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RE: Introduction and basic history

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RE: Introduction and basic history
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11/22/10 3:59 PM
tarin greco:

what i mean by 'the sense of seeing' is, literally, what it is to experience seeing directly. to perceive is to be engaged in a lively activity and is what is meant by paying attention. yet, such attention is likely to tend toward proliferating stories and fabrications, from persistent reflection and mental commentary on one hand (when concentration is weak and/or scattered) to outright hallucination on the other (when concentration is powerful and/or focused). those proliferations are to be avoided. how may these proliferations be avoided? by otherwise engaging the proliferating tendency. how may the proliferating tendency be otherwise engaged? by applying the mind further. to what further apply the mind? to the apprehension (of more) of what is happening. what more is happening (that is not yet engaged)? the apprehension of (the apprehension of) perception itself.

to apprehend perception directly is necessarily also to apprehend that apprehension occurring, and to experience in such a manner is to experience cleanly and clearly, entirely engagedly and encompassedly, incuding the bodily sense of such experience. to see not just what the eye sees but what it is to see is therefore to see cleanly and clearly, entirely engagedly and encompassedly, including the bodily sense of such seeing. seeing in this manner engages the energies which otherwise fuel the proliferating tendency, and so avoids such proliferation. further, experiencing seeing as a bodily sense leads to deeper insight into what the body is, and what perceiving is.


Hello Rich and tarin,

I have a question about the above statement, tarin. Although you don't say it explicitly... is what you are describing in this paragraph what's commonly referred to here as "apperception"? If so, it answers a lot of questions I had about what apperception is.

When people say that apperception = the mind becomes aware of itself...

Is that equivalent to apperception = to see not just what the eye sees but what it is to see = to see not just what the eye sees, but "the mind becomes aware of itself" ?

I appreciate your response. This question has been on my mind for a long time of what was meant by the phrase "the mind aware of itself"

Thanks,

Daniel

ps. Rich, I don't have much to add to your thread, but I've enjoyed reading and wish you success.

RE: Introduction and basic history
Answer
11/23/10 2:35 AM as a reply to Daniel Johnson.
Daniel Johnson:
tarin greco:

what i mean by 'the sense of seeing' is, literally, what it is to experience seeing directly. to perceive is to be engaged in a lively activity and is what is meant by paying attention. yet, such attention is likely to tend toward proliferating stories and fabrications, from persistent reflection and mental commentary on one hand (when concentration is weak and/or scattered) to outright hallucination on the other (when concentration is powerful and/or focused). those proliferations are to be avoided. how may these proliferations be avoided? by otherwise engaging the proliferating tendency. how may the proliferating tendency be otherwise engaged? by applying the mind further. to what further apply the mind? to the apprehension (of more) of what is happening. what more is happening (that is not yet engaged)? the apprehension of (the apprehension of) perception itself.

to apprehend perception directly is necessarily also to apprehend that apprehension occurring, and to experience in such a manner is to experience cleanly and clearly, entirely engagedly and encompassedly, incuding the bodily sense of such experience. to see not just what the eye sees but what it is to see is therefore to see cleanly and clearly, entirely engagedly and encompassedly, including the bodily sense of such seeing. seeing in this manner engages the energies which otherwise fuel the proliferating tendency, and so avoids such proliferation. further, experiencing seeing as a bodily sense leads to deeper insight into what the body is, and what perceiving is.


Hello Rich and tarin,

I have a question about the above statement, tarin. Although you don't say it explicitly... is what you are describing in this paragraph what's commonly referred to here as "apperception"? If so, it answers a lot of questions I had about what apperception is.

When people say that apperception = the mind becomes aware of itself...

Is that equivalent to apperception = to see not just what the eye sees but what it is to see = to see not just what the eye sees, but "the mind becomes aware of itself" ?

yes; for though 'to see' and 'to apprehend' are not actually exchangeable as technically speaking 'to see' is what the eye does and 'to apprehend' is what the mind does, even more strictly speaking they are not separable either (for how will you find the mind apart from the eye? ... the ear? ... the body? ... the nose? ... the tongue?). in this sense, apprehending what it is to see is an example of the mind become aware of itself.


Daniel Johnson:

I appreciate your response. This question has been on my mind for a long time of what was meant by the phrase "the mind aware of itself"

apperception is where one entirely disappears (and leaves no trace).

tarin

RE: Introduction and basic history
Answer
11/23/10 12:44 PM as a reply to tarin greco.
many thanks for bringing up this topic, as this aspect of apperception has been central to my practice the past few months, and in my opinion has helped the most in the huge reduction of mind noise. Discussing apperception in terms of seeing helps clarify it for me, as I have not been totally sure of what people mean by it, including Richard, until now. With eyes open, either on or off the cushion, inclining my mind towards apperception has led more and more to just pure perception, with little to no sense of self, as Tarin mentions. One thing I have really like about this technique is it can be applied anywhere, and from this state I can either explore the PCE, or can investigate experience/sensations at a much deeper level, which I have been doing mostly lately. With eyes closed apperception can also be summoned; it's characterized by a bright, very distinct and vivid awareness, as if a light has been switched on. Maybe somebody can correct me here if I'm wrong, but I am assuming this is what people mean when they say turning awareness on itself, or dwelling in the witness. I am also assuming this is what is meant by direct path, and this is where Ramana's metaphor can be applied, of the stick that pokes at the fire eventually being consumed by the fire. And back to Richard, when he says 'consciousness becoming conscious of itself' - I assume this is what he means. Any comments?

RE: Introduction and basic history
Answer
11/23/10 5:23 PM as a reply to tarin greco.
Thank you very much for your reply, tarin. And, also thank you for splitting the thread, as I wasn't sure the proper etiquette on that kind of thing.

Your answer clarifies a lot, but your last statement brings new questions!

tarin greco:

apperception is where one entirely disappears (and leaves no trace).


Perhaps I have difficulty understanding these things in non-spiritual ways. For "the mind becomes aware of itself" I just could get what was meant by that statement in a down-to-earth factual way... it sounded so spiritual... sorta equivalent to Conciousnes turns back on Itself or something... like "being" aware of "being." But, the way you described it with relation to the eyeball and the physical event of seeing has helped a lot.

Now, the same with "one entirely disappears"... at first glance, that sounds spiritual again... like a unitive experience, or perhaps like: "the self is absorbed into being itself" kind of thing. Perhaps you could help me bring it down to earth a bit.

My experience of apprehending what it is to see was one in which there could be no room for a self, because the experiencing was so direct. As I reflect on it now, it was in some way like "I" disappeared entirely, but not in a mystical way at all. It was more like "I" disappeared and what was left was the physical sensations which were there all along (and the apprehension of those sensations), but as there was no "I" process distorting the experience, it was experienced with a different quality from the ordinary quality of daily life. There was nothing special about it though, and maybe that's where I'm confusing the PCE with a mystical experience. Would it be accurate to say that the PCE isn't special?

Thanks again for your response, and all that you've written here on this website. I'm enjoying it thoroughly.

- Daniel