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Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion

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Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion Chuck Kasmire 9/7/09 1:28 PM
RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion tarin greco 9/7/09 2:28 PM
RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion Tom Tom 2/28/13 7:42 PM
RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion Omega Point 3/1/13 6:35 AM
RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion Change A. 3/3/13 10:56 AM
RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion Kenneth Folk 9/7/09 2:44 PM
RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion Chuck Kasmire 9/7/09 5:03 PM
RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion Chuck Kasmire 9/7/09 7:06 PM
RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion Wet Paint 9/7/09 9:49 PM
RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion Wet Paint 9/7/09 10:17 PM
RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion My Fragile Ego 9/8/09 12:11 AM
RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion Chuck Kasmire 9/8/09 4:01 AM
RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion Wet Paint 9/8/09 4:17 AM
RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion David Charles Greeson 9/8/09 5:59 AM
RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion Trent S. H. 9/8/09 12:56 PM
RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion Omega Point 2/28/13 6:01 AM
RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion My Fragile Ego 9/8/09 1:34 PM
RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion Kenneth Folk 9/8/09 3:40 PM
RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion Kenneth Folk 9/8/09 3:44 PM
RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion Chuck Kasmire 9/8/09 6:00 PM
RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion tarin greco 9/8/09 6:13 PM
RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion Bruno Loff 6/6/10 9:05 PM
RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion Chuck Kasmire 6/9/10 10:01 AM
RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion Bruno Loff 6/9/10 12:47 PM
RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion Chuck Kasmire 6/10/10 10:07 AM
RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion Chuck Kasmire 6/12/10 1:37 PM
RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion Bruno Loff 6/13/10 2:45 PM
RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion Chuck Kasmire 6/13/10 8:17 PM
RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion Bruno Loff 6/14/10 12:53 AM
RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion Chuck Kasmire 6/14/10 10:06 AM
RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion Bruno Loff 6/14/10 11:05 AM
RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion Anon Anon 6/18/10 11:33 PM
RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion First Last 6/14/10 8:56 PM
RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion Wet Paint 9/8/09 10:18 PM
RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion Wet Paint 9/8/09 10:25 PM
RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion Banned For waht? 5/21/14 12:35 AM
Forum: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience

I figure the Dharma Battleground is as good a place as any for this. My view, just to make this clear, is that Richards 'Actual Freedom' is a misdiagnosed 3rd and 4th path accompanied by a unique 'view'

-Chuck

RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion
Answer
9/7/09 2:28 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
excellent idea for a thread.

i see actual freedom as something completely different from 4th path (except that it includes the aspect of no separation in perception).

to start with, does your current, every day experience of 4th path exclude these (and all other affective) experiences entirely and continuously, such that they never even begin to arise?

disquiet, disquietude, inquietude, uneasiness, nervousness, nervous tension, apprehension, apprehensiveness, sheepishness, shyness, timidity, timidness, timorousness, butterflies in the stomach, embarrassment, anxiousness, fretfulness, funk, jitters, blue funk, quailing, quaking, quavering, heebie-jeebies, appalment, worry, worriment, insecurity, anxiety, angst, alarm, agitation, palpitation, perturbation, trepidation, fright, affright, being scared, being frightened, being afraid, being spooked, fearfulness, awe, foreboding, panic, terror, horror, horrification, petrifaction or dread.

richard's report is that these - and all other - feeling do not arise for him at all (see http://actualfreedom.com.au/richard/selectedcorrespondence/sc-fear.htm at the very top), and that they ceased to arise entirely in one process that occurred during one day in 1992 (an account of which can be found at http://actualfreedom.com.au/richard/articles/abriefpersonalhistory.htm toward the bottom, in appendix 3), and have never returned in the 17 years that have passed since.. not even for a brief moment. no somatic charge whatsoever.

tarin

RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion
Answer
9/7/09 2:44 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
It's an interesting hypothesis, Chuck. It would help to explain some questions I have had. For example, why do the AF advocates insist that a self persists after 4th Path, or that there are two selves? These assertions are not consistent with enlightenment.

There's more to this story, however, as Tarin points out above. Here is a quote from an online discussion that Chris located yesterday:

> Upon recovering from this delusion, claims that his entire
> affective faculty disappeared completely. Since 1992 he claims to
> have experienced no emotions whatsoever, and has been assessed
> independently by two psychiatrists as being alexithymic,
> depersonalised, derealised and anhedonic. (The psychiatrists who
> diagnosed alexithymia verified his claim that not only was he unable
> to experience emotions, he did not exhibit any physical signs of
> emotion.)

http://www.bio.net/bionet/mm/neur-sci/2003-December/056413.html

Whether Richard is enlightened or not, his condition is pathological. It is by no means something to be admired, mimicked, celebrated, or aspired to, IMHO. As Haquan so eloquently put it, "you are going to mess yourself up in that endeavor." I hope that our readers will recognize a kooky cult when they see it and stay away. I realize that there will always be cults and cult leaders. And there will always be people who feel drawn to eccentric or anomalous personalities. Unfortunately, these things end up badly as often as not. Not so long ago, a man and a woman who claimed to be messengers from God managed to talk 37 people into dying with them in a group suicide.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heaven%27s_Gate_(religious_group)

This is just one example of how a seemingly sincere claim of "specialness" can cause a great deal of heartache. Play with cults at your peril.

Kenneth

RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion
Answer
9/7/09 5:03 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Hi Tarin,
I would like to proceed slowly on this. We have had discussions in the past here at DhO about the difficulty of accurately communicating our subjective experiences. If we are looking at a state that is accessed after 4th path (Arahat) then we need to agree where we are coming from in order to even hope to have a workable starting point. In the page that I posted on Richard, he (as I see it) is stating that he was enlightened after the event of 1982. Further, he describes how he felt at that time in various ways. You state that you are an arahat. I state that I have been through 4th path.

Questions:
Do you feel we are all speaking of the same state (at least in theory). That is to say – are you, Richard, and I all speaking of arahat (defined as post fourth path) when we use these terms?

Do you relate to how Richard describes enlightenment in your own experience of arahat?

If not, how is it different?

I would say terms like 'anxiety' or 'fear' are experienced very differently in third vs fourth. So our starting point is very important when we start using these terms.

RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion
Answer
9/7/09 7:06 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Hi Kenneth,
I don't think I would pass as 'normal' by western psychological standards. They wouldn't relate to my communing with rocks or trees nor could they relate to my experiences of self, time, reality, etc. I think this is a good topic – To what extent can an awakened person be considered normal by western standards of psychology?
Let's just look at what Richard says and try to get the context of those statements first. I really think we need to first look at our starting point – as in my response to Tarin.

-Chuck

RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion
Answer
9/7/09 9:49 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Author: AlanChapman

Tarin and Chuck, I think if this is done well, it will be extremely beneficial for everyone. Kudos for starting this!

RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion
Answer
9/7/09 10:17 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Author: AlanChapman

@Tarin: Just a quick query, if Richard does not feel any emotion whatsoever, how can the goal of Actualism be 'happiness'?

RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion
Answer
9/8/09 12:11 AM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Hi Alan

There are many things grouped under the banner of happiness. Gratification, things going our way, being told we are loved, getting what we want, our dreams coming true, pleasure, joy, contentment.

Not all of those happinesses are the goal of actualism.

In a pure consciousness experience you can see for yourself that when sorrow is not, happiness is.
Likewise, when malice is not, harmlessness is.

Those qualities that are revealed are what Richard is getting at when he states the goal of actualism in that formulation.

Craig

RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion
Answer
9/8/09 4:01 AM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
One approach to this issue in general is not to look at what other people are saying about Richard but look at his own words and not just simple statements like "I don't experience emotion" or whatever (that was not a quote - just an example). Let's look for indications of how he lives. Obviously, he created a website and answered lots of questions. He certainly seems to be interested in helping others find this state. These are better indicator of his experience then simple statements that are being thrown around that just become the basis for arguments.

RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion
Answer
9/8/09 4:17 AM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Author: AlanChapman

Just so everyone knows, I wasn't trying to derail the conversation with that question. I was seriously interested.

Thanks for the detailed response Craig!

RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion
Answer
9/8/09 5:59 AM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
It certainly seems that if one has the sense that there is something left to accomplish on the spiritual path, then you probably aren't an arahat. What's incorrect about that statement?

The same for reacting to any portion of your experience with aversion, including a sense of self, or even "the feeling of being." If you want to get rid of the feeling of being, then there is something about your present experience that is unsatisfactory - you would rather it was a different way, no?

You know, I think the hidden duality here may derive from the idea that "the world is not illusory." Well it may not be illusory, but it ain't real either...

RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion
Answer
9/8/09 12:56 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Hey

I think these are important points. Personally speaking, I found arhatship to be lacking. Now of course, you can say "well, maybe Trent didn't obtain it," and that's fair enough. Consider, however, that here are tons of other people saying the same thing, several of them on this site. Or, don't even take my word for it. Attain arhatship and then experience a bad breakup or something else extremely painful to your affective self and see how much suffering, aversion and etc you go through. It's a different kind of suffering than what is eliminated with arhatship, but it's suffering nonetheless. That's why it's so hard to explain the concept of "suffering" to people in regard to the 3 characteristics, in case you've ever tried and experienced doing that.

I'm not going to tackle the last position, but instead ask you to partake in one of the following: take a hammer and smash one of your fingers as hard as you can, or cut yourself deeply with a knife. Now, as you experience the searing pain of your body unleashing a whirlwind of reactions in your brain, ask yourself: is this an illusion, is this real? If you need to go to the hospital afterward, ask the nurses "is this an illusion, is this real?" If they submit you to another person of your profession, ask them "is this an illusion, is this real?"

Of course, I don't actually want you to do that, but I hope you see my point. Some things are objective, as long as your imagination doesn't get in the way of seeing that.

RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion
Answer
9/8/09 1:34 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
[Edited to remove names, none of this is personal as David pointed out earlier]

Bravo, Trent! A perfect counterpoint to the perspective offered by nonduality IMHO. This is very much in keeping with how I relate to these competing perspectives based on practical experience and careful consideration over a prolonged period of time.

Craig

RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion
Answer
9/8/09 3:40 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
"Note that Richard interacts in the world in all sorts of ways (bold). Obviously this guy is not some crazy pathological lunatic."-Chelek

"Pathological" is not the same as "lunatic."

Pathology:

1. the science or the study of the origin, nature, and course of diseases.
2. the conditions and processes of a disease.
3. *any deviation from a healthy, normal, or efficient condition.* (emphasis mine)

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/pathology

Richard's condition is pathological in that he "has been assessed independently by two psychiatrists as being alexithymic, depersonalised, derealised and anhedonic."

"Alexithymic" means that he has a "deficiency in understanding, processing, or describing emotions."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexithymia

"Depersonalized" means that he has a "mental disorder in which the normally well-integrated functions of memory, identity, perception, and consciousness are separated (dissociated)."

http://www.minddisorders.com/Del-Fi/Depersonalization-disorder.html

"Derealised" means that he has "an alteration in the perception or experience of the external world so that it seems strange or unreal. Other symptoms include feeling as though one's environment is lacking in spontaneity, emotional colouring and depth."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derealization

"Anhedonic" means the "absence of pleasure or the ability to experience it."

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/anhedonic

This is what I mean when I say that Richard, the founder of Actual Freedom and by his own testimony the only human to ever experience it, is pathological.

Whether he is enlightened is beside the point. He's lost his marbles.

RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion
Answer
9/8/09 3:44 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
"One approach to this issue in general is not to look at what other people are saying about Richard but look at his own words and not just simple statements like "I don't experience emotion" or whatever (that was not a quote - just an example). Let's look for indications of how he lives. Obviously, he created a website and answered lots of questions. He certainly seems to be interested in helping others find this state. These are better indicator of his experience then simple statements that are being thrown around that just become the basis for arguments."-Chelek

Surely you jest. Name one deranged cult leader who was not interested in "helping others to find" the state that he was in the business of promoting.

RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion
Answer
9/8/09 6:00 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
No Kenneth, I don't jest. How one interprets and explains ones experience has everything to do with the cultural environment, language, and terminology they grow up with. If one is convinced that third path is enlightenment then if they go beyond that they must come up with some way to describe how it differs. Richard seems to use a biological model for understanding his experience - a pretty normal western approach to interpreting things.

What I said was “Let's look for indications of how he lives” and gave two examples. Your response was to attack those examples.

“Pathology 3) *any deviation from a healthy, normal, or efficient condition.* (emphasis mine)
Richard's condition is pathological in that he "has been assessed independently by two psychiatrists as being alexithymic, depersonalised, derealised and anhedonic."”

I would be very interested to see what someone like Jack Kornfield might say after assessing him. Now I am not a psychologist Kenneth but it seems to me that having a strong sense of small self in a big world (out there) is sort of fundamental to their understanding of things. Maybe I'm wrong. Do you think they 'get' rigpa? I don't.
Do you think they get 'the deathless'? I don't.

There seems very little interest in having an open discussion about this stuff. I have stated my views. I will add to them as I feel pretty confident that what this guy has experienced is essentially what I have experienced though I do not view or interpret it in the same way.

RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion
Answer
9/8/09 6:13 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
'Do you feel we are all speaking of the same state (at least in theory). That is to say – are you, Richard, and I all speaking of arahat (defined as post fourth path) when we use these terms? '

richard uses neither the term arahat nor post fourth path, but what i understand these terms to mean - and what i understand about how you understand these terms - would be included in his definition of enlightenment.

'Do you relate to how Richard describes enlightenment in your own experience of arahat? 'If not, how is it different?'

richard's description of the condition of enlightenment is wide and varying, and some aspects i relate to and others i dont. for example, the wholeness he talks about, yes. the suffusion in love and compassion, no.

'I would say terms like 'anxiety' or 'fear' are experienced very differently in third vs fourth.'

i dont think the 3rd vs 4th path difference in how things like 'anxiety' or 'fear' are experienced has any bearing on their total and utter absence in a pce (pure consciousness experience), which is how richard experiences 24/7. if you disagree, could you clarify?

also, would you answer the question i ask above, in reply 1? that is, 'does your current, every day experience of 4th path exclude these [all affective experiences] entirely and continuously, such that they never even begin to arise?

RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion
Answer
9/8/09 10:18 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Author: AlanChapman

Absolutely, positively spot on!

Here is a correct and accurate description of enlightenment, with no claims or appeals to experience necessary. This is it, right here; if you do not experience what Haquan describes here, then you are not an arahat. Period! If this is the case, then you have to take this description on faith (luckily I don't have to, but if you believe I word I say, I promise you it is all true).

RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion
Answer
9/8/09 10:25 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Author: AlanChapman

Trent, as an arahat, you would know that the objective world of smashed fingers is neither lllusory or real, from moment to moment. No imagination required.

RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion
Answer
6/6/10 9:05 PM as a reply to tarin greco.
Chuck you never actually answered the question Tarin asked!

also, would you answer the question i ask above, in reply 1? that is, 'does your current, every day experience of 4th path exclude these [all affective experiences] entirely and continuously, such that they never even begin to arise?


I'm interested in your answer! :-)

RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion
Answer
6/9/10 10:01 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Hi Bruno,
I didn't know how to answer the question in a way that would be useful. That's why I didn't respond.

-Chuck

RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion
Answer
6/9/10 12:47 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Can't you answer in however way you can, regardless if it's useful?

RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion
Answer
6/10/10 10:07 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
Can't you answer in however way you can, regardless if it's useful?


OK, ponder this for a while and we can take it from there.

RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion
Answer
6/12/10 1:37 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
First off - this question was asked quite some time ago by tarin so no idea if he would ask it again or in the same way.

There is no way short of some super natural power that I can know exactly what qualities tarin is experiencing or not experiencing when he asks this question nor could he accurately know what my experience has been and why I feel that what Richard is describing as AF is 4th path. People for a very long time have noted the great difficulty of trying to capture this experience through language.

I don't feel that I can define this experience in terms of what phenomena appear or do not appear. The experience itself is void of any definable qualities. It would be like defining the sky in terms of what clouds you happen to see.

These kinds of discussions that center around what one can or cannot do, does or does not experience - as constituting some definition of 4th path don't help in my view. They just lead to endless discussions that go nowhere. In the suttas the general definition is real simple: There is no sense of 'I am this or that' nor is there any sense of 'I am or I am not'. Other ways it is described is that one does not construe anything in relation to awakening, coming out of it, based on it, etc. and the fetters model that simply is saying that there is no identification with sensations as constituting a self. All variations on the same theme.

Is that useful?

RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion
Answer
6/13/10 2:45 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Not really chuck, from my perspective the question seems answerable!

There are many sensations which I have learn to give a name for, generally called "emotions." I am sure that you once could answer this very same question more definitely ("yes, I sometimes feel love/hate/fear/etc"). But this seems not to be the case any longer.

You say: I don't feel that I can define this experience in terms of what phenomena appear or do not appear. The experience itself is void of any definable qualities. It would be like defining the sky in terms of what clouds you happen to see.

But we're talking about the clouds here, do you see "clouds" you recognize as emotions? That is the question emoticon Maybe the answer is yes, no, or yes but differently than before, and then "how differently?" begs an answer.

RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion
Answer
6/13/10 8:17 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
...we're talking about the clouds here, do you see "clouds" you recognize as emotions?

OK, a different angle. I do auctions. When I first started, I noticed these guys that would just bid on piles of junk. They weren't interested in the other stuff. I figured that was all they could afford - 'bottom feeders' I thought. Over the years I got to know some of them. From time to time they would mention something about their house back east or their ranch out west etc. I realized that what I saw as junk they saw in a totally different light. I started looking at junk in a different way. Now I'm a dumpster diver Bruno. I jump right in. If you know what to look for - well, it's pretty amazing - but if not, you just end up getting dirty for no good reason. People see me and they say something like 'why do you jump into that junk?'
-Junk? I don't see any junk.

Does that answer your question?

"and then "how differently?" begs an answer."

and this one too?

RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion
Answer
6/14/10 12:53 AM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Not really... it seems you only care to explain it through metaphor. Care to try again?

RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion
Answer
6/14/10 10:06 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Sorry Bruno, I don't know what else to say. Some questions can only be answered metaphorically. If you can look into the mind that keeps trying to get a yes or no - that would be far more fruitful than a yes or no - imho.

RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion
Answer
6/14/10 11:05 AM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Well, I guess I will find out sooner or later...

Take care

RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion
Answer
6/14/10 8:56 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
tarin:
to start with, does your current, every day experience of 4th path exclude these (and all other affective) experiences entirely and continuously, such that they never even begin to arise?

disquiet, disquietude, inquietude, uneasiness, nervousness, nervous tension, apprehension, apprehensiveness, sheepishness, shyness, timidity, timidness, timorousness, butterflies in the stomach, embarrassment, anxiousness, fretfulness, funk, jitters, blue funk, quailing, quaking, quavering, heebie-jeebies, appalment, worry, worriment, insecurity, anxiety, angst, alarm, agitation, palpitation, perturbation, trepidation, fright, affright, being scared, being frightened, being afraid, being spooked, fearfulness, awe, foreboding, panic, terror, horror, horrification, petrifaction or dread.

Chuck Kasmire:
I don't feel that I can define this experience in terms of what phenomena appear or do not appear. The experience itself is void of any definable qualities. It would be like defining the sky in terms of what clouds you happen to see.

Further above in this thread you said "I would say terms like 'anxiety' or 'fear' are experienced very differently in third vs fourth." implying that 'anxiety' and 'fear' are still experienced (though 'differently') in your experience (4th path), thus implicitly answering Tarin's original question (quoted above) in negative.

And since you hold that an actual freedom is same as 4th path experience, how do you account for the complete lack of emotions/feelings in an actual freedom?

-srid

RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion
Answer
6/18/10 11:33 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
You say: I don't feel that I can define this experience in terms of what phenomena appear or do not appear. The experience itself is void of any definable qualities. It would be like defining the sky in terms of what clouds you happen to see.

But we're talking about the clouds here, do you see "clouds" you recognize as emotions? That is the question emoticon Maybe the answer is yes, no, or yes but differently than before, and then "how differently?" begs an answer.


This has been something on my mind recently, and maybe it will be helpful to someone if I voice it.

Say that, pre-enlightenment, people tend to have an experience with properties X,Y, and Z, and call it an emotion. Post-enlightenment, they now have an experience with properties Y and Z only. Is it an emotion? Is it not an emotion?

It seems as if there is a choice at this point: focus on the fact that X is not present and say "no, it isn't an emotion, emotions require X too", or focus on the fact that Y and Z remain, and say "yes, it is an emotion, but somehow different than before."

In this case there is no real answer to whether the experience contains emotions or not, just a matter of deciding whether one wants to emphasize the change, or to emphasize the qualities that continue despite the change.

RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion
Answer
2/28/13 6:01 AM as a reply to Trent S. H..
Good Friends,


"[...] Personally speaking, I found arhatship to be lacking. Now of course, you can say "well, maybe Trent didn't obtain it," and that's fair enough. Consider, however, that here are tons of other people saying the same thing, several of them on this site.




The Buddha taught being on guard to what entered the mind moment by moment until complete liberation & supreme happiness.
Trent didn't obtain immovable arhatship. What he actually found to be lacking were his own projections and self-imposed limitations. For by "arhatship", he means a term that is stripped from its actual definitions and actual contexts (to the degree of becoming the opposite of what is defined in proper context).

"As the Khemaka Sutta points out, those who have already attained one of the lower levels of enlightenment may not identify with anything in particular, but may still have the illusion of subjectivity; that is, there may not be anything for which they think "I am this", but they may still retain the tendency to feel "I am". "



Trent first counters assertions that he is wrong by appealing to the masses and the bandwagon (bandwagon fallacy). However this appeal is self-detonating. For there are much larger masses that reject the pseudo-definitions and assert the viability of the actual definitions and actual contexts of liberation. There are thousands & thousands of individuals who wrote the over half a million Buddhist texts, a great many define and testify to the fact that nibbana and liberation equals no unpleasantness, no unsatisfactoriness, no trembling etc. Not to mention the varying grades of realization & observation from the millions of contemplative Buddhists who didn't write a thing.

Further, is Trent actually referring to thousands of pounds worth of individuals or several increments of two thousand individuals per increment? Far from it, he is referring to merely a handful of individuals. This is not to say that within the ranks of millions of Buddhists there is not plenty of misunderstanding, ignorance, preemptive claims of success later to be proven otherwise etc etc. However these have been internally addressed/refuted/debunked etc and reflect not at all on the resulting claims that Buddhism stands by. For science and the history of is almost nothing but misunderstanding, ignorance, preemptive claims of success later to be proven otherwise etc, yet this doesn't reflect poorly on science or the efficacy of its methodology (for these are necessarily a part of the science dynamic). On the contrary, it actually speaks in favor of the integrity and efficacy of both meta-traditions. For both rely on placing emphasis on investigation itself & logical argumentation over dogma or beliefs.




"Or, don't even take my word for it. Attain arhatship and then experience a bad breakup or something else extremely painful to your affective self and see how much suffering, aversion and etc you go through. It's a different kind of suffering than what is eliminated with arhatship, but it's suffering nonetheless. That's why it's so hard to explain the concept of "suffering" to people in regard to the 3 characteristics, in case you've ever tried and experienced doing that."




The above quote & its associated assertions should be rejected. I do however agree that one shouldn't take Trent's word for it. Trent asserts an experiential experiment to test his claims. However, the pontificated parameters pertaining to said experiments are muddled & loaded.
Simply put, immovable arhatship attains the knowledge of destruction and then the knowledge of non-arising. The knowledge of non-arising is an attainment that corresponds inseparably with the permanent cessation of the arising of all defilements that lead to any unpleasantness (thus the permanent cessation of the perceptual/experiential reification of the self etc). Therefor actual/immovable arhatship is defined directly and primarily in respect to the permanent cessation/absence of defilements.



Consider the sense of someone trying to disprove the purported validity of a defined state, what we will call "state A", who's definition necessarily includes some "state" with the absence of a sub-set of qualities we will call "D". That someone points to a state that we will call "state X", considering its "uncertainty" in relation to the actually defined "state A". This someone considers "state X" identical with the defined "state A", yet "state A" is defined as devoid of quality "D", however "state X" isn't devoid of quality "D". This someone then asserts that one should test the assertion by reaching "state A". However, is that someone actually referring to "state A" beyond mere name? As this someone has made clear their experiential reference is "state X" with the quality "D". When this someone proposes testing by simultaneously experiencing "state A" and it's antithesis by definition, the two orders* of the quality "D" (one order leading to another), how are we to know that this someone isn't actually proposing reaching "state X" with the orders of "D"? Withal, as one goes to test and then attempts to compare one's state, "state ?". For if the cultivated "state ?" has quality "D" as that someone proposed, then has one actually found out anything about "state A"? How do we know that "state ?" isn't "state A" but rather "state X"? Thus it is entirely possible this "test" is actually an unknowing function for propagating wrong views, we see instead that the experiment is rather biased towards "state X" with little to no methodology to tease out information concerning any relationship or lack thereof to the actually defined "state A".
Statements or observations about "state X", are just that, statements about "state X", they have nothing to do nor warrant any change or assertions on behalf of "state A". Lastly, someone or a group of people merely re-labeling and re-defining "state X" as "state A" has no actual bearing nor warrants any definition changes to the defined "state A"; it can simply mean that that someone or group got it wrong.

note*=immovable arhatship=devoid of "your affective self", "your affective self" = "D"; simply put, one order of "D" (fundamental ignorance, aversion etc) leads to another order "D" (unpleasantness/suffering etc).




<As an aside, I declare that amongst all of the several thousand meditations and thus paths, the knowledge of non-arising attainment can be considered of four path-causes:

First, the knowledge of non-arising by virtue of the annihilation of objectification, the immolation of objectification, the abandoning of objectification, the abortion of objectification.

Second, the knowledge of non-arising by virtue of the domestication of objectification, the exploitation of objectification, the bewitching of objectification, the manipulation of objectification.

Third, the knowledge of non-arising by virtue of the amputation of some or little objectification & the domestication of the rest, the truncation of some or little objectification & the exploitation of the rest, the abortion of some or little objectification & the bewitching of the rest, the immolation of some or little objectification & the manipulation of the rest.

Fourth, the knowledge of non-arising by virtue of the annihilation of much or most objectification & the harnessing of the rest, the immolation of much or most objectification & the inveigling of the rest, the abandoning of much or most objectification & the exploitation of the rest, the abortion of much or most objectification & the manipulation of the rest.>






I have direct experience of the knowledge of non-arising through a technical path that puts considerable emphases on the super-normal cultivation & mastery of fabrication. Inverting and bewitching a portion of the dependent-origination process, utilizing the emptiness of emptiness/the emptiness of dependent-origination.
With this in mind, consider the fact that immovable arhatship is defined as having the knowledge of non-arising. Then examine the actual example given, "a bad breakup". The knowledge of non-arising corresponds with the permanent prevention of the arising defilements like aversion and the reification of self, including that which has been refuted axiomatically, the"affective self".

If the "affective self", or other such unpleasantness were to perturb one who is perpetually nibbana'd, it would mean master level jhanas were "free-er" than nibbana. For a mastered second jhana can be made to have only contact with mental-consciousness, however the "affective self" generally utilizes body-consciousness. Also true of a mastered fourth jhana, additionally the fourth jhana (and all "above" the fourth, as they are based in the fourth and thus are the fourth too, in other words, the formless dimensions are fourth jhana) is considered distinctly "undisturbed" because it is free from the "eight faults". The eight faults are "vitarka", "vicara", "happiness", "suffering", "satisfaction", "dissatisfaction", "inbreathing" and "outbreathing".


Moreover, having the knowledge of non-arising, there is no reification of the perception of property or social contracts including sexual territories; or words, meaning, and reasoning, or marks of individuation, or self-nature or non-self-nature,nor of no-birth, birth, dependence, nor of bondage and emancipation, nor of philosophical views including of cause/effect. There is no grasping or becoming attached to projected or reified notions of others and the associated behavioral expectations that arise due to such notions, such attachment, such grasping. There is no planting of any seeds that cause future defilements like attachment or uncontrolled grasping etc. Therefor there can neither be "a bad breakup" or even "a breakup", since all self-reification has been completely and permanently immolated. Further, beyond the lack of unpleasantness-due-to-imaginary-social-drama (or any other false-imagination), there is no unpleasantness related to the death or life of others. What good is it to the dead for a liberated one to shed tears or mourn? What good is it in relation to the constant river of tears present on earth right now for a liberated one to shed additional tears or mourn? Tears are for middle bodhisattvas and those seeking heart releases, before the final heart fruitions, as to perfect behavior and release experiential dichotomies.

-




Beyond this, issues similar to Trent's concern have occurred throughout the history of Buddhism and have been addressed. Whether it be from walking crooked paths/not properly cultivating the harmonious foundations for enlightenment & liberation, not properly perfecting the prerequisite faculties, or having low-faculties or faculty-malfunctions that are inherited/genetic. The issue did arise as to "what specifically is arahant?", especially since some individuals sternly believe they are indeed arahant and yet still experience unpleasantness; plus in the early texts, minimum reference, but reference indeed, is attributed to Gotama mentioning "immovable" & "movable".



Some conclusions, as mentioned earlier "immovable" arahantship has both the knowledge of destruction and the knowledge of the non-arising, further it is of two types, one who's faculties are sharp in origin, not having to perfect the faculties. While the other type of immovable arahant has the faculties perfected. Both types can become one-who-is-capable-of-ending-his-existence-at-will (one who can go into nirodha-samapatti whenever one wishes); it would appear quite a stretch to assume defilement & stress follows one who can escape whenever to where experience itself cannot touch, where one forcefully loses possession, including of any supposed defilements, through disconnection from experience.

Immovable arhats do not ever regress from their state of happiness whether distracted or not. While "movable" arahantship is said to only have the knowledge of destruction and not the knowledge of non-arising. A movable arahant is said to fall from their "liberated" state due to having weak-faculties by nature, depending on type. One of the types isn't generally considered arahant at all, the 'movable arhat of regressive nature', as it is claimed this type is of such weak genetic faculties they cannot attain the knowledge of non-arising and can not become immovable arhats and whether distracted or not or intent or not, they still fall from their state of happiness.

The other types of "movable" arhats span from falling from their liberated state due to being distracted, to falling from their liberated state when not intent, however it is said they can perfect their faculties and eventually achieve the knowledge of non-arising. However it is concluded that if they were actually 'arhat' before achieving the knowledge of non-arising, then it would be improper to ever consider them "immovable arhats" and thus they are considered "stable and unshakeable arhats", who have weak faculties by nature, whether distracted or not, do not regress from their state of happiness in this life, and do not develop their faculties; and "arhats of penetrating nature", who have weak faculties by nature, whether distracted or not, do not regress from their state of happiness in this life, but develop their faculties.
To clarify, the label actually applies to arhats who are capable falling from their state, one doesn't have to have fallen yet from their state of happiness to be considered "movable". Further, if it said that those "arhats" of weak faculty, 'the movable ones', have a subtle fear of defilements. While arhats of strong faculties, 'the immovable ones', are said to have a 'resolve of happiness'.



Final analysis and conclusions, concerning whether or not 'the movable ones' are properly or should be considered "arhat/arahant", liberated, perpetually nibbana'd. Firstly, "the skandha analysis of the early texts is not considered applicable to actual arahants. All clinging to personality factors and defilements that bound the mind into a measurable entity are abandoned. They are considered "freed from being reckoned by all or any of them, even in life. The skandas have been seen to be a burden, and an enlightened individual is one with the "burden dropped".

However, the issue revolves mostly around the "knowledge of destruction". As mentioned before, immovable arahantship has both the knowledge of destruction and the knowledge of non-arising, while a movable arahant has the knowledge of destruction and then the very same knowledge of destruction. The knowledge of destruction is the knowledge related to the defilements having been 'completely abandoned at the root'. A 'movable arhat' is mistaking some faux knowledge of destruction/illusion of destruction for the knowledge of destruction itself. Or perhaps after the supposed knowledge of destruction they begin planting seeds of defilement again. However, a liberated person is only capable of planting neutral seeds in the mind that have no fruit. So how could the defilements be completely abandoned at the root if later the defilements arise again? Some deep trace defilements are to blame, for some defiled objectification seeding is to blame for future fruits of defilement and unpleasantness. Thus if both the knowledge of destruction and the knowledge of non-arising are not present together, in what is called the "knowledge and vision of emancipation", where one experiences the freedom caused by defilemental destruction and the internal certainty of their permanent cessation.
If you experience a lack of internal certainty, even the slightest trace, it necessarily means the defilements were not fully rooted out. The knowledge or non-arising and thus the knowledge and vision of emancipation is devoid of all doubt and the slightest internal suspicions. If doubt, suspicion, or uncertainty, then one isn't actually liberated, even if they believe 'defilement' has yet to arise, for in actuality that smudge of uncertainty is defilement and trace unpleasantness.

If those who call themselves "arhat", despite having defilements, unpleasantness, dissatisfaction, suffering etc, wish to still refer to themselves this way...then so be it. They however have not reached Arhat enlightenment nor liberation. As movable arhatship isn't arhat enlightenment or liberation. Those who stick to their self-limiting label must to warned however that there is still path to walk.






"[...] take a hammer and smash one of your fingers as hard as you can, or cut yourself deeply with a knife. Now, as you experience the searing pain of your body unleashing a whirlwind of reactions in your brain, ask yourself: is this an illusion, is this real? If you need to go to the hospital afterward, ask the nurses "is this an illusion, is this real?" If they submit you to another person of your profession, ask them "is this an illusion, is this real?"
Of course, I don't actually want you to do that, but I hope you see my point. Some things are objective, as long as your imagination doesn't get in the way of seeing that. "




Firstly, it is only imagination that allows the notions of "objective" or " the objective world". Trent is conflating "objective" with "inter-subjective". Trent is committing an flaw of reason by virtue of category error, he is confusing the epistemic with the ontic. The examples only speak of inter-subjective and do not properly refer to objective at all. First, partially demanded from neuroscience; however in physics, experimental evidence accruing over the decade and the last bits last year have completely debunked "the objective". Literally all forms of local and non-local realisms have been fully debunked. We have observed proof in our labs to which the conclusion is absolute that if a mind or another measuring apparatus like a photon detector etc isn't measuring/observing reality then it literally isn't there. There can't be the "objective" if there is not even an objective world out there. For any 'part' of the appearance of said "objective" only appears through being defined by relationships, however every other part in said relationships don't exist either outside of appearing through being defined by relationships. Which of course is the co-emergent causal structure Gotama is referring to when summing up dependent origination and his views on causality 'This is, because that is. This is not, because that is not. This ceases to be, because that ceases to be.'. To iterate, we literally live in an inter-subjective unreality.



Understand that the term suffering is not well representative of what the Buddhists generally refer to. The teachings of the Buddha can be better understood when replacing the word 'suffering' with the word 'unpleasantness'. Nibbana, both abiding and non-abiding, is experientially antithetical to unpleasantness.
One should separate the suffering/unpleasantness related to deeply cutting yourself with a knife (or smashing the fingers with a hammer) with the pain associated. Considering the fact that we are dealing with a nervous/neuronal energetic process, neuroscience demands that neither suffering or pain are inherent (as of course does Buddhism). The 'whirlwind of reactions in your brain' can be just that, a simple brain reaction that has nothing intrinsically to do with unpleasantness, pain etc. Consider some of the various pain disorders, where little, to no pain of specific types, to no pain at all etc.
Keep in mind those behaving in line with 'thanatos' (Freudian), who cut themselves or mutilate or amputate; some report either no suffering or pain related directly. Or in the other extreme, when an advanced contemplative, who many might consider a 'Buddhist fanatic' or 'political fanatic', sets himself on fire to the point of death; doesn't emit noises or bodily movement indicative of much pain, much unpleasantness, and sometimes no sign even of little pain, little unpleasantness.

Also those somewhat common Indian (often Hindu/Brahmin) yogis who publicly are mutilating their genitalia, these people do not seem to experience any pain or discomfort (in fact they are with laughter and are joyously socializing as the mutilation is occurring). My own trials with the emptiness of pain and suffering also lead to the conclusion that these are illusions. Conversations and observations further extend this to child-birth, dry-socket cavities in the mouth, kidney stones etc.
Some orders of pain are easier to get rid of than other orders of unpleasantness. However concerning Trent's examples, these orders of pain are comparable to other aspects of experience that are more difficult to get rid of then many orders of unpleasantness.

For this reason, many opt to achieve one or another order of the natural purities of pain (which are very different from one another with differing causes), some of which are ultimately devoid of any unpleasantness. So either reducing it to nothing but an energetic marker (which in turn can be allowed or not) for inter-communication. Or to auto-transmuting it into some of the many orders/types of blisses, both minor & exalted (one still generally utilizes some distinction, as the bodily messages are useful in many ways).
Neuroscience through examining cases of various disorders etc, and Buddhism through examining the temporary & extended 'states of no resistance' etc, both have generally determined the use of keeping some minor order of 'pain' around. For without it, it is very easy to increase the entropy and decay of various parts of the compounded body.
However, there is no reason to ultimately keep any unpleasantness around when it comes to 'pain'.



Asking yourself "is this pain an illusion, is this real?" "is this unpleasantness an illusion, is this real?", leads to the answer that they are illusions, the persistence of which relates to one's traces.
Further one can compare the usefulness of viewing pain or unpleasantness as real versus viewing it as an illusion. From neuroscience and neurophilosophy, the brain doesn't know what is 'out there' and what is real and what isn't; the brain is always taking cues as to this and is responding accordingly. Both Buddhism and neuroscience/neurophilosophy indicate that when generally taking pain or unpleasantness (or any else) as real, it becomes easier for the brain to take and perceive each as more 'substantial', 'static', 'immovable', 'unchanging', 'persistent', 'permanent', 'intrinsic' etc. However, by taking pain or unpleasantness as illusion, the inverse is true, the brain responds by believing them to be less substantial etc, a mere day-dream, eventually not something worth concerning itself over.

Ergo, on one hand a view that is inline with science and the contemplative sciences, and providing soteriological & neurological benefit. On the other hand an overly conventional view that does not provide soteriological or neurological benefit, but the opposite.
Engendering this knowledge of illusion provides a growing doubt-free and care-free lucidity of the dream-like non-existence of pain, unpleasantness; further, if one wishes, can be extended to fatigue, the perception of hot or cold, the signs of effort in general, etc etc.



Lastly, asking a nurse or another professional if the pain or unpleasantness is illusion or real will likely yield a therapeutic answer based primarily on culture. This question and the answer however do not necessarily have anything to do with actuality.

Keeping the logic of Trent's questions in mind, an addition to Trent's thought experiment & how it can show its self detonating nature, its lack of ability to give one useful or accurate information. For the same thought experiment can be had, where one smashes or cuts deeply and then asks "is this real or illusion", goes to the hospital, asks the nurses and others professionals etc etc, however, this entire situation can occur in a dream where the status of dream/non-dream is not clearly known. Or the classic evil genie and a brain in a vat etc... It is rather evident that the logic behind the whole process of inquiry etc doesn't properly yield the conclusions of 'real' or 'objective'.

RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion
Answer
2/28/13 7:42 PM as a reply to tarin greco.
disquiet, disquietude, inquietude, uneasiness, nervousness, nervous tension, apprehension, apprehensiveness, sheepishness, shyness, timidity, timidness, timorousness, butterflies in the stomach, embarrassment, anxiousness, fretfulness, funk, jitters, blue funk, quailing, quaking, quavering, heebie-jeebies, appalment, worry, worriment, insecurity, anxiety, angst, alarm, agitation, palpitation, perturbation, trepidation, fright, affright, being scared, being frightened, being afraid, being spooked, fearfulness, awe, foreboding, panic, terror, horror, horrification, petrifaction or dread.


Is there anyone here who has succeeded in eliminating these? (or is it just Tarin, Trent, Richard, Stefanie?) Can anyone give any tips/links? (Besides just HAIETMOBA?)

RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion
Answer
3/1/13 6:35 AM as a reply to Tom Tom.

Is there anyone here who has succeeded in eliminating these? (or is it just Tarin, Trent, Richard, Stefanie?) Can anyone give any tips/links? (Besides just HAIETMOBA?)


I have. Find my post on the early stages of advanced posturing for some ideas, or if simply interested in personal liberation of mind, maintain ordinary unfabricated consciousness and a steady pace of breath and be on guard for anything arising or forming in experience.
-
"Look directly!
What is this?
Look in this manner
And you won't be fooled!"
-Bassui

"There are thousands upon thousands of students
who have practiced meditation and obtained its fruits.
Do not doubt its possibilities because of the simplicity of the method.
If you can not find the truth right where you are,
where else do you expect to find it?"
-Dogen


HAIETMOBA is just one recreation of many direct pointing partial insight practices. What is most efficient level of pointing depends on certain conditions related to the individual, faculty differences etc. HAIETMOBA, like other practices, uses sensory contact as a vector to be on guard for clinging, being, becoming. To prevent the 'demon' of subtle experiential conceptualization (distinct from that-which-whispers silent thoughts), that turns experience into something it isn't, from entering the fortress of the mind.

However, this process can be kept out until it perishes for good by simply watching the mind directly, being actively on guard for the aforementioned, that which automatically forms subtle experience, like causing imposed boundaries on the senses themselves between one another, having ratios and having their distinct place. Or automatically forming a sensation or feeling or perception of otherness or substance or things having a specific nature. Or redirecting the minds attention when placed on something else, or that which causes the mind to lose attention when falling asleep and wander incoherently in dream.

If you can't watch the mind directly and gradually take refuge in the primal substance, then consider placing the locus of concentration on the delineation of the senses themselves. Seeing the quality of sameness as in the ordinary unfabricated consciousness equally sustaining the senses like space. Break down and crumble this delineation of ratioed sense boundaries with penetrating observation. Now see and maintain the lightness, selflessness, boundlessness, open-endedness that results in the absence of that delineation. The space-like sameness of a single 'sense', almost a 'sensation' of experience itself. Actively non-fabricating the naturally present and ignoring fabrication if it does knock. Reduce and collapse everything in experience (inner and outer perceptions) to interpenetration itself and the quality of sameness thereof.

If not, consider viewing experience like a hot coal, the tighter you grip, the more it burns you, but when you get intimately close to it and simply let go of it, (experience), then it keeps you warm and secure.


If not, consider probing your perception and experience of the 'external element', that which is perceived as object opposed to subject and outside of 'oneself'. Upon finding this quality, see clearly the absolute sameness of that quality in the internal and what one habitually views as subject or self, fully encompass the back and the back of the spine in general and behind the vector of knowing that usually is the safe haven of delusion and subtle self.

Just as in the inverse, where one can effort and perceive some inanimate object with subjectness, eventually the brain takes it like a being; one simply is objectifying the disease of subjectivity. it is like one has magic elixir or fairy dust and is sprinkling all experiential instances or potential instances of subjectivity, internality, me-ness with the "external element" or 'the experiential quality of discerning and perceiving inanimate objectness, lack of subjectness. One must actively and assertively do this, then it eventually will be partially automatic; and then one closes the gaps until it is a perpetual system.

However with that achieved there is the subtle original being of regular mind, as when one simply alertly observes the mind for long periods of time there will be subtle changes in that vector of knowing (which is not the 'center point' that is often spoke of but persists after that) it is the subtle flux, charge, momentum, generally in the area of the back and back of the spine in general. One watches these charges and either maintains non-clinging and non-identifying ordinary unfabricated consciousness or asserts the anti-subjective 'external element'. The freeing non-subjective sameness of internal/external persisting unchanged for long periods.
There is a turning about and letting go completely and thus no longer forms experience into subtle energetic mental objects, then there is absolutely no delineating beings or non-beings etc. Once all subtle changing has ended a certainty dawns as to the persistence of attainment.


There are many types of methods in general however, so if you wish to have more methods or a different category of methods than let me know.




"[...] does your current, every day experience of 4th path exclude these (and all other affective) experiences entirely and continuously, such that they never even begin to arise?
disquiet, disquietude, inquietude, uneasiness, nervousness, nervous tension, apprehension, apprehensiveness, sheepishness, shyness, timidity, timidness, timorousness, butterflies in the stomach, embarrassment, anxiousness, fretfulness, funk, jitters, blue funk, quailing, quaking, quavering, heebie-jeebies, appalment, worry, worriment, insecurity, anxiety, angst, alarm, agitation, palpitation, perturbation, trepidation, fright, affright, being scared, being frightened, being afraid, being spooked, fearfulness, awe, foreboding, panic, terror, horror, horrification, petrifaction or dread."


This is an example of some of the issues that can arise from memetics and increasingly self-referential data-vectors etc. Any pranic/nervous-system charge as described by any of those above terms are due to persistent defilement knots amongst the pranic/energetic channels and a lack of the knowledge of non-arising.



To make clear for who require the most explicit, my direct experience of the "knowledge of destruction" bestows the destruction of above termed experiences at their root. Further, my direct knowledge and experience of the immediately following "knowledge of non-arising" bestows a certainty as to the future persistence of non-arising of the above termed experiences. Beyond merely ending I-making, as recently mentioned, there is no reification of property, sexual territory or social contracts or relationships and no false views or unpleasantness related to death of family etc.
The advanced practices have lead this mind to the special extinction via bliss and the resulting perpetual union of liberation and bliss. Further, increasing modification and domestication of bodily pain and fatigue, hot & cold, and even the subtle signs related to effort into bliss or cessation.



Moreover,
"As the Khemaka Sutta points out, those who have already attained one of the lower levels of enlightenment may not identify with anything in particular, but may still have the illusion of subjectivity; that is, there may not be anything for which they think "I am this", but they may still retain the tendency to feel "I am". "

First of all, generally the word suffering is not the best trans-literary choice to understand what the Buddha and all the liberated ones after him speak of. Unpleasantness and the complete liberation from such is a much more accurate description. The Buddha and others have made clear complete arhatship is a complete freedom from anything that could possibly make one tremble, experience dissatisfaction, unpleasantness, etc. Particularly death and other trauma.
They describe lasting non-changing happiness, while the above quote describes changing nonlasting 'happiness'. The quote directly describes what is opposite to liberation, describes what isn't liberation.



Beyond any anti-relevant and out of context definitions associated with any of the terms in the above quote, to iterate, I can say definitively from my experience that liberation is 100% completely devoid, moment by moment, of any of the terms mentioned. When certain bardo visions dawn, the slightest defilements, usually out sight, can reveal themselves. In this type of bardo "virtual space" we will say, anything possibly imaginable can happen there. Heaven and hell, everything beyond, and everything in-between.
However, arahant nibbana and the various types of 'knowledge of non-arising' liberations derived from the great many path-methods Buddhism discovered, allows one to be completely devoid of any unpleasantness in the face of anything that happens in the bardo space. Considered of the most extreme experiences possible, possibly besides death itself depending on your conception of death. Actual liberation perfectly maintains itself in such space. I have experienced the fully dawned bardo hundreds of times using a variety of means, and can speak of the static integrity of actual liberation in the bardo.

I have however experienced states that appear to resemble what the above quote is referring to in my early non-liberated lackadaisical years. Where one experiences unoccasional bursts of the aforementioned defilements etc. As an aside, a little background:



I was raised devoid of a particular religion or atheism. The siblings and I were told while growing up we could go to any religious group or any gathering related to a style of thought we wanted to explore, but nothing was going to be forced on us. I read a range of things from Nietzsche to manuals on developing psychic faculties (generally, even at a young age, could be considered a skeptical positivist of sorts).

Of the age of eleven or twelve (generally intensively curious and jumping fully into a topic in response to said sparks of curiosity), the psychic text I was reading distorted the degree of success that various prestigious universities were having in experiments related to quantifying such effects. The text later listed a few meditations, indicating meditation might be the best avenue to explore the psychic. For these reasons, I directed my curiosity towards trying them. Humorously, this was my very first exposure to meditation and any context of meditation.
Nothing related to unpleasantness, defilements, joy, liberation, enlightenment, equanimity etc (besides stating that being merely relaxed might help the psychic phenomena).

Even the connection between monks and meditation was completely non-existent (if pressed to assert what monks were about, I would of likely simply asserted from my limited knowledge that monks don't work and they pray all day).


The text advised choosing one of two basic methods, the first where one continues to focus away from thoughts as they arise, instead placing attention on the body; the other and the one I chose being where one simply watches the body & thoughts without getting involved. It explained to do one of those methods here and there for a week to several weeks until one gets a hang of it, then to move to the advanced technique. The technique consisted of expanding the body awareness, from whole body to rolling the attention around the body. When focusing on any specific point, that point of bodily awareness should be all one is experiencing. The second stage of the advanced technique was after one was well established in being able to place the attention completely on any point of the body, one visualized the body as being translucent and hollow. Then one visualized the whole body being filled with a color (whichever color represented power and energy to one; I used a few colors, but often a brightly rich & deep orange).
The idea was that the visualization facilitated the movement of actual energy, 'psi'. Thus one was informed to feel (generate) the bodily change and the energetic qualities as one is doing the visualization.
Continuing with the visualization of the energy having filled up the whole body, one then was supposed to slowly pool/drain all the energy into a small, dense, drop in the middle of the chest. One then was supposed to pool the dense energy into the palms of one or both of the hands. At this point projecting/visualizing spherical energy now emanating from the palms could be additionally extended to more advanced visualized shapes.


The basic meditations brought me various calm and joyful states that were interesting. Allowing a rationalization of context which fueled a growing desire to meditate more. This went on for several weeks with varying spurts of practicing, from in the nearby woods for several hours here and there to rituals of looking forward to practicing right upon getting home from school. I then began both stages of the advanced practice at the same time and would do the second stage after working on the first aspect for 45 minutes or so per routine iteration. I excelled very quickly at rolling my attention around my body and being able to focus nearly fully on whatever particular area. The fabrication/visualization stage was leading to more and more interesting, joyful, and exhilarating states as I stabilized the visualizations and the holding of the associated biofeedback for both the pooling to the chest and the pooling to the palms of the hands.

However, after a string of post-meditation experiences that were both energetic, intense, and unexpected, I was left seriously considering that I was messing with something I possibly shouldn't be, especially considering I didn't really understand it (even more so considering the contextual background that the meditation was being practiced amongst). I ceased all meditation after roughly six to eight months of a pretty consistent hobby-like practice (in terms of how many hours per day, almost always less than four, almost never less than a half hour a day).

It does appear to have influenced a bit, as I had my cake and ate it during my teenage years, they were great despite having many unforeseen circumstances thrown at the family (to the degree that we joked of a family curse; however, mother's resilience could be codified as "It is what it is.").
I 'did my own thing' rather devoid of all but pretty slight arisings (brief and very uncommon uneasiness, nervousness, anxiousness etc; a great much less than what could be observed of others) & felt nearly all social situations were in the palm of my hand (low self-grasping lead to extremely fluid social dynamics; 'people were easy').
To clarify, a 'young love' break up of a few years surely had the capacity to influence negatively, as I had rooted a pretty deep attachment and suffered a few weeks before moving on (including the standard sexual territory evolutionary programs males are 'blessed' with).


At that time I still had no conception of liberation at all, however if it was explained even misleadingly to me as the end of all 'suffering' (rather than properly as all 'unpleasantness'), I would of absolutely said no, that it is axiomatically self-evident that there is room for improvement. That labels of personal liberation would in actuality be lacking humility & 'self'-critical honesty.

Forward to my late teens - early twenties. I was using increasingly large doses (often up to max) of entheogens with others mostly of a similar intellectual grade (another becoming a physicist, a neuroscientist, a lawyer, a teacher at one of the finest music schools etc). On the same doses and 'same' environment, I consistently show a much deeper, more vivid, and much more controlled response with many analytic-intuitions on how to 'push it even deeper' (we conclude the difference is likely due to the prior meditation and the resulting higher order of biofeedback etc etc). I experienced several permanent changes within short periods of time, often due to the more radical experiences


<i.e. The open-eyed visions consumed more and more of 'objective' reality, distortions lead to geometric distortions, which lead to partial hallucinations, which lead to stable archetypical hallucinations intruding into all vision, blind-spots, peripheral, & all. As the visions consumed from thirty to seventy percent of reality, more and more of everything became monkeys, skulls & skeletons, and political figures.

The body's vitality seemed like it was leaking into and feeding the visions.
Then as the visions consumed further the next twenty percent, they merged into what I, for some time, could only refer to afterwards as a demon. A singular, seemingly trans-personal, and archetypal vision of a wrathful/forceful deity (I had a familiarity with the concept of Jungian archetypes, however no concept of wrathful deities and the differences in how Buddhism versus Jainism interpreted them).

It was very large, single-headed, and the upper third of it had consumed/become everything in experience save a faint echo of subjective "me-ness" that was bewilderment itself, the faint trace of 'body-ness' was outlined in bewilderment-only; as well as the faint perception of being 'pressed down' and held 'against something' (thus technically the bardo didn't fully 100% dawn, only about 90-95%). Paradoxically, a simultaneous experience of the most distinct "otherness" and yet the most vulnerable, honest, & primal "personalness". There was not much else to focus on, as it was almost all there was.
Occasionally, rather abstract & rapid intuitive 'knowing' (amygdala induced faux triggering or not) impressions flickered. Mostly concerning the deity/otherness and some understanding of or some relationship to symbolic stains pertaining to awareness itself.
Time seemed to grind to a complete halt at the peak of the experience, a static struggle, a suspended and imprinting struggle, searing itself into my experience.

This changed the mind in many ways, subtle and not, to which it took a few years to even partially quantify (even more so due to the interplay of several other change-triggering events).
However, these change-triggering events immediately set me on a fast track, as I succeeded through school with a natural ease of determination. >



I didn't meditate or have exposure to much of any new contemplative context (or any need or desire to) for roughly two years more, until hearing about the Buddhist clear-light and its supposed interrelation to the vision states. After, I went over descriptions in some detail and realized I had possibly glimpsed it or close to it, as well as other things that monks were reaching in meditation.
Then shortly afterwards came my first exposure to a painting of a wrathful/forceful deity, and that was enough to provoke much more serious study (as it was the only and first representation of the vision I had ever seen beyond the vision itself, and it called into question the remaining traces of a world view; I was forced to take Jung and his curious case of the schizophrenic, the sun's phallus, and the 2000 year old Persian text much more seriously etc).

At that point I was experiencing a consistent degree of low identification, higher unity & less-duality, higher equanimity, high mental energy and ease of concentration etc and only pretty rare spurts of the quoted defilement terms. Again however, of the little knowledge I had of Buddhism, I did not have any impression that I was arahant or liberated; though I would of admitted I was likely closer to some hypothetical 'enlightenment' than a hypothetical 'average person' who has had no combination of visionary experiences, meditative experience, or intuitive insight (Bohm's insights etc).

Over the course of finishing school, the lackadaisical 'meditation'/qigong (many stationary abiding bodily asanas used are common to what is now called Falun Dafa/Gong) what I was doing was more 'free-style exploration of the intro', to gain insight in general (not related directly to liberation at all; sometimes to meditate on the meanings of the texts; curious exploration, creating many meditations in response to various texts; etc etc).
I was studying texts of various tradition, both Buddhist and non, but primarily for the sake of understanding their claims (first independent of commentaries) and how said claims grew out of and how it interacts with the visionary accounts from varying religions & traditions etc.

Over time, more and more of my study and eventually practice became for the sake of transmitting the already existing useful knowledge coalescing with my growing knowledge from direct experience to others; becoming personally free-er and free-er despite it not being of my 'goals' (including the study/practice of many methods just to have degrees of knowledge from direct experience; a bit later to the degree of intentionally troubleshooting the consequences of some of the mistakes one can make along with the extreme practices; again, nearly all study/practice for the sake of transmission and ethical transmission at that). Of the many methods, directly pointing to that which moves attention to and fro and learning to suspend and cease it's spastic movement, and directly pointing beyond experientially/perceptually naming and forming.



Fast forward into my travels over the years to find pith-instructions, direct-transmissions, orations of uncommon or rare texts, and information on exotic attainments/traditions, I have had many detailed conversations with realized monks and yogis amongst many traditions (including post-tradition hermit yogis). Overall it has been made very clear by the advanced practitioners, that despite the somewhat common confusions of moderately skilled monks, those with an over all meta-knowledge of various traditions assert with absolute certainty that any dissatisfaction or unpleasantness is not liberation. Thus any who experience any terms in the quote are not liberated.

Meta-analysis leads to the conclusion that there are at least a few thousand methods and a great many of subtle types or grades of enlightenment (to the degree that the term itself can appear illusive, ambiguous etc to those not very well versed) some provide actual liberation, others are not really about personally-liberation much at all.


An example given to me more than once concerning nirvana: on the very first try and having not practiced it before, if someone can't hold their breath for several minutes without any uneasiness, unpleasantness, dissatisfaction at all, then the proper label of nibbana or liberation, or consciousness without surface of feature can't even be considered.


Contemplatives however that train beyond merely holding their own space and being free from unease, unpleasantness, dissatisfaction, can also experience various orders of the supreme all-encompassing primordial orgasm if wished.

RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion
Answer
3/3/13 10:56 AM as a reply to Omega Point.
Omega Point:
..............fully encompass the back and the back of the spine in general and behind the vector of knowing that usually is the safe haven of delusion and subtle self.


True.

Omega Point:
When certain bardo visions dawn, the slightest defilements, usually out sight, can reveal themselves.


I'm having some visions right after I close my eyes to go to sleep which sound like what you are describing about as they are a kind of defilement.

Omega Point:
An example given to me more than once concerning nirvana: on the very first try and having not practiced it before, if someone can't hold their breath for several minutes without any uneasiness, unpleasantness, dissatisfaction at all, then the proper label of nibbana or liberation, or consciousness without surface of feature can't even be considered.


I can't hold my breath for even a minute without it subtly starting on its own.

RE: Actual Freedom as 4th Path Experience discussion
Answer
5/21/14 12:35 AM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Actual freedom is not beyond stream entry. 

There is four jhanas. Without entering 4th jhana one can't become enlightened(arahat).

Within jhanas there is those illusory jhanas, what can be accessed even prior entering 1st real jhana (real jhana i think its called supramundane jhana)

When one has access to 1st jhana he needs to sustain it by applied thought, that means he needs to reflect on it using effort.
When one reaches 2nd jhana then 1st jhana will become sustained.
When one entesr 3rd jhana then he have awoken inner energies what is warm sensual lustlike, pleasure oriented, in order to reach 4th jhana one needs to renounce these energies that means no lustful thoughts, celibacy etc, then he have change to enter 4th jhana.

when one have entered fourth jhana he can enter nirvana/can libareate himself from the "lower mind". Mind liberated from the matter.

All the long texts, thousands of pages are mainly about how to get into 1st jhana no matter what type of religion or culture or practice. And its not by supressing the mind by watching breath trying to solidify it, trying to make mind "onepointed", its possible but its illusory jhana.

When you enter 1st jhana, your knowledge rises 10 fold, 2nd 100 fold 3rd 1000fold 4th there is no end.

Actual freedom defenetly is not beyond 4th path, its just another way to reach 1st jhana. But the thing is when you reach 1st jhana you will get the knowledge about 2nd but i haven't seen any evidence of someone have done it(maybe i have read too little), i may be wrong..figure out it by yourself.

EDIT: i have no idea what i was talking about.