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Elimination of Emotions [T DC] [MIGRATE]

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Elimination of Emotions [T DC] [MIGRATE] Migration 6.2 Daemon 5/7/14 4:44 AM
RE: Elimination of Emotions [T DC] [MIGRATE] T DC 5/28/14 6:02 PM
RE: Elimination of Emotions [T DC] [MIGRATE] Not Tao 5/28/14 10:20 PM
RE: Elimination of Emotions [T DC] [MIGRATE] Eva Nie 5/29/14 8:38 PM
RE: Elimination of Emotions [T DC] [MIGRATE] Daniel M. Ingram 5/29/14 3:02 AM
RE: Elimination of Emotions [T DC] [MIGRATE] Not Tao 5/29/14 7:42 PM
RE: Elimination of Emotions [T DC] [MIGRATE] Daniel M. Ingram 5/30/14 12:56 AM
RE: Elimination of Emotions [T DC] [MIGRATE] Eva Nie 5/30/14 1:27 AM
RE: Elimination of Emotions [T DC] [MIGRATE] John Wilde 5/30/14 3:02 AM
RE: Elimination of Emotions [T DC] [MIGRATE] sawfoot _ 5/30/14 9:40 AM
RE: Elimination of Emotions [T DC] [MIGRATE] T DC 5/30/14 9:17 PM
RE: Elimination of Emotions [T DC] [MIGRATE] Not Tao 5/31/14 2:34 AM
RE: Elimination of Emotions [T DC] [MIGRATE] T DC 5/31/14 12:09 PM
RE: Elimination of Emotions [T DC] [MIGRATE] Not Tao 6/1/14 2:04 AM
RE: Elimination of Emotions [T DC] [MIGRATE] J J 6/1/14 2:12 AM
RE: Elimination of Emotions [T DC] [MIGRATE] T DC 6/1/14 6:58 PM
RE: Elimination of Emotions [T DC] [MIGRATE] Daniel M. Ingram 6/1/14 11:27 PM
RE: Elimination of Emotions [T DC] [MIGRATE] Eva Nie 6/2/14 12:36 AM
RE: Elimination of Emotions [T DC] [MIGRATE] J C 5/31/14 12:48 PM
RE: Elimination of Emotions [T DC] [MIGRATE] Daniel M. Ingram 5/30/14 11:20 AM
RE: Elimination of Emotions [T DC] [MIGRATE] Daniel M. Ingram 5/30/14 12:07 PM
RE: Elimination of Emotions [T DC] [MIGRATE] Not Tao 5/31/14 2:16 AM
RE: Elimination of Emotions [T DC] [MIGRATE] T DC 5/31/14 12:36 PM
RE: Elimination of Emotions [T DC] [MIGRATE] Not Tao 6/1/14 2:19 AM
RE: Elimination of Emotions [T DC] [MIGRATE] J J 6/1/14 3:22 AM
RE: Elimination of Emotions [T DC] [MIGRATE] Banned For waht? 5/30/14 5:38 AM
RE: Elimination of Emotions [T DC] [MIGRATE] Jeff Grove 5/30/14 4:14 PM
Elimination of Emotions [T DC]


T DC - 2014-04-30 09:11:38 - Elimination of Emotions

HaHA!  Turns out you AF F---er's were right!  My afflictive emotions are done!!

Aim high eh, well how about that..

Now here's this:

I don't care if you do want to eliminate your emotions, you're going to have to destroy your ego illusion first.  You think you're so special you don't have to follow the stages?  Bullshit! 

If you think centuries of practitioners have been laying out a path to enlightenment, but you can just do your own thing; you're going to have a bad time.

There is a path, you must follow it, if you fail to, you fail!

Cheers!

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sawfoot _ - 2014-04-30 09:49:35 - RE: Elimination of Emotions

What's your opinion on the whole AF thing TDC?

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Pawe? K - 2014-04-30 10:39:49 - RE: Elimination of Emotions

ok, but what that does mean for us mere mortals?
please, enlighten us!

and could you also give us your two cents on the whole AF thing?

ps. I am gonna go my own path. Will I end in hell or what?

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Nikolai . - 2014-04-30 10:54:18 - RE: Elimination of Emotions

Mark Twain:

When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.



Mark would so have been a great addition to the pragmatic dharma thingie.


Oh, and do you have an opinion on eliminating emotions TDC? I'd love to hear about it.

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Curt Welling - 2014-04-30 10:59:28 - RE: Elimination of Emotions

Is spite not an afflictive emotion?

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Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii - 2014-04-30 13:02:41 - RE: Elimination of Emotions

Here in the London the sun is blazing and I have been dancing all morning and am in a good happy (afflictive) mood.

This thread is awesome.

TDC I believe you may have done it but you are kind of like the Pandora Cassandra of the DhO - you prophecy the future of the dharma here, but your curse is that no-one will ever believe you.  I await the storm of generally dismissive posts.

I would love to hear about it.

Do you mean the afflictive emotions totally (e.g. no sensations), or the subjective qualities of the emotions (physical sensations which previously were thought of to do with emotions arise, but there is absolutely no subjective quality to them whatsoever)?


Sawfoot I confess I have not been a general fan of your inputs here but this post as silly as it is made me laugh at loud really hard so thanks for that.
sawfoot _:
What's your opinion on the whole AF thing TDC?


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Daniel M. Ingram - 2014-04-30 16:21:44 - RE: Elimination of Emotions

Other questions for T DC to help explain what you mean:

Do you mean that nobody observing you would think you had emotions? (as in Tarin, Trent and Jill during their "Zombie" phase)

Do you mean that emotions occur but there is no identification with them? (as in some further development in non-dual awareness)

Do you mean that emotions occur but there is no awareness of them by you? (as in Gary Weber)

Do you mean that no emotions occur and there is no internal manifestation or external manifestation? (as in Jill, Trent and Tarin in their "Zombie" phase)

Does this apply to all emotions entirely in all circumstances or just negative emotions?

Does this apply to dreams? (Can you still dream?)

Can you still visualize things?

Does this apply to things like physiological responses to adverse circumstances, such as a near miss car accident not causing elevated heart rate?

Does this apply to all responses to pain? Specifically: is there now any problem with pain at all? More to the point, would you smilingly go into, say, abdominal surgery or a major dental procedure without pain control or anesthesia with a smile (or no smile, if you are free of emotions) on your face?

Is there still a startle response?

Would you flinch to sudden, unexpected pain?

Might any adverse circumstance make you sweat?

Is there still the ability to get physically sexually aroused, and, if so, what does it take (I know some who for a period of time claimed that only physical contact (rather than say, visuals) could cause physical sexual arousal)?

Is orgasm still possible? If possible, anything different about it? (some at points claimed that the elimination of feelings made is so that that it could occur but provided no pleasure at all and was actually slightly painful).

By "Afflictive Emotions", do you mean all emotions, including happiness, excitement, etc., or just the "bad ones", such as fear, sadness, jealousy, lust, greed, hatred, disgust, etc.

AF specifically eliminates all emotions without exception, not just afflictive ones, if I read them properly, but give the impression, at least in written communications, of having emotions. You give me the impression of having emotions in your post, but then that is clearly not AF criteria, as Richard also gives the impression of emotions in his posts but apparently that doesn't imply actual emotions by the standard AF criteria, just the appearance, so they say.

Thanks. In case you misread my tone, I mean these as serious, straightforward, phenomenological questions, and not as anything more than that. If you remember the history of this place, I was one of the ones willing to entertain the notion that friends of mine might have done it, and they had the kindness to answer basic questions such as these. Perhaps you will do the same.

Daniel

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T DC - 2014-04-30 19:38:10 - RE: Elimination of Emotions

So to give some more explanation:

Sadalsuud BA:  Yes so it's the latter; not that sensations have been eliminated, but that the subjective aspect of emotions is gone.  What's gone most obviously is the mental emotional dialogue. 

Daniel these are some good clarifying questions.  I will try to answer them thoroughly, forgive me if I repeat myself.

Daniel M. Ingram:
Other questions for T DC to help explain what you mean:

By "Afflictive Emotions", do you mean all emotions, including happiness, excitement, etc., or just the "bad ones", such as fear, sadness, jealousy, lust, greed, hatred, disgust, etc.

AF specifically eliminates all emotions without exception, not just afflictive ones, if I read them properly, but give the impression, at least in written communications, of having emotions. You give me the impression of having emotions in your post, but then that is clearly not AF criteria, as Richard also gives the impression of emotions in his posts but apparently that doesn't imply actual emotions by the standard AF criteria, just the appearance, so they say.

Do you mean that no emotions occur and there is no internal manifestation or external manifestation? (as in Jill, Trent and Tarin in their "Zombie" phase)

Does this apply to all emotions entirely in all circumstances or just negative emotions?


So to be clear, it seems what I am experiencing is not exactly in line with AF.  Perhaps for the better!  Essentially, I am not a zombie.  The negative emotions such as jealousy, depression, sadness, hatred are gone.  The biggest factor in my state of being is an overriding sense of happiness; strong fearless upbeatness.  Fear of negative consequences, of future events is gone, evaporated.  There is a strong sense of will, of never giving up in the face of adversity, but also being able to embrace the totality of experience in a rational sense.

It's like negative parts of emotions are gone, and those part that do remain pass from my mind effortlessly, and cause no suffering.  For example, if a situation I was opposed to occurred, anger might well result, but it would be anger free from any self-reflective doubt, or insecurity.  It would be direct anger I could act on rationally and fearlessly.  Hatred is gone, hatred of people who I past perceived to have wronged me.  Now I simply dismiss ill-will, it is replaced by strong will to acomplish what need be done in any circumstance.

So by no means am I a zombie.  I do not have flat, or blank affect.  I have great energy in my expression, great positive energy.  It is as though the negative, side of emotions has been stripped away. The negative side of emotions such as sadness, or anger is that they cause you to direct energy into yourself, in an inner struggle, thus they are aflictive, they cause suffering to those who feel them.  Everything I feel is directed outward, there is no struggle, only energetic expression.  There is no self doubt, there is complete confidence, but this is realistic to the circumstance (I do not think I can lift any weight, but I have no problem or self doubt in fighting for my personal objective).

I should perhaps say that in the absence of self doubt and fear, I can fully acknowledge others without fear, I can fell the world fully without turning away whatsoever.  I am totally strong in my individuality, but also inherently respectful of the individuality of others.  

Daniel M. Ingram:
Do you mean that emotions occur but there is no identification with them? (as in some further development in non-dual awareness)


This is a great question, and opportunity for good distinction.  As I had said earlier, at some point post enlightenment, the stream of thoughts in my mind stopped.  This last experience was similar in that the stream of emotions itself stopped.  So it was not a further development of non-dual awareness, I do consider full (non-dual) enlightenment to have happened previously.  Instead it was the end of the 'emotion stream', of the beliefs locking me into emotional experience.

Perhaps I should add, throughout this post I mention end of fear.  My real issue or challenge in life emotionally has been lack of self-confidence, fear...  So when this aspect was stripped away, I suddenly felt like I could relate with people on a 'whole' level, there wasn't the underlying fear they were better, or more than me, or would hurt me..  Also as I said above, this was not a non-dual attainment, but more of the ending of a chain of belief.  

(Perhaps you will find this interesting: I have seen a qi gong energy healer for 4 years or so, she always emphasizes after treatment that the main issue I struggle with is feeling small, or not enough.  Recently (as I got more enlightened) she noted these issue were declining.  I got a treatment several weeks ago (post the end of thought shift) and she said the issue was very small, but there was still a little there.  To be honest I just thought she was in error (after all I'm fully enlightened!..), but now it seems the issue is truly overcome.)


Daniel M. Ingram:
Do you mean that emotions occur but there is no awareness of them by you? (as in Gary Weber) 

Do you mean that nobody observing you would think you had emotions? (as in Tarin, Trent and Jill during their "Zombie" phase)


As above, emotions have ceased.  It is thus that there is not awareness of them.

I think an observer would just think I was generally a pretty happy, energetic person.  I don't no if they would notice anything too unusual in terms of emotions.  I still feel compassion for others quite strongly, so it's not as though I cannot relate to the spectrum of human experience.

Daniel M. Ingram:
Does this apply to things like physiological responses to adverse circumstances, such as a near miss car accident not causing elevated heart rate?  Is there still a startle response?  Might any adverse circumstance make you sweat?

Would you flinch to sudden, unexpected pain?

Does this apply to all responses to pain? Specifically: is there now any problem with pain at all? More to the point, would you smilingly go into, say, abdominal surgery or a major dental procedure without pain control or anesthesia with a smile (or no smile, if you are free of emotions) on your face?

Is there still the ability to get physically sexually aroused, and, if so, what does it take (I know some who for a period of time claimed that only physical contact (rather than say, visuals) could cause physical sexual arousal)?

Is orgasm still possible? If possible, anything different about it? (some at points claimed that the elimination of feelings made is so that that it could occur but provided no pleasure at all and was actually slightly painful).


Yes there are still physiological responses, probably would still flinch, and experience a rush/elevated heart rate in life endangering situations..  Elevated heart rate, interesting to note, as I sit here life is exciting, and there seems to be some elevated heart rate associated with that.  Really life is very exciting and interesting.  Extreme sports have always had a huge appeal to me.  I would compare my current moment by moment experience to skiing, extremely well, a dangerous and rewarding line in ideal conditions.  The happiness, or level of reward/ intensity of engagement with my circumstance is like the best, or maximum feeling such a experience skiing would produce. 

Physical arousal does not seem to be dampened, actually it is like those emotional affectations which might dampen arousal have been removed.  I do assume orgasm is still possible and fun emoticon

Daniel M. Ingram:
Does this apply to dreams? (Can you still dream?)

Can you still visualize things?


Dreaming! interesting note, I had this realization last night around 11:30 as I was falling asleep in bed.  I then could not fall asleep. I was until 4, when I decided to go for a walk outside.  Then I went to be around 5.  So overall I got very little sleep last night, perhaps 4 hours, but I feel energetic.  It will be interesting to see what happens with that.. I did not really dream last night that I remember, but given the circumstances I'm not going to draw any conclusions.  That too will be interesting, though I suspect the capacity is still there.

Visualization, still possible, not weakened really.  Definitely my capacity to visualize is not gone.


Cheers, thanks for the questions!

-------------------

. Jake . - 2014-04-30 20:11:07 - RE: Elimination of Emotions

Please keep us posted on how this unfolds. 

A couple questions:

1) What makes you think such a phenomenon, with such little history, is a permanent shift? 

2) Were there practices or attitudes or inquiries that you were doing that you think in retrospect produced this result? Or do you see it as a natural consequence of earlier realizations? 

Some of what you are describing sounds A&P esque; or even a little manic. Are you sure there is nothing like that going on? If so, how? I mean, who am I to say.. just wondering if you have considered these possibilities?

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Felipe C. - 2014-04-30 21:16:44 - RE: Elimination of Emotions

TDC:

The negative emotions such as jealousy, depression, sadness, hatred are gone.

[...]

It's like negative parts of emotions are gone, and those part that do remain pass from my mind effortlessly, and cause no suffering. For example, if a situation I was opposed to occurred, anger might well result, but it would be anger free from any self-reflective doubt, or insecurity. It would be direct anger I could act on rationally and fearlessly. Hatred is gone, hatred of people who I past perceived to have wronged me. Now I simply dismiss ill-will, it is replaced by strong will to acomplish what need be done in any circumstance.


So... not gone really.

-------------------

Daniel M. Ingram - 2014-04-30 21:17:08 - RE: Elimination of Emotions

I was thinking a&p also, or equanimity, as they share similar features, but it is hard to diagnose people sometimes, and I don't personally know T DC

I have had countless openings that were totally awesome moodwise: none lasted

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T DC - 2014-05-01 00:58:59 - RE: Elimination of Emotions

. Jake .:
Please keep us posted on how this unfolds. 

A couple questions:

1) What makes you think such a phenomenon, with such little history, is a permanent shift? 

2) Were there practices or attitudes or inquiries that you were doing that you think in retrospect produced this result? Or do you see it as a natural consequence of earlier realizations? 

Some of what you are describing sounds A&P esque; or even a little manic. Are you sure there is nothing like that going on? If so, how? I mean, who am I to say.. just wondering if you have considered these possibilities?


Indeed, it has yet to be seen what happens next.  It does seem a little manic, but you know hard to say.

1) The reason I think it was a permanent shift was that it occurred in the same way the end of thoughts occurred.  And I feel noticeably changed.  It is definitely early, and I will see what happens and report back.

2) Yes basically I see it as the consequence of earlier realizations.  Non-duality allowed for the end of thoughts, which in turn allowed for the end of emotions..  I haven't been practicing per say, moment to moment, my mental life has been somewhat occupied with making progress through beliefs.  

Ya thanks for the post, always good to take an objective look at things.  I guess I will just see what happens! emoticon  So far it seems to be holding up pretty well, though I am feeling the consequences of not sleeping.

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sawfoot _ - 2014-05-01 09:22:43 - RE: Elimination of Emotions

Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii:
Here in the London the sun is blazing and I have been dancing all morning and am in a good happy (afflictive) mood.

This thread is awesome.


Sawfoot I confess I have not been a general fan of your inputs here but this post as silly as it is made me laugh at loud really hard so thanks for that.
sawfoot _:
What's your opinion on the whole AF thing TDC?


So kind of you to say so!

So in general, you aren't a fan? If you had to be specific, could you put a percentage on how many of my 359 posts you aren't a fan of? How about this one, specifically?

Thanks for sharing!

Peace and love

Sawfoot (in the pouring rain)

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Nikolai . - 2014-05-01 10:00:59 - RE: Elimination of Emotions

sawfoot _:
Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii:
Here in the London the sun is blazing and I have been dancing all morning and am in a good happy (afflictive) mood.

This thread is awesome.


Sawfoot I confess I have not been a general fan of your inputs here but this post as silly as it is made me laugh at loud really hard so thanks for that.
sawfoot _:
What's your opinion on the whole AF thing TDC?


So kind of you to say so!

So in general, you aren't a fan? If you had to be specific, could you put a percentage on how many of my 359 posts you aren't a fan of? How about this one, specifically?

Thanks for sharing!

Peace and love

Sawfoot (in the pouring rain)


Correction-> 361

"Have you learned the lessons only of those who admired you, and were tender with you, and stood aside for you? Have you not learned great lessons from those who braced themselves against you, and disputed passage with you?" Walt Witman

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Eric M W - 2014-05-01 12:18:57 - RE: Elimination of Emotions

I... uh... nah, I'm going to stay out of this one.

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Pawe? K - 2014-05-01 20:53:29 - RE: Elimination of Emotions

such a long post and you still haven't said a word HOW you did it...

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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem - 2014-05-01 20:53:44 - RE: Elimination of Emotions

Nikolai .:
Correction-> 361

Actually I think it's 360.

Nikolai .:
"Have you learned the lessons only of those who admired you, and were tender with you, and stood aside for you? Have you not learned great lessons from those who braced themselves against you, and disputed passage with you?" Walt Witman

"I AM THE ONE WHO KNOCKS!" - Walter White

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Nikolai . - 2014-05-01 21:22:57 - RE: Elimination of Emotions

Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Nikolai .:
Correction-> 361

Actually I think it's 360.

Nikolai .:
"Have you learned the lessons only of those who admired you, and were tender with you, and stood aside for you? Have you not learned great lessons from those who braced themselves against you, and disputed passage with you?" Walt Witman

"I AM THE ONE WHO KNOCKS!" - Walter White


As soon as he posts again, I am right!

:0

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sawfoot _ - 2014-05-01 22:04:18 - RE: Elimination of Emotions

I better not post again lest you be right

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sawfoot _ - 2014-05-01 22:06:41 - RE: Elimination of Emotions

Doh!

Oh, but 362!

By the way, I heard a nice quote the other day and I think it is really opportune to mention it here. It goes a little something like this:

ìPeople who like quotes love meaningless generalizationsî

? Graham Greene

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Psi Phi - 2014-05-02 00:23:53 - RE: Elimination of Emotions

sawfoot _:
Doh!

Oh, but 362!

By the way, I heard a nice quote the other day and I think it is really opportune to mention it here. It goes a little something like this:

ìPeople who like quotes love meaningless generalizationsî

? Graham Greene


ìIn quoting others, we cite ourselves.î ? Julio Cort·zar, Around the Day in Eighty Worlds

-------------------

Eric M W - 2014-05-02 00:37:59 - RE: Elimination of Emotions

Hey everyone!  I've decided to contribute to this thread.

I'm really pissed off right now.  Not about any of this stuff, but about a situation at work.  I was written up for something that I didn't do, and I basically feel like a victim of managerial incompetence.  To be more specific, I was written up for something that effectively bars me from further employment in this field if I ever apply to another company.  And as a guy with three kids and one on the way, and only one job, I'm pissed.  Even now, hours later, I am trembling with rage.

And you know what?  That's fine.  Being a human means feeling the whole spectrum of emotions.  Joy and sorrow, elation and grief, hope and despair.  The flickering dance of emptiness continues, just as it always has and always will.

Would I like to not be angry?  Sure, that would be much nicer.  But fundamental suffering is not caused my emotions, it's caused by thinking that there is a self to which these emotions are happening.  

So, what do I do?  I ruminate in my anger a little bit, thanks to my pre-path brain, I'm sure.  But then, I sit.  I try to quiet my mind a little.  I envision the members of the management team that decided to make an example of me.  And I send metta.  "May so-and-so be happy, may they be well, may they be safe, may they be free of all forms of suffering."  And you know what?  I feel a little bit better, a little more at ease, a little less spiteful.  I feel a little more understanding of why they did what they did, as unfair as it was.  I'm sure with more practice these emotions will vanish altogether, not because they are gone, but because they are healed.

There are many ways to skillfully work with our emotions.  The brahma viharas are great.  I also hear there's this new thing called psychotherapy that helps us explore and heal even our deepest wounds.  Along those same lines, there are some interesting "deep therapies" such as breathwork and re-birthing that can, apparently, heal racial and karmic wounds, though I've never really tried them.

I've been in states where I didn't seem to have anything emotional going on.  I experimented with codeine when I was a teenager and quite enjoyed the dumb, hazy bliss that enveloped me.  I also was prescribed Xanax for some anxiety problems a few years back, and the affective part of my brain seemed to have been temporarily shut down.  Both these experiences were nice in their own ways, and in fact it was a pain in the ass when the effects wore off, because those pesky emotions were back.  

But, would I want to have my emotions turned off forever?  Would I want to look at my children and not feel the deep love that I always feel?  Would I not want to learn, change, and grow from the many ups and downs of this strange human drama?  

Fuck that, ladies and gentlemen.  I cherish my humanity.

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James Yen - 2014-05-02 01:10:28 - RE: Elimination of Emotions

I think it's important to elucidate the notion that skillful emotions increase while unskillful emotions decrease, at least that is the idea. But the emotion thing is difficult to tackle.

After you get rid of your emotions what's left? It's like scrubbing a dirty bowl, are you ever sure it's clean? No.

The idea is that you'll never stop scrubbing, which is why I don't particularly like the view that one is supposed to eliminate his emotions. 

It's like, trying to smash something out, someone who feels that emotions are the cause of suffering, probably identifies them as atta, and then concludes that the ending of atta is the ending of suffering (a la Richard). But this is not how it works in practice, in practice one identifies form, feeling, perception, formations and cognition and regards them as not me, not mine, they are foreign.

And then they are let go of.

The problem is always ignorance, of what actually causes suffering. I suppose.

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Jinxed P - 2014-05-02 02:16:38 - RE: Elimination of Emotions

I suddenly felt like I could relate with people on a 'whole' level, there wasn't the underlying fear they were better, or more than me, or would hurt me.


If you have no thoughts, how can you think someone is 'better' than you? If you had no thoughts, how could you have low self confidence..since low self confidence stems from a belief system ( i.e a bundle of thoughts)....

TDC,

You claim no thoughts, full enlightenment and now no negative emotions (or really you do experience negative emotions but you take it in stride), but nothing of what you say and do corresponds to any of this.  My diagnosis, and I'm not saying this to offend you..is..

mild bi-polar with grandiose delusions..

I suddenly felt like I could relate with people on a 'whole' level, there wasn't the underlying fear they were better, or more than me, or would hurt me


It is not normal to feel like that when talking to people. This speaks of anxiety and depression, symptoms of a bi-polar down period.

as I sit here life is exciting
,

Excitement is an emotion.


 I had this realization last night around 11:30 as I was falling asleep in bed. I then could not fall asleep. I was until 4, when I decided to go for a walk outside. Then I went to be around 5. So overall I got very little sleep last night, perhaps 4 hours, but I feel energetic.


Bi-polar mania.

The biggest factor in my state of being is an overriding sense of happiness; strong fearless upbeatness. Fear of negative consequences, of future events is gone, evaporated. There is a strong sense of will, of never giving up in the face of adversity, but also being able to embrace the totality of experience in a rational sense.


Classic description of mania.

 
I got a treatment several weeks ago (post the end of thought shift) and she said the issue was very small, but there was still a little there. To be honest I just thought she was in error (after all I'm fully enlightened!..


Grandiose delusions

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Richard Zen - 2014-05-02 03:15:24 - RE: Elimination of Emotions

Having an aversion to emotions is just more aversion.  Just resting in consciousness and watching the emotions do their thing and relax will do more than repression.  The awareness just watches impassively and with no judgement.

I hope you get back on your feet and find some other situation.  Politics at work is really hard.  The pressure is to be part of a dominate group to avoid being targeted.  This is so predictable and if anyone thinks they're safe when they are with other mammals they should think again.  It's dangerous in groups.

I'm sorry for your lost job.  The problem with attachments is that when you have a family and work you'll be attached to the outcomes you want for them and yourself.  I don't think it can be avoided.  Having emotions with those losses isn't bad.  As in cognitive therapy sadness is healthy, but depression is not.

Metta

RE: Elimination of Emotions [T DC] [MIGRATE]
Answer
5/28/14 6:02 PM as a reply to Migration 6.2 Daemon.
So, just thought I would update this thread as it has been a month.  Indeed the shift I experienced has held up.  The manic-ness faded after several days, however the insight did not..

I feel this issue needs some clarification.  Perhaps the title 'elimination' of emotions was not the most accuratly descriptive.  A better way to put it would be that emotional balance has been reached.

Eric M W posted that emotions are a human attribute, and to eliminate them would be ultimately undesirable.  This brings to mind a talk by Reggie Ray in which he said, 'when we talk about no-self, many people have an averse reaction to it, as they innately sense that their sense of self is not all bad, or to be blindly gotten rid of.  This is acurate, as in realizing no-self, we conversly come to find our true-selves' (paraphrasing).

So similarly, emotions indeed are natural, and important.  This attainment I have posted about is not the end of emotions, but instead the end of the grossly afflictive emotions; negative emotions connected with negative self-perception.

So really the state I am describing no
w is a balance rather than an absence.  As James Yen posted, the discussion of elimination of emotions is comlicated somehwat by the fact that spiritual progression is endless.  While I recognise this, at the same time certain benchmarks can be recognised. 

I feel that emotional balance is quite
often what is ultimately sought by spiritual seekers.   So to experience this firsthand, albeit quite far down a road of insight attainment (such that I had pretty much given up on it), it quite exciting, and perhaps can also serve to inspire some ideas of what is truly possible.


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5/28/14 10:20 PM as a reply to T DC.
I've been working with this idea for a little while now, and I think I can offer something to this conversation.

I think there's a misunderstanding about what "eliminating the emotions" actually means. From my experience with the PCE, I've begun to see that emotions are actually a misreading of simple sensory phenomena. For example, when I feel anxiety, it registers as a tension in the chest area. This tension is read as negative because of my resistance to it. Inversely, it's read as positive if I'm not resisting it. Try it yourself, compare the physical sensations of piti in the second jhana with anxiety. This actually registered very clearly for me in an event on new years when the positive/negative judgement flipped over in a single instant, and the anxiety attack I was experiencing became a huge flood of bliss and joy. What followed that was a PCE - which is the absence of contraction in any part of the inner body. This lack of contraction is, at it's core, a lack of self-referencing. The feeling of emotionlessness is the same feeling as relief. Imagine the following situation:

You realize that you have a large homework assignment or work project due tomorrow that you haven’t started on. This gives you a sudden attack of anxiety. After this, you check your calendar and realize it’s actually due next week. The feeling of relief that happens here is the sudden release of the contracted heart center. This feeling of space is predominant when living completely in the senses - this is what's pointed to as "emotionlessness".

This lack of resistance to phenomena creates an experience that is "perfect" in that there is nothing read as unsatisfying. The judgements and resistance that creates emotions simply doesn't present because the mind is completely embedded in the sensory experience.

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5/29/14 3:02 AM as a reply to T DC.
I have found that the real tests come unexpectedly, such as when astounding pain occurs when you are exhausted, or some calamity befalls one, or when you are physically attacked by a psychotic person, or something profoundly threatens something essential your well-being, such as your career, or a person is very rude to you while you are extremely sick. Keep going and see how it all holds up and let us know if any of the more substantial of the tests that life can occasionally throw as us change your opinion on anything that has been done.

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5/29/14 7:42 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel, I'm kind of curious about your general emotional life. Do you feel things like irritation, anger, resentment, etc during the day, or are you 99.99% content with a moment or two every few weeks or months of great pain or fear that suddenly rip you from your peaceful existence? I've had a hard time understanding exactly what you see enlightenment/arahantship as and what you've achieved. You've spent some time playing down exactly what "the end" is like, so I'm wondering if I've misread you and seen cynicism where there's really just modesty.

Either way, I'd like to replace my assumptions with facts. emoticon

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5/29/14 8:38 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
"For example, when I feel anxiety, it registers as a tension in the chest area. This tension is read as negative because of my resistance to it. Inversely, it's read as positive if I'm not resisting it."

Not Tao, that's an interesting observation and I think it's worth exploring.  I've played with it a bit myself.  Like if I feel really sad, I can say to myself that I am sad because such and such happened, which IME leads to me feeling more sad.  But when I tried telling myself the feeling of tears and wrenching is really just joy that it's all over and I can move on now, then my whole experience of it changed quite a bit and I felt better right away.  Sadness and bittersweetness share the same physical sensations after all.  You can weep for sadness OR for joy.  Which one do you choose because IME you do get to choose.  For anxiety, seems like for me at least it is really more like excitement for a challenge.  But if in the excitement, I am feeling insecure or inadequate, then the feeling will be shifted towards anxiety.  Anxiety is like there is a challenge and I am unsure of myself about the challenge.  If I let go of my fears as to outcome of the challenge, then no more anxiety, maybe I will think of it now as and exciting opportunity instead and feel all fired up and happy about it.  I think a lot of it is habit in the naunce of how one thinks about stimuli and those habits can be changed if you think about it often enough.

And for the guy who feels his career may be ruined by something that happened, IME, no one can truly stop you.   Keep in mind there are always a zillion ways out of any situation, even a situation that might look bad or even really bad.  Even the worst looking situations sometimes completely resolve.  I am sure everyone can think of times when it a situation looked impossible only to suddenly fix itself via some interesting routes that had not been considered previously.   Looking for the ways you are not stuck will actually help you get unstuck.  IME, always always spend as much time as possible looking for the directions that are open and the ways that are unstuck.  The more you look, the more you find of whatever it is you are looking for. so try your best to look for that which will help you. 

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5/30/14 12:56 AM as a reply to Not Tao.
Dear Not Tao,

I don't consider myself modest and I don't know anyone who does. If anything, I am known for my arrogance. Humility has never been my strong suit, to put it gently, so have no fear of having to interpret my statements in the light of some deceptive downplaying of effects or abilities. ;) This is also no attempt at anything like modesty or self-deprication but just a straightforward, honest assessment.

As to my emotional life, it is very human in nearly all practical ways, very as expected, and, while I can't be certain I can compare it to anyone else's internal emotional life with any degree of accuracy, my extrapolation is that most elements would be extremely familiar to most people. I feel all the emotions that I did before. There are, however, some important differences...

1) There are some temporal differences, something that my sound/electronic music background wants to label the "envelope" of the emotions, that being their rate of attack (arising), sustain, and decay (fading away). In general, the arising, sustaining and decaying all happen more rapidly than they did before, such that emotions tend to move through much more quickly, emotional resiliance is higher than it was (though it is hard to quantify how much higher), emotional resetting is much more rapid, it seems, and new emotions based on whatever is happening in that moment tend to move in to replace the older ones a lot more quickly, all in general terms and speaking in averages and trends.

2) The way emotions are perceived is really, really different. They are perceived much more clearly, much more immediately, much more vicerally, such that it is a lot easier to know what feeling is there in that instant than it was before. They are also perceived in this totally center-less way, such that the body and the feelings it feels are perceived where they are, not through the odd lens of some strange, imagined, centralized, moving, separate, localized self, perceiver, doer, etc. This also really helps, as they become just part of the full field of experience, and so contraction into them in that way that can cause so much lack of awareness of what else is going on around is basically impossible in the way it occurred before, and also, as a percentage of the field of manifestation, they thus occuply a substantially smaller portion of the total, which seems to proportionally reduce some aspect of their power. Imagine that whatever emotions you were feeling were weighted based on how much of the volume of room you were in that they took up: it is sort of like that, though not a perfect analogy.

3) There are situations that simply don't produce the same reactions that they did before, but trying to describe and categorize that is really hard. It simply doesn't fit into the standard, simplistic models. It also seems unpredictable. Some things that might be expected to produce strong emotional responses might suddenly be felt to shunt down some totally alternate and surprising pathway, whereas some other might just behave much more ordinarily. This all seems very situation and condition-specific and defies easy prediction. The flip side of that is that the emotions seem more accurate, more reflective of the situation, such that, whereas before I might have gotten angry when what I really should have felt was sadness, now I am more likely to feel the sadness. That said, I might now also feel anger more readily whereas before I might have felt fear or frustration, when the more honest emotion that really saw things clearly was anger. Similarly, if nothing is particularly wrong at that moment, there is much less tendency to feel anything other than that the moment is ok. In short, there is more immediacy to the thing.

4) There is a lot of stuff that simply doesn't arise in the way it did as, being as there is no longer any perceived or felt sense of the dualistic split, that of this and that, that of subject and object, the portion of the trouble that was caused by that perceptual distortion has stopped. I really wish I could give you more on that but it is really hard to do. Early on it was not quite as difficult to describe, as the memories available for comparison were much more fresh. Now, over 11 years out from that switch being thrown, I can't get a good bead on exactly what changed, not that it was anything resembling easy even when it had just happened. I do have a moderate amount of moderately good memories of the period when I was flipping between the two modes of perception, and when it went back to the dualistic way from the clear, non-dual way, it felt like my heart was broken from the loss of the clarity, ease, simplicity, elegance, and fundamental rightness of the non-dual way of perceiving things.

5) In some ways my feeling life is actually much stronger, much more full-range. I cry more easily and more often. I cry nearly every time I watch "Glee", for instance. I laugh more easily than I did before, though I have generally been pretty quick to laugh at things. I am more deeply aware of things like fear, anger, and the like, when they arise. As my meditation teacher Sharda Rogell once said to us, "Meditation is not about turning a human being into a stone, it is about turning a stone into a human being." It is sort of like the heart infuses the body, pervades the body, colors the body's portion of space with its its textures, its qualities.

6) The time thing really changes some aspects of stuff, as the pervading noticing that thoughts of present and future occur now transforms plenty of aspects of the function of emotions, as lots of emotional stuff is bound up in past and future, and, as those things are perceived as elements of right now, and proportionally those thoughts make up a really small amount of the field of experiential space, that helps a lot.

7) The grounding in the present moment that these perceptual transformations have produced also changes some important things about empathy. It at once makes it much easier to emphathize, for, as the proportions of feelings in the room or the space are more balanced, more open, more in proportion, and it also makes it more difficult to get unskillfully overwhelmed by empathy by the same basic perceptual proportional mechanism.

8) Then there is what occurred by cycling thousands and thousands of times through the cycles of insight while also maintaining high function regardless while doing things like post-graduate training and a pursuing very demanding career that basically gives no room for malfunction or down-time when you feel you need it except for extreme circumstances, such as major broken bones, funerals of close relatives, and the like. As it became totally normal to have things like Fear arise for no reason at all except that this was the insight stage that was presenting at the time, and for this to happen with basicaly all the other emotions as well, as the stages of insight basically take you on a tour of the whole range of the thing, up and down, round and round, that got me very used to functioning despite what the internal experiences were and also noticing that most of them were just cycle-dependent and most of the time not based on anything going on externally at all. Wait a few minutes, they pass, and something else marches in for no good reason at all: hard to take them as seriously when the system is mostly crying wolf many times a day. This skill-set is an essential one, and practicing it for years hard-wired a high degree of natural grace under pressure and grace under internal complexity, as most of that complexity was just the cycles, and the cycles are just the cycles and nothing more than that. It is like anything you get used to: it becomes much easier. I remember touring a hog-farm and being nearly overwhelmed by the smell. I asked one of the hog-farmers how they handled it, and he said, "I just got used to it. Now it just smells sort of sweet." It is not that all the phases of all cycles just smell sweet, but there was a great deal of habitual tolerance and lack of reactivity that built up as they just trundled through so many, many times.

9) The total flip side of that last point (and that may seem a total contradiction to it) is that the cycles of insight rotate though so rapidly, so often, that they bring up those current issues that are resonating on that emotional band when they do, that it is basically impossible to be particuly repressed when that happens. For example, as Re-Observation rotates through may times per day, sometimes a few times per hour, and that band is basically related to whatever your deepest, most sticky, most important dark stuff is at that time, then, as your key issues arise with that force so clearly, and then you get to see them and then flip to Equanimity shortly therafter on them, that does something really good. It is like some sort of purgative, some sort of cathartic: feel the worst and most compelling of your current crap, make peace with it shortly thereafter, be ok, repeat again and again and again. It has some sort of humanizing and yet cleansing effect. Vomit, feel lighter and better, repeat with the next thing worth vomiting up and out. It is a slightly extreme way to describe the thing, but the analogy has something in it, as it gets at its heart and gut side, its intimately emotional and powerful side, its viceral side. (Anyone reading this who might somehow take that and twist it into a rationalization for bulemia, please don't.)

9) Were you to ask my wife, Carol, how my emotional life is, she certainly wouldn't say anything like me being unperturbed 99.99% of the time, that is for certain, though I do think she would describe me as a happy and resiliant person in general terms. It is true that people at work, such as patients and staff, routinely comment on my unusual degree of cheeriness and voluminous positive energy, actually many times per day, though I do have my moments that are very much otherwise at times, as my job in the ER is a particularly stressful and taxing one, which does tend to show the limits of the transformations in a way that most people's lives wouldn't, as I see pain, illness, violence, staggering suffering, blood, vomit, chaos and death. The pressure to tend to all of that at extremely high speed hour after hour and often without food and breaks even to pee is like a great hammer and anvil pounding away at any delusion that there might be emotional sanitation or perfection.

10) That said, it is much easier to shift emotional and affective gears depending on what is happening around me, such that I might go from telling someone that their child just died, and the moments later be playing with some child and showing them how to listen to their heart with my stethoscope, and then dealing with some really anxious teenager who just tried to kill themselves, and then minutes later have to calmly deal with some bleary and beligerant consultant who I woke at 3am and they were not happy about that, and then be suddenly running a trauma which requires rapid, precise and very structured actions that need to happen one after the other, etc. It is a lot easier to do that now than it would have been earlier, I must say, though not always perfectly easy, as biology and neurochemistry do have their own time-tables and those must be taken into account.

11) Finally, in feeling the emotions, there is this weird space thing. It is quite hard to explain. It is like the feelings are there, and space is also there, and the feelings are part of space. This space component really takes out something of the suffering of even the strong emotions we might associate with unpleasantness, such as anger, fear and sadness. For example, space crying is very different from some sense of a limited self crying. Space being afraid is not nearly the same as some small sense of an isolated self being afraid. It is much easier, much better, much more clean in some way, more transparent, and also, oddly, much more clear. It is easy to imagine this as some sort of dissociation, but dissociation lacks the immediate clarity, the viceral richness, the integral intimacy, and instead is the opposite of those.

12) On careful reflection, the emotion that seems the most attenuated and least likely to arise is jealousy. This transformed mind is the thing, the most important thing to me, the thing of most value, the greatest accomplishment I can imagine, and so there is no obvious cause to be jealous of anyone who hasn't done it, as the comparison in terms of improvement is so stark vs how things were the other way, and for anyone who has done it, well, that is awesome, and so, on that one front, there is really something very different. Who would I be jealous of? Why? It is hard to fathom. Select elements of other people's lives, situations, possessions, bodies, etc. do have some appeal, as is only natural, but real jealousy? It is just not much a part of things these days. An important qualifier to that: my life is pretty good at the moment, and I know that we must be careful, as I can imagine situations that might cause stronger jealousy, such as me, say, becoming a quadraplegic with severe phantom pain and being in some ways jealous of everyone who wasn't in that situation, so take my saying this with a large grain of salt, realizing that it might be totally circumstantial, as I currently enjoy health and relative wealth.

Any of that useful?

RE: Elimination of Emotions [T DC] [MIGRATE]
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5/30/14 1:27 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
So is it expected that the cycling will continue for the rest of life?

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5/30/14 3:02 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
Any of that useful?

Very. The ability to feel fully and strongly, but without the personal-afflictive element, is a fine thing. It reminds me of the (brief) part of childhood when you're open and sensitive and true enough to feel life in a childlike way, but without being the least bit childish. It's actually reassuring to know that your style of practice leads to this, instead of dissociation or some sort of depersonalised numbness... which is something I'd been afraid of.

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5/30/14 5:38 AM as a reply to T DC.
T DC:
So, just thought I would update this thread as it has been a month.  Indeed the shift I experienced has held up.  The manic-ness faded after several days, however the insight did not..

I feel this issue needs some clarification.  Perhaps the title 'elimination' of emotions was not the most accuratly descriptive.  A better way to put it would be that emotional balance has been reached.

Eric M W posted that emotions are a human attribute, and to eliminate them would be ultimately undesirable.  This brings to mind a talk by Reggie Ray in which he said, 'when we talk about no-self, many people have an averse reaction to it, as they innately sense that their sense of self is not all bad, or to be blindly gotten rid of.  This is acurate, as in realizing no-self, we conversly come to find our true-selves' (paraphrasing).

So similarly, emotions indeed are natural, and important.  This attainment I have posted about is not the end of emotions, but instead the end of the grossly afflictive emotions; negative emotions connected with negative self-perception.

So really the state I am describing no
w is a balance rather than an absence.  As James Yen posted, the discussion of elimination of emotions is comlicated somehwat by the fact that spiritual progression is endless.  While I recognise this, at the same time certain benchmarks can be recognised. 

I feel that emotional balance is quite
often what is ultimately sought by spiritual seekers.   So to experience this firsthand, albeit quite far down a road of insight attainment (such that I had pretty much given up on it), it quite exciting, and perhaps can also serve to inspire some ideas of what is truly possible.


You can know pain without feeling it. Pain and any other emotion is just too much for your system that consciousness takes over, that is rebirth. Also when some unknown signal comes then consiousness takes over and you will have the selfcreated fantasy of the reality.

But thats true, pain will arise so long you have a mundane body. But also you have second body what is more durable for the signals what causes pain and most important it evovles and gets more powerful. That second body developes really slow and for most its nonexistent- it needs to be created, that body what people are using for obe's is illusion.

There is a gem within body and it is used to give birth to second body what is immortal.

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5/30/14 9:40 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
Dear Not Tao,

I don't consider myself modest and I don't know anyone who does. If anything, I am known for my arrogance. Humility has never been my strong suit, to put it gently, so have no fear of having to interpret my statements in the light of some deceptive downplaying of effects or abilities. ;) This is also no attempt at anything like modesty or self-deprication but just a straightforward, honest assessment.

As to my emotional life, it is very human in nearly all practical ways, very as expected, and, while I can't be certain I can compare it to anyone else's internal emotional life with any degree of accuracy, my extrapolation is that most elements would be extremely familiar to most people. I feel all the emotions that I did before. There are, however, some important differences...


So a lot of people on this forum are obsessed with "arhantship" and see it as a solution as to all their problems. so its interesting to see what might be special about it. But it doesn't seem so special to me! (practically speaking..) A few statements about perceptual experience which are "Danielesque", but the rest...Getting better at your job, a heighted awareness of fluctuations of mood (or, alternatively, "cycles of insight"), increased emotional resiliance, a reduction in neuroticism, a reduction in emotional repression, increased emotional clarity. Good things, yes, and the kinds of thing I am looking for in a spiritual path. But these things, broadly speaking, are things that I expect to occur (or would hope to happen, optimistically speaking) as a function of getting older, and getting wiser, but with spiritual practices making them more likely. So I find the notion of flip switching implausible, but growing wiser and older, yes, sounds reasonable....

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5/30/14 11:20 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
I am saying something along the lines of these, with none being quite right, but all getting at the thing:

You can say that all sensations have a volumetric component, and also that all occur as part of some textured, colored, fluxing volume.

It is as if space and the qualities of space are the same thing, parts of the same thing.

No sensation can arise without having some spacial aspect to it.

The sense of the fluxing and transient volume we call "space" itself seems only actually created by the many flickering, ephemeral sensations that imply it.

Taken together, these get at what I am trying to convey.

It is not particularly that space has emotions, or that emotions are the colorations and textures of space, as that would seem to imply two things, when experientially it is something much more integrated than that, intrinsic.

Were one to experience water, one would be hard pressed to separate out its color, wetness, the space it occupies, and temperature from the notion of thing itself? So, while this language would seem to imply artificial divisions, in the experience they do not occur.

I also definitely imply no hyperspace, as it is the artificially created sense of a hyperspace that allows some portion of things to imagine division, duality, an illusory self that is perpetually on "this side" of every act of perception.

When the volume is known to be totally integrated, hyperspacial illusions resolve to just what is going on in this space, or as part of the space, or as making up the space, something like that. It is so much simpler that way and resolves many otherwise baffling apparent paradoxes.

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5/30/14 12:07 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
One more aspect to the thing worth mentioning: there is substantially less mental chatter and a lot more nice and peaceful mental silence. It is not that thoughts don't occur or anything like that, but there is this sense of quiet to things that is different from before. This was a general trend for a long time in meditation and not something that happened all at once, obviously.

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5/30/14 4:14 PM as a reply to Migration 6.2 Daemon.
RE: Elimination of Emotions [T DC]
The write up disappeared will have another go when not doing it from my kindle, great thread with some detailed responses
Thx
Jeff

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5/30/14 9:17 PM as a reply to sawfoot _.
Sawfoot, you ask what is the point of arhatship/enlightenment, beyond seemingly arbitrary emoltional shifts.  This is a Damn Good Question.

Frankly, I think now looking at this thread that a focus on emotional attenuation, or emotional perfection is a distraction from the greater issue and the reason the path exists.  While painfull emotion clearly is a motivation for people to practice, we need to remember the core reason why we're on this path.

While attainment may have the function of reducing emotional misaprehension and pain, this is merely symptomatic of a greater perceptual shift, and to focus exclusively on it is to miss out on the core change occuring.

The core of attainment, what attainment is, is direct aprehension of the empty nature of phenomena, of the way things truly appear.  What is realized upon attainment is expressly a new level of perception of the empty, or non-dualistic nature of reality.

Truly, enlightenment is complete non-dual experience.  What occurs to your emotions is somewhat of a byproduct. 

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5/31/14 2:16 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel, thank you for giving such a detailed answer. emoticon This has definately helped clear things up. I don't think I misread what you've said in your book now.

I wonder if you could answer a few more questions for me. I'm curious if you can remember why you began this whole process, and if it brought you what you were looking for. I understand the whole concept of non-dual awakening as a kind of "meaning of life" persuit, but that really wasn't what's drawn me into Buddhism. In fact, your book was the first place I saw such an emphasis on it after I began looking into Buddhism a number of months ago when I began having meditation experiences.

Another question is why you don't believe/distrust people like Tarin, Richard, Nikolai, and Gary Weber - they've all described either complete attenuation of emotional problems, or a near-perfect emotional experience. I understand being skeptical of claims of perfection, but even if it isn't perfect, it still sounds much closer to what buddhist scriptures are promising than what you've described. I don't mean to be rude here, I'm just curious if you see your attainment as preferable for some reason, or if you simply don't believe it's possible to improve your situation from where it is currenty (or maybe you're trying new methods and I'm just ignorant of your current practice).

Lastly, since you were trying Actual Freedom methods for a while, I'm wondering if you could describe what PCEs were like in your experience. Did you ever achieve a clear emotionless state that had a background of "sweetness" and contentment or was it a more sensory experience that you were persuing? I ask this mainly because the descriptions you used in your report on your actualist practices seemed to be different from what I'm experiencing, so I'd like to compare in more detail.

Thank you again for the detailed response, and I understand if I'm prying too deeply here, but I've been thinking about these things for a while. I think it would help me understand my own practice better to get your opinions and answers on these things.

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5/31/14 2:34 AM as a reply to T DC.
T DC:
Frankly, I think now looking at this thread that a focus on emotional attenuation, or emotional perfection is a distraction from the greater issue and the reason the path exists.  While painfull emotion clearly is a motivation for people to practice, we need to remember the core reason why we're on this path. 


These kinds of statements have been the biggest source of my confusion while wandering these forums. Buddhism is about stress, dukkha, suffering, whatever you want to call it. The Buddha was looking for an escape from samsara, and the only way that would be possible would be if there was, literally, nothing he could ever want. To me this points to complete contentment - a mind that can smile in the face of any possible adversity so that, at the time of death, there would be no possibility of rebirth.

Personally, I don't give much credence to buddhist cosmology, but I just don't see how you all could spend time with buddhism, and then say stress and emotions aren't relevant to the goal. Maybe it would be better to say you guys are hindus or neo-advianists or something to help avoid confusion when people come here looking to end their suffering and stress. Whenever I've encountered buddhism in the past, it has always focused on emotions. Even the scriptures seem completely preocupied with them. End of the day, there is no other reason I have for persuing Buddhist meditation than to end stress.  It is the core reason - the ONLY reason - I'm practicing. I have zero interest in religious or philosophical truths...

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5/31/14 12:09 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Not Tao:
T DC:
Frankly, I think now looking at this thread that a focus on emotional attenuation, or emotional perfection is a distraction from the greater issue and the reason the path exists.  While painfull emotion clearly is a motivation for people to practice, we need to remember the core reason why we're on this path. 


These kinds of statements have been the biggest source of my confusion while wandering these forums. Buddhism is about stress, dukkha, suffering, whatever you want to call it. The Buddha was looking for an escape from samsara, and the only way that would be possible would be if there was, literally, nothing he could ever want. To me this points to complete contentment - a mind that can smile in the face of any possible adversity so that, at the time of death, there would be no possibility of rebirth.

Personally, I don't give much credence to buddhist cosmology, but I just don't see how you all could spend time with buddhism, and then say stress and emotions aren't relevant to the goal. Maybe it would be better to say you guys are hindus or neo-advianists or something to help avoid confusion when people come here looking to end their suffering and stress. Whenever I've encountered buddhism in the past, it has always focused on emotions. Even the scriptures seem completely preocupied with them. End of the day, there is no other reason I have for persuing Buddhist meditation than to end stress.  It is the core reason - the ONLY reason - I'm practicing. I have zero interest in religious or philosophical truths...

I'm not saying we should practice instead based on a purely religious motivation, like becoming free of the cycle of rebirth or to become a 10th buhmi boddhisatva and gain miraculous powers.  What I am saying is that the core issue which is resolved via attainment is our false idea of a seperate self.

Here is my basic argument:
- Lasting mental change on the path is soley the result of attainment.
-Attainment is the progressive realisation of non-duality.
- Thus, while emotional attenuation/ balance may be a driving motivation, it is important to consider that insight into emptiness/ non-duality is the only sure thing that will result from attainment, and as progressive attainment is the only source of permenant mental change, it is very helpfull to aline your goals to reflect this.  A practice driven soley by disdain for negative emiotions is not wholly in line with the ultimate goal.  Instead one needs to be striving for the state of non-duality, which does conversely eradicate much emotional pain.

Why does this matter?  Because when people base their practice and judge their level of attainment soley on the basis of how they experience their emotions, they are missing out on the core reason why the path must be traveled.  We suffer due to our bought illusion of seperation from the world.  The goal is the eradication of duality, the experience of complete oneness.  This feeling in and of itself is greatly blissfull, it is the fulfillment of what has been missing from our lives.  Suddenly we are home every moment, in union with all of experience.

So to rehash, my basic point is that the core of the path is overcoming non-duality.  This process consequentially produces emotional balance/ the attenuation of neuroses.  To strive soley for emotional balance is to deviate slightly from the genuine goal.  As perhaps need be said, attainment is a universal process that all experience in the same way.  Thus one cannot realize whatever one specifically wants to realize, instead one need realize a universal truth, one that is innately true, and will not bend for personal needs and desires.  We're all in the same situation here, we all need to realize the same thing.  And while emotional attenuation is a part of this, the most basic and obvious way to describe realization/ attainment is progressive insight into non-dualitiy, and the emptiness of concept.

RE: Elimination of Emotions [T DC] [MIGRATE]
Answer
5/31/14 12:36 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Not Tao:


Lastly, since you were trying Actual Freedom methods for a while, I'm wondering if you could describe what PCEs were like in your experience. Did you ever achieve a clear emotionless state that had a background of "sweetness" and contentment or was it a more sensory experience that you were persuing? I ask this mainly because the descriptions you used in your report on your actualist practices seemed to be different from what I'm experiencing, so I'd like to compare in more detail.

Thank you again for the detailed response, and I understand if I'm prying too deeply here, but I've been thinking about these things for a while. I think it would help me understand my own practice better to get your opinions and answers on these things.

I know I'm not Daniel, but I thought I would reply to this.  In my personal experience a PCE is a temporary experience of enlightenment.  I had such an experience before I began meditation (which provided the spark to get me started meditating), and later reading the description of a PCE, it seemed clear that it was what they were describing.  A PCE has no seperation from the world, everything is innately perfect, there are no emotions, just an overwhellming feeling of positivity..  Very much I believe what AF describes as PCE is known in Buddism as a temporary enlightenment experience.

This means in essence that AF is on the right track, it has a genuine an true vision of the ultimate final state, and it strives to work towards it.  However, in my experience the attainment of this state of complete non-duality differs somewhat from temporary experiences of it.

Temporary experiences of enlightenment (PCE) are intrinsically very exciting and positive.  If PCE's were all one had to go off, one might conclude that final enlightenment itself is a totally blissfull positive experience 24/7.  However, when one actually reaches enlightenement, while one aspect of it is unceasing bliss and a ceaselessly new/novel experience, it should be made clear that there is more to it. 

I think part of what makes PCE's so blissfull is the fact that as one has not fully transceded the lower state of dulusion/seperation consiousness, into which we are all born, the experience of the PCE is experienced as a glimpse of a higher state.  It could be said that as it occurs it is almost subcounsiously contrasted with the pain of the seperation one naturally feels, and thus this wholly open and free experience, every moment new and fresh, is percieved to be absoluty wonderful!  Beyond our wildest dreams!  It is so much better than our everyday state of mind, it is such an intense contrast that naturally it seems to be the absolute epitome of bliss.

When one reaches enlightenement permenantly, via the long road of attianment, it is no less blissfull.  However, it is also not so much of a shock.  Having progressed gradually in attainment, one's experience has been progressively weaned into the state of full enlightenement.  It is not that having experienced much enlightenement already, one's experience of the ultimate is jaded.  It is simply that when ultimate reality becomes your waking reality, and samsaric mind is far behind, a permenant fixture of the past, one begins to notice the subtulties of enlightened experience, and it is here that the idea of further progression arises.

In essence, in the PCE, one is entirely overwhellmed by the enlightened experience, and subsequently attributes such as no-emotion, of always being totally blissfull may be ascribed to the goal of final enlightenement.  However when experienceing full enlightenment first hand as a lasting state subtlties are perceeved, and the opportunity for further spiritual progression is aknowledged.

Hopefully this discussion may clear up some of the confusion regarding enlightenement as final state, but also one in which further progression is possible/ unavoidable.  While enlightenement does indeed live up to the hype, and it is the ultimate final state of oneness, paradaoxily spiritual progression is endless, even after having reached a state of complete union with experience.

RE: Elimination of Emotions [T DC] [MIGRATE]
Answer
5/31/14 12:48 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Not Tao:
T DC:
Frankly, I think now looking at this thread that a focus on emotional attenuation, or emotional perfection is a distraction from the greater issue and the reason the path exists.  While painfull emotion clearly is a motivation for people to practice, we need to remember the core reason why we're on this path. 


These kinds of statements have been the biggest source of my confusion while wandering these forums. Buddhism is about stress, dukkha, suffering, whatever you want to call it. The Buddha was looking for an escape from samsara, and the only way that would be possible would be if there was, literally, nothing he could ever want. To me this points to complete contentment - a mind that can smile in the face of any possible adversity so that, at the time of death, there would be no possibility of rebirth.

Personally, I don't give much credence to buddhist cosmology, but I just don't see how you all could spend time with buddhism, and then say stress and emotions aren't relevant to the goal. Maybe it would be better to say you guys are hindus or neo-advianists or something to help avoid confusion when people come here looking to end their suffering and stress. Whenever I've encountered buddhism in the past, it has always focused on emotions. Even the scriptures seem completely preocupied with them. End of the day, there is no other reason I have for persuing Buddhist meditation than to end stress.  It is the core reason - the ONLY reason - I'm practicing. I have zero interest in religious or philosophical truths...

And I'm the opposite - I'm just looking to end the illusion of a separate self. I don't know that I'm a "Buddhist," but I feel safe in saying I'm not a Neo-Advaitist. But I do think that will lead to decreased suffering and stress. I think it's unlikely that anyone could completely eliminate them - as Daniel is always saying, the sutras are full of arahats experiencing suffering or stress in the common sense of the word.

I find the teaching of the Three Trainings to be helpful here. The emotional stuff is all covered under sila, the first Training, which is endless. But to do that kind of integration work it helps to have some insight to integrate... why not become an arahat first and then use that as a springboard for the emotional changes you want to make? Finish the third Training and use that to help towards reducing suffering in the first Training sense.

As I see it, suffering or dukkha in the context of the third Training has a specific meaning - the stress of maintaining a separate self. That's the stress that gets eliminated, not the stress or emotional struggles of everyday life.

RE: Elimination of Emotions [T DC] [MIGRATE]
Answer
6/1/14 2:04 AM as a reply to T DC.
T D:

I'm not saying we should practice instead based on a purely religious motivation, like becoming free of the cycle of rebirth or to become a 10th buhmi boddhisatva and gain miraculous powers.  What I am saying is that the core issue which is resolved via attainment is our false idea of a seperate self.

Here is my basic arCgument:
- Lasting mental change on the path is soley the result of attainment.
-Attainment is the progressive realisation of non-duality.
- Thus, while emotional attenuation/ balance may be a driving motivation, it is important to consider that insight into emptiness/ non-duality is the only sure thing that will result from attainment, and as progressive attainment is the only source of permenant mental change, it is very helpfull to aline your goals to reflect this.  A practice driven soley by disdain for negative emiotions is not wholly in line with the ultimate goal.  Instead one needs to be striving for the state of non-duality, which does conversely eradicate much emotional pain.

Why does this matter?  Because when people base their practice and judge their level of attainment soley on the basis of how they experience their emotions, they are missing out on the core reason why the path must be traveled.  We suffer due to our bought illusion of seperation from the world.  The goal is the eradication of duality, the experience of complete oneness.  This feeling in and of itself is greatly blissfull, it is the fulfillment of what has been missing from our lives.  Suddenly we are home every moment, in union with all of experience.


While this is lovely in theory, it does't seem to be true in practice. Realizing anatta doesn't seem to have a great deal of impact on the emotions according to the 4th pathers on here. It provides a bit of distance, and it makes emotions less "sticky" maybe, but it seems like the practice also introduces new emotional problems with the cycling. I've already gotten to "less sticky" emotions with my practice in acceptance. While I can't claim it's time tested, it's made such a large difference I feel it's right to call it an "attainment". I don't have any kind of cycling I can notice. The change that happened was directly related to the elimination of emotions - they are lass sticky because they simply don't have much strength anymore.

Maybe this really is somehow related to the idea of non-duality, but I can't help but feel I'm on a very different path from what's discussed here - and it's actually working and moving towards my goal. I say all this to point out you may be wrong in thinking that all development is related to non-duality - or maybe non-duality covers many different ideas, and I'm working from a completely different angle. Either way, it might not be true to say that the path you've followed is the only path/best path/fastest path, especially when it doesn't seem to give the results I'm hoping for. I'll let you guys know if I get somewhere good someday, though. Maybe I can offer another angle of practice.

RE: Elimination of Emotions [T DC] [MIGRATE]
Answer
6/1/14 2:12 AM as a reply to Not Tao.
Mmm, no, no, realizing anatta in practice helps with lessening dukkha greatly, so to speak. The anatta thing is hard to perceive and closely bound up with suffering. If you pursue actual, legitimate, non-duality, your suffering WILL come to an end.

RE: Elimination of Emotions [T DC] [MIGRATE]
Answer
6/1/14 2:19 AM as a reply to T DC.
Referring to T DC's post about the PCE: I'm not sure we are referring to the same experience with this word. The state that I've been working with isn't blissful (as in, jhanas) it is simply restful. There are no emotions and no possibility that emotions would arise. I have been wondering if that immersion into the senses is what people are referring to as "non-dual" or centerlessness, but it does't feel like that to me. Mostly I'm struck by how ordinary everything is, and how nice it is that everything can just be ordinary.

As far as I've seen, resting in this state does cause rapid changes - they've been suprisingly rapid in my recent experience. Perhaps the road of attainment isn't so much a shortcut as a different route entierly that ends at a particular base came that shares some of the experience of the PCE. This is all just speculations, though, and I feel like I'm rambling about nothing very important at this point...

RE: Elimination of Emotions [T DC] [MIGRATE]
Answer
6/1/14 3:22 AM as a reply to Not Tao.
Sometimes there really is just nothing to talk about. Seriously.

Other than that, back to the point about how non-duality or anatta leads to the end of suffering. It does, yes. In my experience, seeing the aggregates for what they are: not me, not mine and subsequently letting go of them produces powerful experiences of no-self, that are somehow linked to ending suffering.

In the canonical definition of the Four Noble Truths the Buddha sums up suffering as being:

"In other words, the five aggregates of clinging."

Letting go of which would be the end of suffering.

Believing that emotions are the cause of suffering is a red herring, they are not, and once again, trying to eliminate emotions is like trying to scrub a dirty plate, you will always find something dirty about it.

Peace.

RE: Elimination of Emotions [T DC] [MIGRATE]
Answer
6/1/14 6:58 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Not Tao:
T D:

I'm not saying we should practice instead based on a purely religious motivation, like becoming free of the cycle of rebirth or to become a 10th buhmi boddhisatva and gain miraculous powers.  What I am saying is that the core issue which is resolved via attainment is our false idea of a seperate self.

Here is my basic arCgument:
- Lasting mental change on the path is soley the result of attainment.
-Attainment is the progressive realisation of non-duality.
- Thus, while emotional attenuation/ balance may be a driving motivation, it is important to consider that insight into emptiness/ non-duality is the only sure thing that will result from attainment, and as progressive attainment is the only source of permenant mental change, it is very helpfull to aline your goals to reflect this.  A practice driven soley by disdain for negative emiotions is not wholly in line with the ultimate goal.  Instead one needs to be striving for the state of non-duality, which does conversely eradicate much emotional pain.

Why does this matter?  Because when people base their practice and judge their level of attainment soley on the basis of how they experience their emotions, they are missing out on the core reason why the path must be traveled.  We suffer due to our bought illusion of seperation from the world.  The goal is the eradication of duality, the experience of complete oneness.  This feeling in and of itself is greatly blissfull, it is the fulfillment of what has been missing from our lives.  Suddenly we are home every moment, in union with all of experience.


While this is lovely in theory, it does't seem to be true in practice. Realizing anatta doesn't seem to have a great deal of impact on the emotions according to the 4th pathers on here. It provides a bit of distance, and it makes emotions less "sticky" maybe, but it seems like the practice also introduces new emotional problems with the cycling. I've already gotten to "less sticky" emotions with my practice in acceptance. While I can't claim it's time tested, it's made such a large difference I feel it's right to call it an "attainment". I don't have any kind of cycling I can notice. The change that happened was directly related to the elimination of emotions - they are lass sticky because they simply don't have much strength anymore.

Maybe this really is somehow related to the idea of non-duality, but I can't help but feel I'm on a very different path from what's discussed here - and it's actually working and moving towards my goal. I say all this to point out you may be wrong in thinking that all development is related to non-duality - or maybe non-duality covers many different ideas, and I'm working from a completely different angle. Either way, it might not be true to say that the path you've followed is the only path/best path/fastest path, especially when it doesn't seem to give the results I'm hoping for. I'll let you guys know if I get somewhere good someday, though. Maybe I can offer another angle of practice.
To be frank, this is not just my theory, it is in some sense Buddhism 101.  As James Yen mentioned, the eradication of suffering by means of non-dual attainment is exactly what the Buddha laid out in the 4 Noble Truths.

As for the descrepancy between the experience of those of 4th path, and what I have written above, it is key here to remember that 4th path is just an initial step on the path to realizing complete non-duality.  Indeed emotions are not greatly affected after 4th path, and it takes much more practice and attainment before significant reduction in disturbing emotions is achieved. 

You say you are on another path, and in this I am not going to argue against you.  To each their own and I wish you the best.  At the same time I see little potential in a path that does not aknowledge the experience of non-duality as a goal.  Truly the core issue as I see it is the notion we are seperate.  From this arises the painful emotions.

I know you're doing your own thing, and I don't want to argue it with you especially, however I do feel it's appropriate to give my own opinion.  Reflecting on the path I traveled, I had no control over what I acheved, I simple came to recognise the truth that already inherantly exists.  It is this that gives me great conviction that the ultimate goal or realization shall be the same for all of us.  Afterall, from the ultimate perspective, from my view of life, we are innately indivisible.  While unique individuals, we are all inherantly inseperable from all that is.  The ultimate goal is to realise we are all one, how could we reach seperate goals?!  Thus, for two people to travel two different roads to two different goals is impossible.  Two different roads to the same goal however, much more likely.  At any rate good luck on your quest.

RE: Elimination of Emotions [T DC] [MIGRATE]
Answer
6/1/14 11:27 PM as a reply to T DC.
When this field of experience is known as it is, when the perceptual field is integrated, when the last little thing flips over and the final illusory knot is untied, it could definitely be described as free of the sense of separation in one sense.

However, consider, if you will, the emotional implications of that. Consider what is now not subject to a sense of a split and what it is not now split from.

It is easy, when we dream of freedom, when we dream of emancipation, to dream of a total lack of connection somehow in this non-separateness, and yet, while this hits the emptiness side of the equation hard, we forget the compassion side, the intimacy side of things not being split off.

Consider what you would feel if you suddenly knew that you were totatlly interconnected to this world, this field, this time, this place, this planet, this civilization, this town, this community, this family, etc.

How is all of that doing these days? Think about that for a minute and consider that side of the equation also, as both the emptiness and the compassion sides come into play.

The heart side of the thing is so easy to forget in the male-dominated, meditation technique-heavy, esoteric world that is so tempting, like another subtle dodge, like a sneaky back door that only the smat kids in the club know about, but the heart side is there also as we bring it with us wherever we go. Serious advice: if you haven't seen them yet, see go Frozen and Maleficent and consider the messages therein about the heart.

RE: Elimination of Emotions [T DC] [MIGRATE]
Answer
6/2/14 12:36 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
I remember a long time ago, I had an experience when I was dreaming that I was somewhere in some dark place.  At first I only knew that I was there but over time, I realized there also was a feeling of a very strong energy coursing through me.  It felt very intense and after a while, I noticed that there was some variation to the intensity, like a slight change from one type to another.  So I paid more attention to the energy and the differences and over time I realized/remembered suddenly that one variation of the energy was called pleasure and the other variation was called pain.  And I was so surprised! I was surprised because from the one perspective, they are very similar things, basically just some kind of intensity, but from another perspective, the one we have here, they were looked at totally differently.  Yet they were the same thing!  I still don't feel I understand all of what that experience was trying to tell me, but I suspect part of it is saying that so very much of any experience and your interpretation of that experience depends on your perspective.  In that experience, both pleasure and pain where both just intense energy and from that perspective, neither one was preferable over the other and neither was good nor bad.