notes on my practice (inspired by actualism)

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

notes on my practice (inspired by actualism)

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
[10/27/11: title changed to render it more accurate]

'you' can't make any sensory input happen!

say you're looking at the desk.. and you wonder what it feels like. so, "i'm going to feel the desk". then you reach out your hand and feel it. is there an expectation behind that? of what the desk will feel like? do you get the impression that 'you' are going to feel the desk, that as a result of 'your' action, the desk will be felt?

if you notice, all that's happening is that your hand is approaching the desk. when the hand physically touches the desk, the sensations of the desk get registered - contact. but 'you' didn't make that happen - it happened on its own.

same with vision. if your eyes are closed, and you want to see, you open them. the impression is that 'you' are controlling your vision, turning it on/off. but really the vision is always going on, and there's just the motor function of moving the eye flap, which either lets light in or it doesn't.

keeping this in mind seems to really help foster naivete and delight.
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Harry Potter, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: naivete tip

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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
the impression is that 'you' are controlling your vision, turning it on/off. but really the vision is always going on, and there's just the motor function of moving the eye flap, which either lets light in or it doesn't.

keeping this in mind seems to really help foster naivete and delight.


This reminds me of Richard's "out from control" (or whatever) whereupon one give's up control and let life live them. Two questions:

1. When you are feeling low, to what extent does being naive in such way help? By giving up control, thankfully I stop fighting with myself and cease exacerbating the condition, but - short of time and fate - I can't quickly come back to feeling good. Is this the expected result of being naive when feeling low?

2. "I" certain seem to have some control. Although "I" don't control involuntary movements like the ones you mentioned above, "I" seem to be the initiator of voluntary actions. For example, as I am sitting and writing things, a feeling of thirst (which is involuntary) makes "me" to intend to get up and get a glass water.
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Jon T, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: naivete tip

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"out from control" (or whatever) whereupon one give's up control and let life live them. Two questions:



Richard:
As being out-from-control/ in a different-way-of-being implicitly requires pure intent – which renders the necessity for morals/ ethics/ values/ principles null and void – it is certainly not the territory a fledgling actualist has any business venturing into precipitously.


In other words, it's a dangerous place to venture if one can't recognize the social identity and the instinctual passions as they arise. One could easily confuse those things for happy whims and thus find oneself in a miserable spot.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: naivete tip

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Harry Potter:
1. When you are feeling low, to what extent does being naive in such way help? By giving up control, thankfully I stop fighting with myself and cease exacerbating the condition, but - short of time and fate - I can't quickly come back to feeling good. Is this the expected result of being naive when feeling low?

hmm no, i don't think the 'end state' of naivete is ever 'feeling low'. you're not being naive to the residual unhappy feelings.

when i am feeling low.. it hasn't occurred to me to try this, yet. was just a when-feeling-good tip =P.

Harry Potter:
2. "I" certain seem to have some control. Although "I" don't control involuntary movements like the ones you mentioned above, "I" seem to be the initiator of voluntary actions. For example, as I am sitting and writing things, a feeling of thirst (which is involuntary) makes "me" to intend to get up and get a glass water.

that's true. but hey, an actually free person also gets thirsty and goes up to get a glass of water. nothing wrong with that =P.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: naivete tip

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oo another one: take a walk, without knowing where you will go. literally. just let your body start walking. pay attention to it for little cues. like, i'll notice my body start to turn, and then it's easier to follow the turn.

found some really cool stuff this way. like i was just walking around an oval, i suddenly turned to the left into what i thought was just grass.. and there was a little cobblestone path there! great fun =).
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: actualism notes

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i figure i'll just put stuff here that i find useful, so i renamed the thread

----

too many thoughts?

simple: pay more attention to the senses.

seems like there are always a few levels of sensory clarity: 'easy baseline', then 'easy stretch', then 'tough stretch', and always 'distracted' on the left end and PCE on the right end. as the mind gets more + more used to sensousness (as the mind gets more + more concentrated?), these levels will shift - easy stretch --> easy baseline, tough stretch --> easy stretch, etc., gradually approaching PCE as baseline.

since 'easy baseline' becomes what 'tough stretch' used to be, there is a tendency to relax, since the senses are where you'd have wanted them to be earlier by focusing a lot. by relaxing that way, though, you are freeing up mental energy, and without applying it to more attentiveness/sensuousness, thoughts will start coming in, even though as soon as you notice that, the senses are at a far superior level than they were earlier when you had to be focusing.

at first i was trying to just watch the thoughts, and if they arose, to stop 'em. but without focusing on the senses, they kept arising + arising + arising. it seems to work better to watch the senses and, once you notice a thought arising, just put more effort into being sensuous.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: actualism notes

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also, check it out! an index of a bunch of topics on the AF trust site. could make for some good reading.
Adam Bieber, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: actualism notes

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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

since 'easy baseline' becomes what 'tough stretch' used to be, there is a tendency to relax, since the senses are where you'd have wanted them to be earlier by focusing a lot. by relaxing that way, though, you are freeing up mental energy, and without applying it to more attentiveness/sensuousness, thoughts will start coming in, even though as soon as you notice that, the senses are at a far superior level than they were earlier when you had to be focusing.


so money!! thanks!

added note: sometimes the senses get so good that it is "too" good and fear kicks in. Decreasing (making harmless) that fear, brings increased sensuousness.

Another thing that I realized today is that happy and harmless is a consistent state of the moment. Yes, one becomes gradually more harmless and experiences longer lasting happiness but in this moment with intent, one is as happy and harmless as one can be. This means that there is no point to keep trying to build happiness when you already are happy or mildly happy. Instead the focus is on sensuousness while one is happy and harmless. Sensuousness "opens" up the world and brings one to the actual. The happy and harmless allows you to easily explore the actual without distraction and in turn, the combination of happiness (however much currently accessible), harmlessness (however much currently accessible), and sensuousness automatically decreases the passions and then more happiness are harmlessness is occurs.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: actualism notes

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hmm i notice how touching upon certain topics brings about a visceral fear/resistance response. like when thinking "what exactly did that last shift in my practice do?" there's immediate resistance to looking 'there'.

so: why am i scared of full understanding?

full understanding has always brought release and freedom

what brings pain is not the process leading to full understanding, but the resistance to the process. the resistance is ignorance. the process doesn't hurt - 'i' hurt. every time there was more understanding, there was less pain. so how much longer does that have to happen until 'i' actualize[1] the fact that understanding doesn't hurt? =P. (

[1] "Generally speaking a realisation is an understanding of something previously not cognised and an actualisation is the putting of that comprehension into action ... as in acting upon that cognisance so that it is experiential and not only intellectual." [link]
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#1 - 0, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: actualism notes

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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

so: why am i scared of full understanding?



identity is afraid of its own end
its not fear "of" anything
it is fear itself
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: actualism notes

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there are infinite reasons not to do this, but none of them would make any sense

the only thing that makes sense is the actual

reason it’s ok to be honest: being will die anyway with physical death. when being dies, all the parts of it that are ‘bad’ will go with it. anything ‘bad’ will go with it. so if there is something bad now, and you admit to it, you might feel ‘bad’. but it is the first step towards having it disappear. whether you know about it or not, it will go away with the rest of being, so you might as well know about it until then since it will be necessary if you want being to die before the body.

--

ah ‘i’ can’t eliminate ‘myself’… ‘i’ don thave to! whew! what a relief! all that energy freed up for being happy + harmless instead

--

‘i’ dont have to do anything!

I DONT HAVE TO D OANYTHING!

just have to let this happen by itself

oh but i dont wanna do that - i want to be useful!

ah HA!

have to be ok with everything taking care of itself from now on. because there is no ‘doer’. because ‘i’ am not in control in that fashion

--

woa .. ‘i’ am ‘actual freedom’ as a concept, as a thing-to-become… the concept of the thing.. is ‘me’…

--

(note added just now): i realized i was a closet-annihliationist.

Culdasa:
Anyone who craves non-existence, who embraces the Dhamma as the path to an ultimate end to the endless cycle of suffering and rebirth, but who can only conceive of liberation in terms of oblivion. The rebirth they wish to escape is, of course, that of a Self that for them does exist, although admittedly in a mysteriously relative and mind-dependent way, but a Self that is all too painfully and undeniably real none-the-less. Since this Self exists in some mysteriously mind-dependent way, it is the mind that must put an end to it. Insights into impermanence and suffering are seen as the path by which the Self will be destroyed and become a No-Self that will not be reborn. These are the closet "anihilationists".
[link]

oops, hehe.. thence the burning 'i' that wants to get rid of itself, which can't happen anyway... so when i mean 'everything taking care of itself', i might have before had the image of just stuff moving without volition, like being possessed in a way.. but that's not quite it.

--

there is the real world. that of imagined people, events, ideas, of time passing, of yesterday and tomorrow and desire, etc... there is what is actual - sensory input, volition, consciousness, perception. how to get it done? pay attention to the actual. every moment, pay attention to what is being experienced, and discern whether it is actual or real. focus on what is known to be actual - that which was there in a PCE.

every single moment, be i desiring or calm or relaxed or wondering what that flicker just was or seeing something pretty or something aversive or typing or chatting or thinking or moving boxes or just enjoying life as it is - every moment, just pay attention. be attentive, be sensuous, incline towards what is actual, and what is actual becomes more + more evident the closer one gets.

now i know that what is actual is always there, and there is this pasting over experience of the 'real' world. so any moment, as outlined previously, pay attention to that, to what is 'real' and what is actual. and since it is obviously much more preferable to not have the pasting-over (usually - some things still 'snag'), the act of noticing + inclining is enough for the 'real' to subside.

pure intent: a non-affective preference for the actual.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: actualism notes

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also, 'be' the jhana - excellent advice

before i thought of and experienced and practice jhana as something like.. either a means to an end (get to here so i can vipassanize it and get fruitions), or when i did try to use it to calm down, it was like just experiencing something nice and letting the niceness rub off on 'me' so that 'i' would calm down. kind of like taking a drug - just getting doses of it. but there was still a 'me' at the center feeling it all, with all the passions and such there.

however, when 'being' the jhana, that very 'me' at the center, with all the passions - that very 'me' transforms. the passions dissipate, all of 'being' (or whatever amount you can get) transforms into the jhana. it's basically a more sublime way of existing.. it was quite amazing (and it seems very easy to cling to it, so luckily i know it's not the goal, hehe)
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tom moylan, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: actualism notes

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hi,
one of the main themes of the no-self of actualism or of RT or of straight theravada is that phenomena is occuring by itself. there is no controller, no seer etc. could one of you lay it out for me, how this teaching fits with the very clear old text descriptions / definitions of "volition"? if there is no doer, whose volition is it? to whose account will this karmic chit be credited? or are we back to the "two truths"?

thanks

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

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tom moylan:
...how this teaching fits with the very clear old text descriptions / definitions of "volition"? if there is no doer, whose volition is it?


could you post which definition you're referring to?
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Shashank Dixit, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: actualism notes

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tom moylan:
hi,
one of the main themes of the no-self of actualism or of RT or of straight theravada is that phenomena is occuring by itself. there is no controller, no seer etc. could one of you lay it out for me, how this teaching fits with the very clear old text descriptions / definitions of "volition"? if there is no doer, whose volition is it? to whose account will this karmic chit be credited? or are we back to the "two truths"?

thanks

tom


volition is also not-self..it arises automatically (on it's own due to inter-dependent conditions)
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: actualism notes

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Shashank Dixit:
volition is also not-self..it arises automatically (on it's own due to inter-dependent conditions)


(NOTE: just my thoughts, not sure if they are accurate or helpful)

there seem to be two approaches.. the anatta strategy: X is not-i, not-me, not-mine, so why is there clinging to it? and the clinging is dropped. or: 'i' am Y and Y is 'me' - knowing that, Y can be dropped, since it is 'my' choice whether to perpetuate it.

there is actual volition.. seeing how in a PCE or when AF, one still seems in control of one movements... but i think there are also volitional formations, which are 'me' - perhaps they are the clinging to volition?

it seems like i can sit here, completely still, and then will a lot of like rambling thoughts, emotions, chase this or that, buzz around, squirm inside my head, without actually moving. nothing actual changes, just the 'self' does. perhaps that's what volitional formations are.. directed selfing. maybe thats why, once one gets the hang of the actualism method, one can choose to be happy instead of not happy.. since 'i' am 'volitional formations' and 'volitional formations' are 'me', 'i' can will 'me' (not actual will) to 'be' differently.

seems all the really painful things, like emotions that just friggin won't let go, make more sense this way.. there's the volitional formation to cling to that, and it is happening blindly, so 'out of your control' in a sense, since you have no idea why it's occurring.. but once you see the cause, then the autopilot drops, and 'you' can choose whether to keep doing it.

also, usually 'i' have a mental model of the body, like a stick figure as opposed to the full richness of the actual flesh+blood body. normally, one thinks of it as 'me' moving the stick figure, which causes the body to move. but in a PCE it's just - body moving. perhaps that's difference between a volitional formation (which is 'me' moving stick figure) and actual will (body moving).

EDIT: or maybe tis giving 'me' too much credit.. it's all dependently originated (causal) anyway, even the volitional formations. they only arise due to current conditions. so thinking it's 'my' job to clean 'myself' up, in the sense of it being 'important' or 'mattering', might just be clinging to volition.

seems a tricky one... volition matters to some degree, otherwise it wouldn't matter whether we practice or not... any thoughts?
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: actualism notes

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hmm 'i' am quite powerful, in a sense... like when massive eruption of negative affect occurs, the immediate impression is that it is happening to me, and woe is me, why is that there ?! but really, the massive negative affect is me...

there might be a tendency to deny it. 'why would i ever do that? why would i be that? i wouldn't!' but 'i' am! and 'why' is a wonderful question, which is important to figure out, cause if you don't know why, it will keep happening.

'agreeing to self-immolate': it seems that the goal is to stop clinging to yourself. there's like a tight reflexive loop of clinging + clinging + clinging. cut the clinging little by little.. by seeing that it is happening and why it is happening - nothing is necessary, just clear seeing. i guess the effort that is necessary is to allow 'me' to relax, so that the seeing can happen. and that can be hard with lots of clinging. but it gets easier as one gets closer, since there is less clinging..
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Steph S, modified 9 Years ago.

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maybe volition is the brain/body's natural mechanism to move towards homeostasis - in the case of an entity who has had a certain amount of peace/stillness, the brain/body may automatically move back to that established baseline whenever it strays.

ho·me·o·sta·sis/ˌhōmēəˈstāsis/Noun: The tendency toward a relatively stable equilibrium between interdependent elements, esp. as maintained by physiological processes.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
hmm 'i' am quite powerful, in a sense... like when massive eruption of negative affect occurs, the immediate impression is that it is happening to me, and woe is me, why is that there ?! but really, the massive negative affect is me...

there might be a tendency to deny it. 'why would i ever do that? why would i be that? i wouldn't!' but 'i' am!


this brings me back to 'i' am 'my' feelings and 'my' feelings are 'me'. understanding that makes all.. this.. so much simpler. when you realize it's 'me' fighting with 'me', how it's all the same 'me'.. it definitely helps. i feel like i come back and re-understand this one every few weeks, perhaps more deeply each time.

and it's scary, cause 'me' can be very powerful.. and 'me' is the 'pain', so admitting 'you' are 'it' is not always easy.. but is so delightful once admitted. sincerity sincerity.. once you are sincere (one 'me') it's much easier to do anything.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
this brings me back to 'i' am 'my' feelings and 'my' feelings are 'me'.


going on this again... the impression is that there is a 'me', separate from the rest of 'me', that 'i' am (and the rest 'i' am not). the goal is for 'me' to feel as good as possible... and darn those things that aren't 'me' that are interfering! (e.g. anger, angst, annoyance, anguish... how many more that start with just 'an'? hah.)

the truth is that it's all 'me'... and this is weird because it's so.. impersonal. that which you took to be happening to you, you now understand as actually being you.. and you realize, what 'you' are doing, is not at all for 'your' benefit, not really.. it just happens, according to karma (cause + effect).

and it seems like the most enlightened you can get is when there is absolutely no personal 'you' at all, and it's entirely a gigantic, powerful impersonal Self[2]. not sure why that didnt happen for me, yet.. 'i' feel like 'i' am pretty demure as far as enlightenment...

interestingly i got a 3rd path shift when contemplating 'i' am 'my' feelings.. perhaps further contemplation will lead to another shift. but the immediate benefit is that of not banging my head against a wall, where 'i' am both 'my head' and 'a wall', with regards to painful feelings.

EDIT: even weirder is when you realize 'i' am 'the real world' and 'the real world' is 'me'... all the images of people, events, past, future, etc., also all 'me'. it's weird cause it feels like dissociating.. it feels like i'm taking the 'truth' ('i' remember the 'past' via visualization) and messing it up ('i' am the 'past' as a visualization). but i guess it's actually the opposite - associating?

i guess if you fully dissociate ('i' am not any of these things (but Self remains)) or fully associate ('i' am all of these things (all being limited to those of the affective faculty)) you can get a similar result.. the difference being that the association is more precise ('i' am not sensory input, or the purity of the actual world) while the dissociation is imprecise ('i' am not my body, 'i' am not the senses, 'i' am the Awareness of all of these things), and the imprecision makes it difficult to see what exactly is left.

EDIT: all this actually helps a lot, though. 2 days ago was one of the best days of my life. 'i' had no need to look for a PCE because experience was so close to one anyway. it was a day of moving stuff in the hot sun for hours, lots of muscular effort, tons of potential for irritation to arise, yet there was almost none. i can see now what people mean by a 99% perfect day.. i'd say it was more like 85-90%, perhaps, but pretty damn good still. yesterday kinda sucked though. i think 'i' took the rush of having such a great time, it started me thinking about what there's left to do, and that was ok, but a little latch got unhinged and annoyance started up, and then i ran with that, and it didn't end up too pretty.

i smoked some salvia yesterday night, which didnt help, either. it was pretty fascinating though. the pressure in my head immediately came to life. it became fully animated. it was still in my head, but it was no longer an undifferentiated blob, it was like a huge set of stories interacting with each other, this part doing this, it being interesting to chase this other one down.. it felt like an amazing way to figure out what it actually is, by tunneling through and picking it apart. this happened last time i smoekd it, too, and im glad i did again cause that might be where some of my obsession with chasing it comes from..

but then afterwards i was all, damn, such lack of self on wednesday, and such large amount of self on thursday.. what's up with that? will i be doomed to always be able to fall back like that, outside of my control? why does that happen to me?

today morning started off with huge unpleasantness in chest. it wasn't coarse, just like a small point of bundled-up desire, that was pulling me in no direction at all, but still there. i was able to gradually soften it.. then the mood started improving, and it slowly kept going up, which was nice. but then i put 2 and 2 together of how 'i' am 'my' feelings and 'my' feelings are 'me', and its like oh, that unpleasantness didn't happen to me, it was me. that salvia-inspired fantastical story-spinning wasn't 'me' watching a fascinating thing unfold... it was 'me', as a tantalizing, remarkably powerful[1] being, proliferating and hallucinating all over the place.

and that makes it all fine.. cause it's not 'out of my control', it's not 'in my control' either, its just 'me'.

i do wonder what salvia would do for a non-feeling being..

[1] it's funny, before it came up, i closed my eyes and tried to get into jhana really fast to prevent some unpleasantness. i saw the jhana form, then the next jhana starting to form, then it was like caught, stuck in place, then receded, then the salvia took full effect.
[2] powerful, but ultimately not actual.. which is kinda funny, i guess.
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: actualism notes

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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

also, usually 'i' have a mental model of the body, like a stick figure as opposed to the full richness of the actual flesh+blood body.


This is very insightful...thanks.

Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

i smoked some salvia yesterday night, which didnt help, either. it was pretty fascinating though.


Do you find this kind of drug use helpful in terms of AF or vipassana, or is it just something you do because you enjoy it? (Genuine question.)
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

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End in Sight:
Do you find this kind of drug use helpful in terms of AF or vipassana, or is it just something you do because you enjoy it? (Genuine question.)


hmm salvia isn't really enjoyable.. i kind of wanted to see what would happen since the last time i took it. i'd say a net negative, due to the unpleasantness (put me in quite the bad mood after), except maybe it offered some insight on the nature of the head-stuff. (but i might have easily decided to do more and to really really pursue the head stuff with it, which would likely have not led to good things).

marijuana i do find helpful, though - easier to get remarkable sensual clarity, slip into so-close-to-PCEs (basically full sensory integration, but a speck of being somewhere in there left), etc... also makes it a lot easier for me to get into hard jhanas, especially to 'be' the jhanas, though there might be some dependence there as they aren't quite as good without (and i wonder if they would be if i had just never tried it while high). vipassana-wise it makes everything more intense, and i may have used it to my net detriment in that regard.. it provides a tendency in me to 'plow through' stuff instead of really understanding it, and pursuing that tendency too much likely helped contribute to my imbalanced practice, but overall, i got where i am now, and i used it, so i can't complain.
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago.

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Do you think that developing your ability to get PCEs and near-PCEs while high carries over to your ability to get them while sober?
In other words...does the undoing of the habitual affective responses while high translate meaningfully to their undoing otherwise? And if so, to what extent (in your estimation)?

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

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End in Sight:
Do you think that developing your ability to get PCEs and near-PCEs while high carries over to your ability to get them while sober?
In other words...does the undoing of the habitual affective responses while high translate meaningfully to their undoing otherwise? And if so, to what extent (in your estimation)?


i think so. right now, anyway, the high-mind seems to enhance certain of the factors of enlightenment: rapture (bodily pleasure), joy, energy, concentration, insight into reality. it seems to detract from equanimity, tranquility, and mindfulness, but i can focus specifically on those to compensate. the result is a more malleable mind, and while i do get distracted due to lack of mindfulness sometimes, when i focus it seems pretty skillful. i think in that state i am able to bring insight into 'being', causing parts of it to fall away.. those parts remain fallen-away when sober, making the sober state more effortless and closer to PCE by default.

the high mind also seems to be able to more easily stay close to the actual.. and such doses of the actual or near-actual seem to reduce clinging to becoming. in other words, my baseline sober state does seem to improve after a night of high contemplation.

the previous two paragraphs might also be saying the same thing, but worded differently.
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

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I still take a smoke and since going all out for AF I've been looking at this too. So far I'm getting the impression that it's easier to go to, as Beoman says, near-PCE but still with that affective component to the experience ("I am stoned" or whatever) which becomes really slippery to pin down. This is probably just down to inexperience with the approach though but I'm going to need to investigate this more anyway.

Btw Claudiu, this is the first time I've read this thread and it's got some excellent stuff here. I'll try to drop you a line through the week and get a chat again soon!
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

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Tommy M:
near-PCE but still with that affective component to the experience ("I am stoned" or whatever) which becomes really slippery to pin down. This is probably just down to inexperience with the approach though but I'm going to need to investigate this more anyway.

ah i did notice that, too. another thing to try is - try being completely sober instead of stoned. see where that takes you.
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago.

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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

hmm salvia isn't really enjoyable..


...does *anyone* think it is? Never heard of such a thing. emoticon
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: actualism notes

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
quite a fun weekend of investigation... not sure 'i' will survive many more of these =P. a bunch of notes; i lay them out here both to potentially help others and to ask for pointers.

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Wrong Approaches (wrong view?)

  • a tendency to want to 'be' actually free, so that 'i' am unable to be affected by the world. but it's not that - it's that whatever might be perturbed (or be the perturbation) is impossible to arise.
  • i want to be close to af and to just go away or to just be 'done', not to know and/or be free... wrong approach!
  • i hated any sign that i wasn't done because it meant more work... wrong approach!
  • i was afraid to explore everything equally and really look at everything, because what if i find that something i like is something that will 'go away'? wrong approach!
  • tendency to want to dim the faculties and not investigate at 100%, so that i can seem done... a wanting to accept that the current experience is good enough. not useful! although it's also not useful to believe it isn't good enough... just have to continue to be attentive + such
  • want to wait and finally be done and then i can look at everything non-stop with never-ending amazement... wrong approach!
  • naivete is important. wanted sensations in head to go away. so any manifestation of them (what i deemed 'more') i was averse to... but, letting it run, and paying attention, it manifested a certain way , kept manifesting, it felt bad, but then the feeling that it was 'bad' was looked at, the realization that the good/badness of it was arbitrary arose, so it was no longer seen as bad, then it formed in a particular way, it lessened in a way that would have seemed painful before+, and then that way of it arising seems to have stopped.

    + interestingly, as a whole formation it was decreasing in 'real size' (non-actual size), like getting smaller like a dot. but it got to feeling really painful, or rather, painful-seeming, though a very diminished incredible-pain.. so it was bearable pain, but felt like if it was larger in 'real size' it would have hurt a lot. so i thought i was suppressing it unnaturally or something, "hiding" it in a way.. but it might just have been unraveling.

after these were seen and dropped, it certainly got a lot easier and more fun to investigate...

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Change of Lineage?

on friday, after a day of feeling quite nice, with little perceptual disturbances/flickering, basically a nice EE most of the time, i sat upon the toilet, and started at the wall. the edges of my field of vision came inward with blackness, and flickered a few times - a fruition. and slightly after it was perhaps a shift.. and after the shift i felt pretty different. the immediate impression was that it was much easier to stay close to the actual.. it feels like 'i' flipped over in a way, and now the actual is more 'normal' than the normal, in a way...

i am wondering if it was 10-fetter anagami. what immediately arose is restlessness - lots and lots of restlessness. or rather it was already there before, but now with less stuff clouding it, it was felt as more... i still performed actions that i might have done before out of restlessness - like scarf down some food very unmindfully - but it was like the sensual-desire aspect of eating (in that case) wasn't there. it tasted great, but there wasn't any (or nearly as much) clinging to the taste. but it was happening out of the restlessness (which has diminished a lot now).

the 10-fetter model might have just been laid out to help point out to practitioners what is left.. there is no need to have any fetter besides 'ignorance', since once that is gone all the others are, too - so why mention a particular one like 'restlessness'? perhaps just to point out what might be left, or to help as an indicator - if feeling restless, find out why, it's one of the fetters!

about ill will - i feel like there is almost no ill will left toward others. however there is still ill will towards myself ('sorrow'), although greatly diminished..

in any case it is nice. and came with a lot less pomp + circumstance than other times i thought i had a path-moment.

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insight arising shortly after shift: emotions are backwards/past-facing or forwards/future-facing. excitement is forward-facing - does nothing but 'be' suffering in the moment. pride is backward-facing - does nothing but make you suffer in the moment.

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no ill will means no shame any more, just wonder + knowing. can look at everything now!

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Cessation of Perception and Feeling

shortly after said shift, i entered + remained in a state that fits the description "cessation of perception and feeling" quite literally... in that there was no perception (no sensory discernment) and no feeling (no vedana - no positive/negative/neutral). and there was also no 'being' - just pure consciousness, i suppose, with naught much else.

i wish i knew better what exactly caused it to happen, as it seems really useful to be able to repeat, but i've already started clinging to the attainment and claiming it as 'mine'... will have to figure that out.

the approach: sitting with open-eyes. i was wondering how exactly 'i' investigate things... it seems like thoughts are a constant part of my contemplations, so i wondered if it was actually useful.. then i wondered if it was actually not the volitional thinking that was doing anything, but rather, that thoughts arose when in a skillful absorption (perhaps as a side-effect and not the main event), and that i mistook cause + effect and started fostering thoughts whenever i meditate, perhaps to trigger the skillful absorption. maybe that's why i always have trouble quieting the monkey mind - cause of attachment to thoughts.

anyway i started wondering if i entered a kind of thinking-jhana.. this led to contemplation on the 7 factors of enlightenment, more below. but anyway i was sitting with that in mind, and i suppose i started getting into arupa jhanas.

at some point something started happening that has before - the visual field got a bit weird. perception diminished, but not entirely - visual field was blurry-ish, not really well-perceived. perhaps 8th jhana. then certain aspects of the visual field started patterning themselves - this happened before, too - in this case, the pattern of the wooden hardwood floor started appearing everywhere. however, this time, some conditions were different, and the process was able to keep happening. it soon came that the entire visual field, which i could see crisply + clearly - as in not faded or dimmed or wobbly - was just a repeating pattern of piece-of-hardwood-floor. quite surreal indeed. then (and this might be out-of-order): a bit of a weird slip where all 6 senses integrated - might have been 'being' leaving - the disappearance of all vedana, along with coarse-rough ever-present touch sensations in my head, and then even that visual perception, along with any auditory or tactile perception, stopped happening. it was really clear, incredibly incredibly relaxing - and if being was indeed absent, then this state is a true refuge, so that makes sense.

i dont know how long the lack of being part lasted, though i somehow got the impression it wasn't long.

interesting thing was that, firsrt the state was entered, then there was a 'pang' of becoming in the 'middle' of it (but not really 'middle'). normally it would be associated with the center of my head, but that wasn't being felt, so it was really just somewhere out of space. then the pang faded. a very similar pattern occurs all the time - i associate it with releasing some clinging, though not sure if that's true. then the pang was totally gone, back into the pure absorption, then that, too, faded.

i had formed some ideas about the state previously - namely that there could be no being in it due to lack of vedana. this seems to have been confirmed. i also had the idea that, exiting the attainment mindfully, being could be eliminated... so 'i' really focused to see exactly how the re-arising of vedana corresponded with the arising of being. and it was really a very interesting few moments. being arose, and it was like each fragment of being was formed by having a chain of vedana - pleasant, unpleasant, neutral - arise, perhaps 3-5 moments in a row, and then that chain would somehow start manifesting more, and perpetuate - perhaps that's the clinging. it felt like seeing dependent origination in real-time...

it was quite amazing.. and cultivating that state seems really useful... now if only i knew how it happened.. =P.

EDIT: in terms of the senses, the visual messed-up-perception was what i noticed most. i did notice, before/after the state, though , that the auditory field was basically completely filled up with ringing , completely obscuring any outside noises..

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an observation about it: existence would be totally OK in a perma-ns.. there was no one there to be bored or to desire or to feel 'bad' (or 'good').. if it would be OK there, of course i'd be ok with full mental faculties... no?

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Clinging to the Aggregates

we think that when 'i' go that i will die, taking consciousness, actual will, and memories with me. but 'i' don't die.. 'i' never was. one THINKS that becoming is what-i-am, identifying with becoming (with itself), and don't want it to stop. yet it's just a trick deluding the mind.. nothing bad happens when becoming stops, as evidenced in full PCEs, or in NS. tarin's post is relevant here:

tarin:
'you' think 'you' can control this process by controlling attentiveness to physical sensations. but 'you' don't have control in that process - 'you' don't even exist in that capacity, in actuality.

the actual world is not 'i'. the actual will is not 'i'. intelligence is not 'i'. consciousness is not 'i'. memory is not 'i'. discernment is not 'i'. intention is not 'i'. motor function is not 'i'. controlling is not 'i'. attentiveness is not 'i'. physical sensations are not 'i'. this process is not 'i'.

further, 'the actual world is not 'mine.' the actual will is not 'mine'. intelligence is not 'mine'. consciousness is not 'mine'. memory is not 'mine'. discernment is not 'mine'. intention is not 'mine'. motor function is not 'mine'. controlling is not 'mine'. attentiveness is not 'mine'. physical sensations are not 'mine'. this process is not 'mine'.

one who realises that none of these things are 'i', or 'mine', realises 'my' time is up.


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generally it seems like all 'being' does is imitate what is actual. one wonders why the **** it is there in the first place =P. one way i thought about it is in terms of the 5 aggregates, affective pasting over of each one

  • senses - the dimness of the senses when not in a PCE is the affective overlay. not to mention the 'grasping' to them, like only looking at one particular thing, etc. that doesn't go away - the actual senses become apparent in their full glory.
  • vedana - emotions, perhaps? not sure about this. in the clear parts of the clear PCE i had everything was nice.. i tried grabbing onto a rough tree trunk to see how pain would feel, and it wasn't unpleasant in the same way.. but emotions arising might be just a huge making-a-mountain-out-of-a-molehill with vedana.
  • perception - the fact that everything can get wobbly by staring at a cup, indicates that that perception is something that is not actual.
  • volition - what i said earlier, how you can imagine moving but not actually move. emotions have something to do with this, as well (perhaps that is what is meant when people say things like it is, strictly speaking, 'my' choice how to experience this moment of being alive.
  • consciousness - not sure here. the feeling of being , perhaps.. or perhaps, there is a feeling of not quite seeing everything, when not in a PCE. like there are momentary lapses. so even though i'm not actively not-being-conscious of what's in front of me, it fades in + out.


the point of listing it is - don't worry! no need to cling to them. when they are gone, the actual will be left, and the actual is the 'good stuff' anyway.

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it makes no sense to cling to something just because it's there. yet that's what clinging to becoming is.. (or that's what becoming is - clinging)

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Factors of Enlightenment PCEs

i've been paying attention more + more to the factors of enlightenment. it seems like another way to classify what attentiveness + sensuousness point to - perhaps a more precise way? each factor, in a PCE, is absent, because it is entirely redundant - apperception reveals the actual quality of each, while the factors themselves for a feeling-being are just skillful ways of becoming, or forms of affect. i wonder if each one could be a potential entrance in a PCE, but it seems their real power (both explicative and practical) comes in balancing + cultivating them as a self-reflexive system (more equanimity/tranquility/concentration requires more energy/joy-rapture/insight requires more equanimity/tranquility/concentration, etc, all with mindfulness to top it off).

potential interpretations linking to actualist method: happy (rapture/joy), harmless (equanimity, tranquility), attentiveness (mindfulness, concentration, equanimity), delight (joy), sensuousness (rapture/joy (ardency?), concentration)

so i wonder, when i sit and contemplate, or meditate, even though thoughts do arise a lot, i wonder if it's not just an automatic adjustment of the factors.

the interesting thing here also is that you don't have to 'do' anything. all 'you' 'do' is balance the factors.. and when the factors are balanced, clinging is released.

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About 'Being'

it seems that what 'being' does is latch onto/abrogate each of the aggregates. e.g. the senses/perception: there's the constant sense of touch being messed with around my head and neck area. it seems to be being attaching to the touch-sense.. and when i took salvia it attached to the visual and auditory sense as well. nothing 'changed' per se, it was just manifesting differently.

that's why you cant ever 'find' 'being'... it's not at any of those places, it just manifests that way.

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being comes in little loops (volitional formations?). what seems to happen, per culadasa's comment (which i can't find) is that (paraphrasing) clinging/craving is slowly replaced by equanimity and insight. riffing on that comment (that's all i rememberd):

mix in equanimity + insight into each little loop. eventually, with enough of both, it 'liberates', as in, stop forming. however, all that 'work' that you did to put equanimity + insight into it, is suddenly not useful anymore, per se, since that loop is gone. this might partly explain why, once you find something that 'works', it stops working soon.. cause the thing it worked on no longer arises - it did work - but now you have to find another loop to mix equanimity + insight into. a constantly shifting thing.. though the premise is the same: balance your factors of enlightenment! (that is to say, not only equanimity + insight are useful/necessary, but all of them are).

it seems almost like you take a volitional-formation-loop that happens on-its-own and mix in some skillful volitional-formations to slowly unwind it (on-its-own, of course..)

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these seem to arise in four steps: the grossest/most deluded is when 'i' am following a belief or clinging to something in an uncontrolled way, happening by default. unrestrained delusion. after a bit of work, 'i' can stop clinging to it, but only if i focus. if i stop focusing it happens on its own. after this stage, it's there on its own, and if 'i' don't follow it, it doesn't manifest, but it also isn't going away by itself. a lot of stuff seems 'held at bay' like this. finally, when enough of the factors arise with the loop, it starts diminishing on its own, without doing anything, and all 'i' have to do here is not re-cling to it before it's gone.

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in other words: being doesn't arise in a vacuum.. it arises with the rest of the qualities of the totality of experience that a particular individual is experiencing that moment... if being arises with the proper conditions then insight into being will penetrate it and a little bit (or a lottle bit) of clinging will be dropped.

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i mention all the above because thats what i felt was happening, after a period of practicing uninterrupted for sufficiently long enough. it felt like i could feel the enlightenment-factors mixing in with the becoming and causing it to dissipate... not yet sure if it was delusion or an accurate insight.

this also seems the 'head on' approach - it doesn't seem like it would result in PCE... i'm not yet sure by which process 'being' can go into abeyance to result in a PCE, vs. aspects of 'being' being eliminated entirely via clear-seeing. PCE seems more about aligning conditions such that being doesn't arise, for a spell, whereas what i was doing was more allowing being to arise, but doing so with (hopefully) sufficient insight+equanimity+such so that it can be seen clearly and be dropped.

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there were a few instances where it felt like a knot just broke apart, and after that, there were tons of unpleasant sensations over the body, but each one separately was easily/automatically looked at + dissipated. so the knotting was like a way to hide all of those, but made it harder to look at them..

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'cycling' as a way of being - i hardly notice cycling at all, anymore, but sometimes (usually after smoking) i'll notice the stages of insight coming up again. and it's pretty.. comical i guess! more surreal than anything. it's like 'oh, these again?' it seems they were just more ways for 'being' to manifest...

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it's funny how in pulp fiction, marcellus wallace has a band-aid on the back of his neck cause that's where the devil drew his soul from.. funny cause the back of the neck is where it feels like the soul is! perceptive people...

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staying in a 'fruition'?

here by 'fruition' i refer to a noticeably distinct state i enter into sometimes, though seems like i only distinguish it with any confidence when high. basically it feels like there's a shift into it, perhaps with a discontinuity (fruition-like cessation). the senses are different - visually, for example, i often notice that light appears dimmer than usual. what's weird is that being is still there, except it's much, much less sticky - it seems like everything is slippery and just slipping away on its own. it seems like a great state from which to contemplate from. it requires some effort to maintain, not in terms of doing anything, but in terms of not doing something to exit from it. i haven't really observed the exit from it very carefully so i'm not sure what ends it.

i mention it because it seems different from an EE, having a noticeable shift into it, different from a PCE, as there is being, but seems to have some qualities of PCE... perhaps it is the fruition-attainment as ayya khema describes.

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Miscellany

i've felt bad about enjoying myself unless somebody else approves. and i also feel bad cause i have felt that what others want to do is necessary, and it HAS to be done, and i feel bad if i don't do that. but having my own preferences is NOT bad.

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the past and future are not actual now.. so there is tons + tons of room for volitional formations to arise about those. in the what's-happening-now there is the darned actual world right there, so it's harder for delusion to take hold, especially with focus.

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what 'actual world'? i don't see it! it's just the senses. or 'actual freedom' - what's that? i don't see it anywhere. but it's funny cause you have to put a word to things to describe it to others.. but as soon as you do, when talking to a feeling-being, automatically concepts start being formed about it. but it seems to work out eventually as one sees for ones self.

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EDIT: balls... typing restlessly leads to restlessness... who would've thought?
katy s, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: actualism notes

Posts: 385 Join Date: 8/11/10 Recent Posts
(cheers to enjoying (yourself))


being arose, and it was like each fragment of being was formed by having a chain of vedana - pleasant, unpleasant, neutral - arise, perhaps 3-5 moments in a row, and then that chain would somehow start manifesting more, and perpetuate - perhaps that's the clinging. it felt like seeing dependent origination in real-time...
It could not be simpler, could it? Solvating in the immediate now exits ongoing production of dependent origination.

Reading Tommy M's run through the forest (the turn-around), I remembered running in Alaska, the spongy forest floor, musky air, and wondered for a moment how the forest and feet engaged for TM.
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: actualism notes

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
Beoman, I have no particular practical comments, but I found your reflections useful to read, so thanks for posting them.

Your claim of 10-fetter anagami is interesting in a purely theoretical way; if that's what you have, then unless you attained technical 4th path simultaneously, that suggests that technical 4th path isn't even sakadagami in the suttas, but is some kind of further development of stream entry which is completely optional and not even on the map.

I consider that my current state is very likely 10-fetter anagami, and from that state I can see very clearly that this is approaching the end of the line for 'me,' so if that's what you've got also, that's great, hopefully we'll both be done soon. emoticon I don't find any ill-will towards others in my current experience (though I can easily go through the motions of acting angry at people, without an affective response, and have done that). If you interpret sorrow as ill-will towards oneself, I don't find that in my experience either, but that could just be coincidental (due to being happy / having an EE of some kind most of the day, suppressing that particular defilement).

(In my opinion it's not worth spending much time analyzing this possibility, so just keep going and things will be good however they turn out to have been.)
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: actualism notes

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
End in Sight:
Your claim of 10-fetter anagami is interesting in a purely theoretical way; if that's what you have, then unless you attained technical 4th path simultaneously, that suggests that technical 4th path isn't even sakadagami in the suttas, but is some kind of further development of stream entry which is completely optional and not even on the map.


that might be true. i feel like the level of 'enlightenment' gotten before doesn't really matter per se.. or that whatever that level was, as one approaches af it becomes less + less important.. which makes sense since 'enlightenment' is a way to re-shape 'being' and 'being' starts fading entirely.

it's ironic that some of the people who are for infinite development of 'enlightenment' and perpetual deepening of the 'enlightened' state also consider actual freedom to be a developmental dead end.. when it's 'enlightenment' that is the dead end in that sense. i think the only reason that someone practicing for 20 years has for not being free is not knowing what to look for.
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Steph S, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: actualism notes

Posts: 647 Join Date: 3/24/10 Recent Posts
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

it's ironic that some of the people who are for infinite development of 'enlightenment' and perpetual deepening of the 'enlightened' state also consider actual freedom to be a developmental dead end.. when it's 'enlightenment' that is the dead end in that sense. i think the only reason that someone practicing for 20 years has for not being free is not knowing what to look for.


Mahaa Sakyamuni Gotamo Sutta: Gotama the Great Sage of the Sakya
SN 12.10

[1] "Monks, [likewise[2]] before I attained supreme Enlightenment, while I was still a Bodhisatta,[3] the thought occurred to me: 'This world, alas, has fallen into sore distress. There is being born, growing old, dying, passing over and being reborn. But from all this suffering, from decay and death, no way of release is apparent. Surely there must be some way of release discoverable from this suffering, this decay-and-death.'

"Then, monks, this thought occurred to me 'What being present does decay-and-death come to be? What conditions decay-and-death?' Then, monks, as I considered this thoroughly,[4] the insight and comprehension dawned on me: 'Birth being present, death-and-decay comes to be; decay-and-death is conditioned by birth.' Then the thought occurred to me: 'What being present does birth come to be? What conditions birth?... becoming... grasping... craving... feeling... contact... the six sense-bases... name-form... consciousness... (kamma-) formations?[5]...' Then, as I considered this thoroughly, the insight and comprehension dawned on me: 'Ignorance being present the formations come to be; the formations are conditioned by ignorance.' And so we have it like this: 'Conditioned by ignorance are the formations, conditioned by the formations is consciousness... So there comes about the arising of this entire mass of suffering.'

"'Arising, arising!' — At this thought, monks, there arose in me, concerning things unheard of before, vision,[6] knowledge,[7] understanding,[8] light.

"Then, monks, the thought occurred to me: 'By the absence of what does decay-and-death not come to be?' Then, monks, as I considered this thoroughly, the insight and comprehension dawned on me: 'In the absence of birth, decay-and-death does not come to be; from the ceasing of birth comes the ceasing of decay-and-death... becoming... grasping... craving... feeling... contact... the six sense-bases... name-form... consciousness... the formations... by the ceasing of ignorance comes the ceasing of the formations... So comes about the cessation of this entire mass of suffering.'

"'Cessation, cessation!' — At this thought, monks, there arose in me, concerning things unheard of before, vision, knowledge, understanding, light."


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.010.wlsh.html
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: actualism notes

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
it's ironic that some of the people who are for infinite development of 'enlightenment' and perpetual deepening of the 'enlightened' state also consider actual freedom to be a developmental dead end.. when it's 'enlightenment' that is the dead end in that sense.


I don't really get how this other perspective makes sense in the first place. Development is something that happens in one's actual life. What is "spiritual development" other than a limited and specific kind of development in one's life? What reason is there to care about "spiritual development" in some way that makes it superior to all the rest of the normal ways that one can change?

The only reason I see to care is, in order to correct a delusion that gets in the way of life. Correct the delusion, close the spiritual development chapter, and then figure out what to do with the wonderful life ahead of you. All kinds of development is possible there. You could learn to do something that would really be interesting, such as learn to play a musical instrument. Not just play with your mind. Wouldn't that be something!

That's my perspective now; maybe I'm biased at the moment; who knows whether I'll stand by it in the future. But there it is.
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: actualism notes

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
End in Sight:
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
it's ironic that some of the people who are for infinite development of 'enlightenment' and perpetual deepening of the 'enlightened' state also consider actual freedom to be a developmental dead end.. when it's 'enlightenment' that is the dead end in that sense.


I don't really get how this other perspective makes sense in the first place. Development is something that happens in one's actual life. What is "spiritual development" other than a limited and specific kind of development in one's life? What reason is there to care about "spiritual development" in some way that makes it superior to all the rest of the normal ways that one can change?

The only reason I see to care is, in order to correct a delusion that gets in the way of life. Correct the delusion, close the spiritual development chapter, and then figure out what to do with the wonderful life ahead of you. All kinds of development is possible there. You could learn to do something that would really be interesting, such as learn to play a musical instrument. Not just play with your mind. Wouldn't that be something!

That's my perspective now; maybe I'm biased at the moment; who knows whether I'll stand by it in the future. But there it is.


EIS, I'm with you on this developmental thing. It seems that technical 4th path allows you to "close the spiritual development chapter", and it's only been after this point that I've been able to drop a lot of the old models I've clung to for so long.

These explorations are really on the cutting-edge of what's going on right now and it's incredibly fun to be involved!!

Claudiu, I had no idea you'd emailed me so I apologise for not getting back to you. I'm off to send you a reply just now.
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: actualism notes

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
End in Sight:
Your claim of 10-fetter anagami is interesting in a purely theoretical way; if that's what you have, then unless you attained technical 4th path simultaneously, that suggests that technical 4th path isn't even sakadagami in the suttas, but is some kind of further development of stream entry which is completely optional and not even on the map.


that might be true. i feel like the level of 'enlightenment' gotten before doesn't really matter per se.. or that whatever that level was, as one approaches af it becomes less + less important.. which makes sense since 'enlightenment' is a way to re-shape 'being' and 'being' starts fading entirely.


That might be true! I'm going to rework something that Kenneth said to me...enlightenment (technical model) is like lifting weights. You lift the weights, you get strong, but eventually you have to put the weights down and do something with that strength or it's all for nothing.

Not sure whether or not he would endorse this view, but it comes (indirectly) from him. emoticon
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: actualism notes

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
hmm feels like another shift... no fruition or discontinuity or blip or anything to this one.. maybe some faint tingling at the top of the head. happened while i was concentrating and letting the mass of sensations in my head slowly unravel (mass is all over, and little bubbles burst all over it).

i was thinking about a snippet from a self-proclaimed arahat (forgot name/where i read it) who wrote how he can still cry tears, but it doesn't mean he isn't free from all the fetters, cause they don't affect the immaculate mind, and how he can cry tears of joy at how perfect it is (paraphrasing, something along those lines). the important part was my take on it, which is that he was enlightened but not actually free.. so it was funny, cause it's like 'he' created something which 'he' then rejoiced over so much that he could cry... i thought 'this truly is delusion...' and then the shift happened.

lots of attempts to label it arose immediately, but instead of listing those i'll just list my immediate impressions:

* seemed completely obvious that 'i' am not doing the thing that is unraveling the sensations.. and that 'i' actually don't have control over it in that way.
* volitional formations seem less of a problem. like there would be formations to try to increase a factor of enlightenment, but it was like a false start - it arose, then was seen as unnecessary, then fell away
* the impression was that no new ignorance/delusion could be formed. i don't think that's true now but capacity for delusion might have diminished... or maybe that's just delusion, which would be sweetly ironic =P.
* anatta seems more apparent perhaps

well, back to it
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: actualism notes

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
hmm dnno about the shift anymore. might not have been a shift but an insight or something. though i think anatta is more apparent.... suffice to say that things seem to be moving quickly..

what was funny was that the thing about 'no more delusion being able to be formed' wasn't really correct at all, since as long as 'being' is around, 'new' delusion is being formed every moment.. by 'new delusion' i meant new beliefs or what-not (so old beliefs might still perpetuate but would eventually die down) but that doesn't seem correct either...

this somehow (along with steph's link, an interesting chat, contemplation of ignorance and other things) led me to try contemplating dependent origination. what i did is, using my memory of what the links were, i started at the end (decay/old age/death/this mass of suffering), really contemplated it, not only intellectually, but really sought to feel it as it was arising in that moment. what happened was that my entire experience seemed to condense down to focusing on just that part of the cycle of d-o - e.g. all the little clingy things in my head disappeared, and my experience was replaced by what seemed to just be the fading away (and associated suffering with that) of birth... then i sought to see what caused it, and i used my memory of what the link was called to see what to look for. it's kind of like i entered an absorptive state for each one. here's what each felt like and my impressions of each

DISCLAIMER: not sure if they are 'correct' or it's just projection but that's what was there and what insight (or 'insight') i drew from it. i will probably have to contemplate this more to get a better idea of it...
  • decay/mass of suffering - lots of unpleasant fading away of things.. basically seeing 'birth' die. what causes decay of a birth?
  • birth - this one was interesting... this state basically pointed to kind of a self-perpetuating chain being formed. the insights arose: each emotion is a birth; each train of thought pursued mindlessly is a birth; basically any chain which starts going on its own is a birth. what causes birth?
  • becoming - this one seemed to just be the step before birth. i think it is what people might be pointing to when they talk about proto-emotions and stuff, and perhaps this is where Direct Mode stops - it prevents new births but becoming is still going on in the background. not sure how to explain it, though the experience was something distinct... it's like the stuff emotions are made of before they form. what causes becoming?
  • craving/clinging #1 - i actually realize i swapped craving and clinging here when i named them in my head. i'm not sure if that means that i went in the correct order, but named it incorrectly, or if the name pointed to the right thing and i went out of order. the same thing happened when reviewing insight stages when i still didn't know the names properly... i suspect it's the former. i'll just call it craving/clinging #1 and craving/clinging #2. this one seemed to be like a seeking-out of stuff.. with unpleasant things, there was a searching for away around it, basically an avoidance, and with pleasant stuff, there was a searching for a way to get back to it, basically an attachment. both painful (dukkha) of course...

    i stayed at this one for a bit as it seemed like things were being released. it seems like at each step things from that level were being released. about the chain itself, it seems not like a straight chain, but one in which there is a connection from every link to any other link. or if not that much, then at least between certain links. e.g. you can cling to a birth, or to becoming, or to formation, or to consciousness, etc., and that perpetuates more. quite the messy tangle! so what causes craving/clinging #1?
  • craving/clinging #2 - this was like the step right before craving/clinging #1. there wasn't a searching-out quality, but more of just a judgement of each thing that arose: this is desirable, this is not, this is neutral. but it wasn't just at the level of vedana, that judgement was taken, and then there was (craving/clinging #2) to each one. it hadn't formed fully into the searching-out, but it almost did. sticking around here also seemed quite beneficial. moving on, what causes craving/clinging #2?
  • feeling/vedana - here was the bare judgement of pleasant/unpleasant/neutral, which was still dukkha, but without added clinging to it. but it was seen how, from here, craving/clinging #2 could arise. going down the chain each bit is a little more 'relaxing'. what causes feeling/vedana?
  • contact/perception <- six sense media <- name-and-form - i didn't perceive these very distinctly and kind of floundered around here. around here i think (though not sure) that there was just the contact/perception of the objects, but without the vedana-judgement on top of it. it was not actual, though, not pure being-less contact/perception, so i suspect it was some kind of affective distortion of contact/perception... going down to a kind of an affective distortion of the sensory input itself. what causes that affective distortion?
  • consciousness - here i got to a thing which was certainly not the pure consciousness of a PCE/inside conscious-NS, but (what seemed like) an affective imitation of consciousness. a 'feeling of being' perhaps.. like some intuitive, vague-ish conception/imitation of consciousness. it was seen how each type of this consciousness would abrogate any sensory contact and distort it in the way which would allow the rest of the chain of d-o to form. what causes this consciousness?
  • formations/fabrications - ahh isn't that interesting.. volitional formations cause it! they form themselves, if unchecked, into the consciousness i was talking about. i only really got a good idea of what they were when considering what caused them...
  • ignorance - sitting at this part of the chain was quite fascinating. i couldn't see a way to go earlier (maybe cause the chain ends here as buddha laid out). what seems to be the case is that there are things that arise, outside of our control. we misunderstand the cause and effect, the karma - we simply don't know where they arose for or 'what they mean'. that is unsatisfying to 'me' though, and we really do want to know what it's about... so what do we do? we create a formation related to that ignorance. if we want something to be true, there's a formation of assuming something to be true.. if we want to know how something arose but don't, there's a formation of assuming how it arose. formations to avoid things, formations to cling to things... formations, as a response to ignorance. this linked well with an earlier insight i had that 'i' am a volitional formation...

    edit: this also might explain into why intuition and visualization are entirely absent for a released person... formations simply cannot be created anymore, due to the elimination of ignorance.

while contemplating ignorance, i wondered, in what way would ignorance cease? then it was clear - oh! pure intent! attentiveness! vipassana... clear-seeing... all of these techniques aim to eliminate ignorance... i later made the connection: that must be why naivete is so damn potent when used properly... because, when naive, the formations simply won't arise, because, even if there is ignorance, there's just a letting-be of it, a lack of a need to do anything about it.. and with that tendency diminished it's easier to temporarily break the chain and enter a PCE.

that last part was the most valuable part of the whole exercise, i think... as a single concept, 'pure intent' seems to be the most potent to combat ignorance... and attentiveness combined with sensuousness a potent way to apply that pure intent, as you are simply observing what is there with no beliefs/assumptions(formations), instead of chasing around things in your head/mentally proliferating about things that aren't there...

i'm still not sure what exactly eliminates ignorance once-and-for-all, not in terms of knowing everything, but in terms of never again assuming anything/forming a formation... guess i will find out!

well that's three of the noble truths right there - there is suffering... this is the origin of suffering... this is the path to the cessation of suffering... implied there was that with ignorance ceasing, the rest would also cease (3rd noble truth), but i went back up the chain anyways: i said, let's assume ignorance has ceased... with no ignorance there would be no formations.. with no formations there would be no consciousness (of the type i talked about).. with no consciousness, no contact of that sort, etc etc. leading up to the top. so there's the cessation of suffering.

interestingly after going forward + back through it a few times , in a directed manner, i kind of let go a bit, and then i noticed, roughly, the cycle repeating itself, taking a few seconds each time through... in the cessation-order: from ignorance to formation to ... to becoming to birth to decay/death, and then all the way to ignorance again, repeating, forever and ever, this indeed is samsara. it reminded me of insight-stage cycling in a way, just with no fruition...



fun stuff... so, all of those links in the chain are 'me' in a sense. best do away with all of them..
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: actualism notes

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
hehe:

"am i here?" (ignorance -> volition formation to feel for presence) "yup!" (-> ... -> ... -> this mass of suffering)

vs.

"am i here?" (naivete) "am i here?" (naivete) (naivete) (naivete) --> apperception (no ignorance)

---

pieces of the puzzle:
* ignorance causes all the suffering
* apperception is the antithesis of ignorance.

so why is it ever not-apperception? why does ignorance arise??

i tried staying with that question for a bit, trying to 'see' it... it wasn't working to feel for it so i
tried just stopping any volitional formations and staying with ignorance arising and trying to
see it there... it got the mind in a confused state similar to when looking for the self earlier like
with the RT-pointing. but it seems to only have led to a large amount of restlessness.

as i calmed down i figured: ah, 'being' is 'ignorance'... how to stop 'being'? i don't know
the button to press, so to speak, and 'i' can't find it out in the way i was trying to before...

so i think that's what is meant by 'i' cannot do anything to free 'myself'... a volitional formation
won't do the trick, since by the time it arose, ignorance has already arisen prior to it.

realizing this it's like a weight lifted from the core of my being.. and things started happening
more speedily. ah! seems like 'i' was clinging to insight.. a misunderstanding of volitional
formations leading to insight, as opposed to their lack leading to the allowance of insight arising.
and as i contemplated the weight came back... doh! fell in the trap again.. then it lifted
again.. not sure if this attachment is entirely gone but it seems to be the way to go. the fact
that it's there seems to be (at least part of) what is stopping this process from happening full-speed for
every moment, as opposed to just when i am focusing...

'i' am not insight.. 'i' am 'ignorance' and 'ignorance' is 'me'

EDIT: heh i guess i could see where zen sitting and doing nothing comes from... but sheeet without any other guidelines how the heck are you gonna find the actual?
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: actualism notes

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
physical restlessness. "it seems that if my physical body does not move at all, then any urges to twitch or move or fidget are affective in nature. being affective, they are impermanent and subject to cessation. being impermanent and subject to cessation, they can cause me no harm whatsoever... so why am i afraid of them?" so i make my body sit still. incredible restlessness arises... and then as dispassion arises to the desire to fidget, it diminishes, diminishes...

mental restlessness. "it seems that if i incline my mind to be still, then any urges to move my mind one way or another, to think about this or that, to chase this passion or run away from this other one, are affective in nature. being affective, they are impermanent and subject to cessation. being impermanent and subject to cessation, they can cause me no harm whatsoever... so why am i afraid of them?" so i incline my mind to be still. incredible restlessness arises... and then as dispassion arises to the desire to move the mind one way or another, it diminishes, diminishes...

not moving this way or that physically, not moving this way or that mentally, equanimity arose... and the qualities of nothingness (7th jhana) became apparent.

-------------------

hehe, it is fun to write in that style...

but yes, i realized that all the sensations in the center of my head and of energy moving in the body and other weird happenings, imply a sense of space or location. a 'real' sense of space... as in 'oh they are happening over here'. when seen this way, i know that they are not actual, and knowing that, i am dispassionate towards them.. and when i am dispassionate towards them, there is no clinging, and they start fading on their own. what was incredibly trippy is how it lost its sense of absoluteness... normally i think ah, there is something in front of the head, and it is compressing against something in the back of the head, which is the 'base'... so 'i' am being moved and it is unpleasant. but in that sit i realized, that back of the head, is not absolute, but also relative, also not-actual... so the entire thing is just a motion against nothing, clinging for no reason whatsoever.

they also imply a 'real' sense of time, as in, oh it's happening right 'now'... more dispassion!

-------------------

felicity hasn't been very high lately.. i feel like i'm making progress, but general mood hasn't been happy, but kind of a slogging-through-it.. even as affect fades more and more. so i tried cultivating good will - seeing the intrinsic benevolence/benignity of the universe - and appreciation - simply delighting in being alive - and man they are quite potent.

more and more i'm moving away from thinking about what is actual and actually looking at what's around me, instead.. far more delightful.

more and more i realize that this is something 'i' actually want to do! i've had trouble in my life with doing things that 'i' want.. 'i' always put 'myself' last, because 'i' figured, it's all the same to 'me', so 'i' might as well do what 'others' want, because that way 'they' are happy and 'i' will be ok either way... this is the persona 'i' have cultivated, of being ok with everything.. but this causes lots of resentment when 'i' wanted to do something and others didn't and 'i' gave in...

but yes! this is actually incredibly sensible.

and so much easier with felicity...
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: actualism notes

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
there is still a fear/aversion to feeling good... like feeling good would mean less progress... (ah - counter-intuitive eh?), like it isn't 'legit' to feel good... (though also there is dissatisfaction with not-feeling-good... and i do think that i am close, now, which prompt restlessness and an aggressive-searching reminiscent of my following-the-mctb-path-days... seems to not be useful at all) a few points came up:

  • sensations happening. incline the mind to seeing the pleasantness in all the sensations - everything becomes pleasant! feeling good! incline the mind to seeing the unpleasantness in all the sensations - everything becomes unpleasant! mood starts to slip. back + forth a few times and... it seems like the same stuff is happening, just that in one variant i feel a lot better! i don't really seem to be missing all that much by feeling good, and i don't seem to gain all that much by feeling bad...
  • intrinsic way of existing as a feeling-being: suffering, borne from ignorance. every step in any direction is potential to suffer more. intrinsic way of existing as an actually free flesh+blood body: apperception, benignity, benevolence, stillness, delight, appreciation. every step in any direction is the experiencing of the (joy of) the doing of this moment of being alive. so 'i' can choose to 'be', or 'i' can choose to allow a process to occur that will result in not-being...
  • there seem to be a few intrinsic qualities inherent to experiencing the universe in its actuality: benevolence/benignity... delight/joy/appreciation/wonder... stillness... thus if one is not currently experiencing benevolence, benignity, appreciation, wonder, or stillness, there is affect present. lack of stillness, lack of wonder, etc., imply affect, imply something to look for... and hey, when those are not lacking, one is felicitous! thus feeling felicitous is simply the way to be on the path.
  • part of it seems to be a taking-too-seriously of emotions.. like there are 'legit' ones (the negative ones that arise when 'i' don't incline in any particular way), but if i cultivate felicity that's not 'legit' cause it happened cause of some effort... but really they're both emotions.. and really the cultivation of felicity is quite equivalent to the cultivation of concentration, equanimity, joy, energy, etc., as factors of enlightenment... they have the same exact purpose.


----

woke up this morning with extreme stomach pains. lots of aversion to it.. cramping up.. holding it in but pain arises at each moment.. 'crap this sucks!'. i tried just letting go, letting it happen... and at first the pain increased, but then lots of stuff started happening all over the stomach. it could have been interpreted as pain, and it wasn't pleasant, but with the letting it go, there was no more "unease... unease... sharp pain!... unease... unease...", it's like a process was allowed to happen. it felt like the stomach was stitching itself together in some way. i felt some movements so i re-located to the toilet... allowed it to happen again.. and the pain/process ended almost completely within a minute.

seems like that letting go approach is exactly what i should apply to any sensation that is perceived to be bothersome...

----

EDIT: walking around.. reflecting on this... senses become clearer, space becomes more apparent.. a calmness settles in. 'being' is there but not a problem in the way it was.. it's just - the actual world is so peaceful! seems really all i have to do is stay close to it...
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: actualism notes

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
be your own best friend! like yourself no matter what!

a new take on all this: what am 'i'? 'i' am a set of beliefs, in part. that means that i should like my beliefs. but aren't they something to be gotten rid of? yes, but, if you like your beliefs.. you see them differently. instead of an opponent to vanquish, it's just something that 'i' decided to do for whatever reason at some point a while ago. maybe silly and irrational, but there was some reason behind it. liking the belief means taking its side ('my' side), and just seeing - why did it arise? what did it help with? once that is seen clearly, then it is sooo much easier to see why that is no longer necessary, and it can be dropped... all while feeling good in the mean-time!
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: actualism notes

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
a large part of the last hour or two spent thinking in the form of: "Why do i believe X?"

started with incredibly tense and agitated sensations. and why tense? cause 'i' had to do something! but: why do i believe there is an 'i' that is feeling these tense sensations? i was looking right at them. they absolutely and incredibly urgently implied an 'i', and that something had to be done... but why do 'i' believe that? lookin at it its like the 'i' of the sensations was slowly worked off - or should i say the urgency of them. the importance, so to speak. it doesn't seem to be a perceptual matter, just a matter of a belief that there is a permanent 'me' that is feeling those things. (i wonder if only doing this for a while is what leads to KFD 7th stage).

same with any feeling though - why do i believe there is a 'me' in the form of that feeling? why do i believe 'i' have to do anything to feel good or to get rid of it? why do i believe i have to get rid of it? why do i believe i have to be free?

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

RE: actualism notes

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
i wonder if i have/had some type of attention deficit disorder or something... a few things i noticed (after drinkin some coffee late at night which was a bad idea as it made me stay up for a few hours..) could be some disorder, could be just standard way attention moves but a little accented in some direction. the reason i ask is if anybody has experience with these, if they found particular things to do, then sharing them mite be helpful. or hey if these things just happen.. no need to label them.

a) i really like getting into things and pouring all my attention into it: coding, posting, meditating, browsing forums, reading whatever, watching episodes, etc. i kind of get in a zone where i don't want to stop.. like a fixation. this'll happen when i'll just be at work, for example, start following a train of thought/meditation, then i'll do nothing but think/meditate in that way for a good 5/10/15 minutes.. and really hyper-focused in those minutes too
b) i really don't like doing thing when i don't have that focus.. something i don't want to do and just don't get into, is very hard/distracting for me to just do it. i'll start a little then just stop + get distracted. this is funny with meditating, where at work, i'll be fixed and staring at a point without moving and without any problem for like 30 mins, but when i get home to do a more formal sit, i'll be restless and not know what to do with myself. that element of hyper-focus missing...

c) so i figured oh! i should just channel that exact hyper-focus whenever i meditate! and this seemed really easy to do with the boost of caffeine and being unable to fall asleep. so i did.. concentrated my arse off. got some really deep absorptions. had some awesome stages of insight... inside a huge black empty sphere, with faint blue 'stuff' all around it, then really scary faces form from the stuff... they turn into miserable faces.. etc.

d) so it was really easy to put all of my being into meditating in this way... however... what i noticed was that there was a huuuuuge huuuge source of ... compelling, i'd say ... around the brain stem area. this is what i was focusing on when 'concentrating'... but it seems just focusing on it didn't do much, and i had to focus on top of that to do anything.. like focusing on the breath (which causes breath to get intermingled with compelling-sensations), or a particular set of sensations, etc... so it's like a source of object-less concentration (the object being the compelling-group, if any, but not being penetrated)..

d.2) and i wondered whether it was a good thing, or whether this meditating was making it worse and creating a pattern which i'll have to un-do later... (eventually i figure, well, more awareness of the 3 chars of all sensations can't be too bad... and that'll be the way to undo the compelling if it actually is a problem)

e) basically i'd lie on one side, have this compelled absorption for 10/20/30 minutes, then decide to move.. but i noticed when deciding to move, i really didn't want to.. i wanted to stay fixated. and if i hovered around the deciding to move but not actually moving area, i would get really agitated, like something quite uncomfortable was happening
f) the same thing seems to be the case for music. almost allllllllllways have a song going through my head, even now... and it seems like an obsession. like if i put in little conscious mind-moments to stop, it feels like a push-push-push towards it going back. same quality seems to be from the compelling-matrix in the back of the head

g) and i remember when i was a kid, i'd have eye ticks.. once in a while i just felt that it would feel really good to blink my eyes or screw them up or close them and roll them around. it started happening more + more but i decided at some point (when still young) that it wasn't good to cultivate that and i guess i stopped doing it.
h) but there were other ticks, too. i had a pattern - left right right left, right left left right, right left left right, left right right left - which i kept repeating with steps, or clicking the sides of my mouth in that pattern. and i'ts an infinite pattern - notice the start of each group of four is L R R L, which is also the first group. then it goes in reverse twice, then back to the original. that is one larger cycle. the next larger cycle would be RLLRLRRLLRRLRLLR, then RLLRLRRLLRRLRLLR, then LRRLRLLRRLLRLRRL, and that's an even larger one, and it could keep going, though i never took it that far. also manifested with clicking teeth at 4 corners of the mouth: UR BR BL UL , BR BL UL UR, BL UL UR BR, UL UR BR BL, etc...

h.2) and when meditating last night, maybe it was the caffeine or something, but i like felt that compelling coming back again. like a flashback almost...

i) and it seems like i always always have to focus on something. mostly before it was constant constant trains of thought all the time - i wonder if that is why i like conceptualizing so much - or its like a song going thru my head, or one of those ticks (why i haven't been doing for a few years , at least not that i've noticed), or meditating now...

j) and i wonder if that's why i like weed for meditating.. because even a little bit, it automatically gets me into the fixation-mode, which makes it so much easier - even though thoughts are going, still fixated.

so yea ive just been trying to observe the sensations that make up the compelling - what is the compelling, what is this i that is compelling / that is compelled , what is the tension in these sensations (which must be observed equanimously lest i get pulled this way and that), etc... i wonder if it's actually a core component of how i concentrate - focus on that area in the head - and i wonder what will happen when it's gone... and i dont think it is actual, because if i just sit still i have this gigantic urge to put attention this way or that, and the reason im looking at is cause i think to myself, ya know, life would be a lot more peaceful without that anymore...

any thoughts?

--

k) oh this makes so much more sense now.. how i felt i could concentrate pretty easily and intently and intensely, but i had no idea what i was concentrating on.. seems i was just entering this fixated state

l) and how i keep going back to posts minutes after i've written them to fix them up more - fixation not done

m) and how i'll get 'stuck' in an unproductive train of meditation, but i won't want to stop + restart i'll just want a little more to see where it goes. then if a friend interrupts me for a few minutes the fixation completely breaks, then when i get back to it, start another train.. much better..

n) i don't mean to make this into a new 'identity' but i already see clinging/aversion to keeping/removing it, about past events...

--

o) ah: easy to fixate.. but once in the fixation, hard to direct it... it manifests mostly as relentless thoughts, song going in my head, and a feeling of super-intense to mild restlessness/agitation. it's easy to be in the state, and it seems to help concentration in some way, but hard to focus on one particular thing... ah well, training should help with that.. managed to make it here OK =P.

p) or can i just not concentrate too well and am making excuses?

--

q) hmm seems to have not been there under the influence of a cannibanoid... it was actually really easy to cultivate all the factors of enlightenment... went through 1st - 4th jhanas very clearly. got into an incredibly piercing mind-state, which was easy to direct to anything that warranted investigation...

but i wanted to investigate the fixation! was it there? and soon after that it seems like it started... just a process that was looping in on itself. at first it was really subtle, but the same-feeling-tone sensations kept building up without the older ones fading, making it tighter + tighter. i couldn't get it to stop, though i don't remember if i tired or if i wanted to see how it developed...

anyway, soon after that, mind started wandering more + more. whereas before i called it in, it would have been effortless to apply more mindfulness or what-not and eliminate the distractions, that inclination of the mind was not working as well anymore, and it felt like losing a battle.

and around there... anxiety kicked in! anxious about things, starting to compulsively obsess over random things, and this is where i got the feeling that the ticks would come in if i still did them...

so - progression from clean slate to compulsive anxiety...

i realized that it comes + goes during the day, isn't always on.. maybe was more pronounced earlier on as i remember i usually literally had no idea what was going on around me.. i thought i was absent-minded but i wonder if it was this thing..

then i saw that i really really really disliked this part of myself - the distracted part... this not being a dislike that came up after labeling it, but something that was there still, only brought out now.

then i realized 'i' am the 'fixation'... and that reduced a ton of the resentment and such

so now here i am.. it's funny, it really changes the way i look at how to use my mind.. also funny that this was going on without me realizing it at all..

--

r) hmm i think it's just OCD... funnily enough... caused by social anxiety. obsessing over what others think about me.. how to tell them.. etc.. probably caused in elementary school years from being bullied... thought-only OCD (i notice thoughts constantly repeating + not getting anywhere), i don't seem to do any physical actions as a result of it

--

s) term 'ocd' is a red herring.. the main point is that there is lots of uncontrollable anxiety.. 'ocd' just fancy name for it hehe
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Jon T, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: actualism notes

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

You and I are on two different paths and I suspect that you have gone down my path farther than I have and I have no experience with the path you are currently on. Nonetheless, I type a reply.

The "compelling" is dukkha. Is it not? It's been called: the primordial impulse towards movement, stress, suffering, the primordial desire, to-do, urge...

Why have you chosen meditation over felicity?

As a practical note, it must be very productive for you to be able to fixate on a task and really enjoy that fixation. But it seems that useful idiosyncrasy you possess is countered by your aversion to working through distraction. Perhaps you can initiate a conversation with yourself to locate the aversion and maybe you can switch it up to where you can enjoy the state of distraction or at least ameliorate the aversion.

So the OCD of your youth has "softened" into repeating thoughts without any subsequent action? In my early 20's, I had a repeating thought. It was a question posed to me by a girl that I must have heard a 100 times a day for about 6 months. It went away but I think that must be similar to what you are experiencing. Back then, I had no choice but to endure it and grow a neurosis around it. But today, I would talk to it. And i would observe myself talking to it. And my goal would be to intimately befriend it until it joined forces with the rest of me. But that is just my current method. I have recently used it on two separate occasions and it worked each time.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: actualism notes

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Jon T:
Hey Beo,

You and I are on two different paths and I suspect that you have gone down my path farther than I have and I have no experience with the path you are currently on. Nonetheless, I type a reply.

The "compelling" is dukkha. Is it not? It's been called: the primordial impulse towards movement, stress, suffering, the primordial desire, to-do, urge...

it is indeed dukkha... and i can't believe i've lived with it all this time. it's really a totally unacceptable way to go through life, and the fact that it is seen as 'normal' just goes to show what a terrible condition the human one is... not to say i can't enjoy it until it's done though =P

Why have you chosen meditation over felicity?

i couldn't have given a good answer before today or yesterday, but: when trying to cultivate felicity, i'd get anxious, haha.. i'd feel like it wouldn't last, then feel worse when it faded. it's cause of the social anxiety compelling: one of my childhood memories is being absolutely miserable at a party + crying, and just feeling worse when people were trying to cheer me up.

meditation seems to have worked well with that fixation. it seems my approach to vipassana was - channel that anxiety until i can barely stand it, then slog through it.. i think that's why i associated vipassana with pain.

but it seems the last bits of the path to AF are the same, be it an actualist path or a more meditatively influenced path - 24/7 attentiveness and sensuousness, with amazing (compared to 'normal') amounts of baseline concentration (baseline EE/almost PCE).. basically at the sense-ation level.

Jon T:
As a practical note, it must be very productive for you to be able to fixate on a task and really enjoy that fixation. But it seems that useful idiosyncrasy you possess is countered by your aversion to working through distraction. Perhaps you can initiate a conversation with yourself to locate the aversion and maybe you can switch it up to where you can enjoy the state of distraction or at least ameliorate the aversion.

just categorizing this thing as a social anxiety disorder flourishing into obsessive compulsive thoughts, has completely changed my view of it... now i don't see it as 'my' fault anymore. it's not 'me' being broken in a way it shouldn't be ("why can't i focus??"). it's just something to look at and fix. i'll have to see how

Jon T:
So the OCD of your youth has "softened" into repeating thoughts without any subsequent action?

i lied, hehe... just look at my last post - must've been 7-8 subsequent edits, a lot of which i broke a meditation to type in as a realization came in. and other things like checking forums obsessively... sipping water when nervous.. hehe.

Jon T:
In my early 20's, I had a repeating thought. It was a question posed to me by a girl that I must have heard a 100 times a day for about 6 months. It went away but I think that must be similar to what you are experiencing. Back then, I had no choice but to endure it and grow a neurosis around it. But today, I would talk to it. And i would observe myself talking to it. And my goal would be to intimately befriend it until it joined forces with the rest of me. But that is just my current method. I have recently used it on two separate occasions and it worked each time.

'joining forces' is a good way to put it , actually.. i'll keep that in mind. i'm trying to stick with the anxiety as it comes up, to not be compelled by it, but just observe the compelling... and from there i can start to see why it arises... and i can reflect that 'i' am 'anxiety' and 'anxiety' is 'me', and that takes a lot of the 'blaming myself' out of it.. and, not sure how to make it fade entirely - just diligent watching i suppose.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: actualism notes

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
here's how i think the causality of the thing is:

the fixation thing is first... social anxiety was fixated on, leading to oppressive social anxiety... and the obsessive compulsions are a way to reduce the fixation, and in particular, the anxiety.. it seems to be a coping mechanism - when too fixated, simply distract the mind. for the period of the distraction, if it worked, the fixation lessens...

social anxiety + ocd i have no worries about... it seems just like a massive, deeply ingrained knot, but applying actualism method should be fine to eventually have it disappear.

the fixation i wonder... wonder if i shouldn't go + get prescription for amphetamines... it would help even if there's nothing wrong with me in that way, heh... but i think it might be something to think about. i think part of the reason i like rolling is cause in that state the fixation basically disappears, and i can finally.... RELAX. i think thats what distinguishes a 'good roll' vs. a 'bad roll' for me - whether fixation is present (it can still sometimes be). coffee also seems to help. i drank 2 espressos one night, and for the next 4 hours there was indeed the fixation, but didn't seem like the trigger to anxiety was quite as well-wound-up - i just concentrated for like 4 hours straight with no real issues.

so anyway i tried focusing on that in particular, noticing how it works. the most immediate trigger is anxiety, but it generally seems to damage any attempts at concentration. i think this is why i thought imbalanced concentration was painful - cause it was just the fixation focusing really intently on some random sense phenomena, which caused it to manifest in a painful way, but no ability to stop the fixating.

it seems like i could control it to some degree (and actually a bit of identification with it - seems the 'center point' for me is/was 'current point of fixation'). it's like there's the mind.. then there's a laser-sharp pointy thing which can latch onto anything to a ridiculous degree. i can do some neat things with it, like make it go all over the body as fast as possible.... i can make it go over my leg, and imagine it spinning in a circle at hundreds of rpm, then run that mass of stuff up + down the leg.. these seem to be legit ways to take over its capacity and apply it somewhere else. but still the default is to 'mess things up' so to speak.

what's really nice is when it fixates on a bubble that's about to burst... since then it goes all-out, and bursts the bubble - while the bubble is bursting, the rest of the mind + body is calm, since no fixation elsewhere... the issue is, when the bubble bursts, there is calm... then fixation starts up again.

it seems now that i can meditate by focusing on the 7 factors, and bring the mind to a really nice state (except for the fixation) by applying each one: mindfulness, energy, joy, etc... when they are all aligned the mind seems immaculate, clean, pure - and i can then apply it to attentiveness or sensuousness. the fixation really makes it harder to do this.. interestingly, what i found i could do is over-emphasize concentration. basically, try to bring baseline concentration up to a point where it's not so different from the fixation... and it seems doing this helps a lot. concentration is like a calm, cool, soothing balm, compared to the fixation (i actually wondered why concentration was associated with tranquility+equanimity and not with energy+joy, cause i thought of it as a painful, sharp thing)... so i just focused on bringing everything into as sharp a focus as possible, as much detail as possible.. and this is also quite delightful. it seemed to diminish/make it easier to control the fixation....

so i brought mind into balance, focused on concentration, then resumed attentiveness + sensuousness.. and then there was lots of tingling in the back of my neck, and quite a display of lights on my closed eyelids. each tingling made a light flicker - maybe was like 10-20 quick mind moments. literally felt like i had just rewired my brain a little. and there was calm after this. then fixation started again... so i re-brought mind into balance, did it again.. did the whole process 2-3 times. not sure what it did exactly but i think it's good.

i get the distinct impression now that the mind is cleaning itself up... and 'i' am just finding any way 'i' can to let it happen / help it happen
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: actualism notes

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
hmm this has changed the way i think about attention.[1]

got some advice to, when distracted, try to note the mind object that is being focused on. it seems like what the mind does is take a random collection of inputs, and group them together in a weird way, then there's like a childlike fixation to follow that (compelling to follow it, paired with annoyance/slight discomfort for not). then this repeats... seems to be the lack-of-attention side of things.

with the fixation side of things it's more a - can't stop focusing on that. seems like i just have to figure out how to not focus on anxiety, but focus on other things instead.

the more i think about this, though, it seems like all these things apply to the non-ADD mind, too. the obsession with anxiety is kind of like the obsession with selfing - it's really really hard to stop. and the distraction stuff happens to everyone too. so i don't know about 'add' or 'ocd' label.

i do think about getting adderol or ritalin, though.. seems to have formed into a new train of thought to be obsessed over. i want it basically cause i think it would aid concentration, help me relax, and overall make this process happen much more quickly and easily... but it's happening right now, as i'm typing, anyway, so..

it's just the comment i had - that the way my mind should work is without the distraction or fixation. and i guess i think the amphetamines would help me do that. but seems ripe for addiction potential. counter-argument is that sooner or later i won't have any more addiction potential, hehe...

[1] ah right, my main point was, now i'm not seeing it as something that's 'my' fault or anything... the reason 'i' can't focus. i'm not blaming the 'add' either. it's just like - hey, here's the shit that's happening... how to go about training the mind to work around/overcome it?

also a sense of impersonality with all this. like , 'my' life makes a lot more sense when considering this new info... but there's less of a "oh! this is 'me'!!!! revelation!" aspect and more of a - looking at an interesting system aspect. (thus my comment about it seeming like my mind is freeing itself).

i also seem to care less that 'i' will go away
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: actualism notes

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
my head is a minefield. i actually wondered earlier - i felt what seemed to be neutral (covering-up) sensations all over the head, with hints of pain underneath.. i wondered - why? recalled that i used to pull at my hair and that would give me headaches and i thought it was that...

but really it was just a huge unearthing of all the compulsive crap... anxious-sensations falling away.

talked to an old friend about the ocd, they said that my childhood tick things sounded like tourette's (very linked to OCD).. and i think that's true. hehe. have that one too! i notice mostly cause a lot of cursing in my head, liking loud violent music.. enjoying violence actually.. maybe it isn't 'tourettes' like i said it seems all those are just labels for particularly insidious loops..

but yea crazy stuff. been living with it for so long! parts of my body are relaxing that i haven't known have been tensed up for years
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: actualism notes

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
large part of the compulsion/fixation complex simply seems to be... hate and aversion. aversion/dislike of the anxiety.. of myself for being anxious.. for not being able to not be anxious. aversion/dislike of the distraction.. of myself for being distracted.. for not being able to not be distracted.

so i'm trying to like myself, instead. to like the anxiety, to like the distraction. and to realize 'i' am 'anxiety' and 'anxiety' is 'me'..

and it seems to be doing good! now i notice that i will get 'distracted', but when i become mindful again, there isn't a pang of aversion or anxiety or anything.. and instead i am better able to remember what i was actually thinking about during the distraction.. so it isn't so much of a problem then.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: actualism notes

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
ah i feel like... this is what i should have been doing this entire time

things make more and more sense, on a common-sense level... 'i' wondered for a while how 'i' could be more insightful.. and 'i' tried to think my way through insight.. but much simpler to simply observe =)

fascinating one: i see now the role joy/rapture/piti/felicity has... without it, things are very sharp and jarring. compulsions tie in around themselves more. emotions proliferate. etc. a lack of dopamine/serotonin.. makes you crazy! when you take ecstasy or weed or cultivate the first 3 jhanas or do tai chi or cultivate felicity or enjoy life or tap into delight, etc.... dopamine/serotonin are released... they act quite literally as a lubricant for all those harsh emotions/compulsions. having those chemicals being released in your brain really takes the edge off of them... give them some space. stops them from proliferating... etc.

i see what the compulsions do now. at least for the tourette's/ticks thing... theres a huge compulsion to do something. then you do it - e.g. blink eyes repeatedly. this releases dopamine (dopamine is released when you click buttons too, for example). this lessens the compulsion. but then you get compelled to do that again, for the soothing effect - and if you don't do it, more anxiety arises. my o my.

on E, i felt like all the negative stuff in me lost its 'evil' edge.

i have often noticed that when getting up from meditating , i'd have sharp jab of anxiety. or i would rub my body all over for 2-3 minutes to get rid of excess energy. seems like its cause there was lots of piti when meditating, and i was dealing quite intensely with anxiety-related stuff, and when the piti suddenly stopped... it clamped right down.