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RE: Essence of Actual Freedom

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RE: Essence of Actual Freedom Heather MacDonald 5/10/11 4:02 PM
RE: Essence of Actual Freedom Nikolai . 5/10/11 3:29 PM
RE: Essence of Actual Freedom Heather MacDonald 5/10/11 3:57 PM
RE: Essence of Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 5/10/11 3:50 PM
RE: Essence of Actual Freedom Heather MacDonald 5/10/11 4:25 PM
RE: Essence of Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 5/10/11 5:12 PM
RE: Essence of Actual Freedom Heather MacDonald 5/11/11 10:17 AM
RE: Essence of Actual Freedom Nikolai . 5/11/11 11:31 AM
RE: Essence of Actual Freedom Jane Laurel Carrington 5/11/11 11:42 AM
RE: Essence of Actual Freedom Heather MacDonald 5/11/11 2:15 PM
RE: Essence of Actual Freedom Nikolai . 5/11/11 3:51 PM
RE: Essence of Actual Freedom Heather MacDonald 5/23/11 5:34 AM
RE: Essence of Actual Freedom tarin greco 5/12/11 2:09 PM
RE: Essence of Actual Freedom Paul Rogers 5/13/11 5:59 PM
RE: Essence of Actual Freedom Heather MacDonald 5/23/11 7:39 AM
RE: Essence of Actual Freedom Heather MacDonald 5/23/11 7:50 AM
RE: Essence of Actual Freedom tarin greco 5/23/11 10:39 PM
RE: Essence of Actual Freedom Heather MacDonald 5/23/11 8:31 AM
RE: Essence of Actual Freedom Heather MacDonald 5/11/11 10:26 AM
RE: Essence of Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 5/11/11 1:10 PM
RE: Essence of Actual Freedom Heather MacDonald 5/11/11 2:52 PM
RE: Essence of Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 5/11/11 4:04 PM
RE: Essence of Actual Freedom Heather MacDonald 5/23/11 5:40 AM
RE: Essence of Actual Freedom Heather MacDonald 5/23/11 6:06 AM
RE: Essence of Actual Freedom Heather MacDonald 5/23/11 6:35 AM
RE: Essence of Actual Freedom Heather MacDonald 5/23/11 6:47 AM
RE: Essence of Actual Freedom Heather MacDonald 5/23/11 6:52 AM
RE: Essence of Actual Freedom Heather MacDonald 5/23/11 7:06 AM
RE: Essence of Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 5/23/11 10:44 AM
RE: Essence of Actual Freedom mico mico 5/10/11 5:01 PM
RE: Essence of Actual Freedom Jeff Grove 5/10/11 5:43 PM
RE: Essence of Actual Freedom mico mico 5/11/11 4:02 AM
RE: Essence of Actual Freedom . Jake . 5/11/11 7:21 AM
RE: Essence of Actual Freedom Heather MacDonald 5/11/11 10:40 AM
RE: Essence of Actual Freedom
Answer
5/10/11 4:02 PM
Heather MacDonald:
This line I found curious... "the spiritual aspirant who wishes to further their search into the area that lies beyond enlightenment (and any other form of an altered state of consciousness)".

Can there be "an area beyond enlightenment" or does he just mean after enlightenment?
...
From what I gather enlightenment is actually the transcending of the limitations of all forms of consciousness; whether physical, psychological or spiritual. Maybe I've just been talking to the wrong guyemoticon


Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Well, there are enlightened folk here and at KFD (Kenneth Folk Dharma) that seem to still be meditating and looking for stuff to do, so it seems there is... as well as enlightened folk who went on to attain an Actual Freedom, so it seems something different than or superseding what people consider enlightenment nowadays (which may or may not be what it was considered to be in, for example, the Buddha's time).


Enlightenment appears to be a very subjective claim to fame so to speak, there seems to an enlightened guru on every street corner selling his/her wares. So many say this, so many say that. It’s all maybe this, maybe that or maybe the other. The simple way out of that conundrum is to dip your toes into the water and fully submerge. We’ve got to know directly, otherwise its just blind acceptance and/or total self delusional belief. When words/actions fail to indicate any advanced state of being, it is easy enough to see through the pretentious or delusional claims of guru’s.

I cannot see why enlightenment would change though, for surely Truth is Truth. It would seem logical that if one attained enlightenment, one would no longer have to use the tools which led to that state of being. Therefore, why continue with meditation, or take up another form of practice? Surely an enlightened person would know whether a technique would work or not.

Heather MacDonald:
So we can't be too superficial about an essential problem which humanity has ignored for so long. If we face it, we'll understand it - totally.

Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
and that's what the actualist method is designed to get one to do.. understand your human nature so thoroughly that it disappears.


You’re not asking me to accept that human nature simply disappears are you? I mean, I read the sample chapters of Richard’s Journal, wherein he talks of his great delight in the wonders of travel, drinking coffee in cafes, shopping, exploring his and his lover’s sexuality. Are these not examples of the human condition in action…attraction, appreciation, indulgence, etc. Is sexuality not an instinctive aspect of being human? So if he’s totally transcended human nature, why would he be interested in the indulgence of such. Do you actually understand the vast difference between human nature and the human condition?

Heather MacDonald:
How "intrinsic" and/or "inherent" is all the bad stuff to the human condition. I'd say it isn't intrinsic or inherent at all, that gets us off on the wrong foot. I'd say, look at the conditions which give rise to the madness. Which came first? Can we know? Yep, it's a bit of a chicken and egg scenario, however we can solve this one.

When people are born into violence, hate, etc, obviously they are going to think it normal, and that is the essence, they think it. Thinking can change, there is no set pattern. Nothing intrinsic.

Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
it's not the social conditioning that is the issue, it's human nature itself.


Okay, you’re saying human nature, however Richard either forgot to mention that, and used the term “the human condition”- with apparent deliberation, or you are using the wrong term to interpret what he means.

A condition relates directly to a state, not to the fundamental nature. If I was sick with a tummy bug, I would not assume that my fundamental human nature is sick, or that Human Nature itself is sick, just that there is a condition of sickness affecting a particular aspect of my being.

So if he means human nature, why can’t Richard make this clear from the outset? Intrinsic can apply to human nature, but does not necessarily apply to the human condition. Intrinsic means integral, essential, something we cannot do without. I’d suggest that there is absolutely no requirement for anger, jealousy, etc, but that these are a condition of misidentification. In other words, all emotions are conditional to a certain way of perception and identification, not actually an intrinsic aspect of human nature.

Richard makes no explanation as to why he believes that “human condition” is inherently at fault. He simply makes a general sweeping statement which he assumes all will take at face value. It’s like a Christian saying, “Well, god made us this way”. So, if god made us good and bad (in whatever combination), what’s the problem? Why distrust the wisdom of god? Why try to hide the bad? The simple answer being; there is no good or bad, just an interpretation of what applies directly to ourselves in a particular circumstance according to our particular point of view.


Richard:
The instinctual passions are the very energy source of the rudimentary animal self ... the base consciousness of ‘self’ and ‘other’ that all sentient beings have. The human animal – with its unique ability to be aware of its own death – transforms this ‘reptilian brain’ rudimentary core of ‘being’ (an animal ‘self’) into being a feeling ‘me’ (as soul in the heart) and the ‘feeler’ then infiltrates into thought to become the ‘thinker’ ... a thinking ‘I’ (as ego in the head). No other animal can do this. That this process is aided and abetted by the human beings who were already on this planet when one was born – which is conditioning and programming and is part and parcel of the socialising process – is but the tip of the iceberg and not the main issue at all. All the different types of conditioning are well-meant endeavours by countless peoples over countless aeons to seek to curb the instinctual passions. Now, while most people paddle around on the surface and re-arrange the conditioning to ease their lot somewhat, some people – seeking to be free of all human conditioning – fondly imagine that by putting on a face-mask and snorkel that they have gone deep-sea diving with a scuba outfit ... deep into the human condition. [link]


Yes, “the human condition”, I read that phrase in the first paragraph. Sorry, but the above quote does not help, if anything, it muddies the waters even more.

It is sheer speculation to insert terms which are not actually known to be true… “reptile brain”, “animal self”. I mean, take “the human animal”. That is a meaningless additive which assumes too much concerning humans and animals – a loaded term.

If we are genuinely enquiring into what it is we are, we cannot begin with any set idea, for we have no basis for any idea. An idea is just an idea, a thought, a fiction. Ideas such as “instinctual passions” “animal self”, etc, come not from Richard’s objective observation, but from sources external and prior to Richard – from the very problem itself.

It’s like where he states as fact; “The human animal – with its unique ability to be aware of its own death – transforms this ‘reptilian brain’ rudimentary core of ‘being’ (an animal ‘self’) into being a feeling ‘me’ (as soul in the heart) and the ‘feeler’ then infiltrates into thought to become the ‘thinker’ ... a thinking ‘I’ (as ego in the head). No other animal can do this”. That is just so much nonsense on so many levels.

I could present a case as to why animals are aware of their death and their own sense of self (which I’m sure to most pet owners would be obvious fact). I can also present a case whereby the mind itself transforms feeling into identification thus overlapping thought as a ‘thinker’ as an ‘I’. If I were writing an introduction I would elucidate the complete process, something Richard fails to do with the above quote.

It is typical of Richard of course, for he simply drops terms in, assuming either the reader will know what he’s talking about or maybe he just lacks the wherewithal to understand that few will understand what a “pure conscious experience” is. This is why I suspect Richard isn’t so enlightened after all, there are too many schoolboy errors in that introduction. Communication is only communication when there is clarity.

Heather MacDonald:
But then isn't Richard saying this too when he ends with... "I, for one, am not taking the back seat ... because it is indeed possible for any human being to be totally free from the human condition". Maybe he just doesn't understand what intrinsic implies or thought it would add a little drama. But words have to be use correctly, otherwise they mislead and then where are we?

Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
all the bad stuff (and the good stuff[1]) is intrinsic to the human condition. you can't have the human condition without the bad stuff. so he advocates being totally free from the human condition - removing it completely. the bad stuff is still intrinsic to the human condition.. it's just that you can exist as a human being without being subject to the human condition. in other words, having human nature is not intrinsic to being consciously aware as a flesh&blood body.

[1] EDIT: see below for clarification.


There is nothing intrinsic concerning the human condition for the human condition can be anything depending upon the input – the conditioning factors – physical and psychological. A friend of mine put it perfectly… “Human nature is the hardware, conditioning - the software. When you reach basic nature, there’s nothing to change, there is no problem”.

If human nature is not intrinsic to being aware how can we be aware?

It would be more accurate to say that if pleasure is our central focus then we’ll experience pain due to events not going our way - or if we are so self centred as not to realize our place in the scheme of things, we’ll suffer - not due to the nature of Nature, but due to our own orientation, expectation, demands, etc.

But really you are not helping Richards case, for as I stated above he thinks shopping is so wonderful. He actually sounds like a kid in a sweetshop, which would be fair enough, but Richard claims to be “enlightened beyond enlightenment”. So why overlook the point of origin of the “abundant” supply, the conditions of the farming methods, the effect of such upon the planet, the conditions of the workers, etc. Only an ignoramus can elevate a shopping experience into a religious one.

He bemoans of “vehemently unappreciative peoples”. Ask yourself why Richard. These people have to struggle by, obviously most of it is due to their own ambition, their own pursuit of some silly unsustainable ideal lifestyle to which they willingly conform, but for those who do not want to conform to the consumerist standard, they still need money to survive – they have no option as this is a consumerist society and its laws will be imposed. Again Richard cannot quite comprehend the “belittling” of such. He also has a dig at the “developing nations” depending on the great white hope, maybe he’s a rep for Monsanto? The serious point being, that the “developing nations” are in actual fact “recovering nations” from the aftermath of English or European invasion and rule.

There really is so much wrong with Richard that if that is what it is like to be “beyond enlightenment”, then no thanks. It simply smacks of a stupid self indulgence. He has the blinkers on, and readily admits so… “I am immensely appreciative of being alive now and not at some other age in which I would have had to struggle for my “daily bread”... those dreadful times one reads about in the history books and literary works”. Well for most life is a struggle, but it’s a question of why, again there is nothing intrinsic, nothing that cannot be made right with a little adjustment.

RE: Essence of Actual Freedom
Answer
5/10/11 3:29 PM as a reply to Heather MacDonald.
Hi Heather,You might want to fix the quotes in your psot as the wall of words is impossible to read.

RE: Essence of Actual Freedom
Answer
5/10/11 3:50 PM as a reply to Heather MacDonald.
Before we go on can you define exactly what you mean by human nature and human condition and how you differentiate the two? I admit I was using them interchangeably and maybe not the way Richard was, but you seem to have used it a bit interchangeably too:

Heather MacDonald:
You’re not asking me to accept that human nature simply disappears are you? I mean, I read the sample chapters of Richard’s Journal, wherein he talks of his great delight in the wonders of travel, drinking coffee in cafes, shopping, exploring his and his lover’s sexuality. Are these not examples of the human condition in action…

RE: Essence of Actual Freedom
Answer
5/10/11 3:57 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nikolai .:
Hi Heather,You might want to fix the quotes in your psot as the wall of words is impossible to read.


Yep, total mess. Looked fine in the preview!

RE: Essence of Actual Freedom
Answer
5/10/11 4:25 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Before we go on can you define exactly what you mean by human nature and human condition and how you differentiate the two? I admit I was using them interchangeably and maybe not the way Richard was, but you seem to have used it a bit interchangeably too:

Heather MacDonald:
You’re not asking me to accept that human nature simply disappears are you? I mean, I read the sample chapters of Richard’s Journal, wherein he talks of his great delight in the wonders of travel, drinking coffee in cafes, shopping, exploring his and his lover’s sexuality. Are these not examples of the human condition in action…


Appearances are deceptiveemoticon I'm using these terms very accurately within the context of this discussion. I use human nature in the sense of the natural workings of our body, our mind. The human condition is simply conditioning. It's like the way people have tried to modify their bodies through out history. They can modify the body by tatoos, by piercings, by implanting whatever, but that doesn't change the nature of the body. The body remains intrinsically as it was. Likewise, with the mind. We can be brought up to be christian, and yet, that does not fundamentally alter the way our mind works. It shapes our preception, it colours our perception, but it does not intrinsically alter the mind itself. I mean, I can memorize the works of Shakespeare or Mao, the content matters little to how the memory works. The content only matters when there is an identification with such as "my knowledge" - as "Me".

So to clarify... I'm suggesting that neither Richard nor anyone else can possibly be beyond human nature, but they can go beyond human conditioning.

RE: Essence of Actual Freedom
Answer
5/10/11 5:12 PM as a reply to Heather MacDonald.
Heather MacDonald:
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Before we go on can you define exactly what you mean by human nature and human condition and how you differentiate the two? I admit I was using them interchangeably and maybe not the way Richard was, but you seem to have used it a bit interchangeably too:

Heather MacDonald:
You’re not asking me to accept that human nature simply disappears are you? I mean, I read the sample chapters of Richard’s Journal, wherein he talks of his great delight in the wonders of travel, drinking coffee in cafes, shopping, exploring his and his lover’s sexuality. Are these not examples of the human condition in action…


Appearances are deceptiveemoticon I'm using these terms very accurately within the context of this discussion.
That was the only paragraph that was unclear to me. I didn't see what you were getting at, but did you mean that if he had transcended human nature, as you understand it, there would be no human condition, as you understand it, since the human condition is a conditioning of that human nature, which is gone - so evidence of the latter shows evidence that he hasn't transcended human nature?

Heather MacDonald:
I use human nature in the sense of the natural workings of our body, our mind. The human condition is simply conditioning. It's like the way people have tried to modify their bodies through out history. They can modify the body by tatoos, by piercings, by implanting whatever, but that doesn't change the nature of the body. The body remains intrinsically as it was. Likewise, with the mind. We can be brought up to be christian, and yet, that does not fundamentally alter the way our mind works. It shapes our preception, it colours our perception, but it does not intrinsically alter the mind itself. I mean, I can memorize the works of Shakespeare or Mao, the content matters little to how the memory works. The content only matters when there is an identification with such as "my knowledge" - as "Me".

So to clarify... I'm suggesting that neither Richard nor anyone else can possibly be beyond human nature, but they can go beyond human conditioning.
Of course, no one can go beyond human nature as you defined it, since you defined it as that which no one can go beyond. Can you be more specific, though? Can you define for me what you take to be the fundamental way the (human) mind works, that cannot be altered, and what you take to be the (human) conditioning of the mind, that can be gone beyond?

Heather MacDonald:
When words/actions fail to indicate any advanced state of being, it is easy enough to see through the pretentious or delusional claims of guru’s.

What words/actions would indicate an advanced state of being to you (i.e. one with no human conditioning, if I understand that to be what you meant by an advanced state of being)?

RE: Essence of Actual Freedom
Answer
5/10/11 5:01 PM as a reply to Heather MacDonald.
Heather MacDonald:
It would be more accurate to say that if pleasure is our central focus then we’ll experience pain due to events not going our way - or if we are so self centred as not to realize our place in the scheme of things, we’ll suffer - not due to the nature of Nature, but due to our own orientation, expectation, demands, etc.

But really you are not helping Richards case, for as I stated above he thinks shopping is so wonderful. He actually sounds like a kid in a sweetshop, which would be fair enough, but Richard claims to be “enlightened beyond enlightenment”. So why overlook the point of origin of the “abundant” supply, the conditions of the farming methods, the effect of such upon the planet, the conditions of the workers, etc. Only an ignoramus can elevate a shopping experience into a religious one.

He bemoans of “vehemently unappreciative peoples”. Ask yourself why Richard. These people have to struggle by, obviously most of it is due to their own ambition, their own pursuit of some silly unsustainable ideal lifestyle to which they willingly conform, but for those who do not want to conform to the consumerist standard, they still need money to survive – they have no option as this is a consumerist society and its laws will be imposed. Again Richard cannot quite comprehend the “belittling” of such. He also has a dig at the “developing nations” depending on the great white hope, maybe he’s a rep for Monsanto? The serious point being, that the “developing nations” are in actual fact “recovering nations” from the aftermath of English or European invasion and rule.

There really is so much wrong with Richard that if that is what it is like to be “beyond enlightenment”, then no thanks. It simply smacks of a stupid self indulgence. He has the blinkers on, and readily admits so… “I am immensely appreciative of being alive now and not at some other age in which I would have had to struggle for my “daily bread”... those dreadful times one reads about in the history books and literary works”.

It doesn't follow that being “beyond enlightenment” will result in another Richardalike, nor that a practical investigation of AF wont be a value to you or afford insights that might be unavailable through other means. Also, there may be new AFers who can extract a more lasting message from their condition, so to speak, at some point.

However, the very real question remains as to why AF hasn't stopped Richard from appearing such a smug and self righteous, politically naive and culturally myopic... (I'm not sure how to finish this sentence...) bore.

And however happy and harmless he may feel, or I should say, judge himself to be, with such an apparently contingent and highly conditioned world view (presumably mistaken as an objective evaluation), he will remain the dupe and tool of whatever (political, economic & other) forces are playing through his life, for good or for ill.

RE: Essence of Actual Freedom
Answer
5/10/11 5:43 PM as a reply to mico mico.
"However, the very real question remains as to why AF hasn't stopped Richard from appearing such a smug and self righteous, politically naive and culturally myopic... (I'm not sure how to finish this sentence...) bore."

Why does he "appear" this way to you and not to someone else. Does the writing change or is it the perception?

RE: Essence of Actual Freedom
Answer
5/11/11 4:02 AM as a reply to Jeff Grove.
"Why does he "appear" this way to you"

The word 'appear' is much less libelous, don't you think?

"...and not to someone else."

Someone like Richard?

"Does the writing change or is it the perception?"

I'm sure sarcasm must be celebrating it's immunity to AF (perhaps dancing with its patronizing friends).

RE: Essence of Actual Freedom
Answer
5/11/11 7:21 AM as a reply to mico mico.
mico mico:
"Why does he "appear" this way to you"

The word 'appear' is much less libelous, don't you think?

"...and not to someone else."

Someone like Richard?

"Does the writing change or is it the perception?"

I'm sure sarcasm must be celebrating it's immunity to AF (perhaps dancing with its patronizing friends).


And your sarcasm is keeping you from simply responding to the question? Or better yet, simply entertaining the possibility which Jeff mentions? Really, you don't understand what he was asking? Or are you just playing? LOL

RE: Essence of Actual Freedom
Answer
5/11/11 10:17 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Before we go on can you define exactly what you mean by human nature and human condition and how you differentiate the two? I admit I was using them interchangeably and maybe not the way Richard was, but you seem to have used it a bit interchangeably too:

Heather MacDonald:
You’re not asking me to accept that human nature simply disappears are you? I mean, I read the sample chapters of Richard’s Journal, wherein he talks of his great delight in the wonders of travel, drinking coffee in cafes, shopping, exploring his and his lover’s sexuality. Are these not examples of the human condition in action…


Heather MacDonald:
Appearances are deceptiveemoticon I'm using these terms very accurately within the context of this discussion.


Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
That was the only paragraph that was unclear to me. I didn't see what you were getting at, but did you mean that if he had transcended human nature, as you understand it, there would be no human condition, as you understand it, since the human condition is a conditioning of that human nature, which is gone - so evidence of the latter shows evidence that he hasn't transcended human nature?


It seems that no one could possibly have their human nature disappear and remain human. Human nature (to me anyway), is the most basic functioning of what it is to be human, that which underlies the human condition. It’s really like memory. Memory underlies all learning. If memory disappeared, there would be no learning.

In the example of Richard indulging in sex for instance… why would he desire it as he suggests he’s beyond instincts, beyond the human condition, beyond emotions, etc (hence my question: “Are these not examples of the human condition in action”). However his words imply he was exploring, learning, not only that but really enjoying himself while doing so.

I’m not saying that sex isn’t natural nor that it shouldn’t be fully enjoyed, but if what you say is true (human nature disappears) then Richard would not have the nature to be sexual. He would be beyond it in the sense that a baby is beyond sexuality – it simply would not exist – it simply could not exist. Sex takes desire, it takes emotion, feeling, it takes the activation of certain hormones, etc. So, either way, Richard loses out… his delusion is naked for the world to see – the king indeed has no clothes.

The phrases weren’t used interchangeably, but in direct relation to what yourself and Richard have said… if the human condition is an active aspect of Richard’s life then he would indulge himself in whatever. If human nature does not exist, the human condition certainly can’t, but human nature certainly could exist without the human condition. So it's really whether the sexual expression (or whatever) is an aspect of human nature or of the human condition. I'm suggesting that by pursuing sex, i.e. trying to learn it, explore its possibilities, etc, it is of the human condition and is not of the natural human nature.

RE: Essence of Actual Freedom
Answer
5/11/11 10:26 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Heather MacDonald:
So to clarify... I'm suggesting that neither Richard nor anyone else can possibly be beyond human nature, but they can go beyond human conditioning.


Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Of course, no one can go beyond human nature as you defined it, since you defined it as that which no one can go beyond. Can you be more specific, though? Can you define for me what you take to be the fundamental way the (human) mind works, that cannot be altered, and what you take to be the (human) conditioning of the mind, that can be gone beyond?


The mind, human or otherwise, is memory. As I said, the content of memory can be anything, that does not alter the fact of how memory functions nor what memory is intrinsically.

It’s like the hard drive in your computer, it can store whatever information, but is not altered by that information it stores. Your hard drive will remain as it was when you installed it in the sense that the capacity to store information is the same. Even when your hard drive is damaged beyond repair, it’s fundamental nature remains in the sense that we can make another hard drive by applying the same principles.

Memory is memory and will always be memory.

Same with water… water can be mixed with other chemicals to make juice for instance, it can be polluted by poison, but ultimately it can be restored to its natural fundamental state by a process of purification. The actual water is never tarnished by whatever, its intrinsic state remains. Same with its form, water can be as soft as a droplet or as hard as an iceberg, however water is still water.

Heather MacDonald:
When words/actions fail to indicate any advanced state of being, it is easy enough to see through the pretentious or delusional claims of guru’s.


Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
What words/actions would indicate an advanced state of being to you (i.e. one with no human conditioning, if I understand that to be what you meant by an advanced state of being)?


Am I saying that people can be without completely without conditioning or simply responding to Richard's claims and your own. A person in an advanced state would be one who had far more insight into every aspect of life that your average Joe. Thier behaviour would be an impeccable reflection of thier words.

RE: Essence of Actual Freedom
Answer
5/11/11 10:40 AM as a reply to mico mico.
mico mico:
It doesn't follow that being “beyond enlightenment” will result in another Richardalike, nor that a practical investigation of AF wont be a value to you or afford insights that might be unavailable through other means. Also, there may be new AFers who can extract a more lasting message from their condition, so to speak, at some point.


Obviously, somebody more balanced ought to be more balanced given more insight, it is Richard's claim of supreme insight that bothers me and the claim that there is something "beyond enlightenment".

Methods don't differ that much. There have been many who have employed similar techniques as Richard proposes, although they do come out with a differing intrepretation of the end results. I find absolutely nothing unique within the Actual Freedom message.

RE: Essence of Actual Freedom
Answer
5/11/11 11:31 AM as a reply to Heather MacDonald.
Man, so many people get hung up on what Richard has said and wrote.

I also got hung up on what Richard said. You can find a few of my past posts where I am anti-AF here at the DhO. The solution to that was remembering that I'd had PCEs in my childhood, then intentionally triggering a full blown one, seeing that it was possible to repeat, seeing that it has changed me, and is continuing to change me for the better, life becoming happier, more at peace and in control, becoming harmless to those around me, especially loved ones.

I've tried to read the majority of Richard's journal, but it's so repetitive and not very practical that I gave up. It seems written to convince the reader of the uselessness of a "spiritual path". But I have found my path all the way to MCTB 4th path to be extremely useful. I probably would not have even considered AF and PCE practice without having seen how much I could change my brain via insight practice. I don't need to be convinced Richard's view of enlightenment. My goal was always to end suffering for good. MCTB 4th path did a good job of tempering some of that suffering, but it still has its root cause present---> attachment to "being" via the arising of affective feeling.

So rather than rely on Richard's personal way of communicating and some of his beliefs, I rely more so on the practical wisdom and experience of those here, like Tarin, Trent, Daniel and Stephanie. That is enough. I don't need to read into everything Richard has wrote. A lot of it doesn't impress. But the PCE practice does, my continued experience of the practical AF path does. I see it as continuing the notion of seeing this moment "as it is", as well as continuing the insightful search into the cause of suffering. MCTB 4th path exposed this "me" for the bundled conditioned mess it was. It made "things" a little less sticky but it didn't deal with the cause of the arising of suffering--> attachment to "being" via the arising of affective feelings, which then leads to craving, aversion and clinging and we all know how miserable that sequence is. This is the Human Condition in my opinion.

The Human Condition, I think, is what those on any enlightenment path are aiming to gain insight into and/or fix for the better. MCTB 4th path is equated to full enlightenment by many people. But I do not equate it to that. For me the idea of "full enlightenment" means I would have seen through ALL of it; the sense of centre point and the sense of being, all causes of suffering AND put them both to rest for good.

Richard railing against enlightenment becasue he equates what he got with "full enlightenment" is because he thinks that what he got to was "full enlightenment". Other modern teachers consider MCTB 4th path to be full enlightenment too. But it doesn't end suffering for good so why are so many being so stubborn about calling it "full enlightenment"?

4th path as described in MCTB just makes it easier to see and tend to that suffering. So many people would not be turned off from the AF path if Richard didn't rail on enlightenment like he does. I understand that where he got to (probably MCTB 4th path) was seen as unsatisfactory, and I agree...it is!

But was it "full enlightenment"? I am remaining open to the notion that MCTB 4th path is not. What is the frickin harm in that? I still am practicing on the AF path, just without taking on board more belief on what is what. MCTB 4th path exposed the Human Condition with great clarity, this is true. And frankly, the Human Condition SUCKS BALLS! We keep placing self/sense of being/affective feelings up on a pedestal. "It's the Human Condition and it can't be changed". Well, with that mindset, it wont...ever!.

But PCE practice shows that the conditioning factors for the cause of suffering can be stopped. I wish more people could just bypass what they disagree with concerning what Richard has said and just see for themselves that PCE practice, more than just cultivating a peaceful state, sheds light on the illusion that previously was not seen as one was fully immersed in it.

I still avoid reading a lot of the AF website due to some of the repetitive writing. Not saying it's all bad. The article on sensuousness and apperception is gold, and when Tarin or Trent post a link, I pay attention as it could be useful. But even though I don't take everything on board and find Richard hard to read soemtimes, as well as some of his ideas, I am still progressing on the path to what is termed Actual Freedom, because I see it as the end of suffering; exactly what I have alwasy been searching for. I see what needs to be done to address the cause of suffering. It just happens to be called AF by some. Strip it of the baggage and see the core. I have, and I reckon I am going to get it done soon.

S.N. Goenka tells a story of a little boy and his mother. The mother gives the little boy a bowl of deicilous kir. In it are cardamon seeds. The boy complains that he does not want to eat the kir due to the black stones that are in it. The mother tells him, take out the black stones and enjoy the rest, it is still delicious. When the boy one day realizes that the black stones are cardomon, he can then eat them.....or not. At least then he will enjoy the delicious benefits of the rest of the kir instead of throwing away the whole bowl without even trying it while arguing that, because he saw black stones in it, the whole thing must be made of shite.


My 2 cents.

Edited a few times to get this rant out of my system. Hehe!

RE: Essence of Actual Freedom
Answer
5/11/11 1:10 PM as a reply to Heather MacDonald.
Heather MacDonald:
It’s like the hard drive in your computer, it can store whatever information, but is not altered by that information it stores. Your hard drive will remain as it was when you installed it in the sense that the capacity to store information is the same. Even when your hard drive is damaged beyond repair, it’s fundamental nature remains in the sense that we can make another hard drive by applying the same principles.

I think you are conflating the physical hard drive with the idea of a "Hard Drive". They are two different things.

A physical hard drive is a combination of molecules arranged in a certain way. The magnetic plates store the information. The physical hard drive is most certainly altered by the information it stores, as the storing of information is flipping the magnetic bits on the plate. If the physical hard drive were unalterable, it would be impossible for it to store information. Further, as you keep using it, the capacity to store information diminishes as it decays, sectors break, you might even lose your file data, etc. When the physical hard drive is damaged beyond repair, it simply cannot store information anymore.

By fundamental nature you seem to mean the idea of a "Hard Drive". That is - the physical hard drive was built to certain specifications and another one can be built like it. But that would be another physical hard drive - an entirely different one. The 'fundamental nature' you speak of is simply an idea, a concept in certain human minds. But that has nothing to do with the physical hard drive, which just sits there, spins around, and makes noises when given the appropriate electrical signals.

That is to say - the fundamental nature you speak of is nowhere to be found in the physical hard drive. It doesn't exist outside of an idea in certain human minds. The fundamental nature also has no capacity to store information - only the physical hard drive does. And also what is fundamental about something that didn't exist until 60 years ago or less?

Heather MacDonald:
The mind, human or otherwise, is memory. As I said, the content of memory can be anything, that does not alter the fact of how memory functions nor what memory is intrinsically.

Are you saying that human nature - the entirety of that which cannot be changed in humans - is memory? So someone who has completely transcended human conditioning would be left solely with memory and nothing else? There is no other function of the mind than memory? How are you reading these words and replying to them using only memory? And would the faculties that allow you to do that go away upon transcending the human condition (as you define it)?

(I was asking for an exhaustive list - what is the entirety of what you consider to be human nature?)

Heather MacDonald:
A friend of mine put it perfectly… “Human nature is the hardware, conditioning - the software. When you reach basic nature, there’s nothing to change, there is no problem”.

An Actual Freedom is basically the eradication of all the conditioning - and not only that, but the eradication of that which can be conditioned - 'being' itself - which also is equivalent to all feeling and emotion and instinctual passion vanishing. What's left is just the hardware - that is, just the physical body, along with the six senses, along with consciousness conscious of being consciousness, not to mention full retention of the physical and mental faculties such as motor control, intelligence, discernment, and memory. This also happens temporarily in a PCE.

I'm not asking you to accept or believe any of this. The recommended advice is to cultivate a PCE and see for yourself.

RE: Essence of Actual Freedom
Answer
5/11/11 11:42 AM as a reply to Nikolai ..
I just want to let you know how much I appreciate the clarity with which you've laid out the issues here. I've been having a lot of trouble in my own mind--drama I've created for myself, more accurately--about the interest so many highly intelligent people here have in AF. It helps those of us on the sidelines to hear someone articulate the relationship to enlightenment as you have here. I am in no way ready to undertake AF practice b/c I have to keep on with what I'm doing, as it's beginning to bear some fruit. But thank you for taking the time to unpack this question. If there were little heart emoticons, I'd throw in a couple of those!

RE: Essence of Actual Freedom
Answer
5/11/11 2:15 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nikolai .:
Man, so many people get hung up on what Richard has said and wrote.

I also got hung up on what Richard said. You can find a few of my past posts where I am anti-AF here at the DhO. The solution to that was remembering that I'd had PCEs in my childhood, then intentionally triggering a full blown one, seeing that it was possible to repeat, seeing that it has changed me, and is continuing to change me for the better, life becoming happier, more at peace and in control, becoming harmless to those around me, especially loved ones.

I've tried to read the majority of Richard's journal, but it's so repetitive and not very practical that I gave up. It seems written to convince the reader of the uselessness of a "spiritual path". But I have found my path all the way to MCTB 4th path to be extremely useful. I probably would not have even considered AF and PCE practice without having seen how much I could change my brain via insight practice. I don't need to be convinced Richard's view of enlightenment. My goal was always to end suffering for good. MCTB 4th path did a good job of tempering some of that suffering, but it still has its root cause present---> attachment to "being" via the arising of affective feeling.

So rather than rely on Richard's personal way of communicating and some of his beliefs, I rely more so on the practical wisdom and experience of those here, like Tarin, Trent, Daniel and Stephanie. That is enough. I don't need to read into everything Richard has wrote. A lot of it doesn't impress. But the PCE practice does, my continued experience of the practical AF path does. I see it as continuing the notion of seeing this moment "as it is", as well as continuing the insightful search into the cause of suffering. MCTB 4th path exposed this "me" for the bundled conditioned mess it was. It made "things" a little less sticky but it didn't deal with the cause of the arising of suffering--> attachment to "being" via the arising of affective feelings, which then leads to craving, aversion and clinging and we all know how miserable that sequence is. This is the Human Condition in my opinion.

The Human Condition, I think, is what those on any enlightenment path are aiming to gain insight into and/or fix for the better. MCTB 4th path is equated to full enlightenment by many people. But I do not equate it to that. For me the idea of "full enlightenment" means I would have seen through ALL of it; the sense of centre point and the sense of being, all causes of suffering AND put them both to rest for good.

Richard railing against enlightenment becasue he equates what he got with "full enlightenment" is because he thinks that what he got to was "full enlightenment". Other modern teachers consider MCTB 4th path to be full enlightenment too. But it doesn't end suffering for good so why are so many being so stubborn about calling it "full enlightenment"?

4th path as described in MCTB just makes it easier to see and tend to that suffering. So many people would not be turned off from the AF path if Richard didn't rail on enlightenment like he does. I understand that where he got to (probably MCTB 4th path) was seen as unsatisfactory, and I agree...it is!

But was it "full enlightenment"? I am remaining open to the notion that MCTB 4th path is not. What is the frickin harm in that? I still am practicing on the AF path, just without taking on board more belief on what is what. MCTB 4th path exposed the Human Condition with great clarity, this is true. And frankly, the Human Condition SUCKS BALLS! We keep placing self/sense of being/affective feelings up on a pedestal. "It's the Human Condition and it can't be changed". Well, with that mindset, it wont...ever!.

But PCE practice shows that the conditioning factors for the cause of suffering can be stopped. I wish more people could just bypass what they disagree with concerning what Richard has said and just see for themselves that PCE practice, more than just cultivating a peaceful state, sheds light on the illusion that previously was not seen as one was fully immersed in it.

I still avoid reading a lot of the AF website due to some of the repetitive writing. Not saying it's all bad. The article on sensuousness and apperception is gold, and when Tarin or Trent post a link, I pay attention as it could be useful. But even though I don't take everything on board and find Richard hard to read soemtimes, as well as some of his ideas, I am still progressing on the path to what is termed Actual Freedom, because I see it as the end of suffering; exactly what I have alwasy been searching for. I see what needs to be done to address the cause of suffering. It just happens to be called AF by some. Strip it of the baggage and see the core. I have, and I reckon I am going to get it done soon.

S.N. Goenka tells a story of a little boy and his mother. The mother gives the little boy a bowl of deicilous kir. In it are cardamon seeds. The boy complains that he does not want to eat the kir due to the black stones that are in it. The mother tells him, take out the black stones and enjoy the rest, it is still delicious. When the boy one day realizes that the black stones are cardomon, he can then eat them.....or not. At least then he will enjoy the delicious benefits of the rest of the kir instead of throwing away the whole bowl without even trying it while arguing that, because he saw black stones in it, the whole thing must be made of shite.


My 2 cents.

Edited a few times to get this rant out of my system. Hehe!


Yes but by "remembering a PCE, then intentionally triggering a full blown one", aren't you just conditioning yourself again? It seems like the concept of Anchoring in NLP/Hypnosis to me. Attaching importance to a certain state of consciousness is fine if that's what you want, but is it a route to actual freedom or actual enlightenment?

RE: Essence of Actual Freedom
Answer
5/11/11 2:52 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Heather MacDonald:
It’s like the hard drive in your computer, it can store whatever information, but is not altered by that information it stores. Your hard drive will remain as it was when you installed it in the sense that the capacity to store information is the same. Even when your hard drive is damaged beyond repair, it’s fundamental nature remains in the sense that we can make another hard drive by applying the same principles.


Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
I think you are conflating the physical hard drive with the idea of a "Hard Drive". They are two different things.

A physical hard drive is a combination of molecules arranged in a certain way. The magnetic plates store the information. The physical hard drive is most certainly altered by the information it stores, as the storing of information is flipping the magnetic bits on the plate. If the physical hard drive were unalterable, it would be impossible for it to store information. Further, as you keep using it, the capacity to store information diminishes as it decays, sectors break, you might even lose your file data, etc. When the physical hard drive is damaged beyond repair, it simply cannot store information anymore.

By fundamental nature you seem to mean the idea of a "Hard Drive". That is - the physical hard drive was built to certain specifications and another one can be built like it. But that would be another physical hard drive - an entirely different one. The 'fundamental nature' you speak of is simply an idea, a concept in certain human minds. But that has nothing to do with the physical hard drive, which just sits there, spins around, and makes noises when given the appropriate electrical signals.

That is to say - the fundamental nature you speak of is nowhere to be found in the physical hard drive. It doesn't exist outside of an idea in certain human minds. The fundamental nature also has no capacity to store information - only the physical hard drive does. And also what is fundamental about something that didn't exist until 60 years ago or less?


I knew you'd love that analogy, but not at all, there is no conflating going on here. The two are one, as I thought I hinted at. Perhaps you are too much the literalist to actually see what is being written, maybe I ought to have added 'holographic'emoticon I understand the nature of a hard drive, hence my use of such. The data does not alter the actual hard drive, the actual hard drive is simply a recording device. The recording process certainly alters the disk, but the data does nothing to the integrity of the actual drive! What matters is the memory process - that's what I'm saying. Same with the human memory, it matters not what is recorded therein. So conditions/conditioning matter not, the actual problem is another factor altogether.

Heather MacDonald:
The mind, human or otherwise, is memory. As I said, the content of memory can be anything, that does not alter the fact of how memory functions nor what memory is intrinsically.


Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Are you saying that human nature - the entirety of that which cannot be changed in humans - is memory? So someone who has completely transcended human conditioning would be left solely with memory and nothing else? There is no other function of the mind than memory? How are you reading these words and replying to them using only memory? And would the faculties that allow you to do that go away upon transcending the human condition (as you define it)?

(I was asking for an exhaustive list - what is the entirety of what you consider to be human nature?)


Nope. Memory is a function of memory. Without memory I couldn't possibly understand one word, this page would just be squiggles, spaces, etc. Without understanding the rules of English I would still be at a loss as to what somebody is saying. I mean, it is a bit like humour, it doesn't read very well does it, not compared to the spoken word. Memory is very literal without added layers of memory which can get the gist. I would say that intelligence is more than mere memory, just as creativity is. But observe yourself, how much is simply regurgitation???

Heather MacDonald:
A friend of mine put it perfectly… “Human nature is the hardware, conditioning - the software. When you reach basic nature, there’s nothing to change, there is no problem”.


Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
An Actual Freedom is basically the eradication of all the conditioning - and not only that, but the eradication of that which can be conditioned - 'being' itself - which also is equivalent to all feeling and emotion and instinctual passion vanishing. What's left is just the hardware - that is, just the physical body, along with the six senses, along with consciousness conscious of being consciousness, not to mention full retention of the physical and mental faculties such as motor control, intelligence, discernment, and memory. This also happens temporarily in a PCE.

I'm not asking you to accept or believe any of this. The recommended advice is to cultivate a PCE and see for yourself.


Well that's the bit I can't understand... "the eradication of that which can be conditioned - 'being' itself", because if this were so then what is left? Only memory can be conditioned or is there something I've missed in my observation? Isn't consciousness a composite of memory? Rather than "cultivate" anything, I'd rather see myself as I am in actuality. To cultivate is to move towards a certain state is it not? What is the difference of this "consciousness being conscious of itself" as opposed to what everyday people experience?

RE: Essence of Actual Freedom
Answer
5/11/11 3:51 PM as a reply to Heather MacDonald.
Conditioning what/who? A feeling "me"? More like eradicating it.

Fair enough Heather, I'm not interested in arguing any further. It's up to you to see for yourself.

Be happy!

Nick

RE: Essence of Actual Freedom
Answer
5/11/11 4:04 PM as a reply to Heather MacDonald.
Never mind about the analogy then =P. I think I was straying too far from what it was meant to be an analogy for...

Heather MacDonald:
Same with the human memory, it matters not what is recorded therein. So conditions/conditioning matter not, the actual problem is another factor altogether.

What is the actual problem?

-----

Heather MacDonald:
The mind, human or otherwise, is memory. As I said, the content of memory can be anything, that does not alter the fact of how memory functions nor what memory is intrinsically.


Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Are you saying that human nature - the entirety of that which cannot be changed in humans - is memory? So someone who has completely transcended human conditioning would be left solely with memory and nothing else? There is no other function of the mind than memory? How are you reading these words and replying to them using only memory? And would the faculties that allow you to do that go away upon transcending the human condition (as you define it)?

(I was asking for an exhaustive list - what is the entirety of what you consider to be human nature?)


Heather MacDonald:
Nope. Memory is a function of memory. Without memory I couldn't possibly understand one word, this page would just be squiggles, spaces, etc. Without understanding the rules of English I would still be at a loss as to what somebody is saying. I mean, it is a bit like humour, it doesn't read very well does it, not compared to the spoken word. Memory is very literal without added layers of memory which can get the gist. I would say that intelligence is more than mere memory, just as creativity is. But observe yourself, how much is simply regurgitation???

I was being really literal, here. If you had only memory, you would not be able to see, hear, smell, taste or touch, anything - you didn't mention seeing as a faculty of the mind, just memory. You would not be able to move your arm and press on the keys. You wouldn't have any inputs with which to form memories!

Also, without memory, you'd still be perfectly capable of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching - your senses don't depend on memory to work.

-----

Heather MacDonald:
A friend of mine put it perfectly… “Human nature is the hardware, conditioning - the software. When you reach basic nature, there’s nothing to change, there is no problem”.


Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
An Actual Freedom is basically the eradication of all the conditioning - and not only that, but the eradication of that which can be conditioned - 'being' itself - which also is equivalent to all feeling and emotion and instinctual passion vanishing. What's left is just the hardware - that is, just the physical body, along with the six senses, along with consciousness conscious of being consciousness, not to mention full retention of the physical and mental faculties such as motor control, intelligence, discernment, and memory. This also happens temporarily in a PCE.

I'm not asking you to accept or believe any of this. The recommended advice is to cultivate a PCE and see for yourself.


Heather MacDonald:
Well that's the bit I can't understand... "the eradication of that which can be conditioned - 'being' itself", because if this were so then what is left?

What I listed in the next sentence you quoted: "What's left is just the hardware - that is, just the physical body, along with the six senses, along with consciousness conscious of being consciousness, not to mention full retention of the physical and mental faculties such as motor control, intelligence, discernment, and memory."

Heather MacDonald:
Only memory can be conditioned or is there something I've missed in my observation?
Memory is a part of conditioning... you have beliefs and stuff which depend on you being able to remember the beliefs. But I wouldn't say the memory is conditioned, per se... by memory being conditioned, I don't consider learning a fact to be conditioning memory, so we may be using the word 'conditioning' differently, here. But, rather that conditioning depends on memory. What I consider conditioning, that which can disappear, is feelings and emotions (fear, annoyance, hate, regret, etc), the beliefs that cause them (this is good; this is bad; this is right; this is wrong), 'being' itself. by 'being' i mean - you feel like you exist, and you feel that the world exists.. those feelings also disappear.

You also might certainly remember a belief you used to have but not believe it anymore, or that you used to feel this feeling in a certain situation but don't, anymore. This isn't a memory-altering process. Though your feelings about and reactions towards those memories will change.

Heather MacDonald:
Isn't consciousness a composite of memory?
If you suffered total amnesia, wouldn't you still be conscious?

Heather MacDonald:
Rather than "cultivate" anything, I'd rather see myself as I am in actuality. To cultivate is to move towards a certain state is it not?
Well, say that right now you're in state A+B+C+D. And you as you are in actuality is A. Seeing yourself as you are in actuality would require going from A+B+C+D --> A. That motion requires some word - I assume you're not there currently - so I used 'cultivate'. One could say you are cultivating being only as you are in actuality. You could call just-A a state, though it wouldn't be entirely accurate (more like the absence of all states).

Heather MacDonald:
What is the difference of this "consciousness being conscious of itself" as opposed to what everyday people experience?

That's what a PCE is. Note a PCE is just a word describing an experience which isn't new - it happens a lot in childhood and certainly happened before Richard coined the term. Descriptions of PCEs are available here, more about them here. Certainly sounds different than everyday experience!

RE: Essence of Actual Freedom
Answer
5/12/11 2:09 PM as a reply to Heather MacDonald.
Heather MacDonald:

Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
That was the only paragraph that was unclear to me. I didn't see what you were getting at, but did you mean that if he had transcended human nature, as you understand it, there would be no human condition, as you understand it, since the human condition is a conditioning of that human nature, which is gone - so evidence of the latter shows evidence that he hasn't transcended human nature?


It seems that no one could possibly have their human nature disappear and remain human. Human nature (to me anyway), is the most basic functioning of what it is to be human, that which underlies the human condition. It’s really like memory. Memory underlies all learning. If memory disappeared, there would be no learning.

In the example of Richard indulging in sex for instance… why would he desire it as he suggests he’s beyond instincts, beyond the human condition, beyond emotions, etc (hence my question: “Are these not examples of the human condition in action”). However his words imply he was exploring, learning, not only that but really enjoying himself while doing so.

I’m not saying that sex isn’t natural nor that it shouldn’t be fully enjoyed, but if what you say is true (human nature disappears) then Richard would not have the nature to be sexual. He would be beyond it in the sense that a baby is beyond sexuality – it simply would not exist – it simply could not exist. Sex takes desire, it takes emotion, feeling, it takes the activation of certain hormones, etc. So, either way, Richard loses out… his delusion is naked for the world to see – the king indeed has no clothes.

The phrases weren’t used interchangeably, but in direct relation to what yourself and Richard have said… if the human condition is an active aspect of Richard’s life then he would indulge himself in whatever. If human nature does not exist, the human condition certainly can’t, but human nature certainly could exist without the human condition. So it's really whether the sexual expression (or whatever) is an aspect of human nature or of the human condition. I'm suggesting that by pursuing sex, i.e. trying to learn it, explore its possibilities, etc, it is of the human condition and is not of the natural human nature.

to offer a suggestion that might clear up confusion here, what is meant by 'the human condition' on the actual freedom trust website is 'the human condition of malice and sorrow (for which 'the human condition', as so commonly used there, is short-form).

in sex without malice, there is no malice. in sex without sorrow, there is no sorrow. with neither malice nor sorrow, harmony abounds. and thus 'peace on earth' is fulfilled even in sexual congress - personal relationships are no longer uneasy truces (they all cease to exist), desires no longer tortured goals (they all cease to exist). an actual freedom is not about making one's 'human nature disappear'; here, celibacy is optional, congress is optional. being optional, they are not "one's" choices, but not choices made for one either.

malice and sorrow come about through fear and worry. fear and worry comes about through the feeling of being (the psyche). the feeling of being (the psyche) comes about through blind instinctual swirling. but when the conditions for blind instinctual swirling become apperceptively aware, they no longer comes about.

apperceptive awareness comes about though attentiveness (heedfulness). attentiveness (heedfulness) comes about through sensuousness (literal, rather than figurative, ardency[1]). sensuousness (ardency) comes about through pure intent (resolve). pure intent (resolve) comes about through sincerity.

thus, sincerity brings about pure intent. pure intent brings about sensuousness. sensuousness brings about attentiveness. attentiveness brings about apperception. apperception 'destroys' the conditions through which blind instinctual swirling comes about; from apperception, blind instinctual swirling does not come about.

when blind instinctual swirling does not come about, the feeling of being does not come about. when the feeling of being does not come about, fear and worry do not come about. when fear and worry do not come about, malice and sorrow do not come about. when malice and sorrow do not come about, there is peace on earth. for sans these conditions which give rise to malice and sorrow, there is no desire that burns the hearts of men and compels them to inflame each other. consideration and a sense of proportion, not necessarily celibacy and a sense for abstinence, is what brings about peace on earth.


*

or, look at it this way[2]:

there are only the 5 aggregates: sense-experience (consciousness), memory/recognition (perception), visceral experience (physical feeling), volitive experience (volitional formations), and spatial experience (form). sexual activity is a physical and mental activity involving those aggregates; their simple presence and interplay, over a variety of aggregate formations, are enough to bring about a vast array of tastes in living, breathing humans, including the inclination to sexual activities or their absence ... and which matters are no different from how the tastes of harmony, of friendship, of joyous co-existence, are brought about. things agreeable to the six senses laid bare are agreeable as aggregate formations.. and what is agreeable to the six senses laid bare depends on the idiosyncrasies of those senses. a taste for any anhedonically pleasurable experience is essentially no different in how it is pleasurably experienced from a taste for any other visceral (and unaffected) experience (such as an atmosphere and climate agreeable to the nose and skin; foods agreeable to the tongue and stomach; spatially oriented forms and colours agreeable to the eye). fundamentally, aesthetic preferences in all of these matters are physically (rather than psychically) determined.

to eat sufficiently, to be healthy, to be at ease.. these are tastes basic to so many humans that they may be thought of as universal tastes. and being that food is not always sufficient, health is not always present, and ease is so easily disrupted, this is why birth, aging, illness, and death are taken as universal forms of suffering. yet, being that experience is anhedonic in actuality after all, such suffering can be escaped. escaped, tastes endure, and (considered) proclivities determine (unaffected) volition. as such, there can be sexual activity with no suffering - no emotion, no desire, no feeling; neither prompted by suffering nor resulting in suffering. i also continue to anhedonically eat, attend to my health, and breathe easy.

tarin

[1] sense-contact is actually the body burning; matter is not passive; change is constant combustion and decay.

[2] or, another way:

Aristotle:

2

The virtue of a thing is relative to its proper work. Now there are three things in the soul which control action and truth-sensation, reason, desire.

Of these sensation originates no action; this is plain from the fact that the lower animals have sensation but no share in action.

What affirmation and negation are in thinking, pursuit and avoidance are in desire; so that since moral virtue is a state of character concerned with choice, and choice is deliberate desire, therefore both the reasoning must be true and the desire right, if the choice is to be good, and the latter must pursue just what the former asserts. Now this kind of intellect and of truth is practical; of the intellect which is contemplative, not practical nor productive, the good and the bad state are truth and falsity respectively (for this is the work of everything intellectual); while of the part which is practical and intellectual the good state is truth in agreement with right desire.

The origin of action-its efficient, not its final cause-is choice, and that of choice is desire and reasoning with a view to an end. This is why choice cannot exist either without reason and intellect or without a moral state; for good action and its opposite cannot exist without a combination of intellect and character. Intellect itself, however, moves nothing, but only the intellect which aims at an end and is practical; for this rules the productive intellect, as well, since every one who makes makes for an end, and that which is made is not an end in the unqualified sense (but only an end in a particular relation, and the end of a particular operation)-only that which is done is that; for good action is an end, and desire aims at this. Hence choice is either desiderative reason or ratiocinative desire, and such an origin of action is a man. (It is to be noted that nothing that is past is an object of choice, e.g. no one chooses to have sacked Troy; for no one deliberates about the past, but about what is future and capable of being otherwise, while what is past is not capable of not having taken place; hence Agathon is right in saying

For this alone is lacking even to God,
To make undone things that have once been done.)

The work of both the intellectual parts, then, is truth. Therefore the states that are most strictly those in respect of which each of these parts will reach truth are the virtues of the two parts. (source)


now, replace 'ratiocination' with 'memory', and 'desideration' with 'volition' (or replace 'reason' and 'desire' with the same), and find their function in a way where there's no conflict either between them or elsewhere (as no such conflict actually obtains in these aggregates' unaffected, apperceptive experience - they're not actually separate faculties), and you'll have here an idea of what is meant on the actual freedom trust website by 'an actual freedom from the human condition'. of course, an idea of such isn't necessarily the experience of such, and such experience anyway does not come about through the proliferation of fantastic thoughts or through quarreling with others, but through attentive sensuousness, purely intent.

RE: Essence of Actual Freedom
Answer
5/13/11 5:59 PM as a reply to tarin greco.
tarin greco:

personal relationships are no longer uneasy truces (they all cease to exist)


These are potent words. Until reading this I could not understand how a body could live without a self. 'I' am locked into relatedness not only by conscious clinging but simply by failing to understand that relatedness does not exist in actuality. Until this is seen and understood, I don't think it is possible to understand what no self means.

RE: Essence of Actual Freedom
Answer
5/23/11 5:34 AM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nikolai .:
Conditioning what/who? A feeling "me"? More like eradicating it.

Fair enough Heather, I'm not interested in arguing any further. It's up to you to see for yourself.

Be happy!

Nick


The point was; if anybody erdicated memory what would they be? How could they communicate? How would they know how to sail a yacht? So maybe memory cannot be eradicated as that would leave no mind by which to interact with other minds, bodies, the world, universe, whatever.

A differing view is hardly arguing, enquiry takes in all views and reflects those views as is seen (yes, from each of our own perspectives).

RE: Essence of Actual Freedom
Answer
5/23/11 5:40 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Heather MacDonald:
Same with the human memory, it matters not what is recorded therein. So conditions/conditioning matter not, the actual problem is another factor altogether.


Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
What is the actual problem?


Whatever problem is considered to be a problem. So, if you have a problem with a sense of suffering you could blame your conditioning, conditions, even human nature. All of which seem true and are convincing to a certain extent, but that is missing the real point completely. I could say it’s just indulgence, but what is the origin of indulgence, that is the essential factor to comprehend.

RE: Essence of Actual Freedom
Answer
5/23/11 6:06 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Heather MacDonald:
The mind, human or otherwise, is memory. As I said, the content of memory can be anything, that does not alter the fact of how memory functions nor what memory is intrinsically.


Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Are you saying that human nature - the entirety of that which cannot be changed in humans - is memory? So someone who has completely transcended human conditioning would be left solely with memory and nothing else? There is no other function of the mind than memory? How are you reading these words and replying to them using only memory? And would the faculties that allow you to do that go away upon transcending the human condition (as you define it)?

(I was asking for an exhaustive list - what is the entirety of what you consider to be human nature?)


Heather MacDonald:
Nope. Memory is a function of memory. Without memory I couldn't possibly understand one word, this page would just be squiggles, spaces, etc. Without understanding the rules of English I would still be at a loss as to what somebody is saying. I mean, it is a bit like humour, it doesn't read very well does it, not compared to the spoken word. Memory is very literal without added layers of memory which can get the gist. I would say that intelligence is more than mere memory, just as creativity is. But observe yourself, how much is simply regurgitation???


Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
I was being really literal, here. If you had only memory, you would not be able to see, hear, smell, taste or touch, anything - you didn't mention seeing as a faculty of the mind, just memory. You would not be able to move your arm and press on the keys. You wouldn't have any inputs with which to form memories!

Also, without memory, you'd still be perfectly capable of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching - your senses don't depend on memory to work.


It seems that this is fast becoming a muddled mess of misinterpretation. To clear this up, we’ll have to backtrack a bit and look at what has actually been said as opposed to what has been assumed to have been said.

Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Are you saying that human nature - the entirety of that which cannot be changed in humans - is memory?


I answered “Nope”, meaning no. I thought that would suffice.
Human nature, being body and mind, is a totality, memory is an aspect of the totality.

Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Can you define for me what you take to be the fundamental way the (human) mind works, that cannot be altered.


It seems clear enough why I simply answered memory. It is not clear why you replace such with “human nature”.

The fundamental way the mind works is via memory. Every stimulus is filtered through and categorized by memory. These words make sense to you because you were taught the English language – due to your conditioning. If I replied in Yukip it is doubtful whether we could have an ongoing conversation. Your sight could see the Yukip symbols, but your memory could not decode those symbols in any meaningful way.

Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem :
I was being really literal, here. If you had only memory, you would not be able to see, hear, smell, taste or touch, anything - you didn't mention seeing as a faculty of the mind, just memory. You would not be able to move your arm and press on the keys. You wouldn't have any inputs with which to form memories!


Maybe you think I’m suggesting some disembodied whatever floating around in an ether loosely connected to the physical world via an animal body, I am not. Communication via a forum seems a bit tricky but all of these segments are in direct relation to other segments. So if we follow what I've actually been saying and take it as a whole it reads: human nature is body/mind --- body obviously having senses --- mind obviously being memory, intellect, etc.

But just to clarify, what do you mean by “seeing”? Seeing is a faculty of memory as it is of the body. We can see that which is not physically present; we can imagine. Imagination is memory.

RE: Essence of Actual Freedom
Answer
5/23/11 6:35 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Heather MacDonald:
A friend of mine put it perfectly… “Human nature is the hardware, conditioning - the software. When you reach basic nature, there’s nothing to change, there is no problem”.


Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
An Actual Freedom is basically the eradication of all the conditioning - and not only that, but the eradication of that which can be conditioned - 'being' itself - which also is equivalent to all feeling and emotion and instinctual passion vanishing. What's left is just the hardware - that is, just the physical body, along with the six senses, along with consciousness conscious of being consciousness, not to mention full retention of the physical and mental faculties such as motor control, intelligence, discernment, and memory. This also happens temporarily in a PCE.

I'm not asking you to accept or believe any of this. The recommended advice is to cultivate a PCE and see for yourself.


Heather MacDonald:
Well that's the bit I can't understand... "the eradication of that which can be conditioned - 'being' itself", because if this were so then what is left?


Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
What I listed in the next sentence you quoted: "What's left is just the hardware - that is, just the physical body, along with the six senses, along with consciousness conscious of being consciousness, not to mention full retention of the physical and mental faculties such as motor control, intelligence, discernment, and memory."


Heather MacDonald:
Only memory can be conditioned or is there something I've missed in my observation?


Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Memory is a part of conditioning... you have beliefs and stuff which depend on you being able to remember the beliefs. But I wouldn't say the memory is conditioned, per se... by memory being conditioned, I don't consider learning a fact to be conditioning memory, so we may be using the word 'conditioning' differently, here. But, rather that conditioning depends on memory. What I consider conditioning, that which can disappear, is feelings and emotions (fear, annoyance, hate, regret, etc), the beliefs that cause them (this is good; this is bad; this is right; this is wrong), 'being' itself. by 'being' i mean - you feel like you exist, and you feel that the world exists.. those feelings also disappear.

You also might certainly remember a belief you used to have but not believe it anymore, or that you used to feel this feeling in a certain situation but don't, anymore. This isn't a memory-altering process. Though your feelings about and reactions towards those memories will change.


We seem to be at cross purposes for no other reason than conditioningemoticon

So long as memory is conditioned, there is no separation. So people think they are their conditioning. They think "I remember", but there is only memory, the "I" is a backtracking of memory itself.

But what do you mean by “a fact”?

If somebody says, “God made the world”, that is not a fact, that is an acceptance. If it is Richard saying “You are only the body”, that is an acceptance. An acceptance is conditioning. If I have an experience and accept that as fact, I’m conditioned. The source matters not, the acceptance is everything. Likewise, the acceptance of rejection is everything! So if we are living by memory – we are completely conditioned.

What I'm getting at is that memory is memory, it is the very stuff that is able to be conditioned, to record, to repeat, to automatically replay whatever. Can we actually eradicate that? I have my doubts - obviously.

RE: Essence of Actual Freedom
Answer
5/23/11 6:47 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Heather MacDonald:
Isn't consciousness a composite of memory?


Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
If you suffered total amnesia, wouldn't you still be conscious?


You’d be conscious of your surroundings, but just how conscious? It’s a bit like being really drunk, conscious but only just. But really that question poses no answer whatsoever, so I ask again, isn’t consciousness just a composite of memory?

RE: Essence of Actual Freedom
Answer
5/23/11 6:52 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Heather MacDonald:
Rather than "cultivate" anything, I'd rather see myself as I am in actuality. To cultivate is to move towards a certain state is it not?


Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Well, say that right now you're in state A+B+C+D. And you as you are in actuality is A. Seeing yourself as you are in actuality would require going from A+B+C+D --> A. That motion requires some word - I assume you're not there currently - so I used 'cultivate'. One could say you are cultivating being only as you are in actuality. You could call just-A a state, though it wouldn't be entirely accurate (more like the absence of all states).


To cultivate is to attend to, to nourish, to encourage – it is a thought driven process – an act of will – an act of consciousness upon itself. How can I cultivate Truth? I do not know Truth. I can’t simply accept somebody’s word that what they say is Truth. So whatever I would be cultivating could simply be delusion. Likewise whatever process is used can lead to delusion, and judging by Richard's writings, I'd rather not go down that road. As I said, I’d rather allow Truth to present itself... as delusion drops away, there is clarity.

RE: Essence of Actual Freedom
Answer
5/23/11 7:06 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Heather MacDonald:
What is the difference of this "consciousness being conscious of itself" as opposed to what everyday people experience?


Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
That's what a PCE is. Note a PCE is just a word describing an experience which isn't new - it happens a lot in childhood and certainly happened before Richard coined the term. Descriptions of PCEs are available here, more about them here. Certainly sounds different than everyday experience!


I don’t doubt it happened long before Richard claimed to have coined the term, as I’ve seen the term used elsewhere - as far back as the 1900’s.

You seem to be accepting the validity of a state, which may or may not be the Real Truth rather than just relative truth. What of those who have had a NDE (near death experience)? That is the most “intensely conscious” state they’ve experienced, the most “alive, awake, clear” they’ve ever been. So why would a person who has had a NDE doubt its validity when told by say Richard “Oh, you’re just a body. Sorry, but it was just a delusion of sorrow and malice”. Which it may or may not be – we have no objective means to say otherwise. Therefore Richard’s position is one of “believe me, I am an authority on these matters”. But reading his garbled webpage, he just sounds like a lunatic.

There is no difference is there? Acceptance is conditioning of the memory, not a clearing of the conditioning, just a continuation. It’s like your description “Consciousness being conscious of itself”, that’s everyday experience for most people – hence the suffering.

The links you placed are merely subjective interpretations. Like I said, they differ little from other Altered States, so again it is to move beyond belief. It’s a bit like typing these words, certainly it is the body; the muscles, the nerves, etc, however the driving force is memory. Without my memory of ASC’s I couldn’t compare what Richard claims to be with his actual words which suggest someone far from an enlightened state. If he’s in a state of Absolute Freedom from the human condition of misery and fear, then he sounds no more clear in the head than one who is not free in anyway. So is it a desirable state to be in, absolutely not. It’s like when shopping for a new laptop. I look at the real product not the claims, not the technical blueprint, not the overblown advertising. So if the end product is at odds with the claims, then no thanks.

You really do yourself no favour with these links. I mean read this http://actualfreedom.com.au/library/topics/pce.htm
[quote=]Richard: A PCE is when one’s sense of identity temporarily vacates the throne and apperception occurs. Apperception is the mind’s perception of itself … it is a pure awareness . Normally the mind perceives through the senses and sorts the data received according to its predilection; but the mind itself remains unperceived ... it is taken to be unknowable. Apperception is when the ‘thinker’ and the ‘feeler’ is not and an unmediated awareness occurs. The pure consciousness experience is as if one has eyes in the back of one’s head; there is a three hundred and sixty degree awareness and all is self-evidently clear.

Without mind there is no action. Likewise with the Actual Freedom method, mind-consciousness is the driving force… deliberately seeking certain states… interpreting such in terms of the belief system, etc.

So basically, Richard may or may not have such a state of consciousness but it is still very much a state of consciousness. To me it’s like saying the body is a lump of minerals – therefore I am a rock. It’s superficial nonsense. There are obvious contradictions within that quote. Without an identity it would be more like a computer running a program – no form of consciousness necessary, no memory of what was.

RE: Essence of Actual Freedom
Answer
5/23/11 7:39 AM as a reply to tarin greco.
tarin greco:
to offer a suggestion that might clear up confusion here, what is meant by 'the human condition' on the actual freedom trust website is 'the human condition of malice and sorrow (for which 'the human condition', as so commonly used there, is short-form).


That’s not how it reads to an actual reader. It simply reads ‘human condition’, but the addition of malice and sorrow changes things drastically for the focus is now on those emotions which drag us down rather than the apparent emotions which are uplifting. Can you see how the terminology misleads?

Why on earth can’t Richard just talk straight? If I was laying out the terms of a great insight into the problems which have beset humanity for millennia I’d be very careful as to how I put it, there would be absolutely no room for misinterpretation. Communication is tricky at the best of times, especially with the written word, so we have to simplify and clarify to eliminate error of interpretation.

RE: Essence of Actual Freedom
Answer
5/23/11 7:50 AM as a reply to tarin greco.
tarin greco:
- personal relationships are no longer uneasy truces (they all cease to exist)


That is a gross assumption that all relationships are battlefields. I wouldn’t disagree completely, but there are the exceptions and those exceptions tell us more than not. Anyway, what is Richard having if not a personal relationship? It matters little if he and his partner decide there is no need for exclusivity in any form, that would still be the basic plan for relating to one another. To the objective observer - they are in a relationship as they live together - presumably for one another, act together, etc. If it’s impersonal it wouldn’t be classified as a relationship. Indeed, any sexual activity between them would be objective rape.

tarin greco:
desires no longer tortured goals (they all cease to exist).


Once something ceases to be, it no longer is – profundity is staggering. However, that is still misleading as Richard plainly has desires.

Desire is by necessity dependent totally upon an identity, an identification, otherwise there no desire? So in the case of Richard, why does he desire sex, desire travel, desire fine food, or whatever? I cannot sweep this recurring question under the carpet, it must be answered and answered clearly otherwise suspicion will never be suspended.

tarin greco:
an actual freedom is not about making one's 'human nature disappear'; here, celibacy is optional, congress is optional. being optional, they are not "one's" choices, but not choices made for one either.


That tells us nothing, as here in this state (being not an Actual Freedom), everything is optional too. Celibacy is not compulsive, sex is not compulsive, the absence of either is not compulsive. Unlike Dr Freud, I don’t think we’re essentially driven by the sex drive, that is only part of human nature and becomes dominant when our options are thought to be limited or when social conditioning is conformed to or via many other physical/psychological factors.

But what do you mean by that cryptic sentence… “they are not "one's" choices, but not choices made for one either”. Again, ordinary people can make the same statement as we do have spontaneous sexual eruptions/attractions. Likewise, a rapist can say... “I couldn’t help myself, it was as if a demon took me over”. Alternatively, you could just mean it is instinct acting out or genes determining action. So for the sake of clarity, please explain further.

RE: Essence of Actual Freedom
Answer
5/23/11 8:31 AM as a reply to tarin greco.
tarin greco:
malice and sorrow come about through fear and worry. fear and worry comes about through the feeling of being (the psyche). the feeling of being (the psyche) comes about through blind instinctual swirling. but when the conditions for blind instinctual swirling become apperceptively aware, they no longer comes about.

apperceptive awareness comes about though attentiveness (heedfulness). attentiveness (heedfulness) comes about through sensuousness (literal, rather than figurative, ardency[1]). sensuousness (ardency) comes about through pure intent (resolve). pure intent (resolve) comes about through sincerity.


If you said fear leads to sorrow that would be far more accurate and eloquent. For anyone with an inkling knows that malice and worry derive from sorrow - all of which derive from fear. If you said that the feeling of being comes from consciousness misperceiving consciousness, that would be far more accurate and eloquent. If you said that the cycle of limited consciousness can come to an end via perception, again that would be far more accurate and eloquent.

To say that mental comprehension (apperception) is enlightenment, or more so - “beyond enlightenment”, is simply insanity. Mental content is the past. A referential process is far from freedom, being only limited experience to the exclusion of infinite possibilities. Apperception, is perception limited by choice. All of the above (attentiveness, sensuousness, sincerity), these are just mental states of control.

RE: Essence of Actual Freedom
Answer
5/23/11 10:44 AM as a reply to Heather MacDonald.
Heather MacDonald:
Therefore Richard’s position is one of “believe me, I am an authority on these matters”.
as far as i understand that is the opposite of his position:
Richard:
I do not want any one to merely believe me. I stress to people how vital it is that they see for themselves. If they were so foolish as to believe me then the most they would end up in is living in a dream state and thus miss out on the actual. I do not wish this fate upon anyone ... I like my fellow human beings. What one can do is make a critical examination of all the words I advance so as to ascertain if they be intrinsically self-explanatory ... and only when they are seen to be inherently consistent with what is being spoken about, then the facts speak for themselves.


Heather MacDonald:
But reading his garbled webpage, he just sounds like a lunatic.
why does he sound like that to you but not to someone else?

RE: Essence of Actual Freedom
Answer
5/23/11 10:39 PM as a reply to Heather MacDonald.
hi heather,

Heather MacDonald:

tarin greco:
desires no longer tortured goals (they all cease to exist).

Once something ceases to be, it no longer is – profundity is staggering. However, that is still misleading as Richard plainly has desires.

Desire is by necessity dependent totally upon an identity, an identification, otherwise there no desire? So in the case of Richard, why does he desire sex, desire travel, desire fine food, or whatever? I cannot sweep this recurring question under the carpet, it must be answered and answered clearly otherwise suspicion will never be suspended.

i salt my potatoes (but not my rice). will you take this to mean that i desire fine foods? an even more extreme view would have it that free of desire i would not cook my rice at all (as it is technically edible even while raw). and there are those who would say that even the fact that i am bothering to eat reflects desire... as well as those who would say that, regardless of whether or not i eat, the fact that i am a living, breathing, heart-beating human reflects desire. alas... in any of these cases, what is being confused is desire and will.

desire as it is meant here is entirely the property of an identity, concomitant with an identity, non-existent if the identity is non-existent (which definition of 'identity' here is the feeling of being i referred to in my previous reply). without desire (without identity), volitional operation (what is indicated here by 'will') lacks urge (which i have previously referred to as 'compulsion' - more on this in the next section of my reply).

it may be difficult for you to understand the difference meant here between desire and will.. particularly as you begin with the premiss that you know what is desire, and what conditions cannot obtain in desire's absence. however, even were you to set aside those pre-mature conclusions, this is not a matter that can reliably be reasoned out (i do speak from firsthand experience here). for a clear and affirmative understanding, i recommend a pce (and short of that, a sustained period of sensuousness naivete such as in an excellence experience), in which choices are made, actions are taken, yet all transpire without (or with very faint) urge or compulsion, greed or lust; the experience of volition from such a place (or place) takes place in an entirely 'nother world (or a world transformed). now, while richard does not recommend meditation practice (and while i can understand why he does not), i am not richard, and i do - you may find my take on the matter in this thread. it is my opinion that a sustained practice of the type i describe in the thread increases the odds of a pce or excellence experience occurring.. though if you do not value heedfulness, ardency, and resolve, there may not be much point to such a practice, as missing those factors such a practice will be stunted. yet, all the same, even a meditation practice characterised by hit-or-miss heedfulness, lukewarm ardency, and slack resolve beats full-on engagement in mental proliferation (papanca-sanna-sankha[1]).


Heather MacDonald:

tarin greco:
an actual freedom is not about making one's 'human nature disappear'; here, celibacy is optional, congress is optional. being optional, they are not "one's" choices, but not choices made for one either.


That tells us nothing, as here in this state (being not an Actual Freedom), everything is optional too. Celibacy is not compulsive, sex is not compulsive, the absence of either is not compulsive. Unlike Dr Freud, I don’t think we’re essentially driven by the sex drive, that is only part of human nature and becomes dominant when our options are thought to be limited or when social conditioning is conformed to or via many other physical/psychological factors.

But what do you mean by that cryptic sentence… “they are not "one's" choices, but not choices made for one either”. Again, ordinary people can make the same statement as we do have spontaneous sexual eruptions/attractions. Likewise, a rapist can say... “I couldn’t help myself, it was as if a demon took me over”. Alternatively, you could just mean it is instinct acting out or genes determining action. So for the sake of clarity, please explain further.


in an actual freedom, one does not actually make decisions in the conventional way any longer ... nor are decisions compelled by an outside/deeper/higher power (such as in the lived experience of 'i am not my feelings'). absent of a feeling of being (a feeling being), the volitional operations of a flesh and blood body lack urge. there is never any heat in a choice, nor sense of time-pressure - one does not feel driven or urged to do or not do this or that. also absent are the feelings of right and/or wrong.. and so what one happens to do at any given moment is simply what seems like the thing to do; absent of malicious and sorrowful urges, this is not actually problematic, or troubling in its behavioural consequences. however, for one who has not made a sincere, ardent, and resolute commitment to happiness and harmlessness (aka felicity), i would not be able to say the same, for such commitment is what effectively leads to 'my' ('i am') unbinding, and without such commitment though one (the experience of 'i am') may not feel pressed by one's feelings (such that the experience of feeling remain an experience of an empty centre), in such a case it remains that one is still continuing to be driven (in malicious and sorrowful ways) by those feelings ... hence, my statement above referring to 'not choices made for one' (and how an actual freedom is not this).


*

i shall take leave of this conversation now, as my time nowadays is almost entirely occupied with other matters. i wish you the best in whatever methods of practice you choose to undertake, to the extent that your intent with it is to be happy and harmless via the eradication of the conditions which give rise to malice and sorrow. as this thread was posted in the 'books and websites' category for some reason, i shall leave you with a book (hosted on a website) that you may find more useful than you found the actual freedom trust website. here is an excerpt:
Dvedhavitakka Sutta: Two Sorts of Thinking:

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying at Savatthi, in Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. There he addressed the monks: "Monks!"

"Yes, lord," the monks replied.

The Blessed One said, "Monks, before my self-awakening, when I was still just an unawakened Bodhisatta, the thought occurred to me: 'Why don't I keep dividing my thinking into two sorts?' So I made thinking imbued with sensuality, thinking imbued with ill will, & thinking imbued with harmfulness one sort, and thinking imbued with renunciation, thinking imbued with non-ill will, & thinking imbued with harmlessness another sort. (source)


tarin

[1] http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.018.than.html