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Droll Log Reboot
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11/7/14 6:04 AM
I'm rebooting my log to keep up my motivation to finish MCTB arhatship. My last log left off after I attained what I evaluated as 2nd path.

In no particular order, here are some noteworthy highlights of my practice lately:

I've gone through more cycles and shifts in perception than I can recall. I don't remember what shift did it, but it seems I'm in anagami territory now. Experience has an immediately obvious sense of happening-on-its-own-ness. In particular, after a few of these perceptual shifts, before I adjusted, talking and driving seemed almost alarmingly out of my control. It's difficult to explain the perceptual shifts without repeating the usual phrases used around here: luminous, aware-where-it-is, happening-on-its-own-ness, emptiness, etc. I can say that referring to 'emptiness' or 'luminosity' as a thing makes no sense to me now.

I've been having intense kriyas practically every day for the past few months. I do neo-Reichian/Bioenergetic exercises a couple times a week, so how much the kriyas can be attributed to meditation I have no idea. I'm more relaxed overall, but I still have many muscular tensions: mainly my upper chest and up, and my pelvic floor. My legs, pelvis, thighs, ankles, lower back, diaphragm, abdomen, and intercostal muscles are significantly less tense, and so my breathing is much deeper and easier. Orgasms are now commonly felt in various places in my body, and sometimes full-bodied.

I've done a bit of experimenting with kasinas, the colored discs and a candle flame. I find that concentration is much easier than it was pre-3rd and MUCH easier than it was pre-SE. Previously, narrowing my attention felt so obviously contrived and irritating that I would usually make an excuse to do insight. I've improved at deepening jhanas without needless effort and contraction. Concentration is still my weak point, but I can access the first 8 jhanas fairly reliably.

A few weeks ago my sleeping schedule was all kinds of messed up, so I was trying to stay up all night to correct it (it's still messed up). Over night I watched Kenneth's video on the Direct Path, and I was practicing his technique of grounding anxiety in the body. I practiced that on and off for an hour or two, and then did some concentration and entered into deeper jhanas than I was used to experiencing. When morning came around, I went to get breakfast at Chik-Fil-A to keep myself awake. As I walked outside, I was already feeling grateful and refreshed from the jhanas, and then the bright, nice, breezy day really took me by surprise. While driving I tuned into the simple pleasantness of the sights and entered into a state that seems to match the description of a light PCE, EE, or whatever. All the sights were fascinating, and I felt content in a very strange way; I felt simply satisfied with the ordinary sensations in an extraordinarily low-stress way. I remember staring at a greasy chicken nugget glistening in the sunlight for longer than is socially acceptable. The only dissatisfaction I was aware of was the realization that the state would pass, but even that didn't seem to bother me. The state faded over the next couple hours. My actualism interest has been piqued, so after MCTB 4th that's probably my next endeavor. I'm especially interested in how PCEs will interact with my physical practices, and, AFAIK, there isn't much data on this so I'm eager to see.

A couple days ago I was in a mild Misery nana, so I started messing with entering jhanas w/ the witness as a sort of refuge. The states weren't particularly pleasurable, just relatively restful and stable, which was a relief. I was feeling around in formless territory, trying to get a closer look at the 8th, when I felt a surprising shift: the focus seemed to zoom a few inches in front of my face similar to the A&P, and then there was a simultaneous widening and boundarylessness like 5th, and the center was strobing in synch with attention like the A&P, except the vibrations were much more subtle and it felt a lot lighter. I was very surprised and was immediately wondering wtf jhana I had just entered. I thought it might be a Pure Land, but I expected the Pure Lands to be more pleasurable and rarefied. Weird fusion jhana?

I came across an old post by Chuck Kasmire
There is an experience that tends to happen around mid third-path called 'The Terror'. The experience tends to be scary for most as it feels like you just sortof disappear all of a sudden and maybe won't come back (kind of like losing your mind). There is just a sense of boundless awareness present with phenomena (including your body and what it is doing). It comes and goes and is not at all subtle. It can happen at any time –not just in meditation and does not interrupt what ever is happening (like driving). Over time you get used to it. Don't know if this fits but you are in the right stage for it.

This has been happening to me lately. I was hugely relieved to read it. I thought I might have really been on the edge of losing it a few times.

On the insight front, I notice a few subtle exceptions to the clarity of the rest of the Field. I notice a clenching and lack of clarity in my heart area. The back of the head seems to 'author' subtle thought, and the front of the head seems to cause attention to be directed. Seeing through this has proved frustratingly elusive, but I think Daniel's advice here may prove fruitful
For those anagamis, meaning those for whom emptiness/luminosity/centerless means something tangible and obvious in real-time as a baseline of perception who yet have not finishedthe thing up: keep looking at the subtle sensations that make up thecenter, emptiness, luminosity, space, perception, awareness, investigation, with particular attention to not avoiding pain and the tension that subtly lurks in the last false knot-process of dualistic illusion-making. Do this again and again until you are so sick of the cycles that your mind sees something just after a Fruition that untangles the knot and the last apparent duality of emptiness and form. The Three Characteristics are still key, but pay attention to how reality re-assembles itself after each Fruition, as there is something important to be learned from what happens and noticing that each of these processes are themselves empty, transient, etc.

I notice that I've been subtly avoiding and flinching around the remaining distortion in my head. I've also never taken the time to pay attention to the entrance and exit of Fruitions. I plan on following Nikolai's advice to resolve to slow down the entrance and exit.

This territory has been really slippery; I've finished cycles and thought that I was done or reallyclosetodone, I've gone off on tangents, almost freaked out at times, been quasi-manic at times, overly complacent at times, etc. For these reasons I've been hesitant to keep a journal. But, I notice there's a lack of anagami-to-arhat journals around so I figure this may help someone. And, I appreciate the wisdom of the e-sangha, and the motivation that a journal can bring. All comments welcome.

RE: Droll Log Reboot
Answer
11/9/14 2:31 PM as a reply to Dada Kind.
After I posted the OP, I started feeling intense sensations of hot/cold in my heart, upper chest, and shoulders. It felt as if a thick liquid were flowing around. And, my upper arms were having muscle spasms. I was having strange perceptual changes with my eyes open. The changes are hard to describe, but here's an example: it seemed suddenly like my hand was very far away (I've had a similar effect on pot). If I had to guess, I'd say I was dipping into formless realms with my eyes open.

Yesterday I seemed to be in the DN most of the day, with an emphasis on Misery (jaw, neck, and face tight, back of eyes irritating, whole body restless, sensations around center hard to see clearly, existential frustration, etc). Misery seems to be my sticking point. Unfortunately, I didn't channel that Misery into precise practice... I spent hours researching intellectual topics. Although I discovered some neat new things (few books on process philosophy, embodied cognition, Bayesian probability as an extension of logic), the sense of existential drivenness the whole time was frustrating to say the least.

I did have one content-ey insight yesterday. I realized that I had a hasty evaluation that Negative Emotion = Bad. I remembered that Daniel said in MCTB that some people enjoy the Fear nana for its thrills. I realized that I should always try to enjoy (in some way) or see the opportunity in negative emotions. At the moment, it's hard for me to see an upside to Misery.

Back to precise practice...

RE: Droll Log Reboot
Answer
11/15/14 4:34 PM as a reply to Dada Kind.
Eventful week dharmawise...

Shortly after my last post I finished what seemed to be some kind of subcycle. It took 2 hours from what seemed to be the 3Cs stage, to fruition. The Desire for Deliverance and ReOb stages were exceptionally intense. I remembered reading Jenny say that Dan updated the D4D section in MCTB2 to emphasize tuning into the visceral, deep deeeep down feeling of wanting it all to end. This seemed to work remarkably well, and I believe it hastened ReOb. After I got my fruition, I tried to call up more and slow down the entrances and exits, and 'lengthen the reboot' (thx Nikolai). I had some success with this, but I called up too many fruitions, and my mind became too powerful to handle skillfully. I tried going to sleep, but every time I layed my head down I would sink into fairly hard jhanas on seemingly random objects. Finally, I drifted into a hypnagogic state, and then I felt a huge surge of energy in my solar plexus (don't know if this happened or was a dream) and became certain that I had overdone it and my marbles were in jeopardy. I had to rouse myself awake, force my eyes to stay open, and try to force myself not to turn everything into a jhana. Took me another hour or so to sleep. Lesson learned.

The next few days I felt very weird, very off. Lots of feeling vaguely uneasy, lots of weird energetic raptures. For example, I had fairly pleasurable raptures in my right thigh for about 15 minutes. Weird. I kept feeling 'energetic blocks' give, and then it felt like I could 'taste' the block as it dissolved. This has been going on for awhile now. Shinzen says in one video that one can develop a 'taste of purification', but I thought he was being completely metaphorical and never made the connection with this experience till now. At first I literally thought that I was somehow tasting or smelling something, like, I thought I was smoking too much and I was tasting/smelling my lungs clearing up, but it's not even that. Sometimes when a 'block' dissolves it seems to 'taste' dusty, which is a weird way of describing it. At other times I've 'smelled/tasted' something sweet, and have asked if my girlfriend sprayed something. It is apparently not actually tasting or smelling, but seems to be some weird sense analogous to those. This all sounds bizarre.

Watching formless realms vibrate is seriously disconcerting. I was in the 7th, IIRC, and started to let it vibrate. Even a part of it vibrating was disconcerting, but soon the whole thing started to vibrate and I felt something start to give, then I felt an instant reaction of fear and clutching in my heart. This has happened several times before. It seems like my heart has serious misgivings about this noself business.

The other day I was playing with kasinas again, but became frustrated at how tense my body would become as I got deeper, and my inability to stabilize any jhana when focusing on the nimitta. It dawned on me that I was applying far too much effort to force jhanas, so I've been trying a Letting Go approach (thx Nikolai). This seems to be a whole lot more relaxing. Last night I was hanging out in the formless realms again, but this time I was letting the jhana deepen itself, and only applying gentle effort to watch processes that seemed to be apart from the jhana. This seemed to work wonders. I was deep in 7th-8th territory, like, disconcertingly deep when I experienced a surprising shift start. The shift and what followed was so unlike anything else I've experienced that trying to explain it seems futile. Anyway, from my notes:
Shifted into something unlike anything I've experienced. Focus was wide, but not quite boundless, and the light behind my eyes became very bright, like a foggy white, suffusing the whole field in front. My body got very hot and my eyelids started fluttering intensely. The transition to the state was subtle and unlike anything else I've ever experienced; very scary at first.
There were other qualities present, but it was all too surprising to really get a good look at it. I stayed in it for only a couple minutes before I became too disconcerted and bailed. PL, fusion jhana? Like my last similar experience, I still have no idea

A few hours later I was reading articles about actualism and the PCE on the Hamilton Project (thx again Nikolai). I dabbled with a bunch of techniques, so I don't know which one did it but... After asking HAIETMOBA several times it started to seem I could tune into this direct mode thingie. I remembered Kenneth's plug-the-leak metaphor, and I started to do so all over the energy body, with particular attention to the arising of affect. Soon affect became very subtle and attenuated from the heart down. The throat/head leaks came last, and after a few minutes of that perception became very direct. It seemed like the central energy channel stopped spewing affect, and became much more.. quiet and integrated. The visual field seemed significantly more direct, less chopped up, but not really wonderous or pristine (I only had a glowing laptop screen to look at, fwiw). I tried inclining to jhana, and felt this direct mode thing start to disappear, so I stopped and reinforced the direct mode again. What came next really convinced me this wasn't all scripting...

So, for the past few months I've been able to allow kriyas to develop practically any time by tuning into my spine, relaxing around it, and surrendering. I let the shaking and jerking go on for a minute or two, then stop it and feel the energy body. Right after I stop, I feel a slightly pleasurable, thick flow around my energy body, in particular, an electric-lava-like flow around my chest. I let that peter out, then let the shaking develop again, and repeat. I'm very familiar with this cycle as I've done it hundreds of times over the past few months.

Now, when I was in this direct mode last night I wondered if I could still let kriyas happen, and if there would be that energy flow. I was able to let the kriyas develop, but when I stopped, the electric-lava-like flow around my chest wasn't there. There was still some tingling in my energy body, but no flowing movement. I tried a few more times, letting the kriyas get as intense as I could (think The Exorcist), but still there was only slight tingling when I stopped. Really, really curious. There was also a distinct lack of cycling. Or, at least, the cycles were somewhere far in the background.

The direct mode stayed for about 2 hours. All I'm wondering now is how the hell I'm gonna stay in this mode and how the hell I'm gonna get arhatship from this mode. Frankly, if I can avoid the volatility of cycling and still get arhatship, I totally will. I see no need for unnecessary masochism.

RE: Droll Log Reboot
Answer
11/15/14 6:11 PM as a reply to Dada Kind.
I really enjoyed reading your notes. I spent some time combining grounding with noting, which may be a way of eliminating the seeming conflict. Notes for that here if you are curious:

http://awakenetwork.org/forum/kfd-archive-wetpaint/12961-bill-s-notes

RE: Droll Log Reboot
Answer
11/16/14 5:59 PM as a reply to Dada Kind.
I'll keep this short and simple since this is your practice thread.  In terms of actualist type practice and buddhist type practice - in buddhism you are letting go of control, so everything is happening on its own, right?  But this doesn't mean you can't also let go conventionally, as in, simply see the cause of the axiety/sadness/dissatisfaction as being unnecessary and just dropping it and forgetting about it.  Sometimes I catch myself bringing up or holding on to problems in order to "accept" them when all I really needed to do is drop them completely.

The main cause of the PCE, in my experience, is when there is just nothing to bother about.  So you can use both strategies in tandem to get there.

EDIT: Also, if it helps, what happens if you just decide to be reckless, throw caution to the winds, and let go of everything at once - like, seriously let go, let the very worst things you can imagine just be fine - let the horrors win? emoticon

RE: Droll Log Reboot
Answer
11/23/14 3:55 AM as a reply to Dada Kind.
Not Tao, usually I feel like I've missed something when I read your posts, but I think I got this one. Thanks for the tip.

William, thanks for the link and the links on my AF thread. Reading through them has given me more confidence in direct path-vipassana fusion.


Been much of the same since my last post. There's been a lot of: cycling (often in confusing order), extremes of well-being and angst, content-based-but-not-mundane insight, practice orientation insight, physio-energetic stuff (kriyas, strange energetic activity mainly from upper chest and up), random Insight-Disease-driven content seeking (sex magick, constructivism, futurism, ...), etc. The physio-energetic stuff has been mostly uncomfortable, but while reading Jed McKenna's 2nd book, the part where he reveals the full meaning of Moby Dick to Mary, I felt pleasurable chills wrack my body for a good couple minutes emoticon.

I'll go ahead and describe the only new development, and then list random insights I've had.

I decided to try to attain PCEs, but sensuous appreciation felt a little too contrived, so instead I continously grounding awareness in physicality while paying gentle attention to the 'energy body' to try to attain 'Direct Mode'. This was much more doable, and it only took me an hour or so to get into DM: affect seems quiet and integrated, sensations seem more direct and very where-they-are, simple contentment prevails, cycling seems significantly less problematic, etc. Also noteworthy, that 'taste' of purification I get when I feel some 'energetic block' give still seems to happen in DM, just without so much wild affective activity associated with it. When Daniel said that Cycling Mode seems like a nightmare compared to PCE-mode, I feel that he was only slightly exaggerating.

By reinforcing the state gently throughout the day I was able to maintain it all day (I had virtually nothing important else to do, I should add). I dunno if I could stay in it without reinforcing it or in a challenging situation. But, the next day I was able to get back into it within 20 minutes of waking up. Reassuring. I only practiced this for those two days, but once I do a little more research on combining DM with other practices (thanks again William) I'm definitely doing that.

Random insights and other stuff in no order:

There really should be a catchy name for the practice of watching drivenness in real-time. When I'm in the DN especially, sensations associated with Wanting-Out-Of-This-Shit are usually the thing not seen clearly. The chapter A Clear Goal and the practice given in the Suffering section from MCTB are overlooked. Watch The Seeker? Observe The Insight Disease? Peep The Sucker?

I underestimated the extent to which Judeo-Christian guilt is embedded into our subconscious, even the most 'rational' of us (don't believe?). I can understand why people like Crowley and Leary flaunted traditional morality so blatantly and I'm tempted to do so myself.

I ought to balance the noself perspective with the True Self perspective more often.

Practicing a mantra might increase my sensitivity to subtle internal talk. I tried one session and got a brutal headache and a lot of energetic activity for the next couple hours; means it's working.

When I try to look through the Center I'm way too forceful. I should start completely effortlessly, and then try to subtly catch something, back to effortless, etc. Daniel's advice to Avi made me realize this.

Been having a lot of political, dystopian, and magickal dreams usually with a lot of confusion, weirdness, and personal betrayal. Here's the weirdest I remember from this week: I'm flying around some kind of super-super-Walmart being chased by a dystopian police force. I'm taken hostage at knifepoint by a mob of Muslim women. One of them is staring at me intently, chanting some kind of spell. I realize I have to use some countermagick or I'm fucked. So, I let a magickal intent fly, reach my hand through the floor, and take out a golden dogtag with 'Derrida' on it. The women cower away from it, and I escape. Later, I'm cornered in front of some kind of Supreme Court room in the super-super-Walmart. I figure I can't go directly through or I'll be captured, so I have to go out the window and around. I tried to fly through the window, but sorta lost my nerve and decided to climb through, along the ledge, and around. The space around the ledge is surrounded by a voidlike space like in a videogame; if you fall in you lose. When I make it to the other side, the dystopian police are there taunting me with a sign that said something like "Follow your instincts, go back around." Then, a cartoonish Evil Obama with a smug smile emerges and addresses me with something to the same effect. I give him a funny smile, say "Who?", and jump into the void. At the instant before I'm swallowed by the void, he catches me with a noose, hoists me up, and throws me into the room beyond the Supreme Court. The room seemed like it was in the White House. Obama's family is in the room, along with a bunch of other unknown people. At this point, I'm now a cartoonish, skinny Good Obama suspended from the ceiling with my arms outstretched, very Jesus-like. I whisper to his wife and children 'I love you'. Beside his family is Abe Lincoln with orange eyes. That's all I remember.

I've had a lot of Derrida synchronicities since then. Anyone got an interpretation? emoticon

Might crosspost my log to Awakenetwork, as it seems their post-SE population is greater

RE: Droll Log Reboot
Answer
11/23/14 9:19 AM as a reply to Dada Kind.
Hey, Droll, would you be willing to try an experiement?

I've playing around with an idea and have had massive success with it. Since you seem interested in getting out of cycling mode, this might help. I'm guessing you already have a pretty steady awareness of how you feel, like the centers of emotion, so there's is something very specific you can watch for that I think is the main trigger of negativity. Whenever I encounter a thought or a sensation (anything) that I don't like, there is lunging or squeezing effect that happens internally. I realized that, when I used to write so much about "acceptance," I was really pointing to turning off this effect right when I notice it. It's directly under control. Accepting everything else along with stopping that squeezing leads to PCEs for me. emoticon

RE: Droll Log Reboot
Answer
11/23/14 11:33 AM as a reply to Dada Kind.
Hi: No problem. Happy you found them useful. I won't hijack your thread, but only report that "cycling", which seemed to be the bane of my existence for a bit when I was moving through paths very quickly and practicing a lot, lost perhaps all of it's drama through the practice of continuously bringing myself to the immediacy of the body and noticing how emotions would pull me out, what the effect was in terms of awareness of having been pulled out, and what the immediate experience of those emotions was in the bodty. That was years ago, but since then cycling has been very negligible so that maybe once every few weeks or months I experience something that in its display seems similar to one of the insight stages as compared to before when it was very much present and dissatisfying to the extent I wondered more than once why I was even practicing. I honestly don't even notice it anymore.

RE: Droll Log Reboot
Answer
11/23/14 4:33 PM as a reply to Dada Kind.
Not Tao, Yes, I do many things intuitively that I don't write out explicitly in my journal. That's one of them. From a Reichian point of view, that squeezing could be called proto-character-armor. That is, if it's left unchecked then it will become chronic muscular tension. I suspect I could prevent the squeezing at a more micro level than I'm doing now. I'll give it a try.

That's good news, William. I just hope it will work for non-4th-pathers.


Here are more random insights and stuff that I left out in my last post:

I think 'grounding' in the body trains proprioception and affect not to bounce off the Center. Although an arhat can clearly see through the Center, proprioception and affect are probably still habitually seen from the vantage point of the Center. By 'grounding' in the body, proprioception and affect are trained away from bouncing off the Center, and trained toward increasing where-it-is-ness.

It seems the common demoninator between vipassana and PCE-practice (we'll call it) is seeing through and/or stopping unnecessary abstractions (in the Korzybskian sense), and seeing through and/or stopping confused identities between different orders of abstraction. Korzybski elucidates a system that parallels both of these aspects of enlightenment (among others) with intellectual rigor in Science and Sanity. I remain convinced that General Semantics or something similar will be the scientific language used to describe enlightenment. I'm not the first to see similarities between Korzybski's work and Buddhism.

"Notice everything you possibly can clearly and distinctly. Everything. Everything. Everything. Everything. ... [200 pages of Everything omitted]" - The Most Unusually Hardcore Dharma Book by Count Arhat Droll Dedeking II

I have a few more but I'll save em for next post

RE: Droll Log Reboot
Answer
12/3/14 6:29 PM as a reply to Dada Kind.
More physio-energetic stuff, more cycling, a few more insights, no meditation breakthroughs besides some more intense jhanas that seem unfamiliar and waking up in (what seemed like) hard jhana a couple times

To give an idea about the variety of physio-energetic stuff: churning, pulsing, spitting, ice cold (wondering if a whole cup of ice water is dropping on my shoulder from the ceiling), hot (wondering if I accidentally ashed on my shirt and it's burning through my shirt and skin at my heart region), throbbing, rushing, bliss waves (localized), bliss chills (whole body), muscle spasms, extreme hardness in weird places (teeth, jaw, tip of nose, etc), kriyas develop any time I allow them, kriyas develop without my noticing while in a concentrated state (can be frustrating), etc. When I was doing a mantra the other day, I realized that my body was jerking with the rhythm of the mantra. The other day my heart felt like a chunk of ice that was slowly thawing, sizzling, and churning while giving off blackish smoke. I could feel and 'taste' it; the imagery I added to help explain it. Sometimes when I let kriyas develop REALLY intensely I'll feel the sense of being localized in my head oscillate like my spine; only lasts for like 2 seconds. Freaky.

Naturally I'm wondering what the hell is going on. It's hard for me to take the standard advice, "Irrelevant phenomena, just note it". My current model is a combination between Reichian character armor model and my own: these energetic raptures are the sensations of the nervous system rewiring itself. As I currently frame this whole process in terms of the nervous system becoming aware of its own abstracting process, this explanation makes the most sense to me. So it seems working gently with this process (attentionally or via physical practices) can speed it up, so that's what I'm doing. I can say with certainty that after I let kriyas develop intensely I always feel relieved afterwards. Also, Nik and Tarin are two Goenka practitioners that quickly got arhatship after being introduced to noting. I wonder if it's because of their physio-energetic experience.

Insights (if in quotes it's verbatim from my notes):

"Sampling several techniques is advantageous because each orientation has a shadow side that tends to not be investigated" I began to wonder what the shadow side of experimenting with several beliefs, techniques, and reality-tunnels is. I still don't have a good answer but a few possibilities are -- not enough depth, harder to connect with dogmatic people (read: almost everyone), harder to appear normal, difficult to do with a 9-5, harder to find friends into the same thing, instability, etc.

"Energetic pulsing in foot. Fucking weird." emoticon

"Might it be that the physio-energetic process will be expedited in DM? It seems to make sense. Without the AW muddling things up it should be able to integrate faster."

I had a tendency to see Direct Pointing approaches in terms of vipassana. I think this was a mistake. Instead of thinking that every approach is about seeing phenomena clearly, the path could be framed this way: uproot the deep-seated belief in separate self enough so that the process of selfing stops. From this POV, vipassana is the bruteforce method because once enough phenomena are objectified it becomes impossible to sustain the selfing, and the deep-seated belief falls away. Whereas, the Direct Pointing approach incorporates clear seeing while attacking the deep-seated belief in separate self while up-rooting other beliefs that reinforce it.

So I began to wonder about the nature of belief. It's a slippery topic (anyone got any book recs on the topic?). But, I realized that magick could be framed completely in terms of belief, even instantaneous magick. Strong resolution for instant effect = quickly implanting a belief that an effect is going to happen. Then, Selfing can be seen as a magickal result, which is an interesting lens. So I wondered if one could do a series of pointed hypnosis sessions to remove beliefs that reinforce the sense of separate self, and finally uproot it. Or, if you could design a series of rituals to do the same thing.

That's all for now. I think I might do a lot of strong determination sits after my exams.

EDIT:
Oh yeah, this video is excellent. Connects noself to Korzybski, Reich, and the state of the world in 12 minutes. Perfect.

RE: Droll Log Reboot
Answer
12/6/14 10:34 PM as a reply to Dada Kind.
I've been waking up into this strange state of fear. I'm really not sure what it is but it's intense. I was napping earlier, I woke up into it, and I was in semi-sleep paralyis. I tried to stay with it and get a good look so that I could get a hint about what the hell it is, and after a few seconds of that I started to feel an intense pulsing in the middle of the back of my neck. It felt as if someone were periodically jabbing their finger into my neck, tilted slightly down. My arm was in a weird position on my pillow, plausibly close enough that I could be pushing on my own neck in this semi-sleep paralysis without realizing it. And for a sec I really thought that's what it was because it was so intense. I managed to rouse myself out of paralysis, and found that my hand wasn't close enough to have done it. Fucking weird. I was spooked.

Since that shoulder icy thing happened my right shoulder has been looser, which is good except.. my left shoulder is still just as tight. Been trying to even that up with only a little success so far. That 'taste' thing is still happening every couple days. There was energetic stuff going on in my chest, and it had that 'dusty' taste again, but this time it also had a perfume taste (which has happened a few times before). Imagine kicking up dust in your house, spraying cheap perfume, and then breathing that in. It's sorta like that. I also noticed something about how I allow kriyas to start: it always involves relaxing the base of my spine. There might be something to the whole "kundalini dwelling at the base of the spine" thing after all.

I was meditating in a dull state of concentration where I'm just trying to tune out and not really keeping any mindfulness at all. And, I noticed that there was an irritating pressure behind my eyes. I tuned into that pressure gently and after a couple minutes it started to dissipate, leaving my head feeling more energetically free and light. Interestingly enough, the concentration became easier, 'brighter'. Then I remembered Jack Willis saying in that Reichian book that removing tension in the eyes and forehead will make colors pop and concentration easier. Now, I already knew that I still had 'armor' in my eyes but I never connected it to meditation, just psycho-physio-energetics. Gave me an idea for a new plan....

Since most of the remaining distortions seem to be in the neck and head, removing more 'armor' in those regions might make it easier to see them clearly. Or, at least, it might make it more difficult for tension to build in those areas, obscuring the field, as it were. I haven't decided the relationship between character armor and knots in the field, but Alan Watts seems to think it's an identity. After I had this idea I tried a quick Eyes in Direction exercise, and immediately afterwards felt a little bliss wave hit the crown. So far so good...

I'm returning somewhat to character analytic psychological stuff. I intuit that making a couple more breakthroughs in this area will speed things along also. I'm just trying not to get caught up in over-psychologizing this time. Balancing psychological work with meditation can be tricky.

Feeling slightly guilty that my approach is shifting every couple days. But, on the other hand, I feel like progress will continue no matter what I do. And, if it doesn't I'll just return to hardcore noting. I surmise from reading other 3rd-4th journals that changing approach often isn't uncommon.

RE: Droll Log Reboot
Answer
12/16/14 1:49 PM as a reply to Dada Kind.
More seeking, no real insight insight, few psychological/ordinary insights, more physio-energetic stuff, more crazy dreams. Again, I don't see a genuine way to order the following so I'll just spew it out

It seems that whatever problem I think about I always end up pondering infinite regress. I find the intellectual puzzle fun sometimes, but it's mostly just frustrating now. I hope 'enlightenment' resolves this experientially.

Along the same lines of my shadow sides musings in one of my last posts, I've been wondering... What are the shadow sides or blindspots or downsides or limitations of: trying to avoid shadow sides, trying to see all shadow sides, trying to suspend all judgments, trying to challenge all beliefs, trying to see all perspectives, etc. Pondering this usually leads to pondering self-referential paradoxes, foundations of math, cybernetics, and eventually back to infinite regress. Between 'enlightenment', Godel, Escher, and Bach, and Laws of Form I hope I resolve this to my satisfaction. Here is RAW's solution,
The meta-programming circuit is not a trap. As Joyce would say, it only looks as like it as damn it. Simply accept that the universe is so structured that it can see itself, and that this self-reflexive arc is built into our frontal lobes, so that consciousness contains an infinite regress, and all we can do is make models of ourselves making models...

Well, at that point, the only thing to do is relax and enjoy the show.

This is what the Hindus call Shiva-darshana, or the divine dance. You are still in life, or life is in you, but since there are infinite aspects to everything, especially to the "you" who is observing/creating all these muddles and models, there are no limits.

The only sensible goal, then, is to try to build a reality-tunnel for next week that is bigger, funnier, sexier, more optimistic and generally less boring than any previous reality-tunnel.

And once you have built that bigger, funnier, happier universe of thought, build a bigger and better one, for next month.

I vacillate between thinking 'enlightenment' might provide a more satisfying experiential solution and he's only partially right, and thinking he's 100% right. Whatever that means.

My intuition that removing character armor will expedite progress remains. I've been paying particular attention to tension behind my eyes, and in my neck/throat. I've found it useful for finding armor to tune into emptiness while doing bioenergetic exercises, particularly dancing around like a madman. I got into some kind of mildly ecstatic, unified state doing that the other night. Practicing embodying emptiness in movement seems particularly like it could be beneficial. In any case, it seems a necessary stage of integration. It also fits in nicely with the bioenergetic/Reichian ideals of spontaneous self-expression, grace, etc. In a sense this is all kinda embarrassing, like I'm completely relearning how to move. I don't know how I've spent my whole life walking like a robot.

The idea of grace and integration without centralization or control reminded me of graph theory. We mistakenly model consciousness like the centralized graph. I suspect graph theory might offer some useful metaphors or even ways of modeling 'enlightenment'

After again considering Reich's theory about the function of the orgasm, I tried to surrender more completely and passively to an orgasm. The afterglow had a different energetic feel and 'taste'. I could feel (what seemed to be) my 'energy body' re-equilibrate for the next hour or so after. Around 30 minutes after I felt intense coldness in my eyes, and I looked up to wonder why my fan was blowing directly on my eyes, but it was turned away. This continued for only a minute or so.

I notice that there used to be a shift when I tried Do Nothing practices, but now there isn't really a shift but a minor deepening of the pervasive sense of emptiness that seems to be always present.

Found some old pot, smoked it, had some insights about the nature of insight and creativity. More self-referentiality. Considering tripping on DXM again and seeing how it interacts with emptiness.

More intense dreams:

This one was even crazier than the Obama dream above, so I'll just list the topics and ending for it: Magic portals, adultery, magickal significance of semen, shapeshifting, and at the end I was escaping into the countryside, flying/leaping through a wheatfield, avoiding headlights. I start to see lyrics appear before me like Star Wars credit. Realized I was dreaming, was one of those fuck-this-I'm-waking-up moments, so I wake up into sleep paralysis, and then coax myself out of it. I've been getting better at getting out of sleep paralysis.

This one was equally crazy but had some kind of archetypal quality to it, so I think it's worth posting. I could have possibly bit it from a movie or book, but at one point in the dream I thought it was deja vu or a past life. I'm with a friend who's knocking on the door of a shady looking house. An old, tall fat man answers the door and eyes us suspiciously. It seems we're there for something illegal or dark. My friend exchanges a few words with him and he lets us inside. It becomes clear he's not the person we're there to see. He opens the sliding door and on the back porch is a large sarcophagus with strange, intricate markings, and a hole near the mouth. My friend goes over and talks quietly and respectfully to It. It's clear to me that I'm expected to show respect, so I sit in an asana, meditate lightly, and I feel my spine rocking slowly. The assistant walks over to It, exchanges a few words, comes to me and tells me that my "kundalini and ESP" is interfering with It, and he asks me to wait outside for my friend. I do so, and while outside two children come up, say strange things I don't remember, and walk into the house as if they lived there. A few seconds later I knew, as if by deja vu or a previous dream or a past life or ESP, or something what was gonna happen: It was going to put my friend into a trance that made it seem like he was getting answers, while really It was going to be sucking his lifeforce out. I walk into the house and it has a dreamlike quality to it that it didn't before, and the children are there saying even stranger things. I realize I must be in the trance now too; I see my oblivious friend on the porch, but the assistant and It don't appear to be there. I walk over to him and scream NO NO NO repeatedly. The next thing I remember I'm in the backyard next to the porch, no one is around, the house is abandoned, the yard is arid. And, that's all I remember. Vampire archetype stuff? Book, movie? Dunno.

This next one I had a couple weeks ago during my more intense physio-energetic stuff and I forgot to post it. I'm at a theme park as a ghost that only my friend can see. I'm fucking around with him trying to get him to laugh so he'll look crazy. At one point we get on a ride that wiggles and jerks back and forth like a snake. There are 33 seats on the ride. When we get off I realized it was a kundalini rollercoaster and thought, 'Oh, that makes sense.' Now I realize what a good metaphor it was.

Oh, one more thing. I realized a way to model error in abstraction. Suppose that every abstraction maintains a 90% fidelity to what was abstracted. Then, every additional abstraction made from that abstraction also has a 90% fidelty to it. In this way, representational accuracy can be seen to exponentially decay with layers of abstraction. Obviously this is making the crazy assumptions that there is some way to measure fidelity/accuracy and that it's constant, but I found this little model helpful anyway and wonder why I've never seen anyone else say it this way. So, say your nervous system abstracts events with 98% accuracy, you interpret them with 90% accuracy, remember that interpretation with 90% accuracy, you convey it with 80% accuracy, and someone else interprets it with 80% accuracy. (.98 *.9 *.9 * .8 * .8) = 50.8% accuracy of the original event is conveyed. The percentages were generous.

That's it for now. Goals: more bioenergetics, movement, maybe do some concentration to deepen practice.

RE: Droll Log Reboot
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12/28/14 7:43 PM as a reply to Dada Kind.
Been reading psychology lately -- Lowen, Reich, and Stephen M. Johnson (highly recommended). Staying mindful while doing so is a real trick... I also have some new crazy theories about enlightenment that currently seem plausible to me

The parallels between Crowley and Reich are remarkable. Even reading them is similar. I'm constantly feeling that what they're saying is just beyond my comprehension, but I'm also wondering if they're totally insane or just partially insane. The mystery is fun.

Reich believed he had discovered the formula of "living functioning as such" in studying the orgasm: Mechanical tension --> Bioelectric charge --> Bioelectric discharge --> Mechanical relaxation. Awhile back I realized the parallel with the progress of insight. C&E-3Cs --> A&P buildup --> A&P event-Dissolution --> Dissolution-EQ. Just today I remembered this from Kenneth's online book,
The fifth insight knowledge, Knowledge of Dissolution, is a very chilled-out stage, especially compared to the overwhelming joy and excitement of the previous stage. If the A&P is orgasmic joy, dissolution is more akin to post-coital bliss.
Then the obvious question is, where does the DN fit in? Well, Reich believed that an inability to surrender to the bioelectric charge and discharge fully in orgasm, i.e. 'orgastic impotence', created a stasis of undischarged energy that becomes anxiety. This undischarged energy attaches itself to ideas, as it were. He thought of this as the sort of a perversion of sexual excitement -- when we're aroused sexual ideas get a certain urgency in proportion to the arousal, but as soon as we have an orgasm the urgency fades away immediately. When the sexual energy isn't fully discharged, it lingers, urgency remains, and it attaches itself to unsatisfaction, negativity, as it were.

I'm hypothesizing that the character armor that Reich thought caused orgastic impotence causes DNs for the same reason. So, now I'm wondering if anyone that has DNs is orgastically potent as defined by Reich. If not, then my fascination with Reich has just doubled. I thought about emailing Willoughby Britton and asking her to inquire into the sex lives of the people in the DN Project, but I can't think of any way to guarantee they wouldn't lie about it and I doubt she'd take it seriously.

Here's a related Reich quote,
The patient’s fear of death could always be traced back to a fear of catastrophes and this fear, in turn, could be traced back to genital anxiety. Moreover, analysts who accepted the theory of the death instinct frequently confused anxiety and instinct. It was not until eight years later that the matter became clear to me : fear, of death and dying is identical with unconscious orgasm anxiety, and the alleged death instinct, the longing for disintegration, for nothingness, is the unconscious longing for the orgastic resolution of tension. In short, I had not "generalized the orgasm theory all too quickly and schematically."
Which makes me wonder: Is desire for deliverance really an unconscious desire for an orgastically potent orgasm, i.e. a resolution of tension and excess charge? Could an orgasm in unarmored people cause a fruition? Shinzen seems to hint so here, but I'm not sure if his reasoning for why is totally correct. If my hypothesis is correct, sexual energy isn't just one way to get enlightened, it's the only way, from a certain point of view. I wish Tantric and Western occult writings on sex weren't so coded so I could glean some insight on the 'spiritual' significance of sexual energy. Clearly, Shinzen got that sex-jewel-in-lotus metaphor from somewhere.

I realized that people trying to come up with a grand TOE, theory of enlightenment, should be slightly paranoid. If a science of enlightenment were figured out the socio-political effects would be unimaginable. Many existing power structures might not appreciate the changes.

Anyway, besides my crazy theories I've discovered new tensions that weren't as clear before. When I inhale I notice a tendency to tighten my jaw; when I first noticed it I found it was correlated with tension at the top and base of my neck. I've loosened it somewhat, but it's still far from relaxed.

I wonder why MCTB and people in the pragmatic dharma community in general don't mention the importance of bodywork (any kind) much. Viewing it as a side practice, or for just managing side effects is insanely limiting. IMO, bodywork should be done in proportion to meditation. I realize this has been known in the East for awhile, but the pragmatic dharma community somehow doesn't talk about it much. When I see people who've been trying to get enlightened for years but never mention significant amounts of bodywork it blows my mind. I suppose the view that meditation is brain or mind training contributes to this attitude. It seems perfectly clear to me that meditation is nervous system training.

Plans: keep trying to balance meditation and stay mindful with psychology, bodywork, and crazy theorizing.

RE: Droll Log Reboot
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12/29/14 3:01 PM as a reply to Dada Kind.
Droll Dedekind:

I wonder why MCTB and people in the pragmatic dharma community in general don't mention the importance of bodywork (any kind) much. Viewing it as a side practice, or for just managing side effects is insanely limiting. IMO, bodywork should be done in proportion to meditation. I realize this has been known in the East for awhile, but the pragmatic dharma community somehow doesn't talk about it much. When I see people who've been trying to get enlightened for years but never mention significant amounts of bodywork it blows my mind. I suppose the view that meditation is brain or mind training contributes to this attitude. It seems perfectly clear to me that meditation is nervous system training.
One thing I found really helpful about the Goenka retreats is how they focus on body scanning. On the retreat I did a hybrid approach, starting out with scanning through my whole body before focusing on thought. I find it really helpful and centering to start meditation with at least a few minutes of body scanning.

Based on your reading of Godel, Escher, Bach and your interest in psychology, I would urge you to read "The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind" by Julian Jaynes, if you haven't already. I think you'd find it fascinating.

RE: Droll Log Reboot
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12/29/14 3:03 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Not Tao:
I'll keep this short and simple since this is your practice thread.  In terms of actualist type practice and buddhist type practice - in buddhism you are letting go of control, so everything is happening on its own, right?  But this doesn't mean you can't also let go conventionally, as in, simply see the cause of the axiety/sadness/dissatisfaction as being unnecessary and just dropping it and forgetting about it.  Sometimes I catch myself bringing up or holding on to problems in order to "accept" them when all I really needed to do is drop them completely.

The main cause of the PCE, in my experience, is when there is just nothing to bother about.  So you can use both strategies in tandem to get there.

EDIT: Also, if it helps, what happens if you just decide to be reckless, throw caution to the winds, and let go of everything at once - like, seriously let go, let the very worst things you can imagine just be fine - let the horrors win? emoticon

Here's my question - how do you do that without suppressing emotion? If you're feeling anxiety, sadness, or dissatisfaction, it's something that you're experiencing. It's actually there in your experience - don't turn away from it. So yes, recognize that it's empty and let it go, but don't push it away or deny it.

RE: Droll Log Reboot
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1/10/15 9:00 PM as a reply to Dada Kind.
Been lax on intensive vipassana lately. A new semester is starting soon, so I suppose the semblance of integration I've achieved through being lax is well-timed. I think I'm gonna stay with the less 'hardcore' practices for awhile, as I need to keep it together for tough classes I'm taking, and forcing progress through intense vipassana tends to cause instability, for me at least. Metta, bodywork, psychological work, and gentle vipassana it is. If you have only a shovel and you're trying to dig a large hole as fast as possible, digging incessantly and intensely may not be the best strategy. Maybe you need to slow down to prevent blisters that would slow you down even further. Maybe you need breaks.

With regard to my crazy theorizing, I remain convinced that sex-economy (as Reich and Crowley called it) is related to cycling and the progress of insight. I've been reading some of Mantak Chia's work and practicing some of the sexual techniques. To spare the squeamish I'll leave out some of the details. I've been practicing for about 4 days and I've already learned to separate orgasm from ejaculation. I'm able to have (seemingly) as many consecutive orgasms as I want. The orgasms aren't at all localized to the genital region; they spread to various parts of the body, but not yet the whole body. Typically they cover the legs (especially left thigh... weird), genital region, central channel, and (seemingly) brain. Though, the intensity of the orgasms are about 1/5 as intense as an ejaculatory orgasm and shorter. But, since I can have at least 10 it evens out.  I'm curious to see if they'll become more encompassing, intense, or long. This practice is like masturbatory meditation; it's really weird. Like meditation it requires concentration, mindfulness, and a balance between control and relaxation.

It seems Reich never realized that males can have orgasms without ejaculation. I wonder how this would have changed his opinions.

I realized those 'packets of bliss' or 'bliss waves' I've described in this thread and others are the same sensation as I get in these nonejaculatory orgasms, just not as intense. It sould seem, then, that orgasms are a more general experience than is typically acknowledged. This is consistent with the writings of Mantak Chia and Reich. Also, Ona commented over at Duncan's blog,
Good stuff, Duncan. I have found (from the female perspective) that around and after awakening a level of orgasm developed which is utterly non-genital, and even weirdly non-sexual (while still being intensely erotic, if that makes sense). This full-body experience occurs spontaneously sometimes, and also tends to occur in conjunction with (before, during and after) genital orgasm, as well as sometimes simply from being in close proximity to certain people (as if our energies interact?). At times it seems very easily triggered by (chaste) touch, such as the touching of hands. It also sometimes just independently, for no reason in particular, often when I am napping, falling asleep, or otherwise very relaxed and not distracted by the day’s work. It can also be triggered by the presence of certain spirits/entities.
Very interesting. In a review for Mantak's Multiorgasmic book on Goodreads someone commented that they learned to have nonejaculatory orgasms any time without any stimulation. That actually seems totally plausible to me now.

I think there's a relation between these nonejaculatory orgasms and fruitions, I just haven't figured out exactly what it is.

Also, I've always realized that deeper, rhythmic breathing correlates with jhana, but I'm starting to think that rhythmic breathing is a sine qua non for hard jhana. If so, it suggests something interesting physiologically. Can anyone get hard jhanas while breathing arhythmically? I don't seem to be able.

I find it unfortunate that sexual practices don't seem to be taken seriously by the pragmatic dharma community. It's understandable considering how often 'Tantra' is incorrectly used to mean 'any spiritual-sexual practices', and how many such pop-'Tantra' books are out there. I wish there were a pragmatic manual for sexual practices that wasn't crazy obscure or crazy pop. Chia's book, and a couple titles by Hyatt are the closest I can find.

The other day I was feeling irritated and tense (3Cs, it seemed) so I tried to stay with the feelings. Memories that seemed vaguely related began to arise. As I was trying to see the pattern, suddenly the concept of 'castration anxiety' arose to fit the memories, along with a weird feeling which I stayed with for a second or so, and then it felt like a weight lifted and the irritation was gone. When I read Freud or Reich I always considered castration anxiety questionable, even as a metaphor, but it seems it was lurking somewhere in my psyche. Then I remembered John C. Lilly say this,
Lilly: For instance, there's an American psychiatrist, that put a hundred patients in a mental hospital in Iran through what they feared most, on Ketamine, and they all left the hospital. Now, I tried the same thing, after I read that. That evening I took 150 milligrams of Ketamine, and suddenly the Earth Coincidence Control Office removed my penis and handed it to me. I screamed in terror. My wife Toni came running in from the bedroom, and she said, "It's still attached." So I shouted at the ceiling, "Who's in charge up there? A bunch of crazy kids?" The answer came back, "Well, you had an unconscious fear, so we put you through it, just the way the Iranian psychiatrist did."

Mishlove: In the province of the mind, we can face all our fears.

Lilly: Well, you may not be able to live with it, but you should try it.
I have nothing witty to say about this. This is all totally bizarre. This just in: psychoanalysis not so crazy after all. Okay, I lied.

So last week I was combing through Reich's writings to see if I could find anything that sounded like descriptions of enlightenment or seemed at least related. Found a few things,
Christ did not pose as a saint. He just lived in a way dreamed of by his fellow man as being the truly saintlike way of living. Does a flower live “as if” it were a flower, or a deer “as if” it were a deer? Does a flower or a deer proclaim itself as flower and as deer? They are what they are. They live it. They function it. They exist through a continuous reality of being what they are without further thought or wonder. If anybody would tell a flower or a deer: “Listen, you are so wonderful, you are a flower, a deer,” they would look at the speaker with utter amazement. What do you mean? I do not understand. Of course I am a flower, a deer. What else should I be?

And the mystical admirers would not understand what the deer and the flower tried to tell them. They would keep wondering at the miracle. They would keep wanting to be like the flower and the deer. In the end they will pick the flower and kill the deer. This is inevitable from the whole setup of things as they are arranged.
...
Basically, nature inside and outside of us is accessible to our intellect only through our sense impressions. The sense impressions are essentially organ sensations, or, to put it differently, we grope for the world around us by organ movements (= plasmatic movements). Our emotions are the answer to the impression of the world around us. Both in awareness and self-awareness, sensory impression and emotion merge to form a functional unity.

Hence, organ sensation is the most important tool of natural scientific research.
...
Since I started my research in 1920, it has always been entirely clear to me that my work was dominated by an objective logic which at first could not be understood, and I felt I was its executive organ. Understanding this logic and rationality in the development of observations, working hypotheses, theories, and new findings in itself forms a major part of my research work. A harmony of subject and object, of observer and observed, that was based on some kind of law, seemed to consistently permeate this logic.
...
The armored organism is essentially different from the unarmored one in that a rigid wall is erected between its biological core, from which all natural impulses stem, and the world in which it lives and works. As a result every natural impulse, particularly the natural function of and capacity for love, is impeded. The living core of the armored organism has retained its impulses, but they can no longer find free expression. In the desperate attempt “to express itself,” every natural impulse is forced to penetrate or break through the wall of the armoring. The impulse must use force to reach the surface and the goal. While the impulse is trying to overcome the armoring by force, it is transformed into a destructive rage, regardless of its original nature. It does not matter what happens to this secondary rage reaction later, after passing through the armor; whether it spends itself or is inhibited, whether it turns into morbid self-pity or reaches its goal as undisguised sadism: the core of the process is the transformation of all love impulses into destructiveness while passing through the armor. To repeat: it is the effort to express itself naturally and reach its goal that converts every basic biological impulse into destructiveness. In the process, the total being of the armored person acquires a characteristic that can only be described as hardness or disharmony.
These quotes were taken from various books of his. I may be applying a filter when I see a similarity to enlightenment, but that last quote especially seems like a corollary to the First and Second Noble Truths. I can say, at the least, that Reich's book are dense and difficult. He may have been totally off and deluded, but he was no quack or charlatan.

I've also been having intense psychologically significant dreams, but none seem worth typing out. I notice that I haven't lucid dreamt nor noticed mind-blowing synchronicities in awhile. Dunno why. There are a few more things that I don't feel like typing out. I may later.

RE: Droll Log Reboot
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1/10/15 9:01 PM as a reply to J C.
I've come across that title a lot in my browsing. I'll check it out, thanks.