"the thinker" disappeared (kind of)?

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

"the thinker" disappeared (kind of)?

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
this is weeird...

gradually over the last 2 months i've given up on vipassana. i have felt off of that ride for a good few weeks, just cause i stopped pursuing it... though while getting blazed i still did have a tendency to close my eyes and vipassana-out for a bit, just sitting and observing stuff. whenever i did so i clearly would identify 2nd, 3rd, and 4th nyanas, but i'd kind of lose interest/it would peter out/wouldn't make sense after that (like maybe hard samatha jhanas? maybe equanimity? maybe fruitions? shrug).

as that drive i've been talking about was winding down i found i could reason and think about stuff that the drive had been attempting to obscure in the interest of 'moving forward'. one of these was 'i' am 'my' feelings and 'my' feelings are 'me'. i felt like i didn't quite understand that.. so while lying in bed with my eyes closed i got to pondering.

my image of the self was kind of like a big connected blob with tendrils sticking out of it, the tendrils being emotions and such (i guess a perfectly spherical self would be a naive/sincere one?). a tendril would just out into the stomach area, and that would be 'anxiety'. another tendril was like 'the thinker' which could direct 'awareness' toward it in some way. i notice when focusing on troubling spots, the tendency (intuition) was to focus all one's efforts on it. that quickly led nowhere, just really messing with and contorting that other tendril you're trying to look at (like really really nasty head pressure if you focus on that in just the wrong (intuitive) way). i figure thats from a lack of understanding about the self - one tendril ("the thinker") tries attacking and demolishing another tendril ("the emotion"), and it gets all really confusing fast (hey maybe that's why vipassana is so f&*king painful?). its kind of like the understanding of a self is a mathematical plane cutting through the tendrils, pointing away from the center. it seems like they are separate, so it only makes sense for one to attack the other.. but by bringing the plane down, you can see they are all the same, and that understanding would make it vanish ('i' am 'my' feelings and 'my' feelings are 'me').

with this image in mind, i kept trying to ‘connect’ all the little feelings i felt. like i’d feel anxiety, then i’d be like “oh thats ‘me’ right?” and then try to like imagine the whole self as the blob with tendrils, and try to like make myself understand somehow that it's all the same. this didnt seem to work, though. i got the impression of some desperate thing trying to tie together all the aspects of the self in vain. i think this is "the thinker" thinking it is in control.. and this surely doesn't work.

instead i took a different approach. i just realized that the anxiety is me. no need to twist it or try to connect it. its just me, manifesting as what might seem disconnected, but it’s me nonetheless. the same goes for other things. so leave them there, as they are - that's me!

while pondering this, the thinker shut up for a bit, kind of like if you hit 2nd jhana well and extra thoughts just stop. then its like i went into a really slow fruition, almost like a nirodha-cessation but without noticing any jhanas (or if they were they had absolutely no affective qualities to them, just maybe shifting in perspective that i didnt really notice). as i came out i doubted it was nirodha or anything, but then i started slowly feeling more and more bodily sensations coming in, inevitably.. i think those who've hit NS know what i mean? its like 'yep im going down the jhanas now', except i didnt identify it as jhanas, just a re-appearance of coarser&coarser perception (roughly like: the head, then the breath, then upper body, then my body on the bed, then my skin with tingling and such in it).

but then a thought came out. and it was really weird, cause it’s like “i” wasn’t thinking it anymore, it was just the thought.

then i noticed that the “i” seemed to not be there anymore. there seemed to be no more “i” component of anything, like whatever feeling or thought is just there. and the knot in my head, though still there, seems to have lost some importance.. like before it was really really important, but after relaxing it the last few days and going into the cessation, it’s just there. its literally like “the thinker” just disappeared, whereas 'i' had been holding onto 'it'/identifying with 'it' before.

it was weird feeling that anxiety then, since it was like it was just the anxiety but no 'i' there to feel it. it feels like a direct understanding of ‘i’ am ‘my’ feelings and ‘my’ feelings are ‘me’. its just the feeling - and that is what 'i' am, no need to 'relate to it' or anything, im already relating to it by feeling it. without a 'thinker' relating to it.. its just the feeling.

that reasoning is thanks to being exposed and knowledgeable about AF, though. I could really easily see how, in that state, there is a huge temptation to be like "ah my self is gone! i just AM these things im feeling! this is awesome!" and then blow it up from there.. especially if such a transition were to happen from normal to that within the space of a few seconds while waiting for a bus or something, since there is the feeling(intuition/delusion) that there is no “I”.

--

tis only been a few hours of waking time since then, and my daily experience is.. not really soo different. notable changes are:

  • i identified a really heavy feeling on the chest area that had been there as 'lack of self-confidence'.. i think it was there before but i didnt see it. it seems to be abating
  • it does still feel like there is a 'center', namely that knot in my head, but perhaps it has lost some of its importance(?)
  • i still catch myself being 'the thinker' sometimes, just going through thoughts and figuring things out.. but now i kind of snap out of it and realize it isnt 'really' 'me' or something. i feel like its just a habit, now, which will fade gradually (though perhaps quickly). not sure, though
  • whats weird is when i like move around, theres less (or almost no) sense of me doing the movement. tis a bit more like the movement just happens.. like i could consciously breathe deeply and be moving around in my bed subconsciously and be thinking a thought without any interruption from the other activities. i still know that i cause the movement in some way. but if i think "ill move my hand" and then i move my hand, its like that thought+movement isn't connected anymore.
  • just general sense of it being easier to walk around, of not being afraid of the more painful emotions perhaps..
  • definitely still have desire
  • tis pretty subtle. doesnt feel super-fundamentally different from yesterday, just the things listed above. and they are subtle differences, not like really obvious ones (more like 'hmm thats weird..' rather than "HOLY SHIT BATMAN")


--

this raises some questions:
  • whats doing all the thinking and doing now?
  • after catching myself being 'the thinker', i wondered what relationship i should have to my thoughts now.. like if they arent so self-centered any more, its still useful to use them to reason about things.. so maybe its like ill just use them as a separate part, like the intellect, as a useful tool. but then whats the 'i' that is thinking about how to deal with all this?


--

i think mostly ill focus on the 'i' am 'my' feelings and 'my' feelings are 'me' insight and really ponder that and deepen it, as really understanding it seems to make all this a lot easier. and i will focus on that happy&harmless.

--

does anyone have any questions that i can pose to myself that i haven't been that might lead to interesting answers? things to try that might lead to interesting things? =P.
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tarin greco, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: "the thinker" disappeared (kind of)?

Posts: 658 Join Date: 5/14/09 Recent Posts
third path
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: "the thinker" disappeared (kind of)?

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
tarin greco:
third path

hmm yea, this is all pretty old now that i think about it. 1) something happens, 2) oo that was interesting 3) oo is this 4th path? 3.5) jolt of excitement 4) hmm some differences, cool 5) hmm this isnt too different.. 6) hmm i feel mostly the same now..

except this time 3.5 wasnt huge and i didnt have 7) plunging pit of depression and anxiety that it's not 4th path.

well i wont be done till AF so no point worrying about it. but hey, i felt a little more carefree this morning.. and hey nothing stops me from being carefree anyway, so ill just try doing that
anonpathein ., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: "the thinker" disappeared (kind of)?

Posts: 28 Join Date: 8/4/10 Recent Posts
Thanks for posting this, Beoman. This actually speaks a lot to my experience, although I do not think I'm 3rd path just yet. I've really been noticing the "agentlessness" aspect of the runup to 3rd path. Actually, it's been somewhat disconcerting at times because I've started to realize, after some troubling lapses in mindfulness, how crucial discernment is on the path. I mean, I realized this before, but now it's being driven home to a greater degree than before.

My experience right now is that the "I" can just step back, perhaps more accurately let go, and the thing just does itself (prepare food, walk around, shop, etc.). Awareness is still there, but there is not real sense of effort. Further, and I had a preview of this in 1st path review, it seems that awareness can split off between whatever present activity is engaged with and thoughts beyond the present moment (which, of course, occur in the present moment).

But here's the rub, there are still so many unskillful mental habits, which lapses of mindfulness can miss, that mistakes in everyday living are still quite possible.

Also, what seems more true in my experience at the moment is that "There is thinking, no thinker". Not quite "just thoughts" just yet. In fact, there is this frustrating sense of "self" ever so subtly on the edge of experience, though it immediately disapates when attention is brought to it.

Any further suggestions, aside from the quite helpful advice on the "on the way to 2nd path"? I found this quote of Chuck Kasmire by tarin quite helpful for a while (and probably should revisit it more, though again the agentlessness is more prominent than anything else):

Chuck Kasmire (off-site):

There are probably now (in your experience) some big holes in the apparent solidity of duality. By that I mean you have seen through the solidity of 'small self' and also 'other'. But duality still runs deep in your day to day experience. This duality experience in day to day living takes a big hit at 3rd path and this points to some approaches. These are based on my own experience so I would take them just as suggestions to try out and see if they work for you.

- spend some time being around natural environments (parks, forest, etc) where you can really relax in a calm state of mind (maybe after meditation). Allow your awareness to just be open and sort of transcend and include your surroundings - for example a tree or a rock. Don't try to see anything - just be open and receptive.

- try to stay in the body as much as possible - by that I mean with the energy, the vibrations, and out of thoughts. In other words, extend your meditation practice into your daily life as best you can. Be patient!


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

RE: "the thinker" disappeared (kind of)?

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
anonpathein .:
My experience right now is that the "I" can just step back, perhaps more accurately let go, and the thing just does itself (prepare food, walk around, shop, etc.). Awareness is still there, but there is not real sense of effort. Further, and I had a preview of this in 1st path review, it seems that awareness can split off between whatever present activity is engaged with and thoughts beyond the present moment (which, of course, occur in the present moment).

But here's the rub, there are still so many unskillful mental habits, which lapses of mindfulness can miss, that mistakes in everyday living are still quite possible.

Also, what seems more true in my experience at the moment is that "There is thinking, no thinker". Not quite "just thoughts" just yet. In fact, there is this frustrating sense of "self" ever so subtly on the edge of experience, though it immediately disapates when attention is brought to it.
...
- try to stay in the body as much as possible - by that I mean with the energy, the vibrations, and out of thoughts. In other words, extend your meditation practice into your daily life as best you can. Be patient!

wow those 1st 3 paragraphs are a pretty accurate description of what i feel like now. and the last seems like great advice, like i was alluding to - breaking the habit of 'the thinker' and just staying with whats going on

chuck's advice is like.. almost-AF practice. the level of attentiveness that AF requires yet with a different focus. methink a PCE will make it all clearer so im going for that first
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: "the thinker" disappeared (kind of)?

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
Same here mate, nice to see you're still treading the Path's 'til AF happens emoticon
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: "the thinker" disappeared (kind of)?

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Tommy M:
Same here mate, nice to see you're still treading the Path's 'til AF happens emoticon

is it nice? i dont like it. randomly advancing this way rekindled that old desire to own vipassana and that led to a terrible downward spiral which really sucked for an hour or so. a good reminder to never do that again! (not vipassana in particular, but the way i was approaching it, i.e. sit there, stare hard, get really really really really pissed off)

hey at least i learned that all my suffering is caused by me and me alone, which is great news cause it means i dont need anybody in particular to get rid of it all..
C C C, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: "the thinker" disappeared (kind of)?

Posts: 953 Join Date: 3/9/10 Recent Posts
Beo, just interested to know if this resonates with your experience in terms of 'blobs and tendrils'.

edit: those references didn't quite convey what i wanted them to say. Try this instead.

"While we are alive, there is always a way of conquering any kind of blockage. The best way to recover the luminous fibers (tendrils?) we have lost is by calling our energy back". ie. recapitulation.

"I stretch my fibers every night while remembering what happened during the day".
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: "the thinker" disappeared (kind of)?

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C C C:
Beo, just interested to know if this resonates with your experience in terms of 'blobs and tendrils'.

hmm i dont have much experience with it, it's kind of a mental image i recently came up with, but...

C C C:
"While we are alive, there is always a way of conquering any kind of blockage. The best way to recover the luminous fibers (tendrils?) we have lost is by calling our energy back". ie. recapitulation.

i haven't thought about it this way. more accurate to my current understanding would probably be to simply "stop feeding the tendrils", then they will abate on their own.

C C C:
"I stretch my fibers every night while remembering what happened during the day".

hmm what would stretching accomplish? dreaming does have to do with stuff that happened during the day so i suppose they are active and moving about at night
C C C, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: "the thinker" disappeared (kind of)?

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With all the different stuff I've read (different traditions), nagualism resonates best with me. Other people will obviously have their own individual tendencies that are quite different to mine.

So what I'm trying to do is understand your experience in terms of what I've read elsewhere. Stuff I already vibe with.

The process of recapitulation is described as re-living any experience that drew energy out of you during the day, while breathing consciously and doing some unusual neck movements. This is supposed to pull those tendrils back in to your blob (or luminous egg), enhancing your energy and silencing your internal dialogue. I suspect this might be what happens during dreaming anyway, just with less conscious awareness and more judgment. If you were to do this, do the tendrils come back in, and does it change your energy?
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: "the thinker" disappeared (kind of)?

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
actually i take it back. this shift was pretty sweet. it's like really effortless to move around

i think i finally get chuck's instructions. i've been walking around kind of lightly bringing my awareness to everything around me.. "the sensations that imply space" is appropriate if i really get it in an all-inclusive way. its kind of really cute how i go from that, then find myself thinking about something, then gently bring it back, then thinking again, then back... i've learned the hard way not to focus my attention in a narrow hard-headed way. ive tried noting 'step step step' while walking to keep my awareness here, and that worked, but then that also fades.. though it is more obvious when it does. it's actually really really relaxing.

i think thats the important lesson here.. this doesn't have to be a difficult path. (or maybe it did but from now on, at least.) so whatever i do ill do it gently..

i tried manifesting delight a bit to get more into pce-like practice but even that seemed unnecessary.

what was really surprising is that this shift happened just for no seeming particular reason.. i just stopped worrying about stuff and was like 'hmm i wonder whats going on there'..

ive also learned another lesson - just do what i actually decide to do! long ago i decided to notice everything when walking around, yet i can't remember doing that for the last few months.

donno what'l happen next. i also donno what im looking for when doing this. but i suppose thats how it goes
anonpathein ., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: "the thinker" disappeared (kind of)?

Posts: 28 Join Date: 8/4/10 Recent Posts
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
anonpathein .:
My experience right now is that the "I" can just step back, perhaps more accurately let go, and the thing just does itself (prepare food, walk around, shop, etc.). Awareness is still there, but there is not real sense of effort. Further, and I had a preview of this in 1st path review, it seems that awareness can split off between whatever present activity is engaged with and thoughts beyond the present moment (which, of course, occur in the present moment).
[...]

wow those 1st 3 paragraphs are a pretty accurate description of what i feel like now. and the last seems like great advice, like i was alluding to - breaking the habit of 'the thinker' and just staying with whats going on

chuck's advice is like.. almost-AF practice. the level of attentiveness that AF requires yet with a different focus. methink a PCE will make it all clearer so im going for that first


Yes, it always seems back to the basics. But right now I'm experiencing a lot of confusion about this. It's just like...things are just happening on their own and there is this tendency of the self to try to re-assert itself back into the process (better just for mindfulness and discernment minus self). It's quite strange, because it feels like everything is speeding up...or maybe slowing down? Well, something is happening with the sense of time (likely because something is happening with the self, the watcher and keeper of time?).

It's interesting how different experiences can be across paths and certain insights are reached earlier or later depending on the practitioner. I think the "weakest link" that distinguishes a respective path, however, is the amount of suffering reduced (and whatever other fundamental perceptual shift undergirds that...though again, this seems quite varied depending on the practitioner). For while this burgeoning agentlessness and effortlessness is nice and interesting, there hasn't been, so far as I can tell, a further reduction in suffering and so "I" am caught in quite an odd space at the moment.

So...I'll just keep practicing and see what happens I guess ^_^
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tarin greco, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: "the thinker" disappeared (kind of)?

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anonpathein .:

Also, what seems more true in my experience at the moment is that "There is thinking, no thinker". Not quite "just thoughts" just yet. In fact, there is this frustrating sense of "self" ever so subtly on the edge of experience, though it immediately disapates when attention is brought to it.

dukkha nana vibrations
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: "the thinker" disappeared (kind of)?

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
anonpathein .:
Also, what seems more true in my experience at the moment is that "There is thinking, no thinker". Not quite "just thoughts" just yet.

can you elaborate on this, actually? not quite sure what you mean

anonpathein .:
In fact, there is this frustrating sense of "self" ever so subtly on the edge of experience, though it immediately disapates when attention is brought to it.

i think ive learned the hard way not to chase the sense of 'self' around. it seems to get nowhere fast (and painfully).
An Eternal Now, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: "the thinker" disappeared (kind of)?

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To truly penetrate deeply into Anatta, you need to integrate with PCEs. Whether non dual or anatta, it must come with clear pure conscious experience. Right now you are like trying to penetrate into anatta without the PCE of the 6 entries and exits (six senses). Anatta wont be fully understood this way.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: "the thinker" disappeared (kind of)?

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
An Eternal Now:
To truly penetrate deeply into Anatta, you need to integrate with PCEs. Whether non dual or anatta, it must come with clear pure conscious experience. Right now you are like trying to penetrate into anatta without the PCE of the 6 entries and exits (six senses). Anatta wont be fully understood this way.


Based on your post in this thread:
An Eternal Now:
It is a PCE in a non-conceptual thought, or rather, a pure conscious experience of thought, just like a pure conscious experience of sound (neither are purer).

since there is no "PCE of thought" or "PCE of sound" - there is just a PCE, i.e. apperception, i.e. full integration of all the senses, consciousness being conscious of being consciousness (as opposed to consciousness being especially conscious of non-conceptual thought (what is that anyway? thoughts are clear and pure in a PCE, not non-conceptual)), i think you're talking about something else when you say PCE. So what do you mean, exactly? What practice instruction would you give without using the word PCE?
An Eternal Now, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: "the thinker" disappeared (kind of)?

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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
An Eternal Now:
To truly penetrate deeply into Anatta, you need to integrate with PCEs. Whether non dual or anatta, it must come with clear pure conscious experience. Right now you are like trying to penetrate into anatta without the PCE of the 6 entries and exits (six senses). Anatta wont be fully understood this way.


Based on your post in this thread:
An Eternal Now:
It is a PCE in a non-conceptual thought, or rather, a pure conscious experience of thought, just like a pure conscious experience of sound (neither are purer).

since there is no "PCE of thought" or "PCE of sound" - there is just a PCE, i.e. apperception, i.e. full integration of all the senses, consciousness being conscious of being consciousness (as opposed to consciousness being especially conscious of non-conceptual thought (what is that anyway? thoughts are clear and pure in a PCE, not non-conceptual)), i think you're talking about something else when you say PCE. So what do you mean, exactly? What practice instruction would you give without using the word PCE?
After Anatta, all senses are integrated and effortlessly experienced as PCE (like what Richard says, a 24/7 PCE as his ongoing experience)

However, I stressed 'PCE of sound', 'PCE of sight' etc to stress 'pure consciousness' as experienced in a diverse, myriad of experiences. It is not a state of oneness subsuming all the multiplicity.... that would be substantial non-dualism aka Thusness Stage 4. Rather it is consciousness experienced in diversity. (And there is no 'consciousness' anywhere to be found apart from the diversity of appearances in the same way that the word 'weather' does not refer to a fixed, inherent, findable entity located somewhere, apart from the ever-changing stream of 'weatherly' phenomena like rain, clouds forming and parting, lightning, wind, never staying the same for a moment.) A sound is radically different from sight, but they are all experienced in a similar way: apperception.

'Non-conceptual thought' is simply a particular mode of thought. It is in no way more special than a conceptual thought, or a sound, or a sight.

As for practice wise, you can see my latest post at http://buddhism.sgforums.com/forums/1728/topics/390582?page=14#post_10208045
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: "the thinker" disappeared (kind of)?

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
An Eternal Now:
After Anatta, all senses are integrated and effortlessly experienced as PCE

that's simply not true, as those who have realized anatta (e.g. tarin after arahat before AF, dan ingram, richard after enlightenment before AF (debatable perhaps), chris ballhaus after arahat before AF) can experience PCEs. so again, you are using PCE to mean something else and i suggest you stop using the term if you want to make yourself understood clearly.

An Eternal Now:
(like what Richard says, a 24/7 PCE as his ongoing experience)

there is no such thing as a never-ending PCE. a PCE is a temporary state where the self is in abeyance. AF is when there is simply no self. you can't have a PCE after AF since there is no self to be in abeyance.
An Eternal Now, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: "the thinker" disappeared (kind of)?

Posts: 638 Join Date: 9/15/09 Recent Posts
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
An Eternal Now:
After Anatta, all senses are integrated and effortlessly experienced as PCE

that's simply not true, as those who have realized anatta (e.g. tarin after arahat before AF, dan ingram, richard after enlightenment before AF (debatable perhaps), chris ballhaus after arahat before AF) can experience PCEs. so again, you are using PCE to mean something else and i suggest you stop using the term if you want to make yourself understood clearly.
I don't know about Tarin. But Daniel appears to have a PCE on the occurence of his 'Arahatship' which he termed 'opening the Wisdom eye', however I think that wasn't very stable for him. Also I don't think the method of Noting as taught in the Mahasi tradition is very conducive of a PCE which I explained in my thread. So yes I would take back that PCE is permanent for someone who realizes Anatta, but actually if you have a deep, stable, penetrating insight into Anatta, PCE should stabilize. And that was my point. To have a deep, penetrating insight to Anatta, PCE is vital... you should not look into Anatta absent of this factor.
there is no such thing as a never-ending PCE. a PCE is a temporary state where the self is in abeyance. AF is when there is simply no self. you can't have a PCE after AF since there is no self to be in abeyance.
Actually I am merely quoting from Richard, who said something something like '8. To be living the PCE twenty four hours a day (...) is an actual intimacy with everyone and everything ... not just beautiful women.' - in other occasions he has explicitly stated that he was living pure consciousness experience every moment of his life (without entering or exiting it as a temporary state).

But yes, I do get that PCE and AF are different. PCE as a state (a peak experience) is merely a temporary abeyance of self and can (and do) happen even to any average Joe without even any prior practice. AF is not a temporary state and is actually where 'pure consciousness' is 'experienced' every moment, without entry, and without exit, as the construct and sense of identity is being permanently dissolved.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: "the thinker" disappeared (kind of)?

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An Eternal Now:
So yes I would take back that PCE is permanent for someone who realizes Anatta, but actually if you have a deep, stable, penetrating insight into Anatta, PCE should stabilize. And that was my point. To have a deep, penetrating insight to Anatta, PCE is vital... you should not look into Anatta absent of this factor.

i agree that the PCE really helps. a really clear PCE seemed to help tarin finish up mctb 4th path, and christian ballhaus got mctb 4th path really fast (nothing to 4th path to AF took 6 months total?) and he started off with a clear PCE. and both chris and dan seem to have gotten a PCE right upon 4th path, though it devolved as you said.

i disagree that the PCE can stabilize as a 24/7 experience without AF, though, i.e. with some feelings remaining or some background to ground to remaining or what-not, so i think deep penetrating insight into Anatta as you describe it doesn't lead to AF (and indeed you say there's more to do after that, whereas AF people say there is not).

An Eternal Now:
there is no such thing as a never-ending PCE. a PCE is a temporary state where the self is in abeyance. AF is when there is simply no self. you can't have a PCE after AF since there is no self to be in abeyance.
Actually I am merely quoting from Richard, who said something something like '8. To be living the PCE twenty four hours a day (...) is an actual intimacy with everyone and everything ... not just beautiful women.' - in other occasions he has explicitly stated that he was living pure consciousness experience every moment of his life (without entering or exiting it as a temporary state).

But yes, I do get that PCE and AF are different. PCE as a state (a peak experience) is merely a temporary abeyance of self and can (and do) happen even to any average Joe without even any prior practice. AF is not a temporary state and is actually where 'pure consciousness' is 'experienced' every moment, without entry, and without exit, as the construct and sense of identity is being permanently dissolved.

yep this was just a mix-up of terms, we seem to be on the same page here.

----

oh so i finally see what you meant by your initial post. you mean without a PCE i won't fully understand anatta. i think it definitely helps, though seems to be not necessary (e.g. Dan seems to have got it right after 4th path realization, i.e. the realization precipitated the PCE and not vice-versa).