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RE: SW's Practice Advice

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RE: SW's Practice Advice mico mico 6/10/15 3:01 PM
RE: SW's Practice Advice Seraphina Wise 5/6/11 9:26 PM
RE: SW's Practice Advice mico mico 5/7/11 3:42 PM
RE: SW's Practice Advice Seraphina Wise 5/7/11 4:56 PM
RE: SW's Practice Advice mico mico 5/7/11 6:41 PM
RE: SW's Practice Advice Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 5/7/11 8:57 PM
RE: SW's Practice Advice Daniel M. Ingram 5/8/11 6:56 AM
RE: SW's Practice Advice Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 5/8/11 7:06 AM
RE: SW's Practice Advice Seraphina Wise 5/8/11 7:38 AM
RE: SW's Practice Advice Nikolai . 5/8/11 9:22 AM
RE: SW's Practice Advice mico mico 5/8/11 1:31 PM
RE: SW's Practice Advice . Jake . 5/8/11 2:14 PM
RE: SW's Practice Advice Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 5/8/11 4:41 PM
RE: SW's Practice Advice John Wilde 5/8/11 5:33 PM
RE: SW's Practice Advice Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 5/8/11 5:55 PM
RE: SW's Practice Advice John Wilde 5/8/11 6:16 PM
RE: SW's Practice Advice Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 5/8/11 6:22 PM
RE: SW's Practice Advice John Wilde 5/8/11 6:36 PM
RE: SW's Practice Advice Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 5/8/11 9:52 PM
RE: SW's Practice Advice John Wilde 5/8/11 10:36 PM
RE: SW's Practice Advice Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 5/9/11 2:20 PM
RE: SW's Practice Advice John Wilde 5/9/11 4:14 PM
RE: SW's Practice Advice Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 5/9/11 4:29 PM
RE: SW's Practice Advice John Wilde 5/9/11 4:45 PM
RE: SW's Practice Advice . Jake . 5/8/11 6:17 PM
RE: SW's Practice Advice John Wilde 5/8/11 6:29 PM
RE: SW's Practice Advice Nikolai . 5/8/11 6:45 PM
RE: SW's Practice Advice Gardol U. Yack 5/19/11 3:40 AM
RE: SW's Practice Advice This Good Self 5/8/11 8:40 PM
RE: SW's Practice Advice Nikolai . 5/8/11 10:12 PM
RE: SW's Practice Advice Seraphina Wise 5/9/11 8:59 AM
actual freedom, behaviour, peace on earth tarin greco 5/8/11 8:11 PM
RE: SW's Practice Advice
Answer
6/10/15 3:01 PM
mico mico:
We take on role identities and use it to construct an identity and that is exactly what you will lose when you get AF, but that may not change behavior, just the feeling about the actions.

This really needs some clarification.

i.e. Are you equating AF with the loss of the social identity ("that is exactly what you will lose when you get AF"), or just pointing out it's necessary demise before AF (in which case, does anything at a later date change behaviour in any way)? Either way, what do you mean by saying the feelings about the actions change? I thought there were no feelings in AF. Can you give an example of a behaviour not changing but just the feelings about the actions?

SW:
I am not sure what behavioral changes one expects to see of an actually free person, so I invite Mico Mico to expound on what his or her expectations are regarding behavior.

As you ask, I'm lead to expect behaviour unencumbered by 'the human condition', for the sake of something called, on Richards site, [url=http://www.google.co.uk/search?q="peace+on+earth"+site%3Aactualfreedom.com.au]Peace on Earth

SW:
the point of becoming actually free is not behavior modification.

What else is there to modify? If freedom from the human condition doesn't change behaviour, then what is the point of it? (To no longer be annoyed by anyone? Even that is still a change of behaviour.)

RE: SW's Practice Advice
Answer
5/6/11 9:26 PM as a reply to mico mico.
Mico Mico wrote:


"i.e. Are you equating AF with the loss of the social identity ("that is exactly what you will lose when you get AF"), or just pointing out it's necessary demise before AF (in which case, does anything at a later date change behaviour in any way)? Either way, what do you mean by saying the feelings about the actions change? I thought there were no feelings in AF. Can you give an example of a behaviour not changing but just the feelings about the actions?"


This thing about 'changing feelings' is not properly worded; it would be more proper to say "behavior doesn't change per se, it is just that one doesn't have feelings about one's behavior."

And yes, one will lose the social identity.

"Pure intent endows one with the ability to operate and function safely in society without the incumbent social identity with its ever-vigilant conscience. Thus reliably rendered virtually happy and relatively harmless by the benefaction of the infinitude, one can begin to dismantle the now-redundant social identity. To end the separative social identity, one can whittle away at all the social mores and psittacisms ... those mechanical repetitions of previously received ideas or images, reflecting neither apperception nor autonomous reasoning. One can examine all the beliefs, ideas, values, theories, truths, customs, traditions, ideals, superstitions ... and all the other schemes and dreams. One can become aware of all the socialisation, of all the conditioning, of all the programming, of all the methods and techniques that were used to control what one finds oneself to be ... a wayward ego and compliant soul careering around in confusion and illusion. A ‘mature adult’ is actually a lost, lonely, frightened and cunning psychological entity overlaying a psychic ‘being’.

It is never too late to start in on uncovering and discovering what one actually is."

http://actualfreedom.com.au/library/glossary/glossary-s.htm#socialidentity

It is often referred to throughout the actual freedom website as "unraveling the social identity."

And sure--here is an example of a behavior that might not change: you might do yoga every day before you become actually free, and as a feeling being, you may think that exercising makes you a worthy person, a disciplined person, and this may fill you with a sense of pride and accomplishment. One could even feel self-righteous about the labor involved in perfecting their vinyasas. After you become actually free, you may still do yoga every day, but doing the yoga will have no affective quality to it.

Mico Mico writes:

"As you ask, I'm lead to expect behaviour unencumbered by 'the human condition', for the sake of something called, on Richards site, [url=http://www.google.co.uk/search?q="peace+on+earth"+site%3Aactualfreedom.com.au]Peace on Earth"

What are the specific behaviors you think evidence being unencumbered by the human condition, which lead to Peace on Earth?

Mico Mico writes:

"What else is there to modify? If freedom from the human condition doesn't change behaviour, then what is the point of it? (To no longer be annoyed by anyone? Even that is still a change of behaviour.)"

If one is sitting quietly in a room, being tortured by intense anxiety and suffering in silence is this the same as sitting quietly in a room in complete peace and happiness? The actual behavior of both people is the same, yet the experience of being alive is vastly different for the two people.

A person may be annoyed but not act; an actually free person will not be annoyed but may take action, if doing so is the logical and sensible thing to do. For actually free people, there is no causal link to behavior; behaviors are undertaken for pragmatic reasons, not for affective ones. Therefore, behavior is not a "symbol" that stands in for a feeling state; yet the absence of feelings doesn't equal the absence of behavior. For example, I was recently attacked in a bar by a drunk man. When I was a feeling being, I would have had a very passive response because I would have been afraid to engage in conflict (physical or vocal) with another person. "I" had an intense fear of confrontation of any kind. (And had suffered as a result of my fearful inability to engage aggressive people in the past.) However, as an actually free person it is only logical to defend one's self when attacked and I did, to the best of my ability (though bystanders helped out). One might assume that I had to be angry or annoyed in order to defend myself, but I was not; whereas it is possible to act in way that might appear to be one thing but is actually another. I have no feelings about the incident, or about the man; no resentment, anger, hostility, or fear. It was an event which occurred that required me to respond in a way to protect myself from harm. So there was a behavior there (defending myself) but no feeling about or "behind" that behavior.

Again I ask, what are the behaviors one seeks to modify? Prior to becoming actually free I had never killed anyone, I was not a thief, a sexual abuser, or any range of behaviors which are directly harmful to others. So I didn't become actually free in order to modify some such behavior as that. I wasn't in the habit at yelling at people, or cursing at them, or of doing undermining, manipulative things. I wasn't seeking to cure an addiction or become a more productive worker...or find a way to stop eating chocolate, or stop smoking cigarettes, to be more disciplined, or to be less selfish...or any of the other kinds of behavior modification that come to my mind.

Perhaps I am missing what you mean by behavior modification, so if you could be specific about the behaviors you are thinking of when you suggest that the point of being free from the human condition is to change behavior--what specific behaviors are you thinking of?

RE: SW's Practice Advice
Answer
5/7/11 3:42 PM as a reply to Seraphina Wise.
SW:
Mico Mico wrote:

"i.e. Are you equating AF with the loss of the social identity ("that is exactly what you will lose when you get AF"), or just pointing out it's necessary demise before AF (in which case, does anything at a later date change behaviour in any way)?"

[...] yes, one will lose the social identity.

The quote you provided seems to suggest an equivalence, except "cunning psychological entity overlaying a psychic ‘being’" confuses matters. My question was, with the dismanteling of the social identity, is there any more to be done for AF? Or is the psychic 'being' entirely that social phenomena?

SW:
Mico Mico writes:

"As you ask, I'm lead to expect behaviour unencumbered by 'the human condition', for the sake of something called, on Richards site, [url=http://www.google.co.uk/search?q="peace+on+earth"+site%3Aactualfreedom.com.au]Peace on Earth"

What are the specific behaviors you think evidence being unencumbered by the human condition, which lead to Peace on Earth?

I would presume that those behaviours leading to Peace on Earth are precisely those that evidence being unencumbered by the human condition, as AF seems to make a strong point about anything else having been 'tried and failed'. If behaviour unencumbered by 'the human condition' doesn't lead to Peace on Earth, then what is AF actually suggesting would?

SW:
Mico Mico writes:

"What else is there to modify? If freedom from the human condition doesn't change behaviour, then what is the point of it? (To no longer be annoyed by anyone? Even that is still a change of behaviour.)"

If one is sitting quietly in a room, being tortured by intense anxiety and suffering in silence is this the same as sitting quietly in a room in complete peace and happiness? The actual behavior of both people is the same, yet the experience of being alive is vastly different for the two people.

The behaviour of these two is very different. One is sitting there torturing themselves and the other isn't. And if you took a closer look at them I suspect you might even be able to actually tell.

SW:
A person may be annoyed but not act; an actually free person will not be annoyed but may take action, if doing so is the logical and sensible thing to do. For actually free people, there is no causal link to behavior; behaviors are undertaken for pragmatic reasons, not for affective ones. Therefore, behavior is not a "symbol" that stands in for a feeling state; yet the absence of feelings doesn't equal the absence of behavior.

But I assume you are not claiming that all your actions are pre-rationalized, and moreover recognise that there is more to human life than that suggested by such a limited dichotomy as affective vs. pragmatic. And therefore accept that some of your behaviour is neither pragmatic nor rational, or even understood. Right?

SW:
For example, I was recently attacked in a bar by a drunk man. When I was a feeling being, I would have had a very passive response because I would have been afraid to engage in conflict (physical or vocal) with another person. "I" had an intense fear of confrontation of any kind. (And had suffered as a result of my fearful inability to engage aggressive people in the past.) However, as an actually free person it is only logical to defend one's self when attacked and I did, to the best of my ability (though bystanders helped out). One might assume that I had to be angry or annoyed in order to defend myself, but I was not; whereas it is possible to act in way that might appear to be one thing but is actually another. I have no feelings about the incident, or about the man; no resentment, anger, hostility, or fear. It was an event which occurred that required me to respond in a way to protect myself from harm. So there was a behavior there (defending myself) but no feeling about or "behind" that behavior.

And what is this other than a marked change of behaviour?

SW:
Again I ask, what are the behaviors one seeks to modify? Prior to becoming actually free I had never killed anyone, I was not a thief, a sexual abuser, or any range of behaviors which are directly harmful to others. So I didn't become actually free in order to modify some such behavior as that. I wasn't in the habit at yelling at people, or cursing at them, or of doing undermining, manipulative things. I wasn't seeking to cure an addiction or become a more productive worker...or find a way to stop eating chocolate, or stop smoking cigarettes, to be more disciplined, or to be less selfish...or any of the other kinds of behavior modification that come to my mind.

That's a long list. Are you saying that AF wouldn't change any of them, just how one would feel about them?

RE: SW's Practice Advice
Answer
5/7/11 4:56 PM as a reply to mico mico.
Mico Mico wrote:

"The quote you provided seems to suggest an equivalence, except "cunning psychological entity overlaying a psychic ‘being’" confuses matters. My question was, with the dismanteling of the social identity, is there any more to be done for AF? Or is the psychic 'being' entirely that social phenomena?"

There is more to be done than unraveling the social identity, though one will indeed lose the social identity upon becoming actually free.

Mico Mico writes:

"I would presume that those behaviours leading to Peace on Earth are precisely those that evidence being unencumbered by the human condition, as AF seems to make a strong point about anything else having been 'tried and failed'. If behaviour unencumbered by 'the human condition' doesn't lead to Peace on Earth, then what is AF actually suggesting would?"

What are "those behaviors leading to Peace on Earth precisely...evidence being unencumbered by the human condition?" An inability or unwillingness to answer that question will make this line of inquiry wither on the vine.

Mico Mico writes:

"The behaviour of these two is very different. One is sitting there torturing themselves and the other isn't. And if you took a closer look at them I suspect you might even be able to actually tell."

How is the behavior different? Do you understand thoughts to be behavioral? If so, that would really clear some things up for me.

Mico Mico writes:

"But I assume you are not claiming that all your actions are pre-rationalized, and moreover recognise that there is more to human life than that suggested by such a limited dichotomy as affective vs. pragmatic. And therefore accept that some of your behaviour is neither pragmatic nor rational, or even understood. Right?"

I think everyone does whatever they do "for a reason." Whether they know why they do something or not, is another matter. I know why I do the things I do.

Mico Mico asks re: the bar fight:

"And what is this other than a marked change of behaviour?"

The point I am making is that there is no causal relationship to behavior as it relates to the affective faculty.

Mico Mico says:

"That's a long list. Are you saying that AF wouldn't change any of them, just how one would feel about them?"

No, I'm not saying that being actually free wouldn't change some of your behaviors. It might. It also might not. What I am saying is that becoming actually free will not produce in you a set of predictable behaviors, as if there is a "right" way to behave if one has no affective faculty.

Again, specificity is key here and evading the behavioral question, while continuing to ask about it, will not be fruitful. Perhaps you could define what "behavior" is for you, as perhaps I am not understanding what that is. I think of behavior as actions undertaken by a person. Are you defining it differently?

If you read the actual freedom website carefully you will see that Peace on Earth is always spoken of as "peace on earth AS this flesh and blood body." To define peace on earth solely in the context of behavior is to construct peace through a dialectic of "self and other," when this is only one way to understand what it means to live a peaceful life. The point of an actual freedom from the human condition is indeed to contribute (one person at a time) to peace on earth; but one can experience peace on earth right now, in this very lifetime, even if everyone else chooses to go about their business as usual:

" Richard: It is, of course, a bold step to forsake lofty thoughts, profound feelings and psychic adumbrations and enter into the actuality of life as a sensate experience. It requires a startling audacity to devote oneself to the task of causing a mutation of consciousness to occur. To have the requisite determination to apply oneself, with the diligence and perseverance born out of pure intent, to start off with the patient dismantling of one’s accrued social identity preparatory to evoking the mutation, indicates a strength of purpose unequalled in the annals of history. It is no little thing that one does ... and it has enormous consequences, not only for one’s own well-being, but for humankind as a whole. With freedom from the Human Condition spreading like a chain-letter, in the due course of time, global freedom would revolutionize the concept of ‘humanity’.

It would be a free association of peoples world-wide; a utopian-like loose-knit affiliation of like-minded individuals. One would be a citizen of the world, not of a sovereign state. Countries, with their artificial borders would vanish along with the need for the military. As nationalism would expire, so too would patriotism with all its heroic evils. No police force would be needed anywhere on earth; no locks on the doors, no bars on the windows. Gaols, judges and juries would become a thing of the dreadful past. People would live together in peace and harmony, happiness and delight. Pollution and its cause – over-population – would be set to rights without effort, as competition would be replaced by cooperation. It would be the stuff of all the pipe-dreams come true.

But none of this matters much when one is already living freely in the actual world. When one is free from the Human Condition, life is experienced as being perfect as-it-is ... and here on earth in this life-time.
One knows that one is living in a beneficent and benevolent universe ... and that is what actually counts. The self-imposed iniquities that ail the people who stubbornly wish to remain denizens of the real world – the ‘Land of Lament’ – fail to impinge upon the blitheness and benignity of one who lives in the vast scheme of things.

The universe does not force anyone to be happy and harmless, to live in peace and ease, to be free of sorrow and malice. It is a matter of personal choice as to which way one will travel. Most human beings, being contumelious as they are, will probably continue to tread the ‘tried and true’ paths, little realizing that they are the tried and failed ways. There is none so contumacious as a self-righteous soul who is convinced that they know the way to live ... as revealed in their revered scriptures or in their cherished secular philosophy.

I live in peace and tranquillity, beholden to none. With no loyalty to bind me, I have nothing to defend. With nothing to defend I have no need to attack. I have no sense of mission to ‘change the world’. I am not driven by mystical forces to evangelize, to proselytize, and to convert."

http://actualfreedom.com.au/library/topics/peace.htm


I hope that if this back and forth is to continue, we can move the conversation out of abstraction and into specificity; because while we are speaking of unnamed behaviors we will not be able to discuss whatever it is you are actually thinking of when you say "behavior."

RE: SW's Practice Advice
Answer
5/7/11 6:41 PM as a reply to Seraphina Wise.
SW:
Mico Mico:
"I would presume that those behaviours leading to Peace on Earth are precisely those that evidence being unencumbered by the human condition, as AF seems to make a strong point about anything else having been 'tried and failed'. If behaviour unencumbered by 'the human condition' doesn't lead to Peace on Earth, then what is AF actually suggesting would?"

What are "those behaviors leading to Peace on Earth precisely...evidence being unencumbered by the human condition?" An inability or unwillingness to answer that question will make this line of inquiry wither on the vine.

All of them. (If you happen to know of a specific behaviour that leads to peace on earth all by itself then be sure to let us all know.) The statement was that all behaviours leading to Peace on Earth are precisely those that evidence being unencumbered by the human condition. Presumably anything less than AF will be insufficient, as any behaviour tainted by the 'human condition' would be contrary to it. Does this sufficiently close your line of enquiry ("I am not sure what behavioral changes one expects to see of an actually free person, so I invite Mico Mico to expound")?

If so, could you answer the simple and general (not abstract) question that arose from it:

"If behaviour unencumbered by 'the human condition' doesn't lead to Peace on Earth, then what is AF actually suggesting would?"

RE: SW's Practice Advice
Answer
5/7/11 8:57 PM as a reply to mico mico.
hmm you two seem to be going in circles, so in the interest of helping the conversation let me try to reply...

mico mico:
"If behaviour unencumbered by 'the human condition' doesn't lead to Peace on Earth, then what is AF actually suggesting would?"

peace on earth, as used by actualists and the actually free, doesn't mean all human beings acting in an appropriate, harmonious way, or something of the sort ("Peace on Earth", capitalized). it means apperception - consciousness aware of being conscious (via the six senses) without any 'self' in the way. it's entirely unrelated to behavior.

by behavior i mean the physical actions one takes in life. mentally, of course things are different, as you'll be experiencing apperception instead of being a 'self'. but that mental shift isn't brought about by doing a certain set of physical actions - it's brought about by the actualist method, which is basically a lot of attentiveness and self-reflection - both mental activities.

----

also as a terminological point, re: "what is AF actually suggesting would?", there isn't a thing such as AF that can suggest things. Actual Freedom is a condition; there are a number of Actually Free people, each of which may suggest various things.

RE: SW's Practice Advice
Answer
5/8/11 6:56 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Specifically, mico mico would seem to either:

1) have a practical interest in pursuing AF as a practice if they are able to resolve a few key points that keep them from doing so

or

2) just like picking holes in arguments and positions that seem to them to be untenable.

Which it is would perhaps be relevant from a practical point of view, and I am interested in which it is.

I do remember that Stef mentioned to me that she stopped posting much at the DhO as people were too into theoretical debates and not much into practice, and, as she is back and posting and has real wisdom to share regarding actual practice, I would vote for not wearing that out with discussions of theory, if possible, though this is just my suggestion and also general preference on the DhO in these situations, as this was a thread about advice on how to actually practice, not about the fine points of apparent paradoxes of behavioral stuff, which persist in being problematic in discussion but don't seem to be in practice in the same way.

RE: SW's Practice Advice
Answer
5/8/11 7:06 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel Ingram:
I do remember that Stef mentioned to me that she stopped posting much at the DhO as people were too into theoretical debates and not much into practice, and, as she is back and posting and has real wisdom to share regarding actual practice, I would vote for not wearing that out with discussions of theory, if possible, though this is just my suggestion and also general preference on the DhO in these situations, as this was a thread about advice on how to actually practice, not about the fine points of apparent paradoxes of behavioral stuff, which persist in being problematic in discussion but don't seem to be in practice in the same way.

it's a fair point. my reasoning has been: if certain things are nagging you or getting in the way of understanding (e.g. thinking AF is about behavioral change), that might impact your practice or even prevent you from doing it, so I try to resolve those as thoroughly as possible, but just practicing does often resolve those same issues (and is the only way to resolve them for yourself, anyway).

RE: SW's Practice Advice
Answer
5/8/11 7:38 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman wrote:

"it's a fair point. my reasoning has been: if certain things are nagging you or getting in the way of understanding (e.g. thinking AF is about behavioral change), that might impact your practice or even prevent you from doing it, so I try to resolve those as thoroughly as possible, but just practicing does often resolve those same issues (and is the only way to resolve them for yourself, anyway)."

As a teacher, I am interested in the pedagogical space that the DhO represents and think it is a valuable forum for learning. However, If one has a certain belief (or a doubt), and one is very strongly invested in that belief (or doubt), then that seems to me to be when conversations go back and forth into extra innings.

At a certain point, what one has to do is step away from the keyboard and develop the PCE. Answer your questions for yourself. Get into PCE's, stay in them as long as one can, and then see what "happens" to the question of behavior (in this particular instance).

Conversations such as these are valuable only to the extent that they enable one to practice; if whether or not one practices actualism hangs upon the interactions one has with a 'teacher' (or an actually free person) then one must shift the focus to one's self, one's own experience, and decide to do the practice to answer the questions one may think have not been sufficiently answered by another.

As Daniel indicates in the original post, when "I" first started practicing actualism I had some doubts and/or questions about Richard and some of the things he said/did. My approach to this however was not to think, "I must put all these doubts to rest before I can begin to practice." I practiced and the doubts unraveled themselves as I spent more and more time in a PCE. It became so clear that what I was 'worrying' about was simply a form of ego-based resistance to the process of self-immolation.

There is no negative consequence when it comes to actualist practice; if one develops the PCE and finds that one can never 'overcome' certain doubts, suspicions, or let go of certain beliefs about what it means to be alive; if one decides that the advice to practice and practice more is way of dismissing what one feels is one's (legitimate) concerns, then one will at least know how to get into a PCE, which is a gift in itself. At any point on wide and wondrous path to an actual freedom before becoming actually free, one can turn around return to one's previous way of being in the world. It costs absolutely nothing except first some moments, then some hours, then perhaps some days, of not suffering (when one is in PCE). This is the "price" one has to pay to investigate any question himself or herself as it relates to actualist practice.

And yes, I would much rather talk to people about an active and on-going actualist practice than do, as Richard calls it, "armchair philosophizing." So having said that, I will make one final comment about behavior and peace on earth. Others are free to chime in as Beoman has done (I think with a technical clarity that is helpful) on the question of behavior and its role re: peace on earth.

It is not behavior modification that will lead to peace on earth in this lifetime. Peace is not simply "being unharmed" by others. It is becoming free of the human condition that enables one to experience peace on earth. If alteration in behavior is all that is needed for there to be peace on earth, then there are other methods of behavioral control that can be used (and have been attempted) to get people to behave a certain way. But this is where problems arise: who gets to decide what behaviors are peaceful? And what mechanisms of control must be used in order to get each and every human being to behave in exactly the same way? A behavior which to a feeling being seems quite "harmful," reveals itself to be utterly innocuous when one is actually free and these are the shifts that occur--not necessarily behavior itself.

While there is broad agreement that we should avoid direct harm to others, there is not anywhere near agreement about what behaviors constitute the "right" behavior as it pertains to human interaction. Behavior is ultimately contextual and what one does will change according to context and what is necessary at any given moment; the ability to discern which actions are harmless are best arrived at when one has no affective faculty, when one is actually free.

What will produce peace on earth (in the context of large groups of humans or of any given society) is large numbers of people being happy and harmless. But one can experience peace on earth right now, as this flesh and blood body, if one puts the actualist method into practice and starts to ask, over and over again, "how am I experiencing this moment of being alive?"

RE: SW's Practice Advice
Answer
5/8/11 9:22 AM as a reply to Seraphina Wise.
I second the last post by Daniel. If you just want to argue against AF, go to the AF yahoo list and argue to your heart's delight. Keep it to practical questions.

I took the advice on about just ignoring the twangs and getting back to feeling good. Very good advice!

I hadn't tried that before. I think it was due to the habitual tendencies to really stick with the twangs because of so much insight practice. I never questioned this tendency. I think it is true that this was allowing the "feeling" and the twang that seemed related to it to stick around longer. I ignored all twangs yesterday and just decided to get back to being happy and harmless.

When the twangs lose their "status" so to speak, as in being the the centre of attention, they lose the mind's tendency to make something out of them as well. I got back to being happy and harmless very quickly, in a matter of seconds, and the twangs (or flows of unpleasant sensations in certain spots), not being paid attention to anymore, just bubbled and spat and dissipated really quickly. Seems like giving them more attention than they deserve keeps them and certain sublte feelings around longer

Thanks for the advice!

RE: SW's Practice Advice
Answer
5/8/11 1:31 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nikolai ?:
I second the last post by Daniel. If you just want to argue against AF, go to the AF yahoo list and argue to your heart's delight. Keep it to practical questions.

I took the advice on about just ignoring the twangs and getting back to feeling good.

You seem to be ignoring more than just the twangs. Where did I argue against AF, or suggest that I wanted to?

I find myself in the bizarre position, after responding to Stef's simple question over what I would expect from AF, to which I gave what I believe to be a simple answer, but one that has not been accepted, of continuing to have to explain how I think AF works (can I get away with an abbreviating acronym?), whilst she continues to ignore my simple follow on questions for clarification of the same, (seemingly fixated on behavioural control as if it is the same as behavioural change, and perhaps unwilling or unable to recognize the logical nature of the generality of my question). I thought she might know. And now Daniel is suggesting that I may "just like picking holes in arguments and positions that seem to be untenable"...

Amazing. I wasn't expecting that. I'm surprised. I may even be impressed.

RE: SW's Practice Advice
Answer
5/8/11 2:14 PM as a reply to mico mico.
mico mico:
Nikolai ?:
I second the last post by Daniel. If you just want to argue against AF, go to the AF yahoo list and argue to your heart's delight. Keep it to practical questions.

I took the advice on about just ignoring the twangs and getting back to feeling good.

You seem to be ignoring more than just the twangs. Where did I argue against AF, or suggest that I wanted to?

I find myself in the bizarre position, after responding to Stef's simple question over what I would expect from AF, to which I gave what I believe to be a simple answer, but one that has not been accepted, of continuing to have to explain how I think AF works (can I get away with an abbreviating acronym?), whilst she continues to ignore my simple follow on questions for clarification of the same, (seemingly fixated on behavioural control as if it is the same as behavioural change, and perhaps unwilling or unable to recognize the logical nature of the generality of my question). I thought she might know. And now Daniel is suggesting that I may "just like picking holes in arguments and positions that seem to be untenable"...

Amazing. I wasn't expecting that. I'm surprised. I may even be impressed.


Hi Mico Mico.

From what I can tell, eating my popcorn on the sidelines, you haven't made yourself particularly clear as to what your purpose is in this interaction. Additionally, and this is related, the actual content of what you are asking is a bit unclear (to me).

The interaction happening here seems like a clear example of what's called in group dynamics the "misunderstanding vs. disagreement" dynamic. In this dynamic, one or both parties believe there is a disagreement, but there is the distinct possibility that there is a misunderstanding of terms, which until resolved will make actual agreement or disagreement impossible.

As Stef has already indicated what also seems obvious from my perspective and I bet to most people who are reading this exchange, you seem to be using a distinctly different meaning of the term "behavior". And you mention here (in the above quote) your perception that Stef doesn't see the difference I've bolded, but rather than simply sharing your perception of being misunderstood in a pragmatic attempt to foster understanding of what you intend to say (and thus of what you are asking) you make a jibe about her being " perhaps unwilling or unable" to recognize the logic of your question, and then make a bunch of comments which come off (to me) as kind of sarcastic, not to mention your (apparently) rude dismissive tone towards Nik. All of the latter being more noise through which I'm finding it difficult to understand what you are getting at, what you "thought she might know", and exactly why you wanted to know the answer to this (as yet unclear) question.

No one will easily be able to recognize the logic of your question, or its content for that matter, without your making a better-than-so-far attempt at communicating exactly what you mean by those terms, or even better, taking the time to read Stef's definitions of the term "behavior", which happens to be the generally accepted one by the way (in mainstream English usage), and figuring out for yourself how you two are using the term differently, and making an attempt to re-formulate your question based on this.

RE: SW's Practice Advice
Answer
5/8/11 4:41 PM as a reply to mico mico.
mico mico:
Nikolai ?:
I second the last post by Daniel. If you just want to argue against AF, go to the AF yahoo list and argue to your heart's delight. Keep it to practical questions.

I took the advice on about just ignoring the twangs and getting back to feeling good.

You seem to be ignoring more than just the twangs. Where did I argue against AF, or suggest that I wanted to?

I find myself in the bizarre position, after responding to Stef's simple question over what I would expect from AF, to which I gave what I believe to be a simple answer, but one that has not been accepted, of continuing to have to explain how I think AF works (can I get away with an abbreviating acronym?), whilst she continues to ignore my simple follow on questions for clarification of the same, (seemingly fixated on behavioural control as if it is the same as behavioural change, and perhaps unwilling or unable to recognize the logical nature of the generality of my question). I thought she might know. And now Daniel is suggesting that I may "just like picking holes in arguments and positions that seem to be untenable"...

Amazing. I wasn't expecting that. I'm surprised. I may even be impressed.


Any conversation about how behaviors change or don't change leading up to or after an Actual Freedom would go something like this:

Q: What about <behavior X>? Would doing X lead to an Actual Freedom? Would not doing X lead to an Actual Freedom?

A: A feeling being can do X, and might suffer. A feeling being can not do X, and might not suffer. An Actually Free person can do X, and will not suffer. An Actually Free person can not do X, and will not suffer.

Q: Would an Actually Free person continue doing X, after doing X while not Actually Free? Would an Actually Free person begin doing X, after not doing X while not Actually Free? Would an Actually Free person stop doing X, after doing X while not Actually Free? Would an Actually Free person continue to not do X, after not doing X while not Actually Free?

A: An Actually Free person can do X, and will not suffer. An Actually Free person can not do X, and will not suffer.

That is to say - behavior doesn't matter.

That depends on your definition of behavior, however. Here is how I understand it:

The following are behaviors: keeping your house tidy. letting your house get messy. going to church. finding people who go to church and arguing that their God doesn't exist. getting high on drugs. being a teetotaler (i.e. not doing any drugs). listening to music. waking up early. waking up late. going to work. being a bum. eating a carpet. slapping somebody. having sex. killing a pig. yelling. screaming. solving complicated mathematical equations. playing chess. writing a long post on a forum. smacking your head against the wall repeatedly. moving any part of your body. in short: any physical action one might take.

The following are not behaviors: desiring a clean house. not caring about a messy house. believing in God. believing God doesn't exist. desiring drugs. hating drugs. loving music. being a morning person. not being a morning person. believing in the importance of a job. not caring about whether you have a job. loving the texture that carpets have. being angry at somebody. being lustful. believing it's morally OK to kill animals. being angry. hating somebody. identifying as somebody who is good at math. loving to win. loving to debate people over the internet. feeling like all is lost. hating to dance.

Do you see the difference? Some of the latter can certainly lead to some of the former, but the two are in distinct categories. One could also do any of the former without any of the latter.

RE: SW's Practice Advice
Answer
5/8/11 5:33 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

Any conversation about how behaviors change or don't change leading up to or after an Actual Freedom would go something like this:

Q: What about <behavior X>? Would doing X lead to an Actual Freedom? Would not doing X lead to an Actual Freedom?

A: A feeling being can do X, and might suffer. A feeling being can not do X, and might not suffer. An Actually Free person can do X, and will not suffer. An Actually Free person can not do X, and will not suffer.

Q: Would an Actually Free person continue doing X, after doing X while not Actually Free? Would an Actually Free person begin doing X, after not doing X while not Actually Free? Would an Actually Free person stop doing X, after doing X while not Actually Free? Would an Actually Free person continue to not do X, after not doing X while not Actually Free?

A: An Actually Free person can do X, and will not suffer. An Actually Free person can not do X, and will not suffer.

That is to say - behavior doesn't matter.



Your reasoning is that "behavior doesn't matter" because the person behaving thus (or not behaving thus) won't suffer in any circumstances.

That is an incredibly self-centered way of framing the issue. Behavior isn't just about the person doing it, it's about the people affected by it too.

It seems perfectly legitimate that, even in a practice-oriented forum, one should be critically interested in the consequences of a practice before/ while engaging in it, particularly whether the observable conduct of a person matches up with his or her claims concerning it.

Many in this forum would know there are manic states, drug-altered states and psychotic states which are, from the 'inside'/ experientially perfectly agreeable, but are not experienced that way by other people, or indeed by the person himself when he returns to his "right mind". If behavior is assessed only in terms of whether the 'behaver' is currently suffering or not, it's a very limited perspective indeed. The view you ascribe to the "Actually Free" person above is little different (if at all) from that of a sociopath.

Even if interpersonal harmony is not what is meant by "Peace on Earth" in actualist parlance, it should be important nonetheless.

RE: SW's Practice Advice
Answer
5/8/11 5:55 PM as a reply to John Wilde.
John Wilde:
Your reasoning is that "behavior doesn't matter" because the person behaving thus (or not behaving thus) won't suffer in any circumstances.

That is an incredibly self-centered way of framing the issue. Behavior isn't just about the person doing it, it's about the people affected by it too.

In context, I meant that, with respect to attaining an Actual Freedom, behavior is irrelevant one way or the other.

RE: SW's Practice Advice
Answer
5/8/11 6:17 PM as a reply to John Wilde.
John Wilde:


If behavior is assessed only in terms of whether the 'behaver' is currently suffering or not, it's a very limited perspective indeed. The view you ascribe to the "Actually Free" person above is little different (if at all) from that of a sociopath.

.


hi John--
I think this statement reflects a popular misconception of sociopathy. A sociopath, in my understanding, is certainly not free of subjective suffering. The behavior of sociopaths which harms others isn't simply a result of the sociopath's lack of empathy, but also the result of a sociopath's impulsiveness, aggression, rage, irritability, greed, lust, and so on. As empathy, neuro-physiologically speaking, is a brain circuit/set of circuits which inhibit and modify the expression of these pre-personal impulses, then empathy (thus defined) is only relevant as long as these traits are present.

John Wilde:

Even if interpersonal harmony is not what is meant by "Peace on Earth" in actualist parlance, it should be important nonetheless


Who said it wasn't important? Actualists probably have a different phrase for "interpersonal harmony" which doesn't imply an identity social or otherwise. They certainly seem to talk about caring and fellowship regard quite a bit-- and demonstrate it too, IMO. Have you noticed actualists and the actually free mentioning these things on the forum? Have you noticed Richard talking about this aspect of the actual world (intimacy, fellowship regard, so on)? Does this count?

[edit for clarity, I hope ;-)]

RE: SW's Practice Advice
Answer
5/8/11 6:16 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

In context, I meant that, with respect to attaining an Actual Freedom, behavior is irrelevant one way or the other.


Irrelevant to whom?

RE: SW's Practice Advice
Answer
5/8/11 6:22 PM as a reply to John Wilde.
John Wilde:
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

In context, I meant that, with respect to attaining an Actual Freedom, behavior is irrelevant one way or the other.


Irrelevant to whom?


Behavior is irrelevant one way or the other with respect to attaining an Actual Freedom. Attaining an Actual Freedom has nothing to do with behavioral modification. Modifying or not modifying behavior won't lead to an Actual Freedom.

I don't want to get into the argument you were making in this thread, as I think it's off-topic, so maybe post it in another thread.

RE: SW's Practice Advice
Answer
5/8/11 6:29 PM as a reply to . Jake ..
Jacob Henry St. Onge Casavant:
John Wilde:


If behavior is assessed only in terms of whether the 'behaver' is currently suffering or not, it's a very limited perspective indeed. The view you ascribe to the "Actually Free" person above is little different (if at all) from that of a sociopath.

.


hi John--
I think this statement reflects a popular misconception of sociopathy. A sociopath, in my understanding, is certainly not free of subjective suffering.


That's certainly true, and I didn't intend to imply otherwise. The similarity I referred to was the implicit lack of regard for how my actions affect another, not the presence or absence of motivating factors.

Jacob Henry St. Onge Casavant:
The behavior of sociopaths which harms others isn't simply a result of the sociopath's lack of empathy, but also the result of a sociopath's impulsiveness, aggression, rage, irritability, greed, lust, and so on.


Agreed.

Jacob Henry St. Onge Casavant:

As empathy, neuro-physiologically speaking, is a brain circuit/set of circuits which inhibit and modify the expression of these pre-personal impulses, then empathy (thus defined) is only relevant as long as these traits are present.


This makes sense in principle, but it remains to be seen in practice, and it's unwise to take it as gospel. It may be that certain behavior patterns that characterize the "human condition" continue regardless of there being no experienced affective content associated with it.

Jacob Henry St. Onge Casavant:

certainly seem to talk about caring and fellowship regard quite a bit-- and demonstrate it too, IMO.



In what way has it been demonstrated to you?

Jacob Henry St. Onge Casavant:

Have you noticed actualists and the actually free mentioning these things on the forum? Have you noticed Richard talking about this aspect of the actual world (intimacy, fellowship regard, so on)? Does this count?


He does, but he speaks of these things as unilateral concerns. A relationship that may be hell for his partner can still be experienced and described by him as perfect.

All I am saying is that behavior doesn't just matter to the person behaving thus. It obviously has consequences for others. Thinking of behavior solely in terms of the actor's own feelings (or lack thereof), as Claudiu did, presents a skewed (and, ironically, extremely self-centered) picture.

RE: SW's Practice Advice
Answer
5/8/11 6:36 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
John Wilde:
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

In context, I meant that, with respect to attaining an Actual Freedom, behavior is irrelevant one way or the other.


Irrelevant to whom?


Behavior is irrelevant one way or the other with respect to attaining an Actual Freedom. Attaining an Actual Freedom has nothing to do with behavioral modification. Modifying or not modifying behavior won't lead to an Actual Freedom.


As far as I understand the substance of Mico Mico's interjection, the issue was not how behavior modification might lead to actual freedom but how the attainment of actual freedom might influence behavior.


Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

I don't want to get into the argument you were making in this thread, as I think it's off-topic, so maybe post it in another thread.


Please yourself. I thought the behavioral implications of actual freedom actually was the topic of this sub-thread.

RE: SW's Practice Advice
Answer
5/8/11 6:45 PM as a reply to John Wilde.
Could I make a suggestion to the powers that be? Could you split off all the back and forth about what the final AF result will imply and so forth and keep this thread strictly for practice related questions? No disrespect to anyone who wants to argue what it might be like. It'd just be nice for Tarin or Daniel to split all that off into another thread.

It'd be great if Stephanie could stick around and not disappear like before due to the constant back and forth of those seemingly more interested in discussing what the AF result may be like. And those who are really interested in asking practical questions about practice (as this thread is titled) could use this thread for strictly practice orientated questions.

Myself and others Ive talked to who are pretty convinced that AF is the path for us really have appreciated the down to earth and very helpful pointers. Please don't allow this thread to get bogged down by back and forths about non-practice discussions. Again, no disrespect to anyone else, but use another thread, please!!!!


Sincerely,

Nick

actual freedom, behaviour, peace on earth
Answer
5/8/11 8:11 PM as a reply to mico mico.
i have moved this thread (split off from 'SW's Practice Advice') to the 'dharma battleground (dhb)' forum.

RE: SW's Practice Advice
Answer
5/8/11 8:40 PM as a reply to Seraphina Wise.
SW:
For example, I was recently attacked in a bar by a drunk man.


There's something really very wrong about this statement. The only time I've ever attracted offensive behaviour from anyone is if I'm giving off a negative vibe, like hostility or fear or imagined superiority. Things don't just happen randomly! Why did this guy choose you to attack (as opposed to 100's of other females in the bar)? What didn't he like about you? What vibe were you giving off that triggered his offensive actions? And why are you giving off vibes and attitudes when you're supposed to be AF?

RE: SW's Practice Advice
Answer
5/8/11 9:52 PM as a reply to John Wilde.
John Wilde:
Please yourself. I thought the behavioral implications of actual freedom actually was the topic of this sub-thread.

They were, but I don't think it was in an argumentative context (paraphrasing: "are the behavior modifications after AF 'ok' by some definition of the word?") but more of a wanting-to-find-out-what-they-are (paraphrasing: "what? behaviors aren't modified? then what is? what about the peace-on-earth behaviors?"). i answered the latter question (paraphrasing: "behavior is unrelated to attaining an Actual Freedom"). you introduced another sub-topic via the former question. now that this thread's been moved i'll think about how to reply to your arguments

RE: SW's Practice Advice
Answer
5/8/11 10:12 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C:
SW:
For example, I was recently attacked in a bar by a drunk man.


There's something really very wrong about this statement. The only time I've ever attracted offensive behaviour from anyone is if I'm giving off a negative vibe, like hostility or fear or imagined superiority. Things don't just happen randomly! Why did this guy choose you to attack (as opposed to 100's of other females in the bar)? What didn't he like about you? What vibe were you giving off that triggered his offensive actions? And why are you giving off vibes and attitudes when you're supposed to be AF?


I was walking down a street with my friend one day and we walked passed three guys. One of the guys out of nowhere throws a fist into my friend's face. He was drunk and just decided to be an arsehole. His two other friends aplogised for their drunk friend's action. My friend and I had just finished work and were giving off no negative vibes at all. By your logic, CCC, my friend was. Perhaps he was in the wrong place at the wrong time? Are you seriously saying that people don't act violently towards others without the recipient giving off "negative vibes"? Seriously? Sounds like some new agey law of attraction type belief.

And by that logic, victims of rape? THey were giving off vibes as well?

RE: SW's Practice Advice
Answer
5/8/11 10:36 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
John Wilde:
Please yourself. I thought the behavioral implications of actual freedom actually was the topic of this sub-thread.


They were, but I don't think it was in an argumentative context (paraphrasing: "are the behavior modifications after AF 'ok' by some definition of the word?") but more of a wanting-to-find-out-what-they-are (paraphrasing: "what? behaviors aren't modified? then what is? what about the peace-on-earth behaviors?"). i answered the latter question (paraphrasing: "behavior is unrelated to attaining an Actual Freedom"). you introduced another sub-topic via the former question.


I'm not really sure what you mean. I didn't ask any of those questions and wasn't being argumentative. I found judging behavior *only* in terms of the actor's feelings (or lack of feelings) about it is a limited and self-centered perspective. You later said you were talking about behavior modification as a means to AF, but that was never my concern, and I didn't think it was Mico Mico's concern either.

Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

now that this thread's been moved i'll think about how to reply to your arguments


If you still think there's something to be discussed, by all means.

RE: SW's Practice Advice
Answer
5/9/11 8:59 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C:
SW:
For example, I was recently attacked in a bar by a drunk man.


There's something really very wrong about this statement. The only time I've ever attracted offensive behaviour from anyone is if I'm giving off a negative vibe, like hostility or fear or imagined superiority. Things don't just happen randomly! Why did this guy choose you to attack (as opposed to 100's of other females in the bar)? What didn't he like about you? What vibe were you giving off that triggered his offensive actions? And why are you giving off vibes and attitudes when you're supposed to be AF?



Well, he liked me a little too much, actually. He wanted me to join him in a more private location for making out and I didn't want to and he was drunk.

And, it is silly to suggest that the only time a person will attack another person is when the person who is attacked is "giving off vibes and attitudes."

RE: SW's Practice Advice
Answer
5/9/11 2:20 PM as a reply to John Wilde.
Let me re-cap:

SW:
the point of becoming actually free is not behavior modification.

mico mico:
What else is there to modify? If freedom from the human condition doesn't change behaviour, then what is the point of it? (To no longer be annoyed by anyone? Even that is still a change of behaviour.)

BCDEFG:
Q: Would an Actually Free person continue doing X, after doing X while not Actually Free? Would an Actually Free person begin doing X, after not doing X while not Actually Free? Would an Actually Free person stop doing X, after doing X while not Actually Free? Would an Actually Free person continue to not do X, after not doing X while not Actually Free?

A: An Actually Free person can do X, and will not suffer. An Actually Free person can not do X, and will not suffer.

That is to say - behavior doesn't matter.

I then went on to define what I (and I think the others here) meant by behavior, as that seemed to be the root of the issue.

You went on to say:
John Wilde:
Your reasoning is that "behavior doesn't matter" because the person behaving thus (or not behaving thus) won't suffer in any circumstances.

That is an incredibly self-centered way of framing the issue. Behavior isn't just about the person doing it, it's about the people affected by it too.


That's going in a new direction - how are others affected by this behavior? If you notice, I didn't assess the validity of behavior at all in my post, and mico wasn't asking about how behavior might affect others. I was merely saying how it doesn't matter with regard to attaining AF. Behavior might change, and it might not - the difference (between being actually free and not) is that the person, once AF, is no longer suffering.

----------

To move onto your point: I recommend you read this thread as it's very relevant.

After you read and understand that, I draw your attention to one of SW's practice points:
SW:
You are doing this for the people who are closest to you, as it eliminates your internal harm potential.


What does that mean? Say there are two feeling beings interacting, both stricken with desire, which causes them to be reactive. One person gets angry for whatever reason and starts yelling at the other. The other person might get angry and yell back, thus starting a back and forth that can escalate into a huge conflict if neither party stops to reflect on what they are doing.

But if you have an actually free person and a feeling being interacting, and the feeling being gets angry and yells, it's impossible for the actually free person to also get angry. The AF person will not be reactive in the way a feeling being might be. There's simply no desire to be malicious, ever (what actualists mean by 'harmlessness'). Any angry-yelling-argument that the feeling being attempts to start will be entirely one sided. Maybe they'll be able to keep it up for a good amount but it's bound to fizzle sooner or later by not getting any fuel from the (AF) person they are engaging.

Similarly in any circumstance: with the internal harm potential completely gone, one is automatically benign, and one's interactions will be a lot less likely to result in others harming themselves with their feelings.

RE: SW's Practice Advice
Answer
5/9/11 4:14 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
mico mico:
What else is there to modify? If freedom from the human condition doesn't change behaviour, then what is the point of it? (To no longer be annoyed by anyone? Even that is still a change of behaviour.)


Notice that MM is expressing interest in how AF might change behavior, not how behavior modification might lead to AF.

You responded, in summary:

BCDEFG:

An Actually Free person can do X, and will not suffer. An Actually Free person can not do X, and will not suffer.
That is to say - behavior doesn't matter.


In the (explicit) context above, that's a very one-sided and self-centered way of framing the issue of behavior. Just read it again with that in mind, and I'm sure you'll agree. Pointing out that behavior isn't just about the actor's feelings but also about how those actions affect other people isn't introducing a new topic, it's rectifying a gross omission.

Bear in mind that, at that time, the issue of how behavior modification might lead to AF existed in your mind, but not in the text.

----------
BCDEFG:

To move onto your point: I recommend you read this thread as it's very relevant.

After you read and understand that, I draw your attention to one of SW's practice points:
SW:
You are doing this for the people who are closest to you, as it eliminates your internal harm potential.


What does that mean? Say there are two feeling beings interacting, both stricken with desire, which causes them to be reactive. One person gets angry for whatever reason and starts yelling at the other. The other person might get angry and yell back, thus starting a back and forth that can escalate into a huge conflict if neither party stops to reflect on what they are doing.

But if you have an actually free person and a feeling being interacting, and the feeling being gets angry and yells, it's impossible for the actually free person to also get angry. The AF person will not be reactive in the way a feeling being might be. There's simply no desire to be malicious, ever (what actualists mean by 'harmlessness'). Any angry-yelling-argument that the feeling being attempts to start will be entirely one sided. Maybe they'll be able to keep it up for a good amount but it's bound to fizzle sooner or later by not getting any fuel from the (AF) person they are engaging.

Similarly in any circumstance: with the internal harm potential completely gone, one is automatically benign, and one's interactions will be a lot less likely to result in others harming themselves with their feelings.


I understand the theory only too well, but unless you have long and intimate acquaintance with such a person it's all in the realm of belief.

That's no reason not to get involved, of course. I only suggest you keep both eyes wide open, and don't let belief and desire erode your critical faculties entirely.

Make of it what you will.

RE: SW's Practice Advice
Answer
5/9/11 4:29 PM as a reply to John Wilde.
John Wilde:
In the (explicit) context above, that's a very one-sided and self-centered way of framing the issue of behavior. Just read it again with that in mind, and I'm sure you'll agree. Pointing out that behavior isn't just about the actor's feelings but also about how those actions affect other people isn't introducing a new topic, it's rectifying a gross omission.

ohhhh, I think I finally understand where you're coming from, and why we've been going in circles a bit.

I took mico's question to mean: "if my behavior will not change after AF, then why would I do AF? what would be different, for me, if I were AF or not?" I took the confusion to be that he understood having emotional states (e.g. being annoyed) as behavior. However, emotional states certainly change - they stop arising - whereas the physical behavior aspect of AF is irrelevant. I was answering solely that, without considering implications for others, because I didn't think mico was asking about them.

I think you took mico's question to mean: "if my behavior will not change after AF, then why would I do AF? it wouldn't help anybody else; it wouldn't improve my interactions with them; peace on earth would not be improved; so what's the point?" in this case, interaction with others is certainly important (as that's the point of the question). When you brought it up, I answered it; I only omitted it initially cause I didn't think mico asking about that.

John Wilde:
Bear in mind that, at that time, the issue of how behavior modification might lead to AF existed in your mind, but not in the text.

aye, i think you're right; mico said: "If behaviour unencumbered by 'the human condition' doesn't lead to Peace on Earth, then what is AF actually suggesting would?" Peace on Earth, as used by actualists, is Actual Freedom, so I think that's where the idea germinated, but I'm not sure whether mico was using it like that.

i think this is all basically a lot of confusion with regard to terminology.

John Wilde:
I understand the theory only too well, but unless you have long and intimate acquaintance with such a person it's all in the realm of belief.

That's no reason not to get involved, of course. I only suggest you keep both eyes wide open, and don't let belief and desire erode your critical faculties entirely.

Make of it what you will.

alrightey.

RE: SW's Practice Advice
Answer
5/9/11 4:45 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

I took mico's question to mean: "if my behavior will not change after AF, then why would I do AF? what would be different, for me, if I were AF or not?" I took the confusion to be that he understood having emotional states (e.g. being annoyed) as behavior. However, emotional states certainly change - they stop arising - whereas the physical behavior aspect of AF is irrelevant. I was answering solely that, without considering implications for others, because I didn't think mico was asking about them.

I think you took mico's question to mean: "if my behavior will not change after AF, then why would I do AF? it wouldn't help anybody else; it wouldn't improve my interactions with them; peace on earth would not be improved; so what's the point?" in this case, interaction with others is certainly important (as that's the point of the question). When you brought it up, I answered it; I only omitted it initially cause I didn't think mico asking about that.



That makes perfect sense. Not sure which way Mico meant it, but at least we're not at crossed purposes any more.

RE: SW's Practice Advice
Answer
5/19/11 3:40 AM as a reply to Seraphina Wise.
Hi Stephanie,


Mico Mico asks re: the bar fight:

"And what is this other than a marked change of behaviour?"

Stephanie says -- "The point I am making is that there is no causal relationship to behavior as it relates to the affective faculty. "

Mico Mico says:

"That's a long list. Are you saying that AF wouldn't change any of them, just how one would feel about them?"

Stephanie says---"No, I'm not saying that being actually free wouldn't change some of your behaviors. It might. It also might not. What I am saying is that becoming actually free will not produce in you a set of predictable behaviors, as if there is a "right" way to behave if one has no affective faculty.

Again, specificity is key here and evading the behavioral question, while continuing to ask about it, will not be fruitful."

Gardol says:
I hoped this discussion would lead to specific examples, but it did not. However, I have specific questions about this, because what you say above does not make sense to me. If becoming actually free does not result in any predictable behaviours, then how does Richard, (or anyone) distinguish between someone who has Actual Freedom, and someone who does not have it? Since no psychic vibes exist in the "Actual World" , all Richard can make his assessment by is behaviour, right? How they act, how they talk, how they respond to questions. I see all these as behaviours which change when one comes to the state of "Actual Freedom". If these things did NOT change, then how could Richard ascertain each AF attainee's state as genuine Actual Freedom?

I agree that people COULD behave the same after getting to Actual Freedom, if they choose to, but why WOULD they? You give an example of yelling at people in traffic. If someone yells and curses at people, and drives aggressively because of anger, impatience and frustration, wouldn't you see a tendency for that behaviour to stop after someone gets to Actual Freedom? If the anger, impatience, and frustration drops away with the rest of the affective faculties, why would a person choose to continue to yell and curse?

If a husband beats his wife before getting to Actual Freedom, wouldn't he stop beating her after getting Actual Freedom? Unless she liked it, why continue? If anger drives the behaviour, and you take away anger, then why would the person continue?

If anger drives the behaviour, and you take away anger, then unless people have another reason to continue that behaviour, then you would have to see a tendency over time for that behaviour to change.

What does Happy and Harmless mean if not behaviour? If you act in harmful unhappy ways before Actual Freedom, driven by the affective faculties, wouldn't that change in predictable ways? As more people enter the state of Actual Freedom, wouldn't we notice, over time, a tendency for behavioural changes that we could predict?
e.g.

1) Most husbands who beat their wives before Actual Freedom, stop that behaviour after Actual Freedom
2) People who murder other people before Actual Freedom, stop that behaviour after Actual Freedom.

Just a few specific examples. I could think of many more. Do you disagree with my reasoning here? If so, why?
You say:

The point I am making is that there is no causal relationship to behavior as it relates to the affective faculty.

What do you mean by that, in the context of what I have written above?

Stephanie says:
"As Daniel indicates in the original post, when "I" first started practicing actualism I had some doubts and/or questions about Richard and some of the things he said/did. My approach to this however was not to think, "I must put all these doubts to rest before I can begin to practice." I practiced and the doubts unraveled themselves as I spent more and more time in a PCE. It became so clear that what I was 'worrying' about was simply a form of ego-based resistance to the process of self-immolation."

Can you see why I see that explanation as an all too convenient way to avoid the difficult questions of whether Richard "walks his talk"? Don't you think people should look into this if a teacher's behaviour does not fit the Happy and Harmless description? If you found, for example that Richard yells at his associates and slaps them around occasionally to keep them in line, wouldn't it cause you to doubt his state of Actual Freedom?

Regards,
Gardol Yack

PS- Thanks to Tarin and Daniel for making this place available at the DHO for critical inquiry