PCE Dabbling Log

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Mind over easy, modified 7 Years ago.

PCE Dabbling Log

Posts: 216 Join Date: 4/28/12 Recent Posts
So I've generally only really practiced jhana and vipassana. However, writings of Eckhart Tolle, Zen teachers, and writings about 2nd and 3rd gear practice (a la Kenneth Folk) have inspired me to try to realize Buddha nature/get a PCE/gain presence/see the actual world. Obviously, I haven't really sorted out what all these things are, but the PCE seems similar to 2nd/3rd gear practice and their results. To make things more confusing, it seems there is a lot of debate as to how these things correlate, even though they sounds so damn similar to me that I'm not sure what's up. Anyways, I thought I'd try to ballpark it tonight/fake it till I make it.

My general idea was to tune into the details of senses and try to get curious and fascinated with them. I tried to immerse myself like a child still in wonder with it all, or like Alice in Wonderland, or like it was a dream or something. I tried to ground all uncomfortable thoughts, or thoughts that weren't related to my immediate senses, into my body. I also tried to focus on the tingly feeling in my upper spine/neck. I got an A&P right away when I tried that, not sure how that or any other nana factors into the PCE deal.

Anyways, my thoughts-

-There is a natural, unstrained mindfulness to practicing like this. There isn't so much worry about nana or jhana or factors of enlightenment or factors of jhana or anything, just the very lighthearted task of tuning into the senses in the moment and really enjoying them. Seems similar to 3rd jhana in a way, except for it seems more inclined towards brightness and rising, whereas I usually associate 3rd jhana with dark and falling.

-After months of uncertainty, I am still not quite sure if I got stream entry, and instances of going through the nanas quickly are not necessarily identified as cycling to me. Anyways, it seemed like my mind rose, roughly, through the nanas up to equanimity. There was an A&P early on when I tried to look at the tingling in the neck, then 3rd vipassana jhana stuff when the things right in front of me were oddly hard to tune into and it was easier to gently let awareness float off to the edges, and then 4th vipassana jhana stuff, as far as the equanimity goes. I don't know if the process of stages arising has anything to do with getting into a PCE or if it's just related to my regular vipassana practice.

-After doing this for long enough, the sense of observer became an interesting thing, and I'm inclined to say that it does sound a lot like the 2nd gear deal with the witness. Sense of self seemed very 3rd person. I'm used to getting that feeling after vipassana practice but it came on strong and fairly quickly while trying my shot at PCE-like practice.

-While I don't really have a grasp on how all these things are technically related, it strikes me as having elements of both jhana and vipassana. It's jhana-like in the sense that you're using pleasantness to sustain mindfulness, and it is similar to both in that the defilements and fabrications are calmed while awareness expands and becomes more panoramic and equanimious.

-The thing that feels different is a kind of spark, spunk, some sort of playful joy that doesn't really exist in vipassana or jhana. It seems more lighthearted and not so mechanic, less like a process or practice and more like a way of grounding and enriching, or experiencing.

So that's my initial thoughts after giving a PCE-like practice a shot for an hour or so. I'm open to any advice or knowledge out there on this.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: PCE Dabbling Log

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Here's something to help you tease apart what a PCE is vs. what the other things you are talking about are (realize Buddha nature/gain presence/dream-like experience/jhanas/nyanas/etc): The most important part about the PCE is the experience of the actual world. The actual world is the world that inherently exists, independent of you (or anyone's) perception of it. Thus in a PCE you have the experience of perceiving objects that are inherently there, on-their-own, and your body is one of these as well.

The remaining qualities - peace, joy, felicity, enhanced senses, reduced thoughts, etc. - are side-effects. If you go for the side-effects instead of the experience of the actual world - e.g. if you go for cleaner senses and no-thoughts - then you will likely miss the PCE. Especially if you have meditated for a long time, it's relatively easy to form your experience to replicate these side-effect aspects, but then you won't be having a PCE, you'll be having a state of enhanced senses and no-thoughts. The tingly-feeling thing also doesn't seem like the right direction. Generally if something you do immediately leads to an A&P or to cycling that'll be the opposite direction. I haven't cycled in months and I didn't even get 4th path, I just stopped meditating. But it does seem possible and/or likely to have a PCE but then have it devolve into an A&P.

What works for me for leading me to a PCE is to consider whether there is indeed an actual world here - whether what I am experiencing is actually happening, right now. At first it seems impossible. How would I know that what I'm experience is happening? It's an unanswered question, when not in a PCE. The PCE is the experiential answer to that question.

Hope that helps!
Brother Pussycat, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: PCE Dabbling Log

Posts: 77 Join Date: 12/21/11 Recent Posts
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Here's something to help you tease apart what a PCE is vs. what the other things you are talking about are (realize Buddha nature/gain presence/dream-like experience/jhanas/nyanas/etc): The most important part about the PCE is the experience of the actual world. The actual world is the world that inherently exists, independent of you (or anyone's) perception of it. Thus in a PCE you have the experience of perceiving objects that are inherently there, on-their-own, and your body is one of these as well.


On this own this doesn't seem sufficient. You would also need the belief that this actual world is at least completely safe, preferably somehow inherently benevolent and beautiful. So there is a faith-based component to this.

EDIT: This was meant to be a reply to Mind Over Easy, just referencing Beoman.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: PCE Dabbling Log

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Brother Pussycat:
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Here's something to help you tease apart what a PCE is vs. what the other things you are talking about are (realize Buddha nature/gain presence/dream-like experience/jhanas/nyanas/etc): The most important part about the PCE is the experience of the actual world. The actual world is the world that inherently exists, independent of you (or anyone's) perception of it. Thus in a PCE you have the experience of perceiving objects that are inherently there, on-their-own, and your body is one of these as well.


On this own this doesn't seem sufficient. You would also need the belief that this actual world is at least completely safe, preferably somehow inherently benevolent and beautiful. So there is a faith-based component to this.

Hmm, not quite faith. The notion of inherent benevolence comes from the experience, not from faith about the experience. Until you have the experience and correctly identify it, then there's no way to know this, true. So you have to at least allow for the possibility. But once you experience it for what it is there's no need to believe it.

"Beautiful" misses the mark a bit. Things are definitely more enjoyable to experience, when in a PCE. This also doesn't require faith, it's just part of the experience. It's sort of like saying, you have to have faith that having fun is more enjoyable than being miserable. No, it doesn't require faith, it's just that having fun is indeed more enjoyable than being miserable.
Brother Pussycat, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: PCE Dabbling Log

Posts: 77 Join Date: 12/21/11 Recent Posts
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Brother Pussycat:
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Here's something to help you tease apart what a PCE is vs. what the other things you are talking about are (realize Buddha nature/gain presence/dream-like experience/jhanas/nyanas/etc): The most important part about the PCE is the experience of the actual world. The actual world is the world that inherently exists, independent of you (or anyone's) perception of it. Thus in a PCE you have the experience of perceiving objects that are inherently there, on-their-own, and your body is one of these as well.


On this own this doesn't seem sufficient. You would also need the belief that this actual world is at least completely safe, preferably somehow inherently benevolent and beautiful. So there is a faith-based component to this.

Hmm, not quite faith. The notion of inherent benevolence comes from the experience, not from faith about the experience. Until you have the experience and correctly identify it, then there's no way to know this, true. So you have to at least allow for the possibility.


Be that as it may, the assumption that the physical world has an inherent, independent existence does not inevitably lead to a good experience. I have had both good and bad experiences trying out this worldview. If I went into the worldview expecting a good time, I had a good time. If I didn't, I didn't. If I tried to avoid swinging either way before going in, the experience was flat.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: PCE Dabbling Log

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Brother Pussycat:
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Brother Pussycat:
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
The most important part about the PCE is the experience of the actual world. The actual world is the world that inherently exists, independent of you (or anyone's) perception of it. Thus in a PCE you have the experience of perceiving objects that are inherently there, on-their-own, and your body is one of these as well.


On this own this doesn't seem sufficient. You would also need the belief that this actual world is at least completely safe, preferably somehow inherently benevolent and beautiful. So there is a faith-based component to this.

Hmm, not quite faith. The notion of inherent benevolence comes from the experience, not from faith about the experience. Until you have the experience and correctly identify it, then there's no way to know this, true. So you have to at least allow for the possibility.


Be that as it may, the assumption that the physical world has an inherent, independent existence does not inevitably lead to a good experience. I have had both good and bad experiences trying out this worldview. If I went into the worldview expecting a good time, I had a good time. If I didn't, I didn't. If I tried to avoid swinging either way before going in, the experience was flat.

That is true. The point though is that it's not about adopting a worldview and then having that shape your experience. It's about getting to the point of having a particular, well-defined experience - a PCE - and then gaining information from that experience. So, yes, assuming the world inherently and independently exists won't necessarily lead you to a PCE wherein you have the experience which tells you that it does. Maybe you will just get frightened, instead. But the idea is to get to the PCE. And the PCE is inherently enjoyable - that part does not depend on a worldview. Getting there might be difficult at first, though.
Felipe C., modified 7 Years ago.

RE: PCE Dabbling Log

Posts: 221 Join Date: 5/29/11 Recent Posts
What Richard says is that the (pretty cynical) belief we hold so dearly is actually that the universe is not safe, not benevolent, not pleasant. That belief comes from our faith in our intuition, and not from the confidence of the direct and clear sensory perception, which informs the contrary, experientially, palpably, and never faithfully nor wishfully.

Richard:

I never believed or trusted that it was possible; nor did I have hope or faith or certitude, for such an action of believing, trusting, hoping and having faith and certitude perpetuates the believer, the truster, the hoper and the faithful certifier. On the contrary, I could no longer believe that it was not possible ... which is a different action entirely. I stopped the activity of believing, period. The mind is a fertile breeding ground for fantasies and hallucinations; if one backs it up with trust, faith, belief, hope and certitude then anything weird can eventuate.
Brother Pussycat, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: PCE Dabbling Log

Posts: 77 Join Date: 12/21/11 Recent Posts
Richard:

I stopped the activity of believing, period. .


Does Richard go into any detail on how exactly he "stopped believing, period"? This could actually be the key to the whole thing.
Felipe C., modified 7 Years ago.

RE: PCE Dabbling Log

Posts: 221 Join Date: 5/29/11 Recent Posts
How:

RICHARD: The most effective way to investigate all the beliefs, ideas, theories, concepts, maxims, dictums, truths, factoids, philosophies, values, principles, ideals, standards, credos, doctrines, tenets, canons, morals, ethics, customs, traditions, psittacisms, superstitions, myths, legends, folklores, imaginations, divinations, visions, fantasies, chimeras, illusions, delusions, hallucinations, phantasmagoria and any other of the schemes and dreams and mores which constitute social conditioning is the hands-on moment-to-moment approach – the on-the-job real-time experiencing where all the real-life people, things and events are currently occurring in a real-world context – rather than armchair philosophising.

If one asks oneself, each moment again, how one is experiencing this moment of being alive (which is the only moment one is ever alive) all will be revealed in due course, in the bright light of awareness, as one goes about one’s normal life. Moreover, all the instinctive drives, urges, impulses, compulsions, demands, pressures, cravings, yearnings, longings – all the instinctual passions which necessitate social conditioning in the first place – will be laid bare with the perspicacity born of pure intent and thus open for examination.

The human mind cops a lot of bad press ... but only because its native intelligence is crippled

More specifically:

RESPONDENT: Let’s use the example ‘No one really likes me’.

RICHARD: Okay ... here is the way the actualism method works in practice:

1. Was that – your ‘no one really likes me’ example – the feeling which changed within you?
2. If so, what was it that triggered off that feeling (the feeling which changed within you)?
3. What did that feeling which changed within you change into?
4. What was it that triggered off that change?
5. Was it silly to have both event No. 2 and event No. 4 take away your enjoyment and appreciation of being alive at this particular moment (the only moment you are ever alive)?

Or:

1. Was that – your ‘no one really likes me’ example – the feeling/belief which supplanted another feeling/ belief?
2. If so, what was it that triggered off that feeling/ belief (the feeling/belief which supplanted another feeling/ belief)?
3. What did that feeling/belief supplant?
4. What was it that triggered off the feeling/belief which was supplanted?
5. Was it silly to have both event No. 2 and event No. 4 take away your enjoyment and appreciation of being alive at this particular moment (the only moment you are ever alive)?

Provided your answer to No. 5, in either instance, is in the affirmative you will now be back to enjoying and appreciating this moment of being alive (the only moment you are ever alive) and thus the prospect of seeing the fact which will set you free of the belief will be facilitated by being able to come upon it experientially ... it is your active participation/ presence which vitalises/ invigorates the investigation/ exploration.

In short: armchair philosophising/psychologising will get you nowhere ... and fast.


I will try to put it in my words:

If you accept the notion that a belief is an emotion-backed thought, and the sum of these beliefs conform your social identity, then one concludes that when some kind of feeling arises, there must be some kind of belief behind.

When some feelings stop to arise is because there is no belief compromised (results in bad feelings) or endorsed (results in good feelings). When all the beliefs are dismantled, one eliminates the social identity and therefore stops fueling the feeling of being itself, negatively or positively.

Understanding this and contemplating being happy and harmless as the default state (when there are no beliefs operating, just an open appreciation of life), one uses attentiveness as a fire alarm: when some "good" or "bad" feeling arises is because of some kind of belief. After being aware of that change, one then proceeds to investigate why -the way Richard points out in the last quote.

For example, if a person enters to this room and affects me in some way, it's my task to investigate why's that and, after contemplating the issue, I will end thinking, inevitably, that I have some belief about this person: "this person is beautiful", "this person is important", "this person is awkward", etc. As those evaluations require feelings as their root (for example, "beautiful" comes from my desire and my nurture, and "awkward" from my malice, as this person is clearly not inherently "beautiful" or "awkward"), they are product of my passionate imagination and therefore not a fact: the simple fact that a human body entered to a room. Then, one sees how silly was to fell into that illusion, it was only a trap, and the feeling disappears along with the trap, sometimes gradually, sometimes instantly, depending on the realization.

With the sum of these investigations and disappearances, one "purifies" oneself and starts to see everything as actually is, without the filters of believing. One stops the reaction and begins the appreciation.

Anyway, I've not stopped believing yet, but what Richard says is aligning perfectly with the way things are coming in my path.

Hope this was helpful.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: PCE Dabbling Log

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Felipe C.:
If you accept the notion that a belief is an emotion-backed thought, and the sum of these beliefs conform your social identity, then one concludes that when some kind of feeling arises, there must be some kind of belief behind.

When some feelings stop to arise is because there is no belief compromised (results in bad feelings) or endorsed (results in good feelings). When all the beliefs are dismantled, one eliminates the social identity and therefore stops fueling the feeling of being itself, negatively or positively.

I'm not sure I agree, actually... You might have gotten it backwards. If a belief is an emotion-backed thought, then it follows that, when there is a belief, there is an emotion fueling and sustaining it. But it does not necessarily follow that when there is an emotion, there is a belief. Consider that it is feelings which give rise to thoughts and not vice versa. Also consider that there are animals who have emotions but not necessarily thoughts. Are their feelings caused by beliefs as well? Or is it the natural order of things to have instinctual passions and emotions, at least for certain animals?

Felipe C.:
For example, if a person enters to this room and affects me in some way, it's my task to investigate why's that and, after contemplating the issue, I will end thinking, inevitably, that I have some belief about this person: "this person is beautiful", "this person is important", "this person is awkward", etc. As those evaluations require feelings as their root (for example, "beautiful" comes from my desire and my nurture, and "awkward" from my malice, as this person is clearly not inherently "beautiful" or "awkward"), they are product of my passionate imagination and therefore not a fact: the simple fact that a human body entered to a room. Then, one sees how silly was to fell into that illusion, it was only a trap, and the feeling disappears along with the trap, sometimes gradually, sometimes instantly, depending on the realization.

With the sum of these investigations and disappearances, one "purifies" oneself and starts to see everything as actually is, without the filters of believing. One stops the reaction and begins the appreciation.

Also take care here not to completely throw evaluation out the window. Some people simply act more awkwardly - in a manner described by society as awkward - than others. You can tell by their voice tone and body language whether they are comfortable or not. You can be wrong, but still you can make that evaluation, and you can do it without feelings. Likewise, some people are more physically attractive than others... some are more important in certain social circles than others... some people weigh more than they should in order to be as health as they could... etc. It might be worth taking a read-through on the correspondence page about Judgment.
Felipe C., modified 7 Years ago.

RE: PCE Dabbling Log

Posts: 221 Join Date: 5/29/11 Recent Posts
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

I'm not sure I agree, actually... You might have gotten it backwards. If a belief is an emotion-backed thought, then it follows that, when there is a belief, there is an emotion fueling and sustaining it. But it does not necessarily follow that when there is an emotion, there is a belief. Consider that it is feelings which give rise to thoughts and not vice versa. Also consider that there are animals who have emotions but not necessarily thoughts. Are their feelings caused by beliefs as well? Or is it the natural order of things to have instinctual passions and emotions, at least for certain animals?


This is an interesting topic, because it is not always clear what is the cause and what is the effect in the chain of experiencing. Take this fragment of one my previous quotes from Richard: "Moreover, all the instinctive drives, urges, impulses, compulsions, demands, pressures, cravings, yearnings, longings – all the instinctual passions which necessitate social conditioning in the first place – will be laid bare with the perspicacity born of pure intent and thus open for examination." What is the meaning of "all the instinctual passion which necessitate social conditioning in the first place"? Isn't Richard suggesting here that a lot of feelings require social beliefs in order to arise?

Richard:

One starts by dismantling the sense of social identity that has been overlaid, from birth onward, over the innate self until one is virtually free from all the social mores and psittacisms … those mechanical repetitions of previously received ideas or images, reflecting neither apperception nor autonomous reasoning. One can be virtually free from all the beliefs, ideas, values, theories, truths, customs, traditions, ideals, superstitions … and all the other schemes and dreams.


When one virtually stops believing, then one virtually stops the social identity, and therefore stops a huge amount of suffering. It was through examining the beliefs that one gets to the raw feelings, so they are pretty much related. I do agree that raw feelings exist, but usually the trigger can be identified as a belief, as in my previous examples. I know that the raw passion is the potential, but the reason for the potential to become real in a given situation comes generally from a belief, no? A feeling rarely manifests without excuses (I know that an excuse could be being in a shooting, but one generally is in other kinds of contexts, at least in the contemporary world). I don't know how to express this actually. emoticon

EDIT. I know that our passion shapes our beliefs. For example, capitalism and its values were created as a symptom of our greed, to name an over simplified example. But, once the value is created, it can shape and trigger the original feeling in different ways and levels. I know that if a bride feels bad because her husband didn't give her a nice diamond ring it is her greed speaking, but the greed took form because of a social belief acquired in recent culture. This is where it gets confusing.

Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

Also take care here not to completely throw evaluation out the window. Some people simply act more awkwardly - in a manner described by society as awkward - than others. You can tell by their voice tone and body language whether they are comfortable or not. You can be wrong, but still you can make that evaluation, and you can do it without feelings. Likewise, some people are more physically attractive than others... some are more important in certain social circles than others... some people weigh more than they should in order to be as health as they could... etc. It might be worth taking a read-through on the correspondence page about Judgment.


I knew this was going to be controversial, as it is a subtle case. I was not discarding the great human capacity for judgement. In my example I stated: "if a person enters to this room and affects me in some way". The word "affects" was the key.

What I'm pointing there is the difference between judging with feelings and beliefs and judging without them. I agree that there are more "beautiful" (aka symmetrical) people than others, but is pretty different 2) to appreciate the pleasant sighting for what is and 2) to add desire and nurture to the formula. "Beauty" becomes a belief (emotion-based) when I react to it (attachment, desire, romanticism, idealization, etc.) In other words: I would not react the same as before now if a naked super model entered the room: the sight is pleasant but there is not the same amount of desire, lust, etc. as before. I don't fell in the trap. I changed experientially (not intellectually) according to my reactions, so I can say that I'm more or less free of the belief of "beauty" (beauty as traditionally perceived in the real world), or, in other words, I relatively stopped putting beauty on a pedestal.

The same happens with my "awkward" example, but with "negative" feelings.

EDIT 2. Here I am referring to the feeling aspect of the observation of beauty and awkwardness. This is pretty tricky too, I guess. For example, if a 'normal' human being says to another 'you are important to me', he is using that adjective as a way to communicate his feeling {and he expresses it also because he cherishes this feeling and considers it good}, generally, and the receptor of the message generally feels good, reinforced or proud because of what he heard. I was referring, basically, to this self-referential, egoistic, passionate way of believing that 'I' am important, and not to a factual observation per se. I don't know if this is clearer or made things worse, hehe.

Thoughts?
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: PCE Dabbling Log

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Felipe C.:
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

I'm not sure I agree, actually... You might have gotten it backwards. If a belief is an emotion-backed thought, then it follows that, when there is a belief, there is an emotion fueling and sustaining it. But it does not necessarily follow that when there is an emotion, there is a belief. Consider that it is feelings which give rise to thoughts and not vice versa. Also consider that there are animals who have emotions but not necessarily thoughts. Are their feelings caused by beliefs as well? Or is it the natural order of things to have instinctual passions and emotions, at least for certain animals?


This is an interesting topic, because it is not always clear what is the cause and what is the effect in the chain of experiencing. Take this fragment of one my previous quotes from Richard: "Moreover, all the instinctive drives, urges, impulses, compulsions, demands, pressures, cravings, yearnings, longings – all the instinctual passions which necessitate social conditioning in the first place – will be laid bare with the perspicacity born of pure intent and thus open for examination." What is the meaning of "all the instinctual passion which necessitate social conditioning in the first place"? Isn't Richard suggesting here that a lot of feelings require social beliefs in order to arise?

Hmm, in a sense, yeah. Without the social conditioning those feelings wouldn't arise. There would just be the raw instincts. The social conditioning seems to refine them into more 'sophisticated'/more 'refined' emotions.

Felipe C.:
Richard:

One starts by dismantling the sense of social identity that has been overlaid, from birth onward, over the innate self until one is virtually free from all the social mores and psittacisms … those mechanical repetitions of previously received ideas or images, reflecting neither apperception nor autonomous reasoning. One can be virtually free from all the beliefs, ideas, values, theories, truths, customs, traditions, ideals, superstitions … and all the other schemes and dreams.


When one virtually stops believing, then one virtually stops the social identity, and therefore stops a huge amount of suffering. It was through examining the beliefs that one gets to the raw feelings, so they are pretty much related. I do agree that raw feelings exist, but usually the trigger can be identified as a belief, as in my previous examples. I know that the raw passion is the potential, but the reason for the potential to become real in a given situation comes generally from a belief, no? A feeling rarely manifests without excuses (I know that an excuse could be being in a shooting, but one generally is in other kinds of contexts, at least in the contemporary world). I don't know how to express this actually. emoticon

EDIT. I know that our passion shapes our beliefs. For example, capitalism and its values were created as a symptom of our greed, to name an over simplified example. But, once the value is created, it can shape and trigger the original feeling in different ways and levels. I know that if a bride feels bad because her husband didn't give her a nice diamond ring it is her greed speaking, but the greed took form because of a social belief acquired in recent culture. This is where it gets confusing.

Perhaps my point was that even if it is social conditioning, it's not the thoughts that are the problem/that cause the emotions. The thoughts are only a useful/more sophisticated way to articulate the particular emotion/feeling that is arising.. an articulation which is useful to pay attention to to be able to figure out what a particular feeling is about.

Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

Also take care here not to completely throw evaluation out the window. Some people simply act more awkwardly - in a manner described by society as awkward - than others. You can tell by their voice tone and body language whether they are comfortable or not. You can be wrong, but still you can make that evaluation, and you can do it without feelings. Likewise, some people are more physically attractive than others... some are more important in certain social circles than others... some people weigh more than they should in order to be as health as they could... etc. It might be worth taking a read-through on the correspondence page about Judgment.


I knew this was going to be controversial, as it is a subtle case. I was not discarding the great human capacity for judgement. In my example I stated: "if a person enters to this room and affects me in some way". The word "affects" was the key.

What I'm pointing there is the difference between judging with feelings and beliefs and judging without them. I agree that there are more "beautiful" (aka symmetrical) people than others, but is pretty different 2) to appreciate the pleasant sighting for what is and 2) to add desire and nurture to the formula. "Beauty" becomes a belief (emotion-based) when I react to it (attachment, desire, romanticism, idealization, etc.) In other words: I would not react the same as before now if a naked super model entered the room: the sight is pleasant but there is not the same amount of desire, lust, etc. as before. I don't fell in the trap. I changed experientially (not intellectually) according to my reactions, so I can say that I'm more or less free of the belief of "beauty" (beauty as traditionally perceived in the real world), or, in other words, I relatively stopped putting beauty on a pedestal.

The same happens with my "awkward" example, but with "negative" feelings.

EDIT 2. Here I am referring to the feeling aspect of the observation of beauty and awkwardness. This is pretty tricky too, I guess. For example, if a 'normal' human being says to another 'you are important to me', he is using that adjective as a way to communicate his feeling {and he expresses it also because he cherishes this feeling and considers it good}, generally, and the receptor of the message generally feels good, reinforced or proud because of what he heard. I was referring, basically, to this self-referential, egoistic, passionate way of believing that 'I' am important, and not to a factual observation per se. I don't know if this is clearer or made things worse, hehe.

Thoughts?

Ah I think your explication makes things clearer. I was thinking sort of along the same lines after I made my post. It seems that we probably have the same idea in mind, here. Attraction can definitely be affective in nature - in the form of lust, for example - so although some people might be more attractive than others "objectively" (or, since there's still probably personal preference involved, at least without being fueled by feelings for a given person), there can still be that affective drive behind it which can lead one to do very silly things.
Felipe C., modified 7 Years ago.

RE: PCE Dabbling Log

Posts: 221 Join Date: 5/29/11 Recent Posts
Perhaps my point was that even if it is social conditioning, it's not the thoughts that are the problem/that cause the emotions. The thoughts are only a useful/more sophisticated way to articulate the particular emotion/feeling that is arising.. an articulation which is useful to pay attention to to be able to figure out what a particular feeling is about.


I agree with this.

I'm not saying that I first have the thought "this is unfair!" and then feel the "unfairness". What I am saying here is that "my" belief in fairness in the world shaped my judgment a priori in a given situation. Obviously, I firstly feel the feeling in my chest, and after I understand that it was because of my view on fairness.

What I was saying originally is that, after you see how silly is this view and you discard it experientially, then that very feeling in the chest that "I" felt that time tends to diminish and then disappear in similar occasions in the future (where an "unfair" situation appears). This is where I'm finding difficult telling the difference between feeling and thought in the topic of beliefs, because the belief seems to be an emotion itself. It can not be separated. The thought, in this case, is just a way of conceptualizing the feeling.

Perhaps this is similar to our last point in our discussions (the thing about beauty and awkwardness), because in my few PCEs, I realized that there is nothing inherently distressing in thoughts and that they not carry other feelings per se, as you say. For example, it was very different for me thinking about a girl I liked during a PCE or EE and thinking about her during a normal-very-present-"me" mode. I could see how the experience was vastly different in the PCE scenario (a transient and not particularly important thought) vs. operating in a normal-mode (that is, with the feeling-belief of "fuck, I need this girl!").

In other words, the "emotion-backed" part of the definition of "belief" as an "emotion-backed thought" is what needs to be dropped in order to discard the belief, but, until then, they are the same in practical terms for a "normal" human being. Once free from the emotion, you will have pure thought or thinking (and not belief), and that's the thought that I've experienced as safe, operational, transient, in a PCE, or now -after a couple of years of practice- when part of the identity is already dismantled.

Did that make sense? Do you agree with this? Honest questions, because I'd like to know if I'm missing something as this is one of the most confusing points for me.

NOTE: this discussion should be taken to another thread.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: PCE Dabbling Log

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Felipe C.:
Perhaps my point was that even if it is social conditioning, it's not the thoughts that are the problem/that cause the emotions. The thoughts are only a useful/more sophisticated way to articulate the particular emotion/feeling that is arising.. an articulation which is useful to pay attention to to be able to figure out what a particular feeling is about.


I agree with this.

I'm not saying that I first have the thought "this is unfair!" and then feel the "unfairness". What I am saying here is that "my" belief in fairness in the world shaped my judgment a priori in a given situation. Obviously, I firstly feel the feeling in my chest, and after I understand that it was because of my view on fairness.

What I was saying originally is that, after you see how silly is this view and you discard it experientially, then that very feeling in the chest that "I" felt that time tends to diminish and then disappear in similar occasions in the future (where an "unfair" situation appears). This is where I'm finding difficult telling the difference between feeling and thought in the topic of beliefs, because the belief seems to be an emotion itself. It can not be separated. The thought, in this case, is just a way of conceptualizing the feeling.

Perhaps this is similar to our last point in our discussions (the thing about beauty and awkwardness), because in my few PCEs, I realized that there is nothing inherently distressing in thoughts and that they not carry other feelings per se, as you say. For example, it was very different for me thinking about a girl I liked during a PCE or EE and thinking about her during a normal-very-present-"me" mode. I could see how the experience was vastly different in the PCE scenario (a transient and not particularly important thought) vs. operating in a normal-mode (that is, with the feeling-belief of "fuck, I need this girl!").

In other words, the "emotion-backed" part of the definition of "belief" as an "emotion-backed thought" is what needs to be dropped in order to discard the belief, but, until then, they are the same in practical terms for a "normal" human being. Once free from the emotion, you will have pure thought or thinking (and not belief), and that's the thought that I've experienced as safe, operational, transient, in a PCE, or now -after a couple of years of practice- when part of the identity is already dismantled.

Did that make sense? Do you agree with this? Honest questions, because I'd like to know if I'm missing something as this is one of the most confusing points for me.

That makes sense to me, yes. It is interesting. You're right about the thought itself not being distressing. A good thing to remember is that there's no reason to believe in a fact. Something is either the case, or it isn't. So if you seek to only deal in facts as much as possible, there's less reason to get worked up over stuff. Sometimes what is a fact is not yet clear, in which case you can know that you don't know but maybe have these assumptions or this reasoning which could be proven wrong... which also seems pretty fine & not worth getting worked up over.

Felipe C.:
NOTE: this discussion should be taken to another thread.
This seems to end this sub-thread but if you want to pursue it more or other topics then yeah another thread would be the way to go. I didn't want to make a thread just to say "I agree".
John Wilde, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: PCE Dabbling Log

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Felipe C.:

This is an interesting topic, because it is not always clear what is the cause and what is the effect in the chain of experiencing.


Which of these seems more accurate, in your experience?

1) Feelings are caused by an appraisal of a situation.

2) Feelings are the most fundamental appraisal of a situation.

My experience seems to be that the appraisal of a situation comes before feelings.

But the appraisal isn't necessarily high-level-cognitive or conceptual.

To me, arguments for the primacy of either affect or cognition don't quite hit the spot. There's something else...
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. Jake ., modified 7 Years ago.

RE: PCE Dabbling Log

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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

I'm not sure I agree, actually... You might have gotten it backwards. If a belief is an emotion-backed thought, then it follows that, when there is a belief, there is an emotion fueling and sustaining it. But it does not necessarily follow that when there is an emotion, there is a belief. Consider that it is feelings which give rise to thoughts and not vice versa. Also consider that there are animals who have emotions but not necessarily thoughts. Are their feelings caused by beliefs as well? Or is it the natural order of things to have instinctual passions and emotions, at least for certain animals?


Can you give an example of an instinctual feeling (desire, fear, nurture, aggression) which does not depend on a thought (in the broad sense, as a description, verbal or non-verbal). At the very least, in my own experience, I would say the 'two' are rooted in an identity which has both affective and cognitive facets. I would be very surprised and interested if you could give a decent phenomenological account of an 'instinctual passion' divorced from a belief (in the sense of a reified representation, for example, a stable separate self/Self).

[It's interesting in this respect that in descriptions of the five skandhas, feeling (positive/negative/neutral evaluation) and perception (mental labeling, description, representation) are sometimes reversed, suggesting the possibility that feeling & perception are a circularity, two sides of the same coin, and not strictly speaking steps in a chain of linear causality.]
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Richard Zen, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: PCE Dabbling Log

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. Jake .:
[It's interesting in this respect that in descriptions of the five skandhas, feeling (positive/negative/neutral evaluation) and perception (mental labeling, description, representation) are sometimes reversed, suggesting the possibility that feeling & perception are a circularity, two sides of the same coin, and not strictly speaking steps in a chain of linear causality.]


Wow! That's exactly what I feel and you said this succinctly. I've been thinking about this a lot for the past few weeks. Beliefs and memories of past good and bad experiences can create reactivity.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: PCE Dabbling Log

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. Jake .:
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

I'm not sure I agree, actually... You might have gotten it backwards. If a belief is an emotion-backed thought, then it follows that, when there is a belief, there is an emotion fueling and sustaining it. But it does not necessarily follow that when there is an emotion, there is a belief. Consider that it is feelings which give rise to thoughts and not vice versa. Also consider that there are animals who have emotions but not necessarily thoughts. Are their feelings caused by beliefs as well? Or is it the natural order of things to have instinctual passions and emotions, at least for certain animals?


Can you give an example of an instinctual feeling (desire, fear, nurture, aggression) which does not depend on a thought (in the broad sense, as a description, verbal or non-verbal). At the very least, in my own experience, I would say the 'two' are rooted in an identity which has both affective and cognitive facets. I would be very surprised and interested if you could give a decent phenomenological account of an 'instinctual passion' divorced from a belief (in the sense of a reified representation, for example, a stable separate self/Self).

Sure. Just recently I was falling asleep in my car, and I got into this weird hypnogogic/hypnopompic state (not sure which) wherein I was paralyzed. This apparently is fairly common. In any case, I started to feel like I was suffocating. This seems to happen because, although one is breathing enough to survive, one loses control of one's breath and feels like it isn't happening enough. This brought about a good amount of panic, naturally. I then tried to move out of that position and found that I couldn't, which started to bring about more terror. This did not seem dependent on any particular thought. It was more the immediate evaluation of the situation - before it came to be formed fully as thought - that led to the terror. That is, the terror happened before I could even think about what was happening.

. Jake .:
[It's interesting in this respect that in descriptions of the five skandhas, feeling (positive/negative/neutral evaluation) and perception (mental labeling, description, representation) are sometimes reversed, suggesting the possibility that feeling & perception are a circularity, two sides of the same coin, and not strictly speaking steps in a chain of linear causality.]

Even without referring to buddhistic ideas of how to label various mental and emotional phenomena, it's fairly clear that one can definitely perpetuate vicious cycles of feeling by continuing to obsessively think about it, for example. There does seem to be influence in both directions. But as a general principle it seems to me that the emotions are far more powerful and effective at influencing thoughts than vice versa. Just consider how strongly you can think to try to calm yourself down and have it be effective... yet how quickly that state of being not-calm was brought about by whatever brought it about.
Brother Pussycat, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: PCE Dabbling Log

Posts: 77 Join Date: 12/21/11 Recent Posts
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

Sure. Just recently I was falling asleep in my car, and I got into this weird hypnogogic/hypnopompic state (not sure which) wherein I was paralyzed. This apparently is fairly common. In any case, I started to feel like I was suffocating. This seems to happen because, although one is breathing enough to survive, one loses control of one's breath and feels like it isn't happening enough. This brought about a good amount of panic, naturally. I then tried to move out of that position and found that I couldn't, which started to bring about more terror. This did not seem dependent on any particular thought. It was more the immediate evaluation of the situation - before it came to be formed fully as thought - that led to the terror. That is, the terror happened before I could even think about what was happening.
.


I would say this "immediate evaluation of the situation" probably counts as a thought as per Jake's criteria - "in the broad sense, as a description, verbal or non-verbal."

It does seem to me that there are two types of thought - the verbal/image thing we all know and love/hate, and the "immediate evaluation" type, which isn't easily reducible to any verbal/image content, as it seems to be 'compressed'. And yet it does seem to be 'descriptive', in that it carries all the info we need. The verbal/image type of thought seems to be merely an echo of that, or maybe a translation or unpacking of its compressed contents.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: PCE Dabbling Log

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Brother Pussycat:
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

Sure. Just recently I was falling asleep in my car, and I got into this weird hypnogogic/hypnopompic state (not sure which) wherein I was paralyzed. This apparently is fairly common. In any case, I started to feel like I was suffocating. This seems to happen because, although one is breathing enough to survive, one loses control of one's breath and feels like it isn't happening enough. This brought about a good amount of panic, naturally. I then tried to move out of that position and found that I couldn't, which started to bring about more terror. This did not seem dependent on any particular thought. It was more the immediate evaluation of the situation - before it came to be formed fully as thought - that led to the terror. That is, the terror happened before I could even think about what was happening.
.


I would say this "immediate evaluation of the situation" probably counts as a thought as per Jake's criteria - "in the broad sense, as a description, verbal or non-verbal."

It does seem to me that there are two types of thought - the verbal/image thing we all know and love/hate, and the "immediate evaluation" type, which isn't easily reducible to any verbal/image content, as it seems to be 'compressed'. And yet it does seem to be 'descriptive', in that it carries all the info we need. The verbal/image type of thought seems to be merely an echo of that, or maybe a translation or unpacking of its compressed contents.

Hmm, well, in order for a feeling to arise, your brain has to have already made all the necessary evaluations which made our more primitive instincts decide to go into overdrive. So I think it goes something like this:

1) Body and brain senses a threat suddenly appearing - say, a large animal barreling towards you.
2) Instinctual passions immediately kick in and start pumping fear chemicals through your body.
3) Here, you become conscious of the feeling of fear.
4) You start having thoughts about the content, along with noticing that you have already started running. "Holy shit, a bear is tearing it up towards me."

I would call what happens at #4 thoughts, but I wouldn't say #1 is a thought. Thoughts are far slower and happen in a more step-by-step manner. If we relied on thoughts to decide whether to be afraid, all our ancestors would have gotten eaten a long time ago. Thus I make the case that they are of a substantially different nature, and using the same term for both is to be conflating the two. Also notice that you only become aware of something having happened *after* you have started being afraid. Not that me saying it so makes it so, but that's how I understand it, and there are a few pages on the AFT about LeDoux's work in this field to corroborate that understanding.

The radical part about actualism is the notion that you can remove #2 and #3 - these things that usually happen outside of our control (before any decisions about whether to undertake them would have reached our conscious mind) - entirely, without getting rid of #1 or #4 at all. This quote is particularly relevant:

Richard:
A classic example of this occurred whilst strolling along a country lane one fine morning with the sunlight dancing its magic on the glistening dew-drops suspended from the greenery everywhere; these eyes are delighting in the profusion of colour and texture and form as the panorama unfolds; these ears are revelling in the cadence of tones as their resonance and timbre fills the air; these nostrils are rejoicing in the abundance of aromas and scents drifting fragrantly all about; this skin is savouring the touch, the caress, of the early springtime ambience; this mind, other than the sheer enjoyment and appreciation of being alive as this flesh and blood body, is ambling along in neutral – there is no thought at all and conscious alertness is null and void – when all-of-a-sudden the easy gait has ceased happening.
These eyes instantly shift from admiring the dun-coloured cows in a field nearby and are looking downward to the front and see the green and black snake, coiling up on the road in readiness to act, which had not only occasioned the abrupt halt but, it is discovered, had initiated a rapid step backwards ... an instinctive response which, had the instinctual passions that are the identity been in situ, could very well have triggered off freeze-fight-flee chemicals.
There is no perturbation whatsoever (no wide-eyed staring, no increase in heart-beat, no rapid breathing, no adrenaline-tensed muscle tone, no sweaty palms, no blood draining from the face, no dry mouth, no cortisol-induced heightened awareness, and so on) as with the complete absence of the rudimentary animal ‘self’ in the primordial brain the limbic system in general, and the amygdala in particular, have been free to do their job – the oh-so-vital startle response – both efficaciously and cleanly.
Cattle, for example, are easily ‘spooked’ by a reptile and have been known to stampede in infectious group panic. [link]
Brother Pussycat, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: PCE Dabbling Log

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It's possible that 1 and 4 shouldn't be conflated, but I still think they're similar in that they both carry evaluative meaning.
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. Jake ., modified 7 Years ago.

RE: PCE Dabbling Log

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I find great practical value in seeing cognitive labels/descriptions as a continuum from the very subtle and non-verbal to the very coarse, verbal/imaginitive. There is clearly a relation between the skhanda of perception and that of formations, in that complex mental formations depend on perceptual labeling in the cognitive science sense. Also the synonyms 'perception' and 'recognition; in explications of this skhanda point to a connection between representation/description in the broad sense, and more complex memory-based formations such as conscious explicit thought (which indeed usualy occurs in the wake of an instinctual reaction).

At the root though it seems to me that the basic distortion which gives rise to suffering has characteristics of both affect and cognitive labeling (reifying). At the subtlest level of distortion the distinction between thought in this broad sense and feeling dissapears. Every feeling reaction (fear, desire, anger etc) is simultaneously a cognitive error (attributing a manner of being a self, and/or a manner in which things exist, which is false).

This does not negate the difference between high-level cognitions such as verbal-imaginative thought and feelings, it just points out that even the most basic feelings are simultaneously cognitive appraisals that mis-atribute modes of selfhood, thingness, etc to experience. I would be very surprised if someone could explain Actualist theory in a way that denies this. My impression is that the dictum 'I' am 'my' feelings, 'me' feelings are 'me' and also the dictum which states 'I' never actually was are consistent with this point and in fact depend on it (every reactive feeling is the misapprehension of experience in terms of a form of selfhood which is false).

Whatever one thinks about the prescription Richard offers for working with this fact, the above seems to be basic Actualist theory, and it also seems sound to me. Whether feeling and imagination are necessarily eliminated in the process of becoming free is another matter, and doesn't immediately logically follow, in my view.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: PCE Dabbling Log

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There's an entire Frequently Flogged Misconceptions - Thoughts Create Feelings page on this very topic. Also addressed there is the notion that feelings are just thoughts/are simultaneously thoughts or two sides of the same coin.

But this is all getting off-topic from Mind over easy's initial intent with this thread - "PCE Dabbling Log". Maybe we should start a new thread about it if you want to keep discussing it.
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. Jake ., modified 7 Years ago.

RE: PCE Dabbling Log

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Another thread isn't necessary as I'm not interested in getting into a semantic debate, which this conversation seems to be teetering on the verge of. You aren't addressing the phenomenological descriptions I am offering on a phenomenological level; you seem not to understand what I mean by 'thought/description/representation', or perhaps you are uninterested in understanding what I mean by those terms (either or both of which are ok with me). As others who are reading what I'm writing seem to be catching the gist of what I'm pointing to, I'm not sure how better to point to it. (In other words, I'm not sure you are disagreeing with me, as everything I've said seems compatible with most of what you are saying that is rooted in your experience as opposed to theory; however, you seem to believe I am missing something important about actualism, although the link you provided, while using terms in a way similar to how you are using them, yet doesn't address the phenomenological points I am making by using similar words in a different way.)

As for the thread and the OP's topic I'll leave that to Mind Over Easy to determine. Since in the OP it is not entirely clear that Mind over easy wants to pursue the PCE per se, or whether in fact MOE is interested in generally investigating an approach to cultivation which is more direct (as in aimed at the timeless qualities of the present moment) than jhannas and nanas, and just happened to label the thread 'PCE dabbling log' when actually what is being pursued are a variety of approaches which differ in this way from vippassana/jhanna practice. I'll let MOE reflect on that and clarify the intent of the thread. It's a practice log after all emoticon

However I will point out that it seems to me that in a similar way to that in which you seem unable or unwilling to understand my use of the term 'thought' in this thread, you also seemed to miss the intent of the OP, which seems clearly aimed more at a general exploration of more direct methods of cultivating which are oriented to timeless qualities of the present moment rather than being aimed towards a developmental process that takes place over time (not that the two are mutually exclusive, though they do seem to represent alternative approaches to the thing).

In my experience there are ways of cultivating and exploring that result in high levels of resilience, well-being, and interpersonal skillfulness; and which allow a deepening wisdom which yet is very different from the ups-and-downs of cycling through nanas; and which allow a mental-emotional stability which is very different from jhanna; and yet which does not involve the elimination of feeling and imagination (or any other faculty) or indeed the belief in the conceptual framework which makes that seem necessary. So this might be a valuable point of view to the OP.
Adam . ., modified 7 Years ago.

RE: PCE Dabbling Log

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In my experience there are ways of cultivating and exploring that result in high levels of resilience, well-being, and interpersonal skillfulness; and which allow a deepening wisdom which yet is very different from the ups-and-downs of cycling through nanas; and which allow a mental-emotional stability which is very different from jhanna; and yet which does not involve the elimination of feeling and imagination (or any other faculty) or indeed the belief in the conceptual framework which makes that seem necessary. So this might be a valuable point of view to the OP.


Jake I am interested in this view, do you think you might write a post on that? or point me to a larger-scale treatment of those ways of cultivating? to me it really does still seem that stability/clarity/presence/calmness/relaxedness is caused by believing in emotional perceptions until eventually at the highest levels of those qualities one experiences no emotions or self-referencing thoughts, rather just a continuous presence to what is being experienced without any sort reactivity or judgment or mediation.

in my own development, which has been almost entirely about cultivating that type of 'presence' it seems to be the case that i both develop in terms of seeing emotions clearly and not arguing with them/agreeing with them/engaging with them and in terms of simply not having as many emotions.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: PCE Dabbling Log

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. Jake .:
Another thread isn't necessary as I'm not interested in getting into a semantic debate, which this conversation seems to be teetering on the verge of. You aren't addressing the phenomenological descriptions I am offering on a phenomenological level; you seem not to understand what I mean by 'thought/description/representation', or perhaps you are uninterested in understanding what I mean by those terms (either or both of which are ok with me). As others who are reading what I'm writing seem to be catching the gist of what I'm pointing to, I'm not sure how better to point to it. (In other words, I'm not sure you are disagreeing with me, as everything I've said seems compatible with most of what you are saying that is rooted in your experience as opposed to theory; however, you seem to believe I am missing something important about actualism, although the link you provided, while using terms in a way similar to how you are using them, yet doesn't address the phenomenological points I am making by using similar words in a different way.)

I'm fairly sure I get the idea of what you're saying, it's just that I still disagree. I think you continue to conflate thoughts with feelings which is what leads you to your conclusion that feeling and imagination are not necessarily eliminated in the process of becoming free. This isn't a matter of semantics, as in, what the words mean, but rather a matter of content, as in, what thoughts and feelings actually are. I don't have time to get into it right now which is why I pointed you to the FFM page, but perhaps I'll address your reply directly in the near future.

Re: my missing the point of the OP, he is placing PCEs and ASCs in the same category, which they are not, so I was seeking to make that distinction clear, in case he is interested. If he wants to cultivate PCE-like ASCs then he can go ahead and do that... it's up to him after all and I don't particularly mind.
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. Jake ., modified 7 Years ago.

RE: PCE Dabbling Log

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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

I'm fairly sure I get the idea of what you're saying, it's just that I still disagree.


The reason why I said this seems to be veering towards a semantic debate is that I have seen no evidence in your posts that you either phenomenologically understand the experience I'm pointing to, or frankly, the experience that you seem to be holding as the ultimate. i am not hearing an experiential description from you of the aspects of actualism that you valorize. Also, the content of the link you sent appears to me to miss the point of what I'm describing in exactly the same way as you are.

Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

Re: my missing the point of the OP, he is placing PCEs and ASCs in the same category, which they are not, so I was seeking to make that distinction clear, in case he is interested. If he wants to cultivate PCE-like ASCs then he can go ahead and do that... it's up to him after all and I don't particularly mind.


Well, I relate to this quote in the same way as I would to any fundamentalist quote. It is clear you are unwilling to discuss these topics from outside your preferred framework, as everything you say here is impregnated with the whole worldview of actualism. Again, I have not seen any phenomenological descriptions in your posts here or elsewhere that would make your statements about actualist theory more than second-hand dogma. Much less the kind of extensive experience with PCEs which would be useful for evaluating their validity. Much less a broad base of experience with meditative cultivations, which you also evince little phenomenological evidence for while at the same time making many strong ideologically consistent claims about meditative cultivation (that you do not seem to have the experiential data to back up).

I would suggest that, regardless of your degree of personal commitment to your chosen path, participating on a forum where you are joined by many folks who practice different paths, you would probably attract more flies with the honey of a presentation of your views that at least tries to come off less dogmatically.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: PCE Dabbling Log

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. Jake .:
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

I'm fairly sure I get the idea of what you're saying, it's just that I still disagree.


The reason why I said this seems to be veering towards a semantic debate is that I have seen no evidence in your posts that you either phenomenologically understand the experience I'm pointing to, or frankly, the experience that you seem to be holding as the ultimate. i am not hearing an experiential description from you of the aspects of actualism that you valorize. Also, the content of the link you sent appears to me to miss the point of what I'm describing in exactly the same way as you are.

Erm, well, the point of that post was to say that I'd discuss it in more detail with you later... but your mind about me and this topic seems pretty made up already and I'm not going to go about trying to change it right now in a text-only forum.
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. Jake ., modified 7 Years ago.

RE: PCE Dabbling Log

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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

Erm, well, the point of that post was to say that I'd discuss it in more detail with you later... but your mind about me and this topic seems pretty made up already and I'm not going to go about trying to change it right now in a text-only forum.


lol... perhaps if your agenda weren't to change my mind, we could have a conversation. I'm not trying to change your mind... at this point, just asking how you know the truth of what you're advocating (so, linking others' words won't help). Anyhow, I agree, text based format is silly for this sort of thing, so I'm happy to drop it.
Brother Pussycat, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: PCE Dabbling Log

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Thanks, but I remember that line of argumentation against broadly understood beliefs, and I'm not satisfied with it. I thought Richard had something else apart from that. Can't go into why now, maybe later.

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