What is the point about discussing thought?

When I have a different experience, an unusual experience, beyond description, and there is an awareness of a difference between consciousness, and thinking, is there any need to discuss thought? Say I am sitting around a campfire, watching the flames, and there is an assimilation with the fire, and it seems like consciousness is inside the fire, maybe called mesmerisation, and later to return to normal, is there any need to discuss thought? For these kinds of unusual experiences, humans may have come up with the word God.
When a point is raised about the word God, or religion, belief, nationality, identity, ego, self, etc, and then the discussion is about thought, it is because, possibly, thought is the root of these. But outside of actually raising issues with religion, for example, making an issue with the idea of thought, referencing the questions about thought, is confusing the context, and is a repetition of religion, belief, nationality, identity, ego, self, etc,.
So we can see there is something called Ego, for example, but we need to go deeper, not sticking to a verbal analysis. The word ego is not someplace to stop complacently, and think, I know about this, ego, non-ego, and ego-less, and I can continue with my discussion.
Think about it. With any mental image, the implication is there is something, and there is a word. Where is this ego, that is not just a word, and how does it work? What is this action, between something and the word, we call ego? What is ego really all about?
It is connecting with things, pleasure, and the search for satisfaction, for something to enjoy, or to hold onto, and be sure about through this mental process. The pleasure forms a belief, or as it can be, an attachment to what is unsure, like the unbeliever.
The point about discussing thought is with the context of possibly being the root of our human condition, as we take to be normal life with its purpose and functions. This requires some degree of responsibility, not all the speculation about who is saying what and why, and wondering how does this relate to me in my life, in my circumstances. Why is someone talking to me about thought? They are not. It is in the context of questioning all those things which form part of life in families, groups, society, nations, etc. like religion, etc.

What about “my mind does not belong to me”? That seems hard to grasp.

PS - In a way (a trivial way) my experiences are unique in that they have never happened before. But I do agree that human nature is shared by humans.

Its demonstrably accurate that both this moment and what I am perceiving is unique, has never happened before.

But this is a trivial (eg. 1,2,3, up, down, black, red…) fact.

What is more interesting, in terms of human psychology, is that, as you imply, these experiences are in no way personal.
We have no choice but to experience them in the way that we do. We are a part of the western, educated, rich, industrialised, human, primate, social mammalian, etc tradition

How so? Do you mean that humans process reality in the same way? That we are all using similar brains?

How so? Please feel free to explain. Why do you think this experience is old?

Okay, thanks for your explanation - I think I get what you’re saying.

But I am now wondering about this

Good day to all, bisous from France. :kissing_heart:

I am reminded of the smoker who watches themself, day after day, in horror and self loathing, powerless to intervene, as they light up another cigarette.

Where is the promised freedom of self-observation?

Ok - definitely cancelled, because I can’t remember what you said (wish I could - was it something shocking? I don’t remember it being particularly shocking)

PS - I have been in the position of the smoker described above.

post #15:

Many promise freedom — professional motivators, self-help gurus who make millions with their glib promises, politicians, preachers, doctors, and so on. It is easy to make promises. Freedom can be promised by anyone but freedom cannot be delivered on a platter. Even one who IS truly free (if such a person exists) cannot by any means deliver freedom for another. That’s life. Each one of us is on his or her own in this respect.

To look for a path to freedom through ideas, through blind obedience and conformity, is to look in the wrong direction. In your example of the smoker, he or she is looking for a technique or an idea to free him from smoking. He’s not looking at or questioning anything else, not his self-loathing, nor at all the other aspects of his life. He might be assuming that his sole problem is smoking and that, if not for smoking, life would be good. Is there a “thing” which drove him to smoke and which keeps him smoking. What is that “thing”?

I have not been hooked on smoking but other things.

Pilgrim and Macdougdoug,

Experience is not new; experiencing is. Experiencing is in the immediate, spontaneous, present, new moment. Even uniqueness becomes old and stale. What we all long for, as I see it, is to experience newness with its breeze of fresh air. There is newness in experiencing.

Every baby that is born is experienced as brand new. One might have seen hundreds of births, hundreds of blades of grass pushing through the concrete, and each one is totally new. Or, as Pilgrim mentioned, a birdsong is not the “same old, same old”; the breeze on a warm spring day is not greeted with the thought, “I’ve felt the breeze a thousand times before. I’m going home” — not unless awareness is blocked — by the throes of anger, depression, worry, anxiety, self-pity, boredom, ambition, pretense, deceit, fear, and so on. These thoughts and emotions block awareness of the whole, and so one is oblivious to the newness of the moment, oblivious to experiencing. The intellect has taken control and there is no awareness. No?

Newness and fresh air are not among the things which can be stored and preserved. What can be preserved (aside from pickles, salt fish and stale air) is memory. Memory — which is the storage facility which preserves time — cannot by its nature be new.

In the fleeting moment of experiencing, there is no thought or emotion.

In the gap which follows, the intellect measures, evaluates and compares what is experienced, and incorporates that into the known. It is a mechanical process which cannot be stopped. But it can be observed and understood. We could not perform tasks without this mechanism. So experience is just a lifeless accumulation of memory. Memory has no intelligence of understanding. This process of recording is part of our created nature and it has its proper place.

But as one begins to question one’s condition, it is seen that thought has usurped THE WHOLE of living. The gap is seen in which the intellect conceptually splits itself into “me” and “not me”. The nature of self is seen and it is understood that thought/memory is NOT intelligence or understanding, and that the fleeting moment is not the product of the intellect. Is this artificial and conceptual split the cause of suffering? Something like that?

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Thought can reasonably defend the claim that everything is new, and also that its old.

One claim may be more useful than the other depending on the desired goal.
Subjectively there can be a better answer. But in absolute terms, the ideas are meaningless.


Ideas are meaningless as conveyors of truth. But there IS an actual “thing” underlying our words and ideas — suffering, fear, discontent, and so on. The thing is seen “through a glass darkly”. Can speaker and listener look directly at the “thing” rather than at images and ideas? Can we speak and listen hesitantly and with care, realizing that the word is not the thing? Can we ever understand what another is talking about?

If the intellect is responsible for “anger, depression, worry, anxiety, self-pity, boredom, ambition, pretense, deceit, fear”, the intellect needs to stop - at least for as long as it takes to feel responsible.

Is the dread of realizing the error of its way greater than the fear of having nothing to dread?

Isn’t dread a sort of fear?

When you are angry, overcome with anger, fear or depression (if ever) - can you/we just stop? Or, in those moments, do you/we have a narrative or an excuse that justifies the emotions? Don’t we want peace and happiness? Do fear and anger provide that? Why can’t we stop? I don’t know. You tell me.

When there is the internal (infernal) voice, is there a thing? Or is the movement of thought the thing? Can I listen to the thing, thought, and see where it goes?

So it is dead now? Is that what you are saying? Or more precisely : my experience of it is of a dead thing - I see it as a dead thing, therefore I know that it is dead.

Was it ever alive? I mean did I ever see anything new? Or was it already dead the first time I saw it?

I can ask you questions about the statement (that humans, processes, and reality are the same thing) - that might help us get a clearer picture of what you mean?

Finding out what the mind is doing is not a repeat. It may be repeating, but that’s what to discover.

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Looking carefully, at the mind, consciousness, thought, all of that, not as intellectual particulars, but as what is taking place, like listening to a bird, is completely different to expressing what I think.

Watching and listening is not self. Self is the within the thought process making and exploiting images. ,