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If you have gotten stream entry, how has your life changed?

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If you have gotten stream entry, how has your life changed? Tom Smith 7/9/20 9:28 AM
RE: If you have gotten stream entry, how has your life changed? Tom Smith 7/9/20 5:04 PM
RE: If you have gotten stream entry, how has your life changed? Martin 7/9/20 5:08 PM
RE: If you have gotten stream entry, how has your life changed? A. DIetrich Ringle 7/9/20 5:12 PM
RE: If you have gotten stream entry, how has your life changed? Hibiscus Kid 7/9/20 6:07 PM
RE: If you have gotten stream entry, how has your life changed? Tom Smith 7/9/20 7:42 PM
RE: If you have gotten stream entry, how has your life changed? Noah D 7/9/20 6:21 PM
RE: If you have gotten stream entry, how has your life changed? Nick O 7/9/20 8:43 PM
RE: If you have gotten stream entry, how has your life changed? Tom Smith 7/9/20 10:11 PM
RE: If you have gotten stream entry, how has your life changed? Noah D 7/9/20 11:06 PM
RE: If you have gotten stream entry, how has your life changed? Jim Smith 7/10/20 12:34 AM
RE: If you have gotten stream entry, how has your life changed? Noah D 7/10/20 1:20 PM
RE: If you have gotten stream entry, how has your life changed? Jim Smith 7/10/20 12:31 AM
RE: If you have gotten stream entry, how has your life changed? Chris Marti 7/10/20 8:11 AM
RE: If you have gotten stream entry, how has your life changed? Chris Marti 7/10/20 7:39 AM
RE: If you have gotten stream entry, how has your life changed? Nick O 7/10/20 11:00 AM
RE: If you have gotten stream entry, how has your life changed? Ben Sulsky 7/10/20 12:03 PM
RE: If you have gotten stream entry, how has your life changed? Martin 7/10/20 1:02 PM
RE: If you have gotten stream entry, how has your life changed? Zachary 7/10/20 1:11 PM
RE: If you have gotten stream entry, how has your life changed? Martin 7/10/20 3:48 PM
RE: If you have gotten stream entry, how has your life changed? Jim Smith 7/10/20 5:03 PM
RE: If you have gotten stream entry, how has your life changed? Nick O 7/10/20 7:53 PM
RE: If you have gotten stream entry, how has your life changed? Ni Nurta 7/10/20 5:05 PM
RE: If you have gotten stream entry, how has your life changed? Nick O 7/10/20 7:21 PM
RE: If you have gotten stream entry, how has your life changed? Ernest Michael Olmos 7/11/20 12:24 PM
Questions for those who have gotten stream entry:

How long ago did it happen?
How has your life changed since it happened?
How long had you been practicing when it happened?

Some general background would also be interesting, like how old are you, what do you do for a living, married or single, stuff like that.

RE: If you have gotten stream entry, how has your life changed?
Answer
7/9/20 5:04 PM as a reply to Tom Smith.
Maybe I should have asked first if anyone here has gotten stream entry.

RE: If you have gotten stream entry, how has your life changed?
Answer
7/9/20 5:08 PM as a reply to Tom Smith.
Quite a number of people here have mentioned getting beyond stream entry.

RE: If you have gotten stream entry, how has your life changed?
Answer
7/9/20 5:12 PM as a reply to Tom Smith.
I have both claimed and bad-mouthed all the traditional attainments. Clearly the only exception is Nirodha Samapatti. N.S. for those like me who can't spell. It is very mysterious.

RE: If you have gotten stream entry, how has your life changed?
Answer
7/9/20 6:07 PM as a reply to Tom Smith.
Hey Tom, this thread I'm linking doesn't directly answer your question, but it's valuable and maybe tangentially related:

https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/5984863

RE: If you have gotten stream entry, how has your life changed?
Answer
7/9/20 6:21 PM as a reply to Tom Smith.
Jan 2015
Life got better, mood more stable, explored many other practices, grew up a lot
1.5 years, noting all day every day


http://noahsmonthlyupdate.blogspot.com/2016/09/january-2015.html

RE: If you have gotten stream entry, how has your life changed?
Answer
7/9/20 7:42 PM as a reply to Hibiscus Kid.
Hey Tom, this thread I'm linking doesn't directly answer your question, but it's valuable and maybe tangentially related:
That is a great thread.  Loved reading about those experiences.  But it doesn't answer my real question.  How did life change after stream entry?

RE: If you have gotten stream entry, how has your life changed?
Answer
7/9/20 8:43 PM as a reply to Tom Smith.
Tom Smith:
Questions for those who have gotten stream entry:

How long ago did it happen?
How has your life changed since it happened?
How long had you been practicing when it happened?

Some general background would also be interesting, like how old are you, what do you do for a living, married or single, stuff like that.
If we're talking MCTB stream entry / 1st path: August 2018 (@ 33 years old). I had been practicing meditation for 3 years after a major sudden massively liberating shift in conciousness in April 2015 (A&P event I presume). Had no idea what had happened, but it changed the course of what I was doing in life. I practiced meditation somewhat blindly for 2 years until discovering MCTB in late 2017. Practiced Ingram-style for the better part of a year averaging an hour of practice a day. Did a 10 day Mahasi retreat in March 2018. Wandered around in Equanimity over the summer of '18 and then SE unfolded in late August '18.

What has changed? It's of course hard to explain. It's like a part of the self referencing mechanism was deleted and continues to shrink with each subsequent pass through the POI. "Suffering less, noticing it more". Being mindful became a much higer priority because suffering, while there being less, is so much more annoying and unacceptable. Unchecked delusion and ignorance can have surprisingly painful consequences. There's a different relationship with the senses. It's much more obvious that everything in experience is "within" or "of" the mind instead of outside of it. 

I'm now 35, single, live in a small California town, work in sales and design for a solar installation company, also part-time musician/producer/audio engineer. Enjoy hiking/backpacking.    

RE: If you have gotten stream entry, how has your life changed?
Answer
7/9/20 10:11 PM as a reply to Nick O.
I'm asking this question based on what I have read in Kornfield's "After the Ecstasy the Laundry".  In the beginning of the book he tells the story of someone's great awakening and says "this is where the story usually ends.  We assume the character enters the stream of wise beings and lives happily ever after"  but then he looks forward a few months, and the person with the great awakening suffers from depression,  is not getting along with his wife and children, feels he is as neurotic as ever, and says that his personality has not changed much at all.

So I wondered what people here had experienced.  The few who have reported so far seem to have had better  long term results than the guy Kornfield was talking about.

RE: If you have gotten stream entry, how has your life changed?
Answer
7/9/20 11:06 PM as a reply to Tom Smith.
I wonder if Kornfields character understood the need for an integral curriculum of training along multiple axes of development.

RE: If you have gotten stream entry, how has your life changed?
Answer
7/10/20 12:31 AM as a reply to Tom Smith.
Tom Smith:
I'm asking this question based on what I have read in Kornfield's "After the Ecstasy the Laundry".  In the beginning of the book he tells the story of someone's great awakening and says "this is where the story usually ends.  We assume the character enters the stream of wise beings and lives happily ever after"  but then he looks forward a few months, and the person with the great awakening suffers from depression,  is not getting along with his wife and children, feels he is as neurotic as ever, and says that his personality has not changed much at all.

...


I've noticed other people reporting that same phenomenon too. 

RE: If you have gotten stream entry, how has your life changed?
Answer
7/10/20 12:34 AM as a reply to Noah D.
Noah D:
I wonder if Kornfields character understood the need for an integral curriculum of training along multiple axes of development.


Do you mean something like the six stage gradual training ... where meditation is the eighth step in the 8 fold path, and the eight fold path is the fourth noble truth, and the four noble truths are the sixth stage of the six stage gradual training - and some people claim awakening after doing just the last step of the last truth of the last stage?

RE: If you have gotten stream entry, how has your life changed?
Answer
7/10/20 7:39 AM as a reply to Tom Smith.
I'm asking this question based on what I have read in Kornfield's "After the Ecstasy the Laundry".  In the beginning of the book he tells the story of someone's great awakening and says "this is where the story usually ends.  We assume the character enters the stream of wise beings and lives happily ever after"  but then he looks forward a few months, and the person with the great awakening suffers from depression,  is not getting along with his wife and children, feels he is as neurotic as ever, and says that his personality has not changed much at all.

Stream entry did not change my life a great deal. It seems to be just one step in a long series of steps on the path. There are multiple axes of development to traverse and deeper and more meaningful insights to experience - all after stream-entry.


RE: If you have gotten stream entry, how has your life changed?
Answer
7/10/20 8:11 AM as a reply to Jim Smith.
I've noticed other people reporting that same phenomenon too. 

I seem to say this a lot, but I'll say it again - awakening is not something that takes your humanity away. Far from it. You will remain a human being until you die. After that, who knows?

RE: If you have gotten stream entry, how has your life changed?
Answer
7/10/20 11:00 AM as a reply to Tom Smith.
Tom Smith:
I'm asking this question based on what I have read in Kornfield's "After the Ecstasy the Laundry".  In the beginning of the book he tells the story of someone's great awakening and says "this is where the story usually ends.  We assume the character enters the stream of wise beings and lives happily ever after"  but then he looks forward a few months, and the person with the great awakening suffers from depression,  is not getting along with his wife and children, feels he is as neurotic as ever, and says that his personality has not changed much at all.

So I wondered what people here had experienced.  The few who have reported so far seem to have had better  long term results than the guy Kornfield was talking about.
After my big first sudden "awakening" (A&P) in 2015 I actually found "After the Ecstasy the Laundry" by searching the internet for terms such as "after awakening" since I had no idea what the hell happened. At first, a massive amount of suffering was dislodged, I was imersed in love and bliss...a sense of free falling through the universe for weeks.

But the fairy tale always ends, theres always more work to do and if one is not mindful, one can get off track and cause just as much suffering as before their "grand awakening". Even just this year, in the wake of the pandemic I had some issues with substance abuse. Awakening gives you better tools to live a more skillful life with less suffering but if you get lazy or neglect other axis of development (as Noah mentioned), your demons will return and the suffering they cause may be more pronounced. As Dhammarato says, "The beard always grows back, we just get better at shaving."

As others point out here often, I wonder in stories like these if these "great awakenings" are really just A&P events. Stream entry was not like that. The shutter closed, the lights came back on and there was a slight adjustment, albeit, the following days were a little "weird". The rest of the POI has moments of greater shifts in perception and suffering.     

RE: If you have gotten stream entry, how has your life changed?
Answer
7/10/20 12:03 PM as a reply to Nick O.
One of the things I like the best about the MCTB2 framework is the separation of moral development from insight from concentration development.  

I can imagine it'd be a rude awakening to get SE, have some pretty intense and permanent changes in perception, then discover with surprise you're still you when people (teachers even) have been emphasizing you'll feel like somebody else, or someone better.  

My current (hot?) take is that it's entirely possible to become a master at clear perception of reality while continuing to be a shitty person, a saint, or (much more likely!) any of the infinite gradations in between.

An excellent Daniel Ingram quote imo is "morality, the first and last training."  To unpack that a little-- morality is the first training because if awareness is full of really sticky thoughts then concentration and insight are next to impossible and practice is likely to be endless repetitions of unpleasant thought patterns.  It certainly does seem to be true for most neurotypes that emotions like empathy, compassion, tranquility, bliss etc are much easier to sit with and cultivating these states makes concentration and insight much easier.  By "last training," I imagine Daniel is referring to the fact that clear perception is a separate axis of development than morality.  Whenever perception becomes clearer, all the rough stuff becomes clearer too, and since ignoring unpleasantness gunks up your insight practice, you gotta learn to live with it.  I guess this learning to live with it process from increased perceptual thresholds can and often does preciptate moral changes as well, but it's totally not a guarantee and gets the causality wrong.  In fact the causality is really hard to pin down, especially when there's no stable self or obvious distinction between self-ing processes and reality.  It would be nice if the dogmatists were right and simply getting SE caused all your shit to dissapear (for yourself and everyone else) but alas not.  So moral development ends up being never ending and then you're dead.

A corollary is that whatever insight or attainment or threshold or whatever one has just gotten really excited about, there's more morality training available immediately afterwards and this may be surprising or upsetting or both.   

These reflections are a little more on the half baked takes side of things, so don't hold me to them please.  Just stuff that feels true or interesting at the present moment.  Ben

RE: If you have gotten stream entry, how has your life changed?
Answer
7/10/20 1:02 PM as a reply to Ben Sulsky.
This is a great thread. Thank you, everyone.

I particularly like, "So moral development ends up being never ending and then you're dead." That resulted in an actual out loud laugh. But it's also encouraging. More of the same? Sounds manageable.

It makes technical sense to me that being aware that there is no agent does not somehow create an agent or an experiencer who is perfectly moral or perfectly content. One would still be running on the same biological system, with the most of the same memories etc.

I'm only coming at this intellectually, but it's nice to hear people say things about the path that make intellectual sense.

RE: If you have gotten stream entry, how has your life changed?
Answer
7/10/20 1:11 PM as a reply to Martin.
Martin:

It makes technical sense to me that being aware that there is no agent does not somehow create an agent or an experiencer who is perfectly moral or perfectly content. One would still be running on the same biological system, with the most of the same memories etc.


And in some cases the reification of the realization of there being no agent into a solid belief structure can produce an agent who uses this idea to rationalize bad behavior, dissociation from life/behavior or worse! 

RE: If you have gotten stream entry, how has your life changed?
Answer
7/10/20 1:20 PM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Jim Smith:
Noah D:
I wonder if Kornfields character understood the need for an integral curriculum of training along multiple axes of development.


Do you mean something like the six stage gradual training ... where meditation is the eighth step in the 8 fold path, and the eight fold path is the fourth noble truth, and the four noble truths are the sixth stage of the six stage gradual training - and some people claim awakening after doing just the last step of the last truth of the last stage?

Yep that would be one example.  There are other domains like psychotherapy & ego development that are not explicitly addressed in the 6 stage training.

RE: If you have gotten stream entry, how has your life changed?
Answer
7/10/20 3:48 PM as a reply to Zachary.
Yes, Nagarjuna said something along the lines of their being no hope for those who believe in emptiness. Tricky territory.

RE: If you have gotten stream entry, how has your life changed?
Answer
7/10/20 5:03 PM as a reply to Tom Smith.
I have shared the opinion that the explanation for so many sex scandals among enlightened teachers is that enlightenment doesn't necessarily make you a good person.

Later I revised my opinion that the reason "enlightenment" doesn't make you a good person is that the current definition of enlightenment is wrong.

Here (below) I have found scriptural evidence that what people in modern times are calling stream entry and awakening and enlightenment are not what Buddha was referring to in his teachings.

I have said before I think the problem comes from defining the stages of awakening based on attainments in meditation rather than changes in character and I still think that is correct.

This is a problem because ordinary people correctly believe that an enlightened Buddhist should be of high moral character which makes students vulnerable to abusive teachers who are claiming attainments based on a different standard.

I don't think this is a case of lowering standards over time. I think it is a case of changing goals over time. When you meditate and practice mindfulness, your understanding of what you are trying to accomplish will influence how you perform the techniques. If people do not understand what they should be trying to attain they are unlikely to attain it. This is a fundamental part of the 8 fold path, right view, right effort. Individual Buddhists can pursue whatever goals they want and use meditation techniques to accomplish it, but they should make informed decisions having correct information about what the Buddha taught and what the teachers they follow are teaching.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/study/into_the_stream.html#character
Into the Stream
A Study Guide on the First Stage of Awakening
by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu

...

Virtue, as practiced by the stream-enterer, is also a function of a deep trust in the principle of kamma, and of a sympathy for others that arises from that trust. Although stream-enterers may still break the minor rules of training, the depth of insight that informs their virtue ensures that their adherence to the basic principles of morality is unshakable.

"There is the case where a disciple of the noble ones reflects thus: 'I love life and don't love death. I love happiness and abhor pain. Now if I — loving life and not loving death, loving happiness and abhorring pain — were to be killed, that would be displeasing & disagreeable to me. And if I were to kill another who loves life and doesn't love death, who loves happiness and abhors pain, that would be displeasing & disagreeable to the other. What is displeasing & disagreeable to me is displeasing & disagreeable to others. How can I inflict on others what is displeasing & disagreeable to me?' Reflecting in this way, he refrains from taking life, gets others to refrain from taking life, and speaks in praise of refraining from taking life. In this way his bodily behavior is pure in three ways.

"Furthermore, he reflects thus: 'If someone, by way of theft, were to take from me what I haven't given, that would be displeasing & disagreeable to me... If someone were to commit adultery with my wives, that would be displeasing & disagreeable to me... If someone were to damage my well-being with a lie, that would be displeasing & disagreeable to me... If someone were to divide me from my friends with divisive speech, that would be displeasing & disagreeable to me... If someone were to address me with harsh speech, that would be displeasing & disagreeable to me... If someone were to address me with idle chatter, that would be displeasing & disagreeable to me. And if I were to address another with idle chatter, that would be displeasing & disagreeable to the other. What is displeasing & disagreeable to me is displeasing & disagreeable to others. How can I inflict on others what is displeasing & disagreeable to me?' Reflecting in this way, he refrains from idle chatter, gets others to refrain from idle chatter, and speaks in praise of refraining from idle chatter. In this way his verbal behavior is pure in three ways."

— SN 55.7
...
Generosityis actually a characteristic that must precede stream entry. However, the attainment of stream entry gives generosity a distinctive integrity.
...
Discernment is the character trait of the stream-enterer that is most directly related to the cutting of the fetter of self-identity views. However, its implications spread to other facets of right view as well. In fact, "consummate in view" is one of the epithets for a stream-enterer. The impact of being consummate in view extends, not only to one's intellectual life, but also to one's emotional life as well.

...
"Furthermore, the disciple of the noble ones considers thus: 'Am I endowed with the character of a person consummate in view?' What is the character of a person consummate in view? This is the character of a person consummate in view: Although he may commit some kind of offence for which a means of rehabilitation has been laid down, still he immediately confesses, reveals, and discloses it to the Teacher or to wise companions in the holy life; having done that, he undertakes restraint for the future. Just as a young, tender infant lying on his back, when he has hit a live ember with his hand or his foot, immediately draws back; in the same way, this is the character of a person consummate in view: although he may commit some kind of offence for which a means of rehabilitation has been laid down, still he immediately confesses, reveals, and discloses it to the Teacher or to wise companions in the holy life; having done that, he undertakes restraint for the future.
...
— MN 48

RE: If you have gotten stream entry, how has your life changed?
Answer
7/10/20 5:05 PM as a reply to Tom Smith.
I had SE about 14 years ago.
I did something like body scanning mostly and working with chakras up to this point and did it for few years. Then I did some things which I felt could work to open my sight and indeed my sight opened. From perceiving prepared images without that much qualities I experienced now whole processing of all senses on all senses, especially for sight. It made colors so vibrant at times I got literally orgasms, my soul melted along with everything else from colors alone.... so that had big impact on my life, more impact than SE itself.

SE by itself I feel was inevitable because of how my perception worked and I saw my brain internal processes it was unavoidable to practice vipassana 100% of the time I was not really focused on something I did (eg. at work). SE itself brought experience of Nibbana. At first not something which I could easily make overpower my mind noise but even then I knew my mind is in Nibbana most of the time anyway and sensual experiences and mind working, etc. are more like flashes of experience at most.

It took years and eventually further paths to really drive Nibbana point home. Back when SE happened I did not know this was fruition and it signified 1st path. I was aware of 4 paths in general and assumed I was at least on first level.

Depression happened and it was different than anything before. I even felt like this whole experiencing non-experience all the time removed some protective layer from my already excessively uncovered mind (with this whole all sense synesthesia thing...). But when I felt good I felt really good and thanfully even when feeling down and even my synesthesia kinda felt completely broken it could still be brought to the point where colors could melt away all what I felt wrong with my mind state. At least for time it happened and experiencing extreme pleasure brought its own set of reasons for Dark Night.

Solution as it happened was to use this perception of non-experience, focus on it and make it shine through everything even more and with now Nibbana experienced all the time my senses, which were still not completely trained to work with this new synesthetic perception, could train itself in relative peace.

I eventually learned to be able to experience as much Nibbana as I wanted and even learned to replicate certain other effects of fruitions like changing which parts of brain were used for processing. First tries of this switching brain looked like whole process where currently used mind prepared to shutdown while new mind got prepared and there was distinctive "context switch" and old mind went to sleep/rest not used anymore. The same thing happens during fruition and it is this context switch which makes for experience of moment of non-expeirence.

Today I neither switch parts of mind on nor do I switch them off. They are resting being ready to be used any time they are needed and my mind switch things so much that no coherent experience of continuity can be experienced. This whole using more but for less time and keeping it non-completely resting reduced overall perception of experiencing non-expeirence most of the time which was caused by mind  trying to use parts of mind which were resting and could not be used without whole procedure of waking them up. At this time I (my brain really) did not know how to keep neurons in a state of resting but also being immediately usable. This came with much more practice and at this point I considered myself 4th path (in MCTB model) as this is basis of "vajra-like meditative stabiliszation" and as far as meditation goes it cannot be surpassed in how awesome development it is.

So yeah, SE was just a step in much larger journey. Large part with a lot of things it brought to the table of experiences and knowledge how brain works. Still not immediately 4th path level where I have at least dozen methods ready to deal with any suffering I could possibly experience and usually not having to even bother with any of them as brain can manage itself well without any conscious thought about its operation, which operation I see much more clearly now also.

Dark Night can be especially disgrunting after SE. You feel like enlightened being and all and then shit hits the fan and you feel like all that SE did was to remove the only thing that you had to protect yourself from harsh reality of mind. You cannot even clearly perceive, not enough clarity to be able to do anything about anything but at the same clearly enough to not be able to hide from it in some induced blanket of sensations and ignorance.

It is like someone wise said "better not begin this journey and if you do then better finish it", or something like that.

RE: If you have gotten stream entry, how has your life changed?
Answer
7/10/20 7:21 PM as a reply to Ni Nurta.
Ni Nurta:

Dark Night can be especially disgrunting after SE. You feel like enlightened being and all and then shit hits the fan and you feel like all that SE did was to remove the only thing that you had to protect yourself from harsh reality of mind. You cannot even clearly perceive, not enough clarity to be able to do anything about anything but at the same clearly enough to not be able to hide from it in some induced blanket of sensations and ignorance.


Well put!

RE: If you have gotten stream entry, how has your life changed?
Answer
7/10/20 7:53 PM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Jim Smith:

Here (below) I have found scriptural evidence that what people in modern times are calling stream entry and awakening and enlightenment are not what Buddha was referring to in his teachings.

I have said before I think the problem comes from defining the stages of awakening based on attainments in meditation rather than changes in character and I still think that is correct.

This is a problem because ordinary people correctly believe that an enlightened Buddhist should be of high moral character which makes students vulnerable to abusive teachers who are claiming attainments based on a different standard.

I don't think this is a case of lowering standards over time. I think it is a case of changing goals over time. When you meditate and practice mindfulness, your understanding of what you are trying to accomplish will influence how you perform the techniques. If people do not understand what they should be trying to attain they are unlikely to attain it. This is a fundamental part of the 8 fold path, right view, right effort. 
I agree. That's why I always specify MCTB 1st path stream entry when I'm asked about "when I got stream entry". The "4 path model without reference to fetters" I think is a valid model and it seems to map out in my experience so far (I owe massive credit where its due). I don't believe, however that it equates to "entering the stream" that is referenced in the suttas. The lack of discernment between these two paradigms in my opinion is one of the reasons why morality seems so decoupled from insight in pragmatic dharma.

Right View? Discernment of what is wholesome, peaceful, joyful. Right effort? Keeping it that way and by doing so strengthening concentration and mindfulness. Result? Insight AND morality. Where's the desire to do wrong when we've been working diligently on staying satisfied? 

Sorry if I'm pissing in the pool...  emoticon

RE: If you have gotten stream entry, how has your life changed?
Answer
7/11/20 12:24 PM as a reply to Tom Smith.
Happened 4 or 5 years ago.
Been practicing "all in" for a year.

I was really, really still meditating in the early morning, and the desire for a nice cup of coffee emerged.
Then the blip and I found myself staring at the wall.
As I was drinking coffee, i began to realize that something fundamental had changed.

I'm a developer, married.

A good analogy to stream entry is this:

Imagine you are designing a car (your life). You tell your best engineer to radically improve it.

You imagine he will give you better seats, more speed, better control, gears, better rear view mirrors, anything that makes the driving experience better.
Instead, he gives hardware and software so that the car can drive itself.

You then realize that you don't need ANYTHING for the driver seat....because you are not driving.
You don't need anything to control the car, because you will not be the one controlling the car.

Of course you also realize that it is vastly better this way, but it changes the design, the economics, everything of the car (your life) fundamentally.

After SE, you can start to adapt your car to self driving or try to adapt self driving to your car emoticon.
What happens most of the time is that you build a blueprint of a "futuristic" self driving car and you keep your car (life) with little modifications.

4th path would be the moment you realize that you don't even have to "own" the car.

Anyway, SE got me more understanding about....everything.