New Theory about PCEs

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Not Important, modified 2 Months ago at 6/9/22 4:38 PM
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New Theory about PCEs

Posts: 8 Join Date: 3/6/22 Recent Posts
Dear all,

I believe I stumbled across a Pure Conciousness Experience (PCE) like 4 days ago and it changed my way of experiencing the world quite drastically. However I am not a proponent of the Actual Freedom (AF) movement. I had to do a lot of reading up on what has been written on this forum over the last few years on the topic and I am aware that this is a controversial and sensitive topic, hence I decided to post in this category.

Some background on PCE / Actual Freedom (AF) for people unfamiliar with it
(please correct me if I am getting anything important wrong)
Back in the day a guy named Richard claimed to have transcended all emotions and therefor the root human condition. He founded something called the Actual Freedom Trust with one of the worst homepages you might ever see. His pratice consisted in continously asking "How am I experiencing this present moment of being alive?" and then investigating any emotional content standing in the way of being at peace ruthlessly. At some point then you supposedly have a PCE. A moment of pure conciousness where everything is utterly complete and all emotions are gone. This PCE moment you then are supposed to recall as often as you can to build upon it (up until this point this feels in line with my experience I will explain later). He proposed to then try to extend that PCE so that it remains constant and thereby become an "Actual Free" person. He regarded this as a higher achievement then being enlightened which he also claimed to have been prior to this additional achievement.

However this Richard guy is very dubious and public opinion was leaning more and more onto him being a narcisstic psychopath than a saint (if possible I would like to ignore him for this discussion). However, a few very dedicated practitioners from this forum (Trent, Tarin) tried the practices out (which in themselves seem harmless and in line with buddhist doctrine) and they where convinced they got something out of them. They then also claimed to have transcended all emotions. Tarin (a close dharma friend) of Daniel managed to convince him to explore the practices himself and after 4 months Daniel written this thread which was a major upstearing of the community (this was about June 2010):
AF and Insight: PCE Mode and Cycling Mode

Daniel backed down on his passion for vipassana practice and the idea of cycling in favor of this newly found PCE mode that he was incredibly impressed by at that time. This apparently brought about the "1st schism of DhO" as Daniel put it since it made several members leave since it felt like this forum was venturing to far off the buddhist path.

Flash forward a few years later: Tarin and Trent ended up revoking their claims. They acknowledged that they had deluted themselves and that they did not have transcended all emotions. Daniel went on to write an article (September 2013) about his experience with the practice many years later with a lot of hindsight. In that article he still very clearly states that the PCE practice brought about a permanent shift within him and led to a significant improvement of life quality.
My Experiments in Actualism - Integrated Daniel

Quote from Daniels Blog article: "What is also interesting is it still seems to have been a totally different axis of development from my previous meditative work, operating on some other set of parameters and structures of consciousness and perception. It definitely broadened my appreciation for various cool things you can do to your mind and how different practices and emphases really can work on totally different pathways and levels, something that should have been obvious but wasn't as clear as it is now."

"However, it [the PCE] did do something totally remarkable, and that was create the ability to sit totally at rest, totally at peace, just like that, and I don't mean in some stage or state, not in some jhana, just by the field being nice to itself. That simple thing was well worth the work it took to get it. It doesn't sound as fancy or as flashy as all the other stuff I have done, but it is more valuable than them all. "


My goal:
Having tried to research the history of this endeavour it feels to me there remain questions unanswered. "Actual Freedom" might be a hoax but the value and improvement of life quality that Daniel experienced and which stood the test of time for many years apparently has never been explained in terms of classical Buddhist theory (as far as I am aware). In fact the self-centered claims of the AF people led to a lot of resistance and defence by the DhO community which prevented a down to earth investigation of what a PCE actually is at the time and what its benefits might be. My aim is to contribute something to that discussion

My PCE experience:
I just had the probably most prestine moment of my life 4 days ago. I was hanging in the hammock in the alps, looking across a beautiful lake with a giant mountain in the background. The sun was glistening across the water, not too warm not too cold. Beautiful clouds and light. Healthy forest all around me. And emotionally speaking everything in my life was and still is in very good shape (relationship, work, health, ...). So there I was lying and everything just felt pure, luminous, flawless, timelessly perfect. There was nothing jhanic about it. There was nothing like A&P about it. There was no cessation after glow. From somewhere in the back of my mind the letters "PCE" arose. I had read about it years ago but never made much of it or pursuit it. I thought it actually meant "Perfect Completion Experience" at that moment which would have been absolutely fitting, only on researching later I learned that it stands for "Pure Conciousness Experience" which also fits though I think my version is even more on point.

This heightened state continued for the rest of the day and has persisted ever since (4 days now). Just like Daniel writes however I don't wake up in it but have to remember how it felt and then it just reappears and remains to varying degress throughout the day (some people might say that it is not an PCE then but just an Excellent Experience (EE) which precurses the PCE but for simplicity sake I will just keep calling it PCE for now).

Next I will describe the practice that I do in the morning since it also relates to my theory about the whole thing.

Aliveness practice
The practice that I am doing to reignite the PCE in the morning goes as follows. I sit with open eyes and loudly vocalize "As aliveness there is ..." pause for a second and then voice whatever arises when putting myself into the energy of aliveness. I either do this alone or in social sit with other practitioners via Zoom (Buddhistgeeks). It only goes for about 20min but I would say the PCE springs back on basically immediately in the first few minutes. Once it does the moment is just complete, nothing is missing, nothing needs to be changed (and yet it is not equanimity)

What has changed in my perception
Basically everything that Daniel has written in his first thread linked above rings true for me and he is saying it in much better words than I ever could so please read that if you are interested. It is not a non-dual state. It does not feel like no-self. There is still a split between myself and the outside, however that split feels very different now (more on how in the theory section). I am self-diagnosing myself as somewhere between 2nd and 3rd path by the way (at least 1st path also confirmed by my teacher) and this feels not like a new path moment neither although 3rd path in this state seems much more within reach now. Rather instead it feels like a completely "different axis of development" compared to the path model.

With my theory I want to try to give a explanation to what this different axis might be and how it functions

Theory on PCEs:
We usually (when not an arahat yet) look outside at the world. The felt sense of an observer (the subject) is perceiving his/her surroundings (the objects). Whenever we look outwards we don't see reality as it is but we see it distorted through a lense colored by our emotional state. This distortion is causing immense suffering for us. Moving along the path model we gradually disolve the split and the sense of an oberserve.

How I would describe what the PCE seemingly did for me was that it switched the subject and object. It does not feel as if I am looking outwards at the objects but as if all the objects are looking back at me. They do so with a tremendous aliveness and energy. Everything is alive, literally. The best comparison I can give is how an LSD-trip might feel sometimes. Everything looks amazingly beautiful, colorful and interesting. No matter how mundane. So basically all the objects have become the alive subjects and they are looking at me the neutral object (this might read like a cosmic narcisstic but there is absolutely no sense of feeling special or generating any type of self worth through it).

This circumvents the emotional lense we usually look outward through and hence the AF-people say that it eliminates all emotions. I can relate to what they mean, since that is how it feels. And yet it does not mean that there are no emotions at work anymore. Daniel mentioned that one of the unsolved riddles to him his how people can still seem like displaying emotions from the outside but themselves say they are free of them. That is my explanation how this works. Perceptions switches directions. We take of the emotional sunglasses we usually look through and but them on the top of our heads and instead of looking outwards we let everything shine inwards. The sunglasses still rest comfortably on the top of our head and people can still notice our emotional behavior but we don't perceive the world through their lenses anymore.

People tell me I am radiating these last 4 days but I don't feel like that at all. The radiating effect when I might come out of a high jhana or off an retreat is something known to me but in these cases it does feel like I am radiating energy outwards. Right now it does not feel like this at all. It feels like I am reflecting the energy that is everywhere around me back at people. Therefor it is completely effortless. Unknown heights of kindness springs forth spontaneously right now but it does not feel like I am radiating Metta at all. Unknown appropriateness of action arises in the face of suffering but it does not feel like compassion. And yet it does not feel like everything is happening by itself, like there is no-doer anymore.

Conclusion:
I think there is some tremendous value in PCEs that we can still shed more light on. I am grateful that this experience has found me. 1st and 2nd path removed a lot of suffering and I definitely do not feel like "I am done" with that axis of development. The PCE brings me unknown delight in just being alive. In comparison to the AF technique of chasing the PCE heads on by investigating the present moment, the right moment just found me and it happened on its own. However, I do feel like it also is the result of a lot of psychological healing of deep childhood trauma over the last ~5-7 years. I just tried to make the conditions and relationships in my life as good and healthy as I can and that seem to have paid of. The word serendipty comes to my mind.

Looking forward to your remarks
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago at 6/9/22 4:57 PM
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RE: New Theory about PCEs

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Thanks for sharing!

I'd say that I have had nondual-ish experiences that fit your description perfectly. What makes you so sure they aren't nondual? Just curious. Comparing experiences is so tricky, as words are inadequate. And when it comes to nonduality, there are so many different dualities to dissolve that partial nonduality can take incredibly many different shapes. 
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Pepe ·, modified 2 Months ago at 6/9/22 6:08 PM
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RE: New Theory about PCEs

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Hi NI !

Thanks for sharing. Very interesting! Though I cannot comment on the topic as I'm far from there, I do have some links that may be useful for you and other DhOers that jump in to the thread.

Actualism-Inspired Practices: A compilation of the best of Daniel Ingram's (17) posts about AF, including what you posted above. Check particularly Actualism-Inspired Practice (short and long) Instructions and PCE mode and Cycling mode

Regarding your non-dual experiences, some seasoned (Zen/Dzogchen/etc) practitioners like to define NeoAdviata's "I AM" as a "PCE in thought (only)" and stress about developing the Four Aspects of I AM, namely (1) Impersonality, (2) The Intensity of Luminosity (Vividness), (3) Effortlessness, and (4) Dissolving the Need to Return or Abide in I AM. There's lot of info that's suitable for those around 3rd Path, so I think that may be interesting for you and others. Better start reading here, their 7 stages/phases map.  
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago at 6/10/22 4:28 AM
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RE: New Theory about PCEs

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Wow, first an excellent introduction into this complex topic, and now all those helpful links. Well done, both of you! May this be a skillful exchange and a valuable learning experience without reactiveness and pain.
Not Important, modified 2 Months ago at 6/10/22 5:29 AM
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RE: New Theory about PCEs

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö
Thanks for sharing!

I'd say that I have had nondual-ish experiences that fit your description perfectly. What makes you so sure they aren't nondual? Just curious. Comparing experiences is so tricky, as words are inadequate. And when it comes to nonduality, there are so many different dualities to dissolve that partial nonduality can take incredibly many different shapes.
I am open to reinterpreting what I experienced. At the moment and also afterwards it still feels clearly like there is gap between me the watcher and the surrounding. It does not feel centerless at all. Thats why I disqualified it being non-dual. Though I have never thought about partial nonduality to be honest. In a sense it does feel like there is less separation inbetween the objects, everything is just a sensate field shining at me. So maybe you could say that the duality of the external world faded a bit and it is partially non-dual...
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago at 6/10/22 5:49 AM
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RE: New Theory about PCEs

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I've had the same doubts with regard to some of my experiences within the nonduality spectrum. I'm taking a course with Michael Taft, Reversing the Stack; I think we are one the fourth semester of it now. In it he present both a map of different degrees of emptiness and a map of different levels of awake awareness (which are all empty but vary with regard to form). As all those boxes are simplifications, there can be maybe infinite variations to it. There can be some nondual traits whereas other aspects still aren't even seen through as empty. Also, centerless doesn't seem to be what it sounds like, which I still have a hard time coming to terms with. 

I'm not at all qualified to talk about PCE:s. Although I generally have the deepest respect for Daniel, I'm not even sure I believe in them as something other than the dharma, but that may very well be due to my lack of imagination. The sense of something being perfectly complete as it is, without any need of a special state, that's very often described within Buddhism. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago at 6/10/22 6:01 AM
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RE: New Theory about PCEs

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If I understand Michael Taft correctly, the sense of everything looking back at you instead of you seeing it through your personal lens, that is one way that centerlessness manifests. I have that experience from time to time, though not as often as I'd like to. And even though it's not my default experience, it definitely doesn't feel like an altered state. It feels incredibly normal, just not the normal that I'm used to. 
Not Important, modified 2 Months ago at 6/10/22 6:17 AM
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RE: New Theory about PCEs

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Thanks Pepe for those excellent links! There is much to still study and I will consider diving deeper into the I AM topic going forward.
Pepe ·
Regarding your non-dual experiences, some seasoned (Zen/Dzogchen/etc) practitioners like to define NeoAdviata's "I AM" as a "PCE in thought (only)" and stress about developing the Four Aspects of I AM, namely (1) Impersonality, (2) The Intensity of Luminosity (Vividness), (3) Effortlessness, and (4) Dissolving the Need to Return or Abide in I AM. There's lot of info that's suitable for those around 3rd Path, so I think that may be interesting for you and others. Better start reading here, their 7 stages/phases map.  
I actually recently started practicing Dzogchen with a teacher and I felt that the Awareness he pointed me too (same awareness that Ken McLeods "A trackless path" pointed me too afterwards on retreat) felt distinctly different from what I am experiencing now. Like this very subtle background awareness permeating everything (rigpa, right?). I can still perceive Rigpa in my current state but there is just no motivation to do so since this feels more alive, vivid, richer and it does not require to let go of anything as I need to do to perceive Rigpa.

The whole I AM thing is very interesting to me and feels somehow related and yet it is difficult for me to follow since its such a different jargon being used. I Would have to do a lot more reading and practicing on that one. If I had to I would place myself at stage 4 which is the only one that feels somewhat accurately. But I am not able to pinpoint the stages 1 to 3 in my past experience (at least in recent times). Again also maybe related to the very unfamiliar perspective and phrasing used with this.

I like the PCE in thought idea since as the link states its also just another sense and I would say that it also does feel like thoughts are more shining at me and create less emotional reactiveness than they used to.
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Pepe ·, modified 2 Months ago at 6/10/22 8:13 AM
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RE: New Theory about PCEs

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I actually recently started practicing Dzogchen with a teacher and I felt that the Awareness he pointed me too (same awareness that Ken McLeods "A trackless path" pointed me too afterwards on retreat) felt distinctly different from what I am experiencing now. Like this very subtle background awareness permeating everything (rigpa, right?). I can still perceive Rigpa in my current state but there is just no motivation to do so since this feels more alive, vivid, richer and it does not require to let go of anything as I need to do to perceive Rigpa.

The whole I AM thing is very interesting to me and feels somehow related and yet it is difficult for me to follow since its such a different jargon being used. I Would have to do a lot more reading and practicing on that one. If I had to I would place myself at stage 4 which is the only one that feels somewhat accurately. But I am not able to pinpoint the stages 1 to 3 in my past experience (at least in recent times). Again also maybe related to the very unfamiliar perspective and phrasing used with this.

I like the PCE in thought idea since as the link states its also just another sense and I would say that it also does feel like thoughts are more shining at me and create less emotional reactiveness than they used to.

Yeah, this alternative map (A Simple Summary is a really short version of the map) was developed in order to help those who are having some non-dual experiences, but don't match up to what we call here 4th Path criteria. See On the Non-Linear and Non-Hierarchical Unfolding of Insights. Stages 1 (I AM) and Stage 5 (Anatta on subject) are considered "stages", while in between there are really "phases", so you may well be in Phase 4 as you said (from my only theoretical knowledge, no attainments whatsoever). Those Four Aspects of I AM work as a reference for all stages/phases, not only in Stage 1. That may well explain the old discrepancies / disagreement between Daniel Ingram and Kenneth Folk about "No Dog" (see No Dog, Some Dog and The Simplest Thing). Kenneth advocated that No Dog = I AM, but Daniel pointed towards a trans-jhanic state (which Kenneth also equated to I AM) probably because he stumbled upon it only after 4th Path. 

Regarding Rigpa, there are many definitions. I like Dilgo Khyentse's one (Dzogchen). Daniel Ingram warned against the notion of a Super-Awareness / Super-Rigpa: Rigpa and the aggregates.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 2 Months ago at 6/10/22 12:40 PM
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RE: New Theory about PCEs

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emoticon thanks about that No Dig Some Dog link Pepe! Didn't know about it! 
I certainly agree and can see this happening in my experience 
"Now at times the mind inclines to No Dog and that is what shows up. At other times it inclines to Some Dog, and that is what shows up. These are conditioned phenomena, and they come and go." 

Its experience. Full stop. Can change shapes. Full stop. Maybe not. Full stop. Or not. emoticon emoticon emoticon Ha! emoticon 

May all be free from suffering, happy at heart, and awake. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago at 6/11/22 1:03 AM
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RE: New Theory about PCEs

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Papa Che, are you aware that you are sort of saying that you're an arahant when you say that?
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 2 Months ago at 6/11/22 12:28 PM
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RE: New Theory about PCEs

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Chill pill Linda emoticon 
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Pepe ·, modified 2 Months ago at 6/11/22 2:19 PM
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RE: New Theory about PCEs

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Hi Linda,

Papa Che isn't claiming arhatship. He's just saying that his visiting every now and then The Watcher and some other similar non-dual state. 

When Daniel Ingram says "No Dog imparts a very high level of feeling one has transcended the ordinary fascination with cycles, states, stages, qualities of experience, etc. They cycle through, and we feel largely untouched by their coming and going", that is his unique experience, just right after 4th Path. But Kenneth Folk experienced I AM in his first A&P. Others usually find it by chance in High-EQ (pre-SE) or after SE. Even others such as Eckhart Tolle or Saint Paul stumble upon it without previous meditation practice.

So, the I AM can be considered a different axis of development, just like jhanas and ñanas are considered here as two different axis. In other words, peeling the onion of the 'subject-object' relationship is initially worked through the 'subject' in Mahayana/Tibetan/Zen schools, while worked through the 'object' in many (not all) Theravada schools. At the end of the road, both routes converge but not fully, as they're conditioned by the way they have each approached the path.

Usually those that follow the 'subject' path are bewitched by the vividness/aliveness aspect (and so, are connected in this way with AF, the topic of this thread) and dismissed the ñanas cycles we usually chat extensively here. But if you hang around long enough, every now and then they admit 'energy imbalances', or tensions by trying not to fall back to lower stages/phases, or even some forme of mild depresion. So, ñanas are there, but softened because of those states. And probably, lack of terminology to talk about them too.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 6/12/22 1:02 AM
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RE: New Theory about PCEs

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First of all, if my short comment came off as conflict-seaking or accusing, then I'm sorry. That was not my intention at all. 

It sounded to me like he said that he also recognized having realized that it's all the same, when he quoted Daniel's description of how he experiences the world as an arahant, and I thought that others might get the same impression. If he does experience the world in that way, hey, that's awesome. Then we should celebrate. That goes for the "I AM" phase too, by the way. I consider that to be something more stable than glimpses, a phase where people very often think they are done because it seems so stable. Personally I find it helpful to avoid inflation of our shared concepts, as it's hard enough to navigate the path even with relatively clean concepts with clear criteria, but to each their own. I'm not upset about it, if that's what it looked like. The experience as described with the limitations of language is certainly relatable both at a common sense level and as fractals, no doubt about that. I just certainly hope that there are more goodies in the goodybag than that. 

Papa Che and others have every right to relate to experiences on the path in whatever way they find helpful, of course. And I and others similarly have every right to make the distinctions that we find helpful for navigation as well. I see no conflict in that. 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Month ago at 6/12/22 2:31 AM
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RE: New Theory about PCEs

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Yes no conflicts here emoticon 

Im just a guy staring at my own experience. 

​​​​​​​No claims no games emoticon 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 6/12/22 3:32 AM
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As am I, with all the nearsightedness that so often comes with it. Yes, may all be free from suffering, happy at heart, and awake! That was beautifully put. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 6/12/22 2:11 PM
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RE: New Theory about PCEs

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For me it mainly varies between some dog and some more dog, with glimpses of very little dog now and then. It's definitely better than the previous going back and forth between some more dog and a whole kennel, with occasional glimpses of somewhat less dog. 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Month ago at 6/13/22 1:28 AM
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RE: New Theory about PCEs

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What is your main measure for No Dog, Some Dog or Some More Dog? 

Btw, I don't see I AM/Watcher/Witness as same as the No Dog/Some Dog. 

The Wacher can still be invested and chase stuff and feel as I AM this clear perception. This is happening to Me. None of this is Me but I'm in the center if it. 

In No Dog - Some Dog is not much about this (behind the eyes) presence of the Me Witness but about the urge to Fix This or Get That and hence Do This. This will be Some Dog. 

In No Dog there too can be practice arising but there is no investment in what will come up. Can start as noting the sifts to mantra then goes into Mahamudra ... then walks away to get a milkshake. 

It's easier maybe to see this in cushion but off cushion certainly possible. 

However! emoticon Very important to state is, there can be a vast shittiness of feelings within No Dog. No Dog does not mean I AM above ALL This. Rather there just is this huge pile of shit and no investment for it to stop or go away or else to do anything not even Just Be With It. It just is. That's No Dog to me. 

Also this No Dog is not something To Get or Attain emoticon Anicca ripps a new one into anything. This state/stage comes and goes ... 

I dislike talking about this in fixed terms as there are rather shades of grey between all this. 
Best is not get stuck in words and think "I gotta have this stage-state!" 

There is nothing to have. And what we think we have has long gone. 

May we all ... dandy happy. 

p.s. still no claims no games on my part. 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Month ago at 6/13/22 1:36 AM
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Just to add one important thing; 

Above, I'm saying there can be No Dog in practice as well. Stuff is just unfolding. But I didn't say that No Dog stops practicing. That would be a Stupid Dog. If practice comes up then that's what it is, a Good Dog. 

​​​​​​​emoticon 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 6/13/22 3:07 AM
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RE: New Theory about PCEs

Posts: 6653 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
You know I was joking, right? 

If that's how you feel, then what is Bodhicitta to you? 

I don't know how to translate my stance here. I don't think we are talking about the same things. 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Month ago at 6/13/22 3:19 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/13/22 3:19 AM

RE: New Theory about PCEs

Posts: 2459 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Not sure I get your last reply. You seem serious. Did I say something wrong?

I'm not so good at Buddhist words. Don't know or think about Bodhicitta. Not sure what that is. 

Yes. I agree. Let's settle that we are not talking about the same thing.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 6/13/22 3:36 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/13/22 3:33 AM

RE: New Theory about PCEs

Posts: 6653 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
No no, nothing's wrong. We are just going about it very differently, and that's okay. I just couldn't calibrate a meaningful response. It could be that our coping strategies differ.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Month ago at 6/13/22 4:08 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/13/22 4:07 AM

RE: New Theory about PCEs

Posts: 2459 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
I should really keep away from posting not slept for 7 nights because my eldest son has high fever and throat infection. Antibiotics and all that. Still not getting better. Plus looking after the 1 yo son during the day etc ... a pack load of dogs gone loose emoticon 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 6/13/22 4:43 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/13/22 4:43 AM

RE: New Theory about PCEs

Posts: 6653 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Wow, that's tough! I hope your eldest son will get well soon and that you will all be well! You seem to be an awesome dad. 
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Pepe ·, modified 1 Month ago at 6/13/22 4:45 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/13/22 4:45 AM

RE: New Theory about PCEs

Posts: 589 Join Date: 9/26/18 Recent Posts
So you're in "Pack of Dogs" mode emoticon Hope things get better soon! 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Month ago at 6/13/22 5:05 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/13/22 5:05 AM

RE: New Theory about PCEs

Posts: 2459 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Ha! emoticon It's a 'Dog Eat Dog' mode, until No Dog is left emoticon 

​​​​​​​Thank you both! 
George S, modified 1 Month ago at 6/13/22 8:50 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/13/22 8:50 AM

RE: New Theory about PCEs

Posts: 2529 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
I hope your son feels better soon Papa Che. It's really tough when the kids are sick. And then you forget. My youngest is almost 8 now and I sometimes find myself getting dreamy-eyed looking at the little ones in the playground thinking 'wouldn't it be nice if ...' No, No, No, that way madness lies emoticon
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Dream Walker, modified 1 Month ago at 6/14/22 12:50 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/14/22 12:50 AM

RE: New Theory about PCEs

Posts: 1448 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
 It does not feel as if I am looking outwards at the objects but as if all the objects are looking back at me. They do so with a tremendous aliveness and energy. Everything is alive, literally. The best comparison I can give is how an LSD-trip might feel sometimes. Everything looks amazingly beautiful, colorful and interesting. No matter how mundane. So basically all the objects have become the alive subjects and they are looking at me the neutral object

This is a very good description of luminosity with added visual 3rd path upgrades.
Good luck,
~D
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago at 6/14/22 4:40 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/14/22 4:40 AM

RE: New Theory about PCEs

Posts: 6653 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
I'd take Dream Walker's word for it. He is very meticulous about phenomenological criteria. 
Not Important, modified 1 Month ago at 6/16/22 11:20 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/16/22 11:19 AM

RE: New Theory about PCEs

Posts: 8 Join Date: 3/6/22 Recent Posts
Dream Walker
This is a very good description of luminosity with added visual 3rd path upgrades.
Good luck,
~D

Thank you Dream Walker for this. I also leaned more and more towards putting the sticker "luminosity" on it and you gave me confidence to do so finally. My knowing mind can rest now emoticon. What also helped me was this little poem from the AtR Guide

When there is simply a pure sense of existence;

When awareness appears mirror like;

When sensations become pristine clear and bright;

This is Luminosity.


Thank you all for this beautiful discussion, it was really supportive for me.

May you all be well (also towards all the members of the next generation silently among our discussions)
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Dream Walker, modified 1 Month ago at 6/17/22 10:34 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/17/22 10:34 AM

RE: New Theory about PCEs

Posts: 1448 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
Not Important
Thank you Dream Walker for this. I also leaned more and more towards putting the sticker "luminosity" on it and you gave me confidence to do so finally. My knowing mind can rest now emoticon.
Thank you all for this beautiful discussion, it was really supportive for me.

May you all be well (also towards all the members of the next generation silently among our discussions)
Here is a link to my framework of awakening -

https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/5800908

Read up on the other sense doors as they can and will also become luminous in their own way. Vision tends to lead the attainments for most people.
Good Luck on finishing 3rd path and 4th too,
​​​​​​​~D
Not Important, modified 1 Month ago at 6/18/22 5:38 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/18/22 5:38 AM

RE: New Theory about PCEs

Posts: 8 Join Date: 3/6/22 Recent Posts
Awesome, thank you for this framework Dream Walker.

I vaguely remember having seen your framework a few years ago and being somewhere between 1st and 2nd path back then I felt a bit disencouraged how much more work there is to be done. But now the dissecting of 3rd path aspects feels very relevant for me. I would say that the visionary field has opened up for me (maybe not all sub-attainments but a large share of them at least). The body is showing signs of shifting at the moment and hearing and thought are left to be done I guess.
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Dream Walker, modified 1 Month ago at 6/21/22 1:28 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/21/22 1:28 PM

RE: New Theory about PCEs

Posts: 1448 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
Like I mentioned, I don't get package deals often, most people do.

Get your Luminosity as "bright/clear/lively " as you can, notice the directional quality of that flow from you to other and other to you as well as the space in between. This will mature the luminosity.
​​​​​​​
Using your new superpower, rest in it and mix it with hearing or thoughts. The space that holds the visual stuff is the same space that holds the sounds/thoughts. You might just bang that shit out by knowing what to do. Everything that 'pops up' in that superspace is empty upon arising, try to notice that/catch it right at the very beginning of whatever happens (not me, not permanent, not satifying, not timeful, not 'extra' anything!!! ---->EMPTY of extra crap)
Have fun and may your happy meal be full,
~D
Not Important, modified 1 Month ago at 7/2/22 10:59 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 7/2/22 10:57 AM

RE: New Theory about PCEs

Posts: 8 Join Date: 3/6/22 Recent Posts
Dream Walker You might just bang that shit out by knowing what to do.
Thank you D for your very helpful advise and in giving me confidence that I could do this. I am happy to report that I believe that I just did "bang that shit out" (that shit being 3rd path). Though of course the dust will have to settle a bit and the test of time has to tell if I can stand by that claim.

There now is an effortless recognition of the non-duality of thoughts, intentions, all these other immaterial aspects. Emptiness and luminosity are recognized simultaneously, so all the thoughts (also those including the pronoun "I") are infinitely less sticky than they were before. The visual opening I already described above. Then followed the body awarness on my first day of retreat. Basically I just folded the body into the visual and then a cessation brought it home and made it stick. The auditory was a bit more tricky but it helped me to think about the air being the medium of all sounds to travel through.

Some more pointers of what has helped me to get from having visual / body / auditory senses open to including the thought space and (hopefully) 3rd path:

  1. Going with the flow of life and using any challenge / obstacle / nuisance that presented itself as a chance to practice - I tend to call it tantric but no idea if that is the right thing to use here
    (in my case I am just being on retreat and I got COVID and was forced to do the last two days in solitary confinement mode which really didn't give me much chance of escapism)

    If to be ill is best for me
    Give me the energy to be ill
    If to recover is best for me
    Give me the energy to recover
    If to die is best for me
    Give me the energy to die

  2. Everything that D has written above about crancking up luminosity and taking one sense door at a time
  3. Then letting go of goal-oriented practice again after some intensive cycling and going back to awareness practice / 3rd gear/ dzogchen
  4. Doing some vipassana of thoughts while resting in awareness (my retreat teacher Vince Horn told me thats a thing that Michael Taft teaches)
  5. Observing which thought patterns are most sticky and doing some body work and inner healing to loosen these knots
    (in my case I realized how a lack of emotional attention in childhood lead to me leading frequent self-talk to an imaginary audience, I was aware of the thought pattern for a long time but never understood what its purpose was, with that also a deep visical sense of existential self-doubt in my solar plexus showed. Doubt that I wasn't exisitng at all had developed as a child and I am meaning not the good kind of doubt). Also for full disclosure I have been experimenting with Iboga microdosing recently which activates third eye chakra and more clarity in self-reflection. I used a double dose yesterday which might have support with that)
  6. Observing and not caving into compulsive behaviour / protectice mechanisms (in my case this would be seeking media distraction or masturbating while being confined in my retreat room. It was very interesting to observe compulsion. It didn't even feel much like desire. Desire tends to be a physical burning sensation for me. Compulsion is much more challenging. It feels like a contortion of awareness itself. It is like the towel gets twisted and everything just crunshes into that one thing I could do now to bring relieve to that constriction. Resting with that and see how the towel untwists on its own. Also did some form of exposure therapy I guess, sometimes I still compulsively nibble on my fingers and feet and this time i just compassionately cared for those spots and allowing the compulsion to arise and fade away)
  7. Letting go of any fear-based motivation, inviting more and more compassion for others and myself in - that was a process that started years ago I guess but became really intense the last few weeks. Also showed itself in form of depressive-like energyless, constantly having low blood sugar, quick tiring. Felt like my entire metabolism was shifting in some way
    (in my chase some literature on the bodhissatva path present itself to me at just the right time - Reflection of Silver River by Ken McLeod and I did a very intensive Tonglen Meditation)
  8. Reading a bunch of different dharma books very intuitively, skipping just to the pages that I needed at that moment
    (in my case Golden Letters: The Three Statements of Garab Dorje / The Great Path of Awakening by Ken McLeod)
  9. Reading a paragraph about the four dharmakayas (always thought there are only three) from The Greath Path of Awakening

    "When you rest in a state in which appearances simply arise but there is no clinging to them, the dharmakaya aspect is that they are empty in nature, the nirmanakaya aspect is that they appear with clarity, the sambhogakaya aspect is that this emptiness and clarity occur together, and the svabhavikakaya aspect is that tese are inseparable. This key instruction, to rest evenly without grasping at origin, location, or cessation, points out the four kayas. It is the armor of view, the protection circle of emptiness, and the supreme instruction that cuts off confusion."

  10. Resting while looking out of my solitary confinement window into nature. Observing the four kayas one after another. Sinking into a half asleep half awake mode. Being startled by a cessation / fruition (fingers-crossed)
The points 2-5 ocurred mostly yesterday, 6-9 mostly today. There is some small doubt remaining that this isn't 3rd path and that once the retreat high settles I will have to go back on my claim but for the moment that doubt is seen through as perfectly empty and luminous, not me, not mine.

One last thing I feel like adding that it threw me off for a while to look for "the tought space" as a thing separate from the other sense spaces. I got that idea from D's framework even though in his last post he said everything is in the same super space. Rereading that yesterday brought it home for me because thoughts seem to overlay the other senses. There are auditory thoughts, there are visual thoughts, there is sense making overlaying visual-objects as well (the tableness of the table), there are memories which feel like a mixing of all other sensory impressions in the imaginative space, and so on and so forth.

May this be of benefit to someone
May we all be happy
May we all be healthy
May we all heal
Not Important, modified 15 Days ago at 7/26/22 12:35 AM
Created 15 Days ago at 7/26/22 12:35 AM

RE: New Theory about PCEs

Posts: 8 Join Date: 3/6/22 Recent Posts
Just for good measure: I am going back on my claim of 3rd path. After the dust settled I feel more like this was a prolonged experience of Equanimity somewhere along 2nd to 3rd path. Somethings have shifted in particular when I am on my own but separation has returned too to many social situations for it to be 3rd path.
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Dream Walker, modified 15 Days ago at 7/26/22 5:31 AM
Created 15 Days ago at 7/26/22 5:31 AM

RE: New Theory about PCEs

Posts: 1448 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
Not Important
Just for good measure: I am going back on my claim of 3rd path. After the dust settled I feel more like this was a prolonged experience of Equanimity somewhere along 2nd to 3rd path. Somethings have shifted in particular when I am on my own but separation has returned too to many social situations for it to be 3rd path.


Congrats
The more you get/got from 3rd bullshit, the more you question that crap.
Hahahah.
Stuff happens, know what that is as best you can. Keep going.
Good Luck,
~D