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comment by jadedog
jadedog  ·  674 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Source of Emotional Pain-- and How to Stop it

Thanks for your response. I do agree with you that the blog posts are overly simplistic. However, I don't agree they're completely without meaning.

    To what degree do you thing perception and reality have no relation?

Well, that's sort of the point. One can't know that. I can make a percentage that I believe, but that's about it. It would be just a thought about my belief. No one can actually know.

On the one extreme, we could all be in The Matrix, having a shared experience not based on reality. (Fair disclosure: I haven't actually watched the Matrix. It's just often the example given.) On the other extreme, a single individual could be having a certain experience not shared with anyone else that they are certain is reality, if they were say, a paranoid schizophrenic or having some other type of hallucination or delusion. From their perspective, they can't know how much reality and perception are correlated.

As a practical matter, people generally agree that our perceptions through our senses are real, even if the interpretation is not always accurate.

    Many things that we pretend are objective are very subjective. it's an area where perception and reality must often part ways, but to say they have no relation is silly.

My bad for using an example that led so far away from the context of the article. The context of the article was within the bounds of when someone is feeling emotional pain. When someone is feeling emotional pain, {almost} all thoughts that lead to the emotional pain are subjective. That's where moving more to the absolute has some meaning.

When people are in emotional pain, their thoughts on it are largely subjective. In that context, perception (of the reasons for the emotional pain) and the reality (of the situation) are often (or maybe always) not (necessarily) related.

One could argue, as many have, that the same event can cause some people to feel emotional pain and others to feel emotional joy, so the relationship between the event (reality) and their perception of it is not necessarily correlated.

Here's why it matters. If you believe that the event (reality) caused the emotional pain, then you have no power to change the pain you're in since you can't change the event. If you believe that your perception causes your emotional pain, then you can change your perception (belief about how you're interpreting it), regardless of the event. If perception and reality were the same, you'd be stuck with the emotional pain.

    Not being your thoughts must be great self help advice, it's flies off the shelf. Seems like a bunch of mystic double talk self victimization rationalizing to me. Comforting but I suspect that it's of dubious practical value.

When people say 'you are not your thoughts', it's generally shorthand for you don't control every thought that goes through your mind. At the same time, you do have responsibility for the actions you take with those thoughts.

Saying that you are not your thoughts and you have responsibility for your actions together simultaneously is not conflicting.

As for its practical value, it probably has more value for those people who have reached the end of their ability to will themselves to change or it was taken from them. It's been said, if you can't change your reality, you have to change your beliefs. If one thinks that their beliefs and their reality are the same, and they can't change their reality, that can leave them in a bad situation.

You might do this intuitively.

For example, if someone was a pro athlete and believed that their only source of success and value is from being a pro athlete, if they somehow became paralyzed, they'd have to change their belief. If they had the persistent thought that their only value was from being a pro athlete, despite being unable to do it anymore, it might be practical for them to know that they are not that thought.

    He [Krishnamurti] was diametrically opposed to the don't think and it's not your brain crowd. If I've said anything absolutist it's only in that I totally oppose the "you are not you mind, you are not your thoughts," absolutist.

I tried looking for some quotes to see if I could verify this. I found this quote, which goes in the other direction.

    Meditation is to be aware of every thought and of every feeling, never to say it is right or wrong, but just to watch it and move with it. In that watching, you begin to understand the whole movement of thought and feeling. And out of this awareness comes silence.

    Jiddu Krishnamurti

Being able to be aware of every thought and not "be" every thought says that you are not your thoughts. There has to be a you who is the observer. Is that the same guy?

cgod  ·  674 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I guess my hand analogy isn't working for you.

jadedog  ·  673 days ago  ·  link  ·  

No, not really. I'm not seeing the point of it.

    I am my hands, they are within the ven diagram of me. I'm accountable for their good behavior and health an maintenance. I'm more than my hands but I'm certainly not not my hands. My hands might screw me with their clumsiness or betray my nervousness, sometimes they might even be too weak for the task which I am asking them to perform, but they are my hands. Same damn thing with my brain. I do my best to nudge it toward flexibility, objectivity and just compassion but I sometimes fail. It's still my brain.

You're conflating brain and thoughts. One is tangible, the other is not. It's trivially true to say that you own your body parts. It would be different to say that you own your thoughts. Until thoughtcrime is illegal, you're not responsible for every stray thought that flashes through your mind. People are responsible for their actions, including communicating their thoughts, but they're not responsible solely for their thoughts.

That's like saying that you own a book, so you're responsible for taking care of the book. But that's different from owning every idea and concept within the pages of the book.

You seem to imply these ideas are scams. They are if you paid for them. But these ideas about meditation and witnessing thoughts are as old as Buddhism.

I've never read Eckhart Tolle. I've watched a couple youtube videos he was on. He did give me a slimy feeling, telling people not to worry about money as he sat there making millions from his books. But he sure didn't originate these concepts.