Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom

Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom Change A. 8/18/12 1:28 PM
RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom John P 8/18/12 3:21 PM
RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom Change A. 8/18/12 3:29 PM
RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom Jon T 8/19/12 6:26 PM
RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom Nikolai . 8/19/12 10:49 PM
RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom Rotten Tomato 8/20/12 5:56 AM
RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom Jon T 8/20/12 1:34 PM
RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 8/20/12 1:38 PM
RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom End in Sight 8/20/12 2:22 PM
RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 8/20/12 2:33 PM
RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom Yadid dee 8/21/12 1:31 AM
RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 8/20/12 3:42 PM
RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom Some Guy 8/21/12 7:57 PM
RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom Daniel Johnson 8/28/12 9:35 PM
RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom #1 - 0 9/10/12 6:48 PM
RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom Shashank Dixit 9/11/12 1:56 AM
RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom End in Sight 8/20/12 2:50 PM
RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 8/20/12 3:33 PM
RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom End in Sight 8/20/12 3:41 PM
RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 8/20/12 3:58 PM
RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom End in Sight 8/20/12 4:31 PM
RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 8/20/12 5:41 PM
RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom End in Sight 8/21/12 6:30 AM
RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 8/21/12 8:19 AM
RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom End in Sight 8/21/12 9:10 AM
RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 8/21/12 10:01 AM
RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom srid 8/28/12 1:59 PM
RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom John Wilde 8/20/12 7:29 PM
RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom Rotten Tomato 9/6/12 8:50 AM
Change A, modified 10 Years ago at 8/18/12 1:28 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 8/18/12 1:27 PM

Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom

Posts: 791 Join Date: 5/24/10 Recent Posts
Following points comparing Actual Freedom with Spiritual Freedom were made by Harmanjit (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/actualfreedom/message/10296):

"Actual Freedom: There is a method, which works to free you from your pathetic existence. It will make you happy without any relation to outside circumstances.
Spiritual Freedom: There is a method, which works to free you from your pathetic existence. It will make you happy without any relation to outside circumstances.


Actual Freedom: There is a guru and some close and "staunch" disciples who defend the guru, in matters physical and metaphysical.

Spiritual Freedom: There is a guru and some close and "staunch" disciples who defend the guru, in matters physical and metaphysical.


Actual Freedom: The real world is a dream and exists only in your psyche. The Actuality (the guru's ontology) is more important.
Spiritual Freedom: The real world is a dream and exists only in your psyche. The Reality (the guru's ontology) is more important.

Actual Freedom: Universe is infinite and eternal and perfect and benevolent. Universe is our God.
Spiritual Freedom: God is infinite and eternal and perfect and benevolent. God is our Universe.

Actual Freedom: There is no feeling of time passing in Actual Freedom.
Spiritual Freedom: There is no feeling of time passing in Spiritual Freedom.

Actual Freedom: The gurus are free from lust, but they indulge in sex (in fact with multiple partners) because (insert excuse)
Spiritual Freedom: The gurus are free from lust, but they indulge in sex (in fact with multiple partners) because (insert excuse)

Actual Freedom: There are centers in the body which you should focus on in your practice.
Spiritual Freedom: There are centers in the body which you should focus on in your practice.

Actual Freedom: The psychic web is very real and lots of fantastic action-at-a-distance experiences happen on your way to actual freedom, and even after it, but you shouldn't get trapped in them.
Spiritual Freedom: The psychic web is very real and lots of fantastic action-at-a-distance experiences happen on your way to spiritual freedom, and even after it, but you shouldn't get trapped in them.

Actual Freedom: The "I" is an illusion. You are the All-perfect Universe in actuality.
Spiritual Freedom: The "I" is an illusion. You are the All-perfect God in reality.

Actual Freedom: The gurus know certain things because of extraordinary means of perception. You won't understand.
Spiritual Freedom: The gurus know certain things because of extraordinary means of perception. You won't understand.

Actual Freedom: The gurus don't have to learn anything else about the human condition, as they know all that is to know. They cannot be better people than what they already are. They are perfect.
Spiritual Freedom: The gurus don't have to learn anything else about the human condition, as they know all that is to know. They cannot be better people than what they already are. They are perfect.

Actual Freedom: Plagiarized wisdom substantiated by affectless metaphysical subjectivity (solipsistic "perfection and oneness").
Spiritual Freedom: Rehashed wisdom substantiated by thoughtless metaphysical subjectivity (solipsistic "perfection and oneness").


Actual Freedom: New vocabulary, convoluted prose, evangelical poetry. Difficult to understand and apply.

Spiritual Freedom: New vocabulary, convoluted prose, evangelical poetry. Difficult to understand and apply.


Actual Freedom: Psychoactive drugs help in achieving a glimpse of Actual Freedom.
Spiritual Freedom: Psychoactive drugs help in achieving a glimpse of Spiritual Freedom.

Actual Freedom: Morality is to keep lesser people in check. The gurus don't need it.
Spiritual Freedom: Morality is to keep lesser people in check. The gurus don't need it.

Actual Freedom: Achieving the goal is possible in this lifetime, if you are fully dedicated and if you have "pure" intent.
Spiritual Freedom: Achieving the goal is possible in this lifetime, if you are fully dedicated and if you have "pure" intent.

Actual Freedom: Suffering is "ended" (via Alexithymia and denial).
Spiritual Freedom: Suffering is "ended" (via dissociation and divinity).

Actual Freedom: The Guru's "I" is no more. The traits that you see are in your imagination only, and are due to projection. Got it, silly?
Spiritual Freedom: The Guru's "I" is no more. The traits that you see are in your imagination only, and are due to projection. Got it, silly?

Actual Freedom: Any `inner' and `outer' dichotomy is no more.
Spiritual Freedom: Any `inner' and `outer' dichotomy is no more.

Actual Freedom: Strange incantations like "It is never not this moment" and "Matter is not really passive" and "it is a matter of choice" and "psychic eye" which perplex newcomers.
Spiritual Freedom: Strange incantations like "You are already That" and "Grace comes to those who don't demand it" and "third eye" which perplex newcomers.

Actual Freedom: Life in actual freedom is not barren or sterile; in fact it is much more colorful, even though you have no meaningful engagements any more.
Spiritual Freedom: Life in spiritual freedom is not barren or sterile; in fact it is much more colorful, even though you have no meaningful engagements any more.

Actual Freedom: The gurus have the "Facts" (because they say so). Everybody else is wrong.
Spiritual Freedom: The gurus have the "Truth" (because they say so). Everybody else is wrong.

Actual Freedom: An ASC experience experienced as PERFECT consciousness. This ASC is the holy grail of all experience.
Spiritual Freedom: An ASC experience experienced as DIVINE consciousness. This ASC is the holy grail of all experience.

Actual Freedom: A guru can catapult you into actual freedom via his writings, interaction and sex.
Spiritual Freedom: A guru can catapult you into spiritual freedom via his writings, words and sex.


Actual Freedom: The guru will chide you if you proffer unsolicited advice, but then later will quietly do what you recommended. You, a recalcitrant ego-self, should know your place.
Spiritual Freedom: The guru will chide you if you proffer unsolicited advice, but then later will quietly do what you recommended. You, a recalcitrant ego-self, should know your place.

Actual Freedom: If you are not progressing, you are doing something wrong. The guru and the method are infallible.
Spiritual Freedom: If you are not progressing, you are doing something wrong. The guru and the method are infallible.

Actual Freedom: The guru knows best even about matters unrelated to Actual Freedom (history, politics, economics, science, etc.).
Spiritual Freedom: The guru knows best even about matters unrelated to Spiritual Freedom (history, politics, economics, science, etc.).

Actual Freedom: The guru's snide remarks and put-downs are totally affect-less and are born of fellowship regard and actual caring.
Spiritual Freedom: The guru's snide remarks and put-downs are totally devoid of anger and are born of compassion and unconditional love.

Actual Freedom: A temporary altered state of consciousness, which can be drug or sex-induced provides a glimpse of one's destiny.
Spiritual Freedom: A temporary altered state of consciousness, which can be drug or sex-induced, provides a glimpse of one's destiny.

Actual freedom: After jumping into the "actual", real world seems like a nightmarish dream.
Spiritual Freedom: After jumping into the "spiritual", real world seems like a nightmarish dream.

Actual Freedom: Lack of a shared conscience, civic responsibility, and traits of Sociopathy, Misanthropy, Manipulation and Narcissism.
Spiritual Freedom: Lack of a shared conscience, civic responsibility, and traits of Sociopathy, Misanthropy, Manipulation and Narcissism.

Actual Freedom: You are responsible for your suffering, and for coming out of it. Don't blame others, especially your guru, even if they treat you like dirt.
Spiritual Freedom: You are responsible for your suffering, and for coming out of it. Don't blame others, especially your guru, even if they treat you like dirt.

Actual Freedom: The guru is after the well-being of the real YOU (your flesh and blood body), but your ego may take a beating because of the constant humiliation and insults and put-downs.
Spiritual Freedom: The guru is after the well-being of the real YOU (your soul), but your ego may take a beating because of the constant humiliation and insults and put-downs.

Actual Freedom: Real-world love is nothing compared to the Actual Intimacy.
Spiritual Freedom: Real-world love is nothing compared to Unconditional Love.

Actual Freedom: Belief and trust are essential (it is called naivet�). If you doubt, you are not naive. Moreover, if you doubt the method and the guru, you are only reflecting your human condition and have an ulterior motive and don't really want to be free. Moreover, by criticizing actual freedom, you are advocating war and suicide.
Spiritual Freedom: Belief and trust are essential (it is called faith). If you doubt, you are not faithful. Moreover, if you doubt the method and the guru, you are only reflecting your human condition and have an ulterior motive and don't really want to be free. Moreover, by criticizing spiritual freedom, you are advocating suffering and sorrow.

Actual Freedom: Fantastic events happen magically in actual freedom.
Spiritual Freedom: Fantastic events happen magically in spiritual freedom.

Actual Freedom: The gurus need to hide unsavory facts about themselves because disciples won't understand the full context.
Spiritual Freedom: The gurus need to hide unsavory facts about themselves because disciples won't understand the full context.

Actual Freedom: The gurus don't need to work for their livelihood, through a happy set of circumstances. But still, Actual Freedom is for everybody.
Spiritual Freedom: The gurus don't need to work for their livelihood, through a happy set of circumstances. But still, Spiritual Freedom is for everybody.

Actual Freedom: Trust the universe to provide for you. Don't worry.
Spiritual Freedom: Trust God to provide for you. Don't worry.

Actual Freedom: Actual freedom is full of argumentation and denouncement of all others because only actually free people know it all.
Spiritual Freedom: Spiritual freedom is full of argumentation and denouncement of all others because only spiritually free people know it all.

Actual Freedom: The guru certifies people as actually free.
Spiritual Freedom: The guru certifies people as spiritually free.

Actual Freedom: This will change history. Humanity is entering a new phase. Paradise is nigh.
Spiritual Freedom: This will change history. Humanity is entering a new phase. Paradise is nigh.

Actual Freedom: Society is sick, humanity is rotten. Come out, ye all. That's the best you can do for society, to come out of it.
Spiritual Freedom: Society is sick, humanity is rotten. Come out, ye all. That's the best you can do for society, to come out of it.

Actual Freedom: Surrender is an easy way to Actual Freedom.
Spiritual Freedom: Surrender is an easy way to Spiritual freedom.

Actual Freedom: Your opinion/experience doesn't matter, as you are not living what the guru is living. Unless you have this particular ASC, you will not have absolute certainty.
Spiritual Freedom: Your opinion/experience doesn't matter, as you are not living what the guru is living. Unless you have this particular ASC, you will not have absolute certainty.

Actual Freedom: The seekers' jobs and marriages are falling apart. But that's par for the course. The institutions are broken and if you are not willing to pay the price, you are not passionate enough.
Spiritual Freedom: The seekers' jobs and marriages are falling apart. But that's par for the course. The institutions are broken and if you are not willing to pay the price, you are not passionate enough.

Actual Freedom: Family is bondage. You don't need them, why do they insist? Be free of their demands.
Spiritual Freedom: Family is bondage. You don't need them, why do they insist? Be free of their demands.

Actual Freedom: Close associates to the Guru know a lot more than others. They are also either already actually free, or close to it.
Spiritual Freedom: Close associates to the Guru know a lot more than others. They are also either already spiritually free, or close to it.

Actual Freedom: It is not a cult. There is no guru, only a knowledgeable man who will talk to you like a friend (while you are in basic agreement with his teachings. Otherwise, watch out!). You are free to come and go. Though of course, they is talk of a commune and the requirement of total commitment for potential joinees.
Spiritual Freedom: It is not a cult. There is no guru, only a knowledgeable man who will talk to you like a friend (while you are in basic agreement with his teachings. Otherwise, watch out!). You are free to come and go. Though of course, there is talk of a commune and the requirement of total commitment for potential joinees."
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John P, modified 10 Years ago at 8/18/12 3:21 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 8/18/12 3:21 PM

RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom

Posts: 155 Join Date: 1/24/12 Recent Posts
Hi Aman, I don't participate in the Yahoo group and couldn't access it.
I have a basic idea of what is actual freedom.
Could you give me some context and explain what the author means by "Spiritual Freedom" ?

Thanks
Change A, modified 10 Years ago at 8/18/12 3:29 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 8/18/12 3:29 PM

RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom

Posts: 791 Join Date: 5/24/10 Recent Posts
I think by spiritual freedom, he means it to be enlightenment.
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Jon T, modified 10 Years ago at 8/19/12 6:26 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 8/19/12 6:26 PM

RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom

Posts: 401 Join Date: 12/30/10 Recent Posts
AF = no awareness of an affective faculty

SF = affective transformation which also transforms the ego

secular buddhism = egoless awareness of affect and sensation.
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Nikolai , modified 10 Years ago at 8/19/12 10:49 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 8/19/12 10:49 PM

RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom

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Jon T:
AF = no awareness of an affective faculty

SF = affective transformation which also transforms the ego

secular buddhism = egoless awareness of affect and sensation.


Pragmatic Dharma Freedom (One objective among a few including possibly those described above as followed by perhaps a few here on the DhO) = non-fashioning, non-fabricated, no mental overlay/representation awareness which would include no affect arising, the end of all mental dissatisfaction.
Rotten Tomato, modified 10 Years ago at 8/20/12 5:56 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 8/20/12 5:56 AM

RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom

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Jon T:
AF = no awareness of an affective faculty

SF = affective transformation which also transforms the ego

secular buddhism = egoless awareness of affect and sensation.




Hmm.. AFers would probably disagree with that. AF might be equal to No affective faculty. Not no awareness of an affective faculty, which is entirely different thing. (Aman, of course, would agree with your definition!)
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Jon T, modified 10 Years ago at 8/20/12 1:34 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 8/20/12 1:21 PM

RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom

Posts: 401 Join Date: 12/30/10 Recent Posts
a positive version of alexithymia seems to be a decent explanation of the condition. it explains the ability and eagerness to have sex even without a sex drive. And it explains the bouts of crying which have been described. it can also explain richards reliance on his own dogma. I don't think using alexithymia as a description diminishes the attainment.

keep in mind that the typical sufferer of alexithymia is deeply ingratiated in the popular culture which means they suffer from the same emotional maladies as everyone else but are just unaware of it. But someone who has spent years deconstructing the social identity, cultivating impartiatlity and cultivating an unrestrained wonder at his/her 5 senses will have much less emotional garbage. And thus, not being aware of whatever little left there would be a benefit. He/she will be able to forget it without even trying. And he/she won't have to fight his/her innate ill-will and fear. In other words, the negative emotions won't be compounded by aversion and craving because they won't even be noticed. Nor wil they operate unimpeded, because, the subconscious will guide these undiscerned emotions back towards felicity thanks to all the previous training.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 10 Years ago at 8/20/12 1:38 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 8/20/12 1:36 PM

RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Jon T:
a positive version of alexithymia seems to be a decent explanation of the condition. it explains the ability and eagerness to have sex even without a sex drive. And it explains the bouts of crying which have been described. it can also explain richards reliance on his own dogma. I don't think using alexithymia as a description diminishes the attainment.

From the wikipedia article:
Alexithymia ( /ˌeɪlɛksəˈθaɪmiə/) is a term coined by psychotherapist Peter Sifneos in 1973 to describe a state of deficiency in understanding, processing, or describing emotions.

How is a deficiency in understanding, processing, or describing emotions going to lead to happiness or harmlessness or peace for anybody?

Richard is not alexithymic, and he never said he has been; he's just said that he has been diagnosed with it and that diagnosis is not strictly speaking accurate; to wit:
Richard:
This is why I have been diagnosed as ‘alexithymic’ by two accredited psychiatrists ... which is not strictly correct for alexithymia means not able to feel feelings. Other people can see such a person being angry, for example, but he/she will not be aware of this. It is not a case of him/her denying their feelings – or not being in touch with their feelings – but is a morbid condition. It is most common in lobotomised patients.
[link]
and:
Richard:
A frontal leucotome/a transorbital lobotomy does not remove the affective faculty; it severs the nerve fibres connecting the frontal lobes to the thalamus and has a dulling/ dampening effect on mood; in some the effect of the severance was pronounced enough as to have a new word coined – alexithymia – so as to refer to the fact that, although the person concerned could not feel their affections, the affective faculty was still intact.
(Just like the words depersonalisation, derealisation and anhedonia, the word alexithymia is the only way in which the psychiatric profession can come to terms with what is actually beyond psychiatry; an actual freedom from the human condition, being outside of or beyond human nature, cannot be properly fitted under any classification anywhere along the entire sanity-insanity range as it is the third alternative to either sanity or insanity).
[link]

I also found these to be interesting symptoms of alexithymia, given the tendency some have to see all emotions as simply physical sensations (from the wiki):
difficulty distinguishing between feelings and the bodily sensations of emotional arousal; confusion of physical sensations often associated with emotions

---

Are you really aiming to become alexithymic? That doesn't sound like the best idea, to be honest. Here is one last relevant quote:
Vineeto:
It is not possible to simply reject emotions, to outlaw them, as some fiction writers suggest. History shows that to try and be a stripped-down ‘self’ has resulted in a split between one’s cognitive and one’s affective faculties (with the later pushed into the unconscious) and the continuous effort of suppressing and repressing one’s existent emotions is both useless in the long run and harmful to both oneself and others. In extreme cases such suppression can result in alexithymia and/or a psychopathic condition.
Instead of rejecting, suppressing and repressing one’s emotions the actualism method invites you to become aware of your emotions (including the presently unconscious ones) as and when they are happening, particularly when they are interfering with you being happy and harmless. Bringing your feelings and their embedded beliefs and patterns into the light of awareness then enables you to make a conscious choice.
[link]

---

EDIT to account for your edit:
Jon T:
But someone who has spent years deconstructing the social identity, cultivating impartiatlity and cultivating an unrestrained wonder at his/her 5 senses will have much less emotional garbage. And thus, not being aware of whatever little left there would be a benefit. He/she will be able to forget it without even trying. And he/she won't have to fight his/her innate ill-will and fear. In other words, the negative emotions won't be compounded by aversion and craving because they won't even be noticed. Nor wil they operate unimpeded, because, the subconscious will guide these undiscerned emotions back towards felicity thanks to all the previous training.

That sounds like quite a gamble.

Why not just do away with the feeling-being entirely?
End in Sight, modified 10 Years ago at 8/20/12 2:22 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 8/20/12 2:22 PM

RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom

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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
I also found these to be interesting symptoms of alexithymia, given the tendency some have to see all emotions as simply physical sensations (from the wiki):
difficulty distinguishing between feelings and the bodily sensations of emotional arousal; confusion of physical sensations often associated with emotions


As you have attained various MCTB paths, you can likely observe that there is often a prominent sense of self which is located, as a sensation, in some part of your head. (Not necessarily the feeling of self, but a feeling of self.)

Do you think you have become alexithymic to some degree on the basis of this observation? Or do you think that you have simply come to more clearly perceive something which was already the case?

It's a big issue that confronts this sort of practice. Right now I come down on the side of "clearly perceiving something which was already the case", but I have given the issue a lot of thought at different times in my practice, and can see some merits in the arguments for the opposite position, true or not.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 10 Years ago at 8/20/12 2:33 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 8/20/12 2:29 PM

RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
End in Sight:
As you have attained various MCTB paths, you can likely observe that there is often a prominent sense of self which is located, as a sensation, in some part of your head. (Not necessarily the feeling of self, but a feeling of self.)

Do you think you have become alexithymic to some degree on the basis of this observation? Or do you think that you have simply come to more clearly perceive something which was already the case?

It's a big issue that confronts this sort of practice. Right now I come down on the side of "clearly perceiving something which was already the case", but I have given the issue a lot of thought at different times in my practice, and can see some merits in the arguments for the opposite position, true or not.

I currently do think that I had become alexithymic to some degree as a result of the meditation I did. The tension in my head never ever manifested in this manner before I started meditating. It got more prominent leading up to stream entry, and post stream entry even more so. I noted the obvious and unmistakable correlation with feeling something intensely/feeling strongly about something, and the pressure in my head. However, it was - and still is sometimes - very difficult to see what was actually causing me all the trouble. What I could do is sit down and meditate and that would cause the tension to subside as I would observe its impermanent/no-self/dukkha nature, and then that would lead to ASCs/more observation, etc. This I now see as real-time dissociation even though at the time it felt like I was seeing how it was actually happening more clearly. However, the tension would come back when I stopped meditating and I wouldn't really uncover any issues, though I might have brief flashes of emotion that I would rapidly pass through while meditating.

I noticed that as soon as I would wake up after a night of sleep, the tension wouldn't be there, but as I started going about my day, it would come in. I would dread that tension. I would dread it getting stronger, too, which led to more of it...

Anyway, what seems to be the case is that I was indeed feeling very strongly about something, usually anxious or unsettled or perhaps angry to some degree, but it was very difficult for me to notice what the particular emotion was and what it's cause was. All my effort somehow went into that tension. Also maybe interesting to note that meditating on the tension and observing it in a 3Cs manner seemed to lead to progress on the insight paths.

Needless to say, I won't be recommending any sort of meditation to anybody anytime soon.

EDIT: This bit from the wikipedia article also was relevant:
A common misconception about alexithymia is that affected individuals are totally unable to express emotions verbally and that they may even fail to acknowledge that they experience emotions. Even before coining the term, Sifneos (1967) noted patients often mentioned things like anxiety or depression. The distinguishing factor was their inability to elaborate beyond a few limited adjectives such as "happy" or "unhappy" when describing these feelings. The core issue is that alexithymics have poorly differentiated emotions limiting their ability to distinguish and describe them to others.

As I said I did indeed notice I was feeling anxious or some emotion strongly, but it was difficult to let myself figure out exactly what it was or why it happened. The predominant mood was "head tension" and it would not often get much past that.

Hopefully the fact that I attained some MCTB paths will at least to some degree attenuate the predictable reaction that I might have simply been meditating incorrectly. I'll emphasize that I never would have described what was happening in these terms (i.e. alexithymia, real-time dissociation) while it was happening.
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Yadid dee, modified 10 Years ago at 8/21/12 1:31 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 8/20/12 2:44 PM

RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom

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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

Needless to say, I won't be recommending any sort of meditation to anybody anytime soon.


Hey Claudio,

I would like to question the validity of your assessment:
I don't think its fair to judge "all kinds of meditation for "anybody" based on that experience.
End in Sight, modified 10 Years ago at 8/20/12 2:50 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 8/20/12 2:50 PM

RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
I remember that you had some issues with head tensions, beyond what people typically express, so perhaps that was a bad choice of example on my part.

Maybe this is a better example: do you notice that various sensations in your body are associated with a sense of self? If so, presumably you can point it out: "here I experience a sense of self with these qualities, here I experience a sense of self with these qualities..."

On the other hand, many people who never meditate or practice any sort of "mental development of attention and sensitivity" (to choose a very broad term) are, in my experience, more likely to say things like: "I don't experience a sense of self as a sensation. I am myself, and that's why I have a sense of self. Not because of some sensations. I occasionally notice sensations that I react to, and the sensations change how I feel, but I come before the reaction to those sensations."

Supposing that what I'm saying is clear to you, do you have the latter or the former type of experience? Do you think the former type is the sort of thing that's on the "alexithymic spectrum"? Do you think the latter type is simply a lack of clarity? (Something else entirely?)

Hopefully the fact that I attained some MCTB paths will at least to some degree attenuate the predictable reaction that I might have simply been meditating incorrectly.


"Predictable reaction"? I'm just curious what you think, not looking to discredit you or your practice.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 10 Years ago at 8/20/12 3:33 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 8/20/12 3:03 PM

RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
End in Sight:
"Predictable reaction"? I'm just curious what you think, not looking to discredit you or your practice.

Oh, I wasn't referring to you. I didn't think you were. I meant other people reading my post. Yadid's post just now is an example of what I meant. (EDIT: And I didn't think particularly that Yadid was seeking to discredit me or my practice. Just that people would look at my report of my experience and think it unique to me, that it doesn't indicate that meditation itself is not beneficial but rather that the way I was doing it wasn't the most optimal way to do it.)

End in Sight:
Maybe this is a better example: do you notice that various sensations in your body are associated with a sense of self? If so, presumably you can point it out: "here I experience a sense of self with these qualities, here I experience a sense of self with these qualities..."

On the other hand, many people who never meditate or practice any sort of "mental development of attention and sensitivity" (to choose a very broad term) are, in my experience, more likely to say things like: "I don't experience a sense of self as a sensation. I am myself, and that's why I have a sense of self. Not because of some sensations. I occasionally notice sensations that I react to, and the sensations change how I feel, but I come before the reaction to those sensations."

Supposing that what I'm saying is clear to you, do you have the latter or the former type of experience? Do you think the former type is the sort of thing that's on the "alexithymic spectrum"? Do you think the latter type is simply a lack of clarity? (Something else entirely?)

I think I get what you mean. I was thinking about referring to the former even before your post, for example, noticing tensions on the body which are seen as a sense of self with certain qualities. I think that is on the alexithymic spectrum, yes. Instead of simply understanding that an emotion is arising and being experienced, it is seen as "bodily sensations + thoughts". Buzzing sensations in the chest area. Turning-over sensations in the gut. etc. I don't think that one is seeing things more clearly, for example, that those sensations in the chest area would have happened anyway except now they're being seen on a deeper level. Rather, I think the way these things manifest is simply being changed as a result of the way one is practicing. The biggest example I had in mind was the little I've gathered about Kenneth's 6th stage instructions, which seem to be literally that - changing emotions from being experienced as they are to being experienced as bodily sensations + thoughts without that extra 'mental' component.

I think the latter is simply a normal way to experience the world. Nowadays I tend to think that emotions are not just sensations but rather something else as well, that is, they have a real cohesiveness to them that makes them more than the sum of their parts. They do certainly manifest in ways on the 5 senses and they affect thoughts, but I think there's something else to them as well. I think by repeatedly reducing them to which of the 6 senses they appear at, one is practicing some form of dissociation. I think this dissociation is what leads to progress on the insight paths and ASCs and that all meditation does that in some way or another.

Speaking personally, I still have the former type of experience thanks to the meditation I've done, but it is diminishing thanks to my active intention to do so and I'm aiming to experience emotions more as a regular person would. From there it is easier to see what they are about and easier to investigate them in a manner that leads to social identity deconstruction. It's like I sort of have to un-dunk my head from the "emotions are nothing but sensations that have a sense of 'self' to them" stance, to get to where I can experience the emotion more normally/freely, and from there I can deconstruct the belief backing it entirely and from there simply to 'be' felicitous instead.

It's not for nothing that I agree that this practice I'm doing now is quite opposite to the meditation I've done in the past.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 10 Years ago at 8/20/12 3:42 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 8/20/12 3:35 PM

RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom

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Yadid dee:
What do you think?

I think that my experience is not unique, but rather that people don't talk about their experiences in these terms and tend to try and keep a positive light on the meditation they've been doing, even if it has many negative side effects, and thus when I describe my experiences accurately it comes across as having been doing the thing improperly.

Yadid dee:
You associate your own practice - which according to my memory was short (less than two years?), self-taught or online-taught, which led to increased tension (I don't think the attainment self-assessments are relevant here).
You then use this data-point and generalize to all sorts of meditation ('any sort of meditation') to all people ('to anybody'), but this is just one datapoint of not much practice, over not a long period of time, which was soon abandoned.

Two years is a pretty long time, is it not? I'm not sure what time-scale you're using here. Daniel Johnson has been practicing for 13+ years and seems quite unhappy with the Dark Night periods that he's experienced over those 13 years. Perhaps I should have tried meditating for 13 years before stating that I don't find it beneficial? And it's true, Daniel Johnson did say he found it beneficial, overall, but my question is: beneficial compared to what? What if he had never started meditating?

Yadid dee:
I would like to argue that a more long-term approach to practice, with more instruction, leads to more good than bad, as is evident with many data-points available (most of the advanced practitioners on this forum, Kenneth's forum, and more), and does not have to lead to the results you came up with (you report more negative results than good ones, regardless of technical names of attainments you self-diagnose), while the vast majority of the other data points report the exact opposite trend.

I'm not so sure. Do you notice how often Dark Nights repeatedly pop up for people on the DhO, even those with many paths? How many people on KFD, including Kenneth, are still looking for something/unsatisfied where they are?

I'm not saying everybody gets more negative results than positive results, but there certainly are a lot of negative results mixed in with the positive.

Yadid dee:
Perhaps you shouldn't be recommending the same type of practice you have done to anybody, rather than any sort of meditation.

Perhaps my understanding of my own meditation has shed light on what meditation as a general phenomenon is about and from there I have decided that it would be better for one to not take it up instead of taking it up, generally speaking.

Generally speaking, mind you. If the choice is between being a drug addict and meditating, for example, then perhaps meditating is better overall. But perhaps there is something to that phrase "better not to have started; once started, better to finish". Maybe I'd change it to "once started, better to stop and find something better".

EDITed to add: obviously this is my own opinion and others will certainly disagree.
End in Sight, modified 10 Years ago at 8/20/12 3:41 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 8/20/12 3:41 PM

RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom

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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
I think I get what you mean. I was thinking about referring to the former even before your post, for example, noticing tensions on the body which are seen as a sense of self with certain qualities. I think that is on the alexithymic spectrum, yes. Instead of simply understanding that an emotion is arising and being experienced, it is seen as "bodily sensations + thoughts". Buzzing sensations in the chest area. Turning-over sensations in the gut. etc. I don't think that one is seeing things more clearly, for example, that those sensations in the chest area would have happened anyway except now they're being seen on a deeper level. Rather, I think the way these things manifest is simply being changed as a result of the way one is practicing.


OK. Like I said, I think that arguments for this kind of perspective have merit, even though I don't buy them right now.

The biggest example I had in mind was the little I've gathered about Kenneth's 6th stage instructions, which seem to be literally that - changing emotions from being experienced as they are to being experienced as bodily sensations + thoughts without that extra 'mental' component.


One issue that I think could be in play here is cultural. I have often thought, when talking about practice or attainments along these lines (KF's 6th stage, but also body-oriented ways of looking at experience in general as you described above), that people write or speak in a particular way in order to be clear about what kinds of things one expects to observe as a result of this practice, and to emphasize the distinction between previous experience and current experience. In my own case, I found that, when I'm not writing on the DhO, it's much more helpful for communication to describe the various body sensations as if they were proper feelings...and, surprisingly or not, I can describe "my" "feelings" in ways that are just as rich as before or richer (as I can now make finer distinctions between different kinds of body sensations, and rephrase that in the language of "my" "feelings"). I suspect others could testify to the same (though I've never asked...and I should probably ask before assuming).

I think the latter is simply a normal way to experience the world. Nowadays I tend to think that emotions are not just sensations but rather something else as well, that is, they have a real cohesiveness to them that makes them more than the sum of their parts. They do certainly manifest in ways on the 5 senses and they affect thoughts, but I think there's something else to them as well. I think by repeatedly reducing them to which of the 6 senses they appear at, one is practicing some form of dissociation.


I have a little model in mind which works something like this: there are these body sensations, and there is a special kind of vibration that I've referred to as "looking" but which could just as easily be called "dissociation" (which is also a body sensation, but harder to see). A person can meditate in various ways and observe the body sensations more clearly, but also exaggerate the "dissociation" vibration; I found a lot of methods that occurred to me from my reading of MCTB to have this effect, but I also found some other MCTB-inspired methods not to have this effect. When there is no "dissociation" vibration, there is a sense of solidity to the body, a lack of division in it between all the vibration / feeling / whatever stuff that's occuring in it, the vibrations are sharply attenuated, and there's something which might be described as a kind of primal 'me'-ness underlying it all (illustrating "'I' am 'my' feelings and 'my' feelings are 'me'", not on a philosophical level, but on an experiential level). I take this to be what "naivete" is about, as the gross "dissociation" vibes seem terribly contrived by comparison, albeit innocuous enough when you're busy "looking" at all the sensations in your body that are said to be not-self...and without the "dissociation" vibes, many things that seemed reflectively false may suddenly seem true in a pre-reflective way (such as "the world exists").

Does that match your experience, is it all alien to you, or something in between?

If you relate to any of the stuff I wrote, maybe it would be interesting to have an IM conversation about these things at some point, in order to post it on the DhO afterwards (email would probably not be linear enough for others to easily follow). I sympathize with many of the practice-related points and observations that you've made, so if we were to talk about them, we might find some common language (between me / you and also between you / people who think in meditation-related terms), which could be pretty useful, or at least interesting.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 10 Years ago at 8/20/12 3:58 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 8/20/12 3:58 PM

RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
End in Sight:
One issue that I think could be in play here is cultural. I have often thought, when talking about practice or attainments along these lines (KF's 6th stage, but also body-oriented ways of looking at experience in general as you described above), that people write or speak in a particular way in order to be clear about what kinds of things one expects to observe as a result of this practice, and to emphasize the distinction between previous experience and current experience. In my own case, I found that, when I'm not writing on the DhO, it's much more helpful for communication to describe the various body sensations as if they were proper feelings...and, surprisingly or not, I can describe "my" "feelings" in ways that are just as rich as before or richer (as I can now make finer distinctions between different kinds of body sensations, and rephrase that in the language of "my" "feelings"). I suspect others could testify to the same (though I've never asked...and I should probably ask before assuming).

Hmm, interesting. In my personal experience, when the feeling were experienced more as body sensations, it was far easier to ignore them/not deal with them than when not.

End in Sight:
I have a little model in mind which works something like this: there are these body sensations, and there is a special kind of vibration that I've referred to as "looking" but which could just as easily be called "dissociation" (which is also a body sensation, but harder to see). A person can meditate in various ways and observe the body sensations more clearly, but also exaggerate the "dissociation" vibration; I found a lot of methods that occurred to me from my reading of MCTB to have this effect, but I also found some other MCTB-inspired methods not to have this effect. When there is no "dissociation" vibration, there is a sense of solidity to the body, a lack of division in it between all the vibration / feeling / whatever stuff that's occuring in it, the vibrations are sharply attenuated, and there's something which might be described as a kind of primal 'me'-ness underlying it all (illustrating "'I' am 'my' feelings and 'my' feelings are 'me'", not on a philosophical level, but on an experiential level). I take this to be what "naivete" is about, as the gross "dissociation" vibes seem terribly contrived by comparison, albeit innocuous enough when you're busy "looking" at all the sensations in your body that are said to be not-self...and without the "dissociation" vibes, many things that seemed reflectively false may suddenly seem true in a pre-reflective way (such as "the world exists").

Does that match your experience, is it all alien to you, or something in between?

Hmm that's quite alien for the most part. I don't particularly see how 'dissociation' can be a separate vibration that can stop independently of other things. It seems to be a process that happens with any particular vibratory or non-vibratory thing that is being experienced.

'Naivete' seems a simpler, non-vibratory phenomenon. It seems to not come from looking at sensations in the way you describe here, but rather in a more regular-person way of seeing the world, not particularly concerned with buddhistic notions of self or mctb notions of vibrations, and more a just unassuming holistic attitude towards the world as in a curious 'hey is it really possible things are actually perfect right now'? I don't think looking at things at a more and more minute level will particularly help with naivete, but might even make it more difficult.

End in Sight:
If you relate to any of the stuff I wrote, maybe it would be interesting to have an IM conversation about these things at some point, in order to post it on the DhO afterwards (email would probably not be linear enough for others to easily follow). I sympathize with many of the practice-related points and observations that you've made, so if we were to talk about them, we might find some common language (between me / you and also between you / people who think in meditation-related terms), which could be pretty useful, or at least interesting.

It seems that we disagree so I don't know whether a conversation would be particularly useful, but I'm not opposed in general.
End in Sight, modified 10 Years ago at 8/20/12 4:31 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 8/20/12 4:29 PM

RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom

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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
'Naivete' seems a simpler, non-vibratory phenomenon. It seems to not come from looking at sensations in the way you describe here, but rather in a more regular-person way of seeing the world, not particularly concerned with buddhistic notions of self or mctb notions of vibrations, and more a just unassuming holistic attitude towards the world as in a curious 'hey is it really possible things are actually perfect right now'?


Hehe, that was what I thought I was doing (but then sneaking in some analysis of it to explain it).

Out of curiosity, do you think that one can analyze arbitrary experiences without adding some kind of weird dissociation to them? (Keep in mind the possibility of retrospective analysis.) Because (out of order):

Hmm that's quite alien for the most part. I don't particularly see how 'dissociation' can be a separate vibration that can stop independently of other things. It seems to be a process that happens with any particular vibratory or non-vibratory thing that is being experienced.


Maybe a basic disagreement between us would be that, according to me, seeing things my way requires a lot of deep analysis of experience, whereas according to you, seeing things my way indicates using the wrong method.

End in Sight:
If you relate to any of the stuff I wrote, maybe it would be interesting to have an IM conversation about these things at some point, in order to post it on the DhO afterwards (email would probably not be linear enough for others to easily follow). I sympathize with many of the practice-related points and observations that you've made, so if we were to talk about them, we might find some common language (between me / you and also between you / people who think in meditation-related terms), which could be pretty useful, or at least interesting.

It seems that we disagree so I don't know whether a conversation would be particularly useful, but I'm not opposed in general.


I think it's only valuable if we have some basic agreement on this stuff (otherwise it's not obvious that there's a gap that could be bridged, whether linguistic or conceptual or whatever). If you accept that I'm not going to change the way I talk about experience, and look at what I previously wrote on that basis, is it all alien, or is it only (or mostly) alien on the basis of me talking about things in a way that you don't talk about them?
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 10 Years ago at 8/20/12 5:41 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 8/20/12 4:45 PM

RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
End in Sight:
Maybe a basic disagreement between us would be that, according to me, seeing things my way requires a lot of deep analysis of experience, whereas according to you, seeing things my way indicates using the wrong method.

That is possible, yea. For example, I think the sort of analysis where things are seen as vibrations is actually creating vibrations where there were none before and then one is analyzing those, whereas the right method would be to not create vibrations in the first place - and thus not experience them - and then to use a different technique. If we can't agree on that point then you're right, there probably isn't much point in discussing things further. That is:
End in Sight:
If you accept that I'm not going to change the way I talk about experience, and look at what I previously wrote on that basis, is it all alien, or is it only (or mostly) alien on the basis of me talking about things in a way that you don't talk about them?

I think that you are describing your experience accurately, but that experience is not the same as my experience because of the way you go about investigating things (e.g. observing vibrations/non-vibrations). I don't experience vibrations any more because I don't look for them anymore, thus if I say something and you start talking about how it vibrates, we're not going to be talking about the same thing anymore.

Keeping that in mind...
End in Sight:
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
'Naivete' seems a simpler, non-vibratory phenomenon. It seems to not come from looking at sensations in the way you describe here, but rather in a more regular-person way of seeing the world, not particularly concerned with buddhistic notions of self or mctb notions of vibrations, and more a just unassuming holistic attitude towards the world as in a curious 'hey is it really possible things are actually perfect right now'?


Hehe, that was what I thought I was doing (but then sneaking in some analysis of it to explain it).

Could you clarify how the following two describe the same thing?

"When there is no "dissociation" vibration, there is a sense of solidity to the body, a lack of division in it between all the vibration / feeling / whatever stuff that's occuring in it, the vibrations are sharply attenuated, and there's something which might be described as a kind of primal 'me'-ness underlying it all [...] without the "dissociation" vibes, many things that seemed reflectively false may suddenly seem true in a pre-reflective way (such as "the world exists")"
and:
"it [comes from] a more regular-person way of seeing the world, not particularly concerned with buddhistic notions of self or mctb notions of vibrations, and more a just unassuming holistic attitude towards the world as in a curious 'hey is it really possible things are actually perfect right now'?"

I don't really see the connection.

End in Sight:
Out of curiosity, do you think that one can analyze arbitrary experiences without adding some kind of weird dissociation to them? (Keep in mind the possibility of retrospective analysis.)

I think so, yes. However, if by 'analyze' you mean drill down and experience them as vibrations and then talk about how they are experienced as vibrations, I think you're doing more than just observing what is already happening (EDIT: and at that point you are indeed adding some kind of weird dissociation to them).
John Wilde, modified 10 Years ago at 8/20/12 7:29 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 8/20/12 6:27 PM

RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom

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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
(..) Nowadays I tend to think that emotions are not just sensations but rather something else as well, that is, they have a real cohesiveness to them that makes them more than the sum of their parts. They do certainly manifest in ways on the 5 senses and they affect thoughts, but I think there's something else to them as well. I think by repeatedly reducing them to which of the 6 senses they appear at, one is practicing some form of dissociation. I think this dissociation is what leads to progress on the insight paths and ASCs and that all meditation does that in some way or another.

(..) thanks to the meditation I've done, (..) I sort of have to un-dunk my head from the "emotions are nothing but sensations that have a sense of 'self' to them" stance, to get to where I can experience the emotion more normally/freely, and from there I can deconstruct the belief backing it entirely and from there simply to 'be' felicitous instead.



Great to see this being discussed.

I think looking for 'self' at the level of sensation is problematic, because those sensations are (IMO) consequences, not causes or constituents of 'self'. To me it makes more sense to think of 'self' as an intuitive (pre-reflective) misappraisal of a basic existential gestalt. A gestalt, not a thing. It has a locus (the human organism) but no particular location or set of sensations within it. (Looking for it that way is a category error, IMO).

I [think I] agree with Claudiu that vipassana can be a form of reductionsm, denial, dissociation, depersonalisation... because, by reducing that basic gestalt to bare sensations, you're only one may be dissociating from [3C-ing] its manifestations, learning plenty about what goes on downstream from the problem, but not learning much about the problem itself... let alone (dis)solving it.

But I don't think that's the inevitable and only outcome, by any means...

More on that later.

(Again, great to see this being discussed; it's a conversation that's long overdue IMO).

Cheers,
Jack.
End in Sight, modified 10 Years ago at 8/21/12 6:30 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 8/21/12 6:29 AM

RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
I don't experience vibrations any more because I don't look for them anymore, thus if I say something and you start talking about how it vibrates, we're not going to be talking about the same thing anymore.


If you don't experience vibrations, do you think they're not there by that fact? Why / why not?

Analogously, if you zone out and don't experience very much, do you think your sense experiences aren't there by that fact? Why / why not?

Could you clarify how the following two describe the same thing? (...)


A "regular person way of seeing the world" isn't the same as "a regular person way of talking about the world".

Having the kind of experience I was describing, one would be struck by the simplicity, the relative lack of conceptuality, just sitting there, happily "being" "me" and "my" "feelings" without pretension, finding that, without pretension, things are great all by themselves.

But, according to my way of seeing things, that's a vague and somewhat useless description unless supported by a whole lot of top-down theory (as in the AFT) or a more precise bottom-up phenomenological description based on analysis (as I prefer). So I give the description and I hope that a person who's capable of sufficient analysis can catch onto what I'm talking about on that basis.

I probably should have made that clearer.

End in Sight:
Out of curiosity, do you think that one can analyze arbitrary experiences without adding some kind of weird dissociation to them? (Keep in mind the possibility of retrospective analysis.)

I think so, yes. However, if by 'analyze' you mean drill down and experience them as vibrations and then talk about how they are experienced as vibrations, I think you're doing more than just observing what is already happening (EDIT: and at that point you are indeed adding some kind of weird dissociation to them).


Why do you call (or suggest) that what I'm doing is "drilling down", and that that's a requirement to see things as vibrations? Here's how I see things; I can either be

1) tuning things out, not noticing vibrations
2) experiencing gross vibrations
3) experiencing subtle vibrations that are harder to see as vibrations
4) experiencing "solid" non-vibratory things in a holistic way, which turn into vibrations when seen more clearly
5) not experiencing any vibrations, as far as I can tell

I could also be "drilling down" and generating more vibrations (like a drill does, actually) on top of whatever may otherwise be there, in 2-4.

On a sort or related note, I think "regular" non-meditators claim to experience vibrations quite commonly, but have never taken that on as a paradigm for analyzing their experience. I don't think vibrations are some kind of special thing only experienced by meditators or people who have crossed the A&P or whatever. Do you? http://warm-fuzzies.urbanup.com/6020041

Anyway, curious to hear about your opinions on these issues.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 10 Years ago at 8/21/12 8:19 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 8/21/12 8:19 AM

RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
End in Sight:
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
I don't experience vibrations any more because I don't look for them anymore, thus if I say something and you start talking about how it vibrates, we're not going to be talking about the same thing anymore.


If you don't experience vibrations, do you think they're not there by that fact? Why / why not?

It depends on what you mean by vibrations. You said:
End in Sight:
On a sort or related note, I think "regular" non-meditators claim to experience vibrations quite commonly, but have never taken that on as a paradigm for analyzing their experience. I don't think vibrations are some kind of special thing only experienced by meditators or people who have crossed the A&P or whatever. Do you? http://warm-fuzzies.urbanup.com/6020041

So yes, I could still experience a fuzzy feeling like that. Or I could put my hand on something that's vibrating and then I'd notice vibrations, yes. In that case, if I don't put my hand on the vibrating thing, I'm not experiencing vibrations, and if I do, I am. If I don't feel the fuzzy feeling, I'm not, if I do, then I am.

As to things that "turn into vibrations when seen more clearly", I don't think those are vibrating at all until you try to 'see them more clearly' somehow. Maybe if I put it this way: there is this 'reality' which is illusory. If you try to see it more clearly it will start vibrating. But it is an illusion anyway. The actual world (the one experienced in a PCE) doesn't vibrate. Now I don't think 'reality' is (illusorily) vibrating either unless you decide to try noticing it in a particular meditative way, at which point it certainly will start (illusorily) vibrating, at least in my experience and yours as well it seems ("turn into vibrations when seen more clearly").

End in Sight:
Analogously, if you zone out and don't experience very much, do you think your sense experiences aren't there by that fact? Why / why not?

Hmm... good question. I might say experience requires being conscious of something, so the sense experience isn't happening at that point (as you're not very conscious of it) even though the physical senses themselves are still operating.

I don't think vibrations are already physically happening without being experienced consciously, and they simply become experienced consciously when you look at things more closely, though. Well here's an analogous example. Say you're sitting and meditating and noting one thing at a time. You start seeing all of experience as simply one sensation after another. You get to an A&P-type thing and you start seeing this multiple times per second - blip blip blip blip - experience has become a sequence of sensations. Now you could say that is seeing things 'more clearly' but I rather think that what has happened is the regular way of experiencing the world has transformed into a way of experiencing the world as singular sensations that happen one after the other in rapid succession.

End in Sight:
Could you clarify how the following two describe the same thing? (...)


A "regular person way of seeing the world" isn't the same as "a regular person way of talking about the world".

Having the kind of experience I was describing, one would be struck by the simplicity, the relative lack of conceptuality, just sitting there, happily "being" "me" and "my" "feelings" without pretension, finding that, without pretension, things are great all by themselves.

But, according to my way of seeing things, that's a vague and somewhat useless description unless supported by a whole lot of top-down theory (as in the AFT) or a more precise bottom-up phenomenological description based on analysis (as I prefer). So I give the description and I hope that a person who's capable of sufficient analysis can catch onto what I'm talking about on that basis.

I probably should have made that clearer.

Ah, I see. That sort of defeats the point of naivete, doesn't it? If being naive requires being without pretense and being relatively unconcerned with conceptuality, then breaking down naivete with a more precise bottom-up phenomenological description is not really being naive, is it? To put it differently: I think naivete is a holistic affective state of mind with all of one's intent aimed a particular way, and that by attempting to find the vibratory components of naivete as you have, you are already not being naive - thus you end up experiencing something else in the process of attempting to see naivete itself more clearly.

End in Sight:
Why do you call (or suggest) that what I'm doing is "drilling down", and that that's a requirement to see things as vibrations? Here's how I see things; I can either be

1) tuning things out, not noticing vibrations
2) experiencing gross vibrations
3) experiencing subtle vibrations that are harder to see as vibrations
4) experiencing "solid" non-vibratory things in a holistic way, which turn into vibrations when seen more clearly
5) not experiencing any vibrations, as far as I can tell

I could also be "drilling down" and generating more vibrations (like a drill does, actually) on top of whatever may otherwise be there, in 2-4.

It was a metaphor. I meant what you call the process of seeing things more clearly seems to me to lead to these vibrations. Thus it seems to me your way of seeing things more clearly is creating vibrations in the process. Particularly with #4 where you say solid things "turn into vibrations when seen more clearly". If you're going in the opposite direction - towards actuality - then solid things actually stay pretty solid/become more solid as you're seeing things more clearly (well, experience changes pretty dramatically, but nothing starts vibrating as a result of seeing things more clearly with that approach). Also #3 with subtle vibrations that are harder to see as vibrations - perhaps they aren't (illusorily) vibrating, initially, but in the process of looking at them more closely they start (illusorily) vibrating? It might be a matter of you get what you're looking for.

As I mentioned to Dan, I also don't find this way of seeing things more clearly - seeing everything as vibrating grossly or subtly - as particularly helpful for actualism practice. Actualism is more about using intelligence to reason about feelings in a rather logical and broad-stroke way which leads to those feelings changing once that part of 'me' is fully seen and understood. Experiencing 'me' as vibrations with different qualities seem to sort of shut the door on investigating what belief is causing that feeling because hey, isn't a belief just a series of thoughts and body sensations with no real substance vibrating in particular ways?

We have to keep in mind that the usefulness of an approach depends on one's goals. To me, seeing things as vibrations is actually detrimental to my practice, so I wouldn't call it seeing more clearly at all, though I would have before I started practicing actualism (that is, before I went to Australia).

This is turning out to be a fun convo! Cheers.
End in Sight, modified 10 Years ago at 8/21/12 9:10 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 8/21/12 9:06 AM

RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
Before proceeding further, I think we should talk about what "vibrations" are, since it seems to me that we may be talking about different things, or having some other miscommunication.

Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
As to things that "turn into vibrations when seen more clearly", I don't think those are vibrating at all until you try to 'see them more clearly' somehow. Maybe if I put it this way: there is this 'reality' which is illusory. If you try to see it more clearly it will start vibrating. But it is an illusion anyway. The actual world (the one experienced in a PCE) doesn't vibrate. Now I don't think 'reality' is (illusorily) vibrating either unless you decide to try noticing it in a particular meditative way, at which point it certainly will start (illusorily) vibrating, at least in my experience and yours as well it seems ("turn into vibrations when seen more clearly").


What you're describing sounds, in some ways, like the opposite of what I'm talking about. To borrow your language...

'Reality' is an illusion. Sometimes it seems like a constant, unchanging illusion. Meditating, it can be seen that 'reality' is not constant and unchanging, but that it goes away. When it goes away, it's said to vibrate. If it appears that the actual world and the actual senses are vibrating, rather than 'reality', this is a delusion born the nature of 'reality', gone unchecked by insufficient analysis.

If you don't believe that 'reality' is vibrating unless it's seen that way, then, to me, things seem like this:

No vibrations observed = more 'reality'
Slow vibrations observed = less 'reality'
Fast vibrations observed = even less 'reality'!
No 'reality' = no vibrations observed (for a different reason)

The more solid the experience of 'reality', the more of it there is!

(There is another case, where a person meditates and suddenly experiences all kinds of vibrations where there was nothing before: gross, strobing visceral sensations, perhaps extremely rapid and serially-experienced, for example. In this case, the previous explanation doesn't hold. 'Reality' is disappearing, but only because the person is creating a whole lot of it that wasn't previously there. But this isn't what I've been talking about.)

How what I'm saying appears to differ from what you think I'm saying:

Maybe if I put it this way: there is this 'reality' which is illusory. If you try to see it more clearly it will start vibrating.


You seem to think of vibrations as some new feature of 'reality' that appears when you meditate, whereas I mean vibrations are experienced when 'reality' stops being experienced as a constant thing and starts disappearing. They feel like they vibrate (in the sense of being tactile) because 'reality' appears as a feeling in the body, and, constantly being cut off, it gives off the impression of some kind of pulsation.

Are we disagreeing about what vibrations are, or are we referring to completely different phenomena?

Your perspective on vibrations, as I understand it, sounds to me like the one I had until I started analyzing the phenomenon in a different way / more deeply. But, let me know what you think.

Also...

End in Sight:
Analogously, if you zone out and don't experience very much, do you think your sense experiences aren't there by that fact? Why / why not?

Hmm... good question. I might say experience requires being conscious of something, so the sense experience isn't happening at that point (as you're not very conscious of it) even though the physical senses themselves are still operating.


I meant it more as an empirical question, not a philosophical one. If you zone out, where do the sensory experiences go? Do they exist somewhere, or nowhere?

My observation: "zoning out" is when a big chunk of 'reality' arises and obscures sensory experiences. If this is observed, it's experienced as one big vibration of 'reality' (with the sensory experiences still there). If this isn't observed, 'reality' is so all-encompassing that one merely reports a non-vibrating, static "nothing" (but it isn't really nothing, it is 'nothing', an experience-as-if-nothing-were-there). (Sensory experiences are there, I think, but this can only be confirmed retrospectively.) Observation makes it experienced as a vibration, because the vibration is just the gap in 'reality' that allows it to be seen clearly.

Thus it seems to me your way of seeing things more clearly is creating vibrations in the process. Particularly with #4 where you say solid things "turn into vibrations when seen more clearly". If you're going in the opposite direction - towards actuality - then solid things actually stay pretty solid/become more solid as you're seeing things more clearly


At this point, let's assume that our usage of "solid" may be quite different as well.

This is turning out to be a fun convo! Cheers.


Yes, but I wish it were more linear. Let's try a few more rounds, and if we're still working on basic things, let's arrange for an IM convo? (If we're going to spend time on this, even if the prospects don't look good, then, let's maximize the chance that it will be helpful to others.)


(Made some minor edits; I think that's all.)
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 10 Years ago at 8/21/12 10:01 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 8/21/12 9:47 AM

RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
End in Sight:
Before proceeding further, I think we should talk about what "vibrations" are, since it seems to me that we may be talking about different things, or having some other miscommunication.

Not a bad plan.

End in Sight:
(There is another case, where a person meditates and suddenly experiences all kinds of vibrations where there was nothing before: gross, strobing visceral sensations, perhaps extremely rapid and serially-experienced, for example. In this case, the previous explanation doesn't hold. 'Reality' is disappearing, but only because the person is creating a whole lot of it that wasn't previously there. But this isn't what I've been talking about.)

Okay, I'll keep that in mind.

End in Sight:
Your perspective on vibrations, as I understand it, sounds to me like the one I had until I started analyzing the phenomenon in a different way / more deeply. But, let me know what you think.

Yep, I was understanding vibrations as I did as a result of going through the nyanas (your parenthetical statement above seems to be describing that), which sounds like a different thing than what you're talking about now.

End in Sight:
You seem to think of vibrations as some new feature of 'reality' that appears when you meditate, whereas I mean vibrations are experienced when 'reality' stops being experienced as a constant thing and starts disappearing. They feel like they vibrate (in the sense of being tactile) because 'reality' appears as a feeling in the body, and, constantly being cut off, it gives off the impression of some kind of pulsation.

Are we disagreeing about what vibrations are, or are we referring to completely different phenomena?

I think I see what you mean. Are you saying that, for example, the dukkha nyanas consist of vibrations which are created/superimposed on what's already happening ("some new feature of 'reality' that appears when you meditate"), but you're talking about not adding anything new, just noticing that 'reality' disappears according to some frequency, which by definition is a vibration? That is, not an additive vibration (adding something new), but a subtractive one (something existing disappearing)?

If not, then what have I missed? If so, two things:

1) I don't think you are really seeing 'reality' go away. As I see it, a PCE is an all-or-nothing thing. If you're not in a PCE, any sensory experience is 'real' as opposed to actual. If you are in a PCE, any sensory experience is actual with no hint of 'reality' anywhere. If by 'vibrate' you mean going into and out of a PCE rapidly, then I agree. But I get the impression you are talking about particular things vibrating, not all of experience at once. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Thus I think particular parts of 'reality' are seeming to appear and disappear, but when a particular part disappears, what is left in its place? If you're not in a PCE, then it's just another, subtler form of 'reality'. And maybe that subtler one can vibrate (disappear and reappear at some frequency) too. But then what's left when that subtler one disappears? Another subtler one? And it seems that can go on for quite a while - seeing subtler and subtler aspects of 'reality'. Does that make sense or have I misunderstood something?

2) I still don't think you could say those subtractive vibrations are being experienced but they just aren't being noticed if you're not seeing clearly. I think what you call seeing clearly causes 'reality' to apparently disappear and reappear in a way that it doesn't if you aren't doing what you call seeing clearly. And I'm not advocating ignorance, here. I can be fully aware of my emotional state without having 'reality' disappear and reappear in the way you are describing here.

EDIT: Now I can get to what you said here:
End in Sight:
If you don't believe that 'reality' is vibrating unless it's seen that way, then, to me, things seem like this:

No vibrations observed = more 'reality'
Slow vibrations observed = less 'reality'
Fast vibrations observed = even less 'reality'!
No 'reality' = no vibrations observed (for a different reason)

The more solid the experience of 'reality', the more of it there is!

Taking into account my point #1, it's not that there is less of 'reality' when fast vibrations (that apparently seem like 'reality' going away) are experienced, but rather, that 'regular reality' has been transformed into 'quickly vibrating reality' - that is, there is still 'reality', albeit with a different quality, in the troughs of the vibration (when 'reality' apparently went away).

---

End in Sight:
I meant it more as an empirical question, not a philosophical one. If you zone out, where do the sensory experiences go? Do they exist somewhere, or nowhere?

I meant empirically, yes. Where does sensory experience go if you're asleep? It doesn't go anywhere, it's just not being consciously observed. Likewise when zoning out. I'd wager your brain is still processing them - e.g. your reflexes would still work if a ball is coming towards you for example - but they're not being consciously experienced.

End in Sight:
My observation: "zoning out" is when a big chunk of 'reality' arises and obscures sensory experiences. If this is observed, it's experienced as one big vibration of 'reality' (with the sensory experiences still there). If this isn't observed, 'reality' is so all-encompassing that one merely reports a non-vibrating, static "nothing" (but it isn't really nothing, it is 'nothing', an experience-as-if-nothing-were-there). (Sensory experiences are there, I think, but this can only be confirmed retrospectively.) Observation makes it experienced as a vibration, because the vibration is just the gap in 'reality' that allows it to be seen clearly.

Maybe zoning out is not additive (some 'reality' is being generated and superimposed on experience) but subtractive (there is a dimming of experience in general)? I'll draw the analogy with sleep again. When you're asleep (and not dreaming), it's not that some 'sleep reality' is being superimposed on your sensory experience and thus the senses aren't seen clearly, it's that there isn't any sensory experience.

---

End in Sight:
At this point, let's assume that our usage of "solid" may be quite different as well.

Alright.

End in Sight:
Yes, but I wish it were more linear.

Ok, I've tried to respond point-by-point without taking things out of order, but... it's difficult, and new sub-topics spawn off.

End in Sight:
Let's try a few more rounds, and if we're still working on basic things, let's arrange for an IM convo? (If we're going to spend time on this, even if the prospects don't look good, then, let's maximize the chance that it will be helpful to others.)

Alright. I envision forum posting having the same problem as emailing so maybe we should IM/Skype sooner rather than later.
Some Guy, modified 10 Years ago at 8/21/12 7:57 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 8/21/12 3:24 PM

RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom

Posts: 343 Join Date: 8/9/11 Recent Posts
(edit: why am I posting in this thread?)
srid, modified 10 Years ago at 8/28/12 1:59 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 8/28/12 1:59 PM

RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom

Posts: 23 Join Date: 9/19/10 Recent Posts
agree with jack, this is an interesting conversation to me because i dropped vipassana for exactly this reason:

beoman:

I don't find [the vipassana] way of seeing things more clearly - seeing everything as vibrating grossly or subtly - as particularly helpful for actualism practice. Actualism is more about using intelligence to reason about feelings in a rather logical and broad-stroke way which leads to those feelings changing once that part of 'me' is fully seen and understood. Experiencing 'me' as vibrations with different qualities seem to sort of shut the door on investigating what belief is causing that feeling because hey, isn't a belief just a series of thoughts and body sensations with no real substance vibrating in particular ways?


*

also, i don't think that a vipassana meditor is "creating" vibrations while they "see clearly". for example, a normal person, when looking at their arms, experience a solid heavy sensation that is tactile and visual. if this person practices vipassana, he gets to "break" this solid experience into individual parts, most likely the flow of blood, or heat/pressure (equally real) in various parts. IMO, there is nothing special or illusority about these individual/subtle sensations arising and passing away (hence, 'vibrating')--they are no more or no less real than that individual solid sensation that one began with.

the key aspect of vipassana practice is developing non-attachment to these sensations--gross or subtle--and not the mere "clear seeing" of the sensations. and this, i believe, leads to some sort of dissociation from the "cohesive emotions" (as experienced by a normal person) which is exactly what is counter-productive to the actualism practice.

all that said, i don't understand how certain people--such as jill--were still able to make progress (as in drop their sense of self totally, as per their reports) via merely vipassana.

keep this thread updated with the results of your IM/skype conversation, folks.
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Daniel Johnson, modified 10 Years ago at 8/28/12 9:35 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 8/28/12 9:31 PM

RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom

Posts: 401 Join Date: 12/16/09 Recent Posts
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Daniel Johnson did say he found it beneficial, overall, but my question is: beneficial compared to what? What if he had never started meditating?


...beneficial compared to if I had never started meditating... absolutely. I can't know exactly what I would be like now if I had never crossed the A&P. I can tell you that I was extremely self-centered, self-absorbed, full of anger, closed-minded, out of touch with my feelings and not knowing myself. I was basically like a robot on autopilot, who meanwhile believed myself to be such an amazing person who knew everything and was so smart and had everything figured out. So, I imagine that if I had never crossed the A&P, I'd be some more mature version of that today. But, of course it's a silly hypothetical.

The phrase "side effect" seems to fit well for me. It is like taking a medicine, and it makes you feel queezy. Is it better than life without the medicine? For me, taking the medicine seems to be beneficial compared to not taking the medicine.

[By the way, the original post of this thread is one of the most useless that I've seen in a while. Why is everyone engaged on discussion in this thread. Spiritual vs. Actual freedom? What a waste of time.]
Rotten Tomato, modified 10 Years ago at 9/6/12 8:50 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 9/6/12 8:50 AM

RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom

Posts: 22 Join Date: 7/24/12 Recent Posts
John Wilde:


I think looking for 'self' at the level of sensation is problematic, because those sensations are (IMO) consequences, not causes or constituents of 'self'. To me it makes more sense to think of 'self' as an intuitive (pre-reflective) misappraisal of a basic existential gestalt. A gestalt, not a thing. It has a locus (the human organism) but no particular location or set of sensations within it. (Looking for it that way is a category error, IMO).

I [think I] agree with Claudiu that vipassana can be a form of reductionsm, denial, dissociation, depersonalisation... because, by reducing that basic gestalt to bare sensations, you're only one may be dissociating from [3C-ing] its manifestations, learning plenty about what goes on downstream from the problem, but not learning much about the problem itself... let alone (dis)solving it.

But I don't think that's the inevitable and only outcome, by any means...

More on that later.




I am waiting! Please continue your reflections
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#1 - 0, modified 10 Years ago at 9/10/12 6:48 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 9/10/12 6:48 PM

RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom

Posts: 104 Join Date: 8/8/10 Recent Posts
Daniel Johnson:
Spiritual vs. Actual freedom? What a waste of time.





^this


endless theoretical discussions and philosophizing notwithstanding

either you're happy or you're not

if you're not you don't need some circular roundabout excuse to become so, you just have to prioritize "now" over "later"
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Shashank Dixit, modified 10 Years ago at 9/11/12 1:56 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 9/10/12 9:17 PM

RE: Actual Freedom vs Spiritual Freedom

Posts: 282 Join Date: 9/11/10 Recent Posts
..and yes , lets not forget that apperception is seeing the birth , maturation and decay and death of all phenomena - This is what Richard has also mentioned.
So , it is not that Richard disagrees with impermanance of phenomena..but he talks about permanence of
physical matter.