I have hit a barrier (Harry's Practice Thread)

thumbnail
Harry Potter, modified 9 Years ago.

I have hit a barrier (Harry's Practice Thread)

Posts: 84 Join Date: 5/20/11 Recent Posts
EDIT: made this my Practice Thread

Can someone help?

My attentiveness level is improving, and I am making it as continuos as possible. I can see the silliness of a bunch of feelings and can easily get back to feeling ok or good. But I have trouble investigating those triggers that point to a desire.

Desires such as the desire to be with a woman.

How can I see the silliness of this "bliss" when it feels so good to the point that the prospect of life without them (which prospect is to appear in the form of fear, especially when starting to work on my hobbies - activities that have no reproductive goals) seems bleak, lonely and unworthy? Sure, these "hobbies" can be pleasurable and fun, but the lure to experience this "bliss" is only way too stronger as this "bliss" feels more good and wanting than these "hobbies". How can I be ever more felicitous when this desire exists?

signed,
30 year old male who never had a female romantic companion
thumbnail
adam j. hunter, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: I have hit a barrier

Posts: 105 Join Date: 2/19/11 Recent Posts
I've experienced very similar issues. What I've done to deal with difficult desires is really contemplating the fact that it is in no way the rational brain desiring this, but the irrational agenda-oriented self. then I attempt to think rationally about whether there is in fact value to a certain formation of the transient causality that is the universe (the vague situation that includes me having a girlfriend or whatever) coming to realize that there isn't.

try to recognize the affective quality of incontentness, see that it is painful, try to create an association between it and the irrational desire, then attempt to just perceive the unbelievable absurdity of ever worrying about anything ever, specifically this thing.

also, I'd suggest not getting into a loop where you feel this desire, then worry about it, then start to feel like you will never achieve AF, etc. etc. just drop it all away, the universe is perfect, the barrier is almost nothing. it's just a slight lens of imperfection placed over your senses and thoughts. attempt to perceive without this veil, fake it till you make it... but mostly just stop thinking.
Bart Castelijns, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: I have hit a barrier

Posts: 57 Join Date: 8/12/10 Recent Posts
I'm going through to the same thing. You could contemplate the following: What do you want most in life, what is ultimately your goal? Perfection, being carefree, etc (all the pce stuff) or a romantic relationship?

See how 'you' react to contrasting the two. In my case, I can see how desiring the relationship is cause for worry and how being carefree, fearless etc. is very desirable as well. Yet I can also see that 'I' want to keep both options open. That's something I need to inquire further I guess.
Jason L, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: I have hit a barrier

Posts: 105 Join Date: 8/11/10 Recent Posts
If your wanting to be with a woman stems from the desire for the dopamine rush of orgasm, a practice called karezza maybe able to make some kind of change. It's when you have sex but refrain from orgasm/'edging'. It's more about oxytocin. You said you've never had a female romantic companion but it seems that one can reduce the drive for orgasm on one's own. For me, I'm beginning to see 'sexy' women in the media as fake now. The 'liking' is still there, but the 'wanting' of women has been reduced greatly. What helped me was my imagination. I imagined being with a girlfriend doing bonding things like holding hands, hugging, etc, in order to increase oxytocin which helps deal with high dopamine/low dopamine receptors. It's difficult to accept one's imagined scenario without having had the experience before though, but maybe enough absorption into an imagined scenario can make up for it.

I know it's going in the opposite direction of AF, but I was wondering in the past how to deal with these feelings after reading about AF, and you don't need to do karezza all day.

www.reuniting.info
thumbnail
Bruno Loff, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: I have hit a barrier

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
I have diminished my desire for romance to practically nil, and my sexual desire considerably, I suggest two things:

- realize that love acts as a bridge to unite two entities which, by their very existence, cause separation; love gets in the way of intimacy. Love undoes its very promise by its mere existence.

- notice how sensual desire is unpleasant, and comes with a 'price', so to speak, which is the luxurious imaginings and desperate cravings and tense not-havings. Then notice how sensuousness is completely free of any toll or tax: gratuitous satisfaction.

If you come across any other tips to solve this subject matter, I'd be very happy to hear them.
nicola sheldrick, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: I have hit a barrier

Posts: 7 Join Date: 5/27/09 Recent Posts
I think overcoming the sexual drives can be a big sticky point, and a bit tricky. Especially for those of us who are currently not in a sexual relationship of any kind or have little experience in this area. It might be difficult to arrive at the conclusion that an actual intimacy can provide a meaningful, more harmonious way of co-existing, when one has no means of comparison.

For me I did the following exercise, I would observe the interactions of couples in my wider circle of friends and family. I would notice even in couples that claimed to have the most harmonious relationships of all, that there would be subtle tensions, jealousies, and power-plays at hand. Most would confess to me in conversation that roles where split up into submission and domination, with one part handing over control to the other. With role-reversal at times. For me personally I wished to not be made into an object of others' desire or make others into objects of my desires.
thumbnail
Jacob Henry St. Onge Casavant, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: I have hit a barrier

Posts: 698 Join Date: 5/22/10 Recent Posts
Harry, if you can notice that both the desiring "subject" and the desired "object" are entirely in your own psyche-- ARE you in the moment of desiring-- it will take the teeth out of the thing. This may sound confusing or odd, but it merely requires you notice that the activity of desiring is happening internally, in your inner world. The subject and object of desire are occurring in that inner world. It really defuses this issue I find. Romantic love as well as sexual desire operate this way, and as Bruno points out, these are quite different from intimacy, which is the perpetually unfulfilled promise of romantic lust.

What one does when in a "relationship" is project the "you" bit or object aspect of one's own internal psychic desire-complex onto another, so even being "with" someone on this basis is solipsistic. See how both subject and object of desire are imaginary and live in your internal world.
thumbnail
Harry Potter, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: I have hit a barrier

Posts: 84 Join Date: 5/20/11 Recent Posts
I appreciate everyone's response. Just for the record, this is my current approach:

I wrote earlier about the "gap" that appears just before the onset of lust and related feelings. At the time I posted the current thread (2 days ago), I was totally engulfed by feelings of romance signifying a weakened attentiveness during the last "gap" - that lead to feelings/beliefs moulding "me" as a miserable/longing self.

I woke up today and took a refreshing bath. I found myself in a child-like playfulness/carefreeness mode, as I walked around the street. Social anxiety was greatly diminished. A few instances of catching sight of a hunk of female flesh occurred and automatically initiated the "activation" of that miserable/longing self noted above. Fortunately though I was already in a playfulness mode, so I told myself "playfulness is indeed better" and - because I was pretty close to playfulness - I attempted to sweep away that fearful prospect of being alone (as triggered by that hunk flesh / lust) in the spirit of "wiling to be what some might understand as foolish"[1]. It seemed to work to a significant extent: upon sweeping it away, the underlying fear would keep rearing its ugly head and I only appear to repress this belief, though it is "present" in the corner of my awareness. Upon noticing its lingering presence in the corner, I'd get back to the playfulness.

All this happened an hour ago. Right now I am not as playful as before because a bit of seriousness/sedateness is settling in.

I take it as a good step forward though. I am going to keep the method simple, and try to stay as close to playfulness as possible. When feelings do take over - to the point of becoming a serious/miserable/longing self - there is no point in "battling" it; better to wait for it pass and then start all over again, with the intent to widen the playfulness this time.

[1] Stephanie said "One must be willing to be what some might understand as foolish; in the absence of a cunning entity, in the absence of manipulation, strategizing, and so on, one releases one's self into happiness, into feeling good, into experiencing the perfection of the world as it is"
thumbnail
Harry Potter, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: I have hit a barrier

Posts: 84 Join Date: 5/20/11 Recent Posts
More update:

Feeling very good now. Enjoying a book, listening to music (and occasionally dancing to it) ... generally very playful. And then all of a sudden - through the wide open window - my eyes look at this woman (who lives in the same building, and am attracted to) walking by outside my apartment. My mind immediately switches to 'fantasy mode' where I imagine myself changing clothes quickly, walking downstairs to 'ask her out' before she enters the elevator. And then I take note of the fantasy itself. It is as if one takes note of marijuana's onset reactions, but only after it started.

All of this took less than minute only, but I already find myself to be a subtle longing/sorrowful 'self'. Investigating further, the same old belief of "my life would be crappy without a romantic partner" kept coming up. I told myself 'hey, weren't you enjoying just moments ago? is it not silly to waste this moment by longing/worrying"? Still no effect. Then told myself, "that enjoyment is obviously better than longing/worrying". Hmm, looks like this is having *some* effect. Still some lingering longing. At this point, I reflected on how this is the only moment of being alive. The "brain" is not "moving through" the medium of time. It is hanging in eternal time, and events outside trigger all sorts of chemicals to "change" its state. It made some sense now, I merely have to "flip back" to enjoyment by dropping all this longing stuff. I let go of the investigating - which only continued to happen on its own in the background, in terms of attention and asking how I experience this moment - then within a few moments I revert back to enjoyment!

Yay, I get it man! Just stay as close to felicity and innocuity as possible, and RUTHLESSLY investigate any issue that brings it down.
thumbnail
adam j. hunter, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: I have hit a barrier

Posts: 105 Join Date: 2/19/11 Recent Posts
yay, just make sure you don't start trying to hold down feelings, I did that for a while when i started AF, and then punched someone in the head. keep them away only by perceiving them to be silly and irrational, not by straining and repressing.

I'm sure this isn't what you were doing but it's a trap I find myself in from time to time.
thumbnail
Harry Potter, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: I have hit a barrier

Posts: 84 Join Date: 5/20/11 Recent Posts
adam j. hunter:
yay, just make sure you don't start trying to hold down feelings, I did that for a while when i started AF, and then punched someone in the head. keep them away only by perceiving them to be silly and irrational, not by straining and repressing.

I'm sure this isn't what you were doing but it's a trap I find myself in from time to time.


Actually, that (repressing/ignoring) is what I was mostly doing until yesterday among other silly things (like wallowing/extending). Two things proved to be vital from today's experience:

1. Uproot the just-arisen feeling as soon as possible. This requires that I notice the onset as it happens, or within the first few seconds, which further requires that I don't repress/ignore that feeling and 'carry on' with life (which just means 'becoming' a longing/sorrowful self, and then blaming myself minutes later)

2. Keep running HAIETMOBA moment to moment. If I take an 'attentiveness break' for, say, 5 minutes - something (eg: a hunk of female flesh) can trigger feelings (eg: longing) within that gap. This lack of awareness (despite my intent to not repress/ignore) would just let this feeling mould 'myself' into a longing/sorrowful self (only to blame myself minutes later).

I smoked some weed and went out to face more of such triggers (seeing women's body, couples, etc.). Inevitably, I had to face my "low self-worth" and then "self-worth" itself. Say, I see a really hot woman (on her way to a night club) walking down the street ... immediately my "low self-worth" jungian-complex would be "activated"; and there I 'become' a "cringing self". Throw in lust, fears of being alone for some good measure .. this made "me" unworthy, which lasted for a few seconds before investigation saw the silliness of it! Then it was only a matter of few seconds to a minute to "come back" to my feeling good self. I faced the danger of flipping back to the opposite of low self-worth which is "feeling confident". This is "me" feeling confident of "my" attributes (sunglasses, upright walk, nonchalant demeanour in front of women, etc.) - which attributes are to bestow me with more sexual/romantic opportunities. Hah! It was fun to notice this 'positive' side as well which was further comprised of pride and expectations, and thus would only invite disappointment (and then reverting to low self-worth) later. So it makes hell a lot of sense to get back to the cheerful and playful self.

I told myself to remember point no. 2 above. Tomorrow could be a crappy day - if I stopped asking HAIETMOBA continuously - especially during this season. :-)
thumbnail
Jon T, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: I have hit a barrier

Posts: 401 Join Date: 12/30/10 Recent Posts
and then punched someone in the head



pray do tell.
thumbnail
Harry Potter, modified 9 Years ago.

June 11, 2011 - slow progress

Posts: 84 Join Date: 5/20/11 Recent Posts
Ok, here's an update:

On 5/20, I had much more than normal amount of fun. This lead to me being able to practice the method more effectively for a few days, because such increased felicity provided a clear contrast to any trigger (eg: sight of a woman -> feeling desirous) that brought me down.

These days however I seem to have reverted back to the normal. Fortunately I am noticing reduced stickiness in regards to sexual and romantic desire. Previously, the sight of a woman or couple would lash out a serious of social identity based feelings such as feeling lonely, desiring a relationship, feeling insecure, hating myself for being insecure, and so on. Nowadays, this compounding happens in decreased frequencies. This seem to be increasing my sense of feeling bored, so I keep reminding myself to do whatever is necessary to feel felicitous, which means - doing my hobbies as opposed to indulging in online games.

I can get back to feeling good if the trigger happened within the last few minutes, not hours:

[Respondent]: Since I last felt good (6/7 hours ago), I have been trying to re-commence feeling good with no success.

[Richard]: Okay, it is all as simple as this ... trace back by asking yourself such questions as: what happened 6/7 hours ago which occasioned me to cease feeling good? Where was I, back then? What was I doing/what was happening? Was I by myself/ was I with company? Once you start to recall where you were/what you were doing/what was happening/ who was there, and so on, just prior to ceasing to feel good you will find it a lot easier to pin-point the precise moment when those felicitous/innocuous feelings came to an end ... and, thus, just what it was which did that. In short: go back (in memory) to when you were last feeling good and then come forward, step-by-step, until that moment.


Why is this so? When I was last feeling felicitous only a few minutes ago, the memory is so fresh as to "compare" now-feeling-bad with the last feeling good. The comparision leads to the very obvious conclusion that feeling bad or feeling desirous sucks. This is not the case when last feeling good was hours ago. I never tried Richard's suggestion of recalling every aspect of the past experience so as to induce the recall of the trigger. In the previous post I posted two reminders for myself:

1. Uproot the just-arisen feeling as soon as possible.
2. Keep running HAIETMOBA moment to moment.

(2) was necessary because I find it difficult to get back to feeling good when the triggered happened hours (not minutes) ago. I will try Richard's suggestion, along with practicing 'noting' in order to keep the compounding from flowering.
Nad A., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: June 11, 2011 - slow progress

Posts: 237 Join Date: 8/26/10 Recent Posts
Harry Potter:
I can get back to feeling good if the trigger happened within the last few minutes, not hours:

[Respondent]: Since I last felt good (6/7 hours ago), I have been trying to re-commence feeling good with no success.

[Richard]: Okay, it is all as simple as this ... trace back by asking yourself such questions as: what happened 6/7 hours ago which occasioned me to cease feeling good? Where was I, back then? What was I doing/what was happening? Was I by myself/ was I with company? Once you start to recall where you were/what you were doing/what was happening/ who was there, and so on, just prior to ceasing to feel good you will find it a lot easier to pin-point the precise moment when those felicitous/innocuous feelings came to an end ... and, thus, just what it was which did that. In short: go back (in memory) to when you were last feeling good and then come forward, step-by-step, until that moment.


Why is this so? When I was last feeling felicitous only a few minutes ago, the memory is so fresh as to "compare" now-feeling-bad with the last feeling good. The comparision leads to the very obvious conclusion that feeling bad or feeling desirous sucks. This is not the case when last feeling good was hours ago. I never tried Richard's suggestion of recalling every aspect of the past experience so as to induce the recall of the trigger. In the previous post I posted two reminders for myself:

1. Uproot the just-arisen feeling as soon as possible.
2. Keep running HAIETMOBA moment to moment.

(2) was necessary because I find it difficult to get back to feeling good when the triggered happened hours (not minutes) ago. I will try Richard's suggestion, along with practicing 'noting' in order to keep the compounding from flowering.


Good luck trying that 'official' method, I think you'll need it. That respondent was me, asking Richard that question all those years ago and I've tried his method every year since with no success.

There isn't just the memory problem you mentioned: what he's saying could only work if the bad feeling that took over 6/7 hours ago had remained exactly the same since. What really happens is that bad feelings change and so the bad feeling that ended your felicity 6/7 hours ago will not be the same bad feeling going on now.
thumbnail
Harry Potter, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: June 11, 2011 - slow progress

Posts: 84 Join Date: 5/20/11 Recent Posts
Nad A.:
Harry Potter:
I can get back to feeling good if the trigger happened within the last few minutes, not hours:

[Respondent]: Since I last felt good (6/7 hours ago), I have been trying to re-commence feeling good with no success.

[Richard]: Okay, it is all as simple as this ... trace back by asking yourself such questions as: what happened 6/7 hours ago which occasioned me to cease feeling good? Where was I, back then? What was I doing/what was happening? Was I by myself/ was I with company? Once you start to recall where you were/what you were doing/what was happening/ who was there, and so on, just prior to ceasing to feel good you will find it a lot easier to pin-point the precise moment when those felicitous/innocuous feelings came to an end ... and, thus, just what it was which did that. In short: go back (in memory) to when you were last feeling good and then come forward, step-by-step, until that moment.


Why is this so? When I was last feeling felicitous only a few minutes ago, the memory is so fresh as to "compare" now-feeling-bad with the last feeling good. The comparision leads to the very obvious conclusion that feeling bad or feeling desirous sucks. This is not the case when last feeling good was hours ago. I never tried Richard's suggestion of recalling every aspect of the past experience so as to induce the recall of the trigger. In the previous post I posted two reminders for myself:

1. Uproot the just-arisen feeling as soon as possible.
2. Keep running HAIETMOBA moment to moment.

(2) was necessary because I find it difficult to get back to feeling good when the triggered happened hours (not minutes) ago. I will try Richard's suggestion, along with practicing 'noting' in order to keep the compounding from flowering.


Good luck trying that 'official' method, I think you'll need it. That respondent was me, asking Richard that question all those years ago and I've tried his method every year since with no success.

There isn't just the memory problem you mentioned: what he's saying could only work if the bad feeling that took over 6/7 hours ago had remained exactly the same since. What really happens is that bad feelings change and so the bad feeling that ended your felicity 6/7 hours ago will not be the same bad feeling going on now.


In those 6/7 hours, the initial trigger/feeling would easily ramify into various other feelings/beliefs/identifications to the point that I am not just feeling bad, but *become* a feeling bad person. Eg: if the initial trigger (before 6/7 hours) was a sight of a woman, and the initial feeling is lust (desire for sex) then - with lapse in attentiveness - this feeling (lust) easily ramifies into the aforementioned "feeling lonely, desiring a relationship, feeling insecure, hating myself for being insecure". Is this compounding what you mean by "bad feeling going on now"? If so, did seeing the relationship of ongoing compounded bad feeling(s) to the initial bad feeling help you get back to feeling good?

Just curious, and this question is not just for you. I wonder if others had to face this and what their solutions were. My feeling is that stream entry helps because it reduces the compounding. Oh, and yet another factor to this compounding is repeated experiencing of similar triggers (eg: seeing a couple, then women, then that and this ... spaced out in 6/7 hours) which could make the matter even more fuzzy.

I'll report more after having had a sufficient play with this. This seems to be a vital aspect of the actualism practice, so perhaps I may open a new thread.
Adam Bieber, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: June 11, 2011 - slow progress

Posts: 112 Join Date: 5/22/10 Recent Posts
This phenomenon is common to the self. For example, if a man sees a woman and "feels" desire, then he fantasizes about her, which could lead to many other imaginations, thoughts, beliefs, and emotions such as thinking of another woman, this man knows, and having an increasing desire for her or a fear that he might not be able to attract her or a fear that he is inadequate etc. Bottom line is the self can spiral into an infinite number of ideas, feelings, and beliefs but its not the specific beliefs that are important but the process. Seeing a woman, then desiring her, then fantasizing, then imagining other women you might know, then fearing inadequacy etc. etc etc. Try to become harmless as early as possible, aka just stop, and know you the is a phenomenon of the self and you have a choice, to change your feelings into felicity, which is much less painless and even enjoyable. Anything that the self wants "you" to believe is unimportant but it is necessary to understand the process and your beliefs to break them down through harmlessness and choose felicity so you can spend more and more time in the actual world then the internal world.
Nad A., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: June 11, 2011 - slow progress

Posts: 237 Join Date: 8/26/10 Recent Posts
Harry Potter:


In those 6/7 hours, the initial trigger/feeling would easily ramify into various other feelings/beliefs/identifications to the point that I am not just feeling bad, but *become* a feeling bad person. Eg: if the initial trigger (before 6/7 hours) was a sight of a woman, and the initial feeling is lust (desire for sex) then - with lapse in attentiveness - this feeling (lust) easily ramifies into the aforementioned "feeling lonely, desiring a relationship, feeling insecure, hating myself for being insecure". Is this compounding what you mean by "bad feeling going on now"? If so, did seeing the relationship of ongoing compounded bad feeling(s) to the initial bad feeling help you get back to feeling good?


No, not what I meant. The first feeling that happened when felicity ended 6/7 hours ago may have been sadness then other unrelated thoughts or events might happen which left you feeling anger, then other thoughts left you feeling fearful. So you now feel fearful and it has been 6/7 hours since you last felt good, but tracing back 6/7 hours and seeing the silliness of feeling sadness is not going to break this fear that you're feeling now.
Adam Bieber, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: June 11, 2011 - slow progress

Posts: 112 Join Date: 5/22/10 Recent Posts
Well, when attentive, one has a choice over their feelings. Whether fearful or sadness, once one understands why and admits that they are in fact fearful or sad, they can choose to stop giving "energy" to the bad feeling and replace it with felicity. So if a particular belief a few hours ago is still in place, examining the belief, understanding it is a silly belief part of a self merely trying to survive, and then examining the simultaneous emotion/feeling, allows an understanding that will dissipate the feeling and then one can substitute a felicitous feeling making one felicitous/innocuous aka fostering naivete.
thumbnail
Bruno Loff, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: June 11, 2011 - slow progress

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
Yes, stream entry severely diminishes and fourth path completely eliminates, the compounding of feelings.

You see a couple kissing you get jealous then you get guilty because your jealous then you get frustrated because you're guilty then you get miserable because you're frustrated, and so on, the chain of causality is so tangled up by now that it is difficult and confusing to find what causes you to feel bad right now (because it's a bundle of stuff).

Adam's recommendations are the kind that will work if you manage to get the method to work (e.g. apparently Nad didn't manage). If you follow these without success, don't despair or give up, you can get stream entry instead (Adam has stream entry), and then try again.
thumbnail
Jacob Henry St. Onge Casavant, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: June 11, 2011 - slow progress

Posts: 698 Join Date: 5/22/10 Recent Posts
Yes, in addition to being quite doable given sincerity and consistency, SE seems to make just about anything easier. Except suffering, and for precisely the reason Bruno mentions.

If one finds oneself continually and easily caught up in chains of reactivity, whether the links are connected or random is irrelevant-- it's all proliferation. The length of a given chain of proliferation (regardless of whether the links are connected logically or randomly) seems to be in direct proportion to the belief in the thought components of the chain.

So with a drop in the belief in thought-contents, i.e. when one loses belief in the "thinker", while instinctual passions and raw reactivity may be even more vividly experienced, the chains of proliferation become shorter, making tracing back the links easier.

Perhaps this is why SE can make actualism easier, and why strictly actualist practice is said to gain initial traction with the deconstruction of the social identity, which seems (to me) to depend in large part on the conceptualization of reactivity-- these concepts acting as containment devices to channel reactivity into socially prescribed modes of expression and repression.

Just a thought :-) Carry on
Adam Bieber, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: June 11, 2011 - slow progress

Posts: 112 Join Date: 5/22/10 Recent Posts
Jacob Henry St. Onge Casavant:

So with a drop in the belief in thought-contents, i.e. when one loses belief in the "thinker", while instinctual passions and raw reactivity may be even more vividly experienced, the chains of proliferation become shorter, making tracing back the links easier.


Spot on! Even though the passions are more vividly experienced, one still lives in an improved and improving mode of experience (naivete/EE etc.)
thumbnail
Bruno Loff, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: June 11, 2011 - slow progress

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
Wow Jake such a great post :-)

I would love if DhO had a "favorite posts" feature emoticon (I'd be willing to try and implement it with access to the source code).
thumbnail
Jacob Henry St. Onge Casavant, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: June 11, 2011 - slow progress

Posts: 698 Join Date: 5/22/10 Recent Posts
well thanks, that's nice of you to say :-)
Adam Bieber, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: June 11, 2011 - slow progress

Posts: 112 Join Date: 5/22/10 Recent Posts
My recommendations are added strategies to the original AF method. 'How am I experiencing this moment of being alive' is the key helping question to understand one's experience and internal world. The best resource is the AF website. My answers shouldn't be taken as an end all or be all but as possible further understanding of the method itself.
thumbnail
Harry Potter, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: I have hit a barrier (Harry's Practice Thread)

Posts: 84 Join Date: 5/20/11 Recent Posts
I woke-up today with normal level of felicity. Upon noting this, there was an automatic fear of 'feeling normal' forever and blaming myself for not being a 'good actualist'. This fear is silly. I mean, sure I feel normal now but it would be pretty silly to sabotage it further by being afraid of this feeling of normalcy and blaming myself. Suddenly, feeling normal doesn't suck that much anymore. I suppose this a defining characteristic of MCTB stream entry?

Went out to get brunch. The Social anxiety jungian-complex got activated. Although my investigation level was low, I kept probing now and then. Was able to switch back and forth from anxious self to playful self.

#

There is a woman I have been attracted to in the past few days, and I decided to ask her out today. I never did this with anyone before. Something amusing happened:

There were feelings of desperateness, noticing which - there were now (self-created) feelings of non-chalance/confidence[1] ... amidst all this it occurred to me that I am not being playful anymore, but rather "cunning". Well, that settled the cunningness a bit. Then when it came to actually asking her out - she blurted out something about her boyfriend; so I decided not to do that. Normally, "rejection" would set off a chain reaction of fear, sorrow, low self-worth, etc. that would last for hours forming a sorrowful self. This time, though, I was greatly amused at the unfolding of events .. and kind of laughing hard within myself as I walked out of that place. Life seemed pretty funny. Playfulness came back in full swing! The thought of me not reacting like I usually do made it more fun.

#

As I was walking back home feeling cheerful, I noticed a 'hot woman' (half-naked). Curiously I did not feel the familiar feelings of feeling romantic and longing for a connection. Instead there was just a sexual desire and an onset of mild romantic desire, which onset diminished as soon as I noticed it. Sexual desire is not much of an issue at all. I am now feeling very confident and assured that my romantic desire is getting crushed bit by bit. I prefer feeling cheerful/playful to feeling lusty anyday - furthermore, this feeling provides the felicitous foundation to enjoy my hobbies!

I feel that there is third alternative to being a beta and being an alpha male: just having a good time together.

[1] As George Costanza remarked "Women don't wanna see need. They want a take-charge guy - a colonel, a kaiser, a tsar."
Adam Bieber, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: I have hit a barrier (Harry's Practice Thread)

Posts: 88 Join Date: 6/1/10 Recent Posts
Hey Harry,
Feeling normal doesn't suck because you are enjoying more what you are (the senses) and what your doing without a pull in directions and a stronger tension as well as the calmness of everything around you. Its actualism baby, get ready to keep enjoying.

#
When you put yourself in a "stressful" situation, the instincts will activate harder because your in unfamiliar territory. These will ease to as you realize/actualize that there is no specific point/necessary outcome to a particular moment.

Do you think your "supposed" to be playful in certain situations like talking with woman or is that a natural consequence of being happy and harmless?

#
Seems like you're learning a ton. I totally know what you mean when you talk about seeing a woman and having minor sexual desire but it still being there. Then afterwards, the thought of a romantic relationship. Blah Blah Blah. I want romantic companionship as well but to have feelings overlap experience proves not the smartest way to live and taints experience. Plus, an increased intimacy quality makes a girl that I am attracted to much more seculent than previous, being further drawn in, with no jolting emotion, pure serenity in tasty attraction.

P.S. I don't see any barrier. Seems like things are very nicely "advancing".
thumbnail
tom moylan, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: I have hit a barrier (Harry's Practice Thread)

Posts: 896 Join Date: 3/7/11 Recent Posts
...take my wife..please! or for that matter my ex...or for that matter...

but seriously...no THING is going to fulfill you as much as you imagine it will, but thats probably obvious. busting through the programming which we inherited and collected along the way is tough but doable. what EXACTLY is attractive? why is that attractive?

on a basic level do some decomposing corpse meditations...or better still get a very demanding girlfriend and see just how little time you have left for practice.

for those penis-free readers..i use the (my) conditioned male perspective but the pronouns are changeable.

tom
thumbnail
Jon T, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: I have hit a barrier (Harry's Practice Thread)

Posts: 401 Join Date: 12/30/10 Recent Posts
what EXACTLY is attractive? why is that attractive?


Our conditioning instills a preference for body type and sexuality. Unless I have it wrong, one is reprogramming the way one thinks. I see a physically fit girl with a symmetrical face and as soon as I notice the lust, I tell myself something along the lines, "her DNA would probably produce a strong healthy offspring. But I don't want any offspring. To say nothing of the fact that her emotional maturity and intellect are complete unknowns." This reminds one of the biological component to lust so one can separate that from our social conditioning.

As far as sexual acts, I have asked myself what about them makes them so appealing. I have discovered that it is 100% conditioning. So if certain sexual acts pop into my brain, I remind myself that they aren't inherently satisfying, I've conditioned myself to want them, the performance of said acts don't impart onto me any special status. In other words, for me anyway, "I'm not more of a man for engaging in them." In this way, the lust has nothing to hold onto. Rather than a fire that fuels a mental projector that in turn fuels the fire, lust becomes a fire that decays into an ember and then to nothing. I can choose to fan it through action if practical and feasible, I can choose to study it or I can choose to take note of it and re-focus on the current task. In any case, it is not the end-all and be-all that pop culture makes it out to be. Once the ego is taken out of the process, it really isn't any different than buying ice cream from the ice cream man: Something you do if you have the means and the appetite and if you don't then it's something you ignore or take humorous note of.

All emotions must be investigated through the lens of the social identity.
link
thumbnail
Harry Potter, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: I have hit a barrier (Harry's Practice Thread)

Posts: 84 Join Date: 5/20/11 Recent Posts
Interesting that you said "the performance of said [sexual] acts don't import onto me any special status" ... as attentiveness exposed "status" as a remarkable aspect my low self-worth complex.

The fear/belief goes like this: if I don't seek a woman, I will be considered a fool. If I don't live in a relationship, I will not be respected. The affective experience itself is, of course, not as cognitive as the above two statements sound ... it is more like a feeling of 'cringing' in front of those (imagined) 'high status' individuals who seek women and live in relationships (on one extreme we have individuals like Neil Strauss and Sherry Argov).

It is becoming such fun to investigate the social identity! Becoming resentful/cynical (especially at these 'high status' men and women) is a danger to watch for, though.
thumbnail
Jon T, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: I have hit a barrier (Harry's Practice Thread)

Posts: 401 Join Date: 12/30/10 Recent Posts
It is becoming such fun to investigate the social identity! Becoming resentful/cynical (especially at these 'high status' men and women) is a danger to watch for, though.



Cool. It is very easy to replace your current social identity with an AF identity. When you become aware of this, just remember that the only AF thing to do is to be happy right now. What is getting in the way of me enjoying the perfection of this moment? Why is it getting in the way? Answering these questions can take as little as a split second to a half hour. But after answering them, one should then easily enjoy the perfection of this moment. However, soon enough one will be distracted from said perfection and as soon as one becomes aware of this, one just does it again, rinse and repeat.
thumbnail
Harry Potter, modified 9 Years ago.

Socially anxious self (SAS) and carefree self (CS)

Posts: 84 Join Date: 5/20/11 Recent Posts
While the memory is still fresh ...

Having smoked a bit of weed, I went out for dinner and a walk. I was switching back and forth between socially anxious self (SAS) and relatively carefree self (CS). In the former, my facial muscles tend to be somewhat tensed as if "I" am semi-consciously holding the eye-brows and jaws tight; there is a sense of low self-worth ... and all this happens when I pass by beautiful women and couples (eg: I "freeze" for a few seconds as I cross a woman/couple). In the later (CS) - which was triggered by, for example, just looking at the clouds (being alive) - my facial muscles become relaxed. In fact, by consciously relaxing them, I make it more possible to switch from SAS to CS.

It seemed to me that there is a social identity layer on top of lust and romantic desire (which was the initial concern of this thread). This layer is more persistent, sticky - as in, it tend to stay with me for longer periods of time with (apparently) no discernible trigger. This layer is what I mean by SAS above. I seem to conclude that I need to first mitigate this layer before investigating romantic desire itself.

CS proves to be a gateway to getting my adolescent passions (geek interests) back, and thus feeling good for longer periods.

Anyway, just some notes to explore if these new two ideas (SAS & CS) will have any effect on further practice.
thumbnail
Harry Potter, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Socially anxious self (SAS) and carefree self (CS)

Posts: 84 Join Date: 5/20/11 Recent Posts
Habitual beliefs and feelings keep pulling me down.

There is a sense of someone/something actively - yet semi-consciously - preventing me from enjoying. SAS is intricately linked to it, and this is true even if I stay home alone (where there is no one to watch and castigate). Daily life moulds "me" and leaves me less peaceful even after that daily life goes outside the four walls (i.e., when one returns home from work).

Well, at least I am a little more confident as to what to be done. Keep coming back to enjoying, 'let go' of those desires and situations by gently relaxing the forehead.
thumbnail
Harry Potter, modified 9 Years ago.

Investigating the social identity

Posts: 84 Join Date: 5/20/11 Recent Posts
Ok, I got a more clear idea of what needs to be done now. Peel away the social identity one by one before worrying about investigating instinctual feelings and such.

In "my" vicinity, the following SI beliefs exist:

(a) i have to experience love to be happy
(b) self-pity
(c) cynicism
(d) low self-worth
(e) fantasizing about 'causing women to laugh [at my silly/amusing actions]'

I am discovering that "lust" underpins ALL of the above ... including the last one: when I fantasize about (e), my actions are cunningly targeted to get more of women's attention (getting attention is the first step to transfer my sperms), and to get them to think "high" of me (that "oh, harry is a funny and social fellow; he will be a worthy sperm donor"). I'd wager that this is what extroversion/gregariousness is all about ... that all of "human sociality" is rooted upon the sex instinct. Deprive one of such feelings - fantasy or real - loneliness is the result.

(a) is pretty basic, but - interestingly - it happens only during certain times, when the desire for companionship (with active imagination of that feel-good 'what it means to be loved' state) is active. Other times - when felicitous feelings exist - (a) is hardy perceptible.

When the repeated sightings of female flesh (optionally caressing a male flesh) fails my almost-constant background attempt to maintian non-stickiness - i.e., when it becomes sticky causing me to 'long' - (b) and/or (c) is the result. Cynicism at those women/couples is born out of the aggression towards them (way beyond envy). This is how I investigate when I feel cynical -- it is obviously silly to "be" aggressive when I could be feeling naive/playful. Really works (but takes time/patience).

Self-pity is "my" most cunning strategy in which I fantasize/dream a situation where I (do whatever to) become vulnerable in order to invite a woman's "pity" (getting pity is the first step to transfer my sperms ... or so the media/peers brainwashed me).

Low self-worth is "the other side of the coin". Whenever I feel desire, I automatically feel myself worthless due to continued inability to acquire the object of the desire (I am well aware of the "Pick-Up Artist" techniques; but I disdain them -- I'm not a slave wanting to please my masters). This is the most hard aspect of my SI to investigate, but since it is connected to others .. investigating them would minimize it.

Oh, and there is also the tendency to "look calm" or "look far away in between people and pretend to be thinking about something creative (without exposing my 'feeling horny' at those mostly-naked chicks walking towards me) " and such things in front of a crowd (with beautiful women) to try to hide my own insecurity. Of course, I realized that this needs to go as well. So I now gravitate toward allowing whatever insecurity that has arisen to be expressed through my facial muscles; i.e., I allow the cringing to dissipate on its own instead of 'covering up' with some oh-i-am-some-great-thinker bullshit.

!......!

So, it is quite simple at this point ... keep experiencing more of those felicitous feelings and investigate all that SI stuff that bring felicity down.
fred flinstone, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Investigating the social identity

Posts: 50 Join Date: 6/12/11 Recent Posts
When the repeated sightings of female flesh (optionally caressing a male flesh) fails my almost-constant background attempt to maintian non-stickiness - i.e., when it becomes sticky causing me to 'long'


interesting word choice
thumbnail
Martin M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Investigating the social identity

Posts: 91 Join Date: 9/3/09 Recent Posts
i felt inspired to visualise your idea ;)

thumbnail
Bruno Loff, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Investigating the social identity

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
Harry Potter:

(a) i have to experience love to be happy
(b) self-pity
(c) cynicism
(d) low self-worth
(e) fantasizing about 'causing women to laugh [at my silly/amusing actions]'


I really started making use of this "being my own best friend thing," and within a few months it really paid off emoticon

Richard:

It is good to cease doing that because only you live with yourself for the twenty four hours of the day. Everybody else comes and goes, but you remain, ever constant ... for the rest of your life. I can not stress enough how important it is for you to be your own best friend. For then you get to know yourself – you are no longer against yourself. You can discover things about your own make-up: ‘Oh, isn’t that interesting’ or ‘I like that one’ or ‘I didn’t know I was carrying that’ or ‘I’m glad that one is out of the way’. Sometimes, of course, something can come back, three days, three weeks or three months later: ‘Goodness me, I thought I had eliminated that one’. See how vital it is that you are your own best ‘buddy’? You say: ‘Well, I thought I had dealt with that but never mind, I have another moment here, another chance’. This way you work with yourself, instead of in opposition. It is very important.
And it is such good fun! Then, everything you do in your daily life, moment to moment, is taking advantage of multiple opportunities. Every moment again is an occasion to improve your lot ... when you are interacting with someone, either face to face or on the telephone ... or a back-ache: ‘Oh god, how terrible!’ ... another opportunity. It is bad enough to feel pain, why make it worse by adding an emotional suffering like ‘I feel terrible’? To feel terrible, emotionally, on top of the physical pain is simply silly when it is possible to disassociate oneself, emotionally, and still feel good about being alive, about being here. This is being sensible, is it not? To feel good, if not happy, all the time?


(link)

Take it easy dude, you are worthy of your own friendship! The only reason you want the girls to want you is so that you can finally be happy and not worry about it anymore — but if all you want is to be happy, does it really matter if it is because girls like you, or because you simply decided to be happy? Be your own friend, enjoy your own company, no-one knows what you like better than you, isn't it a waste to leave that intimate self-knowledge unused by feeling bad about yourself? Isn't really a complete waste of time? Indeed, it is preposterous! Ridiculous! Indeed quite funny!

Gee, ain't it silly you treated yourself bad all those years?! Ha emoticon! You were always first in line to kick your own ass! Hi hi emoticon! Silly-billy! Goofy-noofy!
thumbnail
Harry Potter, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Investigating the social identity

Posts: 84 Join Date: 5/20/11 Recent Posts
That's a good reminder, thanks.

These days have been rough (bordering on depression), with much less clarity. There is a fear of old age (not death) - being a lonely old man - with no assisting companion.

There is an impending gloom, and no meaning is to be found.

I don't know if this was started due to my slowing down on weed (withdrawal?) or the physical sickness that recently lasted a few days. But ....

Telling myself not to freak out, and waiting for this 'phase' to pass on its own, so I can get back on track to investigating and going on with a reasonably good life.
Adam Bieber, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Investigating the social identity

Posts: 112 Join Date: 5/22/10 Recent Posts
Harry Potter:

There is a fear of old age (not death) - being a lonely old man - with no assisting companion.


A belief/feeling causing suffering outside of the actual. Fearing old age, fearing being lonely, feeling lonely, hang ups on not having an assisting companion. All these should be investigated as to why they happen, how they feel, and if you can changed them into harmlessness and then happiness. You can be alone and not be lonely. There is no right or wrong to actualism. Any and all investigations can serve to lessen emotional pain.

Harry Potter:

There is an impending gloom, and no meaning is to be found.


There are reasons for the gloom, you should ask why you might be sad and you'll have your answer even if you have to dig around for a while to find an answer and admit to yourself that the answer you found is the reason for the gloom, which may be hard to see at first. Then work on being happy and harmless.

Harry Potter:

Telling myself not to freak out, and waiting for this 'phase' to pass on its own, so I can get back on track to investigating and going on with a reasonably good life.


The phase will come back until the reasons why you are in this phase are understood and investigated. When the reasons are understood, you can then make them harmless quicker and go back to being happy faster spending more time happy and sensuous.
thumbnail
Harry Potter, modified 9 Years ago.

Fear!

Posts: 84 Join Date: 5/20/11 Recent Posts
Ok, understood. I have a tendency to freak out of major issues. Minor issues ... I can happily investigate.

Oh well, I guess 'fear' is something I need to investigate more. I read a lot of topic correspondences in the AF page, but 'fear' was the least of them ... as I've always imagined 'fear' to be a trivial emotional-response (i.e., not muddy) that is applicable to only limited range of scenarios (fear of ghosts, fear of people) ... but apparently fear can be 'of' anything, and it can be as muddled up as any other emotion!

*

The "fear of being a lonely man with no assisting companion" (BELIEF-1) is based upon my viewing the pervasive monogamous couples as "good", "worthy", "mature" (i.e., of "high" status) and the consequent viewing of myself to be "bad", "unworthy", "immature" (i.e., of "low" status - thus low self-worth). I have posted about this (BELIEF-2) before in a separate thread.

BELIEF-1 is backed by BELIEF-2. Now, what is backing BELIEF-2?

Gabriel (here) pointed Richard's personal anecdote (here) - which, while it was fascinating on its own, I'm not sure can be applied to BELIEF-2.

Some of my attempts at investigating B-2 as it happens:

- I go to a restaurant and ask for a "table for one," while passing by the various couples, families, female-groups at other tables. B-2 arises as I was cheerfully reading something of interest on my mobile phone (while waiting for the food to be delivered). I see 'low self-worth' arising, and I notice its harmful effects on me, and just ignore it (by thinking myself that feeling-cheerful is better than envying 'high' status people) and get back to my business. B-2 arises again, and I similarly ignore and get back to my business.

- I go for my usual post-dinner walk. It does not take more than a minute before I get a glimpse of the female of species walking with male partners (and maybe with their offsprings too). Because my walks are generally not as pleasant as hobbies - and thus there is nothing 'cheerful' to compare B-2 against - it seems somewhat tricky to ignore B-2 and 'get back' to feeling good as walking sees more of a neutral activity.

- Sure, I can maintain an intellectual stand of "fuck people, they are unhappy anyway" or some such thing. But B-2 would anyway arise inter-mingled with feelings (usually lust).

- Talking to a friend who insinuates (in a seemingly harmless way) about my lonely lifestyle too provokes B-2 - making non-sense of the previous intellectual stand. This is even more hard to penetrate as I'm *actively* interacting with a human being (the psychic connection becomes way too strong).

So, how would I go from here?
thumbnail
Jon T, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Fear!

Posts: 401 Join Date: 12/30/10 Recent Posts
So, how would I go from here?


Loneliness may be the cause for the low self-worth and not the other way around. Though the low self worth can morph into loneliness as within the psyche anything can morph into anything else. Keep observing how each taken-for-granted idea can cause a mood and how each mood can trigger an ideal.

If loneliness is the cause of you low self-worth then your self-worth is born from the delusion that emotions are an accurate gauge of what is going in the world - with us, with others, with society, etc. They are not. Try to understand this whichever is the primary cause (loneliness or low self-worth)

Your fear is primal and should be ignored for now.

It may help if you familiarize yourself with the idea that relative worth is a human concept born of an endless stream of false assumptions.

So keep observing your emotions as you are doing. Keep logically linking them up. Keep reading and analyzing. And keep this thread active! Write in it everyday. At least, keep a journal at home. The self unwinds itself through observation and reflective contemplation. Keeping a journal speeds up the rate of said observations and contemplation. Also, learn to think logically about your emotions and your actions.


jon
thumbnail
Harry Potter, modified 9 Years ago.

Status anxiety

Posts: 84 Join Date: 5/20/11 Recent Posts
Jon T:
I think loneliness is a cause for the low self-worth and not the other way around.

Jon T:
Your self-worth is born from the delusion that emotions are an accurate gauge of what is going in the world - with us, with others, with society, etc. They are not. Try to understand this first.


Can you elaborate? Isn't 'self-worth' always in regards to emotions (whether they are delusory or not)?

To me, self-worth is connected to one's (and others') "status" ... and one's "status" is defined by the emotions one experiences, and the (perceived) emotions others experience towards one.

An example: imagine a social gathering where everyone but you are with a 'significant other' ... you feel low, as your desire for companionship has so far been unfulfilled. You see others in the room glancing at you sideways, and "looking down and up", thereby you perceive what they feel about you ("oh, look at him - without a partner. what a loser"). Now suppose my perception was correct (i.e., the said couple did in fact imagine myself as loser) - then the emotion I felt is, in that instance, accurate enough. Either way, self-worth is in effect. So why does it matter whether the emotions/perceptions mentioned here are an accurate guage of what is going on in the room or not?

I am only asking to further my investigation.

Jon T:
It may help if you intellectually become familiar with the idea that relative worth is a human concept born of a an endless stream of false assumptions


I once read Richard write about "justice" being a human invention:

Richard:
[indignation's] raison d’être – a guardian against injustice, unjustness, unfairness, inequality (partiality, discrimination, and so on) – is as much a human invention as those concepts it defends ... justice, justness, fairness, equality (impartiality, indiscrimination, and so on).


I still do not understand how seeing something as a "human invention" would automatically free myself up from it.

When I think about it, worth/status is obviously a human concept (many things are!) - yet, that doesn't change the feeling of low self-worth.

As for "an endless stream of false assumptions", I'd appreciate if you can give a few examples.

PS. the above mentioned 'gloom' is now gone; me thinks it was that physical sickness that induced it.
thumbnail
Martin M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Status anxiety

Posts: 91 Join Date: 9/3/09 Recent Posts
Hey Harry,

(nice avatar btw emoticon)

Harry Potter:
Jon T:
I think loneliness is a cause for the low self-worth and not the other way around.

Jon T:
Your self-worth is born from the delusion that emotions are an accurate gauge of what is going in the world - with us, with others, with society, etc. They are not. Try to understand this first.


Can you elaborate? Isn't 'self-worth' always in regards to emotions (whether they are delusory or not)?

To me, self-worth is connected to one's (and others') "status" ... and one's "status" is defined by the emotions one experiences, and the (perceived) emotions others experience towards one.



Imho it would be more accurate to say that self-worth / self-esteem is simply a product of ones own values/beliefs and their degree of fulfillment in your life.
Those unfulfilled values are projected onto other people as in: "They think I´m strange for not being / doing xxx."
But it is _you_ who beliefs that "not being / doing xxx" makes you strange. As a matter of fact, 99.99% of the time it wouldn´t even cross your mind if people thought about you in this way AND you wouldn´t interpret whatever emotion they seem to be expressing as proof for your belief. Last but not least you wouldn´t even care (in an emotional sense), if they thought you were a weirdo although you are still free to examine if there is any relevant argument to their statement.

Harry Potter:


An example: imagine a social gathering where everyone but you are with a 'significant other' ... you feel low, as your desire for companionship has so far been unfulfilled. You see others in the room glancing at you sideways, and "looking down and up", thereby you perceive what they feel about you ("oh, look at him - without a partner. what a loser"). Now suppose my perception was correct (i.e., the said couple did in fact imagine myself as loser) - then the emotion I felt is, in that instance, accurate enough. Either way, self-worth is in effect. So why does it matter whether the emotions/perceptions mentioned here are an accurate guage of what is going on in the room or not?



Why does not having a partner make you a loser?
Why does it matter if people think you are a loser?

What are you expecting from a relationship? Why would it fulfill you?
These are questions to be answered from every possible angle. Try to see the assumptions that were neccesarily made and see if those are sensible.

Harry Potter:


I still do not understand how seeing something as a "human invention" would automatically free myself up from it.

When I think about it, worth/status is obviously a human concept (many things are!) - yet, that doesn't change the feeling of low self-worth.

As for "an endless stream of false assumptions", I'd appreciate if you can give a few examples.



It doesn´t automatically free you from it. The key is to question those ideas until you SEE it. To make sure you did, you might wanna sit down, relax and ask yourself (sticking with the example above) "Am I a loser for not having a partner?" Don´t answer it too quickly (because that would result in an intellectual answer), rather genuinely inquire about it, feel how your body feels and see what pops up. Until there is anything but a clear 'no' (at which point every contrary belief will actually look silly to you), there´s something left to investigate. Do not accept a 'no.... but....' and think your done.
Beware also that this is not a matter of convincing yourself (by repeating it like a mantra "Being single does not make me weird!!") until it is just (at best) another layer of belief added on top of the whole mess.
thumbnail
Jon T, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Status anxiety

Posts: 401 Join Date: 12/30/10 Recent Posts
Hey hp,

as answer to your questions, I'll just say i agree with martin m. i would like to applaud you for not privately denigrating others in order to prop yourself up. You have steered yourself clear of that trap. I can't help but ask why you are hanging out in situations where you are obviously uncomfortable?

jon
thumbnail
Harry Potter, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Investigating the social identity

Posts: 84 Join Date: 5/20/11 Recent Posts
Harry Potter:
I am well aware of the "Pick-Up Artist" techniques; but I disdain them -- I'm not a slave wanting to please my masters


There is a subtle (often repressed) resentment of women and couples, which explains the above attitude of mine. Normally, my reaction to sights of women/couple is twofold -- look away and/or cringe in low self-worth. Well, recently I experienced more felicitous reactions-- just appreciating and enjoying the pleasant sights provided by women/couple. More like "hovering on lust" (with a near-constant smile) without being overwhelmed by it; unrestrained in "looking", yet not staring. (These still happen rarely - when on weed - and it is easy for me to revert back to the habit of the former). This is the most carefree state where I expect nothing out of them. Just enjoying, moving on.

Consequently, I am now more willing to share my time (if one is willing) with a member of the opposite sex. While I know that it is still expected of a normal person to "fall in love" and then "fall into affective intimacy" for a "relationship" to last, I think this experience of mine is definitely superior for there isn't any possessiveness/jealousy. It is definitely not a natural reaction, so I need to work a lot to maximize it. I think it would do me much good to maximize this, than simply ignoring women/couple and retreating into a cocoon.

Just a little - a little - step towards eliminating the social identity.

If you have any advice, please feel free to write!
thumbnail
Jon T, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Investigating the social identity

Posts: 401 Join Date: 12/30/10 Recent Posts
If you have any advice, please feel free to write!


No advice but keep up the good work!
thumbnail
Bruno Loff, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Investigating the social identity

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
Just to share one thing from my own experience: the prolonged lack of a romanting partner has caused me to adopt a strange form of identity, as if I was "cursed," and things could never go "my way." I would, just as you describe, cringe at the sight of couples in love, for they had something which "I never would."

This feeling of being especially unfortunate seeped into other things, and persevered despite plenty of evidence to the contrary (I am actually quite fortunate in many ways).

It seems that "I" am so eager for certainty, that "I" prefer to know in advance that things are bad, rather than, not knowing, find out how they actually are.

Curiously enough, this feeling has contributed in several occasions to making things worst than they might have been otherwise.
Adam Bieber, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Investigating the social identity

Posts: 112 Join Date: 5/22/10 Recent Posts
Bruno Loff:
Curiously enough, this feeling has contributed in several occasions to making things worst than they might have been otherwise.


How exactly are "things made worse"?
thumbnail
Bruno Loff, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Investigating the social identity

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
Adam Bieber:
How exactly are "things made worse"?


Feeling "cursed" leads to fearful/nervous/uncomfortable/etc behavior leads to unpleasant response by other parties leads to further bad feelings which leads to the confirmation of the original insecurity.
Adam Bieber, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Investigating the social identity

Posts: 112 Join Date: 5/22/10 Recent Posts
Bruno Loff:

Feeling "cursed" leads to fearful/nervous/uncomfortable/etc behavior leads to unpleasant response by other parties leads to further bad feelings which leads to the confirmation of the original insecurity.


Or is it possible that because you feel fearful, your social identity perceives your behavior as being fearful giving your "being" both a mental and physical fearful response. Also, other parties actions may indeed well be fearful but you are still the one emotionally reacting, which increases "your" suffering. this is something attentiveness can limit.
thumbnail
Harry Potter, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Investigating the social identity

Posts: 84 Join Date: 5/20/11 Recent Posts
Bruno Loff:
Just to share one thing from my own experience: the prolonged lack of a romanting partner has caused me to adopt a strange form of identity, as if I was "cursed," and things could never go "my way." I would, just as you describe, cringe at the sight of couples in love, for they had something which "I never would."

This feeling of being especially unfortunate seeped into other things, and persevered despite plenty of evidence to the contrary (I am actually quite fortunate in many ways).


The "feeling of being especially unfortunate" is what I call low self-worth. It seeping into other things is what I mean by "the belief of good-life (and lacking it) preventing me from enjoying my hobbies". I too am actually quite fortunate in many ways, yet I tend to feel unworthy (and thus cringe) in front of loving couples.

Bruno Loff:

It seems that "I" am so eager for certainty, that "I" prefer to know in advance that things are bad, rather than, not knowing, find out how they actually are.


So how did you find out how "things" actually are? What are those "things"? What happened to "the prolonged lack of a romantic partner" (felt as a void - a deep, yawning chasm - in one's heart)?
thumbnail
Bruno Loff, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Investigating the social identity

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
Harry Potter:
Bruno Loff:

It seems that "I" am so eager for certainty, that "I" prefer to know in advance that things are bad, rather than, not knowing, find out how they actually are.


(1) So how did you find out how "things" actually are? (2) What are those "things"? (3) What happened to "the prolonged lack of a romantic partner" (felt as a void - a deep, yawning chasm - in one's heart)?


(1) I do it every day as much as I can by being attentive.

(2) I would paint all sorts of sad scenarios for the future. "I'll always be alone" was one of them.

(3) What happened? A lot. I observed that relationships based on love are a bittersweet mix, and found that craving for one is absurd. I understood that what I craved for was intimacy, not love, so you could say I got higher standards. I realized that love, as a bridge between two identities, will by its very nature prevent such intimacy. I noticed that craving for sex, fantasizing with the people I am attracted to, sooner or later brings problems in interacting with those same people... In fact any kind of image you construct about someone else will prevent intimacy the moment it clashes with reality (and it always does sooner or later).

[indent]Why do I want a partner so badly? Would it be enough to be happy and more able to make others happy? Am I really ready for a partner before I no longer need one to be happy? What good would come of a partnership, if I bring to it deep cravings, needs and hunger for fulfillment? Would I like it if he/she "needed me" to be happy? Would I prefer he/she "needs me" or rather simply "enjoys being with me"? With that in mind, does it make any sense whatsoever to crave for a relationship (which is nothing more than emotional bonds of various kinds)?[/indent]

Thinking along these lines has been very fruitful in my relating with people I am attracted to.
thumbnail
Harry Potter, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Investigating the social identity

Posts: 84 Join Date: 5/20/11 Recent Posts
Bruno Loff:
I observed that relationships based on love are a bittersweet mix, and found that craving for one is absurd. I understood that what I craved for was intimacy, not love, so you could say I got higher standards. I realized that love, as a bridge between two identities, will by its very nature prevent such intimacy. I noticed that craving for sex, fantasizing with the people I am attracted to, sooner or later brings problems in interacting with those same people... In fact any kind of image you construct about someone else will prevent intimacy the moment it clashes with reality (and it always does sooner or later).

[indent]Why do I want a partner so badly? Would it be enough to be happy and more able to make others happy? Am I really ready for a partner before I no longer need one to be happy? What good would come of a partnership, if I bring to it deep cravings, needs and hunger for fulfillment? Would I like it if he/she "needed me" to be happy? Would I prefer he/she "needs me" or rather simply "enjoys being with me"? With that in mind, does it make any sense whatsoever to crave for a relationship (which is nothing more than emotional bonds of various kinds)?[/indent]

Thinking along these lines has been very fruitful in my relating with people I am attracted to.


Makes sense. When the sexual/romantic instinctual passions take full force, however, I refrain[1] from interacting with the people I am attracted to (usually every attractive female; I don't even allow them in my visual field) as that only tends to make matters worse. Instead, I focus on things that make me happy. Recently, the "belief of a good life" is becoming less of an issue, as I am seeing clearly that this belief doesn't arise at all when I'm occupied with my leisurely activities (happening every day of late). The belief, however, starts to make more sense under the influence of sexual/romantic passions. But then, when such passions take over me - as said above - I simply refrain and focus on the things I enjoy.

Is this what you do as well under the strong influence of such passions?

You say that you "crave for intimacy, not love". As, other than my mother and other relatives, I never had a relationship with a woman - could you explain what you mean by "craving for intimacy, not love"? If you do not crave for that "bliss" one feels when in love, what do you crave when being with a woman? By "intimacy" do you simply mean the "close familiarity or friendship" one feels with one's same-sex friends? If so, do you "crave intimacy" at the same intensity with men too?

[1] and the reason I refrain is to allow more and more felicitous feelings. I always can investigate such passions whenever they are not as strong (for instance, when I'm already feeling good, the visual field presents a voluptuous body leading to a feeling of lust -- that is a very proto-feeling ripe enough for investigation, not for being overwhelmed at).
thumbnail
Bruno Loff, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Investigating the social identity

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
Intimacy delivers that which love only promises. It is delighting in the company of someone without restraint, without holding something behind your back, without fearing anything the person might do. It does not depend on gender, and by way of circumstance I have been the most intimate with people from the same gender.

In essence, it is relating without forming a persona of your own, or imagining someone else's persona. It is dropping the images and living the actual thing. Then I think "Wow, this person is actually right here," because I am certain, for a brief moment, that being with this person is not happening in my imagination, unlike the images I usually project in the way I usually relate ("he is so sweet, she is so cool, he is so intellectual, she is so sensitive, etc").

Love, lust, bliss, ecstasy, etc, all of that gets in the way... I can safely say I have never ever been 100% intimate with anyone for more than a brief instant.
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Investigating the social identity

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
Harry, I read through your practice thread. Supposing that you still have issues concerning the desire for sex or romance, I wonder about the answers to these questions:

* Do you hope to fall in love or find a romantic or sexual partner?

* Would you take the opportunity to do one of those things right now if it presented itself? Why / why not?

* (Assuming "no" to the previous question) Would you take the opportunity to do one of those things in the future, were circumstances different? If so, in what way would circumstances have to be different?

If you answer "no, no, and no," I wonder if you have considered making an absolute future commitment to actively preventing yourself from falling in love or searching out the experience of falling in love, making an absolute commitment to never having future romantic experiences and actively preventing yourself from having future romantic experiences, and never (as an identity) having a future sexual experience with another person, and actively preventing yourself (as an identity) from having a future sexual experience with another person.

On one hand, this may seem extreme. On the other hand, it seems that the problem is that 'you' believe that this is how things are already likely to be, but 'you' cannot accept it, and so 'you' are consequently battling against 'your' dislike for what 'you' imagine the future will be (the three-way fight between 'you', 'your' lack of acceptance, and the future 'you' imagine and cannot accept literally being 'you' vs. 'you' vs. 'you').

If your goal is AF, and you knew you were getting AF soon, you would expect that every single one of these things would come to pass, yes? And that would be profoundly good (nothing that 'you' would regret) as it means having reached the goal you set out for yourself, yes?

If it isn't a bad thing in principle that this state of affairs could come to pass, and if it already appears that things will never be otherwise anyway, why not simply make it official, and resolve to do everything in 'your' power to keep it that way?

Perhaps that would be psychologically valuable. If 'you' truly accept it and resolve to make things this way, there would be no more 'you' waging a war against 'you' and 'you'. And that means a lot less 'you'.

Just a thought...
thumbnail
Harry Potter, modified 9 Years ago.

On giving up hope

Posts: 84 Join Date: 5/20/11 Recent Posts
End in Sight:

Supposing that you still have issues concerning the desire for sex or romance


Yes, though the issues have become less bothersome than before.

End in Sight:

* Do you hope to fall in love or find a romantic or sexual partner?

* Would you take the opportunity to do one of those things right now if it presented itself? Why / why not?

* (Assuming "no" to the previous question) Would you take the opportunity to do one of those things in the future, were circumstances different? If so, in what way would circumstances have to be different?


As a feeling identity with hopes and dreams - yes, yes and yes.

Why? Bliss.

Sometimes the answer is a more clear "no". And this is the most interesting aspect of my current practice. As I've already remarked in the other post, I arrange situations so as to tremendously minimize the visual exposure of the females. This leads to less triggers for the desire for bliss (and its concomitant neuroses). Further, this leads to leaving more time for thinking and doing other activities (dislodging the bliss-neurosis), which leads to a generally more pleasant life. Under this mode of living, I experienced certain excellence experiences a couple of times (happened serendipitously): there was greater ease, pronounced lack of worry and anxiety, and a sense of just having fun, with feelings of motivation at imminent activities. And these experiences motivate me to keep doing whatever it is that I am doing. Contrary to the forewarnings of the wordly wise (that I am "missing it all out"), I know that I am in the right direction because I want majority of my days to be experienced like this.

End in Sight:

I wonder if you have considered making an absolute future commitment to actively preventing yourself from falling in love or searching out the experience of falling in love, making an absolute commitment to never having future romantic experiences and actively preventing yourself from having future romantic experiences, and never (as an identity) having a future sexual experience with another person, and actively preventing yourself (as an identity) from having a future sexual experience with another person.


Prior to embarking upon the above strategy, I told myself that this will be a temporary thing (so as to not freak out "me" who fears being alone forever) and that I'm experimenting to find out how far I can be carefree without desire for bliss actively thwarting it. If, in the end, I get to experience the aforementioned excellence experiences more often, all the better! If my life would be like that 100%, then I don't mind living without romantic and sexual partner. But since currently my life is not like that, deep within I tend to "welcome" any such opportunity, yet at the same time cringe at the thought of having to "be assertive" and "act phony" in order to persuade the identity inhabiting the female body so as to form a long-lasting emotional bond between "me" and "her" (which is what dating in the real-world is). Makes sense?

End in Sight:

On one hand, [actively preventing yourself from falling in love, etc.] may seem extreme. On the other hand, it seems that the problem is that 'you' believe that this is how things are already likely to be,


If by that you mean, 'I' believe that I will mostly likely not form a romantic bond with a female identity due to my lack of assertiveness, confidence and general dislike for acting phony, then yes.

End in Sight:

but 'you' cannot accept it,


If by that you mean, 'I' cannot accept the reality of not ever being able to form a bond with a female identity due to my lack of assertiveness, confidence and general dislike for acting phony and further freaking out on the conflicing "me" continuing to desire "bliss", then yes.

End in Sight:

and so 'you' are consequently battling against 'your' dislike for what 'you' imagine the future will be (the three-way fight between 'you', 'your' lack of acceptance, and the future 'you' imagine and cannot accept literally being 'you' vs. 'you' vs. 'you').


Hmm, the only conflict or battling I see is between "me" (the desirer of bliss) and "I" (the thinker of reality). And this conflict is reduced by the aforementioned strategy (remember the disloding of bliss-neurosis by other activities?).

End in Sight:

If your goal is AF, and you knew you were getting AF soon, you would expect that every single one of these things would come to pass, yes? And that would be profoundly good (nothing that 'you' would regret) as it means having reached the goal you set out for yourself, yes?


My ultimate goal may be AF, but right now I'm mostly aiming for VF. I don't know what you mean by "one of these things" - could you clarify? If I understand you correctly, you are saying that commiting myself to not bothering about not being able to fall in love ever again is "just fine" because when I reach a VF or AF, it would not be a big deal anyway. And I agree. Which is why I am aiming towards allowing more of those two excellent experiences I had.

End in Sight:

If it isn't a bad thing in principle that this state of affairs could come to pass,


It isn't a bad thing in principle only when experiencing those excellence experiencs. Other times, the "bliss" is so alluring as to make even longing for the bliss a worthy pursuit (I know that "longing" sucks no matter what) -- "I" would be so commited to worrying than being happy that it would take a while before getting back to feeling good (thankfully that duration is reducing).

End in Sight:
and if it already appears that things will never be otherwise anyway


No. "sex hope" (and "romance hope") still exists in me. I've had a few women stare at me, which only fuels the already existing desire for bliss. This is why it is even more important to maximize excellence experiences.

End in Sight:
, why not simply make it official, and resolve to do everything in 'your' power to keep it that way?


I hope to do that when majority of my days are spent in such excellence experiences.

Does what I wrote above answer your question? Please let me know if you have something more to share.
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: On giving up hope

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
To answer very briefly...of course, if you are VF or AF, there will be less / no problem following my proposed course of action. However, you are not VF or AF. What is standing in the way of becoming VF? Nothing other than that there is too much of 'you' in your experience. So, if you could find a way to get rid of some of that excess 'you', that would potentially make EEs more likely, as well as make VF more likely (and subsequently AF)...which is what you want, after all.

Harry Potter:
Hmm, the only conflict or battling I see is between "me" (the desirer of bliss) and "I" (the thinker of reality). And this conflict is reduced by the aforementioned strategy (remember the disloding of bliss-neurosis by other activities?).


What I meant is, if 'you' are disconcerted by the future 'you' imagine in which 'you' don't get to have romantic or sexual experiences, that is an extremely large amount of 'you' (the 'you' which is imagined as subject, 'your' projection about the future, 'your' inability to accept that projection).

If you swore off romantic and sexual experiences (suppose you told every woman you meet whom you speak to in any context other than in passing that you've taken a vow of celibacy), when 'you' finally see that there is nothing 'you' can do to get those experiences, ever, that may help to starve 'you' from reviewing these projections about the future and subsequently not accepting them. Which makes less 'you' in experience. Which makes EEs (and VF) more likely.

If you think now is not the time to apply this advice, perhaps there will be a time in the future when my advice is more apt.
Jason L, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: On giving up hope

Posts: 105 Join Date: 8/11/10 Recent Posts
As an alternative to no romance/sex, you could simply stop intending to 'get women', e.g. get sex, get into a relationship, pursuade... At the same time continuing to trigger EEs (happiness). Most times, I would say the core problem when a guy can't get into a relationship is the 'trying to get something' intent, i.e. the intent to get happiness from outside ourselves. The problem with trying to get happiness from outside ourselves is that it's not guaranteed to happen, and if you do get it, the actual thing you got wasn't what you wanted, it doesn't last, or it can be taken away.

Counterproductive to relationsips:
Trying to get something from women = them feeling that something is wrong = them moving away from you

More favourable:
Happy living your life = women feeling that everything's ok = them moving toward you

Since you have had a few women staring at you, the EEs you've had, and your attempts at triggering them, may have helped you and they were liking what they saw.

Minimising exposure to women is ok, except I would just limit it to not watching porn, and deal with the 'getting' issue. How do you just stop? 1) By doing stuff you like to do for the sake of doing them, and triggering EEs (liking whatever you do). They have a flow on effect when you're not doing them. 2) Remind yourself that you can't rely on X to make you happy because it's not guaranteed to happen, and if you do get it, the actual thing you got wasn't what you wanted, it doesn't last, or it can be taken away.
thumbnail
Harry Potter, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: On giving up hope

Posts: 84 Join Date: 5/20/11 Recent Posts
Jason L:

Counterproductive to relationsips:
Trying to get something from women = them feeling that something is wrong = them moving away from you

More favourable:
Happy living your life = women feeling that everything's ok = them moving toward you

Since you have had a few women staring at you, the EEs you've had, and your attempts at triggering them, may have helped you and they were liking what they saw.


Jason, I should clarify something here. When I said "I've had a few women stare at me, which only fuels the already existing desire for bliss. This is why it is even more important to maximize excellence experiences.", I was attempting to convey a sense of urgency. The more women stare at me, the more sexual/romantic feelings get stirred up and the more I get distracted away from the path.

I acknowledge your advice (also appeared recently in the 'Love' thread) of appearing less needy in order to gain the woman's affection, but that is not my intent in maximizing EEs. At this point, I'm more inclined to follow End In Sight's approach with no regard whatsoever for increasing the chances of sexual/romantic encounters:

EiS:
If you swore off romantic and sexual experiences (suppose you told every woman you meet whom you speak to in any context other than in passing that you've taken a vow of celibacy), when 'you' finally see that there is nothing 'you' can do to get those experiences, ever, that may help to starve 'you' from reviewing these projections about the future and subsequently not accepting them. Which makes less 'you' in experience. Which makes EEs (and VF) more likely.
Jason L, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: On giving up hope

Posts: 105 Join Date: 8/11/10 Recent Posts
Yeah, my advice was more about remaining open to a relationship without pursuing one. The way to AF doesn't appear to be in conflict with becoming more attractive. It's just the motivation to 'get' (desire for bliss) that is conflicting.
thumbnail
Jon T, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: On giving up hope

Posts: 401 Join Date: 12/30/10 Recent Posts
As you are deconstructing those long held beliefs be sure to practice panoramic vision, smell and hearing. Really taste and smell your food as much as your identity will allow and literally stop and smell the flowers. Notices shapes and angles. Notice space and movement.

When your identity jumps in and tries to take over, practice acceptance by really feeling the feeling that prompted the identity to take over. If it's unpleasant then try and make it pleasant. When you let go of a thought or desire and that uneasy feeling creeps in, like a mild phobia of an unspecified agent (you don't know what you afraid off but you know it's something and you feel it's valid.), learn to accept that feeling too and try and make it pleasant.

As you are analyzing why the identity is greedy, practice acceptance. If your identity decides that this or that will help you achieve this or that desire then just go with it but practice the panoramic vision thing while going after it. If your new AF identity decides that the desires of the old identity aren't helpful then you can go for renunciation instead but practice panoramic vision.

The panoramic vision includes observing your feelings, learning to accept them and even appreciate them.

Practice it while watching TV, while conversating, while jerking off, while focusing on work, while self-motivating, while deconstructing the identity, while deciding what to do for the evening, while writing these posts, etc.

You only have one life to life. Don't waste it by narrowly focusing on this or that problem. Expand your viewpoint to include the whole sense arena as well as what's in your heart and what's on your mind. And turn the unpleasant aspects of that viewpoint into pleasant. As you are talking yourself into feeling good and experimenting with how to turn the unpleasant into pleasant, stay aware. Don't narrowly focus on becoming AF or getting happier. Broaden your viewpoint instead. Be grateful that you have that wherewithal. Really enjoy this life. All of it.
Adam Bieber, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Investigating the social identity

Posts: 112 Join Date: 5/22/10 Recent Posts
Harry Potter:
Just a little - a little - step towards eliminating the social identity.


This is how the actualism process unfolds and then you keep building momentum.
thumbnail
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Investigating the social identity

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
massive despair upon relationship break-up resulted in perfectly clear seeing of the unsatisfactory nature of love as possessiveness and desire. maybe you would fine something useful in reading the few posts i made about it in my thread. but now i know that i cannot possibly sincerely fall in love with or desire anybody, if i really care about that person. it would simply be a dishonest and duplicitous thing to do. this is not a 'woe is me' reaction - that was part of that very desire/despair/love complex.

Breadcrumb