Tales of first-timer pure consciousness experience

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Andrew , modified 10 Years ago at 6/29/12 7:36 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/29/12 7:36 AM

Tales of first-timer pure consciousness experience

Posts: 336 Join Date: 5/23/11 Recent Posts
In the interest of finding these encouraging and otherwise instructive, I'm asking for those who have had pce's to recount their very first one(s), what they were doing specifically etc, pointers, advice etc.

there are plenty of great threads around, just thought I would start a specific one that at the very least I could post some of the threads I find on the subject.

cheers, if you feel so inclined..
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Oliver Myth, modified 10 Years ago at 6/29/12 7:53 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/29/12 7:49 AM

RE: Tales of first-timer pure consciousness experience

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My first one as an adult was after meditating and being amazed with how the wall in front of me looked. I got up and started walking and the next thing "I" knew was that I had come out of this state where all that hit the senses was filled with wonder and that all the kinds of filters I usually had were gone in that state. I don't remember goin into it, only coming out.

Afterwards, I wondered if this was what "enlightenment" was like, but I dismissed it because it seemed like too much work (LOL). It has many of the qualities I always thought God had although I never believed in god. It also reminded me that there was something similar experienced in childhood and that I used to be fascinated by it back then too.

Not long afterwards I read about PCEs on the DhO and I was very interested. It made me accept the AF ideal of being in PCE 24/7 a bit quicker than others, although I strongly disagree with nearly everything else that comes out of AFT's mouth. Later on I had 1 other Pure PCE to the same extreem and some other lesser ones.

Blessings,
Oliver
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Andrew , modified 10 Years ago at 6/29/12 8:32 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/29/12 8:32 AM

RE: Tales of first-timer pure consciousness experience

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thanks Oliver, do you remember what flavour of meditation you were doing at the time? Where you eyes open for example?

sorry to pepper you with questions. surprisingly all the 'great threads' i was remembering must be individual posts, so I have some searching to do.
Alexander Entelechy, modified 10 Years ago at 6/29/12 12:31 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/29/12 12:31 PM

RE: Tales of first-timer pure consciousness experience

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Hey Andrew

I'll try and go over what I did preceding my PCE. This post might be a little incoherent because I'm piecing certain things together and there are also parts of the process that are probably deserving of posts in their own right.

So about three years ago, I was 29, my life wasn't going well and hadn't been going well for the last, well ever really. Since the age of fifteen I'd been dabbling in Chaos Magick and Robert Anton Wilson / Christopher Hyatt style Undoing exercises. Nothing that I stuck with. It was boring and painful and didn't produce any significance results, minor states of altered consciousness maybe.

During this time I'd spent a lot of my life dreaming about the future. All the things I was going to do. I was going to be in a band and get girls and start a revolution, fantasies along those lines. Yet I didn't actually know anything about making music, and I rarely did art despite it being the thing I said was most important. When I did I wasn't that impressed with it. I just seemed to lack the willpower. So I'd have this cycle of getting excited, trying to bring my dreams to fruition, failing, then falling into a dazed slump for months, then years.

Then one day I read an actual analytical book about Nietzsche (Nietzsche on Morality by Brian Leiter). I also read at around the same time a book about stopping smoking 'Easy way to stop smoking' Allen Carr. Between these two books my concept of 'will power changed'. I realised we don't have free-will (whether we do not or what the term even means is irrelevant, what's important is that I 'realised' it). It was also about that time I read one of the sutras by Buddha, the one that goes, 'and when the Monk is walking he knows he is walking'.

Basically I had a conceptual shift. I became a mechanical materialist. I started seeing myself as a machine and I got interested in 'why' I acted like I did. Now this was all going on while I was on an 'up' part of my cycle. I mention this because at the same time I'd started seeing an Alexander Technique teacher, to fix my posture, it was something that had bugged for me ages. At some point in these few months I also read F.M Alexander's books. I started taking them seriously because...and I think this is the right order.

So all this stuff was happening and at one point I decided to sit down and sort out all the problems and vague fears and worries and hopes I'd had. It was then that I noticed something. All my future fantasies about how awesome life could be, were just that, fantasies. Yet the feeling I got when I imagined them was real. It made me realise I was acting on my imagination. This was a big change for me. I then applied the same thinking to other stuff, Enlightenment met with the same results. I wanted to get Enlightened but I saw how stupid that was, it was a state I'd only ever been told about and what motivated me was the ideas about how good it would be, ideas that were happening in my imagination. So I then realised that actually I only wanted this stuff, wanted to get OVER THERE, because HERE was bad.

So back to the Alexander Technique. While all these realisations were going on I was having AT lessons and I experienced my first real 'change'. I got out of a chair without any effort and then was able to sit in a chair without any effort. The vague tensions and aches in my back just went. Like a part of my body had gone missing. getting out of the chair seemed to be a thing that did itself. Standing I felt buoyant. With these changes my mind seemed to become even more clear. Things were more still.

So my life changed. I brought FM Alexander's books and with all I'd learnt so far I'd divide my day into experimenting with consciousness and making music and writing.

So the experiments.

So the first thing I got from Alexander's work was that instructions are bullshit. Or to be more accurate. Everyone will 'do' instructions 'such as noting meditation' in a different way. I was playing around with noting then but I was sceptical. I ignored a lot of the advice and was enthused at figuring out how my mind worked.

Now during the course of these experiments I began reproducing for myself the state the Alexander Teacher helped me get to. I became fairly good at getting rid of bodily tension. Then here's an interesting thing.

I was reading a Buddhist account of the senses, where it said attention falls rapidly on one thing then another. I decided to see if this was true. Upon investigation I found that was wasn't, and the moment I found that it wasn't, my awareness became 360. A fuck lot of suffering just ended. I realised I was treating my attention AS IF it moved about like that and upon realising that was I thing I was 'doing' it stopped (I think anyway, I don't want to claim certainty on this point).

So I did and thought a lot of other stuff during this time, I'm talking mostly about successes here, or radical change anyway. Basically at this point I was becoming good at redirecting attention in such a way that I was no longer reacting to stimuli. Thoughts were often more sticky in the morning but by evening they didn't really effect me. Life was pretty good a lot of the time in a manner that wouldn't have previously occurred to me. Where as before little things took effort and I put stuff off and anxious. Now I just did things, I had more energy, just being here was fairly nice.
(I'm possibly over stating this in some ways, it might be more accurate to say that a lot of the time it was like that and at other times I'd still feel like crap, feel anxious, and so on).

So one day I have an Alexander lesson and it goes really well. I'm walking home and it does feel really pleasant just being here. On the way home I'm directing my attention to work out some of the knots in tension I'm still feeling. It works and I feel more light and more free, and the sky is good and the sounds of vehicles and busses are good, and the air is good but I'm still kind of messing with experience, and I realise I'm doing, and I think 'You know I can just let things be as they are.' Then upon thinking the thought, a PCE.

Tension and effort disappear totally. So it doesn't feel like I have a body and I realise that the sensations I'd thought were my body were actually just tension. Perception became 360 but without the residue tension everything was just there and just perfect. In a really mundane way. That's the weird thing, it's not flashy or disorientating or awesome or anything. It's just like normal in some respects but perfect. It lasted about 10 minutes I think and at some point I need to control stuff again and it goes.

Ok, so that was both fairly long and also much abridged. I'm not sure how helpful it was. I think it might have been helpful for me to write it. the reason it's so long is because I'm pretty sure (not definite) that a lot of it is the way I was seeing/approaching the world. So the shift in beliefs made me more factual, which made me happier, which had a knock on effect with the actual 'techniques'. Hence the auto-biographical parts.
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#1 - 0, modified 10 Years ago at 6/29/12 12:43 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/29/12 12:43 PM

RE: Tales of first-timer pure consciousness experience

Posts: 104 Join Date: 8/8/10 Recent Posts
The first time was when I was about 10 or so. My parents took me and my brother to Arizona for vacation and we were staying at a hotel in Sedona, a really beautiful place. I always liked nature and things as a kid so this was nice for me. One night we were crossing the street to go eat at this mexican place, and I was crossing the street and the road was so wide and black and the dusk sky was so full of color, I just sort of got lost in it. As I exited the restaraunt later, I found a gecko on the wall and I was looking at it, and realized it looked really "alive" and I was looking at it and then I noticed that the rocks and the wall and everything else about the scene also appeared to be just as "alive". I had no context for it at that point.


Later on, in what ended up becoming my first foray into a real spiritual "trip", I had an experience with DMT at a friend's house. It was all kinds of nuts, but what really interested me is that when I returned to reality, everything was seen to be utterly clean and perfect, in a house that 10 minutes earlier had seemed shabby and dirty to me now seemed totally complete and awesome. This only lasted for about 15 seconds but the phrase that popped out and stuck with me was that since the universe is infinite, it's the only one, and since it's the only one, everything that *is* it must be inherently perfect because there's nothing to compare it to. I also had some insights during the trip about intent and how it fuels everything. It faded but I knew that it was an incredibly important experience.
End in Sight, modified 10 Years ago at 6/29/12 4:34 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 6/29/12 4:34 PM

RE: Tales of first-timer pure consciousness experience

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Nice description.

On a different note...

Alexander Entelechy:
So about three years ago, I was 29, my life wasn't going well and hadn't been going well for the last, well ever really. (...) During this time I'd spent a lot of my life dreaming about the future. All the things I was going to do. I was going to be in a band and get girls and start a revolution, fantasies along those lines. Yet I didn't actually know anything about making music, and I rarely did art despite it being the thing I said was most important. When I did I wasn't that impressed with it. I just seemed to lack the willpower. So I'd have this cycle of getting excited, trying to bring my dreams to fruition, failing, then falling into a dazed slump for months, then years.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyclothymia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bipolar_II

Might be worth investigating. For you and wylo, both.
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Andrew , modified 10 Years ago at 7/3/12 2:37 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 7/3/12 2:33 AM

RE: Tales of first-timer pure consciousness experience

Posts: 336 Join Date: 5/23/11 Recent Posts
thanks for the extensive reply Alexander, and sorry for the belated thanks too!

AE
Since the age of fifteen I'd been dabbling in Chaos Magick and Robert Anton Wilson / Christopher Hyatt style Undoing exercises. Nothing that I stuck with. It was boring and painful and didn't produce any significance results, minor states of altered consciousness maybe.

During this time I'd spent a lot of my life dreaming about the future. All the things I was going to do. I was going to be in a band and get girls and start a revolution, fantasies along those lines.


I can relate to this; dreams of 'powers' and fame and success.

I realised we don't have free-will


Also familiar, spinning out on 'infinite expressions of an eternal substance' after a few books and how free will looked pretty unlikely, yet i never found the 'switch' to turn of the naggin feeling of needing control. which is in itself a paradox (a switch to turn off control, when there is no control? - I would now understand it to be 'sense of control' rather than actual control)

AE
I just seemed to lack the willpower. So I'd have this cycle of getting excited, trying to bring my dreams to fruition, failing, then falling into a dazed slump for months, then years.


have you been reading my journals? that's my line!


AE
Basically I had a conceptual shift. I became a mechanical materialist. I started seeing myself as a machine and I got interested in 'why' I acted like I did. Now this was all going on while I was on an 'up' part of my cycle. I mention this because at the same time I'd started seeing an Alexander Technique teacher, to fix my posture, it was something that had bugged for me ages. At some point in these few months I also read F.M Alexander's books. I started taking them seriously because...and I think this is the right order.

So all this stuff was happening and at one point I decided to sit down and sort out all the problems and vague fears and worries and hopes I'd had. It was then that I noticed something. All my future fantasies about how awesome life could be, were just that, fantasies. Yet the feeling I got when I imagined them was real. It made me realise I was acting on my imagination. This was a big change for me. I then applied the same thinking to other stuff, Enlightenment met with the same results. I wanted to get Enlightened but I saw how stupid that was, it was a state I'd only ever been told about and what motivated me was the ideas about how good it would be, ideas that were happening in my imagination. So I then realised that actually I only wanted this stuff, wanted to get OVER THERE, because HERE was bad.


Ok, we diverge here, i went the path of trying to gain control, (control that, if i had been smart enough to listen to what i was contemplating, didn't exist), so it seems that a precondition in your life was this 'i'm not in control' thought. hmm, OK, that makes sense. I can see how that would be formative of the conditions spoken about in terms of 'pure intent'.

So back to the Alexander Technique. While all these realisations were going on I was having AT lessons and I experienced my first real 'change'. I got out of a chair without any effort and then was able to sit in a chair without any effort. The vague tensions and aches in my back just went. Like a part of my body had gone missing. getting out of the chair seemed to be a thing that did itself. Standing I felt buoyant. With these changes my mind seemed to become even more clear. Things were more still.


How long did you practice the Alexander Technique before this event?

Now during the course of these experiments I began reproducing for myself the state the Alexander Teacher helped me get to. I became fairly good at getting rid of bodily tension. Then here's an interesting thing.


I would love to know what this state is called, is it a part of the system?

i won't keep quoting and asking individual questions, as I understand what you mean by the autobiographical content being important too. i suppose the kicker question is have you been able to replicate this experience? and does it line up with the type of accounts of 'selflessness' other report (perhaps there are degrees of it if not?)

anyway, despite not getting back to you, your post has been very helpful, I really appreciate the time you spent putting it together.

cheers

andrew

edit: oh, an thank you too #1_0, and EiS, would love to read more replies to this topic if others can spare the time...
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Oliver Myth, modified 10 Years ago at 7/5/12 3:05 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 7/5/12 3:05 AM

RE: Tales of first-timer pure consciousness experience

Posts: 143 Join Date: 6/10/11 Recent Posts
Andrew Jones:
thanks Oliver, do you remember what flavour of meditation you were doing at the time? Where you eyes open for example?

sorry to pepper you with questions. surprisingly all the 'great threads' i was remembering must be individual posts, so I have some searching to do.


I was doing a sitting meditation and reflecting on "mirror-like awareness". I don't think that is too important tho. The other PCE I had was simple introspection while sitting on a cushion.

I find now that the Jhanas are a much quicker and reliable way to tap into wholistic states that are a good step away from the normal business of daily life. I haven't had a PCE for over a year now, so it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to chase it.

Wishing the best,
Oliver
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Andrew , modified 10 Years ago at 7/5/12 9:00 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 7/5/12 9:00 PM

RE: Tales of first-timer pure consciousness experience

Posts: 336 Join Date: 5/23/11 Recent Posts
Thanks Oliver,

that is particularly interesting, especially the mirror-awareness being the meditation before the first PCE. I've been contemplating mirror analogies in the light of the book 'Evolution and Consciousness' that Tarver introduced to the forum, so to me, it is not insignificant that you mention that to me now.

I've also looked into the Alexander Technique locally as it certainly seems to have some really positive aspects that I think will be useful in general, if not directly about this subject of PCE, but about enjoying life more fully.

thanks again, and if anyone else wants to share, feel free...(pun intended)

emoticon
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Coyote, modified 10 Years ago at 7/7/12 8:13 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 7/7/12 8:13 AM

RE: Tales of first-timer pure consciousness experience

Posts: 9 Join Date: 3/22/12 Recent Posts
I grew up in rural New England. One winter, when I was about 6 and enamored of the books of Jack London, my father cut blocks of snow with a saw and built me my own tiny igloo in the field behind our house. I'd spend entire afternoons in it perfectly warm, looking at snowflakes and the shimmering puffs of water vapor from my breath condensing in the air. On calm days, I lay as still as possible so my snowsuit wouldn't make noise and listened. In between gusts of wind blowing through the trees and over snow drifts, in between the cries of birds, in between breaths and the gurgling of my belly and the beating of my heart were brief moments of nearly perfect silence. The only thing I could hear was a subtle high-pitched ringing sound, like the fine vibration of a bell.

Every kid should be lucky enough to have an igloo!
Jasmine Marie Engler, modified 10 Years ago at 7/19/12 5:50 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 7/19/12 5:50 PM

RE: Tales of first-timer pure consciousness experience

Posts: 69 Join Date: 5/1/12 Recent Posts
"The only thing I could hear was a subtle high-pitched ringing sound, like the fine vibration of a bell." -a c

a c;

So that's okay, then? I always thought that that odd ringing meant that there was something wrong with my ears, lol! Didn't know that others experienced it as well. But you are correct. When there is no other sound, and the mind is calm, it is there... And I suppose, when I am thinking thoughts, it does stop. So maybe it is a sign to see for when my mind is quiet, and I am in the correct state for mindfulness.

Thanks,

Jazzi

PS- Oliver, I believe that I know what you mean about the wall as well. There are times that I've felt the same.
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Andrew , modified 10 Years ago at 7/22/12 11:22 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 7/22/12 11:22 PM

RE: Tales of first-timer pure consciousness experience

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

Welcome to the DhO,

Are you perhaps referring to Tinnitus? I have noticed recent changes in how I notice the tinnitus I stupidly inflicted on myself through years of loud music playing in bands and industrial noise on the job ( though lots of people are currently irreversibly destroying their hearing using ear buds/ipods turned up too loud.)

It is quite annoying actually; as I become more aware, the damage becomes more apparent. Though there is some information that says the ringing is psychosomatic and I'm hoping that to be the case.
Jasmine Marie Engler, modified 10 Years ago at 7/23/12 4:21 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 7/23/12 4:21 PM

RE: Tales of first-timer pure consciousness experience

Posts: 69 Join Date: 5/1/12 Recent Posts
I wouldn't say that it annoyed me exactly, although it did become difficult to hear last week, so I went in. Turned out mine was being worsened by compressed wax. So, maybe you should get it checked out, just in case? Love and Peace wished for you. :-)
Jazzi
This Good Self, modified 10 Years ago at 7/23/12 7:18 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 7/23/12 7:18 PM

RE: Tales of first-timer pure consciousness experience

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Alex, I'm quite receptive to your style. What else have you learned? About anything, I mean. Just write whatever comes into your head.
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Andrew , modified 10 Years ago at 7/23/12 9:23 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 7/23/12 9:23 PM

RE: Tales of first-timer pure consciousness experience

Posts: 336 Join Date: 5/23/11 Recent Posts
Thanks Jazzi,

I will get that checked out, it could be what is actually happening. cheers.

Hi CCC, I like Alex's style too. I did follow up on the Alexander Technique which has helped with body awareness. Haven't got any formal instruction yet, just learning to balance my head from what I've picked up off the net. It is very compatible IMO .
Alexander Entelechy, modified 10 Years ago at 7/28/12 6:28 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 7/28/12 6:28 AM

RE: Tales of first-timer pure consciousness experience

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Hey CCC

Considering my current situation I'm wary of saying I learnt anything. Mostly I came away with criticisms of techniques, methods and paths. They all seem to be hit and hope and in my case it seemed to be the ability to think in a certain way that got me 'success'. The order seemed to be 'I realised something' and the result of that was a change in my state. (normally it was I realised that I held a false belief that I was acting upon as if it were true).

There are two approaches to problems that seem to share a lot of similarities to what I did. I found both of these approaches later and I have tried both of them and have criticisms of them but you might find them interesting.

http://www.learningmethods.com/question.htm
http://www.learningmethods.com/showthetruth.htm
http://www.learningmethods.com/circular.htm (I have big issues with this essay)

http://www.freezoneplanet.org/12a.html
http://www.freezoneplanet.org/15a.html

My single biggest criticism is that neither are open source. I think a method gains applicability by being heavily criticised and modified in light of that. It should never be the person who doesn't work, it should always always be the method. In this way of thinking anyway.

And I want to state once again. These are idle musings and I could be totally fucking wrong.

Andrew .:
Thanks Jazzi,

I will get that checked out, it could be what is actually happening. cheers.

Hi CCC, I like Alex's style too. I did follow up on the Alexander Technique which has helped with body awareness. Haven't got any formal instruction yet, just learning to balance my head from what I've picked up off the net. It is very compatible IMO .


Hey Andrew

I you can get the most out of the Alexander Technique under a teacher. Even then I think it's got issues. If you have a fuck ton of spare time then this debate:

http://www.learningmethods.com/debate/home.htm

Makes interesting reading. It's basically David Gorman (who created Learning Methods which I linked above) arguing about how the premise of the Technique is flawed. Only it gets deep into how we know what we know and other stuff of that sort.

What a teacher can sometimes do, if they're good, is provide the experience of effortlessness. I think this experience is on a continuum with the pce and most of the Alexander teachers I speak to who are good seem to have fairly regular pce's or exist in a close state.

Here are my thoughts on that continuum.

Attention is narrowed down into an activity. Doing takes effort. There is tension. Emotions are very strong. Thinking is often rapid. Life feels turbulent. Nothing satisfies.

Attention is broad. There is doing and some effort. There is less tension but it still exists. Emotions have less effect. Thinking is clearer. Things feel still. Satisfaction comes from everyday things.

There is no attention. There is no doing and no effort. Thinking does itself. There is no tension. There is no affect. Perfection and total satisfaction comes from just being here.

I could talk far more about it but I can't offer any answers. This is just stuff gleaned from my own experience and I guess everyone's experience and interpretation of their experience is different.
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Andrew , modified 10 Years ago at 7/29/12 8:25 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 7/29/12 8:25 PM

RE: Tales of first-timer pure consciousness experience

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

I had a read of the debate (not all); funny how effective it is reading a debate about something I have only a wiki entries knowledge of!

I see at it's heart the same 'core mechanism' as actualist practice, and also my other favourite- spinozian monism (which i recently dusted off and have been having a ball with), nothing like emending the intellect to strip away the BS from the moment!

I am fascinated by the whole concept of effortlessness in movement/thinking, and can see the precarious challenge of transmitting the knowledge/understanding without otherwise learning a 'technique'. I think, as always, we learn most from imitation rather than instruction, so indeed i can see the value of a teacher (the example of which transmitting the lions share of the 'sense appreciation' paradigm)

cheers

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