An Update by the Actually Free

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Nikolai *, modified 9 Years ago.

An Update by the Actually Free

Posts: 1648 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
Hi Tarin and Trent,

I believe it has been close to a year since both of you became AF. I would love to know how AF has held out after one year of it. I don't want to peruse the AF website for info on Richard and others. I am more interested solely in you two.

How has AF changed your lives since getting it?

How has it held up in the past year? Was there ever any more shifts or changes that were noticeable afterwards?

If it has how has it changed your relationships with other human beings, especially family and partners? Positive or negative changes?

What new insights came to light if any over the past year?

Is there anything more that you think needs to be done after AF?

What are the disadvantages, if any, physical, social, etc?

If anyone else wants to ask a question about how it is after one year of AF, please ask away.


Nick
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: An Update by the Actually Free

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Yea I'll add some stuff (also interested in the questions Nikolai asked. i'm also interested in not just Tarin & Trent's answers but any of the other Actually Free).

Any insight into what consciousness/awareness is, exactly? how come we to be aware?

Any insight into psychic powers? i understand some, like reading people's minds, are really easy, just by reading body language and voice tone etc. (not really reading their minds in a telepathic sense). i feel like an AF person is in an especially unique position to ascertain whether they are possible, seeing as how s/he cannot have mental projections. what about:
  • stuff in the suttas like the Angulimala Sutta:

    Then the Blessed One willed a feat of psychic power such that Angulimala, though running with all his might, could not catch up with the Blessed One walking at normal pace.
  • out-of-body experiences that seem legit, e.g. a person being operated on left their body and observed things they seemingly couldn't know otherwise, like noticing what was on the roof of the building, describing it, and having people go up & corroborate it. there's lots of anecdotes... does it seem possible to focus your now-unfettered psyches to get extra-sensory input? have you tried to focus in that manner to see what would happen, and if so, what did happen?
  • telling the future.. i understand there is no future, but considering the future as a set of possibilities, each with a probability of happening, it then seems possible someone could read the more likely possibilities somehow (more possible than there being one future that one can read, that is). i heard lots of stories of foretellings that came more or less true, too many for me to believe it's all random chance and self-fulfilling prophecy, but not enough to convince me one way or another.
  • reading past lives.. any luck with that? i understand that upon AF you realize you don't go anywhere when you die - you're just the flesh&blood body and that's it. but what of reading past lives in the suttas? all just mental projection? but then what of research, e.g. by Ian Stevenson which suggests that children told stories which were actually their past lives and he found correlating evidence (see his paper).


Can you pick up on 'vibes'? Richard mentions vibes exist, like the example when someone walks up to their house and before opening the door they know something is wrong - and sure enough they enter to see someone has had a heart attack or died or w/e. do you still pick up on those? if so how is it different than before? what about being able to tell whether someone is behind you without turning to look.. is it just a subtle picking up of clues in both cases? (shadows, air temperature difference, slight sound of breathing, the house being quieter than usual, etc.) that's why i'm more interested in OOBE and past lives and such.. it removes the possibility that subtle clues were picked upon that led to an 'extra-sensory realization'.
aaron ., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: An Update by the Actually Free

Posts: 34 Join Date: 4/11/10 Recent Posts
Hi Beoman,

http://www.actualfreedom.com.au/library/topics/psyche.htm

"In the real world, the human psyche or entity that dwells within the physical body is defined as being permanent and real and, as such, deemed to be actual. This entity as soul, spirit or mind is a non-corporeal entity that is ‘inside’ the physical flesh and blood body, looking out through the eyes, hearing through the ears, smelling through the nose, etc"

"There is now a third alternative – an actual world of unbelievable purity and perfection for those willing to eliminate the total psyche, both ego and soul. For those ensnared in the psychic spiritual world it takes enormous courage to turn around – but the seduction of that which is actual will eventually win out over that which is merely imaginary."

So, a actually free person has no psyche, hence no psychic powers. So, this would be yet another distinction between being actually free and a Pali Canon Arahant(ie freed of the 10 fetters). The others being no capacity to enter jhana(as that requires a psyche as well), and no feelings/affect(at least as far as I've seen no one has shown texts that say Arahants do not experience at the very least the affective feelings of metta, compassion, sympathetic joy, and equinamity).
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: An Update by the Actually Free

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
aaron .:
So, a actually free person has no psyche, hence no psychic powers.

if there is such a thing as reading the past and telling the future in actuality (and not out of psychic projection) or traveling out of body and seeing what is actually there, and this actual ability (as in seeing what is actually there though not right in front of you but on a rooftop you can't see with your eyes) is impossible to access while actually free, that would be interesting indeed. if it's just psychic projection or mis-interpretation of sensory input as extra-sensory input, that makes perfect sense. but if it's something else...
D C, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: An Update by the Actually Free

Posts: 28 Join Date: 8/23/09 Recent Posts
That's a great list of questions. I'd also like to hear where Daniel is at with his AF practice. I enjoyed his Hurricane Ranch conversation with Tarin immensely; another of those with an update and further thoughts would be very welcome.

Damon
Trent ., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: An Update by the Actually Free

Posts: 361 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
aaron .:
So, this would be yet another distinction between being actually free and a Pali Canon Arahant(ie freed of the 10 fetters).


a portion of the vissudhimagga’s table of contents:

vissudhimagga:

Part 2 “concentration”
Chapter xii
The supernormal powers
The benefits of concentration
The five kinds of direct knowledge
(1) The kinds of supernormal power
a. Supernormal power as resolve
b. Supernormal power as transformation
c. Supernormal power as the mind-made body
Chapter xiii
Other direct-knowledges
(2) The divine ear element
(3) Penetration of minds
(4) Recollection of past life
(5) The divine eye


compare the essential nature of the 'powers' discussed in xii to those discussed in xiii ... might be something interesting there.

trent
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tarin greco, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: An Update by the Actually Free

Posts: 658 Join Date: 5/14/09 Recent Posts
hi nick,

without saying too much (and spoiling the fun for others), here is some of what i have noted as having changed over the past year:

light has become more dynamic; i notice more prominently subtle colour hues and shades, and reflections (of colours at least, if not of shapes) in surfaces generally thought of as non-reflective (such as a wooden table or wall); some surfaces look lit up (like a chinese lantern or jack-o'-lanterns or embers); i tolerate stronger sunlight than previously (and do not wear sunglasses quite so much); things in direct sunlight appear more vivid (and less washed out).

despite all that, i find that i pay less attention to vision than i used to and notice navigating space more by sound and body feel than before. i also get the sense that i by default physically move less (though not quite to the point that my skin will graft to a couch).

ask me again in a year, maybe i'll be reporting echolocation by then (sounds fun).

tarin

ps odours also have a texture, which structure is noted (at the nose) last as smells fade.
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Nikolai *, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: An Update by the Actually Free

Posts: 1648 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
tarin greco:

light has become more dynamic; i notice more prominently subtle colour hues and shades, and reflections (of colours at least, if not of shapes) in surfaces generally thought of as non-reflective (such as a wooden table or wall); some surfaces look lit up (like a chinese lantern or jack-o'-lanterns or embers); i tolerate stronger sunlight than previously (and do not wear sunglasses quite so much); things in direct sunlight appear more vivid (and less washed out).


Thanks Tarin,

Interesting stuff.

Are there any other developments like this which seem quite positive and beneficial? I mean physical ones like this. How does being AF relate to tolerating sunlight more? Something to do with emotion and fear of blindness?


despite all that, i find that i pay less attention to vision than i used to and notice navigating space more by sound and body feel than before. i also get the sense that i by default physically move less (though not quite to the point that my skin will graft to a couch).


Does paying less attention to vision cause any problems in day to day life? Do you miss things that are caught by the eye while the mind focused more on hearing and body/touch? Could you expand on what you mean by not moving much? You mean you don't physically move around as you once did? How does AF relate to this? Does this mean you excercise less?

I'm really intrigued by reading about such things and they cause me to consider it more as a possibility. Could you answer the other questions you didn't in your post? This is beneficial for inspiration and I have no intention to argue against anything. I'm very curious is all and remain open.


Sincerely,

Nick

P.S. Out of curiosity, is there anything I've written on the blog, you would critique?

emoticon

Nick
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tarin greco, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: An Update by the Actually Free

Posts: 658 Join Date: 5/14/09 Recent Posts
Nikolai *:
tarin greco:

light has become more dynamic; i notice more prominently subtle colour hues and shades, and reflections (of colours at least, if not of shapes) in surfaces generally thought of as non-reflective (such as a wooden table or wall); some surfaces look lit up (like a chinese lantern or jack-o'-lanterns or embers); i tolerate stronger sunlight than previously (and do not wear sunglasses quite so much); things in direct sunlight appear more vivid (and less washed out).


Are there any other developments like this which seem quite positive and beneficial? I mean physical ones like this. How does being AF relate to tolerating sunlight more? Something to do with emotion and fear of blindness?

well, i don't know if any of this has to do with having become actually free... i was just reporting notable changes in my life that have taken place over the past year for which i do not presume to know the causes.


Nikolai *:
despite all that, i find that i pay less attention to vision than i used to and notice navigating space more by sound and body feel than before. i also get the sense that i by default physically move less (though not quite to the point that my skin will graft to a couch).


Does paying less attention to vision cause any problems in day to day life? Do you miss things that are caught by the eye while the mind focused more on hearing and body/touch? Could you expand on what you mean by not moving much? You mean you don't physically move around as you once did? How does AF relate to this? Does this mean you excercise less?

not that i notice. not that i notice. sure. i mean i (quite possibly) engage in less motor activity. i don't know. quite possibly.


Nikolai *:

I'm really intrigued by reading about such things and they cause me to consider it more as a possibility. Could you answer the other questions you didn't in your post?

no, as i intentionally did not answer them - i really do not want to spoil the fun for anyone else as i think it is far more interesting to discover such delightful minute details for oneself ... nor do i wish to imply that an actual freedom entails any of what has happened in my life since its occurrence (aside from what is obviously entailed by the absence of passions, which absence has - unsurprisingly - simply continued to be the case). i will note, however, that i have not regarded anything that has changed for me in the past year as having been inconvenient, inappropriate, or unwelcome; good news abounds but i'll spare you the details.


Nikolai *:

P.S. Out of curiosity, is there anything I've written on the blog, you would critique?

having only glanced at your project blog a few times, i do not know if there is anything i would critique (nor do i think i will get to it soon, as i've been very occupied lately with local affairs and expect to be for quite some time yet).

tarin
ed c, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: An Update by the Actually Free

Posts: 59 Join Date: 8/9/10 Recent Posts
Great topic. I hope you get more answers.

While it’s mentioned I’d like to expand just a bit on the “pro’s vs. con’s” theme as this is the crux of the concern for me and it’s vitally important for everyone as Peter notes when he says “If you are in it for yourself then Enlightenment is the thing – self-aggrandizement if ever there was one. If you care about your fellow human beings then to become actually free is the only game to play” The central point being from the perspective of the 99.999% of people who aren’t AF, what is the impact to them? I certainly can conceive of MANY benefits for myself and others, but I would find it difficult to believe there are zero drawbacks, at least from the perspective of others who are dependent on me. For example, If I lose interest in my job and start delighting in sitting and noticing the wonder of things this might be fantastic for me, but probably not so good (for them). It’s really tough to create the motivation right now to become actually free, wondering if after becoming AF I’ll be totally 100% content, but those around me who depend on me would wish I never did it. The downside to asking this here is that ideally this question would be answered by the “non-AF” spouse/kids of someone who is AF.

I have looked really hard on this board and the AF site and what I’ve found so far is while a significant amount of questions are raised by people with spouse/kids who are just looking into becoming AF, there don’t seem to be a lot of people answering who are really close to or already are AF that are in this situation (unless the spouse did it with them). This concerns me and makes me wonder, why? These things are irrelevant if everyone is AF and maybe life could be utopian if we suddenly change all at once, but while change happens in a mixed world how do those “left behind” cope?

I am willing to accept I could come to the conclusion this is still the right thing to do even though this might be “painful” for them initially or for some extended period of time because of the long term benefits for all of us; or that there will be some things they never get over but the good far outweighs the bad. However I can’t get a sense of where the range of actual truth lies as the answers all appear theoretical at the moment since there don’t appear to be many (any?) real life examples.

So I struggle in a way that would seem somewhat unanswerable by more thinking or introspection as none of this would appear to help me really understand how a dependent will deal with my change. I’ve tried to imagine how I might feel if my wife was AF or my dad had been while I was growing up but I can’t get a good sense of how this would have impacted me. Perhaps more time and experience will make this issue seem silly to me later but I would sincerely appreciate the thoughts and advice of anyone who might be able to speed this process along a bit faster as I find creating the right motivation to continue is difficult with this massive blind spot...
Thanks.
Ed
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: An Update by the Actually Free

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
ed c:
So I struggle in a way that would seem somewhat unanswerable by more thinking or introspection as none of this would appear to help me really understand how a dependent will deal with my change... but I would sincerely appreciate the thoughts and advice of anyone who might be able to speed this process along a bit faster as I find creating the right motivation to continue is difficult with this massive blind spot...

let's get down to it, then. you're expressing some concerns/worries/fears over what might happen to those you care about if you were to become AF without them. however, your posts don't really address any specific concerns, just a general worry of what might happen.

so, in this thread or another (since it's a bit off-topic for this thread), simply sit down and sincerely analyze your concerns. what exactly are you afraid of happening? what drawbacks do you think there might be? how would those around you suffer from you becoming AF? make a list of everything you're worried about. if there are specific worries you can't find a good answer to, then post them here and i'll try to help.

since you gave one example, i'll address it here:
ed c:
For example, If I lose interest in my job and start delighting in sitting and noticing the wonder of things this might be fantastic for me, but probably not so good (for them).

well if all you do at your job is sit there, then you'll probably get fired. you won't forget this fact once you're AF. rationally speaking, an income is useful, and if you think that income is necessary, then nothing is stopping you from doing your job - there is no desire to notice the wonder of things in particular instead of doing your job, well. and your intellect is not hindered, so you won't be unable to do your job anymore. if anything you'll do it more effectively as you won't be annoyed or angry or lacking motivation or anything.
ed c, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: An Update by the Actually Free

Posts: 59 Join Date: 8/9/10 Recent Posts
so, in this thread or another (since it's a bit off-topic for this thread), simply sit down and sincerely analyze your concerns. what exactly are you afraid of happening? what drawbacks do you think there might be? how would those around you suffer from you becoming AF? make a list of everything you're worried about. if there are specific worries you can't find a good answer to, then post them here and i'll try to help.


My concerns are centered on the loss of feelings, specifically the “good” ones of compassion and love. I’ve read the glossary information and other writing and while it makes intellectual sense to me why these “affects” aren’t all they are cracked up to be, I can’t seem to make that leap that the loss of them would be good from the perspective of my wife/kids who would still value them. Something Peter said in one correspondence that very rang true to me was: “So, there is a fear of leaving love and compassion behind, because ‘I’ believe, indeed ‘I’ am founded and sustained by love. It is not a matter of denying or refuting love, because to deny or refute is just confirmation that it exists. No, the important thing seems to be seeing clearly that love stems from separation. Not just seeing this intellectually, but seeing it with that quality of apperception that leads to radical change.” I admit I'm personally hung up here a bit with this, but it leaves me wondering if those “left behind” who still want love and compassion will have a sense of loss at my inability to feel love and compassion or if things like benevolence will make this “loss” irrelevant or a even a good thing. I haven’t got my head around it this will work from the perspective of others dependent on me, not just me. Perhaps all the information I need is there and I just need to keep reading, thinking and probing to understand?

Regardless, you’ve pointed me (by design or not) to look deeper into myself. “I” have typically sought outside sources for validation of the truth of something so on a certain level this is probably contributing in a major way to my struggle as “I’ve” not historically speaking been accustomed to guiding myself. If it’s not obvious, my intention is not to poke holes in this so I can feel justified in walking away. It’s truly to understand with the sincere hope that I can do this and all my concerns that seemed significant at the time will turn out to fade away under the light.

Thanks Beoman
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: An Update by the Actually Free

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
ed c:
I’ve read the glossary information and other writing and while it makes intellectual sense to me why these “affects” aren’t all they are cracked up to be, I can’t seem to make that leap that the loss of them would be good from the perspective of my wife/kids who would still value them... I admit I'm personally hung up here a bit with this, but it leaves me wondering if those “left behind” who still want love and compassion will have a sense of loss at my inability to feel love and compassion or if things like benevolence will make this “loss” irrelevant or a even a good thing. I haven’t got my head around it this will work from the perspective of others dependent on me, not just me.

Something Trent said to me might be relevant here:
trent:
also know that love's imitations of caring, intimacy, sweetness and kindness are only ambiguous shadows of what they mimic (those actual things), thus there is nothing but suffering being lost by letting go of it entirely.

to take it a bit further, you say your family might miss the fact that you can't feel love and compassion. how does your love and compassion manifest, for them? from their perspective, when they look at you and interact with you, how does the love and compassion show? you are feeling love, but your feeling of love is only something you feel, not them. it seems to manifest most in the actions you take towards them. you might say 'i love you', for example, and true, you wouldnt be able to say that sincerely any more. but all the things you do like taking care of them, giving them advice, doing things for them to make their lives easier, being intimate w/ the wife, etc., that all remains, and apparently is even amplified (loving caring, intimacy, and kindness are only ambiguous shadows of actual caring, intimacy, and kindness). just a direction to think about.

ed c:
Perhaps all the information I need is there and I just need to keep reading, thinking and probing to understand? Regardless, you’ve pointed me (by design or not) to look deeper into myself. “I” have typically sought outside sources for validation of the truth of something so on a certain level this is probably contributing in a major way to my struggle as “I’ve” not historically speaking been accustomed to guiding myself. If it’s not obvious, my intention is not to poke holes in this so I can feel justified in walking away. It’s truly to understand with the sincere hope that I can do this and all my concerns that seemed significant at the time will turn out to fade away under the light.

that's the spirit! it is your journey to take, and requires a lot of confidence and sincerity. i encourage you to try to poke holes in this, as by examining what you think are holes in it sincerely you can come to understand whether they truly are. it doesn't do you any good to simply believe or trust what others say - it must be backed by personal experience (e.g. a PCE) and observation.