RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom Andrew . 7/3/12 11:49 PM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom tarin greco 10/11/11 6:05 AM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom John Mitchell 10/11/11 4:31 PM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom Andrew . 8/16/16 9:31 PM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom josh r s 10/11/11 8:12 PM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom Andrew . 10/11/11 10:53 PM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom Stian Gudmundsen Høiland 10/11/11 10:38 PM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom End in Sight 10/11/11 11:45 PM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom End in Sight 10/11/11 11:55 PM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom Andrew . 10/12/11 1:08 AM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom John Wilde 10/12/11 1:48 AM
RE: What is going on inside the 'AF' Brain. Andrew . 10/12/11 3:10 AM
RE: What is going on inside the 'AF' Brain. Nikolai . 10/12/11 5:43 AM
RE: What is going on inside the 'AF' Brain. John Wilde 10/12/11 4:45 AM
RE: What is going on inside the 'AF' Brain. Nikolai . 10/12/11 5:37 AM
RE: What is going on inside the 'AF' Brain. Andrew . 10/12/11 6:29 AM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom Tommy M 10/12/11 5:16 AM
Get me the Machine that goes PING!!! Andrew . 10/12/11 6:59 AM
RE: Get me the Machine that goes PING!!! Tommy M 10/12/11 7:56 AM
RE: Get me the Machine that goes PING!!! Stian Gudmundsen Høiland 10/12/11 11:24 AM
RE: Thanks for the replies Andrew . 10/12/11 8:21 PM
RE: Thanks for the replies Nikolai . 10/13/11 4:52 AM
RE: Thanks for the replies End in Sight 10/12/11 8:58 PM
RE: Thanks for the replies Andrew . 10/12/11 9:18 PM
RE: Thanks for the replies End in Sight 10/12/11 9:43 PM
RE: Thanks for the replies John Wilde 10/12/11 9:19 PM
RE: Thanks for the replies End in Sight 10/12/11 9:28 PM
RE: Thanks for the replies Nikolai . 10/12/11 9:34 PM
RE: Thanks for the replies John Wilde 10/12/11 9:42 PM
RE: Thanks for the replies John Wilde 10/12/11 9:33 PM
RE: Thanks for the replies End in Sight 10/12/11 9:42 PM
RE: Thanks for the replies John Wilde 10/12/11 9:44 PM
RE: Thanks for the replies End in Sight 10/12/11 9:48 PM
RE: Thanks for the replies John Wilde 10/12/11 9:55 PM
RE: Thanks for the replies End in Sight 10/12/11 10:01 PM
RE: Thanks for the replies John Wilde 10/12/11 10:21 PM
RE: Thanks for the replies Andrew . 10/12/11 10:49 PM
RE: Thanks for the replies George Campbell 10/25/11 4:19 AM
RE: Thanks for the replies End in Sight 10/26/11 12:03 AM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom End in Sight 10/12/11 7:26 AM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom Nikolai . 10/12/11 7:44 AM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom End in Sight 10/12/11 7:58 AM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom josh r s 10/21/11 12:14 AM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom Ross A. K. 10/11/11 9:58 PM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom Andrew . 10/11/11 11:42 PM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom Mahaparinirvana Sutra 11/29/11 5:14 PM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 11/29/11 5:19 PM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom Andrew . 11/30/11 12:31 AM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom Daniel M. Ingram 11/30/11 12:49 AM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom Andrew . 11/30/11 2:38 AM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom Bruno Loff 11/30/11 8:57 AM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom Andrew . 11/30/11 5:21 PM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom Change A. 8/16/16 9:38 PM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom Nikolai . 8/16/16 9:39 PM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 8/16/16 9:39 PM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom John Wilde 1/12/12 6:25 PM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 1/12/12 8:30 PM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom John Wilde 1/12/12 8:40 PM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 1/12/12 9:18 PM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom John Wilde 1/12/12 10:52 PM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 1/12/12 11:21 PM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 1/12/12 11:30 PM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom John Wilde 1/12/12 11:34 PM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 1/12/12 11:50 PM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom John Wilde 1/13/12 12:37 AM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 1/13/12 12:46 AM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom John Wilde 1/13/12 8:53 AM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 1/13/12 8:58 AM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom John Wilde 1/13/12 5:18 PM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 1/13/12 5:35 PM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom John Wilde 1/13/12 6:40 PM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 1/13/12 11:38 PM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom John Wilde 1/14/12 1:08 AM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 1/14/12 1:21 AM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom John Wilde 1/14/12 1:57 AM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 1/14/12 12:45 PM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom John Wilde 1/13/12 11:00 PM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom John Wilde 1/14/12 12:07 AM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 1/14/12 1:07 AM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 1/14/12 1:13 AM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom John Wilde 1/14/12 3:07 AM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom John Wilde 1/14/12 3:16 AM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 1/14/12 12:44 PM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom End in Sight 1/14/12 8:31 AM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom John Wilde 1/12/12 8:54 PM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom Vas A 1/18/12 1:05 PM
RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 1/18/12 2:06 PM
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Andrew , modified 10 Years ago at 7/3/12 11:49 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/11/11 4:03 AM

RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

Posts: 336 Join Date: 5/23/11 Recent Posts
4 July 2012

Before reading this thread objecting to Richards article 'A brief History' ; you should know that nothing i say in it is what it seems. I have since realised that 'i' as a felt being 'climbed into my head' sometime before I was 6, (certainly I have no memory of being other that I am now), and because of that my main sources of pleasure have been mental and creative. what does this have to do with what follows? basically this; All of my demands, my objections, my points and logic all circle back to me gaining some sort of mental reassurance of my existence. Richard does actually, if you read the full article on the aft, provide alot of personal information about his life, and it does fill in a lot of the blanks i claimed existed. In short, I was just whining to hear the sound of my own voice so I could feel like me.

I sincerely suggest you skip this thread as it is likely to sully your thinking and otherwise put you off what is actually a very sensible and down to earth method of becoming happy and enjoying ones all too brief life. (pun intended)

Andrew Jones








In the first paragraph of Richard's 'personal history' the following discrepancy stands out;

He describes a monk that self immolated as;

"a Buddhist monk killed himself" , no big deal I suppose,we all know that happened right?

Now Richard served between;

[removed]

The two recorded male monks that self immolated are;

Thich Quang Duc burnt himself to death 11 June 1963, another monk (couldn't find name) burn himself 2 months later. I can't find any other male monks dying this way during the war. They are both 3 years before Richard got to Vietnam, But..

perhaps he means 'a Buddhist monk killed herself '

Thich Nu Thanh Quang May 28th 1966 in the city of Hue.

Ok, fair enough, simple mistake.

But, reading Richards opening paragraph again you get the impression Richard was there in proximity with the monk somehow witnessing it.

That would be quite a feat considering the ship, [removed] that Richard was assigned to was in an entirely different city, [removed].

He then maintains that on May 29th he shaved his head, in some form of protest and in contrast of what others were doing in the 1960's. That would be fine if the army had allowed anything other than short hair, but it doesn't.

Then the most amazing thing happens, 26 years go by without anything happening but "genuine exploration and discovery of what it means to live a fully human life"

Oh Please.

This isn't a personal history, this is what is called a 'straw man argument'; i.e. find something highly emotive and true, then link it directly with the point you want to make. Your point doesn't have to be true, as it is bathed in the reflected glow of the highly emotive factoid presented first.

This is Sales 101. Pity he could get his set up quite right.




sources;

http://www.vietnamwar.net/ThichNuThanhQuang.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Th%C3%ADch_Qu%E1%BA%A3ng_%C4%90%E1%BB%A9c

http://actualfreedom.com.au/richard/articles/abriefpersonalhistory.htm

[removed]
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tarin greco, modified 10 Years ago at 10/11/11 6:05 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/11/11 6:05 AM

RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

Posts: 658 Join Date: 5/14/09 Recent Posts
the actualism/actual freedom section of the dho discussion forum is intended exclusively for the discussion of the practice of the actualism 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 post is a far cry from any such adaptation or innovation - indeed, it is not even remotely about practice at all. therefore, it has been split off from the (old, also non-practice-related) thread to which it was posted, and 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.' when posting please be mindful of the forum categories so that no further moderator action is necessary.

tarin, mod
John Mitchell, modified 10 Years ago at 10/11/11 4:31 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/11/11 4:31 PM

RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

Posts: 33 Join Date: 10/15/10 Recent Posts
Andrew Jones:
The two recorded male monks that self immolated are


So the only possible self immolation events are the ones recorded, and recorded in the references that you could find. This is basic logic, not all events are recorded, not all recorded events are recorded in a single place.

Andrew Jones:
But, reading Richards opening paragraph again you get the impression Richard was there in proximity with the monk somehow witnessing it.


Key words here "you get the impression", what you should have said is "I formed an impression", Richard at no point uses any words that could be reasonably be taken to indicate "proximity".

Andrew Jones:
perhaps he means 'a Buddhist monk killed herself '


If Richard used the the term "himself" as a generic "himself/herself", or if he took a monk to be male when the gender was not clear, then so be it. It in no way changes the validity of the brief history.

Andrew Jones:
That would be fine if the army had allowed anything other than short hair, but it doesn't.


Richard did not say what he did was in line with what (you say, at that point in time) the Army allowed, all he said was he shaved his head. You are not making any sort of argument here.

Andrew Jones:
Then the most amazing thing happens, 26 years go by without anything happening but "genuine exploration and discovery of what it means to live a fully human life"


Your disappointment that Richard did not add more of his biographical details to "A BRIEF Personal History" (my capitalization of "Brief") is neither here nor there.



In summary, there's nothing noteworthy your post, other than observing the question of the gender specificity of the the use of the word "himself".

Before you waste your time, the nonsense about plagiarism , and absurdity of taking fraudulent posts on the Yahoo forum as proof of PTSD, have already been flogged.



Look, I was cynical of AFT to start with, but I stuck it it out, because I wanted to find the flaw in Richard's system. Sticking with the pursuit of understanding the flaw in Actualism, I found that it was not flawed, and then it made real sense, not dogmatic sense. I really think its worth your effort to delve into the meaning of Actualism, if only to try to find the flaw in the paradigm, rather than looking for discrepancies in the man, Richard.

best wishes
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josh r s, modified 10 Years ago at 10/21/11 12:14 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/11/11 4:44 PM

RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

Posts: 337 Join Date: 9/16/11 Recent Posts
In the first paragraph of Richard's 'personal history' the following discrepancy stands out;

He describes a monk that self immolated as;

"a Buddhist monk killed himself" , no big deal I suppose,we all know that happened right?

Now Richard served between;

[removed]

The two recorded male monks that self immolated are;

Thich Quang Duc burnt himself to death 11 June 1963, another monk (couldn't find name) burn himself 2 months later. I can't find any other male monks dying this way during the war. They are both 3 years before Richard got to Vietnam, But..

perhaps he means 'a Buddhist monk killed herself '

Thich Nu Thanh Quang May 28th 1966 in the city of Hue.

Ok, fair enough, simple mistake.

But, reading Richards opening paragraph again you get the impression Richard was there in proximity with the monk somehow witnessing it.

That would be quite a feat considering the ship, [removed] that Richard was assigned to was in an entirely different city, [removed]

He then maintains that on May 29th he shaved his head, in some form of protest and in contrast of what others were doing in the 1960's. That would be fine if the army had allowed anything other than short hair, but it doesn't.

Then the most amazing thing happens, 26 years go by without anything happening but "genuine exploration and discovery of what it means to live a fully human life"

Oh Please.

This isn't a personal history, this is what is called a 'straw man argument'; i.e. find something highly emotive and true, then link it directly with the point you want to make. Your point doesn't have to be true, as it is bathed in the reflected glow of the highly emotive factoid presented first.

This is Sales 101. Pity he could get his set up quite right.


http://www.actualfreedom.com.au/richard/articles/june1966.htm

oh my! he did shave his head! therefore, my experience of perfection and increasing happiness is suddenly worthwhile again
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Andrew , modified 5 Years ago at 8/16/16 9:31 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/11/11 7:58 PM

RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

Posts: 336 Join Date: 5/23/11 Recent Posts
Hi John,

Are you the same John from the Yahoo group?

I was not looking for inconsistencies to start with, I was genuinely checking out his story. When I saw the link to a 'Brief History' I thought "cool, this is better than getting it second hand, maybe I'll be able to put aside my misgivings about this bloke". When all I got was an haircut description from 1966, and spotted the sales pitch, I thought, "oh well, I may as well check out the 3 small scraps of history".. took all of about 30mins, including finding the Yahoo group and the information given by "Irene [Last Name Redacted]" member.

My point is simply that that BRIEF history is not a history at all, but a sales tactic. One of the oldest in the book at that.

For the record, I am checking out the state of mindfulness again, by going back to Bhante G's book and rereading all the bits I otherwise had underlined, momentarily experienced, then promptly forgotten in my own 'race to the prize'.

I don't write Richard off, I find his thinking refreshing and otherwise useful, but rather I am fascinated to learn more of the long term effects of this state. Apparently he has been in this state since 1992? I want to see how AF has affected him over time. But I can't, as the actual story of his life is one big controversy when it really doesn't have to be. All I can see is someone all to happy to spend countless hours debating people who otherwise aren't interested. Seems like a rather pointless dead end and not that useful. Sure he earnt his pension and can spend his time as he pleases, but he does claim to have 'discovered' the answer to 'peace on earth', so a little more honest detail would be great.

There is a basic problem with wanting to put him to the same test that he denigrates other 'spiritual' leaders for not passing; public scrutiny. This site, the DHO itself, has linage, I can find the history of Daniel, Kenneth, Bill and basically get a picture of what this looks like in the real world. AF has no linage. That is both obviously not actually true, and a problem for genuine enquiry.

Of course there could be a simpler explanation for the lack of detail; he can't remember. Which seems to be a common thing in AF people, they can't remember what there life was like, how to speak with empathy (as they don't have any) and generally become entirely 'cerebral' in there approach to people and life.

For me, I do not reject the state of mind presented as being somehow useful, but I wonder about how this all translates into 'real world' usefulness. Especially if personal history cannot be remembered and one can no longer treat other human beings with understanding.

The situation I find myself in is the same one the majority of the world is in, family, work, social responsibly. So far, we have otherwise unattached AF people giving sketchy accounts about how this has works in the 'real' world, I can't see anything about how someone has gone raising children in the state of AF or ran a business or otherwise exist without a pension, or limited responsibility. From the description given by Richard, my children are otherwise 'hosting a parasite' in their natural development of an emotional response to the world. This sound so much like 'original sin' that I 'snort chuckle' every time I think about it.

And before someone parrots 'try it for yourself' they may also want to consider that it is also claimed to be irreversible. My brother nearly lost his life to that sort of thinking about heroin, and again, it is one of the oldest sales tricks in the book.

My point? Enough of the sales pitches, and more of the honest investigation of how this really fits into the world we are born into.

Andrew Jones
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josh r s, modified 10 Years ago at 10/11/11 8:12 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/11/11 8:08 PM

RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

Posts: 337 Join Date: 9/16/11 Recent Posts
And before someone parrots 'try it for yourself' they may also want to consider that it is also claimed to be irreversible. My brother nearly lost his life to that sort of thinking about heroin, and again, it is one of the oldest sales tricks in the book.

My point? Enough of the sales pitches, and more of the honest investigation of how this really fits into the world we are born into.


i wish it were so easy to become actually free that I'd have to worry about suddenly stumbling into the irreversible. there's no way you'll suddenly flip over and never be the same without having had temporary experiences (PCEs) of the permanent condition. even more definite is that there is no way you will go into the irreversible with some doubts that it is the right thing to do, there's just no way, you have to be as sure as possible before you can go. (according to everyone who has done it)

i'm all for honest investigation, but so far 99% of that investigation has been split into three parts
1. ad hominems directed at richard
2. unsubstantiated claims that actual freedom leaves one unable to help other people
3. irrational worries about the loss of some imagined "humanity" or "richness" often inaccurately described as indescribable or intangible (those words implies there is something that exists which can be touched or described, a feeling fed belief)

all three of these i find illegitimate, the first because it doesn't matter, the second because there is so much evidence to the contrary, the third because it's just silly.

all I got was an haircut description from 1966


did you see that picture i posted?


Seems like a rather pointless dead end and not that useful.


the correspondence has been useful to some people involved for sure. tarin for example corresponded with him and eventually gained actual freedom, no dead end there. even more so i think it's been useful to people not actually engaged in the correspondence but who have read it from a distance, keeping emotional involvement from ruining everything.
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Andrew , modified 10 Years ago at 10/11/11 10:53 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/11/11 9:54 PM

RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

Posts: 336 Join Date: 5/23/11 Recent Posts
Indeed josh, I should have said all i got was a picture of a hair cut from 1966 with a description of what it means to the author.

Just to make it clear my posts are not;

1) attacks on Richard

2) claims that people experiencing uninterrupted 'pre-symbolic awareness' are not helpful. In my original post my disappointment (as John pointed out) is why the basic helpfulness of an open and honest personal history requires my cash first, and then by all accounts delivers a manifesto not an account like one might expect. Is it so hard to put people at ease by simply being open and honest?

3) There is nothing irrational about concerns centred on messing with brain function.

I appreciate you response though, and also Nicks response to me elsewhere that linked back to Kenneth Folk's post concerning the state now known as PCE. Fears about checking it out are not where I'm coming from, basic concern that this whole thing is dead in the water real quick without a place where the real world application is being discussed for those interested, but without the preaching and rhetoric that seems to be found on every page of the AFT site, and the disregard for how that comes across in the DHO, amongst people who otherwise seem to share openly about how practice effects them and their lives.

At the moment I have only 2 real issues;

1) the terminology, though fine in itself, is otherwise owned by the Actual Freedom Trust. When anyone uses these terms they point back to the AFT, which otherwise causes more controversy than it solves. I'm not really interested in the list of things which spring to mind that are wrapped up in that objection, what I am interested in is a 'free and open' approach truth, which when we use other wise 'proprietary' terms, is hampered.

The AFT has set up a paradigm of 'us vs them' in typical cultish absolutism (as pointed out by a friend) I agree, this is what gets people emotions in a stir. This is not something that the 'world at large' will either accept or take lightly. I don't accept it or take it lightly. The site makes money from this, and will continue to do so with the increased marketing provided by the terminology.


2) what really is going on with this version of Sati, or as Bhante G puts it "pre-symbolic awareness" (or should I say PSA!) What happens in the brain? What is going on really...and what is a more widely accepted and otherwise easily transmitted understanding of this state. The underlying assumption here is that this is something that is useful, but it really needs a broader understanding and more distance from it's highly emotive (ironically) launch onto the 'world stage'

I am honestly researching, what I keep finding though is a lack of openness to the concept that the AFT carries baggage that is both unhelpful and otherwise pointed to a divide that need not be there.

If anyone can point me to where people are also honestly researching this, rather than just preaching it, I'm all ears.

Andrew
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Ross A K, modified 10 Years ago at 10/11/11 9:58 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/11/11 9:58 PM

RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

Posts: 123 Join Date: 6/15/11 Recent Posts
Well the results are very pleasing. I am sold.
And with your story, let me clear my throat gggggmmmm , who gives a fork.
I mean that with all sincerety.
This practice isn't turning people into zombies or robots quite the contrary. It's waking up while leaving ones self behind.
Why have you gone to such lengths to discredit this man (you are in no way discrediting the systematic application of actualism, and you will not) when you could actually be doing some kind of practice (even other than actualism) that will lead to your own unconditional freedom and happiness. And that includes freedom from wanting to be right and sound smart.
May you be well - Ross
Stian Gudmundsen Høiland, modified 10 Years ago at 10/11/11 10:38 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/11/11 10:35 PM

RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

Posts: 296 Join Date: 9/5/10 Recent Posts
Andrew Jones:
If anyone can point me to where people are also honestly researching this, rather than just preaching it, I'm all ears.

What is it exactly that you want? You have no doubt realized that there are here at least four people (that I can remember at the top of my head) that have not only done the research, but also done the practice to its full end and communicated their methods and experiences? One of which has a toddler that she is raising, and is not having any problems at that, even claiming that AF has made it all the while easier to do correctly.

This forum is a place where people are honestly researching this, rather than just preaching it. It seems you have to overcome your own delusions about this place before you can see that.

Not to say that this forum is made of only saints - it sure isn't. "Saints and psychopaths" - indeed. But you will not see the honesty here presented abounds until you wipe that dust off your lens.
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Andrew , modified 10 Years ago at 10/11/11 11:42 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/11/11 11:42 PM

RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

Posts: 336 Join Date: 5/23/11 Recent Posts
May we all be well Ross, including those who do and don't give a fork.

Indeed, Saints and Psychopaths.

Back to my PSA training.
End in Sight, modified 10 Years ago at 10/11/11 11:45 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/11/11 11:45 PM

RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
Stian Gudmundsen Høiland:
What is it exactly that you want? You have no doubt realized that there are here at least four people (that I can remember at the top of my head) that have not only done the research, but also done the practice to its full end and communicated their methods and experiences?


While I agree with the point you're making (I see nothing but admirable levels of openness with respect to the effects of this attainment on one's life and how it was attained...much, much more detail than is often provided upon attaining e.g. 1st path or 4th path), insofar as you had me in mind with your comment, I would like to explicitly state that I have not done the practice to its full end. I am not fully liberated. My experience is constantly getting closer to that end, but I do not know how much further I have left to go.

I also think that the final state may present differently than this one does. As katy said, this state has a quality of being clumsy. I suspect, in the absence of that clumsiness, it will become much clearer how unequivocally beneficial the final state is for one's functioning (rather than just one's personal happiness)...but we shall see.
End in Sight, modified 10 Years ago at 10/11/11 11:55 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/11/11 11:55 PM

RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
Andrew Jones:
2) what really is going on with this version of Sati, or as Bhante G puts it "pre-symbolic awareness" (or should I say PSA!) What happens in the brain? What is going on really...and what is a more widely accepted and otherwise easily transmitted understanding of this state. The underlying assumption here is that this is something that is useful, but it really needs a broader understanding and more distance from it's highly emotive (ironically) launch onto the 'world stage'


Wouldn't we all like to know!

I have my own private theories in development, as perhaps do many others pursuing this path.

There is a neuroscientist at Yale named Judson Brewer who is doing some research on this subject.

I've often thought that, if we had some neutral way of describing this attainment in terms of changes in brain functioning and ensuing psychological alterations, most of the commotion and drama surrounding this (both with respect to Richard, as well as with respect to the value of the state, considered in itself) would evaporate, as it would be much clearer that, using this new description, these changes were good and wholesome.
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Andrew , modified 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 1:08 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 1:08 AM

RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

Posts: 336 Join Date: 5/23/11 Recent Posts
Bingo. EiS. Bin-go.

That is all I'm really trying to get too, some less loaded 'us and them' and something clearer and more accessible in terms of explaining what is going on. For all I know the AFT is run by well meaning people who are truly happy and harmless, it just is not the impression I get. Now, it would be fair enough to say "Well, that is your impression, deal with it" - it is and I do.

Am I selling something? Trying to be smart or right? No, yes, no. Smart is also called 'common sense' so guilty as charged Ross.

Your honestly EiS is making all of this more understandable. Last time I replied to a post of yours there were barbs in my comments, though like then, I am still grateful for your honesty. Which really is what all this is about. If I started a thread about bringing to light some of the theories you are coming up with, would you be willing to share them?

That is what I think is missing at this stage for many people (assuming I'm not the only one).

At the moment I'm of the opinion that it is working by some sort of self -hypnosis. Training the mind to bypass the 'symbolic' overlay and return to the senses, sort of like quitting smoking, or some other addictive behaviour. If it is then it is most probably reversible. I don't think the 'rewiring' of brain theory holds up, considering we are talking about the functioning of the entire limbic system, that's a crap load of re-wiring. Something is changing that prevents the triggering of emotion, without it actually being pathological (presumably).

As many have pointed out, a sustained experience of 'pre-symbolic awareness' would answer alot of questions for me, but, and perhaps for the first time in my life, I'm resisting my otherwise 'devil may care' approach and want to know a bit (a lot) more before I truly launch into anything. The basic wake up call for me is this doesn't fit anywhere yet in a paradigm of living that I can relate to and, apart from potentially one person, no one has walked the family man path on this one yet, and god damn it, does it really have to be me? haha ...hmmm

regards

A
John Wilde, modified 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 1:48 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 1:44 AM

RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

Posts: 501 Join Date: 10/26/10 Recent Posts
Andrew Jones:
Something is changing that prevents the triggering of emotion


Maybe not the triggering. Maybe the normal processing and interpretation of limbic system activity is disrupted so there is little or no experience of this activity as feeling.

This happens in alexithymia.

Limbic system activity which usually correlates with the experience of feeling/emotion is often described by alexithymic people in sensate terms rather than affective terms. (That must sound familiar to some readers).

To make matters more interesting, alexithymia is quite common in people suffering from PTSD.

It is also associated with absence or poverty of imagination, as is Actual Freedom.

John
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Andrew , modified 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 3:10 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 3:10 AM

RE: What is going on inside the 'AF' Brain.

Posts: 336 Join Date: 5/23/11 Recent Posts
Well that is a bit more hopeful than the sociopath connection. So it is recorded that this is something people can do in response to trauma then,.. but no trauma is involved in the training for PCE, but the opposite.

Thinking further then- the brain can do this on its own in some people because of trauma, but can also do it through 'felicity and sensuousness' training as well. Would it come up as having the same basic brain function?

I tried listening to the results of Nick and Owen in the Jud (?) study with the MRI, but only got a s far as Nick not being able to remember what being a 'worldling' was like. (Again feeding my impression that memory is taking a hit with the onset of permanent 'AF'.)

EiS, what do you mean when you say it is 'clumsy'? I take that to mean that you are having to relearn a lot of things?


(By the way, I'm not sure if I can change this thread title, but I've tried anyway)

A
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Nikolai , modified 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 5:43 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 3:56 AM

RE: What is going on inside the 'AF' Brain.

Posts: 1648 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
Andrew Jones:
Well that is a bit more hopeful than the sociopath connection. So it is recorded that this is something people can do in response to trauma then,.. but no trauma is involved in the training for PCE, but the opposite.

Thinking further then- the brain can do this on its own in some people because of trauma, but can also do it through 'felicity and sensuousness' training as well. Would it come up as having the same basic brain function?

I tried listening to the results of Nick and Owen in the Jud (?) study with the MRI, but only got a s far as Nick not being able to remember what being a 'worldling' was like. (Again feeding my impression that memory is taking a hit with the onset of permanent 'AF'.)

EiS, what do you mean when you say it is 'clumsy'? I take that to mean that you are having to relearn a lot of things?


(By the way, I'm not sure if I can change this thread title, but I've tried anyway)

A



That interview happened 3 days after I had a massive perceptual shift. You try doing an interview with a neuroscientist from Yale while getting used to a massive baseline shift. My mind was blank for a week. The honeymoon period is a crazy time post-shift.

It is true though. After the 3 majorly big baseline shifts I have had, overtime the mind acclimatizes to the new baseline and the old baseline is but a distant memory. I don't remember how the ongoing experience was to have a full on pre-path self contraction 24/7. I don't want to. It sucked, Andrew. Even now, trying to conjure up the experience of a full blown sense of 'being' pre-this last shift, is difficult to do as the things that shifted and dropped were the things that conditioned its (sense of being) arising.

I would never go back. Never. I would not trade a day of this for a 100 years of pre-path self-contraction. I remember it sucking bad. My memory of everything else in life operates just fine even better these days. You seem to have equated my ability to not remember how the self-contraction was experienced pre-last shift (due to the conditioning factors not being there anymore) to my ability to remember everyday events and people in my past life. Is this what you are doing?

Nick

Edit: In the last baseline shift, there was a subtle pleasant tensing or pressure felt within the brain towards the back where the neck meets the skull. Somewhere in there. Everytime I had a PCE there was the same pressure. Now, everytime I look at dependent origination and trace the sequence back to what is not being paid attention to (sankharas), there is the same pressure and slight physical tensing in that same area. Then plop, there will be no more 'shadow being', and it is exactly like the first full blown PCE, pristine apperceptive awareness. When no sankharas are ignored and allowed to trigger the entire sequence of dependent origination to give rise to 'being'/shadow 'being' (which is a strange hard to describe experience post-last shift), the whole baseline shifts to pristine wonderfully clear apperceptive awareness (your re-termed PSA). Seeing in the seen, hearing in the heard. Not a trace of 'dust on the lens'.


"Then, Bahiya, you should train yourself thus: In reference to the seen, there will be only the seen. In reference to the heard, only the heard. In reference to the sensed, only the sensed. In reference to the cognized, only the cognized. That is how you should train yourself. When for you there will be only the seen in reference to the seen, only the heard in reference to the heard, only the sensed in reference to the sensed, only the cognized in reference to the cognized, then, Bahiya, there is no you in terms of that. When there is no you in terms of that, there is no you there. When there is no you there, you are neither here nor yonder nor between the two. This, just this, is the end of stress." Bahiya Sutta
John Wilde, modified 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 4:45 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 4:45 AM

RE: What is going on inside the 'AF' Brain.

Posts: 501 Join Date: 10/26/10 Recent Posts
Andrew Jones:
Well that is a bit more hopeful than the sociopath connection. So it is recorded that this is something people can do in response to trauma then,.. but no trauma is involved in the training for PCE, but the opposite.


Well, alexithymia can result from trauma, yes. But I don't know of anybody becoming Actually Free through trauma (alone). There is some overlap between alexithymia and Actual Freedom, but I wouldn't claim they're the same thing.

Andrew Jones:
Thinking further then- the brain can do this on its own in some people because of trauma, but can also do it through 'felicity and sensuousness' training as well. Would it come up as having the same basic brain function?

I tried listening to the results of Nick and Owen in the Jud (?) study with the MRI, but only got a s far as Nick not being able to remember what being a 'worldling' was like. (Again feeding my impression that memory is taking a hit with the onset of permanent 'AF'.)


Can you tell me where you found this? I'd be interested in any non-subjective empirical data of any kind.

John
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 5:16 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 5:04 AM

RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
As many have pointed out, a sustained experience of 'pre-symbolic awareness' would answer alot of questions for me, but, and perhaps for the first time in my life, I'm resisting my otherwise 'devil may care' approach and want to know a bit (a lot) more before I truly launch into anything. The basic wake up call for me is this doesn't fit anywhere yet in a paradigm of living that I can relate to and, apart from potentially one person, no one has walked the family man path on this one yet, and god damn it, does it really have to be me? haha ...hmmm

Hey Andrew,

I currently walk, and have walked for the last 11 years, what I'm assuming you're referring to as "the family man path on this one" i.e. householder, partner, father, etc. My explorations into AF only seriously began a few months ago, prior to that I worked by way from stream entry to 4th path (MCTB model), and prior to that again I spent over a decade working and experimenting with several forms of yoga, magick and other methods. Even up until about five or six months ago, I was vehemently against AF and considered it contrary to everything I thought the spiritual path was supposed to be about, and I wasn't shy about saying so! What made matters more confusing (in my head) was the fact that I actually had a full-blown PCE (here's the post I made immediately after.) and seen exactly what all the fuss was about, yet, due to my own lack of clarity and my emotional attachment to the pragmatic dharma 'scene' and the people in it who's opinions I respected, I still tried to dismiss that experience and made a big deal out of being "just another state to explore".

I got 4th path earlier this year but, for all the insight and improvements it brought, it was clear within a few months that this was not the end of the road in developmental terms. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't change it for the world as the clarity it brings is beyond description but the fact that I could still feel like shit and get angry sometimes became a problem, and a problem which the PCE had revealed a solution to. But again, I stood against it through pride, perceived loyalty and a fear of what having no emotions would mean to "me" and caused myself a whole lot of suffering in the process.

The only fair and reasonable thing I could do was to give AF practices a fair chance and test them in the same way I tested vipassana, samatha, invocation, skrying, tarot, sigils, drugs and all sorts of weird and wonderful approaches to the thing. In all fairness, if you remove the AF lens, the practices themselves are basically insight and concentration training removed from the Buddhist map of the territory. Some of the language used by the AF crew is useful when describing stuff, for example words like felicity, naivetè, innocence, perfectly label the experiences they refer to in a way that other words don't quite manage. I'm not a fan of Richard & Co, I don't read the AFT site, I don't frequent the AF groups on yahoo or elsewhere, and I don't describe myself as an actualist, but if the techniques he describes are applied to this immediate sensate experience of the world then, sure enough, you'll experience something quite literally beyond imagination.

I get what you're saying about the "try it, you might like it" thing and I used exactly the same argument earlier this year on another thread (Someone said "It's just so much fun", or something along those lines, and my response was "Well, crack's meant to be really good fun too" or something like that.) and I also know the anguish of having a (now former) drug addict brother. However, there is nothing to lose from simply being attentive to this immediate sensate experience and verifying this approach for yourself. As for "permanent changes", the same can be said for 1st to 4th paths of the technical model since each cause a clear change in perception which, according to the studies being participated in by several members of this community, have a neurological basis. A lot of people seem to be making a big deal of AF being permanent, but they seem to neglect the fact that the path attainments in Buddhism are also permanent changes in functioning, each leading to more clarity and ability to function as a human being. The same outcome appears to be true of those on here, and elsewhere, who are claiming to have attained an actual freedom.

Only your own experience will answer your questions, everyone else can give their opinion but, when it comes down to it, you're on your own. Eventually, even the path itself has to be let go of.....

[Edit: With regards to memory, I can confirm that I am also unable to recall what it felt like pre-Path. I just tried to will such an experience and the thing will not tie together in that way anymore, any attempt to do so just results in seeing that particular aspect of perception arise and pass.]

P.S. Are you the same guy who commented on my blog, Down to Earth Dharma? If so, hiya!
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Nikolai , modified 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 5:37 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 5:37 AM

RE: What is going on inside the 'AF' Brain.

Posts: 1648 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
John Wilde:
Andrew Jones:


I tried listening to the results of Nick and Owen in the Jud (?) study with the MRI, but only got a s far as Nick not being able to remember what being a 'worldling' was like. (Again feeding my impression that memory is taking a hit with the onset of permanent 'AF'.)


Can you tell me where you found this? I'd be interested in any non-subjective empirical data of any kind.

John


http://thehamiltonproject.blogspot.com/2011/08/meditating-in-big-magnetic-tube-part-ii.html#comments
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Andrew , modified 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 6:29 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 6:28 AM

RE: What is going on inside the 'AF' Brain.

Posts: 336 Join Date: 5/23/11 Recent Posts
didn't see nicks post, link already given to John.

A
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Andrew , modified 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 6:59 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 6:59 AM

Get me the Machine that goes PING!!!

Posts: 336 Join Date: 5/23/11 Recent Posts
Thanks Nick, yet again your honesty is making thing so much of this easier to grasp.

Hi Tommy,

Yep same guy, hiya back!

Thanks for the extensive reply.

I guess it comes down to balls. The first thing I guess is to approach it all on my own terms. This and a few other threads/ posts I've started are helping me get a picture of what it is that bugs me about AF. Like you pointed out, I too have gone head long into plenty of things before, why get all scientific and cautious now?

For example this thread; I don't usually do research on people. full stop. I take it or leave it. I'll read their stuff and take what I think is useful and go on. I was able to take Ciaran form RT with a grain of salt and otherwise benefit, why not this old retiree from the sunshine state? (Perhaps because I'm an Aussie and I'm all too familiar with Queenslander con artists? Who knows- perhaps I just reached the limit of how many times I can hear someone blow there own horn and announce there own devine arrival- maybe the brain has a set limit on that sorta thing -1000 bullshit artists and then, snap, NO MORE!!)

I've seen this website talk about this AF thing, but never got into what it was all about until a few weeks ago, then the penny dropped, YOU ARE DOING WHAT? hahaha

I guess right now, this whole thing has blown me out of the water. The info is all very 'dualistic', either you are with me or against me stuff, you get sent to the dungeon if AFT is questioned etc, but as Nick and others interact more and publish their take on what is going on, more avenues are being built. For some reason, and I don't know why, I've gone all scientific. That isn't me at all, normally I'm a mystic through and through, but now I'm like "show me the charts, what is his pulse. Nurse, get me the machine that goes 'ping'!"

It's not that dark down here in the dungeon, I would have thought it would be worse...
End in Sight, modified 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 7:26 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 7:20 AM

RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
Andrew Jones:
If I started a thread about bringing to light some of the theories you are coming up with, would you be willing to share them?

That is what I think is missing at this stage for many people (assuming I'm not the only one).

At the moment I'm of the opinion that it is working by some sort of self -hypnosis. Training the mind to bypass the 'symbolic' overlay and return to the senses, sort of like quitting smoking, or some other addictive behaviour. If it is then it is most probably reversible. I don't think the 'rewiring' of brain theory holds up, considering we are talking about the functioning of the entire limbic system, that's a crap load of re-wiring. Something is changing that prevents the triggering of emotion, without it actually being pathological (presumably).


My theories are not well-developed enough to be worth talking about yet.

However, let me run with something you've said...

I agree to some extent with what you've said, but...I don't think most minds are even capable of observing the sensory stage that precedes the symbolic overlay pasted upon it without significant training. The practice appears to be to be about training the mind to be able to access what experience is like before the symbolic overlay is formed. This training involves some kind of neuroplastic reorganization in whichever regions are involved with this kind of access. To the extent that the training actually succeeds, one could imagine reversing these neuroplastic changes by inclining the mind away from using its newly-formed access to the sensory stage. However, there are many points at which it seems that the new access is "locked in" and bits of the symbolic overlay fall away, which to me indicates at least functional (if not actual) atrophy of some of the old circuitry...and it appears that, beyond these points, whatever changes have been made will be permanent (not reversible by will or training), as there is simply no symbolic overlay of a certain kind for the mind to observe anymore.

Tommy compares this change to attaining paths, and I believe the process is identical (I believe that AF is no different from attaining a path). Some kind of symbolic overlay falls away due to a close observation of the senses, and one can't go back. (Nor would one want to.) After 1st path I remember being utterly perplexed when trying to remember what my life was like before...I could represent what it was like, but as I could not simulate that mode of experience, to some extent it was closed off from memory forever. (Not being able to simulate that mode of experience is precisely how suffering is reduced by these attainments...the previous modes of experience are forms of suffering themselves, as would be "simulating" them.)

It strikes me that dependent origination (vedana-->craving-->clinging-->becoming) is merely describing the process of generating a symbolic overlay from minimally-processed sensory experiences.

Much of what Buddhism describes (e.g. that one should notice "such is form, such its origin, such its disappearance, such is feeling [vedana], such its origin, such its disapperance, etc.") is simply a method to encourage the kind of neuroplastic change that makes actual access to the pre-symbolic stage possible in the first place.

Andrew Jones:
EiS, what do you mean when you say it is 'clumsy'? I take that to mean that you are having to relearn a lot of things?


No, that's not what I mean. It's a bit hard to explain. Perhaps the easiest way is to consider this stage transitional...in between one mode of experience and another. To the extent that it's suspended between both, it has features of both, but the features of one (the stage before constant access to PSA) are interfering with the smooth functioning of the mind, simply because they're completely out-of-place and unnecessary. In fact, I would say that it's the old features which are responsible for any and all problems I've had upon attaining this state (!!!)...which is why, as the old features fall away, everything goes more smoothly.

By the way, I think you grossly overestimate the practical difficulties that follow from this attainment. Right now, everything in my life functions more smoothly than ever before. In person, I am much easier to deal with and more fun to be with than ever before. (There is a whimsical and carefree aspect to my personality which is not expressed through writing on this forum.) At this point I would say I have no problems understanding and empathizing with others, and do it much better than I ever did in the past. I observe no cognitive or functional deficits whatsoever in real life, but many improvements.

You mentioned that this attainment seems to result in a "cerebral" way of relating to others, but I would say that it isn't true at all. For me, it merely results in a "cerebral" way of communicating online. Keep in mind how utterly different online communication is from anything whatsoever that goes on in person. (Do you remember an earlier time on the internet, once people started using the internet en masse but before they "figured out" how to write and communicate in a smooth way? Do you recall how much of a mess that was?) There are all kinds of culturally-learned rules that are involved in writing, and for whatever reason, my mind appears to prefer to bypass much of that and just type. As for why my typing is now "cerebral"...feel free to read my practice journal on KFD, and you will see that to some extent I have always had a penchant for "dry", cerebral writing of some flavor or other. Minus some of the culturally-learned rules, that simply comes out more. (It ought to be obvious what a hugely cerebral geek I was / am...such writing, for one such as myself, is par for the course.)
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Nikolai , modified 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 7:44 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 7:44 AM

RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

Posts: 1648 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
Ditto to what End said.
End in Sight, modified 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 7:58 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 7:53 AM

RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
End in Sight:
You mentioned that this attainment seems to result in a "cerebral" way of relating to others, but I would say that it isn't true at all. For me, it merely results in a "cerebral" way of communicating online.


It just occurred to me that the problem may not be "cerebral" writing / interaction, but simply not spending enough time thinking about what style of communication is optimal and how others will take what's spelled out on the page.

I had this problem in spades at the beginning, but I have found that actively thinking about the issue mitigated it to some extent. But, I could spend even more time thinking about stylistic issues than I do now.

As for writing style, it seems as if the "cerebral" style is simply what happens when my penchant for precise but stylistically-poor writing takes the lead over my interest in imprecise writing that matches the cultural rules for internet communication. (In some ways it's as if my writing style imitates the errors that George Orwell takes to task in "Politics and the English Language".)

As I used to be a fair writer in terms of style (for example, I used to write poetry, and still find it interesting), it occurs to me that if the volume of text to be produced were lower, I could potentially write in a very attractive way, perhaps more easily than ever before (as there is so much less "mental clutter" that stands in the way of a stylistic evaluation of organization, diction, alliterative / phonetic qualities, etc.)

Perhaps, as an experiment in the future, I will explore the extent to which I can write in an attractive style that is compatible with precise communication.
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 7:56 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 7:56 AM

RE: Get me the Machine that goes PING!!!

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
I guess it comes down to balls. The first thing I guess is to approach it all on my own terms. This and a few other threads/ posts I've started are helping me get a picture of what it is that bugs me about AF. Like you pointed out, I too have gone head long into plenty of things before, why get all scientific and cautious now?

Rather than balls, I'd say it's just having the ability to continually and honestly question your experience, seeing things from a meta-perspective and discerning fact from belief; I advocate the scientific approach, empirical validation of these techniques is what comes first as, if they don't do what they claim to do then they can be discarded and a more accurate method found. It's worth investigating what it is that brings up feelings of caution and where those beliefs, which they usually are, have been formed so that the overlay of the conditioned emotional reaction can be seen clearly.

Maintain a healthy skepticism though, it's not a bad thing and evaluating a situation honestly can reveal a helluva lot about what's going on underneath it all. Sounds like you've got your head screwed on though so you'll find what works for you one way or another.
Stian Gudmundsen Høiland, modified 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 11:24 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 10:17 AM

RE: Get me the Machine that goes PING!!!

Posts: 296 Join Date: 9/5/10 Recent Posts
Andrew Jones:

I tried listening to the results of Nick and Owen in the Jud (?) study with the MRI, but only got a s far as Nick not being able to remember what being a 'worldling' was like. (Again feeding my impression that memory is taking a hit with the onset of permanent 'AF'.)

My thinking about this is that feeling beings memory is chock full of references to affective feelings/emotions - it's a very strong and often used modality of memory. In actually free people this affective charge/modality might actually still be present in memory, but they can't feel it and therefor that diminishes those memories' information a lot or at least the ability to properly recall them.

In the same way that actually free people can't seem to sympathize (using my own definition mentioned above), so of course they can't sympathize with they're own memories of feelings.

And I'd add if they are not creating affect (as opposed to simply being completely unaware of it) at all then new memories will not contain any of that modality.

Bleh, bit clumsy language there. Tell me if you didn't understand emoticon

Andrew Jones:

EiS, what do you mean when you say it is 'clumsy'? I take that to mean that you are having to relearn a lot of things?

Hehe, that is katy right there for you. She personified the state (AF) and stated that it is 'clumsy', meaning that 'it' doesn't seem to always 'decide' to do the same thing to all people. At least thats my take on it.


Maybe this is relevant (posted by Nick sometime, somewhere):
Enlightenment, Self, and the Brain. How the brain changes with final liberation


Re "cerebral writing style": This hits right home with me. Guilty, guilty, guilty. I find that I am no master communicator, therefor I have to resort to dry language to reach the required preciseness needed in these discussions.

Andrew Jones:
I guess right now, this whole thing has blown me out of the water. The info is all very 'dualistic', either you are with me or against me stuff, you get sent to the dungeon if AFT is questioned etc

I believe this is important. Really consider this for a while (whoever you are reading this). It occurs to me that this community has had a personality/identity crisis, and is still having that.

For whatever it's worth, I'm sorry that you have to put up with being sent to the dungeon over and over again. And you are not alone in that.

Maybe we should create a sticky post with AF resources collected in one convenient place. As you, Andrew, have seen there is a lot of information scattered around about this topic, and for those of us who regularly follow those sources and who see the same points of concern about AF brought up again and again, it's all gotten really old. At least for me.

I realize that coming on to this forum, yelling angrily and shaking fists, having tantrums and what not - those are all symptoms of someone wanting some sort of help to figure this thing out. But, hehe, some of us being not-free, we have that same knee-jerk reaction towards those tantrums that those tantrums are in the first place. At least for me.

Oh, suffering, and we're all stuck together in it (except Nick. You bastard!) emoticon

EDIT: added some "At least for me"s.
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Andrew , modified 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 8:21 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 8:21 PM

RE: Thanks for the replies

Posts: 336 Join Date: 5/23/11 Recent Posts
I think Stian, you have hit the nail on the head with the resource comment.


At the moment (and I'm not complaining now, just noticing more depth to my reactions) there are very few resources and thus;

1) there is no traceable linage, i.e. where, what, how, who else, when etc. It is all presumed to have started with one man. This, in all of history, has never been the case; no man is truly a first cause or independent of some linage. This is what probably get people arched up the most. In Oz we have a great social convention called the 'Tall Poppy Syndrome' - as soon as someone starts spouting off about how good they are, how special it is we get to have them around and how we owe them for some marvellous self pronounced achievement, we cut them down. Because that shit stinks. Always has, always will. One must give credit to those who taught you, those who helped you and those that put up with you. Anything less is going to get a target put on your sorry butt ready for a kicking.

2) no equivalence studies (Is this what Zen calls 'No Mind'? for example), the routes one has to approach this whole experience are entirely self made, meaning you have to cut and paste you own 'how to get from here to there' together. Sort of a non issue normally, as regular meditation resources are so diverse there is generally a 'path for everyone' out there. With this 'permanent -pre-symbolic awareness training' there are only maybe three points of reference. And only one of them is organised in some manner specifically around it (the AFT).The nomenclature is 'propriety' and points away from a free and open place to discuss this to a not free and open place. (especially if you are like me and had more than your fill of 'I'm the one, follow me' sales spiels).

To the end of providing great resources, Nick is building a great source of info at the Hamilton project which is appreciated.
All these responses to this thread are helping me gather information, but like you said Stian, the whole path of people getting annoyed at the AFT coming here and stamping around until they get the info they need, would indeed be draining thing to keep doing.

Not that I'm saying "Someone get all this together and spoon feed me" more like, damn, this 'path' (react, dig, react some more, post, react etc) is not going to reduce until there is some either greater level of openness on the behalf of the AFT to address all the blanks, who taught who what, (etc as above), or time goes by and all the blanks fill themselves in.

Anyway, I'll keep cutting and pasting my way forward, working out how to deal with this reaction and get some useful practice going.

thanks

A
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Nikolai , modified 10 Years ago at 10/13/11 4:52 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 8:51 PM

RE: Thanks for the replies

Posts: 1648 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
It's interesting to note that a lot of us have gone through the same process that you are going through Andrew. In a way I think it was necessary part of the identity dismantling process, clearing a road so to speak, even though it might not seem like it at first. and may not even progress further. When i look back on how I wrestled with the feelings AF and Richard brought up in me, it truly made me question the validity of MCTB 4th path. I seriously had some big attachments come up in the face of 'losing affect'. Aaaagh, run screaming towards the hills.

It certainly makes you question what attachment really means. The Buddha went on and on about attachment and relinquishing it. People became monks and nuns to deal with as much of that as possible. Perhaps, being confronted with all of this is in part what it would feel like facing a life as a monk or nun. It is quite a thing to renounce the self and all the factors that support it. Perhaps being given all the info at once would lessen the blow but might subtract from taking that very important step of relinquishing attachment to belief and 'me'.


Nick
End in Sight, modified 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 8:58 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 8:56 PM

RE: Thanks for the replies

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Andrew, honestly, it seems like the main problem you have is your obsession with Richard and the AFT. Perhaps I'm wrong, but that's how you come across to me.

I keep talking about how vipassana helped me. I keep talking about how I believe that "AF" is just the name for a change in experience which is well-documented throughout history in other traditions (in particular, in the Pali suttas). The reason is, to the extent that you and others like you come to believe this, that is the extent to which your obsession with Richard and the AFT (which is creating a great deal of difficulty for you, it seems) will end.

As the payoff (ending much of your perplexity about this matter) is so high, and since you seem so motivated to attain that payoff, why don't you spend your time researching what I'm saying, rather than researching Richard and the AFT?

Do you think my assessment of you is wrong? (Serious question.)
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Andrew , modified 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 9:18 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 9:18 PM

RE: Thanks for the replies

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Thanks Nick and EiS,

Together your posts make alot of sense; the reaction perhaps is entirely necessary, both facilitating the confusion needed to question anything at all and the safe guard blindly following it and thus assimilating it without change. Am I obsesssed? I didn't think so, but that doesn't match the facts does it?

Though you do realise that if is the case, (the reaction is inevitable and everyone goes through it) you can look forward to a lot more people walking the path I am....the DHO may need more rooms in the dungeon.

A
John Wilde, modified 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 9:19 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 9:19 PM

RE: Thanks for the replies

Posts: 501 Join Date: 10/26/10 Recent Posts
Richard has been AF for nearly 20 years. He exemplifies AF. If anyone wants to know the long-term effects of being free from affect, he's the obvious living example to look at.

How can you try to sweep him under the carpet as if he's not really relevant?

John
End in Sight, modified 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 9:28 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 9:25 PM

RE: Thanks for the replies

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John, I answered your question already (in particular, in the thread "Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder"). If you want to talk about my answer and any shortcomings you perceive in it, you are free to respond to it.
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Nikolai , modified 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 9:34 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 9:31 PM

RE: Thanks for the replies

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John Wilde:
Richard has been AF for nearly 20 years. He exemplifies AF. If anyone wants to know the long-term effects of being free from affect, he's the obvious living example to look at.

How can you try to sweep him under the carpet as if he's not really relevant?

John


It doesn't matter where you get your motivation from; Richard, Peter, Vineeto, Gotoma, Tarin, Trent, a flower pot, as long as one walks in the direction of the end of suffering or at least of malice and sorrow using techniques that work. Or are we so attached to 'actualism' that we have to defend it at all costs? There will be those, like yourself, who feel pulled to follow Richard and co and defend the AFT to the end.

There will be others will follow Gotoma's example and perhaps even others than combine them, including the flower pot. The end of suffering is what matters no? Not Richard being swept under the carpet, right? If Richard is more important than seeing others, regardless of 'vehicle' and motivation, gaining freedom from misery then there is something to consider there. Some like it bland, some like it spicy, some like it technical, some like it poetic, some like it 3rd alternatively, some like it 4 noble pathy, and some just like a big old mix. As long as they all find what they are seeking (the end of their suffering), I'm all for it. Richard can handle being swept under the carpet.
John Wilde, modified 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 9:33 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 9:33 PM

RE: Thanks for the replies

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

Do you think my assessment of you is wrong? (Serious question.)


Your assessment of the situation is illogical to me.

You have a few weeks of experience in what Richard has lived for nearly 20 years. Andrew was looking at Richard as an example of how AF affects a person. You come along with a few weeks of new-to-AF experience, and your message is (pretty much): forget Richard, listen to me.

How can your experience tell anyone about the long-term effects of AF?

How can Richard's experience NOT reveal something about the long-term effects of AF?

In light of that, how can you advise someone who's interested in what AF really is and what it really does to forget about Richard and look at you instead?

John
End in Sight, modified 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 9:43 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 9:38 PM

RE: Thanks for the replies

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Andrew, you may be interested to know that I didn't have the reaction Nick described. I practiced to attain a PCE in order to understand it; when I was satisfied that I understood enough of what PCEs / AF / etc. were about from my own direct experiences and from my reflection on my experiences, I pursued my goal with full and complete commitment. (I made use of the materials on the AFT insofar as they made sense to me and insofar as they seemed helpful.)

I also seem to have made very fast progress, which may be related to this lack of concern about Richard and all aspects of the AFT that did not seem to be sensible and helpful to me.
End in Sight, modified 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 9:42 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 9:42 PM

RE: Thanks for the replies

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John, if you address my already-written responses about this subject directly, I will be happy to respond to the particular points you bring up.

In particular, you should do it in the thread in which my responses were posted, for the sake of clarity / organization.
John Wilde, modified 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 9:42 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 9:42 PM

RE: Thanks for the replies

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Nikolai .:
John Wilde:
Richard has been AF for nearly 20 years. He exemplifies AF. If anyone wants to know the long-term effects of being free from affect, he's the obvious living example to look at.

How can you try to sweep him under the carpet as if he's not really relevant?

John


It doesn't matter where you get your motivation from; Richard, Peter, Vineeto, Gotoma, Tarin, Trent, a flower pot, as long as one walks in the direction of the end of suffering or at least of malice and sorrow using techniques that work. Or are we so attached to 'actualism' that we have to defend it at all costs? There will be those, like yourself, who feel pulled to follow Richard and co and defend the AFT to the end.


You've misunderstood me completely. I'm not at all pulled to follow Richard or actualism. Richard is not someone I'd want to be.

What I'm interested in is how you and EiS can dismiss Richard as if he's irrelevant to what AF really is, when in fact he's the oldest living exemplar of it, as far as anyone knows.


Nikolai .:
There will be others will follow Gotoma's example and perhaps even others than combine them, including the flower pot. The end of suffering is what matters no? Not Richard being swept under the carpet, right? If Richard is more important than seeing others, regardless of 'vehicle' and motivation, gaining freedom from misery then there is something to consider there. Some like it bland, some like it spicy, some like it technical, some like it poetic, some like it 3rd alternatively, some like it 4 noble pathy, and some just like a big old mix. As long as they all find what they are seeking (the end of their suffering), I'm all for it. Richard can handle being swept under the carpet.



Sure, Richard can handle being swept under the carpet. It's not Richard I'm thinking of, it's the people who are investigating the meaning and implications of AF that I'm thinking of.

John
John Wilde, modified 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 9:44 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 9:43 PM

RE: Thanks for the replies

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End in Sight:
John, if you address my already-written responses about this subject directly, I will be happy to respond to the particular points you bring up.


Your responses to that thread were not responses to "this subject" at all.

John
End in Sight, modified 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 9:48 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 9:48 PM

RE: Thanks for the replies

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John Wilde:
Your responses to that thread were not responses to "this subject" at all.


Well, to Nick you wrote:

What I'm interested in is how you and EiS can dismiss Richard as if he's irrelevant to what AF really is, when in fact he's the oldest living exemplar of it, as far as anyone knows.


And I have already brought this assertion into question and given reasons for it.

I have no interest in cutting-and-pasting my past writing endlessly (unlike Richard), so if you are not interested in responding directly to what I've written, I hope you will understand why I am not interested in pursuing a discussion with you.
John Wilde, modified 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 9:55 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 9:55 PM

RE: Thanks for the replies

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End in Sight:

I have no interest in cutting-and-pasting my past writing endlessly (unlike Richard), so if you are not interested in responding directly to what I've written, I hope you will understand why I am not interested in pursuing a discussion with you.


At the risk of seeming rude, I wasn't (and am not) particularly interested in "pursuing a discussion with you" in that thread because your whole approach to this subject (forget Richard, look at me, look at other buddhists) has been directly irrelevant to the subject matter. The thread was specifically about Richard, and what Richard's life and mental state says about AF.

To the question of what Richard's life and mental state say about AF, "forget Richard, look at me" is not an answer.

John
End in Sight, modified 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 10:01 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 10:01 PM

RE: Thanks for the replies

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If you do not think that what I've written is relevant in any meaningful way to the question of why I find the particulars of Richard's life to be unimportant, it seems that we think much too differently for any discussion between us to be productive.

But, if you change your mind about things, you are welcome to begin a discussion (quoting from my responses and addressing those quotes directly) in the future.
John Wilde, modified 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 10:21 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 10:21 PM

RE: Thanks for the replies

Posts: 501 Join Date: 10/26/10 Recent Posts
End in Sight:
If you do not think that what I've written is relevant in any meaningful way to the question of why I find the particulars of Richard's life to be unimportant, it seems that we think much too differently for any discussion between us to be productive.


Indeed, I don't see how taking Richard out of the picture helps anyone to investigate the long-term implications of Actual Freedom. It has nothing to do with whether Richard was the first to be actually free or not.

John
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Andrew , modified 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 10:49 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/12/11 10:49 PM

RE: Thanks for the replies

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John, I appreciate you knowing where I was coming from with the whole trying to investigate what the long term effects AF produces.

This discussion is really useful to me as it is making me think that this whole Richard thing is a laziness on my own part to go and find the equivalent states in other traditions and look for the answers to questions I have. It is my own inability to accept 'what is' in this case. Few perhaps have gone before ever, but maybe not so few that I can find traces and other expamples rather than crying at richards door as to why he won't fill in the blanks for me.

Perhaps it is the inherent benevolence of the universe that richard does provide such a stumbling block and makes so many statements full of hyperbole and sales pitch. Like you said, my, your, anyone's judgement about what 20 years of AF does to one is infact right there for anyone to assess in his case. Why ask him to be more or less than what he projects?

Sorta disappointing, but not really my business in the end. What am I going to do about my practice?

I think it is lazy on my behalf to expect to to be all laid out for me. Though like so many times before, the stupid questions are the ones we didn't ask.

I'll check out those other conversations/threads and not make anyone repeat themselves any more than they already have in my case.
George Campbell, modified 10 Years ago at 10/25/11 4:19 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/25/11 4:19 AM

RE: Thanks for the replies

Posts: 12 Join Date: 10/19/11 Recent Posts
Andrew Jones:
John, I appreciate you knowing where I was coming from with the whole trying to investigate what the long term effects AF produces.

This discussion is really useful to me as it is making me think that this whole Richard thing is a laziness on my own part to go and find the equivalent states in other traditions and look for the answers to questions I have. It is my own inability to accept 'what is' in this case. Few perhaps have gone before ever, but maybe not so few that I can find traces and other expamples rather than crying at richards door as to why he won't fill in the blanks for me.

Perhaps it is the inherent benevolence of the universe that richard does provide such a stumbling block and makes so many statements full of hyperbole and sales pitch. Like you said, my, your, anyone's judgement about what 20 years of AF does to one is infact right there for anyone to assess in his case. Why ask him to be more or less than what he projects?

Sorta disappointing, but not really my business in the end. What am I going to do about my practice?

I think it is lazy on my behalf to expect to to be all laid out for me. Though like so many times before, the stupid questions are the ones we didn't ask.

I'll check out those other conversations/threads and not make anyone repeat themselves any more than they already have in my case.



This is one of the more sensible posts that I have come across on this forum. you are doing yourself a big favour, Andrew, by keeping your eyes & ears open - that itself says a lot about you. It is such foolishness to practice blindly, read blindly and pay for it in an unimaginable way.
End in Sight, modified 10 Years ago at 10/26/11 12:03 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/26/11 12:02 AM

RE: Thanks for the replies

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George Campbell:
It is such foolishness to practice blindly, read blindly and pay for it in an unimaginable way.


I am genuinely curious about this (the question is not rhetorical): is it your belief that constantly paying attention to one's experience is something that one is likely to suffer "unimaginable" negative consequences for doing?
Mahaparinirvana Sutra, modified 10 Years ago at 11/29/11 5:14 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/29/11 5:14 PM

RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

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Moreover, actualism appears to be an attempt to re-brand mahamudra,dzogchen,various tantras. In the process of such a re-branding, he claims he discovered something! The attempted simplification actually regresses the quality, as he picks a very preliminary practice and claims it leads to actual liberation!

Those who claim to achieve actual freedom using "his" methods are achieving various void-self fruitions at the very most (nothing original, absolutely nothing new). None of the those who have claimed actual freedom have demonstrated knowledge of how the self/individual is still manifesting in their lives via motivational tendencies. Richard is still enslaved by very subtle tendencies that actually have their root in mental defilement. Just like the 1000s before who in the past have claimed the highest enlightenment when it fact they have reached one of MANY enlightening fruitions and truly not close to the summit of enlightenment.

I feel like richard appears to be in denial about the state of modern physics. (Digital physics and QLG/holography) (Self-collapsing wave-functions, et cetera)
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 10 Years ago at 11/29/11 5:19 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/29/11 5:19 PM

RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

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Mahaparinirvana Sutra:
Those who claim to achieve actual freedom using "his" methods are achieving various void-self fruitions at the very most (nothing original, absolutely nothing new).

To get terminology straight: Could you describe what you mean by a void-self fruition? What most people on the DhO think of as a fruition is described in the MCTB: here, and here.

Mahaparinirvana Sutra:
None of the those who have claimed actual freedom have demonstrated knowledge of how the self/individual is still manifesting in their lives via motivational tendencies.

How so?

Richard:
...there needs to be a tidying-up of social mores and habitual patterns ‘after the event’ anyway ... an actual freedom does not miraculously remove every little detail. It does make the fine-tuning a breeze, though.
[link]

Mahaparinirvana Sutra:
Richard is still enslaved by very subtle tendencies that actually have their root in mental defilement.

Such as?
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Andrew , modified 10 Years ago at 11/30/11 12:31 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/30/11 12:31 AM

RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

Posts: 336 Join Date: 5/23/11 Recent Posts
Mahaparinirvana Sutra:
Moreover, actualism appears to be an attempt to re-brand mahamudra,dzogchen,various tantras. In the process of such a re-branding, he claims he discovered something! The attempted simplification actually regresses the quality, as he picks a very preliminary practice and claims it leads to actual liberation!

Those who claim to achieve actual freedom using "his" methods are achieving various void-self fruitions at the very most (nothing original, absolutely nothing new). None of the those who have claimed actual freedom have demonstrated knowledge of how the self/individual is still manifesting in their lives via motivational tendencies. Richard is still enslaved by very subtle tendencies that actually have their root in mental defilement. Just like the 1000s before who in the past have claimed the highest enlightenment when it fact they have reached one of MANY enlightening fruitions and truly not close to the summit of enlightenment.

I feel like richard appears to be in denial about the state of modern physics. (Digital physics and QLG/holography) (Self-collapsing wave-functions, et cetera)


Had a search of that last point you make, and holy unicorn do-do, that is some spun out gear indeed.

http://www.quantumconsciousness.org/penrose-hameroff/orchOR.html

I'm not sure why you think richard should be aware of this, hence allowing him to be in denial, but I would not be surprised that he doesn't know anything about it, like the majority of humanity.

thanks for the breadcrumb, really cool stuff.
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Daniel M Ingram, modified 10 Years ago at 11/30/11 12:49 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/30/11 12:48 AM

RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

Posts: 3231 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
Wow, that is really cool stuff. Talk about consciousness geeks: that must define one end of the spectrum, and a very cool one it is! Had to dust off my high school advanced modern physics, medical school biochemistry, and a whole lot more for that one.
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Andrew , modified 10 Years ago at 11/30/11 2:38 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/30/11 2:38 AM

RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

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I get shivers thinking about sub-atomic non-locality now...

the implication that the mind is indeed operating at the level of quantum mechanics would make subjective assertions like 'infinitude' more objective indeed.
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Bruno Loff, modified 10 Years ago at 11/30/11 8:57 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/30/11 8:54 AM

RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

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As I have some expertise in computability and complexity, let me just say: the hypothesis that quantum effects such as entanglement and superposition play any role whatsoever in consciousness is WILDLY SPECULATIVE. I mean WILDLY here, to the point that scientists who claim such a thing are mostly ignored.

Essentially, it is a scientific hypothesis that has so far found no way of being proven or disproven. Maybe the brain is quantum (but we can't prove it), and maybe there are little green men moving the quarks and the muons in each atom (but we really can't see them because they are too tiny).

Not only that "the brain is a quantum computer" is so-far impossible to prove or disprove, but Penrose's thesis (the guy who suggested that quantum effects could be happening in the synapses, referenced in the link above) goes even further to suggest that the brain's operation isn't even computable (roughly meaning that it does not obey a fixed set of rules, that it is not mechanical). (quantum computers, as known and studied by people in my field, have computable behavior)

Now, this is the kind of statement that not only has no-one found a way of proving it or disproving it, but it can be mathematically proven that there is no pre-determined fixed way of doing so (i.e., a way that is itself computable). It is even hard to judge if that kind of statement has any intrinsic meaning, because it is utterly untestable.

So if the former hypothesis (quantum consciousness) is hard to test and wildly speculative, the latter (uncomputable consciousness) is provenly impossible to test and hence a matter of faith. And the kind of faith one usually finds behind "consciousness is uncomputable" is a sort of mystical hogwash "consciousness is sooo special that suuurely there must be something uuuterly beyond the beyond, divine even, happening under the hood."

So I would recommend disregarding the "uncomputable quantum consciousness" website as nothing more than mental masturbation. It is easy to make wild imaginative speculative claims that sound like real science to non-specialists. People who do this are often going through A&P, where their heightened mental abilities, together with an affective "it all makes sense"/"it is all connected" kind of mentality, allow them to disregard one of the most basic premisses of scientific inquiry: you got to be able to test your assertions.

---

That said, I have speculated myself wether the apparent "magickal" coincidences could be explained by quantum entanglement. Quantum entanglement is the kind of phenomena which can only be detected through coincidences: one can use quantum entanglement (as an abstract resource) to produce correlations which would otherwise be impossible to replicate, while still not allowing for actual communication.

For instance, if two people had full control over well-behaving entangled quantum states called EPR pairs, this would allow them to think up of the same number without actually communicating, although they couldn't really choose what that number would be. As if they had thought of the same number by coincidence, a sort of telepathy without actual information exchange.

Now, if magick does in fact exist, work, and it actually behaves through this kind of quantum mechanism, and, furthermore, if it is possible for two humans to control (say, through concentration) this mechanism well enough (to the point of creating, maintaing and manipulating said EPR pairs), it should be possible to design an experiment which could rigorously, scientifically and repeatably prove the presence of said mechanism (using a sort of bell experiment and two meditators well-trained in the powers). Though I doubt it would have any more success than the rest of the paranormal research that was done out there.
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Andrew , modified 10 Years ago at 11/30/11 5:21 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/30/11 5:19 PM

RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

Posts: 336 Join Date: 5/23/11 Recent Posts
I've never before considered what was inside neurons etc, I tried a few times to read up on neurotransmitters (from actual journals, not the pop science gear) and I don't get far at all. Big words, small brain, no addy uppy.

I think the distinction that happens when science types start applying a different set of rules to psi events, i.e. start asking 'what it is', rather than simply 'how it works' is where it falls down. No one can tell us what energy is, only how it works. So far science has determined that psi does not operate on any of the physically observable levels. It is like when gravity was formulated (action at distance and all that), no one knew how, just that it did happen. We sort of know how these days, but we still insist on asking 'what it is'.

Science will not answer the question 'what it is' but only 'how it works'.

If, and I can't really get that far into what is being said on that site, just don't have the frame of reference to make much of it within my understanding, but if what is being said is that consciousness is beyond the observable world being channelled back into the observable world through quantum means then I can see what you mean by the mystical hogwash statement, but if is simply saying that consciousness is working at that level as well, then it simply makes sense. How could it not be? If it isn't, wouldn't that be like saying fish never get wet?

What is electricity? All definitions are ones based on what it does, and how it works, but not what it is.

If i say that electricity is energy, I'm simply moving the question to another word, if i say energy is the ability to do work, I have moved it to another word (ability) and it obviously can keep going.

If science stopped asking 'what consciousness is' and started just treating it like it does electricity, the whole paradigm of there being a division between faith and science breaks down. It would simply be an observable quality of consciousness to believe on one hand and investigate on the other.
Change A, modified 5 Years ago at 8/16/16 9:38 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 1/12/12 3:28 AM

RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

Posts: 791 Join Date: 5/24/10 Recent Posts
Andrew JonesIn the first paragraph of Richard's 'personal history' the following discrepancy stands out;

He describes a monk that self immolated as;

"a Buddhist monk killed himself" , no big deal I suppose,we all know that happened right?

Now Richard served between;

[removed]

The two recorded male monks that self immolated are;

Thich Quang Duc burnt himself to death 11 June 1963, another monk (couldn't find name) burn himself 2 months later. I can't find any other male monks dying this way during the war. They are both 3 years before Richard got to Vietnam, But..

perhaps he means 'a Buddhist monk killed herself '

Thich Nu Thanh Quang May 28th 1966 in the city of Hue.

Ok, fair enough, simple mistake.

But, reading Richards opening paragraph again you get the impression Richard was there in proximity with the monk somehow witnessing it.

That would be quite a feat considering the ship, [removed] that Richard was assigned to was in an entirely different city, [removed].


"The VRB informs me that no official record exists of any monk self-immolating in Saigon during the period covered by my tour of duty. If the official reporting of that time is indeed accurate, then it means that for the last thirty years or so I have believed I
was privy to something that did not ever happen."

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/actual_freedom_non_moderated/message/46

The above quote is from a letter by Richard which was never sent. This letter has been provided by Richard's ex-wife Irene [Last Name Redacted] which he said has died. Apparently she has not and she provided this letter on the non-moderated Yahoo group.

From the same letter:

//Because I had experienced shifting realities that fluctuated between "normal", "utterly ghastly" and on a few occasions, "completely perfect" back in the early eighties when all this started, I figured that if I was capable of creating my own "Ghastly Unreality", then I was equally capable of creating a "Perfect Unreality". //

So in reality, AF is "unreality".
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Nikolai , modified 5 Years ago at 8/16/16 9:39 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 1/12/12 4:03 AM

RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

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Aman A.

"The VRB informs me that no official record exists of any monk self-immolating in Saigon during the period covered by my tour of duty. If the official reporting of that time is indeed accurate, then it means that for the last thirty years or so I have believed I
was privy to something that did not ever happen."

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/actual_freedom_non_moderated/message/46

The above quote is from a letter by Richard which was never sent. This letter has been provided by Richard's ex-wife Irene [Last Name Redacted] which he said has died. Apparently she has not and she provided this letter on the non-moderated Yahoo group.

From the same letter:

//Because I had experienced shifting realities that fluctuated between "normal", "utterly ghastly" and on a few occasions, "completely perfect" back in the early eighties when all this started, I figured that if I was capable of creating my own "Ghastly Unreality", then I was equally capable of creating a "Perfect Unreality". //

So in reality, AF is "unreality".


**read with calm and collected aussie accent and not a hint of anger nor agitation in mind**

I could care less what nonsense Richard got up to and where he took his daily dump or whatever letter he wrote. That which he made popular here at the DhO is what matters (regardless of whether he thinks he was the first to talk about it, I don't give a rat's arse, he made certain important practices popular): apperception, attentiveness to sensuousness, cultivation of felicity/wellbeing, questioning beliefs, dismantling the blocks to happiness. All of these practices have been and will continue to be extremely valuable and have proved immensely effective in increasing happiness levels for many here and causing a number of us to have permanent shifts in suffering levels post MCTB 4th path. Such practices for myself have led to a massive shift in craving and the fabricating tendency of the mind.

Let us all focus on what we can experience here and now and how it contributes to our own end of suffering, such as attentiveness to the senses at the very point of contact which will lead to apperceptive awareness and will interfere with the sequence that leads to craving and clinging, becoming, mental proliferation (such as pooping on Richard's persona) and all that dukkha. Aman, do you have a practice? How can you contribute to this forum where it doesn't seem like one is simply poking a dirty crazy homeless bum, who gave some of us some good advice one time, with a stick?

Politely calm and curious as to what Aman's practice is all about,

Nick
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 5 Years ago at 8/16/16 9:39 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 1/12/12 8:43 AM

RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

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Aman A.The above quote is from a letter by Richard which was never sent. This letter has been provided by Richard's ex-wife Irene [Last Name Redacted] which he said has died. Apparently she has not and she provided this letter on the non-moderated Yahoo group.


His "dead ex-wife" has provided no evidence that she is who she claims to be. Why do you trust what this person has to say? Especially considering that there are several large discrepancies (not only omissions but changing of dates and events) between what the letters say and the 10 million words on the AFT site, which 10 million words are entirely internally consistent. Richard already admits to being diagnosed with 4 mental conditions[1] - Depersonalisation, Derealisation, Alexithymia, Anhedonia - so why would he cover up that he had PTSD in the past? Wouldn't that be a huge plus for Actualism - showing that it can cure even such an insidious condition?

A lot of it doesn't add up, and "Irene [Last Name Redacted]" is offering no help in proving who s/he is. Extraordinary claims call for at least a modicum of evidence.

(All this is a moot point for anyone who cares enough to undertake the practice and see that it leads to well-being all-around, of course.)

[1] though it isn't a case of these being morbid conditions that debilitate an ordinary 'being', but rather, an incomplete/partially inaccurate[2] description of a 'being'-less person, in psychiatric terms

[2] "This is why I have been diagnosed as ‘alexithymic’ by two accredited psychiatrists ... which is not strictly correct for alexithymia means not able to feel feelings. Other people can see such a person being angry, for example, but he/she will not be aware of this. It is not a case of him/her denying their feelings – or not being in touch with their feelings – but is a morbid condition. It is most common in lobotomised patients." [link]
John Wilde, modified 10 Years ago at 1/12/12 6:25 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 1/12/12 6:25 PM

RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

His "dead ex-wife" has provided no evidence that she is who she claims to be. Why do you trust what this person has to say? Especially considering that there are several large discrepancies (not only omissions but changing of dates and events) between what the letters say and the 10 million words on the AFT site, which 10 million words are entirely internally consistent.


If you knew that article to be genuine (ie. authored by Richard), regardless of who posted it, would it alter your appraisal of "actual freedom" in any way? Would it matter to you that there are, as you say, "several large discrepancies" between this account and the account on the AF website?

John
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 10 Years ago at 1/12/12 8:30 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 1/12/12 7:28 PM

RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

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John Wilde:
If you knew that article to be genuine (ie. authored by Richard), regardless of who posted it, would it alter your appraisal of "actual freedom" in any way? Would it matter to you that there are, as you say, "several large discrepancies" between this account and the account on the AF website?


The discrepancies would matter, yes, because it would be rather puzzling. Why would he take mental breakdowns and re-work them as PCEs? Why would he take the most serious breakdown of all, resulting in ~30 months of hellish negative-only emotions followed by elimination of negative ones as well (AF at the end of the 30 months), and re-work that as becoming AF (with no emotions whatsoever, not only-negative-emotions) followed by ~30 months of 'cranial agitation' (AF at the beginning of 30 months)?

Most puzzling of all would be how he could have made up a practice which he apparently didn't undertake, which, when applied, matches incredibly well with the 'supposed-re-worked' versions and not with the 'supposed-genuine-article' versions. It's like out of a huge pile of deceit, a pristine, simple, clear, clean practice emerges which nobody had done before (including Richard, in this scenario) and it apparently works quite well at leading to happiness, harmlessness, end of suffering, etc, even when mixed with other practices (referring to the Buddhist-Actualist combination emerging on the DhO).

If the article were indeed genuine, I would certainly demand an explanation for all these discrepancies, and I would question whether Richard was Actually Free, though if he weren't it would be puzzling how others managed to become AF without the coiner of the term being AF himself.

(EDIT: Note this is a response to "assume the article is genuine", not a response to "assume Richard had PTSD" or anything in the article taken alone in particular.)
John Wilde, modified 10 Years ago at 1/12/12 8:40 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 1/12/12 8:40 PM

RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
John Wilde:
If you knew that article to be genuine (ie. authored by Richard), regardless of who posted it, would it alter your appraisal of "actual freedom" in any way? Would it matter to you that there are, as you say, "several large discrepancies" between this account and the account on the AF website?


The discrepancies would matter, yes, because it would be rather puzzling. Why would he take mental breakdowns and re-work them as PCEs? Why would he suffer from PTSD, yet re-work that as being Enlightened for 11 years filled with Love Agape? Why would he take the most serious breakdown of all, resulting in ~30 months of hellish negative-only emotions followed by elimination of negative ones as well (AF at the end of the 30 months), and re-work that as becoming AF (with no emotions whatsoever, not only-negative-emotions) followed by ~30 months of 'cranial agitation' (AF at the beginning of 30 months)?

Most puzzling of all would be how he could have made up a practice which he apparently didn't undertake, which, when applied, matches incredibly well with the 'supposed-re-worked' versions and not with the 'supposed-genuine-article' versions. It's like out of a huge pile of deceit, a pristine, simple, clear, clean practice emerges which nobody had done before (including Richard, in this scenario) and it apparently works quite well at leading to happiness, harmlessness, end of suffering, etc, even when mixed with other practices (referring to the Buddhist-Actualist combination emerging on the DhO).

I would certainly demand an explanation for all these discrepancies, and if the article were indeed genuine, I would seriously question whether Richard was Actually Free, though if he weren't it would be puzzling how others managed to become AF without the coiner of the term being AF himself.


Thanks Claudiu. If someone had asked me this, my response would have been virtually identical to yours.

I know the article is genuine (though I am not the one who posted it).

If anyone cares enough... ask Richard.

John
John Wilde, modified 10 Years ago at 1/12/12 8:54 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 1/12/12 8:54 PM

RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

(EDIT: Note this is a response to "assume the article is genuine", not a response to "assume Richard had PTSD" or anything in the article taken alone in particular.)


Yes, that's understood. Same goes for me.

John
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 10 Years ago at 1/12/12 9:18 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 1/12/12 9:18 PM

RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

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John Wilde:
I know the article is genuine (though I am not the one who posted it).


Hmm, that would be interesting. Can I ask how you know? I'm not in contact with Richard.
John Wilde, modified 10 Years ago at 1/12/12 10:52 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 1/12/12 10:52 PM

RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
John Wilde:
I know the article is genuine (though I am not the one who posted it).


Hmm, that would be interesting. Can I ask how you know? I'm not in contact with Richard.


Sorry, I can't tell you that. It would be doing a serious disservice to someone who did me a big favor.

The hard part - for anyone who cares enough - is to figure out all the perplexing and gnarly implications, like the ones you raised in your post. It isn't easy... but the alternative isn't tenable either.

John
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 10 Years ago at 1/12/12 11:21 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 1/12/12 11:21 PM

RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

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John Wilde:
Sorry, I can't tell you that. It would be doing a serious disservice to someone who did me a big favor.

Hmm, well then you'd understand if I don't take your claim too seriously (and thus don't spend my time figuring out all those gnarly implications).

Though two immediate 'tenable' alternatives come to mind: Richard did get AF out of PTSD, which shows just how effective the practice can be, and either: 1) he didn't understand exactly what was happening until later with more understanding/hindsight, or 2) he understood the value of the practice/attainment regardless of personal circumstances and re-worded it to make it more palatable.

What is evident is that a practice/goal remains, which, to me, still seems worthwhile, given everything I've learned about it/experienced about it/interacted with people with regards to it. I think it's still possible to act not-skillfully even if one is AF, though one's intentions would be good. At least, I can't currently see an end to suffering that would be more complete than AF.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 10 Years ago at 1/12/12 11:30 PM
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RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

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John Wilde:
Hence my suggestion to ask him whether he wrote that article.

Your choice.


How would I do that? I don't know how to contact him. And, if I did, I have never contacted him before - hardly a friendly way to begin exchanges, by insinuating he wrote an article directly in contradiction with his 10 million+ words.
John Wilde, modified 10 Years ago at 1/12/12 11:34 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 1/12/12 11:34 PM

RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
John Wilde:
Hence my suggestion to ask him whether he wrote that article.

Your choice.


How would I do that? I don't know how to contact him. And, if I did, I have never contacted him before - hardly a friendly way to begin exchanges, by insinuating he wrote an article directly in contradiction with his 10 million+ words.


I had assumed there was a "contact" link on the AFT website. Apparently not. (At least, I can't find it at a glance).
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 10 Years ago at 1/12/12 11:50 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 1/12/12 11:50 PM

RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

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John Wilde:
I had assumed there was a "contact" link on the AFT website. Apparently not. (At least, I can't find it at a glance).


You don't leave me much choice, then, but to put this on hold to be resolved at a later date. In the mean-time, the practices Richard helped engender continue to prove useful to sincere practitioners.
John Wilde, modified 10 Years ago at 1/13/12 12:37 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 1/13/12 12:37 AM

RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

You don't leave me much choice, then, but to put this on hold to be resolved at a later date. In the mean-time, the practices Richard helped engender continue to prove useful to sincere practitioners.


OK, best of luck.

Thanks for answering my 'hypothetical' thoughtfully.

John
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 10 Years ago at 1/13/12 12:46 AM
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RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

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John Wilde:
OK, best of luck.

Thanks for answering my 'hypothetical' thoughtfully.


If you'd like to answer (in another thread potentially/my practice thread if you want): From your other posts, you seem to still be practicing for something... could I ask what that is? I honestly currently can't see an 'end of suffering' that wouldn't be compatible with AF as I understand it. What are you going for, if anything?
John Wilde, modified 10 Years ago at 1/13/12 8:53 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 1/13/12 5:11 AM

RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

If you'd like to answer (in another thread potentially/my practice thread if you want): From your other posts, you seem to still be practicing for something... could I ask what that is? I honestly currently can't see an 'end of suffering' that wouldn't be compatible with AF as I understand it. What are you going for, if anything?


Open clarity, peace, happiness, freedom, joy, benevolence. Those, to me, feel like the natural state. Practice is recognizing this, tuning into it, cultivating whatever makes it clearer, and abandoning whatever (seemingly) obscures it. Past experience has shown me that what I imagine to be 'the problem' at any given time usually isn't; there's another level of understanding or shift of awareness that makes it dissolve into something harmless. This is the way it has worked out for me so far, and I trust it enough to continue that way.

I wouldn't say that my aim is to "end suffering". That's welcome, but incidental..

John
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 10 Years ago at 1/13/12 8:58 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 1/13/12 8:58 AM

RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

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John Wilde:
I wouldn't say that my aim is to "end suffering". That's welcome, but incidental..

So you're doing it to feel good as much of the time as possible?

John Wilde:
Open clarity, peace, happiness, freedom, joy, benevolence. Those, to me, feel like the natural state. Practice is recognizing this, tuning into it, cultivating whatever makes it clearer, and abandoning whatever (seemingly) obscures it. Past experience has shown me that what I imagine to be 'the problem' at any given time usually isn't; there's another level of understanding or shift of awareness that makes it dissolve into something harmless. This is the way it has worked out for me so far, and I trust it enough to continue that way.

This is what I'm doing, too, yet I think it will end in AF. Why do you think AF won't happen if you continue doing what you're doing? Do you think your aversion to AF might prevent a shift from happening if you seem to be going in a direction you take AF to be? (If you never heard of AF, might your practice be less restricted?)
John Wilde, modified 10 Years ago at 1/13/12 5:18 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 1/13/12 4:56 PM

RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
John Wilde:
I wouldn't say that my aim is to "end suffering". That's welcome, but incidental..

So you're doing it to feel good as much of the time as possible?


Well.. not exactly. Again, that's welcome but incidental.

The way I look at it, feelings are important, but they're downstream from the real action. The energy that eventually shows up as emotion may be primary, but it goes through some filters and transformations before it becomes emotion, and even then it needs another ingredient to make it into suffering.

Also, for me, happiness is not necessarily synonymous with "feeling good".

John Wilde:
Open clarity, peace, happiness, freedom, joy, benevolence. Those, to me, feel like the natural state. Practice is recognizing this, tuning into it, cultivating whatever makes it clearer, and abandoning whatever (seemingly) obscures it. Past experience has shown me that what I imagine to be 'the problem' at any given time usually isn't; there's another level of understanding or shift of awareness that makes it dissolve into something harmless. This is the way it has worked out for me so far, and I trust it enough to continue that way.


Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

This is what I'm doing, too, yet I think it will end in AF. Why do you think AF won't happen if you continue doing what you're doing?


Because I think the desire for AF (or, for that matter, permanent cessation in any form) only arises contingent upon another misperception / misconception that translates a whole mode of experience into innate suffering. Rather than getting rid of phenomena, it's better to get rid of the misperception / misconception that turns it into suffering.. just like you did with insight. With this in mind, I don't see any 'danger' of AF just happening spontaneously.

There used to be another argument in favor of AF, and that was altruism: sacrificing all potential for selfishness and harm for the sake of oneself and everyone else.. but that one has turned out to be a bad joke. AF, in some people, is more like an extreme, autistic self-centredness that can't even see itself, reinforced by bullet-proof rationalizations that would prevent even the slightest possibility of recognition (you can't see what doesn't exist, right?).

It's not the best that is humanly possible, not by a long shot. (Despite some very fine people having gone there).

Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

Do you think your aversion to AF might prevent a shift from happening if you seem to be going in a direction you take AF to be? (If you never heard of AF, might your practice be less restricted?)


Interesting question. I'd say no, because without that fundamental misperception of affective energy as inherent suffering, inherent potential for harm, AF won't 'just happen'.

A few question for you now, if you're inclined..

What is it that appeals to you most about AF that you don't find elsewhere? How's your practice going? Putting aside what ought to work and what you want to happen .. what actually does work in practice to make you happier and better by whatever criteria you value most?

John
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 10 Years ago at 1/13/12 5:35 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 1/13/12 5:20 PM

RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

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John Wilde:
The way I look at it, feelings are important, but they're downstream from the real action. The energy that eventually shows up as emotion may be primary, but it goes through some filters and transformations before it becomes emotion, and even then it needs another ingredient to make it into suffering.

So what's the real action? Do you seek to do something with that primal energy? Have more of it? Have it be purer?

What is happiness for you?

John Wilde:
Because I think the desire for AF (or, for that matter, complete cessation in any form) only arises contingent upon another misperception / misconception that translates a whole mode of experience into innate suffering.

Ah interesting. Personally, I think the Buddha and the practice he taught and those Arahants back-in-the-day were onto something, regardless of whether those practices work now (from mistranslation/what-not). I find the goal of Actualism remarkably in line with what I take the goal of the Buddha to have been. And he certainly taught cessation. My brief experiences of cessation have also been the most suffering-free ones in my life. It might be a personal thing but I just can't see having 'being' around and being free of suffering. It's way too unstable.

John Wilde:
Rather than getting rid of phenomena, it's better to get rid of the misperception / misconception that turns it into suffering.. just like you did with insight.
Where do you draw the line, though? Isn't that misperception/misconception also just phenomena? You can't say you don't want to get rid of/alter phenomena, cause if you didn't you wouldn't practice at all. What if emotions themselves also just arise from misperceptions/misconceptions (as I think they do)?

John Wilde:
With this in mind, I don't see any 'danger' of AF just happening spontaneously.

True, you really have to be hell-bent on it, it seems.

John Wilde:
There used to be another argument in favor of AF, and that was altruism: sacrificing all potential for selfishness and harm for the sake of oneself and everyone else.. but that one has turned out to be a bad joke. AF, in some people, is more like an extreme, autistic self-centredness that can't even see itself, reinforced by bullet-proof rationalizations that would prevent even the slightest possibility of recognition (you can't see what doesn't exist, right?).

It's not the best that is humanly possible, not by a long shot. (Despite some very fine people having gone there).


This might be a matter of personal perception (of others), and also of mode of communication. I've seen one AF person's posts, and chatted with him online, and met him in person. He seemed more robot-like/impersonal/harsh on the left end (posting/chatting) and more friendly/personable/remarkably kind on the right end (chatting/in-person). Same person, mind you.

Also, how kind can you come off if someone is arguing with you about something that is obvious to you? For example, imagine two people are staring at a white car, and one person sees it is white, and the other person says "no, it's blue" (cause they're wearing blue-tinted glasses). And you tell them "just take off the glasses and you'll see it's white". And the other starts vehemently arguing with you about why that is crazy. You can choose to just drop it and walk away, or you can keep trying to persuade them to take the glasses off cause you think it's in their best interest. But if you choose to do the latter, at least one participant will be aggressive.. so even if you don't intend to be, how non-aggressive can you come off, especially when everything you say constantly undercuts the other's beliefs and makes him even more aggressive? Now especially take that in a text-only format where you don't even have body language to show you are not intending any harm. I'm not saying AF people are perfect interlocutors, but I would not call them autistically self-centered/egomaniacal.

Put another way: say you want to help your friend, who is a heroin addict. He will really dislike you cutting him off. He will get aggressive/pissed off/whatever. This doesn't mean you don't want to help him, though. And now consider that addiction to 'self' is far more insidious than addiction to heroin (more people kick heroin addictions than 'self' addictions, hah). To avoid his aggression, you could just choose to walk away. But you know he'll be better off if he drops the habit, so you keep trying (thus inciting his aggression). That doesn't mean you intend him harm, though.

John Wilde:
What is it that appeals to you most about AF that you don't find elsewhere?

I agree with its definition of suffering, and it has informed how I interpret Buddhism and I find that interpretation to be more accurate than I did previously (which was basically agreeing with the definition of MCTB ). It also is remarkably simple to check whether you're AF - that is, it's a well-defined attainment. And it seems more peaceful than anything else, as well as more attainable. Also more tailored to modern times than Buddhism, for example.

John Wilde:
How's your practice going?

meh. ups + downs. can't seem to get it going consistently.

John Wilde:
Putting aside what ought to work and what you want to happen .. what actually does work in practice to make you happier and better by whatever criteria you value most?


What works is when I can actually do actualism practice properly (what I consider properly). It's a matter of not being anxious, not being doubtful, not being insincere, but just enjoying being alive. The more I enjoy the moment, the better. It's just so damn hard to do that sometimes, hah, and I know it's not actually hard, it's just insincerity.

Basically when I can let everything I worry about go, and just enjoy and relax. Enjoying the senses. Interacting with people in a harmonious way, laughing/smiling, without any charged-emotions. Even giddiness is uncomfortable. Even 'vibing' with someone/being on the same page/building up on what each other is saying, is uncomfortable, has an unpleasant tinge to it. I also enjoy hanging out with AF people when I've gotten the chance. Something about it is just relaxing/calming.
John Wilde, modified 10 Years ago at 1/13/12 6:40 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 1/13/12 6:28 PM

RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

So what's the real action? Do you seek to do something with that primal energy? Have more of it? Have it be purer?


My basic orientation is to see how, in its essence, it's already pure, already perfect. I've had spontaneous glimpses of that all my life, and all my motivation to practice has been inspired and informed by those glimpses.

But that doesn't mean do nothing, leave it alone, let come what may. I do see a lot of value in cultivating wholesome /beneficial states, and abandoning lousy ones.

The best bit of advice I picked up from Buddhism was simply: if you know from experience that something is beneficial, leads to beneficial consequences for yourself and for others, and it's "praised by the wise", cultivate it. Otherwise, abandon it and replace it with something better.

Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

What is happiness for you?


A wholeness that I'm completely OK with... pleasure and pain included.

Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

John Wilde:
Because I think the desire for AF (or, for that matter, complete cessation in any form) only arises contingent upon another misperception / misconception that translates a whole mode of experience into innate suffering.

Ah interesting. Personally, I think the Buddha and the practice he taught and those Arahants back-in-the-day were onto something, regardless of whether those practices work now (from mistranslation/what-not). I find the goal of Actualism remarkably in line with what I take the goal of the Buddha to have been. And he certainly taught cessation. My brief experiences of cessation have also been the most suffering-free ones in my life. It might be a personal thing but I just can't see having 'being' around and being free of suffering. It's way too unstable.


Yes, if suffering is defined in terms of unpleasant feelings and sensations, I can see why you'd say that.

To me, suffering is something else. Not sure how to say it.

Take the 'bite' of a hot chilli pepper. I wouldn't want to eat a plate full of raw chillies. But as part of a good meal, I love the piquancy and the fire of it. To baulk at a good meal because it contains something 'inherently painful' just seems a morbid lack of perspective, to me. That's kind of how I see the obsession with suffering at a microscopic level (ie. affective phenomena as discrete experiences, isolated from context). (I'm not saying it's wrong, just saying how it strikes me).

Maybe it's a matter of taste, but I wouldn't want to be someone who can't handle a trace of spice in their meal, or who gets too finicky about this or that (whatever it is), or whose idea of a holiday is to relax in a luxury motel where the slightest unpleasant sensation or inconvenience would get right under their skin.

Now, I've had PCEs, and I know there's nothing sterile about them ... but what I'm talking about here is the kind of mentality that's attracted to the "end of suffering" per se. Fine if suffering ends as a consequence of something great, but it's not an attractive end in itself, IMO.

(Continued later..)

John
John Wilde, modified 10 Years ago at 1/13/12 11:00 PM
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RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

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John Wilde:

I have done everything possible to interpret and explain certain events in an innocent, harmless light.. and so have a few other people. Suffice it to say, I'm aware of too much behind-the-scenes information that makes a belief in the altruistic value of AF completely untenable.


To keep things in perspective here, I'm not implying any Manson Family stuff.. and I don't want to give that impression.

Treat the above as my personal assessment based on many details I know about, and give it no more weight than that.

However, the authorship of that article (PTSD) is not merely my personal impression; that's a fact. Make of it what you will.

It was this that prompted me to speak up. I've done so. Enough said.

John
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 10 Years ago at 1/13/12 11:38 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 1/13/12 11:36 PM

RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

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John Wilde:
My basic orientation is to see how, in its essence, it's already pure, already perfect. I've had spontaneous glimpses of that all my life, and all my motivation to practice has been inspired and informed by those glimpses.

What were those glimpses like? How do they differ from PCEs (if they weren't PCEs)? (Potentially unrelated note: you seem to have had more PCEs than I.)

John Wilde:
Yes, if suffering is defined in terms of unpleasant feelings and sensations, I can see why you'd say that.

I don't define it that way, axiomatically. Suffering is equivalent to ignorance. If there is suffering, something isn't being seen clearly. There is some blind reaction happening. Seeing totally clearly (no blind reaction) - no suffering.

It just so happens that, from my investigations, any affective sensation, any sensation with a sense of 'location' or 'time', appears to be a lack of seeing clearly, and nothing more substantial or important than that. Physical pain is unpleasant, but the physical pain isn't inherently suffering - just the mental aversion to it (or attraction if one is a masochist). Emotional pain is unpleasant, but it is inherently suffering, because it always arises out of a reaction to something already happening. It isn't primary like the sense of touch, but always secondary. So I have found, anyway.

John Wilde:
Maybe it's a matter of taste, but I wouldn't want to be someone who can't handle a trace of spice in their meal, or who gets too finicky about this or that (whatever it is), or whose idea of a holiday is to relax in a luxury motel where the slightest unpleasant sensation or inconvenience would get right under their skin.

Nor would I. Such a person would be suffering greatly. And such a person would have no hope of no longer suffering greatly unless they change their approach to life dramatically.

John Wilde:
Now, I've had PCEs, and I know there's nothing sterile about them ... but what I'm talking about here is the kind of mentality that's attracted to the "end of suffering" per se. Fine if suffering ends as a consequence of something great, but it's not an attractive end in itself, IMO.

Why is it not an attractive end in itself? The word 'suffering' connotes everything that could be wrong with life. No suffering - nothing wrong with life (by definition). What's wrong with a life in which nothing is wrong?
John Wilde, modified 10 Years ago at 1/14/12 12:07 AM
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RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

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A message seems to have gone astray. Here it is again:

Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

What if emotions themselves also just arise from misperceptions/misconceptions (as I think they do)?


It's an interesting possibility.. and if it turns out that way, so be it!

In my book, if understanding triggers a profound shift, that's fine. But if a profound shift is induced by will, brute force, and the world is then radically reinterpreted from that shifted perspective: well ... I treat it (and its advocates) with caution.

Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

This might be a matter of personal perception (of others), and also of mode of communication. I've seen one AF person's posts, and chatted with him online, and met him in person. He seemed more robot-like/impersonal/harsh on the left end (posting/chatting) and more friendly/personable/remarkably kind on the right end (chatting/in-person). Same person, mind you.

Also, how kind can you come off if someone is arguing with you about something that is obvious to you? For example, imagine two people are staring at a white car, and one person sees it is white, and the other person says "no, it's blue" (cause they're wearing blue-tinted glasses). And you tell them "just take off the glasses and you'll see it's white". And the other starts vehemently arguing with you about why that is crazy. You can choose to just drop it and walk away, or you can keep trying to persuade them to take the glasses off cause you think it's in their best interest. But if you choose to do the latter, at least one participant will be aggressive.. so even if you don't intend to be, how non-aggressive can you come off, especially when everything you say constantly undercuts the other's beliefs and makes him even more aggressive? Now especially take that in a text-only format where you don't even have body language to show you are not intending any harm. I'm not saying AF people are perfect interlocutors, but I would not call them autistically self-centered/egomaniacal.

Put another way: say you want to help your friend, who is a heroin addict. He will really dislike you cutting him off. He will get aggressive/pissed off/whatever. This doesn't mean you don't want to help him, though. And now consider that addiction to 'self' is far more insidious than addiction to heroin (more people kick heroin addictions than 'self' addictions, hah). To avoid his aggression, you could just choose to walk away. But you know he'll be better off if he drops the habit, so you keep trying (thus inciting his aggression). That doesn't mean you intend him harm, though.


I think your reasoning is sound, and I've been through all of this myself. I have done everything possible to interpret and explain certain events in an innocent, harmless light.. and so have a few other people. Suffice it to say, I'm aware of too much behind-the-scenes information that makes a belief in the altruistic value of AF completely untenable. It's a pity, but so be it. That's reality.

(One more time: if the implications of Richard being the author of that article matter to you, you'll only be burying your head in the sand and/or delaying the inevitable by not dealing with them now. It's awkward: I understand why my (unsupported) words are not persuasive to you; but still I know it, and I judge it better to say something than be silent.)


Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

What works is when I can actually do actualism practice properly (what I consider properly). It's a matter of not being anxious, not being doubtful, not being insincere, but just enjoying being alive. The more I enjoy the moment, the better. It's just so damn hard to do that sometimes, hah, and I know it's not actually hard, it's just insincerity.


I've also noticed that for some people, not all, there's something problematic about intending to be happy. For some people the practice can exaggerate the craving, aversion and self-centeredness that is the very heart of suffering. Sometimes a different emphasis in practice will clear the way and (incidentally, via the back door) give you results that are more consistent with the ones you want.


Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

Basically when I can let everything I worry about go, and just enjoy and relax. Enjoying the senses. Interacting with people in a harmonious way, laughing/smiling, without any charged-emotions. Even giddiness is uncomfortable. Even 'vibing' with someone/being on the same page/building up on what each other is saying, is uncomfortable, has an unpleasant tinge to it. I also enjoy hanging out with AF people when I've gotten the chance. Something about it is just relaxing/calming.


Cool, whatever works for you.

I'll leave you to it now. Best of luck. (And sorry for any distress or confusion, but you'll know in time why it was necessary).

John
John Wilde, modified 10 Years ago at 1/14/12 1:08 AM
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RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

John Wilde:
My basic orientation is to see how, in its essence, it's already pure, already perfect. I've had spontaneous glimpses of that all my life, and all my motivation to practice has been inspired and informed by those glimpses.

What were those glimpses like? How do they differ from PCEs (if they weren't PCEs)? (Potentially unrelated note: you seem to have had more PCEs than I.)


Open clarity, peace, happiness, freedom, joy, benevolence. Sometimes with feeling tone (e.g., an open, expansive feeling of natural goodness, joy, well wishing, sometimes tinged with sorrow as love, or compassion)... and sometimes without any affect at all (PCEs). Whenever it happened, the overriding impression was this is how we're meant to be, this is our natural state. It's reality, uncluttered by any mess or confusion. This is what life is like when we're not ruining it by our own confused strivings.


Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

John Wilde:
Yes, if suffering is defined in terms of unpleasant feelings and sensations, I can see why you'd say that.

I don't define it that way, axiomatically. Suffering is equivalent to ignorance. If there is suffering, something isn't being seen clearly. There is some blind reaction happening. Seeing totally clearly (no blind reaction) - no suffering.


I wouldn't argue with that, but you seem to take it a step further than I would, ie. no-suffering requires no-feeling.

Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

It just so happens that, from my investigations, any affective sensation, any sensation with a sense of 'location' or 'time', appears to be a lack of seeing clearly, and nothing more substantial or important than that.


At those times, can you tell exactly what you had not previously been seeing clearly?

Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

Physical pain is unpleasant, but the physical pain isn't inherently suffering - just the mental aversion to it (or attraction if one is a masochist). Emotional pain is unpleasant, but it is inherently suffering, because it always arises out of a reaction to something already happening. It isn't primary like the sense of touch, but always secondary. So I have found, anyway.


OK, but (putting aside ontological quibbles about primary and secondary) why does the fact that it's secondary mean that it's endowed with more inherent-sufferingness than physical pain?

Without disagreeing that emotional pain is unpleasant by its nature, must it always constitute suffering? The point of my (fairly crude) chilli analogy was that, by itself, the burning sensation is painful, unpleasant, but in context of a good meal, it's welcome. And just as painful sensations don't have to be experienced as suffering, neither do feelings (including painful ones) in a more holistic experiential context ... even if they're inherently unpleasant when viewed as as discrete experiences (out of context).

Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

John Wilde:
Now, I've had PCEs, and I know there's nothing sterile about them ... but what I'm talking about here is the kind of mentality that's attracted to the "end of suffering" per se. Fine if suffering ends as a consequence of something great, but it's not an attractive end in itself, IMO.


Why is it not an attractive end in itself? The word 'suffering' connotes everything that could be wrong with life. No suffering - nothing wrong with life (by definition). What's wrong with a life in which nothing is wrong?


Heheh, well considering that you've described suffering as "ignorance" and "everything that could be wrong with life".. here's to no-suffering! :-)

But would you go further and say that the only way not to suffer is not to feel?

John
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 10 Years ago at 1/14/12 1:07 AM
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RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

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John Wilde:
In my book, if understanding triggers a profound shift, that's fine. But if a profound shift is induced by will, brute force, and the world is then radically reinterpreted from that shifted perspective: well ... I treat it (and its advocates) with caution.

Hmm, where do you draw the line? Intent is foremost. (e.g. intent for MCTB stream-entry). Intent to investigate the way you are is foremost... do you just expect something you don't expect to happen? What if someone did it already and tells you what would happen? Would it be 'cheating' to have the intent to repeat that?

John Wilde:
I've also noticed that for some people, not all, there's something problematic about intending to be happy. For some people the practice can exaggerate the craving, aversion and self-centeredness that is the very heart of suffering. Sometimes a different emphasis in practice will clear the way and (incidentally, via the back door) give you results that are more consistent with the ones you want.

I've noticed this, too. Useful pointer: "Stop trying to get joy out of life." (That lead to more joy than previously.) A flaw with the actualist method, perhaps, that it can easily be misunderstood and lead to the application of another method that leads to the things you said.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 10 Years ago at 1/14/12 1:13 AM
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RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

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John Wilde:
(One more time: if the implications of Richard being the author of that article matter to you, you'll only be burying your head in the sand and/or delaying the inevitable by not dealing with them now.


A few more questions. (I have considered the possibility he is the author and it has been so far interesting to see what doubts arise & why.)

There are two articles, actually - this latest one framed as an e-mail to some group of veterans or what-not, and an earlier one (linked in the "Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder" thread), framed as an article detailing how he got AF. Are you certain Richard is the article of both, or only of one? If so, which one? They share a lot of the same content.

This e-mail was apparently written October 1997 (judging by the date on top). I don't have a link to the article-one - do you know when that one was written? Checking the AFT site, its copyright is 1997-2011, so I assume the site went live in 1997 (no Wayback Machine entry for the site earlier than 2000). Initially it went live with the entirety of Richard's journal, if I recall reading that somewhere correctly. The PTSD-article (not this e-mail) was apparently written for public consumption... any idea why Richard posted his journal (which certainly contains controversial material) but not that article?

If the person who wanted this aired publicly wanted to sincerely and honestly discredit Richard with the article... why would they do it by impersonating his dead ex-wife? Why go such a deceitful route, instead of just being entirely open about who they are and what their relationship to Richard is/was?

How was it proven to you he wrote the article? How do you know the person "doing you a huge favor" wasn't being intentionally deceitful?
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 10 Years ago at 1/14/12 1:21 AM
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RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

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John Wilde:
Open clarity, peace, happiness, freedom, joy, benevolence. Sometimes with feeling tone (e.g., an open, expansive feeling of natural goodness, joy, well wishing, sometimes tinged with sorrow as love, or compassion)... and sometimes without any affect at all (PCEs). Whenever it happened, the overriding impression was this is how we're meant to be, this is our natural state. It's reality, uncluttered by any mess or confusion. This is what life is like when we're not ruining it by our own confused strivings.

So they were both equally compelling?

Why do you prefer the non-PCE one?

John Wilde:
At those times, can you tell exactly what you had not previously been seeing clearly?

Generally, it's a matter of realizing the suffering-loop was being done volitionally without my knowledge. Realizing that, I realize 'I' could stop, and thus it stops. Like a "oh, I didn't know I could not-do that" moment. Generally supported by a belief ("this has to happen because of X") that was simply not the case.

John Wilde:
OK, but (putting aside ontological quibbles about primary and secondary) why does the fact that it's secondary mean that it's endowed with more inherent-sufferingness than physical pain?

Hm I now realize I said "physical pain isn't suffering," which implies something about how I was using the word 'suffering'. I suppose in a general sense it would be. It might be a matter of picking one's battles - by seeing clearly, I can not suffer emotionally. By seeing however clearly, physical pain still happens. Might as well see clearly and not suffer unnecessarily - (i.e. "physical pain is bad enough - why make it worse?").

John Wilde:
Without disagreeing that emotional pain is unpleasant by its nature, must it always constitute suffering? The point of my (fairly crude) chilli analogy was that, by itself, the burning sensation is painful, unpleasant, but in context of a good meal, it's welcome. And just as painful sensations don't have to be experienced as suffering, neither do feelings (including painful ones) in a more holistic experiential context ... even if they're inherently unpleasant when viewed as as discrete experiences (out of context).

Hmm... maybe it's a personal thing. Absence of feeling always is more pleasant than the presence of feeling. Even the 'good' feelings are far more unpleasant than the clarity of 'being' being absent.

John Wilde:
But would you go further and say that the only way not to suffer is not to feel?

Personally, I see 'feelings' as suffering, so yes. I can't construct an argument right now about feelings being suffering in an objective/absolute sense.
John Wilde, modified 10 Years ago at 1/14/12 1:57 AM
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RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
So they were both equally compelling?

Why do you prefer the non-PCE one?


No, at the risk of making this sound confusing, I think the PCE is probably the more compelling of the two. I have nothing at all against PCEs; they're great. It's just that I don't view everything else as unwanted, unnecessary, trouble-making, and don't think it's wise (after plenty of deliberation) to erase the whole package (the underlying faculties).

Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

John Wilde:
At those times, can you tell exactly what you had not previously been seeing clearly?

Generally, it's a matter of realizing the suffering-loop was being done volitionally without my knowledge. Realizing that, I realize 'I' could stop, and thus it stops. Like a "oh, I didn't know I could not-do that" moment. Generally supported by a belief ("this has to happen because of X") that was simply not the case.


Yeah, like becoming conscious of a clenched fist and unclenching it.

Does that extend to 'being' itself... or do you have to not-do something else to not-suffer in that way?

Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

It might be a matter of picking one's battles - by seeing clearly, I can not suffer emotionally. By seeing however clearly, physical pain still happens. Might as well see clearly and not suffer unnecessarily (...) Hmm... maybe it's a personal thing. Absence of feeling always is more pleasant than the presence of feeling. Even the 'good' feelings are far more unpleasant than the clarity of 'being' being absent. (...) Personally, I see 'feelings' as suffering, so yes. I can't construct an argument right now about feelings being suffering in an objective/absolute sense.


Re objective/absolute sense, same here.

John
John Wilde, modified 10 Years ago at 1/14/12 3:07 AM
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RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

There are two articles, actually - this latest one framed as an e-mail to some group of veterans or what-not, and an earlier one (linked in the "Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder" thread), framed as an article detailing how he got AF. Are you certain Richard is the article of both, or only of one? If so, which one? They share a lot of the same content.


Both, one (very likely) having some (grammatical, stylistic) input from his second wife or another of his associates.

Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

This e-mail was apparently written October 1997 (judging by the date on top). I don't have a link to the article-one - do you know when that one was written? Checking the AFT site, its copyright is 1997-2011, so I assume the site went live in 1997 (no Wayback Machine entry for the site earlier than 2000). Initially it went live with the entirety of Richard's journal, if I recall reading that somewhere correctly. The PTSD-article (not this e-mail) was apparently written for public consumption... any idea why Richard posted his journal (which certainly contains controversial material) but not that article?


Ideas, yes. Knowledge, no.

Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

If the person who wanted this aired publicly wanted to sincerely and honestly discredit Richard with the article... why would they do it by impersonating his dead ex-wife? Why go such a deceitful route, instead of just being entirely open about who they are and what their relationship to Richard is/was?


I won't try to explain or speculate about anything on behalf of any other person.

John
John Wilde, modified 10 Years ago at 1/14/12 3:16 AM
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RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

There are two articles, actually - this latest one framed as an e-mail to some group of veterans or what-not, and an earlier one (linked in the "Richard and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder" thread), framed as an article detailing how he got AF. Are you certain Richard is the article of both, or only of one? If so, which one? They share a lot of the same content.


On a personal note, I think it's a great pity he didn't choose to publish his 'AF discovery' in this way, warts and all. It's a great article, and a very moving story. I consider it the best thing he's ever written.

But, too much of my life has been spent on these matters.

Enough's enough.

Best wishes.

John
End in Sight, modified 10 Years ago at 1/14/12 8:31 AM
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RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

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John Wilde:
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

This is what I'm doing, too, yet I think it will end in AF. Why do you think AF won't happen if you continue doing what you're doing?


Because I think the desire for AF (or, for that matter, permanent cessation in any form) only arises contingent upon another misperception / misconception that translates a whole mode of experience into innate suffering. Rather than getting rid of phenomena, it's better to get rid of the misperception / misconception that turns it into suffering.. just like you did with insight. With this in mind, I don't see any 'danger' of AF just happening spontaneously.


Apart from factual issues related to the issue of suffering...as you believe that Richard is the author of an article in which Richard describes attaining AF via vipassana (even though he doesn't recognize it as that), I am surprised that you find that knowledge to be compatible with your theory about what causes AF and what doesn't. In other words, were that article to have been actually written by Richard, it offers strong support for the theory that diverse contemplative practices have one specific state as their final endpoint...and your contemplative practice sounds fairly similar to actualist-style practice.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 10 Years ago at 1/14/12 12:45 PM
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RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

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John Wilde:
Does that extend to 'being' itself... or do you have to not-do something else to not-suffer in that way?

I have limited experience with 'being'-less experience, but it seems to be the same principle just taken to its logical conclusion.

John Wilde:
Re objective/absolute sense, same here.

I will make this attempt at an objective argument: emotions are, as you say, not necessarily 'suffering' in a conventional sense (as in the person experiencing them might feel just fine, even w/ a negative emotion if they are relishing it), depending on the context. You make the argument that, even if, taken separately, the emotion is suffering, combined it might not be. That might be true.

But, the fact that an emotion is present, means that 'being' is present. And that's the kicker. If 'being' is present, then, by its nature (of instability), anything can happen: you can feel 'bad', you can feel 'good', you can get addicted to something if you're not careful ('hungry ghost' realm), you can suffer amazing torment, etc... as you say with the chile powder analogy, it's not suffering necessarily, combined with everything else experienced at the moment.. but it means 'being' is there, which means the potential for great suffering is there. The only safe way I see to ensure not suffering is for 'being' to be totally gone, as I think the goal of Buddhism was (end of 'becoming'), as the goal of Actualism is.

You say everything absent in a PCE is not necessarily unwanted, to you... but even if some of it might be seen as good, the benefit does not outweigh the cost (potential of suffering)... and apparently even the things that seem good, are not good, compared to the PCE, so it's not even a matter of losing that.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 10 Years ago at 1/14/12 12:44 PM
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RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

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John Wilde:
But, too much of my life has been spent on these matters.

Enough's enough.

Best wishes.

Very well. Much luck with your practice.
Vas A, modified 10 Years ago at 1/18/12 1:05 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 1/18/12 1:05 PM

RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
John Wilde:
If you knew that article to be genuine (ie. authored by Richard), regardless of who posted it, would it alter your appraisal of "actual freedom" in any way? Would it matter to you that there are, as you say, "several large discrepancies" between this account and the account on the AF website?


The discrepancies would matter, yes, because it would be rather puzzling. Why would he take mental breakdowns and re-work them as PCEs? Why would he take the most serious breakdown of all, resulting in ~30 months of hellish negative-only emotions followed by elimination of negative ones as well (AF at the end of the 30 months), and re-work that as becoming AF (with no emotions whatsoever, not only-negative-emotions) followed by ~30 months of 'cranial agitation' (AF at the beginning of 30 months)?

Most puzzling of all would be how he could have made up a practice which he apparently didn't undertake, which, when applied, matches incredibly well with the 'supposed-re-worked' versions and not with the 'supposed-genuine-article' versions. It's like out of a huge pile of deceit, a pristine, simple, clear, clean practice emerges which nobody had done before (including Richard, in this scenario) and it apparently works quite well at leading to happiness, harmlessness, end of suffering, etc, even when mixed with other practices (referring to the Buddhist-Actualist combination emerging on the DhO).

If the article were indeed genuine, I would certainly demand an explanation for all these discrepancies, and I would question whether Richard was Actually Free, though if he weren't it would be puzzling how others managed to become AF without the coiner of the term being AF himself.

(EDIT: Note this is a response to "assume the article is genuine", not a response to "assume Richard had PTSD" or anything in the article taken alone in particular.)


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dissociative_identity_disorder
perchance?

points to note:
This disorder is theoretically linked with the interaction of overwhelming stress, traumatic antecedents, insufficient childhood nurturing, and an innate ability to dissociate memories or experiences from consciousness.
Symptoms can include:
Depersonalization
Derealization
Disruption of identity characterized by two or more distinct personality states
Distortion or loss of subjective time (a long time)
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 10 Years ago at 1/18/12 2:06 PM
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RE: How I achieved Actual Freedom from Actual Freedom

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Vas A:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dissociative_identity_disorder
perchance?

points to note:
This disorder is theoretically linked with the interaction of overwhelming stress, traumatic antecedents, insufficient childhood nurturing, and an innate ability to dissociate memories or experiences from consciousness.
Symptoms can include:
Depersonalization
Derealization
Disruption of identity characterized by two or more distinct personality states
Distortion or loss of subjective time (a long time)

Well, I was being a bit facetious when I said I doubt he could be AF and have written the article. The condition seems legitimate (something attainable), and I've personally interacted with AF folk and it has been consistent with Richard's reports, and it doesn't make sense he could teach others to become AF without being AF himself.

So, I would need an explanation consistent with him being AF... and Dissociative Identity Disorder (aka Multiple Personality Disorder) is not. (Can't dissociate from an identity if there isn't one in the first place.) Not to say he might not have had it at some point... but certainly not after AF, and he wrote the article 5 or 3 years after AF (depending on whether you believe the article or the AFT site).

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