New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Srinath J 2/10/22 4:00 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Griffin 2/11/22 7:12 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/13/22 2:09 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Griffin 2/13/22 4:12 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/15/22 5:29 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Griffin 2/16/22 8:29 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/16/22 4:53 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom J W 2/17/22 2:56 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/17/22 3:50 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom J W 2/18/22 1:54 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/18/22 4:15 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom J W 2/18/22 5:04 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Daniel - san 2/15/22 10:23 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/16/22 5:40 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Srinath J 2/12/22 12:33 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Griffin 2/13/22 9:24 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Srinath J 2/15/22 10:39 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Griffin 2/17/22 9:19 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Pepe · 2/12/22 7:59 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Ni Nurta 2/17/22 4:37 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/17/22 6:13 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Griffin 2/17/22 7:18 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/17/22 12:41 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Griffin 2/17/22 4:12 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/17/22 4:51 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Griffin 2/17/22 5:23 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Daniel - san 2/17/22 7:26 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/17/22 3:59 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom J W 2/17/22 3:07 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/18/22 4:21 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom J W 2/18/22 2:00 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Ni Nurta 2/17/22 3:56 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/17/22 4:19 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Ni Nurta 2/17/22 5:15 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/18/22 4:38 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Ni Nurta 2/17/22 2:24 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom terry 2/17/22 2:43 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom terry 2/17/22 2:53 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/17/22 3:26 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Chris M 2/17/22 3:56 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/17/22 4:12 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom J W 2/17/22 4:18 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/17/22 4:29 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom J W 2/17/22 5:11 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/18/22 4:44 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom J W 2/18/22 1:55 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Chris M 2/17/22 4:38 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/17/22 4:45 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Chris M 2/17/22 4:51 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Adi Vader 2/18/22 6:40 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Chris M 2/18/22 5:53 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/19/22 5:47 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/19/22 6:01 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Chris M 2/19/22 6:49 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/19/22 6:44 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom J W 2/19/22 9:19 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/19/22 7:02 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Chris M 2/19/22 7:07 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/19/22 8:53 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom terry 2/19/22 4:30 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom terry 2/19/22 4:32 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/19/22 10:11 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom J W 2/19/22 11:11 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Daniel - san 2/19/22 10:41 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/19/22 10:49 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Daniel - san 2/19/22 11:02 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Chris M 2/19/22 10:47 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Daniel - san 2/19/22 10:57 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Chris M 2/19/22 11:02 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Chris M 2/19/22 10:59 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/19/22 12:22 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom J W 2/19/22 12:46 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/19/22 12:52 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Griffin 2/19/22 3:36 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Chris M 2/20/22 7:40 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom terry 2/19/22 3:17 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom terry 2/19/22 3:36 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom terry 2/19/22 4:16 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom J W 2/19/22 4:37 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom terry 2/19/22 5:05 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Daniel - san 2/19/22 4:25 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom terry 2/19/22 4:54 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom terry 2/19/22 4:48 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom terry 2/19/22 4:59 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/20/22 5:08 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Daniel - san 2/20/22 8:08 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom J W 2/20/22 10:13 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom J W 2/20/22 10:19 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Chris M 2/20/22 7:46 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom terry 2/20/22 1:50 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Griffin 2/20/22 4:53 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom terry 2/20/22 5:13 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Chris M 2/21/22 6:53 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Daniel - san 2/21/22 9:34 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Chris M 2/21/22 10:23 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Ni Nurta 2/21/22 11:47 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom terry 2/21/22 11:52 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom George S 2/21/22 12:03 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Ni Nurta 2/21/22 12:16 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom terry 2/21/22 1:01 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom terry 2/21/22 12:36 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom terry 2/21/22 12:50 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Ni Nurta 2/21/22 1:03 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom terry 2/22/22 2:38 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom terry 2/21/22 1:50 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom J W 2/21/22 2:02 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom terry 2/22/22 12:01 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom J W 2/21/22 1:55 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom terry 2/21/22 12:54 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Ni Nurta 2/21/22 1:01 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom terry 2/22/22 1:36 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Noah D 2/21/22 2:49 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom T DC 2/21/22 10:59 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Griffin 2/22/22 4:10 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Pepe · 2/22/22 4:37 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom terry 2/22/22 12:27 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/22/22 5:08 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom George S 2/22/22 6:23 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom terry 2/22/22 12:12 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom terry 2/22/22 12:15 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Chris M 2/22/22 7:25 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/22/22 7:31 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Chris M 2/22/22 7:32 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom terry 2/22/22 12:09 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/22/22 12:48 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/22/22 9:29 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Ni Nurta 2/22/22 10:34 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom George S 2/22/22 12:57 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom terry 2/22/22 1:34 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom terry 2/22/22 1:20 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom terry 2/22/22 1:23 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Chris M 2/22/22 2:47 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Srinath J 2/22/22 5:42 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom terry 2/23/22 1:40 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Ni Nurta 2/23/22 3:35 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Srinath J 2/23/22 6:57 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Srinath J 2/22/22 6:33 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom terry 2/22/22 6:16 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/22/22 7:05 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Daniel - san 2/22/22 7:28 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Ni Nurta 2/23/22 6:48 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom T DC 2/22/22 10:18 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/23/22 5:12 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Ni Nurta 2/23/22 10:28 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom T DC 2/24/22 4:02 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom terry 2/23/22 2:02 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom terry 2/23/22 6:10 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Srinath J 2/23/22 5:00 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Chris M 2/24/22 3:26 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Ni Nurta 2/24/22 3:43 PM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Chrollo X 3/3/22 8:12 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Daniel - san 3/3/22 10:23 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom Reborn Rebirth 3/8/22 4:00 AM
RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom John Hooper 3/22/22 10:50 AM
Srinath J, modified 4 Months ago at 2/10/22 4:00 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/10/22 3:53 PM

New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 8 Join Date: 2/7/22 Recent Posts
Hi everyone. I hope that it's okay for me to put up some links to new actualism resources, in case there are those who are still interested in it on the DHO.  It's been ages since I actually posted anything on here and I recently started a new account - but basically using my old handle. 

There is a new forum to discuss actualism:

https://discuss.actualism.online

There is also my simple guide to actualism which should give you an easy to digest outline of the main bits.  It cuts through some of the complexity of the AFT and helps navigate it by including helpful links to key articles on there:

 https://simpleactualism.com

A video series and podcast are being talked about, but nothing out as yet
thumbnail
Griffin, modified 4 Months ago at 2/11/22 7:12 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/11/22 7:12 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 218 Join Date: 4/7/18 Recent Posts
When it comes to actualism, I always wanted to see a bullet-point list of precise instructions, instead of long narrative forms. Daniel actually created a numbered list, but it doesn work for me because it simoultaneously contains many different aspects and I cannot hold that many intentions at the same time. I guess the problem is in me and not the system itself, but I wonder whether there are others who feel the same.

To repet my words from an older post, "no matter how many different descriptions of actualism practice I have read, it just never "clicked" for me. It's like every article presents it somewhat differently, or it's poetically ambiguous, or it's a list of instructions that don't feel like a coherent system of practice. There's a lack of vipassana-like precise terminological practicality. I just gave up trying to understand it, and don't care anymore."
Srinath J, modified 4 Months ago at 2/12/22 12:33 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/12/22 12:33 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 8 Join Date: 2/7/22 Recent Posts
Well that is good feedback. Potentially a more precise bullet point style manual would be helpful for some. I'll have to think about how that could be done.

I’ve tended to like instructions that had a balance of clarity and evocation and not bullet-point lists. So that’s the style I’ve gone for on Simple Actualism. It is intended as a broad introduction rather than a technical manual. I also wonder if there is something about the open simplicity of actualism that resists Vipassana style systemisation. They are very different after all. But that is something that has yet to be rigorously tested.

I don’t think actualism is for everyone by any means and perhaps it is an especially poor fit for those who find benefit and sense in a meditative practice based in Buddhism or pragmatic dharma. If it hasn’t resonated after several attempts then maybe it's just not your bag as you say.
 
thumbnail
Pepe ·, modified 4 Months ago at 2/12/22 7:59 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/12/22 7:59 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 573 Join Date: 9/26/18 Recent Posts
Srinath, thanks for the links.

For those new to DhO, there's also a whole section in Daniel Ingram's Posts Compilation focused on his experiences with Actualism, including the instruction list (short and long versions) that Griffin mentioned above:

Actualism-Inspired Practices

Actualism-Inspired Practice Basic Instructions 
thumbnail
Griffin, modified 4 Months ago at 2/13/22 9:24 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/13/22 9:24 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 218 Join Date: 4/7/18 Recent Posts
Hi Srinath, thank you for a thoughtful and considerate response. Since Pepe has shared Daniel's bullet points, I'll use the opportunity to ask you whether you agree that they contain the essence of actualism, or would your list be different. And how is it possible that such a practice doesn't lead to Buddhist awakening, but instead produces completely different actualist attainments? Isn't all of this standard Buddhist tech, mindfulness, cultivating samadhi-like qualities and seeing no-self?

  • Paying attention to the beauty of the sensate world.
  • Paying attention to this moment as it is.
  • Paying attention to feelings.
  • Paying attention to things happening on their own.
  • Cultivating peace and clarity.
  • Aspiring to one's vision of a mind well-trained in freedom from suffering and dwelling in happiness.
  • Attending to what leads to what, specifically what leads to happiness and what leads to suffering.
  • Enjoying enjoyable and clear mind states.
  • Noticing the difference between superficial feelings and core drives.
  • Examining the structure of the process of identity creation.
thumbnail
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 4 Months ago at 2/13/22 2:09 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/13/22 2:09 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Griffin
When it comes to actualism, I always wanted to see a bullet-point list of precise instructions, instead of long narrative forms. Daniel actually created a numbered list, but it doesn work for me because it simoultaneously contains many different aspects and I cannot hold that many intentions at the same time. I guess the problem is in me and not the system itself, but I wonder whether there are others who feel the same.

To repet my words from an older post, "no matter how many different descriptions of actualism practice I have read, it just never "clicked" for me. It's like every article presents it somewhat differently, or it's poetically ambiguous, or it's a list of instructions that don't feel like a coherent system of practice. There's a lack of vipassana-like precise terminological practicality. I just gave up trying to understand it, and don't care anymore."


Hi Griffin,

Just wanted to chip in that I, coming from a Vipassana background into actualism, had a similar reaction to actualism at first. It rather seemed like the actualists all went on and on about this and that but never really got to the point, the core, the meat of what it actually is that the practice is. 

After actualism finally 'clicked' for me, I was shocked to discover that the entire time, those writings specifically and in a very detailed, pragmatic, and thorough way, with great care taken for terminology, spell out precisely what the tools, methods and techniques of actualism actually are!

It's just that it comes from such a completely different place than Vipassana meditation does, that it simply didn't even register to me that it could be describing a practice or something to do. 

At the most basic and fundamental level, the actualism method literally *is* enjoying and appreciating this moment of being alive

There is nothing other than this, that is what the actualism method is. This is the method, period. Enjoyment and appreciation of this moment of being alive. 

So if the question is, what, practically is the actualism method? The answer is precisely this - enjoy and appreciate this moment of being alive. If you are enjoying this moment of being alive now, then you are employing the method. If you aren't, then you are not. 

The key to it all, then, is when you are *not* enjoying and appreciating this moment of being alive - how to find your way *back to* enjoying and appreciating this moment of being alive? And that is where all the various tools, tips, methods, techniques and other methods come into place.

And the fact of the matter is, no matter how refined and intelligent we think ourselves to be, 99% of the time, what is causing us to not enjoy and appreciate this moment of being alive is something incredibly mundane, like... got stuck in traffic... taking a long time to order my fast food... my partner said this to me and now I am triggered and upset about it... etc. 

So one of the primary tools of actualism is to find out specifically and precisely, what exactly caused me to stop enjoying and appreciating this moment of being alive. My answer when I asked myself this question used to be "Well it couldn't have been this thing at my job, cause that doesn't _really_ bother me... and it couldn't be what my roommate said cause that's not such an issue..." and yet, those literally were exactly the things that were causing me to not enjoy and appreciate this moment of being alive! I was just in denial that such things could get to me. Because after all, all those emotions were just impermanent sensations, coming and going, not-me, and of course intrinsically suffering, and therefore they didn't really 'get to me' as I had developed equanimity towards such things....

But what I came to discover is that, simply by virtue of them occurring in the first place, it means they really were bothering me. And so my path was to 1) stop kidding myself, and 2) actually investigate myself and discover what specific part of my identity I held so dear that I would defend such as to keep being in such a way that those things would get to me, and finally 3) see that it is silly and therefore not worth continuing to be that way... after which, those particular triggers no longer got to me, and I was therefore able to employ the actualism method - of enjoying and appreciating this moment of being alive - more successfully.

(If anyone reading this is bothered by the repetition I would simply point out it's a device that can have great rhetorical effect, and particularly point you to the suttas for reference.)

I think the reason it might not appear to be a "coherent system of practice" to someone from a meditative background, is that meditation is more about doing one specific thing (whatever the meditation may be) very intentfully and intensely... and that simply doesn't work with "having a fun time being alive". You can't force your way to enjoy being alive. The only way to do it is to remove all the impediments... and the impediments are as varied as the human condition. Essentially actualism is 100% about "content" and not about enything else - and specifically about dealing with your "content" such as to become a happier and more harmless person. 

And with all of these things, you ultimately just have to see it for yourself, that it's silly to be anything other than happy and harmless... someone can directly spell out to you what the answer to a particular problem is, but until you see it for yourself it does nothing for you. Further only you can know yourself fully and figure out exactly how 'you' tick, so in a lot of actualist discussions, the correspondents can't do much besides offer advice and hints as to what it may be, and share their own experiences... hence it might seem "ambiguous" because of this.

Of course if you still "don't care anymore" then there's no reason for you to look into it... but if you are interested I'd encourage you to re-read the material with this in mind and see if you understand it differently now. There's no requirement, duty or obligation to do so though - it is entirely a take-it-or-leave-it thing, and as Srinath says, it might not be for everyone. 

Cheers,
Claudiu
thumbnail
Griffin, modified 4 Months ago at 2/13/22 4:12 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/13/22 4:11 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 218 Join Date: 4/7/18 Recent Posts
Hello Claudiu, thank you for your inspiring and illuminating feedback! You really understand where I was coming from. I have two sincere questions:

1) My main impediment is restlesness: somatic tension or ADHD-like impatience.
My framework for dealing with it is derived from meditation (TMI, Shinzen etc.) and somatic psychotherapies: seeing how it changes, pendulating between the tension and tension-free areas etc. I am not sure how would actualist route look like for this impediment... 

2) I'll use the example "my partner said this to me and now I am triggered". Indeed, sometimes my partner triggers my childhood traumas during a quarrel. There are many schools of psychotherapy, discussing for many decades how to resolve this kind of inner issues. Is it possible that I could replace and transcend all of that by just saying "this is silly and I am going to enjoy this moment of being alive"?
thumbnail
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 4 Months ago at 2/15/22 5:29 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/14/22 5:57 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Griffin
Hello Claudiu, thank you for your inspiring and illuminating feedback! You really understand where I was coming from. I have two sincere questions:

1) My main impediment is restlesness: somatic tension or ADHD-like impatience.
My framework for dealing with it is derived from meditation (TMI, Shinzen etc.) and somatic psychotherapies: seeing how it changes, pendulating between the tension and tension-free areas etc. I am not sure how would actualist route look like for this impediment...

Hmmm. To clarify, is it to the level of a psychiatric diagnosis (ADHD) or rather you're describing it that way to indicate that it is an extreme issue?

I don't have any personal experience with diagnosed mental disorders, and Richard, for example, advises against actualism in these cases:
Actualism is of no use to one who is harbouring a neurotic or psychotic condition or who is an uneducated social misfit with a chip on their shoulder. Such a person is well-advised to see a psychologist or a psychiatrist or an educator or attend classes on citizenship and cultural etiquette before even bothering to try to unravel the mess that is the Human Condition.
That being said, I was an extremely anxious person in the past, both socially and generally. The anxiety was very troubling and bothersome and was certainly not a fun way of being alive. It is vast reduced now - I still get anxious at times, and even very anxious around some issues, but the majority of the time I don't experience it anymore... which is a marked improvement. 

What I found is that I was unhappy with a lot of things in my life, and I simply was too scared to try and change them, which led to this circling spiral of anxiety. For example, I wanted a girlfriend but was too scared to date... so instead I would be anxious about meeting people, not having a girlfriend, etc. What cured that particular issue was finally having had enough of it, and putting myself out there and dating... which worked out well! 

The way actualism helped me with this in particular is I was finally able to see that I had to actually do something about my situation -- it was silly to continue as I had been, wanting to try and do this or that but not doing it. Meditation didn't help me in my case, because the advice was to keep noting, meditating, gaining insight into the three characteristics of all phenomenon, which I did quite a bit of, but didn't change the situation. 

For your particular case... firstly in terms of "somatic tension" I've found that physical sensations are actually absolutely no problem at all. Rather, in every case where there is something chronic and unpleasant physically, I've found that the underlying reason has been an emotional or psychic one. Something was bothering me, and I didn't want to admit to myself that I was feeling stressed or unhappy about it, and as a way to avoid feeling these feelings this subconsciously led to physical manifestations of my emotional distress -- to the point where I could even barely type on a keyboard for a period of a few weeks, which was extremely distressing for me as a programmer, until I recognized it was an emotional problem and not a physical one (as in RSI or carpal tunnel), after which the 'problem' was no longer able to hide in my subconscious, and I was completely cured of physical symptoms in a matter of days. 

As you mention "impatience" which is an emotional state, I would recommend that being the place to start. What I found in terms of anxiety is that a large part of what keeps the anxious fuel alive is this moral feeling that "I shouldn't be anxious" or "I shouldn't worry about this". This "shouldn't be" introduced a layer of self-castigation which of course is a bad feeling, and that, threaded through the initial anxiety or fear of whatever the issue is, perpetuated it, grew it, and kept it going. A big key to all of this is in recognizing that you are an emotional being - what 'you' are, is, essentially, 'your' emotions - and it is completely "OK" to feel. You want to allow yourself to feel all your feelings fully -- without necessarily expressing them, but rather it's more about not suppressing or repressing them. Ultimately it is OK to feel however you feel, because that is the nature of being a feeling-being, you can't be any other way... and this emotional acceptance of how you ultimately are, really takes the sting out of anything that might be bothering you, and allows you to experience it and see it clearly. By seeing it clearly then you can understand it, and get to the root of what it is that causes you to feel so extremely impatient in the first place. 

2) I'll use the example "my partner said this to me and now I am triggered". Indeed, sometimes my partner triggers my childhood traumas during a quarrel. There are many schools of psychotherapy, discussing for many decades how to resolve this kind of inner issues. Is it possible that I could replace and transcend all of that by just saying "this is silly and I am going to enjoy this moment of being alive"?

If just saying that it is silly worked to actually see it as silly, then that is all it would take, yes emoticon

However, experience has shown me that it can actually be quite a journey to see that it is silly. 

I will state that, for all of the issues I've successfully investigated, ultimately, once I did truly see it as silly to allow whatever it is to take away from enjoying and appreciating being alive -- then that was all it took. After I saw it was silly, that seeing of it **is** the resolution of the issue. After that it doesn't occur anymore. 

However I've gone through countless times of pretending I thought it was silly, thinking I saw it was silly, but not having actually seen it as silly... all the while in the background it kept bothering me. The only solution to this is sincerity, which is a key ingredient in actualism -- being sincere, as in "free from pretense and deceit" -- not kidding yourself, not kidding others, allowing intelligence to think thoughts freely without pretending things are other than they are. Sincerity is what allows you to see how you tick, to see when an issue is unresolved, and to successfully investigate feelings. 

It can really be tricky to navigate the many layers of identity. There's our core instinctual passions, which is the source of it all. We are all basically aggressive, fearful, desirous, and nurturing, at the very core of our selves, which is why there is a problem in the first place. Then there are all the layers of social and moral conditioning. For a well-intentioned person there are so many directions to be pulled into... you want to be a model employee, a model partner, a model father, a prudent consumer, etc. etc., and these ideal identities conflict with each other (better to stay late to finish the project for work, but then my partner wanted me to have dinner with them tonight... what do I do??)

Further there is whatever conditioning our caretakers imposed on us... for example my grandmother was physically abusive when I stayed with her when I was ~3-4 years old - to what precise degree I cannot be sure as I don't have a lot of memories of the time, and I don't think it was anything particularly egregious, but I'm certain it happened. I think this certainly shaped the personality I had become and contributed to the anxiety, general desire to please others, avoidant personality, etc.

So it is quite a mess to untangle it all. But it is possible emoticon. Unlike the approach psycotherapy takes to go back, with actualism you just have to start with what's happening now, what the particular issue of this very moment is. It doesn't particularly matter why you are the way you are now - as in what conditions or causes shaped you to be the particular identity you are now. So there's no benefit endlessly dwelling on the past. Rather all that matters is - what are you going to do about it now? All that is necessary is to observe that you do get triggered, and then once you pinpoint the trigger, the investigation can begin. There is ample opportunity for this to happen in daily life so there's no need to go digging around for problems -- they will simply come up naturally as you go about your daily life.

EDIT: I thought I'd clarify the above a bit. What I mean is that, although past conditioning and events have shaped you to be who you are today, the way to enjoy and appreciate being alive now is not to go back in time and go over every event and analyze it, etc... but rather it's to see what triggered you now such that you now are not enjoying and appreciating being alive. As in, from a starting point of feeling good, you then notice that now you aren't feeling good - so what specifically caused it to happen now

Once you find the trigger, then the investigation begins... and this is where you find out, what about me as I am now, makes me feel like I have to feel upset or angry or annoyed or impatient etc. about this? When it's clearly better to enjoy being alive, why do I feel this is important such that I'm no longer feeling good? What stake do I have in perpetuating me feeling this way? For me a lot of the times I felt anxious it was because I was afraid of the consequences of what might happen if I did this or said that. I didn't want to reveal myself - I wanted to hide myself from others, so I can shape myself to be someone who I think they would like. And I would be mortified at the prospect that they might find out something about myself that I thought would run counter to that.

What I discovered, time and time again of this happening, is that 1) most people didn't actually care enough to even notice most of the time, and 2) even if they did notice, the consequences were never bad, so therefore 3) it was mostly about me getting over myself, recognizing I'm not the center of everyone's universe, also that it didn't particularly matter how I was, and that I didn't want to live a life anyway of pretending to be someone to please others. It took many bouts of anxiety and many triggers to uncover all of this -- but eventually I got to the bottom of it (mostly emoticon ). So it didn't matter per se that I was this way because of how my grandmother may or may not have treated me -- which certainly had something to do with it -- but rather it was more about how my identity is shaped *now*, what particularly about me *now*, is perpetuating these emotional patterns?

I hope this was helpful and am open to any and all other questions!

Cheers,
Claudiu
​​​​​​​
 
thumbnail
Daniel - san, modified 4 Months ago at 2/15/22 10:23 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/15/22 10:23 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 308 Join Date: 9/9/14 Recent Posts
ok, so Actualism says, the world is causing your discontent, go out and rearrange it until it suits you, get a girlfriend, buy some new clothes, ask your boss for a raise, problem solved.  Be happy. 

Buddhism says something completely different, and this is something that you can investigate for yourself to see if it is true or not.  Life is tough, you don't always get what you want, and when you do it won't stick around forever – everything passes away, and everything is impermanent. Life is just this, loss, loss, loss.

Knowing this is the fact of life, we can't always change all of the external circumstances to suit us all of the time, therefore we must change ourselves, because ultimately we are the source of our own happiness or discontent.  Our reactions, and more specifically, our attachments, down at the sublets levels. 

Which of these is the more profound, wise and pragmatic teaching? 
Srinath J, modified 4 Months ago at 2/15/22 10:39 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/15/22 10:25 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 8 Join Date: 2/7/22 Recent Posts
@purple-griffin Daniel has himself titled these past explorations ‘actualism inspired’ as he is aware that they deviate from recommendations by practising actualists and the AFT.

The first thing that strikes me about these exercises is how what is considered ‘actualism’ is inserted into a pragmatic dharma toolbox and framework in fairly short order. I can’t see any attempt to adequately think through the consequences of this attempt at integration or to dialogue with actually free people about it. It took me a fair while to get my head around the actualism paradigm partly due to my own spiritual background and partly due to syncretic write-ups online such as these. Then of course the heft of the AFT doesn’t exactly make getting the ‘bottom line’ stuff easy! That need not be a problem anymore for beginners as there is a largish group of actualist  practitioners currently with a good understanding that can simplify it for you.

Actual freedom and Buddhism are working with radically different conceptions of the human subject ontologically speaking. Simply and crudely said, in actualism, it is the impassioned feeling being as an entity within a material body that is crucial whereas in Buddhism the subject is an illusory linchpin at the centre of phenomenological activity. Daniels instructions seem Buddhistic and phenomenological with the emphasis on attention, cultivation, mind and suffering.

I would say that the flattening and homogenising of actualism into a meditational style practice makes it quite a different thing. Furthermore, it is likely to lead to confusing states that are dead ends from the POV of both actualism and Buddhism – and it does look like this has been borne out.

"Griffin:  I'll use the opportunity to ask you whether you agree that they contain the essence of actualism, or would your list be different."

  • Paying attention to the beauty of the sensate world.
  • Paying attention to this moment as it is.
  • Paying attention to feelings. 
Re: statements 1-3, I would say they are not completely wrong when read by those who have the proper framework and context. The problem is that without this background the advice ends up being pretty garbled. Also the language is one that foregrounds cognitive processes e.g. attention, rather than ‘me’ as a feeling being in my subjective felt experience. IMO this is liable to cause dissociation (read: suppression) of feelings. Rather than first ‘paying attention to beauty’ and ‘paying attention to this moment as it is’ - I’d recommend that a beginner starts by recognising that the actualism method is about ‘enjoying and appreciating this moment of being alive’. The way one starts doing this is to become aware what one is feeling and see if one can choose to feel good instead of bad as often as possible. When you can’t feel good you investigate the cause and the trigger and then get back to feeling good as soon as possible. In this way you will gradually raise your baseline mood such that you are feeling good most of the time. It is on this foundation that the appreciation of sensuousness and the fact that there is only this moment rests.

4-8 are a confusing and an unnecessary addition IMO.
​​​​​​​
  • Cultivating peace and clarity.
  • Aspiring to one's vision of a mind well-trained in freedom from suffering and dwelling in happiness.
  • Attending to what leads to what, specifically what leads to happiness and what leads to suffering.
  • Enjoying enjoyable and clear mind states.
Peace and clarity are not to be cultivated but are what emerges immanently from the practice of the actualism method. No need to have an aspirational vision of a mind well-trained in freedom from suffering and dwelling in happiness. ‘Attending to what leads to what in relation to happiness and suffering’ is liable to import a Buddhist philosophical frame of reference, so I would avoid doing this and ask you simply be aware of triggers/causes of feeling good and feeling bad. ‘Enjoying enjoyable and clear mind states’ - I would just say ‘feeling good feels good!’ instead. I don’t think these differences in language are trivial BTW. Daniels language promotes a certain objectification and control of the mind that we are specifically trying to move away from.   

  • Noticing the difference between superficial feelings and core drives.
  • Examining the structure of the process of identity creation.
Difference between feelings and instinctual drives are tricky territory and of doubtful utility to all. I would suggest this contextually to those who had a certain amount of experience with investigating feelings. ‘Examining the structure of the process of identity creation’ - no problems with this! Although it would be important to ground that exploration in ones own feeling states.

If I was making a list for a beginner, I’d first want to ensure that there is at least some basic orientation to the actualist project and actualist idea of the human being. I would avoid language that suggests that actualism is an attentional strategy first and foremost. So just off the top of my head …

- Orientation to actualism
- Understanding that feeling good = feeling happy + harmless
- Understanding the difference between feeling good and ‘good feelings’
- Enjoying and appreciating this moment of being alive is the actualism method
- The above can be got at initially by understanding that actualism is about ‘feeling good’ each moment again
- When you are not feeling good, find out why and then get back to feeling good when you can
- Deeper investigation to clear persistent triggers that make you feel bad
- Gradually raise your baseline over time so that you are feeling good more and more
- Once your baseline is reasonable you will want to think about PCEs and how to allow them to happen more often

"Griffin: And how is it possible that such a practice doesn't lead to Buddhist awakening, but instead produces completely different actualist attainments?"

So as you might have gathered from above we are talking about two very different practices. If you would like to read about this in some eye-watering detail you can check out the lengthy AFT writings on it at the link below. Warning it is pretty unflattering about Buddhism! I have no knowledge of Buddhist arahatship and have no convictions that it is a delusional or metaphysical state. So that's where I differ from Richard, just putting it out there. I just think arahatship and AF are very different modes of consciousness.

"Griffin: Isn't all of this standard Buddhist tech, mindfulness, cultivating samadhi-like qualities and seeing no-self?"


In a word, no. Mindfulness, samadhi and seeing no-self have no comparative equivalents in actualist practice. Potentially Claudiu who is much better versed in Buddhism than I am can help re: this. I can see he’s already provided some great answers. If not I’ll try and get back to you with something more fleshed out.

Meanwhile, I’ll leave you with some of Richard’s words on this. See above warning!

http://www.actualfreedom.com.au/richard/selectedcorrespondence/sc-buddhism6.htm
thumbnail
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 4 Months ago at 2/16/22 5:40 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/16/22 5:40 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Daniel - san
ok, so Actualism says, the world is causing your discontent, go out and rearrange it until it suits you, get a girlfriend, buy some new clothes, ask your boss for a raise, problem solved.  Be happy. 

Buddhism says something completely different, and this is something that you can investigate for yourself to see if it is true or not.  Life is tough, you don't always get what you want, and when you do it won't stick around forever – everything passes away, and everything is impermanent. Life is just this, loss, loss, loss.

Knowing this is the fact of life, we can't always change all of the external circumstances to suit us all of the time, therefore we must change ourselves, because ultimately we are the source of our own happiness or discontent.  Our reactions, and more specifically, our attachments, down at the sublets levels. 

Which of these is the more profound, wise and pragmatic teaching? 
I don't have any interest in debating which is more profound, wise or pragmatic. What I seek to do is to clearly lay out and explain actualism so that when someone is in the position of wanting to change their lives for the better, they have it as an understandable and available option, alongside the already existing options such as Buddhism. It will appeal to some people and it won't appeal to others... I'm only interested in making it available for those people who it would already appeal to anyway. So I won't be participating in any debates about which is 'better' emoticon .

That being said, you have misrepresented actualism here via cherry-picking, so I will address that.

It is not the case that "Actualism says [...] go out and rearrange [the world] until it suits you". The actualism method is "enjoying and appreciating this moment of being alive". It is simply impossible to do this consistently if one hitches one's enjoyment and appreciation to conditional things, events, and circumstances, which are indeed always changing.

Rather actualism is about drawing your guiding light from a Pure Consciousness Experience (PCE), where the identity/self/Self is totally in abeyance, and you literally experience perfection -- as in nothing can ever go "wrong" whatsoever. And this perfection and intrinsic enjoyment of being alive makes it clear that this experience has nothing to do with the conditional circumstances of what is happening, but rather that it is perpetual unconditional perfection, that happens regardless of what the particular events are, intrinsic to being conscious as an actually existing flesh and blood body. This is the target, the goal, and the actualism method seeks to imitate that as much as possible when not in a PCE.

As such, actualism is about changing yourself such as to remove as many impediments as you can, to allow you to relatively unconditionally enjoy and appreciate this moment of being alive, as much as you can while being an impassioned feeling-being.

And here is the way that it works in practice:

The key to it all, then, is when you are *not* enjoying and appreciating this moment of being alive - how to find your way *back to* enjoying and appreciating this moment of being alive? [...]

[...] my path was to 1) stop kidding myself, and 2) actually investigate myself and discover what specific part of my identity I held so dear that I would defend such as to keep being in such a way that those things would get to me, and finally 3) see that it is silly and therefore not worth continuing to be that way... after which, those particular triggers no longer got to me [i.e. I changed], and I was therefore able to employ the actualism method - of enjoying and appreciating this moment of being alive - more successfully.

As I am sure you will see this time around, nowhere in the above description is there anything about rearranging the world until it suits you. Rather, how it works in practice is changing yourself (and not the world) such as to see that it is silly to let the conditional events of the world take away from enjoying and appreciating this moment of being alive, such that you can get back to that (relatively unconditional) enjoyment and appreciation of being alive, which you know is possible from your own PCEs.

(As an aside, therefore by your own measure, actualism and Buddhism are equally "profound, wise and pragmatic teaching" as they both recognize that it is about changing ourselves and not the external circumstances.)

That being said, in my situation actualism worked better for me personally, because there is no proscription against going ahead and changing those external circumstances while going about your daily life. Indeed, why not try and change them for the better? A remarkably pragmatic tool of actualism is to evaluate things in terms of whether they make sense to do, or don't make sense to do (i.e. are silly). As I did want a girlfriend at the time, it was silly to continue not pursuing one out of fear, and it was sensible to go out and try to get one. There is simply no reason not to do what you think is best.

But that does *not* mean that in order to succeed with actualism, you need a girlfriend or a job or whatever. There is no 'should' or 'should not' in actualism -- which is why it is characterized as a "wide and wondrous" path. It's about doing what you see is best, living this only life we are living now (whether there is another one after or there was another one before doesn't matter as this is the one we're living now).

So, "why not" set things up to have a more enjoyable conditional life? Indeed it may be analogous to the spiritual option of renouncing the world and joining a monastery to aid with becoming enlightened -- setting things up to have as much chance of success with your desired outcome as possible. But I do find the actualism version a lot more fun emoticon.

Cheers,
Claudiu
thumbnail
Griffin, modified 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 9:19 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/16/22 8:09 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 218 Join Date: 4/7/18 Recent Posts
Thank you for your patience and comprehensiveness. 

Can you or Claudiu tell me the difference between actualism and Culadasa's stage 10 of TMI (sustaining persistent samatha in daily life):
"Practicing mindfulness off the cushion means being aware whenever desire or aversion arise. When that happens, recognize what’s going on: some unconscious sub-minds are in conflict with what is, craving for something to be different. Don’t resist, reject, or suppress the craving. Instead, ignore it. Then, intentionally direct your attention to that inner pleasure and happiness that has nothing to do with what’s occurring externally. Likewise, purposely intend to notice the positive aspects of whatever you perceive. ... When we mindfully observe and accept both the situation and our mind’s reaction to it, equanimously and without judgment, then the mind will remain unified."

Isn't this also a way of becoming "aware what one is feeling and seeing if one can choose to feel good instead of bad as often as possible"?
thumbnail
Griffin, modified 4 Months ago at 2/16/22 8:29 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/16/22 8:29 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 218 Join Date: 4/7/18 Recent Posts
I appreciate your advice and clarifications. While I find Richard's style frustrating (arrogance, dogmatism, bizzare exchanges), you and Srinath are very straightfoward.

I have a question about PCE, lets say I listened to some music and felt great, how do I know whether that was PCE or just ordinary enjoyment?
thumbnail
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 4 Months ago at 2/16/22 4:53 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/16/22 4:53 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Griffin
I appreciate your advice and clarifications. While I find Richard's style frustrating (arrogance, dogmatism, bizzare exchanges), you and Srinath are very straightfoward.

emoticon that is in large part because you guys have been very straightforward so far as well. Richard replied to any and all people saying any and all sorts of bizarre things, who had all sorts of very contrived objections to being happy and harmless. It's amazing what some people will come up with, and I've experienced this even when talking with others who consider themselves actualists to some degree. There are many and various ways of missing the point.

Richard invited all and sundry to voice their objections, and archived it all for public access, to build a body of work that anybody with any objection can look up and find that same objection themselves. He also continued to engage with people even past the point of them being reasonable, getting belligerent, etc. This results in some very bizarre exchanges indeed.

If you look at the correspondences with a careful eye you'll see that Richard is entirely reasonable if the correspondent is reasonable (for example you can peruse my correspondences with him).... and if the correspondent is not, then in those cases it might seem like Richard is not being reasonable as well. But it is rather that the nature of the conversation becomes highly contentious and conflict-laden, and it's not possible to continue those conversations without navigating through the conflict... which requires being confrontational. People can and do mistake being confrontational for being arrogant, mean, etc., but it's rather that there is no way to correspond in these situations without being confrontational. So if you are ever curious how someone who is perpetually happy and harmless navigates confrontation then the AFT website has plenty to offer.

What I find helpful is to consider the context that those conversations happened in. Richard was the only actually free person on the planet at the time. (Whether you think actual freedom is something novel or not, doesn't matter for this point -- you can think of it as being the only person who reached his condition with how he reached it). Even though others were interested, nobody had replicated his condition. And of course he wanted to see if others could do it too. So he didn't really have the option to not engage, if he wanted to get his point across. Therefore engaging in the conflict became necessary, and the result is some of the correspondences you see there... they even categorized some of the most egregious ones into an "Anti-Peace Hall of Fame".

Now that others have become actually free and it is therefore demonstrably available to everyone, there's no more need to engage in these sorts of conversations, as Richard, Peter and Vineeto wrote here:

6. The days of responding to all and sundry – to those in alignment to what is actual, to those opposed to what is actual, and to those anywhere in between – are over, finished, kaput.

Though I didn't agree at the time, and engaged with many people opposed to what is actual in order to convince them otherwise -- I've now come to the same point of view, that these types of discussions aren't worthwhile anymore. So this is why I seek now just to present and elucidate it to those who are interested... and if somebody isn't interested then there's no problem at all (it is their life of course) and I move on to the next person.

-----

I have a question about PCE, lets say I listened to some music and felt great, how do I know whether that was PCE or just ordinary enjoyment?

There has been a lot written about what PCEs are already -- if you're interested I suggest you start with the available material and then you can ask a more direct question if something still isn't clear:

- Topic page for PCE on the AFT site - with links to correspondences on the left
- Various descriptions of PCEs
- Simple Actualism page on PCEs

Cheers,
Claudiu
thumbnail
Ni Nurta, modified 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 4:37 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 4:37 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 930 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
If someone is interested in dharma version of Actualism then I recommend looking at works of Bhante Henepola Gunaratana

One could even say Actualism is an interresting translation of Bhante's work or even use p-word ;)
thumbnail
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 6:13 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 5:53 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Ni Nurta
If someone is interested in dharma version of Actualism then I recommend looking at works of Bhante Henepola Gunaratana
If someone were to be interested in such a thing, I would simply advise them that a so-called "dharma version of Actualism" would not be actualism at all but would rather simply be Buddhism viewed via a different lens. And if someone is interested in pursuing Buddhism already, I would recommend simply not reading anything at all about actualism, not engaging with it whatsoever, as it can only serve to confuse matters and detract from the Buddhist path, at worst, without adding anything of value to such a Buddhist path, at best.

For example, though I reached stream entry and was navigating the territory in the 3rd path for some time, as a result of my engagement with actualism I never attained to the 4th path. So if someone is interested in attaining to such a path, and replicating what Daniel Ingram accomplished -- then I strongly advise staying away from actualism!

(That being said, I was able to fully cure "insight disease"[1] and get out of the dark night and any dark nights for good, without completing 4th path -- so I don't regret my change of path at all.)

It is impossible to merge actualism with Buddhism, and I and others have found it's simply better to keep them separate. My advice is choose your path and stick with it emoticon .


One could even say Actualism is an interresting translation of Bhante's work or even use p-word ;)
One could say that - indeed one could say whatever one wants - but by doing so one would be revealing that they have missed the point of what it is that actualism has to offer.

As in this very thread already there is enough to distinguish between Buddhism and actualism - not to mention elsewhere on the internet - then saying so would also reveal a lack of engagement with what has already been offered on the topic.

If one reads actualist writings and mentally translates all the terms to dharma terms, and passes off any apparent differences and discrepancies as the actualists not really understanding what they are talking about -- then of course one will find that they are simply making a mess of describing what is a clearly Buddhist dharma. But it should become obvious, if one is aware that one is doing this, that one isn't really seeking to understand actualism, but rather one has a preconceived notion that actualism == mangled Buddhism, and is simply reinforcing this already-determined position with every word one continues to read.

As I myself have done this in the past, then I understand why someone might do this. If one is sincere and interested enough then I would recommend that one takes a sincere look at themselves and what might motivate one to do this with regards to actualism. What is at stake? What can prevent a clear comprehension of what is ultimately a really simple thing, which peoples coming from a non-spiritual background can readily comprehend?

Cheers,
Claudiu

----------
[1] Relevant part here, emphasis added:
[Kenneth Folk]: The search is over! There’s no more becoming in this or any future life. Because that’s what it feels like! You know you’re off of that ride, and what a relief.

[Daniel Ingram]: Yeah. I mean, from a sort of cynical point of view, I talk about this as Insight Disease. You catch Insight Disease essentially when you cross the Arising & Passing Away. I mean, that’s when you’re really inoculated with the virus. You know what I mean? And when you get stream-entry, you’re really screwed. Know what I mean? *The only thing that cures that and really cures that in that particular way and that particular disease is doing THAT*. So from the end point of view, *getting Arhatship or Siddha or whateverTHAT is what cures the Insight Disease* that started all those many years ago when some poor sonuvabitch crossed the Arising & Passing Away. You know, second vipassana jhana, the point of no return.
thumbnail
Griffin, modified 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 7:18 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 7:18 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 218 Join Date: 4/7/18 Recent Posts
What is the difference between Buddhist no-self and actualist self-immolation? If I understand it right, they are two kinds of enlightenment, both having someting to do with overcoming the self-llusion, but are also completely unrelated to each other?
thumbnail
Daniel - san, modified 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 7:26 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 7:23 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 308 Join Date: 9/9/14 Recent Posts
Hey Claudiu, your story is fascinating, but many of your views are...interesting.
One in particular, that you believe Actualism and Buddhism are so different.  Which of the noble truths does Actualism disagree with again?  I forget.

What's actually happening in my view (everyone gets their own view/religion it seems) is that folks that have access to Actualism's fruits in the first place (Richard, you, other past practitioners) seems to be very high level Buddhist practitice experience to begin with, for years sometimes, and I think there is a simple explanation for this - View.  Also, arrogance. 

Actualism has a slightly different view than Buddhism because it seems like Richard had a reaction to 'spirituality' and couldn't see out of it's trappings or forms - maybe he wasn't properly introduced to Dzogchen or the highest Tibetan teachings, I don't know.  Bliss and compassion (feeling good and being harmless) are major themes in Tibetan Buddhism, have you only mostly only read Theravada? 

But Richard does remind me of how L. Ron Hubbard reacted to psychology, enough of a foul reaction to build a religion of his own out of it, even likes boats like L. Ron!  Still, it seems like Actualisms ship never did set sail nearly in the same way, though that would have been something.  Everyone feeling actually happy actually all the time - just talking weird. 

This brings us to arrogance, related to view.  Richard (and you it seems) got to very advanced stages of wisdom or prana in the Buddha Dharma teachings, but found something not quite right about it, or insurmountable, or not working.  So you adjusted your view, and Voila! 
Now, was it the fault of the view, or the practice, probably both (this noting thing is for beginners) you say it doesn't matter because what you are doing works - end of story.  But works for what?  This comes to intention.

What if there is one more dark night of the soul, something else big you need to learn or let go or see some more, lose the last bit of your fear, have the 1000 things become you after you become them...to be more alive, more wise, a bit more fearless.  But if your intention is to just feel good, then it makes sense to take whatever pill makes us feel better and eat the f-ing steak - I don't have the answers, but it's a fascinating situation you Buddhists v. Actualists find yourself in. 

Something about pride.  You guys are super smart, you get that deep into Buddhist study and then decide that you have something greater, or different, or more sublime and incredible.  Spoiler alert, it's not.  You could have most likely adjusted your practice and attuned to bliss and gotten into dwelling in Rigpa and been just as happy - these are just views. 
I'd say a PCE is called Rigpa in Dzogchen or kensho in Zen and all you guys did was create a new cult that never took off and perverted the Buddha Dharma with wrong view, but I'm maybe just grabbing at the elephant's tail.

Whatever the case you're all high level practitioners and human souls in general and these are just words and systems and not the things themselves - if adjusting your view cured your 'sickness' then that's cool, but thinking that you invented something totally new in the human psychological experience by changing the words up is sort of weird I think, along with Richard's particular view - it's just another religion.  We all get our own I guess, I try to hold loosely to mine but they are sticky. 
thumbnail
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 12:41 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 12:41 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Griffin
What is the difference between Buddhist no-self and actualist self-immolation? If I understand it right, they are two kinds of enlightenment, both having someting to do with overcoming the self-llusion, but are also completely unrelated to each other?
Richard has written a brief piece on the fundamental difference betwixt the two, that you can access here, starting with the sentence "In view of the fact there are, nowadays, millions of words on The Actual Freedom Trust website and, literally, trillions of words extant world-wide about Buddhism, per favour the many and various sects formed over more than two millennia, the most simplest way of illustrating the fundamental difference betwixt Actualism and Buddhism is with the following quotes."

Here's a shortened version of it:

• [Richard]: ‘... as I am *this flesh and blood body only*, and as this flesh and blood body being conscious – as in being alive, not dead, being awake, not asleep, being sensible, not insensible (comatose) – is what consciousness is (the suffix ‘-ness’ forms a noun expressing a state or condition), I am most assuredly not disenchanted with the body/ disenchanted with consciousness ... let alone fully released from same (and thus) discerning there is nothing further for this world’. [emphasis added].
(www.actualfreedom.com.au/richard/listafcorrespondence/listaf78.htm#06Nov04).
That quote is but one example of the many reports/ descriptions/ explanations wherein Richard unmistakably states that he is the flesh and blood body/that the flesh and blood body is what he is.

Whereas, for instance, in the Anuradha Sutta (SN III.116; PTS: SN iv.381), in the Pāli Canon, Mr. Gotama the Sakyan makes it abundantly clear that he is not the flesh and blood body/ that the flesh and blood body is not what he is. [... snip Sutta ...]
It is simply impossible to reconcile the two as being one and the same thing. In actualism, upon actual freedom, you **are** the flesh and blood body only -- the flesh and blood body being conscious is what you are. Whereas in Buddhism, this upon Enlightenment, you **are not** the flesh and blood body. Form (rupa), after all, is impermanent, dukkha, and not-self, not-what I am.

In actualist terms, Enlightenment is a delusion which is born out of the illusion of being a 'self', and what is actually the case when this identity self-immolates is that what remains is an actually free flesh and blood body being conscious, and this is ultimately what-I-am, the universe experiencing itself as a flesh and blood body, which is what the goal of actualism is - to **be** this universe experiencing itself as a flesh and blood body only, right now in this lifetime.

In Buddhist terms, actual freedom is at the very least Wrong View, if not Wrong a number of other things, as form is just one of the five skhandhas that is not-self, and clinging to such a view will make it impossible for somebody to succeed in becoming Enlightened and to therefore end the cycle of rebirth and suffering, which is what the goal of Buddhism is.

It's not for nothing that I say if you have Enlightenment as a goal, avoid actualism and do not go down that path... and if you have actual freedom as a goal, avoid Buddhism and do not go down that path.

Though I can see why people initially mistake actualism for being similar to or the same as spiritual Enlightenment, I wonder, what is it that causes people to continue to persist in this misconception even after it is so self-evidently spelled out?

Cheers,
Claudiu
thumbnail
Ni Nurta, modified 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 2:24 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 2:24 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 930 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
Reason why people compare Actualism to Buddhism is very simple.
So obvious in fact that spelling it would be probably violate at least few universal laws =P
thumbnail
terry, modified 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 2:43 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 2:43 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2185 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
aloha abcdefg,

   Two objections to "actualism." Which griffin essentially diagnosed before you even started gushing.

   The extraordinary verbosity.  Unfocused rambling around the platitude, "don't worry be happy." So many words effectively stifles criticism, trying to get a word in edgewise. No doubt you will want to spend many paragraphs refuting the same old objections, as previously. Hopefully you can simply come to the point in a few sentences, if you need to respond.

   Two, the essential unnecessariness of any so-called "method" to stop worrying and enjoy the present. A simple wink and a nod will do, and if the horse is blind, no matter, all same same.

   This is what philosophers call "positivism." Just keep smiling and you'll feel better regardless. The best of all possible worlds. (where is voltaire when we need him) You can't cry on the shoulder of a positivist, they have no sympathy for the heqrt of the lover.

   The resemblance to buddhism is in the essential nihilism. Any time anyone says, "I do this or that as a response to the stresses of life" you can respond with some variation of, "don't worry, be happy." If you had hung around an emergency room as long as I have done, or been in the military in wartime, you would know this simply won't do.


   Since the above objections are made repeatedly and responded to the same way, what causes you to cling to this "method"? Why not simply enjoy and appreciate this moment of being alive? 

   (You are not entirely wrong. One may appreciate every moment. If you "enjoy" sickness, old age, suffering and death, then enjoyment has no meaning. Enjoy what health and wisdom you possess, and take the pain without resistance. I know you will say you agree. But you deny pain and call it enjoyment. It's both or neither, everything or nothing at all. If you have a staff, here's another; if you have none, gve me yours.)

    The objections aren't actually criticism, I think actualism is funny. You could share the laugh and go right on enjoying and appreciating me and all, or you could defend your theses.

   If actualists actually admitted enjoying and being poetic and that they really don't know and aren't serious, they wouldn't be all bad.

terry




CHIMES OF FREEDOM
(bob dylan)

Far between sundown’s finish and midnight’s broken toll
We ducked inside the doorways, thunder went crashing
As majestic bells of bolts struck shadows in the sounds
Seemin' to be the chimes of freedom flashing
Flashing for the warriors whose strength is not to fight
Flashing for the refugees on the unarmed road of flight
And for each and every underdog soldier in the night
And we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing


Through the city’s melted furnace, unexpectedly we watched
With faces hidden as the walls were tightening
As the echo of the wedding bells before the blowin’ rain
Dissolved into the bells of the lightning
Tolling for the rebel, tolling for the rake
Tolling for the luckless, they abandoned and forsaked
Tolling for the outcast, burning constantly at stake
And we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing


Through the mad mystic hammering of the wild ripping hail
The sky cracked its poems in naked wonder
That the clinging of the church bells blew far into the breeze
Leavin' only bells of lightning and it's thunder
Striking for the gentle, striking for the kind
Striking for the guardians and protectors of the mind
And the poet and the painter far behind his rightful time
And we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing

And the wild cathedral evening the rain unraveled tales
For disrobed faceless forms of no position
Tolling for the tongues with no place to bring their thoughts
All down in taken-for-granted situations
Tolling for the deaf and blind, tolling for the mute
For the mistreated, mateless mother, the mistitled prostitute
For the misdemeanor outlaw, chained and cheated by pursuit
And we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing


Even though a cloud’s white curtain in a far-off corner flared
And the hypnotic splattered mist was slowly lifting
Electric light still struck like arrows, fired but for the ones
Condemned to drift or else be kept from driftin'
Tolling for the searching ones, on their speechless, seeking trail
For the lonesome-hearted lovers with too personal a tale
And for each unharmful, gentle soul misplaced inside a jail
And we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing


Starry-eyed and laughing as I recall when we were caught
Trapped by no track of hours for they hanged suspended
As we listened one last time and we watched with one last look
Spellbound and swallowed ’til the tolling ended
Tolling for the aching whose wounds cannot be nursed
For the countless confused, accused, misused, strung-out ones and worse
And for every hung-up person in the whole wide universe
And we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashin'
thumbnail
J W, modified 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 2:56 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 2:51 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 590 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
Re: Claudiu:
​​​​​​​I am just some random person who has never heard of Actualism so please forgive my ignorance, but I feel like everything you're talking about above could be just straight out of a dharma talk.  The fundamental difference 'betwixt' Actualism and Buddhism, does not seem actually so different but rather sort of a semantic, not really so important difference.  Perhaps you hold a much more literal/traditional definition of Buddhism than i do, and in that case, sure... Actualism is not Buddhism.  Nor would be a lot of modern sects be considered Buddhism.

In any case, it does seem very important to you that Actualism is viewed as it's own thing and not associated in any way with Buddhism. Why is that?

Personally I find that people can be really put off by syncretism, and this is maybe because it can be taken and stretched too far, but it's probably more to do with the underlying pressure points of a given system that people get upset.
thumbnail
terry, modified 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 2:53 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 2:53 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2185 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
thumbnail
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 3:59 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 2:54 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Well, it didn't take long to be accused not only of being arrogant but also of creating a cult!

Is being accused of being a cult-creator really warranted from what Srinath and I have been writing so far?

Perhaps an understanding can start to be formed of why Richard wrote the way he did for the many years he spent at the keyboard? And it's only been a few days for this topic emoticon .

I see now it may also not be an attainable goal for me to respond to any and all misconceptions that come up, as we can go on forever and a day like that... so we'll see how long I continue.

-----

Daniel - san

Hey Claudiu, your story is fascinating, but many of your views are...interesting. One in particular, that you believe Actualism and Buddhism are so different.
I don't "believe" they are so different... nor is it a view that they are different... rather, it is a fact that they are so different. You can refer to my earlier reply to Griffin here for a remarkably simple explanation that demonstrates this.

Which of the noble truths does Actualism disagree with again? I forget.
Well, the first one, for starters. In Buddhism, the first noble truth is essentially that being alive in and of itself is intrinsically "dukkha" (i.e. form itself, among other skhandas, is "dukkha") - which, as you know, is commonly translated as 'suffering'.

While in actualism, it is rather the case that being alive is inherently perfect - the universe is literally perfect, and it is possible to be that perfection and intrinsically enjoy and appreciate being alive while doing so, in a PCE and when actually free.

What's actually happening in my view (everyone gets their own view/religion it seems) is that folks that have access to Actualism's fruits in the first place (Richard, you, other past practitioners) seems to be very high level Buddhist practitice experience to begin with, for years sometimes, [...]
Actually Richard's 4-hour PCE, and his development of what is now known as the actualism method, occurred before he became Enlightened and before he ever came across Buddhism (which he only did after he became Enlightened) -- so he had no practice experience with Buddhism when he was enjoying those fruits of actualism, be it very high level or otherwise.

That being said he was of course Enlightened when he became actually free -- yet he reports that Enlightenment made it a lot harder to become actually free, not easier, and recommended others go directly for actual freedom and not through Enlightenment, as he did.

My own experience corroborates this. My spiritual background made it much much **harder** to succeed with actualism, not easier -- and others (like Vineeto) have shared similar experiences. I had to undo what I had learned being a buddhistic practitioner, in order to be able to start to succeed with actualism, rather than starting from a neutral ground of being able to delve directly into actualism.

Luckily we have more actually free people now, and I can point you to Geoffrey, someone who became free without much of a spiritual background that I'm aware of (I'm in the process of confirming this now). You can read his report of becoming free here.

[...] and I think there is a simple explanation for this - View. Also, arrogance. Actualism has a slightly different view than Buddhism [...]
It's not only slightly different but rather diametrically opposed --- with respect to actualism, what I ultimately am is the body, whereas in Buddhism, I ultimately am **not** the body (refer to my other post for more). Actualism and Buddhism are literally the opposite of each other, with respect to this. There's no gray areas here, no nuance -- they simply do not agree on this point.

[...] because it seems like Richard had a reaction to 'spirituality' and couldn't see out of it's trappings or forms - maybe he wasn't properly introduced to Dzogchen or the highest Tibetan teachings, I don't know. Bliss and compassion (feeling good and being harmless) are major themes in Tibetan Buddhism, have you only mostly only read Theravada?
Bliss isn't the same as feeling good. And this isn't a view or a belief, but a fact. Bliss is what is categorized as a 'good feeling' in actualism, while feeling good is categorized as a felicitous feeling - a general sense of well-being. See this page for more on this.

Likewise compassion is not the same as being harmless. And again, it's not a belief or a view, but a fact. Compassion is also a 'good feeling' , while being harmless is rather an absence of malice, which is aided by a presence of felicity. Once you are sufficiently far down the actualist path you start to see how, strangely enough, compassion actually perpetuates sorrow and therefore puts a limit on how harmless you can be after a certain point!

But Richard does remind me of how L. Ron Hubbard reacted to psychology, enough of a foul reaction to build a religion of his own out of it, [...]
I'm not entirely sure how someone can characterize actualism as a religion... be that as it may, as you aren't the first one to do it, I'll simply direct you to the Frequently Flogged Misconception page "Actualism is a Cult".

[...] even likes boats like L. Ron!
If sharing a like with someone is enough to paint them as being like that person, then you must therefore be appalled at how many people have a passion for art, just like Hitler did (!).

Still, it seems like Actualisms ship never did set sail nearly in the same way, though that would have been something. Everyone feeling actually happy actually all the time - just talking weird.
Yes, if every man, woman and child on the planet were actually happy actually all the time, it would be quite something indeed. It would be peace on earth. Is this not a worthy thing? If the price of that were "talking weird" (and I do mean **if**), wouldn't that be worth it?

This brings us to arrogance, related to view. Richard (and you it seems) got to very advanced stages of wisdom or prana in the Buddha Dharma teachings, but found something not quite right about it, or insurmountable, or not working. So you adjusted your view, and Voila!
It took a lot more than adjusting my view... I stopped going in the spiritual direction I was headed in and turned in the opposite direction before continuing. This is not advice or a belief or a viewpoint, it is rather a report of how things happened for me.

Now, was it the fault of the view, or the practice, probably both (this noting thing is for beginners) [...]
Hmm... I wouldn't put it in terms of "fault", but rather I would say that the goal of Buddhism no longer appealed to me, and was supplanted for me by the goal of actualism - actual freedom. Different goals call for different practices (or methods)... I would not have gotten where I am now in terms of my success with actualism, if I had kept using methods that were designed to reach a different goal.

[...] you say it doesn't matter because what you are doing works - end of story.
I wouldn't say it "doesn't matter" per se - part of what I want to get across is this very simple thing, that the goals are indeed different, so that people reading this have the chance to choose the different goal for themselves, if they want. If they think it's the same goal then they won't be able to choose.

What does it matter to you that there's a different goal out there? What is it that makes you engage in attempting to merge that which is not possible to merge?

But works for what? This comes to intention.
Indeed - the tools and techniques of actualism work for the goal of actualism, while the tools and techniques of Buddhism work for the goal of Buddhism. Intention is everything. I am not saying anybody should change what they are doing and go for actualism instead of Buddhism. My goal is not to try to change people's intention. Rather I make it available so that if someone is intrigued, they can set their intention to go in a different direction. But whether they do or not, is up to them.

What if there is one more dark night of the soul, something else big you need to learn or let go or see some more, lose the last bit of your fear, have the 1000 things become you after you become them...to be more alive, more wise, a bit more fearless.  But if your intention is to just feel good, then it makes sense to take whatever pill makes us feel better and eat the f-ing steak -
It seems like you are really putting down people for enjoying themselves. Why do you think that is? What is wrong with enjoying being alive? Is it perhaps a belief that life is intrinsically suffering - and therefore only a fool would enjoy themselves? But if that's the case, who would you rather be - an educated, refined, sophisticated elite who is miserable, or a fool that is happy?

I don't have the answers, but it's a fascinating situation you Buddhists v. Actualists find yourself in. 
I'm not sure what you mean by characterizing us as "Buddhists v. Actualists". There is no "vs". Rather there is a, "Hey, look, there is something new out there, if you want to give it a try. Take it or leave it. I think this is the way to go but you can think otherwise. But I just want to explain what it is so you understand, if you are interested."

Something about pride.  You guys are super smart, you get that deep into Buddhist study and then decide that you have something greater, or different, or more sublime and incredible.  Spoiler alert, it's not.
You are saying that you know what I experience and prefer in my own life better than I do? How do you figure? And who is the arrogant one in this exchange?

You could have most likely adjusted your practice and attuned to bliss and gotten into dwelling in Rigpa and been just as happy - these are just views.
I have no doubt if I hadn't come across actualism that I would have attained to 4th path and would likely be helping Daniel Ingram on his projects ( https://theeprc.org and https://ebenefactors.org ). This is why I am saying to stay away if you want to succeed on your spiritual path emoticon .

But as to whether I would have been just as happy as I am now... there's no way to know that, of course, but all I can say is I am immensely pleased with where I am at now.

Again, ultimately it's up to each person what they want to do with their lives.

I'd say a PCE is called Rigpa in Dzogchen or kensho in Zen and all you guys did was create a new cult that never took off and perverted the Buddha Dharma with wrong view, but I'm maybe just grabbing at the elephant's tail.
You can surely say whatever you want, but that won't make it so. But it might be worth re-reading the "Actualism is a Cult" page at this point.

Whatever the case you're all high level practitioners and human souls in general and these are just words and systems and not the things themselves - if adjusting your view cured your 'sickness' then that's cool [...]
I'm glad you think so... and just to be clear, it is Daniel Ingram that called it a 'sickness' (or a 'disease' to be precise), not me.

If anything I am pleased that I was able to find an alternative cure, than attaining to 4th path, for those people for whom the path is not working out, who want out of the dark night, but don't see another alternative other than to continue in the direction they have been going.

[...] but thinking that you invented something totally new in the human psychological experience by changing the words up is sort of weird I think [...]
It would indeed be incredibly weird to think that something totally new can be invented simply by "changing the words up".

It also reveals a rather extreme lack of credit, and a particularly strong belief, that you would think this is the most likely explanation of what is happening, rather than that there is something new, which of course therefore requires that different words be used to explain it (after all, if it were the same, then the same words would suffice).

What makes it so impossible that there is indeed something new out there?

[...], along with Richard's particular view - it's just another religion.  We all get our own I guess, I try to hold loosely to mine but they are sticky. 
That much is evident emoticon

Personally I found it much better to stop giving credibility to beliefs and views entirely, and to instead hitch my horse to facts and what is factual. It allows intelligence to operate far more freely... and it's a lot more fun too!

Cheers,
Claudiu
thumbnail
J W, modified 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 3:07 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 3:06 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 590 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
"It's not only slightly different but rather diametrically opposed --- with respect to actualism, what I ultimately am is the body, whereas in Buddhism, I ultimately am **not** the body (refer to my other post for more). Actualism and Buddhism are literally the opposite of each other, with respect to this. There's no gray areas here, no nuance -- they simply do not agree on this point."
What are you referring to when you say "I" here?  
thumbnail
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 3:26 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 3:26 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Hi terry,

Since the above objections are made repeatedly and responded to the same way, what causes you to cling to this "method"? Why not simply enjoy and appreciate this moment of being alive?
The actualism "method" is only a so-called "method". It is exactly this -- consistently enjoying and appreciating this moment of being alive.

Regards,
Claudiu

-----
P.S. Was my 25-word reply a concise-enough response to your ... extraordinarly verbose emoticon 822-word post (379 yours, 443 another's)?
thumbnail
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 3:50 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 3:46 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
J W
Re: Claudiu:
I am just some random person who has never heard of Actualism so please forgive my ignorance, [...]
No need to apologize -- it's a pleasure to speak with someone who is genuinely curious.

[...] but I feel like everything you're talking about above could be just straight out of a dharma talk.  The fundamental difference 'betwixt' Actualism and Buddhism, does not seem actually so different but rather sort of a semantic, not really so important difference.  Perhaps you hold a much more literal/traditional definition of Buddhism than i do, and in that case, sure... Actualism is not Buddhism.  Nor would be a lot of modern sects be considered Buddhism.
Hmmm... but do you know any sects of Buddhism, modern or otherwise, that would hold that when one is fully Enlightened, at that point precisely what one is (whatever word one would use to refer to the entity that is doing the speaking or the writing) is precisely their body being conscious and not anything other than their body being conscious?

I haven't read any descriptions of Enlightenment that say that, in Buddhism or any other schools... if you know of any then I would be interested in taking a look.

Generally what I find in the suttas is that at the very least form is not-me -- so one would never say "I am the body". And in the context of what I learned from MCTB, there is no "me" in the first place -- rather one would say that there are sensations that can be called 'me' but there is no fundamental 'me'. Both of these are different to experience of a PCE or being actually free, which is that I do actually exist (there is an "I", it's not just sensations occurring in a phenomelogical field), and that what I am is precisely this flesh and blood body being conscious.

In any case, it does seem very important to you that Actualism is viewed as it's own thing and not associated in any way with Buddhism. Why is that?
When I first came across actualism, Richard's (and other actualists') descriptions and reports of their experience of being alive appealed to me. I wanted to go in that direction too.

At the time, there was much discussion and talk of how it is the same as Buddhism, and I started going down what I thought the actualist path, but a better one, more well-suited for me, one that blended actualism with Buddhism, which I was already very familiar with. That is, I had the same opinion as you -- that the differences between Buddhism and actualism were semantic, not important. That they pointed to essentially the same truth, had the same goal in mind, described different ways.

I later came to realize that I had been hoodwinked. Despite the perhaps well-meaning intentions of those that were guiding me, I was **not** going down the actualist path, not making progress with actualism -- rather I was getting further away from that which appealed to me (which was Richard's (and other actualists') descriptions and reports of their experience of being alive).

Once I finally figured it all out and untangled it for myself, I began to have success with actualism, and my life started to improve for the better.

The whole time, actualism is what I wanted, and what worked for me personally for my life. And the misinformation out there caused me great harm (whether those guiding me were well-intentioned or not doesn't change that fact) in not giving me the opportunity to go down that path earlier.

So, this is why I seek to clarify and elucidate this, so that others like me, in my same shoes, can have the choice.

This does not mean everybody should drop what they are doing and go down the actualist path. I am being sincere when I say it is up to each person to decide what they want to do with their lives. If the spiritual path is working for you, then there is no need to change anything - why change that which is working?

But it means there is another option out there for those who are interested.

It does not seem so crazy that there can be two different goals out there. But the push-back is starting to get quite intense emoticon

Personally I find that people can be really put off by syncretism, and this is maybe because it can be taken and stretched too far, but it's probably more to do with the underlying pressure points of a given system that people get upset.
It's rather more to do with my experience coming across actualism in a spiritual context.

If actualism has any weak points, it is that it is difficult to initially grasp what the method is and how to apply it. Once you are in the thick of it it works great, but getting up to that point, can be tricky -- it took me many years to start to apply it effectively, for example. Others have had quicker success than I, some slower.

But it's early days yet. The more actualists the better the supporting techniques will become. Until then I just try to be as helpful as I can.

Cheers,
Claudiu
thumbnail
Ni Nurta, modified 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 3:56 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 3:56 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 930 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire GolemWell, the first one, for starters. In Buddhism, the first noble truth is essentially that being alive in and of itself is intrinsically "dukkha" (i.e. form itself, among other skhandas, is "dukkha") - which, as you know, is commonly translated as 'suffering'.

Is it though?

I always understood 1st noble truth as applicability of noble truths begin with there being dukkha. Doesn't mean everything is dukkha.
If there is however dukkha then the first step is recognizing there is dukkha, then all of its causes,  then eliminating all of its causes and lastly preventing further exposure. Nowhere there I can see everything being dukkha and rather see pragmatic approach to issue solving.

If one of the issues person have is not enjoying being alive then solving this issue would be enjoying being alive. If that doesn't solve issue by itself then whatever remaining issue to be resolved needs to be resolved. It doesn't however mean one should revert good solutions and stop enjoying being alive until all issues causing dukkha are resolved. It just means you should not ignore issues and only use solutions that mask suffering as this is heedless behavior that inevitably leads to more issues and more suffering in the long term.

Solutions such as attaining enlightenment or state of actual freedom, etc. are intrinsically against what Buddha taught. That is why I said Actualism repeats the same bs that Buddhism is full of. Details differ at places but otherwise it is the same kind of flawed thinking. Do you how many people with this kind of thinking came to Buddha, many or few? Do you think he cared for details of what people told him if their whole thinking was... this?

BTW. What was highest joy for Buddha?
When one of his own thanked for the opportunity to have a meal together and left
thumbnail
Chris M, modified 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 3:56 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 3:56 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 4417 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Oh my, is it 2008? Do we have to live this all over again?  emoticon
thumbnail
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 4:12 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 4:12 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Chris M
Oh my, is it 2008? Do we have to live this all over again?  emoticon
I know, I thought we have been through all this already emoticon .

It's like there is a room full of people interested in climbing mountains, and they all have their sights set on Mt. Everest. And someone comes along and says hey, I've found another mountain to climb, I'm calling it Mt. Kilimanjaro, and here's how to get there, if you are interested... you can keep climbing Mt. Everest if you like but here's an alternative, if you want. And everyone says no, you are climbing the same mountain, you've just come up with another name for Mt. Everest, it's very tall, you see, and all those differences you describe, you're just looking at Mt. Everest through a different lens and perverting the Mt. Everest-dharma...
thumbnail
Griffin, modified 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 4:12 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 4:12 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 218 Join Date: 4/7/18 Recent Posts
In order to not make this issue too philosophical or abstract, let's put it in practical terms: why would the practice of enjoying being alive necessarily depend on being identified with the body? Let's say I am having a PCE in a beautiful forest - trees, sound of birds, body sensations along with the enjoyment all appearing in experience... If I am really enjoying and appreciating that moment, what is wrong with percieving the body as not me, why do I need to be indentified with it in order to practice actualism?

We can feel our hand and intentionally create the sense that the hand belongs to "me", or do the opposite and percieve the hand sensations as a foreign object. It seems obvious to me that our sense of  bodily identity is a matter of arbitrary fabrication and not an attribute of supposed objective truth...
thumbnail
J W, modified 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 4:18 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 4:18 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 590 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
Is it though?  Or is this just a *~metaphor*~ in which you are comparing two things which are maybe similar in some ways depending on how you look at them, to something which is entirely different in many other ways (i.e. two mountains, to an internet debate on a really outdated partially functioning platform from 2008)?

(edit: me? I'm just here for entertainment)
thumbnail
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 4:19 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 4:19 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Ni Nurta
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire GolemWell, the first one, for starters. In Buddhism, the first noble truth is essentially that being alive in and of itself is intrinsically "dukkha" (i.e. form itself, among other skhandas, is "dukkha") - which, as you know, is commonly translated as 'suffering'.

Is it though?

I always understood 1st noble truth as applicability of noble truths begin with there being dukkha. Doesn't mean everything is dukkha.
Well, essentially everything. From this translation:

“Birth is stressful, aging is stressful, death is stressful. Sorrow, regret, pain, distress, and despair are stressful. Furthermore, association with the unbeloved is stressful and separation from is loved is stressful. Not getting what is craved for is stressful. In short, the Five Clinging Aggregates [5] are stressful.

“Five Clinging Aggregates” are form, feelings, perceptions, mental fabrications, and ongoing thinking rooted in ignorance of Four Noble Truths. Five Clinging Aggregates describe the ongoing personal experience of stress. Gaining insight into Five Clinging Aggregates is gaining insight into Three Marks Of Existence.
So, perhaps not "everything" is dukkha, but the following all are: birth, aging, death, sorrow, regret, pain, distress, despair, association with the unbeloved, separation from what is loved, not getting what is craved for, form, feelings, perceptions, mental fabrications, and ongoing thinking rooted in ignorance of Four Noble Truths.

It certainly covers a lot of ground.

If there is however dukkha then the first step is recognizing there is dukkha, then all of its causes,  then eliminating all of its causes and lastly preventing further exposure. Nowhere there I can see everything being dukkha and rather see pragmatic approach to issue solving.
What particularly is the problem that the Buddha is solving (and solving, I agree, with a very pragmatic approach), given the broad range of that which he described as dukkha?

But in any case I think I've strayed far from the initial topic of "New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom". Perhaps we can continue the discussion elsewhere. The conversations now are more appropriate for the Dharna Battleground.
thumbnail
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 4:29 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 4:28 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
J W
Is it though?  Or is this just a *~metaphor*~ in which you are comparing two things which are maybe similar in some ways depending on how you look at them, to something which is entirely different in many other ways (i.e. two mountains, to an internet debate on a really outdated partially functioning platform from 2008)?

(edit: me? I'm just here for entertainment)
It is a metaphor, yes emoticon

In this metaphor...
- Climbing mountains == doing something about the human condition.
- Mt. Everest == Enlightenment
- Mt. Kilamanjaro == Actual Freedom

All I am saying is that, if you are currently climbing Mt. Everest, and you want to get to the top of Mt. Kilamanjaro, instead, you will first have to stop climbing up Mt. Everest, come back down the way you came, and then start going up Mt. Kilamanjaro, instead. 

I don't think this is such a contentious thing to be saying. 

It seems that those who are climbing Mt. Everest don't want to admit to the existence of other mountains. As to why that is... I will leave it for each person to determine (or not), for themselves.

That being said I think these ongoing debates of whether actualism == Buddhism, would be better served to continue on a thread in the Dharma Battleground. I'll stop replying along these veins on this topic here, as I think I made the broad strokes of the point well enough.

I'll continue responding to those who have questions about actualism, although they may be better had on the new actualism forum ( https://discuss.actualism.online/ ).
thumbnail
Chris M, modified 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 4:38 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 4:38 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 4417 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
So you want to take all the nice rage thread traffic elsewhere? Nope, nope nope. You can't come here, get the natives all fired up, and then take the party to another venue! 
thumbnail
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 4:45 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 4:45 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Chris M
So you want to take all the nice rage thread traffic elsewhere? Nope, nope nope. You can't come here, get the natives all fired up, and then take the party to another venue! 
I don't want any of the "rage thread traffic", thank you very much emoticon . I would actually prefer that it stay here or on another thread here. I'm only interested in bringing over the non-rage, curious traffic emoticon .

But ya know, you can't always get what you want...

(As an aside --- wherefore all the rage?)
thumbnail
Chris M, modified 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 4:51 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 4:51 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 4417 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
I'm only interested in bringing over the non-rage, curious traffic emoticon​​​​​​​

Be careful what you wish for.
thumbnail
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 4:51 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 4:51 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Griffin
In order to not make this issue too philosophical or abstract, let's put it in practical terms: why would the practice of enjoying being alive necessarily depend on being identified with the body? Let's say I am having a PCE in a beautiful forest - trees, sound of birds, body sensations along with the enjoyment all appearing in experience... If I am really enjoying and appreciating that moment, what is wrong with percieving the body as not me, why do I need to be indentified with it in order to practice actualism?

We can feel our hand and intentionally create the sense that the hand belongs to "me", or do the opposite and percieve the hand sensations as a foreign object. It seems obvious to me that our sense of  bodily identity is a matter of arbitrary fabrication and not an attribute of supposed objective truth...

Hi Griffin,

Maybe better continue the discussion on the actualism forum?

In any case I am checking out for the night, as replying in the most beneficial way I can, will take more energy than I currently have remaining emoticon .

Cheers,
Claudiu
thumbnail
J W, modified 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 5:11 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 5:11 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 590 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
I do understand what this particular metaphor is meant to convey, thanks for explaining it though, that's very thoughtful of you.

the point that I am making is that in your use of metaphor here, which is meant to point out (as I understand it) the folly of syncretic styles of thinking ("there are many paths up the mountain" if you will), and how it is not a valid way of thinking to compare two distinct things as if they were one, or whatever, is actually present the exact thing against which you are arguing -- comparing two things as if they were the same, when they are not.

Now, can we at least agree that both Mts. Everest and Kilamanjaro are both geological structures which are present on the same good ol' baby blue planet Earth?
thumbnail
Ni Nurta, modified 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 5:15 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 5:15 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 930 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
The Buddha's first teaching like the one you posted refers to tendencies which give rise to the kind of mind which indulges which unskillful things and which is entirely made from these unskillful things. Buddha uses chains of causation to construct idea what it might be. I just call these unskillful things as what I would normally call them: 'relief'. Like experience of relief.

Mind when it doesn't jump at first opportunity of relief is then inevitably forced to follow process of Four Noble Truths and sparing you another description of it going step by step eventually solves its issues. Step #3 doesn't produce any relief if done right because mind which would experience relief is gone as soon as suffering it seeked relief from and it is how you can verify you did it right.

Now imagine Buddha explaining that to people... surely he has to make it more convoluted and not very direct. No wonder people who do not have him explaining all their confusing undestanding with even more confusing advices but designed to confuse them in about right way won't find all this very clear. Unlike most people I do not like confusing others as there is enough of this method out there. People grew used to have masters do this so they themselves are spared from technical details. I find it obsolete. Just truth, describing experiences is enough.

And I realized that I was producing pleasant experiences out of my own suffering then these pleasant experiences demanded more suffering to be experienced. Once I stopped doing that I experienced ubrearable dukkha but then I also experienced mind fixing this issue along with me seeing how it did it and I didn't feel any relief, no nothing. Everything just stopped and I ended with state where normal mind didn't exist, like the only thing that remained was... insest your favourite quote from Actualism about just being alive : )

The thing about that is that if you were to not know what you are not doing and why you would arrive to the same end result - enlightenment. Then you might assume you can get to this state just by reinforcing idea of this state - and you would not be entirely mistaken. What you might be mistaken is that what Buddha's method was about. Especially with all the people who didn't understand it either. It can happen because enlightenment as this word is used doesn't mean perfect knowledge. Buddha didn't have perfect knowledge either. If he had he would used better descriptions, less convoluted and confusing.
thumbnail
Griffin, modified 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 5:23 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/17/22 5:23 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 218 Join Date: 4/7/18 Recent Posts
Sure!
thumbnail
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 4 Months ago at 2/18/22 4:21 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/18/22 4:21 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
J W
"It's not only slightly different but rather diametrically opposed --- with respect to actualism, what I ultimately am is the body, whereas in Buddhism, I ultimately am **not** the body (refer to my other post for more). Actualism and Buddhism are literally the opposite of each other, with respect to this. There's no gray areas here, no nuance -- they simply do not agree on this point."
What are you referring to when you say "I" here?  


Hi J W,

If you're genuinely interested in learning more about actualism, then there's a discussion on this topic happening on the actualism forum already - you are welcome to join!

However if you're already convinced that actualism == Buddhism, then there's no need to come over and try to convince us of that. The Dharma Battleground category on this forum would be the most appropriate place to continue those conversations.

Cheers,
Claudiu
​​​​​​​
thumbnail
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 4 Months ago at 2/18/22 4:38 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/18/22 4:38 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Ni Nurta
The Buddha's first teaching like the one you posted refers to tendencies which give rise to the kind of mind which indulges which unskillful things and which is entirely made from these unskillful things. Buddha uses chains of causation to construct idea what it might be. I just call these unskillful things as what I would normally call them: 'relief'. Like experience of relief.

Mind when it doesn't jump at first opportunity of relief is then inevitably forced to follow process of Four Noble Truths and sparing you another description of it going step by step eventually solves its issues. Step #3 doesn't produce any relief if done right because mind which would experience relief is gone as soon as suffering it seeked relief from and it is how you can verify you did it right.

Now imagine Buddha explaining that to people... surely he has to make it more convoluted and not very direct. No wonder people who do not have him explaining all their confusing undestanding with even more confusing advices but designed to confuse them in about right way won't find all this very clear. Unlike most people I do not like confusing others as there is enough of this method out there. People grew used to have masters do this so they themselves are spared from technical details. I find it obsolete. Just truth, describing experiences is enough.

And I realized that I was producing pleasant experiences out of my own suffering then these pleasant experiences demanded more suffering to be experienced. Once I stopped doing that I experienced ubrearable dukkha but then I also experienced mind fixing this issue along with me seeing how it did it and I didn't feel any relief, no nothing. Everything just stopped and I ended with state where normal mind didn't exist, like the only thing that remained was... insest your favourite quote from Actualism about just being alive : )
Well, I always enjoy reading people's descriptions of their own experiences with actually doing something about the human condition we find ourselves in!

Just to know more about where you're coming from, is this "state where normal mind" doesn't exist, your ongoing experiencing, or something you only experience occasionally?

Further, in this state, are there any experiences of what perhaps would formerly have been called emotions? Be it love, bliss, compassion, metta, karuna, etc., not to mention any negative ones like anger, annoyance, irritation, anxiety, fear?

Further, in this state, is it part and parcel of your experience that you (what is doing the reading, writing, and talking) *are* a flesh and blood body being conscious, intrinsically as part of the experience (without identifying with the body as such)?

And also, in this state, is it part and parcel of the experience that the universe is actually existing, and is intrinsically benign and benevolent?

I ask because these are all intrinsic qualities of a PCE and of being actually free -- no emotions, being the very flesh and blood body itself, and experiencing the benignity and benevolent universe directly (not via a 'self' or a 'Self'). And so if your experience differs in this respect, then you're experiencing a different state than the PCE.

Which is perfectly fine, of course, but it is certainly beneficial to be clear about what is what, to have a discerning mind, as I am sure any accomplished Buddhist practitioner would agree.

The thing about that is that if you were to not know what you are not doing and why you would arrive to the same end result - enlightenment. Then you might assume you can get to this state just by reinforcing idea of this state - and you would not be entirely mistaken.
For anyone to use this sort of argument with me, they would really have to assume I am some kind of fool! Because in my experience, I knew what I was doing, was following a spiritual Buddhist path, was having success with it, found something different, retraced my spiritual steps, started down another path where I knew what I was doing, and now have success with this, with a different outcome that I was having before.

So the only way this argument can be true is if I am unable to realize that what I am experiencing now via actualism, is actually the same thing that I was experiencing before via spirituality, even though I myself have experienced both!

Now it's possible I really am such a fool... but if that's so then there's no real reason to listen to or take heed of anything that I have to say, because I clearly don't know my ass from my elbow emoticon .

And as such having any conversation about the various nuances and intricacies of both paths, would not be beneficial to either party.

Note well, I'm not saying that anyone should turn off their critical faculties and simply believe me... and no offense is taken emoticon . I'm just following the argument to its logical conclusion.

Cheers,
Claudiu
 
thumbnail
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 4 Months ago at 2/18/22 4:44 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/18/22 4:44 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
J W
I do understand what this particular metaphor is meant to convey, thanks for explaining it though, that's very thoughtful of you.

the point that I am making is that in your use of metaphor here, which is meant to point out (as I understand it) the folly of syncretic styles of thinking ("there are many paths up the mountain" if you will), and how it is not a valid way of thinking to compare two distinct things as if they were one, or whatever, is actually present the exact thing against which you are arguing -- comparing two things as if they were the same, when they are not.
Got it now - I was particularly confused by the parenthetical in your last post - "(i.e. two mountains, to an internet debate on a really outdated partially functioning platform from 2008)" - but I see what you are saying now.

Yes it's just a metaphor, it's not perfect. Buddhism and actualism initially appear to be the same, because they both have stated goals of doing something about the human condition of sorrow, misery, strife, etc. So they do both seek to solve the same problem. And indeed there are many parallels especially at the start. It's only once you start digging in, with a careful discerning eye, that the differences start to become apparent.

The reason I pointed to descriptions of the end states, as being different, is that it should make it clear that if the end goal is different, the paths must be different and they must be different things. But to someone at the start where they both still seem the same, then it is apparently difficult to see the differences even when they are laid out side by side. If they are described simply, they are waived away as being merely semantic. If they are described in detail, then there fly the accusations of "gushing" and "extraordinary verbosity". There is no way to 'win' emoticon . Which is a good thing I'm not trying to 'win', otherwise I would be very upset indeed.

Now, can we at least agree that both Mts. Everest and Kilamanjaro are both geological structures which are present on the same good ol' baby blue planet Earth?
That they are, much as we are all fellow human beings on this fine planet. 'tis a fine time to be alive!
Adi Vader, modified 4 Months ago at 2/18/22 6:40 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/18/22 6:40 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 118 Join Date: 6/29/20 Recent Posts
What is this strange and wonderous chaos emoticon

I have understood neither head nor tails of it, and at the same time I have understood it all !!

Wassup Srinath?
​​​​​​​Hi Claudiu.
thumbnail
J W, modified 4 Months ago at 2/18/22 1:55 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/18/22 1:38 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 590 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
"The reason I pointed to descriptions of the end states, as being different, is that it should make it clear that if the end goal is different, the paths must be different and they must be different things. But to someone at the start where they both still seem the same, then it is apparently difficult to see the differences even when they are laid out side by side. If they are described simply, they are waived away as being merely semantic. If they are described in detail, then there fly the accusations of "gushing" and "extraordinary verbosity". There is no way to 'win' emoticon . Which is a good thing I'm not trying to 'win', otherwise I would be very upset indeed."

If your goal is to demonstrate that Actualism is not the same as Buddhism... don't seem to give yourself a lot of options for succeeding in that goal, if that is indeed the goal, and if this is indeed how you see the situation.  Nor do you seem to give much credit to anyone here's intellectual capacity.  So then why are you spending time here on this forum trying to convert us (or whatever it is you are trying to do)?

The way I see it is there are people (including myself), genuinely asking to clarify what the supposed differences are, and you are refusing to respond other than to direct people to a separate website.

edit: I just now saw your response to my question from earlier, sorry about that. Perhaps we can continue this discussion in that separate comment thread
thumbnail
J W, modified 4 Months ago at 2/18/22 1:54 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/18/22 1:53 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 590 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
Hey Claudiu,
I'm sorry, totally missed this response earlier.  
"Hmmm... but do you know any sects of Buddhism, modern or otherwise, that would hold that when one is fully Enlightened, at that point precisely what one is (whatever word one would use to refer to the entity that is doing the speaking or the writing) is precisely their body being conscious and not anything other than their body being conscious?"


Hmmm... yeah, I mean all of our mental processes, consciousness, awareness, are all fabricated through the physical body... all of what we perceive is perceived through our sense doors (sight, smell, taste, touch, all of these are routed through our physical body and interpreted through the mind which is a part of the body) - there is nothing that we experience which is completely external from our own physical body.

I'm not sure if that helps clarify maybe...??

I don't know about any specific sects of Buddhism, I personally am not much of a scholar, don't really read any of the traditional Buddhist scriptures or anythign like that so I couldn't tell you.

I'm just still not really seeing what is so unique or different about this point of view.


thumbnail
J W, modified 4 Months ago at 2/18/22 2:00 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/18/22 2:00 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 590 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
I had never heard of Actualism until just now and I don't really feel any reason to go to the actualism forum. Thank you though
thumbnail
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 4 Months ago at 2/18/22 4:15 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/18/22 3:55 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
J W
Hey Claudiu,
I'm sorry, totally missed this response earlier.  
Thank goodness emoticon . I was a bit taken aback when I thought that my response here was being construed as a refusal to respond lol. But I am glad to see that all sensibility has not been lost.


"Hmmm... but do you know any sects of Buddhism, modern or otherwise, that would hold that when one is fully Enlightened, at that point precisely what one is (whatever word one would use to refer to the entity that is doing the speaking or the writing) is precisely their body being conscious and not anything other than their body being conscious?"
Hmmm... yeah, I mean all of our mental processes, consciousness, awareness, are all fabricated through the physical body... all of what we perceive is perceived through our sense doors (sight, smell, taste, touch, all of these are routed through our physical body and interpreted through the mind which is a part of the body) - there is nothing that we experience which is completely external from our own physical body.

I'm not sure if that helps clarify maybe...??

I don't know about any specific sects of Buddhism, I personally am not much of a scholar, don't really read any of the traditional Buddhist scriptures or anythign like that so I couldn't tell you.
Well we can talk more about how you yourself practice meditation and how I used to do it, rather than what traditional or modern Buddhism may or may not be.

When I would practice noting and other types of meditation, be it on the cushion or while out in my daily life, part of what I was doing was in recognizing the three characteristics in all phenomena that were perceived, which basically consisted of physical sensations and thoughts at the coarsest levels, and then space, consciousness, nothingness, equanimity, perception/not-quite-non-perception itself, etc at more refined levels.

This included of course bodily sensations, such as touch, sight, sound, proprioception, sensations of physical tension, tightness, weight, relaxation, pleasurable and unpleasurable sensations, etc.

And of course, one of the three characteristics is anatta - i.e. that everything that is perceived is not me, is not self, essentially by virtue of it being able to be perceived. As in, if it can be perceived, it's not me -- and then also who or what is doing the perceiving? That is therefore not me, either... and this can lead to a ping-pong back and forth to get a fruition through the no-self door (as described in MCTB ).

So via constant repetition and diligent application and training, my experience of being alive changed such that I experienced everything as not-me , including of course the body. I was not the body, nor was I even that which was perceiving the body. The idea of course with this meditative path is that there is no 'me' to begin with -- any sensations that can be called 'me' are just that, inherently self-less sensations -- and the goal (as in continuous way of being end-state) is to constantly experience being alive this way, that the body is not-me, everything is not-me, there is nothing that is 'me', there is no 'me' in the first place.

I haven't been around for a few years on this forum, but unless things have changed dramatically, I presume this is in line with what the practitioners here are doing/having success with? Does this accord with your own personal experience?

-----

Now, with actualism, things are very different. With actualism, it is not the case that there is no 'me'. Rather, the thing to recognize when going down the actualism path, is that 'I', the feeling-being writing this, am 'my' emotions and 'my' emotions are 'me'. That is, it is **not** the case that emotions are just thoughts+physical sensations, neither of which are 'me'/are self -- rather, it is **precisely** that I **am** my emotions. Emotions (which are neither thoughts nor physical sensations but rather intuitively-felt affective phenomena) are what 'I' am.

So with normal feeling-being consciousness (the way everybody normally experiences being alive), it is indeed the case that 'I' am not the body. On this initial point, the meditative and actualist approaches agree. However, unlike the meditative path where 'I' am not 'my' emotions either (because nothing actually is 'me') it is rather that 'I' am 'my' emotions.

Further, sooner or later you discover that this 'me' (along with 'my' emotions) is actually illusory. That is, it is possible for this 'me' that 'I' feel 'myself' to be to **completely disappear**, in what is called a Pure Consciousness Experience. When this occurs, it is not the case that there is no 'me' -- as is the case with the meditiative goal -- but rather, you find that that which is being conscious during a PCE **is** me, is what I actually am, and that what this me is **is** the flesh and blood body itself being conscious.

This should also answer your question of "What are you referring to when you say "I" here?" in your post here.

-----

So, to summarize:

  • The meditative path a la MCTB: though there appears to be a 'me', and 'I' may appear to be this body or these emotions or this consciousness, actually there is no 'me'. Everything is just sensations with no inherent me-ness to them. You gradually come to experience being alive in a manner of being conscious where everything is seen to be not-me.

    Though it may be the case that "all of our mental processes, consciousness, awareness, are all fabricated through the physical body" and that "all of what we perceive is perceived through our sense doors" and that "there is nothing that we experience which is completely external from our own physical body" -- nevertheless, what 'I' am is not the physical body / the physical body is not 'me'.

    Ultimately, there is no me at all, I don't exist in any manner, nor ever did I exist. And this is not a belief, view, or notion, but rather intrinsic to the experience.
  • The actualist path: though there appears to be a 'me', and 'I' may appear to be this body, actually what 'I' as a feeling-being am is 'my' emotions and nothing other than 'my' emotions. All 'I' am as a feeling-being is these emotions. You at one point suddenly come to see that it is possible for this 'me' to disappear, while consciousness continues -- and then you see that what you actually are, is this flesh and blood body being conscious, and that the feeling-being 'me' that you felt yourself to be is actually just illusory.

    Ultimately, I do exist, and what I actually am is this flesh and blood body being conscious. And this is not a belief, view, or notion, but rather intrinsic to the experience.

I'm just still not really seeing what is so unique or different about this point of view.
After reading the above, are you able to see something different about the actualist path as opposed to the meditative one?

-----

Also in reference to your other post, I don't think anybody here, including you, lacks the intellectual capacity to see the differences for themselves. It is something simple to grasp, not something complicated or complex to grasp.

What makes it challenging to grasp is not that it requires a lot of intelligence, but rather that it requires an intelligence that is relatively unencumbered by certain beliefs, views, and notions. Your teacups are full, as the Zen story goes.

But don't get me wrong, the idea is not to empty your teacup, fill it with actualism kool-aid, and start chugging emoticon . It's rather, **if** your curiosity continues, to use this as a starting point to see if you can unravel it for yourself, with the main idea being to experience a PCE for yourself, at which point it will all become much clearer and you can use that as your guiding light as opposed to whatever anybody else says or writes on the internet.

Cheers,
Claudiu

  
thumbnail
J W, modified 4 Months ago at 2/18/22 5:04 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/18/22 5:00 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 590 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts

"I haven't been around for a few years on this forum, but unless things have changed dramatically, I presume this is in line with what the practitioners here are doing/having success with? Does this accord with your own personal experience?"
So what you are describing above seems to be like a Mahasi noting style practice... I certainly cannot speak for everyone on this forum, but I've seen allll sorts of different styles and techniques discussed here.  In my own experience, I haven't spent too much time using that specific type of technique, but I do find investigation using the 3 characteristics to be helpful.

"and the goal (as in continuous way of being end-state) is to constantly experience being alive this way, that the body is not-me, everything is not-me, there is nothing that is 'me', there is no 'me' in the first place."

That's not really what I understand the goal of my practice to be.  The best way I could describe my intention, right now, which I have found changes, is the following:

To be able to live openly and honestly, accepting anything that may arise as part of my experience.


"Ultimately, there is no me at all, I don't exist in any manner, nor ever did I exist. And this is not a belief, view, or notion, but rather intrinsic to the experience. "

This is not really what Buddhism (as I understand it) teaches.  Perhaps I am not a Buddhist (I usually don't refer to myself as one anyway), and like I mentioned I am not very well versed in the suttas, while it seems like you have spent a lot of time reading scripture.

"After reading the above, are you able to see something different about the actualist path as opposed to the meditative one?"

I can't say that I find anything significantly different, as far as it relates to my personal experience.  Sorry... maybe I'm just dull emoticon

Though of course we are all welcome to our own definitions of what the meditative path is and is not.
thumbnail
Chris M, modified 4 Months ago at 2/18/22 5:53 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/18/22 5:50 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 4417 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
I can't deal with all the reply nesting going on in this topic so I'm going to reply at the thread level:

Claudiu says:

So via constant repetition and diligent application and training, my experience of being alive changed such that I experienced everything as not-me , including of course the body. I was not the body, nor was I even that which was perceiving the body. The idea of course with this meditative path is that there is no 'me' to begin with -- any sensations that can be called 'me' are just that, inherently self-less sensations -- and the goal (as in continuous way of being end-state) is to constantly experience being alive this way, that the body is not-me, everything is not-me, there is nothing that is 'me', there is no 'me' in the first place.

This, at minimum, is an overly simple and thus not correct understanding of what's going on with "self." There is a self. It's always present in some form, at least as long as we're alive and minimally conscious. The self is, however, just another object. Like a chair, or a table. This is the bottom line in Buddhism: there is no permanent self. This is very different from saying, "There is no self whatsoever." We typically assume that the self is permanent, and then we make judgments and view life based on that incorrect assumption. The entire structure of experience (some say "reality") changes when a deeper picture of the impermanent self comes into view. No one needs to eliminate anything from their experience. It's a more nuanced view that is eventually revealed at the point one attains 4th path-type insight. If you don't have that insight you will not grok this deeply. It can be described intellectually, it can be understood intellectually, but like a lot of deeply revealing insights, it needs to be felt, to soak in, to have depth. It needs to hit the bone.
thumbnail
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 5:47 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 5:47 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Chris M
I can't deal with all the reply nesting going on in this topic so I'm going to reply at the thread level:
That's a good idea emoticon . I remember there used to be a way to view a topic as flat even with the replies being nested, but I don't see this option anymore.

 
The entire structure of experience (some say "reality") changes when a deeper picture of the impermanent self comes into view. No one needs to eliminate anything from their experience. It's a more nuanced view that is eventually revealed at the point one attains 4th path-type insight.
Thank you for explicating this clearly here, that with the meditative path described here, "No one needs to eliminate anything from their experience".

To expand on this in my own words, that is to say that everything that occurs before a "4th path-type insight", particularly emotions, feelings, passions, moods, etc., continues to occur after such an insight -- as nothing is eliminated. I think anyone who has attained to a 4th path-type insight can attest to the fact that they still experience emotions, feelings, moods, etc., even if they experience them in a different manner.

I will take this opportunity, perhaps predictably so, to point out that with regards to actualism, the goal **is** to eliminate something from experience. That is to say, it isn't that the 'me' that 'I' experience 'myself' to be as a subject, along with 'my' emotions, feelings, passions, moods, etc., is seen to be "just another object" and continues to be experienced after actual freedom... rather, it is that the 'me' that 'I' experience 'myself' to be as a subject *disappears entirely* upon an actual freedom, *along with* 'my' emotions, feelings, passions, moods, etc.

That is to say:

  • Actual freedom[1]: 'self', emotions, feelings, passions, moods, etc., *are eliminated entirely*
  • 4th path-type insight: "No one needs to eliminate anything from their experience."
To put it differently, the reports and experiences of an actually free person is that there is no 'self', there are no emotions, feelings, passions, moods, etc., occuring in experience anymore -- they have been eliminated. While the reports and experiences of someone who has attained to a 4th path-type insight is that they do continue to experience emotions, feelings, passions, moods, etc. 

I would think that anybody with even a middling amount of intellectual capacity - let alone the certainly above-average intellectual capacity that I perceive the correspondents here to have - would be capable of reading this and understanding that what is being described are two different things.

And not only a little bit different, but very different, to the point where Daniel Ingram even characterized the creation and perpetuation of such a possibility of eliminating all emotions[2] as "fantasies" and as "basically evil" (!!). 

I certainly see why someone with sufficient intellectual capacity might read this and believe the reports are inaccurate (or perhaps even deluded)... but it is harder to expain how anyone could read this and not understand they are different.

But based on how things are going so far, I will likely soon find out.

Cheers,
Claudiu
-----

[1] Note that it is possible to experience being alive without a self, emotions, feelings, passions, moods, etc., in a PCE before becoming actually free -- thus it's possible to see for oneself that it is something that can occur, before taking a permanent, irrevocable step of eliminating these things entirely.
[2] Also please note a very important caveat, that actualism isn't about eliminating emotions per se, which would indeed have disastrous consequences, but rather it's about eliminating 'self' or what is called 'being'. But as 'I' am 'my' feelings and 'my' feelings are 'me', the elimination of 'self' / 'being' entails the elimination of all 'my' emotions, feelings, passions, moods, etc.
thumbnail
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 6:01 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 6:01 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Claudiu
So via constant repetition and diligent application and training, my experience of being alive changed such that I experienced everything as not-me , including of course the body. I was not the body, nor was I even that which was perceiving the body. The idea of course with this meditative path is that there is no 'me' to begin with -- any sensations that can be called 'me' are just that, inherently self-less sensations -- and the goal (as in continuous way of being end-state) is to constantly experience being alive this way, that the body is not-me, everything is not-me, there is nothing that is 'me', there is no 'me' in the first place.
Chris
This, at minimum, is an overly simple and thus not correct understanding of what's going on with "self." There is a self. It's always present in some form, at least as long as we're alive and minimally conscious. The self is, however, just another object. 
This is besides the main point and purpose of the thread, so I put it in a separate post, but I don't think we disagree here. Though I did indeed never attain the 4th path-type insight, I don't think what I wrote here is inaccurate. Rather it may be a rare case where the language gets in the way.

For example, in MCTB2 Daniel writes "Notice that whatever is observed is not “me” or “mine”."

To combine this terminology with what you're writing here, it would be that "There is a self, however, it, too, being something that is observed (i.e. an object) is not 'me' or 'mine'". 

What I meant that there is no 'me' in the first place, in this context, is that there never was anything that was 'me' or 'mine' -- it was just mistaken to be so. But all the components constituting what might be called a "self" -- such as physical sensations, emotions, feelings, perception, consciousness itself, etc., -- are not 'me' or 'mine', by virtue of being capable of being observed.

This is why once the 4th path-type insight is attained (and I go from reports of others here and not my own experience), whatever was called or felt to be 'self', to be 'me' or 'mine', beforehand, still continues to occur, however it is seen that it is not 'me' or 'mine', all of these are just sensations in the field, sensations which are not 'me', not 'mine'. 

Indeed, we agree that with this path, nothing is eliminated, it's just that due to a particularly deeply revealing insight that hits to the bone, things are seen to be "as they are", which is, not 'me' and not 'mine', there is nothing that is actually 'me' or 'mine'.

Of course I am open to being wrong here as I never attained to 4th path, so even though I got far on the path, this last bit did not penetrate to become my ongoing experience of being alive.
thumbnail
Chris M, modified 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 6:49 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 6:40 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 4417 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Also please note a very important caveat, that actualism isn't about eliminating emotions per se, which would indeed have disastrous consequences, but rather it's about eliminating 'self' or what is called 'being'. But as 'I' am 'my' feelings and 'my' feelings are 'me', the elimination of 'self' / 'being' entails the elimination of all 'my' emotions, feelings, passions, moods, etc.

This is why I mentioned that one needs to grok the not-self experience, not just have an intellectual understanding of it. 


To put it differently, the reports and experiences of an actually free person is that there is no 'self', there are no emotions, feelings, passions, moods, etc., occuring in experience anymore -- they have been eliminated.

I think everyone should pursue the spirituality of their choice. AF just isn't my choice. The statement above isn't anything I would aspire to, but... you go!
thumbnail
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 6:44 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 6:44 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
J W

"I haven't been around for a few years on this forum, but unless things have changed dramatically, I presume this is in line with what the practitioners here are doing/having success with? Does this accord with your own personal experience?"
So what you are describing above seems to be like a Mahasi noting style practice... I certainly cannot speak for everyone on this forum, but I've seen allll sorts of different styles and techniques discussed here.  In my own experience, I haven't spent too much time using that specific type of technique, but I do find investigation using the 3 characteristics to be helpful.
Sure, different styles and techniques will call for different analyses. But as you find investigation using the 3 characteristics to be helpful, and one of the 3 characteristics is anatta or not-self, and emotions and form are both some of the things that have this characteristic of not-self... do you really not see anything significantly different between this (emotions are not-me, body is not-me) and actualism (emotions are me (outside of a PCE), body is me (during a PCE))?


"and the goal (as in continuous way of being end-state) is to constantly experience being alive this way, that the body is not-me, everything is not-me, there is nothing that is 'me', there is no 'me' in the first place."
That's not really what I understand the goal of my practice to be.  The best way I could describe my intention, right now, which I have found changes, is the following:

To be able to live openly and honestly, accepting anything that may arise as part of my experience.
Sure... whereas with actualism, although you initially accept that you are feeling the feelings that you do - be they good, bad, or felicitous - you do not accept them as an ongoing experience. Rather, once acknowledged, you minimize the good and the bad feelings, and maximize the felicitous feelings, with the goal in mind to eliminate the 'self' in its entirety (see this post for more).


"Ultimately, there is no me at all, I don't exist in any manner, nor ever did I exist. And this is not a belief, view, or notion, but rather intrinsic to the experience. "
This is not really what Buddhism (as I understand it) teaches.  Perhaps I am not a Buddhist (I usually don't refer to myself as one anyway), and like I mentioned I am not very well versed in the suttas, while it seems like you have spent a lot of time reading scripture.
Well we don't need to discuss Buddhism if you aren't a Buddhist, as that isn't relevant for you. Be that as it may, this post may clarify what I was saying here with regards to the particular meditative path described in MCTB and MCTB2.


"After reading the above, are you able to see something different about the actualist path as opposed to the meditative one?"
I can't say that I find anything significantly different, as far as it relates to my personal experience.  Sorry... maybe I'm just dull emoticon
You really don't see anything significantly different between the following?

Actualism: as a feeling-being, emotions are 'me'
Meditative path: emotions are not-me

Actualism: in a PCE, and when actually free, I am the flesh and blood body / the flesh and blood body is me
Meditative path: the body is not-me

Actualism: minimize 'good' and 'bad' feelings, maximize 'felicitous feelings', with goal of total 'self'-immolation
Meditative path: accept anything that may arise as part of experience

Actualism: upon actual freedom, 'self', emotions, feelings, passions, moods, etc., are eliminated entirely. 
Meditative path: "[accept] anything that may arise as part of my experience" ... "No one needs to eliminate anything from their experience."

How do you reconcile these as being the same thing?


Though of course we are all welcome to our own definitions of what the meditative path is and is not.
Yes, and meditative paths do vary and differ, and often I would say significantly so. The analysis appropriate to one meditative path will not necessarily apply to another. But so far I have not come across any meditative or spiritual path, that leads to the same outcome, and has the same techniques of getting there, as actualism and actual freedom.

Cheers,
Claudiu
thumbnail
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 7:02 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 6:57 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Chris
Claudiu
Also please note a very important caveat, that actualism isn't about eliminating emotions per se, which would indeed have disastrous consequences, but rather it's about eliminating 'self' or what is called 'being'. But as 'I' am 'my' feelings and 'my' feelings are 'me', the elimination of 'self' / 'being' entails the elimination of all 'my' emotions, feelings, passions, moods, etc.
This is why I mentioned that one needs to grok the not-self experience, not just have an intellectual understanding of it.
I think you are alluding to the fact that such a thing (eliminating 'self') is a perhaps misguided thing to attempt to do, as a result of not grokking the not-self experience?

If so, I want to concur in that indeed, the insights that one gains from the not-self experience, do not apply or serve one well when going on the actualism path. As you indicate here, they run contrary to one another -- because if grokking the not-self experience reveals there is no reason or need (or possibility?) to eliminate 'self' in the first place, then of course it makes no sense to go ahead and try to do just that -- which is precisely what the defining moment of actual freedom is, in the actualist path (elimination of 'self').

I'm not trying to reconcile the two on this point... they just don't mix together. One doesn't make sense from the point of view of the other, and vice versa.
​​​​​​​

Chris
To put it differently, the reports and experiences of an actually free person is that there is no 'self', there are no emotions, feelings, passions, moods, etc., occuring in experience anymore -- they have been eliminated.
I think everyone should pursue the spirituality of their choice. AF just isn't my choice. The statement above isn't anything I would aspire to, but... you go!
I am glad that at least one person here recognizes that there is something different about actualism/actual freedom, such that it would be something to choose.

And I agree, that everyone should pursue what they think is best, and I appreciate that it isn't for you -- nor would I try to change your mind (or anyone else's) about that.

One question, though -- what is it that has you categorizing AF as a form of spirituality? How do you define spirituality?
thumbnail
Chris M, modified 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 7:07 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 7:06 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 4417 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
How do you define spirituality?

​​​​​​​I define spirituality as the metaphysical and philosophical basis on which folks pursue their existence. This is a broad, non-religious version, and those philosophies and underpinnings sometimes provide people with aspirations that they then pursue with intention.
thumbnail
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 8:53 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 8:39 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Chris M
How do you define spirituality?
I define spirituality as the metaphysical and philosophical basis on which folks pursue their existence. This is a broad, non-religious version, and those philosophies and underpinnings sometimes provide people with aspirations that they then pursue with intention.
Understood. If by "metaphysical" you mean relating to, for example, "questions about the nature of consciousness and the relationship between mind and matter, between substance and attribute, and between potentiality and actuality", and entailing "questions related to what it is for something to exist and what types of existence there are" (Wikipedia) - as opposed to "transcending physical matter or the laws of nature" (google definition) -- then I agree that actualism and actual freedom fit into this category, as they by their very nature deal with the nature of existence, the nature of consciousness, what it means for something to exist, etc.

I would only add the caveat that actualism, much like the meditative path described here, is experiential, not just something to be studied but rather something to be undertaken and experienced for oneself. I only say this because "philosophical" can sometimes refer to merely intellectual pursuits and studies rather than experiential approaches.

Further, and I don't mean to be pedantic, but I personally wouldn't describe actualism or actual freedom as fitting with the term "spirituality". In general usage the term does usually have, if not religious connotations (as in "spiritual but not religious"), at least connotations of divinity, or a sacred or inner dimension, or belief in a supernatural realm or realms (heavens or hells), or some immaterial reality, discovering the essence of your 'being', uncovering the true nature of 'reality' in a manner which is other than that the universe physically exists and there is nothing outside of it  -- none of which apply to actualism. But then again a lot of these would not apply to what is promoted and promulgated here, either emoticon .

Cheers,
Claudiu
thumbnail
J W, modified 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 9:19 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 9:18 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 590 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
Claudiu-
Couple of things.

1. What you are calling Buddhism, I call Nihilism.  You seem to have had some really bad experiences with Buddhism, being 'hoodwinked' or whatever, and I'm truly sorry for that experience that you have gone through.  My experience has been different.  So it's not really surprising that our practices may have developed differently as a result of our different conditions.

2. I don't need to identify as a Buddhist to discuss Buddhism, nor to practice Buddhist meditation, learn from Buddhist teachings, etc.  I don't think I need to explain that to you further.

3. What I perhaps should have said about Actualism v. Buddhism, and this is actually what I meant by nothing different 'as far as it relates to my personal experience', is that there's nothing about what you are describing as "Actualism" that I feel drawn to really.  Perhaps I am just happy with the way my current Buddhist practice is going.  And actually, I do the two things you are describing as opposites can be present at the same time.  Emotions are me, but at the same time, they kind of aren't me.  Nothing is so black and white like that, at least that's the way that I experience it.

Btw - you mentioned you are a programmer - your style of discourse, and attention to detail, points to someone who is very organized and methodical. I do software integrations - making different systems talk and interact with each other, merging and transforming data between warehouses, etc.  It's often a very messy and disorganized job ... ;)
thumbnail
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 10:11 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 10:09 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
J W
Claudiu-
Couple of things.

1. What you are calling Buddhism, I call Nihilism.
Is it really non-buddhistic of me to say that one of the three characteristics of all phenomena is that it is anatta, not-self? This is basic Buddhism.

And you don't have to take my word for it... as you say you are not well-versed in the suttas, you may want to read this translation of, for example, the Anatta-lakkhana Sutta:

The Blessed One said this.

"Bhikkhus, form is not-self. [...] "Bhikkhus, feeling is not-self... "Bhikkhus, perception is not-self... "Bhikkhus, determinations are not-self... "Bhikkhus, consciousness is not self.

"So, bhikkhus any kind of form whatever, whether past, future or presently arisen, whether gross or subtle, whether in oneself or external, whether inferior or superior, whether far or near, must with right understanding how it is, be regarded thus: 'This is not mine, this is not I, this is not myself.' [...] "Any kind of feeling whatever... "Any kind of perception whatever... "Any kind of determination whatever... "Any kind of consciousness whatever [...] must, with right understanding how it is, be regarded thus: 'This is not mine, this is not I, this is not my self.'
It is not me saying this... it is the Buddha. (Or rather, an English translation of the Pali sutta that was written down after a few hundred years of oral tradition passing down Buddha's words.)

If this is Nihilism then Buddhism is indeed Nihilism.


You seem to have had some really bad experiences with Buddhism, being 'hoodwinked' or whatever, and I'm truly sorry for that experience that you have gone through. My experience has been different. So it's not really surprising that our practices may have developed differently as a result of our different conditions.
To be sure, it's not that I was hoodwinked by Buddhism... rather I was hoodwinked by people who were advising me and guiding me towards a buddhistic path, when what I wanted was the fruits of actualism, not the fruits of Buddhism. (And of course I played a part too, as in I wanted to believe they were the same.) In any case, it's all in the past, and they aren't participating here anymore as far as I can tell.

There is nothing deceptive at all about Buddhism in and of itself. It defines a clear goal and a clear path to get to that goal.

But indeed Buddhism did not work out for me, and I understand it works out for other people. Of course if you are happy with it then it makes sense for you to continue in that direction!


2. I don't need to identify as a Buddhist to discuss Buddhism, nor to practice Buddhist meditation, learn from Buddhist teachings, etc. I don't think I need to explain that to you further.
Sure, I think you misunderstood me. I wasn't saying we can't discuss Buddhism. But in response to my talking about Buddhism you said that you don't refer to yourself as a Buddhist anyway. I thought you were saying that whatever Buddhism is is besides the point, with regards to your own practice, so then I was thinking ok, we can just talk about your own practice then, without specifically referring to Buddhism. But as you say your practice is Buddhist then it does make sense to talk about it.


3. What I perhaps should have said about Actualism v. Buddhism, and this is actually what I meant by nothing different 'as far as it relates to my personal experience', is that there's nothing about what you are describing as "Actualism" that I feel drawn to really. Perhaps I am just happy with the way my current Buddhist practice is going.
Oh sure, that's a different thing entirely. If you don't feel drawn to actualism and you are happy with your current Buddhist practice then you don't need to change anything.


And actually, I do the two things you are describing as opposites can e present at the same time. Emotions are me, but at the same time, they kind of aren't me. Nothing is so black and white like that.
Well, I've found that one thing can't actually have a quality and its opposite quality simultaneously. It's just not how the universe works. The only way it can appear to be is if you change the frame of reference or the context. And if you do this without being aware of it then it makes it very hard to figure out what is up and what is down, indeed. But to each his own emoticon .


Btw - you mentioned you are a programmer - your style of discourse, and attention to detail, points to someone who is very organized and methodical. I do software integrations - making different systems talk and interact with each other, merging and transforming data between warehouses, etc. It's often a very messy and disorganized job ... ;)
emoticon It makes sense we will be drawn to those fields of work that reflect how we are hehe.

I tend to be highly organized with conversations like these as I find it helps to keep things on track. Also with programming it does help a lot emoticon . With other stuff I'm terribly disorganized.. like my desk is always a mess, although you can say it follows a strict "whatever is on top is what I most recently looked at" policy emoticon .
thumbnail
J W, modified 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 11:11 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 10:32 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 590 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
So how do you get from: "Bhikkhus, form is not-self. [...] "Bhikkhus, feeling is not-self... "Bhikkhus, perception is not-self... "Bhikkhus, determinations are not-self... "Bhikkhus, consciousness is not self."

to: "Self absolutely does not exist, period, forever, end of story"

I'll just say that I've never been taught by any Buddhist teacher that "I do not exist".  If anything they have made it abundently clear that is not the case.  If this is what Buddhism taught, I would not be a Buddhist, because I would not be able to reconcile "I do not exist" with the self-evident truth that "I do definitely exist".  But then again maybe I'm already not a Buddhist emoticon

Part of why I generally avoid getting into the weeds with scripture is that, with every religion (Buddhism included), there are a such a vast number of teachings written over a period of hundreds or thousands of years, sometimes seemingly in conflict with each other, and you can always take a single line here or there and interpret it in such a literal way and get attached to it to the point where it sort of gets in the way of the real point of everything.  


And so, 
boolean this = true;
boolean Nihilism = false;

If (this is Nihilism) {
    then Buddhism is indeed Nihilism.
}

(a little programmer joke I thought you might appreciate)
thumbnail
Daniel - san, modified 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 10:41 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 10:41 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 308 Join Date: 9/9/14 Recent Posts
No offense if anyone is intellectually invested in this discussion, but this entire thread could just be called Wrong View, because from the Buddhist perspective, that's what Actualism is, and it's quite fascinating, but far from the first time it's happened in history. 

The human mind loves to mistake the finger for the moon, and in discssing systems in the way we are (the Buddhist system versus the Actualism system) maybe some are forgetting actual fearlessness, bliss, humanity, the range of emotion, energy, light and dark, that the Three Great Turnings of the Buddha Dharma speak to, and guide one toward transformatively. 

In Buddhism, and probably most fields of study, there are paths for those of low, middling and very high achievement, those that are mentally and emotionally ready to handle the truth.  Some get caught up along the way, and so the guides and Buddhas are here to help, for those that can resonate in that realm.

For those trying to actually decide if they should actually follow the Actualism path or the Buddhist path, seriously?  Actually, keep in mind - Buddha was not a Buddhist, Jesus was not Christian - the system and the transformative experiences are two wholly different things, and the subject(s) we are talking about here are far deeper than the discursive mind, but we communicate here nonetheless, magically.

Buddha continually stresses Right View for a reason, the height of the 8-fold Noble Path - use your internal discernment always to let truth, equanimity and awareness be your guides, nothing wrong with feeling good and being harmless, but even the devas suffer in subtle ways.  Peace and blessings, y'all are a bunch a beautiful snowflakes.  
thumbnail
Chris M, modified 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 10:47 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 10:47 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 4417 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
... y'all are a bunch a beautiful snowflakes.  

Snowflakes as in wonderfully complex manifestations of what the universe is capable of, or snowflakes as in horribly weak and indecisive?

​​​​​​​emoticon
thumbnail
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 10:49 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 10:49 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Daniel - san
No offense if anyone is intellectually invested in this discussion, but this entire thread could just be called Wrong View, because from the Buddhist perspective, that's what Actualism is, and it's quite fascinating, but far from the first time it's happened in history. [...] Buddha continually stresses Right View for a reason, the height of the 8-fold Noble Path - use your internal discernment always to let truth, equanimity and awareness be your guides, nothing wrong with feeling good and being harmless, but even the devas suffer in subtle ways.  Peace and blessings, y'all are a bunch a beautiful snowflakes.  
I'm pleased (and I mean it genuinely so, not being snarky) that you are able to see that actualism is not equal to Buddhism, but rather that, from the Buddhist perspective, actualism is wrong view. My goal of writing here was to distinguish between the two, and it seems my effort has not been wasted!

Cheers,
Claudiu
thumbnail
Daniel - san, modified 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 10:57 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 10:57 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 308 Join Date: 9/9/14 Recent Posts
Chris M
... y'all are a bunch a beautiful snowflakes.  

Snowflakes as in wonderfully complex manifestations of what the universe is capable of, or snowflakes as in horribly weak and indecisive?

​​​​​​​emoticon

​​​​​​​Yes.
thumbnail
Chris M, modified 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 10:59 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 10:59 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 4417 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
The human mind loves to mistake the finger for the moon, and in discssing systems in the way we are (the Buddhist system versus the Actualism system) maybe some are forgetting actual fearlessness, bliss, humanity, the range of emotion, energy, light and dark, that the Three Great Turnings of the Buddha Dharma speak to, and guide one toward transformatively. 

I prefer to retain my humanity in all of its beautiful/ugly glory. This is why Actualism has never appealed to me. It appears to be one of many blind-alley pursuits for some who misunderstand Buddhism's possibilities for every human being. The desire to eliminate emotions is a path some people have chosen even outside of Actualism. From what I've seen over the years, the folks who work their way into these blind alleys usually eventually realize that they can't get to where they thought they could go (becoming a fully non-emotional being).

That said, we can't make people choose our way, however obvious, righteous, and correct it may be to us  emoticon
thumbnail
Chris M, modified 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 11:02 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 11:02 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 4417 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
I'll take "complex manifestations of what the universe is capable of" for $100, Alex.
thumbnail
Daniel - san, modified 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 11:02 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 11:02 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 308 Join Date: 9/9/14 Recent Posts
Congratulations Dragon Fire, you have Wrong View.  

Don't feel bad, most Buddhists do too, and it seems like Richard, and perhaps yourself, are very high level practitioners with an arrogant chip on your shoulder in regards to 'spirituality' because you have  more wrong views about it.

Here's the thing though, Views are always wrong.  So said the Buddha.   Not sure what Richard said.
thumbnail
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 12:22 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 12:22 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
J W
So how do you get from: "Bhikkhus, form is not-self. [...] "Bhikkhus, feeling is not-self... "Bhikkhus, perception is not-self... "Bhikkhus, determinations are not-self... "Bhikkhus, consciousness is not self."

to: "Self absolutely does not exist, period, forever, end of story"
So I think this disconnect all stems from when I wrote, with regards to the goal of Buddhism, that "there is no 'me' in the first place."

What I should have written, to be more in line with the understanding here, is "there was and is nothing that is fit to be regarded as 'me' in the first place. All the phenomena that I thought were 'me', are actually anatta, not-self, and were all along. They just weren't perceived as such, but that didn't make them 'me', or atta... they were anatta all along." 

Does this resolve the issue?

-----

With that being said, and admittedly this is going far off-topic now, but does anybody find it a little odd that it is correct to say there is nothing in phenomenological existence that is fit to be considered self - that everything that can be perceived or observed it not-self - but that it is incorrect to say there is no self at all?

The only reason it would be incorrect to say there is no self at all, is if there is self. And by there being self, I mean that which would be fit to be regarded as self in Buddhist terms - that is, that which would be nicca and sukha (permanent and not-dukkha), as opposed to anicca and dukkha - as that which is not permanent is not to be regarded as self:

"Bhikkhus, how do you conceive it: is form permanent or impermanent?" — "Impermanent, venerable Sir." — "Now is what is impermanent painful or pleasant?" — "Painful, venerable Sir." — "Now is what is impermanent, what is painful since subject to change, fit to be regarded thus: 'This is mine, this is I, this is my self'"? — "No, venerable sir."
So then my question would be, if everything that can be perceived is not-self, but it's wrong that there is no self at all, then what is it that is self?

Chris's answer is not satisfactory. Although Chris wrote that it's not that "there is no self whatsoever" but rather that "there is no permanent self" -- this doesn't fit the criteria, because clearly, that which is not permanent, is not self.

In other words, what Chris is saying by "there is no permanent self" is that that which he is calling 'self' (i.e. "just another object") is actually not-self at all. It equates to saying "there is a self but it is not-self".

So my next question is, rather than saying "there is a self but it is not-self", why not simply say "there is no self"?

And I understand the practical benefit of not saying "there is no self" -- which doesn't lend itself to any meditative practice -- vs. saying that nothing that can be observed is self -- which readily and straightforwardly lends itself to a meditative practice. The first would be something to be believed, a view, while the latter is something to see for yourself. But that would be a matter of practicality, not of what is ultimately true.

----

Now here is where it might get a little interesting. The only possible way that it would simultaneously be true that "everything in phenomelogical existence is not-self", and false that "there is no self", is if there were something *outside of* phenomenological existence, that *were* self / *were* fit to be regarded as mine/I/myself. 

For example, in AN 10.115 the Buddha is described as: "he is the Buddha, who knows and sees. He is vision, he is knowledge, he is the truth, he is holiness."

A more emphatic translation of the Pali ("bhagavā jānaṃ jānāti passaṃ passati, cakkhubhūto ñāṇabhūto dhammabhūto brahmabhūto") can be found in "Self and Non-self in Early Buddhism":
The Blessed One knows to perfection (jānaṃ jānāti), sees to perfection (passaṃ passati), [he who is] vision incarnate (cakkhubhūto), dhamma incarnate (dhammabhūto), [... not translated here but essentially knowledge incarnate ... (ñāṇabhūto)], Bhraman (or Bharma?) incarnate (brahmabhūto) [...]
So perhaps a candidate for what *is* self, what *is* fit to be regarded as mine/I/my self, is vision (cakkha), dhamma, knowledge, and brahma, as that is what the Buddha is described as he himself being. 

(Incidentally there is a very interesting analog here to the Christian descriptor of Jesus as "Logos made flesh" -- i.e. logos incarnate -- where logos can mean "the universal principle of order and knowledge" and is therefore closely related with what the term dhamma means.)

However, this opens up a whole new can of worms, which I am not sure I will be getting much further into, but more can be read about this here and a lot, lot more here.


I'll just say that I've never been taught by any Buddhist teacher that "I do not exist".  If anything they have made it abundently clear that is not the case.
Right, it is not that you don't exist or that nothing exists, but rather, that nothing that you can perceive or experience is self / is what you are. You are not any of those things.

The question then is, what are you -- what is fit to be regarded as 'self', if anything? And if nothing is fit to be regarded as 'self', how is this different from saying there is nothing that is self / there is no self in all of existence?


Part of why I generally avoid getting into the weeds with scripture is that, with every religion (Buddhism included), there are a such a vast number of teachings written over a period of hundreds or thousands of years, sometimes seemingly in conflict with each other, and you can always take a single line here or there and interpret it in such a literal way and get attached to it to the point where it sort of gets in the way of the real point of everything.
Indeed, I only refer to the suttas when somebody says they are a Buddhist and are following Buddhist practices. In this case, it makes sense to refer to the source material, the suttas... and if they were to say that they are not following what the suttas say, then I would ask them why call themselves a Buddhist then, as they are doing something other than what the source material says?

I don't find anything wrong with that, but it's just important to pin people down as to where they are coming from, so a sensible conversation can be had.

Cheers,
Claudiu
-----

P.S. I actually found this quite funny, thanks for sharing emoticon

And so, 
boolean this = true;
boolean Nihilism = false;

If (this is Nihilism) {
    then Buddhism is indeed Nihilism.
}

(a little programmer joke I thought you might appreciate)
thumbnail
J W, modified 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 12:46 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 12:46 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 590 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
"The question then is, what are you -- what is fit to be regarded as 'self', if anything? And if nothing is fit to be regarded as 'self', how is this different from saying there is nothing that is self / there is no self in all of existence?"

I would say there's a big difference between saying that there is no one thing that you can point to and identify as "self", and saying that I do not exist at all. I would call the latter nihilism, which is a view that maintains that nothing exists.  The former is only exactly what it says, the assertion that you can't point to something and identify it as 'self'.
thumbnail
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 12:52 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 12:52 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
J W
"The question then is, what are you -- what is fit to be regarded as 'self', if anything? And if nothing is fit to be regarded as 'self', how is this different from saying there is nothing that is self / there is no self in all of existence?"

I would say there's a big difference between saying that there is no one thing that you can point to and identify as "self", and saying that I do not exist at all. I would call the latter nihilism, which is a view that maintains that nothing exists.  The former is only exactly what it says, the assertion that you can't point to something and identify it as 'self'.
Ahh, right, but you are equating me saying "there is no self in all of existence" with saying that "you do not exist at all", which I'm not.

You clearly exist, you won't find me disagreeing with that.

But what does it mean that "you exist"? For you to exist, you must be something. "Self" is a synonym for "you" in this case. 

But if everything that you look at is not-you, then what is it that you are? And for it to qualify as 'you', in Buddhist terms, it would have to be nicca and sukha -- i.e. permanent and not-dukha.

And if there is no such thing in all of your existence, then where does that leave you as to what it is that you exist as?
thumbnail
terry, modified 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 3:17 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 3:17 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2185 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
just to deconstruct one muddle of many...e unum pluribus...


bcdefg said:

So via constant repetition and diligent application and training, my experience of being alive changed such that I experienced everything as not-me , including of course the body. I was not the body, nor was I even that which was perceiving the body. The idea of course with this meditative path is that there is no 'me' to begin with -- any sensations that can be called 'me' are just that, inherently self-less sensations -- and the goal (as in continuous way of being end-state) is to constantly experience being alive this way, that the body is not-me, everything is not-me, there is nothing that is 'me', there is no 'me' in the first place.

 
 In particular, this stands out as the fundamental absurdity: I experienced everything as not-me. This boils down to "I am not me," which is absurd. At best we are dealing with tautology, though this is often true in religious belief.

  "In the first place" none of these words has any real meaning, there being no me, no body, no path. They are all metaphors alone. Ways to describe and share sensation. The problem is reification, bottling sensations and selling them as a panacea. "Eureka, I have the method." The sufis know that every created being finds its own way back to its creator. (metaphor!) There is in actuality nothing but a void. In (mahayana) buddhism we say, "form is indistinguishable from emptiness; emptiness is indistinguishable from form." Reality cannot be distinguished into existence and nonexistence. 

   You might ask, 'how, then, can I express myself in a forum such as this when I want to talk about my experience of happydom.' Not as an authority delegated by higher ups to propagate a method handed down by adepts. Just as an individual whose spiiritual success can be measured more by character than by philosophy or practice. That takes time, getting to know people through a variety of emotions. Transgressions, misunderstandings, compassion, forgiveness.

   I have a bangle I sell at the farmers/artisans markets that gives the hawaiian ritual of reconciliation, or hawaiian prayer. I punch out each letter into silver:

ho'opnopono
1. I'm sorry
2. Please forgive me
3. Thank you
4. I love you

   When there is no one else, we say it to god. It restores our mana.


   Body is the dream of mind. Mind is the epiphenomenon of body. Without a body, no mind. Without a mind, no body. The body is a figment of the imagination, you don't know your body hardly at all, check out the phantom limb trick etc, we are easily fooled and are either identified with mind or not identified. As william blake said:

Man has no Body distinct from his Soul, for that calld Body is a
portion of Soul discernd by the five Senses, the chief inlets of Soul in
this age.​​​​​​​

   
It is naive realism that sees the body as actually existing in an actually existing world, as perceived. 

   Your arguments involve assuming that your words refer to actually realities, such as "body" and  and "experience." But these are not actually actual. Without the understanding that these words refer only to  ideas of reality and not actual reality, you don't see the self hypnosis aspect of positivist thinking. It is rather like pointing at a picture of a vessel, the 'ss method of actualism,' and saying 'this is my vehicle in which I sail,' but it is just a painting. An idea of a vehicle. Won't float. Not getting to the other shore in it.

   This reality (dumb and happy in strawberry fields) is a thin skin sprayed over the immensity of the void, a soap bubble reflecting a small spectrum of electromagnetic radiation refracted fractally; a kaleidoscope of images construed from a small handful of colored pebbles. Dazzling, hypnotic, to the right eyes. (Or is it the left eyes? half a brain at any rate.)

   I think the main objection here, among those who have seen many methods, is that this is not distinguishable from ordinary common sense except in its assertion that it is a unique method. Which assertion does indeed make it unique, but only because you say so.

   If it is supposed to be a simplification, a distillation of methods, then, try just sit.

   This horse is likely already dead but I'll look see if you responded to my jokes.

   Thanks for playing.

terry




The Lily
(william blake)

The modest Rose puts forth a thorn,
The humble sheep a threat'ning horn:
While the Lily white shall in love delight,
Nor a thorn nor a threat stain her beauty bright. 

thumbnail
Griffin, modified 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 3:36 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 3:36 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 218 Join Date: 4/7/18 Recent Posts
Can we get back to emotions for a second? Let's say you, as a actually free person, witness your child being brutally murdered. Would you feel anything?
thumbnail
terry, modified 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 3:36 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 3:36 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2185 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
Well, I've found that one thing can't actually have a quality and its opposite quality simultaneously. It's just not how the universe works. 

this conclusion couldn't possibly be more wrong...no quality can exist without its opposite, eg short/tall, smart/stupid, etc...

in taoism, the universe is likened to a bellows, generating reality by the drawing together and pulling apart of opposites...heraclitus who I think was likely the true progenitor of taoism, similarly likened the logos to a bow (which also is a pun as bow is bios with an accent and life is bios)...

in my view we don't want to split into more tiny sects championing their own methods but a realization that all religions and methods are like smiles and tears, universal by nature, inclusive...

t


tao te ching, trans stephen mitchell:


​​​​​​​2.

When people see some things as beautiful,
other things become ugly.
When people see some things as good,
other things become bad.

Being and non-being create each other.
Difficult and easy support each other.
Long and short define each other.
High and low depend on each other.
Before and after follow each other.

Therefore the Master
acts without doing anything
and teaches without saying anything.
Things arise and she lets them come;
things disappear and she lets them go.
She has but doesn't possess,
acts but doesn't expect.
When her work is done, she forgets it.
That is why it lasts forever.
thumbnail
terry, modified 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 4:16 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 4:16 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2185 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
aloha jw,

you said:

I'll just say that I've never been taught by any Buddhist teacher that "I do not exist".  If anything they have made it abundently clear that is not the case.  If this is what Buddhism taught, I would not be a Buddhist, because I would not be able to reconcile "I do not exist" with the self-evident truth that "I do definitely exist".  But then again maybe I'm already not a Buddhist 


   From what you are saying here, it is a nondualist that you aren't.

   The genius of buddhism is that it challenges the "self-evident truth" that "I do definitely exist."

   Why does the bodhisattva vow to save all beings, to eliminate all defilements? Why do bodhisattvas accept the karma of all sentient beings as their own? They have realized nonself. They have reconciled what you assume to be irreconcilable and so don't reconcile. You are both self and nonself simultaneously. You are continuous with the universe, the perceiver is the perceived. The ego doesn't go away, it is subsumed in the totality of being and nothingness. This cannot be understood by discursive thinking but only "grokked" as chris would say, being as he is only an egg, and a strange one at that. 

   The buddha said that all of existence, the sum of existing things and their relationships, is characterized by being non-self. Things by their nature have been individuated, that is made a thing, named and categorized. All these things are just a way of grasping, of clinging. One may know all things as nonself. They are "there" but not evident, not existent, until discovered, and then may be lost again. Until needed.

   In practice, bra, it comes down to identification with individual ego. The bodhisattva doesn't do that. All sentient beings are the self for the bodhisattva. We work for the great soul of all being. We are one with that great soul. In terms of I and thou, he is me but I am not him.

   One pearl, bra. No me and you. Our karma needs worked out and liberation only arrives for those who do not identify with a separate self. You can of course assert, "I am a separate self" and it cannot be refuted, being self defined or as you say, self evident. Thinking without thought, how can that compete?

   Dogen (and subsequently zen) reinterpreted buddha nature as not something you have as an individual, say a dog, but all sentient being is buddha nature, and all of the dharmas, beings, entities we distinguish as perceivers are just shadows cast by the light of being shining on our desires.

   Hey, I'm not a buddhist either, just ask a buddhist.

terry
thumbnail
Daniel - san, modified 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 4:25 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 4:25 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 308 Join Date: 9/9/14 Recent Posts
You live in Hawaii brah?  
thumbnail
terry, modified 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 4:30 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 4:30 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2185 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
I like michel foucault's working definitions, as people often get these confused...post this on strinking out once before...<br /><br />philosophy and spiritual practice are polar opposites, like phenomena and the void...<br /><br />the "god of the philosophers" is a perennial punching bag for the religious...<br /><br /><br /><br />from <em>the hermeneutics of the subject</em>, by michel foucault<br /><br /><br /><br />We will call, if you like, "philosophy" the form of thought that asks, not of course what is true and what is false, but what determines that there is and can be truth and falsehood and that one can or cannot separate the true and the false. We will call "philosophy" the form of thought that asks what it is that allows the subject to have access to the truth and which attempts to determine the con­ditions and limits of the subject's access to the truth. If we call this "philosophy," then I think we could call "spirituality" the pursuit, practice, and experience through which the subject carries out the necessary transformations on himself in order to have access to the truth. We will call "spirituality" the set of these pursuits, practices, and experiences, which may be purifications, ascetic exercises, renunciations, conversions of looking, modifications of existence, etcetera, which are not for knowledge but for the subject, for the subject's very being, the price to be paid for access to the truth.<br /><br /><br /><br /> 
thumbnail
terry, modified 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 4:32 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 4:32 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2185 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
michel foucault

​​​​​​​We will call, if you like, "philosophy" the form of thought that asks, not of course what is true and what is false, but what determines that there is and can be truth and falsehood and that one can or cannot separate the true and the false. We will call "philosophy" the form of thought that asks what it is that allows the subject to have access to the truth and which attempts to determine the con­ditions and limits of the subject's access to the truth. If we call this "philosophy," then I think we could call "spirituality" the pursuit, practice, and experience through which the subject carries out the necessary transformations on himself in order to have access to the truth. We will call "spirituality" the set of these pursuits, practices, and experiences, which may be purifications, ascetic exercises, renunciations, conversions of looking, modifications of existence, etcetera, which are not for knowledge but for the subject, for the subject's very being, the price to be paid for access to the truth.
thumbnail
J W, modified 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 4:37 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 4:37 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 590 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
Beautifully spoken terry, thank you! And leaves me much to reflect on.
thumbnail
terry, modified 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 4:48 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 4:48 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2185 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
bcdefg said:

Hi terry,

Since the above objections are made repeatedly and responded to the same way, what causes you to cling to this "method"? Why not simply enjoy and appreciate this moment of being alive?
The actualism "method" is only a so-called "method". It is exactly this -- consistently enjoying and appreciating this moment of being alive.

Regards,
Claudiu

-----
P.S. Was my 25-word reply a concise-enough response to your ... extraordinarly verbose emoticon 822-word post (379 yours, 443 another's)?


in 300 bc wags noted that lao tzu said "he who speaks does not know; he who knows does not speak" in a book of 5000 characters...

Zen has the most voluminous literature of any sect ever devised and it is based on the dictum, "no dependence on words and letters"...


yes, my friend, I was vasttly relieved to see you hadn't refuted everything I said at great length so I would have to out of politeness read the whole thing and somehow acknowledge what I had read...

anyways, you passed the sense of humor test with flying colors and that is all that matters to us nonself...

not that you aren't still wrong...

but hey, if you say something in a forest and there is no one there to hear it, is it still wrong?  


love, terry
thumbnail
terry, modified 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 4:54 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 4:54 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2185 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
35 years

31 on the big island

where you from, danny boy? I like the way you think, speaking of course as a snowflake in the sun...

t
thumbnail
terry, modified 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 4:59 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 4:59 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2185 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
I'm touched that you counted the words...especially "another's"...

I imagine there is a method to your madness...

( I really have to stop laughing and go make something)...

t
​​​​​​​
thumbnail
terry, modified 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 5:05 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/19/22 5:05 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2185 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
I still owe you for the noche obscura piece, which reflects my experience perhaps better than anything I have ever read...

​​​​​​​post it again...
thumbnail
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 4 Months ago at 2/20/22 5:08 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/20/22 5:08 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Hi all,

I think this is a good stopping point for me. What I was hoping to do initially is to give people the opportunity to take a look at actualism -- and secondly to allow people to see that it is something different than the buddhistic practices that are undertaken and discussed here -- and it appears thse goals have been accomplished. 

There have been many various and varied debates over which is right or wrong, which is better or worse, etc., which I don't think is worth rehashing on this forum -- for the interested you can view Richard's correspondence, ranging from 1997 to 2017, on various topics (and not only by Richard,  but also by Peter, or Vineeto) such as Buddhism, Spiritual, Vipassana, etc -- and the archives on the DhO itself from many a year ago, if they're still possible to access on this platform. 

For those reading this topic and finding themselves *drawn to actualism* and interested in it, then I welcome you to discuss.actualism.online where you can find active actualists to discuss these things with, clarify things, learn more, get appropriate links to existing materials, etc. 

For those itchin' for a debate or argument as to whose is better or bigger, I think the days for this are past -- perhaps they will come again in the future.

I will leave with some partin' words...


Chris
I prefer to retain my humanity in all of its beautiful/ugly glory.
Chris gets the award for most percipient, for recognizing from the get-go that actualism is something different -- and for recognizing here that actual freedom does entail the ending of one's 'humanity', both the beautiful and the ugly sides. What remains is, of course, perfection, but one would have to have a PCE to see that emoticon .


Daniel - san
Congratulations Dragon Fire, you have Wrong View.  

Don't feel bad, most Buddhists do too [...]
Daniel gets the most snarky award -- congrats Daniel emoticon . But you missed the mark on many an occasion -- for example, why I would feel bad for having a view that differs from the Buddhist view, seeing as I am not interested in the Buddhist path?


Griffin
Can we get back to emotions for a second? Let's say you, as a actually free person, witness your child being brutally murdered. Would you feel anything?
Griffin, you get the most curious award -- perhaps I will continue seeing you over on the actualist forum.


terry
I'm touched that you counted the words...especially "another's"...

I imagine there is a method to your madness...

( I really have to stop laughing and go make something)...
terry gets the best sense of humor award -- 'twas a pleasure.

If these were different times I'd enjoy an engaging debate with you. But I would hope you would give me more credit if so, as when I wrote "I experienced everything as not-me." the apparent absurdity is resolved if one recognizes that this is simply an imprecise way of saying "Everything that was occurring in experience, every phenomenon arising, was being attended to and recognized as anatta, as not-me, as empty of 'self'." 

Ultimately Chris won out with most percipient, but you came a close second when you recognized that the actualism method is indeed "ordinary common sense". However you struck out when you didn't follow the immediate next thought, which is, if it is so common-sensical why is everybody not doing it -- why are people constantly unhappy, miserable, sad, angry, fearful, aggressive, why is there apparently a war about to start between Ukraine and Russia? I will leave it for you to ponder.

Cheers,
Claudiu



 
thumbnail
Chris M, modified 4 Months ago at 2/20/22 7:46 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/20/22 7:35 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 4417 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Since this discussion has become a graded contest, I'll bow out.

Peace, ya'll.
thumbnail
Chris M, modified 4 Months ago at 2/20/22 7:40 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/20/22 7:40 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 4417 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Can we get back to emotions for a second? Let's say you, as a actually free person, witness your child being brutally murdered. Would you feel anything?

Of course he would feel something - but he would rather not. That is the essence of Actualism - the desire to not feel and the sophistry that enables it.

​​​​​​​emoticon
thumbnail
Daniel - san, modified 4 Months ago at 2/20/22 8:08 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/20/22 8:06 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 308 Join Date: 9/9/14 Recent Posts
Thanks Emu!

I didn't know there would be awards, which I will display proudly on my virtual mantle.  

I'll also reciprocate by extending you the award for not understanding Buddhism, and for thinking that a new-ism needs to be created because of this misunderstanding.

So many pragmatic Dharmacists  for some reason don't know for themselves that the Buddha Dharma does in fact eliminate so-called negative mind states, which are the product of clinging and attachment, and ultimately one's ignorance of that reality at the subtlest levels. 

So said the Buddha, not sure what Richard says.
thumbnail
J W, modified 4 Months ago at 2/20/22 10:13 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/20/22 10:13 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 590 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
Thanks for playing, Claudiu...

If anyone wants some insight into what maybe prompted Srinath to make this post here in the first place, I invite you to read the "Getting the Word Out" post on the Actualism blog - and I quote:

"I think trying to communicate actualism to an audience with no experience in it would be a great way to further your own understanding of actualism - similar to how teaching anything increases one grasp and insight into a subject."

https://discuss.actualism.online/t/getting-the-word-out/389

And Claudiu, I'm really happy that you are pleased with yourself in that you feel that you have accomplished your goals here - but it seems to me that most of the people here are already aware of Actualism, and already had formed opinions on it.  Maybe I'm wrong.

I would also like to commend Chris, Daniel and terry, for using words far more eloquent and clear than my own. Though I don't think any sort of awards are necessary.
thumbnail
J W, modified 4 Months ago at 2/20/22 10:19 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/20/22 10:18 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 590 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
Here's an interesting bit from that thread:
milito.paz says: "The group I mentioned I was in after my PCE devolved into an ASC years ago had an interesting way of getting the word out.The author of ‘the books’ would say that in order to connect more effectively to pure intent, it is necessary to actively get the word out.
What the crew would do is spend at least 30 minutes a day pasting relevant or general quotes with a link on random and sometimes targeted (lots of depression/anxiety related videos) YouTube video comments sections.
You won’t believe how effective it was. And participants would half self immolation (or their version of it) at the forefront of their minds as a result as well as get more people at least acquainted with the new perspective."

To which Claudiu responds:

​​​​​​​"The anxious and depressed are easy pickin’s for the spiritually inclined "  


  Wow!!
thumbnail
terry, modified 4 Months ago at 2/20/22 1:50 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/20/22 1:50 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2185 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
aloha claudio,

   Oh, we could debate, bra, if you want to get a little more focused, more precise. I deliberately left you no room to respond, it's the old defensiveness game. You accuse a guy of being defensive and then if he defends himself you shake your head and say, see, this guy is hopeless. Your attempt to extricate yourself with grace demonstrates a human dignity I can relate to. You can't debate people who cling to their dogma and simply try to refute anything that chips away at their ideal, regardless of truth. So I was a little guilty of bearbaiting; a little ho'oponopono, making correct, could be offered. Not to get the last word, but in the hopes that I have not through carelessness driven off a potentially valuable member of our sangha.

   I did give you some credit, I said you were half right. Life should always be appreciated. Why don't people appreciate life, why are they miserable? You raise the question, and this is truly the one that deserves an answer, the question that occupied the buddha, his personal cross to bear. What is the origin of suffering, how may it be dealt with, eliminated.

   I never heard of actualism before, and I am not going follow a link to a talk by richard. The very idea is laughable to me. If I giggle I don't mean ridicule. But actually, bra... That's like being realistic, or customizing. All about the packaging, the framing. You say it is just this, but it is not, it is  a method, with adherents, bills to pay, songs (wrongs) to write (right).

   You need to speak from the heart, not from a script. As layman pang said, "everything between 'thus I have heard' and 'this I believe' is mere words." Anything involving something like, 'richard said so so I believe it' doesn't go far.

   The buddha is my bitch, she says whatever I want her to say. All my quotes say what I say. And you are responsible for what you say, no authorities need apply.

   If we did debate we would find much to agree on. Brt it would only entertain and instruct, it wouldn't fulfill your goals to propagate your method and please your friends back at the clubhouse,  or get you an attaboy from the kahuna.

  So, why do you think the patriarch came from the west? My answer this morning was, "the thing I like best about sitting cross-legged is that it keeps my toes warm."

terry

   
   
thumbnail
Griffin, modified 4 Months ago at 2/20/22 4:53 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/20/22 4:53 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 218 Join Date: 4/7/18 Recent Posts
I have my own reservations about Actualism, but I don't like the way Claudiu was treated here, generally speaking. I prefer more dialogue, curiosity, open-mindedness and maturity.

After all, the founder of this forum wrote about how he achieved some major and permanent perceptual shifts via Actualist practice. So, although it's a fringe practice made up by an eccentric and controversial guy, it deserves some rational and equanimous consideration from a pragmatic standpoint.
thumbnail
terry, modified 4 Months ago at 2/20/22 5:13 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/20/22 5:13 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2185 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
dialogue?

boxed him in


curiosity?

actualism? (ism, ism) ...not much 


open-mindedness?

always a question mark, minds need opened, not easy, nothing is new, all is vanity


maturity?

well you have me there...


And while I am always guilty, really, why should we bend over for actualism on a buddhist meditation forum? He said it wasn't like buddhism. He didn't talk about meditation. Up to him to make it relevant, I think. I don't think he has yet succeeded in that, but I am willing to dialogue  and be open minded. Make it serious and interesting and I'll give you the other two as well.

​​​​​​​t
thumbnail
Chris M, modified 4 Months ago at 2/21/22 6:53 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/21/22 6:43 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 4417 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
After all, the founder of this forum wrote about how he achieved some major and permanent perceptual shifts via Actualist practice. So, although it's a fringe practice made up by an eccentric and controversial guy, it deserves some rational and equanimous consideration from a pragmatic standpoint.

It's very much a fringe practice, and I'm quite certain there's good reason for that. I've been watching actualists appear on DhO periodically for many years and it has not been a positive experience. So yeah, candidly, I have a negative impression of this new "ism." And, to be blunt, it does not deserve any more evaluation on my part. It offers nothing that I would value and it denies much of what I do value. So there.

​​​​​​​emoticon
thumbnail
Daniel - san, modified 4 Months ago at 2/21/22 9:34 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/21/22 9:34 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 308 Join Date: 9/9/14 Recent Posts
I think Actualism is better described as a fringe philosophical view than a fringe practice, but so is Dzogchen, esp around here. 
Being happy and harmless are not new or fringe, and PCEs are available and experienced by many - just because Actualists invented all kinds of new words and definitions, such as a PCE, does not mean in any way that their practice engenders some type of new shift in human psychology, actually they just use different words to describe similar experiences, backed up by wrong view.  Followers of the Enightened One beware.

That said, Actualism is a tributary that's seemingly only available to high-level Buddhist practitioners, once they have crossed stream entry or had some other deep insights into the nature of reality.

Instead of using the Buddhist system and viewpoints to tune in to bliss and compassion, with a goal of dwelling in Rigpa,  Actualists tune into happiness and harmlessness and try to extend their PCE into a permanent state of fearlessness and a total absence of anxiety, along with other fruits - surprisingly the same goal as Dzogchen, just swap 'Rigpa' out for 'PCE'.  

Actualists don't like 'spirituality', just ask Richard.  They took a wisdom teaching and made a materialistic tributary out of it, more conducive to modern minds.  Maybe the containers in forms of Tibetan peaceful and wrathful deities are too much for scientific minded folks, I don't know, I like the imagery.   The point is, we need another system and another -ism in the world like we need more lawyers.  Wise and compassionate folks like Buddha, Jesus, Richard?  did not set out to create a new -ism, they sought to free folks from their mental chains, show them how to transform their hearts and minds.  They needed to make a system because people are childish, and the mind loves systems, steps and instructions.  

The system is the boat, and when the shore is crossed the system and the boat are discarded - so in the end it doesn't matter what container got you to the shore of emotional freedom and perfected virtue. 

Even though Actualism is wrong view from the Buddhist perspective, I believe that most Actualists are very high-level Buddhist practitioners, and/or meditators.  That means according to Buddhist mythology, Actualists only risk dwelling in the celestial realms for eons on end for their misunderstandings, before their good karma is exhausted and they need to go somewhere else.  Seeing the Dharma to the extent they do, maybe their cherries will pop in the beautiful Buddhafields in the sky, not in hell.  So said the Buddha; Richard said something about flesh and bodies are you, and when it dies you die. 
thumbnail
Chris M, modified 4 Months ago at 2/21/22 10:23 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/21/22 10:23 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 4417 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Instead of using the Buddhist system and viewpoints to tune in to bliss and compassion, with a goal of dwelling in Rigpa,  Actualists tune into happiness and harmlessness and try to extend their PCE into a permanent state of fearlessness and a total absence of anxiety, along with other fruits - surprisingly the same goal as Dzogchen, just swap 'Rigpa' out for 'PCE'.  

Does Dzogchen say human beings, when enlightened, have absolutely no emotions whatsoever? Actualists seem to want to repress their emotions so as to eventually eliminate them altogether. Is that the Dzogchen way, too? Is that what rigpa is?
thumbnail
Ni Nurta, modified 4 Months ago at 2/21/22 11:47 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/21/22 11:47 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 930 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
I doubt many people start repressing emotions right away in Actualism. I can imagine there is strong incentive to never actually repress emotions and simply focus on being alive, harmless, etc. and it usually works just fine to reduce emotional outbursts and just having nice mind state.

But once someone claims "Actual Fredom" they definitely start repressing emotions. It is inevitable end result of limited emotional range models. I would imagine this repression and all the negativity it causes is why Daniel I. likes them so so much that he dedicated few chapters for them in his book ;)
thumbnail
terry, modified 4 Months ago at 2/21/22 11:52 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/21/22 11:52 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2185 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
for jw:

from steven heine, "dogen," (2021):



 Dogen’s view was that authentically awakened adepts perpetually realize what he called the one great matter (ichi daiji). This perpetual realization entails coming to terms with the ultimate meaning of life and death, or the arising and desistence of all elements of existence. That insight enables the practitioner to undertake enlightened behavior in routine affairs as well as exceptional events. “In the swift march of ephemerality,” Dogen wrote, “birth and death are vital concerns.” Moreover, “Just by understanding that birth-death is itself nirvaṇa, one neither despises birth-death [as a form of bondage] nor pursues nirvaṇa [as a goal]. Only then will you be able to gain freedom from birth-death within the realm of birth-death.”
George S, modified 4 Months ago at 2/21/22 12:03 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/21/22 12:03 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2458 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
nirvana = not pursuing nirvana emoticon​​​​​​​
thumbnail
Ni Nurta, modified 4 Months ago at 2/21/22 12:16 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/21/22 12:16 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 930 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
Are you still at it George after all those years?
Didn't you maybe consider pursuing Nirvana for a moment to verify your views?

I mean I can experience Nirvana and even Nibbana (actually surprisingly the same thing XD) among few others states starting on N and even few other letters and neither is the same as what you point to so...

Maybe you should call it differently.
​​​​​​​If it has to start on N then maybe state of non-striving... nonstrivana? emoticon
thumbnail
terry, modified 4 Months ago at 2/21/22 12:36 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/21/22 12:36 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2185 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
I am going to repost my favorite ever post on dho...(btw we really should refer to dharma over ground as "dog" which has a much nicer resonance, not so much like puking)



jw posted this last year and I took it to heart...the singing is nice too...

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


Hey, i just made this 'cover' of St John of the Cross - started out as something totally different but I just happened to put the poem to music and it seemed to just work! 

Thought it would be relevant to post here... hope you enjoy it, would love to hear what you think emoticon

(translation from various places on the net, + a bit of my own sprinkled in)
​​​​​​​

https://soundcloud.com/user-419955972/love-like-a-fire-la-noche-oscura-del-alma

Lyrics:

Love Like A Fire (La Noche Oscura del Alma)
​​​​​​​

On a dark night,
I woke in love and yearning
I left with none observing
My house being now at rest


A love like a fire
But without light or flame
Burning ever brighter
Keeps me on my way


In darkness but without a fear
Down secret stairs I disappear
No other light or guide
Than the one that burns inside


Stare into the fire
That no one else can see
Burning ever brighter
And you’re there waiting for me


Oh night, that guides
Oh night more lovely than the dawn
That joins beloved with love
In the night, you guided me
More surely than the light of the day


Upon my flowering chest
You lay asleep, and I caressed
Just as a breeze blew in across the wall


With the softest touch it pierced my vein
I abandoned all, forgot my name
And there I remained
Beyond all pain, soaked in rain

Flames growing higher
You can see it from a mile away
As wide as a river
As high as a mountain range


Oh night, that guides
Oh night more lovely than the dawn
That joins beloved with love
In the night, you guided me
More surely than the light of the day


Stare into the fire
Of love’s anxiety
Burning ever brighter
And you’re there waiting for me

​​​​​​​
Oh night, that guides
Oh night more lovely than the dawn
That joins beloved with love
In the night, you guided me
More surely than the light of the day
Now, I see you
thumbnail
terry, modified 4 Months ago at 2/21/22 12:50 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/21/22 12:50 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2185 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
so inspiring
so sublime

wonderful!


(mara bubble) -  so good, maybe we could sell it...


makes me want to start a new sect, call it-ism something snappy and capitalize the name...

Obscurism.

some snappy one line caricature, I mean encapsulation...

jump into the fire?
embrace the night?


can we collect dues now?


gotta stop laughing and go meditate...
thumbnail
terry, modified 4 Months ago at 2/21/22 12:54 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/21/22 12:54 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2185 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
(sects, sects, sects, that's all some buddhists ever think about)
thumbnail
terry, modified 4 Months ago at 2/21/22 1:01 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/21/22 1:01 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2185 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
the pursuit of non pursuit

poursuite sans poursuite
thumbnail
Ni Nurta, modified 4 Months ago at 2/21/22 1:01 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/21/22 1:01 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 930 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
Only western #stayathome buddhists think about sects
Real Burmese Buddhists first do not think but note and even then it is rather: in-sects, in-sects, in-sects
thumbnail
Ni Nurta, modified 4 Months ago at 2/21/22 1:03 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/21/22 1:03 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 930 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
When you start answering your own posts then I would say it is definitely the good idea to stop whatever you are doing and go meditate
thumbnail
terry, modified 4 Months ago at 2/21/22 1:50 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/21/22 1:50 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2185 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
we can make each other happy
​​​​​​​
I like that better than    happy and harmless


JUMP INTO THE FIRE
(harry nillson)

You can climb a mountain
You can swim the sea
You can jump into the fire
But you'll never be free

You can shake me up
Or I can break you down
Whoa-o-o-o-, whoa-o-o-o-

We can make each other happy
We can make each other happy
We can make each other happy
We can make each other happy

We can make each other happy
We can make each other happy
We can make each other happy
We can make each other happy

We can make each other happy
We can make each other happy
We can make each other happy
We can make each other happy

We can make each other happy
We can make each other happy
We can make each other happy
We can make each other happy
You can jump into the fire
You can jump into the fire
You can jump into the fire
You can jump into the fire
thumbnail
J W, modified 4 Months ago at 2/21/22 1:55 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/21/22 1:55 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 590 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
Aww, thanks terry... i'm happy and grateful that you're inspired by it, that warms my heart. 

I've put a good amount of work into that one over the last several months... I'll make sure to send the final version your way!

As for selling it.... gave up on trying to make money off of music a long time ago, lol.  The money flows in exactly the opposite direction.


Peace, my friend
thumbnail
J W, modified 4 Months ago at 2/21/22 2:02 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/21/22 1:56 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 590 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
I had that song stuck in my head a couple of days ago!!

​​​​​​​
Also this one - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UqwYGNdB5jg
thumbnail
Noah D, modified 4 Months ago at 2/21/22 2:49 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/21/22 2:49 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 1181 Join Date: 9/1/16 Recent Posts
As a general response to the thread, I wanted to say that I appreciate Srinath & Claudiu's participation on here.  Particularly the approach of simply making actualist resources available for those that are interested.  

I'm someone who did their best (at least for a short time) to learn about actualist practice on its own terms & then go about that practice.  There was also a time when I tried to combine it with Buddhist practice.  I have since decided that the Buddhist path & view is the one that I am aligned with.  

I would echo Claudiu & Srinath's advice & recommend not trying to mix them.  I would also extend that to other religions or practice systems as well.  Whatever you are practicing, at least be open to taking on the statements & assumptions which come from the founders & practitioners of that system.  
T DC, modified 4 Months ago at 2/21/22 10:59 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/21/22 10:57 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 446 Join Date: 9/29/11 Recent Posts
Noah D I would echo Claudiu & Srinath's advice & recommend not trying to mix them. I would also extend that to other religions or practice systems as well. Whatever you are practicing, at least be open to taking on the statements & assumptions which come from the founders & practitioners of that system.

​​​​​​​Be open to foundational principles, but also to taking them with a grain of salt.  Actualism when it was going off on here was attractive to me as well - particularly the imediacy of the PCE.  I actually think Actualism describes well the beauty and intensity of a glimpsed enlightened / satori experience.

But to go down a road assuming eventual emotional dissolution can easily lead to repression, because news flash, although emotions can be clarified and attentuated on the path they aren't actually going anywhere.

There's a huge difference between glimpsed experience and actually living in it, and the dissonace between those two - idealism vs reality - I think acounts for much of the actualism wierdness.  If your goals don't align with reality, you get stuck trying to put a round peg in a square hole forever, or until you stop, which is where an honest evaluation of foundational principles comes in.
thumbnail
terry, modified 4 Months ago at 2/22/22 1:36 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/22/22 1:36 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2185 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
All the time I pray to Buddha<br />I keep on<br />killing mosquitoes.<br />~issa
thumbnail
terry, modified 4 Months ago at 2/22/22 2:38 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/22/22 2:38 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2185 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
if you saw the movie "silverado" you may recall how sheriff langston (john cleese) played chess...
thumbnail
Griffin, modified 4 Months ago at 2/22/22 4:10 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/22/22 4:09 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 218 Join Date: 4/7/18 Recent Posts
I understand that mixing Actualism and Buddhism is not a good thing, but now I have a problem: when I take a walk, enjoying the nature and this moment of being alive, I then start to worry that I am practicing Actualism and thus f-ing up my Buddhist practice! On the other hand, Rob Burbea advises that it is good to foster samatha-like qualities off-the-cushion, such as "a degree of receptivity, connection, and openness to beauty and also to nature". How to solve this dilemma?
thumbnail
Pepe ·, modified 4 Months ago at 2/22/22 4:37 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/22/22 4:37 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 573 Join Date: 9/26/18 Recent Posts
Daniel answered your request in MCTB2 emoticon  Check the 1-page summary of the Daniel's take on the 7 Factors of Awakening
thumbnail
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 4 Months ago at 2/22/22 5:08 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/22/22 4:48 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Ok, second round of "partin' words" emoticon

Terry brought up the relevance of actualism. He absolutely hit the nail on the head when he recognized that the question that is "truly the one that deserves an answer" is "Why don't people appreciate life, why are they miserable?"

Buddhism ultimately stems from nothing other than the answer to this question that the Siddhārtha Gautama re-discovered[1], and his lived experience, his reports, and his instructions for how to replicate it.

​​​​​​​([1] I can't find the Sutta now, but the Buddha reported not that he found something new, but that he re-discovered that which a long line of enlightened beings in the past had already found.)

And as most people here appear to be of the opinion that there are many paths up the one mountain, that means that the entirety of everything else that is commonly considered spiritual, be it Hinduism, Christianity, Kabbalah, magick, or any of the other various and varied spiritual disciplines and practices, lead to this identical answer, the same one the Gautama re-discovered -- if not an incomplete version of the answer that perhaps you just need to go a bit further in the same direction to reach the goal.

If you already have the answer to the question already then... great! Actualism has absolutely no relevance for you. There is no reason to pursue actualism.

But, if you take a step back and note that Buddhism has been around for thousands of years, Hinduism a few thousand more, and probably the first roots of enlightenment go back even further than that... then it is clear that, for all the thousands of years people have been practicing it, it **has not worked** to bring peace on earth, to solve the problem of misery and sorrow that most everbody on the planet experiences.

This is simply a fact. It's not an argument, not a debate, not a belief, or a viewpoint, them's not "fightin' words"... it is just a fact that is impossible to refute.

As to *why* it has not worked, the answer to that is not as plainly evident. There are basically three possibilities:

  1. People haven't been trying hard enough.
  2. It's just impossible to really save or 'cure' humanity/the human condition.
  3. It is possible to solve the problem, but there is something about this solution, in and of itself, that doesn't work.
If you believe the answer is #1, then... ok! It is up to you to try harder than the rest, to spread the Dhamma better (without changing the core message of course) than those before you have done for thousands of years already. And actualism has absolutely no relevance for you.

If the answer for you is #2, then there's no reason to even bother - either with Buddhism or with actualism.

But, if part of you suspects that the answer is #3, then and only then is it possible that actualism has some relevance for you.

Now, with regards to actualism and actual freedom, there are again two possibilities:

  1. It is yet another form of spirituality, yet another variation of the same answer that Buddhism, Hinduism, etc., have already found.
  2. It is something new, a different answer to the question, that hasn't been explored before, and has only been being explored for a few decades now.
If you are of the opinion that #1 is the case, then, again, actualism has absolutely no relevance for you. Indeed it is an extremely painful exercise to shoehorn actualism and actual freedom into the spiritual box, as the many and varied conversations with actualists on this topic has shown. So my advice is, don't even bother. Just purse that path which straightforwardly agrees with Buddhism or your spirituality of choice. Everyone will be a lot better off.

But if you think #2 is a possibility -- then this is where actualism may have some relevance in your life.

And if that is the case then I welcome you to the discuss.actualism.online forum emoticon

Please note that none of the above is a debate, argument, viewpoint, conclusion, etc... it is simply a laying out of the facts, and the possibilities, resulting in a "choose-your-own adventure"-type of exercise that makes it clear what is sensible to do in each circumstance.

----------

Finally, a few brief notes:

  • "fringe practice", or "new practice"?
  • "ism" "ism" yet another "ism"? There's no 'ism' as in 'belief system'. It is just a word to describe the various tools, techniques, practices, etc., that are conducive to enjoying, appreciating, having PCEs, and self-immolating. It is all about the experience.
  • repressing emotions to eliminate them?

    c'mon guys, this is Psych 101. Repression doesn't lead to elimination, it just buries them and makes it worse. Not even to mention that it is the shared experience of every an actualist that neither suppressing nor repressing emotions leads to enjoying and appreciating, or PCEs, or actual freedom...
  • the extreme verbosity is there not because actualists love hearing themselves talk, but rather because these are nuanced points that require a lot of careful navigation, so as to not have something horrible happen like emotional repression. for those actualists who have been discussing actualism for a while, and have experience with it, the known pitfalls are readily apparent up-front, so we cover all the bases so as to reduce confusion, make it clearer what is the case, etc.
  • The discourse here is a bit tainted by the reports and experiences of Tarin and Trent, who tried to pursue actual freedom via a meditative approach, and did in fact end up in a repressed altered state of consciousness -- where they claimed to experience no emotions at all but later retracted that claim -- as well as Tommy, for example, who was well on his way there before he recognized what he was doing and stopped.

    The problem here is not with actualism or PCEs or actual freedom, but with trying to imitate PCEs or actual freedom via a meditative approach. This is indeed, literally, emotional repression, and I strongly advise against it.

    This is why I spent so much of my time here differentiating between meditation and actualism, so that nobody need go through these things again.
  • To re-iterate a point about the difference of the fruits of meditation/Enlightenment and the fruits of actualism/actual freedom... the only way it's possible for anyone to make this argument, is if the reports and experiences of those people with experience with both are wrong. That is, not their opinions, beliefs, or views are wrong, but literally they are wrong about what they, themselves, experienced. 

    Because everyone with experience with both has reported that not only are they different, but also that experience with spirituality/meditation/Buddhism/Enlightenment made it harder -- not easier -- for success with actualism/actual freedom.

    100% of the sample population reported this - not one deviation.

    And regarding the people who reported they had experienced both paths and that they were similar but turned out to be mistaken, e.g. Tarin and Trent, it turns out they were in a repressed altered state of consciousness, which they (thankfully for themselves) were eventually able to recognize. 

    Do with this information what you will.

----------

I think that covers it for now... let us see if there will be a third round of "partin'" words emoticon .

Cheers,
Claudiu
George S, modified 4 Months ago at 2/22/22 6:23 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/22/22 6:18 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2458 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
I like the HAIETMOBA pointer as a reminder to focus on enjoying the present moment, the only moment of being alive we can ever actually experience. I have been repeating it to myself as How Am I Enjoying This Moment of Being Alive, which connects me directly to the pleasurable quality of existence, especially in supposedly “unpleasant” moments. But I don’t see it as possible or even desirable to eliminate emotions altogether. Why would I not want to be alerted to potential danger by fear? (Or potential need for a boundary by anger, need to grieve by sadness, risk of sickness by disgust, risk of ostracism by shame etc.) I do find that the more deeply and openly I experience my emotions, the less I feel compelled blindly to react to them, which makes a world of difference. It even becomes possible to enjoy the experience of “negative” emotions …
​​​​​​​
thumbnail
Chris M, modified 4 Months ago at 2/22/22 7:25 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/22/22 7:25 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 4417 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Ok, second round of "partin' words"

Will there eventually be another round of grades awarded?
thumbnail
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 4 Months ago at 2/22/22 7:31 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/22/22 7:31 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Chris there was no contest, it was just a joke emoticon . A light-hearted way to reply to various comments. And I was sincere about you being percipient, it wasn't a dig. 

Cheers,
Claudiu
thumbnail
Chris M, modified 4 Months ago at 2/22/22 7:32 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/22/22 7:32 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 4417 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Sarcasm is a hard thing to grasp  emoticon
thumbnail
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 4 Months ago at 2/22/22 12:48 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/22/22 9:16 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Chris
​​​​​​​Sarcasm is a hard thing to grasp  emoticon

Lol, I see that my concern that you were offended when you wrote "Since this discussion has become a graded contest, I'll bow out.", was mis-placed... and that not offering digs does not mean that digs will not be offered to me. Your humanity is safely retained emoticon .
thumbnail
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 4 Months ago at 2/22/22 9:29 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/22/22 9:29 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
George S
I like the HAIETMOBA pointer as a reminder to focus on enjoying the present moment, the only moment of being alive we can ever actually experience. I have been repeating it to myself as How Am I Enjoying This Moment of Being Alive, which connects me directly to the pleasurable quality of existence, especially in supposedly “unpleasant” moments. But I don’t see it as possible or even desirable to eliminate emotions altogether. Why would I not want to be alerted to potential danger by fear? (Or potential need for a boundary by anger, need to grieve by sadness, risk of sickness by disgust, risk of ostracism by shame etc.) I do find that the more deeply and openly I experience my emotions, the less I feel compelled blindly to react to them, which makes a world of difference. It even becomes possible to enjoy the experience of “negative” emotions …
This is actually a good question, and fairly key. (Relevant discussion here: "Does an “actually free” person experience any emotions?").

In short, and this has been written elsewhere, actualism isn't about eliminating emotions, and actual freedom isn't about eliminating emotions either. Rather, emotions disappear as a "side-effect", if you will, of 'me' / of 'being' disappearing. 

Emotions aren't the problem, per se, rather it is 'me', 'being', identity itself, that is the problem. Emotions are just the way that 'I' manifest ('I' am 'my' feelings and 'my' feelings are 'me'). 

Trying to eliminate emotions, won't result in PCEs or actual freedom, rather it will result in suppression or repression, as already mentioned here. 

So it's not that you want to eliminate emotions, per se, but rather it's that you see 'you' are the problem, and agree to go into abeyance (as in a PCE) or to self-immolate, to solve the problem... and there go, too, the emotions.

So in this way emotions are rather a signal that one is not actually free, rather than a thing to eliminate -- and a helpful signal it is for people comparing other states to actual freedom.

As for needing emotions, it's a good question, and that's something to find for yourself. What I personally find is that, I am able to more clearly, intelligently, and sensibly react to a situation without emotions arising. And when emotions do arise, it's a lot harder, more difficult, more challenging, and the outcomes are worse. So although at first, as I was growing up, emotions were a useful signal, perhaps... now I find more and more that they just aren't necessary. This body and this brain can sensibly handle anything that comes up, without needing to rely on emotions.

For an example of this, here's a snippet from the linked thread:

Cub933
I actually have somewhat of an interesting take on these sort of things because I have always been involved in extreme sports at a pretty high level… Rock climbing, Parkour/Freerunning and now MMA. What I can say with confidence is that the level of competency in those sports (in dealing with the inherent danger) actually relates to ‘me’ not getting in the way.

In situations where I have been in life threatening danger e.g bad falls when practicing parkour, dangerous situations when climbing etc It was actually super interesting to observe that this body’s native intelligence reacted first and sometimes in really extraordinary ways, and afterwards ‘I’ came in with a rush of debilitating fear.
Claudiu
That’s awesome, I also do rock climbing emoticon . I have had the exact same experience. Biggest fall I took is as I was clipping into a bolt, I pulled the rope all the way through and was threading it in and I fell off the rock right then and there.

The entire experience of falling was simple, easy, benign, benevolent. There was the recognition I was falling. Automatically I knew where on the rock wall I would end up, and I adjusted my body so that I would have my feet out and be able to plant on the wall when I fell, and I did precisely that. It was smooth, easy, there was no feeling of fear, danger, or panic, and the fall (of maybe 15-25 feet? hard to estimate) was completely safe.…

and then a few seconds after all this happened, an intense surge of adrenaline and fear and heart rate elevated and ‘oh my god that was intense’, being shaken, etc… all of which, had it happened during the fall, would have been detrimental and caused a much less safe fall… and all of which, happening after the fall, didn’t matter at all, wasn’t useful or beneficial in any way.

So I knew then, from experience, that ‘I’ not only am ‘I’ not needed for the safety of this body, but when push comes to shove, ‘I’ get in the way!
thumbnail
Ni Nurta, modified 4 Months ago at 2/22/22 10:34 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/22/22 10:34 AM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 930 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
Is state of Actual Freedom state of complete freedom of emotions?
If it is stated as freedom of emotions then claiming it (or being confirmed to be AF) will inevitably lead to repression.

​​​​​​​And it doesn't matter what explanations you use.
thumbnail
terry, modified 4 Months ago at 2/22/22 12:01 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/22/22 12:01 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2185 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
maybe my favorite nilsson song...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdhcIEGj9S8
thumbnail
terry, modified 4 Months ago at 2/22/22 12:09 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/22/22 12:09 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2185 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
ironically...
thumbnail
terry, modified 4 Months ago at 2/22/22 12:12 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/22/22 12:12 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2185 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
so, bcdeg, you must have a method to count how many words in a post...<br /><br />we could see who wins the award for prolixity...
thumbnail
terry, modified 4 Months ago at 2/22/22 12:15 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/22/22 12:15 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2185 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
I'm going for the "most posts" award...
thumbnail
terry, modified 4 Months ago at 2/22/22 12:27 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/22/22 12:27 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2185 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
chris is right, it can be hard to tell if a person is being sarcastic...or ironic...sometimes they don't realize they are funny... realization can be tricky...

is griffin is being sarcastic or ironic?


in the context of buddhism and this new packaging not mixing, as though they had spring wine and the old musty bottles would create an unpleasant odor, 

I'd like to take a shot somewhere at dan-san's concept of A-ism being founded by "advanced practicioners" of buddhism....

if they are advanced practicioners, they are not advanced practicioners...spirit could not be more common...the truly advanced have given up practice altogether, seamlessly...

​​​​​​​the more you explain, the less you understand...
George S, modified 4 Months ago at 2/22/22 12:57 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/22/22 12:57 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2458 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
It's not just about extreme examples! Our bodies are continuously generating emotional signals (changes in heart rate, breathing, temperature, hormonal activity, electrochemical signals etc) to enable us to safely navigate our physical and social environment. That's what the emotional system evolved for over hundreds of millions of years in all animals:

Bodily Maps of Emotions

Sure there can be changes in the way you relate to and interpret these signals, and that has a knock-on effect in reducing the amount of self-generated emotional noise, but a total shutdown of the emotional system?!

And if an actuallly free person no longer experiences emotions, then how is empathy or compassion possible?!
thumbnail
terry, modified 4 Months ago at 2/22/22 1:20 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 2/22/22 1:20 PM

RE: New Resources for Actualism and Actual Freedom

Posts: 2185 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
<p>thus have I heard...<br /> </p><p><b>But, if you take a step back and note that Buddhism has been around for thousands of years, Hinduism a few thousand more, and probably the first roots of enlightenment go back even further than that... then it is clear that, for all the thousands of years people have been practicing it, it **has not worked** to bring peace on earth, to solve the problem of misery and sorrow that most everbody on the planet experiences.</b></p><p> </p><p><b>This is simply a fact. It's not an argument, not a debate, not a belief, or a viewpoint, them's not "fightin' words"... it is just a fact that is impossible to refute.</b></p><p> </p><p><b>As to *why* it has not worked, the answer to that is not as plainly evident. There are basically three possibilities:</b></p><p> </p><p><b>People haven't been trying hard enough.</b></p><p><b>It's just impossible to really save or 'cure' humanity/the human condition.</b></p><p><b>It is possible to solve the problem, but there is something about this solution, in and of itself, that doesn't work.</b><br /><br /><br /><br />aside from the "fact" that buddhism predated hinduism - the buddha dealt with brahmanism, to be precise - all your facts are wrong, and indeed the whole basis for your argument...<br /><br /><br />the "answer" is to realize there is no why, no relevant question at all, things are simply thus and such, and empty of anything else...<br /><br />happiness and unhappiness are polarities, quality variables, images in a mirror which have no substance or durability...<br /><br />its all a cosmic joke bra, and its on you...<br /><br /><br />take a fresh look:<br /><br />1. every baby is born knowing nothing and gets filled in by culture at its mother's knee<br /><br />1a. the buddha muhammed and jesus were snot nosed kids who got&nbsp;spanked by their nannies when they did bad<br /><br />2. the world is a very complex organism and we are simple minded grunting apes...the idea that we could make a perfect world in which all beings are saved from any sort of unhappiness or suffering is a Noble Ideal and we should strive ceasefully for its realization, a googol plex of myriads of kalpas hence...<br /><br />3. with all your bullshit you advanced practicioners want to create a self-proclaimed elite and leave the rest of us behind, in <em>actuality</em> leaving you&nbsp;further behind than the least child in the kingdom... and the first shall be last, the last first.. the last humble doubting perplexed fool unknowingly knows what you think you know and so prevent yourself from knowing...<br /><br /><br />you could say humanity has not solved the problem of human happiness because god doesn't want them to...<br /><br />we are horrible vicious apex predators for whom killing and lust are happy times...fuck us...planet would be better off if we just nuked it right now and spared the biosphere its death throes...<br /><br />yes we have a better nature but each of us is born with rape and murder in his heart...<br /><br />you want the lion to lay down with the lamb? humans not to study war no more, and peace be found upon all my holy mountain? don't hold your breath...but a noble goal we should all strive for...failure is a given, a constant...you can cut the balls off of a horse, but you can't cut the balls off of all the horses, or no more horses...<br /><br />in the end your way is to seek your own salvation, and preach the same self-centered path to others...the ego's best trick is to pretend its goal is to eliminate itself...the whole discursive process is a smoke screen, blah blah blah...the ego says keep working, keep working and someday we will eliminate me, or die trying...<br /><br /><br />one time near the end of a celtics game they were down by two points with five seconds left, and coach was designing a play on his little whiteboard when larry bird slapped the board out of his hand and said, just give me the ball...he hit a three pointer falling backwards out of the corner over the top of the backboard to win the game...he slapped the coaches whiteboard out of his hand and won the game with an impossible shot...<br /><br />there's your "answer"</p>
</