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selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice

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selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 5/18/11 9:29 AM
RE: selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice Trent . 5/18/11 11:23 AM
RE: selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 5/18/11 11:52 AM
RE: selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice adam , 5/18/11 1:04 PM
RE: selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 5/18/11 2:11 PM
RE: selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice adam , 5/18/11 3:35 PM
RE: selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice mico mico 5/18/11 1:06 PM
RE: selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 5/18/11 2:02 PM
RE: selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice Trent . 5/18/11 3:21 PM
RE: selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 5/18/11 4:07 PM
RE: selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice Trent . 5/18/11 4:12 PM
RE: selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 5/18/11 5:06 PM
RE: selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice Bruno Loff 5/20/11 4:22 AM
RE: selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice Jon T 5/20/11 5:17 AM
RE: selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 5/20/11 8:40 AM
RE: selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice Steph S 5/20/11 12:03 PM
RE: selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 5/20/11 12:12 PM
RE: selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice Steph S 5/21/11 1:08 PM
RE: selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 5/21/11 5:29 PM
RE: selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice Steph S 5/18/11 4:45 PM
RE: selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice Jill Morana 5/18/11 2:10 PM
RE: selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 5/18/11 2:51 PM
RE: selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice Rin Maryu 5/18/11 2:48 PM
RE: selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 5/18/11 3:15 PM
RE: selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice Florian 5/21/11 3:10 PM
RE: selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 5/21/11 5:35 PM
RE: selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 5/30/11 3:37 PM
This question has been bugging me in a weird way..

Instructions for MCTB 4th path, and descriptions of that state, go something like: everything is causal, happening-on-its-own, selfless, etc. it's just causal conditioned phenomena.

With the actualist method, you do have apperception happening on its own, and the process to an actual freedom happening on its own, etc. It seems like these two are talking about similar things.

But then there's the 'i'. Examples: 'i' have a choice whether to experience the moment with an affective filter or without. 'i' have a choice to feel whichever way i want. with an annoying tension in my head, it seems that the tension is just 'me' and 'i' have a choice whether to press on it and contort it or to let it go.

How does that fit in with the causal, selfless, happening-by-itself nature that 4th path talks about? It seems like with the 'me', 'i' do have a choice.. or the mind/intellect of this flesh&blood body has a choice.. whatever it is that does the choosing.

I ask cause I still meditate and it is weird switching between the two modes sometimes - one of walking around, choosing to enjoy the moment and not to have emotions arise, the other of seeing everything as happening by itself. The latter seems to really disempower the actualist method as it gives an appearance that i have no choice whether the emotion arises or whether my self is contracting.. but is that practice necessary to get to 4th path?

RE: selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice
Answer
5/18/11 11:23 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
your confusion is a result of trying to reconcile multiple mutually exclusive views you hold about something that is fundamentally viewless. if ‘I’ as ego is held as actual, then the view of ‘reality’ is one way … if ‘me’ as soul is held as actual, then the view of ‘reality’ is another way … if ‘I’ / ‘me’ masquerading as ‘actuality’ is held as actual, then the view of ‘reality’ is another way. and if ‘I’ / ‘me’ isn’t held at all, then the view is only of what the physical eye is seeing right now.

RE: selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice
Answer
5/18/11 11:52 AM as a reply to Trent ..
that's an eerily unsatisfying answer, as in not answering the question but pointing me in the right direction. it feels like there's a swarm of thoughts and i'm just missing a tiny bit to have it all collapse and make sense..

what is the something that is viewless? actuality? (not my conception of it, but what the physical eye is seeing.)

where does that put 4th path? is it just a view on 'reality' that gets locked-in permanently? so to get there i have to hold a view until it fruitions?

or do you mean holding these views is preventing me both from meditating effectively to get 4th path (meditating with an agenda, trying to see things a particular way, instead of just as-they-are - or is that particular flavor of 'just as-they-are' a view?) and from applying the actualist method effectively to get into a PCE?

RE: selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice
Answer
5/18/11 1:04 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
'you' are just a phenomena that is the result of a physical body, made of physical matter, it's all still causal. your choice is just an illusion. the more you kill the 'you' the less choice there seems to be, there's just the way you act, you do that, and you pleasantly experience it.

your choosing to use buddhist methods or AF methods is simply the result of a utility calculation you are making which differs off of changing variables (your experience) the information you get directly causes your choice. I don't know exactly what your doing, but for a while I was trying to do both things, I'd read an AF thing, and start doing AF, then maybe catch a glimpse of the dalai lama while I passed by a TV and start doing buddhism, its all just a bunch of causal transience. its just a property of that transience that consciousness exists and a semblance of choice exists.

What 'i' try and do is just let this body be this body, i have no reason to stop it, there is just the causally acting body and a pleasant awareness of agenda-less consciousness of its experience.

I don't know if you remember the issue I had for a while about why do anything... my answer was a sort of non-answer, but I think recently I've figured out the truth. there is in fact no reason to do anything, so just stop. don't restrain and don't force, just let body be body, once you entirely let go of the illusion of control over transient chaos, that's probably what the self-immolation so often talked about is.

RE: selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice
Answer
5/18/11 1:06 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
"it feels like there's a swarm of thoughts and i'm just missing a tiny bit to have it all collapse and make sense.."

Experience makes sense by itself, your thoughts don't have to collapse, or make sense.

"I ask cause I still meditate and it is weird switching between the two modes sometimes - one of walking around, choosing to enjoy the moment and not to have emotions arise, the other of [walking around, choosing to see] everything as happening by itself. The latter seems to really disempower the actualist method as it gives an appearance that i have no choice whether the emotion arises or whether my self is contracting"

I imagine it would disempower your actualist method, and your 4th path method also.

"where does that put 4th path? is it just a view on 'reality' that gets locked-in permanently? so to get there i have to hold a view until it fruitions? "

Fake it 'till you make it? Why are you trying to 'see everything' in a particular way?

"with an annoying tension in my head, it seems that the tension is just 'me' and 'i' have a choice whether to press on it and contort it or to let it go. How does that fit in with the causal, selfless, happening-by-itself nature that 4th path talks about? It seems like with the 'me', 'i' do have a choice.. or the mind/intellect of this flesh&blood body has a choice.."

You have a choice. But is your imagined relationship with 'an annoying tension in my head' of the same nature as your imagined relationship with 'the causal, selfless, happening-by-itself nature' that you practice seeing?

I'm reminded of something Tarin said on the ranch talk, about AF also being a complete feeling commitment. Perhaps it is relevant, or possibly offers a better perspective, but I only speculate as to what he meant.

RE: selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice
Answer
5/18/11 2:02 PM as a reply to mico mico.
mico mico:
"it feels like there's a swarm of thoughts and i'm just missing a tiny bit to have it all collapse and make sense.."

Experience makes sense by itself, your thoughts don't have to collapse, or make sense.

i mean it often happens that there's an insight and a swath of suffering is removed as it all makes sense, and a bunch of suffering 'i' caused myself stops. that's what i mean by 'collapse'. i felt like that was about to happen.

mico mico:
"I ask cause I still meditate and it is weird switching between the two modes sometimes - one of walking around, choosing to enjoy the moment and not to have emotions arise, the other of [walking around, choosing to see] everything as happening by itself. The latter seems to really disempower the actualist method as it gives an appearance that i have no choice whether the emotion arises or whether my self is contracting"

I imagine it would disempower your actualist method, and your 4th path method also.

why the 4th path method? vipassana is just seeing everything as it arises and passes away. no choice involved - just observe.

mico mico:
"where does that put 4th path? is it just a view on 'reality' that gets locked-in permanently? so to get there i have to hold a view until it fruitions? "

Fake it 'till you make it? Why are you trying to 'see everything' in a particular way?

4th path sounds beneficial.

mico mico:
"with an annoying tension in my head, it seems that the tension is just 'me' and 'i' have a choice whether to press on it and contort it or to let it go. How does that fit in with the causal, selfless, happening-by-itself nature that 4th path talks about? It seems like with the 'me', 'i' do have a choice.. or the mind/intellect of this flesh&blood body has a choice.."

You have a choice. But is your imagined relationship with 'an annoying tension in my head' of the same nature as your imagined relationship with 'the causal, selfless, happening-by-itself nature' that you practice seeing?

depends how deep you go.. i suppose fundamentally all relationships are of the same nature. i don't think my relationship with the selfless phenomena is of the same intensity, and they manifest differently. annoying tension in head = aversion from it, wishing it would go away, but realizing it's just 'me' and there's nothing there and intending to stop doing it seems to help. selfless stuff is just when i meditate i try to observe everything as it's happening.

mico mico:
I'm reminded of something Tarin said on the ranch talk, about AF also being a complete feeling commitment. Perhaps it is relevant, or possibly offers a better perspective, but I only speculate as to what he meant.

hm i'll need to re-listen to that.

RE: selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice
Answer
5/18/11 2:10 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
i dunno what put you into existence claudiu, but i sure didn't create myself! i didn't create my brain, didn't create the schools and the teachers that educated this brain, didn't create the parents who taught me stuff, didn't create the genetic traits and environmental factors that led to the formation of my habits and tendencies to choose, to do, to react, to think and function in xyz ways, etc. etc. so why can't it be both at once--why can't this I-Bot both be able to control things "my way" and make "my decisions" as well as be pre-programmed to do so (due to causes and conditions)? and if it can be both at once, why not the awareness of both at once? (or perhaps the awareness going back and forth between the two modes very quickly, giving the illusion that there is simultaneous awareness of both)? I-Bot can certainly experience the "I-choosing" and "I-doing" while at the same time observe and understand how it has been programmed (caused) to do stuff.

RE: selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice
Answer
5/18/11 2:11 PM as a reply to adam ,.
adam j. hunter:
'you' are just a phenomena that is the result of a physical body, made of physical matter, it's all still causal. your choice is just an illusion. the more you kill the 'you' the less choice there seems to be, there's just the way you act, you do that, and you pleasantly experience it.

i heard AF described as either the complete absence of will or absolute free will. in a sense the 'me' restricts free will as it directs one to react to the emotions which hinders intelligence. so the less 'me' the more free will. in another sense the less 'me' there is the more inevitable the whole process is..

adam j. hunter:
What 'i' try and do is just let this body be this body, i have no reason to stop it, there is just the causally acting body and a pleasant awareness of agenda-less consciousness of its experience.

when 'i' try to let the body be the body the tension in my head stiffens and hardens. just gotta work at that. so far the best results ive had were when walking around, bringing attention to what's behind me, all around me, actively seeking to see and hear everything at once, letting the edges of my vision disappear (there isn't really any 'blackness' around your vision since you dont see anything there. so it should all be seamless.) not a PCE yet, but pretty nice.

adam j. hunter:
I don't know if you remember the issue I had for a while about why do anything... my answer was a sort of non-answer, but I think recently I've figured out the truth. there is in fact no reason to do anything...

hehe if i remember correctly that is what most of us were saying. but one has to realize these things for oneself.

adam j. hunter:
, so just stop. don't restrain and don't force, just let body be body, once you entirely let go of the illusion of control over transient chaos, that's probably what the self-immolation so often talked about is.

there seem to be two approaches here:
1) just stop
2) foster delight, naievete and felicity, tune into the senses such that a PCE fortuitously happens

i suppose 2 is a way of getting you to do 1 as it's a better approximation of a PCE.

RE: selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice
Answer
5/18/11 2:51 PM as a reply to Jill Morana.
TJ Broccoli:
i dunno what put you into existence claudiu, but i sure didn't create myself! i didn't create my brain, didn't create the schools and the teachers that educated this brain, didn't create the parents who taught me stuff, didn't create the genetic traits and environmental factors that led to the formation of my habits and tendencies to choose, to do, to react, to think and function in xyz ways, etc. etc. so why can't it be both at once--why can't this I-Bot both be able to control things "my way" and make "my decisions" as well as be pre-programmed to do so (due to causes and conditions)? and if it can be both at once, why not the awareness of both at once? (or perhaps the awareness going back and forth between the two modes very quickly, giving the illusion that there is simultaneous awareness of both)? I-Bot can certainly experience the "I-choosing" and "I-doing" while at the same time observe and understand how it has been programmed (caused) to do stuff.

that's what starts happening when i meditate. e.g. i bring awareness to my leg.. then it's like oh i brought awareness to my leg, but i was observing every sensation making up me bringing awareness there. or i shift and it seemed like a decision except i noticed what triggered the shift, the decision to make the shift, and the shift.

i've been reconciling them in that way so far ('i' have a choice but it's all causal) but it seems unsatisfactory. and that it's dividing my efforts.

trent's answer seemed to point to something that would resolve the issue.

i suppose ultimately it doesn't matter. when i meditate i can just observe the arising and passing of any sensation i come across, be it touch, thought, feeling, emotion, or whatever. and when i walk around i can cultivate naivete and delight etc.

RE: selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice
Answer
5/18/11 2:48 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Just an idea: if you're looking to see Emptiness I would just repeat the cessations while seeing the entrance/exit clearly. You don't need a description or a view of that state. It just happens on it's own.

RE: selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice
Answer
5/18/11 3:15 PM as a reply to Rin Maryu.
Rin Maryu:
Just an idea: if you're looking to see Emptiness I would just repeat the cessations while seeing the entrance/exit clearly. You don't need a description or a view of that state. It just happens on it's own.

that was fun for a while. it's stopped happening with as much clarity recently. more concentration might be in order. but i don't want to see Emptiness in particular, i want to attain to 4th path* as described by various folk here. though paying attention to entrance/exit of fruitions and NS might help.

* to make the AF path easier that is

RE: selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice
Answer
5/18/11 3:21 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

what is the something that is viewless? actuality? (not my conception of it, but what the physical eye is seeing.)


yes, fundamentally one’s actual experience is unaffected by one’s view of it. in other words: ‘my’ views are always superfluous.

Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

or do you mean holding these views is preventing me both from meditating effectively to get 4th path (meditating with an agenda, trying to see things a particular way, instead of just as-they-are - or is that particular flavor of 'just as-they-are' a view?) and from applying the actualist method effectively to get into a PCE?


yes, that is one of the implications i sought to convey.

it is like you are in a rowboat, floating within a current which is part of a much larger river. you’re near the relatively calm water lying outside of the current, but you’re having a difficult time moving forward. why? well, a while back you spotted a much more robust craft drifting slowly your way and decided to commandeer it … you evidently decided that you might actually need it to get all the way to the other side. the problem is, you’ve grown attached to the rowboat which has gotten you as far as you have. so you tied together the two vehicles in an attempt to keep them both … but now you’re finding out that doing so has made both vehicles function ineffectively. the rowboat can’t seem to tug the larger ship through the current, and dragging the rowboat behind the ship slows it down more than you think is acceptable. further, it seems possible that dragging the rowboat behind the ship might destroy its’ fragile frame. now, bearing in mind that the goal is to plant both feet firmly on the shore ahead, what will you do?

trent

RE: selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice
Answer
5/18/11 3:35 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Yes it was basically what everyone was saying, what I didn't realize is that when 'you' stop doing anything, you don't go limp, you just live, as a body. Doing nothing includes not restraining yourself, that's what was missing

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I think there never was free will, just the appearance of it, if you've really experienced the out-from-control quality of PCE you realize that AF simply gives up that appearance, the actuality remains the same

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any instance of tightening or tension is always you valuing something. either you see something as bad, and are trying to affectively feel your way out of getting to that bad, or you see something as good, and are trying to affectively feel your way to that good. remind yourself that nothing is good and nothing is bad, but experience is pleasant. If you can't pinpoint anything, then just focus really hard on the fact that now is the only time, and that it is perfect here. some subtle aspect of you is either aimlessly desiring or aimlessly fearing, basically you are bored or restless.

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this is really all just a complicated way of saying just stop. if you stop, specifically stop valuing and creating agendas, then wonder, felicity, contentment, presentness, centerlessness, etc. these things are simply phenomena experienced by a transient consciousness, they come when you lose your delusion that there is anything to do or be. trying to create those things inorganically can be an effective way of entering the present and thereby pushing the self off to the side.

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If you can't see anything to specific stop, and your affect is too diffuse to objectify, just try to foster a sense of utter safety (perfection - to fight restlessness) and utter entertainment (wonder - to fight boredom) then, attempting to perceive these things, don't think, keep up steady effort, this is the entrance to the road, consistent effort is how you continue down the road to the goal.

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something that has really helped me is just keeping the fact that my experience is a mere phenomena that is the product of transient causal chaos, everything else is the same chaos, there are no distinctions. for something to be imperfect it needs to be judged by subjective standards - subjective standards can only exist when the chaos is broken up by some random product of eternal infinite chaos has just happened to (by evolution - started by random abiogenesis) create irrational agendas which have found it useful to break up chaos into categories to further the agenda of life - survival. living beings are the irrational, agenda-stricken exception to the rule of meaningless chaos. human beings are the exception to that exception in that they can lose their agendas while still experiencing.

RE: selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice
Answer
5/18/11 4:07 PM as a reply to Trent ..
Trent .:
further, it seems possible that dragging the rowboat behind the ship might destroy its’ fragile frame.
can you explain that sentence? analogy broke down there for me

Trent .:
now, bearing in mind that the goal is to plant both feet firmly on the shore ahead, what will you do?

jump in the water? =P

i suppose i should cut all the ties and either stay with the ship until i reach the goal or stay with the rowboat, take it to a relatively calmer place, then get back on the ship, if i find that to be a better approach.

EDIT:
Trent .:
yes, fundamentally one’s actual experience is unaffected by one’s view of it. in other words: ‘my’ views are always superfluous.

oh i think i got the answer to this part, too. i can think there is choice, or not, i can think it's selfless causality, or not. that won't change the fact. if i meditate for 4th path, do it wholeheartedly following the advice of people who did it. if i actualize for PCE, do it wholeheartedly following the advice of people who did it. wondering which is 'true' without having experienced either won't do much except confuse.

RE: selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice
Answer
5/18/11 4:12 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Trent .:
further, it seems possible that dragging the rowboat behind the ship might destroy its’ fragile frame.
can you explain that sentence? analogy broke down there for me


flesh and blood bodies do not attain spiritual enlightenment, identities do. as actual freedom is the end of identity, it makes impossible the path to spiritual enlightenment ... and so the vehicle toward such is rendered useless.

Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
i suppose i should cut all the ties and either stay with the ship until i reach the goal or stay with the rowboat, take it to a relatively calmer place, then get back on the ship, if i find that to be a better approach.


how will you decide which to do?

RE: selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice
Answer
5/18/11 5:06 PM as a reply to Trent ..
Trent .:
flesh and blood bodies do not attain spiritual enlightenment, identities do. as actual freedom is the end of identity, it makes impossible the path to spiritual enlightenment ... and so the vehicle toward such is rendered useless.

ah i hadn't thought about that.. i don't think i care so much about not being able to be enlightened as a result of being AF.

Trent .:
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
i suppose i should cut all the ties and either stay with the ship until i reach the goal or stay with the rowboat, take it to a relatively calmer place, then get back on the ship, if i find that to be a better approach.


how will you decide which to do?


rationally speaking it seems i should pursue actualism wholeheartedly:
  • better result, according to descriptions
  • a result i want regardless of whether i'm 'fully' enlightened first
  • all the theory makes sense
  • possible to do even without stream entry. easier with stream entry. i'm already past that.
  • what i've managed to apply so far has had good benefits
  • applying its methods got me to stop dark nighting so hard

so why don't i? it's like - there is suffering - check. here's the cause ('i'/'me') - check. it can end (actual freedom is possible) - check. here's how to end it (actualist method) - check. what more can one want?

i suspect there is a belief or set of beliefs (or attachment as you mentioned) that prevents me from doing it or prevents me from doing it all out or draws me into meditating. so i would have to figure out what those are...

some potential things:
  • meditating worked to get me here
  • clear-vision, to me, is a pleasant thing and indicative of progress in some way. after i first started meditating, within a month or two, my vision got a lot sharper and i was paying attention a lot more to my surroundings - a nice benefit! so i associate meditating with progress. furthermore, paths did the same thing.. and seemingly-permanently, though if i think about it it's not that vision is permanently clearer, just that i can instantaneously focus it as such when i remember to.
  • identifying pain from a misapplied method with the method. e.g. it is so much easier to sit down and meditate and observe interesting things i haven't before (like some cool things happening in 11th nyana), but when i sit open-eye and observe the tension in my head gets more painful and i can't seem to do it for very long. so some aversion to doing the practice.
  • identifying misapplied method failing with method failing, e.g. no full-blown PCE yet after however many months so hey it isn't working. i think i got rid of this one recently though
  • feeling i am close.. tho i felt that way since january.. tho maybe i am and if i just dedicated myself fully to it it would happen.. or maybe not and i would be chasing ghosts with no purpose
  • fear that dark night will eat me. like at some point i was just so sick of it and identifying the stages every moment of my life for a few painful days/weeks that i was like screw this, i will stop labeling them or being able to identify them as such. then later i got the impression that i was going through dark night stages, but i didnt realize it/didn't know which it was, so i was grinding pointlessly (probably re-observation) without applying the antidote (meditate in a particular way), and that might have been needless suffering if i had been on top of my game. i had just recently decided to sit more and figure those out again. so a fear that stopping to meditate fully will just cause suffering that i can't fix otherwise.. this has been around for a while

i dnno.. stuff like that. makes me somewhat sad thinking about them - like 'why cant this be easier'.. so something to look at there, too..

EDIT: steph's pretty reasonable question also causes me to add - maybe it's also just a belief that i should do actualism straight-up. currently the way the internal battle is being waged is - wanting to get 4th path as the main thing that i keep going back to (evidenced by e.g. meditating spontaneously when i'm sitting alone in my room), and then the 'ah but actualism is better to do' against it. though i did get into quite the painful state by pursuing 4th..

it's all pretty silly anyway. the 'path to af' and 'path to 4th' are not really things...

IN SUMMARY: i have no clue and some variation of these things has been going through my head for a while. i feel like a PCE would clear it up. but i haven't gotten one yet.. ah maybe 4th path will make it easier? oh no not again!

RE: selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice
Answer
5/18/11 4:45 PM as a reply to Trent ..
Trent .:
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Trent .:
further, it seems possible that dragging the rowboat behind the ship might destroy its’ fragile frame.
can you explain that sentence? analogy broke down there for me


flesh and blood bodies do not attain spiritual enlightenment, identities do. as actual freedom is the end of identity, it makes impossible the path to spiritual enlightenment ... and so the vehicle toward such is rendered useless.

Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
i suppose i should cut all the ties and either stay with the ship until i reach the goal or stay with the rowboat, take it to a relatively calmer place, then get back on the ship, if i find that to be a better approach.


how will you decide which to do?


It seems the question of whether or not to finish 4th path keeps coming up in relation to getting AF. While it has been stated that it's not necessary to get 4th path to get AF, I'm not sure how thoroughly the reasoning for not finishing 4th has been laid out. It might not be necessary, but it does appear that those who attained 4th path think that it was probably very beneficial for both the cultivation of PCE's and having long lasting PCE's.

For those who got 4th path and then started practicing Actualism - what would be the benefits and drawbacks of putting actualism aside, finishing 4th, and then going back to actualism to get to AF.

Thanks,
Steph

RE: selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice
Answer
5/20/11 4:22 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
I have the exact same dilemma. After realizing I had a big blockage in my heart chakra, and believing that getting rid of it was the essential last step before 4th, I became more inclined to get 4th before working on AF. Although being caught in the cycles again is a real pain in the ass...

By the way, being in reobservation is being caught up in suffering, there is no way to be 'on top of your game' AND in reobservation at the same time (that I know of).

RE: selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice
Answer
5/20/11 5:17 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Although being caught in the cycles again is a real pain in the ass...



Why? I would think that both vipassana and AF would teach you to see through emotions, albeit, with different emphasis. What's the difference between dn and everyday negative emotions like bitterness, a broken heart, hopelessness, etc?

RE: selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice
Answer
5/20/11 8:40 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
By the way, being in reobservation is being caught up in suffering, there is no way to be 'on top of your game' AND in reobservation at the same time (that I know of).

well, not necessarily. in 1st path review, for example, re-observation was absolutely no problem, even if it sucked on some level. though cycling is so messed up at 3rd path that i dont even know if you can call something a review stage anymore.

being 'on top of your game' in reobservation would involve sitting really still and equanimous and not reacting to the suffering that arises.. which is harder to do off the cushion if other things demand your attention. of course i'm not in it now and i'd likely say something else if i was =P

Bruno Loff:
I have the exact same dilemma. After realizing I had a big blockage in my heart chakra, and believing that getting rid of it was the essential last step before 4th, I became more inclined to get 4th before working on AF. Although being caught in the cycles again is a real pain in the ass...

i decided to go all-out for 4th path and see what's up with it. very interesting results.. clearly something here was messing me up.
  • have a lot more intent now. potentially, this is what i've been wanting to do all along, but i felt i should go for AF, and that meant not wholehearted actualist practice and not wholehearted vipassana practice.
  • when walking around and just investigating every sensation as i saw fit, i dropped very easily into a state which i thought was the result of actualist-style attentiveness - really clear colors, feeling the boundaries of my body, a sense of not being 'me' moving around but just movement. i thought it was on the way to PCE.. maybe it is.. maybe i'm just doing all-out attentiveness now, i dnno.
  • mostly there were a set of sensations i wasn't seeing clearly cause of attempting to do actualist practice. i was not looking at the center point very hard, but instead was trying to stop manifesting it, instead of seeing it as more sensations. also, emotions were treated differently than being seen as just sensations.
  • and of course, all the internal dialog about whether to go for AF or 4th path wasn't being seen as just sensations.
  • also an aversion to doing work seems to have disappeared. i've found weird connections between my relationship to my job and my relationship to the path...

will have to see what happens. this seems like the thing to do for me right now. though i am noticing 1st-3rd nyana stuff and thinking i might not be so cheery when DN comes around, heh..

RE: selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice
Answer
5/20/11 12:03 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Bruno, Beoman-

What path are both of you currently at? 3rd? I stopped vipassana shortly after what I thought was 1st path last year in May, and have no clue where I'm at now. I'm not even entirely sure it was 1st path now. Since I switched to Actualism pretty much right away in June last year, it seems the means of evaluation with insight progress are muddled by progress with Actualism. If I somehow figure it wasn't 1st path (don't know how - any tips?), then I'd want to get at least that before continuing with Actualism.

Steph

RE: selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice
Answer
5/20/11 12:12 PM as a reply to Steph S.
Steph S:
Bruno, Beoman-

What path are both of you currently at? 3rd? I stopped vipassana shortly after what I thought was 1st path last year in May, and have no clue where I'm at now. I'm not even entirely sure it was 1st path now. Since I switched to Actualism pretty much right away in June last year, it seems the means of evaluation with insight progress are muddled by progress with Actualism. If I somehow figure it wasn't 1st path (don't know how - any tips?), then I'd want to get at least that before continuing with Actualism.

Steph

pretty sure it is 3rd for me.

gold standard for having gotten stream entry is to see whether you can get a fruition. what made you think you had it then, and what makes you doubt it now?

RE: selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice
Answer
5/21/11 1:08 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
This was a reply to someone else's stream entry post where I described my experiences. My first reply to the post is actually a description of why I doubt I got it and my second reply is a description of the experience that might have been stream entry.

http://dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/618557

I had the possibly stream entry experience within 2-3 months of starting meditation for the first time ever, no prior traditions, which seemed really fast. It's been about a year now since then and I'm still unable to recognize fruitions if/when they occur. And I'm still unable to get them the few times I have sat down to meditate. It does seem like I might be cycling at times, but it's hard to tell if it's cycling or if it's everyday life switching between being calm or being happy or having a crappy time. To be honest, even when I was practicing all the time I was never great about recognizing exactly where I was at on the maps (i.e. I couldn't pick out "oh this is dissolution", but could be more general like "oh this is DN"). I'm thinking I should just do a few sits and report back about what happens.

RE: selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice
Answer
5/21/11 3:10 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
This question has been bugging me in a weird way..

Instructions for MCTB 4th path, and descriptions of that state, go something like: everything is causal, happening-on-its-own, selfless, etc. it's just causal conditioned phenomena.

With the actualist method, you do have apperception happening on its own, and the process to an actual freedom happening on its own, etc. It seems like these two are talking about similar things.

But then there's the 'i'. Examples: 'i' have a choice whether to experience the moment with an affective filter or without. 'i' have a choice to feel whichever way i want. with an annoying tension in my head, it seems that the tension is just 'me' and 'i' have a choice whether to press on it and contort it or to let it go.

How does that fit in with the causal, selfless, happening-by-itself nature that 4th path talks about? It seems like with the 'me', 'i' do have a choice.. or the mind/intellect of this flesh&blood body has a choice.. whatever it is that does the choosing.


Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain, eh? But what would happen otherwise?

Are your choices perfectly random? If not, they are conditioned, causal, self-evident, aren't they - I mean, they are your choices, if they aren't self-evident to you, well, how do you know you made them? A bit like digestion or associative memory or walking upright? They just happen when they need to?

Or Is it the intentions you mean, rather than choices? Intention is karma, man. If karma isn't causal, conditioned, happening on its own as it occurs, then I don't know what is.

Is it free will, freedom, you mean? Trying to pin down freedom is tricky business, goes entirely against the grain of freedom.

The issue of control? What is control, then? Commenting what happens in real-time? The illusion that mental constructs are the conditions for all events?

What I keep noticing is how none of this is special, none of it is exempt from having conditions, from being a condition for something else, from causality. None of this is a refuge for me, mine, my self. There is nothing holding me up. There is no special place, or special function, or special feeling, or special sense impression, or special memory, or special anything. It is all the same, in this respect. Nothing is exempt. Everything is known in the same way (which is not the same as knowing everything). In particular, there is no knower or chooser who is somehow exempt from this. There is no high, special, refined Dhamma for special places or functions.

Wisdom/insight is not the clever use of mental processes - it is about surrender, relinquishment, renunciation of views and opinions and the sense of control that holding them conveys.

I ask cause I still meditate and it is weird switching between the two modes sometimes - one of walking around, choosing to enjoy the moment and not to have emotions arise, the other of seeing everything as happening by itself. The latter seems to really disempower the actualist method as it gives an appearance that i have no choice whether the emotion arises or whether my self is contracting.. but is that practice necessary to get to 4th path?


Hm. I've made good progress, letting the appreciation of this body experiencing what it experiences happen on its own terms, by itself, without interfering. Not empowering or disempowering, just very nice and clean when I do it. The attenuating effect this has on affective upwelling is noticeable but not of primary interest to me at this time. I'm not doing this to manipulate or control my emotions. I'm doing it because it's a fun and clean (pure/purifying) way to be.

Cheers,
Florian

RE: selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice
Answer
5/21/11 5:29 PM as a reply to Steph S.
Steph S:
This was a reply to someone else's stream entry post where I described my experiences. My first reply to the post is actually a description of why I doubt I got it and my second reply is a description of the experience that might have been stream entry.

http://dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/618557

I had the possibly stream entry experience within 2-3 months of starting meditation for the first time ever, no prior traditions, which seemed really fast. It's been about a year now since then and I'm still unable to recognize fruitions if/when they occur. And I'm still unable to get them the few times I have sat down to meditate. It does seem like I might be cycling at times, but it's hard to tell if it's cycling or if it's everyday life switching between being calm or being happy or having a crappy time. To be honest, even when I was practicing all the time I was never great about recognizing exactly where I was at on the maps (i.e. I couldn't pick out "oh this is dissolution", but could be more general like "oh this is DN"). I'm thinking I should just do a few sits and report back about what happens.


your description there does sound like stream entry to me.

i'm a bit confused about my own SE. i suspect what i reported as SE here was actually 2nd path. if that was 2nd path, then SE didn't offer much change except really heavy cycling (and i was too busy trying to make progress to notice), and 2nd path didn't offer much change except better meditation and being able to call up fruitions, but not much in daily life. if that was SE, then SE didn't offer much change except better meditation and being able to call up fruitions, and whatever i thought was 2nd path didn't do much at all except some more intense fruitions or a slight shift with the background or something. heavy/really noticeable perceptual changes only came after 3rd path and further deepening of that state, which is where i think i'm at now.

RE: selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice
Answer
5/21/11 5:35 PM as a reply to Florian.
Florian Weps:
Wisdom/insight is not the clever use of mental processes - it is about surrender, relinquishment, renunciation of views and opinions and the sense of control that holding them conveys.

hehe, nice quote. i'll have to remember this one.

Florian Weps:
Hm. I've made good progress, letting the appreciation of this body experiencing what it experiences happen on its own terms, by itself, without interfering. Not empowering or disempowering, just very nice and clean when I do it. The attenuating effect this has on affective upwelling is noticeable but not of primary interest to me at this time. I'm not doing this to manipulate or control my emotions. I'm doing it because it's a fun and clean (pure/purifying) way to be.

i think my issue has been that there's what i've dubbed 'insight stuff' which i've tried to avoid and 'AF stuff' which i've tried to do, and the avoiding has messed up both as they have overlaps.

but since letting myself investigate whatever i've noticed there's been a class of stuff i've been treating as 'special', most notably certain negative emotions and states but also certain positive perceptual states that i haven't been looking at so closely.

RE: selfless causality vs. 'i' have a choice
Answer
5/30/11 3:37 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
trent's answer was accurate - i had differing beliefs. i think i get it now. the 'i' of meditation is simply a mistaken perception. there’s some gap in perceiving, though it gets smaller and smaller as you progress through 3rd path, and that gap is taken to be ‘i’. it constantly shifts around, but that hasn’t quite hit home yet.

at 4th, there’s no more gap. but there’s still an ‘i’. you don’t take it to be ‘you’ in the sense as before, but there it is. so what is it? people differ in their opinions, here, as shown by 4th pathers following doing different practices and talking about it differently. i think (maybe still believe? but less believing now) it’s ‘my’ feelings. the swirling vortex of passions that manifest as instinctual passions, emotions, and grow into thoughts. manifests as physical sensations in the body as well as mental sensations of fear, agitation, restlessness, etc. it does seem like it takes residence in the head and other places but it’s not there; that’s just part of its manifestation.

i think my confusion from combining the methods was that the ‘i’ in the ‘i’ am ‘my’ feelings was taken to have something to do with the ‘i’ that was the perceptual gap. agitation from looking for and not finding the gap was caused by ‘my’ feelings, of course, but it really seemed important to find that gap so those bad feelings were ok to have. well i tried to work with them and succeeded somewhat but they kept reverting every few days.

in particular, i was worried about:

‘i’ am ‘my’ feelings interfering with no-self characteristic: essentially i was worrying that by taking the set of sensations that make up the feelings and owning up to them, that i would become blind to them somehow and that the perceptual gap would shift to include them. that’s just not what happens though as the feelings are very much being scrutinized in order to figure out where they come from and how they manifest in order to get them to stop. in a PCE they would disappear, not be ignored.

no-self characteristic interfering with ‘i’ am ‘my’ feelings: here i was worrying that by seeing everything as just happening, arising and passing, without some special entity, a self, causing things to happen, that i would be letting ‘my’ feelings do whatever they want, manifest in all kinds of unpleasant ways, etc. the ‘i’ that is ‘my’ feelings is not the ‘i’ of the mistaken perceptual gap, though. that ‘i’ of the perceptual gap doesn’t make anything happen since it isn’t really something. the ‘i’ of the feelings doesn’t make anything happen per se, it just is the happening of those things.

it is possible that meditating in that way might make one slack about bothering to do anything about the feelings, since ‘they just happen anyway’, though… and working to shape the ‘i’ into a felicitous one might attach some importance to that process which would reduce the breadth of one’s meditation (so it might actually do the opposite of what i worried would happen, that i’d be blind to it). so, it’s probably best not to mix methods. intent is important!