Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

steve d, modified 9 Years ago.

Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 22 Join Date: 10/2/11 Recent Posts
[removed]

Thought this might be some interesting reading (and warning) for all you guys persuing AF. Apparently its from Richards ex wife Irene [redacted] who claims Richard suffered from severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. According to her he still suffers anxiety attacks, depression and in her words "sexual perversions." She also sheds some interesting light on his 'Enlightenment' episode which she witnessed as being nothing more than bi-polar disorder: "He had no kind of manifestations of Love Agape, which I have been witness to in such a being but not in Richard [redacted]. His claim is entirely false because what he was diagnosed with is a form of Bipolar disorder. In manic phases he would manifest the larger than life existence and in the opposite phase he would dig a hole and lie low in it."

Make up your own minds...

[edit: the disclosure of personal details (such as a person's full name) against the wishes of that person (such as richard) is not welcome at the dho, either in the actualism/actual freedom section or any other section of the discussion forum, or on any other part of this website. please respect this guideline so that no further moderation is necessary. further, it should be noted that none of the 'revelatory' assertions contained in this post or in the links originally provided therein have been verified, as well as that their poster has refused to provide evidence that he or she is actually richard's dead ex-wife irene. -tarin, mod]
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tarin greco, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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the actualism/actual freedom section of the dho discussion forum is intended exclusively for the discussion of the practice of the actual method and the results obtained therefrom. though this guideline has been relaxed somewhat recently, in order to accommodate the significant number of dho participants who have adapted and combined the actualism method with other practices and methodologies and/or innovated their own approaches towards the goal of an actual freedom, this thread is a far cry from any such adaptation or innovation - indeed, it is not even remotely about practice at all. therefore, it has been moved to the dharma battleground sub-forum, where 'flame wars, battles, and high controversy should happen with all the compassion, listening, clarification, passion for the truth and intelligence [participants] can muster.'

tarin, mod
John Mitchell, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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steve d:


Make up your own minds...



Make our minds about what, exactly?

There are many attacks and unsubstantiated rantings on various forums, but they do not affect the personal verifiability of Actualism, or affect the reproducibility of the state of Actual Freedom in increasing numbers of people.

What are YOU looking for on the AF website, or in what is written about AF, that would convince you AF is worth delving into? There are plenty of people on DhO who are always happy to answer questions you might have about AF.

Swaying one way or another based on the opinions of other people is going to lead you nowhere. Finding out for yourself is the best thrill there is.

good luck
John Wilde, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 501 Join Date: 10/26/10 Recent Posts
John Mitchell:


Swaying one way or another based on the opinions of other people is going to lead you nowhere. Finding out for yourself is the best thrill there is.

good luck



If you read the referenced article[1], you'll notice that most of in Richard's own words.

You'll find out just what "actual freedom" really was for him, and how it came about.

Now, having presumably read it, how can you act like that doesn't matter?

How can you advise people not to care exactly what it is they're striving for, but just strive for it anyway?

John

[1] [edit: removed reference to link because it contains private and extraneous information]
steve d, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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"Make our minds about what, exactly?"

If you read the entire article it clearly suggests (in Richards own words) that he had a diagnosed mental illness BEFORE going 'down the wide and wondrous path.' I understand DHO is a pragmatic practise orientated forum, but isnt this information worth taking into consideration? Why do you find it unreasonable to be even slightly apprehensive about following the practises of a man clearly suffering from various serious mental disorders?
John Wilde, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 501 Join Date: 10/26/10 Recent Posts
steve d:
"Make our minds about what, exactly?"

If you read the entire article it clearly suggests (in Rischards own words) that he had a diagosed mental illness BEFORE going 'down the wide and wondrous path.'



And, more importantly, afterwards.

Richard became actually free in September 1992, yet he describes October 1992 onwards as follows:

"By October 1992 my world fell apart and I suffered
yet another – and my most major – breakdown. Not only had I a fear of going
crazy all those years, I had had an even stronger fear of seeking psychiatric
help … for my understanding then was that I would be locked away in a
psychiatric ward for the rest of my life. It was not until 1993 – when I just
could not keep it up on my own any more – that I admitted myself to hospital
care.

My symptoms had become so intense that I no longer had any choice. I had also
come to understand that it was now Government Policy to return mental patients,
on suitable medication, back into the community and not lock them away. They
tried me first on `Meloril' and `Valium' which only exacerbated the symptoms so
they put me on `Modicate' and `Valium' which turned me into a walking zombie
with wooden legs … and still the symptoms persisted. `Rivotril' and `Valium'
had me in a near catatonic state … with once again no relief. Finally
`Stellazine' and `Valium' worked together to ease the strain somewhat so that I
could operate and function, to a limited degree, in the world outside.

The medication made life barely tolerable – it did not take the symptoms away,
it only reduced their severity. I felt like an alien in a strange and eerie
world of maddened creatures, called fellow human beings, who were hell-bent upon
destroying one another. Murder and mayhem reigned supreme throughout the globe,
even into the homes in the form of domestic violence and child abuse. I had
nightmares of being back in the Army again … back in South Vietnam again … and I
would wake in terror and a cold sweat … I slept for periods of about an hour and
a half at a time … only to wake from a sleeping nightmare into the living
nightmare of everyday reality. Although PTSD is diagnosed an Anxiety Disorder I
found the word "anxiety" to be far too mild a term. This was an utterly ghastly
existence.

I had no social life or friends. My only companion was my second wife, a
Registered Nursing Sister, who was thus well-equipped to be with me in my
distress. Even so, PTSD put an enormous strain upon her and we split up five
times during our eleven years together … the last split-up being the final one.
I had no wish to start a new family with her so I had a vasectomy … I had four
children from my first marriage who would have nothing to do with me. I had
also become alienated from my parents and my siblings … I had no family life at
all. All of the psychiatrists, psychologists and counsellors were of the firm
opinion that I would have this disorder (such a politically correct word for
insanity) for the remainder of my life – a bleak future which appalled me no
end. I could not generate any interest in pursuing a career for all activity
was pointless and meaningless.

I had frequent panic attacks and could not bear to be in crowd, as even with a
small group of people I would get easily startled, for I experienced their
normal assertiveness as being outright aggression. Any aggressive displays
would trigger of an attack in me and I would take days to work through it to
some semblance of `normality'. My mind would jam up as if three radio stations
or television channels were trying to fit on the same frequency and still
produce a coherent show. My wife had to escort me everywhere for she was my
connection to the real world `reality' where everyone else lived but me. I
would rely heavily upon her to be able to make sense of the world, for I could
not understand it at all. I could not experience love and affection – let alone
express them – and eventually moved into such a strange condition (described
below) that eventually my second marriage ended."

(see original for continuing narrative).
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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steve d:
If you read the entire article it clearly suggests (in Richards own words) that he had a diagnosed mental illness BEFORE going 'down the wide and wondrous path.' I understand DHO is a pragmatic practise orientated forum, but isnt this information worth taking into consideration? Why do you find it unreasonable to be even slightly apprehensive about following the practises of a man clearly suffering from various serious mental disorders?


It seems to me that one of the main issues here is that people in general are continuing to take Richard's claim seriously that what he's practiced is 180 degrees different from spiritual practices in other traditions.

When one doesn't take that seriously, one sees a man who perhaps had serious mental health issues and found a way to deal with that. Great! Buddhists claim that life is suffering caused by craving...to the extent that is true, we all have some serious mental health issues. Perhaps one should worry about how spiritual practices in general can affect one's mental health...or, perhaps one is more worried about the fundamental mental health issue that afflicts people, the ongoing existential woe that motivates many to even consider these practices in the first place.

What the transformation of a person who follows these practices is like will probably depend on whether their prior issues were of psychiatric significance or the common-or-garden type.

Richard is clear that his experience of AF was not the same in the beginning as his experience of it some years later, which needs to be taken into account.

It would be interesting to hear to what extent Richard still has mental health issues (so as to see in what way those issues could possibly persist and interact with his current condition of AF), but other than that (and keeping in mind that these claims are just claims, not well-substantiated), I myself see little significance to the issue.

EDIT: It is interesting to read the claim that Richard's "enlightenment" experiences were manifestations of bipolar disorder. I don't believe that anyone here who has attained any paths can recognize very much of Richard's experience in their own, so that possibility does go a long way towards clarifying things.

Also, I did not read through the materials at the provided links thoroughly (I am not especially interested in Richard's personal life), but I did skim them, and found this:


So I turned in the other direction to normal – one hundred and eighty degrees
away from everybody else and plunged deep into my disorder. With an unknown
courage born out of crazy desperation I entered deeper and deeper into the
nervousness, apprehension, anxiety, fear, terror, horror and dread. Day after
day I would "sit with it", penetrating further and further into the ghastly
sickness that constitutes the "Human Condition". Once I sat with constant dread
and foreboding for three days and three nights without let-up … simply sitting
it out … wearing it out … watching it expose itself for what it was … no longer
resisting … now defying it to do its worst … just seeing how it ruled not only
my life, but everybody's life. I came to understand – experientially – that
fear rules the world. Fear, at its root, is fear of death itself … of not
being. I used the very thing that I was afraid of – death as in not being `me'
– as a fulcrum to swing me through to the other side of that "ghastly
unreality".


Did Richard practice vipassana? Was Richard a model Buddhist in terms of his practice without even realizing it? Oh, the irony!
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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End in Sight:
EDIT: It is interesting to read the claim that Richard's "enlightenment" experiences were manifestations of bipolar disorder. I don't believe that anyone here who has attained any paths can recognize very much of Richard's experience in their own, so that possibility does go a long way towards clarifying things.


Think A&P/Dark Night cycling. At one point I wondered if all I had accomplished with my practice up to that point was to make my moods more unstable than they used to be.
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
End in Sight:
EDIT: It is interesting to read the claim that Richard's "enlightenment" experiences were manifestations of bipolar disorder. I don't believe that anyone here who has attained any paths can recognize very much of Richard's experience in their own, so that possibility does go a long way towards clarifying things.


Think A&P/Dark Night cycling. At one point I wondered if all I had accomplished with my practice up to that point was to make my moods more unstable than they used to be.


Did you believe that you were Love Agape (etc.), or merely that your moods had become unstable in some way that was related to the paths you attained?
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
End in Sight:
Did you believe that you were Love Agape (etc.), or merely that your moods had become unstable in some way that was related to the paths you attained?


I was just about to edit my post to say: "But I didn't seem to have it quite as bad/as intense as Richard did."

Just moods unstable. Lots of torment. Some shockingly miserable experiences. But nothing as intensely terrifying as Richard describes.

And on a few occasions I did 'throw my awareness around me' and consider 'wee I'm enlightened!' and self-aggrandized a bit in my room, without other people around... but it seemed silly and didn't really stick.

My theory is that it's the same phenomena, just far, far intenser for Richard. I was certainly never in a war zone.
John Mitchell, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 33 Join Date: 10/15/10 Recent Posts
Apparently no one has read the background to the quoted text, doing so reveals the text is from a hostile, unverified source, and most probably is malicious and fraudulent. The author has made no secret of their clear and open hostility to AF, Af'ers and Richard.

I have read the quote, but with an open mind.

To one and all - why so keen to find fault with Richard? Easier than questioning your deepest beliefs?

Re validity of Richard's180 degrees position, given the history of failure in all systems of psychology/religion/spirituality/metaphysics, over all recorded history, the balance of probability is that AF is indeed new and 180 degrees opposite to previous paradigms, for fundamentally sound reasons. As always, the simplest explanation is usually the best.

If anyone can point to a geometrically increasing circle of enlightened/free people, anywhere in history, that can evidence a workable paradigm, please do so. Of course it never happened, if it had, we would have ended compassion, love, empathy, malice, hate, war, pacifism etc long ago.

It now remains to be seen if Actualism will achieve unbounded growth in numbers of people who are actually free; so far the signs are promising.

EDIT: this is not a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, but to steve d, John Wilde and e.i.s. Sorry for the confusion
John Wilde, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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John Mitchell:
Apparently no one has read the background to the quoted text, doing so reveals the text is from a hostile, unverified source, and most probably is malicious and fraudulent. The author has made no secret of their clear and open hostility to AF, Af'ers and Richard.

I have read the quote, but with an open mind.


Have you?

What if you found out that the text was indeed written by Richard?

Would it change anything for you?

John
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James Hao Yen, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 270 Join Date: 9/6/09 Recent Posts
Aziz Ansari voice: WHOAH WHOAH WHOAH hold on, I thought Irene was dead.

"

RESPONDENT: Is your second wife still alive?

RICHARD: No, she died at 11.25 AM (AEDST) on Saturday, 14 November, 2009.

"

http://actualfreedom.com.au/richard/listdcorrespondence/listd22.htm

Unless of course, Irene is not his second wife.

Then my bad.
steve d, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 22 Join Date: 10/2/11 Recent Posts
James Hao Yen:
Aziz Ansari voice: WHOAH WHOAH WHOAH hold on, I thought Irene was dead.

"

RESPONDENT: Is your second wife still alive?

RICHARD: No, she died at 11.25 AM (AEDST) on Saturday, 14 November, 2009.

"

http://actualfreedom.com.au/richard/listdcorrespondence/listd22.htm

Unless of course, Irene is not his second wife.

Then my bad.


No, you would be right in your intitial reaction. Irene is indeed his 'dead' ex wife. If this is true, which i am not claiming it to be (i am merely pointing to the evidence), this is beyond reprehensible behaviour. Happy and harmless indeed......
John Mitchell, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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John Wilde:
John Mitchell:
Apparently no one has read the background to the quoted text, doing so reveals the text is from a hostile, unverified source, and most probably is malicious and fraudulent. The author has made no secret of their clear and open hostility to AF, Af'ers and Richard.

I have read the quote, but with an open mind.


Have you?

What if you found out that the text was indeed written by Richard?

Would it change anything for you?

John


A small part of the method of Actualism was a reality for me during my childhood/teen years. So when I came across the AF website, and I then remembered the long-forgotten PCEs and subsequent insights, I realised my searching for a description of what I had experienced was over.

So here I am, able to draw on a lot of early PCEs, reading AFT website, reading forum posts from Actually Free people, spending more time felicitous. Last week the craving for chocolate disappeared, and I have been needing much less sleep in recent weeks. A few days ago virtually the whole day was happy. It really is like awakening from a dream.

So, no, Actualism for me has moved past Richard. It would however surprise me if it could be shown that Richard is not AF, but I don't think that is likely.

BTW I said I read it with an open mind, that included reading with a critical faculty, the text, and the context (the credentials and motivations of the author). A lot of people are quite happy to level any abuse at Richard, and maliciously fabricating a false history is simply a matter of word-smithing.

best wishes
steve d, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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"To one and all - why so keen to find fault with Richard? Easier than questioning your deepest beliefs?"

Hi John, apologies to all if I came across as vehemontly against Richard. Im not.The man has clearly been through intense suffering and seems to have found a way to cope with it and fair play to him.

But when someone claims to be entirely free of the human condition, of malice and sorrow, fear and aggression, as well as claiming infallible insight into the nature of reality/the universe surely, SURELY we have to investigate? I mean, this has got to be of vital importance to the world? This man is a one in a billion!

The point is, if he isnt what he claims to be, the legitimacy and ultimate nature of the AF state is called into question. Im glad some people persuing AF like EIS can still maintain a realistic view of Richard and the fallible nature of the human mind.
John Wilde, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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steve d:
"To one and all - why so keen to find fault with Richard? Easier than questioning your deepest beliefs?"

Hi John, apologies to all if I came across as vehemontly against Richard. Im not.The man has clearly been through intense suffering and seems to have found a way to cope with it and fair play to him.

But when someone claims to be entirely free of the human condition, of malice and sorrow, fear and aggression, as well as infallible insight into the nature of reality/the universe surely, SURELY we have to investigate? I mean, this has got to be of vital importance to the world? This man is a one in a billion!

The point is, if he isnt what he claims to be, the legitimacy and ultimate nature of the AF state is called into question.


Same.

John
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
I would like to make a general comment on this matter.

The degree to which people appear to be interested in Richard, the validity of Richard's claims concerning uniqueness, his take on what "the human condition" is and what can be abandoned, etc. is surprising to me.

Speaking personally, I found that the main problem of life is that every affective experience, no matter how pleasant or refined, is a form of suffering. When I was able to realize this (having used the testimony of people who claimed AF as food for thought), I saw that it would be for my welfare and in my best interest to end these experiences.

Perhaps this was an easier thing for me to decide upon than for many other people, as I had previously spent a great deal of time meditating and seen that many transformations of experience were possible (and so had confidence that this would be too). But, I see this as the fundamental thing.

So, I would like to ask Steve D and John Wilde this: do you see for yourselves (personally, directly) that affective experience is suffering? If so, are you motivated to end affective experience?

If so, and if the sole problem for you is one of confidence or faith (i.e. not knowing whether it's possible, given the possibility that Richard may be untruthful in various ways), why don't you start a thread here to discuss the matter of this lack of confidence (since it is the thing that potentially stands between you and peace)?

As I have emphasized, I do not believe that what Richard describes is a state unique to humanity...indeed, it occurs to me that the Pali suttas have described the problem of affective experience in a much more detailed and accurate way than Richard managed to. (From physical sensation of pleasant / unpleasant / neutral comes craving, from craving comes clinging, from clinging comes becoming, and those three things, craving-clinging-becoming, are the tripartite nature of these experiences; this is enshrined in the core of Buddhist doctrine.) Recognizing this may take the emphasis off of Richard and off of questions about his uniqueness, sanity, and honesty.
steve d, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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Hello EIS,

"So, I would like to ask Steve D and John Wilde this: do you see for yourselves (personally, directly) that affective experience is suffering? If so, are you motivated to end affective experience?"

I can agree with you that yea, there are various affective experiences that cause suffering. Sadness at the knowledge that everyone I know and love will be gone, anger at the cruelty people can inflict upon one another. These all cause me suffering. But I truly dont want to let these emotional/affective experiences go. Not feeling anger or a sense of injustice in the face of cruelty is in my opinion perverse and dissociative in the extreme. Without empathy there would be little motivation to reach out and help others. A part of me believes it is cowardly and narcassistic to want to go through life unperturbed and emotionally detached to other peoples suffering. Existential suicide cant be the answer. Surely theres gotta be another way.

And yet.....

Saying this I do agree with Richard in that deep down I know this life is not set up to be an endless veil of tears and bullshit. Ultimately I understand that my own suffering and misery achieves nothing. Im here for a short while and then im gone. "All sound and fury signifying nothing" The possiblility that maybe, just maybe we've been living in paradise all along if only we could see it blows my mind. Writers and poets ive long admired have always spoken about the perfection in our midst. Dostoevesky, William Blake,HP Lovecraft, Huxley all have spoken about this purity of experience. And for most of my life ive been driven to seek out this perfection like a moth to a flame. Theres no going back for me.

So maybe AF and the extinction of being is the answer to the happiness we all seek? I dont know, but it just seems to be the case of 'too good to be true' and these recent revelations seem to point to the truth of this statement.
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Jacob Henry St. Onge Casavant, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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steve d:
Without empathy there would be little motivation to reach out and help others..


something to bare in mind in this connection: without empathy it would be impossible for sociopaths to experience pleasure at inflicting pain on others. Cruelty as such could be well defined as the empathic enjoyment of inducing suffering in another. I've always thought about sociopathy as being a lack of empathy but I was recently disabused of this notion by a professor who's a practicing therapist. He described a client (a sociopathic violent offender) who responded to the suggestion that he use a heavy bag to get out his pent up rage rather than beating the shit out of people by saying "that would never work; a heavy bag doesn't wimper".

that's not to say that empathy is intrinsically "bad" either-- given our repertoire of instinctual passions it seems that empathy, for non-sociopaths at least, provides an important set of neurological training wheels developmentally for humans to learn to take the feelings of others into account as we act to pursue our individual desires. Apparently for most sociopaths (some apparently ARE born that way) there are early childhood experiences that flip the way the use empathy, and from a given point on in their development they feel compelled to use their empathy for cruelty (they never again want to be on the recieving end of that kind of abuse, you see, and they click into a 'best defense is a good offense' strategy).

All of this is just to say that empathy shouldn't be associated exclusively with positive behaviors, as this is simply innacurate from a neurological and psychological point of view. Likewise there has been some research on "compassion fatigue" and burnout in the helping professions which indicates that being able to bypass the mirror-neuron system which underlies the felt sense of resonating with anothers' pain is an important skill for helpers (therapists, social workers) who work professionally day in and out with severely disturbed people-- and it's entirely possible to understand and see very clearly the pain and distress of another human being, and respond helpfully, without these mirror neuron empathic training wheels.
-Jake
Stian Gudmundsen Høiland, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 296 Join Date: 9/5/10 Recent Posts
steve d:
Without empathy there would be little motivation to reach out and help others. A part of me believes it is cowardly and narcassistic to want to go through life unperturbed and emotionally detached to other peoples suffering.


I challenge you to reflect on this. I have not attained an actual freedom, but having read as much as I have about the people who have attained it, I have come to the conclusion that one does not need the kind of "empathy" that you are talking about here to reach out and help others.

If I could come to that conclusion, and lending me the benefit of doubt (in that I am not deluded in this), you should also be able to reach that same conclusion.

I also want to point out that your thinking that an actual freedom is narcissistic is the complete opposite of my view of an actual freedom. Once again, if I was able to come to this conclusion, than you are so too.

Granted, you will have to have an open mind and be generous with that benefit of doubt. You do agree that a judging mind is a clouded mind? So blow away those clouds and see for yourself, with real intent, whether or not what I have quoted is necessarily so.

---

What is the meaning of narcissism? What are the synonyms of narcissism?

preoccupation with self, self-absorption, self-admiration, self-confidence, self-importance, self-interest, self-love, self-possession, self-regard, self-worship, selfishness.

What exactly does "self-immolation" lead to?

What are antonyms to narcissism? Altruism and selflessness. What are synonyms to altruism and selflessness? Benevolence, benignity, magnanimity.

What is the meaning of altruism?

What exactly is "humanity", as a characteristic of behavior? What are the synonyms of "humanity"?

Do you recognize any of these words from a certain website? The secret is in the meaning of the words.
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
steve d:
Hello EIS,

"So, I would like to ask Steve D and John Wilde this: do you see for yourselves (personally, directly) that affective experience is suffering? If so, are you motivated to end affective experience?"

I can agree with you that yea, there are various affective experiences that cause suffering.


This is true, but this is commonly understood (very few people would not stand aghast at the more extreme horrors and cruelties in the world), and is not the core of what I see the spiritual path as being about. I was getting at something deeper.

Do you see for yourself (personally, directly) that every affective experience is suffering?

That means all of the "bad" ones, plus all of the "good" ones, plus all of the "neutral" ones.

Do you see for yourself (personally, directly) that a constant flow of good, bad, and neutral affective experiences are being generated so long as one is conscious and normally percipient, and thus, life is a constant stream of pointless and gratuitous suffering?

If you do not see that, would you be interested in seeing that?

If you do not see that, would it change your mind about the value of trying to eliminate these experiences if you were able to confirm (personally, directly) that it were true?

steve d:
Not feeling anger or a sense of injustice in the face of cruelty is in my opinion perverse and dissociative in the extreme. Without empathy there would be little motivation to reach out and help others.


I think it is unjust (in the sense of being pointless and gratuitous) that anyone should have to suffer, I empathize with the plight of those who do (as 'my' plight, when I was still stuck in the deepest throes of affective experience, was the same), and I am here spending my time talking to you and others about it despite the fact that I could be doing all kinds of other things.

Isn't it strange? Isn't it wonderful?

steve d:
The possiblility that maybe, just maybe we've been living in paradise all along if only we could see it blows my mind. Writers and poets ive long admired have always spoken about the perfection in our midst. Dostoevesky, William Blake,HP Lovecraft, Huxley all have spoken about this purity of experience. And for most of my life ive been driven to seek out this perfection like a moth to a flame. Theres no going back for me.


I can confirm (speaking from personal, direct experience) that seeing and living this kind of perfection is possible. As my practice progresses, this has become powerfully and abundantly clear to me, more and more so with each passing day. I do not claim to be fully liberated or fully free from suffering, but I believe, on the basis of my personal, direct experience, that it is possible, and that it would be more worthwhile than anything else in life.

I have no financial or personal motive to say such a thing, so I hope you will take my claim at face value, as nothing more than an attempt to share what I have found in my experience as a contemplative.
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
End in Sight:
I think it is unjust (in the sense of being pointless and gratuitous) that anyone should have to suffer, I empathize with the plight of those who do (as 'my' plight, when I was still stuck in the deepest throes of affective experience, was the same),


It occurred to me just now that I use "empathy" in a different way than most people...not to mean "feeling the pain of others", but "understanding the situation of others".

This usage, as far as I know, has been life-long. It never occurred to me that empathy had to include feeling the pain of others (even though that is how it typically worked for me in the past). I am not sure I ever believed that feeling the pain of others was a good thing, except insofar as it helped me to understand their situation, despite the fact that I was unusually sensitive about certain kinds of pain that others felt.

Although now I appear not to feel the pain of others in any normal, visceral sense, I see no reason not to continue to use the word "empathy", as the core thing for me has always been understanding. Hence my having written what I wrote above without batting an eye, without being aware of how out of place it was (as your point was about feeling others pain).

I don't want to derail this conversation (as the core point is about what is suffering and what isn't), but perhaps it's worth considering how I, a well-adapted person, went through life with such a different default understanding of what empathy was than the understanding you have, and how I managed to live well given that.

(EDIT: There were times in my life where thinking about certain kinds of injustices visited upon innocent people would leave me quasi-paralyzed by emotional pain, and I would often get stuck in "loops" thinking about such things, feeling terrible, being thus inclined to think about such things more, continuing to feel terrible, etc. I would estimate that my sensitivity to others' suffering was significantly higher than average. Despite that, it genuinely never occurred to me that "empathy" was about sharing pain.

Someone once told me that they couldn't think about the conditions through which certain food items were produced, as they involved a great deal of suffering for the animals involved...so they continued to purchase those food items, but studiously avoided thinking about the conditions behind their production. They experienced the pain they imagined animals felt quite strongly...but, to me, lacked empathy in any meaningful way with respect to the situation, as their only goal was to avoid feeling vicarious pain, rather than to understand the situation and to act in such a way as not to contribute to it after understanding it. At the time it struck me that they would have been better off with no emotional response to pain, and a little bit of genuine concern for the suffering they professed to care about.

Similarly, someone once told me that they couldn't eat any food product that reminded them of the animal from which it came (e.g. a whole fish), because they didn't like the idea of eating living creatures...so they only ate animal products, such as ground meat, that did not remind them of living creatures. At the time I thought it was self-serving behavior, and not remotely empathetic.)
Stian Gudmundsen Høiland, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 296 Join Date: 9/5/10 Recent Posts
Re "empathy":

I have not had a good reason to post this, until now:

I consider "sympathy" to be a process in which one creates understanding by mirroring another persons current mind/body-state, including emotions.

I consider "empathy" to be a process in which one creates understanding by intellectually considering/grasping another persons current mind/body-state.

When something sympathetically vibrates with another thing, that first thing takes on the vibration of that other thing.


This after having given the matter a great deal of thought emoticon
John Wilde, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 501 Join Date: 10/26/10 Recent Posts
Stian Gudmundsen Høiland:
Re "empathy":
I consider "empathy" to be a process in which one creates understanding by intellectually considering/grasping another persons current mind/body-state.


That would perhaps be more accurately described as "theory of mind", which doesn't necessarily require affective empathy.

Empathy (as indicated by the root word 'pathos') pertains directly to feelings, emotions.

John
John Wilde, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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End in Sight:

The degree to which people appear to be interested in Richard, the validity of Richard's claims concerning uniqueness, his take on what "the human condition" is and what can be abandoned, etc. is surprising to me.


Considering that Richard epitomizes Actual Freedom, why is this surprising to you?

Richard is adamant that he was the first person in human history to discover the condition he calls Actual Freedom. If he's wrong, as you seem to suggest, what would his persistent and utterly adamant wrongness say about Actual Freedom?

Aside from that, if the referenced article is Richard's work, there are now two conflicting accounts of how Richard's enlightenment and actual freedom occurred. In the version on the AF website, a normal guy devises a practice/method that induces profound psychic changes, first enlightenment and then utter 'extinction' (actual freedom). The other article paints a completely different picture in which the method/practice was not the driver of change, but was a desperate strategy to cope with irresistible psychic changes that were already underway, driven by his underlying pathology.

I was surprised by how casually this was waved away.

John
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
John Wilde:
End in Sight:

The degree to which people appear to be interested in Richard, the validity of Richard's claims concerning uniqueness, his take on what "the human condition" is and what can be abandoned, etc. is surprising to me.


Considering that Richard epitomizes Actual Freedom, why is this surprising to you?


To the extent that one thinks Richard is deluded, it's strange to me how much stock is continuing to be put in some of his claims (uniqueness etc.) but not others (freedom from the human condition etc.).

Perhaps another reason is that, as this is the DhO, we are more interested in practical techniques, and (for historical reasons) more likely (to various degrees, depending on the poster) to view things through the lens of Buddhism...and thus, not wedded in any fundamental way to the AFT worldview nor to Richard as a figurehead. It occurs to me that you may not be aware of this. (Have you read MCTB, for instance? In order to understand this forum, you really should.)

As for the claim that Richard epitomizes Actual Freedom...to the extent that some posters view this through the lens of Buddhism, Richard does not epitomize Actual Freedom; he is merely a vocal proponent of an attainment which, due to his having stumbled upon it haphazardly, he failed to understand in context of human history and spiritual practice. (Note that, in the excerpt I quoted, Richard [assuming he wrote the excerpt] describes practicing Buddhist meditation, apparently unaware that he is doing so.)

John Wilde:
Apparently some of you don't care about this. I'm interested in why not.


Speaking only for myself, I will say that pursuing the line of inquiry that I hoped to begin with you earlier will help you to understand my reasons.

Let me redirect these questions to you:

Do you see for yourself (personally, directly) that every affective experience is suffering?

That means all of the "bad" ones, plus all of the "good" ones, plus all of the "neutral" ones.

Do you see for yourself (personally, directly) that a constant flow of good, bad, and neutral affective experiences are being generated so long as one is conscious and normally percipient, and thus, life is a constant stream of pointless and gratuitous suffering?

If you do not see that, would you be interested in seeing that?

If you do not see that, would it change your mind about the value of trying to eliminate these experiences if you were able to confirm (personally, directly) that it were true?


To the extent that I was able to see the fact of, the origin of, the cessation of, and the way to the cessation of suffering, Richard's personality and behavior and back-story became irrelevant to me. While Richard and the AFT may have helped me to consider these issues, to the extent that I have seen and understood them for myself, my seeing and understanding has become the sole basis for my practice. Whatever the case with Richard is, my experiences of the fact of, the origin of, the cessation of, and the way to the cessation of suffering remain the same.

As such, I do not have (and have never had) any reason to rely on Richard in a way that would make his personal details deeply relevant.

Would it be otherwise for you? I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the questions I asked.
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
I will post this again, because it does not seem to have gone fully appreciated.

So I turned in the other direction to normal – one hundred and eighty degrees
away from everybody else and plunged deep into my disorder. With an unknown
courage born out of crazy desperation I entered deeper and deeper into the
nervousness, apprehension, anxiety, fear, terror, horror and dread. Day after
day I would "sit with it", penetrating further and further into the ghastly
sickness that constitutes the "Human Condition". Once I sat with constant dread
and foreboding for three days and three nights without let-up … simply sitting
it out … wearing it out … watching it expose itself for what it was … no longer
resisting … now defying it to do its worst … just seeing how it ruled not only
my life, but everybody's life. I came to understand – experientially – that
fear rules the world. Fear, at its root, is fear of death itself … of not
being. I used the very thing that I was afraid of – death as in not being `me'
– as a fulcrum to swing me through to the other side of that "ghastly
unreality".


Sounds like vipassana.
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Jacob Henry St. Onge Casavant, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 698 Join Date: 5/22/10 Recent Posts
Yes, that section really stood out to me as well.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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Jacob Henry St. Onge Casavant:
Yes, that section really stood out to me as well.


I would comment but it isn't even necessarily the case that Richard wrote that article. I assumed he did, up till now, but the source seems a bit shady.
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Jacob Henry St. Onge Casavant, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 698 Join Date: 5/22/10 Recent Posts
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Jacob Henry St. Onge Casavant:
Yes, that section really stood out to me as well.


I would comment but it isn't even necessarily the case that Richard wrote that article. I assumed he did, up till now, but the source seems a bit shady.


good point!
Vas A, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 24 Join Date: 9/8/10 Recent Posts
End in Sight:
I will post this again, because it does not seem to have gone fully appreciated.

So I turned in the other direction to normal – one hundred and eighty degrees
away from everybody else and plunged deep into my disorder. With an unknown
courage born out of crazy desperation I entered deeper and deeper into the
nervousness, apprehension, anxiety, fear, terror, horror and dread. Day after
day I would "sit with it", penetrating further and further into the ghastly
sickness that constitutes the "Human Condition". Once I sat with constant dread
and foreboding for three days and three nights without let-up … simply sitting
it out … wearing it out … watching it expose itself for what it was … no longer
resisting … now defying it to do its worst … just seeing how it ruled not only
my life, but everybody's life. I came to understand – experientially – that
fear rules the world. Fear, at its root, is fear of death itself … of not
being. I used the very thing that I was afraid of – death as in not being `me'
– as a fulcrum to swing me through to the other side of that "ghastly
unreality".


Sounds like vipassana.


while that seems to be the case from the above writing,
what do you think of these from the web-site:
http://www.actualfreedom.com.au/library/topics/buddhism.htm
Richard: The actualist method is a far cry from the Buddhist carefully cultivated ‘mindfulness’ ... the practice of ‘mindfulness’ is a further withdrawal from this actual world than what ‘normal’ people currently experience in the illusionary ‘reality’ of their ‘real world’. All Buddhists (just like Mr. Buddha) do not want to be here – now – as this flesh and blood form, walking and talking and eating and drinking and urinating and defecating and being the universes’ experience of its own infinitude as a reflective and sensate human being. They put immense effort into bringing ‘samsara’ (the endless round of birth and death and rebirth) to an end ... if they liked being here now they would welcome rebirth and delight in being able to be here now again and again as a human being. They just don’t wanna be here (not only not be here now but never, ever again) ... is it not so blatantly obvious (that Mr. Buddha just did not like being here) that you wonder why you never saw his anti-life stance before? How on earth can someone who hates being here so much ever be interested in bringing about peace-on-earth?
In this respect he was just like all the Gurus and God-Men down through the ages ... the whole lot of them were/are anti-life to the core.


http://www.actualfreedom.com.au/richard/selectedcorrespondence/sc-vipassana.htm
Hence where you ask what is wrong with sitting by yourself, and thoroughly enjoying the changing sensations that show up in the body, you are not only committing the cardinal error of trying to identify with that which is impermanence or decay (which, according to Mr. Buddha, is suffering or unsatisfactoriness) but you who are trying to so identify are not who you really are anyway (the perfected saint who, at the termination of your life, will pass into an after-death peace).

and more....
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Nikolai ., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 1650 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
End In Sight:
I will post this again, because it does not seem to have gone fully appreciated.

So I turned in the other direction to normal – one hundred and eighty degrees
away from everybody else and plunged deep into my disorder. With an unknown
courage born out of crazy desperation I entered deeper and deeper into the
nervousness, apprehension, anxiety, fear, terror, horror and dread. Day after
day I would "sit with it", penetrating further and further into the ghastly
sickness that constitutes the "Human Condition". Once I sat with constant dread
and foreboding for three days and three nights without let-up … simply sitting
it out … wearing it out … watching it expose itself for what it was … no longer
resisting … now defying it to do its worst … just seeing how it ruled not only
my life, but everybody's life. I came to understand – experientially – that
fear rules the world. Fear, at its root, is fear of death itself … of not
being. I used the very thing that I was afraid of – death as in not being `me'
– as a fulcrum to swing me through to the other side of that "ghastly
unreality".


Sounds like vipassana.


Dogma and intentions may differ, but I think attentiveness to sensuousness still sounds like and looks like (in my own experience) vipassana (vi=intensifier, passana from passati=to see). I think there are varying views on what mindfulness and vipassana entail. And those views inform the very practice of mindfulness and vipassana and thus condition differernt results.

This is where, I believe, all the differences, criticisms, varying opinions and results of insight practice are born from; different types of mindfulness that condition different types of results. One type of mindfulness practice and its result could well be the one Richard talks and criticizes in the quote above. If one aims to dismantle the whole mess that is a result of the dependent origination sequence, I personally would call this result a possible 'trap' one can fall into.

If a practice of vipassana and mindfulness is informed more so by apperceptive awareness (like that which seems to be described in the Bahiya sutta), practice of vipassana that takes this on board looks very much like what one does to get AF. Anything can be tweaked, as long as apperception is a result of the practice.

I think Richard gets major credit for emphasizing more so the cultivation of felicity and dismantling the social identity much more so than other traditions that primarily teach vipassana. Jhana practice can be a substitute for felicity cultivation in my experience as both jhana and felicitous states act as bridges to being able to attend to sensuousness with much more ease. As long as apperception is the goal, they act as the same jumping board. The social dismantling angle though is something I had never come across elsewhere and find it a uniquely beneficial practice for non-renunciates.

Reading Bhante G's description of mindfulness with the notion of apperception in mind is a good idea in my experience. I think Richard even did this himself and then sought to make it more explicit in instructions he included on his website:

"Mindfulness is very much like what you see with your peripheral vision as opposed to the hard focus of normal or central vision. Yet this moment of soft, unfocused, awareness contains a very deep sort of knowing that is lost as soon as you focus your mind and objectify the object into a thing. In the process of ordinary perception, the Mindfulness step is so fleeting as to be unobservable. We have developed the habit of squandering our attention on all the remaining steps, focusing on the perception, recognizing the perception, labeling it, and most of all, getting involved in a long string of symbolic thought about it. That original moment of Mindfulness is rapidly passed over. It is the purpose of the above mentioned Vipassana (or insight) meditation to train us to prolong that moment of awareness. (Bhante G: Mindfulness in Plain English)


Apperceptiveness is very much like what one sees with one’s peripheral vision as opposed to the intent focus of normal or central vision....this moment of soft, ungathered sensuosity – apperceptiveness – contains a vast understanding, an utter cognisance, that is lost as soon as one adjusts one’s mind to accommodate the feeling-tone...in the process of ordinary perception, the apperceptiveness step is so fleeting as to be usually unobservable.One has developed the habit of squandering one’s attention on all the remaining steps: feeling the percept, emotionally recognising the qualia, zealously adopting the perception and getting involved in a long string of representative feeling-notions about it. When the original moment of apperceptiveness is rapidly passed over it is the purpose of ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ to accustom one to prolong that moment of apperceptiveness... (Richard: Attentiveness and Sensuousness and Apperceptiveness)"


Edited a number of times for extra sentences.
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N A, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 157 Join Date: 7/10/11 Recent Posts
Nikolai .:
"Mindfulness is very much like what you see with your peripheral vision as opposed to the hard focus of normal or central vision. Yet this moment of soft, unfocused, awareness contains a very deep sort of knowing that is lost as soon as you focus your mind and objectify the object into a thing. In the process of ordinary perception, the Mindfulness step is so fleeting as to be unobservable. We have developed the habit of squandering our attention on all the remaining steps, focusing on the perception, recognizing the perception, labeling it, and most of all, getting involved in a long string of symbolic thought about it. That original moment of Mindfulness is rapidly passed over. It is the purpose of the above mentioned Vipassana (or insight) meditation to train us to prolong that moment of awareness. (Bhante G: Mindfulness in Plain English)


Apperceptiveness is very much like what one sees with one’s peripheral vision as opposed to the intent focus of normal or central vision....this moment of soft, ungathered sensuosity – apperceptiveness – contains a vast understanding, an utter cognisance, that is lost as soon as one adjusts one’s mind to accommodate the feeling-tone...in the process of ordinary perception, the apperceptiveness step is so fleeting as to be usually unobservable.One has developed the habit of squandering one’s attention on all the remaining steps: feeling the percept, emotionally recognising the qualia, zealously adopting the perception and getting involved in a long string of representative feeling-notions about it. When the original moment of apperceptiveness is rapidly passed over it is the purpose of ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ to accustom one to prolong that moment of apperceptiveness... (Richard: Attentiveness and Sensuousness and Apperceptiveness)"

haha, good find!
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
Vas A:
End in Sight:

Sounds like vipassana.


while that seems to be the case from the above writing,
what do you think of these from the web-site:


I think that (supposing he authored the article in question and described his experience accurately) Richard practiced vipassana in order to gain his attainment, and for whatever reason, has a negative opinion about traditions that suggest the very same practice.

What do you think?

EDIT: In this case, I offer the simple definition for vipassana of "observing whatever comes up without reacting, insofar as possible."
John Wilde, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 501 Join Date: 10/26/10 Recent Posts
End in Sight:

I think that (supposing he authored the article in question and described his experience accurately) Richard practiced vipassana in order to gain his attainment, and for whatever reason, has a negative opinion about traditions that suggest the very same practice.

What do you think?

EDIT: In this case, I offer the simple definition for vipassana of "observing whatever comes up without reacting, insofar as possible."



If that's your definition of vipassana, it's probably a fair enough label for the technique he used in a crisis .

But vipassana, as I understand it, consists of breaking down experience into its bare sensate constituents with the aim of disidentifying or disembedding. "Impermanent, unsatisfactory, not me, not mine, not self".

Richard, on the other hand, emphasizes that 'I' am 'my' feelings, 'my' feelings are 'me'.. which in a sense is the opposite of that. Is it your experience that vipassana, by itself, leads one to formulate experience in those terms?

Regardless, I think Nick was right on the money with what he said earlier. Anything that causes inner turmoil to settle and become less opaque is a possible way into apperception. Insight, jhanas, felicity, or the "always-already" teachings can all do the trick, once it has become clear where/how to look.

John
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Nikolai ., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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John Wilde:


But vipassana, as I understand it, consists of breaking down experience into its bare sensate constituents with the aim of disidentifying or disembedding. "Impermanent, unsatisfactory, not me, not mine, not self".


It is interesting to think of the different results of the two different styles of vipassana I have practiced. Goenka sweeping focused purely on sensations versus mahasi noting shooting aliens style was more about 'dis-identifying' and the term KFD made popular, 'dis-embedding' with all phenomena. The noting vipassana resembles more so the vipassana you describe, John.

However, I think my practice of the sweeping method, made popular by U Ba Khin, is much closer to what I do when attending to sensuousness and seems closer to triggering apperception than noting does. When apperception becomes clearer in one's experience I am sure the sweeping method really starts to take effect. Perhaps Jill's experience of the PCE while practicing in the Goenka tradition is a good example of how such a technique and approach can shift slightly when informed by an experience of apperception/PCE.

The sweeping method and its priority of sensations has perhaps been a good support for me in progress on the AF path I've followed. What I took away from my time with the Goenka tradition is that vipassana as practiced there, although there is supposed to be constant insight into annica, there seems to be more emphasis on being equanimous with whatever arises, rather than dis-identifying with it. In fact I think seeing the impermanent quality of sensations is supposed to make it easier to be equanimous with them rather than emphasis on 'dis-identification' like the noting technique seems to emphasize more, at least in my own experience.

Nick
John Wilde, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 501 Join Date: 10/26/10 Recent Posts
Nikolai .:

It is interesting to think of the different results of the two different styles of vipassana I have practiced. (...)
The sweeping method and its priority of sensations has perhaps been a good support for me in progress on the AF path I've followed. What I took away from my time with the Goenka tradition is that vipassana as practiced there, although there is supposed to be constant insight into annica, there seems to be more emphasis on being equanimous with whatever arises, rather than dis-identifying with it. In fact I think seeing the impermanent quality of sensations is supposed to make it easier to be equanimous with them rather than emphasis on 'dis-identification' like the noting technique seems to emphasize more, at least in my own experience.


So there are different techniques with different emphases, and different ways to use each of them for different results, depending on what kind of experiences inform and motivate the practice. Stands to reason doesn't it?

I think the relationship between equanimity, disidentification and apperception is really central to these discussions because it seems to account for most of the differences between us (all). Perhaps it's worthwhile making it a bit more explicit.

I suspect it varies greatly from person to person. Some people spend years, decades, grinding down mountains of suffering until eventually they reach equanimity through exhaustion, surrender, breakdown, and then suddenly insight dawns. Others learn quite early (informed by spontaneous experiences) that this inner 'person' who causes so much suffering and needs so much maintenance is not really authentic, but the understanding is transient and it needs a systematic discipline (like noting, or neti-neti) to see through it in a way that makes a lasting difference.

Thereafter, it's easy enough to enable/allow apperception because the way has been cleared of so much junk. But I find it hard to imagine that someone could come straight from their default ego consciousness to habitual felicity and apperception without somehow first tasting equanimity and disidentification/disembedding - either as consequence or cause of their equanimity. (Unless they're unusually mellow and wise in a conventional sense -- but those aren't usually the types who end up here, or at the AFT website) :-)

Re apperception forever: Nick, how's it going for you? Is your assessment of (what seems to be) AF as positive now as it was in the beginning? Aside from any 'shadow' phenomena (which presumably will fade over time), how's your life? How are your relationships? Now that you're back in Australia, have your parents noticed? What do they think of the new/actual you? Are there aspects of life that are notably better or worse than before? Also, I know this is speculative and difficult for you to estimate, but what I'm really curious about is how much of a person's post-AF personality and way of relating to people is native to them, and how much is attributable to the condition of AF itself...

John
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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John Wilde:
End in Sight:

I think that (supposing he authored the article in question and described his experience accurately) Richard practiced vipassana in order to gain his attainment, and for whatever reason, has a negative opinion about traditions that suggest the very same practice.

What do you think?

EDIT: In this case, I offer the simple definition for vipassana of "observing whatever comes up without reacting, insofar as possible."


If that's your definition of vipassana, it's probably a fair enough label for the technique he used in a crisis .

But vipassana, as I understand it, consists of breaking down experience into its bare sensate constituents with the aim of disidentifying or disembedding. "Impermanent, unsatisfactory, not me, not mine, not self".


If you visit a Western Buddhist group (in the modern "insight" [= vipassana]) tradition) the technique will often be explained in terms such as "just be with your experience, without wanting it to be otherwise".

The emphasis on the 3Cs is (in my understanding) fairly unique to the Burmese Theravada tradition and those practices that the tradition has influenced.

The Satipatthana sutta, off of which many people base their vipassana practice, says that one should notice various qualities of their experience, but does not say to notice them in terms of the 3Cs.

In my experience, simply noticing the components of my experience (analytically, but not in terms of the 3Cs), with or without the goal of experiencing apperception, led to EEs / PCEs.

Richard, on the other hand, emphasizes that 'I' am 'my' feelings, 'my' feelings are 'me'.. which in a sense is the opposite of that. Is it your experience that vipassana, by itself, leads one to formulate experience in those terms?


It can easily lead someone to realize "these (subset) of feelings are ways in which I'm not simply being with experience, but wanting it to be otherwise".

Whether it would have the effect of a person coming to realize this about all their feelings, I have no idea...it probably depends on the practitioner.

To the extent that Bhante V's TWIM can be spun as being vipassana-like, I note that Sister Khema (who apparently is authorized to describe the official understanding of the method) explicitly stated on the DhO that feelings are related to the experience of 'me'.
John Wilde, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 501 Join Date: 10/26/10 Recent Posts
End in Sight:

If you visit a Western Buddhist group (in the modern "insight" [= vipassana]) tradition) the technique will often be explained in terms such as "just be with your experience, without wanting it to be otherwise".

The emphasis on the 3Cs is (in my understanding) fairly unique to the Burmese Theravada tradition and those practices that the tradition has influenced.

The Satipatthana sutta, off of which many people base their vipassana practice, says that one should notice various qualities of their experience, but does not say to notice them in terms of the 3Cs.


OK, thanks, that gives me a broader understanding of what vipassana means.

End in Sight:

In my experience, simply noticing the components of my experience (analytically, but not in terms of the 3Cs), with or without the goal of experiencing apperception, led to EEs / PCEs.


"Analytically" in what way?

End in Sight:

It can easily lead someone to realize "these (subset) of feelings are ways in which I'm not simply being with experience, but wanting it to be otherwise".


Yes. And is it your experience that "being with experience" dissolves all feeling whatsoever; IOW, that any feeling is a resistance to simply being with experience?

End in Sight:

Whether it would have the effect of a person coming to realize this about all their feelings, I have no idea...it probably depends on the practitioner.


Indeed, and I'd even question whether it's a "realization" as such. It's one way of framing experience, and probably a useful tool, but I see no reason to give it priority as a truth.

End in Sight:

To the extent that Bhante V's TWIM can be spun as being vipassana-like, I note that Sister Khema (who apparently is authorized to describe the official understanding of the method) explicitly stated on the DhO that feelings are related to the experience of 'me'.


What isn't? :-)

John
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
John Wilde:
End in Sight:
If you visit a Western Buddhist group (in the modern "insight" [= vipassana]) tradition) the technique will often be explained in terms such as "just be with your experience, without wanting it to be otherwise".

The emphasis on the 3Cs is (in my understanding) fairly unique to the Burmese Theravada tradition and those practices that the tradition has influenced.

The Satipatthana sutta, off of which many people base their vipassana practice, says that one should notice various qualities of their experience, but does not say to notice them in terms of the 3Cs.


OK, thanks, that gives me a broader understanding of what vipassana means.


In that case, you may be interested to read the Satipatthana sutta (which, by the way, defines "mindfulness" in the eightfold path): http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.010.than.html. In my understanding it does have a cognitive component and the practice does not aim directly at apperception.

John Wilde:
End in Sight:

In my experience, simply noticing the components of my experience (analytically, but not in terms of the 3Cs), with or without the goal of experiencing apperception, led to EEs / PCEs.


"Analytically" in what way?


I examined the way that experienced moved from sense-perception to full-on affect, trying to see all the individual qualities involved in that progression, and trying to understand what components of my cognition were linked to different parts of that progression.

End in Sight:

It can easily lead someone to realize "these (subset) of feelings are ways in which I'm not simply being with experience, but wanting it to be otherwise".


Yes. And is it your experience that "being with experience" dissolves all feeling whatsoever; IOW, that any feeling is a resistance to simply being with experience?


I have never employed that practice as such.

End in Sight:

Whether it would have the effect of a person coming to realize this about all their feelings, I have no idea...it probably depends on the practitioner.


Indeed, and I'd even question whether it's a "realization" as such. It's one way of framing experience, and probably a useful tool, but I see no reason to give it priority as a truth.


Yes...I, personally, do not think of it according to that way of framing experience.

End in Sight:

To the extent that Bhante V's TWIM can be spun as being vipassana-like, I note that Sister Khema (who apparently is authorized to describe the official understanding of the method) explicitly stated on the DhO that feelings are related to the experience of 'me'.


What isn't? :-)


To be more explicit..she indicates that the experience of 'me' originates in craving (which is what Buddhists such as herself aim to end).
Vas A, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 24 Join Date: 9/8/10 Recent Posts
End in Sight:
Vas A:
End in Sight:

Sounds like vipassana.


while that seems to be the case from the above writing,
what do you think of these from the web-site:


I think that (supposing he authored the article in question and described his experience accurately) Richard practiced vipassana in order to gain his attainment, and for whatever reason, has a negative opinion about traditions that suggest the very same practice.

What do you think?

EDIT: In this case, I offer the simple definition for vipassana of "observing whatever comes up without reacting, insofar as possible."


regarding your 'i think that' ... yes, that is what i wanted to convey; firstly, since you equate his methods/approach/attainment as to something that is not different from the existing buddhism, i just was wondering whether you were aware of the body of writings in the website where he criticizes the very buddhism and claims how he is all different and how his stuff is fundamentally different from this. either he is right, or you are right...

assuming that he has attained a non-trivial state, doesn't it puzzle you that he continues to have 'negative opinion about traditions that suggest the *same* practice' ? will it not come to light as well? not only he has negative opinion, he goes on and on about why it is a fact in the web site. it doesn't look like it is simply a 'opinion' from his standpoint.
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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Vas A:
End in Sight:
Vas A:
End in Sight:

Sounds like vipassana.


while that seems to be the case from the above writing,
what do you think of these from the web-site:


I think that (supposing he authored the article in question and described his experience accurately) Richard practiced vipassana in order to gain his attainment, and for whatever reason, has a negative opinion about traditions that suggest the very same practice.

What do you think?

EDIT: In this case, I offer the simple definition for vipassana of "observing whatever comes up without reacting, insofar as possible."


regarding your 'i think that' ... yes, that is what i wanted to convey;


OK; I wasn't sure what you were getting at, hence the bare response.

firstly, since you equate his methods/approach/attainment as to something that is not different from the existing buddhism, i just was wondering whether you were aware of the body of writings in the website where he criticizes the very buddhism and claims how he is all different and how his stuff is fundamentally different from this. either he is right, or you are right...


I am familiar with his claims about other traditions (and about spirituality in general); actualism does seem different in significant ways from Buddhism, but I thought it was ironic (if the document was accurate) that his attainment came from a practice that one of those other traditions endorses (and not exactly from actualism).

assuming that he has attained a non-trivial state, doesn't it puzzle you that he continues to have 'negative opinion about traditions that suggest the *same* practice' ? will it not come to light as well? not only he has negative opinion, he goes on and on about why it is a fact in the web site. it doesn't look like it is simply a 'opinion' from his standpoint.


I don't really know what Richard's reasons for believing certain things are, and, since I don't know the man at all, and since I don't (and haven't) practiced actualism nor been involved with the AFT in any way, I don't have a lot of motivation for finding out. So, it's a puzzle, but one that I am not well-positioned to solve.

But this brings up another issue, which is interesting to me, and which I think is worth bringing up. In the course of my practice, though I have had many big changes happen to me, there are still features of my personality that remain pretty much the same as always. For example, I have a writing style that is dry and sometimes formal, and I often discuss (dharma-related) issues in an explicit way that I realize others are likely to take as argumentative at times (in the sense of "constituting an argument" rather than "having an explicit discussion"). I realize that this way of interacting online may not always be optimal, and have spent some time thinking about changing it. In the past it was held fairly well in place by certain features of the way I think, as well as certain features of my personality. The personality stuff (in part involving various ways of creating a self-conception and identity for myself) doesn't seem to hold sway over me as before...and yet, in spite of that, it is still so easy to default to that mode of interaction, presumably because it's a longstanding habit, and presumably because the way I think hasn't changed, and so it keeps happening, despite the realization that it would be better at times (for the sake of contributing to discussions in a more helpful way and not setting some people on edge) for me not to write and interact in that way.

In general, I think this kind of thing is likely to be true of most people who pursue spirituality and experience transformations of various kinds. They may be happier, they may be friendlier, they may spontaneously let go of certain unskillful habits, but other habits and modes of thinking are based on their conditioning and are less likely to change as much.

So, with Richard, if I recall correctly, we have (for example) his claim that, during his "enlightenment" period, he was Divine Love, set with the task of bringing some important spiritual knowledge to humanity (or whatever it was), who believed that his attainment surpassed all historical spiritual figures due to seeing their "psychic footprints" petering out as he moved forward along the path...and now, he sets himself the task of sharing the actualism method so as to usher in peace on earth, and believes that his attainment is a completely novel discovery of his, un-attained by anyone in the past that we have records concerning. If this account is true, it seems that features of his personality or mode of thinking have carried over from one period to a profoundly different one, and the content of certain things that he believes and has done has changed, while the form remains pretty much the same.

I am not interested in psychoanalyzing Richard (as I said, I don't know him), so please don't take this as a theory I've constructed and stand behind, but rather, an illustration of how certain personality traits may resist change. Given that premise, there are so many reasons Richard might have for believing certain things about Buddhism in particular and spirituality in general, which may well have to do with the particulars of his personality only, or the way he thinks, or his historical conditioning, that speculation about why he believes such-and-such-a-thing seems fairly unlikely to yield any real answers.

More important than to speculate, in my estimation, is to realize that whatever good things he may have attained are not his invention nor limited to his methods, and that people benefit all the time from practices like meditation, and (most importantly) it is commitment to a practice and a deep investigation of one's own experience (whether or not that investigation proceeds in actualist terms or Buddhist terms or Christian terms or whatever) that makes those benefits possible, whether or not Richard accepts that things work that way.
John Mitchell, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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steve d:


The point is, if he isnt what he claims to be, the legitimacy and ultimate nature of the AF state is called into question. Im glad some people persuing AF like EIS can still maintain a realistic view of Richard and the fallible nature of the human mind.


The legitimacy and ultimate nature of the AF state are only established by each of us personally, by doing the Actualism method.

Remembered, or new, PCEs are the impetus to forge ahead with Actualism.

Window shopping for the best metaphysical system presumes the self is capable of discerning what is best, a universal fallacy, as the self can only choose what is most appealing. The PCE as absence of self (briefly) provides a basis against which all methods can be judged. The PCE allows insight that shows that metaphysical methods involving any projection of the self, any movement of desire, any ambition, are in the wrong direction. Once a person has this insight, they will not waste time on mental & emotional forays away from the purity of experience that is now the end goal, the PCE.

I write from my own experience, many PCEs as a child & teen triggered in me these irrefutable insights, into the simple error of ambition, and all belief, and of any mental or emotional exercise to achieve a selfish exalted state.

So, now, to spend effort looking for flaws in Richard, or investigating seriously into Actualism?? I think the two are mutually exclusive.
steve d, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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"Remembered, or new, PCEs are the impetus to forge ahead with Actualism."

Hi John, I'm just beginning to see the truth to this statement. To be honest I was and still am getting slightly caught up in Richards personality flaws and his dallys with mental illness. But i'm beginning to understand after reading the af'ers testimonies around here (especially nick and dan) that the PCE or pre-symbolic awareness exists IN SPITE of Richard and his various eccentricities and is most definately worth exploring.

I need to see this for myself.

Being a pre path and maybe even pre a+p (not sure Ive ever had any major spiritual/mystical experiences although Ive always been a seeker after god/the ultimate for as long as i remember) guy I honestly dunno were to begin. Im pretty sure ive never had a PCE, but it completely fascinates me thats for sure, so its gonna be tough.

I just gotta grow a pair and go for this thing with all I got....

Just got one question in regards to perception while in the PCE. Do any of you guys experince the universe as infinite, benevolant, saturated with fairytale, magical quality? Or is this perception just peculiar to Richard? If so in what way is this actually sensed? (Im just confused cos if our bodies along with our senses and consiousness is finite and impermenent how can we possibly percieve that which is infinite?)
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
steve d:
Just got one question in regards to perception while in the PCE. Do any of you guys experince the universe as infinite, benevolant, saturated with fairytale, magical quality? Or is this perception just peculiar to Richard? If so in what way is this actually sensed? (Im just confused cos if our bodies along with our senses and consiousness is finite and impermenent how can we possibly percieve that which is infinite?)


This is one of those things which is best not worried about. It will make sense on a personal level if and when it makes sense, due to your practice, but not due to thinking about it.
Nad A., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 237 Join Date: 8/26/10 Recent Posts
End in Sight:
steve d:
Just got one question in regards to perception while in the PCE. Do any of you guys experince the universe as infinite, benevolant, saturated with fairytale, magical quality? Or is this perception just peculiar to Richard? If so in what way is this actually sensed? (Im just confused cos if our bodies along with our senses and consiousness is finite and impermenent how can we possibly percieve that which is infinite?)


This is one of those things which is best not worried about. It will make sense on a personal level if and when it makes sense, due to your practice, but not due to thinking about it.


Hi EiS,

You're going to need to explain yourself here. Here's what I read:

'Don't worry if it's a deluded state, wait till you're in that deluded state, then you'll understand.'
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
Nad A.:
End in Sight:
steve d:
Just got one question in regards to perception while in the PCE. Do any of you guys experince the universe as infinite, benevolant, saturated with fairytale, magical quality? Or is this perception just peculiar to Richard? If so in what way is this actually sensed? (Im just confused cos if our bodies along with our senses and consiousness is finite and impermenent how can we possibly percieve that which is infinite?)


This is one of those things which is best not worried about. It will make sense on a personal level if and when it makes sense, due to your practice, but not due to thinking about it.


Hi EiS,

You're going to need to explain yourself here. Here's what I read:

'Don't worry if it's a deluded state, wait till you're in that deluded state, then you'll understand.'


To the extent that it doesn't make sense now, how could it be explained?

For a person who is curious, they will have to wait until they see and understand for themselves (if such a thing happens) in order to understand for themselves.

From Richard's descriptions, it is clear that what he proposes is a mystical path (in the normal definition, not his definition)...if one expects that such a thing is easy to explain, there are a long line of people in history who have walked it and said otherwise (except in this way: "the end of suffering").
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
End in Sight:
From Richard's descriptions, it is clear that what he proposes is a mystical path (in the normal definition, not his definition)...if one expects that such a thing is easy to explain (except in this way: "the end of suffering"), there are a long line of people in history who have walked it and said otherwise.


To echo Nick...

At some point one has to decide whether they're interested in walking a path like this. If one is interested, they're in good company. If one is not interested, they're in good company as well.

At some point, I hope it will become obvious that one's doubts are ultimately and fundamentally one's own creation and one's own problem, not things that anyone else will be able to eliminate.

Ruminating endlessly on one's doubts is fine, but that is tantamount to choosing not to walk the path, and one should realize this.
Nad A., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 237 Join Date: 8/26/10 Recent Posts
End in Sight:
End in Sight:
From Richard's descriptions, it is clear that what he proposes is a mystical path (in the normal definition, not his definition)...if one expects that such a thing is easy to explain (except in this way: "the end of suffering"), there are a long line of people in history who have walked it and said otherwise.


To echo Nick...

At some point one has to decide whether they're interested in walking a path like this. If one is interested, they're in good company. If one is not interested, they're in good company as well.

At some point, I hope it will become obvious that one's doubts are ultimately and fundamentally one's own creation and one's own problem, not things that anyone else will be able to eliminate.

Ruminating endlessly on one's doubts is fine, but that is tantamount to choosing not to walk the path, and one should realize this.


I'm very very interested in walking a path 'like' this, eradicating any institutional delusion that comes with being human. I'm very very interested in avoiding cults, deluded states and the like.
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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Nad A.:
End in Sight:
End in Sight:
From Richard's descriptions, it is clear that what he proposes is a mystical path (in the normal definition, not his definition)...if one expects that such a thing is easy to explain (except in this way: "the end of suffering"), there are a long line of people in history who have walked it and said otherwise.


To echo Nick...

At some point one has to decide whether they're interested in walking a path like this. If one is interested, they're in good company. If one is not interested, they're in good company as well.

At some point, I hope it will become obvious that one's doubts are ultimately and fundamentally one's own creation and one's own problem, not things that anyone else will be able to eliminate.

Ruminating endlessly on one's doubts is fine, but that is tantamount to choosing not to walk the path, and one should realize this.


I'm very very interested in walking a path 'like' this, eradicating any institutional delusion that comes with being human. I'm very very interested in avoiding cults, deluded states and the like.


Unfortunately, as I have talked about what I know of that may be helpful to you (both in this thread and others) from my own personal experience, if you aren't yet satisfied with what I've said, I don't think I can help you with this problem.

I hope you will realize that I am not writing you off, but simply unable to see a way in which I could resolve your doubts.
Stian Gudmundsen Høiland, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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Nad A.:
I'm very very interested in avoiding cults, deluded states and the like.


How will you ever know what is a deluded state?
How will 'you' ever know what is not a deluded state?
Nad A., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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Stian Gudmundsen Høiland:
Nad A.:
I'm very very interested in avoiding cults, deluded states and the like.


How will you ever know what is a deluded state?
How will 'you' ever know what is not a deluded state?


I'm not seeking 100% certain knowledge that something is or isn't deluded. Just no reason to believe it's deluded and reason to believe it is what it says it is, especially when it comes to extraordinary claims like being free of delusion/malice/deceit.
steve d, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 22 Join Date: 10/2/11 Recent Posts
"From Richard's descriptions, it is clear that what he proposes is a mystical path (in the normal definition, not his definition)...if one expects that such a thing is easy to explain (except in this way: "the end of suffering"), there are a long line of people in history who have walked it and said otherwise."

I suspect Richard's extinguished being would roll in its grave if it heard that haha. Seriously though, I have no idea why Richard,Vineeto and Peter are so completely anti-spiritual. Maybe its bad former experiences with gurus or whatnot, but I think the mystical dimensions of life cannot be wrote off so easily. Is atheism/dielectical materialism really the outcome Acual Freedom? Does the PCE completely outright destroy any belief in the transcendant?

Experincing this universe as a magical fairytale like paradise free from self and suffering is, to me anyway, as mystical as one can get. Ive always seen this as the end point of most contemplative traditions, christianity included. "All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well"-Julian of Norwich

"I'm very very interested in walking a path 'like' this, eradicating any institutional delusion that comes with being human. I'm very very interested in avoiding cults, deluded states and the like."

I echo Nad's sentiments. Dont think any of us want to live in a delusion. Richard can keep his beliefs about the universe etc.
Im just gonna aim for a PCE and then go from there.....
Nad A., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 237 Join Date: 8/26/10 Recent Posts
End in Sight:
To the extent that it doesn't make sense now, how could it be explained?

For a person who is curious, they will have to wait until they see and understand for themselves (if such a thing happens) in order to understand for themselves.

From Richard's descriptions, it is clear that what he proposes is a mystical path (in the normal definition, not his definition)...if one expects that such a thing is easy to explain, there are a long line of people in history who have walked it and said otherwise (except in this way: "the end of suffering").


Ok, if you can't explain how the universe is benevolent, or how you can know that it is infinite and eternal then that's fine, but realise that you're not helping to dispel the valid criticism that in these respects your state may be deluded. Realise that telling people to wait until they share the same deluded certainty will be very unsatisfying for those who care about not being deluded.
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
Nad A.:
End in Sight:
To the extent that it doesn't make sense now, how could it be explained?

For a person who is curious, they will have to wait until they see and understand for themselves (if such a thing happens) in order to understand for themselves.

From Richard's descriptions, it is clear that what he proposes is a mystical path (in the normal definition, not his definition)...if one expects that such a thing is easy to explain, there are a long line of people in history who have walked it and said otherwise (except in this way: "the end of suffering").


Ok, if you can't explain how the universe is benevolent, or how you can know that it is infinite and eternal then that's fine,


First of all, just to be clear, I didn't state anything at all with respect to what I know...merely that that sort of knowledge is not something that I see a way to explain.

Nad A.:
but realise that you're not helping to dispel the valid criticism that in these respects your state may be deluded. Realise that telling people to wait until they share the same deluded certainty will be very unsatisfying for those who care about not being deluded.


Looking at people who have been interested in mysticism throughout time, it would be quite easy to voice the same criticism with respect to them.

At one point, you'll realize that what you do is ultimately in your hands, and no one else's.

That is really all that I can say...sorry for being unable to be more helpful.
Nad A., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 237 Join Date: 8/26/10 Recent Posts
End in Sight:
Nad A.:
but realise that you're not helping to dispel the valid criticism that in these respects your state may be deluded. Realise that telling people to wait until they share the same deluded certainty will be very unsatisfying for those who care about not being deluded.


Looking at people who have been interested in mysticism throughout time, it would be quite easy to voice the same criticism with respect to them.


Yep, exactly. I'm a skeptic and materialist by nature, so to speak, so I'm not on the mystics' side either.
Nad A., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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steve d:
To be honest I was and still am getting slightly caught up in Richards personality flaws and his dallys with mental illness. But i'm beginning to understand after reading the af'ers testimonies around here (especially nick and dan) that the PCE or pre-symbolic awareness exists IN SPITE of Richard and his various eccentricities and is most definately worth exploring.

I need to see this for myself.


First of all, I'd echo that the new 'Irene' source has not established itself to be very credible yet. But remember that Richard claims this person is deceased. I see no mention in this thread of the massive deceits that Richard would be engaging in if the source is accurate.

I wouldn't write this off as nitpicking Richard's personality. With this pre-symbolic awareness state, consider what evidence you have that it is free of delusion/malice/deceit. On the other hand, consider whether there's anything that, to you, suggests it might still possess delusion/malice/deceit - whether hidden/masked from the person or not.
thumbnail
Nikolai ., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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Nad A.:


I wouldn't write this off as nitpicking Richard's personality. With this pre-symbolic awareness state, consider what evidence you have that it is free of delusion/malice/deceit. On the other hand, consider whether there's anything that, to you, suggests it might still possess delusion/malice/deceit - whether hidden/masked from the person or not.


After or during a full blown PCE would be the optimum time to do this investigation. The full blown PCE, which lasts longer than just a couple of seconds, is reversible and nothing will be lost except maybe some of the doubts about what the hell people are talking about. Nitpicking is nitpicking. If one nitpicks to their satisfaction and then has a full blown PCE, they will look back and see that the nitpicking had nothing to do with it.

The nitpicking is a hindrance to setting up the conditions for a full blown PCE to occur. Plain and simple. When you work your way through the nitpicking phase eventually and set up the conditions for a full blown PCE to occur, you wont have any use for nitpicking about Richard and how he takes a dump in the morning. I assure you.

It will then not be about Richard and his manner of operating and how it rubs 'you' the wrong way, but about 'you' and your own happiness and the question of your own suffering and what you can do about it. I repeat for emphasis, the nitpicking, although a common occurence for many including myself in the past, is a hindrance to setting up the conditions for a full blown PCE to occur.

I seriously hope everyone works through the nitpicking stage to the actual stage where all focus shifts onto 'you' and doing something about your own happiness as you will now know what options you now really have in that regard. Otherwise, 'you' will spend a long time nitpicking and defending the nitpicking and nothing more.


Nick
Nad A., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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Nikolai .:
Nad A.:


I wouldn't write this off as nitpicking Richard's personality. With this pre-symbolic awareness state, consider what evidence you have that it is free of delusion/malice/deceit. On the other hand, consider whether there's anything that, to you, suggests it might still possess delusion/malice/deceit - whether hidden/masked from the person or not.


After or during a full blown PCE would be the optimum time to do this investigation. The full blown PCE, which lasts longer than just a couple of seconds, is reversible and nothing will be lost except maybe some of the doubts about what the hell people are talking about. Nitpicking is nitpicking. If one nitpicks to their satisfaction and then has a full blown PCE, they will look back and see that the nitpicking had nothing to do with it.

The nitpicking is a hindrance to setting up the conditions for a full blown PCE to occur. Plain and simple. When you work your way through the nitpicking phase eventually and set up the conditions for a full blown PCE to occur, you wont have any use for nitpicking about Richard and how he takes a dump in the morning. I assure you.

It will then not be about Richard and his manner of operating and how it rubs 'you' the wrong way, but about 'you' and your own happiness and the question of your own suffering and what you can do about it. I repeat for emphasis, the nitpicking, although a common occurence for many including myself in the past, is a hindrance to setting up the conditions for a full blown PCE to occur.

I seriously hope everyone works through the nitpicking stage to the actual stage where all focus shifts onto 'you' and doing something about your own happiness as you will now know what options you now really have in that regard. Otherwise, 'you' will spend a long time nitpicking and defending the nitpicking and nothing more.


Nick


I said that I wouldn't write it off as 'nitpicking' at all. If valid concerns stand in the way of a PCE happening then that is a problem for actualism, not the rest of us.
John Wilde, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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Nikolai .:
Nad A.:


I wouldn't write this off as nitpicking Richard's personality. With this pre-symbolic awareness state, consider what evidence you have that it is free of delusion/malice/deceit. On the other hand, consider whether there's anything that, to you, suggests it might still possess delusion/malice/deceit - whether hidden/masked from the person or not.


After or during a full blown PCE would be the optimum time to do this investigation.



No it would not.

It's yet another version of what Nad said earlier:

'Don't worry if it's a deluded state, wait till you're in that deluded state, then you'll understand.'

If AF results in deficits that are invisible to the one experiencing them, leading to delusory certainties that are impervious to feedback or correction (because that would depend on precisely what is deficient), then how can being in that state tell you anything about it's true nature?

That the actually free people don't seem to grasp this simple point is not exactly reassuring.

John

PS. Both Nad and I have been in that state, and it makes not the slightest difference to what is being discussed here.
Stian Gudmundsen Høiland, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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John Wilde:
If AF results in deficits that are invisible to the one experiencing them, leading to delusory certainties that are impervious to feedback or correction (because that would depend on precisely what is deficient), then how can being in that state tell you anything about it's true nature?

As I see it, the exact opposite of "being in that state" is not being in that state. As you are obviously not in that state, congratulations - you are, by your own definition, capable of judging the "true nature" of that state. As eligibility has been established, will 'you' now go on to cast your judgment of this state? How will you do that?

John Wilde:
That the actually free people don't seem to grasp this simple point is not exactly reassuring.

I don't seem to understand what the problem is. Does Richards past trouble you? Does the Buddhas past trouble you? The Buddha was an idiot (read: "someone who acts in a self-defeating or significantly counterproductive way" -Wikipedia), a fool and an ignoramus with a desire for deliverance who blindly followed the contemporary ways of contemplative study. His very troubled persona lead him to discover some absolutely amazing. Do I need to point out the similarities here?

If it is not Richards past that troubles you, then what is it?

Can you answer my previously posted question?
John Wilde, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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Stian Gudmundsen Høiland:
John Wilde:
If AF results in deficits that are invisible to the one experiencing them, leading to delusory certainties that are impervious to feedback or correction (because that would depend on precisely what is deficient), then how can being in that state tell you anything about it's true nature?

As I see it, the exact opposite of "being in that state" is not being in that state. As you are obviously not in that state, congratulations - you are, by your own definition, capable of judging the "true nature" of that state.


If State A is of doubtful validity and State B is not State A, it doesn't mean that State B is of undoubtable validity.

Never said that. Never would.

John
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josh r s, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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but how do you know your not experiencing the delusion when not in PCE and then the PCE is the clarity?

i "know" that i have a self right now, a knowing that can't be backed up with any sort of proof. during the one PCE i had i knew i didn't have a self, this again couldn't be backed up by proof. couldn't it be that i have some intangible soul which when i become actually free i will no longer be able to perceive?

if your standard of whether or not something is deluded or not is based on whether that which is perceived can be proved to be an actual part of the universe, then every state of consciousness is always deluded no matter what, because to prove that something perceived by consciousness isn't real would take another perception by consciousness which could only be proved to exist by another such perception

perhaps you would claim that outside of apperception one can more clearly see the possibility that what one perceives could be a delusion. this i think is a red herring. if i am as close to being totally honest with my self as i can get, i would guess that not for a single moment of being outside of a PCE have i truly stopped perceiving that "i" exist. but as someone with affect, i am compelled by various pressures to intuitively believe that i stopped perceiving that. an actually free person doesn't have these pressures so when they perceive something they don't pretend that they are unsure of its existence.

also, affective sensations can be perceived as phantasmal, so even when one sees that these sensations are not in fact representative of actuality, it isn't due to being less deluded (going by my interpretation of your interpretation of the word) but due to different perception of sensations. actual sensations aren't perceived as such, so the "knowledge" that they reflect actuality is absolute.

also af people can in fact grasp that what they perceive to exist could be an illusion... as tarin said in this thread.


and maybe all this could be a dream...

a dream within a dream within a dream within a brain within a vat within a hot dog with mustard and fries.


if deluded means perceiving things that can't be proved to exist, then all states of consciousness are deluded, but different things are perceived and unproved in different states.

edit: as for the claim about free from delusion, they aren't claiming that it is not within the range of possibility that what they perceive could be an illusion (at least not all of them are), but just that they no longer have perceptions which can be perceived to be delusional. right? af people? you could be in a dream with a dream within a brain with a hot dog with mustard and fries?

edit: so is it a delusion when what is perceived first hand can't be proved to exist? if so every state of consciousness is a delusion. or is it a delusion when what is perceived first hand conflicts with other first hand knowledge?
John Wilde, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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josh r s:

edit: as for the claim about free from delusion, they aren't claiming that it is not within the range of possibility that what they perceive could be an illusion (at least not all of them are), but just that they no longer have perceptions which can be perceived to be delusional. right? af people? you could be in a dream with a dream within a brain with a hot dog with mustard and fries?


Why not something more down-to-earth and relevant?

Sometimes people are unaware of deficits that other people can observe.

To take an extreme example, it can be obvious to a third-party observer that a stroke patient is paralyzed on one side. But sometimes that person has no awareness of this and sincerely denies it, even in the face of hard evidence. They're not lying, they simply lack the means to perceive it and process it.

When somebody claims to be entirely free from instinctual passions, there are at least two possibilities:

1) They are.

2) They're unable to experience those passions affectively, because the faculty for experiencing them is lost.

Some things just can't be ascertained from a first-person perspective alone.

John
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josh r s, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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to quote tarin again from here

tragicomically, it is possible here to argue that by this reasoning an actual freedom may make one blind not only to one's own affects but also to the affects of others who are actually free, and that this blindness to both does not constitute the absence of either. further, if this were the case, then if everyone in the world were to become actually free, no one would be able to see anyone else's affects (which may possibly still be operating and expressing through their behaviour in some undetected manner) ... and so no one would have any idea that anyone were still suffering (as everyone would be too busy enjoying themselves and getting along wonderfully).


but ok, i can see how you would want some sort of evidence first. maybe the FMRI testing will reveal some stuff. for me though, i would take either of your two possibilities for an actually free person in an instant.
John Wilde, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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josh r s:

but ok, i can see how you would want some sort of evidence first. maybe the FMRI testing will reveal some stuff. for me though, i would take either of your two possibilities for an actually free person in an instant.


If you make that choice with open eyes, good luck to you. Refreshing to hear some frankness.

John
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josh r s, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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my value systems may differ from most peoples'. that much is a question of preference and i can't pretend one preference is better than another. for example, if i am again to be frank, i would likely take constant apperception at any price whatsoever. however this is based on a delusion that apperception is something "i" achieve for "myself" rather than a change in the way a human brain perceives the world around it, something "i" don't value at all.

this is an example of one perception being counter-perceived by intellectual reasoning based on assumptions based on other perceptions. a perception subject to such countering is what i would call a delusion, rather than a perception which can't be objectively proved to be accurate (the way i think you are defining it), that definition will never fit any state of consciousness, so i label it totally not worth pursuit.
Stian Gudmundsen Høiland, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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John Wilde:
Stian Gudmundsen Høiland:
John Wilde:
If AF results in deficits that are invisible to the one experiencing them, leading to delusory certainties that are impervious to feedback or correction (because that would depend on precisely what is deficient), then how can being in that state tell you anything about it's true nature?

As I see it, the exact opposite of "being in that state" is not being in that state. As you are obviously not in that state, congratulations - you are, by your own definition, capable of judging the "true nature" of that state.


If State A is of doubtful validity and State B is not State A, it doesn't mean that State B is of undoubtable validity.

Never said that. Never would.

Then what exactly was the intended purpose of what I quoted?


There are some questions that it seems you have skipped, John Wilde. Answering them might clarify your position.

Does Richards past trouble you? If so, does the Buddhas past trouble you? If not so, then what is it?
How do you know that it is not the case that you are experiencing a delusion when not in PCE and that a PCE is reality/actuality?

John Wilde:

Sometimes people are unaware of deficits that other people can observe.

To take an extreme example, it can be obvious to a third-party observer that a stroke patient is paralyzed on one side. But sometimes that person has no awareness of this and sincerely denies it, even in the face of hard evidence. They're not lying, they simply lack the means to perceive it and process it.

Some things just can't be ascertained from a first-person perspective alone.

It can be obvious to a third-party observer that a person is experiencing affect or behaving strictly in the interest of perpetuating a self/'I'/'me'. But sometimes that person has no awareness of this and sincerely denies it, even in the face of hard evidence. They're not lying, they simply lack the means to perceive it and process it.

Most, if not all, of your arguments can be turned around to equally make the case for the opposite premiss. Did you intend this? What is the use of such discussion?
John Wilde, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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Stian Gudmundsen Høiland:

Most, if not all, of your arguments can be turned around to equally make the case for the opposite premiss.


Like, for example, the best way to ascertain the validity of any person's perception of a situation is NOT to EVEN CONSIDER any third party observation and/or objective data in support of it?

Since that would be the true "opposite" of what I've been saying, I invite you to make a case for it.

John
Stian Gudmundsen Høiland, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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I sincerely do not understand what the core of this discussion is and since you have once again skipped the questions that I posed, and given that I do not want to engage in a discussion just for the sake of it, I won't reply to this thread anymore unless it becomes clear to me what it is you are trying to communicate.
John Wilde, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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Stian Gudmundsen Høiland:
I sincerely do not understand what the core of this discussion is and since you have once again skipped the questions that I posed, and given that I do not want to engage in a discussion just for the sake of it, I won't reply to this thread anymore unless it becomes clear to me what it is you are trying to communicate.


If you want to know what I'm trying to communicate, I invite you to read the thread from the top.

If you have any problems with any part of what I've written, and genuinely want to talk about it, let me know.

Until then, best we stop wasting each other's time.

John
Stian Gudmundsen Høiland, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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To remove any confusion that might keep you from clarifying for me what your intent is in this discussion, I can assure you I did read the full topic closely before I claimed not to understand the core of your correspondence.

To specifically let you know and to state my genuine interest in talking about this, I once again ask you to clarify for me what you intent is in this discussion. May I suggest you do that by answering the questions that I previously posed?
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josh r s, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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third party observations - conflicting, tending towards validating. also, note that people who have experienced PCEs, and are already interested in AF have perceived that AF people have no sorrow/malice. whereas people already thinking that AF was some delusion saw malice and sorrow.

objective data - nonexistent

edit: if at any point you decide you don't want to continue this, i really won't mind at all, i'm doing this because i think it has the possibility of helping you, not because i think i can't learn anything from you, but because i'd pursue permanent uninterrupted apperception even if i were proved wrong.
John Wilde, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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josh r s:

edit: if at any point you decide you don't want to continue this, i really won't mind at all, i'm doing this because i think it has the possibility of helping you, not because i think i can't learn anything from you, but because i'd pursue permanent uninterrupted apperception even if i were proved wrong.


No, it's fine Josh, I know where you're coming from. I'm not looking for 'help' on this at all (though I appreciate the intent). I'm just expressing my own thoughts about what's being discussed. I appreciate your frankness. With that, there's no need for contorted pseudo-arguments. And I mean it when I say good luck in your quest.

John
Nad A., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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Stian Gudmundsen Høiland:

John Wilde:

Sometimes people are unaware of deficits that other people can observe.

To take an extreme example, it can be obvious to a third-party observer that a stroke patient is paralyzed on one side. But sometimes that person has no awareness of this and sincerely denies it, even in the face of hard evidence. They're not lying, they simply lack the means to perceive it and process it.

Some things just can't be ascertained from a first-person perspective alone.

It can be obvious to a third-party observer that a person is experiencing affect or behaving strictly in the interest of perpetuating a self/'I'/'me'. But sometimes that person has no awareness of this and sincerely denies it, even in the face of hard evidence. They're not lying, they simply lack the means to perceive it and process it.

Most, if not all, of your arguments can be turned around to equally make the case for the opposite premiss. Did you intend this? What is the use of such discussion?


The point was "Some things just can't be ascertained from a first-person perspective alone". Seems to me that the turned-around argument you gave actually supports John's point.

We have things like reason and testable observation to help us avoid the kind of philosophical stalemate you're alluding to. The problem is when people claim you just need to wait till you experience a certain state to understand something.
John Wilde, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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Nad A.:

We have things like reason and testable observation to help us avoid the kind of philosophical stalemate you're alluding to. The problem is when people claim you just need to wait till you experience a certain state to understand something.


Especially when the potential blindness of that state to its own limitations, shortcomings or errors is the very thing that's in question!

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

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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John Wilde:
Nad A.:

We have things like reason and testable observation to help us avoid the kind of philosophical stalemate you're alluding to. The problem is when people claim you just need to wait till you experience a certain state to understand something.


Especially when the potential blindness of that state to its own limitations, shortcomings or errors is the very thing that's in question!

John


Say you never tasted a banana before, and nothing quite like it. I attempt to describe the taste for you, the flavors, my favorite parts about it... but would you ever know what it tastes like until you actually taste it?
John Wilde, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

Say you never tasted a banana before, and nothing quite like it. I attempt to describe the taste for you, the flavors, my favorite parts about it... but would you ever know what it tastes like until you actually taste it?


I've tasted the 'banana'. It makes no difference to what's being discussed here.

Have you read the thread?

John
Stian Gudmundsen Høiland, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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John Wilde:
I've tasted the 'banana'. It makes no difference to what's being discussed here.

Stian Gudmundsen Høiland:
It can be obvious to a third-party observer that a person is experiencing affect or behaving strictly in the interest of perpetuating a self/'I'/'me'. But sometimes that person has no awareness of this and sincerely denies it, even in the face of hard evidence. They're not lying, they simply lack the means to perceive it and process it.
John Wilde, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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Stian Gudmundsen Høiland:
John Wilde:
I've tasted the 'banana'. It makes no difference to what's being discussed here.

Stian Gudmundsen Høiland:
It can be obvious to a third-party observer that a person is experiencing affect or behaving strictly in the interest of perpetuating a self/'I'/'me'. But sometimes that person has no awareness of this and sincerely denies it, even in the face of hard evidence. They're not lying, they simply lack the means to perceive it and process it.


This misses the point again.

If we were talking about one first-person viewpoint (by itself) vs another first-person viewpoint (by itself), what you're saying would have some relevance and validity. But we aren't, and it doesn't.

John
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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John Wilde:
I've tasted the 'banana'. It makes no difference to what's being discussed here.


Would you be interested in sharing what it was like with us?
John Wilde, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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End in Sight:

Would you be interested in sharing what it was like with us?


Sure. The quickest way is to point you to an older thread:

http://dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/1201014

You could jump straight to the PCE by searching (on that page) for "stillness".

The rest of the thread might be interesting to Stian as it would clarify my intentions better than what I've written here.

I'd stress, though, that I'm not looking for any 'help' on this. I've responded to what others have written in order to prompt or goad them into thinking more critically, and not let their intelligence be eclipsed either by the authority they accord to others on account of their supposed attainments, or by their own desperation to escape (what they believe is) their suffering.

(There is a condition of morbid over-sensitivity, very common among Buddhists and Actualists, in which just about anything can be construed as suffering. If it's built into your viewing lenses, everything you see confirms it. Just as "you get what you optimize for", it's also true that "you see the way you look". The suffer-or-'die' mentality that many actualists get inadvertently sucked into would be a huge joke if not for the real consequences: either a perpetually painful sanity, or the irreversible loss of it).

Don't think there is much I can add to this until more information about the true nature of "actual freedom" becomes public in time.

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

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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John Wilde:
Don't think there is much I can add to this until more information about the true nature of "actual freedom" becomes public in time.


So: what do your PCE experiences have to do with what Richard says or does? If Richard were batshit crazy, then got a PCE, and now lives life in a PCE... vs Richard being totally sane, then got a PCE, and now lives life in a PCE... how does that change what you experienced?

Did you feel you lost your sanity while those experiences were happening?

In that thread you wrote:
John Wilde:
- There are no feelings at all, but the most notable aspect (for me, especially at first) is the total absence of anxiety.
- A palpable peace everywhere, not of the mind but actually present in (or as) everything.
- In exactly the same way, the peace isn't disturbed (or disturb-able) by any tumult.
- The total lack of emotion isn't dullness or numbness, it's an exquisite sensitivity of a different order. (Great fun too).

So, were there emotions affecting your actions that you couldn't see clearly? Did you intend to harm anybody during those experiences? Especially as you said:
John Wilde:
- Being kindly disposed toward other people (and all beings) is effortless; it's just the way I am.


What do you see as the downside to always experiencing life like that? (Take into account that a PCE on drugs is probably not exactly the same as a PCE sober.)


NOTE: I'm not particularly trying to 'help' you get past this or what-not, but am curious to know why you have the point of view you do given the experiences you have had.
John Wilde, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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BCDEFG:

So: what do your PCE experiences have to do with what Richard says or does? If Richard were batshit crazy, then got a PCE, and now lives life in a PCE... vs Richard being totally sane, then got a PCE, and now lives life in a PCE... how does that change what you experienced?


It doesn't change what I experienced, but there are some external facts that might change the meaning and value of that mode of experience.

Re Richard, some possiblities:

1) Was sane ----> AF ----> Now sane.
2) Was insane ---> AF -----> Now sane.
3) Was sane -----> AF -----> Now insane.
4) Was insane ---> AF -----> Now insane

You're looking only at possibilities 1 and 2, both of which are fine.

I'm also considering possibilities 3 and 4, neither of which are fine.

BCDEFG:

Did you feel you lost your sanity while those experiences were happening?


No.

BCDEFG:

What do you see as the downside to always experiencing life like that?


Experientially, none.

Behaviourally? Maybe. That's why I'm surprised when people wave Richard away as if he's irrelevant. He's the best living example of what a permanent PCE is and what it does to a human being.

I see two open questions that can't be answered from first-person perspective alone:

1) Does one's experiential certainty accord with third-person observable data? I would not be too keen to knowingly part with that for the sake of experiencing no suffering. I can understand why others might make a different choice.

2) Am I blindly, unknowingly, uncaringly, behaving like an obnoxious turd and not giving a shit because I have the answer to all the ills of humankind, and if everyone were like me there would be no problem, and if you don't like anything about me it's 'you' who needs to be looked at because I'm inherently perfect, because I've eliminated the one and only source of imperfection, and anything you might say against it is simply 'you' and your survival instincts trying to maintain your 'self', and 'you' by 'your' very existence are inherently wrong, don't you see?

It happens.

BCDEFG:

(Take into account that a PCE on drugs is probably not exactly the same as a PCE sober.)


Yes. Taking that into account.

BCDEFG:

NOTE: I'm not particularly trying to 'help' you get past this or what-not, but am curious to know why you have the point of view you do given the experiences you have had.


Sure, I can understand why you would be perplexed.

Possibilities 3 and 4.

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

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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John Wilde:
1) Was sane ----> AF ----> Now sane.
2) Was insane ---> AF -----> Now sane.
3) Was sane -----> AF -----> Now insane.
4) Was insane ---> AF -----> Now insane

You're looking only at possibilities 1 and 2, both of which are fine.

I'm also considering possibilities 3 and 4, neither of which are fine.


Ah OK, I see where you're coming from.

So: you didn't feel you lost your sanity during your PCEs.

Did the experiences give any evidence that you might blindly, unknowingly, uncaringly, start behaving like an obnoxious turd and not giving a shit because you have the answer to all the ills of humankind, etc., etc.?
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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John Wilde:
End in Sight:

Would you be interested in sharing what it was like with us?


Sure. The quickest way is to point you to an older thread:

http://dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/1201014

[...]

I'd stress, though, that I'm not looking for any 'help' on this.


I understand. At this point I am merely curious about your experiences.

John Wilde:
(There is a condition of morbid over-sensitivity, very common among Buddhists and Actualists, in which just about anything can be construed as suffering. If it's built into your viewing lenses, everything you see confirms it. Just as "you get what you optimize for", it's also true that "you see the way you look".


Apart from stating this on the grounds of common sense, how would you confirm or deny this, using rational / empirical methods?

I used to believe, before becoming interested in meditation in a serious way, that there was something bizarre or deluded about "pessimistic" views (such as the First Noble Truth: "Life is suffering / the clinging-aggregates are suffering"), and suspected that belief in them had to do with viewing the world through a certain lens. Even after taking up meditation seriously and making significant process, I continued to suspect that. So, while I have changed my mind, I wouldn't say that this kind of opinion fails the common-sense test...I merely gained what I consider to be definitive empirical information (concerning my own 1st person experience) with respect to this issue, and changed my mind on that basis.

I would agree that this path involves eventually setting an extremely high standard concerning what doesn't count as suffering (compared to the standards that are typically employed).
John Wilde, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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End in Sight:

John Wilde:
(There is a condition of morbid over-sensitivity, very common among Buddhists and Actualists, in which just about anything can be construed as suffering. If it's built into your viewing lenses, everything you see confirms it. Just as "you get what you optimize for", it's also true that "you see the way you look".


Apart from stating this on the grounds of common sense, how would you confirm or deny this, using rational / empirical methods?


I don't know. I hadn't really thought about it, and can't think of a way off-hand.


End in Sight:

I used to believe, before becoming interested in meditation in a serious way, that there was something bizarre or deluded about "pessimistic" views (such as the First Noble Truth: "Life is suffering / the clinging-aggregates are suffering"), and suspected that belief in them had to do with viewing the world through a certain lens. Even after taking up meditation seriously and making significant process, I continued to suspect that. So, while I have changed my mind, I wouldn't say that this kind of opinion fails the common-sense test...I merely gained what I consider to be definitive empirical information (concerning my own 1st person experience) with respect to this issue, and changed my mind on that basis.

I would agree that this path involves eventually setting an extremely high standard concerning what doesn't count as suffering (compared to the standards that are typically employed).


I think whether we talk in terms of "high standards", "low thresholds" or "fundamental misperceptions" depends a lot on the intent and the values underlying it. Clearly you've seen this from both ends, and your choice makes sense in light of that.

All very interesting.

John
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Daniel Johnson, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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John Wilde:
not let their intelligence be eclipsed either by the authority they accord to others on account of their supposed attainments, or by their own desperation to escape (what they believe is) their suffering.


To me, that sounds like a foundational practice for both Buddhism and Actualism.
John Wilde, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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Daniel Johnson:
John Wilde:
not let their intelligence be eclipsed either by the authority they accord to others on account of their supposed attainments, or by their own desperation to escape (what they believe is) their suffering.


To me, that sounds like a foundational practice for both Buddhism and Actualism.


In theory, yeah!

John
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Martin M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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Typically humans are able to predict the (emotional) effects that their words or actions (or lack thereof) will cause in others by taking into account the image they have build of that person´s inner world, i.e. their values, beliefs and preferences.

Is someone actually free or in a PCE unable to make those predictions and/or disregards them?

From my observations, I´d assume that they are able and willing to disregard these predictions selectively, i.e. when they think the situation calls for it.


...
KONRAD: Exactly the point I am making constantly. Actualists, and other mystics take far too much of all of the technology that exists for granted.
RICHARD: This is lying ... ‘actualists and other mystics’ is you deliberately ignoring me writing: ‘I have no religiosity, spirituality, mysticism or metaphysicality in me whatsoever’. You are now appearing to be a liar, Konrad ... and all to protect your intellectual position.
And I do not take technology for granted ... I praise technology. I directed you to my web-page a few E-Mails ago when you trotted out this line before – I even gave you the URL – so you could see for yourself where I stood in regard to technological thought and the benefits it brings materially. You are looking so stupid, Konrad ... and all your stupidity gets printed on my web-site at your request for anyone to see.


Emphasis in bold mine.

In this example calling Konrad a liar, could be considered as a simple statement of fact.

Calling him stupid is Richard´s personal opinion and displays either a disregard for Konrad´s feelings or an inability to predict them.

Seeing that it is a simple function of memory to know that most people don´t like to be called stupid, a liar and similar (even if the truth), it seems fair to assume, that at least in these cases Richard consciously chose to ignore those feelings he would provoke in Konrad.

Is expressing a disagreeable fact or opinion (and possibly causing anger, hatred, sorrow etc) neccessarily a result of malice or simply inconsiderate?
Is it possible / desirable / helpful to never say/do something which someone else may find offensive?

And probably most importantly: Does someone actually free display such behaviour with higher or lesser frequency than others?

In my experience (as a result of the application of the actualism method) it is a far lesser frequency.... simply because I´ve less (emotional) motivation to do so.
Nad A., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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Martin M:
Typically humans are able to predict the (emotional) effects that their words or actions (or lack thereof) will cause in others by taking into account the image they have build of that person´s inner world, i.e. their values, beliefs and preferences.

Is someone actually free or in a PCE unable to make those predictions and/or disregards them?

From my observations, I´d assume that they are able and willing to disregard these predictions selectively, i.e. when they think the situation calls for it.


...
KONRAD: Exactly the point I am making constantly. Actualists, and other mystics take far too much of all of the technology that exists for granted.
RICHARD: This is lying ... ‘actualists and other mystics’ is you deliberately ignoring me writing: ‘I have no religiosity, spirituality, mysticism or metaphysicality in me whatsoever’. You are now appearing to be a liar, Konrad ... and all to protect your intellectual position.
And I do not take technology for granted ... I praise technology. I directed you to my web-page a few E-Mails ago when you trotted out this line before – I even gave you the URL – so you could see for yourself where I stood in regard to technological thought and the benefits it brings materially. You are looking so stupid, Konrad ... and all your stupidity gets printed on my web-site at your request for anyone to see.


Emphasis in bold mine.

In this example calling Konrad a liar, could be considered as a simple statement of fact.

Calling him stupid is Richard´s personal opinion and displays either a disregard for Konrad´s feelings or an inability to predict them.

Seeing that it is a simple function of memory to know that most people don´t like to be called stupid, a liar and similar (even if the truth), it seems fair to assume, that at least in these cases Richard consciously chose to ignore those feelings he would provoke in Konrad.

Is expressing a disagreeable fact or opinion (and possibly causing anger, hatred, sorrow etc) neccessarily a result of malice or simply inconsiderate?


No it is not.

By the way, is 'expressing a disagreeable fact or opinion' neccessarily a lie?


Is it possible / desirable / helpful to never say/do something which someone else may find offensive?


No.

Those were irrelevant questions, in my view.

The relevant question is: have you got (or did you ever have) any reason to believe the extraordinary claim that Richard is a human completely without malice/deceit/petty insults/manipulation/one-upmanship... or not?

Someone with no investment in actualism being correct sees Richard calling someone stupid and calling someone a liar because they stated something that was contrary to Richard's assessment of himself (not contrary to any facts). The quote you provided does not paint a positive picture of Richard, to say the least.

You can't prove intent/motivation either way from text, but you can assess whether you have any reason to believe one way or the other.

I wonder what you see as the possible value in calling Konrad stupid? And would you consider the 'liar' comment to be a statement of fact, based on the quote you gave?

Considering the idea that Richard has an idea how someone will react but may or may not disregard it, here's another one of the many examples you could have chosen. It's from http://www.actualfreedom.com.au/richard/gardolcorrespondence/04How-I-Achieved-Actual-Freedom.htm .. It may at least entertain me to hear more attempts at defences for it.

GARDOL: 3) When someone makes grandiose claims ...
RICHARD: It speaks volumes about the nature of the human condition that the (well-detailed) account of the discovery of peace-on-earth is so glibly derided as being grandiose. Vis.:
• ‘grandiose: characterised by (esp. affected) grandeur or stateliness; pompous, arrogant; over-ambitious, extravagant, high-flown, high-sounding, pretentious, flamboyant; inf. over-the-top’. (Oxford Dictionary).
There is nothing grandiose about what Richard has to report ... this is what a grandiose claim looks like:
• [Gardol]: ‘... I have already reached the stage usually referred to as ‘enlightenment’. (...) I believe in the Ground of Being. I believe in Gob. Not God. My Gob is an awesome Gob. My Gob is an Absolute or Ultimate Ground of Being. It includes everything. Space and time come from Gob’. (groups.yahoo.com/group/actualfreedom/message/1231).
For the sake of clarity in communication ... if, as Gardol says, he is indeed enlightened then everything (including Richard et al) comes from him.
Here is a useful word:
• ‘wankasaurus (slang): ... a wanker who is worse than most wankers’. (Macquarie Dictionary).
And just so that there is no misconstrual:
• ‘wank: to maintain an illusion: deceive oneself; behaviour which is self-indulgent and egotistical’. (Macquarie Dictionary).
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Martin M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 91 Join Date: 9/3/09 Recent Posts
Nad A.:
Martin M:

Is expressing a disagreeable fact or opinion (and possibly causing anger, hatred, sorrow etc) neccessarily a result of malice or simply inconsiderate?


No it is not.

By the way, is 'expressing a disagreeable fact or opinion' neccessarily a lie?


Is it possible / desirable / helpful to never say/do something which someone else may find offensive?


No.

Those were irrelevant questions, in my view.


Sorry Nad, when I was writing the post I had a specific answer in mind but it turned into a more general, personal reflection. In that context those questions were supposed to be rhetorical.

Nad A.:

The relevant question is: have you got (or did you ever have) any reason to believe the extraordinary claim that Richard is a human completely without malice/deceit/petty insults/manipulation/one-upmanship... or not?


I do not see a proof of malicious intent in the example (or anything else I can remember), no.
That doesn´t imply that I find Richard to be particularly skilled in communication, though.

Nad A.:

Someone with no investment in actualism being correct sees Richard calling someone stupid and calling someone a liar because they stated something that was contrary to Richard's assessment of himself (not contrary to any facts). The quote you provided does not paint a positive picture of Richard, to say the least.

You can't prove intent/motivation either way from text, but you can assess whether you have any reason to believe one way or the other.

I wonder what you see as the possible value in calling Konrad stupid? And would you consider the 'liar' comment to be a statement of fact, based on the quote you gave?


I don´t see any value in it and I have indeed been wondering why Richard chose to do it anyway.

Nad A.:

Considering the idea that Richard has an idea how someone will react but may or may not disregard it, here's another one of the many examples you could have chosen. It's from http://www.actualfreedom.com.au/richard/gardolcorrespondence/04How-I-Achieved-Actual-Freedom.htm .. It may at least entertain me to hear more attempts at defences for it.


I´m not particularly interested in defending Richard.

I´ve drawn my own conclusions from what I´ve read.... i.e. what an actual freedom entails and what it doesn´t.

An interesting excerpt Nikolai posted on KfDH was this:


[1] In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be unfactual, untrue, unbeneficial (or: not connected with the goal), unendearing & disagreeable to others, he does not say them.

[2] In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, unbeneficial, unendearing & disagreeable to others, he does not say them.

[3] In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, beneficial, but unendearing & disagreeable to others, he has a sense of the proper time for saying them.

[4] In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be unfactual, untrue, unbeneficial, but endearing & agreeable to others, he does not say them.

[5] In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, unbeneficial, but endearing & agreeable to others, he does not say them.

[6] In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, beneficial, and endearing & agreeable to others, he has a sense of the proper time for saying them. Why is that? Because the Tathagata has sympathy for living beings.


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.058.than.html
Nad A., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 237 Join Date: 8/26/10 Recent Posts
Martin M:

Nad A.:

The relevant question is: have you got (or did you ever have) any reason to believe the extraordinary claim that Richard is a human completely without malice/deceit/petty insults/manipulation/one-upmanship... or not?


I do not see a proof of malicious intent in the example (or anything else I can remember), no.
That doesn´t imply that I find Richard to be particularly skilled in communication, though.


That doesn't answer the question I asked. I didn't ask if you had proof of malicious intent or what you thought about Richard's communication skills.

My question was: have you got (or did you ever have) any reason to believe the extraordinary claim that Richard is a human completely without malice/deceit/petty insults/manipulation/one-upmanship... or not?

If the reason you avoided the question was that it's not a fair question then I'd appreciate you pointing out the reasons why.

You presumably read what I said about not being able to prove intent/motivation either way. Have you personally ever read text of (anyone's) correspondence that constitutes 'proof of malicious intent'? I'm wondering whether you think you have a reasonable standard of evidence, as well as whether you understand where the burden of proof lies.
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Martin M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 91 Join Date: 9/3/09 Recent Posts
Nad A.:
Martin M:

Nad A.:

The relevant question is: have you got (or did you ever have) any reason to believe the extraordinary claim that Richard is a human completely without malice/deceit/petty insults/manipulation/one-upmanship... or not?


I do not see a proof of malicious intent in the example (or anything else I can remember), no.
That doesn´t imply that I find Richard to be particularly skilled in communication, though.


That doesn't answer the question I asked. I didn't ask if you had proof of malicious intent or what you thought about Richard's communication skills.

My question was: have you got (or did you ever have) any reason to believe the extraordinary claim that Richard is a human completely without malice/deceit/petty insults/manipulation/one-upmanship... or not?

If the reason you avoided the question was that it's not a fair question then I'd appreciate you pointing out the reasons why.

You presumably read what I said about not being able to prove intent/motivation either way.


You´re right, I did ommit the "/deceit/petty insults/manipulation/one-upmanship" part.
The reason is that - as you pointed out - it is very much up to interpretation if you consider something an insult/manipulation or one-upmanship.
I can´t recall reading something from Richard I´d consider as deceiving.

The way I approached the AFT site after my initial skepticism was giving R. the benefit of the doubt, i.e. assuming he didn´t have any of the intentions you mentioned and thus reading his words very literally....
I came to understand how much projection of intention / feeling is really occuring. As there was no way for me to actually proof he did have mentioned intentions/feelings when writing, I chose to find out for myself by practicing.

Nad A.:

Have you personally ever read text of (anyone's) correspondence that constitutes 'proof of malicious intent'?


"I´m going to kill you", "I hate you", ...

Basically anything that clearly, directly or implicitly reveals this intent.

Nad A.:

I'm wondering whether you think you have a reasonable standard of evidence, as well as whether you understand where the burden of proof lies.


As I´ve said, I don´t think there is a way to proof the not-existence of a certain intent. Therefore the question "where the burden of proof lies" isn´t really applicable nor relevant to me.

Martin
Nad A., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 237 Join Date: 8/26/10 Recent Posts
Martin M:
Nad A.:
Martin M:

Nad A.:

The relevant question is: have you got (or did you ever have) any reason to believe the extraordinary claim that Richard is a human completely without malice/deceit/petty insults/manipulation/one-upmanship... or not?


I do not see a proof of malicious intent in the example (or anything else I can remember), no.
That doesn´t imply that I find Richard to be particularly skilled in communication, though.


That doesn't answer the question I asked. I didn't ask if you had proof of malicious intent or what you thought about Richard's communication skills.

My question was: have you got (or did you ever have) any reason to believe the extraordinary claim that Richard is a human completely without malice/deceit/petty insults/manipulation/one-upmanship... or not?

If the reason you avoided the question was that it's not a fair question then I'd appreciate you pointing out the reasons why.

You presumably read what I said about not being able to prove intent/motivation either way.


You´re right, I did ommit the "/deceit/petty insults/manipulation/one-upmanship" part.
The reason is that - as you pointed out - it is very much up to interpretation if you consider something an insult/manipulation or one-upmanship.
I can´t recall reading something from Richard I´d consider as deceiving.

The way I approached the AFT site after my initial skepticism was giving R. the benefit of the doubt, i.e. assuming he didn´t have any of the intentions you mentioned and thus reading his words very literally....
I came to understand how much projection of intention / feeling is really occuring. As there was no way for me to actually proof he did have mentioned intentions/feelings when writing, I chose to find out for myself by practicing.


I'm not sure you're understanding me.

I do think I understand your approach towards this. However, I don't want to put words in your mouth or misrepresent your view generally, so unless you answer my question directly, I won't point out where I think the crucial error of your thinking lies.

It's a yes or no question, but of course you can say if you think it isn't an appropriate question.

My question was: have you got (or did you ever have) any reason to believe the extraordinary claim that Richard is a human completely without malice/deceit/petty insults/manipulation/one-upmanship?... or not?

edit: removed the 'or not' for clarity of the yes/no question.

(Those /'s can be taken as simple 'or' conjunctions, so limit it to just malice if you want, but please answer the question.)
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Martin M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 91 Join Date: 9/3/09 Recent Posts
Nad A.:

I'm not sure you're understanding me.

I do think I understand your approach towards this. However, I don't want to put words in your mouth or misrepresent your view generally, so unless you answer my question directly, I won't point out where I think the crucial error of your thinking lies.

It's a yes or no question, but of course you can say if you think it isn't an appropriate question.

My question was: have you got (or did you ever have) any reason to believe the extraordinary claim that Richard is a human completely without malice/deceit/petty insults/manipulation/one-upmanship?... or not?

edit: removed the 'or not' for clarity of the yes/no question.

(Those /'s can be taken as simple 'or' conjunctions, so limit it to just malice if you want, but please answer the question.)


Yes, I had a reason to believe his claim, as without first believing it to be possible at all, there would be no point in practicing.
With practice comes personal (subjective) verification and the initial belief loses its meaning.
Nad A., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 237 Join Date: 8/26/10 Recent Posts
Martin M:
Nad A.:

My question was: have you got (or did you ever have) any reason to believe the extraordinary claim that Richard is a human completely without malice/deceit/petty insults/manipulation/one-upmanship?... or not?


Yes, I had a reason to believe his claim, as without first believing it to be possible at all, there would be no point in practicing.

(italics mine)

Ok.

Would I be right in presuming that the latter part I put in italics is just a side-point? It isn't actually the reason why you believed the extraordinary claim that Richard was free of malice, is it?

Rather than getting on to the real reasons why you believed Richard's claim, I'd like to return to one question you happened to overlook. You said you didn't see the value in calling Konrad stupid, but as to the liar comment... you'd previously said it "could be considered as a simple statement of fact". Do you consider it to be a simple statement of fact?

Here's the quote you provided again:

KONRAD: Exactly the point I am making constantly. Actualists, and other mystics take far too much of all of the technology that exists for granted.
RICHARD: This is lying ... ‘actualists and other mystics’ is you deliberately ignoring me writing: ‘I have no religiosity, spirituality, mysticism or metaphysicality in me whatsoever’. You are now appearing to be a liar, Konrad ... and all to protect your intellectual position.
And I do not take technology for granted ... I praise technology. I directed you to my web-page a few E-Mails ago when you trotted out this line before – I even gave you the URL – so you could see for yourself where I stood in regard to technological thought and the benefits it brings materially. You are looking so stupid, Konrad ... and all your stupidity gets printed on my web-site at your request for anyone to see.


I personally don't see how anyone being reasonable could think that what Konrad said necessarily constitutes 'lying'.
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Martin M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 91 Join Date: 9/3/09 Recent Posts
Nad A.:


Rather than getting on to the real reasons why you believed Richard's claim, I'd like to return to one question you happened to overlook. You said you didn't see the value in calling Konrad stupid, but as to the liar comment... you'd previously said it "could be considered as a simple statement of fact". Do you consider it to be a simple statement of fact?

Here's the quote you provided again:

KONRAD: Exactly the point I am making constantly. Actualists, and other mystics take far too much of all of the technology that exists for granted.
RICHARD: This is lying ... ‘actualists and other mystics’ is you deliberately ignoring me writing: ‘I have no religiosity, spirituality, mysticism or metaphysicality in me whatsoever’. You are now appearing to be a liar, Konrad ... and all to protect your intellectual position.
And I do not take technology for granted ... I praise technology. I directed you to my web-page a few E-Mails ago when you trotted out this line before – I even gave you the URL – so you could see for yourself where I stood in regard to technological thought and the benefits it brings materially. You are looking so stupid, Konrad ... and all your stupidity gets printed on my web-site at your request for anyone to see.


I personally don't see how anyone being reasonable could think that what Konrad said necessarily constitutes 'lying'.


Nad, I really don´t see the point in going over these examples. It was my mistake to start with these quotes to begin with. I don´t think there´s enough value to be gained by this discussion in relation to the time it´s taking me to reply. Sorry.
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Daniel M. Ingram, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 3199 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
I am just going to throw in my generic two cents on his topic, realizing that this is a reply to this thread in general more than a specific person or comment...

The number of people who taught me who were former and/or current:

Alcoholics
Drug Addicts
Perverts
Child Molesters
Drug Dealers
Bi-polar patients
Narcissists
Loud-mouths
Philanderers
And sometimes some combination of those

is large. Had I declined to take their meditation advice because of those reasons, I would be unlikely to have my current skillset and insights. Had I obsessed about some of their grandiose and dogmatic promises of what all this lead to, I would have been much less likely to make real progress. If I had been thrown by their personality quirks, I would have missed much of value. I am not advocating abandoning common sense, nor am I advoating blindly following anyone. What I will loosely label the vibe of Richard's writings and his on-line personality has never particularly appealed to me personally, and yet I feel lucky to count some people who have claimed AF who are not Richard and who I know personally among my friends. I have found their advice useful, the results so far compelling, at least PCE's verifiable, and they do compellingly create the impression that something like that mode may be able to lock itself in.

Thus, Richard as a person is not much of an issue for me, but careful investigation of some things that my fellow adventurers and friends have had apparent success with is.

Daniel
George Campbell, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 12 Join Date: 10/19/11 Recent Posts
if I may:

Daniel M. Ingram:
What I will loosely label the vibe of Richard's writings and his on-line personality has never particularly appealed to me personally, and yet I feel lucky to count some people who have claimed AF who are not Richard and who I know personally among my friends. I have found their advice useful, the results so far compelling, at least PCE's verifiable, and they do compellingly create the impression that something like that mode may be able to lock itself in.

Thus, Richard as a person is no much of an issue for me, but careful investigation of some things that my fellow adventurers and friends have had apparent success with is.

Daniel


okay.

let me reply to this:

a. PCE is not new to mankind, such experiences have been recorded and pointed out earlier as well, even if, in other words or sentences.

b. Richard has re-adjusted his earlier formulation/description of AF being a permanent PCE to something else now, as he has 'vocally' stated that one does not even require any PCE to become actually free. It is a choice one makes, according to him, when one decides to make that choice.

c. If, you were to meet him personally, you might think the same of Richard or differently (depending upon the duration of interaction, your own state of mind, expectations from such a meeting etc.). So, his personality rather personal traits, can very well be set aside. However, there is a big difference between personality traits (quirks, idiosyncrasies, such as : propensity for kinky sex, reading and watching hardcore porn, smoking, choice in clothes, lifestyle etc: although it might be difficult to completely put them aside as they are symptomatic of his state of mind as well) and psychological disorders ( PTSD and his own admissions of the disorders caused by this trauma that he lists out - Alexythemia, being one of them and, a subject of some discussion on this website, earlier).

d. Richard suffers from acute and chronic psychological disorders. He continues to, and in fact draws a pension on that account from the Government of Australia. This is a fact, and verifiable. I have verified it after the recent disclosures made on another discussion list regarding this. That puts a question mark on his state of mind, and his descriptions of it. If his claim is taken to be true, then surely his experiences are different from, let’s sat Tarin’s who has (presumably) no such mental disorders. The ASC that Tarin and many other people Daniel refers to is certainly different from that of Richard. Perhaps, Richard lives in a Altered State of Consciousness, but that is patently different from that of all other people who have ‘followed’ him in emulating his state of mind/experience. It will help to run through all the events and incidents which have been reported by him starting Decemeber 2009 through Jan/February 2010 on AF Yahoo list to see the difference clearly.
e. So, what is my point: that AF as describes by Richard has to be examined for what it is; what it really represents. It is also something to reflect about that the first few people who claimed AF were Richard’s close associates or prospective collaborators (Justine wanted to publish poetry apropos AF). And after Tarin achieved his ASC, many practitioners , who were (presumably) Buddhist have been reporting these states. The reason I call their states to be ASC may not be read as any criticism of their reports and claims, but only to point out the differences that underlie. None of them have reported ‘magical’ contents that Richard has often referred to and in glowing terms. Richard has maintained, and many of the flame wars that he engaged were to explain, impress and insist on the essential difference between AF & any spiritual or mystical practice. So dove tail AF into any other practice is an acknowledgement and evidence enough to make it clear that the ASC thus achieved is different from that Richard reports.

f. In the final analysis, if the aim and intent is to end one’s own suffering, then it is understandable why anyone will want to get into such a highly subjective state where one
becomes unaware of one’s own feelings; ‘unfeeling’, inconsiderate and not owning any responsibilities towards someone else feelings/state of mind/physical being – which arise specifically due to one’s behaviour.

However if the aim also involves ending suffering caused to others by one actions, intents and behaviour , then it is important to look at personal intimate relationships, one’s general behaviour and engagement with the world.

g. It has been reported by people who have met Richard that he says the same things that he has written about, sometimes to the extent of saying just all of that, continuously ( like a record on the loop – literally) and have been suspected of living, literally and figuratively, what he writes and reports ( this was mentioned on the AF Google list by a person who met him twice). It is not difficult to decipher then that he lives what he believes in, he believes what he reports, and he reports a carefully constructed survival mechanism to over come his psychological troubles.
The man would actually have my sympathy but for the fact that he trifles with the lives of others.

If you think I have overstepped any regulations of this thread or forum, let me know. My aim is not to derail any enquiry. I am sincere in my aim. I am not denouncing any one or indulging in mud-slinging, only being brutally realistic in my approach.
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
George Campbell:
And after Tarin achieved his ASC, many practitioners , who were (presumably) Buddhist have been reporting these states. The reason I call their states to be ASC may not be read as any criticism of their reports and claims, but only to point out the differences that underlie. None of them have reported ‘magical’ contents that Richard has often referred to and in glowing terms.


Speaking only for myself, I will say that my experience seems to move more and more in this direction with every passing day.

A few stray notes of music, or the sound of a person's voice, or even the feeling of my fingers against the keyboard right now, can be quite "magical" in a way that is entirely independent of what Richard calls "affect", and puts all affective experiences to shame.

I had considered (in the past), reflecting on PCEs, that there was something about sense-experience which was inherently wondrous and magical; however, it occurs to me now that the wonder is not a property of sense-experiences, but merely the absence of passion / craving; as far as I can see, wonder is what remains when the faculty of the mind that generates suffering is suppressed, and wonder seems likely to suffuse everything once that faculty is permanently destroyed.

As a tangential issue about how to interpret the claims of others, I am surprised that you do not consider the fact that many practitioners claim that their practices have led / are leading in the same direction as what Richard describes (in terms of the nature of their experience) to be clear evidence that such practitioners are experiencing something similar to what Richard describes (however they choose to describe or express it). It would be somewhat bizarre and irrational for a person to make such a claim and yet observe no subjective similarity between their experience and Richard's descriptions....yet, as far as I can see, those who are interested in this mode of experience and claim to have attained it or moved in the direction of attaining it appear to be fairly reasonable and rational.

For the record, so as to hopefully prevent further confusion on this subject, I claim that Richard's descriptions are apt with respect to my own experience; and while they are not my ongoing experience in every moment, nor are they necessarily yet experienced as thoroughly as they could be, things appear to be clearly moving in that direction. Here is a description that I especially like:

Richard:
When one walks naked (sans ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul) in the infinitude of this actual universe there is the direct experiencing that there is something precious in living itself. Something beyond compare. Something more valuable than any ‘King’s Ransom’. It is not rare gemstones; it is not singular works of art; it is not the much-prized bags of money; it is not the treasured loving relationships; it is not the highly esteemed blissful and rapturous ‘States Of Being’ ... it is not any of these things usually considered precious. There is something ultimately precious that makes the ‘sacred’ a mere bauble.
It is the essential character of the infinitude of the universe – which is the life-giving foundation of all that is apparent – as a physical actuality. The limpid and lucid purity and perfection of actually being just here at this place in infinite space right now at this moment in eternal time is akin to the crystalline perfection and purity seen in a dew-drop hanging from the tip of a leaf in the early-morning sunshine; the sunrise strikes the transparent bead of moisture with its warming rays, highlighting the flawless correctness of the tear-drop shape with its bellied form. One is left almost breathless with wonder at the immaculate simplicity so exemplified ... this preciosity is what one is as-one-is – me as I am in actuality as distinct from ‘me’ as ‘I’ am in reality – for one is the universe’s experience of itself.


However, I do not claim to agree (or disagree) with Richard's interpretation of this mode of perception.

As a final note, I will state that a very intense and dedicated vipassana practice is likely to provide a practitioner with insight into what affect is and why its absence results in experiences like these. Without that insight, one may speculate in the way that you (George) are speculating; from your perspective, a reasonable thing to do, but from my perspective, based on a misunderstanding. (Discerning what makes an ASC an ASC is especially illuminating.) For example...

George Campbell:
In the final analysis, if the aim and intent is to end one’s own suffering, then it is understandable why anyone will want to get into such a highly subjective state where one becomes unaware of one’s own feelings;


In a previous thread, Jill offered the metaphor of a juice-making machine in a house; when one sees how juice is made, and one does away with the process by which juice is made, one can confirm that there will be no further juice present. But, to the extent that one doesn't see this, one is able to speculate about whether this attainment is simply just one in which one ignores all the juice that is continually being made.

(As a side-note, I find speculation about this possibility to be especially bizarre, because of the particular path I have taken. Recalling my own insistence that vipassana is sufficient for this attainment (or at least that it has been so far for me), and that the practice of vipassana is merely a practice in which one examines the contents of one's mind with great precision, it defies common-sense to think that if one practices looking in this way, and develops their capacity to do it to an amazing degree, that the natural result of this will be that one simply begins to ignore some of the contents of one's mind without noticing that one has begun to.)
George Campbell, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 12 Join Date: 10/19/11 Recent Posts
End in Sight:
George Campbell:
And after Tarin achieved his ASC, many practitioners , who were (presumably) Buddhist have been reporting these states. The reason I call their states to be ASC may not be read as any criticism of their reports and claims, but only to point out the differences that underlie. None of them have reported ‘magical’ contents that Richard has often referred to and in glowing terms.


Speaking only for myself, I will say that my experience seems to move more and more in this direction with every passing day.

A few stray notes of music, or the sound of a person's voice, or even the feeling of my fingers against the keyboard right now, can be quite "magical" in a way that is entirely independent of what Richard calls "affect", and puts all affective experiences to shame.

I had considered (in the past), reflecting on PCEs, that there was something about sense-experience which was inherently wondrous and magical; however, it occurs to me now that the wonder is not a property of sense-experiences, but merely the absence of passion / craving; as far as I can see, wonder is what remains when the faculty of the mind that generates suffering is suppressed, and wonder seems likely to suffuse everything once that faculty is permanently destroyed.

As a tangential issue about how to interpret the claims of others, I am surprised that you do not consider the fact that many practitioners claim that their practices have led / are leading in the same direction as what Richard describes (in terms of the nature of their experience) to be clear evidence that such practitioners are experiencing something similar to what Richard describes (however they choose to describe or express it). It would be somewhat bizarre and irrational for a person to make such a claim and yet observe no subjective similarity between their experience and Richard's descriptions....yet, as far as I can see, those who are interested in this mode of experience and claim to have attained it or moved in the direction of attaining it appear to be fairly reasonable and rational.

For the record, so as to hopefully prevent further confusion on this subject, I claim that Richard's descriptions are apt with respect to my own experience; and while they are not my ongoing experience in every moment, nor are they necessarily yet experienced as thoroughly as they could be, things appear to be clearly moving in that direction. <snip>

However, I do not claim to agree (or disagree) with Richard's interpretation of this mode of perception.



a. for 'magical contents' please refer to these:

http://actualfreedom.com.au/announcement.htm ( also how Richard describes what he experienced when Peter 'entered' into the actual world)

b. which descriptions of Richard are you mentioning here...the ones of PCEs or of his state of AF. I will state again that according to Richard PCEs are not needed for AF, in that he has made a significant alteration in 'his' report of AF, which was earlier stated as permanent and irreversible PCE.

c. I do not say that similarities cannot exist between both the states, or all the states: but there is a fundamental difference between these ASC and your references to Vipassana and other practices being still useful, despite achieving such a state is a clear indication of the difference.
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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George Campbell:

a. for 'magical contents' please refer to these:

http://actualfreedom.com.au/announcement.htm ( also how Richard describes what he experienced when Peter 'entered' into the actual world)


I do not understand what you are referencing here (nor what "magical contents" refers to). Please quote the passage you're interested in, and state what you believe it shows.

EDIT: Sorry, I see that you use the phrase "magical contents" earlier. My mistake. Please quote a particular passage; the link you gave is filled with all kinds of stuff.

George Campbell:
b. which descriptions of Richard are you mentioning here...the ones of PCEs or of his state of AF.


I simply quoted a description that makes sense to me, experientially.

You are free to find some quotes by Richard, and I will tell you whether they echo my own experience or not.

As you have asserted that there is a difference of some kind between what is being reported by others and what Richard reports, I am sure you have something in particular in mind.

George Campbell:
I will state again that according to Richard PCEs are not needed for AF, in that he has made a significant alteration in 'his' report of AF, which was earlier stated as permanent and irreversible PCE.


As I do not hold myself out as an authority on what is necessary, I see no problem in the case that this is true, and no problem in the case that it isn't. Perhaps I am misunderstanding what you are getting at.

George Campbell:
c. I do not say that similarities cannot exist between both the states, or all the states: but there is a fundamental difference between these ASC and your references to Vipassana and other practices being still useful, despite achieving such a state is a clear indication of the difference.


It seems here that you are merely asserting that there are two (or more) states which are fundamentally different (in the sense of not being related to each other, I assume). I am not sure what you are asserting with respect to vipassana.

It would be good if you could clarify your position and provide reasoning to support it.

Also, can you (precisely, phenomenologically) describe how an ASC differs from the case in which there is an absence of passion, or are you relying on Richard's assertions about ASCs (without having seen for yourself what their fundamental nature is) in order to build your theory?
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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End in Sight:
In a previous thread, Jill offered the metaphor of a juice-making machine in a house; when one sees how juice is made, and one does away with the process by which juice is made, one can confirm that there will be no further juice present. But, to the extent that one doesn't see this, one is able to speculate about whether this attainment is simply just one in which one ignores all the juice that is continually being made.

(As a side-note, I find speculation about this possibility to be especially bizarre, because of the particular path I have taken. Recalling my own insistence that vipassana is sufficient for this attainment (or at least that it has been so far for me), and that the practice of vipassana is merely a practice in which one examines the contents of one's mind with great precision, it defies common-sense to think that if one practices looking in this way, and develops their capacity to do it to an amazing degree, that the natural result of this will be that one simply begins to ignore some of the contents of one's mind without noticing that one has begun to.)


This needs to be highlighted and expanded upon.

To the extent that what many of us are doing / have done results in a state fundamentally different from Richard's (due to some mental disorder Richard may have), it is prima facie unreasonable to assert that we are somehow ignoring any of our mental contents, as the process by which such a state is attained is to examine one's mental contents. Thus, worries about alexithymia are unfounded, and onlookers (who are not suffering from any disorder) may now freely toss all their worries with respect to Richard aside and jump in, as, according to our testimony, such a state is very, very, very good, and (by assumption) none of Richard's alleged problems have anything to do with it.

To the extent that what many of us are doing / have done results in a state fundamentally identical to Richard's, worries about his inability to observe some of his mental contents should be similarly laid to rest (since we, having observed our mental contents, confirm the presence of a "juice-maker" and the possibility of turning it off), and onlookers may now freely toss all their worries (with respect to this particular issue and its interface with Richard) aside, etc.

For the sake of specificity, Jill used Goenka-inspired vipassana, Nick used the "actualizing jhanas" approach, Owen (on KFD) as far as I know used the "actualizing jhanas" approach and Mahasi-style noting, I used dry insight-flavored variants of all kinds of things (including the "actualizing jhanas" approach)...all of these involve cultivating a profound sensitivity to one's mental contents, rather than ignoring them.

(As for other practitioners, I am less informed.)
John Wilde, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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Daniel M. Ingram:
What I will loosely label the vibe of Richard's writings and his on-line personality has never particularly appealed to me personally [ ] Richard as a person is no much of an issue for me, but careful investigation of some things that my fellow adventurers and friends have had apparent success with is


OK, but in light of what AF is claimed to be -- by your friends as much as by Richard -- how do you account for whatever it is in Richard that doesn't appeal to you?

John
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katy steger, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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Hi John -

John:
how do you account for whatever it is in Richard that doesn't appeal to you?


What is your accounting of why Gotama would not initially teach women of his own accord? How much time does one spend dwelling on this before just looking at the actual fruit of buddhist science of mind?

I do remember that this guy Richard's words and my own forming of an idea of him were initially a big bother to me. So I read very little of his site, then did not read it any more.

Yet, his conclusion of permanent purity of consciousness can be found in buddhist doctrine (e.g., MN22) and yogic doctrine (e.g., book 1, 41), and friends in monotheistic traditions have confirmed this to me as well. So, these traditions (and the founder of the AFT) simply encourage and assure that pure consciousness can be the permanent operating system of a human being.

Personally, it comes to "what is sought is what is likely to be obtained": if one wants a personal problem with one's own ideas of a rural-living Australian guy gleaned via third party and internet writings from a few years ago, that goal is easily in reach.

Yet, one's life doesn't go on forever, so if life stops during this particular seeking activity, then that's what one gets to learn: their ideas of a rural-living Australian guy gleaned via third parties and internet writings from a few years ago.

Alternatively, the act of taking one's mind off of a rural-living Australian guy and putting it to use intently on seeing one's mind-nature, mind-nature, apperception and pure consciousness stands a chance at producing knowledge of mind-nature, apperception and pure/r consciousness.
John Wilde, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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katy steger:

What is your accounting of why Gotama would not initially teach women of his own accord? How much time does one spend dwelling on this before just looking at the actual fruit of buddhist science of mind?


Hi Katy. It's news to me that Gotama wouldn't initially teach women -- but knowing it doesn't change anything for me. To be honest, my attitude toward Gotama is similar to your (implied, recommended) attitude toward Richard. I don't particularly like the 'vibe' I get from the Pali suttas -- I find the general atmosphere distastefully sombre, unhealthy, lacking humor, morbidly negative about life on earth, and the teachings unbelievable in parts (e.g., rebirth) -- but this doesn't stop me from using ideas and practices rooted in that tradition. So I do get what you're saying.

katy steger:

I do remember that this guy Richard's words and my own forming of an idea of him were initially a big bother to me. So I read very little of his site, then did not read it any more.

Yet, his conclusion of permanent purity of consciousness can be found in buddhist doctrine (e.g., MN22) and yogic doctrine (e.g., book 1, 41), and friends in monotheistic traditions have confirmed this to me as well. So, these traditions (and the founder of the AFT) simply encourage and assure that pure consciousness can be the permanent operating system of a human being.

Personally, it comes to "what is sought is what is likely to be obtained": if one wants a personal problem with one's own ideas of a rural-living Australian guy gleaned via third party and internet writings from a few years ago, that goal is easily in reach.

Yet, one's life doesn't go on forever, so if life stops during this particular seeking activity, then that's what one gets to learn: their ideas of a rural-living Australian guy gleaned via third parties and internet writings from a few years ago.

Alternatively, the act of taking one's mind off of a rural-living Australian guy and putting it to use intently on seeing one's mind-nature, mind-nature, apperception and pure consciousness stands a chance at producing knowledge of mind-nature, apperception and pure/r consciousness.


Of course. Fussing over the details of Richard's life and mental state instead of working things out for oneself through experience and experiment would be a complete waste of time.

But I have to put an awkward question to you: what if the things that "were initially a big bother to [you]" about Richard are in fact a consequence of long-term living in the condition he describes and advocates, rather than being incidental to it and separable from it?

Don't the possible long-term consequences of being in this condition need to be looked at critically? And if so, how else can it be done?

John
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katy steger, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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Hi John,

But I have to put an awkward question to you:...

First: why do you describe your question as awkward?
Please do consider answering this question of why your question is also awkward, because there is 1) a question and 2) a conditioning of that question as "awkward". Our mind's do not have the same conditioning of this question, and I do not perceive "awkward" in your question.

"...what if the things that "were initially a big bother to [you]"* about Richard are in fact a consequence of long-term living in the condition he describes and advocates, rather than being incidental to it and separable from it?

What if? This is a big, infinite question: what if, what if, what if? Have you concerned yourself with what the Australian Richard has eaten today? What if what he eats is what you and all AF persons shall eat as a consequence of long-term living in the condition he describes? What of his clothing today? What of mine? If I founded AFT would you become concerned that a post AF-condition of wearing sports bras would become your inevitable consequence?

Exclusive sets are the domain of mathematics and horoscopic traditions, otherwise, for example, there would be a least a few arising Jesus' after Golgotha (and a consequent, continual stream of crucifixions to fulfill the consequence of Jesus' own death): people who followed him, trusted his methods, sincerely and intently followed his words, and became the same consequences as what Jesus experienced?


Don't the possible long-term consequences of being in this condition need to be looked at critically?
I feel no need to spend my life examining this Australian fellow's life (or words), especially in a constantly retrospective viewing of his actions to personally formulate "consequences". Its been consequential to look critically at my own being.

And if so, how else can it be done?
How else can what be done?
Do you refer to pure consciousness? If so, I find putting my energies clearly on a relevant target helps. For example, I have not opened the Bhagava Gita since 5th grade when it was given to me by a friend. I turned to it on Friday and found useful references to stillness. Today, friends were reading Yoga Sutta book 1 (mentioned above), and I participated: it's references to pure consciousness and immersion were interesting. Had I still been bothering myself with personally generated mental formations which inherently distort an actual person in Australia whom I've never met, then I probably would not have been having such an enjoyable day and seeing how other traditions refer to pure consciousness.

So, where is your effort and intention, if not on forming ideas of the Australian, writings on his site, and third party opinions? What do you see in the Af writings that hooks you to the point that you do not let ideas of AF/Richard go, yet you modify its pronouns in your head?

If you say, "the Australian fellow Richard" one hundred times, what happens to the ideas of this person your mind is creating?
______________
*I changed your brackets "[ ]" to "{ }" to get quote formatting to work. Nevermind, it was my placement of a symbol in the brackets that caused the problem.
John Wilde, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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katy steger:

First: why do you describe your question as awkward?


Because people tend not to give a straight answer to it.

John
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katy steger, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 1741 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
Here are two thoughts, long and short, if not something you will view as straightly answering.

My short thought (you can stop reading after this one and probably be better for it): life duration is not guaranteed: may a practice that suits be found and practiced diligently until it does not suit; may one discover their own path; may one avoid impeding other beings' well-being. May one position themselves to assist perhaps others to realize their own goodness. May intention and effort not be spent on a video-selling Australian retiree whom one deems irrelevant to one's own life and use of energy. Perhaps be happy that there is a happy retiree out there.

My long thought[3]: Not knowing much at all about Richard or the AFT, it is easy to find that Richard thinks he has found the utmost pragmatism in his path, as he determined his apparent experiences of "nirodh ... the real deal beyond nibbana" to be cataleptic:
[indent]RICHARD: No, what happened on quite a few occasions during the eleven years of spiritual enlightenment/ mystical awakenment was the very same summum bonum of the buddhistic meditation practice ... to wit: a motorless (no motoric function), senseless (no sensation, insensate), thoughtless (no cognition at all), affectless (no emotion/ passion), unconscious (devoid of consciousness) state best described as cataleptic in western terms.[/indent]

He does not view nirodh[1] as an attainment to be in temporarily for the development of insight, but insists it is the sum of Gautama's teaching (above excerpt) and that it is wasteful (below excerpt): [indent]RICHARD: "As a means of obtaining peace on earth a never-ending nirodh is entirely useless as it would also result in the body wasting away until its inevitable physical death."[/indent]

I am not sure why he didn't stay in bliss versus permitting catalepsy (see [1] below), as bliss seems to have rendered him an "awesomely manifest presence" unto others at least on one occasion:
[indent]RICHARD: "The first time such catalepsy occurred my then-wife panicked and called an ambulance to take me to an intensive care unit at the nearest hospital; after being examined by the resident doctor for all vital signs then all the whilst that state persisted a duty nurse would test for consciousness (holding open eyelids and shining an intense light for signs of pupil contraction, pinching an earlobe as tightly as possible for any sign of sensation, and so on) every 15 minutes to no avail. (Upon eventually coming out of that state so much bliss was radiating, spilling over into the ICU, that she became over-whelmed, in awe, with ruddy features and shining eyes testifying to her absorption into such an awesomely manifest presence).[/indent]

And, because he considers buddhism the ultimate expression of "not wanting to be here", by his own framing of it, he must find it impractical towards his being here:
[indent]RICHARD: (Which is the whole point of Buddhism, of course, as Buddhists do not want to be here:
1. Life sucks big-time;
2. Being born is the pits;
3. Escapism is cool;
4. The eight-step programme is tops).
[/indent]


So --- while I cannot understand a) Richard's own conclusions in regards to buddhism, its mapping of insight and its practices, nor b) his willfully pejorative commentary on buddhism and other practices, nor c) his extrapolation of his own singular experience and his feelings about his experience onto the whole of buddhism and buddhists (and other traditions), and d) while I can understand the uniqueness of his discovery on the same grounds that that every single occurrence of anything is unique and such an understanding naturally accepts that his path to his freedom from himself is also unique --- I do see that he finds his route unique and pragmatic unto himself in the face of his framing of buddhism (see his words 1-4 excerpted above). His zeal for his path being The Path is also a familiar talking point in many traditions; such zeal is (also) seen in Arising and Passing Away Events, and the newly converted of any tradition, and anyone who is narrowly excited to teach their own way.

I have no idea why one who notes they have achieved so much peace and affectlessness does not speak more respectfully of a peaceful schema that works for many people; I cannot find an efficient or benign reason for his characterization of buddhism/others in the pejorative ways that he does. Yet, while he uses many pejorative descriptions, he is not responsible for baiting anyone in his many-worded site; people choose to go to him or his site.

Anyway, to worry much about this site or words is to buy into such "this, not that", "yes/no" framing [4], facile divisions made despite having no absolute basis nor need to do so. You can ask why Richard insists on his ultimate absolute path, but the only answer you can ever know is why you let a retiree on a continent selling videos ruffle your feathers[2].

What is worth considering is one's own practice, what attracts one to consciousness practices like buddhism (even actualism). What Richard describes for himself may be reported by others, as many have noted. Here is Jeff Warren's account from his book The Head Trip (2007, Random House):
One day I experienced a new variation. I mounted a steep ridge and there, towering before me, was an enormous white pine with silver scales and a broad, knotted trunk. The tree was wrapped in a gauzy halo of needles, and in the late-afternoon sun they filled with golden light. I caught my breath and everything went suddenly very still. The background chatter of the forest faded, and I had the feeling that time had paused, except, in contrast to my wormhole experiences, “I” remained to witness the ellipsis. But it was not an “I” I recognized. As strange as it may sound, I felt as if I were somehow part of the tree. I stood transfixed, a large, unblinking eyeball. And then the feeling passed. In front of me was just a tree. I looked down and continued planting.


There are so many different ways to move one's life; if one also has physical and mental freedom at this moment, it is a remarkable opportunity to savor (or, yes, use concerning oneself with an Aussie retiree until one's own opportunity is finally gone).

What I took away from the entire AF dialogue is: apperception. It is a fresh word (for me) for expressing an established understanding.

Best wishes.


____________

[1] To be clear, nirodh is understood quite differently from buddhism's nirodha sampatti and Richard's catalepsy in its yogic origins. It can be understood as control. Patanjali's yoga sutra Book 1, second sentence, "Yogas chitta vritti nirodh" has been translated "Yoga is the neutralization of the waves of feeling" and "When you are in a state of yoga, all misconceptions (vrittis) that can exist in the mutable aspect of human beings (chitta) disappear. " (Where yoga is often translated "unification" or "union").

[2] although there are third party accounts (like George, Marious/Catalin, Irene) which indicate

[3] All italicized quotes are from Richard's correspondence with Respondent 5, and these were excerpted since Respondent 5 has responded to practicing actualists in the DhO and identifies as being actually free: http://actualfreedom.com.au/richard/listdcorrespondence/listd16.htm


[4] Tu Dao Hanh (c 1117):
[indent]Yes and No

If we answer yes, even a speck of dust has existence.
If we answer no, then the entire universe is void.
Yes and No. Like the moon's face in the river,
We cannot say it's there, we cannot say it isn't.[/indent]
John Wilde, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 501 Join Date: 10/26/10 Recent Posts
Hi Katy,

Thanks for trying to free me from something you consider pointless and misdirected. (I mean that, not being sarcastic).

I'm just not sure whether I'm made my intentions clear enough, so here goes:

Personally:

- Richard the man means nothing to me.

- AF is not something I'm striving for.

- AF is not something I'm rebelling against.

- I don't have a vendetta against Richard or any other person.

- I'm interested in the consequences of people buying into the claims of AF and striving for its results, because I probably know a few things about it that they don't, and I'm interested in the way people think, what matters to them, and how they make decisions.

Personal stuff out of the way:

Richard is relevant to the people on this forum because, despite their attempts to sweep him under the carpet or treat him as the family lunatic who gets wheeled up into the attic when guests arrive, he embodies and exemplifies the condition they're striving for! Forgive me for being so emphatic but how the fuck can that not be relevant?

The reason he is relevant -- and inescapably so -- is because he is (as far as anyone knows) the best living example of the long term consequences of living without affect, the very condition that many people here are striving for.

Now, I personally, don't care a fig about Richard. He's not something I think about from one year to the next, except when I'm reading and writing on this forum. What I do care about is how people think and talk about this AF stuff, how they influence one another, how little information they have, and how little they care.

It's obvious to me that you're not of that ilk, and I mean no personal offense to you.

Let the desperate and/or the gullible find whatever solace they can, and ultimately have what they deserve.

Best wishes to you, Katy, and good luck in extricating the pure essence from whatever teachings you happen upon.

Enough from me.

John
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katy steger, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 1741 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
Hi John,

The point of my post here is four-fold:
1. to clear up a few points now that we’ve had a few exchanges;

2. to restate a point I made to you 10/23/11 8:33 AM, that efforts in this thread (yours and mine) can be exactly like the discipline of a sustained, pure practice (and result in insight). In this post, I am looking at the practice product of this thread because we “already have, by being willing to participate [here] agreed” to the principles of the DhO (quotes here borrow from your words on 10/16/11 6:33 PM as a reply to Nikolai);

3. to support the pragmatic mission of this buddhist-oriented forum, the DhO, which is explicitly established to support diligent practice, collective wisdom of strong practitioners, personal responsibility, and supportive co-adventuring (which forum is supported entirely by one founder and moderated by volunteers to maintain the site’s principles); and

4. to practice, myself, in the challenging realm of putting ideas into words and to communicate with others for mutual, supportive benefit.

Item 2 is the dominant aspect of my post here.

So, to start with point 1:
You observe:
Thanks for trying to free me from something you consider pointless and misdirected. (I mean that, not being sarcastic).
We’ve had a few exchanges, so let me clarify that I do not consider you in need of being freed from something and nor do I consider your interests here pointless and misdirected.

I do consider that life duration is an unknown, thus I ask myself about how I spend my free energy. This expenditure has changed with my mind’s own travel through stages of insight.

To recap, my exchange with you so far:
a) I am not trying to free you from anything,
b) I have answered directly your inquiry about some aspects of the AFT writings which I found bothersome,
c) I have opined that the consequence of one's effort may reveal the quality of the effort, and
d) that life duration is unknown and this unknown can shape the quality and subject matter of any effort (and I very directly feel this last point in taking time to reply here, which has been my own choice).


point 2: the practice of your posts here
First, my intention in considering your posts here falls under the DhO principle of “openness regarding what the techniques may lead to, collective wisdom of strong practitioners and mutual, supportive adventuring.”

Not knowing your meditative practice, I consider your posts here and consequences of your practice(s), and have these questions about your goals, how they are effected and by what diligent practice. The consideration of your posting practice is perhaps akin to your consideration of Richard/AF/AFT writings and the consequences of his practice.

On 10/23/11, aligned with the nature of this buddhist-oriented forum, the DhO, I expressed my opinion to you that how one makes effort “can be exactly like the discipline of a sustained, pure practice (and result in insight)” and that, specifically, your work here can bear excellent investigative journalism, or it can produce unsound speculation. Essentially, every action has a reaction. In Buddhism, this point refers to karma[1] and ending one’s suffering in each moment of self-awareness: How I am today, is likely how I am tomorrow. How you/I make effort and take action in this thread forms our next moment and next moment and next moment, etc.

Here are some questions and observations about your practice in this thread:

2.a. What is your objective?
I think you express it here, on 10/22/11:
… what if the things that "were initially a big bother to [you]" about Richard are in fact a consequence of long-term living in the condition he describes and advocates, rather than being incidental to it and separable from it? Don't the possible long-term consequences of being in this condition need to be looked at critically? And if so, how else can it be done?"

and on 10/16/11:
"If AF results in deficits that are invisible to the one experiencing them, leading to delusory certainties that are impervious to feedback or correction (because that would depend on precisely what is deficient), then how can being in that state tell you anything about it's true nature? That the actually free people don't seem to grasp this simple point is not exactly reassuring."

Are you asking: does the conclusion of actualism, AF, have bothersome long-term consequences/deficits, and, specifically, will practitioners’ behaviours resemble the AFT author(s)/Richard?

I do consider that your intention is also as you stated on 10/23/11
Well, all I intend here/now is to prompt people not to take too much at face value, to be aware of how little verifiable information they actually have, to look at the role that hope / faith / belief is playing in their lives, and to question the wisdom of making profoundly life-changing decisions based on such scant (and IMO profoundly unreliable) information.

Oblique hints will have to suffice for now, but I have confidence it'll all come out in the wash.
and I try to understand it in the context of your other points regarding for whom you make your efforts (and this, your audience, is still unclear to me).

2.b For whom do you make your efforts here, if not for yourself?
You write on 10/23/11
I'm not doing this for my own sake, Katy.
and on 11/8/11:
Let the desperate and/or the gullible find whatever solace they can, and ultimately have what they deserve.
and also on 11/8/11:
What I do care about is:
-how people think and talk about this AF stuff,
-how they influence one another,
-how little information they have, and
-how little they care.
(the words are exactly yours, but the formatting to a outline form is changed for my ease of comprehension).
11/8/11
I'm interested in the consequences of people
- buying into the claims of AF and
- striving for its results,
- because I probably know a few things about it that they don't, and
- I'm interested in the way people think,
- what matters to them, and
- how they make decisions.
(These are your words, but outline-formatted for my ease of reading comprehension).

Again, if the above are not being asked for your own interests, then you ask for the interests of whom? This regards the clarity and motivation for your practice, in the same way that knowing desire-for-siddhis may be motivating a person's practice for jhana also sheds light on the efficacy of their practice.

To combine your statements, I understand:
[indent]i. you do not do this thread for your own sake;
ii. you do not care about the desperate and the gullible;
iii. your interests are in
[indent]a. how people think, and
b. in consequences of this practice, and
c. what matters to [people], and
d. how [people] make decisions, because[/indent]iv. “[you] probably know a few things about [AF/AFT/RICHARD?] that [people] don’t” based on “how little information they have”.[/indent]
If you can define "people" that will give shape (to me) for some of what you are communicating.

In romanette iv, you are creating your own introduction to openly share your first-person experience (unless you also have the “how little [you] care” attribute). Such sharing of your first-person experience would be quite in line with what you see on the DhO.


Is your audience, non gullible, non desperate actualist experiementers?


2.b. Your data collection.
Your ability to collect good data depends on
- your credibility as an interviewer (as determined by your interviewees),
- you ability to accurately document,
- your ongoing availability,
- your interviewee body (is your audience non-gullible, non-desperate actualist experimenters? Or some other body?);
- and what questions you ask (see 2.d)

If so, you might interview actualism practitioners at the outset of their practice to determine the bothersome traits they individually see in the AFT author's (authors') writings. Position yourself well to track those practitioners over time.

See 2.d. Interview questions and responses

2.c. “third-person observable data”
So far, from your initial post 10/9/11 edited 10/21), your data is a first-person account, and
Apparently its from Richards ex wife Irene
not unlike the authorship of the AFT/Richard. (Or, it can be said, the writings of the AFT are another third-person observable account.) I respectfully disagree with your point of 10/17/11:
"If we were talking about one first-person viewpoint (by itself) vs another first-person viewpoint (by itself), what you're saying would have some relevance and validity. But we aren't, and it doesn't."
I find two presumed first-person accounts of their interpersonal experience are being subjectively evaluated by third parties here. I cannot say that your evaluation as a third party here is pointless or misdirected, but I have questions about its product here (and have openly wondered why and for whom one spends one’s last moments doing this speculative action).

The "third-party data" to which you refer often are not quality independent, third-party, expert data, the latter of which can sometimes form stable theories based on their reproducibility (by other independent, expert third parties). Your third party data so far refers to a letter of unknown origin. Further, if you wish to cite psychological conclusions, it is worth considering that repeating psychological conclusions by independent third parties is much harder to due to the influence of culture, training, desk reference editions, etc, of the independent expert third parties.

Your first-person unknown source of data raises psychological conclusions. In addition to the difficulty of getting independent, expert third-party harmony for an initial psychological diagnosis (due to influence of culture, textbook editions, training, etc) a fixed diagnosis over time (like PTSD) it is not likely and for good, authentic reasons. If states like anger, PTSD, depression and maturity were not able to change, then people would be hopelessly stuck wherever they are. People do not even like the being stuck with the effects of Viagra over time, so it is great that there is a lot of reporting nowadays on the pliability of mental states and their physiological underlyers (such that whole personalities and capabilities are transformable).

Unless you can find a confirmed source of data and you can determine that data to be quite verifiable by a variety of independent third parties, then there appears a tit-for-tat marital discord of opinion, the origin of which is unknown. This kind of data may undermine your efforts and any consequences you seek.

To continue 2.c...
10/18/11:
external facts that might change the meaning and value of that mode of experience
and
10/23/11:
Oblique hints will have to suffice for now, but I have confidence it'll all come out in the wash.

If you are not clear about what are the "external facts", have offered only a first person letter of unknown origin, and remain obliquely hinting at what is coming out in a later wash, then the small effect is that you gain no audience other than an adversarial one, and the larger effect is that you are comfortable putting speculative information into the world with your own name/avatar and personal efforts. If flimsy action were applied to carpentry, then there is a “straw man” building a straw house.

We are all doing this: putting our efforts into action, and this is why quality of effort is key. The results may be wrong (or right), or fall short, but the diligent, "right effort" is not in question.


2.d. Interview questions and responses
Just a simple point here: so far the hypothetical nature of your questions position you for quid pro quo, if you are a fair interlocutor. Do you want to answer your hypothetical questions when the direction of the hypothetical is reversed? Here is a sample:
10/11/11:
"What if you found out that the text was indeed written by Richard? Would it change anything for you?"
“What if you found out that the text was not indeed written by Richard? Would that change anything for you?”
10/23/11:
If you absolutely knew it to be genuine, would it change your opinions about AF and your aspirations in life?
“What if you knew it to be non-genuine, would it change your opinions about AF and your questions in this this thread/life?”



In my case, what I have learned through following the career of a dubious self-appointed monastic in wales, who could not produce his credentials, is that his actions and their consequences follow him. I do not need to do anything, and I can spend my time on the quality of my own actions[1].

Not knowing your meditative practice, I consider your posts here as consequences of your practice(s), respond from my own practice, and have asked the above questions about your goals, how they are effected and for whom/what purpose.

I hope you do not feel criticized. Again, Item 2 is the dominant aspect of my post here. To repeat: the consideration of your posting practice is perhaps akin to your consideration of Richard/AF/AFT writings and the consequences of his practice.


Should we meet again, I hope any diligent practice between us is apparent.

Best wishes and thank you for your time and consideration.



[1] karma
1827, in Buddhism, the sum of a person's actions in one life, which determine his form in the next; from Skt. karman- "action, fate," related to krnoti, Avestan kerenaoiti "makes," O.Pers. kunautiy "he makes;" from PIE base *kwer- "to make, form," related to the second element in Sanskrit.
John Wilde, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 501 Join Date: 10/26/10 Recent Posts
katy steger:

So, where is your effort and intention, if not on forming ideas of the Australian, writings on his site, and third party opinions? What do you see in the Af writings that hooks you to the point that you do not let ideas of AF/Richard go, yet you modify its pronouns in your head?


I'm not doing this for my own sake, Katy.

John
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Bruno Loff, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
There are two possibilities: either the letter in the (deleted) link is fabricated, or what is written in the AF trust homepage, together with Richard and Peter's Journals, the AF videos, etc, is fabricated.

How much effort would be required to fabricate a letter? Not much.

How much effort would be required to fabricate the whole Actual Freedom Trust website?

Well, given that there are over one million words, that the various stories and writing written therein are vastly self-consistent, given that there are at least three people involved in the ordeal (Richard, Vineto, Peter), given that Tarin himself has visited Richard and confirmed that his attainment seems real (since both his current wife and friends all verified they had never seen Richard even mildly upset), and given that Tarin and others since him have gone to achieve the same attainment since, and etc, etc, etc...

The amount of effort required to fabricate "actual freedom" as a story would be so enormous that one would almost need to fall under the category of "conspiracy theorist" in order to consider such possibility as more than a futile exercise in intelectual deficiency.

So why are we writing page after page on what is obviously a fabricated letter? Devika most likely did not write the text, but whomever did (even if it was her) has made up the whole thing with the malicious intent to denigrate Richard and the AF trust.

Why someone would do such a thing is beyond me, but I am often surprised at various stuff people post about actual freedom and Richard. It is incredible how much negativity is stirred by the suggestion of doing one's best to bring peace on earth.

EDIT: Here is an interesting link: Richard’s Correspondence on the AF Mailing List With Irene.
John Wilde, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 501 Join Date: 10/26/10 Recent Posts
Bruno Loff:
There are two possibilities: either the letter in the (deleted) link is fabricated, or what is written in the AF trust homepage, together with Richard and Peter's Journals, the AF videos, etc, is fabricated.

How much effort would be required to fabricate a letter? Not much.

How much effort would be required to fabricate the whole Actual Freedom Trust website?

Well, given that there are over one million words, that the various stories and writing written therein are vastly self-consistent, given that there are at least three people involved in the ordeal (Richard, Vineto, Peter), given that Tarin himself has visited Richard and confirmed that his attainment seems real (since both his current wife and friends all verified they had never seen Richard even mildly upset), and given that Tarin and others since him have gone to achieve the same attainment since, and etc, etc, etc...

The amount of effort required to fabricate "actual freedom" as a story would be so enormous that one would almost need to fall under the category of "conspiracy theorist" in order to consider such possibility as more than a futile exercise in intelectual deficiency.

So why are we writing page after page on what is obviously a fabricated letter? Devika most likely did not write the text, but whomever did (even if it was her) has made up the whole thing with the malicious intent to denigrate Richard and the AF trust.

Why someone would do such a thing is beyond me, but I am often surprised at various stuff people post about actual freedom and Richard. It is incredible how much negativity is stirred by the suggestion of doing one's best to bring peace on earth.



Hi Bruno.

I understand your reasons for considering the PTSD article a fraud, a malicious fabrication.

If it were indeed a fraud, your reaction would be the only sensible one.

But let me ask you a hypothetical question:

If you absolutely knew it to be genuine, would it change your opinions about AF and your aspirations in life?

John
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Bruno Loff, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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John Wilde:

But let me ask you a hypothetical question:

If you absolutely knew it to be genuine, would it change your opinions about AF and your aspirations in life?


Bruno:
The amount of effort required to fabricate "actual freedom" as a story would be so enormous that one would almost need to fall under the category of "conspiracy theorist" in order to consider such possibility as more than a futile exercise in intelectual deficiency.


Is it strange if I refuse to imagine the scenario you propose?

I wish to give this issue no further attention, and will not read this thread any more. You might find interest in reading the link I added above.
John Wilde, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 501 Join Date: 10/26/10 Recent Posts
Bruno Loff:

Is it strange if I refuse to imagine the scenario you propose?


Put it this way: I can understand you doubting the validity of the document, and the identity of the person who posted it.

But no, I can't really understand your refusal to say whether it would make a difference to you if you knew that it (ie. the article, allegedly written by Richard, outlining his war experiences and later difficulties) was indeed genuine.

John
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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John, from your contributions in other threads you seem to be interested in some form of practice, despite your reservations about Richard. Would you mind sharing what your practice is / was, and to what extent your concerns about Richard affect (or don't affect) how you pursue it? (As you have been participating at the DhO in other contexts, not just this one, I am curious to understand a little more about you.)
John Wilde, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 501 Join Date: 10/26/10 Recent Posts
End in Sight:
John, from your contributions in other threads you seem to be interested in some form of practice, despite your reservations about Richard. Would you mind sharing what your practice is / was, and to what extent your concerns about Richard affect (or don't affect) how you pursue it? (As you have been participating at the DhO in other contexts, not just this one, I am curious to understand a little more about you.)


OK sure. Here's a brief summary of where I've come from. I've always been philosophically curious about mind, body, self, universe, consciousness. In DhO terms, I crossed A&P early, unintentionally. I stumbled around in content for decades looking for a way forward. During that time I looked into every teaching and practice I came across, including AF. I took away a lot of insights from AF, but the practice didn't work very well for me, and I didn't like the vibe of the AFT. Eventually I settled on a mode of practice (eclectic, using several sources) that really worked for me, and I ran with it. Not sure where you'd place me on the Theravada map -- it isn't my preferred mode of practice or paradigm of understanding -- but I seem to have attained at least some of the raw insights generated by path moments.. if not all of them.

The way this happened for me was: even though I didn't believe in the metaphysics of a Primordial Awareness, I used it as 'skillful means' to get beyond contracted ego states and find some breathing space where I could see / think / 'be' more clearly and feel more at peace. Informed by some earlier experiences, I intentionally used the idea or metaphor of a primordial Consciousness as a way of equalizing the entire phenomenal field, and this was when practice really started to gain some traction: it allowed me to see that the whole of 'me', which had been assumed to be the seer/experiencer, was in fact more of the seen, more phenomena, more sensation in the "sensation soup" as someone around here calls it. Eventually this notion of Awareness falls apart by itself. There's no screen on which things appear, no medium in which things arise and subside ... but they're useful ways of conceiving it at certain stages. They have an effect. (That's basically how I look at all teachings these days: not truths, but skillful ways of conceiving, apprehending and doing in order to undo or alter unskillful defaults).

John
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
John Wilde:
OK sure. Here's a brief summary of where I've come from. (...)


Thanks. Do you have any practice goal, or any particular practice, right now?

(Keep in mind that what you call the "Theravada map" is the MCTB (and perhaps the Mahasi Sayadaw tradition's) interpretation of the Theravada map...a view not necessarily shared by many who associate with Theravada in some way.)
George Campbell, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 12 Join Date: 10/19/11 Recent Posts
Bruno Loff:
There are two possibilities: either the letter in the (deleted) link is fabricated, or what is written in the AF trust homepage, together with Richard and Peter's Journals, the AF videos, etc, is fabricated.

How much effort would be required to fabricate a letter? Not much.

How much effort would be required to fabricate the whole Actual Freedom Trust website?

Well, given that there are over one million words, that the various stories and writing written therein are vastly self-consistent, given that there are at least three people involved in the ordeal (Richard, Vineto, Peter), given that Tarin himself has visited Richard and confirmed that his attainment seems real (since both his current wife and friends all verified they had never seen Richard even mildly upset), and given that Tarin and others since him have gone to achieve the same attainment since, and etc, etc, etc...

The amount of effort required to fabricate "actual freedom" as a story would be so enormous that one would almost need to fall under the category of "conspiracy theorist" in order to consider such possibility as more than a futile exercise in intelectual deficiency.

So why are we writing page after page on what is obviously a fabricated letter? Devika most likely did not write the text, but whomever did (even if it was her) has made up the whole thing with the malicious intent to denigrate Richard and the AF trust.

Why someone would do such a thing is beyond me, but I am often surprised at various stuff people post about actual freedom and Richard. It is incredible how much negativity is stirred by the suggestion of doing one's best to bring peace on earth.

EDIT: Here is an interesting link: Richard’s Correspondence on the AF Mailing List With Irene.



Hi Bruno

The fact that Richard receives a pension from Government of Australia [redacted] can be verified.

[redacted]

It is heartening to see you have so much belief and trust in Richard. It is heartening that so many people believe in his goodness.

[edit: the disclosure of personal details, particularly confidential details (including but not limited to medical information such that i have here removed), against the wishes of that person is not welcome at the dho, either in the discussion forum or on any other part of this website. please respect this guideline so that no further moderation is necessary. -tarin, mod]
John Mitchell, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 33 Join Date: 10/15/10 Recent Posts
George Campbell:



Hi Bruno

The fact that Richard receives a pension from Government of Australia [redacted] can be verified.

[redacted]

It is heartening to see you have so much belief and trust in Richard. It is heartening that so many people believe in his goodness.

[edit: the disclosure of personal details against the wishes of that person is not welcome at the dho, either in the discussion forum or on any other part of this website. please respect this guideline so that no further moderation is necessary. -tarin, mod]


In replying, I take your text "heartening" "belief" "trust" and "his goodness", to be sarcasm?

Speaking for myself, it is the description of PCEs, and the description of the Actualism method, that convince me of the authenticity of Richard and of AF. I don't see why this authenticity would not be self-evident to any individual who seriously chooses to investigate the method.

So... make the effort!, the journey is stunning. I now have the pleasant situation of waking up every morning, and wordless awareness of the potential for apperception is automatically there.
George Campbell, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 12 Join Date: 10/19/11 Recent Posts


In replying, I take your text "heartening" "belief" "trust" and "his goodness", to be sarcasm?

Speaking for myself, it is the description of PCEs, and the description of the Actualism method, that convince me of the authenticity of Richard and of AF. I don't see why this authenticity would not be self-evident to any individual who seriously chooses to investigate the method.

So... make the effort!, the journey is stunning. I now have the pleasant situation of waking up every morning, and wordless awareness of the potential for apperception is automatically there.

Not at all sarcasm, but recognition of such a conviction as I suffered once and that lead to turmoil in my life which I have not been able to come out of since. The journey has been indeed stunning for me - for it revealed the depth of human condition, the darkness and pure selfishness that lies in what is touted as AF. It has been a harrowing experience and I do not wish it on any person on this earth ever. There is nothing authentic in Richard or AF except his reproduction of notes and writing that he has read from several sources, over the years.

Note to Tarin : I will stop writing here if you unilaterally moderate posts that have nothing to do with any disclosures someone has sanctioned or not. If you do not want facts and truth to be demonstrated and backed by evidence, please stop making claims about any kind of attainment.
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
George Campbell:
Not at all sarcasm, but recognition of such a conviction as I suffered once and that lead to turmoil in my life which I have not been able to come out of since. The journey has been indeed stunning for me - for it revealed the depth of human condition, the darkness and pure selfishness that lies in what is touted as AF. It has been a harrowing experience and I do not wish it on any person on this earth ever.


I'm sorry to hear that. Could you tell us what happened to you?
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katy steger, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 1741 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
Hi John

I'm not doing this for my own sake, Katy.

John


Well, I understand this. I spent some months a few years ago following the tales of a self-appointed monk in north Wales; the family of his student followed their concerns and determined the monk could not produce confirmed credentials.

It takes a lot of effort to document and confirm a person is a fraud or psychologically unsound at a level that is a risk to a community. If you google some of the above details you will find an archive website regarding this self-proclaiming monk and see the sustained effort the family of the student applied to outing an unconfirmed, claimant.

If you do not sustained a clear-headed effort into this which you are doing for others are you at risk of being considered as unsound as you may consider him (and producing unsound speculative data which can only reflect the mind of the author(s))?

If your effort is sustained and clear-headed you can enter the ranks of excellent journalists, and your effort can be exactly like the discipline of a sustained, pure practice (and result in insight). So, best wishes in your efforts.
John Wilde, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 501 Join Date: 10/26/10 Recent Posts
katy steger:

If your effort is sustained and clear-headed you can enter the ranks of excellent journalists, and your effort can be exactly like the discipline of a sustained, pure practice (and result in insight). So, best wishes in your efforts.


Well, all I intend here/now is to prompt people not to take too much at face value, to be aware of how little verifiable information they actually have, to look at the role that hope / faith / belief is playing in their lives, and to question the wisdom of making profoundly life-changing decisions based on such scant (and IMO profoundly unreliable) information.

Oblique hints will have to suffice for now, but I have confidence it'll all come out in the wash.

John
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katy steger, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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"Don't the possible long-term consequences of being in this condition need to be looked at critically?"

I utterly respect your right to do this, but it is not a need.
I do find it interesting that people are going for fMRI to see about neurological results (consequences) of their AF.
Nad A., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 237 Join Date: 8/26/10 Recent Posts
Daniel M. Ingram:
I am just going to throw in my generic two cents on his topic, realizing that this is a reply to this thread in general more than a specific person or comment...

The number of people who taught me who were former and/or current:

Alcoholics
Drug Addicts
Perverts
Child Molesters
Drug Dealers
Bi-polar patients
Narcissists
Loud-mouths
Philanderers
And sometimes some combination of those

is large.


Great general point but:

Did a current alcoholic teach you how to achieve a state where you would not be an alcoholic?
Did a current drug addict promote an altered state in which you could not be a drug addict?
Did a current pervert host a website detailing how to end perversion in the human mind?
...etc
George Campbell, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 12 Join Date: 10/19/11 Recent Posts


Does Richards past trouble you? If so, does the Buddhas past trouble you?





and also regarding some other discussions about Richard's personal life.


I will jump in a bit here. Buddha did not have a personal life after his (reported) attainment, whereas Richard has been in marital relationships after his (reported) attainment. His wife and partner Devika/Irene left him and the parting has been reported as less than pleasant. The last time news was heard of Richard's next partner/de facto wife was in December 2009, where he reported that she was to join him and other actualists after which some sort of 'mutiny' took place. No news of her after that. And then Richard declared that he will no longer dabble in the yahoo list and only answer emails/messages via some email system, which was more of less a one way communication line, set up under the aegis of AFT, where they could have all the rights/control over the text written and posted etc.

The reason I give all of this background is that a man who wrote in his journal about living in couplehood, whose expressed purpose was to live in harmony with a woman; his main purpose of doing what he did in his life, who has written in glowing terms about his domestic and personal life; how great it was to have sex with his chosen partner/(s); who has expressed his focus on women; who has given so much importance to sexual relationships and intimate relationships; who has written about the deliciousness of domestic life and ending the war of sexes as his primary reason for walking on a path; whose quest for Peak experiences commenced when he met this woman on a beach and decided to end his celibate life, to explore the freedom through that method - who has expressively written that until men and women can live in peace, their can be no peace on earth, whose primary focus has been personal life - of course, PERSONAL LIFE of such a person OUGHT TO BE a matter of intense discussion, concern and debate. It is indeed surprising that vital details about such a person's life are overlooked and undermined, when that person has himself claimed it to be the very purpose of his quest and achievements.

and when a person appears, claiming to be his previous partner, her claims, instead of being examined are dismissed for lack of proof of her identity, for being anti- Richard or anti- AF when the information that is revealed by her is verifiable. Anyone who takes the trouble, can find out the validity of her claims about the man she is reporting about - instead of that, all the information she provides is thrown out of the window. For example, one can take the trouble of calling up the doctor she has revealed about, or checking up the address she provides and other details.


so, really what's happening to intelligence, here. Being trashed in the name of blind practice. But that is not what Buddhism or AF is all about, is it?
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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George Campbell:
and when a person appears, claiming to be his previous partner, her claims, instead of being examined are dismissed for lack of proof of her identity, for being anti- Richard or anti- AF when the information that is revealed by her is verifiable.


I am not aware that this occurred at the DhO.

George Campbell:
so, really what's happening to intelligence, here. Being trashed in the name of blind practice.


"Blind practice"...what an interesting turn-of-phrase.
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Nikolai ., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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John Wilde:
Nikolai .:
Nad A.:


I wouldn't write this off as nitpicking Richard's personality. With this pre-symbolic awareness state, consider what evidence you have that it is free of delusion/malice/deceit. On the other hand, consider whether there's anything that, to you, suggests it might still possess delusion/malice/deceit - whether hidden/masked from the person or not.


After or during a full blown PCE would be the optimum time to do this investigation.



No it would not.

It's yet another version of what Nad said earlier:

'Don't worry if it's a deluded state, wait till you're in that deluded state, then you'll understand.'

If AF results in deficits that are invisible to the one experiencing them, leading to delusory certainties that are impervious to feedback or correction (because that would depend on precisely what is deficient), then how can being in that state tell you anything about it's true nature?

That the actually free people don't seem to grasp this simple point is not exactly reassuring.

John

PS. Both Nad and I have been in that state, and it makes not the slightest difference to what is being discussed here.


Ok, then. I wish you luck as you may just have to put it off forever or jump in the deep end. I'm not sure how to help you.
John Wilde, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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Nikolai .:

Ok, then. I wish you luck as you may just have to put it off forever or jump in the deep end. I'm not sure how to help you.


I'm not asking for help here, never have been. I was commenting on the topic of the thread, and have been surprised by how casually it is all being waved away.

As for "how to help" (in this context): you already have, by being willing to participate in research that compares first-person experience with third-party observable data.

John
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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John Mitchell:
Re validity of Richard's180 degrees position, given the history of failure in all systems of psychology/religion/spirituality/metaphysics, over all recorded history, the balance of probability is that AF is indeed new and 180 degrees opposite to previous paradigms, for fundamentally sound reasons. As always, the simplest explanation is usually the best.


If you are willing to put in enough hours of vipassana / dry insight, you can find out the truth about this for yourself.

Personal experience of that nature has a way of producing strong opinions about the subject. emoticon
John Mitchell, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 33 Join Date: 10/15/10 Recent Posts
End in Sight:


If you are willing to put in enough hours of vipassana / dry insight, you can find out the truth about this for yourself.

Personal experience of that nature has a way of producing strong opinions about the subject. emoticon


Reasons not to "put in enough hours of vipassana / dry insight":

The PCEs in my experience, set my benchmark for what can't possibly take me back to a PCE. I know that any ambition, any belief, is failure. A method has to be without any movement of the self, to even have a glimmer of success in getting back to a PCE.

Hurricane Ranch audio, Tarin and Daniel mention the fundamental difference between AF and vipassana. A very worthwhile listen/re-listen, if you haven't already.

If vipassana is "one of the world's most ancient techniques of meditation" (Wikipedia), I have no interest in (a) a tried and failed method or (b) structured meditation of any form.

=========

I know some suggest that it may be helpful to practice vipassana on the way to AF, good luck to any already doing that. It seems to me that AF has clearly defined the goal, finally. I perceive the Actualism method to be the way the goal is realised, but I can't prove that to anyone else.

as always, best wishes
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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John Mitchell:
End in Sight:


If you are willing to put in enough hours of vipassana / dry insight, you can find out the truth about this for yourself.

Personal experience of that nature has a way of producing strong opinions about the subject. emoticon


Reasons not to "put in enough hours of vipassana / dry insight":

The PCEs in my experience, set my benchmark for what can't possibly take me back to a PCE. I know that any ambition, any belief, is failure. A method has to be without any movement of the self, to even have a glimmer of success in getting back to a PCE.

Hurricane Ranch audio, Tarin and Daniel mention the fundamental difference between AF and vipassana. A very worthwhile listen/re-listen, if you haven't already.

If vipassana is "one of the world's most ancient techniques of meditation" (Wikipedia), I have no interest in (a) a tried and failed method or (b) structured meditation of any form.


They have not had the experience I have had.

However, the point of my comment was that seeing for oneself is a rather different affair from taking other people's opinions...and so, it is ironic that you are telling me about other people's opinions.

As for what could possibly take you back to a PCE...the day that one has a PCE due to the assiduous practice of dry insight is the day that one's opinions on the matter go out the window.

However, I am not asking you to practice vipassana, as there is no need to do that if you have a method that suits you better.
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James Hao Yen, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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OK, well. I suppose I'll wrap this up.

Due to, perhaps, the failure of several people in this thread to respond a variety of questions posed to them.

We have thus determined that, basically no one on this forum is willing to accept the possibility that Richard may be a fraud, or that the condition that Richard is in may in fact be unhealthy.

We have also determined that, they have no reason not to accept those possibilities, or at least have not provided any reasons, even when asked directly.
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Bruno Loff, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
(moved from this thread

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John Wilde:
It took Richard 30 months.

When other people became 'free' in late 2009 / early 2010, it was assumed that it might take a while for them to attain fully-fledged AF.

However, it didn't take as long as Richard expected. A woman (whom I'll call "P") was soon declared (by Richard) to be the first to have "come to completion", a mere couple of months after her initial AF event.

But then, a while later, when "P" had moved away with her husband, Vineeto was declared to be ... you guessed it ... the first to have "come to completion".


Declared to where, to whom? In written form, verbal form? How do you know this?

Do you believe he has forgotten this event, or knowingly omits it for some purpose?

John:
Other ways of phrasing this: she had become "the universe". Alternatively: she had "become Richard".


Just to be clear: has anyone phrased it that way, other than you, in written or verbal form?

John:
You guys have no idea who/what you're dealing with here.


It is absurd to make vague innuendos and unsupported statements, and expect (?) that we have a clear idea of what you are talking about. I would appreciate a more extensive, well-put-together account from your part, rather than this "erratic hinting" which is of help to no-one. Such as what is it exactly you know, and how exactly you have come to know what you have come to know.

You hint something shady is going on with Richard & friends, but you are starting to come off as having an agenda yourself. How is anyone to assess if your views are anything more than fluff and opinions, if you don't freely give out the factual data for everyone else to interpret?

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