Spiritual Autolysis : Existence and Non-Existence

So, it is a “goal” of mine to reach enlightenment by changing my relationship to my self-concept and debunk all the falsely held beliefs and assumptions based upon concepts for making things easier to understand to the rational mind.

So, I’ve recently been looking into various processes for questioning and deconstructing my beliefs about reality to perceive what is truly there before any assumptions, labels, frameworks, or concepts are placed over top of reality. So, the idea is to perceive of reality before any thought story is created. To see reality as a newborn baby sees it, only with the developmental capabilities of an adult.

This deconstruction process reminds me of when I first learned to draw and paint realistically. When I was 15, I took an art class in high school where I learned to switch from thinking about the things that I was drawing non-symbolically to seeing objects as a collection of shapes imbued with colors. So, instead of drawing my idea of a chair or even thinking about drawing a chair at all, I would just draw/paint the actual shapes and colors that I saw in front of me.

Having seen through the illusion of the labels put upon visual phenomenon enabled me to make progress quickly, almost over night. It was like a mini-enlightenment for the visual sense.

The process of deconstruction of beliefs that I engaged in as a teenage art student, is the same one that I’m engaged in now, only with the goal of enlightenment.

So, I need to turn this deconstructive, non-symbolic awareness and questioning toward my ideas and concepts regarding myself and reality.

So, I have been using a process called “Spiritual Autolysis” from enlightened author Jed McKenna. In this process you attempt to write something true and then question it and rewrite it until it is true.

It is through this dissection process that we can have a real experience of our own being and be ripe for the breakthrough and paradigm shift called enlightenment. So, here is my most recent Spiritual Autolysis session, to explore my unconsciously held ideas and feelings regarding existence and non-existence.

Questions: What is existence? What is non-existence?

Write something true regarding these questions...

'Things in existence exist. Things that are not in existence don't exist.' or 'Things in existence are. Things not in existence are not.'

My definition of existence- Everything that is.

Are there things in existence or is there just existence? Not sure

Can there be any thing that is a 'not' thing? - Maybe empty space

Is empty space a thing or the absence of a thing? - Seemingly the absence of a thing. But I've never experienced this. Even emptiness from my experience contains air. So, empty space is a concept that I have in my mind, and not a thing that I'm experiencing in the now.

Does my concept of empty space mean empty space doesn't exist?  No. But it means that I don't know

Am I experiencing anything right now that doesn't exist? Not sure

What is existence? When something is there

Where is there? In reality

Where is reality? In my subjective experience right now

Where is my experience? No particular place. Places exist only within the content of my experience. My experience isn't located anywhere, because anywhere is a concept within my subjective experience.

So, is place a 'not' thing? I'm not sure.

How do I perceive of place visually? Visually I experience a flat screen of shapes imbued with colors that I interpret based on my previous experiences in the world.

How do I perceive of place tactually? I feel sensations that seem to have length, width, and depth which seem to correspond to the sights that I see because of a lifetime of experiencing them in tandem with one another. Either way, I don't know if my sensations have any special relativity to one another. I could perhaps convince myself that some sensations are bigger, smaller, more left, more right than the others. I could also focus on my sensations to the point where they feel like a universe in themselves.

Do I perceive of place any other way? No. Only as a thought story

Does place have to have an up, down, left, and right? No. Directions are a concept to make space more understandable to the human mind.

Can existence happen in a "place" if none of these directions exist? Maybe.

Could I narrow down the location of 'my' experiences to a particular point? No.

Does this mean that place doesn't exist? Maybe.

Rewriting what's true:

Non-existence is. Existence has no particular place.

If there are no "things" inside of reality and there is no place for reality, does reality exist? Maybe not.

Are my perceptions themselves (not the content of perception) objects? No. Objects are content of the perception and not the perception itself.

Asked by jjer94 (a friend of mine on the forum I posted this on)- What is the substance of an object? Do objects even exist?

So, visually the substance of the object appears to be light. But light itself is just content within the perception. It's another assumption based upon what I "know" about how color is perceived. Tactually, an 'object' is just a sensation. But the sensation related to my experience of the object has nothing to do with my visual experience of the object nor any other sensory perception of the object.

What I have is a flat plane of shapes imbued with colors, perceived by no one that is seemingly floating in nothingness. It could just be a screen with seemingly corresponding sensations that are also floating in nothingness


So, the biggest ‘aha!’ moment for me was that place doesn’t exist separate from my thoughts regarding ‘place’. I had always known that space had no up, down, left, or right. This is all relational. So, are the concepts of big and small. An atom and a universe are both infinite.

But I had assumed that my reality was located someplace as a point within some empty dark field. That in that dark field at a point where my visual, audio, tactual, olfactory, gustatory, and thought perceptions floating there as things. But now it seems like these are sort of a non-point.

Sort of like you can’t really find a point on a mathematical graph because a single point has no height, width or depth. It doesn’t really exist even though it seems to have a location and is mathematically viable. But even this is just a metaphor.