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I visited a deva realm last night :)

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I visited a deva realm last night :) Not Tao 11/27/14 12:44 PM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Eric M W 11/27/14 7:38 PM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Not Tao 11/27/14 8:59 PM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 11/28/14 12:02 PM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Not Tao 11/28/14 3:53 PM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Bill F. 11/28/14 4:45 PM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Not Tao 11/29/14 12:08 AM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Bill F. 11/29/14 1:49 AM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 11/28/14 5:37 PM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Bill F. 11/28/14 5:48 PM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 11/29/14 7:06 PM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) lama carrot top 11/29/14 10:30 PM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 11/29/14 11:45 PM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Bill F. 11/29/14 10:48 PM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 11/29/14 11:56 PM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Not Tao 11/29/14 11:47 PM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 11/29/14 11:59 PM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Not Tao 11/30/14 12:15 AM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Change A. 11/30/14 10:04 AM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Daniel - san 12/4/14 8:33 PM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Not Tao 12/4/14 10:17 PM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Psi 12/5/14 12:07 AM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Not Tao 12/5/14 1:04 AM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Psi 12/5/14 11:08 AM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Adam . . 12/5/14 2:30 PM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Psi 12/6/14 2:33 AM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Daniel - san 12/5/14 2:52 PM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Not Tao 12/5/14 4:47 PM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Daniel - san 12/5/14 8:57 PM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Not Tao 12/5/14 9:55 PM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) lama carrot top 12/5/14 10:13 PM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Bill F. 12/5/14 11:55 PM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Daniel - san 12/6/14 2:24 PM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Not Tao 12/6/14 3:28 PM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Daniel - san 12/6/14 5:35 PM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Psi 12/6/14 7:54 PM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Daniel - san 12/6/14 9:00 PM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Psi 12/6/14 9:37 PM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Not Tao 12/6/14 11:54 PM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Psi 12/7/14 12:54 AM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Not Tao 12/7/14 1:22 AM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Psi 12/7/14 2:27 AM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Daniel - san 12/7/14 5:30 PM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Daniel - san 12/6/14 8:50 PM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Psi 12/6/14 3:36 PM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Daniel - san 12/5/14 12:41 AM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Daniel - san 12/5/14 12:50 AM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Psi 12/4/14 11:45 PM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Not Tao 11/29/14 12:17 AM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 11/29/14 6:41 PM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Not Tao 11/29/14 6:55 PM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 11/29/14 7:08 PM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Eric M W 11/28/14 6:42 PM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Not Tao 11/28/14 11:53 PM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Not Tao 11/29/14 6:36 PM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Change A. 11/28/14 9:04 AM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Not Tao 11/28/14 3:55 PM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Change A. 11/28/14 7:06 PM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Not Tao 11/29/14 12:38 AM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Change A. 11/29/14 10:34 AM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) svmonk 11/28/14 10:42 PM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Incandescent Flower 11/30/14 12:47 PM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Bill F. 11/30/14 7:41 PM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Not Tao 11/30/14 9:06 PM
RE: I visited a deva realm last night :) Incandescent Flower 12/1/14 9:52 AM
I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
11/27/14 12:44 PM
So the title is kind of a joke, but I've been having some really amazing nighttime experiences and thought I'd share.

My current practice (just for the last week or so) has been aimed at disabling negative reactions whenever they come up. I've been taking the time as I lay in bed before falling asleep to do some negative visualization and really try to dig into all the current cares and worries. For some reason, that diffuse mindstate that happens as we go to sleep is a great time to really let go of things, and I've been entering these mind states that are so completely relaxed. It's like a sudden drop happens and the whole body just lets every muscle go loose. My inner states disappear completely and there is just absolute peace.

I think because I'm doing this so close to falling asleep, it has been carrying over into my dreams. I've woken up a few mornings with some vague memories of the drop happening during a dream. Well, last night, the drop made me go completely lucid. This was a really fascinating state to be in. Dreams are usually driven by affective states, so the fact that I was completely relaxed seemed to change the whole nature of the dreamworld. It was like this swirl of sexual imagery, beautiful colors, and increadibly pleasant sensations just folding endlessly into eachother. The dream was very fragmented and surreal, but it didn't have that disorienting quality that often happens. I remember sort of floating over a really wild grassy landscape, then flying up into the branches of a willow tree. Every color seemed to be extra rich, like they had a taste and I was breathing them in as much as seeing them. When I was combing my fingers through the leaves, they were changing into flowers and the petals were dropping off and landing on my face like snowflakes. At some point the sky opened up into a really vast space and the clouds started painting themselves over and boiling up like massive plumes. Then I was taken away by beautiful faces and bodies, and every sensation and touch was isolated and given its own particular piece of attention.

Needless to say, when I woke up I just felt amazing. Usually after a lucid dream I seem to wake up disoriented or frustrated - usually because I've failed to exercise some kind of control over the dream. This was really different though. It felt like I'd visited some kind of perfect place and I took a bit of it with me when I came back. When the dream was happening, the thought of trying to control it didn't even cross my mind, really. Everything was already perfect.

Anyway, I think it's easy to write off or forget about all the mythology and poetry that comes with religion and spirituality, often because words are a poor substitue for experience or the people experiencing these things aren't very poetic. It's always a bit of a suprise when these things happen to you, though, and you realize how fulfilling and wholesome the whole thing is.

Here's hoping for more visits from the devas! Amitabha and all that. emoticon

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
11/27/14 7:38 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
It was like this swirl of sexual imagery, beautiful colors, and increadibly pleasant sensations just folding endlessly into eachother. 

Dude...

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
11/27/14 8:59 PM as a reply to Eric M W.
I don't think this is A&P related.  I've had way too many blissful experiences that qualify better. This was more like having a PCE while dreaming.

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
11/28/14 9:04 AM as a reply to Not Tao.
Not Tao:


My current practice (just for the last week or so) has been aimed at disabling negative reactions whenever they come up. I've been taking the time as I lay in bed before falling asleep to do some negative visualization and really try to dig into all the current cares and worries.
Does your negative visualization practice include death who some might consider the ultimate negative scenario? You may try it as I think it is a great liberator. Any other care and worry is tiny compared to care and worry about life and death.

Also, if you haven't tried it yet to include sexual desires into the visualization and some scenarios where you get angry as well. I use Tibetan deities for that. There are many deities who are in sexual union and there are some which are wrathful. There are some deities which are skeletons and those could be used in the death visualization practice.

I think that your experience will become even more fulfilling and wholesome if you include these into your visualizations.

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
11/28/14 12:02 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Not Tao:
I don't think this is A&P related.  I've had way too many blissful experiences that qualify better. This was more like having a PCE while dreaming.
I'm gonna second the A&P diagnosis. Lucid dreams, blissful states, it matches pretty well, especially if you have been doing the thing where you watch and stop the chest clutching that you describe in the silver bullet for actualism thing. On the other hand it's not much to go on and it's easy enough to read some nyana or other into any given experience.

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
11/28/14 3:53 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Bah, the progress of insight is rediculous.  This thing I'm doing has nothing to do with vipassana anyway, haha.

Here's the universal diagnosis on this forum: anything good happens - A&P.  Anything bad hapens - Dark Night.  Lol, it's kind of silly.  Vipassana is a pretty specific practice - acceptance - so if I wasn't doing that why would I be having buddhist insights?

I'm suprised you don't think my other thread is talking about Actualism, though, Beoman.  If it's not, then I guess I've discovered something else that's completely new to humanity as well. emoticon

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
11/28/14 3:55 PM as a reply to Change A..
These are good suggestions.  I don't have any fear of death though.  If there is no soul and I just stop existing when the body dies, then I won't be around to experience anything and death is meaningless.  If I have some kind of imortal soul, then there's nothing to worry about because then I'm not going to die anyway.  Either way I'll never know non-existance, so what's the problem?

I'm certainly afraid of pain and injury though, so I spend time removing reactions while looking at surgical photos and imagining things happening to me.  Sex and anger are good things to work with, like you said.  How do you use tibetian deities for that?  I usually use personal situations for visualizing.

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
11/28/14 4:45 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Not Tao: I have noticed a tenedency to disparage what you are calling vipassana, the stages of insight in the visudhimagga and the experience of others on the site who admittedly have much more experience. While it is fine and welcome to have a different opinion it does no one any good to belittle other systems or techniques that one has a shallow understanding of. For ex., repeatedly equating vippasana with "acceptance" demonstrates that you have not understood meditation as me, Daniel and others write about it as that process leads to the end of the "oberserver" who could be separate from the process in order to accept it. If possible please clarify the process whereby you equated the two. Again, different ideas are welcome, but to play the authority on what I understand (and am perhaps mistaken about) to be very meager experience and understanding is disrespectful of others and yourself. 

Be well-Bill

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
11/28/14 5:37 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Not Tao:
Bah, the progress of insight is rediculous.  This thing I'm doing has nothing to do with vipassana anyway, haha.

Here's the universal diagnosis on this forum: anything good happens - A&P.  Anything bad hapens - Dark Night.  Lol, it's kind of silly.  Vipassana is a pretty specific practice - acceptance - so if I wasn't doing that why would I be having buddhist insights?

The progress of insight is indeed used sometimes to paint too-broad strokes. But let me change what I said that it's not necessarily A&P. However I do think it is a psychic-type phenomenon that you are experiencing in your very vivid blissful (my word, but seems appropriate enough) dreams, and the reason for that is specifically your other thread because what you describe doing there is a meditative practice. I'll explain that next.

Not Tao:
I'm suprised you don't think my other thread is talking about Actualism, though, Beoman.  If it's not, then I guess I've discovered something else that's completely new to humanity as well. emoticon

Here's why I don't think it's talking about actualism. The chain of causality is that first an emotion arises, and after the emotion arises, there are physical effects of that emotion. So the clutching you describe as "very physical" actually only occurs because of an already-arisen-by-that-point emotional state. Then when you deal explicitly with the physical, you end up more or less ignoring the emotion behind it. I know this very well because I used to experience a constant physical tension in my head, which I thought was the source of negativity, and I kept meditating on it, breaking it up to see it as impermanent, trying to just sit with it and accept it, whatever, but I thought the physical tension was the problem. After stepping out of the spiritual paradigm though I came to see that the tension was from me being anxious in the first place, it wasn't that the tension caused anxiety. So now if the tension happens I used it as an indicator of an emotional state, but then I address it at that emotional/identity level, not at the physical level. To address it at the physical level is to deny or ignore the affective component. You seem to be doing the same with the physical clutching at your chest when you say that " emotions are a result of this clenching action" and not the other way around (that the clenching action is a result of the emotions).

Now my understanding and experience is that it is denial/ignoring/suppressing of affect which leads to increased psychic power. And to define that term precisely, psychic power is the fuel which creates or forms itself into jhanas, nyanas, experiences of past lives, experiences of mind-reading, etc. So when I then saw that you experienced a marker of increased psychic power, namely vivid lucid dreams, I made the connection. I labelled it "A&P" but perhaps that label was inaccurate.

As such it isn't anything new to human history at all, but just another way to gain increased psychic power, along the same lines that people have been doing it for millennia.

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
11/28/14 5:48 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman: Good evening. These are serious questions, not messing:

1) What is an emotion? How would you define it? Does it have an essence or is it made of parts? Does everyone agree on your emotion?
2) How did you figure out that an emotion precedes a physical state? How do you know that there is not a somatic process below emotions and that emotions are not the result of that process, or a reaction from dissasociating from the process? Are they (emotions/physical sensations) totally separate in your experience, or inter-related? What is the "affective component"? I assume you are saying that this is not the process of identification as this would be more aligned with traditional meditation models, but what is it?

In full disclosure my own experience with practicing in a more somatically oriented way has yielded much different results and understanding so it is by no means the correct or definitive understanding. Nor is mine.

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
11/28/14 6:42 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
I agree that it's easy to lump experiences into nanas. "Oh, you felt vibrations and heard a rushing sound? Sounds like A&P!" Of course, this same set of experiences could very well be the vibrational state preceding a more run-of-the-mill OBE, not related to A&P at all. But please remember that we are dealing with a very limited form of communication with this forum, so there is only so much one can do when it comes to diagnosing stuff.

You also seem to imply that Actualism is very different from vipassana. The two practices are not mutually exclusive. Observing negative emotional reactions has been part of Buddhist practice for millenia, but one could argue that there is something very AF about this as well. To get to the point: you can trigger the progress of insight doing things other than vipassana.

I experienced the A&P in a lucid dream-- vivid colors, bliss, sexual overtones, all that. Daniel also experienced the A&P in a dream. 

All that said, keep doing what you're doing! You seem to be having some fun and interesting experiences on your journey to AF, and dreams are a potent way to see the inner workings of our psyches. I may try your technique of disabling negative reactions tonight as I fall asleep. I will report back...

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
11/28/14 7:06 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Don't you think that pain killers are good enough to not worry about pain? And what about injury? If you are injured, either you would live or you would die. If you live, then there is no problem and if you die, you say you don't have any fear of death.

Check out "The Bliss of Inner Fire: Heart Practice of the Six Yogas of Naropa by Lama Yeshe" for deity visualization.

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
11/28/14 10:42 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Hi Not Tao,

Cool!

I've had some experience with devas. At a concentration retreat in 2011, I saw them swirling through the air and talked with them when they came to visit me. Heard them partying outside my bedroom window. Same goes for daemons. I wrote about it in a memoir I just published, I posted a note in the Books thread about it a couple days ago if you're interested.

My take on my experience is that it didn't correspond to anything real, that is, I don't ascribe any reality to nonphysical beings or nonphysical realms outside of my own mind. The reason is that the mind is really good at making these kinds of things up.  Because at the time I had a kind of "soft" belief in devas, daemons, and other realms (and rebirth too), my mind began concocting sensory experiences (hallucinations) validating the beliefs once my mind got far enough into the altered state of consciousness corresponding to deep concentration. So it was a kind of wish fufillment. If I had been doing a Christian concentration retreat, I would have probably seen Mary or Jesus or maybe some angels, something like that.

Your dreams sound really fun. I would say, enjoy them. I've heard that doing metta meditation before bedtime generates really pleasant dreams too.

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
11/29/14 12:08 AM as a reply to Bill F..
Haha, I'm only disparaging my understanding of vipassana.  If it conflicts with your understanding of it, there's no need to take heed of what I say - this is what I do with the majority of people who talk about Actualism on here.  I guess it just comes with the territory.  I try to be fair and frame things as "in my experience" or "my opinion."  That's all any of us are saying anyway.  I am probably coming off as very self-righteous in these threads, but I think that's a symptom of how much more in-control the method is than vipassana.  This past week has felt like a light was suddenly turned on in my mind and I can see these things clearly where I was only feeling around in the dark before.  The whole thing has been, "well, duh" for me, haha.  It's made me pretty excited (which, I suppose, is another symptom of the A&P, ha!).

I do understand that vipassana is aiming at "ending the illusion of an actor or observer within experience" and the word that seems to quantify the method best, in my experience, is acceptance.  The noting method, particularly, could be called acceptance, as each time you are noting something, you are aiming to leave it exactly as it already is and allow the next moment to arise on its own.  Since the theory is that this is already happening, by simply observing the dance of reality in this way you can eventually see that no effort is needed for the next moment to manifest.  Nothing is done, everything just happens.

I just present this explanation to be clear what I meant. This is something I practiced for a while, and I've found that it simply doesn't move me towards ending stress.  If it relies completely on the four sudden insights that come with path moments, then I can understand your frustration that I'm judging it harshly.  However, since this new method I've discovered works instantly for me, and has had a cumulative effect over time, I have no problem saying it's superior (for me) simply for that fact alone.

What I'm doing now is definately opposite of leaving things alone.  It's more like untangling a knot of things I'm doing to myself (suppression, tension, reaction) and making sure i'm only picking off the very top layer so I do't make the knot tighter trying to undo it.  The knot isn't a center point in this analogy but rather a self-imposed blockade that I just need to unravel and stop forming.  All of my stress seems to come from trying to avoid facing a thought or a stimulus that happens outside of my control - it's a very dualistic way of doing/seeing things.  When I understand an emotion, I am seeing the reaction happen i  real time, disabling it in real time, and shedding that particular layer.  It inspires a lot of confidence because it isn't mysterious in any way why it works, and I can see it working in real time.

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
11/29/14 12:17 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
I think you misunderstood my other tread, Beoman.  What I'm saying is that a thought or sensory stimulus comes first, then there is an emotional judgement, then there is a clenching, and this clenching creates a physical pain that registers as the emotional negativity.  Emotions have an "actual" (as in actual world) representation, and this is specifically why we take them seriously.  The clenching is the transition between the emotional world and the actual world.  What I noticed is that this clenching is the source of the emotional pain - it's the place where an emotion becomes urgent.  By removing the clenching, the emotion loses all seriousness or representation in the physical world, and it drops away from the thought it is attached to because there is nothing to sustain it.

If you attempt to do this on the emotional feeling, it doesn't work, and if you attempt to suppress the thought, the clenching gets worse. The clenching is, itself, the "you" that Richard references all the time.  Actually, I've noticed that some feelings are very hard to parse specifically because I can't identify the thought/judgement combination that causes them.  These are the suppressed emotions where I am only feeling the physical representation.  Without seeing the thought, you can't see where the clenching is happening.  For this I try to spread out the sensations and feel them as an emotion - and this will liberate the suppressed thought and let me identify where the reaction happens.

Maybe this all sounds a bit complicated.  It really all boils down to watching for when that "clamping down" happens, however you want to describe the feeling, and stopping yourself from doing it in spite of the emotion involved.

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
11/28/14 11:53 PM as a reply to Eric M W.
I'd love to hear how it works for you eric! If this thread goes in a different direction discussion-wise, feel free to post results in the other thread, too. emoticon

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
11/29/14 12:38 AM as a reply to Change A..
I don't carry painkillers around with me, haha. You say that if I live through an injury there's no problem, but I have to disagree. If I'm stabbed in the guts, it's going to suck a lot.  That sucking has nothing to do with death.  Your argument seems to be that pain is the fear of death.  I think pain is just nerves telling me to feel pain - I might welcome death if there's a lot of pain, actually...

That said, it seems like a lot of pain is caused by bracing aginst injury. I seem to be able to lessen the effect of a headache a bit if I stop tensing around the sensations. Maybe this could be taken all the way to the end and all pain would just register as heat or pressure. This still isn't a fear of death we're talking about though - it's a fear of pain. So pain is a fear of pain...? Hmm... You have me thinking now, haha... emoticon

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
11/29/14 1:49 AM as a reply to Not Tao.
Thank you for the detailed response. I wrote because I think this place is most useful if we can speak from our experience. While we are not always able to do so, it seems premature to judge the merits of something we have not yet experienced. It would be a little like listening to a foreign language you don't speak and dismissing the speakers as non-sensical ramblers. I think it is good to qualify critical statements with our knowledge and what that's based upon, even if it is something we've read or understood based upon reading others on the board. Though you have occasionally done this at times I think it is mostly missing from your statements which I have often read as being authoritative. In some instances this was perhaps my own projection. In some it was the nature of the words.
       I am glad that your path is working for you, and it is leading to good things. I suppose that means you are on the right track. And no frustration, so don't sweat that. I thought it deserved mention because cognitively and experientially I do not agree, but upon reading your words, and disagreeing there was no feeling of anger, no internal clenching or physical tension, nothing to be released or accepted or seen as impermanent, no feeling of judgment towards you, no sense of anxiety or feeling about who you must be because of a post...so it must be doing me some good ha. 
-Bill

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
11/29/14 10:34 AM as a reply to Not Tao.
You got it in the end, that pain is a fear of pain. Physical pain can be taken care of with pain killers and the sucking that you talk about after being stabbed in the guts is emotional.

I would say that most headaches are caused by emotional suffering. I used to get a lot of headaches earlier and now don't get them anymore at all.

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
11/29/14 6:41 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Thanks for explaining it a bit more. I think there's a few places where what you write isn't correct, and actually at some points dangerous, so I'll point them out, and you let me know what you think.
---
Not Tao:
What I'm saying is that a thought or sensory stimulus comes first, then there is an emotional judgement, then there is a clenching [...]
Alright, so we agree so far that the emotional judgement is what causes the physical clenching. The clenching is physical, based on what you said, right? From the other thread: "[...] whenever a passionate feeling arises, there is a clutching sensation that happens in the chest. [...] first there is a thought or observation [...] and then there is a lunging/clutching/squeezing that I inflict on myself [...] Just to be clear, this is a very physical phenomena - like a fist in the chest that squeezes the heart [...]"
Not Tao:
[...], and this clenching creates a physical pain that registers as the emotional negativity.
Actually, physical pain is physical pain, and emotional pain (negativity) is emotional pain, and they are quite distinct. When I felt intense despair after my girlfriend broke up with me, it wasn't that there was physical pain that I was registering as emotional negativity, rather, the despair itself *was* the emotional negativity. Interestingly, one of the definitions of alexithymia on Wikipedia is "difficulty [...] distinguishing between feelings and the bodily sensations of emotional arousal". The clenching from what you describe is a bodily sensation of emotional arousal, but not the emotional arousal/the feeling itself.
Not Tao:
Emotions have an "actual" (as in actual world) representation, and this is specifically why we take them seriously.
I'd say rather that they have actual-world effects. The clenching is an actual effect of the emotion (likely muscles tightening), not a representation of it. And this clenching is not the only reason we take them seriously. Before I ever meditated, I experienced waaaay, way less of these clenching-type phenomena than after, yet I still took emotions seriously back then.
Not Tao:
The clenching is the transition between the emotional world and the actual world.
Well there are other actual effects of emotions besides clenching like sweaty palms, heart rate increasing, adrenaline secreting, dulling of pain, etc. Clenching also doesn't really happen as much in people who don't meditate, from what I gather.
Not Tao:
What I noticed is that this clenching is the source of the emotional pain - it's the place where an emotion becomes urgent.  By removing the clenching, the emotion loses all seriousness or representation in the physical world, and it drops away from the thought it is attached to because there is nothing to sustain it.
Again, there's a difference between an emotion and the physical effects of it. The emotion itself is what the pain is. The emotion itself sustains itself. The emotion itself can be urgent without any clenching - see despair I referenced above.

Not Tao:
If you attempt to do this on the emotional feeling, it doesn't work, and if you attempt to suppress the thought, the clenching gets worse. The clenching is, itself, the "you" that Richard references all the time.
And here actually is the biggest clue. You are now saying that the physical effects of an emotion is what 'you' refers to. Yet 'you' absolutely doesn't refer to that, it refers to the emotions themselves that *cause* those physical effects (the "emotional judgment" in the first sentence I quoted). To take the identity, which has no existence in actuality, as something that has existence in actuality (physical sensations of muscles clenching) is actually to make a really big mistake, because then if there are no apparent physical sensations, you will assume that 'you' as an identity are gone, even though you are likely not. With meditation and concentration you can definitely get to the point where you minimize the physical effects of emotions, but you will never actually eliminate 'you' - and thus those emotions. The worst is if 'you' are still around and 'you' think 'you' aren't.

Actually, here you contradict yourself from the other thread where you said "that clutching, itself, is the manifestation of the ego/identity". 'You' refers to the ego/identity. So is the clenching 'you' or is it a manifestation of 'you'? I also wouldn't be surprised if you started off thinking of it as a manifestiation of 'you', but after a week of doing this exercise you are now thinking of it as 'you' directly. 

Not Tao:
Actually, I've noticed that some feelings are very hard to parse specifically because I can't identify the thought/judgement combination that causes them.  These are the suppressed emotions where I am only feeling the physical representation.
This sounds familiar. This happened to me a lot where I would feel a lot of physical tension in my head, but I couldn't figure out what I was feeling that caused that to happen. This was a direct result of meditating. I had to consciously try to reverse the process by stopping myself from suppressing the emotion into the physical tension, to get to the point where I could once again feel what that emotion was. Eventually it came out I was very anxious about various things, but even then as soon as I felt the anxiety I immediately went back to, well, clenching in the head. It took a while to be able to decondition that response. Whereas when I was meditating I was trying to reduce the physical tension itself, which sounds like what you are doing now.
Not Tao:
Without seeing the thought, you can't see where the clenching is happening.
Doesn't this contradict your previous two sentences where you said you couldn't identify the thought but you could sense the physical representation (the clenching)? 
Not Tao:
For this I try to spread out the sensations and feel them as an emotion - and this will liberate the suppressed thought and let me identify where the reaction happens.
How do you distinguish between feeling sensations as an emotion vs. feeling them as a clenching?

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
11/29/14 6:36 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Hi Pawel,

I think you've misjudged me.  I don't feel manic, and I don't think I'm enlightened.  I simply think what I am doing now is superior to what I was doing before.  I feel very confident about it because it has let me see and understand the mental processes very clearly.  It wasn't something I earned by going through the progress of insight.  I know this because I told a few of my family members about it, and they had the exact same results as I did right away.  This is much simpler than modern Buddhism in general.  More like therapy, as a few people have pointed out.

Goenka body scanning is vipassana because it's about becoming equanimous, which is acceptance.  What I am doing now is specifically turning off reactions - which is not equanimity, but rather direct modification of experience.  The reactions are sometjing I am doing directly, so stopping them is something directly in my control.  It doesn't involve mystical ideas like non-duality, and it isn't a concentration practice.

Judging by your post, you don't seem to understand quite what I'm saying.  Maybe it's a language barrier issue or something?

Anyway, my original point in this thread was simply that it is lovely to be able to have these experiences.  This isn't the first time something like this dream has happened to me, and I've never gone through a dark night that I know of.  I know the territory, so to speak, so I can say pretty confidently that this isn' t the A&P.  For example, right now I just feel normal, like any other time of my life.  The dream was just nice, that's all. emoticon

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
11/29/14 6:55 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Hey Beoman,

Something I've noticed from our conversations is that you get very lost in the specific words I use.  If you want the best, most specific, explanation, then please use the world "clenching" and observe yourself as your emotions start - maybe thing of something upsetting and watch for it.  See if there is a clenching that either starts or perpetuates an emotion.  This clenching is not the physical tension that happens after an emotion has taken hold, and it isn't things like a heartburn feeling, butterflies in the stomach, or pressure in the head.  It's a tension that happens right when a negative stimulus is encountered, and it is very specifically that thing which makes a thought or stimulus unpleasant.  It isn't the negative emotional feelings but the negativity that is attached to mental objects (like seeing a spider nearby -> clench -> emotional after effects).  What or where that tension comes from I'd rather not put emphasis on.  I can point to it in my own experience quite specifically, but I don't think you'll like any of my explanations.  You can just see it if you look for it and that will be much clearer.

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
11/29/14 7:06 PM as a reply to Bill F..
William Golden Finch:
Beoman: Good evening. These are serious questions, not messing:
Hello sir! Thank you for your interest, I hope my answer helps.
William Golden Finch:
1) What is an emotion? How would you define it? Does it have an essence or is it made of parts? Does everyone agree on your emotion?
I don't know that everyone agrees but I use it in a colloquial sense. Love is an emotion, anger is an emotion, hate is an emotion, lust is an emotion, etc. Actually I think I am sometimes imprecise and I use it to refer to anything affective, like moods (bored, antsy) and passions (I guess a more intense form of an emotion) as well. A more precise term for the whole shebang would be "affective". So: emotions are affective, moods are affective, passions are affective, etc.

Those were examples, as to what the definition is, I'd say, basing it on the Wikipedia article, that it's a subjective, conscious, involuntary experience that is very hard to influence cognitively (using higher brain functions like thoughts), which leads to various biological reactions, hormones being secreted, heart rate changing, etc. The emotion is not the hormones being secreted or the physical sensations resulting from the emotion - it is that which causes hormones to secret, that which causes the physical sensations, like the sensation of increased heart beat or muscle tension. Of course if, say, your muscles are tense that can then cause a further emotion which would cause them to tense up further, etc. The important distinction between an emotion and the physical sensations resulting from it is that you feel the emotion intuitively, vs. with any of the senses in particular.

William Golden Finch:
2) How did you figure out that an emotion precedes a physical state?
The clear one for me was the physical tension in my head, which as far as I have been able to ascertain was caused by meditation and not by any other health issue. I came to understand and believe that this physical tension in my head was the source of various emotional issues, and that if I were to resolve the physical tension, I would thus resolve whatever those emotional issues were. On many occasions I grew quite frustrated at the tension because it was so persistent, it wouldn't go away, meditating would make it worse, etc.

So then, by conversing and reading about actualism, I found an alternative explanation: that the emotional process occurs *first*, and that the physical reactions occur after the emotion. Thus, no emotion, no physical sensations, and to deal with the physical sensations is to deal with the symptom and not the cause. Using myself as the experimental subject, I observed to see whether it was the case. I already knew that worse tension was associated with feeling worse, but I thought I was feeling worse because the tension got worse. When the tension was really bad I wouldn't even feel anything wrong intuitively - I wouldn't feel any affective component (explained more below) so I figured the issue was the tension.

But then I started tracking my thoughts when the tension was bad, see where my mind would go naturally, and it alighted on various issues. I had discounted these issues but instead of brushing them aside and saying no it's just the tension, have to vipassanize the tension, etc., I instead listened to myself. I noticed that if I 'backed off' from the tension, I would feel anxiety! But then when I felt the anxiety the natural reaction was to clamp down on it and re-divert it to the physical tension.

But I spent a bunch of time with it and deconditioned that meditative approach. I came to understand that it was always that something was bothering me, emotionally, which would lead to the tension. That is, there was never a tension without the thing bothering me, and in a good mood the tension wouldn't be there.
William Golden Finch:
How do you know that there is not a somatic process below emotions and that emotions are not the result of that process, or a reaction from dissasociating from the process?
It makes a lot more sense how feeling an emotion would then lead me to suppress that emotion and try to turn it into a physical-only pain, than that I am using my muscles to somehow involuntarily create a tension, and from that emotions arise which then find issues to latch on to that happen to actually be bothering me.
William Golden Finch:
Are they (emotions/physical sensations) totally separate in your experience, or inter-related?
They are very different from each other, but of course emotions leads to physical changes that are then picked up on by the senses, and of course physical sensations lead to emotions as well.
William Golden Finch:
What is the "affective component"? I assume you are saying that this is not the process of identification as this would be more aligned with traditional meditation models, but what is it?
The affective component is the intuitive aspect of it, the part which comes before the physical sensations manifest, the part which causes those physical changes. It is what makes it an emotion. Fear may make your heart beat increase and your palms are sweaty, but if you take a drug which increases your heart rate and makes your palms sweaty, you won't then identify that as fear. Another example is sometimes when I ran up the stairs, I would get winded, and then I would wonder if it was anxiety since physically it felt the same. But the actual emotion of anxiety wasn't occurring at that point, and I could tell the difference.

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
11/29/14 7:08 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Not Tao:
Hey Beoman,

Something I've noticed from our conversations is that you get very lost in the specific words I use.  If you want the best, most specific, explanation, then please use the world "clenching" and observe yourself as your emotions start - maybe thing of something upsetting and watch for it.  See if there is a clenching that either starts or perpetuates an emotion.  This clenching is not the physical tension that happens after an emotion has taken hold, and it isn't things like a heartburn feeling, butterflies in the stomach, or pressure in the head.  It's a tension that happens right when a negative stimulus is encountered, and it is very specifically that thing which makes a thought or stimulus unpleasant.  It isn't the negative emotional feelings but the negativity that is attached to mental objects (like seeing a spider nearby -> clench -> emotional after effects).  What or where that tension comes from I'd rather not put emphasis on.  I can point to it in my own experience quite specifically, but I don't think you'll like any of my explanations.  You can just see it if you look for it and that will be much clearer.
Is this clenching a physical thing? Is it physical sensations I am watching for?

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
11/29/14 10:30 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Hi Beoman,

How do you know which comes first?  The emotion or the physical sensation? Isn't there a chicken and egg thing here happening?  One or the other might "make sense" as an answer, but what is the matrix in which the "make sense" concusion is made? 

I admit, I don't know, I just wonder how you can definitively conclude one way or the other - may be you Know and I don't.  I recognize that I am essentially asking "what is the Primary Cause?", at which point I feel I should just withdraw the question.

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
11/29/14 10:48 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
O.K, cool. Thank you. 

Also, a few months back we had been conversing and you had requested the link where Daniel spoke about some of the AF forerunners on Dharma Overground renouncing their claims. Don't know how to link right to it but if you go to this thread, scroll down to Daniel's later comments: http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/view_message/5385352#_19_message_5390862

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
11/29/14 11:47 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Hi Beoman.

You referenced the thing I'm pointing to in your last post there.  When you clamp down on anxiety and turn it into head tension, that is the clenching I'm refering to.  In that particular case, your trigger was "anxiety is bad" and the clenching would happen when you felt anxiety.  So it might work like this: you encounter a negative stimulus -> clench -> feel anxiety (which is a second negative stimulus) -> clench again -> feel head pressure (yet another stimulus!) -> clench yet again!  Clenching is the suppression mechanism.  So in this case you would clench around some emotional problem, then you would further clench around the physical/emotional sensations of anxiety.  More and more layers of tension build up that way and make the knot I'm talking about.

I've had a back and forth problem over the last few months because this mechanism has a way of diverting or taking over a good practice method.  So, say, I was practicing acceptance, and this would would work for a while because it indirectly targets the clenching, but then I'd fool myself into thinking I needed to accept the clenching as well and go backwards. Then I might think I needed to stop tensions, which also indirectly targets the clenching, but then I go too far and start trying to relax my negative emotional states and this creates rumination and suppression loops where I keep bringing up the clenching again and again so I can try to relax into it.

Now that I'm targeting it directly, I can see all the little nooks and crannies it's trying to hide. Does all this make more sense?

I don't know if you would call it a physical sensation or not.  To me, it's a kind of emotional leaping.  Watch to see if there is an instant where the mind tries to push something out.  Like a thought happens, and the mind suddenly lashes out or says NO and kicks or spasms.  Maybe you could call these things inhibitions.  I'm seeing a lot of connections with past experiences.  Real time problems like shame or pain create these inhibitions which are like re-enactments of the original stress.  By stopping the re-enactments (clenching) and letting the thought continue, it's like recreating what happened and changing the emotions in real time.

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
11/29/14 11:45 PM as a reply to lama carrot top.
carrot top:
Hi Beoman,

How do you know which comes first?  The emotion or the physical sensation? Isn't there a chicken and egg thing here happening?  One or the other might "make sense" as an answer, but what is the matrix in which the "make sense" concusion is made? 

Well I gave my experience with the physical tension in my head, which was the bulk of my answer. Do you have anything particular to comment on in that report? The "matrix" in which the conclusion makes sense is just logic and consistency and Occam's razor. It is simpler and more likely that something specific was bothering me for a particular reason, which made me anxious, which I then suppressed into a physical tension, rather than there was a physical tension of unknown origins, which was then generating anxiety about something specific.

What it comes down to is: things do actually bother you, as a feeling-being, and you can't really stop being bothered by them by ignoring the content and manipulating what you do physically.

Also, when I am not feeling an emotion, there aren't the physical tensions either, whereas I can feel the same emotion without those physical tensions being there.

I can also try to scrunch my head up on purpose in order to cause a similar-feeling physical tension, but that doesn't then go on to cause anxiety.

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
11/29/14 11:56 PM as a reply to Bill F..
William Golden Finch:
O.K, cool. Thank you. 

Also, a few months back we had been conversing and you had requested the link where Daniel spoke about some of the AF forerunners on Dharma Overground renouncing their claims. Don't know how to link right to it but if you go to this thread, scroll down to Daniel's later comments: http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/view_message/5385352#_19_message_5390862

Ah thanks! Yes, he does say it right there: "It definitely is the case that all 4 [Jill, Tarin, Trent and Stef] renounced their claims of having no emotions."

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
11/29/14 11:59 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Not Tao:
I don't know if you would call it a physical sensation or not.  To me, it's a kind of emotional leaping.  Watch to see if there is an instant where the mind tries to push something out.  Like a thought happens, and the mind suddenly lashes out or says NO and kicks or spasms.  Maybe you could call these things inhibitions.  I'm seeing a lot of connections with past experiences.  Real time problems like shame or pain create these inhibitions which are like re-enactments of the original stress.  By stopping the re-enactments (clenching) and letting the thought continue, it's like recreating what happened and changing the emotions in real time.

Hmm okay, let me re-consider what you said in light of you calling it a kind of "emotional leaping".

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
11/30/14 12:15 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
You know how, in the PCE, you can think of anything at all and there's just no problem.  That's because this mechanism is completely disabled and forgotten - no reactions present.

Conversely, when having an anxiety attack, or when in a depression loop, the mind is stuck on a thought and clenches every couple of seconds.  The thought comes up and the mind pushes it away - but then, the thought is usually something important, so the mnd brings it up again and then pushes it away.  Over and over.  This was actually how I first saw it.  I realized I was, literally, beating myself up.

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
11/30/14 10:04 AM as a reply to Not Tao.
You may try stretching exercises which will bring out even more clenched areas into light and that in turn will bring more emotional stuff out.

These yoga poses are very good stretching exercises. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvcVqsujrJE

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
11/30/14 12:47 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
So, Not Tao, out of curiousity, as I've been experimenting with this "removing clenching" as you've laid it out, I ask about your order of operations when practicing the technique. Do you place primary focus on your thoughts/stimuli, so that when clenching arises, you can more immediately identify the thought/stimuli with which it is associated, and from there train yourself not to clench at that thought/stimuli? Or do you place primary focus on catching the moment of clenching itself, working backward from there to the thought/stimuli that triggered it, and then training yourself from there not to clench at that thought/stimuli? Or is it a combination of these two?

Unless I am missing something, it seems to me that this method works only by a kind of "revisiting" of the thought/stimuli, such that what caused clenching before is purposely re-placed in the mind and not clenched at, so that at some point in the future it will more naturally be let go of (thus my use of the word "training" above). Though the technique has proven helpful (and indeed, led to insights about what I've been holding onto, about the "pure" or innocent nature of thought, even taking me into "past experiences" and such), I've also found it to be a bit disorienting, kind of like juggling, though that may just be due to my inexperience with it. Thanks for sharing with us and please correct me if I am wrong.

EDIT: To clarify, I've been doing this in real time, so to speak, with whatever comes up in my daily life, and not making an explicit practice out of it, such as taking time to purposely and clenchlessly visit thoughts/stimuli that would normally dial up negative responses, as I see you have, so gauge your response based on that. If this "whatever comes up" approach does not meld well with your experience, be encouraged to say so.

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
11/30/14 7:41 PM as a reply to Incandescent Flower.
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/feeling-our-emotions/
http://bigthink.com/videos/how-our-brains-feel-emotion

Have been reading neurscientist Antonio Damasio (Descartes' Error, Self Comes to Mind) on the relationship between body and emotions. If you have never read him and find the topic of interest I have found him to be the most interesting, lucid author I've read on the subject. What's interesting is that Damasio's neurological insights reflect the process I wrote about it in my most recent practice log entry, as well as my experience practicing what Kenneth Folk referred to as grounding the emotions years ago. Of note, Damasio, who has been studying the brain's relations to emotions distinguishes between "emotions" and "feelings". All the information below lifted from articles above. Some key insights:


"Damasio’s essential insight is that feelings are “mental experiences of body states” which arise as the brain interprets emotions, themselves physical states arising from the body’s responses to external stimuli.  (The order of such events is: I am threatened, experience fear, and feel horror.) 

There are certain action programs that are obviously permanently installed in our organs and in our brains so that we can survive, flourish, procreate, and, eventually, die. This is the world of life regulation—homeostasis—that I am so interested in, and it covers a wide range of body states. There is an action program of thirst that leads you to seek water when you are dehydrated, but also an action program of fear when you are threatened. Once the action program is deployed and the brain has the possibility of mapping what has happened in the body, then that leads to the emergence of the mental state. During the action program of fear, a collection of things happen in my body that change me and make me behave in a certain way whether I want to or not. As that is happening to me, I have a mental representation of that body state as much as I have a mental representation of what frightened me.

And out of that “mapping” of something happening within the body comes a feeling, which is different from an emotion?
Exactly. For me, it’s very important to separate emotion from feeling. We must separate the component that comes out of actions from the component that comes out of our perspective on those actions, which is feeling. Curiously, it’s also where the self emerges, and consciousness itself. Mind begins at the level of feeling. It’s when you have a feeling (even if you’re a very little creature) that you begin to have a mind and a self.


So, what is happening is that the body itself is being the border and the translation service that will allow the outside world to come into the brain.  So we do not get the outside world coming into our brain, which really means coming into our mind directly, there’s no such thing.  The outside world comes into your mind via your body.  The body is constantly being the broker, it’s in between. 

And an emotion consists of a very well orchestrated set of alterations in the body that has, as a general purpose, making life more survivable by taking care of a danger, of taking care of an opportunity, either/or, or something in between.  And it’s something that is set in our genome and that we all have with a certain programmed nature that is modified by our experience so individually we have variations on the pattern.

The feeling is actually a portrayal of what is going on in the organs when you are having an emotion.  So it’s really the next thing that happens.  If you have just an emotion, you would not necessarily feel it.  To feel an emotion, you need to represent in the brain in structures that are actually different from the structures that lead to the emotion, what is going on in the organs when you’re having the emotion.  So, you can define it very simply as the process of perceiving what is going on in the organs "

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
11/30/14 9:06 PM as a reply to Incandescent Flower.
Hey Kyle,

I had to think about this a bit.  I'm basically just watching for unpleasantness, then I'm finding the clenching moments that are causing it and releasing them.  This way you don't create a new clenching that is caused by, "I must watch myself at all times and bear down on this thing!"  You know?  That's happened to me a lot in the past when I find something that works.  Your juggling feeling might actually be another clenching.

I've been practicing during everyday life as well as with the negative visualization, so we're trying the same thing, I think.  My goal with the negative visualization is to weaken the mechanism itself to the point where it just shuts down completely.  I'm hoping that I won't have to go though every problem one by one and fix them all, but rather weaken the reactionary mechanism itself to the point where it stops functioning perminantly as a kind of attainment.  The practice during the day is meant to keep the whole thing as unresponsive as possible - which is directly related to feeling as good as possible.  I have some evidence that it's possible to turn it off completely.  The states I have been calling PCEs are completely non-reactive.  The clenching just doesn't happen, even for things that I hadn't been practicing on.  Even if this isn't possible, though, it certainly does work on thoughts one at a time.  I've gotten rid of a few phobias with this method in the past (though I wasn't exactly sure what I was doing at the time, haha).

What you said about revisiting the cause, that's how it works for me as well.  I notice the clenching after it has already happened, and make sure it doesn't happen a second (third, fourth) time.  From what I've seen, it seems to need a kind of pulse to keep feelings going.  So when I am experiencing an emotion without controling it, there might be a clenching happening every few seconds as I keep encountering a thought and trying to push it away in a loop.

Something else to look at - you can realize the cause of the clenching and drop it very intuitively and quickly.  You don't need to bring up a thought again in real time and watch for when a clench happens if you can drop the whole thing right when it happens.  Kind of like tripping and catching yourself before you fall over completely, or just giving up on the reaction as it happens.  If the feeling remains after trying this, though, it might need a more direct effort.

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
12/1/14 9:52 AM as a reply to Not Tao.
That clarifies things, thanks.

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
12/4/14 8:33 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
The following is my understanding of Vipassana instruction as well as my experience, and it conflicts with some of the more complicated ideas expressed on this thread:
Emotions are composed of two things and two things only: thoughts and sensations. This loose talk of ‘affective’ states and ‘intuitive’ understanding (by Beoman) can be broken down into clear perception of either a thought or a bodily sensation – that is all. If an emotion contains anything else besides those two things I would like to know what? Intuition is a subconscious sensation, not yet brought to the forefront
By paying attention only to sensations over a long period of time and not honoring the thoughts behind them, if there are any, an imbalance can occur. Jack Kornfield wrote about a high level meditator that did just that, and I think it’s a typical experience many have had (including myself in the past) when favoring awareness of bare sensation at the expense of the subtle thoughts that support those reactions. The meditator Kornfield talks about was at a shrink, and he was being asked how he felt emotionally. He kept describing, in fine detail, the myriad sensations occurring in his body. It turns out he had unknowingly suppressed old mental issues (ideas/thoughts) he had with his father because he had been trained as a hardcore practitioner and didn’t want to psychologize his practice. Daniel rails against people treating meditation retreats as pych visits in MCTB and insists practitioners stick to noting bare sensation only. IMO going too far in this direction can lead to a big shadow side, and psychotherapy or Byron Katie-type Work becomes a welcome compliment to Vipassana awareness-of-sensation practice, understanding how Mind (thoughts) and Body (physical sensations) affect one another in the two way street of moment to moment awareness
I have experience many of the things Not Tao describes and I’m sure many here have as well, when there is no physical clenching at all. I don’t believe, as Beoman suggests, that mediators ‘clench’ more than non-meditators, my belief (from my experience) is that meditators are more aware of the clenching. The subconscious mind (for better and sometimes worse) has become more conscious in a more aware person, a person who attends to the self through meditation and introspection. For a non-meditator the subtle clenching is there, but they don’t consciously feel it – their consciousness is always directed outward. There are unconscious thoughts and unconscious sensations, and those get called ‘emotions’. For years when I began practice I thought that the purpose was to uproot the clenching reactions because when there is no physical sensation at all and one thinks a disturbing thought or sees or smells a disturbing stimulus, there is no reaction, no subtle physical pain. One is not bothered at all by anything, and you can say, in one way at least, that the person is free. But there is more
The flip side of this is that one can have uprooted all reactions, or cleared out all the energy channels, because it may be the same thing, but still feel utterly normal, not joyous at all, and just sort of monotone. One could also feel very much alive and full of wonder (the purpose of life according to Joseph Campbell) or anywhere in between those two extremes. Having experienced both extremes I concluded that the non-clenching is not the final goal, although a good accomplishment that can help quite a bit in life. Subtle clinging can also be developed from wanting to attain non-clinging (paradox!) and one can practice more like a healer than a meditator. This is having a future oriented mind and leaves one dissatisfied in a very subtle way
The goal of Vipassana (as I understand it) is to become aware of the very subtle sensations and reactions between mind (thoughts) and the body (sensation). One effects the other and vice versa. Not Tao has pointed out correctly that Vipassana does this, but I can tell he hasn’t delved into the practice deeply (I think you’ve said yourself?) because people that have done the delving know that the bare awareness of the mind/body relationship isn’t just a passive observation, the growing awareness of once-unconscious reactions and sensations actually affects the experiment! This isn’t talked about on a Goenka 10-day I think because it is very easy to turn Vipassana into Qi Gong if one knows they are ‘clearing’ the channels. In fact you can’t even say ‘channels’ at a Goenka retreat unless you want to get blacklisted – most of the assistant teachers are clueless (IME) and don’t know what they are leading their students into. This is what is meant when teachers say that awareness of reactional sensations alone ‘disembed’ one immediately from those reactions. Once the reactions and sensations are made conscious then karma is no longer created and everything starts to unravel from there. Goenka talks about this in the discourses
Also, I will disagree with Pawel that Vipassana is not about acceptance. Reality is about acceptance and Vipassana is about Reality. That doesn’t mean that one ‘accepts’ or ‘lets go’. That’s impossible. That’s like telling a severely depressed person to just be happy, or to tell an emotionally stunted person to feel love. They can’t do it. Acceptance is the nature of awareness. One applies bare awareness and that is it, the rest is magic, or rather, nature
A third experience one could have (the first is no clenching occurring, the second is bare awareness of clenching) is that one is free of suffering even as there are all sorts of sensations occurring in the body, clenching, expanding, contracting, stasis, or no reactional sensations at all – whatever. We talked about this in Not Tao’s recent Do Nothing post – a subtle, somewhat high level teaching. This is the goal as far as I can understand, and I have myself experienced ‘freedom’ as well as the opposite of freedom with reactional sensations as well as without them – this all leads me to think that this third route is the higher training, and the one that Buddhist technology is concerned with – though, admittedly, there are many Buddhisms, apparently from the threads here, also many Vipassanas : )
As an example, my kundalini exploded years ago and my energetic system went ape shit. I concentrated on the heart center for hours on end (making up my own instructions – oops) and released all sorts of deep seated vasanas from this life and maybe myriad past ones – or so they say. When one has energy coursing through the body, and all sorts of clenching and expansion and contraction going on for no apparent (emotional) reason at all, there are two scenarios. One, you get caught up in the sensations and create more sankharas reacting to bodily sensations, or, two, you observe the sensations and arrive at a place of emotional freedom, where it doesn’t matter if there is heat or pressure or pain or even bliss. You have become like a calm clear lake instead, free. There is sensation, but no afflictive emotion. You can also experience joy, equanimity, love and compassion – something the AF folks apparently want to do away with, my perspective is they’ve simply redefined words to fit the script, but that’s another discussion that’s been exhausted to bits
Another view and another experience.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned throughout the years is that this is a deeply personal practice where one confronts the Truth within themselves, no matter how much it bugs the right side of our brain, one size apparently does not fit all   

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
12/4/14 10:17 PM as a reply to Daniel - san.
Daniel, have you ever had an experience where everything was perfect in every way?  That's all Actualists are aiming for.  If you experience the embodyment of perfection, and you are careful to note it for what it is, then by comparison things like love and bliss don't measure up, simply because they aren't perfect.  That doesn't mean they're bad, it just means they aren't perfect.

The PCE is always better than the memories we make of it, and it is always completely satisfying and perfectly fulfilling.  This is why Richard says the identity/soul "me" is rotten to the core - it can never be perfect, and so it must always try to improve itself - improve experience.  In the PCE, it's realized that everything always has been perfect, and it was my own perceptions that were flawed, filtering everything through an emotional lense that necessarily distorts the world to make sense of it.  Actualism isn't about developing an aversion to emotions - it's about settling for nothing less than a perfect experience at every moment. emoticon

@Pawel: I'll give what you said some thought.  There does seem to be a subtle difference between accepting something and simply noticing it.  We might be referring to the same thing anyway, though.  As for the A&P, like I said, this was just a nice dream.  If it was A&P I'd probably be feeling the dark night now, or at least some other symptoms of the A&P.  Really, though, over the past two years, meditation has done very little to change my "normal".  Most of the changes that have happened seem to be coming out of my emotional work.

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
12/4/14 11:45 PM as a reply to Daniel - san.
Very thoughtful post....

Thank you

Psi

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
12/5/14 12:07 AM as a reply to Not Tao.
Not Tao:
Daniel, have you ever had an experience where everything was perfect in every way?  That's all Actualists are aiming for.  If you experience the embodyment of perfection, and you are careful to note it for what it is, then by comparison things like love and bliss don't measure up, simply because they aren't perfect.  That doesn't mean they're bad, it just means they aren't perfect.
Would you define perfect as this?  If one holds an apple, and examines that apple, that apple could be said to be the perfection of that particular apple, it can be no more nor no less that the apple that it is, thus the apple is perfect at being that particular apple.  Is that the perfection you are defining?

Also, would you say that , rather than being an optimist or a pessimist, one is better off being a realist?  In this view one is aware of things as they actually are, is this then too another way of describing where everything is perfect in every way?  How else can it be?

Have you had an experience where everything was not perfect in every way?

Psi

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
12/5/14 12:41 AM as a reply to Not Tao.
Not Tao:
Daniel, have you ever had an experience where everything was perfect in every way?

I have yes. I have experienced that perfection while being free of all clenching, or all potential for reaction, and I have experienced perfection (freedom) in the midst of pain and being totally blocked up with sensation. The 'ego' (as many refer to it) resides as a energetic sensation in the heart center (says Ramana Maharshi, I intuituvely realized this myself a few times). Whether the energy system is totally clear (no clenching or potential for clenching) or whether the system is going bonkers (IME) is not an indication of freedom or perfection. It's easier to experience when clear is all, and that is the purpose of energy practices and perhaps being well stablised in samatha practice

That's all Actualists are aiming for.  If you experience the embodyment of perfection, and you are careful to note it for what it is, then by comparison things like love and bliss don't measure up, simply because they aren't perfect.  That doesn't mean they're bad, it just means they aren't perfect.

When we've discussed this idea before, that actual freedom means no love, no compassion, I pushed back. Here's why. Your (and Beoman's) descriptions of compassion involves ego. There is a compassion that involves no ego. Perhaps you call it harmlessness in AF-talk, or something else. My question is, what is the benevolent nature that is left that motivates a PCE-induced person to act harmlessly? I call that compassion. I think we mean two different things by that word
The same goes for love. There is a thing called unconditional love that many (unfortuantely) have not experienced. It doesn't have conditions, it is just there. There is no ego involved. I find it interesting that both Buddhist practice and Actualist practice say that the (non-existent) ego/identity is the problem. If that mirage is transcended/seen-through, all suffering vanishes. They depart in their philosphical views when AF says the individual is a mirage but the world is not. Buddhism says it's all an impermanent fleeting sleight of hand. Science seems to agree with Buddhism on that front. Not to be too philosophical (Daniel touched on the incongruent Actualist teaching in his write up on the subject) but it seems to me that the closer one gets to the present moment (to Reality) the more one sees there is no there there. When pressed on the subject of permanance v. impermance, Beoman suggested that a mug was permanent. That's when I closed the door on Actualist philosophy and the supposed 180 degree difference from 'spirituality'. If they are both about stripping down reality and finding Truth (which is the point for most) where are these 180 degree differences? I'm not talking about jhana here - that is a manufactured state and practitioners know it. Vipassana's goal is to deal in Reality. Also the goal of Actualism, yes? Are there two realities?
To place the realm of perfection dependant upon not feeling love or compassion means there is another incongruency in your view. Things are either perfect or not. A state does not make it so. You may have only realized this perfection when free from energetic grasping but have you ever experienced non-perfection when free of energetic grasping? My experience is that the perfection you see is always there no matter what sensations or thoughts are present (I thought we agreed on this). Maybe when you experience that perfection in the midst of your heart center going wild you will see that realization of perfection is not based on a sensation-less state. Or maybe these things are too personal to line up into a neat theory or package


The PCE is always better than the memories we make of it, and it is always completely satisfying and perfectly fulfilling.  This is why Richard says the identity/soul "me" is rotten to the core - it can never be perfect, and so it must always try to improve itself - improve experience.  In the PCE, it's realized that everything always has been perfect, and it was my own perceptions that were flawed, filtering everything through an emotional lense that necessarily distorts the world to make sense of it.  Actualism isn't about developing an aversion to emotions - it's about settling for nothing less than a perfect experience at every moment. emoticon

That's good, I'd say that's what spiritual practice is about as well (I'm not a concentration practitioner). What I'm pushing back on is that an affectless state free of the physical sensations of expanding or contracting or whatever is more perfect than an energetic, so-called emotional state. The point is to merge into the present moment deeply, the only Reality there is. If the realization of perfection is the goal of Actualism I would say it has the same goal as Buddhism (as I see it anyway ; )
My own insights have told me that the world is either perfect or imperfect but it cannot be both - that is what they call Duality. It is a Judeo-Christian way of thinking. Reach this state and transcend your emotions and transcend imperfection - perfect yourself. Your view appears to be that perfection (or the experience of perfection) is state-dependant. I gravitate more to the idea that it's all always perfect and we don't always know it. These are two approaches that veer in two very different directions, Buddhists would call it Wrong View. When you think you are imperfect if you're in am emotional state there will be a subtle grasping for the non-energetic emotionless state, and suffering and subtle grasping is experienced in that moment - the only moment there is

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
12/5/14 1:04 AM as a reply to Psi.
Perfection is not objective - as in this or that such apple is a perfect representation of an apple - it's subjective - as in, I feel that this apple is perfect.  Perfection is a feeling, or an opinion about reality.  Beauty is another word like this.  I know exactly what a beautiful painting is, and it really wouldn't matter what anyone else said about it, I would still think it was beautiful.  Perfection is an experience.

So, in a pure conscious experience, everything is the experience of perfection.  It isn't a philosophical argument, it is simply an obseravtion about everything - just like if you were to look at a leaf and say it was green, in a PCE you would also say it was perfect.  Someone might point out that the green is more of a yellow, and someone else might point out that a worm had nobbled a few holes on the side, but even as these facts came to light they would be seen as perfect as well.  There are no emotional judgements, so there isn't even a subtle desire to change anything.

The word "perfection" can maybe mean other things, but in this context it's referring to that fairytale-like quality that Richard talks about - as if you had stepped into another world where whatever you do, wherever you go, whatever you see is complete unto itself, needing nothing.  The whole world becomes the most spectacular fantasy where even a yellow plastic cup can hold your attention for hours at a time, simply because you had never seen anything so perfect in your life.

So it isn't whether the apple is perfect, it's whether you are seeing it as perfect or not.

EDIT: So I'm using the word "perfect" in its most obvious sense here.  The PCE doesn't need any special definitions for words to explain it - it's emotionless, and this makes it a perfect experience.  I think the only difficulty when faced with this explanation is that the affective mind just doesn't want to believe it - there is nothing truely perfect for the ego, it's very nature is to see flaws and express them emotionally.  This is what it was designed to do by blind nature in order to keep us safe.  So the only way to see perfection is to be rid of it entierly.

EDIT 2: @Daniel - It just doesn't make any sense to me to view any form of anxiety, anger, sadness, regret, guilt, and so on as a perfect experience.  These experiences are negative by definition.  I wonder if you're being completely honest with yourself.  When you've experienced perfect freedom while feeling these emotions, can you say that YOU were feeling them, or were you watching them happen as if to someone else?  If the latter is the case, then you weren't actually experiencing the emotions directly, no?  Or, if you were experiencing intense emotional "energy" but this energy was felt positively, you also can't really say you're experiencing the same thing you were before, right?  So the feeling itself became better in some way and provided relief, and this relief is the freedom you're talking about isn't it?

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
12/5/14 12:50 AM as a reply to Not Tao.
btw sorry if I hijacked the deva realm thread Not Tao, it really was a nice dream emoticon

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
12/5/14 11:08 AM as a reply to Not Tao.
Not Tao:
Perfection is not objective - as in this or that such apple is a perfect representation of an apple - it's subjective - as in, I feel that this apple is perfect.  Perfection is a feeling, or an opinion about reality.  Beauty is another word like this.  I know exactly what a beautiful painting is, and it really wouldn't matter what anyone else said about it, I would still think it was beautiful.  Perfection is an experience.

So, in a pure conscious experience, everything is the experience of perfection.  It isn't a philosophical argument, it is simply an obseravtion about everything - just like if you were to look at a leaf and say it was green, in a PCE you would also say it was perfect.  Someone might point out that the green is more of a yellow, and someone else might point out that a worm had nobbled a few holes on the side, but even as these facts came to light they would be seen as perfect as well.  There are no emotional judgements, so there isn't even a subtle desire to change anything.

The word "perfection" can maybe mean other things, but in this context it's referring to that fairytale-like quality that Richard talks about - as if you had stepped into another world where whatever you do, wherever you go, whatever you see is complete unto itself, needing nothing.  The whole world becomes the most spectacular fantasy where even a yellow plastic cup can hold your attention for hours at a time, simply because you had never seen anything so perfect in your life.

So it isn't whether the apple is perfect, it's whether you are seeing it as perfect or not.

EDIT: So I'm using the word "perfect" in its most obvious sense here.  The PCE doesn't need any special definitions for words to explain it - it's emotionless, and this makes it a perfect experience.  I think the only difficulty when faced with this explanation is that the affective mind just doesn't want to believe it - there is nothing truely perfect for the ego, it's very nature is to see flaws and express them emotionally.  This is what it was designed to do by blind nature in order to keep us safe.  So the only way to see perfection is to be rid of it entierly.

Perfection is a feeling, or an opinion about reality.  The PCE doesn't need any special definitions for words to explain it - it's emotionless, and this makes it a perfect experience.

So, from your statements which is it? Is your subjective PCE either emotionless or a feeling?  If your PCE is emotionless, by definition there are no feelings.  If your PCE is a feeling, then by definition it is not emotionless.  If your PCE is subjective then is it really a state of Pure Concsiouness, this implies a discriminating consciousness judging the purity of said consciousness, which makes it an Impure Consciousness Experience. 

If this really would enable one to stare addled at a yellow plastic cup for hours at a time, then , I for one would abandon this endeavor, as there are far more important things to do with one's life, unless perhaps one were a cat... But , I think even a cat is not as much bemused by a yellow plastic cup, even if it is perfect.  Perhaps you are using this as a metaphor, for one to just have a feeling of peace, even with such a mundane item as a yellow cup.

Perhaps your PCE is beyond words, and your words are doing it an Injustice, just as when we others describe our PCE we do an Injustice and you correct our perfect subjective experiences to make an imperfect fit.

For me, there is no malice here, just trying to keep you investigating, to improve, not that you asked for such torment, but as a friend you never asked for.

And I agree, it really isn't a philosophical argument, it's an experience.

Psi

By the way, your latest practice postings are really hitting the nail on the head, it really resonated.

"Just enjoy it and be free."

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
12/5/14 2:52 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Not Tao:
EDIT 2: @Daniel - It just doesn't make any sense to me to view any form of anxiety, anger, sadness, regret, guilt, and so on as a perfect experience.  These experiences are negative by definition.  I wonder if you're being completely honest with yourself.  When you've experienced perfect freedom while feeling these emotions, can you say that YOU were feeling them, or were you watching them happen as if to someone else?  If the latter is the case, then you weren't actually experiencing the emotions directly, no? 

It's a good question. I re-read this post and your Silver Bullet post because there's a possible answer already contained therein. I would say again that emotions are simply a conglomeration of (at least partially subconscious) thoughts and sensations - that is all. By becoming fully conscious of one and/or the other, one disembeds from that experience and I suppose it is not happening to YOU at this point, as one cannot observe oneself (or so they say). This is an intellectualization that happens later though and I'm not sure how important the philosophical framework is to the actual experience of the thing
Joseph Campbell has pointed out that therapy can work because once someone knows what makes themselves tick, they get sorted out. Vipassana works to dismbed one from emotions in a similiar way, but dealing with the sensation aspect of emotions instead of the mental content aspect, as in psychology. In your Silver Bullet thread you referenced this sciency article (that you thought Richard Zen would be into) that says the same thing that Vipassana practice does in another (more scientific) way:

http://www.effective-mind-control.com/amygdala.html:
An awareness of the physical symptoms accompanying emotions can also instantly disconnect the messages to the amygdala.

Not Tao:
Or, if you were experiencing intense emotional "energy" but this energy was felt positively, you also can't really say you're experiencing the same thing you were before, right?  So the feeling itself became better in some way and provided relief, and this relief is the freedom you're talking about isn't it?

Not exactly and this is the point that I am getting at. Even in the midst of what we call deep seated pain (pressure, heat, tension) there can be a freedom and perfection experienced. IME it has more to do with how conscious we are of previously unconscious thoughts and sensations and less to do with the composition of those emotions (thoughts and sensations). It has to ultimately do with craving, and if we are at complete peace in the moment regardless of thoughts or sensations - I suppose there is a non-identification happening but that idea comes later
That said (as I said earlier) it is certainly easier to glimpse perfection when there is no tension within. I'm not sure if 'stressful' thoughts are a block to this experience but...if the apple is still an apple then the only thing that has changed is the perception. When one is at peace in the moment there are not stressful (conflicting) thoughts, but there could be very heavy, even piercing heart-centered sensations occurring.
The experiences of satori (or PCE) are also called realizations and it is a worthy endeavor to cultivate those states. But they are states, if one is not in the fairytale staring-at-a-yellow-cup-for-two-hours state in the present moment one can still access this perfection, one can still disembed. One need not be non-emotional to experience it, but perhaps the ego must be in abeyance. Buddhism and Actualism both point this out, that ego is the problem. Funny that Actualists think the goal and practice is so different - the philosphies are very different - that is clear
I think subconscious grasping is actually the problem, maybe another perspective or maybe just another way to say the same thing - wanting things to be different than they actually are in the moment. That's why I have said that relying on fairytale-like states before one glimpses perfection sets one up for subtle craving when not in that state
As for love and joy and compassion being imperfect states, that is not my experience. I have been totally fulfilled and without any needs while resonating with a fellow being or feeling deep contented joy. I think we mean different things by our words and maybe our experiences don't line up somewhere. I'll leave that alone for now, but please consider the question that I've asked before:
If there is no compassion in the PCE (perfect state) what motivates one to be harmless? Why care for a fellow being at all or not hurt another, or why help another or do something to make someone happy? What is the impetus behind PCE-related harmlessness if it isn't just intellectual?

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
12/5/14 2:30 PM as a reply to Psi.
I think I should mention that Richard does often talk about the universe as being perfect outside of any subjective interpretation. In fact, it is specifically consciousness sans a feeling of subject who is alien to the universe who can compare the universe to some "other-world" that makes this objective perfection into a conscious experience. This objective perception of perfection is the PCE which is closely mimicked by feelings of perfection (which can in some cases turn into total corruptions of the PCE). These feelings are to be cultivated as they keep the alien entity 'i' at the brink of exctinction.

In short reality is perfect but that perfection is not tangible prior to consciousness to experience it. That perfection is then corrupted into imperfection by the "alien entity" who is the "I." The intelligence of human beings and their capacity to see themselves as the universe experiencing itself rather than just being stuck as that alien entity is what allows consciousness without "self" to arise in this universe. Actualism becomes important for those who realize that what they are is a sensitive being, because such a person values enjoyment rather than merely survival of the identity. Actualism is a way to (as an identity) consciously mimick the consciousness free of self, and the way to mimick that is by feeling that things are good/great/perfect.

I don't think these points I raised are incredibly significant practically, because if one is appreciating one's physical experience of one's physical surroundings then one is probably going in the right direction. However, I thought I would ground this conversation in what is actually written on the AFT for those who care (meaning this sincerely, as some do not care... and i dont have a problem with that.)

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
12/5/14 4:47 PM as a reply to Daniel - san.
Daniel, the way you portray Actualism in these past couple of posts is very different from my understanding of it.  I don't want to go through them point by point, but you should know that I haven't been a strict Actualist and have been experimenting with a variety of methods including psychotherapy, Buddhist and Taoist meditation, and releasing techniques. You shouldn't take my posts to be representative of Actualist practice - in fact, it would be prudent not to take anything written on this forum as representational of Actualism since very few people here are practicing the method and techniques 100% or even understand said methods and techniques. Most people here know Actualism through a third or even fourth party and haven't invested any time learning about it themselves.

If the things you've heard about it interest you, it would be worthwhile to spend some time reading what the Actualists have to say about things and make up your mind from there. But again, please don't assume I know what I'm talking about or am representing Richard's teachings in any way, haha. I keep finding a lot I've misunderstood, myself. emoticon

The only thing I can say I'm sure about is that I've experienced PCEs and I understand them to be the goal of my practice. Everything about emotionlessness and the self-centered nature of emotions, the idea of perfection, etc. are all just very clear and obvious in the PCE. There's really no reason to debate about it. Either it makes sense, or what you're calling a PCE isn't a PCE. If there is joy, it's not a PCE. If it helps, I was having these experiences before I learned about Actualism. The whole reason I connected with the ideas is because they made complete sense right away. I just read the description and said to myself, "Oh, yes, he get's it!"

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
12/5/14 8:57 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Not Tao:
Daniel, the way you portray Actualism in these past couple of posts is very different from my understanding of it.  

ok Not Tao, my bad, I don't want you going through all your disagreements to my post point by point Beoman-style, it's been done to death. It wasn't really my main point though, and I admit, my responses were mostly to things Beoman has said about AF in the past, him being apparently the most knowlegable representative here, but not to digress
What I was actually getting at was defining 'emotion' (as simply thought and sensation and nothing more), and the freedom (fearlessness, freshness, wonder) that can be experienced even when powerful heart-centered sensations are occuring - 'healing' those sensations isn't necessary IME, disembedding from them is. Maybe that's the same thing as ego-loss, not sure
The thing about harmlessness v. compassion and what is the impetus for a PCE'd person to treat others kindly was really just an aside (and still hasn't been answered) - as I was trying to demonstrate that the word 'emotion' seems to be the problem, or even 'affect'. Something compels one to treat others nicely in a PCE and Actualist have decided to blur that something and called it non-emotive and not compassion . 
I also pointed to the fact that both Buddhists and Actualists consider the non-existing ego to be the main problem, both (apparently unless I am mistaken about AF) prescribe seeing through the false-self (that doesn't exist anyway) as a prescription to freedom
Yet they are totally different things...

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
12/5/14 9:55 PM as a reply to Daniel - san.
Maybe this will explain.

Something compels one to treat others nicely in a PCE and Actualist have decided to blur that something and called it non-emotive and not compassion.


Perhaps the best definition of a PCE is that you are compelled by nothing. There is no drive, no purpose, no push and pull, no compelling. Emotions are the things that push and pull, so compassion is what pushes away from disgust and pulls towards kindness. In the PCE, none of this push and pull happens. There is nothing like disgust, malice, or anger to keep in check, so there is no need to be compelled to treat people nicely. The benevolence is a quality of the PCE, it's not a feeling. Benevolence is a quality of neutrality.

I also pointed to the fact that both Buddhists and Actualists consider the non-existing ego to be the main problem, both (apparently unless I am mistaken about AF) prescribe seeing through the false-self (that doesn't exist anyway) as a prescription to freedom.


Richard addresses this, actually. He says the loss of the ego, only, is enlightenment, and the loss of both the ego and the soul (passions/emotions) is actual freedom. Richard describes his enlightenment as being "ruled by the heart" which is considered to be a kind of super-self. This actually matches Daniel Ingram's descriptions, which surprised me. In a thread where he described his current emotional state, Daniel said his emotions were actually much clearer and more raw than they were before.

Richard also says that enlightenment isn't a true loss of the ego, but a dissociation from the ego. The mind takes the Absolute, by whatever name, to be the true self, and the ego is seen to be acting on it's own. Anything involving surrendering the will (probably including Buddhist no-self dogma) will produce this kind of result.

So Actualism is about bypassing the "delusion of enlightenment" - as Richard calls it - and coming to the actual world of the senses. IMHO, though, these explanations and discussions are kind of silly, though. We don't really have any understanding of how the brain works, so these explanations are just experiential. Better to look at the methods and outcomes, which really are different.

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
12/5/14 10:13 PM as a reply to Not Tao.

So Actualism is about bypassing the "delusion of enlightenment" - as Richard calls it - and coming to the actual world of the senses. IMHO, though, these explanations and discussions are kind of silly, though. We don't really have any understanding of how the brain works, so these explanations are just experiential. Better to look at the methods and outcomes, which really are different.



What?

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
12/5/14 11:55 PM as a reply to lama carrot top.
"Every single person you meet, look at them like a golden million dollar baby"- American recording artist Lil B'

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
12/6/14 2:33 AM as a reply to Adam . ..
Thank you, that was a nice sane and logical explanation.

Psi

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
12/6/14 2:24 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
As you've said yourself in the past Not Tao, I'm not sure how important it is in the scheme of things to reconcile Buddhist or Spiritual practice with Actualism, but I think we're actually getting somewhere in that endeavor (in my mind anyway  : ) Maybe this will help someone, maybe it’s helping me
Anyway, the reasons I'm compelled to do this are as follows:

1.) There is an emotional perfection model in Buddhist and Wisdom teachings that has been poo-poo'ed by the pragmatic dharma movement, at least by MCTB adherents and D Ingram. I suspect many got into meditation practice to begin with to escape emotional suffering (I did) and then definitions changed, or maybe the landscape changed as insights emerged, something happened anyway. I still find the emotional model of Enlightenment compelling and I seriously question whether it’s a myth because a.) it is admitted by pragmatic dharmists that afflictive emotions are at least attenuated as one progresses on the path – some don’t get depressed anymore, some experience frustration but not anger anymore, and there is a general move in the direction of emotional perfection, even if no one (here now anyway) has claimed actual freedom from afflictive emotions as a stable permanent experience b.) I’ve experienced it myself (but it obviously didn't stick)

2.) The PCE is said to be a natural state free from anything manufactured. Taoism points to this natural state, as does Buddhism. Many have experienced it that never heard of some guy named Richard. It’s doesn’t make sense that in the whole of human endeavoring toward wholeness that no one else has experienced the natural effortless state and it took a kooky Australian dude with a major spiritual chip on his flesh and blood body shoulder (why can’t he just say ‘body’?) to discover it, sort it all out, and claim first ownership. It doesn’t add up. Other teachers (including the Buddha) like Adi Da, Andrew Cohen and L Ron Hubbard (plus many more, some with homemade tinfoil hats) have all also said that they have developed some new and special basic spiritual training and philosophy which is the Truth and which no one in history has explained before. They are (of course) the most highly developed humans walking the planet and if everyone would just listen to them the world would be transformed into a Nirvana. Megalomania is the psychological condition used to describe those with such delusions of grandeur and I call bullshit. That is certainly not to say the baby (the teachings) should be thrown out with the bathwater (the teacher). All of the above teachers (except for maybe L Ron, although he has a very entertaining imagination) had very important and transformative teachings regarding the human condition and development in general

3.) Reconciling these various teachings has value. Currently it seems like everyone is a blind man describing some part of the elephant. When a more holistic and clear picture emerges concerning developmental technologies it should help people to free themselves (at least temporarily at first) from the afflictive emotional states that plague the world over. There will be more tools available

Not Tao:
Perhaps the best definition of a PCE is that you are compelled by nothing. There is no drive, no purpose, no push and pull, no compelling. Emotions are the things that push and pull, so compassion is what pushes away from disgust and pulls towards kindness. In the PCE, none of this push and pull happens. There is nothing like disgust, malice, or anger to keep in check, so there is no need to be compelled to treat people nicely. The benevolence is a quality of the PCE, it's not a feeling. Benevolence is a quality of neutrality.

I was meditating on these ideas last night and this morning. Being compelled by nothing is the same thing as being without desire – the source of suffering according to Buddhism. IME compassion does not involve disgust or craving – that is pity. This is my own definition, being that something done without ego (without desire) is a pure (you say perfect) action. When colored by ego it involves this push and pull you speak of because you are considering different separate entities to be involved in some struggle. The benevolence you speak of that is part of the natural state is kindness (please don’t get tripped up by the words – kindness is in the definition of benevolence). That is expressed as love (when another being is happy) or compassion, when another being is suffering. If you enjoy the PCE that is joy – it’s in the word. The neutrality of the PCE is equanimity. These are the four Brahma Viharas that are descriptions of Being, of the natural unmanufactured state. I don't really think I'm stretching here

I think the misunderstanding happens because in spiritual practice equanimity and compassion and love are practiced (faking it until you make it). But when the natural state is accessed there is no effort to love or feel compassionate – you could say it is the nature of being, or pure consciousness - it is just there, it naturally manifests. Words seem to be separating here. Assuming that there is one flavor to purity and clear seeing is also problematic

Richard also says that enlightenment isn't a true loss of the ego, but a dissociation from the ego. The mind takes the Absolute, by whatever name, to be the true self, and the ego is seen to be acting on it's own. Anything involving surrendering the will (probably including Buddhist no-self dogma) will produce this kind of result.

So Actualism is about bypassing the "delusion of enlightenment" - as Richard calls it - and coming to the actual world of the senses. 

So you are saying that Actualism points to the same problem for human suffering as Buddhism (the ego) and the same cure (destroy the ego that doesn’t really exist anyway) but spiritually Enlightened people the world over have all been deluding themselves by disassociating themselves from their egos without actually transcending their ego views? Looking at this clearly (granted I’m not in a PCE state right now just using my common sense) I would say these statements say more about the messenger than the message. It may very well be the case that Richard was in a disassociated state in his enlightenment, but to proclaim the same symptom upon the whole history of human spiritual discovery and development seems like a leap – and I’d take it with a giant grain of salt

Still, I agree. The practices are what matter. I am intertested in freeing myself completely from all afflictive emotions, but not from unconditonal love, kindness, joy or compassion. May we all complete our chosen paths : )

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
12/6/14 3:28 PM as a reply to Daniel - san.
Buddhism frames emotional perfection as the divine abodes (metta, etc), so it's hard to compare it to Actualism, which specifically points to the emotionless aspect of the PCE being that which is freeing.  There are suttas where the Buddha says the practice of enjoying everything is wrong view, and he actually complements the practice of a brahmin who is is attempting to find what is wrong with or ugly about all things since this lines up with the idea that all conditioned states are unsatisfying.  I used to take offense when I'd read things Richard wrote like, "Buddhists don't want to be here on earth at this moment in time," but then if you read the suttas, you can see exactly that.  Jhana is a journey inward, not outward, and the very end of the path of jhana is the unconditioned and the deathless, then the complete cessation of consciousness.  That's not to say that all Buddhist practices focus on these teachings, but if you dig into them past the surface, you begin to see these teachings emerge.  This is actually what has been so frustrating for me, reading a lot of spiritually inspired writing.  On the surface they seem to be talking about the things I've experienced, but then they veer off course and talk about how "all is one" or "love is the basis of all" or "self is the cause of suffering and disillution of the self is freedom".  A lot of the arguments we've had are about these surface features.  Maybe you've run into the same frustrations I have?  Haven't you noticed that no one is claiming to have really fixed themselves?

Taoism is actually a different animal from Buddhism.  Taoists are interested in flow, and it's encouraged to express the emotions "like a newborn infant."  Taoism in its purest form is about awknowledging the cycles and movements of life and yeilding to them however they come.  So definately not Actualism.  Taoists aim to remove their inhibitions completely - like the "holy fools" that are revered in zen.  If you talked about emotionlessness and the idea of perfection with them, they wouldn't like it one bit, I'd think.

Richard doesn't seem narcisistic to me.  He's very confident, yes, but when he says no one else in history has discovered an actual freedom from the human condition, he's just going off what he's read.  Have you read of anyone or any group in history that specifically talked about removing all of the emotions completely without a trace?  Maybe he's right and this is something new to history.  It doesn't mean no one's ever been actually free before, it just means we don't know about it.  The closest I've seen to working towards the goal of actual freedom is the stoics and epicureans, and none of them succeeded.  The sage (a person free from passions) was a mythical or ideal figure to aim towards, and it was acknowledged that the goal was out of reach in reality.  Wherever you go, whatever you read, people everywhere love to say that it is impossible to control the emotions, and one should practice humility, or morality, or abandon their will (their self) to allow the positive emotions to come more readily.  I am honestly curious, can you think of anything that ISN'T like this?  I haven't found anything besides Actual Freedom that seems to understand about the PCE.

I think the main problem you are having with these ideas is that you aren't remembering a PCE.  The PCE is emotionless.  This isn't some way of playing with the words or a way of segregating the emotions from eachother.  It's just the truth.  Maybe you can say you don't like the idea of being emotionless, or that what you are feeling is better than being without emotions, but at the end of the day there isn't much more to say about it.  I have no idea if what you are talking about is a PCE or not, so it's up to you to decide.  The idea isn't that the emotions are wrong or something to demonize - the idea is that the PCE is so obviously without them, and the PCE is a perfect experience.  The PCE is the proof for actualism.  Seeing is believing, and all that.  So, IDK, if you keep trying to merge everything into one understanding, you might be missing out, no?

EDIT: Bah, how did you drag me into another one of these conversations! Lol emoticon

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
12/6/14 3:36 PM as a reply to Daniel - san.
Yes, it is all the same, it has to be, the common denominator, is the mind , or the consciousness.  You summed it all up very nicely, well put.  There are far more similarities than differences.  The differences are just perceived differences, and to the clinging thereof, IMHO....

Excellent

Psi

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
12/6/14 5:35 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Not Tao:
Buddhism frames emotional perfection as the divine abodes (metta, etc), so it's hard to compare it to Actualism, which specifically points to the emotionless aspect of the PCE being that which is freeing. 

You call benevolence 'emotionless', which I think is a definitional strategy (not saying it's intentional). As I said the neutrality of the PCE is equanimity – not manufactured equanimity or a cultivated jhanic state, but the neutrality of awakened Being – the desirelessness of someone who has dropped their egoic perspective. Benevolence is love, expressed as compassion when one is suffering and joy when one is happy. There are egoic expressions of these emotions and non-egoic expressions. Both Actualism and Buddhism (and Taoism and…) are pointing toward a clear non-egoic state of existence. Richard (apparently) says that spiritual practitioners and teachers the world over are deluding themselves when they say they have transcended the ego, only he has (or only he has talked about it). If that’s not an egotistical perspective, it is certainly self-centered to put it mildly. Let me ask you (rhetorically if you've had enough) why do you think there is only one 'flavor' to freedom perfection and egolessness? Why do you think one Australian dude with a website and a few followers must be the only correct person on the planet since recorded historical time simply because you both have similar experiences? Can you imagine that there are different expressions of Truth and freedom and perfection that are too big to fit inside one type of experience?

There are suttas where the Buddha says the practice of enjoying everything is wrong view, and he actually complements the practice of a brahmin who is is attempting to find what is wrong with or ugly about all things since this lines up with the idea that all conditioned states are unsatisfying.

I'm not sure about that teaching but the Buddha may have been referring to Hedonism as (it is taught) if one overly indulges in sense pleasure it obscures clear seeing into the nature of reality as it dulls the mind. I'm not here to defend all the suttas as the Buddha taught to different levels of practitioners in different ways and contradictions can be found within all spiritual teachings. My main point is that no one has a market on realizing unmanufactured Reality or on a pure conscious experience, it just rings my bs meter in a major way. However in order to cultivate humility I leave open the possibility that Richard is the most advanced perfected practitioner and teacher throught recorded history, although just typing that actually made me lol

I used to take offense when I'd read things Richard wrote like, "Buddhists don't want to be here on earth at this moment in time," but then if you read the suttas, you can see exactly that.  Jhana is a journey inward, not outward, and the very end of the path of jhana is the unconditioned and the deathless, then the complete cessation of consciousness. 

That seems to be the case with fruition as described by the MCTB crowd and I still don't get it (no blips here). But (as far as I am aware) when the Buddha was asked to comment on where a fully awakened one goes after they die he was silent. The Mahayana has all sorts of colorful mythology to answer that question but it seems to me that those who don't subscribe to rebirth believe cessation of consciousness happens to all of us sooner or later and certainly happens every night to all of us when we go to sleep. Unless you're aware when sleeping, which has happened to me before, and I can't say it's a goal of my practice, still, I don't get that cessation of consciousness thing as any sort of admirable goal either

Haven't you noticed that no one is claiming to have really fixed themselves?

I have seen some claim it and then take it back. From those that actually do 'fix themselves' (from what I've read) many times they say you weren't broken to begin with, you just didn't know it. I have experienced states of wonder and complete fearlessness and the total disappearance of emotional reaction (what I call a PCE) for limited periods of time and that's why I find this subject intriguing. I also slightly cringe inwardly when someone says 'completely fix themselves' or that they are the only ones in history to teach this new thing called Pure Consciousness. I think Actualism hasn't caught on more because it's clear to many that these ideas aren't so new, lots of people want to fix or perfect themselves and plenty have seen (at least afflictive) emotions as the problem. I don't see anyone here claiming AF, just talking about Richard. Still, I think there's value here, hence all the characters on this screen 

Taoism is actually a different animal from Buddhism.  Taoists are interested in flow, and it's encouraged to express the emotions "like a newborn infant."  Taoism in its purest form is about awknowledging the cycles and movements of life and yeilding to them however they come.  So definately not Actualism.  Taoists aim to remove their inhibitions completely - like the "holy fools" that are revered in zen.  If you talked about emotionlessness and the idea of perfection with them, they wouldn't like it one bit, I'd think.

My knowledge of Taoism comes only from the Tao Te Ching and perfection seems to be expressed quite lucidly there. My spiritual knowledge is informed by everything I’ve gotten my hands on and I am probably not as well versed in the suttas as you are. In the course of these discussions I have become aware that I am practicing very differently than many others and we mean different things by the words Equanimity, Love, Compassion etc. One thing I am sure of though is that an unmanufactured natural state is described by the Buddha, by the Tao Te Ching, by many modern teachers, and I have glimpsed this ‘Being’ in my own experience as well. I have noticed that you sometimes confuse meditation with manufactured jhanic states, and, while most people mean that by the word ‘meditation’, many do not. When it is seen that the imputation of the self is just another sensation and that dichotomy is dropped (or is allowed to drop) clear seeing can happen. As I said though, trying to narrow down the pure conscious experience into one particular flavor may not be wise – I’m not sure everyone experiences egolessness or desirelessness in the same way, and that is ultimately what we are talking about. No one knows the truth here though and both of us are arguing from an intuitive level using what has worked for us personally.

Richard doesn't seem narcisistic to me.  He's very confident, yes, but when he says no one else in history has discovered an actual freedom from the human condition, he's just going off what he's read.  Have you read of anyone or any group in history that specifically talked about removing all of the emotions completely without a trace?  Maybe he's right and this is something new to history.  It doesn't mean no one's ever been actually free before, it just means we don't know about it.  The closest I've seen to working towards the goal of actual freedom is the stoics and epicureans, and none of them succeeded.  The sage (a person free from passions) was a mythical or ideal figure to aim towards, and it was acknowledged that the goal was out of reach in reality.  Wherever you go, whatever you read, people everywhere love to say that it is impossible to control the emotions, and one should practice humility, or morality, or abandon their will (their self) to allow the positive emotions to come more readily.  I am honestly curious, can you think of anything that ISN'T like this?  I haven't found anything besides Actual Freedom that seems to understand about the PCE.

All I know is I have experienced this neutrality and fearlessness in my own experience Not Tao, and I’m sure others have. In 10-day Goenka courses he talks about the two wings of the bird, awareness and equanimity. If both are cultivated one is taken beyond desire and beyond ego, and one sees clearly. I have practiced this simple practice going inward into my Truth and it lightens my emotional load, at some points it left me with a sense of wonder, fearlessness and natural grace that I think is admirable to cultivate. Again, I think the problem is the word ‘emotionless’. You call 'benevolence' emotionless when a more accurate term might be egolessness. The reason I said we are getting somewhere is that Richard defines the ego as the problem and transcendence of the ego as the solution (as does Buddhism). He then says that all spiritual practitioners delude themselves to think they have conquered the ego throughout time, but how he knows this I cannot say. Doesn't that sound fishy to you?
 
I think the main problem you are having with these ideas is that you aren't remembering a PCE.  The PCE is emotionless.  This isn't some way of playing with the words or a way of segregating the emotions from eachother.  It's just the truth.  Maybe you can say you don't like the idea of being emotionless, or that what you are feeling is better than being without emotions, but at the end of the day there isn't much more to say about it.  I have no idea if what you are talking about is a PCE or not, so it's up to you to decide.  The idea isn't that the emotions are wrong or something to demonize - the idea is that the PCE is so obviously without them, and the PCE is a perfect experience.  The PCE is the proof for actualism.  Seeing is believing, and all that.  So, IDK, if you keep trying to merge everything into one understanding, you might be missing out, no?

I do think there are different teachings and different understandings, perhaps even different ultimate goals, a very interesting subject indeed. I also think that 'emotionless' is the incorrect word if one experiences wonder or enjoyment or benevolence – that is the source of the misunderstanding. Let's substitute 'egoless'. Then you can ask whether someone has (at least for some amount of time) experienced a transcendence of the ego. I would say yes to that. I also think that Enlightenment, Awakening and Pure Consciousness has different flavors to it, the attempt to corner the market on what that experience should look and feel like seems arrogant and insensitive to me considering the wide range of human experience (I'm not saying you are arrogant but, perhaps like me, you have an arrogant mind ; ). Freedom from suffering is the goal, many say freedom from the ego is the cure. I think we should have a more open minded approach to what freedom from the ego means. All of these teachings are dealing with Truth - a pretty massive concept to say the least, probably too big for conceptualization. When one teaching says they have the Truth and no one else does (as sooo many religions and spiritual teachings do) I think it is wise to be severely skeptical of that, and to consider other possibilities 

By the way, I started this discussion to say that heart-centered sensations are not a problem, that perfection, fearlessness and wonder can still be experienced even in the midst of ‘pain’. I am sure happy to agree to disagree however on all of these points : )

EDIT: Bah, how did you drag me into another one of these conversations! Lol emoticon

Ha! I think there's value here though. If nothing else I think it helps for us (and maybe others) to define exactly what it is we're searching for in a path, as I am starting to believe that we get what we seek (eventually). I am not ready to throw out unconditional love and compassion with my anger and sadness quite yet, I think it's an admirable quality of what it means to be a fully developed human being living on this planet with so many others - whether that is a less-perfect state or not, I think the one thing we'd both agree on is that it doesn't much matter. 

@ Psi thanks man, I hope your friendly compliment doens't boost my ego ; )

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
12/6/14 7:54 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Not Tao Have you read of anyone or any group in history that specifically talked about removing all of the emotions completely without a trace? 
Yes, it is called Alexithymia, this is the inability to identify and describe emotions.

Also, Sociopath, Has a lack of conscience, no self identity, no moral identity, disconnected from society

Schizoid Personality Disorder, also has characteristics of restricted emotional expression.

Not that there is anything wrong with these beings, they are what they are, perfect being what they are.

So, no, nothing new here, these mind states are probably more genetic , chemical, and evolutionary biological than what one can train the mind to become.
 
Now, this is not to say this is the case with Actualism, Buddhism, Taoism or any other thicket of views, just that anyone who wishes to develop wisdom should be aware of psychological conditions and be aware of what may or may not be humanly possible to achieve for every being, genetically speaking. 

Same with people communicating with devas and angels, it could be that they are, who am I to say for any fact?  But, it could be just hallucinatory phenomenon, or just a consciousness state, it would seem real either way.

This is not an Actualism bash, it would be wise to move on past this type of clinging to views to make any methodological progress and move forward, and perhaps we already have.

This post is made only in response to a question that was posted:

Have you read of anyone or any group in history that specifically talked about removing all of the emotions completely without a trace? 

And, yes , it seems there may be millions and millions......  But they are trying to blend in.......  One's wish is another's curse....  But it is still perfectly the way it is....

Psi

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
12/6/14 8:50 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Dude, google found this for me:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/152890353/Actual-Freedom-and-Buddhism
I've only skimmed it (will read indepth later) but already saw some of Thusness' experience that line up with my own, having experienced periods of non-emotional reactive clarity as well as periods (years ago) of emotions occurring but simultaneously self-liberating on the spot
I experienced these things 'energetically' as the emotions (thoughts and sensations) instantly dissolved and flew up out of the top of my head leaving my body before they took hold - clear energy channels I'd assumed
These days not so much, but bare awareness is currently very supportive of lightening the emotional loads
Heavy shiz...

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
12/6/14 9:00 PM as a reply to Psi.
Psi:
Yes, it is called Alexithymia, this is the inability to identify and describe emotions.

Also, Sociopath, Has a lack of conscience, no self identity, no moral identity, disconnected from society

Schizoid Personality Disorder, also has characteristics of restricted emotional expression.


I think something else is at play here Psi
Basing this conclusion on my own experiences of egolessness. I wouldn't call it non-emotion though but I think that's just semantics as benevolence is an emotion to me
What got me thinking was Not Tao's descriptions of a missing heart center contraction or expansion (reaction) as I lined that up with my own experience and it resonated very much. I can see why this would be called non-emotive but that phrase conjures up something dull and gray and disconnected to me, not what my experience was at all

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
12/6/14 9:37 PM as a reply to Daniel - san.
Daniel Leffler:
Psi:
Yes, it is called Alexithymia, this is the inability to identify and describe emotions.

Also, Sociopath, Has a lack of conscience, no self identity, no moral identity, disconnected from society

Schizoid Personality Disorder, also has characteristics of restricted emotional expression.


I think something else is at play here Psi
Basing this conclusion on my own experiences of egolessness. I wouldn't call it non-emotion though but I think that's just semantics as benevolence is an emotion to me
What got me thinking was Not Tao's descriptions of a missing heart center contraction or expansion (reaction) as I lined that up with my own experience and it resonated very much. I can see why this would be called non-emotive but that phrase conjures up something dull and gray and disconnected to me, not what my experience was at all


Yes, I agree, this is most likely something else at play,but,  I was simply answering the direct question as follows.


Have you read of anyone or any group in history that specifically talked about removing all of the emotions completely without a trace? 

And, some psychological differences throughout humanity do seem to fit into and answer the above question.  Which brings about the round and round question and wisdom of why is anyone trying to remove all emotions?  And,  even when they apparently say they have removed all emotions, they still display emotions? i.e. enjoying the moment, happy, laughing.   Ignoring or being unaware of emotions is different than having removed all emotions, yes?

And, as an aside, I am trying to point out some valid considerations and possible dangers in trying a new and relatively unproven technique.  Investigation is the key to wisdom, blind faith leads to oblivion.


Main Point all along, after months, I know right , finally, I admit it , I care!  Please read.

Say, for instance, someone said they had pain in their fingers, and that they had read on the internet about someone who had completely and permanently removed the feeling of all pain in their fingers, by simply removing them.  Now, this would remove any pain in the fingers, barring phantom pain, but , is it wise to remove all pain in the fingers in this manner?

So, I ask, is it wise to purposefully and directly use the power of neurogenesis to permanently remove all emotions without a trace?

Is this wise?

And, if one had any trace of compassion for thier fellow humans, would they not try and point out some fatal flaws in the logic or at the least some possibilities?  Even if it meant coming across as a Sphinxter?  haha,  aka The Asshole Riddler

Riddle me that Batman...

Psinxter  


The Riddler  [makes a buzzer noise] I'm sorry. Your answer must be in the form of a question. But thank you for playing.

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
12/6/14 11:54 PM as a reply to Psi.
Psi (and Daniel),

I have seen from direct experience that removing all emotions without a trace is the wisest thing a person could do.  If you don't agree, then I can only assume you haven't had or don't remember having this experience. The PCE is the proof and the teacher in Actualism.  I am not following anyone blindly, and I am not hoping for something impossible.  I am simply moving myself towards making these perfect experiences that I have alread had a perminant fixture in my life. emoticon

You guys have two beliefs you are presenting with your posts.  You believe you understand me better than I understand myself, and you believe your experience is much broader than mine.  In this kind of a situation, you're never going to get anything valuable from what I say.  The only thing you seem to be interested in is hearing me say that you must be correct, that I am actually experiencing emotions in a PCE, or I am somehow unaware of them.  This is something I've noticed in myself, so I don't place any blame on you (we are all rotten to the core, no?) I call it the "teacher mentality".

Here's something interesting to consider.  Do you feel good when you are typing these long posts quoting point by point, or rooting from the sidelines by making short comments about the wisdom of another poster?  All of this is the social identity in action.  This social identity exhausts an amazing amount of energy trying to bring about something completely pointless (my admission of "defeat"). Now imagine if you didn't actually FEEL any of that at all.  You wouldn't need to feel compassion towards me to diffuse your negative social conditioning, you'd simply be perfectly at easy posting whatever. The lack of malice is difficult to imagine, but that itself is enough to create a benevolent person.

EDIT: Daniel, maybe the hangup you have is that you think I'm saying there is a feeling of benevolence and a feeling of wonder in the PCE. But, like I keep saying, there are no feelings at all in the PCE. A person having a PCE just IS benevolent, they don't FEEL like they are. Wonder and enjoyment and happiness and harmlessness are all ways of moving towards a PCE because these feelings are less self-referential than stonger passions. The PCE has no feelings at all. Earlier you also said this sounds dull or gray - but that is a feeling of boredom you're describing. It's important to realize that the affective mind can't imagine being without feelings. It will always apply a feeling to everything in memory.

To put it another way - all our lives we're feeling good or feeling bad, and we're driven by these feelings. The PCE comes from a completely different "place" in experience. It has nothing to do with those feeling centers. They simply don't exist in the PCE.

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
12/7/14 12:54 AM as a reply to Not Tao.
Not Tao:
Psi (and Daniel),

I have seen from direct experience that removing all emotions without a trace is the wisest thing a person could do.  If you don't agree, then I can only assume you haven't had or don't remember having this experience. The PCE is the proof and the teacher in Actualism.  I am not following anyone blindly, and I am not hoping for something impossible.  I am simply moving myself towards making these perfect experiences that I have alread had a perminant fixture in my life. emoticon

You guys have two beliefs you are presenting with your posts.  You believe you understand me better than I understand myself, and you believe your experience is much broader than mine.  In this kind of a situation, you're never going to get anything valuable from what I say.  The only thing you seem to be interested in is hearing me say that you must be correct, that I am actually experiencing emotions in a PCE, or I am somehow unaware of them.  This is something I've noticed in myself, so I don't place any blame on you (we are all rotten to the core, no?) I call it the "teacher mentality".

Here's something interesting to consider.  Do you feel good when you are typing these long posts quoting point by point, or rooting from the sidelines by making short comments about the wisdom of another poster?  All of this is the social identity in action.  This social identity exhausts an amazing amount of energy trying to bring about something completely pointless (my admission of "defeat"). Now imagine if you didn't actually FEEL any of that at all.  You wouldn't need to feel compassion towards me to diffuse your negative social conditioning, you'd simply be perfectly at easy posting whatever. The lack of malice is difficult to imagine, but that itself is enough to create a benevolent person.

EDIT: Daniel, maybe the hangup you have is that you think I'm saying there is a feeling of benevolence and a feeling of wonder in the PCE. But, like I keep saying, there are no feelings at all in the PCE. A person having a PCE just IS benevolent, they don't FEEL like they are. Wonder and enjoyment and happiness and harmlessness are all ways of moving towards a PCE because these feelings are less self-referential than stonger passions. The PCE has no feelings at all. Earlier you also said this sounds dull or gray - but that is a feeling of boredom you're describing. It's important to realize that the affective mind can't imagine being without feelings. It will always apply a feeling to everything in memory.

To put it another way - all our lives we're feeling good or feeling bad, and we're driven by these feelings. The PCE comes from a completely different "place" in experience. It has nothing to do with those feeling centers. They simply don't exist in the PCE.
The above post is mere Psychological Projection. In other words what you are saying of us is true of yourself.  

But in other news, here is a good quote below,

 from the Canterbury tales, by Geoffery Chaucer, perhaps the true founder of a movement...


 "He lived for pleasure and had always done, For he was Epicurus' very son, In whose opinion sensual delight Was the one true felicity in sight. 


So fine, Hakuna Matata, Sayonara, 

Cheese Whiz

Psi

“And some things that should not have been forgotten were lost. History became legend. Legend became myth. And for two and a half thousand years, the ring passed out of all knowledge.” 
― J.R.R. TolkienThe Lord of the Rings

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
12/7/14 1:22 AM as a reply to Psi.
Oh, nevermind then.

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
12/7/14 2:27 AM as a reply to Not Tao.
Not Tao:
If you say so.  I think this is a missed opportunity, Psi.  Our conversations with eachother are filled with conceit on both sides.  In fact, that's one of the mainstays of this forum.  It's a whole lot of malice and hostility under the surface.  Maybe you've noticed it in other people if not yourself?

Can you say, honestly, that you don't FEEL yourself to be more experienced and more knowledgable than me, and that you don't FEEL that I am missing the point and you FEEL the need to correct me on a regular basis in spite of the fact that you FEEL it's wrong to be conceited?  If not, why do you use your particular conversation style of inserting jokes after stating your opinion, and moving back and forth between silliness and seriousness?  You seem to be constantly creating discord and diffusing it in the same posts.
No, I don't see much of any of that with which you are describing, sorry. Malice towards you?  FEEL that you are less experienced and less knowledgable?  FEEL a need to correct you?  FEEL it's wrong to be conceited?

 How do you see it that way? 

If there is a fact or opinion stated upon the message board, and someone voices their own fact or opinion, why would there be the need for all of the above emotional entanglements you are describing?  Kind of perplexing, I never really understood alot about this emotional stuff, Malice and Hatred, etc. Sure, I did my time with anger, thought I had to, to survive in the world, trained myself to be angry, I wasn't born with much,  I really have never understood most of humanity and all of these emotional reactions to reality, even when I was younger.  Never understood why someone could actually hate someone, I mean I could understand if someone hated the killer of a family member or something like that, but not hate or malice over mundane life and daily interactions, it's silly and immature, even for children.  As a child it was hard to arouse anger , even when someone was punching my face, I had thought I was friends with everyone, that's how I felt.

I don't have malice or hostility towards anyone here, but I feel free enough here to voice my experiences, I do try to shy away from opinions and specualtion, and if I do I try to state it as an opinion or speculation , I usually let the reader know.

Honestly, I just post what seems wise that pops into my mind, It comes up, typing occurs, I guess sometimes I joke, it's a smoke screen , so you don't see my non-self....

I don't really know what to say anymore, just becoming more and more dis-enchanted

Equals, we are all equals, is one drop in the ocean better that any other? Think about it....

Catch ya on the flip side....

Psi

RE: I visited a deva realm last night :)
Answer
12/7/14 5:30 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Not Tao:
Psi (and Daniel),
I have seen from direct experience that removing all emotions without a trace is the wisest thing a person could do.  If you don't agree, then I can only assume you haven't had or don't remember having this experience. The PCE is the proof and the teacher in Actualism.  I am not following anyone blindly, and I am not hoping for something impossible.  I am simply moving myself towards making these perfect experiences that I have alread had a perminant fixture in my life. emoticon

I think that's good Not Tao and I've said as much more than a few times. I also agree with something you have said in the past, which is I am not interested in whether or not my past experiences are strictly defined as a PCE, it is more important that we are clear on our personal goals for our practice (they vary) and that we work to reach them, preferably in the moment. I have experienced an egoless state (it wasn't a disassociated state) that was free from fear and pregnant with wonder, peace and patience. In this benevolent state I experienced compassion (not a contraction or expansion and not pity) and love (call it benevolence if you like - it wasn't affection which I think AF refers to, which is ego based) and it was enjoyable (joy). It was also tempered by neutrality (equanimity). I'm not striving to line up different teachings, my basic premise is that the natural state of a pure conscious experience is not a new teaching and it is not distinct from many spiritual trainings. The emphasis on removing all 'emotion' (in quotes for a reason) may be unique but I say those are just words to describe a much more common experience, training and teaching - many use the words desirelessness or egolessness to point to the same natural state - it is not a manufactured jhana. Because Richard (or you or Beoman) became disassociated from your non-existent self (paradox alert!) by practicing jhana or 'spirituality' doesn't mean that everyone has - that is Richard's view (that you seem to have adopted) and I consider that idea self-centered and arrogant (the view, not you)

You guys have two beliefs you are presenting with your posts.  You believe you understand me better than I understand myself, and you believe your experience is much broader than mine.  In this kind of a situation, you're never going to get anything valuable from what I say.  The only thing you seem to be interested in is hearing me say that you must be correct, that I am actually experiencing emotions in a PCE, or I am somehow unaware of them.  This is something I've noticed in myself, so I don't place any blame on you (we are all rotten to the core, no?) I call it the "teacher mentality".

The view that we as people are 'rotten to the core' sounds very Christian or even hardcore Buddhist to me (everything is dukkha) unless you were being facetious. My push back has not been on you at all but the general Actualist philosophy (parts of which you have adopted) that things are permanent for example or that the AF training is totally different from 'spiritual' practice, the idea that this teaching is new and the use of definition to negate others experiences of Being (such as enjoying a PCE is different than joy or benevolence is different from kindness) as words that are being used to separate understanding of a natural state that is spoken about by many mystics, many teachers and many traditions - I'm actually somewhat dumbfounded that you don't see this, as you are clearly a wise and sensitive person. It's all in there, but different people read the same words and see different things, according to their capacity or by which words resonate with them the most. The Tao Te Ching is one of the most beautiful expressions of truth, non-clinging and the natural wonder of perfection I've read. I am not arguuing that it should speak to you more than the Actualist website, but read my other posts (or maybe better re-read the Tao after all your recent practice and insights) assuming the author knew about the desireless natural non-egoic state and see if you see similarities instead of hunting for differences. You may find new meaning in the same words. Maybe Not ; )

Here's something interesting to consider.  Do you feel good when you are typing these long posts quoting point by point, or rooting from the sidelines by making short comments about the wisdom of another poster?  All of this is the social identity in action.  This social identity exhausts an amazing amount of energy trying to bring about something completely pointless (my admission of "defeat"). Now imagine if you didn't actually FEEL any of that at all.  You wouldn't need to feel compassion towards me to diffuse your negative social conditioning, you'd simply be perfectly at easy posting whatever. The lack of malice is difficult to imagine, but that itself is enough to create a benevolent person.

When we are trying to just be correct you are right, I'm sure we all feel this way (I just want to be understood!). When we each take the perspective of listening to one another and placing the truth above the egoic need to be proven right, I don't sense any dissatisfaction internally and I feel benevolence toward you and anyone else that I can see clearly. Being not totally enlightened I vacillate between these two experiences : )

EDIT: Daniel, maybe the hangup you have is that you think I'm saying there is a feeling of benevolence and a feeling of wonder in the PCE. But, like I keep saying, there are no feelings at all in the PCE. A person having a PCE just IS benevolent, they don't FEEL like they are. Wonder and enjoyment and happiness and harmlessness are all ways of moving towards a PCE because these feelings are less self-referential than stonger passions. The PCE has no feelings at all. Earlier you also said this sounds dull or gray - but that is a feeling of boredom you're describing. It's important to realize that the affective mind can't imagine being without feelings. It will always apply a feeling to everything in memory.

No, not correct, I said that the phrase 'emotionless' conjures up the idea that things are dull and gray and that's why you and Actualism may be getting the push back from Psi and others that don't understand the use of that term. That's why I suggested substituting 'egolessness' for 'emotionless' because some (like me) may be considering benevolence and wonder to be emotions. You are defining emotions as an egoic response, why not say egoless? Unconditional love by definition does not involve the ego and is non-reactive, non-contractive and non-expansive. That's why one can love one's enemies, you can see them clearly and 'you' aren't a part of that assessment 
On at least one other occasion, and as inferred in my writings about my own experience, I've said I completely understand that benevolence is a trait of the pure conscious experience, I know this both intellectually and experientially. I would ask you to read my previous responses to you assuming that I know this (if you are so compelled : ). If this was all just an intellectual exercise to me I wouldn't find it so intriguing. The fact that I've had these various experience (that I've written about) makes me want to delve in more. I'm already practicing some of the techniques (which I was doing to a degree in the past anyway, such as cultivating as many contented states throughout the day as possible) and these discussions have value - though we all may perceive them as tedious from time to time. To counter that I shift my attention to the moment-to-moment sensational reactions in the body and there I find a wellspring of patience and contentment.
Anyway, I would like to make the following final point (that I've made in the past but I'll try in another way)
If we are discussing the natural state of non-egoic experience I think it's wise to assume that not only have many others experienced this as a result of practices that have nothing to do with Actualist training (such as myself) but many very wise masters (I'm so bold as to say much wiser than either of us) have been pointing the way to this clear conscious state in many different traditions. People interpret those teachings according to their own disposition, level of knowledge and experience. Many various offshoots of practice are the result, one (IMO) being the idea that we need to banish heart-centered sensorical reactions to perfect ourselves or to see clearly. That view of mine is subject to change : )

To put it another way - all our lives we're feeling good or feeling bad, and we're driven by these feelings. The PCE comes from a completely different "place" in experience. It has nothing to do with those feeling centers. They simply don't exist in the PCE.

Yes, I have experienced this and so have many others. I have arrived at this particular state by delving into the present moment and then dropping the Watcher, allowing reality to present itself and allowing for clinging to fully drop away naturally of it's own accord. When that happens, fulfilment increases, dissatisfaction decreases and varying levels of fearlessness and the sense of being fully alive and totally fulfilled are cultivated
Practice well emoticon