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Actual Freedom and Arahatship

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Actual Freedom and Arahatship Daniel M. Ingram 5/9/10 5:41 PM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship tarin greco 5/9/10 9:01 PM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship Daniel M. Ingram 5/10/10 1:06 AM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship Trent . 5/10/10 4:29 PM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship aaron . 6/10/10 3:45 PM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship tarin greco 6/29/10 8:23 AM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship tarin greco 5/12/10 7:52 AM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship max name 9/21/10 12:05 PM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship Bruno Loff 9/21/10 5:11 PM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship tarin greco 10/2/10 11:40 AM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship Jorge Freddy Martinez 10/25/10 5:13 PM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship Jorge Freddy Martinez 10/25/10 5:29 PM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 11/3/10 2:56 PM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship David Nelson 11/3/10 4:24 PM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship Florian 5/11/10 5:47 AM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship tarin greco 5/12/10 4:42 AM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship Florian 5/12/10 11:21 AM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship tarin greco 5/13/10 2:20 AM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship Sanjay 5/13/10 8:07 AM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship ManZ A 5/13/10 1:17 PM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship Trent . 5/13/10 4:39 PM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship Jeff Grove 5/14/10 6:57 PM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship Trent . 5/15/10 3:55 PM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship Luciano de Noeme Imoto 6/2/10 12:35 PM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship Trent . 6/2/10 6:12 PM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship Luciano de Noeme Imoto 6/4/10 10:56 AM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship tarin greco 5/18/10 6:28 AM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship tarin greco 6/13/10 1:07 PM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship tarin greco 5/15/10 5:17 AM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship triple think 5/15/10 9:31 AM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship Trent . 5/15/10 4:12 PM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship triple think 5/16/10 2:13 AM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship Daniel M. Ingram 5/16/10 2:21 AM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship triple think 5/16/10 5:26 AM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship triple think 5/18/10 5:16 PM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship Trent . 5/19/10 3:04 PM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship triple think 5/19/10 10:08 PM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship Trent . 5/17/10 2:50 AM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship Jeff Grove 5/18/10 3:58 AM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship triple think 5/18/10 4:02 PM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship tarin greco 6/13/10 1:40 PM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship Jeffrey S 6/29/10 12:04 AM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship Bruno Loff 6/29/10 2:59 AM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship Eric B 6/30/10 10:01 AM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship Trent . 5/9/10 9:52 PM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship Dan K 5/15/10 12:50 PM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship Trent . 5/15/10 4:46 PM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship Dan K 5/18/10 12:15 AM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship Trent . 5/18/10 1:53 PM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship Dan K 5/18/10 4:47 PM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship Trent . 5/19/10 3:14 PM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship Dan K 5/19/10 6:28 PM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship tarin greco 6/13/10 4:20 PM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship Alex W 6/29/10 4:30 AM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship tarin greco 7/1/10 1:27 AM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship Alex W 7/2/10 3:29 AM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship tarin greco 7/2/10 8:20 AM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship Alex W 7/2/10 8:57 AM
RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship tarin greco 7/16/10 2:35 PM
Actual Freedom and Arahatship
Answer
5/9/10 5:41 PM
Well, this has all gotten very interesting.

I'm going to chime in with just a few things:

First we need to get some terms straight.

Just a few issues:

1) Arahatship is defined various ways in various places in the Pali texts, in MCTB, here, and by various other sources. Not all the definitions align, even in the old texts.

Thus, when debating how AF relates to Arahatship, we need to stay clear about which definitions we are using, and to try to keep those explicit and clear, not just the source, but the particular characteristic.

For instance, one may define arahatship as one who perceives "in the seeing, just the seen" which is very different from the arahat who can't have erections or the arahat who would die in 7 days if they didn't ordain in the Theravadan monastic order or the arahat who had no conceit (however defined).

There are some inconsistencies in the AF descriptions.

For instance, Trent says no jhanas, no Nirodha Samapattai, and I presume no Fruitions.
Tarin said he had a few Fruitions early on in the weeks after he got AF.
In the old texts and MCTB and every other source I know of, Arahats should be able to enter jhanas, experience ñanas, etc. and the Buddha clearly could also, and often traveled out of body, etc.

In that sort of vein, I am going to put a few technical questions to Trent and Tarin just to see what they say on the matter, just so we are all trying to get on the same terminological page and technically define AF in a clear way with an eye to contrasting and comparing it with various definitions of arahatship, and thus allow further exploration to happen with more clarity. In asking if these are possible, I am not asking if they would want to or if they would find it a bad idea to, but those can be commented on after the things about possibilities:

1) Is it possible for AF people to have Fruitions?
2) Is it possible for AF people to attain to jhanas?
3) Is it possible for AF people to cycle through ñanas?
4) Is it possible for AF people to dream? To have out of body experiences/lucid dreams?
5) Is it possible for AF people to experience Pure Land Jhanas?
6) Is it possible for AF people to attain to Nirodha Samapatti?
7) Is it possible for AF people to master kasinas such that they saw red disks, saw red everywhere, etc. as one does when practicing those well?
8) There is something referred to here as the No-Dog, that state of things wherein that is the object, that is the thing that is interesting, and all the cycles and jhanas and ñanas may be happening, but they seem irrelevant in that trans-jhanic state, which itself seems clean, present and yet unaffected by the cycles and stuff that happened before. How does this relate to AF?

Further:

8) How does physical illness, fatigue, exhaustion, hunger, and pain due to adverse physical circumstances impact an AF person or the way an AF person may seem to others, with the difference between those being key?
9) Some distinction between the internal experience of an AF person regarding their lack of emotions and the fact that when they write or speak they can seem for all the world to have the same emotions that everyone else has is probably worthy of comment.
10) I recall that Tarin was smoking more after having gotten AF, and apparently all the AF kids in Australia smoke. Significant? Cultural quirk? Does AF make it so that standard health advice is trumped by the pleasure principle? Is that really harmless?
11) What do you make of Richard's 18-36 month period of irritating vibrations and existential side-effects of his having gotten what he called AF, with any details of relevance for what these may have been, what people may expect, and the individual variation that people have experienced in this regard, as I believe not all of those claiming AF have had this happen?

That's plenty to chew on for the moment.

For those who have noted that I have been relatively absent from these discussions, I am taking my time to carefully check out the dogma and practice aspects of AF as well as the results before commenting further, just as I did before I wrote MCTB, and so will leave it to those who are confident they know exactly what they are talking about to help define the debate further, as I think there is much worthy of careful and open discussion, and I am happy that this is all able to occur here at the DhO and that we have such a wide and interesting range of talent and inquisitive minds here to participate.

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
Answer
5/9/10 9:01 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:

In that sort of vein, I am going to put a few technical questions to Trent and Tarin just to see what they say on the matter, just so we are all trying to get on the same terminological page and technically define AF in a clear way with an eye to contrasting and comparing it with various definitions of arahatship, and thus allow further exploration to happen with more clarity. In asking if these are possible, I am not asking if they would want to or if they would find it a bad idea to, but those can be commented on after the things about possibilities:

1) Is it possible for AF people to have Fruitions?


this actually free person has experienced the by-now-familiar discontinuities in sensate perceptions.. minus any afterglow, any perception of doors, and minus any sense that a discontinuity is anything beyond just this (this experience of being alive here and now as a sensate and reflective flesh and blood human body).

Daniel M. Ingram:

2) Is it possible for AF people to attain to jhanas?


this one does not attain to jhana (but can recognise those 'strata' of mind and can remember what attaining to jhana is like).

Daniel M. Ingram:

3) Is it possible for AF people to cycle through ñanas?


i don't.

Daniel M. Ingram:

4) Is it possible for AF people to dream? To have out of body experiences/lucid dreams?


i do. notes which may be of interest: my dream content is uninteresting and is, for the most part, similar to how another actually free person described his dreams as being at one point, which is that they're sort of like watching tv with the sound off (what appears is meaningless images). also, my dreams have been gradually becoming less visual, and are sometimes word-only (what appears is meaningless rambling words).

i haven't had any obe's nor any lucid dreams i can remember.

Daniel M. Ingram:

5) Is it possible for AF people to experience Pure Land Jhanas?


walking around in pure land jhanas was like an affective imitation of what it is to walk around in the actual world.

Daniel M. Ingram:

6) Is it possible for AF people to attain to Nirodha Samapatti?


this one has not.

Daniel M. Ingram:

7) Is it possible for AF people to master kasinas such that they saw red disks, saw red everywhere, etc. as one does when practicing those well?


this one has not.

Daniel M. Ingram:

8) There is something referred to here as the No-Dog, that state of things wherein that is the object, that is the thing that is interesting, and all the cycles and jhanas and ñanas may be happening, but they seem irrelevant in that trans-jhanic state, which itself seems clean, present and yet unaffected by the cycles and stuff that happened before. How does this relate to AF?


i don't know but if the cycles are there, it doesn't seem to (relate to AF).

is there an attention wave distortion/phase problem as you have described it to me in this no-dog?

Daniel M. Ingram:

8) How does physical illness, fatigue, exhaustion, hunger, and pain due to adverse physical circumstances impact an AF person or the way an AF person may seem to others, with the difference between those being key?


physical illness, fatigue, exhaustion, hunger or pain due to adverse physical circumstances (i have experienced all of these conditions since becoming actually free) do not make me crabby or unhappy in the slightest, nor am i disinclined to alleviate those conditions when possible.

Daniel M. Ingram:

9) Some distinction between the internal experience of an AF person regarding their lack of emotions and the fact that when they write or speak they can seem for all the world to have the same emotions that everyone else has is probably worthy of comment.


i am unable to comment on this without concrete examples of what 'can seem for all the world' to be indicative of actually free people having 'the same emotions that everyone else has'. are you able to provide them?


Daniel M. Ingram:

10) I recall that Tarin was smoking more after having gotten AF, and apparently all the AF kids in Australia smoke. Significant? Cultural quirk? Does AF make it so that standard health advice is trumped by the pleasure principle? Is that really harmless?


a cultural quirk, i think, as i have observed that many more people in that specific part of the world and around that age smoked than most other places i have seen (and certainly more than anywhere i've seen in the united states). i smoked until my pack of tobacco ran out, then i bought another one, then lost interest shortly thereafter (as where i live it isn't convenient to, and it's not as fun to smoke where there isn't comfortable seating).

my pleasure principle (which produces all craving and aversion) is entirely defunct and nicotine now provides literally no satisfaction whatsoever, whereas it used to (not that it ever did much for 'me' even then; i've never been addicted to tobacco or even felt a compulsion to smoke it). another thing that provides literally no satisfaction whatsoever is an orgasm, which definitely used to - i mention this to provide another example for sheer contrast, and to send a clear message about how literal the absence of all craving and aversion is.

what is claimed about harmlessness on the actual freedom trust website 8in the oft-repeated phrase about being 'happy and harmless' you are likely referencing) is that it is possible (and worthwhile) to be completely free of malice and sorrow. in this way, there is no 'harm' in enjoying so-called dangerous vices ... if there were, all actually free people would never get in cars (in order to avoid the possibility of causing or being hurt by a dangerous accident), would be on caloric restriction (in order to live for as long as possible), and would never opt for euthanasia.


Daniel M. Ingram:

11) What do you make of Richard's 18-36 month period of irritating vibrations and existential side-effects of his having gotten what he called AF, with any details of relevance for what these may have been, what people may expect, and the individual variation that people have experienced in this regard, as I believe not all of those claiming AF have had this happen?


it was diagnosed as a dopamine overload, which i find plausible, as recently, after drinking half an iced latte, i experienced something which matched his account of that period well (a notable difference is that it lasted for about a day rather than three years).

also noteworthy is that he reported experiencing similar with coffee once as well (and also with an epinephrine-containing dental anaesthetic).

Daniel M. Ingram:

For those who have noted that I have been relatively absent from these discussions, I am taking my time to carefully check out the dogma and practice aspects of AF as well as the results before commenting further, just as I did before I wrote MCTB, and so will leave it to those who are confident they know exactly what they are talking about to help define the debate further, as I think there is much worthy of careful and open discussion, and I am happy that this is all able to occur here at the DhO and that we have such a wide and interesting range of talent and inquisitive minds here to participate.


what a shame it is that among those who operate meditation-related sites and forums, even among those who proclaim their sites as having a practical orientation and an open focus, you seem to be the only one who currently realises the worth of doing this.

now some questions for you:

1) why are you not smugly cynical and certain that you surely must know better about what an actual freedom really is than someone who lives it?
2) why are you not groping for power and an adulatory audience?
3) and why are you not camouflaging your core identity and power plays with a wise persona and the promise of an authority's approval for those who are willing to enable you?

4) why do you not assume that the Realisation you have attained must be the summum bonum of human experience?
5) why are you not obviously insecure that it is not?
6) and why are you not unconsciously attempting to divert attention from such insecurity by loudly bashing those who reject your self-image like a typical schoolyard bully does?

7) and why are you now entertaining the notion that an actual freedom might really be a realistically attainable and worthwhile condition (as evinced by, if nothing else, your willingness to allow and to engage in discussion about it on the dho) when you clearly (as exemplified in mctb) usen't to have any regard for models of attainment which claimed to remove emotional and psychological suffering entirely?

8) and when will you make public any audio discussions you may have recorded related to AF?

tarin

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
Answer
5/9/10 9:52 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Hello hello.

Daniel M. Ingram:
1) Is it possible for AF people to have Fruitions?


Maybe...it really depends on what part of the fruition is "the" fruition. I'll clarify and you may be able to comment. I no longer experience an event which does this: affective buildup, followed by a blink out, preceded by an afterglow. I use to be able to trigger that experience simply by squeezing the brain stem area / base of the neck area while inclining the mind in a particular way, and that experience no longer happens as it reliably did previously. I do still experience blink outs, but they do not disrupt experience at all really, so they don't seem significant at all. I really didn't even notice them until Tarin asked me about it.

Daniel M. Ingram:
2) Is it possible for AF people to attain to jhanas?


I sure can't. There is no attention wave, width of attention or the affective/emotional presence those qualities belong to which one could otherwise manipulate into the various jhanas. I find it cute that many of the outstanding qualities of the jhanas seem combined into this one pure experiencing however. For instance, the clarity and vividness of an object being seen through the 1st jhana while eyes are open (with a candle flame, per se) is a constant. The isolation of 7th jhana, a constant. A bodily pleasure similar to what I experienced in 3rd jhana, always here. With that in mind, it seems that the jhanas are ways of seeing through the "soul" and into the actual world, through brief glimpses; which makes a whole lot of sense when one considers the relative ease of jhana mastery as one travels deeper down the path of insight mctb style.

Daniel M. Ingram:
3) Is it possible for AF people to cycle through ñanas?


I sure don't.

Daniel M. Ingram:
4) Is it possible for AF people to dream? To have out of body experiences/lucid dreams?


I dream, although it is much different than before. Seems impossible to have OBEs or lucid dreams, I've tried with typical methods and have failed repeatedly.

Daniel M. Ingram:
5) Is it possible for AF people to experience Pure Land Jhanas?


I cannot, for the same reasons I mentioned regarding the "normal" jhanas.

Daniel M. Ingram:
6) Is it possible for AF people to attain to Nirodha Samapatti?


I cannot, for the same reasons I mentioned regarding the "normal" jhanas and the pure land jhanas. No need or want, anyway, as experience here is marked with a remarkable stillness and the purity which is a quality of that stillness. I mention that because those qualities were what impressed me about NS back when I was first attaining to it.

Daniel M. Ingram:
7) Is it possible for AF people to master kasinas such that they saw red disks, saw red everywhere, etc. as one does when practicing those well?


I sure don't think so since this is jhana related, but I haven't tried.

Daniel M. Ingram:
8) There is something referred to here as the No-Dog, that state of things wherein that is the object, that is the thing that is interesting, and all the cycles and jhanas and ñanas may be happening, but they seem irrelevant in that trans-jhanic state, which itself seems clean, present and yet unaffected by the cycles and stuff that happened before. How does this relate to AF?


I'm not going to attempt to answer, as I have never solidly understood what 'no dog' refers to throughout the years of discussion and the half-dozen different definitions that popped up. As such, I am ill equipped to even begin comparing / contrasting. That said, the state I use to refer to as 'no dog' would be affective by nature and thus the answer (if I was correctly identifying the state), would be similar to my answer regarding the jhanas, pure land jhanas, and NS.

Daniel M. Ingram:
8) How does physical illness, fatigue, exhaustion, hunger, and pain due to adverse physical circumstances impact an AF person or the way an AF person may seem to others, with the difference between those being key?


I seem a lot more fit than I was even just a few months ago. For instance, my companion gets sick often and I never catch her illnesses; that did not use to be the case. I sleep half as much and seem twice as alert. I eat much less and yet my body's various functions seem to operate more effectively (I feel stronger, do not tire as easily, seem to always be in shape despite doing nothing for it). Physical pain happens of course but there's no emotional aversion to it, though I prefer comfort over discomfort (pain being less comfortable than the lack thereof) and so I take reasonable measures to avoid physical discomforts. For instance, I still engage in a strict physical therapy routine to keep my back strong enough so as to not re-injure it (which also minimizes the daily back pain I experience).

Daniel M. Ingram:
9) Some distinction between the internal experience of an AF person regarding their lack of emotions and the fact that when they write or speak they can seem for all the world to have the same emotions that everyone else has is probably worthy of comment.


I don't really know. Do you have some examples perhaps? The only thing I can say is, perhaps, that projection is going on. That is to say, "if I was writing like Tarin wrote here, it would obviously mean that I am pissed off; thus, he must be pissed off." Maybe a matter of normative schema regarding interaction (writing especially) that are not easily overlooked.

Daniel M. Ingram:
10) I recall that Tarin was smoking more after having gotten AF, and apparently all the AF kids in Australia smoke. Significant? Cultural quirk? Does AF make it so that standard health advice is trumped by the pleasure principle? Is that really harmless?


I tried smoking a cigarette today, first time in years. I about died on the first drag, dropped it immediately, and coughed for a few minutes while tearing up at the eyes. Laughing the entire time at my silliness ("why did I even try this?") I got a drink of water and a piece of gum. Funny this came up, as I specifically tried because of what you mentioned ("maybe there's something to this whole af smoking thing, what might I be missing out on?"). Curiosity got the best of this cat.

Harmlessness doesn't really mean what is implied by your question, by the way, it refers to affective vibes and intention; the lack of malice (primarily) and sorrow. Harmlessness does not mean one loses one's ability to decide what one thinks is best for one's life.

Daniel M. Ingram:
11) What do you make of Richard's 18-36 month period of irritating vibrations and existential side-effects of his having gotten what he called AF, with any details of relevance for what these may have been, what people may expect, and the individual variation that people have experienced in this regard, as I believe not all of those claiming AF have had this happen?


No idea. I've had some experiences that met what I think might have been what he described, but that would only be guessing really and it certainly didn't last more than an hour or two at most as I recall. I remembered something that might be worth mentioning. There is a tactic I used while messing around in the psychic realm with one's sense of being that fits his descriptions of "going out with a bang" (a description Richard uses for when AF occurred). One basically powers up their intention and with all the energy one can muster, feels the feeling of being (as the feeler) in a loop (which loops in on itself, much like "who am I" inquiry, except with the "feeler" and feelings rather than the "thinker" and thought) until a huge "bang" hits (similar to a fruition, but only pleasant in the weirdest of way). ("I" did that 3 times, the same way each time). It is what 'I' imagined to be like getting shot in the head, as it burns and tingles from the front of the forehead all the way back in a relatively linear line and was sore for a few days after each time. The few days after each of those events were markedly chaotic mentally and emotionally-- I could hardly handle the flux of weird physical stress and anxiety in the brain area-- it was not very pleasant at all. With that said, each time it was done marked a huge shift in progress (but I do not recommend trying this approach, as it also induced severe apprehension of making more progress, which was probably a negative net loss). So, if perhaps Richard inched his way to the end of the path and did this (which sort of matches his description of the event), and was launched into an AF (which, if one had no idea what was happening (no descriptions to go by), would be pretty wild in and of itself), I can understand where the months of physical irritation and mental/physical anxiety would come from.

Enjoy,
Trent

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
Answer
5/10/10 1:06 AM as a reply to tarin greco.
Dear Trent and Tarin,

Thanks for both of those careful and detailed answers.

I think that there must be some line drawn here between AF and arahatship in some way, at least in terms of standard definitions, as nowhere does it define arahats as unable to do those things, and some of the other quirks, sleep reduction, etc. I do not find mentioned.

Given that, I think that fitting the AF stuff into the standard frameworks may not be as easy as some make it out to be, and this is important to establish.

As to Tarin's questions, in all honesty I have little idea what to make of them, mostly, but I'll give them a shot in the same spirit:

"1) why are you not smugly cynical and certain that you surely must know better about what an actual freedom really is than someone who lives it?"

I suppose you are contrasting me with someone or some group, as this question can't have arisen out of nowhere, but because I personally know you, know how your practice has gone and progressed, find no particularly compelling reason why you should lie, I have found you throughout to be straightforward and uncannily honest and open about all sorts of things that few are, can't be absolutely certain one way or the other about the internal experience of another person, due to temporary experiences that are intriguing, and due to the basic spirit of keeping an open mind that can take in new information, grow, develop, weigh evidence and critique previous conclusions.

"2) why are you not groping for power and an adulatory audience?"

What would be the benefit? Except for wanting a few more back rubs of long duration and a few other little things, I am doing alright most of the time, and I find fawning sycophants basically uniformly annoying and creepy. Do you know of some hidden benefit to adulation I have missed and should reconsider? While I don't discount the perennial trap of being subtly seduced by all that, I do my best to keep a watchful eye on that kind of trouble, as should anyone who is in anything like this sort of position.

"3) and why are you not camouflaging your core identity and power plays with a wise persona and the promise of an authority's approval for those who are willing to enable you?"

Well, again I can't always be sure that I am not subtly falling into that trap in some way, but given that I believe in truth, self-acceptance in the ordinary sense that allows one to be in touch with what is happening now, and modeling that at part of the support of wisdom-promoting practices, I see hiding behind some wise persona as antithetical to promoting what I find helpful.

"4) why do you not assume that the Realisation you have attained must be the summum bonum of human experience?"

Yeah, that's a good question there. Many reasons:
a) Because I have never claimed to have gone to the top even in my own tradition, which would be Buddhahood, however defined.
b) Because there are glimpses and periods that seem to stand outside even what I have attained and these are interesting, though the jury is still out for me for certain, as given that they fade, I can't be sure of exactly how they performance test in various situations that haven't occurred during them.
c) Because some reasonable skepticism that one must have attained to the very best that is possible is always warranted.

"5) why are you not obviously insecure that it is not?"

I don't see what I have to lose by stating that there may be more, personally and in any other context. What is the downside, particularly, in actual, personal terms (just to throw in a linguistic contradiction for you ;) )?

"6) and why are you not unconsciously attempting to divert attention from such insecurity by loudly bashing those who reject your self-image like a typical schoolyard bully does?"

What would that get me? Should I consider doing so? ;) I am not saying that the role reversals that occur when someone who was once on the teaching end is now seeming to be on the learning end (or at least seriously considering the possibility that they are) don't have some subtle twang to them, as they do in some way, but that's pretty trivial given the fundamental importance of the topics and stakes, don't you think?

"7) and why are you now entertaining the notion that an actual freedom might really be a realistically attainable and worthwhile condition (as evinced by, if nothing else, your willingness to allow and to engage in discussion about it on the dho) when you clearly (as exemplified in mctb) usen't to have any regard for models of attainment which claimed to remove emotional and psychological suffering entirely?"

Nice call. I'll lay down a few reasons:
a) I was discussing arahatship as I defined it and saw it in myself and those around me. As likely established here, I think we are talking about different things in some way, or at least it seems so at the moment, as your criteria for AF and the standard and my criteria for arahatship simply don't line up in any neat way at this point.
b) Because, as I clearly state in MCTB somewhere, if someone is able to achieve something beyond what I have been able to, more power to them. I would hate to think that I had ever limited anyone's practice or caused them to have achieved less than their full potential and happiness, just as I encouraged you to go to Australia and meet Richard and crew, and why not? In that same vein, I never set out to limit my own practice by anything, including my own conclusions and the conclusions of those who taught me and the traditions that I have used to get to this point.
c) I have always been willing to learn and listen from those who I felt had something useful to share, and that I have friends who may have something useful to share today is a fine thing if it all works out as advertised.

"8) and when will you make public any audio discussions you may have recorded related to AF?"

Let me re-listen to them in that context and make sure that there is nothing that would be problematic from some confidentiality or other related point of view, and if not, I'll give out the links. Have you noticed how strange your own voice sounds when recorded, like the Chipmunk version of yourself?

Speaking of which, I think we should do some more sometime. That was fun and useful.

Daniel

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
Answer
5/10/10 4:29 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Hi, here are some more things to think about, and questions.

Daniel, where does the PCE or actual freedom fit into arhatship for you?

There seems to be a lot of conflicting "wisdom" being touted around the various scriptures, schools, and the like. Some seem to speak about arhatship as an affective state, and some seem to talk about actual freedom. I'm not sure what to ask about this; it just doesn't make much sense to me. Here are some examples:

Dogen, founder of Soto Zen: "To be enlightened is to be intimate with all things." If this was translated well, it could not be taken as affective arhatship, but could only be referring to the pce / actual freedom. There's a quote from Ramana Maharshi that Tarin sent me, which was something like "anything not present in deep sleep is not real." Again, essentially pointing to objectively verifiable ("actual") matter (saying that only the actual world exists). I also recall reading that he said something like "war is only in your head," in a way that made me think about Richard's line, paraphrased as "peace on earth is already the case." There are also the traditional sayings such as "seeing just the seen, hearing just the heard (etc)," as well as "the arhat is traceless in the here and now" and all of the traditional commentary on being utterly passionless / devoid of feeling. All of this seems to point to the pce / actual freedom.

From the very same sources (scriptures, Dogen's giant book, Maharshi's public talks), we have all sorts of wild teachings / rantings about dogma (the merit of a monk's robe, afterlives, strict morality, hierarchies implying power / authority), siddhi powers, samatha and vipassana jhanas, love and compassion, "oneness," god realms, and so on. All of these are quite contrary to what is simply, directly apparent in a PCE/actual freedom.

What gives?

Here's a guess: was it the case "back then" that the world view was just so entirely different so as to allow such weird interpretations? No doubt our intellectual grasp of the world (note: intellect is all that remains in a pce/af) is of a level not even remotely resembling what it was back then. Perhaps the things we now term "weird dogma" were taken to be intellectual "facts" back then. Heck, according to the dictionary I'm looking at, "fact" as a word (or what it was derived from, such as the latin "factum") didn't even show up until the 1530s. Commentators in those days may not have even had the lexicon available to accurately describe what they were experiencing. That's to say, it is very easy for me to spot silly dogma and things which do not make rational / common sense, but maybe that's just because I've been educated my entire life, and with anywhere from 2000 to 200 years of additional compounded human knowledge at my disposal (libraries, internet, college, etc) from what these people had at hand. And yet, here we are, trying to cram the knowledge taken from those worldviews into our worldview; is it any wonder that we find odd inconsistencies all over the place? And finally, there are quite a few different translations for these texts, and translating is never perfect to begin with. If Dogen's quote about intimacy was incorrect and he actually said something like "oneness" (which seems a similar enough concept to mistakenly translate, depending on the native language's rules), then that line would then seem to refer to an affective arhatship, not pce / actual freedom. My point is that these concepts are very tricky to communicate in many ways (exemplified in the thread I'm heading to next on actual freedom definitions), and if the words don't even exist, or are translated poorly, then the message would be completely and entirely lost, perhaps even pointing to something utterly different.

Well, that was a bit of a rant! I'll forgo the reasons for this rant and the conclusions I've tentatively drawn based on this, in case new ideas come to light in all of your replies which change my opinion.

Enjoy,
Trent

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
Answer
5/11/10 5:47 AM as a reply to tarin greco.
the prisoner greco:
Daniel M. Ingram:

4) Is it possible for AF people to dream? To have out of body experiences/lucid dreams?


i do. notes which may be of interest: my dream content is uninteresting and is, for the most part, similar to how another actually free person described his dreams as being at one point, which is that they're sort of like watching tv with the sound off (what appears is meaningless images). also, my dreams have been gradually becoming less visual, and are sometimes word-only (what appears is meaningless rambling words).

i haven't had any obe's nor any lucid dreams i can remember.



Interesting.

I've been hitting a lucid sleep state where all of visual experience is a billowing 2-d surface with some squiggly color pattern on it.

Is that at all like the "meaningless images" you mention?

Cheers,
Florian

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
Answer
5/12/10 4:42 AM as a reply to Florian.
Florian Weps:

Interesting.

I've been hitting a lucid sleep state where all of visual experience is a billowing 2-d surface with some squiggly color pattern on it.

Is that at all like the "meaningless images" you mention?


no, the 'meaningless images' i mention are more mundane - they are snippets or sequences of visual dream imagery which resemble visual perceptions in everyday waking life, except that they have no sensible context whatsoever (and nothing particularly interesting to them either).

tarin

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
Answer
5/12/10 7:52 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:

"1) why are you not smugly cynical and certain that you surely must know better about what an actual freedom really is than someone who lives it?"

I suppose you are contrasting me with someone or some group, as this question can't have arisen out of nowhere, but because I personally know you, know how your practice has gone and progressed, find no particularly compelling reason why you should lie, I have found you throughout to be straightforward and uncannily honest and open about all sorts of things that few are, can't be absolutely certain one way or the other about the internal experience of another person, due to temporary experiences that are intriguing, and due to the basic spirit of keeping an open mind that can take in new information, grow, develop, weigh evidence and critique previous conclusions.


i would like some clarification: are you, or are you not, saying that even if you did not personally know me and did not know how my practice has gone and progressed (and so did not have an opportunity to determine that you can find no compelling reason why i should lie nor an opportunity to find me throughout to be straightforward and uncannily honest and open about all sorts of things that few are), you would still consider the other reasons you listed (that you can't be absolutely certain one way or the other about the internal experience of another person, and that you have had temporary experiences that are intriguing, and that you are committed to the basic spirit of keeping an open mind that can take in new information, grow, develop, weigh evidence, and critique previous conclusions) sufficient to keep you from being smugly cynical and certain that you surely must know better about what an actual freedom really is than someone who lives it?

if this is what you are saying, would it not stand to reason, then, that even people who did not personally know me and did not know how my practice has gone and progressed (and so did not have an opportunity to determine that they can find no compelling reason why i should lie nor an opportunity to find me throughout to be straightforward and uncannily honest and open about all sorts of things that few are), yet who understand that they can't be absolutely certain one way or the other about the internal experience of another person, and who have had temporary experiences that are intriguing, and who are committed to the basic spirit of keeping an open mind that can take in new information, grow, develop, weigh evidence, and critique previous conclusions would also, themselves, find that their understanding, experience, and commitment be sufficient cause to not to be smugly cynical and certain that they surely must know better about what an actual freedom really is than someone who lives it?

if this stands to reason, then could it be that people who are smugly cynical and certain that they surely must know better about what an actual freedom really is than someone who lives it are thus smugly cynical and certain because they do not genuinely have the understanding (that they can't be absolutely certain one way or the other about the internal experience of another person), have not genuinely had the experiences (which, however temporary, were intriguing, and which only begins to qualify them to comment meaningfully on the condition of actual freedom), and/or are not genuinely committed to the basic spirit of keeping an open mind (that can take in new information, grow, develop, weigh evidence, and critique previous conclusions)?

however, if that is not what you are saying, or if the above does not stand to reason, please explain why not.


Daniel M. Ingram:

"2) why are you not groping for power and an adulatory audience?"

What would be the benefit? Except for wanting a few more back rubs of long duration and a few other little things, I am doing alright most of the time, and I find fawning sycophants basically uniformly annoying and creepy. Do you know of some hidden benefit to adulation I have missed and should reconsider? While I don't discount the perennial trap of being subtly seduced by all that, I do my best to keep a watchful eye on that kind of trouble, as should anyone who is in anything like this sort of position.


no, i do not know of some hidden benefit of adulation you have missed and should reconsider, as the benefits are quite obvious: do you not want the power and authority, and the money and/or sex and/or drugs and/or attention and/or whatever else that others could be angled and enticed to provide? if not, then why do you find these things subtly seductive?

Daniel M. Ingram:

"3) and why are you not camouflaging your core identity and power plays with a wise persona and the promise of an authority's approval for those who are willing to enable you?"

Well, again I can't always be sure that I am not subtly falling into that trap in some way, but given that I believe in truth, self-acceptance in the ordinary sense that allows one to be in touch with what is happening now, and modeling that at part of the support of wisdom-promoting practices, I see hiding behind some wise persona as antithetical to promoting what I find helpful.


would you not like to be entirely sure that you are not subtly falling into that trap in any way? would you not do anything you could to remove its possibility? would you not like utterly secure and complete autonomy?

Daniel M. Ingram:

"4) why do you not assume that the Realisation you have attained must be the summum bonum of human experience?"

Yeah, that's a good question there. Many reasons:
a) Because I have never claimed to have gone to the top even in my own tradition, which would be Buddhahood, however defined.
b) Because there are glimpses and periods that seem to stand outside even what I have attained and these are interesting, though the jury is still out for me for certain, as given that they fade, I can't be sure of exactly how they performance test in various situations that haven't occurred during them.
c) Because some reasonable skepticism that one must have attained to the very best that is possible is always warranted.


a) and thus do enlightened buddhist identities feel safe, for as they are not (and possibly cannot) ever be at the top in a hierarchy headed by a buddha, then 'they' can hide in the safety that they have come far enough (they have come the requisite recommended distance) without completely going all the way.. safe is the sanctitude of institutionalised self-rarification in the face of total extinction.
b) how have the performance tests which you have conducted so far gone?
c) i agree that a reasonable scepticism is reasonable.

Daniel M. Ingram:

"5) why are you not obviously insecure that it is not?"

I don't see what I have to lose by stating that there may be more, personally and in any other context. What is the downside, particularly, in actual, personal terms (just to throw in a linguistic contradiction for you ;) )?


the only thing you have to lose are your desires and fears and illusions. there is no downside in actual terms, none whatsoever.


Daniel M. Ingram:

"6) and why are you not unconsciously attempting to divert attention from such insecurity by loudly bashing those who reject your self-image like a typical schoolyard bully does?"

What would that get me? Should I consider doing so? ;) I am not saying that the role reversals that occur when someone who was once on the teaching end is now seeming to be on the learning end (or at least seriously considering the possibility that they are) don't have some subtle twang to them, as they do in some way, but that's pretty trivial given the fundamental importance of the topics and stakes, don't you think?


it might get you commiserators, and win you back-patting from those who have similar insecurities and/or self-images and/or bullying tendencies, and loyalty from those who have a taste for being told what to think.

you should only consider doing so only if such a paltry substitute for intimacy, as exemplified by those cheap means of relating with others, appeals to you.

i do (think so), so thank you for emphasising the fundamental importance of the topics and stakes here, and for affirming your commitment to them.


Daniel M. Ingram:

"7) and why are you now entertaining the notion that an actual freedom might really be a realistically attainable and worthwhile condition (as evinced by, if nothing else, your willingness to allow and to engage in discussion about it on the dho) when you clearly (as exemplified in mctb) usen't to have any regard for models of attainment which claimed to remove emotional and psychological suffering entirely?"

Nice call. I'll lay down a few reasons:
a) I was discussing arahatship as I defined it and saw it in myself and those around me. As likely established here, I think we are talking about different things in some way, or at least it seems so at the moment, as your criteria for AF and the standard and my criteria for arahatship simply don't line up in any neat way at this point.
b) Because, as I clearly state in MCTB somewhere, if someone is able to achieve something beyond what I have been able to, more power to them. I would hate to think that I had ever limited anyone's practice or caused them to have achieved less than their full potential and happiness, just as I encouraged you to go to Australia and meet Richard and crew, and why not? In that same vein, I never set out to limit my own practice by anything, including my own conclusions and the conclusions of those who taught me and the traditions that I have used to get to this point.
c) I have always been willing to learn and listen from those who I felt had something useful to share, and that I have friends who may have something useful to share today is a fine thing if it all works out as advertised.


a) when we talk about AF, we are clearly talking about something different from what arahatship is defined as by those who have achieved it today - i have yet to see conclusive evidence otherwise.
b) in this same vein, have you been re-assessing what your full potential and happiness might actually be?
c) it is so far working out as advertised for me, and thus i advertise it myself.

Daniel M. Ingram:

"8) and when will you make public any audio discussions you may have recorded related to AF?"

Let me re-listen to them in that context and make sure that there is nothing that would be problematic from some confidentiality or other related point of view, and if not, I'll give out the links. Have you noticed how strange your own voice sounds when recorded, like the Chipmunk version of yourself?

Speaking of which, I think we should do some more sometime. That was fun and useful.


the sound of my voice recorded lacks the resonance i'm accustomed to which seems to come from hearing it through a vibrating skull.

i'll be happy to do more recordings if the response demonstrates that it is beneficial to.

tarin

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
Answer
5/12/10 11:21 AM as a reply to tarin greco.
Tarin, Trent,

Thanks for all the answers.

the prisoner greco:
Daniel M. Ingram:

2) Is it possible for AF people to attain to jhanas?
this one does not attain to jhana (but can recognise those 'strata' of mind and can remember what attaining to jhana is like).

Trent H.:
I sure can't. There is no attention wave, width of attention or the affective/emotional presence those qualities belong to which one could otherwise manipulate into the various jhanas. I find it cute that many of the outstanding qualities of the jhanas seem combined into this one pure experiencing however. For instance, the clarity and vividness of an object being seen through the 1st jhana while eyes are open (with a candle flame, per se) is a constant. The isolation of 7th jhana, a constant. A bodily pleasure similar to what I experienced in 3rd jhana, always here. With that in mind, it seems that the jhanas are ways of seeing through the "soul" and into the actual world, through brief glimpses; which makes a whole lot of sense when one considers the relative ease of jhana mastery as one travels deeper down the path of insight mctb style.


Would it make sense to explain this in terms of the jhana factors? I can imagine "rapture" falling out of the picture, but how about the other ones, like happiness (sukha)? (I suspect it wouldn't make sense, but I'm curious about your answer(s)).

I can see how absence of an attention wave means that there's nothing to shape a jhanic state from. And this is the only place where the "180 degrees opposite" statement about AF makes sense to me. And I can sort of see how absence of an attention wave (in the sense of disturbance - did I get that right?) would imply the permanent presence of all the outstanding jhanic qualities you mentioned, Trent. Very interesting. So what's the relationship between the attention wave and affective/emotional presence?

Cheers,
Florian

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
Answer
5/13/10 2:20 AM as a reply to Florian.
Florian Weps:

So what's the relationship between the attention wave and affective/emotional presence?


this is the very question to ask. the answer is that they are, at root, the same thing. hence the key actualist line: 'i' am 'my feelings' and 'my feelings' are 'me'.

the sense of/feeling of being, no matter how refined or rarified, is a feeling (and vice versa).

tarin

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
Answer
5/13/10 8:07 AM as a reply to tarin greco.
the prisoner greco:


'i' am 'my feelings' and 'my feelings' are 'me'.

the sense of/feeling of being, no matter how refined or rarified, is a feeling (and vice versa).

tarin


so . . . "i" is just a feeling, and every feeling has a bit of "i" in it

thanks
sanjay

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
Answer
5/13/10 1:17 PM as a reply to tarin greco.
An epic thread!
But a question to Daniel, Trent, and Tarin. Do you think all of you have reached the end of suffering? Do you think that there is any level higher than what you have attained or are open to the possibility?

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
Answer
5/13/10 4:39 PM as a reply to ManZ A.
ManZ A:
But a question to Daniel, Trent, and Tarin. Do you think all of you have reached the end of suffering? Do you think that there is any level higher than what you have attained or are open to the possibility?


There is no suffering here and now in the actual world and I am unaware of how perfection could possibly become "better," which I think is implied by questioning if there is something beyond ("higher than") perfection (which is to doubt that this moment is perfect in the first place). There is no doubt here... such is the quality of this life.

Enjoy,
Trent

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
Answer
5/14/10 6:57 PM as a reply to Trent ..
Hi Tarin and Trent,

If it is alright to ask:

How long ago did the final event occur you became AF?

When did you start practicing the AF technique HAIETMTBA?

Have you created any techniques that support HAIETMTBA?

Arahatship can be thought of as an ongiong achievement and some traditions identify further "stages" along the way. Do you see AF lining up with other maps say Tozans or Tibetan Bhumis?

appreciated
Jeff

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
Answer
5/15/10 5:17 AM as a reply to ManZ A.
ManZ A:
An epic thread!
But a question to Daniel, Trent, and Tarin. Do you think all of you have reached the end of suffering?


oh yes, unequivocally.

ManZ A:

Do you think that there is any level higher than what you have attained or are open to the possibility?


while i don't expect that there is 'any level higher' than this perfect and uninterrupted contentment, i do discover new things about this mode of experience all the time (and all quite wonderful things, at that) and so am open to the possibility.

tarin

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
Answer
5/15/10 9:31 AM as a reply to tarin greco.
the prisoner greco:
ManZ A:
An epic thread!
But a question to Daniel, Trent, and Tarin. Do you think all of you have reached the end of suffering?


oh yes, unequivocally.

ManZ A:

Do you think that there is any level higher than what you have attained or are open to the possibility?


while i don't expect that there is 'any level higher' than this perfect and uninterrupted contentment, i do discover new things about this mode of experience all the time (and all quite wonderful things, at that) and so am open to the possibility.

tarin
Your descriptions could be traditionally interpreted as 'abiding in nibbana here and now', the 'highest bliss' or the persistent inclination to a reflexively unconditioned concentration of your consciousness. That would explain the consistently characteristic supreme pleasantness, equanimity and the disinclination to mess with the reintroduction of any lesser known conditions, even expansive conditions such as those related to viharas or siddhis as even these kinds of rarefied conditional qualities could mess with the predominant un-conditional quality. It would explain why the cycling, jhanas and cessations are unapparent as a transcendent concentration is overwhelming the conditions that more narrowly characterize consciousness when it is perceiving more specifically in those kinds of relatively variously limited ways.

Do you think the PCE could be viewed as similar to the unconditional nature encountered in cessation if that is brought to full conscious expression in the way that your mind now reflexively perceives all other arising conditions - without imposing any of the various conditional qualities characteristic of more grossly conditioned states, regardless of how subtle or highly developed those may be?

I have the impression that in the context of the PCE the re-arising of nanas, jhanas and so on would naturally be perceived as a step out of that kind of a state of relatively absolute rest. I'm curious if apart from the long term stability characteristic of the PCE if there is any other ways that you would distinguish it's unconditional nature from what Kenneth describes as primordial awareness or others refer to as rigpa.

One exception to what seems like a natural aversion to re-introducing some conditional mental qualities that might still serve a noble purpose would be the effort to forge a more precise understanding of conditionality much as Sariputta was reported to have done subsequent to his achievement of Arahatta. Do you think it is still possible to further develop and perhaps even perfect a more accurate and complete analysis and explication of causality while persistently maintaining this kind of a profoundly unconditional consciousness?

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
Answer
5/15/10 12:50 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
After spending a few hours on the Actual Freedom website, I came to a few conclusions, which I invite Trent and Tarin or others to comment on, especially if I have misunderstood or misrepresented anything.

(1) Richard promotes, as the basic mode of inquiry, "how am I experiencing this moment of being alive?". Aside from some peculiar details, the investigative approach seems similar to some Buddhist traditions.

(2) Actual Freedom places a heavy emphasis on attending to physical sensations at the exclusion of other sensations. This is not to say that other sensations necessarily do not occur - they may just be subtle. For example, as evidenced by their ability to use language, they are still able to form the subject/object duality (i.e. self/other), even if they are only aware of the physical aspect of thoughts. Possibly the AF practitioner is skilled at shoehorning all perception into the realm of physicality, thus facilitating object penetration and disintegration. I would appreciate comment on this point.

(3) It is not surprising that jhana is not experienced, as jhana is squarely in the mental realm. I do not think this is evidence that AF is not arhatship. Rather, I think it is evidence that AF practitioners have cultivated an aversion to all non-physical sensations. I think it's interesting that Trent mentions that physical sensations have a jhana quality to them, as this is exactly what I would expect in a mind trained to funnel all mental processes into physical processes.

(4) In terms of experiencing constant bliss, I understand why practicing AF is useful. I have found that physical sensations, for whatever the reason, are the easiest for the mind to penetrate. It seems that they tend to be simple and symmetrical, whereas mental sensations tend to be complex. It follows that if I were to focus exclusively on physical sensations, then there would be less attachment, more stillness, and a closer proximity to the bliss of cessation. I am skeptical of Richard's philosophical justification for focusing on the physical, but I can see the practical merits.

(5) Arhatship and AF are motivated by a non-identical set of motivations. AF seems to be like an ultimate bliss-out. Although some arahats and people striving to be arahats probably have similar motivations, I think it is also common for arahats to be content with a balance of freedom and life's up and downs, which naturally occurs just by living in the world as an arahat.

Conclusion: I don't see a fundamental difference between AF and arhatship. The main difference seems to be that AF practitioners actively suppress or cultivate an aversion to forming the subject/object duality in a way that is more extreme than in arhatship, and they do this by learning to undermine mental sensations and to pay attention to physical sensations. At this point I am not inclined to a moral view of whether I AF is good or bad. It seems to have worked out for the posters in this thread, and in some ways I am envious of fairy-tale quality that they describe. But my worry is that it can seriously mess up people's lives who are either unable or unwilling to take it all the way. My other worry is that AF might lead people to do some things which are harmful from the point of view of society, due to what appears to be an avoidance of thinking about things in a moral way.

If I may ask a few pointed questions of AF practitioners,

i. Was there an event or events associated with mastery of AF, or was it a gradual transition?
ii. Do you feel that there is a way back if you decide at some point that you want to experience life differently? Irrelevant here is the issue of whether, at this point, you think that motivation would ever arise. Every time I fell in love, I thought it would last forever.
iii. Is life constantly pleasurable or is it more of a neutral bliss?
iv. How do you relate your experience to the apprehension of Buddhanature, the unconditioned, thusness, etc.? Note that I am talking about something different from cessation, and also different from anything which could be considered blissful in the positive sense.

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
Answer
5/15/10 3:55 PM as a reply to Jeff Grove.
Jeff Grove:
Hi Tarin and Trent,

If it is alright to ask:

How long ago did the final event occur you became AF?

When did you start practicing the AF technique HAIETMTBA?

Have you created any techniques that support HAIETMTBA?

Arahatship can be thought of as an ongiong achievement and some traditions identify further "stages" along the way. Do you see AF lining up with other maps say Tozans or Tibetan Bhumis?



Hi.

In order:

-Late February this year.
-Around June last year.
-Sort of...maybe...but HAIETMOBA is the primary 'technique' 'I' used almost constantly.
-No, I don't really see that.

Regards,
Trent

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
Answer
5/15/10 4:12 PM as a reply to triple think.
triple think:
as a transcendent concentration is overwhelming the conditions that more narrowly characterize consciousness when it is perceiving more specifically in those kinds of relatively variously limited ways.


Hi Nathan, nice to see you here.

The condition of being in a PCE or actual freedom is effortless and does not require concentration; you're either there and it's perfect and easy or you're not there. There's no suppression, as there is nothing to "overwhelm."

triple think:
Do you think the PCE could be viewed as similar to the unconditional nature encountered in cessation if that is brought to full conscious expression in the way that your mind now reflexively perceives all other arising conditions - without imposing any of the various conditional qualities characteristic of more grossly conditioned states, regardless of how subtle or highly developed those may be?


I think there's an interesting question here, but I'm not sure if I fully understand; could you please rephrase it or dumb it down?

triple think:
I have the impression that in the context of the PCE the re-arising of nanas, jhanas and so on would naturally be perceived as a step out of that kind of a state of relatively absolute rest. I'm curious if apart from the long term stability characteristic of the PCE if there is any other ways that you would distinguish it's unconditional nature from what Kenneth describes as primordial awareness or others refer to as rigpa.


From what I understand of those past discussions with Kenneth (and others), it is a different experience entirely. I am interested to see what Dan has to say about this though, as I presume he is much more aware of Kenneth's definitions and what he may be alluding to (and whether it is similar at all).

triple think:
Do you think it is still possible to further develop and perhaps even perfect a more accurate and complete analysis and explication of causality while persistently maintaining this kind of a profoundly unconditional consciousness?


If I am understanding you correctly: I think that the condition of actual freedom is the personification of a 'perfect .. and accurate and complete (experience) and explication" of this universe's phenomenological goings on-- as experienced by a flesh and blood human being-- including the notion of causality. Thus, it is not just possible, but seems to be part of the package. When one's experience of life is only here in this actual universe and only now in eternal time --as is the condition of being AF or in a PCE-- one only needs think and reflect upon one's experience of such to understand.

Regards,
Trent

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
Answer
5/15/10 4:46 PM as a reply to Dan K.
Dan K:
they are still able to form the subject/object duality (i.e. self/other), even if they are only aware of the physical aspect of thoughts. Possibly the AF practitioner is skilled at shoehorning all perception into the realm of physicality, thus facilitating object penetration and disintegration. I would appreciate comment on this point.


Speaking as a subject with the use of self-referencing terms such as "I" and "Me" does not mean that this body is experiencing (nor "able to form") subject/object duality; it is only done so as a matter of convenience. As such, there is no "shoehorning" at all. There is only actually just this material universe, and I am that universe experiencing itself as a human dude.

Dan K:
Rather, I think it is evidence that AF practitioners have cultivated an aversion to all non-physical sensations.
There is no aversion in my experience, as there are no sensations to avert from nor fear / anxiety to fuel the action of "averting."

Dan K:
I think it's interesting that Trent mentions that physical sensations have a jhana quality to them, as this is exactly what I would expect in a mind trained to funnel all mental processes into physical processes.


I did not say that "physical sensations have a jhana quality to them." I was simply saying that some of the qualities of experiencing the actual world are partially demonstrated / perhaps alluded to via various qualities of the jhanas.

Dan K:
(4) In terms of experiencing constant bliss, I understand why practicing AF is useful.


I would not call this experience blissful, as that reminds me of A&P or other emotional "feel good" experiences. This is much more refined / pure / stable then that kind of "bliss."

Dan K:
I am skeptical of Richard's philosophical justification for focusing on the physical, but I can see the practical merits.


I don't think Richard has ever said such a thing as this, let alone philosophize about such a notion, could you provide an example or link that spurred this thought?

Dan K:
(5) AF seems to be like an ultimate bliss-out.


As this implies something related to being a "jhana junkie" -- where one is feeling so good that one sinks into it and is oblivious to the world-- I must disagree. I am neither feeling bliss, nor am I "out" of this world as a result; I am typically fully aware of what's going on here and now (not the case when I'm asleep for instance).

Dan K:
The main difference seems to be that AF practitioners actively suppress or cultivate an aversion to forming the subject/object duality in a way that is more extreme than in arhatship, and they do this by learning to undermine mental sensations and to pay attention to physical sensations.


Speaking as a subject with the use of self-referencing terms such as "I" and "Me" does not mean that this body is experiencing (nor "able to form") subject/object duality; it is only done so as a matter of convenience. As such, there is no "undermining" at all. There is only actually just this material universe, and I am that universe experiencing itself as a human dude.

Dan K:
It seems to have worked out for the posters in this thread, and in some ways I am envious of fairy-tale quality that they describe. But my worry is that it can seriously mess up people's lives who are either unable or unwilling to take it all the way.


If you be "envious" of such perfection, I recommend that you find a way to end such "envy," as well as your "worries" and your "morality," as those are all currently working actively to lock you out of the perfection that is otherwise already always available to experience.

Dan K:
My other worry is that AF might lead people to do some things which are harmful from the point of view of society, due to what appears to be an avoidance of thinking about things in a moral way.


Free will, along with Innocence and benevolence-- which is part of the ongoing condition of being actually free-- as well as having no opposition to following societal rules, means that nothing socially reprehensible will purposefully or willfully happen. And even if it does, it would not be because of my condition but because I decided to do (whatever) and would have likely done so anyway (despite my condition). Meaning that I am not opposed to doing such-a-thing because I have thought through the situation and decided that it is not actually harmful to anyone nor myself. Which is to say: the morality backing some social rules are, with the example in mind as I wrote this paragraph, ridiculous to begin with. As such, the "violation" harms no one and is not necessary when there is no wayward-self to control. In other words: morality is redundant here.

Dan K:
If I may ask a few pointed questions of AF practitioners,

i. Was there an event or events associated with mastery of AF, or was it a gradual transition?
ii. Do you feel that there is a way back if you decide at some point that you want to experience life differently? Irrelevant here is the issue of whether, at this point, you think that motivation would ever arise. Every time I fell in love, I thought it would last forever.
iii. Is life constantly pleasurable or is it more of a neutral bliss?
iv. How do you relate your experience to the apprehension of Buddhanature, the unconditioned, thusness, etc.? Note that I am talking about something different from cessation, and also different from anything which could be considered blissful in the positive sense.


i. Coming to the condition of being actually free was gradual, though I suppose there were some "events" (insights, for instance) which were hallmarks along the way. To use the word "mastery" doesn't make much sense in this case.
ii. No, there is no way back, as "who I was" never actually existed in the first place.
iii. Constant sensual pleasure. For specific examples easily related to by anyone (I suspect), think of the physical sensations associated with: back scratches, food, sex, smelling a flower; then take that pleasure and amplify it a lot (note that it is very stable and pure, which I associate with your use of "neutral").
iv. This could stem from a faulty understanding of mine in the buddhist framework (but I don't think so, as I have thought about this quite a bit). With that in mind, buddhanature, "thusness," the dharmakaya itself, and so forth is gone and was never actually here to begin with. Oblivion is what awaits one when one goes all the way.

Regards,
Trent

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
Answer
5/16/10 2:13 AM as a reply to Trent ..
triple think:
as a transcendent concentration is overwhelming the conditions that more narrowly characterize consciousness when it is perceiving more specifically in those kinds of relatively variously limited ways.


Trent H.:
Hi Nathan, nice to see you here. The condition of being in a PCE or actual freedom is effortless and does not require concentration; you're either there and it's perfect and easy or you're not there. There's no suppression, as there is nothing to "overwhelm."


Hi Trent, good to see you here too. I have continued to read discussions here from time to time, just haven't had a reason to post in a long time. The continued references to an ongoing perfect bliss and unconditioned qualities is why I thought I would like to hear a response to characterizing the PCE as 'nibbana here and now' which is similarly described by the Buddha. I don't consider any sort of effective concentration to involve willful suppression or effort, in my experience concentration whether it is as bare attention or jhana or cessation is only effectively sustainable and lasting when there is no effort. For me, any work on transitioning from making an effort to effortless concentration takes place in the transition from soft to hard jhana in jhana one. As I see it the mental qualities characteristic of the 8 jhanas and cessation are simply the qualities that are arising at that time.

What I meant was that the mind's reflexive inclination to persist consistently with the qualities that are typical of the PCE could be a kind of culmination of the qualities that persist in the other concentrations and that this may perhaps then be why it would be a step backwards for the mind to return to the insight process of making cyclic phenomenal observations, the strata of the hard jhanas or entering cessation.

triple think:
Do you think the PCE could be viewed as similar to the unconditional nature encountered in cessation if that is brought to full conscious expression in the way that your mind now reflexively perceives all other arising conditions - without imposing any of the various conditional qualities characteristic of more grossly conditioned states, regardless of how subtle or highly developed those may be?


Trent H.:
I think there's an interesting question here, but I'm not sure if I fully understand; could you please rephrase it or dumb it down?


Probably not without my making it even more unintelligible. See what you think. I'm trying to learn more from you guys about how you perceive the state of mind you are in. Two things stand out in the descriptions. The long term stability of the state and the pleasantness. I have gathered that you attribute this to what might be called a kind of complete capitulation to or full recognition of the quality of anatta and that is why I view the resulting mental quality as 'unconditional' - none of the other physical, sensate or mental qualities also arising in your ongoing experience are either grossly or subtly referenced by the false attribution somewhere of a center, essence, core or self/atta. If this is the case, then this is still relatable to old school dhamma in a fairly clear way.

That is largely what I mean by an unconditional concentration that is full on 24/7. Not that you are needing to make an ongoing effort to maintain the concentration but that subsequent to your initial efforts to stabilize the sense of fully comprehending and accepting the anatta quality, as it accurately mirrors the real nature of things, the state characteristic of this absolute anatta recognition is effortless and can sustain itself. The complete absence of the imaginary atta that otherwise haunts people would then be the reason that I call your ongoing 'concentration' unconditional and why it would be relatively so pleasant while the rest of your experience becomes both much more mundane in a sense and more vivid and transparent in another.

triple think:
Do you think it is still possible to further develop and perhaps even perfect a more accurate and complete analysis and explication of causality while persistently maintaining this kind of a profoundly unconditional consciousness?


Trent H.:
If I am understanding you correctly: I think that the condition of actual freedom is the personification of a 'perfect .. and accurate and complete (experience) and explication" of this universe's phenomenological goings on-- as experienced by a flesh and blood human being-- including the notion of causality. Thus, it is not just possible, but seems to be part of the package. When one's experience of life is only here in this actual universe and only now in eternal time --as is the condition of being AF or in a PCE-- one only needs think and reflect upon one's experience of such to understand. Regards, Trent


Ok, no, I don't think you understand what I meant and I'm not sure what you mean either but that's alright, happens more often than not in online discussions. I would like to hear a more detailed explication of the analysis of the workings of conditionality and causality according to those in the PCE if and when that becomes possible.

all the best
take care
nathan

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
Answer
5/16/10 2:21 AM as a reply to triple think.
Just a few things:

1) Kenneth and I had a long conversation about some of our maps, and while I can't be absolutely certain I get this right, Kenneth though of Rigpa as a very momentary experience of something he felt was timeless and indescribable that he could access often but stay in for very short periods, say less than a second. I don't think this lines up with what Kenneth thinks of as Rigpa, though perhaps he will comment.

2) In response to Nathan, when in PCE mode, I do not notice any cycling particularly except maybe an occasional blip of something shifting and don't think about jhanas, ñanas, Nibbana, etc. really at all, as the sensations of that moment are sufficiently interestingly compelling to seem all that is needed. I can't seem to sustain that indefinitely as T&T claim, but it is a very compelling mode of experiencing things. Thus, from that point of view, saying that it is the development of anything but just this sensate world seems extra, as the sensate world is its own clear and validating answer without anything else seeming to be needed.

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
Answer
5/16/10 5:26 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Thanks for adding clarity to that Daniel. (and for fixing that code formatting problem)
Ok so if I understand correctly a PCE, primordial awareness, arahatta and rigpa are all different. It would be helpful if we could look at these comparatively and try to more clearly distinguish them, that's what I have been trying to sort out from the various discussions. I think there are at least two or three other states that I have found that are also proximate to these but rather than add to the confusion I am keeping them under my hat for now. Between the qi gong and some psychological techniques I worked out on my own over the years I think I have been in a state that seems to match the description of the PCE a few times, it seems to be easy to trigger it with a few days of brahmavihara practice in recent years. I seem to have a reluctance to stay too long in any state that doesn't allow for continued examination and manipulation and so when I get into these kinds of states I eventually work my way out again. I continue to be interested mainly in analyzing causality and conditionality both internally and in the universe at large so I just keep experimenting with conditions. Not exactly a monkey mind problem but maybe a kind of monk mind problem. Just kidding really, I enjoy what I'm doing, so it's nothing to worry about.

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
Answer
5/17/10 2:50 AM as a reply to triple think.
Hi Nathan. I think, without nitpicking a bunch (the nitpicking would be redundant, as I have already "corrected" the inaccurate notions I noticed (in my last reply)), your reply is pretty spot on in a lot of ways.

triple think:
I would like to hear a more detailed explication of the analysis of the workings of conditionality and causality according to those in the PCE if and when that becomes possible.


In regard to conditionality: here and now in this actual universe, the conditions are simply what they are. There is seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, tasting, and thinking going on, as this body only, with no other "compounded phenomena" on top of the ongoing "stream" of sense "data." You see, 'I' realized that this moment is factual (and it is never not this moment), and by merit of being factual (whole, undeniable; unchangeable: any change would also be at this factual, actual moment), it was known to be perfect ("it is what it is" as the saying goes). Through sincere & pure intent, that realization was actualized (made an ongoing condition) so that there is no longer denial (fear/desire) of this actual moment. And so, this moment is now always experienced as perfection. Have you ever noticed that every moment is fundamentally the same as every other moment, and that there isn't anything you can do about that?

In regard to causality: it is only a concept (a useful very one, for sure). As I am always 'here' and it is always 'now,' I am unaware (other than by memory recollection via thinking) of it being any other time (time being eternal: just now, always). Here is an example: a moment ago I picked up my cell phone and I laid it back down in front of me. Although I can remember that (and specifically did so as to write this example), I am only actually aware (sensuously, via the eyes) of the phone laying on the table right now, and not of any other prior events (picking it up and laying it down). So when viewing causality, I am just aware of what is happening here and now: the phone is on the table. (Note that my usage of "just" is not meant to imply that I am not aware of something happening-- I am aware of everything happening here and now, it is only 'my' delusions that have gone). Lastly, I am well aware of the concept of causality-- the various events that unfolded so that my phone is now on the table in front of me-- it is just that the concept is now seen as a concept, and not mistaken as something actually existing, as it might have been before.

Enjoy,
Trent

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
Answer
5/18/10 3:58 AM as a reply to Trent ..
A sutra reference - is this AF and Arahatship (and Buddha hood) differences - Maha-parinibbana Sutta


9. And the Blessed One entered the first jhana. Rising from the first jhana, he entered the second jhana. Rising from the second jhana, he entered the third jhana. Rising from the third jhana, he entered the fourth jhana. And rising out of the fourth jhana, he entered the sphere of infinite space. Rising from the attainment of the sphere of infinite space, he entered the sphere of infinite consciousness. Rising from the attainment of the sphere of infinite consciousness, he entered the sphere of nothingness. Rising from the attainment of the sphere of nothingness, he entered the sphere of neither-perception-nor-non-perception. And rising out of the attainment of the sphere of neither-perception-nor-non-perception, he attained to the cessation of perception and feeling.

10. And the Venerable Ananda spoke to the Venerable Anuruddha, saying: "Venerable Anuruddha, the Blessed One has passed away."

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
Answer
5/18/10 12:15 AM as a reply to Trent ..
Thanks so much for the patient response. I have a few more things to ask if you would be so kind.

Trent H.:

Speaking as a subject with the use of self-referencing terms such as "I" and "Me" does not mean that this body is experiencing (nor "able to form") subject/object duality; it is only done so as a matter of convenience. As such, there is no "shoehorning" at all. There is only actually just this material universe, and I am that universe experiencing itself as a human dude.


How are words and thoughts experienced? Are the physical sensations of words perceived to come and go without the impression of meaning?

Trent H.:

I would not call this experience blissful, as that reminds me of A&P or other emotional "feel good" experiences. This is much more refined / pure / stable then that kind of "bliss."


I can notice and easily tune into a background sort of "bliss", not pleasant exactly but very refined and relaxing. I tend to think of it as the glow of cessation. It is very similar to what I experienced directly after my big cessations, such as when I "broke through" and discovered this/that conditionality.

Trent H.:


I don't think Richard has ever said such a thing as this, let alone philosophize about such a notion, could you provide an example or link that spurred this thought?


I was under the impression that AF practitioners believe that only the material world is real. Is this correct?

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
255
Answer
5/18/10 6:28 AM as a reply to Jeff Grove.
jeff, triple think, and dan k,

at the moment, i am travelling, and have only sporadic internet access, and so it may be a while before i respond to each of your posts (but will do so eventually).

tarin

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
Answer
5/18/10 1:53 PM as a reply to Dan K.
Dan K:
Thanks so much for the patient response.


No problem.

Trent H.:

Speaking as a subject with the use of self-referencing terms such as "I" and "Me" does not mean that this body is experiencing (nor "able to form") subject/object duality; it is only done so as a matter of convenience. As such, there is no "shoehorning" at all. There is only actually just this material universe, and I am that universe experiencing itself as a human dude.


Dan K:
How are words and thoughts experienced? Are the physical sensations of words perceived to come and go without the impression of meaning?


Thoughts are clear, bright, vivid, smooth, elegant, without resistance. They come and go as needed, do their thing, and vanish as gracefully as they appeared. I am not aware of a physical sensation exclusively related to thinking. Does this answer your question? (I ask because I did not answer directly, since I did not understand some of the specifics in your query).

Trent H.:

I would not call this experience blissful, as that reminds me of A&P or other emotional "feel good" experiences. This is much more refined / pure / stable then that kind of "bliss."


Dan K:
I can notice and easily tune into a background sort of "bliss", not pleasant exactly but very refined and relaxing. I tend to think of it as the glow of cessation. It is very similar to what I experienced directly after my big cessations, such as when I "broke through" and discovered this/that conditionality.


Okay, would you describe this feeling as palpable / solid or obscure / amorphous? Further, does this "bliss" ever annoy you or otherwise cause you to wonder what a more refined experience would be like?

Trent H.:

I don't think Richard has ever said such a thing as this, let alone philosophize about such a notion, could you provide an example or link that spurred this thought?


Dan K:
I was under the impression that AF practitioners believe that only the material world is real. Is this correct?


I do not know what "AF practitioners" believe (though it is recommended via the AFTrust web-site to throw belief out altogether), but I do not believe at all. I know, factually, that this material universe is actually existing, no belief necessary. One's subjective inner-world / self / identity / whatever-it-could-be-called is "real" in that it is experienced and causally impacts the way a body -- under such an influence-- goes about living, but it is not actual (it is personal / illusory).

Regards,
Trent

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
Answer
5/18/10 4:02 PM as a reply to Trent ..
Trent H. (quotation)
Hi Nathan. I think, without nitpicking a bunch (the nitpicking would be redundant, as I have already "corrected" the inaccurate notions I noticed (in my last reply)), your reply is pretty spot on in a lot of ways.

triple think (quotation)
I would like to hear a more detailed explication of the analysis of the workings of conditionality and causality according to those in the PCE if and when that becomes possible.

Trent H. (quotation)
In regard to conditionality: here and now in this actual universe, the conditions are simply what they are. There is seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, tasting, and thinking going on, as this body only, with no other "compounded phenomena" on top of the ongoing "stream" of sense "data." You see, 'I' realized that this moment is factual (and it is never not this moment), and by merit of being factual (whole, undeniable; unchangeable: any change would also be at this factual, actual moment), it was known to be perfect ("it is what it is" as the saying goes). Through sincere & pure intent, that realization was actualized (made an ongoing condition) so that there is no longer denial (fear/desire) of this actual moment. And so, this moment is now always experienced as perfection.

triple think (new)
What I was trying to say was, can you see, understand and describe how things actually work? Could you, in your present state describe what is happening internally in some way similar to the way that the Buddha presented Dependent Origination as a process of binding and conversely a process of unbinding.

Trent H. (quotation)
Have you ever noticed that every moment is fundamentally the same as every other moment, and that there isn't anything you can do about that?

triple think (new)
No, not really. In my case I could say that about some of the conditions involved and not about others and even then there would be special cases with significant variations.

Would you be able to say this in the context of a simple experiment devised by carpenters, like myself, involving your outstretched hand and a nail gun? In the moment before the nail went through your bones, during the occurrence and in the moments afterwords? It's just a thought experiment but what is the consistent meaning of perfect in each context? Why use the adjective perfect to describe the experience and in what sense is each moment experienced as the same? Would you have no fear in regards to the nail about the pierce your hand and no desire for it not to? Please don't misunderstand, I'm not interested in seeing you suffer, I would just like to understand what you are saying in a real context where fear and desire are not mere concepts but conditional psycho-physical processes with real meaning and purpose.

Trent H. (quotation)
I am well aware of the concept of causality-- the various events that unfolded so that my phone is now on the table in front of me-- it is just that the concept is now seen as a concept, and not mistaken as something actually existing, as it might have been before.

triplethink (new)

Ok, well, glad that you have moved beyond the realm of mere concepts, I think we can all agree that this is a good thing. I have the impression from all the AF accounts that the actual specific given causes and actual specific given conditions involved in the present moment are not discernible in the PCE state. I have the impression that very little but the 'perfection' of 'now', in whatever form 'now' happens to take is discernible. So I suppose, if I understand this correctly, then it is not possible for those in the PCE to conduct any sort of analysis of anything beyond discerning that it is the present moment and that the present moment is 'perfect'.

An awareness that it is always the present moment is fine, I completely agree. An awareness that the present could not be other than it is is fine, I completely agree again. I also hold these truths to be self evident. To limit my discernment to these parameters does not appeal to me regardless of the payoff. I'm pleased that those of you lastingly in the PCE are pleased with it but for me it is not an end in itself. I see the end of fear and desire in much broader terms than the present moment. While fear and desire or the absence of the same might naturally involve the present moment, they aren't necessarily exclusive to it. There isn't this kind of conceptual limit on my comprehension of, for instance, the 4NT to a doctrine concerned exclusively with the immediate present. I can see how and why one would feel this way and therefore not be able to see it otherwise and that's fine, no problem. I'm not trying to argue otherwise. I would prefer to give it a decade or two and see how it shakes out for you guys.

I think it might be helpful to narrow the focus of my question to something like the 'what is the functional nature of intent in the context of the PCE?' How does intent function in this state. Given that the present moment is perfect, regardless of its form, how do you form determinations to think, speak or act in a given manner? On what basis could you choose in the absence of preferences and if there are preferences how could aversion or attraction (fear and desire) be entirely absent?

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
Answer
5/18/10 4:47 PM as a reply to Trent ..
Trent H.:

Thoughts are clear, bright, vivid, smooth, elegant, without resistance. They come and go as needed, do their thing, and vanish as gracefully as they appeared. I am not aware of a physical sensation exclusively related to thinking. Does this answer your question? (I ask because I did not answer directly, since I did not understand some of the specifics in your query).


Yes this answers my question.

Trent H.:

Okay, would you describe this feeling as palpable / solid or obscure / amorphous? Further, does this "bliss" ever annoy you or otherwise cause you to wonder what a more refined experience would be like?


Not palpable. It does not feel like something I could ever have. The only way to tune in is to surrender to it. I can't conceive of anything more refined, except for more refined and ubiquitous versions of itself. It's like it is inside every sensation and it is only visible when two sensation patterns exactly cancel either other out. It is not annoying at all. It's not distracting either. There is a high pitched tone that seems to be associated with it, which is mildly annoying.

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
Answer
5/18/10 5:16 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
I thought I would direct this to Daniel (everyone else is, of course still free to comment also) since he may be in a position to comment.

It may be possible to contextualize the discussion a little bit more.

In traditional Theravada terms what "unconditioned" (nibbana) means is that one is no longer conditioned by greed, hatred and ignorance. As it has been described so far, the PCE seems to similarly remove craving and aversion but there is no reference to delusion. Instead the assessment of the conditioned present is that it is perfect. This contrasts with the Buddha's assessment of the same conditions:

That which is born, become, arisen, made, conditioned,
And thus unstable, put together of decay and death,
The seat of disease, brittle,
Caused and craving food,
That is not fit to find pleasure in.

Being freed of this, calmed beyond conjecture, stable,
Freed from birth, freed from arising, freed from sorrow,
Freed from passions, the elements of suffering stopped,
The conditioning [of greed, hatred and delusion] appeased,
This is ease .

As the Buddha describes it, the right understanding of all conditions as stressful frees the mind not only of greed and hatred but also of delusion in regards to conditions and due to this right realization and right understanding conditions can no longer function as ground for being and becoming.

It seems there are two possibilities; 1. that the PCE and Nibbana are the same, the only difference being that discourse about AF lacks the precision and eloquence of the Buddha's discourses or, 2. the PCE and nibbana are not the same, the PCE being a condition lacking craving and aversion yet retaining delusion regarding conditions while Nibbana is truly unconditional owing to the complete absence of craving, aversion and delusion in regards to conditions.

I'm not attempting a judgment either way, simply making an effort to put all of this into a coherent context. Thoughts?

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
Answer
5/19/10 3:04 PM as a reply to triple think.
triple think:
What I was trying to say was, can you see, understand and describe how things actually work? Could you, in your present state describe what is happening internally in some way similar to the way that the Buddha presented Dependent Origination as a process of binding and conversely a process of unbinding.


Yes, I can describe what is going on with this body and in the immediate surroundings by thinking, reflecting, appraising, evaluating, and then communicating to you about my ongoing experience after-the-fact. Is there something specific you are wondering about? Most of what is going on here can be uncovered by using wikipedia to look up the various sense organs, or read/think about how intelligence operates. What you won't find there, but you can ask about or read about on the AFTrust website, is about infinitude and its various qualities, or other things that are relatively hard to be aware of outside of the pce / af, for instance.

There are no events "happening internally," and so there is nothing to describe there (there is no "inside"), as there is nothing going on / no where for it to go on; there is oblivion only.


triple think:
No, not really. In my case I could say that about some of the conditions involved and not about others and even then there would be special cases with significant variations.

Would you be able to say this in the context of a simple experiment devised by carpenters, like myself, involving your outstretched hand and a nail gun? In the moment before the nail went through your bones, during the occurrence and in the moments afterwords? It's just a thought experiment but what is the consistent meaning of perfect in each context? Why use the adjective perfect to describe the experience and in what sense is each moment experienced as the same?


Time, space, the senses, the intellect, the body's composition...are these seen to be constant / fundamentally the same? For instance...have you ever noticed that your body is never not "here" and "now" and as long as your body is aware, it is aware of that (as it is what it is being aware of)?

I found these on dictionary.com (see below), which as a public resource, seems "consistent." It is used by me quite often "describe the experience" as it is the most succinct way of alluding to many qualities / values / properties of my experience and it also accurately describes the magnificent quality of the experience itself (it "feels" perfect). Each moment is experienced as this perfection, because I am unable to fall out of this perfection. You see, I am this universe experiencing itself as an self-aware organism, and as I am this universe just as much as the things being sensed (a chair, for example), I am also perfect (meaning, I am also not outside of the perfection being experienced). This has always been the case, it is just that the identity / self kept me from being able to experience it as such.

"Perfect:"

Definitions:
-excellent or complete beyond practical or theoretical improvement
-entirely without any flaws, defects, or shortcomings
-accurate, exact, or correct in every detail
-thorough; complete
-pure or unmixed
-unqualified; absolute

Synonyms: absolute, beyond compare, blameless, consummate, defectless, excellent, faultless, ideal, immaculate, impeccable, indefectible, matchless, paradisiac, paradisiacal, peerless, pure, splendid, spotless, stainless, sublime, unblemished, unequaled, unmarred, untainted, untarnished, utopian

triple think:
Would you have no fear in regards to the nail about the pierce your hand and no desire for it not to? Please don't misunderstand, I'm not interested in seeing you suffer, I would just like to understand what you are saying in a real context where fear and desire are not mere concepts but conditional psycho-physical processes with real meaning and purpose.


First, I have yet to encounter such a situation, so I cannot say with certainty. But hypothetically speaking, I have no need to fear whether a nail is going to pierce my hand via a nail-gun wielding human or not, as the event will either happen or it will not, regardless of whether the emotion of fear or the reactions caused by fear were also being experienced. As fear and desire are both feelings that are / represent an internal, redundant (useless) denial of the fact of any actual situation (in this case, a nail through my bones), I fail to see the "purpose." In such a case, the "conditioned ... processes" would not happen due to fear / desire, as I have done away with them. Why did I do so? Partly because they provide no "real meaning ... (or) purpose" as they are redundant-- they do not actually, directly change anything; if anything, the experience of such emotion would likely cloud sound judgment and lead to relatively insalubrious outcomes.

triple think:

Ok, well, glad that you have moved beyond the realm of mere concepts, I think we can all agree that this is a good thing. I have the impression from all the AF accounts that the actual specific given causes and actual specific given conditions involved in the present moment are not discernible in the PCE state. I have the impression that very little but the 'perfection' of 'now', in whatever form 'now' happens to take is discernible. So I suppose, if I understand this correctly, then it is not possible for those in the PCE to conduct any sort of analysis of anything beyond discerning that it is the present moment and that the present moment is 'perfect'.


As the human intellect is capable of thinking, or "discerning," I am wholly capable of figuring out anything that can be figured out. Though it may be worth noting that when one's delusions have come to an end, there is not a whole lot left that needs to be figured out (in this context, and in most others). Can you provide an example of an "actual specific given cause" or "actual specific given condition" that I am not able to discern?

By the way, there is much more implied by "perfection" than what you seem to be gleaning / reading about. Here is a relevant paragraph from Richard of the AFTrust.

Richard:
The fundament characteristic, or nature, of the universe is its infinitude – specifically having the properties of being spatially infinite and temporally eternal and materially perdurable – or, to put that another way, its absoluteness ... as such it is a veritable perpetuus mobilis (as in being self-existent/ non-dependent and/or self-reliant/ non-contingent and/or self-sufficient/ unconditional and/or self-generating/ unsupported).

Having no other/no opposite this infinitude and/or absoluteness has the property of being without compare/incomparable, as in peerless/matchless, and is thus perfect (complete-in-itself, consummate, ultimate).

And this is truly wonderful to behold.

Being perfect this infinitude and/or absoluteness has the qualities (qualia are intrinsic to properties) of being flawless/faultless, as in impeccable/immaculate, and is thus pure/ pristine.

And which is indubitably a marvellous state of affairs.

Inherent to such perfection, such purity, are the values (properties plus qualities equals values) of benignity – ‘of a thing: favourable, propitious, salutary’ (Oxford Dictionary) – and benevolence (as in being well-disposed, beneficent, bounteous, and so on) ... and which are values in the sense of ‘the quality of a thing considered in respect of its ability to serve a specified purpose or cause an effect’ (Oxford Dictionary).

And that, to say the least, is quite amazing.


triple think:
An awareness that it is always the present moment is fine, I completely agree. An awareness that the present could not be other than it is is fine, I completely agree again. I also hold these truths to be self evident. To limit my discernment to these parameters does not appeal to me regardless of the payoff.


Here you say that you do not wish to "limit (your) discernment to these parameters," and yet, you seem to imply (below, in your next reply) that you are concerned with how an actual freedom relates to the end of delusion (and from knowledge of past discussions with you, I was of the impression that you are attempting to end such delusion in yourself). Do you realize that to end delusion you must end the ability to be deluded altogether? (Which, from the standpoint of being deluded, seems to be an act of "limiting.") And further, that to "limit" oneself in such a way is not an actual limit, as the delusion never actually existed in the first place?

triple think:
I'm pleased that those of you lastingly in the PCE are pleased with it but for me it is not an end in itself. I see the end of fear and desire in much broader terms than the present moment.


If the end of suffering and delusion is not what you are searching for, may I ask: what are you searching for?

As the only moment that is actually ever existing is this "present moment," this statement of yours begs the question: how and why have the "terms" for "the end of (suffering)" been put off into some non-existent "future" to be forever waited upon (waiting only begets more waiting)? Could it be, that you are not searching for "the end of suffering and delusion?" I suppose I have asked this twice now, but I just wanted to illustrate clearly how these two paragraphs (this and the prior) are related.

triple think:
While fear and desire or the absence of the same might naturally involve the present moment, they aren't necessarily exclusive to it.


Actually, fear and desire cannot exist when one is directly experiencing "here" and "now." As such, they are absolutely exclusive to it; the actual universe (and humans experiencing themselves as the universe), never knows suffering.

triple think:
I think it might be helpful to narrow the focus of my question to something like the 'what is the functional nature of intent in the context of the PCE?' How does intent function in this state. Given that the present moment is perfect, regardless of its form, how do you form determinations to think, speak or act in a given manner? On what basis could you choose in the absence of preferences and if there are preferences how could aversion or attraction (fear and desire) be entirely absent?


In a PCE or an actual freedom, "I" have taken my leave and experience is just doing itself. As "I" am "my" intent and "my" intent is "me," there is no intent in either experience. If you are meaning to use the word "will" rather than "intent," that is a different matter. And so I answer that way just in case: will operates freely here. My "determin-ation" is related to preferences in the context of things that interest me, such as the health and well being of myself, my companion, other fellow human beings, various entertainments / sensual delights, and so forth. The "given manner" I conduct myself via is what I deem to be the most functional to achieving the best results in any situation (such as maximized happiness in a gathering of friends). Lastly, preferences are possible due to this body's actual predilection and past influence / decisions formed. For instance, I prefer (have a preference) to eat cooked meat rather than raw meat, for not only is it more delectable to eat but it is also healthier (at least, so far as what I have learned) and thus promotes a healthy life (which is great, because I like being alive and it's nice to comfortable on top of that). Perhaps this example helps: if you are in a no pressure situation (there is nothing to lose / gain here) and you were given the option to sleep on a bed of nails or a comfortable mattress, which would you choose?

triple think:
As it has been described so far, the PCE seems to similarly remove craving and aversion but there is no reference to delusion. Instead the assessment of the conditioned present is that it is perfect. This contrasts with the Buddha's assessment of the same conditions: ...


There is no delusion here, period. When the delusion ends, only facts remain, and facts are perfect in that they cannot be sensibly or intelligently resisted. There is nothing outside of a fact, and that is why actual freedom does not lie in the commonly thought "freedom to choose" but instead lies in the freedom of knowing / experiencing the facts (with facts only, there is no decision to be made (in that way), and thus, practically no uncertainty regarding most of life's matters). Everything is so simple here... And this is marvelous...excellent!

Regards,
Trent

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
Answer
5/19/10 3:14 PM as a reply to Dan K.
Dan K:
The only way to tune in is to surrender to it.


Does it trouble you at all to be selling out ("surrendering") your will (to what, I wonder?) for an obscure ("not palpable", thus ambiguous) "bliss?"

I also wonder, what leads you to think that you are "tuning in" and not, as has previously been mentioned, "blissing out?" Or are you meaning this only to mean that "surrendering" is what "tunes (you) in" to the "pleasure?"

Regards,
Trent

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
Answer
5/19/10 6:28 PM as a reply to Trent ..
Trent H.:
Dan K:
The only way to tune in is to surrender to it.


Does it trouble you at all to be selling out ("surrendering") your will (to what, I wonder?) for an obscure ("not palpable", thus ambiguous) "bliss?"

I also wonder, what leads you to think that you are "tuning in" and not, as has previously been mentioned, "blissing out?" Or are you meaning this only to mean that "surrendering" is what "tunes (you) in" to the "pleasure?"

Regards,
Trent


As with you, my language is a matter of convention and I hope my diction is not causing confusion.

It does not feel like selling out. But it is somewhat difficult to really get into it, and usually I am not inclined to do so. This seems strange to me, as I have what seems like perfection at my fingertips, but there does not seem to be the motivation to be with it. I remember breaking through to a total immersion in this feeling. After a little while there was the distinct impression of "allowing" reality to reform, as if it was seen through that there was no danger in any of this.

I use the phrase "tuning in" because it seems to always be there, every moment steeping in it. It doesn't feel blissful in the positive sense. It's more like an absence of any stressful elements. When it's in the background it does seem very nice compared with all the other noise going on, but I'm tuned in, it's not really good or bad.

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
Answer
5/19/10 10:08 PM as a reply to Trent ..
hi Trent

Thanks for your detailed response. I will do my best to re-read all of the postings here and whatever I can at the AF site in my ongoing attempt to better understand. It seems my attempts to elicit a comparison with the mindset of arahats either in terms of a traditional model or Daniels model or with any other state are not succeeding. I still have no reliable sense of how these may be similar or different in whole or in part.

I accept that you guys are devoted to the modes of expression and frames of reference that you consistently employ. So I apologize if I have needlessly taxed your or anyone else's generosity and patience. Thanks for making the effort to engage but I don't feel the approach I've taken has increased my understanding. If you are better interested in understanding where I am coming from I'll refer you to my recent posts, 69-75 in the Responses to "Consciousness and Primordial Awareness" thread at Kenneth's site. In those posts I tried to recount my observations in regards to the specifics of my own consciousness and how I interpret my findings in terms of the traditional Theravada framework in comparison to Jackson's presentation regarding Primordial Awareness. Not to suggest that AF or the PCE is the same as Primordial Awareness, but in terms of my insights into consciousness and my reflections on it, the post explains my thinking about why it may be that some may observe specific qualities and conditions of consciousness and others do not. It may help to read those posts to better understand my thinking.

My impression is that our perceptions are radically different as I clearly discern consciousness to consistently display the three characteristics regardless of the quality of consciousness whereas if I understand you correctly, you perceive a quality of consciousness which is entirely void of discernible qualities which is an exception to the three characteristics. I don't understand how a mind sans all discernible qualities could function so I will simply accept your account of it at face value.

I really don't know how to translate my observations into terms that you can work with nor how I can translate your observations into terms that I can work with. We may be in complete agreement and simply speaking in completely different languages or our perceptions may be so completely different that even with exactly the same terms and frames of reference we could not share the same observations. In ether case I don't know how else to approach this for now so I will leave the discussion to those who can engage in it more effectively.

Much thanks, take care.

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
direct route actual freedom
Answer
6/2/10 12:35 PM as a reply to Trent ..
Good day Trent,

This is my début here. I have more posts in the http://groups.yahoo.com/group/actualfreedom/

Direct to the point, only three questions to you regard actually free people and their public(sic) - officially, availed and evaluated - announcements:

1 - In http://actualfreedom.com.au/announcement.htm#Addendum4 the AFT Directors wrote:
"Addendum 4: The directors of The Actual Freedom Trust take great pleasure in announcing that [name withheld] has joined Richard, Peter, Justine, Vineeto and Pamela in the actual world (on the 30th of January 2010)."

Are you [name withheld]? I ask this because you achieved actual freedom in the February 2010...

2 - Do you have links to yours past correspondences with Richard, Peter and/or Vineeto?

3 - You started the actualism method practices last year. That´s Ok. But when exactly you first discovered the Third Alternative?

My questions are not to throw doubts in your fast Direct Route success. But clarifications, like my questions to Peter and Vineeto in Direct Route Mail Out.

Tandem felix during this life and current age is really great!
Congratulations,

Luciano

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
Answer
6/2/10 6:12 PM as a reply to Luciano de Noeme Imoto.
Hello Luciano & welcome to the DhO,

1 - No, I am not the person alluded to in that announcement.

2 - No, I have corresponded with Peter and Vineeto via a few private e-mail exchanges and it was relatively recently (mostly regarding the circumstances of becoming / being AF). I have had no correspondence with Richard.

3 - I was introduced to the AFTrust website a few weeks before beginning the method, which would have been about a year ago now if my memory serves me accurately.

To clarify, I did not attain an actual freedom via the "direct route," as I understand that to be the name given to attaining actual freedom directly, bypassing enlightenment. 'I' was enlightened prior, an arhat by my appraisal but perhaps an anagami.

Thanks and take care,

Trent

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
Answer
6/4/10 10:56 AM as a reply to Trent ..
Thanks for your courtesy welcome and debonair answer Trent,
Today I posted a correction about my mistake and its justification here:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/actualfreedom/message/9900
Sincerely,
Luciano

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
Answer
6/10/10 3:45 PM as a reply to Trent ..
Hello Trent,

Trent H.:
Hi, here are some more things to think about, and questions.

Daniel, where does the PCE or actual freedom fit into arhatship for you?

There seems to be a lot of conflicting "wisdom" being touted around the various scriptures, schools, and the like. Some seem to speak about arhatship as an affective state, and some seem to talk about actual freedom. I'm not sure what to ask about this; it just doesn't make much sense to me. Here are some examples:

Dogen, founder of Soto Zen: "To be enlightened is to be intimate with all things." If this was translated well, it could not be taken as affective arhatship, but could only be referring to the pce / actual freedom.

Aaron: The word intimacy is used to refer to affective/emotional intimacy. Which is why Richard distinguishes normal(affective) intimacy from *actual* intimacy. So, the translation being oneness or intimacy matters little(if any) in this regard.

There's a quote from Ramana Maharshi that Tarin sent me, which was something like "anything not present in deep sleep is not real." Again, essentially pointing to objectively verifiable ("actual") matter (saying that only the actual world exists).

Aaron: All this really amounts to is that some enlightened dude seems to have had a worldveiw that has similarities to physicalism. Certain Greek philosophers/sages thought similar and from what I gather so did some Hindus and Buddhists. There really isn't anything suggestings actual freedom here.

I also recall reading that he said something like "war is only in your head," in a way that made me think about Richard's line, paraphrased as "peace on earth is already the case." There are also the traditional sayings such as "seeing just the seen, hearing just the heard (etc)," as well as "the arhat is traceless in the here and now" and all of the traditional commentary on being utterly passionless / devoid of feeling. All of this seems to point to the pce / actual freedom.

Aaron: of course there are going to be some similarities between and actual freedom and full enlightenment. The "passionless" stuff of course is the strongest of the above examples.......but even that is pretty questionable considering that even in the Christian tradition(particularly the Desert Fathers, some Church Fathers, the Eastern Orthodox) there is much talk of becoming "passionless", "dispassion", and Theosis(which is to become a God by Grace/diviniation......and God is beyond human emotion after all........). Were the Desert Fathers and Orthodox Saints becoming actually free? I mean how likely is that really, even with the passionless lingo(I'm not saying it is impossible though).

My guess is that the Desert Fathers, Eastern/Orthodox Saints, Arahats, Enlightened folk of all ilk who use that lingo are not talking about an actual freedom. Particularly as so far no one has been able to find a living enlightened person(who can clarify what they mean by these terms) who clearly states that they *cannot* for even a second experience anything remotly resembling emotions/feeling....no matter how refined(slight irritation, mild unease, subtle sadness upon the death of a close friend, loving-kindness/compassion, joy ect). Barry Long said somewhere he feels no emotions but then says he feels Love and that that is not an emotion. I tend to think that when this "passionless" business comes up these enlightened people are defining emotions/passions out of existense rather than that they are no longer having affective experience.

From the very same sources (scriptures, Dogen's giant book, Maharshi's public talks), we have all sorts of wild teachings / rantings about dogma (the merit of a monk's robe, afterlives, strict morality, hierarchies implying power / authority), siddhi powers, samatha and vipassana jhanas, love and compassion, "oneness," god realms, and so on. All of these are quite contrary to what is simply, directly apparent in a PCE/actual freedom.
What gives?

Here's a guess: was it the case "back then" that the world view was just so entirely different so as to allow such weird interpretations? No doubt our intellectual grasp of the world (note: intellect is all that remains in a pce/af) is of a level not even remotely resembling what it was back then. Perhaps the things we now term "weird dogma" were taken to be intellectual "facts" back then. Heck, according to the dictionary I'm looking at, "fact" as a word (or what it was derived from, such as the latin "factum") didn't even show up until the 1530s. Commentators in those days may not have even had the lexicon available to accurately describe what they were experiencing. That's to say, it is very easy for me to spot silly dogma and things which do not make rational / common sense, but maybe that's just because I've been educated my entire life, and with anywhere from 2000 to 200 years of additional compounded human knowledge at my disposal (libraries, internet, college, etc) from what these people had at hand. And yet, here we are, trying to cram the knowledge taken from those worldviews into our worldview; is it any wonder that we find odd inconsistencies all over the place? And finally, there are quite a few different translations for these texts, and translating is never perfect to begin with. If Dogen's quote about intimacy was incorrect and he actually said something like "oneness" (which seems a similar enough concept to mistakenly translate, depending on the native language's rules), then that line would then seem to refer to an affective arhatship, not pce / actual freedom. My point is that these concepts are very tricky to communicate in many ways (exemplified in the thread I'm heading to next on actual freedom definitions), and if the words don't even exist, or are translated poorly, then the message would be completely and entirely lost, perhaps even pointing to something utterly different.

Aaron: I consider this possible though unlikely until I start hearing some modern enlightened folk(who can clarify the matter) clearly stating they cannot be moved(even for a second) by any events at the affective level(no matter how subtly). So far all the clarifications from Arahant's/enlightened One's has been that they do have affective experience. Well except for Chuck who hasn't answered the question straightforwardly yet(to my knowledge). Another thing to ponder is that both Trent and Tarin have claimed Arahatship and that affective experience was still there and that the only method to get to the affectless condition was what was on offer on the actual freedom website(albeit with their own slight personal modifications). Having studied a wide variety of the enlightenment teachings, I can't really see how those practices would lead to what is describe as a actual freedom from the human condition. Though perhaps they could/did many years after some of these people became enlightened and it just wasn't communicated properly(or at all) like Trent said.

Well, that was a bit of a rant! I'll forgo the reasons for this rant and the conclusions I've tentatively drawn based on this, in case new ideas come to light in all of your replies which change my opinion

Aaron: rant for rant. emoticon


Enjoy,
Trent


Aaron: I did. emoticon

Cheers!
Aaron

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
Answer
6/13/10 1:07 PM as a reply to Jeff Grove.
Jeff Grove:

How long ago did the final event occur you became AF?


between 4 and 5 months ago.

Jeff Grove:

When did you start practicing the AF technique HAIETMTBA?


i started asking myself 'how am i experiencing this moment of being alive?' first in late 2005, kept with it for about a year or two, then started again several months into last year (2009).

Jeff Grove:

Have you created any techniques that support HAIETMTBA?


yes, many of them, and most of which were improvised on the fly. the ones that worked better - and had a wider range of application - than the others, i would also remember for later use.

Jeff Grove:

Arahatship can be thought of as an ongiong achievement and some traditions identify further "stages" along the way. Do you see AF lining up with other maps say Tozans or Tibetan Bhumis?


i don't have a deep familiarity with either tozan's ranks or the tibetan bhumi system, but i don't have any reason to think that either identifies actual freedom. what similarities are you seeing between stages mentioned on those maps which prompt you to make the comparison?

tarin

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
Answer
6/13/10 1:40 PM as a reply to triple think.
triple think:
the prisoner greco:
ManZ A:
An epic thread!
But a question to Daniel, Trent, and Tarin. Do you think all of you have reached the end of suffering?


oh yes, unequivocally.

ManZ A:

Do you think that there is any level higher than what you have attained or are open to the possibility?


while i don't expect that there is 'any level higher' than this perfect and uninterrupted contentment, i do discover new things about this mode of experience all the time (and all quite wonderful things, at that) and so am open to the possibility.

tarin


Your descriptions could be traditionally interpreted as 'abiding in nibbana here and now', the 'highest bliss' or the persistent inclination to a reflexively unconditioned concentration of your consciousness. That would explain the consistently characteristic supreme pleasantness, equanimity and the disinclination to mess with the reintroduction of any lesser known conditions, even expansive conditions such as those related to viharas or siddhis as even these kinds of rarefied conditional qualities could mess with the predominant un-conditional quality.


it's not merely a 'disinclination to mess with the reintroduction' of those things; i simply cannot do so. those things are bound up in suffering, and suffering is a compulsion, not a choice.

triple think:

It would explain why the cycling, jhanas and cessations are unapparent as a transcendent concentration is overwhelming the conditions that more narrowly characterize consciousness when it is perceiving more specifically in those kinds of relatively variously limited ways.


maybe.. or is it that the conditions which cause cycling, jhanas, and cessations are themselves completely unbounded (eliminated), such that they cannot arise again?

i say the latter.

triple think:

Do you think the PCE could be viewed as similar to the unconditional nature encountered in cessation if that is brought to full conscious expression (...)


yes - and seeing that is what led me to pick working toward the pce over working toward cessation, as i realised that the peace i was attributing to cessation is possible to experience, in its entirety, here and now[1].

triple think:

(...) in the way that your mind now reflexively perceives all other arising conditions - without imposing any of the various conditional qualities characteristic of more grossly conditioned states, regardless of how subtle or highly developed those may be?


only when the unconscious condition of cessation is considered to be part of the pce does it make sense to think of the perceiving of what happens in this world of people and things and events as 'arising conditions' which are 'other' than the peace of the pce. the condition of perceiving these conditions is 'other' than what happens in a cessation, but is not 'other' than what happens in a pce (perception is essential to the pce, which is a sensate living experience).

triple think:

I have the impression that in the context of the PCE the re-arising of nanas, jhanas and so on would naturally be perceived as a step out of that kind of a state of relatively absolute rest. I'm curious if apart from the long term stability characteristic of the PCE if there is any other ways that you would distinguish it's unconditional nature from what Kenneth describes as primordial awareness or others refer to as rigpa.


i don't have a clear idea of what kenneth describes as 'primordial awareness' or what others refer to as rigpa .. could you provide some quotes from them for reference, so that we can take it from there?

triple think:

One exception to what seems like a natural aversion to re-introducing some conditional mental qualities that might still serve a noble purpose (...)



leaving aside the issue of what you are calling an aversion and what i am saying is no aversion at all, could you expand on what conditional mental qualities you are seeing which might serve a noble purpose.. as well as on what that noble purpose would be?

triple think:

(...) would be the effort to forge a more precise understanding of conditionality much as Sariputta was reported to have done subsequent to his achievement of Arahatta. Do you think it is still possible to further develop and perhaps even perfect a more accurate and complete analysis and explication of causality while persistently maintaining this kind of a profoundly unconditional consciousness?


i don't see why not.. but perhaps you'd better explain what you mean by 'a complete analysis and explication of causality', and how one would know if one were developing (or had perfected) it. what is that like, and what does it entail?

tarin

[1] and eventually led me to pick living an actual freedom (an on-going pce) over experiencing the occasional pce, as i realised that this utter peace is truly meaningful only if it is experienced here right now (which means for all eternity).

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
Answer
6/13/10 4:20 PM as a reply to Dan K.
Dan K:
After spending a few hours on the Actual Freedom website, I came to a few conclusions, which I invite Trent and Tarin or others to comment on, especially if I have misunderstood or misrepresented anything.

(1) Richard promotes, as the basic mode of inquiry, "how am I experiencing this moment of being alive?". Aside from some peculiar details, the investigative approach seems similar to some Buddhist traditions.


which buddhist traditions would those be?

i cannot find a reference for this at the moment, but somewhere on that website, richard describes the actualism method as being (and i paraphrase), 'using thought to operate on feeling'. would you describe the buddhist traditions you were thinking of as similar to richard's approach in those terms?

Dan K:

(2) Actual Freedom places a heavy emphasis on attending to physical sensations at the exclusion of other sensations. This is not to say that other sensations necessarily do not occur - they may just be subtle. For example, as evidenced by their ability to use language, they are still able to form the subject/object duality (i.e. self/other), even if they are only aware of the physical aspect of thoughts. Possibly the AF practitioner is skilled at shoehorning all perception into the realm of physicality, thus facilitating object penetration and disintegration. I would appreciate comment on this point.


the only comment i am able to make here is to ask what on earth (or, more specifically, the af trust website) leads you to think this? what have you read that even suggests this?

Dan K:

(3) It is not surprising that jhana is not experienced, as jhana is squarely in the mental realm. I do not think this is evidence that AF is not arhatship. Rather, I think it is evidence that AF practitioners have cultivated an aversion to all non-physical sensations. I think it's interesting that Trent mentions that physical sensations have a jhana quality to them, as this is exactly what I would expect in a mind trained to funnel all mental processes into physical processes.


as i do experience mental sensations, and as i have not cultivated an aversion to all non-physical sensations, your theory that i (as an actually free person) do not experience jhana because it 'is squarely in the mental realm' has no foundation.. as far as i can tell, you appear to be speculating wildly here. an alternative to doing this would be to take a look at triplethink's first post to this discussion for a more plausible theory about why actually free people do not experience jhanas (an even better alternative would be to then also read my reply to that post).

Dan K:

(4) In terms of experiencing constant bliss, I understand why practicing AF is useful. I have found that physical sensations, for whatever the reason, are the easiest for the mind to penetrate. It seems that they tend to be simple and symmetrical, whereas mental sensations tend to be complex. It follows that if I were to focus exclusively on physical sensations, then there would be less attachment, more stillness, and a closer proximity to the bliss of cessation. I am skeptical of Richard's philosophical justification for focusing on the physical, but I can see the practical merits.


what is it which you have termed, here, 'richard's philosophical justification for focusing on the physical'?

Dan K:

(5) Arhatship and AF are motivated by a non-identical set of motivations. AF seems to be like an ultimate bliss-out. Although some arahats and people striving to be arahats probably have similar motivations, I think it is also common for arahats to be content with a balance of freedom and life's up and downs, which naturally occurs just by living in the world as an arahat.


achieving an actual freedom from the human condition is far more than an ultimate bliss-out.. doing so ends the experience of malice and sorrow permanently, and enables a way of living which, being entirely free of the passions which effect those conditions, does absolutely nothing to encourage them (malice and/or sorrow) in any other person (and so, in addition to being perpetually happy, i, as an actually free person, am also perpetually harmless - i do not desire, either consciously or unconsciously, that anyone should suffer, ever).

Dan K:

i. Was there an event or events associated with mastery of AF, or was it a gradual transition?


there were three events which i would point out as being definitive/pivotal, the first two for having gotten my actualism practice on a roll, and the third for having been the achievement of actual freedom itself. the first event was stream-entry, which cleared the way of much distraction. the second event was a pure consciousness experience (pce) which occurred spontaneously, a few months later, as i went for a walk one morning, which lasted for several hours, and which enabled me to consider, very, very seriously, how living that way was not at all impossible. the third event, the actual freedom itself, happened a bit less than one year later, and was an event in which the sense of 'i am' (the very feeling of being) and all (other) affective experience vanished entirely (and has never returned).

other than these events, it was a more or less gradual transition.

Dan K:

ii. Do you feel that there is a way back if you decide at some point that you want to experience life differently? Irrelevant here is the issue of whether, at this point, you think that motivation would ever arise. Every time I fell in love, I thought it would last forever.


no. nothing lasts forever, so there is nothing to want (and so this condition is permanent).

Dan K:

iii. Is life constantly pleasurable or is it more of a neutral bliss?


my life is neither affectively pleasurable nor neutral(ly blissful). non-affectively, the pleasure/pain/neutrality of an experience depends on the nature of the sensations of that experience (it may be painful, for example, in the way that stepping on a shard of glass is painful). irrespective of this, there is an utterly unqualified, unconditional peace to any experience (no mood ever even begins to arise to sully it).

Dan K:

iv. How do you relate your experience to the apprehension of Buddhanature, the unconditioned, thusness, etc.? Note that I am talking about something different from cessation, and also different from anything which could be considered blissful in the positive sense.


i don't, as those terms are too vague (and have been/are used too differently by different people) to be of much use to me.

tarin

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
Answer
6/29/10 8:23 AM as a reply to Trent ..
Trent H.:

There's a quote from Ramana Maharshi that Tarin sent me, which was something like "anything not present in deep sleep is not real." Again, essentially pointing to objectively verifiable ("actual") matter (saying that only the actual world exists).


actually, i read that (quote) to mean, 'the world of people and things, being absent from experience in deep sleep, is not real' and copy-pasted it to you with that in mind (though with no context at all, i suppose) as a clear example of extreme solipsism.

it is interesting that the quote can actually, on its own and with no other context, be sensibly read, as you have read it, to instead mean something like, 'what does not objectively exist (as opposed to things which continue to exist in the world even while one is asleep) is not real' .... which way of reading changes the meaning entirely.

tarin

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
Answer
6/29/10 12:04 AM as a reply to tarin greco.
Not to pop anyones bubble or anything, but the Diamond Approach already has a pretty concise and accurate map that includes all this. Not that anyone here ever seems interested enough to look.

If you want to read about this AF stuff, pick up The Point of Existence by AH Almaas. It says that once the transition to AF is complete, any attempt to 'reflect' or break the PCE in any way will result in a fruition/niddora sampatti/extinction. Perhaps someone here with AF can check that for us? I wouldn't do it unless you were 100% sure that you have made the transition and achieved AF, otherwise you would fall back to ego (which may be helpful anyways to see your sticking points?).

If you are more interested in Arhatship, I believe this corresponds with The Absolute, which is discussed in greater detail in another book (nobody said that mapping out the nitty gritty details of spirituality would take just one book!).

Something I like about AH Almaas is that he is writing for a scientific community and appeals to analytical meditaters.

To be completely honest, part of me is expecting all of you to ignore me emoticon I hope you develop the patience to inform yourselves of the Diamond Approach theory, even if you aren't prepared to accept it.

Edit: Besides, even if there is a chance that all of this has been discovered and explained in great detail, wouldn't that be worth checking out? Just to see for yourself?

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
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6/29/10 2:59 AM as a reply to Jeffrey S.
Jeffrey I took a look at the diamond approach when you mentioned it (the book about brilliance) but I stopped when I read in the intro that lack of brilliance is the result of a "bad relationship" with one's father... I guess i could have investigated the practice itself a bit further emoticon

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
Answer
6/29/10 4:30 AM as a reply to tarin greco.
@Tarin- you wrote "the third event, the actual freedom itself, happened a bit less than one year later, and was an event in which the sense of 'i am' (the very feeling of being) and all (other) affective experience vanished entirely (and has never returned)".

Do you mean that the feeling of being vanished entirely? I am familar with the vanishig of the sense of self, but I wouldn't say that that it completly vanishes (in my case anyway). It is just that it is not anymore identified with thoughts, emotions or body sensations. It is not anymore identified with the belief in a solid self located somewhere in the center of the head space or anywhere else in the body. It is more that the sense of self is empty, non-local. It expends and contracts according to cause and conditions (it tends to contract when I cross the road per exemple and I am thankful for that).

Is that also your experience? Do you respond when someone calls your name? Do you recognize your face in the mirror? Does it feels as if everything is made of the same substance, a no-thing-ness in which everything comes and goes?

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
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6/30/10 10:01 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
. . . but I stopped when I read in the intro that lack of brilliance is the result of a "bad relationship" with one's father... I guess i could have investigated the practice itself a bit further emoticon
I would have tossed it at that point myself.

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
Answer
7/1/10 1:27 AM as a reply to Alex W.
Alex R. Weith:
@Tarin- you wrote "the third event, the actual freedom itself, happened a bit less than one year later, and was an event in which the sense of 'i am' (the very feeling of being) and all (other) affective experience vanished entirely (and has never returned)".

Do you mean that the feeling of being vanished entirely?


yes.

Alex R. Weith:

I am familar with the vanishig of the sense of self, but I wouldn't say that that it completly vanishes (in my case anyway). It is just that it is not anymore identified with thoughts, emotions or body sensations. It is not anymore identified with the belief in a solid self located somewhere in the center of the head space or anywhere else in the body. It is more that the sense of self is empty, non-local. It expends and contracts according to cause and conditions (it tends to contract when I cross the road per exemple and I am thankful for that).

Is that also your experience?


no. however, that was my experience before i became (what we have been calling here) actually free.

Alex R. Weith:

Do you respond when someone calls your name? Do you recognize your face in the mirror? Does it feels as if everything is made of the same substance, a no-thing-ness in which everything comes and goes?


yes, yes, and no. there is nothing (not even a no-thing-ness) from which and to which anything (not even a no-thing-ness) comes and goes.

i saw that that was an illusion and it completely disappeared, along with the (unidentified, empty, non-local) sense of self (which was identical to the the no-thing-ness).. and along with all feelings (which seemed before to come out of it/happen in that no-thing-ness - just like anything else really - but did not stick to it). all of that is completely gone; the source of suffering has been uprooted entirely.

would you like more details?

tarin

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
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7/2/10 3:29 AM as a reply to tarin greco.
Thank you for sharing this Tarin. This is very interesting.

I must say that had initial prejuidice towards AF, and in particular about its materialist body-centered philosophy.
However, reading your description of the freedom state, I realize that there is somethnig interesting that looks similar to some forms of Zen practice with which I am already familiar.

Can you suggest me a link to a simple step-by-step set of instructions to the actual practice that lead to your new state?

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
Answer
7/2/10 8:20 AM as a reply to Alex W.
Alex R. Weith:
Thank you for sharing this Tarin. This is very interesting.

you're welcome.

Alex R. Weith:

I must say that had initial prejuidice towards AF, and in particular about its materialist body-centered philosophy.
However, reading your description of the freedom state, I realize that there is somethnig interesting that looks similar to some forms of Zen practice with which I am already familiar.

Can you suggest me a link to a simple step-by-step set of instructions to the actual practice that lead to your new state?


if what you are looking for is a recipe-format set of instructions that led to my current state, then you may need to look no further than to the thread entitled AF and Insight: PCE Mode and Cycling Mode, in which daniel ingram (in his first three posts) lays out plenty. as much of what he recommends doing there is clearly inspired by things i told him and suggested he try (over the phone as well as in person - i have little of it in writing), then i can endorse following his instructions if they make sense to you (and if you are able to).

as for some instructions which i received (and which made sense to me - some others here seem to have had more difficulty understanding them in their prose format), you can find them in the form of a particularly choice bit of richard's writing; carefully read his article entitled Attentiveness and Sensuousness and Apperceptiveness and see what of it you can put into immediate practice.

you may find that the results are not like those produced by cocaine, despite your assertion to the contrary in another forum (in which you have aired some of that 'initial prejudice' you mention).

tarin

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
Answer
7/2/10 8:57 AM as a reply to tarin greco.
Thank you Tarin. I will check the links and experiment with it.

I had only read some of the articles on the AF Forum and couldn't make sense to it.
But reading some of your posts provided me with a new perspective.
Out of Intellectual honesty, I have to experiment with it and see how it can be useful.

I guess I can be an asshole sometimes – sorry for that. Speaking about cocaine, I must say that the zazen practice of the Soto school of Zen Buddhism can lead to states that feel pretty much like it, especially during intensive retreats.

Now the descriptions of PCE's seem very similar to what we call 'kensho' or 'satori' in the Zen tradition, namely the dropping of the sense of self during everyday life. Do you agree with that, or do you consider that it is something different?

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
Answer
7/16/10 2:35 PM as a reply to Alex W.
Alex R. Weith:

Now the descriptions of PCE's seem very similar to what we call 'kensho' or 'satori' in the Zen tradition, namely the dropping of the sense of self during everyday life. Do you agree with that, or do you consider that it is something different?


could you clarify those terms? is what you are calling the dropping of the sense of self during everyday life entirely absent of an attention wave/an affective quality.. such that the sense of self being understood here (to be absent) is not merely the notion that one is the thinker of one's thoughts, but is the intuition of/feeling of existence/presence (which is gone)?

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
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9/21/10 12:05 PM as a reply to tarin greco.
hello!

yesterday after reading the first few messages i had two impressions. (i mention the fact this was the first post i read in this forum. means i dont know more than this. i googled about actual freedom because i read it somewhere but had no glue what this was (i still have no glue). means no background concerning af as well daniel ingram (not yet read his book). what follows is what my gut says from what i read and know/ dont know.)

1. daniel ingram is not yet what is called "arahat" but he is on the way. craving, aversion and unconsciousness = “impurities” not yet replaced with the opposite. beside of this he seems fair on the ground. he has a lot of good qualities. one can learn from him many things. arahat or not what counts is the fact he really helped and still helps people to become more consciousness. anumothana! emoticon
2. eg tarin greco seems to me highly dangerous. wisdom intelligence impurities mixed together = dangerous cocktail! my alarm bells rang. be careful!!!


just like that,
max

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
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9/21/10 5:11 PM as a reply to max name.
Wow max, jeez, thanks for the wisdom dude!

Incredible how quickly and accurately you can judge others! I mean, I was just lost and clueless and you came in, and just like that, straight from your gut, opened my eyes in no time!

I am free from this vicious sect! emoticon emoticon Freeeee! emoticon emoticon

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
Answer
10/2/10 11:40 AM as a reply to max name.
max name:
hello!

yesterday after reading the first few messages i had two impressions. (i mention the fact this was the first post i read in this forum. means i dont know more than this. i googled about actual freedom because i read it somewhere but had no glue what this was (i still have no glue). means no background concerning af as well daniel ingram (not yet read his book). what follows is what my gut says from what i read and know/ dont know.)

1. daniel ingram is not yet what is called "arahat" but he is on the way. craving, aversion and unconsciousness = “impurities” not yet replaced with the opposite. beside of this he seems fair on the ground. he has a lot of good qualities. one can learn from him many things. arahat or not what counts is the fact he really helped and still helps people to become more consciousness. anumothana! emoticon
2. eg tarin greco seems to me highly dangerous. wisdom intelligence impurities mixed together = dangerous cocktail! my alarm bells rang. be careful!!!


why do you think tarin greco is dangerous? whom has he harmed? can you substantiate this claim with anything sensible ... or is it only that your 'alarm bells rang' for some mysterious, undetermined, reason?

tarin


RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
Answer
10/25/10 5:13 PM as a reply to max name.
max name:
hello!

yesterday after reading the first few messages i had two impressions. (i mention the fact this was the first post i read in this forum. means i dont know more than this. i googled about actual freedom because i read it somewhere but had no glue what this was (i still have no glue). means no background concerning af as well daniel ingram (not yet read his book). what follows is what my gut says from what i read and know/ dont know.)

1. daniel ingram is not yet what is called "arahat" but he is on the way. craving, aversion and unconsciousness = “impurities” not yet replaced with the opposite. beside of this he seems fair on the ground. he has a lot of good qualities. one can learn from him many things. arahat or not what counts is the fact he really helped and still helps people to become more consciousness. anumothana! emoticon
2. eg tarin greco seems to me highly dangerous. wisdom intelligence impurities mixed together = dangerous cocktail! my alarm bells rang. be careful!!!


just like that,
max


Max,

To make a statement refering to Daniel's claim of Arahatship as invalid simply based on of what you have heard or read (or what your gut feeling is, which guess what, it's nothing more than a conditioned event) is quite daring, specially when you do not seem to have experienced any path attainments (or at least you have failed to mention them). Over 99% of all the people trying to discredit Daniel's and most of the Western teachers who have claimed enlightenment do so based on what they interpret from their readings or from what they have heard AND have not even reached stream-entry (and thus maintaining the whole "crab bucket" going). Daniel has trained under many highly qualified teachers, including Kenneth Folk. I'm certain Daniel would not take such attainment in any way, shape or form litely. The actual nature of attaining 4th path starts to become more evident as one moves up and attains higher paths. Let this be said, than other than reading his book and participating from time to time in some discussions in here, I have no connection, or afiliation to Daniel. I have however, a great deal of respect and admiration for the work he has done presenting the core teachings of Buddha and the level of attainment he has reached. His experience as an Arahat heavily resonates with those experiences of many others (myself included) and the similarities too many to be simply a coincidence. Attaining 4th path is often described as realizing the ultimate reality, through and through. The end of the ride, the end of insight desease. The ability of seeing pain as simply what it truly is, no matter when it arises, and how it arises, and this thus no experience "clings" or "sticks" as its 3 characteristics have now become utterly obvious. Has Daniel eliminated suffering totally from ever arising? that is for him to say. From what I have read he is working on stabilizing the ultimate realization and thus be able to keep these feelings from ever arising. That happens to be a choice Daniel is making. It is certainly not a "MUST" for a fully enlighten being to choose, as many 4th pathers have chosen to simply surrender and let whatever happens happens (they may enter PCE automatically for short or long periods of time, come out and experience phenomena from a "witness" point of veiw, and then back again, etc). My advice for you is to go ahead and get to 4th path (or whatever it is that you may want to call it) and then you will have all the necessary experience to question other people's attainments and what it means to be an Arahat.

Metta,
Jorge Freddy

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
Answer
10/25/10 5:29 PM as a reply to Jorge Freddy Martinez.
"2. eg tarin greco seems to me highly dangerous. wisdom intelligence impurities mixed together = dangerous cocktail! my alarm bells rang. be careful!!!"

Max,

You keep making all these judgements based on "feelings" and what "seems" and your "alarm bells ringing"

Why is Tarin highly dangereous? you do not agree with him therefore he's dangerous? or is he threaten anyone?
(is he going to the 4th jhana and working out some magik to create havoc and distruction - LOL).

Again, what really makes this practice is the allowing the experiences speak for themselves. Remember that there are many advanced, senior yogis here (and unfortunately many posers as well), so you may want to come up less judgemental and more open to learn and to share your experiences.

I honestly apologize if my last two postings come up harsh. The truth be told, statements like the one you have made about Daniel and Tarin have nothing but a detrimental effect on this site. I know you are not the first, and certainly will not be the last making them. I'm sure you have and will have many great experiences to add and to share with the rest. Please just try to do it in a productive matter.

Thanks,
JF

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
Answer
11/3/10 2:56 PM as a reply to max name.
max name:
hello!

yesterday after reading the first few messages i had two impressions. (i mention the fact this was the first post i read in this forum. means i dont know more than this. i googled about actual freedom because i read it somewhere but had no glue what this was (i still have no glue). means no background concerning af as well daniel ingram (not yet read his book). what follows is what my gut says from what i read and know/ dont know.)

1. daniel ingram is not yet what is called "arahat" but he is on the way. craving, aversion and unconsciousness = “impurities” not yet replaced with the opposite. beside of this he seems fair on the ground. he has a lot of good qualities. one can learn from him many things. arahat or not what counts is the fact he really helped and still helps people to become more consciousness. anumothana! emoticon
2. eg tarin greco seems to me highly dangerous. wisdom intelligence impurities mixed together = dangerous cocktail! my alarm bells rang. be careful!!!


just like that,
max


Heh if this is just a very poignant troll then I applaud you.

RE: Actual Freedom and Arahatship
Answer
11/3/10 4:24 PM as a reply to max name.
max name:
hello!

yesterday after reading the first few messages i had two impressions. (i mention the fact this was the first post i read in this forum. means i dont know more than this. i googled about actual freedom because i read it somewhere but had no glue what this was (i still have no glue). means no background concerning af as well daniel ingram (not yet read his book). what follows is what my gut says from what i read and know/ dont know.)

1. daniel ingram is not yet what is called "arahat" but he is on the way. craving, aversion and unconsciousness = “impurities” not yet replaced with the opposite. beside of this he seems fair on the ground. he has a lot of good qualities. one can learn from him many things. arahat or not what counts is the fact he really helped and still helps people to become more consciousness. anumothana! emoticon
2. eg tarin greco seems to me highly dangerous. wisdom intelligence impurities mixed together = dangerous cocktail! my alarm bells rang. be careful!!!


just like that,
max


Max, so no background concerning AF as well as Daniel Ingram? You know I meet so few people that can make such comprehensive judgements without even knowing what they are judging. Not a useful skill, if even a skill. I will withhold my judgements on you to elaborate something: be clear what you mean by dangerous. Soap is dangerous to germs, is it not? The clear words of an actually free person are dangerous to the vested interests of the self. This sense of self would do anything it could to preserve itself, in fact that may be(in an evolutionary sense) why such a thing has emerged. I highly suggest you explore the writings in the AF website further and also obtain more information in general so that your "impressions" may give way to deeper understanding.

DhO Upgrade happening now! Stop posting until complete.

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Dear All, The remarkable Manish is about to backup and upgrade Liferay to Liferay 7. This is the fundamental platform on which the DhO runs. As such, anything posted from about now (January 23, Saturday, at around noon Central Time) will likely be lost until the upgrade is complete. Thus, stop posting anything you wish to last now until this is done! Thanks! -Daniel, Owner of the DhO

 

 

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