A Suggestion...

A Suggestion... Tommy M 6/20/12 11:00 AM
RE: A Suggestion... Felipe C. 6/20/12 11:56 AM
RE: A Suggestion... Tommy M 6/20/12 3:29 PM
RE: A Suggestion... fivebells . 6/20/12 1:25 PM
RE: A Suggestion... Tommy M 6/20/12 3:14 PM
RE: A Suggestion... fivebells . 6/20/12 6:54 PM
RE: A Suggestion... Tommy M 6/20/12 7:33 PM
RE: A Suggestion... Fred none 6/20/12 8:11 PM
RE: A Suggestion... Tommy M 6/21/12 7:13 AM
RE: A Suggestion... Fred none 6/21/12 3:58 PM
RE: A Suggestion... Fred none 6/21/12 4:17 PM
RE: A Suggestion... Tommy M 6/21/12 5:11 PM
RE: A Suggestion... Fred none 6/21/12 5:00 PM
RE: A Suggestion... Tommy M 6/21/12 5:25 PM
RE: A Suggestion... D. Justine J 7/14/12 8:21 PM
RE: A Suggestion... Tommy M 7/16/12 4:39 PM
RE: A Suggestion... Nikolai . 6/20/12 3:17 PM
RE: A Suggestion... Tommy M 6/20/12 4:49 PM
RE: A Suggestion... bud . 6/20/12 5:37 PM
RE: A Suggestion... fivebells . 6/20/12 9:59 PM
RE: A Suggestion... Adam . . 6/20/12 7:20 PM
RE: A Suggestion... Tommy M 6/20/12 7:57 PM
RE: A Suggestion... (D Z) Dhru Val 6/20/12 9:41 PM
RE: A Suggestion... This Good Self 6/21/12 5:33 AM
RE: A Suggestion... End in Sight 6/21/12 6:15 AM
RE: A Suggestion... Tommy M 6/21/12 7:19 AM
RE: A Suggestion... Adam . . 6/21/12 12:49 PM
RE: A Suggestion... #1 - 0 6/21/12 2:18 PM
RE: A Suggestion... Nikolai . 6/21/12 7:09 PM
RE: A Suggestion... Adam . . 6/21/12 3:57 PM
RE: A Suggestion... Nikolai . 6/21/12 5:59 PM
RE: A Suggestion... Adam . . 6/21/12 7:11 PM
RE: A Suggestion... Craig N 6/21/12 9:05 AM
RE: A Suggestion... fivebells . 6/21/12 9:46 AM
RE: A Suggestion... Tommy M 6/21/12 10:54 AM
RE: A Suggestion... Jeff Grove 6/21/12 5:27 PM
RE: A Suggestion... Tommy M 6/21/12 5:35 PM
RE: A Suggestion... Daniel Johnson 6/22/12 9:01 PM
RE: A Suggestion... Tommy M 6/23/12 3:39 PM
RE: A Suggestion... Daniel Johnson 6/27/12 2:26 PM
RE: A Suggestion... Tommy M 6/27/12 3:16 PM
RE: A Suggestion... Daniel Johnson 6/29/12 3:00 PM
RE: A Suggestion... Tommy M 6/29/12 3:52 PM
RE: A Suggestion... Nikolai . 6/30/12 9:34 PM
RE: A Suggestion... Daniel Johnson 7/10/12 11:04 AM
RE: A Suggestion... Daniel Johnson 7/10/12 11:20 AM
RE: A Suggestion... Tommy M 7/10/12 5:17 PM
RE: A Suggestion... An Eternal Now 7/10/12 8:02 PM
RE: A Suggestion... Tommy M 7/10/12 8:11 PM
RE: A Suggestion... Nikolai . 7/11/12 12:33 AM
RE: A Suggestion... Tommy M 7/10/12 5:24 PM
RE: A Suggestion... End in Sight 6/27/12 3:29 PM
RE: A Suggestion... Tommy M 6/27/12 3:40 PM
RE: A Suggestion... Andrew . 6/27/12 11:49 PM
RE: A Suggestion... Alexander Entelechy 6/28/12 5:52 PM
RE: A Suggestion... Andrew . 6/29/12 7:29 AM
RE: A Suggestion... Nikolai . 6/27/12 4:08 PM
RE: A Suggestion... Daniel Johnson 6/29/12 3:05 PM
RE: A Suggestion... John Wilde 8/6/12 2:43 AM
RE: A Suggestion... Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 8/6/12 8:18 AM
RE: A Suggestion... Change A. 8/6/12 8:37 AM
RE: A Suggestion... End in Sight 8/6/12 9:27 AM
RE: A Suggestion... Daniel Johnson 8/6/12 11:30 AM
RE: A Suggestion... Change A. 8/6/12 3:17 PM
RE: A Suggestion... Rotten Tomato 8/9/12 11:31 AM
RE: A Suggestion... Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 8/9/12 11:55 AM
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago at 6/20/12 11:00 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/20/12 11:00 AM

A Suggestion...

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
I'm just throwing the idea out there, but given the ongoing silliness between those into Actual Freedom, particularly those who completely accept that Richard really has discovered something new and "180 degrees" away from what goes on at the DhO, and those interested in other possible methods, techniques and models of experience leading to the end of suffering in this life: I suggest that we completely remove any reference to Actualism as a category within the "Insight & Wisdom" section.

It's clear that the apparent differences between the practices discussed on here and those discussed on the AFT, even if there are similarities in both technique and outcome, will never be resolved for a variety of reasons; not least of all, Richard's complete refusal to acknowledge his misinterpretation of Buddhism as an offshoot of Hinduism, or his out-of-context misinterpretations of Pali to support his own beliefs/view/whatever. In fairness to Richard, and purely in the interests of mutual respect, if what we're calling "actualism-inspired" practices are nothing to do with actualism as 'discovered' by the guy himself, I see no logical reason to continue using that particular model or the terminology exclusive to it.

My own experience has demonstrated that, regardless of Richard's opinion, the practices involved in Dzogchen lead to apperception in the same way it's described on the AFT site. I have also found that, less reliably, vipassana (not, as Richard claims "vipassana bhanga" which is a Hindu, and not a Buddhist, practice. In fact, "vipassana bhanga", as far as I've been able to see, does not appear in the Pali canon although I may be wrong.), done properly can also lead to a PCE. Due to this, and various other experiences of the PCE through non-Actualist methods, I no longer have any use for Actualism and find other practices to be equally conducive to bringing about an end to suffering.

In an ideal situation, Richard would acknowledge that we just might be talking about the same thing here and we could collaborate to come to better overall understanding of human experience, however that seems highly unlikely. It's unfortunate, there's a possibility here to integrate and learn, but apparently being "AF" doesn't allow the possibility of being wrong or of misunderstanding the words of other people.

Just a suggestion.
Felipe C, modified 10 Years ago at 6/20/12 11:56 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/20/12 11:56 AM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 221 Join Date: 5/29/11 Recent Posts
Yello, Tommy,

I think Richard is being a close-minded fundamentalist, arguing about semantics a lot of times.

But I also think that mixing could really lead to confusion and "flip-flopping", as Nikolai called it in another forum.

If the spirit of this forum is an open-minded mixing that's ok, but one has to be cautious at the moment of interpreting and mixing. I don't think anything (but some things yes) goes if one wants to achieve certain result (ie, the AF as specified in the AFT website). There are practices (not every one of them) that can potentially derail one from his aims. Even if we are not talking about literary works, Umberto Eco has something to say on overinterpretation and the limits of interpretation:

Eco is opposed to textual interpretations in which anything goes. His position is to limit the range of acceptable interpretations, and to view some readings as overinterpretations. Overinterpretation may be due to overestimating the importance of the indices, which results from a propensity to consider the most obvious elements as significant. To illustrate, he gives the example of a doctor who examines three patients with cirrhosis of the liver. The first says that he drinks whisky with soda; the second drinks gin with soda; the third, cognac with soda. Attributing too much importance to the obvious elements pins the cause of the disease on the soda, rather than the alcohol.

The possibility of correct interpretations is increased if the empirical reader positions himself as a Model Reader. If he discovers the text's intention by doing this, he will thereby discover the model author's intention. Conversely, the possibility of overinterpretation is increased when the reader approaches the text with an intention of his own; with this attitude he can find traces of his hypothesis in almost any text (for example, finding subliminal messages in a piece of music played backwards).


Although discouraged when it turns dogmatic and angry, discussion of "purity" and differentiation of models is useful and valuable to form an informed criterion (for both willing and not willing to mix). It's good to compare and contrast and also put things into practice to see the results. It's good to read and hear both sides of the story.

Tommy M:
I suggest that we completely remove any reference to Actualism as a category within the "Insight & Wisdom" section.


Could you elaborate on this?
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago at 6/20/12 3:29 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/20/12 1:00 PM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
Hey Felipe,

But I also think that mixing could really lead to confusion and "flip-flopping", as Nikolai called it in another forum.

If the spirit of this forum is an open-minded mixing that's ok, but one has to be cautious at the moment of interpreting and mixing. I don't think anything (but some things yes) goes if one wants to achieve certain result (ie, the AF as specified in the AFT website). There are practices (not every one of them) that can potentially derail one from his aims.

I agree with you completely, this is one of the reasons why I suggested the removal of the "Practices inspired by Actualism" sub-category. If it really is that case that those of us who've found benefit in the practices of Actualism have completely misinterpreted them, for whatever reason, then it'd would be unfair to describe them as being related to Actualism as they don't lead to the same outcome.

In my experience, and apparently in that of several others, there are other methods which appear to be the same as those proposed by Richard et al and which appear to lead to an ongoing experience of apperception as defined by the AFT, complete with an absence of malice and sorrow. However, I agree with you that such ambiguity and potential for misinterpretation could easily lead to confusion and "flip-flopping" (or "flip-flipping" as he says at one point... emoticon ).

Aye, the DhO is very much an open-minded community but if we're confusing those genuinely committed to pursuing Actual Freedom, on the assumption that it's something entirely different to what those who've expressed their practice and it's outcomes in Actualist terminology before have described, or conversely confusing those who'd prefer to practice within the Buddhist paradigm, then it makes sense, to me at least, to be pragmatic about it and stick to what works. Sure, the Actualism-based practices do lead to positive results, but to describe them in Actualist terminology when there's already a wealth of other, less dissonant, models and linguistic representations available within the Buddhist framework seems like a waste of time; particularly is the guy who invented the Actualism method and model states quite categorically that they're not the same thing.

I need to go just now but I'll try to finish up my response later, hopefully that clarifies it a bit in the meantime. Again, it's just a suggestion but it seems worth discussing to see whether it's worthwhile or helpful in any way.

Edited to add:

Felipe:
Tommy:
I suggest that we completely remove any reference to Actualism as a category within the "Insight & Wisdom" section.

Could you elaborate on this?

Sure. The reason I made this suggestion is because the Actualism model is quite clear in the way it views both "insight" and "wisdom": the word "wisdom" is always used to refer to either "real world wisdom" or "spiritual wisdom", both of which are claimed to be ineffective and useless to an Actualist; the word "insight" is equally disparaged, particularly with reference to "insight meditation" a.k.a. vipassana, which Richard has (deliberately, perhaps) mistaken for the Hindu-based practice "vipassana bhanga", a practice developed by Patanjali and not, as Richard claims, what is taught in Buddhism. Due to this, I suggested that anything Actualism-related or inspired be removed from this category.
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fivebells , modified 10 Years ago at 6/20/12 1:25 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/20/12 1:25 PM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 563 Join Date: 2/25/11 Recent Posts
I know next to nothing about AF, beyond what I've gleaned from conversation here. To me, its influence doesn't seem all that harmful. Is it confusing people's practice in some way? The drama from it seems minimal.
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago at 6/20/12 3:14 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/20/12 3:14 PM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
The drama from it seems minimal.

You missed The Great DhO Schism, and it's subsequent fallout on here and KFD amongst other forums. It's a long, boring story which has little or no practical value. Although there's drama-lama-ding-dong aplently.
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Nikolai , modified 10 Years ago at 6/20/12 3:17 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/20/12 3:16 PM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 1648 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
fivebells .:
I know next to nothing about AF, beyond what I've gleaned from conversation here. To me, its influence doesn't seem all that harmful. Is it confusing people's practice in some way? The drama from it seems minimal.


I second Tommy's call to simply drop the actualism reference in this section. Perhaps we could term it another way. The flip flopping tendency points to the tendency to not dedicate enough intent nor understadning of what one is doing to a particular approach to get the actual results it can get. You take a hybrid mix and not flip flop with it, you will eventually see results. But I have seen a plethora of yogis jumping about like flailing fish never learning to dedicate to a particular approach until it brings results.

Since all the AF hullabaloo (mostly happening on AF chat groups), I think anyone who wishes to truly get to what Richard designates AF, then they should do it in his context and under the guidance and company of those who truly are working within that context. Thus to avoid the rampant flipflopping going on.

http://thehamiltonproject.blogspot.com.au/2012/06/embracing-path-dig-your-well.html

Nick
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago at 6/20/12 4:49 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/20/12 4:49 PM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
You take a hybrid mix and not flip flop with it, you will eventually see results.

I agree with this as it's been what's worked for me, however it's not an approach that will work for everyone and I suspect that intent is the deciding factor in how the game plays out. In my experience though, the most 'productive' periods of my practice were when I took one technique and ran with it until it didn't do anything anymore e.g. noting.
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bud , modified 10 Years ago at 6/20/12 5:37 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/20/12 5:36 PM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 49 Join Date: 6/6/11 Recent Posts
Tommy M:
I suspect that intent is the deciding factor in how the game plays out.


Can you elaborate?
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fivebells , modified 10 Years ago at 6/20/12 6:54 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/20/12 6:51 PM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 563 Join Date: 2/25/11 Recent Posts
Thanks for the explanation. Things seem to have settled down, though. Isn't it fighting last year's war?

People are always going to flipflop. These practices kick up painful stuff, and some people are bound to flail around somehow when that happens. If someone comes here flipflopping from AF, are you sure it's not just an opportunity to point out what they're doing and why it's a problem?

Let me know I'm being annoying. I know I'm new here, and missing a lot of context. What's informing my questions is some trolling on the Buddhist livejournal community a few years ago. I really fought against that, but in retrospect even the trolling was useful, at least to me.
Adam , modified 10 Years ago at 6/20/12 7:20 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/20/12 7:20 PM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 613 Join Date: 3/20/12 Recent Posts
Tommy, I think what you are suggesting was already accomplished when Tarin changed the name of the category. I think most of our practices have had huge inspiration from actualism, whether or not Richard says we are actually practicing it.
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fivebells , modified 10 Years ago at 6/20/12 9:59 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/20/12 7:23 PM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 563 Join Date: 2/25/11 Recent Posts
If you're changing up a practice in an attempt to control some aspect of experience, you're basically screwed.
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago at 6/20/12 7:33 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/20/12 7:33 PM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
@Bud: I'll need to put a bit of work into writing a reply to your question, so I'll get back to you on that one.

Fivebells:
Isn't it fighting last year's war?

I know what you mean, what I'm suggesting is an attempt to put an end to battle, if not the metaphorical war. It unlikely that people will ever agree on this whole thing, and if certain parties aren't interested in attempting to find a point of mutual understanding then there's no point in expending our respective energies on further discussion. Speculation is always going to happen anyway, and people come to this site with their own, often non-Buddhist, practice histories; if the DhO can maintain the same pragmatic, open-minded, and down-to-earth approach to awakening as it's done since it's inception then we can continue to seperate the 'wheat from the chaff' so that others can put an end to their own suffering more effectively.

People are always going to flipflop. These practices kick up painful stuff, and some people are bound to flail around somehow when that happens. If someone comes here flipflopping from AF, are you sure it's not just an opportunity to point out what they're doing and why it's a problem?

Absolutely, I've done it myself plenty of times but it can be avoided and this is what I'm suggesting. The problem with someone coming flipflopping from AF is that they're likely to have some serious misconceptions about the practices discussed, not to mention the application of the techniques, due to vehemently anti-spiritual view of the AFT. They're likely to be immediately put off by the mention of words like "insight", "awakening", or "Buddhism" due to the misinterpretations, and subsequent misrepresentations, of Richard himself; this is the same sort of conditioning used in cults, whether or not Richard would like to admit it, as he insists that those seeking "an actual freedom" must adopt the proprietary language of the AFT and communicate in accordance with their expectations, otherwise their claims and reports are dismissed.

Let me know I'm being annoying. I know I'm new here, and missing a lot of context. What's informing my questions is some trolling on the Buddhist livejournal community a few years ago. I really fought against that, but in retrospect even the trolling was useful, at least to me.

Not at all! You've contributed quite a lot of good stuff to people's threads and through your own practice, there's no harm in asking questions. I just happen to have a bit of free time which I've spent on here today so I'm able to reply quite quickly.

What it comes down to again is finding out what works for you, whether it's using the Buddhist model or the Actualist model, even though I know many of those who are pro-AF don't seem to consider Actualism to be a conceptual model at all, we're all walking our own paths and the experience is different, with certain similarities of course in terms of realizations and overall view, for every person. That's my take on it anyway, subject to change at the drop of a fetching, purple, feather-topped hat.
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago at 6/20/12 7:57 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/20/12 7:56 PM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
C'mere and gimme a cyberhug before we start emoticon

Tommy, I think what you are suggesting was already accomplished when Tarin changed the name of the category. I think most of our practices have had huge inspiration from actualism, whether or not Richard says we are actually practicing it.

I know what you mean, but given recent rumblings on the AF yahoo group and a recent update from Ricky 'The Beard' Redacted on the AFT site, it seems pointless to continue to have an actualism-related category on this site. I agree that a lot of people have been inspired by actualism, me included, I'm not saying that the approach itself is without merit outside of the actualist paradigm, however the continued insistence of Richard that, regardless of how we describe it, what we've been calling "AF" is not the same as what he describes on the AFT as "an actual freedom from the human condition" indicates that we're using the term "actualism" inappropriately. It's already led to confusion and the exit of certain people from the DhO who found themselves drawn to actualism rather than Buddhist-originated practices, which is unfortunate as their contributions were useful and their humour appreciated. Also, for reasons I've already stated, the inclusion of actualism within the "Insight & Wisdom" heading is a contradiction in itself.
Fred none, modified 10 Years ago at 6/20/12 8:11 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/20/12 8:11 PM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 21 Join Date: 4/16/12 Recent Posts
Tommy M:
as he (Richard) insists that those seeking "an actual freedom" must adopt the proprietary language of the AFT and communicate in accordance with their expectations, otherwise their claims and reports are dismissed.


Hi,
I've read very extensively Richard's site and all its associated pages, including all his recent posts in the last several months and have never come across anything that you say above, let alone insisting.

Could you, please, provide exact quotes from Richard's writings or where it could be found on other media like tapes/videos/books?

Thanks
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(D Z) Dhru Val, modified 10 Years ago at 6/20/12 9:41 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/20/12 9:39 PM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 346 Join Date: 9/18/11 Recent Posts
I agree with the name change, but there is a bit of a broader problem...

Over the lifespan of the DhO the general consensus in pragmatic circles (or perhaps merely my preception thereof) on the issue of enlightenment has shifted from

1 subjective experience of 'Enlightenment'. Different languages used in different tradtions

to

1 subjective experience of 'Enlightenment'. Different languages used in different tradtions Enlightenment + Actualism as something new and 180 degrees different.

to

Different subjective experiences of 'Enlightenment' in different traditions. Some of which overlap with Acutal Freedom. Possibility to deconstruct even sensory reality into something more basic.


There needs someway to reconcile this with the structure of the site. As it stands now the site is great for more advanced practitioners but pretty confusing for someone new to this stuff.
This Good Self, modified 10 Years ago at 6/21/12 5:33 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/21/12 5:26 AM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 946 Join Date: 3/9/10 Recent Posts
I think most people would find Richard's style sanctimonious and boring. He has taken a simple spiritual technique (noting) and called it his own (HAIETMOBA). Everyone else in the World missed the point - Buddha included. Not that he has met everyone in the World, but he just knows his technique is the one and only. Then that website of his - shit, what a mess! I find myself cringing at his insistence on using big fancy words to describe every day things. Good teachers liberate - that's the only criterion.

Nice post Felipe. +1
End in Sight, modified 10 Years ago at 6/21/12 6:15 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/21/12 6:15 AM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
D Z:
There needs someway to reconcile this with the structure of the site. As it stands now the site is great for more advanced practitioners but pretty confusing for someone new to this stuff.


I agree.

Also, it's important to keep in mind that the "community consensus" as of now exists only in the minds of those who have taken part in conversations concerning these things. Newcomers who don't read the archives exhaustively, don't have the benefit of learning about the consensus in the first place. (It seems quite natural that most newcomers might have read MCTB but no further, bringing them to the "old DhO" position only.)

On the other hand, producing some document that summarizes things in a helpful way is potentially a big undertaking.
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago at 6/21/12 7:13 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/21/12 7:13 AM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
I've read very extensively Richard's site and all its associated pages, including all his recent posts in the last several months and have never come across anything that you say above, let alone insisting.

As far as the complete adoption of the proprietary language of the AFT, my use of the word "insists" was incorrect. However, if you're so familiar with all of Richards writings and posts in various places, perhaps you're aware of his very particular and specific use of language when describing "AF":

http://actualfreedom.com.au/richard/listdcorrespondence/listd28.htm#19Jun12:
RESPONDENT: Different words for the same thing?

RICHARD: No, not different words for the same thing; rather, they are the same words for a different thing (for an entirely different thing, in fact, to the point of it being 180 degrees opposite).


http://actualfreedom.com.au/richard/listdcorrespondence/listd28.htm#19Jun12:
I have highlighted my ‘consciousness without a subject’ words simply because of what you wrote on another online forum, on the same day (June 02, 2012) as you wrote the above post, regarding what you consider ‘apperceptive’. Vis.:

[Respondent]: ‘This is what I consider ‘apperceptive’. (...) a conscious functioning *consciousness without ‘object’*... booya’. [emphasis added].

I have highlighted your ‘consciousness without ‘object’’ words so as to draw attention to the fact that what you consider ‘apperceptive’ is indeed 180 degrees opposite to what is reported/ described/ explained, in meticulous detail and with precise meaning given to terminology, on The Actual Freedom Trust website.


Two recent examples which imply, rather than insist as I incorrectly stated, that things not described according to "what is reported/ described/ explained, in meticulous detail and with precise meaning given to terminology, on The Actual Freedom Trust website" are not the same as what Richard describes. Would you agree with that?

It's evident from the plethora of writings available online, whether on the AFT or any other site which Richard has posted on, and his interactions over the years, that anyone who describes things in a different way, or who uses AFT terminology to refer to something which does not correspond with the way Richard intended it to be used, is immediately lambasted for their misappropriation.

Let's get something straight here, I have no interest in demonizing Richard or of criticizing the guy; plenty of people have done that already, with various motives fueling their actions, but my suggestion is made in the interests of all parties concerned so that we can all get on with whatever it is that we're doing without treading on anyone's toes. If what the DhO calls "Inspired by Actualism" is actually a bastardized version of what it's "progenitor" developed then it's inaccurate to use their language, e.g. "EE", "happy and harmless" or "apperception" (as defined by Richard), and has led to considerable confusion for many people on both sides of the imaginary fence. In the interests of avoiding further conflict, disagreement or confusion, and so as to leave those committed to the Actualism method to follow the precise instructions available on the AFT site, and also so that those on the DhO can continue in their practices without being misled by/misinterpreting the specific language on the AFT.
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago at 6/21/12 7:19 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/21/12 7:19 AM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
There needs someway to reconcile this with the structure of the site. As it stands now the site is great for more advanced practitioners but pretty confusing for someone new to this stuff.

I also agree with you, hopefully over time we can develop a more adequate and less confusing way of introducing these concepts to everyone who comes on here. Actualism or not, as far as I'm concerned we're all aimed at ending suffering, or malice and sorrow, whichever way you cut it.
Craig N, modified 10 Years ago at 6/21/12 9:05 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/21/12 9:05 AM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 134 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
What I find so utterly bizarre about this is the complete inability some of you are showing to receive any criticism and feedback on practice from a teacher who is a legitimate authority on a topic.

It's like a school teacher correcting a student in the principles of mathematics that the student saying 1 + 2 = 4 is wrong, and having a whole bunch of students reject the teacher and the whole subject of mathematics, relabel their own summation method and continue on adding 1 to 2 and concluding the answer is 4. Googling 1 + 2 and finding results for 3, 4, 5 and saying the teacher doesn't have an exclusive hold on the answers, others have been adding 1 to 2 for years and getting numerical results. Man that teacher is such an ass.

I do love analogies. Thanks for reading.

Craig
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fivebells , modified 10 Years ago at 6/21/12 9:46 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/21/12 9:46 AM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 563 Join Date: 2/25/11 Recent Posts
What are 1, 2 and 4 in this context, what is the equation and why is it wrong?
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago at 6/21/12 10:54 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/21/12 10:54 AM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
What I find so utterly bizarre about this is the complete inability some of you are showing to receive any criticism and feedback on practice from a teacher who is a legitimate authority on a topic.

Richard is the authority on "Actualism", end of story. No question about that, which is why I've made the suggestion I've made, i.e. that non-Actualist practices, which have been deemed to be "180 degrees" from "an actual freedom" by it's "progenitor", are kept completely seperate from any Actualist practices so as to:

1. Avoid confusion or further disagreement; if we're not talking about the same thing then why bother continuing to use the terminology, it's not going to help anyone and will send people off on tangents that will only prolong their suffering, regardless of whether they're aiming for "AF" or whatever else.

2. Leave the AFT and the AF-related forums, groups and so forth, to do what it is that they're doing without further speculation from a Buddhist perspective making it's way onto their site. It doesn't help any of the actualists, and it's not likely to help anyone over here either since it's just the same back and forth whenever it starts.

As far as you finding it "so utterly bizarre", I don't recall ever having asked Richard for either criticism or feedback at any point. I only ever practiced Actualism-based methods exclusively for about three months or so, and only briefly contributed, albeit not in the most useful of ways, on the unmoderated AF yahoo group. Until recently, I was under the impression that AF and what Nick, Trent, Tarin, and whoever else were describing was the same thing; then I realized that I don't know, and I don't really care either way anyway, but I would like to be help put an end to the constant bitching and bullshit that still goes on between Actualists and everyone else who's basically just trying to live a happier and more peaceful life. It's not required, people will make their own decisions and there's nothing you, me, or anyone else can do about that.

It's like a school teacher correcting a student in the principles of mathematics that the student saying 1 + 2 = 4 is wrong, and having a whole bunch of students reject the teacher and the whole subject of mathematics, relabel their own summation method and continue on adding 1 to 2 and concluding the answer is 4. Googling 1 + 2 and finding results for 3, 4, 5 and saying the teacher doesn't have an exclusive hold on the answers, others have been adding 1 to 2 for years and getting numerical results. Man that teacher is such an ass.

Sorry, you've lost me with this one. I can see what you're trying to get at, but I don't think you're communicating it very well.

Thanks for reading.

You're welcome.
Adam , modified 10 Years ago at 6/21/12 12:49 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/21/12 12:41 PM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 613 Join Date: 3/20/12 Recent Posts
Tommy M:
C'mere and gimme a cyberhug before we start emoticon

Tommy, I think what you are suggesting was already accomplished when Tarin changed the name of the category. I think most of our practices have had huge inspiration from actualism, whether or not Richard says we are actually practicing it.

I know what you mean, but given recent rumblings on the AF yahoo group and a recent update from Ricky 'The Beard' Redacted on the AFT site, it seems pointless to continue to have an actualism-related category on this site. I agree that a lot of people have been inspired by actualism, me included, I'm not saying that the approach itself is without merit outside of the actualist paradigm, however the continued insistence of Richard that, regardless of how we describe it, what we've been calling "AF" is not the same as what he describes on the AFT as "an actual freedom from the human condition" indicates that we're using the term "actualism" inappropriately. It's already led to confusion and the exit of certain people from the DhO who found themselves drawn to actualism rather than Buddhist-originated practices, which is unfortunate as their contributions were useful and their humour appreciated. Also, for reasons I've already stated, the inclusion of actualism within the "Insight & Wisdom" heading is a contradiction in itself.


Firstly, cyber hug

Secondly, y r u always attacking me emoticon

Thirdly, well whateva, I don't think most people even pay attention to categories, and there are a few here interested in "pure" actualism and I can only see that this might push them away. Maybe you have a point though about moving it from the insight category, but honestly I think it all is hardly that important.

Side note: purely practical non-controversial discussion on pure actualism can be found over Nyah:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/virtualconvivium
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#1 - 0, modified 10 Years ago at 6/21/12 2:18 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/21/12 2:18 PM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 104 Join Date: 8/8/10 Recent Posts
I think that maintaining the integrity of the particular words used in the method is literally the most important thing that Richard can possibly do because the words, and the exact intent behind them, ARE the method - as they have always been, in every spiritual tradition, ever. The words form a pointer, guiding you in the direction you're trying to go, and as we all know, the "end result" is extremely malleable depending on what you believe / feel it should be.

I think a lot of spiritual traditions have lost their true meaning due to this exact problem. I can completely understand why Richard would be so peculiar about the meanings of the words. It's not out of a personal identification with the method, obviously; it's about keeping the method as effective as possible so that there can be no confusion as to what it is and what it is not.
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Nikolai , modified 10 Years ago at 6/21/12 7:09 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/21/12 3:10 PM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 1648 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
flip-flop (flpflp)
n.
1. The movement or sound of repeated flapping.
2. Informal A reversal, as of a stand or position: a foreign policy flip-flop.
3. A backless, often foam rubber sandal held to the foot at the big toe by means of a thong.
4. A backward somersault or handspring.
5. Electronics An electronic circuit or mechanical device capable of assuming either of two stable states, especially a computer circuit used to store a single bit of information.
v. flip-flopped, flip-flop·ping, flip-flops
v.intr.
1. To move back and forth between two conditions or circumstances, sometimes repeatedly: "The weather has flip-flopped between sweltering heat and violent storms" (New York Times).
2. To reverse a stand or position: "With the board having flip-flopped over zoning issues in the last several years, residents are looking to this fall's election for clarity" (Eugene L. Meyer).
3. To execute a backward somersault or handspring.
v.tr.
To move from one position to the reverse or opposite: The coach flip-flopped the linemen.


To add to it further, flipflopping also includes:

* the strong re-occuring tendency to form and/or renew continuously via so many sneaky ways that which is to be dismantled by the actual practice being defended.
* the strong re-occuring tendency to defend some aspect of one's identity (like one's practice and practice context) thus re-enforcing said identity.
* the strong re-occuring tendency to attack any (mis) perceived threat to some aspect of one's identity (like one's practice).
* the strong re-occuring tendency to seek validation from anywhere or any person/s so as to feel good about one's path (more identity)
* the strong re-occuring tendency to not dedicate 100% of one's effort to the complete set instructions.
* the strong re-occuring tendency to understand that it will take 100%, but still defend, attack and build an identity around whatever.
* the strong re-occuring tendency to flip from harmful to harmless to harmful (or to some mental overlayed idea that one is actually being harmless) and back again, again again and again.

Richard's ranks are thinner than ever now with membership lower than thought previously. Those who have come out of the woodwork all hot and steamy and 'actualist', I hope you dedicate 100% to getting it done sooner rather than later, because all i see are people flipflopping. When you get to where Richard has designated 'actually free', please do share your experiences so that communication will not be tinged by harmful intentions nor by identity building and we can get more info and data on all the areas of confusion. As of now, you DON"T know what Richard means by 'actually free' as none of you are there yet.

If you feel the feeling being within grows agitated by this post, remember what you really wish to aim for and just enjoy this moment of being alive. I say this seriously. 100% means to truly go for it with all of one's being. But hey if Richard didn't say this, then ignore what I've said.

I'm hoping this will be the big push for some of you to simply get it done and stop flipflopping around and just adding to one's own and other's dissatisfaction with all of this arguing/defending/attacking/seeking validation/identity building silliness. Go get it done for you and for more data and for the benefit of humanity. Quit delaying.

Respectfully,

Nick

Edit: 'Flip-flopping' is not just for those aiming for what has been designated 'af', but for any yogi aiming for whatever objective. The same tendencies can apply.
Adam , modified 10 Years ago at 6/21/12 3:57 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/21/12 3:50 PM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 613 Join Date: 3/20/12 Recent Posts
Nik, flip flopping is something I've done all my life,inside and outside practice, there is an allure in taking on new identity, imagining your wonderful future as a "....." practitioner, eventually I think floppers (myself foremost among them) will grow more and more tired of this lesser form of happiness. It helps to hear from people what the greater form of happiness is like as one of the barriers in overcoming addiction to becoming is not understanding what exists beyond it. In my opinion these reports are more effective when they are more "real" hanging out with af people especially those people knew before they were ad is probably best. Perhaps second best is actually hearing as opposed to just reading, a lot of people got a lot from the hurricane ranch conversations so if your looking for a way to help people get some pure intent going, one thing id suggest is an interview with someone which includes your story and advice similar to what Tarim did.

I remember hearing train say stuff with sincerity and humor like "there isn't a malicious bone in my body, I wouldn't even know where to find one" is what got me interested in af, and even years later (today) I found myself replaying some of the stuff he said about how I "I am happy to go, I am not crying because I am going to die" when I was in a strong EE trying to slip away... My point is hearing you guys talk with af spontaneity, humor, naturalness, (non-affective) compassion etc really gets the sincerity going for me, perhaps this is the root of the improvised tradition of dhammatalks. Oh and... No pressure emoticon
Fred none, modified 10 Years ago at 6/21/12 3:58 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/21/12 3:58 PM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 21 Join Date: 4/16/12 Recent Posts
Tommy M:
I've read very extensively Richard's site and all its associated pages, including all his recent posts in the last several months and have never come across anything that you say above, let alone insisting.

As far as the complete adoption of the proprietary language of the AFT, my use of the word "insists" was incorrect. However, if you're so familiar with all of Richards writings and posts in various places, perhaps you're aware of his very particular and specific use of language when describing "AF":


I asked you in my first reply to you if you could provide exact quotes of Richard saying:
Tommy M:
as he insists that those seeking "an actual freedom" must adopt the proprietary language of the AFT and communicate in accordance with their expectations, otherwise their claims and reports are dismissed.

and if they could be found on other media like Richard's videos/tapes/books as I had never come across anything like that in his extensive writings published on his website.
I was very curious as I've never purchased Richard's Journal nor any videos/tapes as I thought what you said might have been found on that other media. I've never been interested in purchasing those things before.
Fred none, modified 10 Years ago at 6/21/12 4:17 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/21/12 4:17 PM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 21 Join Date: 4/16/12 Recent Posts
Tommy M:

http://actualfreedom.com.au/richard/listdcorrespondence/listd28.htm#19Jun12:
RESPONDENT: Different words for the same thing?

RICHARD: No, not different words for the same thing; rather, they are the same words for a different thing (for an entirely different thing, in fact, to the point of it being 180 degrees opposite).


http://actualfreedom.com.au/richard/listdcorrespondence/listd28.htm#19Jun12:
I have highlighted my ‘consciousness without a subject’ words simply because of what you wrote on another online forum, on the same day (June 02, 2012) as you wrote the above post, regarding what you consider ‘apperceptive’. Vis.:

[Respondent]: ‘This is what I consider ‘apperceptive’. (...) a conscious functioning *consciousness without ‘object’*... booya’. [emphasis added].

I have highlighted your ‘consciousness without ‘object’’ words so as to draw attention to the fact that what you consider ‘apperceptive’ is indeed 180 degrees opposite to what is reported/ described/ explained, in meticulous detail and with precise meaning given to terminology, on The Actual Freedom Trust website.


Two recent examples which imply, rather than insist as I incorrectly stated, that things not described according to "what is reported/ described/ explained, in meticulous detail and with precise meaning given to terminology, on The Actual Freedom Trust website" are not the same as what Richard describes. Would you agree with that?


No, I do not agree.
In those two exchanges Richard makes unambiguously clear that his corespondent's experience is altogether different than Richard's experience, and it's remarkably clear when you read the whole exchanges from start to finish.
Fred none, modified 10 Years ago at 6/21/12 5:00 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/21/12 5:00 PM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 21 Join Date: 4/16/12 Recent Posts
Tommy M:
It's evident from the plethora of writings available online, whether on the AFT or any other site which Richard has posted on, and his interactions over the years, that anyone who describes things in a different way, or who uses AFT terminology to refer to something which does not correspond with the way Richard intended it to be used, is immediately lambasted for their misappropriation.

Again, I do not agree. It is not evident from the plethora of Richard's past and recent writings.

Here's one exchange in full

http://www.actualfreedom.com.au/richard/listdcorrespondence/listd28.htm#08Jun12

June 08 2012

Re: Actual sensations VERSUS Physical sensations


Here is the other exchange in its full version

http://www.actualfreedom.com.au/richard/listdcorrespondence/listd28.htm#11Jun12

June 11 2012

Re: Actual sensations VERSUS Physical sensations
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago at 6/21/12 5:11 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/21/12 5:11 PM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
I'll reply to both of your posts in the one, it appears I've mistaken you for someone else and responded inappropriately. My apologies for that, let me try to respond again...

Jan:
I've read very extensively Richard's site and all its associated pages, including all his recent posts in the last several months and have never come across anything that you say above, let alone insisting.


Tommy:
As far as the complete adoption of the proprietary language of the AFT, my use of the word "insists" was incorrect. However, if you're so familiar with all of Richards writings and posts in various places, perhaps you're aware of his very particular and specific use of language when describing "AF":


Jan:
I asked you in my first reply to you if you could provide exact quotes of Richard saying:


Tommy:

as he insists that those seeking "an actual freedom" must adopt the proprietary language of the AFT and communicate in accordance with their expectations, otherwise their claims and reports are dismissed.


Jan:
and if they could be found on other media like Richard's videos/tapes/books as I had never come across anything like that in his extensive writings published on his website.
I was very curious as I've never purchased Richard's Journal nor any videos/tapes as I thought what you said might have been found on that other media. I've never been interested in purchasing those things before.

I don't have any quotes, nor am I in possession of any of the media available on the AFT site in which Richard categorically states that a person, as I erroneously said, "must adopt the proprietary language of the AFT and communicate in accordance with their expectations, otherwise their claims and reports are dismissed". This is why I said that I was incorrect and attempted to clarify thusly:

Tommy:
Two recent examples which imply, rather than insist as I incorrectly stated, that things not described according to "what is reported/ described/ explained, in meticulous detail and with precise meaning given to terminology, on The Actual Freedom Trust website" are not the same as what Richard describes. Would you agree with that?

It's evident from the plethora of writings available online, whether on the AFT or any other site which Richard has posted on, and his interactions over the years, that anyone who describes things in a different way, or who uses AFT terminology to refer to something which does not correspond with the way Richard intended it to be used, is immediately lambasted for their misappropriation.

Both quotes from the AFT site I posted clearly demonstrate that what the correspondent, Nick, was describing, which he considered to be the same as what Richard calls "AF", based on his own experience and understanding of the AFT methods, was not what Richard experiences, according to Richard based on his apparent discovery of, and continuous experience of "an actual freedom" 27/7 for the last however many years. Is that any clearer?

No, I do not agree.
In those two exchanges Richard makes unambiguously clear that his corespondent's experience is altogether different than Richard's experience, and it's remarkably clear when you read the whole exchanges from start to finish.

Why do you disagree? It seems like we're saying the same thing, the only difference being I'm suggesting that, due to what "Richard makes unambiguously clear" about language and how they're both describing two different things, someone who wants to practice Actualism proper is required to adopt the precise language Richard has developed to describe his experience more accurately over the last 15+ years, otherwise; unless he verifies their use of another, non-AFT-based word or phrase, and confirms that the person is describing the exact same way of being in the world as he is.

What is it that you don't agree with?
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Jeff Grove, modified 10 Years ago at 6/21/12 5:27 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/21/12 5:17 PM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 310 Join Date: 8/24/09 Recent Posts
Tommy M:
I suggest that we completely remove any reference to Actualism as a category within the "Insight & Wisdom" section.


Hi Tommy,

I can understand were your coming from but

Are these entries about practices inspired by actualism - my take is inspired by HAIETMOBA, sweet spot, identity, beliefs ...

now that we have an area for discussing these ideas is there any real reason why there should be no place for people interested in discussing these ideas. there is no point imagining what might happen in the future if the area is left here or what harm my be done

If its not popular people will not post under here and it will die a natural death

cheers
Jeff

edit
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago at 6/21/12 5:25 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/21/12 5:25 PM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
I have no interest in going back over the links you posted, I've already read them thoroughly and am not interested in entering into a discussion about Richard. I have no issue with the man, he's doing his thing and he doesn't come around here trying to evangelize or convince anyone. The sole point of this thread was a suggestion to keep the practices found within Actualism and the practices found within "spiritual", for want of a better word, traditions seperate since they are both, apparently, aimed in two entirely different "directions".

Jan, save yourself a lot of time and just go back to doing whatever it is that you're trying to do in your own practice. I've already said that I'm not attacking Richard, or defending anyone, or anything for that matter; all I'm interested in is helping people finding effective techniques to get to where they want to be, if their aim is "an actual freedom" then more power to them, but they're unlikely to find anything useful or appropriate to their practice on here. For this simple reason, those looking to pursue AF should go where Actualism is what's practiced and discussed.
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago at 6/21/12 5:35 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/21/12 5:35 PM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
If its not popular people will not post under here and it will die a natural death

That would actually be a more straightfoward idea, that way it's not like there's a complete blackout on anything inspired by the practices which have developed from the Actualist methods. I've definitely learned a lot from the AFT materials and from using, what I thought were, the methods they described. This suggestion was purely to allow people to maintain their focus in their practice, but I can see how it may have been taken as an anti-Actualism thing which certainly wasn't my intention.

Aye, see how it goes, whatever happens happens; maybe even putting a sticky post at the top of the sub-category with a brief note about how the practices found here are not endorsed by the AFT, but with links to the AFT site and the yahoo groups?
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Nikolai , modified 10 Years ago at 6/21/12 5:59 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/21/12 5:56 PM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 1648 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
Adam . .:
My point is hearing you guys talk with af spontaneity, humor, naturalness, (non-affective) compassion etc really gets the sincerity going for me, perhaps this is the root of the improvised tradition of dhammatalks. Oh and... No pressure emoticon


It's probably best not to talk about me being nor consider me 'af' as that has been disputed by Richard, who has designated what 'af' is. However, I don't suffer as I once did. I'm at peace and content. I may podcast with the Hamilton Project guys at some point in future though.
Adam , modified 10 Years ago at 6/21/12 7:11 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/21/12 7:11 PM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 613 Join Date: 3/20/12 Recent Posts
Looking forward to it, and I am experiencing a disturbing glitch by which your hairy monster profile pic has become the background of the dho am I alone?
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Daniel Johnson, modified 10 Years ago at 6/22/12 9:01 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/22/12 9:01 PM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 401 Join Date: 12/16/09 Recent Posts
I say keep it. Mostly, I agree with what Jeff said, and personally I don't see any practical reason to get rid of it.

I do have some questions, though... (maybe I haven't followed enough of the threads)... First, what happened to Tarin, Trent, and Stephanie?

And question #2... yes, other practices may lead to PCE (as Richard confirms)... but do any other practices or traditions lead to a complete and total end of the self, affect, and all trace of malice and sorrow? And if so, which people (other than those here) are claiming this attainment?
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago at 6/23/12 3:39 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/23/12 3:39 PM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
I do have some questions, though... (maybe I haven't followed enough of the threads)... First, what happened to Tarin, Trent, and Stephanie?

Tarin, as far as I know, doesn't communicate online in English very much anymore due to work stuff, not 100% sure but I haven't heard anything from him for a while now. Trent still contributes to the site from time to time, I'm in contact with him fairly regularly and he's seems to have been enjoying a complete lack of affect, malice and sorrow, and an absence of being (or, in your words, "self") for quite some time now. Stefanie no longer participates on the site and explained why in another thread before she left, which I'm currently unable to find.

And question #2... yes, other practices may lead to PCE (as Richard confirms)...but do any other practices or traditions lead to a complete and total end of the self, affect, and all trace of malice and sorrow?

It would appear so, although given that Richard uses those "same words for a different thing", it's impossible to know whether or not that's the case since only Richard, Vineeto and Justine are actually confirmed as being "AF". You may be describing something "180 degrees" from the way you usually understand the use of those words, Richard has said that the DhO's use of the AFT's proprietary language has been misunderstood and so the choice of words in your question makes it difficult to say anything more. I'm not trying to be awkward or anything, but if we're talking about anything related to Actualism then we need to ensure that we're describing exactly the same things as Richard describes on the AFT otherwise we're, apparently, talking about different things.

And if so, which people (other than those here) are claiming this attainment?

Which "attainment" are you talking about? I genuinely don't know what it is that you're actually asking, could you possibly rephrase it?
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Daniel Johnson, modified 10 Years ago at 6/27/12 2:26 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/27/12 2:26 PM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 401 Join Date: 12/16/09 Recent Posts
Tommy M:
if we're talking about anything related to Actualism then we need to ensure that we're describing exactly the same things as Richard describes on the AFT otherwise we're, apparently, talking about different things.


While I understand the difficulties of language in communicating experience, and how easy it is for two people to use the same words to mean different things, I also think your comment takes it to an extreme. If we talk about Buddhism, do we need to ensure that we're describing exactly the same thing as the Buddha described in his talks? If so, let's get rid of the Buddhism category too, since no one knows exactly what the Buddha said, let alone exactly what he meant.

My question, to put it in different words (your words), are there any other traditions, or people in other traditions who have attained to "a complete lack of affect, malice and sorrow, and an absence of being?"

For example, Kenneth Folk claims that (among others) the Buddha, Ekhart Tolle, Adyashanti have reached his 9th stage. I've studied a lot of Adyashanti stuff, but it never seemed to me that his realization went as far as "a complete lack of affect, malice and sorrow, and an absence of being," because I remember him talking about experiencing affect, and also a little self that still exists in his experience. It could be that it's just different words for the same experience, or it could be that everyone is having different experiences, but I'm wondering if there are any other traditions in which people claim anything that resembles "a complete lack of affect, malice and sorrow, and an absence of being" (to use your words), when put under scrutiny.
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago at 6/27/12 3:16 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/27/12 3:16 PM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
While I understand the difficulties of language in communicating experience, and how easy it is for two people to use the same words to mean different things, I also think your comment takes it to an extreme. If we talk about Buddhism, do we need to ensure that we're describing exactly the same thing as the Buddha described in his talks? If so, let's get rid of the Buddhism category too, since no one knows exactly what the Buddha said, let alone exactly what he meant.

You've misunderstood what it was that I was suggesting in the first place, but I can see where you're coming from and I agree with you to an extent. It comes down to the fact that Richard has stated that the terminology of the AFT, which he's developed over the years to describe his experience and communicate it to others, is being misused to describe outcomes and/or experiences which are apparently "180 degrees" from what he calls "an actual freedom"; due to this, and in the interests of those serious about practicing Actualism, I suggested that the DhO stop referring to certain practices as being "Actualist" when they're more closely aligned with Buddhist and other models. A spiritual model has no place within Actualism, and apparently, according to the guy who developed the Actualist model, it has no place in a spiritual context. Whether or not that's the case, and whether or not both sets of practices lead to the same outcome has no practical value, as far as I'm concerned, and further discussion of the subject doesn't seem to be helping people either way.

If you want to exclusively practice Actualism, go to the AFT and the yahoo groups as you'll find far more useful, practical information from people who know what they're talking about, which will be far more relevant to your practice within the Actualist paradigm than you'll find here. If you want to practice something which isn't exclusively Actualism-based, but has been inspired by their own interpretation thereof, then this site remains an excellent resource for further information; should people wish to discuss their own interpretations of "an actual freedom" while couching their language in non-AFT originated terminology, so be it. Admittedly my suggestion could be construed as being anti-AF, but it wasn't the case; if someone finds what they're looking for through AF then that's great, I'm genuinely happy about that and would always encourage people to do what works for them.

My question, to put it in different words (your words), are there any other traditions, or people in other traditions who have attained to "a complete lack of affect, malice and sorrow, and an absence of being?"

For example, Kenneth Folk claims that (among others) the Buddha, Ekhart Tolle, Adyashanti have reached his 9th stage. I've studied a lot of Adyashanti stuff, but it never seemed to me that his realization went as far as "a complete lack of affect, malice and sorrow, and an absence of being," because I remember him talking about experiencing affect, and also a little self that still exists in his experience. It could be that it's just different words for the same experience, or it could be that everyone is having different experiences, but I'm wondering if there are any other traditions in which people claim anything that resembles "a complete lack of affect, malice and sorrow, and an absence of being" (to use your words), when put under scrutiny.

Have any other traditions or people attained to that particular description of the perceived outcome? Maybe. Do you know? If so, would you mind telling everyone so that we can just drop all this shenanigans and get on with what needs to be done, whether that's AF or whatever else.

As far as Kenneth's speculations go, I think that placing the Buddha, Adyashanti and Eckhart Tolle on the same level of experience is a bit short-sighted and ignores far too much information which, to other people, would suggest otherwise. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy Adyashanti, and what Tolle's says in his books isn't incorrect or anything, but my experience so far suggests that there is further development beyond that point of realization. No disrespect to Kenneth, of course, I respect the guy deeply but I disagree with this particular placement of individuals on an arbitrary model.

I'm not interested in attacking AF or defending any other traditions here, as far as I'm concerned the only thing anyone can ever be certain of is what's being processed through their own brain and nervous system via the senses. If you think AF is King Shit, go do it. If you think it's possible to live a pure consciousness experience 24/7 via other methods, go for it. Whatever works for you.
End in Sight, modified 10 Years ago at 6/27/12 3:29 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/27/12 3:29 PM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
Daniel Johnson:
My question, to put it in different words (your words), are there any other traditions, or people in other traditions who have attained to "a complete lack of affect, malice and sorrow, and an absence of being?"


Sister Khema (associated with Bhante Vimalramsi) swung by a few years ago and told us that emotions (happiness, sadness) depend on craving, or something similar to that. I know some people (including Tommy) were interested in talking with her further, and made some effort to begin a discussion with her off-site; anyone know how that went?
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Nikolai , modified 10 Years ago at 6/27/12 4:08 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/27/12 3:31 PM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 1648 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
Daniel Johnson:


For example, Kenneth Folk claims that (among others) the Buddha, Ekhart Tolle, Adyashanti have reached his 9th stage. I've studied a lot of Adyashanti stuff, but it never seemed to me that his realization went as far as "a complete lack of affect, malice and sorrow, and an absence of being," because I remember him talking about experiencing affect, and also a little self that still exists in his experience. It could be that it's just different words for the same experience, or it could be that everyone is having different experiences, but I'm wondering if there are any other traditions in which people claim anything that resembles "a complete lack of affect, malice and sorrow, and an absence of being" (to use your words), when put under scrutiny.



Hi Daniel,

Not everyone agrees with Kenneth's interpretations. He just changed his mind again. Check the new 9th stage comment: http://kennethfolkdharma.wetpaint.com/page/A+9+Stage+Map+of+Developmental+Enlightenment



mal·ice (mls)
n.
1. A desire to harm others or to see others suffer; extreme ill will or spite.
2. Law The intent, without just cause or reason, to commit a wrongful act that will result in harm to another.

sor·row (sr, sôr)
n.
1. Mental suffering or pain caused by injury, loss, or despair. See Synonyms at regret.
2. A source or cause of sorrow; a misfortune.
3. Expression of sorrow; grieving.
intr.v. sor·rowed, sor·row·ing, sor·rows
To feel or express sorrow. See Synonyms at grieve.

In pali 'being' is translated as 'bhava'. The end of all mental suffering and definitley 'ill will' and 'sorrow' are supposed to be absent in the fabled arahat in the theravada traditions. Anyone who has been assumed to be an arahat in such situations (more traditional settings) probably has been assumed to free of the fetters of illwill (presumably dropped away at anagami of fetter model) and there would be no more 'bhava' also translated as 'becoming'. Unfortunately, it's been monks with rules not to talk about their level of progress with the laypeople that means no-one may be openly claiming such a level. The pragmatic scene though may produce more of them since more yogis are probably aiming for such a place regardless of whether Richard says they are or not. There are those of the DhO who profess to the absence of malice and sorrow and being but have not been deemed worthy of the 'actually free' title. Being free from malice, sorrow and being does not belong to Richard to define in my opinion.
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago at 6/27/12 3:40 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/27/12 3:40 PM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
...anyone know how that went?

Sister Khema went away to Burma for a few months and I lost contact with her, and I think Bhante Vimalaramsi was busy doing retreats and various monk-type things. I hadn't heard anything else from them, I lost interest in the anapanasati approach to be honest and didn't pursue it as my main practice after a while; I'll check in on their discussion list on yahoo and see if there's anything happening. I think their way of using Dependent Origination made their explanations really clear and I really enjoyed this video with Sister Khema.
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Andrew , modified 10 Years ago at 6/27/12 11:49 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/27/12 11:49 PM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 336 Join Date: 5/23/11 Recent Posts
Hmm, certainly I would be interested in a section specifically talking about practices that induce and stabilise the experience termed "pure consciousness experience".

at the moment, as anyone who bothers to check my practice thread will know (I don't blame you if you skip it, it is rambling most of the time), getting any traction on AFT inspired practice is not easy. without investing blind faith, and in the absence of a 'pce' (sorry Nick, it was me i think who started calling it 'pre-symbolic experience' last year in an attempt to grok it and in respect to bhante g after having had a extremely fleeting moment after reading his famous (vs infamous) chapter 13.)

so, all 'us versus them' aside, (me being uncomfortably neither us or them, or maybe more them and a whole lot of me, ) what say we look at all the various practices that specifically and cleanly induce pce.

Why? becasue schmuks like me are asking, that's why! and I sorta want to enjoy this moment of being alive without having to continually keep my wayward 'blind belief' instinct (just made that up) in check. i seriously don't give a hoot what buddha said, he is dead and at this rate so will i be, fingers worn down to the bone but still on my keyboard. i like wise have big fat doubts about richards methods of comunicating what he claims to have discovered, though highly value the fact he has otherwise shouted from the roof tops that such a freedom exists. as pointed out, the monks weren't about to.

i'm currently tempted, nay, compelled, to look into noting or scanning or mushrooms or something to stop my current slide into intellectual no mans land, as without 'pce' none of this makes much sense. i may aswell go back to my guitars and tube amps and lusting over landrovers...

here is what I have seen in the whole thing; pragmatic 'dhamma' quite possibly is nothing like what buddha taught, yet it is producing pleasing results (if you have the time to get it going), aft methods seem to have worked primarily for those who have already experienced those pleasing results. then the aft posts articles about how what the DhO practices is not buddhism, and I think to my self 'no shit, sherlock, they (DhO members) have absolutely no problem understanding your own version of pragmatism (aft), hence the claim that DhO is not buddhism is confirmed in practice. either that or both are buddhism, or both are neither what they say they are, (my particular favourite is the last option).' If you can't see the link, you need to learn to start thinking, just saying..

So we have two (+) streams of strictly pragmatic non-faith based 'if it works do it' folks both clearly not 'buddhist' or 'actualist', as no such things exist, beyond the idea of them existing.

My solution? A category which is dedicated to the cultivation and stabilisation of 'pure consciousness experience' (which was a term coined by a non-aft source) or 'apperception' (which has been redefined by every man and his dog) which may otherwise be called, vipassana sight, or 'the view' or whatever. free of the idea that the tibetans, or the band of 'aft directors' or goenka or anyone actually owns this, as apparently (i don't know) it is a spectacular and worthwhile perspective. and I want to get me some of that...

so my suggestion is this, if there is a better more stable route to 'freedom' however you spell it, then i'm all ears. or eyes as the case is.
Alexander Entelechy, modified 10 Years ago at 6/28/12 5:52 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/28/12 5:52 PM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 27 Join Date: 4/7/11 Recent Posts
I like Andrew's idea.
I've had a PCE (before I knew what the term was) and immediately after having it I thought that it would be great to always feel/exist like that.

I was doing the Alexander technique and some Insight practice at the time. After having the PCE I knew that a lot of what Buddhist's (well Daniel) was describing wasn't it. It wasn't until I read one of Tarin's or maybe Trent's descriptions that I saw it had a name. I tried the Actualist stuff and it didn't work, four millions words or whatever and it seems 3.9 of them are criticisms of other practices. Besides which, Tarins' method of obtaining a permanent PCE ran contradictory to Richard's advice.

I guess my point is that a 'no path' forum to discuss the PCE, different means of obtaining it, different pedagogies and so on, would be useful to me.
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Andrew , modified 10 Years ago at 6/29/12 7:29 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/29/12 7:29 AM

RE: A Suggestion...

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

I'm interested (obviously) in what happened (mind state etc) for that PCE to occur, and was there a repeat of it?

And your 'no path' idea is gold, just us pre anythings oogling at PCE descriptions...I think it would have alot of usefulness, I particularly like the page on the actual freedom website with mini-testimonial of PCE's, though there are not many, and would love something collated together, iv'e started myself actually collecting threads with decriptions. I'm certainly at the stage of having a lot of ducks lined up, but not the one that counts...

andrew
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Daniel Johnson, modified 10 Years ago at 6/29/12 3:00 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/29/12 3:00 PM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 401 Join Date: 12/16/09 Recent Posts
Tommy M:
You've misunderstood what it was that I was suggesting in the first place,

Perhaps I have. Maybe you can sum it up in one sentence? I thought you were suggesting that we eliminate any discussion category on the DhO that makes reference to actualism. Correct? Or were you simply suggesting that we remove it from the "Insight & Wisdom" category? Or were you making some other suggestion?

Tommy M:
Have any other traditions or people attained to that particular description of the perceived outcome? Maybe. Do you know?


There are none that I know of... That's why I was asking. emoticon I think it sounds reasonable that maybe the Buddha was talking about such a condition. There are some discrepancies, but it could be the same thing. As Nick points out, there may be some monks who have attained it but don't speak of it because of monk-rules. I think you, and Nick, and End in Sight have answered my question to that extent. Thanks.

For me, this description of "a complete lack of affect, malice and sorrow, and an absence of being" is rather unique. I don't know of any other tradition which explicitly leads to such a goal.

With regard to the AF yahoo group. I have visited a few times and have found nothing useful or practical there, except one post from tarin wherein he summarizes his path to the attainment formerly known as AF. You suggest that the forum could be useful and practical, am I missing something? Are there any good posts that you would recommend?

Tommy M:
I'm not interested in attacking AF or defending any other traditions here, as far as I'm concerned the only thing anyone can ever be certain of is what's being processed through their own brain and nervous system via the senses. If you think AF is King Shit, go do it. If you think it's possible to live a pure consciousness experience 24/7 via other methods, go for it. Whatever works for you.


I'm not sure if your comments were directed at me or not, but just for the record, yeah... I'm not interested in attacking/defending any traditions either, and I never thought that you were interested in that. I don't think AF is King Shit. I wasn't interpreting your comments as anti-AF or anything like that.
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Daniel Johnson, modified 10 Years ago at 6/29/12 3:05 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/29/12 3:05 PM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 401 Join Date: 12/16/09 Recent Posts
Nikolai .:

Not everyone agrees with Kenneth's interpretations.


Yeah, I guess I should've known better than to use Kenneth as an example. It was just meant to be an example.

Thanks for your comments, though.
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago at 6/29/12 3:52 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/29/12 3:52 PM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
Perhaps I have. Maybe you can sum it up in one sentence? I thought you were suggesting that we eliminate any discussion category on the DhO that makes reference to actualism. Correct? Or were you simply suggesting that we remove it from the "Insight & Wisdom" category? Or were you making some other suggestion?

Reading over my first post, I think I put too much emphasis on saying how I wasn't making this suggestion from an anti-AF position. To sum up what I was suggesting, bearing in mind that it was only a suggestion made in the interests of clear communication and not any sort of rallying cry against Actualism:

Why don't we remove "Practices Inspired by Actualism" category, either from the site entirely or at least from the "Insight & Wisdom" category?

Having thought more about it and heard what everyone else had to say about the idea, I agree that leaving it as it is would be the most appropriate action as people still find practical value in a hybrid approach to ending suffering. I don't think I was very clear in my initial post about this so I can see how you'd have come to that conclusion.

With regard to the AF yahoo group. I have visited a few times and have found nothing useful or practical there, except one post from tarin wherein he summarizes his path to the attainment formerly known as AF. You suggest that the forum could be useful and practical, am I missing something? Are there any good posts that you would recommend?

The suggestion about using the AF yahoo group was solely down to ensuring that, were you intending to practice 100% Actualism, you would likely have found that forum and their use of the Actualism nomenclature more appropriate than the mash-ups of various approaches found here. I personally didn't find much use in the information available on the yahoo groups, most of it ends up as flame-wars or re-postings of Richard's writings from the AFT which, while having the potential to reveal previously unnoticed and useful articles at times, are rarely worth the equally repetitive commentary of Richard himself.

I'm not sure if your comments were directed at me or not, but just for the record, yeah... I'm not interested in attacking/defending any traditions either, and I never thought that you were interested in that. I don't think AF is King Shit. I wasn't interpreting your comments as anti-AF or anything like that.

Nah, it was just a general comment to say, in a Crowley-like way, do what thou wilt and to hell with what everyone else thinks!

I'm glad we're understanding each other more clearly, and I appreciate your replies. It's caused me to look at the way I write in general and try to eliminate the 'noise' from the 'signal', so to speak, more in future.
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Nikolai , modified 10 Years ago at 6/30/12 9:34 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/29/12 10:32 PM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 1648 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
Daniel Johnson:


There are none that I know of... That's why I was asking. emoticon I think it sounds reasonable that maybe the Buddha was talking about such a condition. There are some discrepancies, but it could be the same thing. As Nick points out, there may be some monks who have attained it but don't speak of it because of monk-rules. I think you, and Nick, and End in Sight have answered my question to that extent. Thanks.

For me, this description of "a complete lack of affect, malice and sorrow, and an absence of being" is rather unique. I don't know of any other tradition which explicitly leads to such a goal.




I like the following explanation of the notion of 'nibbana'; the extinction of existence while living in the world. 'While living in the world' being a vital part of the definition of it. it is not relegated to some 'blip' or cessation of the senses nor some deep samadhi type need-to-be-sitting-down-to-experience transcendent experience.

In my own experience, if there is the slightest feeling of 'being' in any manifestation subtle or gross, it is accompanied by the arising of affect, thus my understanding of 'I' am my feelings and my feelings are 'me'. Along with affect/being there is a felt sense of existence as that 'feeling being'. All one and the same arising; being/affect/existence. This is how I see it currently. Though others will flat deny any of my takes on it as Richard has disagreed with much of what I have written about. Grain of salt and all.

How can one be certain here and now that this existence has ceased?

This might sometimes appear as a big puzzle. But all the same, the Arahant experiences the cessation of existence as a realization. That is why he even gives expression to it as: “Bhavanirodho Nibbanam, cessation of existence is Nibbana.
It comes about by this extinction of influxes. The very existence of ‘existence’ is especially due to the flowing in of influxes of existence. What is called ‘existence’ is not the apparent process of existing visible to others. It is something that pertains to one’s own mental continuum.

For instance, when it is said that some person is in the world of sense desires, one might sometimes imagine it as living surrounded by objects of sense pleasure. But that is not always the case. It is the existence in a world of sense desires, built up by sensuous thoughts. It is the same with the realms of form and formless realms. Even those realms can be experienced and attain while living in this world itself.

Similarly, it is possible for one to realize the complete cessation of this existence while living in the very world. It is accomplished by winning to the realization that the influxes of sense desires, existence, and ignorance, no longer influence one’s mind. Nibbana The Mind Stilled – Volume I – Bhikkhu K. Nanananda Page 104
Taken from here.


As I see it, when 'being' is completely expunged, there is no more existence but the flesh and blood body still keeps on living in the world. There are plenty of suttas explaining the complete dropping away of ill will (malice?) and sorrow. 'Being'? well it depends on how we translate it. Is 'being' the felt sense of existing as a 'feeling being'? Does it correspond to the idea of 'existence' (bhava) in buddhist terms?

Losing all affect is not really talked of in the suttas at all I don't think. Yet can we equate 'existence' with affect? And if they are the same thing, then I think it was a wise move by the Buddha to not to talk about losing affect (consider all the strong reactions here at the DhO in the past towards the AFT's ideas on losing affect. It scares people). To simply bypass this potential obstacle for many 'feeling beings', I think talking about the dropping away of 'being' or existence rather than 'affect' would potentially avoid such strong reactions and objections to a helpful degree.

Maybe it's because of my experience of full blown PCEs and the absence of all mental misery/being/affect/sense of existing that I lean towards reading such buddhist ideas in the way I do. When the buddha talks about how stress and its cessation should be known then I cannot not see all affect/feeling being as 'stress'. It's cessation is freedom from all mental stress in my own experience.

"Stress should be known. The cause by which stress comes into play should be known. The diversity in stress should be known. The result of stress should be known. The cessation of stress should be known. The path of practice for the cessation of stress should be known."


"And what is the diversity in feeling? There is the feeling of pleasure connected with the baits of the world. There is the feeling of pleasure not connected with the baits of the world. There is the feeling of pain connected with the baits of the world. There is the feeling of pain not connected with the baits of the world. There is the feeling of neither pleasure nor pain connected with the baits of the world. There is the feeling of neither pleasure nor pain not connected with the baits of the world. This is called the diversity in feeling.[2]

"And what is the result of feeling? One who feels a feeling produces a corresponding state of existence, on the side of merit or demerit. This is called the result of feeling.
Nibbedhika sutta




If the Buddha originally was talking about some other idea of 'stress', then it's too late for me now. From my own experience, stress equals all affect/being/feeling being/felt sense of existence/presence/flow of time.

Perhaps Richard's AF is different in some way due to different approach and different optimizations , but this extinction of existence while living in the world does not seem to be 180 degrees opposite to the extinction of the 'feeling being' or complete self-immolation in af speak.

With regard to the AF yahoo group. I have visited a few times and have found nothing useful or practical there, except one post from tarin wherein he summarizes his path to the attainment formerly known as AF. You suggest that the forum could be useful and practical, am I missing something? Are there any good posts that you would recommend?


There is the plagued by negativity forum: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/actualfreedom/

and the newer forum currently untouched by such negativity which may be more useful for a pure actualist bent, actualist motivations/inspirations and actualist practice reasons. in other words, exactly within Richard's approved contexts. No room to mix, confuse oneself and flipflop:http://groups.yahoo.com/group/virtualconvivium/

Edit: A must read for those who are inspired by the pure actualist context untouched and unsullied by anything else:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/virtualconvivium/message/194
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Daniel Johnson, modified 10 Years ago at 7/10/12 11:04 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 7/10/12 11:04 AM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 401 Join Date: 12/16/09 Recent Posts
It's taken me a little while to check back in on this thread, but thanks Nikolai and Tommy for the comments.

Nikolai .:
I like the following explanation of the notion of 'nibbana'; the extinction of existence while living in the world. 'While living in the world' being a vital part of the definition of it.


I like this too. Thank you for this post. I think one thing which really worked for me about actualism was the insights into "I am my feelings, and my feelings are me." This was something so new to me, and for me it was 180 opposite to what I had been practicing up until that point. It has drastically changed me into a much more peaceful person, with much less suffering. What you speak of matches my experience of this phenomenon of what "being" is, and gives some good food for thought as well.

Thanks.
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Daniel Johnson, modified 10 Years ago at 7/10/12 11:20 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 7/10/12 11:20 AM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 401 Join Date: 12/16/09 Recent Posts
Nikolai .:

Edit: A must read for those who are inspired by the pure actualist context untouched and unsullied by anything else:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/virtualconvivium/message/194


I went to this link and it looked like an interesting topic, but as I read the posts, it seems mostly to be a bunch of speculation and opinions. I'm not sure why you labeled it a "must read." Am I missing something? The interesting thing I learned was that someone went to see Richard and learn from him in person (is that Claudiu the same one that was the Fire Golem Emu?). I didn't know that Richard was teaching in person still.

Anyway, it's interesting to know that there is a forum there. Are people becoming Actually Free on that forum? I guess I will have to keep an eye on that one now too.
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago at 7/10/12 5:17 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 7/10/12 5:17 PM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
This was something so new to me, and for me it was 180 opposite to what I had been practicing up until that point.

I agree with you on this. Here's my take on why Richard considers what we're doing within the pragmatic dharma community as being "180 degrees" away from "an actual freedom": Richard considers all meditative (and certain contemplative) methods to be solely involved with introspection, fantasy and general bullshit based on his experience over the years with predominantly Hinduism-based systems of practice. It's all based on looking 'inwards' and finding "the truth within" and all that shite. This, in my opinion and experience with those same systems, is a fair point and I actually agree with the guy...but, insight practice within Buddhism, as in bare attentiveness to sensate experience as this flesh and blood body on a moment by moment basis, is not an "introspective" practice; in my experience, vipassana involves being completely here, now and in this world of people and things, continually attentive to what's occurring in this moment and seeing that there is no agent, no subject and no object in the first place, and that, even if I ceased to exist, the world would continue as normal.

Perhaps it's not so ridiculous then, to suggest what the hardcore dharma community practice and discuss is actually more similar to what's practiced, "spiritual" models and maps aside, and discussed by the AFT; plenty of people on here have learned through experience that there are ways to get classically "enlightened", but then realized that it didn't actually lead to the end of suffering and so continued to investigate where others would have been satisfied to remain. Isn't this basically what Richard did?

Is there not sufficient evidence, if researched without preconception or the assumption that one word couldn't possibly be referring to the same thing as another word, that what Richard describes is not unique to him at all and, rather than being the "progenitor", he's figured out an effective, non-sectarian and highly practical way to go about ending "malice and sorrow"? If that really was the case, would it not be more profitable for both sides of this entirely imagined division, not to mention the human race as a whole, to stop banging heads and actually discuss this openly with a genuine interest in helping all of these other flesh and blood bodies existent here and now become free?

Rhetorical questions, of course, since, much as it would wonderful, I don't think we're ever going to resolve this unless a proper open-minded discussion takes place between Richard and those of us who suggest that "an actual freedom" is at least similar, if not identical, to what Nick, Tarin, Trent, End, and others have realized via a hybridized approach to practice. I don't see that happening any time soon, and I doubt very much that Richard would even consider the possibility as his nervous system doesn't appear to accept any new data contrary to the inherent view he still maintains. As Brian Wilson said, wouldn't it be nice? emoticon

Here's another interesting thing. When Nick suggested the description "consciousness without object" to describe apperception, Richard quickly pointed out, and also made a point of deliciously copypasta'ing over to the AFT to emphasize it, that he said this in relation to apperception:

Richard:
"to regain the actual purity of the unadulterated sensuous experience of *consciousness without a subject* (a body sans identity) from the adulterated mystical experience of consciousness without an object (an identity sans body)’"


This is something I've been thinking about for a while...In my experience of proper, stable, full-on, subjectless PCE's, the distinction between "subject" and "object" no longer has any validity; there's no subject to objectify anything, no object to be subjectified, it's just bare sensate experience, i.e. in the seeing, only the seen etc etc.

It seems that this distinction between "without object" and "without subject" is what Richard bases the entire "180 degrees" argument on, he sees the practices people like me are using, basically a hybridized mix of "HAIETMOBA" and attentiveness/mindfulness (see Bhante G), as leading "away from" the PCE, a.k.a. aiming 'inwardly'...based on my current experience, I find this highly unlikely.
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago at 7/10/12 5:24 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 7/10/12 5:24 PM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
The interesting thing I learned was that someone went to see Richard and learn from him in person (is that Claudiu the same one that was the Fire Golem Emu?). I didn't know that Richard was teaching in person still.

Aye, it's the same Claudiu and he visited Richard a few months ago in Australia, not so much for "teaching" but certainly for advice and information. He came back a committed actualist and decided to remove himself from the DhO and all dharma-orientated communities as it no longer reflected his practice, which is unfortunate 'cause he was a great guy and a good laugh.

I'll actually need to email him 'cause I haven't been in touch for ages.
An Eternal Now, modified 10 Years ago at 7/10/12 8:02 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 7/10/12 7:56 PM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 638 Join Date: 9/15/09 Recent Posts
Tommy M:

Here's another interesting thing. When Nick suggested the description "consciousness without object" to describe apperception, Richard quickly pointed out, and also made a point of deliciously copypasta'ing over to the AFT to emphasize it, that he said this in relation to apperception:

Richard:
"to regain the actual purity of the unadulterated sensuous experience of *consciousness without a subject* (a body sans identity) from the adulterated mystical experience of consciousness without an object (an identity sans body)’"


This is something I've been thinking about for a while...In my experience of proper, stable, full-on, subjectless PCE's, the distinction between "subject" and "object" no longer has any validity; there's no subject to objectify anything, no object to be subjectified, it's just bare sensate experience, i.e. in the seeing, only the seen etc etc.

It seems that this distinction between "without object" and "without subject" is what Richard bases the entire "180 degrees" argument on, he sees the practices people like me are using, basically a hybridized mix of "HAIETMOBA" and attentiveness/mindfulness (see Bhante G), as leading "away from" the PCE, a.k.a. aiming 'inwardly'...based on my current experience, I find this highly unlikely.
I wonder why Nick didn't get back to Richard's reply.

Richard is making a good point - One Mind is different from No Mind or anatta. Whereas in One Mind all objects and perceptions are subsumed to a single field of awareness/Mind undivided in terms of subject and object, in No Mind, it is the Subjectivity/Mind/Awareness that is deconstructed or dissolved... Only the self-luminous sensations. Even so, no mind (pce) experience should not be mistaken as the realization of anatta, the latter is more important, without which no mind will be a mere passing state, nothing seamless or effortless. In One Mind, though nondual experience is there, there will be this tendency to trace back to a Source, so those nondual awareness practitioners always trace back to a source. Therefore objectivity is subsumed into an ultimate mind, but subjectivity is not deconstructed. And this ultimate Source, Mind, etc is rightly pointed out by Richard to be mere illusion. But for this DhO community, I think most of us aren't talking about One Mind, it might be more relevant for those advaita or awareness practitioners (plenty even in Buddhism). For anatta, there is no source to trace, it is fully manifested as the immediate moment of manifestation or as this flow of action.

The key to a PCE is not non-conceptuality (an intense state of aliveness can also be experienced in nonconceptuality but without dissolution of self/Self). It is also not about stripping perception bare. Therefore Bhante Gunaratana's article which Richard plagiarized, only managed to describe the naked, bare, mirror bright clarity aspect but the aspect of no-mind is not so clearly stated. Whereas Richard's main concern was to use that practice of attentiveness to cultivate the pce and eventually into actual freedom/self-immolation. Non-conceptual, bare, mirror bright are not the main emphasis. Even though all these are present in a pce. However, even those of the I AM phase or the One Mind phase, practitioners also talk about non conceptuality and stripping perception bare, they also directly realized the luminosity. The key difference and the key to the PCE is the complete dissolution of any Subjectivity or self/Self sense, even that of an ultimate Mind or what richard calls "soul/feeler" and not just the stripping of personal constructs (the small self). So when the stress is on non conceptuality and being bare, Richard wasn't sure if Nick knew what a PCE was as he wasn't able to express the "key" or the "essence" or PCE, and actual freedom, which lies in "self immolation".

As I said earlier:

""AF" is not just Thusness Stage 4 (One Mind), it is going beyond 4 but not seeing the full aspect of 5.

That is, "AF" is able to elucidate the faults of Stage 4 and goes into certain aspect of 5:

https://www.box.com/shared/sbyi64jrms

("Actual Freedom and Buddhism" written by me)

Richard:

"And the reason why I provide the full version is because Mr. Alan Watts clearly reports that it is quote ‘because’ endquote of the awareness of himself, from inside himself, that the distance or separation (between himself and his senses, on the one hand, and the external world, on the other) seemed to disappear ... as contrasted my report that it is quote ‘with’ endquote the end of both ‘I’ and ‘me’ that the distance or separation (between both ‘I’ and ‘me’ and these sense organs and thus the external world) disappears.
In other words, with no identity whatsoever there is no-one to be either in a state of separation (aka duality) or in a state of union (aka non-duality).
....
Richard: ‘To be living as the senses is to live a clear and clean awareness – apperception – a pure consciousness experience of the world as-it-is. *Because there is no ‘I’ as a thinker (a little person inside one’s head) or a ‘me’ as a feeler (a little person in one’s heart)* ...’. emphasis added.
Again the reason why I provide the full version is because to be living *as* the senses (as a flesh and blood body only) is a vast cry from a remaining, and non-detached observer, having *become* the sensations (as in having identified with and/or having arrogated them).
...

A quick search of the internet showed that the quote you provided comes from an essay, in ‘This is It and Other Essays on Zen and Spiritual Experience’, entitled ‘The New Alchemy’ and goes on to say, immediately after where you ended it, the following:
• ‘For it implies that experience is not something in which one is trapped or by which one is pushed around, or against which one must fight. The conventional duality of subject and object, knower and known, feeler and feeling, is changed into a polarity: the knower and the known become the poles, terms, or phases of a single event which happens, not to me or from me, but of itself. The experiencer and the experience become a single, ever-changing self-forming process, complete and fulfilled at every moment of its unfolding, and of infinite complexity and subtlety’.
That polarity of subject/ object, knower/ known, feeler/ feeling, experiencer/ experience is an unmistakable description of mystical experiencing wherein the polar opposites unite (aka non-duality) – known in some mystical literature as ‘complexio oppositorum’ (union of opposites) ‘or coincidentia oppositorum’ (coincidence of opposites) – and thus shows that my counselling of very careful and considered use of psychotropic substances is a well-advised monition.
Here in this actual world neither duality nor non-duality have any existence."


Contrast this with Thusness's description of his stages:

http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.sg/2007/03/thusnesss-six-stages-of-experience.html

Effectively Phase 4 is merely the experience of non-division between subject/object. The initial insight glimpsed from the anatta stanza is without self but in the later phase of my progress; it appears more like subject/object is an inseparable union, than absolutely no-subject. This is precisely the 2nd case of the Three levels of understanding Non-Dual. I was still awed by the pristineness and vividness of phenomena in phase 4.

Phase 5 is quite thorough in being no one and I would call this anatta in all 3 aspects -- no subject/object division, no doer-ship and absence of agent.

However the aspect of the 1st stanza of anatta, and experiencing in terms of a process, activity, and dependent origination is lacking. Experience is skewed towards Thusness 2nd stanza of anatta ( http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.sg/2009/03/on-anatta-emptiness-and-spontaneous.html ) but without reifying One Mind. "
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago at 7/10/12 8:11 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 7/10/12 8:11 PM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
An Eternal Now:
In One Mind, though nondual experience is there, there will be this tendency to trace back to a Source, so those nondual awareness practitioners always trace back to a source. Therefore objectivity is subsumed into an ultimate mind, but subjectivity is not deconstructed. And this ultimate Source, Mind, etc is rightly pointed out by Richard to be mere illusion. But for this DhO community, I think most of us aren't talking about One Mind, it might be more relevant for those advaita or awareness practitioners (plenty even in Buddhism). For anatta, there is no source to trace, it is fully manifested as the immediate moment of manifestation or as this flow of action.

Yes!!

The key difference and the key to the PCE is the complete dissolution of any Subjectivity or self/Self sense, even that of an ultimate Mind or what richard calls "soul/feeler" and not just the stripping of personal constructs (the small self).

Yeeeeeeeessssss!

Excellently put as ever.
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Nikolai , modified 10 Years ago at 7/11/12 12:33 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 7/11/12 12:33 AM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 1648 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
I wonder why Nick didn't get back to Richard's reply.



Because i arrived at the notion that it was time for people (including myself) to shut up and stop adding to the confusion of (speculative or not) opinions which were becoming simply fuel for more confusion and not getting on with it for many people. It is a good development that those that were flip flopping for such a long time are more inclined and determined to take whatever path they have taken to its end, and soon I hope as the more data, the better. Nuff talk, nuff confusion, follow the instructions and get it done.
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D Justine J, modified 10 Years ago at 7/14/12 8:21 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 7/14/12 8:21 PM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 120 Join Date: 1/15/12 Recent Posts
my suggestion is made in the interests of all parties concerned so that we can all get on with whatever it is that we're doing without treading on anyone's toes. If what the DhO calls "Inspired by Actualism" is actually a bastardized version of what it's "progenitor" developed then it's inaccurate to use their language, e.g. "EE", "happy and harmless" or "apperception" (as defined by Richard), and has led to considerable confusion for many people on both sides of the imaginary fence. In the interests of avoiding further conflict, disagreement or confusion, and so as to leave those committed to the Actualism method to follow the precise instructions available on the AFT site, and also so that those on the DhO can continue in their practices without being misled by/misinterpreting the specific language on the AFT.


Thanks Tommy. Your entire suggestions in this thread 'A Suggestion' is marvelous. It is deep with your reflections, concern for the good of both sides, as you say, 'on both sides of the imaginary fence'. It shows your caring concern for all. Your tolerance and broadmindedness is appreciated. I read this for the first time, only after I posted my recent thread 'A Humble appeal by Justine'. I find here, my anguish amply touched and many practical ideas created by your kind self. 'without treading on anyone's toes' - nice words!

Regards,

Justine
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago at 7/16/12 4:39 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 7/16/12 4:39 PM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
Thanks Justine, I appreciate you taking the time to reply on this.

: )
John Wilde, modified 10 Years ago at 8/6/12 2:43 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 8/6/12 2:19 AM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 501 Join Date: 10/26/10 Recent Posts
Hi All,

I think Tommy's proposal at the top of this thread was a good one, and I think his reasoning was sound. I think putting this suggestion into practice would be a win for everyone, regardless of where one stands on the core controversies.

Some possibilities:

What if Richard is right? What if "an actual freedom from the human condition" really is new, unique, and 180 degrees opposite to anything else in history, including all the DhO stuff that was once thought to be consistent with AF, ie. that which Tarin, Trent, Nick, Jill, et al, have attained and written about?

IF that's so, it certainly makes sense to allow the AFT to preserve the integrity of its message. It makes sense to let them have their own lexicon, and not misappropriate it to describe experiences and outcomes that aren't related. It makes sense not to try to build bridges but rather to actively emphasise that AF is distinct from everything else, so that people can make a clear, binary choice: yes or no; this way or that way. It also makes sense for informed AF advocates (like Claudiu and his inevitable successors) to stand firm against anything that would conflate or confuse the aims and methods.

Staying with this hypothetical IF, there are plenty of options available to people:

-- For people who are curious but unsure/undecided, there's the option to go and discuss it on a specifically AF related mailing list where they'll find people who know what they're talking about. Richard participates on one of those lists too, so they might correspond with him directly. That way they get their information straight from the horse's mouth; they avoid having the AFT message unwittingly corrupted or diluted by well-meaning but mistaken DhO participants; and the DhO remains free from the kind of tedious, repetitive controversies that otherwise tend to arise.

-- For people who are in decidedly in favour of AF, there's the option to just fucking go for it: follow the recommendation of those who know their stuff and turn your back on what is "180 degrees opposite"; discuss it in a forum that is set up for precisely that purpose.. or if the existing ones aren't good enough, create one.

-- For people who acknowledge its uniqueness but don't believe in the legitimacy/value of Actualism/Richardism, there's the option to do nothing; just leave it alone don't discuss it; don't describe your experiences or aims in AFT terms, and be completely free from any kind of conceptual, linguistic or political entanglement with AFT actualism.

In summary, **IF** AF is entirely new to human history, 180 degrees opposite from everything else, then it would be best to let it have its own space, its own language and its own (by nature, exclusive) culture. People who want to discuss, debate or engage with AF in practice could go to (or create) a place for precisely that purpose. That way the AF space and the DhO space are allowed to be different environments with different aims, nobody thwarting each other. (As Claudiu rightly points out, distinguishing actualism from all other outcomes/practices is itself an essential aspect of actualism practice. Bearing that in mind, it makes little sense for one community to embrace another [community] whose aim is to reject and separate itself from the aims and practices of the host. Better [within this hypothetical frame] to just acknowledge the differences and move on).

*

For another hypothetical scenario: What if AF is not new, not unique to human history, not 180 degrees opposite at all... but, rather, an idiosyncratic rebranding of something that has been done before and/or since by others of a non-actualist orientation?

Well … IF Richard is stubbornly, persistently, intractably, and wrongly insistent on his primacy and uniqueness, it's hard to see why anyone would want to emulate him in particular (when they could be learning from someone else who has achieved the same thing but is not stubbornly, intractably and mistakenly insistent on his or her primacy and uniqueness).

But if they do, they know where to find him; and there they'll also find a culture and community built around his idiosyncratic presentation.

If they really want that… it's there.

*

I don't see any real disadvantages of Tommy's original suggestion... but I do see a few disadvantages of it not being implemented: eg., the endless and repetitive arguments going on year after year, with new inquirers and new advocates having the same conversations over and over again and again, potentially causing a lot of needless enmity, distress, distraction or confusion.

No skin off my nose really, just thought there was more merit in Tommy's suggestion than the alternative [going through the same shit repeatedly without figuring out where you (individually if not collectively) stand on it].

Cheers,
John/Jack
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 10 Years ago at 8/6/12 8:18 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 8/6/12 8:18 AM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Just a brief reply from me: I do agree with all of Jack's points on both sides of the hypothetical.

On the 'yes difference' side, I want to emphasize this point: "That way the AF space and the DhO space are allowed to be different environments with different aims, nobody thwarting each other."

On the 'no difference' side I want to emphasize this point:
John Wilde:
Well … IF Richard is stubbornly, persistently, intractably, and wrongly insistent on his primacy and uniqueness, it's hard to see why anyone would want to emulate him in particular (when they could be learning from someone else who has achieved the same thing but is not stubbornly, intractably and mistakenly insistent on his or her primacy and
uniqueness).

It is indeed confusing to me why people who think Richard is indeed persistently wrong about all this want at the same time to show that they are aiming for the same goal as him or experiencing the same thing as him. It seems contradictory, to me. Why would you want to experience the world in a way which allows you to be so wrong and without any apparent ability to see otherwise regardless of how people reason with you?
Change A, modified 10 Years ago at 8/6/12 8:37 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 8/6/12 8:37 AM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 791 Join Date: 5/24/10 Recent Posts
I think this will be good for everyone.
End in Sight, modified 10 Years ago at 8/6/12 9:27 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 8/6/12 9:27 AM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
The category could be named "Happiness and suffering" or something like that (presumably something more catchy), and practices and techniques aimed at being happier and suffering less would be on-topic for it. That would sidestep all of the issues involved here regarding whether the AFT practice leads to the same thing as other practices or doesn't; participants on the forum would post as they saw fit, and time would eventually tell what works, what doesn't work, what leads to what, etc. without anyone representing the DhO in an official capacity having to take an official position on anything related to this.
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Daniel Johnson, modified 10 Years ago at 8/6/12 11:30 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 8/6/12 11:30 AM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 401 Join Date: 12/16/09 Recent Posts
John Wilde:

In summary, **IF** AF is entirely new to human history, 180 degrees opposite from everything else, then it would be best to let it have its own space, its own language and its own (by nature, exclusive) culture. People who want to discuss, debate or engage with AF in practice could go to (or create) a place for precisely that purpose.


This already exists. AF has it's own space, it's own language, and it's own culture. And, people can go to other places to engage in that.

John Wilde:
That way the AF space and the DhO space are allowed to be different environments with different aims, nobody thwarting each other.


I think it's pretty obvious that the AF space and the DhO space are different environments with different (but perhaps somewhat overlapping) aims. Whether that space is "allowed" or "thwarted" is up to the individuals who choose to thwart and reject. But, I don't see how the opening of a discussion on a given topic necessarily leads to thwarting or rejection.

The DhO is quite obviously a discussion forum. If people want to discuss AF within the framework of the DhO discussion forum, then why not have a section for such discussion to take place?

I think one interesting thing that is missing from this thread so far is mention of the many people (like myself) who learned about Actualism through exposure at the DhO. So, the idea that "people know where to find info about AF, and can go to other sources for such information" is a silly point. Personally, I would not have known about AF nor where to go for information about it had I not read about it first on the DhO. This is one of the benefits of open discussion: It leads to an exchange of ideas between people of different backgrounds, experiences, and cultures. In short, if there was no mention of AF on the DhO.... many people would not know where to go to find information about Actualism, and probably wouldn't even know that it exists.

John Wilde:
I don't see any real disadvantages of Tommy's original suggestion...


I have benefited greatly from exposure to the Actualism method through the DhO. I think that if I had not had this exposure, it would have been dis-advantageous for me and others. I don't think I am the only one, either.

John Wilde:
I do see a few disadvantages of it not being implemented: eg., the endless and repetitive arguments going on year after year, with new inquirers and new advocates having the same conversations over and over again and again, potentially causing a lot of needless enmity, distress, distraction or confusion.


Perhaps there are other ways to mitigate the human tendency to get into repetitive, argumentative, distracting discussions? Certainly, this hindrance is not unique to the AF category on the DhO. I have found such things on nearly every discussion forum I have ever visited.

*

On another note, which forum is the one in which Richard supposedly responds personally to inquiries? For a long time, I have been under the impression that Richard stopped corresponding via the internet.
Change A, modified 10 Years ago at 8/6/12 3:17 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 8/6/12 1:43 PM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 791 Join Date: 5/24/10 Recent Posts
Daniel Johnson:
John Wilde:
I don't see any real disadvantages of Tommy's original suggestion...


I have benefited greatly from exposure to the Actualism method through the DhO. I think that if I had not had this exposure, it would have been dis-advantageous for me and others. I don't think I am the only one, either.


This is what Tommy originally suggested:

Tommy M:
I suggest that we completely remove any reference to Actualism as a category within the "Insight & Wisdom" section.


He did not suggest to remove all reference to Actualism from DhO itself. He just suggested to remove any reference to Actualism as a category within the "Insight & Wisdom" section.

One other thing that is missing out from this thread is that how many people have left DhO because of the tendencies of the Actualists to prove Actual Freedom as 180 degree opposite to everything else. Latest one could have been Katy and I have benefited a lot from the links that she has posted.

If this continues on like this, then enough people may leave DhO and it becomes one of those AF forums where nothing happens.

And to answer your other question as to which forum Richard responds to (though rarely, depending upon his whims and fancies), it is the Yahoo Actual Freedom forum. Here is the link: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/actualfreedom/

It is from this Yahoo Actual Freedom forum that correspondence on the AFT site 2007 onwards has been illegally copied from without the permission of those who took part. And when someone wanted that to be removed from the AFT site, it was not. Harmless indeed, eh?
Rotten Tomato, modified 10 Years ago at 8/9/12 11:31 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 8/9/12 11:28 AM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 22 Join Date: 7/24/12 Recent Posts
Hi Jack,

Where do you stand?

Do you consider Actualism as a valid thing to do?
Do you think based on what you know about Richard means that the condition that AF bestows is not stable and not worth going for ?
Do you think Actualism is better, and different, from Buddhism ( and other such disciplines)? (since you have very good experience of PCEs (to use that lexicon) and went for AF full-on at one point of time).

And this is for anyone. (Perhaps Claudio can answer this?)
What is the meaning and difference between Actually free and meaning-of-life actually free. And why has this distinction suddenly made in the recent times? iirc, richard had not said this kind of stuff in the past.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 10 Years ago at 8/9/12 11:55 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 8/9/12 11:55 AM

RE: A Suggestion...

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Rotten Tomato:
And this is for anyone. (Perhaps Claudio can answer this?)
What is the meaning and difference between Actually free and meaning-of-life actually free. And why has this distinction suddenly made in the recent times? iirc, richard had not said this kind of stuff in the past.

Richard experienced this distinction too. When he first became actually free, there was that period of 30+ months of cerebral agitation that he describes/refers to on the AFT in various places: here and here, for example.

As I understand it: Richard became actually free at that moment, but it took 30+ months for it to 'settle down'. So, to help distinguish between the phases, the first phase is now called 'newly free', and the 'post-settling-down' phase is now called 'meaning-of-life' free. Additionally, the 30+ months were quite a jumble to Richard and it was not possible to figure out exactly what happened with too much precision, for him, but it happened in a more regular manner in the others, so other phases were able to be labelled, such as 'peace-on-earth' free.

As to why the labels weren't created before, I think it's mostly because there was really no need, and also no way to predict how exactly it would happen for other people. As more people become actually free perhaps more precise language will further be developed. It's all quite new territory, you see.