you. Some of my most intense experiences remain retrievable as a kind of pointer to the experiences, but the details of the experiences themselves are gone … and/or I don’t want to retrieve them, because the memory would trivialize the experience itself. Does that track?