Jed McKenna's criterion for genuine awakening

Jed McKenna's criterion for genuine awakening This Good Self 11/14/11 2:46 AM
RE: a note about the former 'Actualism / Actual Freedom' category #1 - 0 11/12/11 5:56 PM
RE: a note about the former 'Actualism / Actual Freedom' category This Good Self 11/13/11 7:49 PM
RE: a note about the former 'Actualism / Actual Freedom' category Andrew . 11/13/11 11:06 PM
RE: a note about the former 'Actualism / Actual Freedom' category This Good Self 11/14/11 12:31 AM
RE: a note about the former 'Actualism / Actual Freedom' category Adam Bieber 11/14/11 10:39 AM
RE: a note about the former 'Actualism / Actual Freedom' category End in Sight 11/14/11 7:44 AM
RE: a note about the former 'Actualism / Actual Freedom' category Pål S. 11/14/11 4:07 AM
RE: a note about the former 'Actualism / Actual Freedom' category End in Sight 11/14/11 9:33 AM
RE: a note about the former 'Actualism / Actual Freedom' category Steph . 11/14/11 1:17 PM
RE: a note about the former 'Actualism / Actual Freedom' category End in Sight 11/15/11 7:59 PM
RE: a note about the former 'Actualism / Actual Freedom' category Pål S. 11/16/11 4:07 AM
RE: a note about the former 'Actualism / Actual Freedom' category End in Sight 11/17/11 10:49 AM
RE: a note about the former 'Actualism / Actual Freedom' category Pål S. 11/14/11 1:18 PM
RE: a note about the former 'Actualism / Actual Freedom' category Tommy M 11/14/11 2:43 PM
RE: a note about the former 'Actualism / Actual Freedom' category This Good Self 11/15/11 6:12 PM
RE: a note about the former 'Actualism / Actual Freedom' category Tommy M 11/16/11 4:10 AM
RE: a note about the former 'Actualism / Actual Freedom' category Tommy M 11/12/11 6:51 PM
This Good Self, modified 10 Years ago at 11/14/11 2:46 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/9/11 6:21 PM

Jed McKenna's criterion for genuine awakening

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Jed McKenna:

"Here’s a simple test. If it’s soothing or comforting, if it makes you feel warm and fuzzy; if it’s about getting into pleasant emotional or mental states; if it’s about peace, love, tranquility, silence or bliss; if it’s about a brighter future or a better tomorrow; if it makes you feel good about yourself or boosts your self-esteem, tells you you’re okay, tells you everything’s just fine the way it is; if it offers to improve, benefit or elevate you, or if it suggests that someone else is better or above you; if it’s about belief or faith or worship; if it raises or alters consciousness; if it combats stress or deepens relaxation, or if it’s therapeutic or healing, or if it promises happiness or relief from unhappiness, if it’s about any of these or similar things, then it’s not about waking up. Then it’s about living in the dreamstate, not smashing out of it.
On the other hand, if it feels like you’re being skinned alive, if it feels like a prolonged evisceration, if you feel your identity unraveling, if it twists you up physically and drains your health and derails your life, if you feel love dying inside you, if it seems like death would be better, then it’s probably the process of awakening. That, or a helluva case of gas".
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#1 - 0, modified 10 Years ago at 11/12/11 5:56 PM
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RE: a note about the former 'Actualism / Actual Freedom' category

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C C C:
if it promises happiness or relief from unhappiness, if it’s about any of these or similar things, then it’s not about waking up. Then it’s about living in the dreamstate, not smashing out of it.





Is this NOT the reason we all started on the spiritual path to begin with? Figuring that there was a sort of permanent, un-distorted happiness all around us if we only had the eyes to see it? A PCE was what got me started on the path to begin with. :/ Sounds like McKenna has some hangups about his status as Hardcore Dharma Man, no-bullshit Buddhist Boot Camp drop-and-give-me-20-fruitions kind of practicing. Don't you think there could be more than one way to skin a cat? emoticon
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago at 11/12/11 6:51 PM
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RE: a note about the former 'Actualism / Actual Freedom' category

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Belief much?
This Good Self, modified 10 Years ago at 11/13/11 7:49 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/13/11 7:47 PM

RE: a note about the former 'Actualism / Actual Freedom' category

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#1 - 0:
C C C:
if it promises happiness or relief from unhappiness, if it’s about any of these or similar things, then it’s not about waking up. Then it’s about living in the dreamstate, not smashing out of it.





Is this NOT the reason we all started on the spiritual path to begin with? Figuring that there was a sort of permanent, un-distorted happiness all around us if we only had the eyes to see it? A PCE was what got me started on the path to begin with. :/ Sounds like McKenna has some hangups about his status as Hardcore Dharma Man, no-bullshit Buddhist Boot Camp drop-and-give-me-20-fruitions kind of practicing. Don't you think there could be more than one way to skin a cat? emoticon


I agree that we act out of desire, always. Every single act, every motivation is powered by desire for a better experience of life.

If every single thing we do in life is geared towards sustaining and growing the self, [because we fear non-existence], then the final step must be terrifying. And terror is painful, unless of course you can surrender. Throughout history, people have surrendered to death quite easily, but only when they believe there's an afterlife with rewards. But what about surrendering to the Void?

McKenna's books have a few downsides, but for me they are outweighed by the good stuff, which is really very good.

Cliche much tommy?
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Andrew , modified 10 Years ago at 11/13/11 11:06 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/13/11 11:06 PM

RE: a note about the former 'Actualism / Actual Freedom' category

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C C C:

If every single thing we do in life is geared towards sustaining and growing the self, [because we fear non-existence], then the final step must be terrifying.


Well I guess it's lucky then that every single thing is not dedicated to this cause. I think the majority of our bodymind is just going about the business of being alive. The self is a fiction created for purposes of survival which when the bodymind learns that it is no longer a viable strategy it drops the pretence. If that were not the case then all of this liberation stuff would be in vain. For me trying happy has been better than staying sad at keeping the practice moving.

If being depressed and suicidal was the path to freedom, then I would have been a supreme buddha years ago..


emoticon
This Good Self, modified 10 Years ago at 11/14/11 12:31 AM
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RE: a note about the former 'Actualism / Actual Freedom' category

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The way McKenna did it was painful. Tolle's moments before liberation were also extremely painful.
Adam Bieber, modified 10 Years ago at 11/14/11 10:39 AM
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Tolle is incredibly intelligent but from what I read of his books, he is not free but living in a being based reality of the typical enlightenment qualities. The qualities of actual sense experience rather than a "feeling" sense experience is cleaner and undeniably better without any being to block the way.

As far as his stressful release into enlightenment. Ya that happened and then he wandered around for two years confused and figuring out what exactly happened. Can you get to a being based enlightenment by stressful meditation? probably but you can also go beyond tolle's documented enlightenment by being happy and harmless, getting rid of your instinctual package, and experiencing the world of the senses as it is rather than a reality filled with affective pleasure. Your choice lol

This has been my experience. I am not plainly regurgitating something I've read.
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Pål S, modified 10 Years ago at 11/14/11 4:07 AM
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Have you experienced anything similar to what they describe?
End in Sight, modified 10 Years ago at 11/14/11 7:44 AM
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Adam Bieber:
Tolle is incredibly intelligent but from what I read of his books, he is not free but living in a being based reality of the typical enlightenment qualities.


Isn't it interesting how no one on the DhO, or in the pragmatic dharma world, seems to have figured out how to experience the "typical enlightenment qualities" (which means all the "positive" affects) as the predominant thing in their experience, no matter how enlightened they get?
End in Sight, modified 10 Years ago at 11/14/11 9:33 AM
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C C C:
The way McKenna did it was painful. Tolle's moments before liberation were also extremely painful.


Maybe they did too much dry insight. emoticon

I can confirm that the experience can be quite painful...at times, like skinning yourself alive.

(EDIT: The point, which I forgot to write in, is that it is merely one way of going about it.)
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Steph , modified 10 Years ago at 11/14/11 1:17 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/14/11 1:08 PM

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End in Sight:

Maybe they did too much dry insight. emoticon

I can confirm that the experience can be quite painful...at times, like skinning yourself alive.

(EDIT: The point, which I forgot to write in, is that it is merely one way of going about it.)


You might be referring to the pain that comes up naturally as part of the process, but thought I'd add this tidbit too. At times I deliberately maximized fear/terror/paranoia to see how far it could go and what it felt like/did at that level of intensity. My logic behind this was if I could experience it at its worst, then I could get past the apparent mystery or unknown of what fear could actually do to me. It was almost like a "rip the band-aid off" approach - knowing it was inevitable to keep having fear, so going for it on my own rather than waiting for it to spring up here and there in different shades of grey. It's possible I never have quite taken it to its absolute worst because I'm not sure how one could determine what the furthest extension of it is (oh wait, the furthest extension of it would be its complete & permanent cessation.. haha)... but yeah, since doing that fear definitely has not had nearly the same hold on me as it used to. Did you ever do something similar?
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Pål S, modified 10 Years ago at 11/14/11 1:18 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/14/11 1:18 PM

RE: a note about the former 'Actualism / Actual Freedom' category

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End in Sight:

(EDIT: The point, which I forgot to write in, is that it is merely one way of going about it.)


...maybe, but perhaps different ways of transportation? Like you say I think it's related to the 'dryness' of insight. Reading practice threads from disciplined yogis who seem to barely notice when and if they get 1st and 4th path is very different from the 'brute force/unexpected/dry awakening' crowd.

It may also be that the more disciplined practitioners simply have learned to shut up, note it, and move on.
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago at 11/14/11 2:43 PM
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RE: a note about the former 'Actualism / Actual Freedom' category

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Never heard of the guy in my life.

Cliche much tommy?

Clichè: Something, most often a phrase or expression, that is overused or used outside its original context, so that its original impact and meaning are lost. A trite saying; a platitude. [from 19th c.]

I fail to see how my comment, which was simply a reference to your belief based expectations regarding enlightenment, was a clichè. Perhaps actually getting there yourself instead of reading books about it will make it clearer to you.

And with regards to the pain and suffering potentially experienced during the process of getting enlightened, I can tell you that I've dealt with my fair share of horrendous, terrifying and painful experiences but see no reason to make a big deal out of it. It's of no practical value and the territory will be unique to the person traversing it, some may never have to deal with anything like what some people do and so I see no use in making this into some criteria used to confirm or dispute attainment. It is what it is.
This Good Self, modified 10 Years ago at 11/15/11 6:12 PM
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RE: a note about the former 'Actualism / Actual Freedom' category

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It wasn't a blind belief, I was agreeing with his reasoning. It made perfect sense to me.

If one's whole life (every single action and thought) is directed at maintaining and growing the self, it's because the opposite approach - facing the Void - is terrifying.

The cliche was "........ much?". I once watched an episode of Sex in the City, and all the women talked liked that. I couldn't watch again. Are you a fan of that show?
End in Sight, modified 10 Years ago at 11/15/11 7:59 PM
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RE: a note about the former 'Actualism / Actual Freedom' category

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Steph S:
End in Sight:

Maybe they did too much dry insight. emoticon

I can confirm that the experience can be quite painful...at times, like skinning yourself alive.

(EDIT: The point, which I forgot to write in, is that it is merely one way of going about it.)


You might be referring to the pain that comes up naturally as part of the process, but thought I'd add this tidbit too. At times I deliberately maximized fear/terror/paranoia to see how far it could go and what it felt like/did at that level of intensity. My logic behind this was if I could experience it at its worst, then I could get past the apparent mystery or unknown of what fear could actually do to me. It was almost like a "rip the band-aid off" approach - knowing it was inevitable to keep having fear, so going for it on my own rather than waiting for it to spring up here and there in different shades of grey. It's possible I never have quite taken it to its absolute worst because I'm not sure how one could determine what the furthest extension of it is (oh wait, the furthest extension of it would be its complete & permanent cessation.. haha)... but yeah, since doing that fear definitely has not had nearly the same hold on me as it used to. Did you ever do something similar?


For me it was more that I found very very powerful ways to pay attention to things, which were also extremely unpleasant (independent of where on the progress of insight I was)...but, I decided that I didn't really care about that so long as they were more effective than the "softer" alternatives. Though I don't care to share the details, the range of weird and disturbing and painful stuff it gives rise to would satisfy Jed McKenna...they were often far beyond "normal" suffering.

Unfortunately for Jed's position, what I learned is that there are "softer" alternatives that actually work better, once one figures them out. Perhaps this is only true in context of one who has laid the groundwork and dealt with the pain, but I don't think so. It's romantic to think that one has to earn one's attainment with blood, toil, tears, and sweat, but the truth appears to be otherwise. As there is nothing at all that is good about suffering in itself (no one ought to suffer), I suspect that Jed has some other reason (good or ill) to state the things that he does.
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Pål S, modified 10 Years ago at 11/16/11 4:07 AM
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End in Sight:

... what I learned is that there are "softer" alternatives that actually work better, once one figures them out.


Please do tell.
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago at 11/16/11 4:10 AM
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It wasn't a blind belief, I was agreeing with his reasoning. It made perfect sense to me.

So you're agreeing with what you read in a book with little or no basis in personal experience?

If one's whole life (every single action and thought) is directed at maintaining and growing the self

Would it perhaps be more accurate to say that one's whole life, if left unquestioned and with no interest in development, spiritual or otherwise, will tend towards maintaining this illusory self?

The cliche was "........ much?". I once watched an episode of Sex in the City, and all the women talked liked that. I couldn't watch again. Are you a fan of that show?

Never watched the show in my life. It seems we have that in common at least... emoticon
End in Sight, modified 10 Years ago at 11/17/11 10:49 AM
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RE: a note about the former 'Actualism / Actual Freedom' category

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Pål S.:
End in Sight:

... what I learned is that there are "softer" alternatives that actually work better, once one figures them out.


Please do tell.


Sit, pay attention to your breath in a way that generates a pleasant physical experience of the body, and do nothing else besides intensify the pleasant physical experience of the body. See where that leads. (Some of the signs of jhana according to MCTB (such as the experience of attention "locking on" to an object) are signs that you may be doing this practice wrong.)

I also found that simply paying attention to the breath and doing nothing else, even without a great deal of pleasure / concentration, is at least as powerful as any form of "painful" attention...but this may or may not require a foundation of having done the painful practices first in order to work.

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