duckfiasco wrote:It seems this ignorance you mention works on several levels. When we go, "there is a perception" in the first place, is that even accurate? It seems like perceptions themselves only exist in relation to other perceptions that constantly occur as a backdrop, so they too are subject to anatta. Kind of like seeing a mushroom pop up and being unaware of the whole network of fungus underground.
I'm using perception as meaning a notion or an idea about experience(experience otherwise communicates nothing about itself, it just IS), so imputed conceptual overlay creates a false sense of separation between what seems to be an inner subjective self and an outer objective world.
duckfiasco wrote:So I have ignorance of a perception arising separately, then I liberally misunderstand just what that perception says about the world, then react in accordance with habits and ideas without realizing that part, either. Sounds a bit discouraging! I suppose you can't work through ignorance without realizing how much you have to begin with.
Somewhat, the notion that objects and things exist separately(exist at all) is due to imputed perceptions(ideas about experience). And then yes everything spins out of control from there and becomes habitual to the point that this skewed view becomes the way things are, and to posit that experience could exist any other way seems completely counterintuitive.
duckfiasco wrote:So in essence, we are a part of everything else. It seems obvious at first blush, but then it's kind of shocking how hard it is to live like this is true. It's very easy for me to accept ideas like my perception of a person is more shaped by my own mind than anything about them. But then you get into things like the double slit experiment, and it's like people (myself included) expect the "real world" to exist as wholly discrete from the subjective human reality. Seeing something as basic as an electron being affected by observation seems shocking. Self-grasping in another form, no?
It's not so much a thing you "live like", as if it's adopted as an idea and then you're set. It has to be actualized in your experience, beyond belief.
duckfiasco wrote:I guess the challenge is not just reinterpreting this into more subtle terms of ego. It's not that I decide to perceive something a certain way, then it magically changes in substance to match my perception. That seems like the ultimate ego trip.
Ha well actually, it is something like that in essence. This usually would depend on what school of buddhist thought you're engaged with though. In some it is that way, substance does change. But there are safeguards to make sure the ego is either completely dismantled or held at bay until it is destroyed.
The barrier for me feels like a tidy little package of habits. Me vs. you, mind vs. everything out there. I feel very drawn to the ideas you've brought up, even though I can't understand them beyond a theoretical vagueness. I have a lot more groundwork to build
The barrier certainly is a package of habits! Although if it's tidy or little I don't know, is can certainly seem large and daunting to some.
duckfiasco wrote:What does discarding projections mean? Is it similar to the bare awareness that is the goal of some meditations? It seems like it would be very, very easy to attempt to drop projections then in fact throw some others up without realizing it. "Look at me, I'm perceiving reality with no projections, woohoo!"
Discarding projections essentially means getting to the point where you're no longer under the sway of your own projections. Notions of separation and feeling that you're a subjective entity living in an objective world (which is separate from you) is actually created by continual and habitual reification of projections over time. I'm not sure what you mean by bare awareness. Yeah that is usually the case, the process of coming to the state of wholeness is based on accounting for habits that create fragmentation, and yes some are very subconscious and will pop up without one realizing it if they aren't mindful and earnest.
Like you tell me later in your post, I'm my own worst enemy here. I'm having a hard time getting out of the way I've thought for most of my life.
For that reason, it seems like what you're saying IS dualistic. Things somehow only exist if I perceive them. More projection at work, I bet. How convenient that someone very learned shares the views I already have!
Yeah mostly anything you describe using language and concepts is going to appear dualistic(in the description), it's unavoidable. A vague attempt at capturing it would be; [the observer]-[the process of observing]-[the observation] are all one thing.
duckfiasco wrote:Would meditating specifically on emptiness help here? I know you're not preaching some capitalized Truth, more like giving road directions, but I can't even understand the directions yet.
Meditating on emptiness is a cornerstone of the dharma and yes it would be helpful. So this would mean investigating into the fact that everything in experience is dependently originated... and that nothing has an inherent existence by itself.
Is this your way of exhorting me to "come and see"?
This is all so tricky. I can see what you mean, I think. If we fight the "I" then we just make another "I" that has to somehow be better than the "I" we're fighting. And it can be even more dangerous if this new "I" is clothed in emptiness, non-self, and other Buddhist concepts. How wise the "I" now seems!
I suppose it is somewhat tricky that's why it's a difficult process and requires skillful means to actualize. It's just saying that realization(on one level) is the loss of this "I"... so how can "I" lose the "I"? Any attempt to remove the self is done by the self. So it's a process of chasing ones own tail in a sense. Likewise if one does nothing to attain it, one remains stuck in delusion. So it requires effort, but effort skillfully, and the dharma provides the skillful means to actualize realization.
duckfiasco wrote:I take it the way to cut through all this is investigation, pure and simple?
Yes but investigate keenly and the right way... the buddha left thousands of ways to do this.
I've found your posts so instructive and helpful, start to finish. Thank you for taking the time to write them and help me along. I'm very grateful
Glad to help! Some of the stuff I've said may seem counterintuitive and/or unclear or weird at this point. My word of advice would be to keep at it and remain earnest and hungry for it. In my own experience, i found that whatever I didn't understand I would try my best to, and then I would leave it alone and return to it some time later, even months, or a year later, and it would make more sense then after I had assimilated other information and had other realizations in my experience. So if things don't make sense don't get frustrated and don't give up... the fact that this is possible, that these realizations spoken of can be actualized, is unparalleled in importance.