Exploring the sense fields is a very useful and versatile tool, maybe especially helpful for noticing how the mental field creates an overlay on all the fields, creating gestalts such as a sense of space and time, a me and a separate I.
Over the last few weeks, I have noticed a particular flavor of this more, as it happens in daily life.
I notice the images of the wider world, me and of the relationships among these, and how any sense of drama is created among and within these images. If there is a sense of drama – tension, stress, attraction, aversion and so on – it is all created within my own world of images.
It is obvious, in one sense, and also what I discover through The Work, but it is still a little different to notice it as it happens, in daily life. It has its own flavor.
And when it is noticed in this way, it just becomes silly. There is no point in taking it seriously anymore. Why would I want to create drama for myself in this way, or at least be caught up in it as real? When it is noticed in this way, I cannot take it as substantial and real anymore.
I can of course use it as information and as something to help my human self orient and function in the world, and it is a very helpful tool in this sense. But when it is noticed as it happens, it cannot be taken as substantial and real anymore.
One way to begin – and continue – exploring this, is to first bring attention to each sense field, one at a time. What is there? Then, I can explore the mental field specifically. I can close my eyes and visualize this body, the room, the building I am in, the community, state, country, earth, solar system and so on, and recognize all of this as imagined. I can move my arm, notice how my mental field creates images of a moving arm (overlaid on sensations), and then open my eyes, move the arm, and see if I can notice these images then too. By doing these type of explorations, over and over, I can more easily notice this in daily life as well, as it happens.
It can also be helpful to explore gestalts further, starting with the gestalt of my own body when my eyes are closed. I notice how an image of my body is overlaid on sensations, and sometimes sounds, taste, smell – and when my eyes are open, sight. The experience of my own body, whether my eyes are closed or open, is a gestalt created by a mental field overlay on the other sense fields.
And the same is true with emotions. I can notice (or trigger) and emotion, and explore how it appears in the sense fields. I may find sensations with a mental field overlay, and this mental field overlay consist of a label (fear, anger, sadness, aversion, attraction) and stories about this label.
I can also explore a sense of me, as this human individual. It consist of the body image, in addition to images of all sorts of identities – gender, age, likes and dislikes, and so on.This too is a gestalt, as the ones above.
I can explore the gestalt of a doer, and of an observer, and also of a separate I.
I can explore the gestalts of extent (space) which all sense fields and gestalts are mapped onto, and the gestalt of time – which creates a sense of continuity and past, present and future.
And much more.
By doing this – over and over, in different ways, with some curiosity, don’t knowing, and innocence – this noticing happens more easily in daily life. And as I see that all sense of drama is happening within my own world of images, the sense of taking drama seriously falls away. It just looks silly.
For instance, I see someone on the street. Attraction or aversion comes up. I notice the image of the person, of myself, and of our relationship, and how attraction or aversion is created from those images. It is all happening within my own world of images, and any sense of drama falls away. These images have no inherent substance or reality. A useful tool, sometimes, but nothing more than that.
- world of images
- images of wider world + me (self, doer, observer) + relationships
- all drama happens within these images
- silly, when see it