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So AF is a bit of b*llocks then

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So AF is a bit of b*llocks then steve d 1/20/12 9:07 AM
RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then steve d 1/20/12 9:13 AM
RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then John H 1/20/12 9:16 AM
RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then steve d 1/20/12 9:31 AM
RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then John H 1/20/12 10:25 AM
RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then Jane Laurel Carrington 1/20/12 10:42 AM
RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then steve d 1/20/12 10:52 AM
RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then Tommy M 1/20/12 3:36 PM
RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then Nikolai . 1/20/12 6:21 PM
RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then John Wilde 1/20/12 6:07 PM
RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then (D Z) Dhru Val 1/20/12 11:33 AM
RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then John Wilde 1/20/12 5:27 PM
RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then Steffie K D 1/20/12 5:06 PM
RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then Ross A. K. 1/22/12 9:35 AM
RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then tarin greco 1/20/12 9:24 AM
RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then steve d 1/20/12 10:16 AM
RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then tarin greco 1/20/12 11:14 AM
RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then steve d 1/20/12 10:42 AM
RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then Bagpuss The Gnome 1/20/12 10:50 AM
RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then Jill Morana 1/20/12 12:59 PM
RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 1/20/12 1:28 PM
RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then Bagpuss The Gnome 1/20/12 1:31 PM
RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then josh r s 1/20/12 1:29 PM
RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then End in Sight 1/20/12 10:55 AM
RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then steve d 1/20/12 11:19 AM
RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then End in Sight 1/20/12 12:12 PM
RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then steve d 1/20/12 12:28 PM
RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then End in Sight 1/20/12 9:32 PM
RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then John Wilde 1/21/12 1:07 AM
RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then Vas A 1/21/12 4:49 AM
RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then George Campbell 1/21/12 10:54 AM
RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then Jon T 1/21/12 3:40 PM
RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then End in Sight 1/21/12 8:40 PM
RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then John Wilde 1/21/12 10:47 PM
RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then End in Sight 1/23/12 11:31 PM
RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then Change A. 1/21/12 8:55 PM
RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then Vas A 1/20/12 1:39 PM
RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then George Campbell 1/20/12 2:42 PM
RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then N A 1/20/12 11:17 AM
RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then tarin greco 1/20/12 7:28 PM
RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then Tommy M 1/20/12 3:13 PM
RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then Thom W 1/20/12 3:27 PM
RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then Tommy M 1/20/12 3:42 PM
RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then Brian Eleven 1/20/12 9:19 PM
So AF is a bit of b*llocks then
Answer
1/20/12 9:07 AM
So this guy Richard comes along, decries all religions and spiritualitys, claims himself completely free from the human condition, beyond buddha and all enlightenment, completely free from self/Self, pioneer of the final attainment of human conciousnesness......

.....yet hides himself from publicity and all contact

Seriously, whats going on here guys?

People popping up left right and centre claiming complete freedom from the human condition and it simply took some guy in oz with a mantra of HAIETMOBA to completly eradicate all suffering? Excuse me for my cynicism but extrodinary claims require extrodinary evidence. Where is it?! All we have is some dodgy cultic website, a few videos on some dodgy boat, text on a niche contemplative website and now a contrived poem (cheers Justine) parroting AF dogma.

Now not only do we have Tommy and Nklolai retracting there 'attainment' of AF but we also have Tarin, the pioneer on DHO of AF retracting his position as well. AF is more and more becoming apparent to me as a religion with its own personality cult (Richard,Tarin whatever) mantra, metaphysical dogmas, and copyright terms. The extent and depth of denial in the human condition is truly outstounding...

RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then
Answer
1/20/12 9:13 AM as a reply to steve d.
Seriously guys, this could be the most precious discovery in the history of humanity yet theres literally no way to contact the pioneer of complete (Actual) freedom from the Human Condition (tm)

RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then
Answer
1/20/12 9:16 AM as a reply to steve d.
I find that's it's possible to practice the Actualist techniques whilst keeping all of the dogma, beliefs etc at arms length. I don't need to decry all spiritual techniques just because richard has done that. The techniques are proving beneficial and my everyday life is getting better and better, so i feel that it would be a mistake to renounce Actualism completely. Let's not throw out the baby with the bathwater.

RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then
Answer
1/20/12 9:24 AM as a reply to steve d.
steve d:
So this guy Richard comes along, decries all religions and spiritualitys, claims himself completely free from the human condition, beyond buddha and all enlightenment, completely free from self/Self, pioneer of the final attainment of human conciousnesness......

.....yet hides himself from publicity and all contact

Seriously, whats going on here guys?

People popping up left right and centre claiming complete freedom from the human condition and it simply took some guy in oz with a mantra of HAIETMOBA to completly eradicate all suffering? Excuse me for my cynicism but extrodinary claims require extrodinary evidence. Where is it?! All we have is some dodgy cultic website, a few videos on some dodgy boat, text on a niche contemplative website and now a contrived poem (cheers Justine) parroting AF dogma.

Now not only do we have Tommy and Nklolai retracting there 'attainment' of AF but we also have Tarin, the pioneer on DHO of AF retracting his position as well. AF is more and more becoming apparent to me as a religion with its own personality cult (Richard,Tarin whatever) mantra, metaphysical dogmas, and copyright terms. The extent and depth of denial in the human condition is truly outstounding...


meanwhile, good practice is good practice regardless of its source, but focusing instead on nitpicky issues of character and personality (whether those you love or hate), or speculations of intrigue, remains pretty poor practice, is fairly reminiscent of the whiny over-psychologised sorts of practices endemic to western buddhism, and probably produces similar getting-nowhere results. the dho exists to provide an alternative to this sort of thing, not to foster it, so the question is: what are you doing here, and what are you looking to achieve?

tarin

RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then
Answer
1/20/12 9:31 AM as a reply to John H.
"I find that's it's possible to practice the Actualist techniques whilst keeping all of the dogma, beliefs etc at arms length. I don't need to decry all spiritual techniques just because richard has done that. The techniques are proving beneficial and my everyday life is getting better and better, so i feel that it would be a mistake to renounce Actualism completely. Let's not throw out the baby with the bathwater."

Hi John, I understand what your saying, but how can you seriously detach the practice of PCE from the permenant outcome of AF. Like everyone here on DHO you want to escape suffering right? Well AF seems to be the only game in town these days. What other reason do you have to practise the cultivation of pre symbolic/ bare sensate awareness other than the eventual outcome of AF? If it doesnt end in this condition then where does it lead? Truth? Enlightenment? Oblivion?

RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then
Answer
1/20/12 10:16 AM as a reply to tarin greco.
Hey Tarin,let me ask you a question. Why did you begin your persuit of Actual Freedom? If it wasnt for Richard and his pioneering claim to such a state how would you have ever discovered its existence?

EDIT. Tarin, could you please begin sentences with a captital. I hopefully speak on behalf of DHO but it simply just makes it easier to read (Other regular posters have began mimicking this which i find baffling and slightly amusing)

RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then
Answer
1/20/12 11:14 AM as a reply to steve d.
i recognised in richard's descriptions something worthwhile which i'd already suspected i'd known to be momentarily possible, and i found it plausible that it could be permanently possible.

to answer your other question: had i not encountered richard and his claim of an actual freedom, i might very well still be fighting with myself about what should and shouldn't be possible. then again, even having encountered richard and his claim, had i not subsequently encountered the dho and learnt the practically-oriented approaches favoured here, i might very well still be fighting with myself about whether or not it was actually possible for a path to lead to such a goal.

the take-away lesson here is that i got from a variety of sources what i needed in order to accomplish things which i wished to accomplish. what are you getting from the dho, and what do you wish to accomplish by being here?


*

edit:
steve d:

EDIT. Tarin, could you please begin sentences with a captital. I hopefully speak on behalf of DHO but it simply just makes it easier to read (Other regular posters have began mimicking this which i find baffling and slightly amusing)

it may also baffle or slightly amuse you to hear then that there was once a time on the internet when many, many people wrote with no caps, and people didn't give each other crap for not using the shift key. but my answer to your request is no. i've been writing this way for many years, please get used to it.

RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then
Answer
1/20/12 10:25 AM as a reply to steve d.
I understand what your saying, but how can you seriously detach the practice of PCE from the permenant outcome of AF


I was actually talking about detaching from the dogma and belief that surrounds Actualism (such as the belief that AF is beyond all spiritual attainments) rather than detaching from the attainment of AF itself. Although, I would agree that the 'definition of AF' doesn't seem very clear at the minute. So, to put it another way ... if my current practice leads to where Nick currently is then that's great. If I continue to practice and end up where Tarin is, even better. But if the only way to get from 'Tarin's AF' to 'Richards AF' was to be tutored or confirmed by Richard then I would have to say 'thanks but no thanks'.

FWIW, there's several other paths that are out there other than Actualism that all seem to lead to pretty damn good places as well. E.g. Thusness' stage 7, shinzen young's 'unconditional flow of emptiness' and Jed McKenna's 'abiding non-duality' are just a few that I've come across. I've taken a bit of influence from Jed McKenna for investigating beliefs. I also started a Direct Pointing thread over at Liberation Unleashed to help with removing the belief in a separate, controlling self. Whatever works is what matters to me. And anyway, most methods/traditions probably come under some form of attack or criticism for one reason or another.

RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then
Answer
1/20/12 10:42 AM as a reply to tarin greco.
"i recognised in richard's descriptions something worthwhile which i'd already suspected i'd known to be momentarily possible, and i found it plausible that it could be permanently possible."

This is precisly why it is important that Richard lives up to his claim of the authenticity of actual freedom from the human condition (tm?) If he, the person who first discovered the permenance of the PCE/AF, hides away from publicity and possibly decieves people into believing freedom from the instincts is actually possible then what hope do the rest of us have? This is a discovery of the century, an evolution in humanity if truly possible! There simply is no evidence Tarin, just words on a page. We need behaviovoural analysis, video logs, phychological assessments, everything to prove the authenticity of this state. We have an uber Buddha in our midst!

Hopefully you understand my cynicism

RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then
Answer
1/20/12 10:42 AM as a reply to John H.
I can see how some of the techniques Richard describes have helped many people here, and should continue to do so (I'm thinking of HAIETMOBA in particular). What I consider a loss to pragmatic dharma is Richard's unwillingness to participate in a community of discourse in which he places his practice in conversation with other practices. His refusal to do so isolates his techniques in an extremely narrow enclave (getting narrower all the time, apparently) and robs AF practitioners of the opportunity to benefit from feedback from a variety of sources. On the other hand I imagine people here and on other forums will continue to work with whatever benefits them, and post about their experiences. No one individual is the boss of us.

RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then
Answer
1/20/12 10:50 AM as a reply to steve d.
Thanks for being brave enough to point out the painfully obvious Steve D.

PS: Right there with you on the Capital letter thing. Amusing yes, but a bit silly really.

RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then
Answer
1/20/12 10:52 AM as a reply to Jane Laurel Carrington.
" What I consider a loss to pragmatic dharma is Richard's unwillingness to participate in a community of discourse in which he places his practice in conversation with other practices. His refusal to do so isolates his techniques in an extremely narrow enclave (getting narrower all the time, apparently) and robs AF practitioners of the opportunity to benefit from feedback from a variety of sources."

Yes, I find this disconcerting also. Why is it that once AF (SteffD, Tarin, Christian B, Nikolai) they simply up and went leaving us with with little practical or biographical insight? So happy and harmless they're unwilling to help they're fellow man/body/whatever? Peace on earth? Aye good one lads, just keep sailing into the sunset

'Ok, im beyond enlightenment, im living in complete freedom in a perpetual magical paradise, goodbye guys have a good'un! lol'

Ah jeez, its a right laugh this whole freedom from suffering business

RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then
Answer
1/20/12 10:55 AM as a reply to steve d.
steve d:
This is precisly why it is important that Richard lives up to his claim of the authenticity of actual freedom from the human condition (tm?) If he, the person who first discovered the permenance of the PCE/AF...


Do you realize that this is Richard's dogma? Why are you so accepting of it?

RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then
Answer
1/20/12 11:19 AM as a reply to End in Sight.
If he, the person who first discovered the permenance of the PCE/AF...

Do you realize that this is Richard's dogma? Why are you so accepting of it?


Ok, consider for a second Richard and the AFT never existed. What would be your closest reference to perpetual freedom from the human condition/permenent pre symbolic/ bare sensate awarness? Would it be ararhatship? Buddhahood? Beyond?

RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then
Answer
1/20/12 11:17 AM as a reply to End in Sight.
What would be really nice, given all the controversies around Richard, is a practical, MCTB-style guide to AF, not written by Richard. Personally I'm waiting for Daniel to become AF and to write it emoticon

RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then
Answer
1/20/12 7:28 PM as a reply to steve d.
steve d:
"i recognised in richard's descriptions something worthwhile which i'd already suspected i'd known to be momentarily possible, and i found it plausible that it could be permanently possible."

This is precisly why it is important that Richard lives up to his claim of the authenticity of actual freedom from the human condition (tm?) If he, the person who first discovered the permenance of the PCE/AF, hides away from publicity and possibly decieves people into believing freedom from the instincts is actually possible then what hope do the rest of us have?

regardless of what richard - or anyone else - allegedly does or doesn't do, any other individual faces the same conditions he or she has been facing all along.

steve d:

This is a discovery of the century, an evolution in humanity if truly possible! There simply is no evidence Tarin, just words on a page. We need behaviovoural analysis, video logs, phychological assessments, everything to prove the authenticity of this state. We have an uber Buddha in our midst!

Hopefully you understand my cynicism

what i understand is that you seem to be more interested in finding reasons to feel doomed than in finding reasons to practice, and that you are seemingly using those feelings of doom as an excuse for not engaging in a personally-relevant, self-directed practice aimed at accomplishing well-defined goals. this course of action is a road to nowhere, and is so anathema to the purpose of the dho that hopefully you understand my line of questioning, which i'll repeat for the third (and last) time:

what are you doing at the dho, and what do you intend to achieve by being here?

RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then
Answer
1/20/12 11:33 AM as a reply to John H.
John H:
Whatever works is what matters to me.


Bingo. To add to this, only follow practices to the extent to which they work as claimed.

All traditions make varying degrees of extraneous claims that are of no practical use in being happy. But separating the wheat from the chaff is arguably a more difficult task than using it to bake bread.

RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then
Answer
1/20/12 12:12 PM as a reply to steve d.
steve d:
If he, the person who first discovered the permenance of the PCE/AF...

Do you realize that this is Richard's dogma? Why are you so accepting of it?


Ok, consider for a second Richard and the AFT never existed. What would be your closest reference to perpetual freedom from the human condition/permenent pre symbolic/ bare sensate awarness? Would it be ararhatship? Buddhahood? Beyond?


What my reference would be is a separate question from whether Richard has (factually) been the first to attain the state that he designates "AF".

(To answer your question, I would probably not have such a reference, as I was mostly working under the assumption that the MCTB paths mapped the contemplative experience fairly well. That was the value to me of hearing about Richard and the state he described...a kick-in-the-ass. His analysis of the problem (affect, 'being') was also helpful.)

So, do you realize that Richard's claim about being novel and unique is his own dogma? Why are you so accepting of it?

RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then
Answer
1/20/12 12:28 PM as a reply to End in Sight.
EiS, being the first is besides the point, may i ask do you take seriously Richards claim to be free from the human condition/all affect? If so do you believe his condition is worth taking into consideration for practical purposes?

RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then
Answer
1/20/12 12:59 PM as a reply to Bagpuss The Gnome.
Bagpuss The Gnome:

PS: Right there with you on the Capital letter thing. Amusing yes, but a bit silly really.

Two mentions in one thread...is it really that distracting or eye-straining for people to read no caps? the only difference i find is the level of formality. kids of the internet chatting and texting generation get used to touch-typing with no caps, and it takes quite a bit of extra effort and time to hit the shift key all the time, causes more typos when not looking at the keyboard, a hassle when typing in the dark, and when editing, cutting and pasting to shuffle around parts of sentences, you have to constantly add or take away caps. maybe it's like the difference between fast handwriting and typing on a clunky typewriter for the older generation? if you ever need to appear younger than you really are on the internet, just type with no caps! lol. ttyl, afk now.

RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then
Answer
1/20/12 1:28 PM as a reply to Jill Morana.
TJ Broccoli:
Two mentions in one thread...is it really that distracting or eye-straining for people to read no caps? the only difference i find is the level of formality. kids of the internet chatting and texting generation get used to touch-typing with no caps, and it takes quite a bit of extra effort and time to hit the shift key all the time, causes more typos when not looking at the keyboard, a hassle when typing in the dark, and when editing, cutting and pasting to shuffle around parts of sentences, you have to constantly add or take away caps. maybe it's like the difference between fast handwriting and typing on a clunky typewriter for the older generation? if you ever need to appear younger than you really are on the internet, just type with no caps! lol. ttyl, afk now.

Hah, I was going to make basically the same post. I started doing it after I noticed I did it anyway in notes to myself. It's just a matter of it being faster... and when I'm saying something more off-the-cuff it gives it an air of informality which is appropriate. When I want to think things through more I find typing with proper caps to be helpful. Now I kind of go back & forth.

Maybe there are some affective associations people make when seeing someone who types in all lower-case. I have made them in the past myself. But at the end of the day it's just a matter of taking less time to get a message across. If I figure the message might be diluted by typing in all-lowers then I type with proper caps.

RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then
Answer
1/20/12 1:31 PM as a reply to Jill Morana.
TJ Broccoli:
Bagpuss The Gnome:

PS: Right there with you on the Capital letter thing. Amusing yes, but a bit silly really.

Two mentions in one thread...is it really that distracting or eye-straining for people to read no caps? the only difference i find is the level of formality. kids of the internet chatting and texting generation get used to touch-typing with no caps, and it takes quite a bit of extra effort and time to hit the shift key all the time, causes more typos when not looking at the keyboard, a hassle when typing in the dark, and when editing, cutting and pasting to shuffle around parts of sentences, you have to constantly add or take away caps. maybe it's like the difference between fast handwriting and typing on a clunky typewriter for the older generation? if you ever need to appear younger than you really are on the internet, just type with no caps! lol. ttyl, afk now.


wtf w/ the afk? oh wait, brb...

u can type how u like but brits will still think it's bollocks roflmao!

RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then
Answer
1/20/12 1:29 PM as a reply to Jill Morana.
I use capital letters depending on what tone I'm thinking in... now im going to have to be really self-conscious about it : ( emoticon

RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then
Answer
1/20/12 1:39 PM as a reply to End in Sight.
End in Sight:
steve d:
If he, the person who first discovered the permenance of the PCE/AF...

Do you realize that this is Richard's dogma? Why are you so accepting of it?


Ok, consider for a second Richard and the AFT never existed. What would be your closest reference to perpetual freedom from the human condition/permenent pre symbolic/ bare sensate awarness? Would it be ararhatship? Buddhahood? Beyond?


What my reference would be is a separate question from whether Richard has (factually) been the first to attain the state that he designates "AF".

(To answer your question, I would probably not have such a reference, as I was mostly working under the assumption that the MCTB paths mapped the contemplative experience fairly well. That was the value to me of hearing about Richard and the state he described...a kick-in-the-ass. His analysis of the problem (affect, 'being') was also helpful.)

So, do you realize that Richard's claim about being novel and unique is his own dogma? Why are you so accepting of it?


great points. before aft site, i had not heard about these ideas:
1. happy/harmless as a goal; rather some vague 'enlightenment' or like a 'powerful guru' who understands a lot (wisdom!) was my unstated/ununderstood ( :-) ) goal. though it looked good as a goal for me for many years after getting introduced, i am thinking along the lines of john (wilde) who said that: that's great if it happens, but that is not a goal, certainly not one obscuring everything else... and life has too many complex situations where sticking to a rigid objective (instead of being flexible) might sink the ship (if one constantly is testing oneself for the last trace of unhappiness or harm).. while generally i like the idea of happiness (but the catch-all word to cover every emotion and feeling and all kinds of things from mild to strong is again seems to be illusionary; there are so many states like fulfilment and satisfaction and the general sense of well being etc. seem to be too wide for the word 'happiness' which for me first seem to translate to the pleasure (and those intense ones!)). same goes for malice etc.... to call irritation (though irritiation superficially seems to be harmful and might be unnecessarily being harsh on something other than the source, it is a good symptom and sends a signal about a situation overlooked by the conscious mind, and some cases helps the survival and concentrate on the relevant) and many other mild feelings and moods to put in one bucket such as malice has resulted in losing discrimination. while i appreciate that turning these things into an enemy (by the very phrasing of them into malice and sorrow, these are not neutral words, they have a negative slant) brought my mind to sensitivity about these, at the end, i find that blinding to the point of not seeing their place and wanting only elimination! elimination! elimination! was not how i want to go about it. i am not sure if [by the nature of our affinities swinging in opposites] if not for such a stronger approach i would ever have become sensitive to these. iow, not sure how much i owe to the original approach to where i am now. even if, i see it like the snake's old skin which needs to be dropped as well.

2.a kick-in-the-ass: having the guts to even have a critical eye on established traditions, but again, it become overdose... became too critical to usefully derive anything from any other source.


a side note:
steve d:

EDIT. Tarin, could you please begin sentences with a captital. I hopefully speak on behalf of DHO but it simply just makes it easier to read (Other regular posters have began mimicking this which i find baffling and slightly amusing)


i have this habit too.. and it was not from mimicking tarin emoticon... but somewhere along the line some mimicking might have happened. i think it is a 'nerd' thing.. a search on internet reveals that it is liked for its informal tone
http://ayanonagon.posterous.com/the-art-of-using-all-lowercase-vs-proper-capi
http://www.mylot.com/w/discussions/1413907.aspx

RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then
Answer
1/20/12 2:42 PM as a reply to Vas A.
Vas A:


john (wilde) who said that: that's great if it happens, but that is not a goal, certainly not one obscuring everything else... and life has too many complex situations where sticking to a rigid objective (instead of being flexible) might sink the ship (if one constantly is testing oneself for the last trace of unhappiness or harm)..

Vas A:



okay, i agree with this point too...John Wilde's approach is what I like the best till now

RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then
Answer
1/20/12 3:13 PM as a reply to steve d.
Now not only do we have Tommy and Nklolai retracting there 'attainment' of AF...

Just a quick point here so as to avoid any confusion; I claimed I had gotten AF and posted about it, however I then found that I was actually talking shite and hadn't gotten it at all and so I posted another thread retracting my (false) claim. At present I am not "AF" and have never been an actualist, I have made use of their techniques, which I have found to be effective in reducing the stress in my own life, in the same was that I've made use of techniques from many other traditions. Were I to "attain" what was previously being called "AF" then I still wouldn't use the term, even though I do consider what was previously being called "AF to be something worthwhile and useful.

Dropping all things L. Ron Richard related can only be a positive thing, maybe now we can get back to the business of happiness without conditions.

RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then
Answer
1/20/12 3:27 PM as a reply to Tommy M.
The only thing that is shifting is the language regarding these human developmental potentials, not their attainability, effectiveness, or the way to move towards them. Why such a fuss? emoticon

RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then
Answer
1/20/12 3:36 PM as a reply to steve d.
Why is it that once AF (SteffD, Tarin, Christian B, Nikolai) they simply up and went leaving us with with little practical or biographical insight? So happy and harmless they're unwilling to help they're fellow man/body/whatever? Peace on earth? Aye good one lads, just keep sailing into the sunset

This is simply incorrect and I think it should be cleared up:

Nikolai maintains The Hamilton Project blog, a very useful pragmatic dharma site, and also helps people via email, chat or Skype. He also responds regularly to posts on this site and elsewhere online but, owning to the fact that they guy has just moved back to Australia from Chile, he's probably pretty busy right now.

Tarin has helped, and continues to help people with advice and responses on this site, and via email/chat, and not only with regards to Actual Freedom. He's an accomplished insight meditator and helped me with my own practices when I came across vipassana at first, and as I understand it he was newly "AF" at that point. The wealth of practical information that the guy has provided is available all over this site and, in my experience, is very effective.

Christian B doesn't frequent the site at all anymore, or very, very little at least. I am in contact with him elsewhere online and he's given me some great advice over the last while, but I don't think the guy really has the time to post on here anymore.

Steff did provide practical information and also discussed personal aspects of her life post-AF, however I suspect she probably got sick of having to repeatedly explain herself and answer the same questions over and over again rather than talking about practice itself.

Let's just stick to the facts rather than making erroneous claims about other forum members. Maybe being rid of the whole AF/whateverthefuck politics and dogma will lead to some people coming back to talk practice rather than, as has been the case on most occasions in the past, ending up in bickering and theorizing.

RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then
Answer
1/20/12 3:42 PM as a reply to Thom W.
The only thing that is shifting is the language regarding these human developmental potentials, not their attainability, effectiveness, or the way to move towards them. Why such a fuss?

Fuss? I have no idea what you're talking about.

"The map is not the territory it describes" sums up my view on the subject, how each person gets to wherever they want to be is down to them but there's no point in getting caught up in complex symbol systems, archaic terminology or any one persons idea of what is to be achieved. Pragmatism. Do what works for you. Simple as that.

RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then
Answer
1/20/12 5:27 PM as a reply to steve d.
steve d:
but how can you seriously detach the practice of PCE from the permenant outcome of AF. (...) What other reason do you have to practise the cultivation of pre symbolic/ bare sensate awareness other than the eventual outcome of AF?


Yes, regardless of what it's called, that's still an important point.

The prevailing view is that a permanent PCE could be nothing but wholesome, nothing but beneficial. Until a little over a year ago I assumed that too. It even sounded reasonable that it would guarantee a mutually beneficial mode of existence, on the grounds that the instinctual-passionate 'self' is the root cause of all the ills of humankind.

That guarantee - for me - expired about a year ago, and can't ever be renewed.

But there remains an open question for anyone who has been strongly motivated by the PCE but less than thrilled about some aspects of Richard. Are the things one finds dodgy about Richard consequences of his long-term loss of affect? Or are they native to him - leaving the permanent PCE/AF a perfectly viable option to strive for?

I don't propose to answer this. I can't.

The only point I'd make is: it's not safe to assume that such a choice is going to be mutually beneficial, as it might once have seemed.

John

RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then
Answer
1/20/12 5:06 PM as a reply to John Wilde.
Hello everyone,

It's me, Stef D.

Please do not mistake my absence from these forums as abandonment. Most of the time, I respond to direct email. However the pedagogical talent as it relates to dharma, and to actualist methods, is, in my opinion, sometimes best left to others with a talent for it. Not every enlightened person can write as Daniel does or convey how to practice in such clear, useful terms. That doesn't mean they are less attained; only that their talents lie elsewhere.

Also, I've been busy.

And, my thoughts about the practice of the actualism method, and the many questions I've answered about it publicly and privately, run along the following lines. Everything I needed to know, in order to practice, was freely available on the AF trust website and the DhO provided a resource for further understanding and investigation into the method. I never read anything on that site that wasn't directly related to my practice unless I was pointed to a particular article and asked to read it. In fact, some long time practitioners of AF used to be surprised at my lack of knowledge of Richard and AF history! It was only in discussions of Richard on these forums that I learned personal (and insignificant) details about his habits, such as smoking or whatever, because all I really wanted to know--as a practitioner--was how to do the PCE and how to become virtually free (as I didn't think AF was going to come for a long time).

It is true that I was fortunate enough to spend some time with Tarin before becoming AF, but if anyone thinks that some magic bullet was administered, that something new was said or done, they are sorely mistaken. Tarin only said in person the things he'd written on the DhO; if anything, what the in person interaction enabled was for me to observe what it is like to be free, but as it is metaphorized in Buddhism, that is like the hand pointing at the moon; the act of observation reveals not the object, but the act of looking. Pointing at the moon does not reveal the moon; it simply enacts pointing. You have to practice on your own, do your own thing, find your own way, relentlessly apply your chosen method, and open yourself to being free, rather than contract and criticize and look for the worse possible thing everywhere. While you sit around attempting to imprison people in your grammatical notions of propriety, Tarin is off being free writing as he will. It is incredibly inane, and silly, and a waste of space, to insist upon such regulations to someone who willfully chooses to harmlessly flaunt such regulation; furthermore, such regulation in this place and context is unnecessary and utterly harmless. As an English professor, I can tell you a few things about grammarians...they (typically) are no portrait of free thinking or free being. Some of the most free thinkers of our age are usually dyslexic any way (Einstein, Virginia Woolf, etc) which renders grammar a limited language, useful only for bolstering the egos of those who think they have "mastered" it. But actually, it is the grammar, and all that it implies ideologically and otherwise, that has mastered them. But I digress.

If anyone would like to practice the actualism method, I invite them to read the articles instructing them how to do so on the AF Trust website. Feel free to ignore all else. Or you can go through the archives on this site and read about how to get into a PCE, how to work with yourself to develop felicity, and so on. But no, this state that myself, Tarin, Trent, and Christian are in is not "bollocks." I've had time to interact and talk to with all the aforementioned people extensively and I can tell you it is not bollocks. What is bollocks, however, is the need to invest in one individual faith, belief, hope, etc., rather than simply investigate on your own.

Best,
Stefanie

RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then
Answer
1/20/12 9:19 PM as a reply to Tommy M.
"L. Ron Richard"
Thanks for that Tommy!!
The funniest line in an hilarious thread.

Relax, it'll be ok. I promise.

Brian.

Edit:
The suggestion to relax is not directed at anyone specifically.

RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then
Answer
1/20/12 6:21 PM as a reply to steve d.
steve d:
" What I consider a loss to pragmatic dharma is Richard's unwillingness to participate in a community of discourse in which he places his practice in conversation with other practices. His refusal to do so isolates his techniques in an extremely narrow enclave (getting narrower all the time, apparently) and robs AF practitioners of the opportunity to benefit from feedback from a variety of sources."

Yes, I find this disconcerting also. Why is it that once AF (SteffD, Tarin, Christian B, Nikolai) they simply up and went leaving us with with little practical or biographical insight? So happy and harmless they're unwilling to help they're fellow man/body/whatever? Peace on earth? Aye good one lads, just keep sailing into the sunset

'Ok, im beyond enlightenment, im living in complete freedom in a perpetual magical paradise, goodbye guys have a good'un! lol'

Ah jeez, its a right laugh this whole freedom from suffering business


Hi steve,

I wrote about my practice upon taking up the goal of AF from April last year here until Novemeberish. I had an AF-like shift in July 2011, which panned out not to match where Tarin, Trent and Jill described of their ongoing experience. But even though there were similarities, over time the residual 'shadow' versions of affect and 'being' convinced me otherwise. A stage before? Who knows. End In Sight and a couple of other yogis who don't post here have experienced similar stages. A confusing experience.

Since Richard has said that Tarin is only 'newly af' and not at his 'meaning of life' stage whatever that is, it makes sense then not to say I am 'newly af', as my ongoing experiecne of shadow stuff does not match Tarin's nor Trent's ongoing experience of 'no shadow stuff'. Since I don't associate myself with the AFT website and their views, I don't care about not being associated with their view of what is what. And now it appears clear I am not.

I was never a big fan of Richard's opinions on some things, and I related more so to pali sutta buddhism, especially with the stages that have presented themselves recently, even after putting the actualist practices into good use and also splicing them with buddhist practices.

I attempted to describe the 'shadow' phenomena a number of times since July last year as well as the ongoing developments in my practice up to recently in my practice journal on the Hamilton Project forum in the spirit of pragmatic dharma for anyone to read about. If you wish to chat with me, I am available on skype for a chat, go to the HP blog and click on the contact detail page. My email is also there if you wish to chat about practice. I never followed Richard's dogma of 'peace on earth', 3rd alternative or whatever but I will help anyone as best I can if the end of suffering is their goal, as is my own still. (shadow stuff is unsatisfactory and thus I am not 'done').

RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then
Answer
1/20/12 6:07 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Incidental to the thread topic: it can be interesting to observe how one's perception of a person changes when they adopt or relinquish the use of a certain label, title, attainment.

John

RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then
Answer
1/20/12 9:32 PM as a reply to steve d.
steve d:
EiS, being the first is besides the point, may i ask do you take seriously Richards claim to be free from the human condition/all affect? If so do you believe his condition is worth taking into consideration for practical purposes?


I don't know if "the human condition" is clearly defined. However, I see no reason to doubt his claim that he has no affective experience, given what he knows and has stated about this type of experience (indicating, to me, a level of insight into it that is likely only to be obtainable in the process of eliminating affect).

(There is a lot of heresay and speculation about Richard occurring nowadays, so to pre-empt one question you may ask...I have no idea whether Richard has a personality disorder, leads a bizarre lifestyle, has bizarre ideas about things, etc., and I don't see any reason (in principle) to think that those things would indicate something about affect. If some of the allegations are true, he could simply be a person who attained something significant who also has problems that are unrelated to the attainment. There is a long history of people who have significant attainments and who have acted bizarrely...possibly because the attainments make the people bizarre, but more likely because the people who are attracted to spiritual pursuits and dedicate themselves to them tend to be stranger than the norm to begin with. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crazy_wisdom)

Now, how about my question?

RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then
Answer
1/21/12 1:07 AM as a reply to End in Sight.
End in Sight:

I have no idea whether Richard has a personality disorder, leads a bizarre lifestyle, has bizarre ideas about things, etc., and I don't see any reason (in principle) to think that those things would indicate something about affect. If some of the allegations are true, he could simply be a person who attained something significant who also has problems that are unrelated to the attainment. There is a long history of people who have significant attainments and who have acted bizarrely...possibly because the attainments make the people bizarre, but more likely because the people who are attracted to spiritual pursuits and dedicate themselves to them tend to be stranger than the norm to begin with.


Within your framework, having come at this from a non-actualist perspective, this makes a lot of sense, and you may well be right. And from that perspective it's understandable that you're surprised and perplexed by what seems to be an unhealthy interest in Richard.

To shed some light on this: What you (and other DhO members) might not realize (not being so familiar with the actualist perspective) is that very strong claims were made about the nature of actual freedom, such that the above would be contradictory. Much hullabaloo was made about actual freedom being 100% squeaky clean, as compared with the flawed spiritual masters of yore who had squandered their heyday, and whose peccadilloes received merciless criticism from Richard et al. The claim was that such things are simply not be possible for an actually free person.

To take a trivial example: suppose someone were to burst into tears and start shouting at the person who tries to console them. For the broad mass of humanity, such things are quite commonplace, and only a very uptight person would make a big deal out of it. But, when the person concerned claims to be the first in human history to have no affective reactions whatsoever, and THEREFORE / ON THAT BASIS claims to be utterly harmless and in need of no morality whatsoever (a condition which is promoted as "the answer to all the ills of humankind"), then the event (while trivial in itself) becomes significant. It belies the whole basis of that person's claim about himself, and the movement he has set in motion.

If a person is in a - let's say 'non-standard' - psychological/neurological state, and his self-assessment is suspect, it's reasonable to question whether it's intrinsic to the condition itself. It's a valid question: have they lost a certain faculty whereby they can truly know themselves and their own motives, etc? Are they, in a sense, like stroke victims who have a perceptual/cognitive/whatever deficit, but can in all innocence and honesty protest that they're absolutely fine, there's absolutely nothing wrong with them?

I don't expect these questions to be answered here; just explaining why/how it became an issue for some of us, though not for you.

John

RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then
Answer
1/21/12 4:49 AM as a reply to John Wilde.
John Wilde:
End in Sight:

I have no idea whether Richard has a personality disorder, leads a bizarre lifestyle, has bizarre ideas about things, etc., and I don't see any reason (in principle) to think that those things would indicate something about affect. If some of the allegations are true, he could simply be a person who attained something significant who also has problems that are unrelated to the attainment. There is a long history of people who have significant attainments and who have acted bizarrely...possibly because the attainments make the people bizarre, but more likely because the people who are attracted to spiritual pursuits and dedicate themselves to them tend to be stranger than the norm to begin with.


Within your framework, having come at this from a non-actualist perspective, this makes a lot of sense, and you may well be right. And from that perspective it's understandable that you're surprised and perplexed by what seems to be an unhealthy interest in Richard.

To shed some light on this: What you (and other DhO members) might not realize (not being so familiar with the actualist perspective) is that very strong claims were made about the nature of actual freedom, such that the above would be contradictory. Much hullabaloo was made about actual freedom being 100% squeaky clean, as compared with the flawed spiritual masters of yore who had squandered their heyday, and whose peccadilloes received merciless criticism from Richard et al. The claim was that such things are simply not be possible for an actually free person.

To take a trivial example: suppose someone were to burst into tears and start shouting at the person who tries to console them. For the broad mass of humanity, such things are quite commonplace, and only a very uptight person would make a big deal out of it. But, when the person concerned claims to be the first in human history to have no affective reactions whatsoever, and THEREFORE / ON THAT BASIS claims to be utterly harmless and in need of no morality whatsoever (a condition which is promoted as "the answer to all the ills of humankind"), then the event (while trivial in itself) becomes significant. It belies the whole basis of that person's claim about himself, and the movement he has set in motion.

If a person is in a - let's say 'non-standard' - psychological/neurological state, and his self-assessment is suspect, it's reasonable to question whether it's intrinsic to the condition itself. It's a valid question: have they lost a certain faculty whereby they can truly know themselves and their own motives, etc? Are they, in a sense, like stroke victims who have a perceptual/cognitive/whatever deficit, but can in all innocence and honesty protest that they're absolutely fine, there's absolutely nothing wrong with them?

I don't expect these questions to be answered here; just explaining why/how it became an issue for some of us, though not for you.

John


well put. this clearly explains the shocking reaction from some, whereas a not so much from somebody else.
those years of interactions through so many words (though most are in the archives, not all... since the aft selectively
published and those in which they have last word.. many conversations in the list that happened among the list members and did not involve the trust people, for instance, will not be found at all and they can be revealing of what were the sentiments that were floated) had resulted in a certain perception of how things must be and the current information is simply out of tune with all this. we are left to reconstruct all those we had trustingly (because the official policy was to take things at face value, and this was repeated so often, and questioning these statements were shot with vitriolic sarcasm) absorbed, and that is not easy. in contrast, the dho people took just the essense, and that is why they are able to move forward without all these. so methinks, inspire all this, the essence seems to be valid. this could be, my current explanation, like an accidental discovery of lithium from rats urine emoticon or many serendipitous discoveries, richard might have contemplated on this method as a coping mechanism from the ghastly existence (not so much due to the nature of the humanity; but because of his peculiar situation due to his ptsd illness and not having much support) and this was probably the result of an imaginative thinking, and partly experimenting on oneself, a thesis (like the scientist testing the drug on oneself) that seems to work - though that has left the founder in not so desirable position nor the wishfully thought goal.

RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then
Answer
1/21/12 10:54 AM as a reply to Vas A.
Vas A:


well put. this clearly explains the shocking reaction from some, whereas a not so much from somebody else....


It also explains the level of involvement - while most people on Dho have been comparatively new to AF, some people have been practicing AF for close to 10 plus years now. And, most jumped into is fully, and were not practicing any other technique or method. That is a big footnote to factor in.

Vas A:

those years of interactions through so many words (though most are in the archives, not all... since the aft selectively
published and those in which they have last word.. many conversations in the list that happened among the list members and did not involve the trust people, for instance, will not be found at all and they can be revealing of what were the sentiments that were floated) had resulted in a certain perception of how things must be and the current information is simply out of tune with all this. we are left to reconstruct all those we had trustingly (because the official policy was to take things at face value, and this was repeated so often, and questioning these statements were shot with vitriolic sarcasm) absorbed, and that is not easy.


yes, it is not easy to see that the edifice of AF build so carefully by its progenitor has loopholes in it. And just one withdrawal has made people see things differently. All those practitioners who have been mislead by the advocates of AF or have mislead themselves were fully into it.

RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then
Answer
1/21/12 3:40 PM as a reply to John Wilde.
John Wilde:
To take a trivial example: suppose someone were to burst into tears and start shouting at the person who tries to console them. For the broad mass of humanity, such things are quite commonplace, and only a very uptight person would make a big deal out of it. But, when the person concerned claims to be the first in human history to have no affective reactions whatsoever, and THEREFORE / ON THAT BASIS claims to be utterly harmless and in need of no morality whatsoever (a condition which is promoted as "the answer to all the ills of humankind"), then the event (while trivial in itself) becomes significant. It belies the whole basis of that person's claim about himself, and the movement he has set in motion.

If a person is in a - let's say 'non-standard' - psychological/neurological state, and his self-assessment is suspect, it's reasonable to question whether it's intrinsic to the condition itself. It's a valid question: have they lost a certain faculty whereby they can truly know themselves and their own motives, etc? Are they, in a sense, like stroke victims who have a perceptual/cognitive/whatever deficit, but can in all innocence and honesty protest that they're absolutely fine, there's absolutely nothing wrong with them?

I don't expect these questions to be answered here; just explaining why/how it became an issue for some of us, though not for you.


This seems quite fair. If the final result isn't desirable then obviously you shouldn't go for it. If R. is a big baby and just doesn't know it then that is not a desirable result, for me at least. Which i guess leaves the sceptic without a map in the middle of a crossroads and no sense of direction. I don't envy your situation. But a lot of people here insist that casually fine tuning one conscioiusness to be aware and to appreciate ones moment by moment existence is a very liberating practice. To do that one moves away from self-centered based affective thinking to objective and a totally logical analysis of every emotion and every habitual thought pattern. (Is this too obtuse? technical language is always more precise than the common vernacular and for me it is quite enjoyable to be as precise as possible. given that language is inherently imprecise. it is a fun challenge to fight that.)

What I found was the whole rationale for 'me' as 'I' understood 'myself' was asinine. This was an indescibably life changing, life shattering even, relaization and could have only come about by a systematic application of insight, which for me was contemplative but for others it was meditative or a combination of both. However, that realization was only the beginning. Afterwards, moving away from the affective 'me' and into the actual 'now' is forever seen as logical and skillful.

RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then
Answer
1/21/12 8:40 PM as a reply to John Wilde.
John Wilde:
To shed some light on this: What you (and other DhO members) might not realize (not being so familiar with the actualist perspective) is that very strong claims were made about the nature of actual freedom, such that the above would be contradictory. Much hullabaloo was made about actual freedom being 100% squeaky clean, as compared with the flawed spiritual masters of yore who had squandered their heyday, and whose peccadilloes received merciless criticism from Richard et al. The claim was that such things are simply not be possible for an actually free person.


And yet, this seems like another good reason to question Richard's dogma about having discovered some novel mode of experience... (if you disbelieve one bit, why hold onto the other bits, without independent evidence for those bits?)

George Campbell:
while most people on Dho have been comparatively new to AF, some people have been practicing AF for close to 10 plus years now. And, most jumped into is fully, and were not practicing any other technique or method. That is a big footnote to factor in.


I was going to write "well, 10 years of spiritual practice...must have seemed beneficial, if one kept it up!", but, I remembered (in a previous post some months ago) that you mentioned that actualist practice or something related to it had seriously harmed you. Would you be willing to describe your personal experience?

RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then
Answer
1/21/12 10:47 PM as a reply to End in Sight.
End in Sight:
John Wilde:
To shed some light on this: What you (and other DhO members) might not realize (not being so familiar with the actualist perspective) is that very strong claims were made about the nature of actual freedom, such that the above would be contradictory. Much hullabaloo was made about actual freedom being 100% squeaky clean, as compared with the flawed spiritual masters of yore who had squandered their heyday, and whose peccadilloes received merciless criticism from Richard et al. The claim was that such things are simply not be possible for an actually free person.


And yet, this seems like another good reason to question Richard's dogma about having discovered some novel mode of experience... (if you disbelieve one bit, why hold onto the other bits, without independent evidence for those bits?)


Not because I take Richard's word for it, but because I'm yet to find anyone else who describes being [edit: permanently] in precisely the same condition. There are similarities everywhere one looks, but only in isolated passages, divorced from context. For every author who seems to be describing the same thing, something else they've written refutes that assessment. (Novel but flawed is how I still see it. Willing to be proven wrong persuaded otherwise though).

John

RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then
Answer
1/21/12 8:55 PM as a reply to End in Sight.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/actualfreedom/message/10733

The above thread sheds some more light on Richard's life.

RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then
Answer
1/22/12 9:35 AM as a reply to Steffie K D.
Thank you Stef emoticon!
Carrying on emoticon

RE: So AF is a bit of b*llocks then
Answer
1/23/12 11:31 PM as a reply to John Wilde.
John Wilde:
End in Sight:
John Wilde:
To shed some light on this: What you (and other DhO members) might not realize (not being so familiar with the actualist perspective) is that very strong claims were made about the nature of actual freedom, such that the above would be contradictory. Much hullabaloo was made about actual freedom being 100% squeaky clean, as compared with the flawed spiritual masters of yore who had squandered their heyday, and whose peccadilloes received merciless criticism from Richard et al. The claim was that such things are simply not be possible for an actually free person.


And yet, this seems like another good reason to question Richard's dogma about having discovered some novel mode of experience... (if you disbelieve one bit, why hold onto the other bits, without independent evidence for those bits?)


Not because I take Richard's word for it, but because I'm yet to find anyone else who describes being [edit: permanently] in precisely the same condition. There are similarities everywhere one looks, but only in isolated passages, divorced from context. For every author who seems to be describing the same thing, something else they've written refutes that assessment. (Novel but flawed is how I still see it. Willing to be proven wrong persuaded otherwise though).


Evaluating the significance of other people's reports would seem to require some estimate of how likely it is for a person to attain his condition given the motivation.

It appears that (in the modern day) other people have attained his condition, so he is not one-of-a-kind.

People throughout human history have been interested in spirituality (and thus potentially in that condition), and had all the same resources as Richard did (as no technology, science, or modern cultural innovations seemed to be required for Richard).

If considerations such as these cause you to have a higher estimate of the likelihood, then lots of people reporting similar things, even with divergence, should raise the estimate that they have attained the same condition (the divergence likely due to cultural, religious, or idiosyncratic factors affecting their description). With a lower starting estimate due to countervailing considerations, the opposite may be true (the divergence now attributed to some genuine difference).

I don't know of a way to generate a fair starting estimate without making certain assumptions that you might not accept. But, I wonder, how would you approach the issue of generating an estimate?

As an example of a person who reports similar things, Bernadette Roberts is an obvious example (though I agree that her reports don't match 100%). Ironically, like Richard, she cannot find descriptions of experiences that match hers...if I recall, the sole exception to that, according to her, is the Buddha.