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my actualism practice
Answer
10/2/15 8:08 PM
Okay, I'm going to go ahead and start a new log here, as my perspective has changed.  Most importantly, I think I have totally misunderstood the set of methods that will lead to an actual freedom as well as what an actual freedom really is.  I don't necessarily want to do much conceptualizing because I think it will hold me back and I also have a very primitive/elementary understanding of actualism at this point, so I'm just going to go right into the practice component for now.  So here we go!

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/9/15 4:11 AM as a reply to Noah.
8/8/15

So my goal is to enjoy and appreciate as much as possible.  Eventually, the goal is to have these good-feelings be only related to the present moment.  The enhancement of these good-feelings to the utmost would be what is known as a 'pure consciousness experience.'  However, I can't get to that level of feeling good with a linear, goal-orientation.  Also, in general, there is the notion of moving out of this 'real world' of social beliefs and expectations and into the actual world of the physical universe.  However, I currently think that I have to work from within my identity in order to get out of it.

So this is what I'm doing:  Just being myself, relaxing, chilling out, encouraging feelings of pride, ego & self-esteem (for the time being only!!) (just to develop a solid platform/momentum of feeling good), encouraging feelings of aggression, masculinity, etc. (same thing), taking a playful & humorous outlook (very important, I believe), etc.

edit: just to add to this and summarize it, I think what I am trying to say above is that a deeper sense of "not caring", meaning not being attached to lots of insecurities that usually bind me down, is condusive to feeling good more of the time... that is all.

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/9/15 10:55 PM as a reply to Noah.
8/9/15

So just following my logic from yesterday, I have further specified some immediate goals towards a more stable and long-lasting feeling good.  Most importantly, I have to try to get serious about the new job that I am working in the new city that I just moved to (Seattle, as of two weeks ago, today).  I will not feel secure or happy if I am not doing my job well, or trying not to care about my job.  These things will just cause dissonance within.  Once I have learned my job, I can worry about things like getting situated socially, etc.  Eventually, I'll be able to let my new life run on autopilot, at which time I will be better situated to run the HAIETMOBA technology and actually begin to drop unnecessary parts.

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/9/15 11:23 PM as a reply to Noah.
Replace this kind of thought, "I will not feel secure or happy if I am not doing my job well, or trying not to care about my job." with, "I am enjoying learning my new job and the security it makes me feel."  Replace, "Once I have learned my job, I can worry about things like getting situated socially, etc." with, "I am doing a good job dealing with things one at a time and I'm open to making new friends because it's fun."

There will always be something to worry about because worry has nothing to do with the objects it settles on.  It's a type of thinking that dominates a mind that is searching for closure.  Instead of looking forward to the end of your problems, convert your thoughts about your problems into an identity that can deal with anything on the go, in the flow.  Nothing ends, everything just continues.  Being happy is much simpler than it seems.  You just need to view your current circumstances positively.  Moving is an adventure, not a trial.  Learning a new job is a mind-expanding opportunity, not an obstacle to overcome.  If you can work with the mind rather than try to change it, you'll have a much easier time.  Be a rudder, not a dam.

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/10/15 9:14 AM as a reply to Not Tao.
Replace this kind of thought, "I will not feel secure or happy if I am not doing my job well, or trying not to care about my job." with, "I am enjoying learning my new job and the security it makes me feel."  Replace, "Once I have learned my job, I can worry about things like getting situated socially, etc." with, "I am doing a good job dealing with things one at a time and I'm open to making new friends because it's fun."

There will always be something to worry about because worry has nothing to do with the objects it settles on.  It's atype of thinking that dominates a mind that is searching for closure.  Instead of looking forward to the end of your problems, convert your thoughts about your problems into an identity that can deal with anything on the go, in the flow.  Nothing ends, everything just continues.  Being happy is much simpler than it seems.  You just need to view your current circumstances positively.  Moving is an adventure, not a trial.  Learning a new job is a mind-expanding opportunity, not an obstacle to overcome.  If you can work with the mind rather than try to change it, you'll have a much easier time.  Be a rudder, not a dam.

Hey nt, agreed!  I will start n this today.

Edit: I realize later (the next day), that this partially misreprents my mindset.  I am not trying to reach a point of having an all-around adaptable identity.  Rather, its that I work better with hard, specific, and temporary goals, i.e. get good enough at job not to worry about it.  This goal does have to do with using my identity, but eventually, having no identity is the goal.  So I actually only partially agree.

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/11/15 3:22 AM as a reply to Noah.
8/11

Following my logic from the past two days, I realize that thinking I must get good at my job in order to progress in actualism is a mistake.  The idea of needing to be good at a job links in with the whole schtick about society, wage slavery, peasant mentality, etc (btw I love these ideas but I'm still learning about them so bear with me).  I can make a decision to not get roped into all of that bs.  The idea is that this life is inherently enjoyable, regardless of what is happening to me in this small little personal world that I create out of my limited sense data.  Life is BIG, and good shit is always happening; in fact, life IS good shit.  

So the best possible attitude right now might be to say that even if I mess up at my job (worst case scenario), I will still feel good.  It is obviously a good and practical thing to try hard at a job, but that should not be tied in to my mood.  Ideally, my mood would always range between good and great, regardless of circumstance.  

Just some food for thought.

-------------------------------------------
C
I also realize that there are a lot of other pressures I put on myself which I will have to give up if I want to enjoy and appreciate full time.  One big one is the desire to pump up my ego through success in dating and sexuality.  Another one is the need to get a certain type of 'professional' job which will pay a certain salary.  A third is to eat healthy, and a fourth is to become a well-rounded person with an excellent fund of knowledge.  At the center of it all is the basic, societal psyche that keeps us all plugged into this matrix.  To the immediate periphery of that core lies my own psychodynamics: the way I pressure myself.  Basically, the idea is to actually be free from it all, as it is happening (and, in general, to stop it from happening and feel good in a more present way instead).  To do that requires a certain degree of awareness with some conceptual framework (to fill in the blanks where there is not yet direct experience, i.e. PCE), which is why I am writing all of this.  

Many of these pressures are very attractive and seductive; they hit very close to home.  In the end, it comes down to truly falling out of love with these things and choosing the actualist path instead.  Note: I am not talking about ascetic-type giving up; if anything I am talking about giving up all the conventional ways of seeing and replacing them with pure hedonism instead.

Cheers.

note: a lot of this stuff involves not listening to these storylines (which is what not tao has been telling me to do for awhile).  It is a literal, saying "no", internally, to these things.  But you have to know why you're saying no, and for me, it helps to understand the mechanics of what is happening.  But yeah, the basic thing is saying "fuck you" to the collective human psyche, and choosing to really have fun instead of worry about survival (which is what the majority of our internal experience is based on-both positive and negative emotions, of course).

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/11/15 5:53 AM as a reply to Noah.
In the end, it comes down to truly falling out of love with these things and choosing the actualist path instead.


It's even simpler than that - you can just enjoy pursuing them! If you want something, and you think you can't be happy until you stop wanting it, then you're still making conditions.  You're trying to make an "Actualist" identity here and put it in place of the social identity.  If you want to eat healthy and become a well rounded person, all you need to do is enjoy the process of eating healthy and learning more things and stop focusing on the end results.  The identity is made of constraints and self-checks.  It creates a whole imaginary world where you've already decided the future.  By removing this focus you can just do everything naturally without thinking, "Is this right?  Is this wrong?  Where will I end up?" - even persuing your desires.  I think the main thing Richard is trying to point to is at the very core of the question, "what am I supposed to be doing right now?"  If you are asking yourself that, you're monitoring yourself and keeping yourself in check.  To be free of that is to just enjoy what's happening without any concept of a proper way to act codified into the situation.  There's nothing you're ever supposed to be doing.  "Supposed to" is the social identity.  It's easy to turn this into, "stop thinking about the future," and, "stop worrying about what will happen," but it's not that!  That is just more "supposed to!"  See how that works?  There's really nothing you need to do, you can relax.

You can really simplify this down to "enjoying and appreciating this moment of being alive."  If you want something, then enjoy the process of figuring out how you're going to get it.  If you don't get it, enjoy the process of giving it up, or persuing other things, or doing nothing at all.  There is no code you need to follow, and no system you need to internalize.  The goal is actually the opposite - to get rid of those feelings of should, could, would, must, need, and have to, and replace them with enjoyment.

the basic thing is saying "fuck you" to the collective human psyche, and choosing to really have fun instead of worry about survival
It doesn't have to be either/or.  I actually thought this for a long time and it made things difficult.  If you're worried about something, you can't just magically abandon the feeling.  It's your mind's way of displaying how important you think things are, and while it may be possible in time to stop giving importance to everything, this isn't very practical since living requires maintenance and upkeep (like eating, a job, etc.)  You can whittle thigns down to the bare essentials and still end up worrying the same amount you did before because there is still something to look after.  You can't escape living until you die!  I found that working with the "imaginary world" of outcomes is much easier.  You don't have to make things unimportant, you can just live optimistically instead and this allows the mind to settle problems quickly without stress.

Anyway, it can be hard to really convey this because there's always this temptation to look for new rules to follow.  Even, "enjoy this moment," turns into a code to follow or something to practice until it's mastered.  It's not like that.  It's just relaxing and letting go of the idea of rules.  You don't have to do anything, which means you can give yourself permission to enjoy the process of doing what you want and moving your life wherever you want it to go.  Be free from compulsion.  Freedom means you are in control, not emotional triggers or social taboos (even if those social taboos are coming from "Actualist society!").  Be your own person.

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/11/15 9:04 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Yeah it's tricky.  I have found that if I do things because I really just feel like doing them, that works.  But if I do think because society says I should and I have internalized that, or I hope to get some specific outcome later, or because I think I have to for some reason, those motivations seem to be detrimental.  Plus I don't do as good a job on the tasks with those motivations.  Those are all future and past oriented motivations, they aren't living in the now.  As for bad moods, yeah, they can't be made to disappear like magic and feeling bad about not being able to feel good all the time does not help either!  ;-P  So if a bad mood, I try a different tact, get curious about its origins, explore the details from a scientific perspective, break it down into constituent parts, allow myself to be perfectly fine with feeling bad, which makes a strange kind of dichotomy in itself and changes my experience of the 'bad.'
-Eva

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/12/15 12:50 AM as a reply to Not Tao.
8/11

-Ok im at work right now, doing nt's approach, enjoying these early stages of doing the job, as well as all the little quirks of myself, coworkers and bosses. 

-@Eva: Interesting thoughts... sounds right in line with what I'm trying to do.

___________________

-So I 'downloaded' tons of new info today, through inspiration (I think this is called 'serendipity' in Actualism language).  Here it is, in no particular order:
  • there is no basis for me not enjoying the moment once I get my perspective right.  The right perspective is one in which I realize that there is nothing I "should" be doing.... at its core, the "should" mechanism, is the self in action.
  • other than that, its just a matter of being aware of all things that are occuring (inner and outer, pleasant and unpleasant), and including those things in this naturally arising enjoyment that I have uncovered
  • sometimes, I have to purposely enjoy my personality, particularly after I become aware of some self-judgement and/or the negative trait that is being judged
  • the joy of being alive is basically non-human... not involving fight, flight, love, hate, etc... not involving any type of survival.  Sort of a third type of magnetic charge other than these two poles (fight and flight) that is most in line with the charge of physical reality/nature
  • it isn't effective to resist love but rather to experience it on par with all the other things and to see clearly, exactly what is happening when I feel love, where it comes from, and what it is leading to... this clear-seeing is also necessary for aggression, as well as the ASC's... 
  • this clearly seeing is specifcally, that the self IS the emotional system
  • harmlessness isn't important bc of societal-moral code or bc one has feelings of empathy for another, but bc people are ACTUALLY in pain, and this pain is some of the most complex expressions in all of life and nature and it is all around us, and therefore cant be ignored (especially when practicing attentiveness!!)... harmlessness becomes the only SENSIBLE desired reaction
  • I have certain instinctual mechanisms (libido, hunger, agitation) which I know will be the last things to go bc they manifest so intensely... but I know not to try to dismantle them until I am ready and that some day I will be ready..... this is good news bc, in the end "right view" in actualism creates a motivation that is stronger than my deepest attachments  emoticon)))))


Okay, so just to summarize some of this "right view"/proper perspective that I have been developing in my actualist studies and practice:

Matter came before consciousness.  Physical actuality is all that there really is.  We are sensing this, but can't detect it because of all the other stuff that is going on.  Fundamentally, we are brains-on-sticks.... first, these brains activate in the amygdala/animal-survival-center as fight or flight/ nurture and aggression.... this is the raw materials of our entire self-psychology-mind-structure.... then from ages 3 to ages 7 we start to develop the neocortex center which synchs up with this whole societal network of rules... from then on there is constant communication between the animal structure and the human centers of the brain.... this cross-communication forms the basis of a sense of self, and all the other selfing activities that occur...

These selfing activities are most notably, the emotions... in that sense, "I" AM my emotions.... However, the selfing activities also include altered states of consciousness (asc's)... basically, enlightenment, as we know it, in all of its forms (super-vipassana-not-self/// boddhiccitta-ultimate-compassion//// shaktipat-all-is-energy-guru///// oneness-with-god-force-mystic) is a survival reflex, ..... it is the brain going in the exact opposite direction of being "here" AS the emotions, not aware of the emotions, but being the emotions and nothing more....  enlightenment is the most subtle survival reflex and shows how amazing our brains are at creating this illusion of personal life!!   It really is quite amazing.

Anyhoo, the best, smartest thing to do is to enjoy in the present moment.... the way to do this authentically is to include everything in that enjoyment... all the good and bad emotions are "you" and are to be brought into the wonder of this moment.... at the core, root, most essential level, the feeling of "should", the feeling that something else must happen, other than this moment of being alive, IS the self as I experience it most directly.... there are other, deeper layers, but I won't have access to them (until I do), and when I do, that will just take place in the present moment anyway, so I wont worry about that now (lol)... 

So, yeah, uncover basic joy after realizing that the self is the illusion of needing something to happen.... then just keep on keeping on with that enjoyment.... eventually, that enjoyment will lead to an excellence experience, and then to a PCE... and all the while, the fundamental view of actualism will be being developed, and the more mature my view and reasoning gets, the more sensible I will be, and the more I can rely on my intelligence instead of my emotions to both guide me through life, and through the wide and wondrous path of actualism.

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/12/15 4:57 AM as a reply to Noah.
@Pawel: I don't know man, I do a lot of playing with ideas without necessarily trying to assert absolute truths.  Thats why I put all of this stuff in my practice logs and not into discussions with others.  Whenever I post about concepts and not direct experience, it will be in my practice log.  It is possible that I have not been consistent with this in the past, but I have learned to do this over time.

As to any and all politics surrounding this stuff, I basically have no comment.  I don't want to try and incorporate the concept of emptiness into my log here because I am just gaining an introductory conceptual understanding of actualism.  So yeah, no comment on that either.

The bottom line for me is that I have gotten a great benefit from my vipassana practice (which I have asserted in all circumstances, including the yahoo af group), and I am seeking a different type of benefit from actualist practice now.  Whether or not the experience of emptiness (and its lasting side effects) is a survival mechanism, or a way of touching upon the deepest layer of human consciousness, it does not matter, because it is pragmatically beneficial; it has been tremendously psychotherapuetic for me, and has also alleviated most suffering related to fundamental-perceptual duality.  That does not mean that other types of relief are not possible.

I am utilizing these techiques to the best of my ability and trying to understand the concepts because that seems to be what works for me when it comes to mind-hacking systems that alleviate suffering.

Cheers.

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/12/15 4:01 PM as a reply to Noah.
Noah S:
  • there is no basis for me not enjoying the moment once I get my perspective right.  The right perspective is one in which I realize that there is nothing I "should" be doing.... 


I think this is all you need. Keep it simple. Simplicity is bliss.

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/13/15 12:19 AM as a reply to Noah.
Paweł K:
Arhats are past any ignorance regarding phenomena and just stay awake. They know better than to let themselves fall asleep.

What draws you to actualism?
What is it that you desire so much from dreaded Mara? Didn't you play this one already? Don't you remember?
I honestly don't feel qualified to speak about actualism, Mara, Buddhism, etc.  To quote one of my favorite rappers, MF Doom, "the more you know, the more you know you don't know shit."  So that has been the sort of theme for me lately, and also segues into "what draws me to actualism."  I am drawn to actualism because it makes the most sense to me, it seems to provide answers to questions that I still have.  These are the things that make sense to me:

1) That there are a variety of things that an identity will do in order to protect and preserve itself, including the creation of spots 'deep' inside the mind which can be unlocked to create the illusion that a changeless quality has been discovered.  
2) That 'I' am none other than the emotions, as well as the emotional core, and that the creation of all perception, including the sense of witness, is based around the struggle for survival in this world, starting with the deepest, animal instincts and evolving into the higher human functions.
3) That matter preceeds consciousness, which means that the brain preceeds perception, and that there is a way to shut off the survival-gripping functions of the brain, which would, in turn lead to seeing a whole, new world which was previously veiled by the emotion-goggles.
4) That this method and outcome would not have been accessible in the past due to the basic struggle for survival which humans have almost always had.  Previous attempts at finding unconditional happiness would have involved working from within the basic, affective sphere, and discovering seeming escapes from it while still having to deal with the terrible traumas of physical existence.

So, these make sense to me, now.  Those are the two keywords.  Everyone's opinion is subject to change.  I have a lot of baggage.  A lot of affective intensity.  I am seeking a way out.  Thats the simple answer of what draws me to actualism.

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/13/15 5:04 AM as a reply to Noah.
Paweł K:
1. The so called identity is like any other concept with loose ends is self preserving. Like any concept however it can be put in proper context and then it becomes inactive because then there is nothing about it to preserve.

2. There is no 'I' or emotions, just concepts of them that you take for real because you cannot differentiate truth from dreams.

3. You wouldn't really want to shut down anything related with survival. I would even say that the so called being awake or known as being actually free in actual world is best survival strategy. It was just lost due to domestication of human species which by natural selection, epigenetics and cultural developement made us into beings who loose clarity quite early in life never to regain it except maybe few rare cases. Emotions are result of domestication, it is feature exaggerated in us recently. This is most modern and 'human' part of us. Richard got it all wrong, 180 degree wrong.

4. We today have more 'stuff' on our heads than ever before. High suicide rate, stupendous amount of people with depression, basically plague of obesity, ever increasing amount of people with all sort of allergies, diabetes and other nasty illnesses. Besides issues are always the same and ever present, even more severe now. In past if you did not hunt something to eat you had to eat worms or bitter plants. Sad story. Today if you offend your boss you loose job, if you do not find another and do not pay mortgage you can loose your home, and other stuff. There is often more pressure from society to buy things you cannot afford and still have to buy so you are in more and more debt. Then there are immediate dangers like driving cars, one false move and you are gone. There is constant war thread, high criminal rate, constant informations in news that make your gut to flip out. In past you were hungry but at least when you had food you did not feel guilty when eating it. When gaining few pounds you did so with pride. Now we eat preprocessed unhealthy junk food, get fat fast and feel terrible.

Ofcourse there were places and times where living was impossibly hard just like today are places where living is nightmare but its not like there were no places and times where people had not that much worries. Whole nobility, especially those with enough to live comfortably doing absolutely nothing and not ennough to have other issues, which also represented most of it had access to knowledge and all stuff that made their lives more comfortable and trouble-free than yours or mine. It was always minority but counting all of them over whole world and times it is quite a lot of people. Some people in the cities had it quite ok. Even on country-side not all plases and times were that harsh and bad to live in. Then there always were monasteries and other spiritual schools... 


Pawel,

You can start a thread arguing to your heart's content about "actualism" in the Dharma Battllground section fo the site. This thread is in the actualist inspired practices  section of the DhO and is Noah's practice thread so please don't attempt to derail someone's practice becuase you disagree with it.. Unless of course they wish for it to occur. Noah?

Nick (Mod)

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/13/15 12:21 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nikolai .:

Pawel,


You can start a thread arguing to your heart's content about "actualism" in the Dharma Battllground section fo the site. This thread is in the actualist inspired practices  section of the DhO and is Noah's practice thread so please don't attempt to derail someone's practice becuase you disagree with it.. Unless of course they wish for it to occur. Noah?

Nick (Mod)


Thanks for the help, NIck.  I think for now, it would be best if we ceased the conceptual debate here, since my understanding is still minimal.  I will say that the discussion between Pawel and I thus far, has been conducive to my practice in that it is helping me hone my view.  However, such discussion has probably reached its peak, so yes, I would like to stop the debate here.


Pawel K:
I do not disagree with practice of actualism but with it being fundamentally different than what Noah is already doing (or at least should be doing) practicing mindfulness as it should be already all-inclusive and when done right should result in everything actualism promises like PCE and AF


For now, I think we'll just have to agree to disagree, since I am truly attempting to practice actualism as I have understood it through a decent amount of personal research as of late.  Let us pick up our sabres at a later date!

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/13/15 12:23 PM as a reply to b man.
b man:
Noah S:
  • there is no basis for me not enjoying the moment once I get my perspective right.  The right perspective is one in which I realize that there is nothing I "should" be doing.... 


I think this is all you need. Keep it simple. Simplicity is bliss.


Yeah b man, I agree.  So perfect enjoyment all the time is in fact the final goal here (being synonymous with an actual freedom).  But there are so many little degrees of progress within, things to be realized, etc.  Fractals....

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/13/15 12:32 PM as a reply to Noah.
8/12

Not Tao's advice is still going great.  There are lots of little things that I can now choose to enjoy once I take the correct frame.  For instance, I can enjoy a little melee and chaos on the dho and other message boards.  I can enjoy the feeling of loneliness I get at night when my roommate and his girlfriend flee into their room.  I can enjoy the feeling of agitation, hunger and libido the spouts up like a fountain throughout the day.

I have to be careful not to disassociate in any way while I do this, including pasting pleasure over emotions, or going into jhana.  I have to really feel the negative parts right alongside any desirable parts.  I am not talking about fighting the stick off with the carrot, but rather taking a comprehensive view which involves an understanding of both.  There will always be a carrot and a stick, as long as there is a "me" inside.  The closest I can get to there not being a "me" inside is full enjoyment and appreciation.  So I am doing what it takes to get that going, and it is that simple.  

The "me" is that push and pull to do something, to make something happen, to control the situation, to survive!  It has evolved into my entire personality, the very force that is actively looking out through the eyeballs of this skull, as I type.  When this force stops resisting, it has some permission to go into abeyance for a time.  But I can't get there from here by purposefully doing something special with my attention (which would be affism, I think).  "Me" can't get outside "me", it just has to sing an ode to the wonders of this life until it sufficiently and truly feels great enough to die forever.

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/13/15 4:49 PM as a reply to Noah.
8/13

-It seems like one could go pretty damn far with relying on sensible conclusions based on facts while still (and despite still being in) in the human condition.  For instance, is it not sensible to feed this body healthy food?  Is it not sensible to relate to others in ways that create the most fun and enjoyable outcomes?  Is it not sensible for me to get the best possible job I can, and do keep my financials in order?

These questions, of course, do not discount the more hardcore, change-oriented notions of actualism, such as the deep-sea diving into the armpits of the human and animal identities and the unplugging (through awareness) from the wage-slave/peasant mentality (which I am still learning about, but suspect I am in desperate need of).

___________________________________

-Ingrained, instinctual programming.  We all have it.  We ARE it.  Mine says this moment is no good.  And if I feel bad enough, if I grimace enough, tense my muscles enough, than I will have an excuse to escape the task of this moment.  One level deeper, it says that society is no good.  This structure, all of these rules, this whole web of control which feels like it is strangling me.  But if I work with society's rules, I can crack the code, find an excuse to not meet its demands.  And one of these rules is that when you are sick or incapacitated, you don't have to work.  So my cunning mind devised this mode of being agitated, of being sick, to have an excuse not to be HERE, to meet these demands.

The antidote is to enjoy them.  To appreciate the acitvities that I am being asked to participate in.  To lend lip-service to society's laws and stay affectively open and positive in the tasks that I perform.  Knowing WHY I should do this seems to be a very important (and perhaps often overlooked) aspect of the actualism method.  It is not just to enjoy and appreciate in a dumb-zombie way, but to understand why you are doing what you are doing.  I can't see past the matrix while I am still plugged in, but I can appreciate the fact that I am plugged in, and choose to not follow along the expectations of stress (and its opposite of nurture) and just enjoy and appreciate instead.

__________________________________________________

-Its hard for me to even begin to think/conceptualize about apperception/PCE/pure-intent, etc. without moralizing.  Moralizing would be making it into something I "should" do, that I am "supposed" to do, because it will help me self-immolate in the end.  This moralizing is an immediate dead-end: super egoistic and affective in nature.  Apperception probably doesn't feel 'positive' in the conventional sense of swelling pride and confidence or the nurturing, loving, motherly release that comes from finally being nice to oneself.  Rather, apperception probably feels like a type of freedom that I have very few (if none) reference points for.  

Positivity stemming from freedom?  How does that feel (I know I can't affectively imagine it, but I'm going to try to model it anyway)?  Like the deepest, most complete possible sense that there can not be anything to improve or modify in this pristine moment.  Like a deeper, alien sense of confidence that does not need to be validated by me, and could not be understood by me anyway.  Like the most physically existent, blatantly obvious connection there is in the universe: matter, which gives rise to a sense of "me" through brain chemicals, being revealed for what it is and always has been; super chill, super nice, super easy, warm, fuzzy, bright, cooling, refreshing (all of these words being innappropriate in their scope, having previously been used to relate to human-affective perceptions).  

I guess, I imagine it as relief, what I am looking for deep inside, what individual sentience was looking for when it gave rise to the human identity in the first place.  And also, a sense of completely being outside of myself, completely having gotten out of (untied from) any sticky human tendrils.

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/14/15 4:49 AM as a reply to Noah.
I always liked the word "relief" to explain the peak experience. emoticon  It's like, there's nothing pushing or pulling, nothing coercing or driving you.  Seems like anything is possible and everything is interesting (mainly because things are no longer boring).

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/14/15 10:22 AM as a reply to Not Tao.
For me, it wasn't relief at all but something way better than that. It was more like "holy shit, I can't believe that this is something that actually happens, and how amazing it is!" I remember being astounded by this experiential realization: there was literally nothing I had to do, at all, whatsoever, besides enjoy being alive. That was literally the only thing left to "do".

Relief pales in comparison to what I experienced then. I described it in words soon after it happened, and re-reading it now reminds me of the flavor of it. Here it is, in full, with certain parts bolded which most show how the experience itself is not about relief at all.

Claudiu:
I had quite the *astounding* PCE yesterday and I’d like to share it with y’all! The actual experiencing of unadulterated consciousness drove home many understandings which I want to share.

It happened as I was walking home from the subway. As I got out of the deep and dark subway tunnels, ascending the staircase to the outside, I realized it was an astonishingly beautiful day! The sun was bright and warm and everything looked delightful in its light.

I said on Friday that I was going to go into work on Saturday, yet it was obvious now that that wasn’t happening, so I texted my boss to inform him I’d be coming in on Sunday, instead, which put that worry to rest right away. Then, when walking along a small park (just a tiny one between two streets) as was my usual route, I looked into the park and remarked to myself how awesome it looked! So I doubled back a bit and stepped into the park, instead.

The PCE came on sometime from that point to when I exited the park a few minutes later. I simply really took notice of what was going on and was simply enjoying it all. I noticed some motion to my right, stopped suddenly to take a look, and there was a squirrel! I got a bit closer without scaring it away and managed to take a look. I wondered that I hadn’t seen a squirrel in forever. Its heart was beating so fast. At first it seemed timid but then it looked up at me and sort of stood on its hind legs. I think it wanted food.

I moved on, taking particular note of how awesome the trees looked. *What ensued was a really brilliant interplay of me noticing something with delight, then me reacting to it/contemplating it with delight, then doing something else with delight, etc., all because it was just delightful*. Like I stopped at the crosswalk and I had a red light. So I looked around to see if there were cars coming, and they weren’t. So then I started walking across. Then a car came and started turning left onto the road I was crossing, so I bolted the rest of the way, with no fear at all, almost just because it was fun, but also so I wouldn’t get run over. Then I decided to stand to the left of a parking meter instead of the right, when waiting to cross the other street, because I was curious how that looked. (...)

The ‘WOW’ factor [link about the WOW factor] was definitely there. And this ‘WOW’ factor definitely comes from the identity. Unbidden thoughts arising of like ‘wow this is just so amazing!’ I was now at a point where I could choose to go either way. I noticed that thoughts were totally unnecessary, and that indeed I was enjoying myself the most when thoughts were not occurring. This is because they were feeling-fueled thoughts, spinning around about ‘me’, ‘me’, ‘me’. Whereas I could simply enjoy life without the thoughts. All the decisions I made when I described the crosswalk experience were made without thoughts at all, just a direct appraisal of the situation, though of course I understood exactly what was going on and why and I can now put it into words. But it was totally pointless to put what was already going on and being understood into thoughts and then go on thinking about it. That would have just ended the PCE. And I could choose to go either way! I chose to keep experiencing the PCE.

Here’s where I realized ‘I’ cannot tell whether ‘I’ am in abeyance by feeling it out. The feeling function only works when ‘I’ am fully there, not in abeyance. Trying to feel whether ‘I’ am in abeyance (i.e. whether a PCE is happening) only results in ‘me’ coming back (i.e. the PCE ending). A pure consciousness experience is experienced apperceptively. That’s how non-feeling consciousness works. *And it’s so delightful*!

So, I successfully crossed both streets and was now on the final sidewalk before getting into my apartment building. *I was truly having a blast. It was so incredibly simple!* Here’s where more understanding started flowing, as a direct result of that experience, and that’s part of how I know it was a PCE.

First of all, it was excessively obvious that a PCE is a factual occurrence and that ‘I’ as a feeling-being play no part in it, because that’s exactly what was happening and I was experiencing it! There was also an immediate recognition in the veracity of the words on the AFT. It’s not a belief system. Rather, the words on the AFT site accurately describe this factual occurrence. Richard described it first, then other people understood and experienced what the words described and then described it as well, which descriptions are unsurprisingly consistent because they are describing the same factual occurrence. It was also clear that really actualism is all about the PCE. That is how I want to experience life 24/7[1]. There’s an unshakeable confidence that results from PCEs, and for me, from this one in particular, so much so that even though now ‘I’ am here and a PCE is not occurring, I have the confidence that the actual world exists and ‘I’ know that that is my destination.

Actualism is great because it provides all the information you need to understand the PCE fully. If this experience happened to me without any exposure to actualism, I would not have gotten the same out of it. I wouldn’t know what to make of it after-the-fact, I would forget it, I wouldn’t see all the implications, etc. But now I do. Finally, people can now combine their ability to reason intelligently with their natural ability to apperceive, with the ultimate result being an actual freedom!

*I was having the time of my life*, walking along on that final sidewalk. ‘Me’ and all ‘my’ desires and fears and addictions and problems and whatever was totally gone. There was no need to do anything to correct for ‘me’ because there were no problems in the first place. *Truly amazing! And it was so *easy* and simple to just be there*.

This was a seriously jam-packed PCE (in real-world terms... the experience of it was of utter carefreeness (not carelessness)), but I’m not done yet! At this point, I decided to notice the purity of the actual world more, to let it in a bit more. And then the purity really started to shine through. As the purity became more apparent there was a thought (probably from the abeyant identity, much like the WOW factor), that the level of purity this experience was bringing made everything up to that point, delightful as it was, pale by comparison.

Richard told me that back in the day, he would have multiple PCEs a day, but that they had different flavours. Some of them had a more ‘meaning-of-life’ flavour, and he said those are the ones that ‘he’ tended to shy away from, as being too much. That’s exactly what happened to me here. That purity was bringing with it the experience of the meaning of life, but it was just too much at that point, so ‘I’ shied away from it and came back. (...)

‘I’ am not wasting this PCE[2]. I’ve derived newfound confidence from it and the memory of it isn’t going anywhere. I think up till now I’ve done a good job of extricating myself from the spiritual mess I had gotten myself into and re-integrating back into the real world, which is a lot better by comparison, but now it’s time for me to really arrange ‘my’ matters to make ‘my’ life much more conducive to becoming actually free.
I can see being relieved that the answer to life does exist and that one just experienced it and, isn't it great that it truly will all work out! But relief is not a word I would use for the experience itself - as evidenced by how I chose to describe it right after it happened.

Cheers,
Claudiu

===
[1] "It was also clear that really actualism is all about the PCE. That is how I want to experience life 24/7."
Hmm I forgot I wrote this! I have let the impact of that PCE fade away - look at that confidence in it I had, that I want to experience life 24/7 that way! It's definitely time for me to experience more PCEs. 

But abot the "actualism is all about the PCE" line, I am not sure I would agree, now. Actualism has been working really effectively for me for the past few months, in terms of feeling way better on average than I used to. So I think Actualism can work really well even if it's not all about PCEs. The PCE does show just how good things can get.. but even not in a PCE, even when I'm just feeling excellent, I can remark how amazing it is that life can be so good.

[2] "‘I’ am not wasting this PCE" 
I have to insert a big "oops!" as a reply to myself for that last paragraph. I wrote out that description on August 18th, 2013, but it was only until April 25th, 2015 that I really started putting the actualism method into effect (and thus not wasting that PCE) and starting to arrange 'my' matters to make 'my' life much more conducive to becoming actually free (although I don't currently think of it in terms of becoming actually free, but rather, in terms of enjoying myself more and more).

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/15/15 12:08 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
@Claudiu: Thanks for all that man.  Really good stuff.  Its interesting that PCE's can have different flavors, sounds like the type of thing a veteran can safely observe but a rookie like myself should avoid getting attached to.  And yeah, I get the idea; the PCE is beyond anything I could 'imagine' with my senses, since my senses (as I know them) are subtly and inherently, affective in nature.  This makes sense to me.  Thats why I like the word 'modelling' to describe the idea that I'm sort of trying to point my practice in the right direction through the reasoning process and some type of predicting as well.  Once again, not something to put too much weight on, but just using the energy of the brain engine here.

_________________________________________________

8/14

-Just forcing myself to be more simple inside.  Less obsessing.  I can't obsess and enjoy at the same time.  I just can't do both; the obsessing, and the impatience that it is linked to, polute the enjoyment and appreciation.  Motivation is necessary for me to break through my patterns like this.  Hearing Claudiu and others describe the PCE as a level of enjoyment beyond reason or previous experience, makes me know that it is worthwhile.  That, plus, the prima facie case I make through learning and exploring the wealth of actualist information, seals the deal for me in terms of motivation.

Work can't be "work" in the real-world sense.  Eventually, I am going to let that go.  We as a society, as a species, create the stress of "work".  Its buzzing in the air, and flowing beneath this shared psychic membrane.  However you want to describe it, the experience is real.  There is that element of rejection, of denying, of saying "no" to these vibes that I have soaked in so deeply for so long.  I am, in fact, made up of these vibes, in one way of looking at it.  

It ultimately comes down to brain chemicals, though.  Whatever interrupts that normal carrot-stick flow is the way to go.  

Life is good.  Everything will be okay.  I don't have to be perfect.  Things don't have to perfect.  Here is okay.  Here there is peace.  

__________________________________________

There is a big pivot point, for me, surrounding the realization that nothing is more worthwhile than getting actual freedom.  This means that my priorities shift everywhere.  

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/15/15 12:42 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman, to me it seems like you're just adding a lot of colorful emotional language onto the experience.  Being astounded doesn't happen during a PCE, it happens when the PCE devolves into an emotional or reactionary experience.

It's tempting to use hyperbole to describe being without emotional drivers, simply because it's such a positive state of existance, but I think this misrepresents the experience.  I don't feel astounded or stupified or amazed when I experience PCEs, I am just content.  I think relief is the best word.  It's the same kind of relaxation that comes when resting after a hard workout or standing for a number of hours.  All the little bits of the physical/mental/emotional landscape that were clenched up are just relaxed. If you look for something astonishing, or even beautiful, you're going to end up going the wrong way. The experience doesn't add anything to the world, it just stops taking things away from the world. Colors aren't brighter and more beautiful, they are just no longer ugly or boring. Sometimes I used to sit and think to myself, "it's amazing how ordinary everything is," and for some reason that seemed like the highest complement.

@Noah: There's something I think you're still not seeing about "the point" of all this, but I don't want to muck up your practice thread and keep telling you what to do. Just consider how contradictory something like "forcing myself to be more simple. Less obsessing." actually is, haha. If you want a vivid analogy, you kind of seem like the Type A Businessman (maybe Jack from 30 Rock) trying to learn how to play like a child by making flowcharts and planning out a series of activities. The most powerful thing you could probably do right now is be less serious about everything.  Don't look for motivation, just enjoy yourself.  Don't work for the reward of a PCE, just play and let that be it's own reward.  Oop, I'm telling you what to do again.  Don't mind me. I'll try to sit quiet for a bit. emoticon

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/15/15 4:57 AM as a reply to Not Tao.
@Not Tao: Grrrr you are starting to frustrate me with these corrections, tbh :p  You see, the thing is that I "get it", meaning I fully understand your point, to the best of my ability, at this time.  However, it just takes time to make the correction.  The same way that an oven has to preheat (or a furnace/a.c.) after you turn it to a new temperature, I am not likely to just change both my language and my meaning over night.  

Also, the other thing that annoys me about the approach which says that 'I am basically over thinking this' (or taking it too seriously,  --- or 'over- anything' this), is that on paper, it shouldn't work , but it does!  Meaning, I shouldn't have been able to get technical 4th path by 'thinking it out', according to the standards of the pragmatic dharma movement, but then I went and did it.  In fact, regardless of what anyone says, thinking it out, aka taking it seriously (by some standards) IS jnana yoga, an ancient and respected path to the ending of sufffering.  Its just unusal that people can make it work.

So yeah, please give my process some time to take hold (which it already is, in a major way, in case you haven't noticed), and correct me every third time or every fifth time, and not every time.

p.s. Thank you for spending the time on me all of these months.  Also, I acknowledge the emotional energy I am putting into this message right now, the inherent humor and silly human-ness of that, etc.  So yeah, not being a totally ungrateful grump here!

p.s. 2- I think a lot of people would make quicker progress with mind hacks if they took the bull by the horns more and allowed themselves to operate with that business-man mentality instead of smiling, shrugging their shoulders, and reminding themselves to bo relax about progress.  I just don't think thats how things in this world move from point a to point b, including the shape of the brain/mind.

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

edit: Also, as to Claudiu's comment about PCE's, I found it to be tremendously helpful.  I truly believe we are delving into pointless semantics if we attempt to discuss the difference between a conventional sense of 'relife' and the unprecedented positivity of a PCE.  Although this word-meaning-debate style most likely benefits some people's practice, some of the time, I can say for sure that it is a dead end for inter- communication, alot of the time.  Just sayin....

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/15/15 11:05 PM as a reply to Noah.
8/15

What follows is a way that I hope to orient myself towards the mindset of an actually-free individual.  I sort of think of it a the Right Action/ Right Thought aspects of actualsim.  

-Things that are sensible:
1) getting a job that I enjoy 
2) making sure earn enough money
3) making sure I budget properly
4) staying outside of consumerist-culture's manipulation
5) leaving a job that I hate
6) treating the body in a healthy manner
thi7) being self-sufficient, independent, and free-thinking (where applicable)

-Things that are not sensible:
1) staying in a job that I hate because of conflict avoidance tendencies
2) indulging in my addictive personality
3) indulging in my anxiety

Overall, the goal is to become happy and harmless in such a complete way that I see myself as on a perfectly equal playing field as everyone else.  I would, in this perfect outcome, still think of myself first, but only in so much as those decisions are conducive to overall pleasure and fun in the moment.  When purified, these motives will manifet a totally harmless to others, because there is no way to directly harm others and experience full pleasure in the moment (not because of empathy feelings, but just because harming others defies basic logic of what is reasonable).  

Getting to this equality includes giving up the whole schmorgesboard of clingy-sticky human attachment.  

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/16/15 9:03 AM as a reply to Noah.
8/16

-Or, maybe staying in a job that I hate IS sensible, because it is what is best for my inner development. The reason I say this is because of the reason I hate it, which is that I am an anxious person who has difficulty handling new situations as well as high levels of effort.  But perhaps this is a chance to learn to ENJOY effort, in a really deep way.

One thing I am noticing about enjoyment is that I need to have certain personality traits activated before I can enjoy certain situations.  For instance, in order to enjoy learning a tough, new job, I need to have toughness, resiliency, confidence, and determination, in place.  These things are a double-edged sword, since they are tied in with my social and animal identity, but they are also necessary for me to eventually move past these identities.  Some external situations reqiure inner corresponding emotions.  Later, when the situation becomes the new norm, these emotions can be dropped.  I think accomodating dialectics such as this is very important to practice.

Life requires effort.  This is true before, and after, an actual freedom.  The only difference after, is that whether or not one is performing effort is irrelevant to one's pristine and pure connection to the actual world, as it already is.  Therefore, the effort, isn't something special, set apart from anything else taking place in this world.  And all things taking place in the actual world are inherently awesome.  

So there is a big lesson for me here.  Actualism is not a ticket out of the general challenges of life.  I still need to engage with vigor, feel optimism (thanks Not Tao), practice moderation, etc.  However, in the end, the thing that I will have to want more than anything else in an actual freedom from the human condition.  And eventually, all the other factors of my life will have to bend around my desire for this one thing.  But for now, I need to treat life as a fight that I can win, and let those character traits do me some good.

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/16/15 7:01 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Hi Not Tao,

Not Tao:
Beoman, to me it seems like you're just adding a lot of colorful emotional language onto the experience.

Whereas what I was actually doing was accurately portraying the quality/flavor of the PCE in words. Take a look at the other descriptions of PCEs at the "Descriptions of Pure Consciousness Experiences" page for comparison. Here are some quotes from the first handful:

I remember the first time I experienced being the senses only during a PCE. There was no identity as ‘I’ thinking or ‘me’ feeling ... simply this body ambling across a grassy field in the early-morning light. A million dew-drenched spider-webs danced a sparkling delight over the verdant vista and a question that had been running for some weeks became experientially answered

The sun on my skin is warming me through and through, the breeze is ruffling my hair and tingling my forearms, and the water is cooling on my feet. It is so good to be alive, my senses bristling and everything is perfect. Absolutely no objections to being here – pure delight!

The PCE experience started there and continued for the rest of the day, at times most vividly, at other times diminishing somewhat, but always lustrous, vibrant, and rich.

This is seeing the world as-it-is in all its wondrous grandeur. With grandeur I mean the vastness of all diversities happening simultaneously.

Many people have experienced this peace in moments of exquisitely ordinary perfection; the ‘normal’ and ordinary things – like sitting at the table, walking in the street, doing the dishes – have all of a sudden taken on a glance, a shine of immense purity that surpasses the culturally determined aesthetics and the self’s feeling of beauty.

Do those words convey more an experience of relief like you describe, or one of delight like I describe?

*
Not Tao:
Being astounded doesn't happen during a PCE, it happens when the PCE devolves into an emotional or reactionary experience.

The moment where I realized that there was literally nothing to do in life at all besides enjoy being alive was certainly during the PCE itself (else how would I have realized that?) and not when the PCE devolved (which happened a little later on). The description strikes me as a fairly accurate depiction of the depth of the realization that struck me at that moment, as it was something completely unexpected (hence the flavor of surprise) and also very delightful (hence the 'positive' flavor conveyed by "astounded"). I remember a similar experiencing when I realized that 'Claudiu' was completely gone, without a trace, all of 'my' problems and 'my' habits and 'my' addictions were just gone! Incidentally, this description of a PCE from that same page conveys a similar flavor:

I had never met the actual Peter; I had only related to him through the curtain of my expectations and classifications, through the filter of my social identity, through the grey or rose-coloured glasses of my ‘self’. What was initially a shocking surprise quickly turned into fascination and delight to have discovered something so simple and so pure – actual intimacy with another person and the perfection of the actual world.

*
Not Tao:
It's tempting to use hyperbole to describe being without emotional drivers, simply because it's such a positive state of existance, but I think this misrepresents the experience.  I don't feel astounded or stupified or amazed when I experience PCEs, I am just content.  I think relief is the best word.  It's the same kind of relaxation that comes when resting after a hard workout or standing for a number of hours.  All the little bits of the physical/mental/emotional landscape that were clenched up are just relaxed.

I appreciate the fuller description of what you meant by relief and it shows that I had indeed correctly understood you when you wrote earlier that you liked the word "relief" to describe what you call PCEs. Far be it from this being "pointless semantics", as Noah said, I don't doubt that you are accurately describing your experiences, and that "relief" (as in the same kind of relaxation that comes when you rest after a hard workout) is indeed the best word to describe them. What this means is that clearly you aren't experiencing PCEs - and I don't say that only going by this one word and these two posts but based on just about everything you write here about actualism. Rather, you're experiencing something else... let's call them NTEs (Not Tao Experiences).

I can get a pretty good idea of what NTEs are like, by now. In an NTE there is an overarching experience of relief, in contrast to the PCE where the experience is rather one of delight. In an NTE there's a sense of timelessness (see here), where you can't perceive time and the experience of perceiving is timeless (see here), as opposed to a PCE where time stands still and one experiences that stillness. And, during the NTE, all the little bits of the emotional landscape that were clenched up are now relaxed - as contrasted to the PCE where all those little bits are simply gone. 

I am curious why you call your NTEs PCEs, though, especially as you have indicated that you have no interest in your usage of actualist terms being correct or accurate at all (from here):

Not Tao:
I know what I'm after, and I call it a PCE, but I'm not really interested in qualifying it perfectly in the language of Actualism because that just tends to mess with my practice.
Not Tao:
[...] I'm not really interested in being picky or precise.
Not Tao:
If being without an identity gives me a sense of timelessness or a panoramic awareness, that doesn't mean it isn't a PCE, it just means I am describing the effects using different words than you or Richard do - or perhaps my experience is just different in spite of being caused by the same thing.

That is, since you're not interested in using the language of actualism correctly, why do you use the language of actualism at all? All it serves to do is to mislead yourself and others.

Incidentally, at the end of that thread you said "Beoman, why don't you explain the PCE in your own words, and I'll tell you if it matches my experiences." Now I have, and based on your reply to it the answer is "no". So, what next? Are you still going to call your NTEs PCEs?

Cheers,
Claudiu

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/17/15 1:54 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
@Claudiu: I like the look your taking at Not Tao's description there.  I think thats a good way to communicate in terms of actually seeing the other person's side.  Also, yeah, I suppose there is a point to semantics when we're talking about mind-stuffs.  I have some weird annoyance with the specificity of language associated with technical terminology (such as an in actualism), but its totally necessary and I suppose I gotta get over that personal schtick.

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/17/15 2:23 AM as a reply to Noah.
8/16

I felt something click at work today.  I had been hugely resistant to my new job for the past week or so.  I was trying to practice the actualism method while learning a new job, which meant enjoying and appreciating while being faced with huge challenges.  It was going very poorly, I felt disassociated because appreciation would cause me to space out when I normally should be focused on the task at hand.

My realization today was that I was missing TRUE sensibility (even though I was talking about it yesterday).  It is sensible that everyone has to work, and that I have to earn some amount of money in exchange for my effort, knowledge and time.  Everyone has to contribute.  It is sensible for me to want to contribute effectively, aka being good at my job.

Whatever internal actions are most conducive to ENATMOBA are the ones that I should do.  Actualism does not have to do with introspection or analysis beyond that.  It is true that HAITMOBA examines the self internally, but it is so pure and objective that there is no anxiety fueling the looking.

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/17/15 2:51 PM as a reply to Noah.
8/17

-The most effective actualist path for me is probably to make the decision to be happy no matter what happens to me.  I say this because self-criticism and anxiety run the show most of the time.  Perfectionism is not sensible.  Thats one distinction I'm having trouble parsing out.  I am doing just fine.  I have great social relationships, a good job, I am safe, healthy, etc.  But I have this nagging feeling that these things aren't enough.  So deciding that happiness is the right reaction to my current situation makes sense.  Of course, it cannot involve a mood switch which disassociates or suppresses...

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/19/15 12:54 AM as a reply to Noah.
8/18

-Today was A LOT better than the past couple of days.  I work on a boat now, it was so nice, just cruising the waters, looking at the mountains, etc.  I felt a point of great letting go, strengthened by the logic of actualism, the idea of a better way of being.  

Then later on the bus I was getting agitated, trying to get back to that point of feeling good.  I realized how silly it was to be agitated when I get just be feeling good.  In that moment, even though I couldn't neatly trace a line back to the felicitous state, I felt a cloud of positvity sort of wash over me and I just kind of let go into it.  

There is a greater sense of trust in this process, in this lifestyle, this way of being, as the right way of being (which, in actualism language, is the most sensible and reasonable, not moralistically right).  I feel a momentum right now.  Lets see how it goes tomorrow.

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/20/15 12:04 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Lol, you're kinda dumb sometimes, Beoman.

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/20/15 1:17 AM as a reply to Noah.
8/19

Something interesting is happening to me.  I'm downloading a bunch more information about actualism every day.  It presents a sort of framework which cuts off my normal modes of negativity, like a cage cutting off the pathways of poison in my mind.  I think this might be what Vineeto and other AFT founders refer to as "nipping it in the bud."  [We must be ever-wary about disassociation, which would be "nipping it in the tip."]  I am also cautious to use their terminology on something happening with me, that is so new.

The human-animal, ego-soul, survival-fight-flight things that manifest (which is probably most things that happen in my mind- LOL) are simply less appealing than they were before.  Its not that I must stop them (or else), or that I have to figure out some special technique to avoid them, but rather that I am zooming out far enough to see the big picture.

And the big picture assumes a sense of hope for the human species, and for the planet earth.  It assumes a sense of optimism about my own personal development, and the freedom I will have in the future.  It assumes that the affective muscle is actually constantly blanketing and tethering this vibrant core of intellectual energy that we all possess in our brains.  

Want to see an example of untethered intellectual energy?  Look at the "Buddhavacana" essay that Beoman posted.  Its Richard's response to me on the Yahoo Actualism group.  He wrote me approximately 30 pages of meticulously researched and sourced material, basically just for shits and gigs.  Its not as if he had to write it to prove a point, he could have used his template of backlogged resposes to previous posters questioning his spiritual-caliber.  Instead, he chose to venture out into the wonderful playing field of ideas.  Love it or hate it, you probably should respect the effort and attention to detail involved.  With actual freedom, there is nothing holding the brain back from the basic joys of its highest functioning.

_____________________________________________________

I'm also experiencing a greater feel for sensibility, which brings balancing.  My mind is less prone to rampant obsessing during down-time (such as on the bus-ride home).  I realize that even if I could benefit from the super-intellectualizing about actualism, its not worth it because of the underlying stress.  I also notice that I am putting less weight into superflous decisions that I would normally go neurotic about.  Whats the point?  The human condition is actually hilarious if you look at it from the right angle (and take off those funny glasses we all wear :p).  Moderation makes sense because lots of small details in life don't deserve the attention I normally bring to them.  Plus when I regularly feel joy regardless of what is happening, there is no need to seek it in specific outcomes.

______________________________________________________

For the record, I did a spiritual mind treatment 2 days ago and yesterday to make progress with the actualism method.  At first I thought you couldn't use law of attraction to reach a state that is technically outside of the 'mind of god' (which is part of the methods of the science of mind), but then I realized that as long as I treat for the method to work, and not the result, there is no reason not too.

So yeah, I think its working.  It sure as hell worked for vipassana.  On that note, its been exactly 31 days (I'm pretty sure) since my vipassana teacher diagnosed me at technical 4th path, so I would probably be coming out of the honeymoon period of that attainment.  So its impossible to parse out how I might be getting a boost from the post-technical-4th path integration that might be occuring, which supposedly can go on for years.  Of course, I am talking about enlightenment side-effects here, which are the same positive side-effects that could occur from any other stimulus, such as psychotherapy, exercise/diet improvements, lifestyle improvements, etc.  When it comes down to it, I still posit that enlightenement and actual freedom are 180 degrees in opposite directions (different survival motives, actual freedom=altruistic motive, enlightenment=self-aggrandizement/self-preservation motive).  

And on another note, I think my personal temperament makes me a good candidate for all of this mind hacking stuff.  I was talking to my father (a fellow spiritual seeker) on the phone, and he started joking with me about how I came out screaming when I was born and part of me hasn't stopped screaming since.  There is this itch, this objection to being HERE, to existing at all.  I think its that same itch which makes me ready to ditch the Noah.  This brain and body is ready to be free! 

______________________________________________

I just had serendipity: So I am currently in a job that is outside my field-of-study (and I have yet to get a job within it).  I have some degree of aversion to the responsibility and seriousness involved in stepping up to using my degree.  But I also have a fear of going too long without using my degree.  I tend to think of the job search as a category of expertise in life in and of itself.  Following this logic, there will come a time when I will feel 'ready', and, at that time, I will be a super-uber-yuppie-extroardinare, donning suits and perfected resumes, shaking hands and posessing a vast industry knowledge.  However, this makes no sense; it takes years to do that.  

So, it is silly to stress the job search as a point of potential security and confidence, and sensible to realize that I should just try to get it over with and get the damn job!  Everyone knows the first job is frequently the hardest to get.  To expand, the reason its silly is linked to the fact that the action is motivated by my phobia.  The reason 'just jumping in' to the job market is sensible is because it will obviously lead to the most comfortable situation for me, in the end, regardless of what my emotional auto-pilot is telling me.

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/20/15 12:58 AM as a reply to Noah.
Hey, there you go.  emoticon

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/20/15 11:47 AM as a reply to Not Tao.
@Not Tao: Yeahhhh buddy!

@Pawel: I liked this last post.  Your experience sounds great.  If I could reliably get to it and stay in it, it might be "enough" for me in terms of relief from suffering.  At the same time, this last sentence sort of goes against my current logic.  Also, I have recalled experiences atop mountains as PCE candidates but I couldn't recall any particular one that seemed thorough enough to be a PCE.  Anyhoo, just an interesting thing related to your word choices there.

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/20/15 11:41 PM as a reply to Noah.
8/20

-Lots of interesting dreams the past few days.  Everything is about the apocalypse and about the death of the physical body.  But they aren't scary, they are almost humorous; as if, since I'm not taking life too seriously in the first place, none of these life-changing events can faze me that much.  My last night's dream involved my death and gun usage (I don't want to share the details for fear of forum violations/upsetting others, even though the dream didn't upset me at all, oddly), but somehow I came back to life, and was on the run with several family members and strangers, after having visited an old friend for a short time.  We traversed a mountain on a cart-gondala-thing which was open on one side and kept going through different towns and meeting people.  It seemed that I was being watched by one or two people who may have seen my face on a wanted poster.  Then the cart-thing became a cart in a water park, which was the next town.  We went up the ramp, and then plunged directly downwards into the water; it was fun.

The interesting aspect of these dreams is that they have the obvious theme of getting actual freedom: especially since in the dreams, I am thinking aloud about actual freedom.  In the dream a couple nights ago, I remember thinking that in order for me to escape the human condition, the physical crust of the earth was going to have to open up first, or else I wouldn't get it.  This came to pass in the dream.  Then, in the one last night, when I was killed and came back to life, I realized that I had discovered some secret elixer (which was actually an internal change [actual freedom], not a physical-external one) which could literally 'cure' death.  

The reason I am sharing these dreams is that I rarely remember dreams and when I do they are foggy.  It is rare for me to recall one that is very vivid, let alone 3 nights in a row.  Plus they are getting more and more dramatic.  Also, I feel qualified to judge my dreams because my first spiritual teacher taught me several ways of interpreting the subconscious, including dream analysis and tarot cards.

p.s.- another weird thing is happening, whereby the dream last night feels like it opened up a psychic hole inside of me that I can literally feel in my physical torso, where the various energies (people as symbols) from within the dream are still buzzing.

_________________________________________________

-One thing I'm doing is not resisting my tendencies or being averse to them.  Also, I am becoming less reactive to the highs and less reactive to the lows as well.  So I have work tomorrow and I'm not happy about it (I don't really like my job).  This is a chance to not cling to the hatred of work.  Just let it pass through me and stick to the even path of enjoying this moment.  And when good things happen, the point is not to be swayed by the allure of them.  So if I get a good night of sleep, a big paycheck, a new job, or any other positive acquisition, the instruction is to simply stick to the even path of enjoying the moment, in a manner not manipulated by the situation.  The way to avoid disassociation seems to be the honest recognition on my initial reactions via the HAITMOBA protocol.  Always being authentic in how I am feeling, through and through, is key.

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/20/15 6:58 PM as a reply to Noah.
Paweł K:
It is counterintuitive but 'relief from suffering' is something that you should really avoid. It is one your worst enemies because it tricks you that it is harmless, that it is your friend, that it helps you. It is like Mara, it will try to force you with fear if you resist it. It takes a lot of practice to get it right. It is like something that defeats you before you have a shot at it because wanting to have a shot at is is your defeat. Like with all such stuff there is way to do it and it reveals itself only to those who try to do it and do it.

See when you are in pain, any pain, you always cling to 'relief sensation', you always cling to it, if it comes or not ,it doesn't really matter. Scenes change, even self can change but main actor is always the same: need to have relief. You cannot want relief from relief, it won't work. You have to depolarize your mind, it will then stop by itself. It won't be needed anymore. And mind without it is... completely different place. If you were to watch for just one thing in your practice then make it desire for relief. See how it eat you from inside, let mind to even bog itself, to completely break apart, just do not fall for relief trap.
Interesting.  Definitely a theme I have moved in and out of through the years of practice.  It can be sometimes subtle and sometimes gross.  Lots of degrees to this 'desire for relief.'  I will say that enjoyment and appreciation seems to be depolarizing my mind fairly well.

One point that comes to mind is that I no longer wish to only have my internal perspective changed (i.e. the experience of emptiness, the experience of the observer, basically any purely perceptual shift).  Instead, I'm looking for a deep enough shift that will automatically undo some of my external behaviors, internal thought habits, etc.  I am looking to weaken the animal inside so that others experience me as a better human being to be around, and so that I do less harm (however subtle) to myself.

If you don't mind me asking, would you say that the shifts you have experienced have made your interpersonal relationships more harmonious?  Do your family members notice a difference?  Have you untied any psychodynamic issues from your childhood?  If you do mind me asking, I immediately retract the question and we can have a good conversation about plenty of other stuff.

I ask not as a challenge, but out of real interest in learning more about the perspective you have gained.

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/22/15 12:12 AM as a reply to Noah.
8/21

-I feel really agitated and depressed right now.  As always, its not nearly as bad as it has been in the past, before breakthroughs in practice.  I decided not to "try" to enjoy and appreciate for a few hours today, and simply to attend to these sensations instead.  I notice that when I am lacking in happy chemicals in the brain, all my actualism efforts feel messy and misdirected.  My goal seems incredibly unclear.  When I am already feeling happy, everthing feels bolstered and confident.

There are also underlying beliefs which I think are always there, whether I am chemically down (due to lack of sleep, in this case), or up.  At this point in my life I would say that I have somewhat negative underlying beliefs about myself, my capabilities, and my experience.  I actually probably always have had these.  Specifically though, my life has not gone as planned.  I have really been sort of derailed by psychoemotional difficulty.  I was planning on a certain series of events but something else has happened.

For awhile I crafted an identity of myself as a warrior, struggling against my mythic inner demons.  That worked really well with vipassana because it required mostly dumb, one-dimensional effort.  Now I don't really 'believe' in that identity anymore.  I don't really believe in any identity.  I used to have such concrete goals.  But those all went away as I stopped believing in the game of life.  Thinking there is a way out has made it worse, in a sense.

Within the actualist process, it seems like there are no certainties, no dumb, one-dimensional efforts to make, no super-obvious giveaways.  There are lots of subtleties when it comes to balancing attentiveness to negative emotions with the maximization of felicitious emotions, all-the-while avoiding disassociation.

I have to avoid moralization in the sense of thinking that I need to 'change' negative beliefs into positive ones.  I don't 'need' to do anything.  Rather, everything just is as it is.  This isn't even acceptance.  Its hard to truly take things at face value.  My brain produces a lot of negative chemicals, but that doesn't make it any less deserving or less likely of experiencing an actual freedom than anyone elses brain.   We just continue to look at whats going on, like scientists, learning about what causes what, how we tick.  

Today I learned more about how I hate the feeling of work.  How it stems from disenfranchisement and also from low self esteem (not believing that I am capable of enjoying hard work).  I really got into feeling the resistance, watching it ebb and flow.  I witnessed my human condition today.  Even if I didn't get to feeling good, its still one step in the right direction.

____________________________________________________


-To expand on what I was writing above, and too actually shape it into something constructive, I will ask myself what negative underlying beliefs are being revealed.  Mostly it seems to be the sorrow of masochism.  I don't believe I am adequete.  Most of this comes from early childhood messages that I am inadequete.  Some of it comes from precoded human genetics.  And a smaller fraction probably comes from environmental stress in the womb.  The most important thing is to understand the general idea of a submerged belief operating seemingly independent emotions from behind the curtain.  This is human sorrow, not Noah's sorrow.  The same old story.


______________________________________________________

-Furthermore, there are many beliefs, and beliefs within beliefs.  Beliefs are emotion-backed thoughts that form the framework for all that appears in my mind, in each moment, as I interpret my world.  My deepest beliefs seem to tint everything I do.  More surface ones only operate in specific scenarios.  These beliefs are about control, about having a grasp or a fix on the world; about being able to predict.  

The worst one right now is the idea that "I am bad" or "I can't succeed."  In the actual world, success does not exist.  The world itself is a success, in that reality is fortunate to be here at all.  This is what felicitous feelings are all about: providing an outlook that conforms to this reality.

If I feel bad tomorrow, I am going to try and incorporate some of this thinking about beliefs.

____________________________________________________


-Some more thoughts (I'm starting to skim the fat now):  A huge aspect of what I need is called 'common sense' in actualism language, which is just the regular definition of the phrase anyway.  Obsessing about actualsim, my life, my goals, etc., is basically my definition of running from bad feelings and seeking to replace them with good ones.  The more I can short-circuit the drama of my mind by cutting straight to the common-sense solution at the core of each problem, the better off I will be.  

Basically, the thought that feels the least satisfying is frequently the right one.  One example might be when I am feeling like indulging in a habit to trade short-term pleasure for long-term dis-ease (such as overeating).  My thought is "I MUST do this thing to make myself feel better, or I will not be able to function (or I will die- lol)."  The thing I have been doing is to then go into a whole internal dialogue about  how I can avoid the behavior, etc.  Of course, the answer is right in front of me; I just have to suck it up.  This is common sense, in this case.

Another case is my new job.  I keep thinking, "I can't do this job, its too difficult, it makes me unhappy.  I can't be unhappy, or else I won't be able to function."  Of course, this is bullshit.  I can do the job.  I am an able-bodied individual.  I can do whatever I want.  But the inner brat inside doesn't like that answer because it rests all of the responsibility on my back.

So, to summarize, a lot of the seeming 'problems' I have been dealing with are not really problems at all, and can just be cut through with the blade of common sense.

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/22/15 2:47 AM as a reply to Noah.
Random food for thought - no need for reply: can you remember a time in the past when you weren't paying close attention to your mind?  What do you think would happen if you stopped paying so much attention to how you felt and what you were thinking?  I realized this was actually a large part of my own past neurosis and anxiety - maybe you're just feeding the problem.  Enjoying and appreciating things happens naturally when you lose track of yourself - and losing track of yourself happens naturally when you no longer feel a need to protect yourself - and you no longer feel a need to protect yourself if you stop assuming bad things will happen and just look forward to the ongoing unfolding of life.

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/22/15 2:50 AM as a reply to Not Tao.
Not Tao:
Random food for thought - no need for reply: can you remember a time in the past when you weren't paying close attention to your mind?  What do you think would happen if you stopped paying so much attention to how you felt and what you were thinking?  I realized this was actually a large part of my own past neurosis and anxiety - maybe you're just feeding the problem.  Enjoying and appreciating things happens naturally when you lose track of yourself - and losing track of yourself happens naturally when you no longer feel a need to protect yourself - and you no longer feel a need to protect yourself if you stop assuming bad things will happen and just look forward to the ongoing unfolding of life.
I can but it was times like when I was in college or even high school when I had a huge amount of structure between extracurriculars, school and social life.  Now I just work and have no other hobbies.  So on my off days I don't do much and I don't feel motivated to create more structure.  It seems like its just extra effort.  Plus I seem to believe that I'm too lazy to get a hobby, which creates a self-fulfilling prophecy.  What do you think?

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/23/15 1:07 AM as a reply to Noah.
When I'm not doing anything in particular, my mind just wanders and daydreams.  In the past, it would usually wander to something bad and stay on that.  Now, if that happens, I just move it to something good.  As simple as this sounds, if you're spending most of your time doing nothing, this might be all you need to do.

Just to be clear, though, it hasn't been helpful for me to try to stop thinking about things.  What I mean by "moving to something good" is to reframe what I'm thinking about into a good thing.  So, like, if I'm worried about work or losing my job, I'll think about what I'm good at and all the other jobs I could do well.  Like I said in another thread, this eventually just turned into a switch where the same thoughts could be both positive or negative, and I just had to remember to flip it when I found myself on the wrong side.

More than anything, I just keep deciding to be optimistic.  It's hard the first few times when you're feeling bad and thinking about something good feels cheap and hollow - but then the feeling itself transforms right before your eyes and there's this sudden realization how little meaning the feelings actually have, even though they're so "close to home" you know?  Feeling bad is always related to something being unresolved.  When you start to think of ways things could go right and work out for the best, the whole mental environment changes to accomodate the solution-oriented thinking - which means a good mood.  This is the only way I've found where applying willpower will make a meaningful change to the mind.

This isn't something flimsy, either.  I know you have some big problems to deal with, but so did I, and this really works for me.  TBH, I've noticed a lot of my own thinking and struggles in what you write, which is why I keep bugging you on your threads, haha.  I want to pass on anything I might have gained in case it'll help you too.

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/23/15 8:04 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
8/23

-I've been getting into some weird mind states which seem like they could be entrances to PCE's.  I think they are, and not ASC's because they don't feel like recognizable jhanas, nanas or fruitions.  Also, they are linked to thoughts related to my self-immolation and imagery related to me moving back inwards, to the point of no existence: sort of like an implosion.  When I have these feelings, I get very calm and pleasantly comforted all over my body and suddenly the entire enviornment seems very nice.  Either way, I am sticking with the basic actualism method and not getting attached to them.

-Not trusting feelings is very important: not letting feelings guide my experience, my thinking, my decision-making.  I've been doing this successfully.

-I think of the 'out-from-control' phrase that Richard uses to describe the virtual freedom that he had.  I think I might be able to partially relate to this 'out-from-control' state (or maybe I am just fooling myself).  It feels like there is always a temptation to make actualist practice into another thing to do, another way to control the world.  So when I switch my attention back to feeling good, there has been a little bit too much self-awareness there; it borders on a type of tension, linked to the question "am I doing it right?"

The tension goes away when I realize that the actual world is right before my very eyes, despite the fact that "I" can't see it.  Regardless, the answer is here, now.  But the world is not here for me.  It has nothing to do with "me."  I am a part of the real world.  

To me, out from control seems to connote this idea that there are no rules to the actual world, and no rules to the process of getting there.  Generally, I am falling out of a sense of enchantment with the human-interpretive network, but that does not mean it has to happen in a specific way.  There is this feeling of not following my own social rules, as well, but being okay with that.  For instance, last night, I went out and had drinks with friends.  I usually take an inventory the next morning and try to figure out if I did anything foolish.  This morning, I didn't do it.  I didn't even want to do it.  But there was a feeling of losing grasp of the very core of social self, the part who maintains his status in society through a system of behavioral checks and balanes.  That losing grasp, I believe, is key.

______________________________________________


-I'm getting another info download.  It has to do with actualism as a way of life.  As they say, 'there is no such thing as a part-time actualist.'  If someone enjoys at some times, and not at others, that is called a regular human being.  There is also no such thing as some areas of life to practice actualism in, and some not too.  There is no separation of church and state, of business or logistical areas not to be touched by actualism, and personal areas which are to be worked on.  

My realization came just now when I was thinking about being at a party last night, and having been disappointed at myself for not being more extroverted with the women that were there.  For the first time, I trully felt inside, a conviction that I am going to have to give this up: this internal message that I am not good unless I regularly display my dating prowess.  Its not that I feel unconfident in this regard, for I have worked hard at it and experienced a lot of success.  Instead, the problem lies in the internal push to constantly prove myself, and the societal pull that I always feel from the psychic web established by the emotions of those around me and by my fellow human beings at large.  So yes, this will have to go.

There is only one way to experience benignity, delight, harmony, etc.  That is because all human beings share common instinctual issues which are at varying poles of extremes.  True happiness and harmlessness is in the exact middle-opposite, pleasant direction.  Because the issues are common to all, the solution is common to all, and is one-dimensional.

Actualism is a way of life, a way of practicing and embodying this solution.  A way of bringing the delight of the neither-pushed-nor-pulled way-of-being with you everywhere you go.  It is an antidote to the psychic web, and will inevitably rub off on people in a positive way.  Before actual freedom, I will be an actualist.  After actual freedom, I will be an actualist.  Regardless of what other people do and say, I will practice actualism.

Edit: I realized that this way of being will inevitably relate to giving up other things as well, such as self-destructive habits related to the blanketing of inner turmoil.  Alot of things will have to change, have to go. 

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/25/15 3:13 AM as a reply to Noah.
8/24

-I posted something yesterday about libido that I wanted to condense here.  I am this libido, it does not belong to "me".  Also, it is not unique to me- all humans have it.  Thus, 'this is human libido', as practicing actualists might say.

-Just now I realized what I needed, in this particular moment, to get back to enjoyment and appreciation: that is, I stopped asking for so much from life, I unlatched my tense perfectionistic grip, I realized that its okay for me to not have all the creature comforts that my identity craves.  Realizing this momentary freedom introduced a sense of lightness and ease into this mind.

-I have insomnia.  I have to wake up in 4 hours and work a 13 hour day.  My automatic reaction is to start bugging out, thinking of the things I did wrong, ways I can avoid insomnia in the future, fantasizing about how much better off I would be without it.  But I see this as an opportunity to practice.  My amygdala is firing off fear chemicals to my neocortex. where these signals are being processed for more complex intepretations: the beliefs expressed in the previous sentence.  

A belief is an emotion backed thought.  A fact is an observation backed thought.  My belief is that I can't do this.  The fact is that I know I can do this because I've done it many times before.  It always works out okay.  Even if it didn't, I would just find myself another job. 

Confidence or self-empowerment are not productive reactions to have because they just feed the other side of the problem.  Factual observations, backed by enjoyment and appreciation, are the only productive reactions to have.

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/24/15 11:43 PM as a reply to Noah.
Noah S:


Also, the other thing that annoys me about the approach which says that 'I am basically over thinking this' (or taking it too seriously,  --- or 'over- anything' this), is that on paper, it shouldn't work , but it does!  Meaning, I shouldn't have been able to get technical 4th path by 'thinking it out', according to the standards of the pragmatic dharma movement, but then I went and did it.  In fact, regardless of what anyone says, thinking it out, aka taking it seriously (by some standards) IS jnana yoga, an ancient and respected path to the ending of sufffering.  Its just unusal that people can make it work.
I read somewhere, alas can't remember where now, that in at least one school of thought, there were various ways they thought one could achieve enlightenment and one of those ways was via intellectualism (not to say they all will make it of course, just that it was possible to make it via that route).  Also your route reminds me a bit of Thich Nhat Hanhs way, "Nirvana is the freedom from wrong ideas and perceptions and that views of any kind" and that appears to be the main crux of it.  Get rid of wrong thoughts and nirvana naturally happens.  That also jives with my experiences.  It seems like Nirvana is our natural state, just that we have a lot of baloney thoughts that get in the way of experiencing it.  And it also jives with why Actualism seems to help quite a bit.  In buddhism, there tends to be kind of lack of emphasis on practicing all day, more like unless you are a monk, you sit for a few hours and that hopefuly carries over to the rest of your life.  Some do it all day but not many.  Whereas I think part of the power of actualism is you are doing it through out the day. 
Anyway, I suspect part of the prob with many teachers is what works for them maybe different than what works for another and the fastest way for one may not be the fastest way for another.  Even if the paths all lead to Rome, if you start out in a different locations, then your path to Rome will look different than someone else's path to Rome, that guy may need to wear waders for all the rivers but you may need a camel because of the dessert.  That guy's advice about the waders may mostly only help those coming from a similar location.  IMO.  ;-P

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/25/15 1:12 AM as a reply to Eva Nie.
Hey Eva,

A couple thoughts.  My running theory is that actualism's outcome is a lot different from any of the assortment of spiritual outcomes that are possible.  This is what makes sense to me on an intellectual level, but also makes sense in terms of my current level of practice experience in both arenas.  So that would mean that there are at least 2 Romes.  Also, I definitely agree that a personalized approach is necessary.  A good teacher is able to help their students discover their own meanings and techniques, for sure.

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/26/15 4:30 PM as a reply to Noah.
8/26

-Been doing more spiritual mind treatment for actual freedom, getting more results.  It seems like if I am really serious about actualism, about deep enjoyment and appreciation for more of the day, most days, I will need to change my habits and lifestyle in order to reduce my overall volume of thought.  I just think A LOT, and I feel like the bottom line is that regardless of the quality of thought and the volume I do, if there was just less of it I would have more fun in life.  The other aspect of being serious about actualism involves the idea that it is possible for life to be easy, given the advancements of modern civilization, and with enough internal change in the direction of true inner benignity.

So I'm doing a couple different lifestyle adjustments.  One is that I'm trying to get a job that I will enjoy more.  I'm applying to a couple different places right now.

The other is horse stance, which is a grounding chi gung exercise.  I don't know why it works, but I know it does: really frickin well.  About 20 minutes to an hour, every day, of standing in place, legs bent, starts to make me feel really, really calm.  The reason I haven't always been doing it is because I lack discipline, but as long as it is something that I see as necessary for actualism, I will have sufficient motivation.

Two other things I would like to try are basic calisthenic exercise (push ups and pull ups), and some type of regular, creative outlet: probably 'the morning pages', from the book, The Artist's Way.

Hopefully all of these things will lead to a more conditional baseline of ENATMOBA, which in turn will lead to a more unconditional enjoyment, which is the best way to imitate life in the actual world.

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/27/15 2:52 PM as a reply to Noah.
8/27

-I *realized* there is nothing seperate or special about the actual world.  'Actual' is basically just another word for physical.  While it is true that it has all of these remarkable qualities when we start actually percieving the physical world (the only world that there is), it should not be thought of as something which deserves its own label and its own sequestered spot in our mapping of reality.  The actual world is the only reality that can ever be, it is this universe.

Apperception is the physically occuring stream of perceiving that is always going on.  There is still nervous-system and sense-door activity occuring while in deep sleep or in a coma.  There is still the body's energy doing its thing.  I relate this always-running (nothing-special) energy to apperception.  Apperception can be thought of as the highest form of enjoyment.  This is a good way to avoid conflating it with other states of meditation.  Credit for this idea is to another participant on the Yahoo actualism group.

The Mood Scale:
Bad---Neutral---Good---Great---Excellent---Perfect (apperception or PCE or actually free)

Enlightenment vs Actual Freedom:

Self-Preservation instinct (immortality through experience of Absolute/Cessation)<----------------------------------------------------->Altruistic instinct (self-immolating for the collective good)
Enlightenment (permanent ASC)<--------ASC<------normal state of being--------->PCE---------------->Actual Freedom (permanent PCE)

*credit for this idea is to the AFT

___________________________

The entirety of the actualism method can be summed up by the three scales above.  Feeling as good as possible leads to more of that, and also a sense of confidence or trust in that as the best way to be.  This then leads into the noticing of the futility of anything which interrupts the best way to be.  The things that happen to be futile consist of all the social and instinctual programming that control us.  Eventually, the realization that all of this programming must cease completely in order for the purely physical and sensible self to emerge, ripens.  With that, self-immolation occurss all at once for the sake of having the best possible experience forever.

So there's nothing special about emotions, investigation, the particular layers or mechanics of the identity, etc.  All these are just accessories to the goal of being as happy and harmless as possible.  So I shouldn't spend too much time obsessing about all these minuteau.  Its better to have the big picture in clear view.

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/29/15 4:22 AM as a reply to Noah.
8/28

-HAIETMOBA all day every day, or at least once every five minutes.  Its the basic full repetition of the question in my head, plus a commitment to be very kind to myself, which facilitates the honest answering of the question.  Eventually, it seems like the observation of patterns take hold, which starts me on the track of seeing how stupid some of my drama is.  And thats the process, bit by bit.

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/29/15 9:03 AM as a reply to Noah.
body ages when its alive. when it dies then it decays.
therefore you need to go faster than nature. What nature does, is, it picks the best choices, it what also mind does.

in order to beat nature with speed is to meditate on emptiness. When you mediate on emptiness you will see what nature want to do, you need to unlock the chain, and you gain speed.

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/29/15 8:35 PM as a reply to Banned For waht?.
Rist Ei:
body ages when its alive. when it dies then it decays.
therefore you need to go faster than nature. What nature does, is, it picks the best choices, it what also mind does.

in order to beat nature with speed is to meditate on emptiness. When you mediate on emptiness you will see what nature want to do, you need to unlock the chain, and you gain speed.


I'm having a bit of trouble understanding this one.  I get that meditation on emptiness can be seen as "unlocking the chain", although thats probably a separate goal from the one I am pursuing with HAIETMOBA and ENATMOBA.  In terms of nature picking the best choices though, I will say that it seems like actualism is specifically distrusting of 'blind mother nature' and all of the extremes of the survival package we have been born with and develop throughout our life span.

Ultimately, the goal might be described as becoming nature, rather than going faster than it.  This description only works if the nature we are talking about has only to do with apperceiving the purely physical universe, and not any projected overlay of spirit or higher energy (including the subtleties of the emptiness concept).

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/29/15 8:39 PM as a reply to Noah.
8/29

-HAIETMOBA again today.  

The protocol is basically:
  1. Phrase the question fully with mental talk.
  2. Find the emotion(s) that are occuring inside.  The most major one will usually do.
  3. Discover why you are feeling it and when it started.
  4. Attend to this until it fades from importance.
  5. Forget about HAIETMOBA.
  6. Ask again in a couple minutes.
After awhile it really does start to work.  This 'working' takes different forms, but frequently comes in the form of an insight about becoming more happy and harmless.

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/30/15 1:09 AM as a reply to Noah.
Hey Noah,

Your step 4 here is where things always got mushy for me.  I had to figure some things out for myself in terms of how to deal with negative emotions - and I think Richard is a bit weak there with his advice.  Could you explain what you mean there in more detail and how it helps you move out of a bad feeling?

I essentially replaced step 4 with: Change the nature of the thought-stream to an optimistic/positive reframing of the situation/cause of the bad feeling.  Have you seen anything like this on the yahoo group?  I mainly like it because it allows me to drop the whole thing much faster, which makes it seem less serious and easier to drop in the future.  It's kind of a cascade effect from there.

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/30/15 6:30 AM as a reply to Noah.
Noah S:
Rist Ei:
body ages when its alive. when it dies then it decays.
therefore you need to go faster than nature. What nature does, is, it picks the best choices, it what also mind does.

in order to beat nature with speed is to meditate on emptiness. When you mediate on emptiness you will see what nature want to do, you need to unlock the chain, and you gain speed.


I'm having a bit of trouble understanding this one.  I get that meditation on emptiness can be seen as "unlocking the chain", although thats probably a separate goal from the one I am pursuing with HAIETMOBA and ENATMOBA.  In terms of nature picking the best choices though, I will say that it seems like actualism is specifically distrusting of 'blind mother nature' and all of the extremes of the survival package we have been born with and develop throughout our life span.

Ultimately, the goal might be described as becoming nature, rather than going faster than it.  This description only works if the nature we are talking about has only to do with apperceiving the purely physical universe, and not any projected overlay of spirit or higher energy (including the subtleties of the emptiness concept).
As humans we can self-realize ourselves and fight our way to heaven and save the princess. And we need to be learned so we wouldn't be like cavemen but like noblemen. 
In nature we do move first. In heaven we need to earn our place. This is a journey.

I think thats what fairytales trying to tell us. 
(sorry for the derailing, i try to figure what the myths are about)

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/30/15 8:59 AM as a reply to Not Tao.
Not Tao:
Hey Noah,

Your step 4 here is where things always got mushy for me.  I had to figure some things out for myself in terms of how to deal with negative emotions - and I think Richard is a bit weak there with his advice.  Could you explain what you mean there in more detail and how it helps you move out of a bad feeling?

I essentially replaced step 4 with: Change the nature of the thought-stream to an optimistic/positive reframing of the situation/cause of the bad feeling.  Have you seen anything like this on the yahoo group?  I mainly like it because it allows me to drop the whole thing much faster, which makes it seem less serious and easier to drop in the future.  It's kind of a cascade effect from there.

Yo NT, I don't necessarily think the step 4 is supposed to help me 'move out of a bad feeling.'  That comes later.  For now, I'm just doing HAIETMOBA until it becomes a wordless attitude towards life.  And then, slowly, over time, "the dissolutive power of awareness" (something I got from the Yahoo group) will work its magic.  Meaning, I will be able to compare the many times I feel good in the moment with the many times I feel bad.  That, plus the uncovering of deeper negative emotions behind the more surface ones, and the commitment to being very kind and forgiving with myself, will all combine to slowly nip these negative emotions in the bud.

So basically, I think that when all the criteria are met, the bad emotion will permanently disappear, but it is not supposed to happen right away, or even slowly/gradually.  I don't see actualism as a method which does a 'cascade effect', in that regard.  Its almost as if bad feelings must dissapear eventually, when we bring a certain type of attentiveness to them with a certain conceptual background (one that is different from mindfulness).  This process requires no extra volitional movement of attention on behalf of the practitioner.

Keep in mind I also don't understand the actualism method fully yet, so I am not qualified to speak conclusively on it.

Edit: Also, don't forget that the goal is to also minimize the good feelings eventually as well.

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/30/15 9:03 AM as a reply to Banned For waht?.
As humans we can self-realize ourselves and fight our way to heaven and save the princess. And we need to be learned so we wouldn't be like cavemen but like noblemen. 
In nature we do move first. In heaven we need to earn our place. This is a journey.

I think thats what fairytales trying to tell us. 
(sorry for the derailing, i try to figure what the myths are about)


So in this metaphor, what is nature, heaven, the princess, the noblemen and the caveman?  

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/30/15 9:59 AM as a reply to Noah.
Noah S:
As humans we can self-realize ourselves and fight our way to heaven and save the princess. And we need to be learned so we wouldn't be like cavemen but like noblemen. 
In nature we do move first. In heaven we need to earn our place. This is a journey.

I think thats what fairytales trying to tell us. 
(sorry for the derailing, i try to figure what the myths are about)


So in this metaphor, what is nature, heaven, the princess, the noblemen and the caveman?  
Save the princess from a cave and then marry with the princess, then two fighting sides will see see no point in fighting anymore and peace will return.

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/30/15 8:57 PM as a reply to Banned For waht?.
@Rist: Interestinggg... I think the only two sides worth considering are instinctual-soul-heart-animal Noah and societal-ego-head-human Noah.  At least this is what I have deduced thus far in my journey for inner peace.  So I suppose that would like something like the caveman and the prince both committing suicide so that the magical kingdom could be everlastingly awesome.  Hows that?

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/31/15 2:57 AM as a reply to Noah.
Maybe.
Im stuck with a dream, i mean i finally understood that i was stuck with it. It reminded me a fairytail. I had couple weeks back already removed away everyday workingday ordinariness layer so i don't have much doubt left anymore. And the best is i finally starting to get an idea where i am.

best of luck!

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/31/15 9:52 PM as a reply to Noah.
8/31

I've been having some great clarity into the actualism method, with the help of respondents from three different threads I posted on the Yahoo AF group.  First of all, I remembered my first PCE!  This is really exciting because its considered a turning point in an actualist's career.  It was actually a memory I had previously considered as a PCE candidate but I was able to viscerally go back into it all of a sudden and fully recall what it was like.  I think this might be what Richard means by 'rememoration'.

Also, I've gotten a couple good perspectives on HAIETMOBA.  Some people say to say all the words, each time.  Others say to just get a feel for it and what it is trying to do and why its important.  Everyone acknowledges that each word in that phrase is important.  What I got from this is the importance of its function, which is to completely orient oneself towards the present moment, and the present moment 'me' and 'I', in all of their aspects.  Changing oneself only, in this moment only, is the only thing that matters.  Also, HAIETMOBA is supposed to reinforce a reflex to continuously return to this moment.  That reflex is very helpful for the actualism method.  So whichever way I end up using HAIETMOBA, the most important thing is to carry out that function.

Finally, the importance of distinguishing between emotion/feelings and thinking is super important.  I posted on the Yahoo group, saying I was "obsessing" and that I needed to think less.  Multiple people responded saying the idea of 'overthinking' was a spiritual belief, but the truth is that it is the underlying emotion of anxiety and control-seeking that is the problem.  The thinking process is an actual, inherent part of nature and this universe.  Humanities best, most useful creations occur through thinking.  I am 'overfeeling' which is causing the obsessing, which manifests on the surface through thinking.  This is an example of how thinking needs to be distinguished from feeling.

Edit: There are two more things about actualism I have recently discovered through help from the Yahoo peeps.

1) Sensibility.... is frequently (but not always!) fairly obvious and fairly simple.  I was overcomplicating it in a lot of my previous posts on this log.  Its just, what makes me actually feel good, as in, a good mood.  Like, the way I judged a good mood before learning about meditation (lol).  Or, what makes the most sense, in terms of logistical, daily-life decisions, in each moment.  What goals should I reasonably have, what do I reasonably need to get done, etc.  The answer is frequently right in front of my nose but I have a tendency to want a more sophisticated, but unnecessary one.

2) Kindness... being kind to oneself, like oneself, being light-hearted, are all good ways to get to feeling good.  Also, kindness creates an environment that makes it safe for deeper and deeper emotions to express themselves, so that they can be seen as silly not sensible.  Kindness is just a stepping-stone though!  It is not the be-all-end-all like in some spiritual systems.  Eventually, there is no need for kindness because life is awesome.

________________________________________

-I used to think that actualism had special definitions of all the terms it uses (there are a few).  I am only now realizing how wrong I was.  There is no special definition of 'emotion', 'feeling', 'happy', etc.  I was practicing it in the past thinking that I was aiming for a super-mindful, present-oriented happines.  That is bullshit!  The right happiness to aim for is the authentic, losing-track-of-time, full-of-thinking-and-internal-activity, happiness.  In fact, the funny thing is that actualism doesn't even come into play until this happiness goes away!

I'm also examining other limiting beliefs I have, with the goal of bringing more joy into my life.  For instance, whenever I talk to someone older than 40 (thats an estimation), all I am told is how much time I have to figure things out, and how I should relax.  Then, when I'm on my own, I completely forget this notion and fuck it up by worrying about money (I make enough right now anyway) or how to live my life in the right way (there is no right way).  So, I have decided to take this common advice and actually start living as if I have all the time in the world, doing things that are fun and bring me joy, happiness and confidence.  Even if I don't have all the time in the world, life is not worth living any other way, for this is the path out of the human condition.  

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/31/15 5:27 PM as a reply to Noah.
This is good stuff. emoticon

There's one contradiction in your post though.  I'm not sure if it's just symantic or something that could cause you problems.  You say HAIETMOBA is meant to "completely orient you to the present moment," but you also point out that thinking too much isn't the problem.  "The present moment" is such a catchphrase for mindfulness that is can be easy to boil HAIETMOBA down to just paying attention to what's happening.  But Richard usually points out, when talking about HAIETMOBA on the AFT, that HAIETMOBA is not the actualist method, the actualist method is enjoying and apreciating this moment.  Paying attention obsessively can actually cause a lot of problems, and the way you described your method a few posts above - "attend to a feeling until it fades from importance" - can actually make feelings much stronger and more serious than they are.  You also said that "the dissolutive power of awareness" will work it's magic, implying that you think paying attention to negative feelings will eventually reveal to you that they're silly and you don't have to feel them.  This hasn't worked for me in practice.  Instead, I had to actively decide that the feelings were incorrect representations of reality, and actively challenge them by changing my attitude towards what is happening - adoping optimistic thinking patterns and dropping cynical and negative attitudes.  Maybe you could ask about this on the yahoo forum.

I liked how, in your list above, you have a step specifically detailing that you forget about HAIETMOBA for a while.  Considering your vipassana background, you probably don't need any more attention to the present moment than you already have, tbh.  All you need is enough awareness to understand when you are feeling good and when you aren't.  It isn't the attention to a feeling that changes it, it's the way you judge the feeling and it's cause that ultimately changes it.  I have started to think of the process as "learning to be okay with what's going on."  When something happens that you normally think of as bad, and you get a bad feeling, the key is to change your relationship to the thought or event so the bad feeling will stop manifesting.

EDIT: If you do post about this, I'd be interested to hear what they say.  These days I don't really read the AFT or think of what I'm doing as "actualism" persay, so this may be where I've diverged from Richard's advice.  Like I said before, when I was trying to practice actualism I eventually found this part of it to be very mushy and undefined, and I had to make my own way from there.  Simply attending to how I felt didn't help me much, and Richard's explanations of how "nipping in the bud" works don't seem very clear to me.

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
8/31/15 9:08 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
@NT: So I think I agree with all the above.  HAIETMOBA isn't supposed to be 100% focus on the moment.  Just a little bit more than normal, maybe 40% instead of 30%, would be fine.  And this is where sensibility comes in for me, guiding each aspect of the actualist practice.  You just see what works, and do it.  

If over-focusing on negative emotions makes them worse for you, then thats silly, so stop.  But for some people it does seem to work.  Many times, just a quick glance inside will be enough to notice, "oh, I'm feeling shitty", maybe I should relax (or 'stop caring' as you've said) or have fun or be make this into a joke.  It might work in that moment, or it might not, but if it doesn't you've internally logged enough time feeling good to know that thats the place where you want to be.

I think the permanent disappearance of certain negative emotions through HAIETMOBA is always accompanied by the elimination of belief (an emotion-backed thought).  It doesn't matter whether the negative emotion temporarily dissolves, in that moment, but rather that, with enough check-ins throughout the day, it will eventually happen, through grace (or luck).  So its almost like you just set up the conditions of looking in the right way and it will go away on its own.  If that did not happen for you in the past, just keep experimenting with different ways of looking (which is exactly what you have been doing, anyway- and what I'm starting to do).

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
9/2/15 2:02 AM as a reply to Noah.
9/1

-Hello September...  So many things that happen in the mind, are beliefs.  A belief is any feeling-backed thought.  So basically any thought that reoccurs and is unusually sticky.  They are more rampant than I had previously imagined.  For some reason I had been holding onto beliefs as being rational.  I think that my mind wanted them to be rational "if 'a', then 'b'" problems so that they would have straight forward solutions.  But really, they just occur where convenient, meaning, wherever my mind needs them to to shield it from pain, or uncertainty.  Its actually pretty funny.  Beliefs are like buffers or fenders or bumper rails that allow me to travel through life unscathed.

-There were many times last night (I was out with some friends) where I normally would have dipped into a bad mood based on a certain event or thought.  However, each time I remembered the importance of this moment specifically and dropped the effort to "figure it out' or 'find a solution', instead deciding to feel good.  Also, even this morning, I could feel the pull towards the negativity.  However, I also feel an opposite pull, which is backed by carefree notions such as 'relax, its all good' and 'I have all the time in the world.'  I attribute this positivity to remembering the PCE.  From within my memory of the PCE, I can easily proximate various qualities into their nearest affective versions.  I am not trying to mimic it in its entirety, which would be automorphism, but rather let it guide me in small, subtle ways.

_____________________________

-I had a weird psychic experience on the bus today where I felt like the "floor" of my ego and psyche fell out from underneath me.  This floor was the last thing separating my individual psyche from the collective human psyche.  After this I started to sense the vibes and psychic currents from everyone around me.  It seemed that when I stopped looking at the world through my personal lens, it gave me enough space to creep into other people's lenses and catch their internal content a little bit.  I could look at a person and get a quick sense of their essence within a few seconds.  This essence was read as a vibration in my body, and would contain some basic information about who they were.  I did not try to stabilize or continue the experience, since it was basically just an ASC and therefore not useful for actualism.  

Later, throughout the day, I felt different in my body and mind, as if I was suddenly less capable of experiencing any and all emotions.  There is still a certain lightness or fluffiness I feel in my torso and upper chest cavity.  There is a certain ease to everything.  I think I am making progress because of the pure intent I got from rememorating the PCE.  I also downloaded a lot more intellectual information about how actualism matches up against spirituality, among other topics.

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
9/2/15 4:19 PM as a reply to Noah.
9/2

-Here are a few examples of harmlessness coming into play in my practice:
  1. I noticed a sense of disdain and/or aggression towards my roommate's girlfriend frequently coming up.  It was extremely subtle, but present nonetheless.  Most of our interactions are great fun.  I decided to stop any and all subtle bullying.  Its been a success so far.
  2. I am about to go start a new job in a few minutes.  At first I was trying to 'feel confident' in the sense of ego-based pride.  However, not only is this arising out of an underlying negative emotion (insecurity) in myself, it is linked up with the impressions of others, and being able to feel superior to others.  Instead of trying to feel confident (and thus aggressive), I made the decision to just focus and work hard, with the knowledge that I definitely know what I am doing in this work setting (restaurants).
  3. I am starting to have the feeling that my whole complex surrounding sexual conquest is bullshit, through and through.  Wanting dating success is inherently aggressive in that one wishes to 'win' the game and possess or manipulate another person in some way.  Wanting love/deep-emotional-connection is just as bad, but that isn't my personal problem right now.  The answer to both of these extremes (desire and nurture) involves being altruistically humble in social situations.  This means not suppressing or expressing any part of my personality.  The goal is to truly 'be myself.'  There are no rules about any outcomes.  I don't have to 'get girls' or 'get laid.'  I know that I will feel horniness.  That is fine.  Attentiveness to the physical feeling and underlying emotions (aggression and insecurity) is the right move then.  Don't push or pull on it.  Not trying to 'prove myself' or 'win' any games (or play them in the first place) frees me up to just be an honest, friendly and altruistic person.  Freedom!

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
9/4/15 1:25 AM as a reply to Noah.
9/3

There are all these layers to the soul.  There is the underlying tenor of pressure, self-criticism, resistance, etc.  This is part and parcel with who I am deep inside.  I am slowly beginning to feel this layer out.  This includes the impulse to write on the DhO, to think about life, to be incredibly self-aware, etc.  After this, I may just change forever.  Deeper and deeper this rabbit hole goes.... 

p.s.- I was waiting to go into work, feeling this odd sense of paranoia and tension, when I realized that these may not be my negative feelings, they may be psychic currents from humans in general, or vibes I pick up from people in the area.  With this realization, it felt like some force smacked me in the face, and I was pulled into the present moment in a wordless, thoughtless, pleasant and confident way.  Weird stuff.

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
9/4/15 2:55 PM as a reply to Noah.
9/4

I have diagramed the layers of being below.  I know that I need to go deeper because even when I enjoy myself, I feel a sense of movement, a sense of searching, still going on below the surface.  This is where 'bipolar disorder' lies.  This layer gives rise to all the obsessing I do, the reason I write on this forum every day.  This layer gives rise to the tense hyper-vigilant manner with which I moniter and rate myself, checking my pulse every five seconds.  This layer gives rise to me being hard on myself, being a glass-half empty kind of guy.

Noah practicing actualism to feel good
________________________

Noah feeling tension below surface
________________________

Noah believing he is not safe and needs to defend himself
________________________

Noah believing he is not good
________________________

Noah being wounded at early age
________________________

Noah as a sensitive kind-hearted, full-of-love child, driven by nurture and desire *the spiritual level- cessation/agape*
________________________

inside this sensitive-nurtured child, an primate full of sophisticated survival impulses
________________________

inside this primate, a reptile, full of simple survival impulses, awareness that death is possible
________________________

below all of these animal layers, an innate self... basic sense of being, created by the nervous system
________________________

an actual, flesh-and-blood body, part of this pristine and spacious universe

RE: my actualism practice
Answer
9/5/15 12:36 AM as a reply to Noah.
Noah S:
  • I am starting to have the feeling that my whole complex surrounding sexual conquest is bullshit, through and through.  Wanting dating success is inherently aggressive in that one wishes to 'win' the game and possess or manipulate another person in some way.  Wanting love/deep-emotional-connection is just as bad, but that isn't my personal problem right now.  The answer to both of these extremes (desire and nurture) involves being altruistically humble in social situations.  This means not suppressing or expressing any part of my personality.  The goal is to truly 'be myself.'  There are no rules about any outcomes.  I don't have to 'get girls' or 'get laid.'  I know that I will feel horniness.  That is fine.  Attentiveness to the physical feeling and underlying emotions (aggression and insecurity) is the right move then.  Don't push or pull on it.  Not trying to 'prove myself' or 'win' any games (or play them in the first place) frees me up to just be an honest, friendly and altruistic person.  Freedom!


  • Something that helped me with this point was I realized most of these kinds of feelings were related to wanting to possess other people. (EDIT: You used the exact word, haha!) Even horniness is a kind of desire to consume/take/master/control (so categorizing it as "harm" is a good idea!). If you let go of these mental aspects, the physical aspects can be very pleasant without any tinge of "want" or "need" behind them. Something that helped me was to think of the people I was attracted to as "free" - like a free bird. Love and desire cages the birds - but it's just as easy to enjoy watching a wild bird as it is to watch a caged bird. If a wild bird sits on your finger, it's all the more amazing (EDIT: Not meant to be a euphemism, lol...). There's really something to the word "objectify" when considering objects of lust. When you stop objectifying, the whole thing becomes a very pleasant experience - mostly because it's no longer a drive, but rather a positive sensory addition to the world. Instead of focusing on getting the girl, you can just enjoy the phycial attraction itself - which turns out to be very pleasant and fulfilling it its own right when there's no longer something further required of it (like conquest or future possesion).  It's the concept of a "game" that turns this pleasant physical attraction into something stressful.  Really, the game is taking away something very positive from you.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/5/15 4:58 AM as a reply to Noah.
    9/5

    -The scary thing about sensibility is that its all you have left when you strip away social pressure, pride, sense of duty, self-image, self-confidence, narcissistic wounds, and tons of other psychic forces.  So getting rid of all of those things is scary.  The other scary thing about sensibility is it means doing what is necessary, with 'what is necessary' being a nebulous thing depending on what you judge to be necessary in the moment, and in general.  This also means taking responsibility for your actions and realizing your potential.

    For me this means making more money because I can and because I have the opportunity to, despite the fact that I have certain phobias and responsibility-avoidance mechanisms which haunt me.  It also means being willing to push myself in terms of everyday inconveniences such as sleep schedule and household chores.  I can do these things.  Any attempt to over-complicate things is actually an avoidance mechanism, another trick of the psyche.

    Life isn't meant to be perfect.  But it also isn't meant to be this difficult.  Being willing to recognize the balance seems like a step towards the actual world for me.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/8/15 10:10 AM as a reply to Noah.
    9/7

    Tonight I was walking into the bus tunnel station when I ran my fingers across my face, feeling my acne scars.  I had the thought that it was weird that my face was permanently scarred.  Then I realized that the only reason it was weird is because I thought it was my body.  But really there is no me. 'Me' is just a parasitic entity, created by the brain stem to ensure the body's survival.  'Me' has become irrelevent.  

    Suddenly I felt so good.  There was just here.  Just walking through the tunnel, feelin the wind, watching the light play of the tiles: beautiful.  Everything felt so easy compared to one second ago.  It wasn't that I had solved any of my problems, but moreso that I just didn't care.  And the most likely way of describing it was realizing that my problems didn't actually exist.

    The actual world isn't a separate place.  Its here, all the time, right before our eyes.  The only thing separating us from it are the layers piled on top of the nervous system by society and genetics.  But how long can those hold under serious scrutiny?

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/10/15 6:55 AM as a reply to Noah.
    9/9

    -So overall I think I'm doing a pretty good job.  I'm making progress; generally, my experience is less guided by my emotions; I am feeling more happiness and harmlessness at deeper and truer levels; I am having some pretty powerful excellence experiences; and I rememorated a PCE.  

    I do notice I have this trend to nitpick and micro-manage myself.  This occurs across all situations and aspects of the practice.  I would be better if I didn't do this.  It could also be described as perfectionism.  This tense energy/attitude has me thinking that I have to 'fix' myself or that my emotional life has to be completely perfect before I become actually free.  Not only is this impossible, because no one's perfect and we are all a work in progress, its also overkill, I believe.  I bet I can get actual freedom well before I am incredibly psychologically healed.  

    I should probably feel good more of the time just based on the simple fact that I am making progress on a good path.  This is one way to fight back against the tense perfectionism.  Of course the best thing to do would be to bring attentiveness to the emotion, feeling deeply into it.  But that method requires the right conditions.  When the attentiveness does fully kick in though, it can dissolve the emotion forever, but I can't bank on that.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/10/15 10:56 AM as a reply to Noah.
    Noah S:
    9/9

    I do notice I have this trend to nitpick and micro-manage myself.  This occurs across all situations and aspects of the practice.  I would be better if I didn't do this.  It could also be described as perfectionism.  This tense energy/attitude has me thinking that I have to 'fix' myself or that my emotional life has to be completely perfect before I become actually free.  Not only is this impossible, because no one's perfect and we are all a work in progress, its also overkill, I believe.  I bet I can get actual freedom well before I am incredibly psychologically healed.  

    I should probably feel good more of the time just based on the simple fact that I am making progress on a good path.  This is one way to fight back against the tense perfectionism.  Of course the best thing to do would be to bring attentiveness to the emotion, feeling deeply into it.  But that method requires the right conditions.  When the attentiveness does fully kick in though, it can dissolve the emotion forever, but I can't bank on that.
    I suspect it would be similar to the quest for material wealth, the same old dukkha problem, you'd never be satisfied, you'd always think you needed more perfection, more healing, etc.  If you base your satisfaction on attainments, even spiritual ones, then you will run into dissatisfaction time and again, IMO because you will always become dissatisfied that it's not yet enough.  And it becomes that old zen catch 22, the more you try to get attainments, the more you don't get attainments.  ;-P  Maybe that's why they say 4th path often comes when you give up trying and let go. 
    -Eva

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/10/15 5:37 PM as a reply to Eva Nie.
    I suspect it would be similar to the quest for material wealth, the same old dukkha problem, you'd never be satisfied, you'd always think you needed more perfection, more healing, etc.  If you base your satisfaction on attainments, even spiritual ones, then you will run into dissatisfaction time and again, IMO because you will always become dissatisfied that it's not yet enough.  And it becomes that old zen catch 22, the more you try to get attainments, the more you don't get attainments.  ;-P  Maybe that's why they say 4th path often comes when you give up trying and let go.  
    -Eva


    Yeah I agree with all of the above.  Thats why the next attainment I'm looking to get will eliminate the energy of the personality mechanism which creates the structure in which preference occurs.  Meaning, total reworking of "Noah."  I can say for certain that technical 4th did not do this (even though it has done a lot for me, including making me vastly more psycho-emotionally resilient).  

    The true test of attainment for me is that I deeply, deeply don't give a shit anymore about what I have attained.  I'm just so damned satisfied that I'm ready to move on with my life; no more obsessing, no more stress, no looking back.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/12/15 11:17 AM as a reply to Noah.
    9/12

    Things are going quite nicely.  There are very few reasons to be afraid, reasons to create problems for myself.  Sometimes I have to lower my standards, sometimes I have to raise the bar; sensibility allows me to adjust to the moment.  

    It isn't that life should feel like a vacation or like paradise, its that this world literally is a vacation-like paradise (much moreso than we could ever affectively imagine).  The barrier is the problems we create for ourselves, and the fact that we are the problem.  Part of the conondrum is the great romance of life.  The promise of falling in love, the solice we find in the idea of having children and grandchildren, the pride we take in successful careers or steps taken to positively impact the world.  All of these 'healthy' things must go.  They are all creations of a little survival gremlin hiding deep down in the brain stem.  It makes sense that very few people are actually free.

    But what is out there for those willing to let these things go is breathtaking.  How to describe that memory of the PCE, or those excellence experiences which have been riddled across my days as of late?  Certainly, that I was feeling "PERFECT" for the former, and "GREAT" for the latter, makes sense.  But beyond that, when there isn't Noah-content playing in the background, normal reference points which encourage my verbosity fail.  All I can say is that I look forward to leading a life rid of this being, but full of the rest of what is out there.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/15/15 1:41 PM as a reply to Noah.
    9/15

    There have been many new experiences for me these past few weeks.  I am living hundreds of miles from any family and friends for the first time.  I am completely financially independent for the first time.  I am also working a job that I don't like for long hours, while getting minimal sleep.  But I have found that I am still able to function, where I would have doubted it before.  In a sense I am starting adulthood, being faced with all of the aspects that that entails.  I am also trying to build a social network from scratch, and that includes friends, acquaintances, professional connections, and dates.  Now, I would not say that being effective in social situations involves "just being oneself."  But I would not say that being disingenuous works either.  Perhaps the term "one's best self" is good balancing point.  So I am trying to figure out how to be my best self.

    Also, I find that new jobs and situations created techtonic plates earthquakes of anxiety below the surface, in my subconscious mind.  The initial sense is that I am "overthinking everything."  However, the thought is not the problem; rational intellegence is necessary for living life.  The problem is the emotion causing the excess flow of thought.  This emotion is anxiety, or danger, or risk.  But beneath that emotion, there is another emotion causing it.  This emotion is a sense of inaptitude, a sense "I can't do it well enough."  And at the core of my being, there is a most basic emotion (perhaps a birth script), which is the inception thought that "I am bad."  So there are basically four layers that I am dealing with.

    I used to think that the path of deep healing and nurture was the way to go.  However, I have effectively done a huge amount of it and these stubborn patterns still arise, even though they have been greatly weakened.  Even if I did "fully heal", what would basically be happening is that my nurture muscle would have grown so strong that it would always be overpowering my sorrow muscle.  So I would still be totally vulnerable to the ebbs and flows of the affective river that is the real world.

    In order to not continue to give in to this negative birth script, but also not go the route of nurture, I need to cultivate felicitious feelings.  But the danger of cultivating felicitious feeling purposefully or willfully, is that it is easy to push away all the negative stuff into the periphery.  This would be 'disassociating.'  Somehow, I need to figure out how to ENATMOBA while not disassociating. 

    To do this I need to deal with my things I fear head on.  I need to face them and figure out how to do literally just do them without any romantic story lines or affective hot air balloons of self image.  And the literal fact is that I am physically and mentally capable of living life, of performing job duties, of finding new jobs, of meeting new friends, of getting dates,  of figuring out how to spend my free time and what to do with my energy, of budgeting my money and planning financially, etc.  These things are not a big deal, despite what I want to believe.  

    So the answer seems to be to commit to performing these tasks, day in and day out, realizing that these are the threads of active human life itself.  There is nothing else, there is no other way.  I will continue to have a negative birth script.  That will not go away until I go away completely, either at the death of the physical body or the true death of the entire psyche at actual freedom.  

    I believe that I can succeed in doing all of these things literally and non-romantically (where I have failed at them in the past), because I am now doing them in service of an even greater goal: actual freedom.  In the past, I was performing them with the hopes that eventually nurture would be overpowering and take the pain away.  But thats not how it works, because deep inside, nurture is actually more pain.  

    So being a functional person is simply a means to an end.  This makes it seem smaller and more possible, while also giving me more of a sense of need, urgency and determination.  I need to imitate life in the affective world as quickly as possible now.  And that means not fighting myself anymore, not being self-defeating and all the above.

    I can do this.  

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/16/15 3:04 AM as a reply to Noah.
    Noah S:
    9/15

    [...] The problem is the emotion causing the excess flow of thought.  This emotion is anxiety, or danger, or risk.  But beneath that emotion, there is another emotion causing it.  This emotion is a sense of inaptitude, a sense "I can't do it well enough."  And at the core of my being, there is a most basic emotion (perhaps a birth script), which is the inception thought that "I am bad."  So there are basically four layers that I am dealing with.

    I used to think that the path of deep healing and nurture was the way to go.  However, I have effectively done a huge amount of it and these stubborn patterns still arise, even though they have been greatly weakened.  Even if I did "fully heal", what would basically be happening is that my nurture muscle would have grown so strong that it would always be overpowering my sorrow muscle.  So I would still be totally vulnerable to the ebbs and flows of the affective river that is the real world.

    In order to not continue to give in to this negative birth script, but also not go the route of nurture, I need to cultivate felicitious feelings.  But the danger of cultivating felicitious feeling purposefully or willfully, is that it is easy to push away all the negative stuff into the periphery.  This would be 'disassociating.'  Somehow, I need to figure out how to ENATMOBA while not disassociating. 

    [...]

    I can do this.  
    Disclaimer I'm more than skeptical of the Actualism method, so this may seem like derailing your thread, but it's possibly still useful, so here goes:

    This is highly relevant for your statement, and for my response not completely missing the point, so first please explain:
    1) What do you mean by "deep healing and nurture"?
    2) What do you mean by "did lots of that"? What exactly happened as a result?
    3) What do you mean by "these stubborn patterns [...] have been greatly weakened"?

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/16/15 8:50 AM as a reply to bernd the broter.
    Disclaimer I'm more than skeptical of the Actualism method, so this may seem like derailing your thread, but it's possibly still useful, so here goes:


    No worries, I really do always like cross participation on my threads.  There was one that took place upstream that became a silly argument, but that seems to be pretty rare on my threads.  

    This is highly relevant for your statement, and for my response not completely missing the point, so first please explain:
    1) What do you mean by "deep healing and nurture"?


    So deep healing and nurture are sort of formless in the sense that they could occur spontaneously, through talk therapy, through music, or a variety of other ways.  For instance, I dated a girl who totally shifted her personality and priorities in life through painting, transforming into an incredibly confident and able person in only a couple years.  I personally have benefited tremendously from EMDR therapy which helped me cut through a huge amount of irrational phobias relating to responsibility and social anxiety.  Also, the path attainments (however you demarcate them, I am using the term 'technical 4th') had psychotherapuetic side effects.  The most recent shift has simply reduced the overall amount of negative emotion as well as the mental tendency to spiral out in negative directions.  These activities are much more quickly seen as shitty directions to go in.

    2) What do you mean by "did lots of that"? What exactly happened as a result?


    I mean that I have done many hours (over a course of years of my life) of various activities such as therapy and meditation that have resulted in psycho-emotional healing.  What exactly happened was very noticable change of inner activity (as described above), as well as some automatic change to external activity (less social phobia=more easy expression of personality in many situations).  Also, willful and gradual change to external behavior has become easier and more possible: aka, I find my mind is much more malleable in a good way.  An example of this would be learning to stop dramatizing and romanticizing many things in life such as finding a 'perfect job' or trying to build up my ego in some way.

    3) What do you mean by "these stubborn patterns [...] have been greatly weakened"?


    I just mean that I have less negative emotion in general, particularly after technical 4th.

    It seems that I could keep trying to improve my mental health and foster emotional well-being forever.  There is no end point.  But there also seems to be no end point to wounded-nature of the psyche.  So these aspects (nurture-positive and sorrow) are like two mythological beasts, destined to fight for a predetermined eternity.  On the other hand, there does seem to be an end point with the killing off of the two beasts entirely, as well as any other impassioned activities of the identity inside.  To stop the spread of an electrical problem, you might cut off all power to the building.  To stop the spread of cancer, you cut off all cell growth in the body.  *Admittedly both bad examples*  I feel that the pick-and-choose approach to issues will ultimately fail me because they will just rearise in another form elsewhere and I will have to reapply the balm of nurture.


    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/16/15 8:59 AM as a reply to Noah.
    Also @ Berndt:

    I wanted to add some things to finish out my previous thoughts to you.  Okay, so I have experienced positive change due to healing, forgiving and embracing myself.  But, its never good enough.  Also, I have known others (such as the ex that I mentioned), who have had great healing.  However, she was still screwed up in lots of ways.  Furthermore, what about all those loving teachers who abuse their followers?  How about all the divorced therapists out there (including BOTH of my parents, btw, lmao).  For me, the evidence, both first and second hand, is that nurture works, but it doesn't usually work enough.  

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/16/15 2:01 PM as a reply to Noah.
    Okay, I get what you're saying. I agree, under certain premises, your argument sounds reasonable.

    It sounds like you got quite some improvement, so congratulations on that.
    Still, what bugs me is this:

    Noah:
    And at the core of my being, there is a most basic emotion (perhaps a birth script), which is the inception thought that "I am bad."


    (1) How do you know that? Why do you get the idea that it is a birth script? How do you know that it's responsible for all the other stuff?

    (2) If it really is, wouldn't it be worthwhile to create conditions to let that thing heal? Of course there is no end to psychological change and healing all that stuff, but if this single thing is so damn important, how about healing that first, and then reevaluate what to do next?

    The following questions seem harmless, but I think they're crucially important. I don't claim to have definite answers on those.
    (3) Supposing that the Actualism method works and has the results you expect, and also supposing that the birth script thingy has the sort of enormous power you claim it has: How will it inform your behaviour after you don't feel it anymore thanks to the Actualism thing? Will it have no impact whatsoever? Will it still have impact, but you can't detect it because you don't notice it anymore?

    (4) You want to ENATMOBA without disassociating. If ENATMOBA means to not feel unpleasant things (I don't know if it means that for you), isn't that disassociating by definition?

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/16/15 3:22 PM as a reply to bernd the broter.
    What I'm reading here seems to say, "I don't want to feel negative things anymore so I'm just going to try to stop feeling."

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/16/15 7:55 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
    I'm reading "negative things impact me and my actions too much, and I really want actualist method to somehow solve this problem, maybe by erasing all feeling, which sounds like a wonderful thing anyway".

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/16/15 9:29 PM as a reply to bernd the broter.
    (1) How do you know that? Why do you get the idea that it is a birth script? How do you know that it's responsible for all the other stuff?


    I just have a strong guess that it could be very deep set pattern.  With regards to it specifically being a birth script, I was just told by a psychic one time that there were odd circumstances surrounding my birth and my mom's fertility and she later confirmed to me that she had used Pergonol.  But this is too new-agey mumbo-jumbo.  Whether or not its a birth script or just my early personality and temperament interfacing with a disapproving Dad and sister, does not matter in practice.  I think its responsible for all the other stuff because I have always seen that the mind works layer by layer.  A very small movement at the deepest layers becomes a huge wave on the surface.  And these layers are acquired by age.  So naturally our earliest childhood experiences have the largest impact on our later traits.  This is a theory that I have seen continually work in practice by analyzing the behaviors of many people and spending years in therapy myself.

    (2) If it really is, wouldn't it be worthwhile to create conditions to let that thing heal? Of course there is no end to psychological change and healing all that stuff, but if this single thing is so damn important, how about healing that first, and then reevaluate what to do next?


    I would say that I am currently doing this through the actualism method (just as side-effects-- the actualism method is NOT about healing!) as well as the natural workings of my mind.  I'm just not making it my main mission in life.  I also kind of feel like I have reached a certain peak and levelled off, just since I have been at it for so long and tried so many different things.

    (3) Supposing that the Actualism method works and has the results you expect, and also supposing that the birth script thingy has the sort of enormous power you claim it has: How will it inform your behaviour after you don't feel it anymore thanks to the Actualism thing? Will it have no impact whatsoever? Will it still have impact, but you can't detect it because you don't notice it anymore?


    I obviously can't possibly know what I might feel as an actually free person.  Richard calls this type of effort 'automorphising.'  A couple thoughts do come to mind.  One is that people tend to assume that life without emotion will be dead, flat and zombie-like.  That is not how it is described by actually free people.  It is bouncy, vibrant, wonderful, full of activity, and at the same time perfectly still and quiet, expressing as infinite space and eternal time.  Another thought that comes to mind is the idea that there can still be skeletal remains of various psycho-emotional structures.  They are only fossils, but they can leave behind traces in the mind after stepping into the actual world.

    (4) You want to ENATMOBA without disassociating. If ENATMOBA means to not feel unpleasant things (I don't know if it means that for you), isn't that disassociating by definition?


    I just think of it in terms of very plain and straightforward terms.  When you're in a really good mood, you're not feeling unpleasant things.  They just aren't there at all.  If you were to try to imitate a good mood with some type of meditation method, you would not have that same, organic transition to just feeling good without the bad.  Instead, you would be purposely and knowingly trying to not feel certain things.  The same thing happens when people suppress bad moods in every day life for the sake of having a pleasant demeanor.  

    My goal is to be in a really good mood, completely organically, all the time.  Real world common sense says this isn't possible.  The actualist method begs to differ.





    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/16/15 9:36 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
    What I'm reading here seems to say, "I don't want to feel negative things anymore so I'm just going to try to stop feeling."


    @Chris:  Its true that I don't want to feel negative things, and its true that being actually free does have that aspect to it of 'not feeling.'  However, I think the statement might be a bit of an oversimplification since it only covers a small area of what actual freedom is like.  Also, I get the sense that the statement comes from the place of real-world common sense which says that what I am doing is at best, naive and at worst, plain stupid (one might say "you can't change human nature").  This reasoning is actually part of the greater structure which actualists are seeking asylum from.

    I'm reading "negative things impact me and my actions too much, and I really want actualist method to somehow solve this problem, maybe by erasing all feeling, which sounds like a wonderful thing anyway".


    @Bernd: This is definitely more to the point, and I would just add more details to the 'wonderful thing' statement, and place it as the first clause in the sentence, since it truly is the entire basis for practicing actualism.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    3/9/17 6:36 AM as a reply to Noah.
    Okay, so I guess there are 2 possibilities:

    Maybe your Actualism adventure does what you hope. The AF Crowd may be on to something and this may be exactly what you need. I wouldn't know. I'm all for trying out stuff just for the sake of trying out stuff, so go ahead, more power to you. Even if it doesn't work, you might learn s.th. about you that turns out to be valuable later on.

    But maybe it doesn't.
    In this case, here are some ideas:

    Noah:
    Okay, so I have experienced positive change due to healing, forgiving and embracing myself.  But, its never good enough.  Also, I have known others (such as the ex that I mentioned), who have had great healing.  However, she was still screwed up in lots of ways.  Furthermore, what about all those loving teachers who abuse their followers?  How about all the divorced therapists out there (including BOTH of my parents, btw, lmao).  For me, the evidence, both first and second hand, is that nurture works, but it doesn't usually work enough.

    You're looking for the magic bullet, the wonderous solution to everything. After accepting Daniel Ingram's thesis "Be real; Morality ain't never done", you turn that around to "Morality ain't never done for Buddhists, but the AF crowd... I so hope that they at last have figured it out."
    No, they haven't. No one has.

    So, on birth scripts.
    I thought that you had actual first-hand experience with it, but I conclude from your answer that no, it's only theorizing.

    Anyway, I can do some theorizing, too. Let's assume for the moment that the TA crowd have figured the thing out and ask them which kind of unhelpful birth scripts there are. Here goes: (Technically, this isn't what is called 'script' in 'TA Today', but I think this is what you meant.)
    TA Today, summed up:

    Don't Exist
    Don't Be You
    Don't Be A Child
    Don't Grow Up
    Don't Make It
    Don't Do Anything
    Don't Be Important
    Don't Belong
    Don't Be Close
    Don't Be Well
    Don't Think
    Don't Feel


    These non-verbal things aren't fun at all. You can't live with them, so you insert conditionals "I AM allowed to exist, as long as [some condition]".

    Let's say you have some of these. As long as they're covered by [some condition], it's not that bad, although they still influence everything you do. In this state, AF may make everything better.
    What happens if [some condition] goes away? Will AF be enough to negate the impact of "Don't exist" et al?
    On the other hand, what happens if [some condition] just stays? Will AF do the healing for you? Considering that years of insight meditation and dabbling in therapy didn't even uncover it for you to see directly, is that a reasonable expectation?

    Anyway, here's an idea how to heal the birth-script thing:
    Look at some of your favourite Brahmavihara phrases
    Pick Brahmaviharas To your liking:

    May I be happy
    May I take good care of myself
    I rejoice
    May I be have compassion for myself

    Take those and compare them to the bunch of injunctions. They're totally incompatible.
    That means: Writing those on the mind will induce some change of these or some reaction.
    You may already have experienced this:
    Noah, some time ago:

    If I try to use the phrases its like it
    goes a few feet deep into the pool and then just kind of hits an
    invisible wall and bounces out.


    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/17/15 7:59 AM as a reply to Noah.
    @Chris:  Its true that I don't want to feel negative things, and its true that being actually free does have that aspect to it of 'not feeling.'  However, I think the statement might be a bit of an oversimplification since it only covers a small area of what actual freedom is like.  Also, I get the sense that the statement comes from the place of real-world common sense which says that what I am doing is at best, naive and at worst, plain stupid (one might say "you can't change human nature").  This reasoning is actually part of the greater structure which actualists are seeking asylum from.

    I know. Seeking asylum  emoticon

    Noah, you are on a journey and you are doing what your heart tells you to do. I posted my comment because that's what comes to my mind as I read your words here and because a healthy dose of skepticism never hurt anyone.






    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/17/15 8:42 AM as a reply to Noah.
    This reasoning is actually part of the greater structure which actualists are seeking asylum from.

    Noah, are you willing to get into a discussion of this, or would you rather not? I don't want to overdo anything here, but this is a much deeper discussion than both of us guessing at what the other is thinking. I'll leave the decision to you either way. For example, you've claimed a certain level of attainment that doesn't seem to me to have been absorbed fully. That happens to all of us - things need to soak in. But you appear to me to be actively contradicting the insights you had not that long ago. Maybe you're rejecting them knowingly and willingly, or ?


    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/17/15 9:43 AM as a reply to Noah.
    I gotta say Noah, I am really enjoying your posts lately! I am curious to see how your discussions with Bernd and Chris will go.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/17/15 10:54 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
    @Chris:

    Noah, you are on a journey and you are doing what your heart tells you to do. I posted my comment because that's what comes to my mind as I read your words here and because a healthy dose of skepticism never hurt anyone.


    I am definitely down for skepticism and having my views challenged.  My goal is to be as sensable and reasonable as possible.

    Noah, are you willing to get into a discussion of this, or would you rather not? I don't want to overdo anything here, but this is a much deeper discussion than both of us guessing at what the other is thinking. I'll leave the decision to you either way.


    Yes, please, lets discuss.  I am always learning and adapting from discussions (not arguments lol).

    For example, you've claimed a certain level of attainment that doesn't seem to me to have been absorbed fully. That happens to all of us - things need to soak in. But you appear to me to be actively contradicting the insights you had not that long ago. Maybe you're rejecting them knowingly and willingly, or ?


    I don't know.  I'm truly not attached to what I claimed, but thats what the experience really felt like it at the time.  Plus I honestly used your old practice log, the logs of others from the AN, KFD and HP archives, direct discussion with a variety of experienced folks, and evidence from Ron to assess my experience.  It really did seem to match up.  I pretty much just trusted Ron's opinion, and I'm meeting with him again next week for the first time since, so maybe we can reassess.  I also had completed a bunch of cycles, which were followed by a big experience and a medium size baseline shift, which we concluded was 3rd path.  So the when the next one happened after more cycles, and there was a distinct taste of completion and satisfaction along this particular road, 4th seemed to be the most appropriate designator.  Anyhoo, there just labels; if I'm not done I'm not done, but I'm sure I did do a lot because I feel wayyyy different from before.

    My main impression is that the paths are like energy-body-building which allow the practitioner to experience reality in a more resilient manner: specifically one that is more automatically in tune with the 3 C's, subtly taking away fundamental dukha and also therefore eliminating a large degree of conventional suffering as well.  I have definitely experienced a lot of this directly.  However, they do not seem to cause 'insights' that would definitely change the way I think (on a cognitive-verbal level).  They probably changed the way thoughts are formed but thats too subtle for me to detect.  They also certaintly didn't change the structure or basic patterns of my personality and temperament.  That is what I'm looking for, and I think that is what you are calling a magic bullet.

    Insert:  But, in reference to your idea of my 'rejecting the insights', I would say they are moreso a part of my physical body than some optional way of looking at the world that I could possible reject.

    For me, a magic bullet would be way more comprehensive than that.  It would have to change my behavior in the world (which AF does not necessarily do), making me super-awesome socially, able to meet and engage with anyone I want.  It would also have to give me a perfect IQ and unlimited confidence to do everything with it (which AF also does not-pardon the repitition here), sort of like the movie Limitless, where I could become rich and famous in weeks or months.

    Basically, the claim is that the actually free state occurs when the parts of the brain responsible for stress formation, social judgement, and more primitive forms of survival, stop communicating with the parts responsible for direct reason and intellect, as well as direct perception of the world.  The best way to describe what results is a "paradasical, fairytale-like wonderland."  The side effect of not having emotion is just that: a side effect which has been blown up here on the DhO in the past.  There are a lot of other things which have to be eliminated first before emotions go, particularly all the deepest stored beliefs which hold the emotional structure in place.  

    Now this is a very, very clumsy summary of a much greater section of the AFT website, so please don't quote me on it.  But the point I am trying to make is that actual freedom is not a state which will automatically fix all of my problems completely; that is how I have usually understood the term "magic bullet."  It is just a specific mind-hack that does a specific thing to the brain with a specific set of favorable results.  I can't know exactly how those results with interface with my current problems.  

    EDIT: Sorry!  I got yours and Bernd's responses mixed up.  You said nothing about a 'magic bullet.'  I just responded to your thoughts on my recent claim and the possibility I could be rejecting the insights it caused.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/17/15 12:18 PM as a reply to Noah.
    My main impression is that the paths are like energy-body-building which allow the practitioner to experience reality in a more resilient manner: specifically one that is more automatically in tune with the 3 C's, subtly taking away fundamental dukha and also therefore eliminating a large degree of conventional suffering as well.  I have definitely experienced a lot of this directly.  However, they do not seem to cause 'insights' that would definitely change the way I think (on a cognitive-verbal level).  They probably changed the way thoughts are formed but thats too subtle for me to detect. 

    Noah, in my experience the big takeaway from having a fourth path experience was that all objects are empty - they have no essence, no permanence and they are not "me." The illusion that these "things" (which include the illusion of a permanent self) no longer have the power they did immediately before that event. Experience is seen through as a construction, as dependently originated. So my question is, if that's what you saw, why still treat those things as if theyhave their pre-fourth path habitually assumed permanence and power? That may be a matter of soaking in the insight that is gained at fourth path, but my experience was that the specific insight is awfully strong and it is not easy afterward to see things with permanence of any sort, including the idea of ridding experience of negative/positive/neutral sensations and judments. These things all occur but they are finally seen for what they are.

    Yes?

    No?

    Maybe?

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/17/15 5:33 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
    @Chris

    Noah, in my experience the big takeaway from having a fourth path experience was that all objects are empty - they have no essence, no permanence and they are not "me." The illusion that these "things" (which include the illusion of a permanent self) no longer have the power they did immediately before that event. Experience is seen through as a construction, as dependently originated. So my question is, if that's what you saw, why still treat those things as if theyhave their pre-fourth path habitually assumed permanence and power? That may be a matter of soaking in the insight that is gained at fourth path, but my experience was that the specific insight is awfully strong and it is not easy afterward to see things with permanence of any sort, including the idea of ridding experience of negative/positive/neutral sensations and judments. These things all occur but they are finally seen for what they are.

    Yes?

    No?

    Maybe?


    I agree that objects were seen to have no essence, although the words I would use would be different.  In the 4th path moment, it felt like me and the environment around me were one, continuous, solid chunk of reality.  It felt like "I" was a tuning fork and the world outside me was a different tuning fork and they started to synch at the same vibration, so there was no longer any subtle, perceptual tension.  So this would essentially be saying the same thing, because if its all one, solid, chunk, then there are no things that stick out more than others, and therefore no particular things have the same power that they had before.  

    Also, since that point, things HAVE gotten a lot better and bad things are less powerful than before.  I would not say that I treat the same problems with the same degree of seriousness.  If anything, I have just moved on to more real problems and become more grounded.  It might not seem like I always describe them that way but thats because I am hyper-sensitive and introspective, which is actually something I am slowly working on with the actualism method.  

    Overall, in terms of the idea that it would be difficult to see things with any sort of permanence, that simply isn't my experience.  It feels like reality is very real, crystalline, high-def.  And it feels like I am just another thing which is floating around in this sea of realness, completelly a part of that sea.  However, this "thing" which is floating around still feels lots of stress and has plenty of problems, and those are the things that I post about.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    3/9/17 6:09 PM as a reply to bernd the broter.
    @Bernd:

    You're looking for the magic bullet, the wonderous solution to everything. After accepting Daniel Ingram's thesis "Be real; Morality ain't never done", you turn that around to "Morality ain't never done for Buddhists, but the AF crowd... I so hope that they at last have figured it out." 
    No, they haven't. No one has.


    For me, a magic bullet would be way more comprehensive than that.  It would have to change my behavior in the world (which AF does not necessarily do), making me super-awesome socially, able to meet and engage with anyone I want.  It would also have to give me a perfect IQ and unlimited confidence to do everything with it (which AF also does not-pardon the repitition here), sort of like the movie Limitless, where I could become rich and famous in weeks or months.

    Basically, the claim is that the actually free state occurs when the parts of the brain responsible for stress formation, social judgement, and more primitive forms of survival, stop communicating with the parts responsible for direct reason and intellect, as well as direct perception of the world.  The best way to describe what results is a "paradasical, fairytale-like wonderland."  The side effect of not having emotion is just that: a side effect which has been blown up here on the DhO in the past.  There are a lot of other things which have to be eliminated first before emotions go, particularly all the deepest stored beliefs which hold the emotional structure in place.  

    Now this is a very, very clumsy summary of a much greater section of the AFT website, so please don't quote me on it.  But the point I am trying to make is that actual freedom is not a state which will automatically fix all of my problems completely; that is how I have usually understood the term "magic bullet."  It is just a specific mind-hack that does a specific thing to the brain with a specific set of favorable results.  I can't know exactly how those results with interface with my current problems.  

    Anyway, I can do some theorizing, too. Let's assume for the moment that the TA crowd have figured the thing out and ask them which kind of unhelpful birth scripts there are. Here goes: (Technically, this isn't what is called 'script' in 'TA Today', but I think this is what you meant.)


    The truth is that it 'rings true' to me and I am using my intuition.  I intuit the sense that what I am experiencing is one, central problem, and that it might have to do with the circumstances of my birth.  It doesn't really matter to me what words I use or what I call it, since I am just writing about what feels write in order to expose the truth.  I would not write based on my intuition-only in other people's threads, but this is my practice log, so I am allowed to indulge a bit.  Also, using my intuition usually works for me in matters of mind-hacking.

    Look at some of your favourite Brahmavihara phrases


    All of what you wrote looks great.  I could see how a deeper sense of acceptance+the BV phrasings could be very powerful.  As I said upthread, I just don't think nurture is the answer.  This is an insight it took me quite awhile to come to in an embodied way.  But yes, I like your reasoning about how obviously a positive (BV's) will counter a negative (birth script).  To me it just makes more sense to uproot the entire thing.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/17/15 5:44 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
    Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
    I gotta say Noah, I am really enjoying your posts lately! I am curious to see how your discussions with Bernd and Chris will go.


    Thanks Claudiu!  Having that deep-set childhood memory that I posted about really spurred things on for me.  It makes me feel like I know more confidently what I have to do with my mind to slowly move towards actual freedom.  But I am not completely sure how to interpret this occurance so I am not posting much about it or labelling it.  But yes, long-story-short, I think its enabling me to communicate more effectively.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/17/15 6:14 PM as a reply to Noah.
    9/17

    Something interesting is happening; I find myself automatically becoming a kinder person as a result of this process.  It has nothing to do with empathy or compassion.  Its just really simple and obvious to be nice to myself and nice to others and accept everyone as they come.  Also, I am very slowly dealing with the issue of libido.  I realize that getting laid isn't the key to happiness but I certainly don't believe that finding my 'soul mate' is either (lol).  Most importantly, why shouldn't I just keep it simple?  Why am I torturing myself?  Slowly... slowly... slowly, this process finds its way inside of my head, and I find myself slipping into the moment in the most graceful and easy way possible.  

    "I don't need to fight
    To prove I'm right
    I don't need to be forgiven"

    A great mellowness can be experienced at this truth.  The turning down of the dial. emoticon  Its beautiful.

    _______________________________________________

    Feel joy when you can.  And if you can't feel joy, then don't worry about it!  There is nothing that you need to be feeling right now.  There is, of course, the fact that it makes more sense to feel good than bad, all the time, but that comes from realizing the aforementioned freedom regardless.  

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/18/15 9:23 AM as a reply to Noah.
    Also, since that point, things HAVE gotten a lot better and bad things are less powerful than before.  I would not say that I treat the same problems with the same degree of seriousness.  If anything, I have just moved on to more real problems and become more grounded.  It might not seem like I always describe them that way but thats because I am hyper-sensitive and introspective, which is actually something I am slowly working on with the actualism method.  

    I'm confused by this and some of your other comments but I now don't think the issues involved are resolvable in a discussion. I think you have to do what you need to do and try to get where you want to go. Experience will out!

    emoticon


    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/18/15 5:31 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
    Chris:

    I'm confused by this and some of your other comments but I now don't think the issues involved are resolvable in a discussion. I think you have to do what you need to do and try to get where you want to go. Experience will out!

    emoticon


    I agree.  And I can see how my thoughts can be confusing, and probably actually are confused.  I'm not too worried about it.  I'm feeling better and better every day, and dealing with a lot of "stuff" all the while.  As long as that is happening, I am okay with not being able to explain things clearly.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/18/15 5:43 PM as a reply to Noah.
    9/18

    -I met with Ron this morning.  He advised me that technical 4th path can happen lots of different ways to different people, and frequently people's personal philosophies color their experience of the perceptual changes as well.  I'm not sure what my philosophy is, although it has certainly been colored by my work with Ron, including his ability to summarize trends across a large number of practitioners (which is one reason he is an excellent teacher).  I think I understand these trends to some degree, which is why my understanding of my experience is fairly general (i.e. some vague sense of "energy body building", in which 4th represents a peak condition).  I do resonate with Ron's comment of 'feeling done' as a common marker for 4th path, as there is a distinct sense that any further vipassana I do will simply reconfirm the notion I sensed in the 4th path moment, which is that this moment is inherently complete and integral on an energetic and perceptual level.  

    Also, he made interesting comments about how 4th is the end of 'linear development', which in no way means that I am finished with all types of development.  I am fairly certain that there are higher levels of insight that could be attainable, which is most likely what people like Daniel and Jenny are talking about when they describe very stringent conditions of perception.  However, I, (1) don't 'believe' in enlightenment any more-- meaning believe it is what I thought it was before, thus diminishing my motivation for it, (2) am not entirely convinced that every individual is even capable of insight plateaus past technical 4th-- it could literally be a genetic or temperament thing as far as I'm concerned, and (3) do not believe that further insight plateaus would help me in the sense that I am looking for-- core relief from the intensity of all emotions, deep change to personality patterns, and ultimately, complete uprooting of all the above.

    Needless to say, even though we didn't meditate, meeting with Ron has been incredibly valuable, as always.  I do want to emphasize that although Ron shared his expert observations, I drew my own, personal conlusions from them, which are what I express here.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/18/15 8:05 PM as a reply to Noah.
    I am having the realization that I need to learn to do things without the aid of affective energy.  The simple fact of my specific condition is that my affective energy is almost always working against me.  This is not to be said as a generality for 'the human condition' in general, for many people have great motivation to succeed in a variety of areas on life.  But that type of aid just isn't what is meant for me.  Activities don't make me happy, and thats okay.  I have been resisting this fact for years, trying to blanket or improve my emotions through therapy, medication, mental science, and meditation.  But it turns out that what I need to do is right in line with the actualism method anyway.

    -Don't let your actions be guided by your emotions.
    -Don't take your emotions seriously or dramatically, but do pay attention to them and learn about them and see what they are doing to your life.
    -Don't try to 'be tough' and develop some thicker skin, for this is a subtler way of trying to work within affect.
    -Do realize that it doesn't really matter how my life turns out, for my life is but a speck of dust on the universe.  However, to the extent that certain decisions and behaviors will tend to imitate life in the actual world, it is sensible to follow through with those things.
    -Don't try to build any sense of social identity to replace my current, warped one.  Don't try to be "healthy" or "balanced."  Just go about your business in a non-romantic, sensible way.
    -Don't do things for survival, or power.  Do things because they are sensible.
    -Figure out how to feel good, while acting, and despite not having the aid of affective energy that most humans depend on.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/19/15 5:55 AM as a reply to Noah.
    Noah, frankly, I'm a bit worried. Reading this gives me the impression that you are/have been on a road to very dark place. (Note that the following points have nothing to do with AF!)
    Noah S:
    [...] many people have great motivation to succeed in a variety of areas on life.  But that type of aid just isn't what is meant for me.
    Are you saying that zeal, enthusiasm, diligence, joy, delight, fun, interest are all things which are not meant for you?
    Activities don't make me happy, and thats okay. 
    Could it be, plain and simple, that you're doing the wrong activities?

    I have been resisting this fact for years, trying to blanket or improve my emotions through therapy, medication, mental science, and meditation.
    Supposing that your emotions are just your mind/body's tool to indicate that you're doing the wrong thing, could it be that what you're calling 'therapy' is exactly this: A subtle yet cruel form of violence against yourself?
    -Don't let your actions be guided by your emotions.
    -Do realize that it doesn't really matter how my life turns out [...] it is sensible to follow through with those things.
    -[...] Just go about your business in a non-romantic, sensible way.
    -Don't do things for survival, or power.  Do things because they are sensible.
    You've thrown emotions out of the window. You just devalued survival and power. You don't want to rely on enthusiasm and real interest.

    What, or who, then, remains to inform you what it is that is 'sensible'?
    AF Richard? The Pope? The Newspaper? The Hoax that is the American Dream? Your mum? Some sort of intuition which is devoid of emotional qualities?

    Or do you think this is not a highly important question because
    Noah:
    it doesn't really matter how my life turns out
    ?

    o______O

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/19/15 1:04 PM as a reply to Noah.
    I met with Ron this morning.  He advised me that technical 4th path can happen lots of different ways to different people, and frequently people's personal philosophies color their experience of the perceptual changes as well.  I'm not sure what my philosophy is, although it has certainly been colored by my work with Ron, including his ability to summarize trends across a large number of practitioners (which is one reason he is an excellent teacher).  I think I understand these trends to some degree, which is why my understanding of my experience is fairly general (i.e. some vague sense of "energy body building", in which 4th represents a peak condition).  I do resonate with Ron's comment of 'feeling done' as a common marker for 4th path, as there is a distinct sense that any further vipassana I do will simply reconfirm the notion I sensed in the 4th path moment, which is that this moment is inherently complete and integral on an energetic and perceptual level.  


    There are quite a few important changes that occur, the least of which is the feeling of being "done." I'm posting this comment because I have never met a person who has attained 4th path who has reported anything less than a turning of perceiption on its head, a deep, pervasive and permanent change in the way the world is seen and experienced. There is no longer a hierarchy of things - all phenomena are seen as empty of essence and permanence, self included, and are seen to be on an equal playing field, having the effect of chaging the way one relates to the world deeply, permanently, without any doubt or question.

    This just needs to be said.

    See Daniel Ingram's recent comments about the same thing here - italics mine:

    Well, for my own side, I knew nothing of actualism in the years 1996 to 2003 during my anagami phase. I, for one, am happy with the results of my experimentation, but it had nothing at all to do with paths in any obvious way that I can tell, being some different axis of development.

    Further, at least from my point of view, I can think of nothing I would realistically trade for what meditation practice has done for me, and anyone who somehow thinks those results are trivial, not worth it, or in some way anything other than amazing are truly missing something, and am truly sorry if anything I have ever said or written has contributed to that terriblely deluded and disempowering view and wish that those who are so afflicted will recover rapidly and pursue meditation training in ernest.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/19/15 1:08 PM as a reply to bernd the broter.
    Hey Bernd,

    I can see why you might be worried based on some of the wordings from my previous post, when read in isolation.  However, I think with a bit more info on my mindset and history, that wouldn't be so.  For years I have struggled with the sense of inner resistance and fatigue whenever I had to apply discipline in any area.  It has been a long and arduous road.  I truly have never been suicidal.  Thats just not the shape that my problems take on.  

    Now, with a few major breakthroughs (EMDR therapy, technical 4th path, and already major gains from actualism), I am finally starting to see some relief and a possible solution.  The idea that I'm doing the wrong activities doesn't really work because it is literally all activities which frustrate me: brushing my teeth, cleaning my room, cooking food, more long-term projects, any hobbies that involve discipline that I am not completely obsessed with.  Not Tao seems to be the DhO participant who has most clearly been able to sum up my blockages through his comments on my previous practice logs. 

    I am able to do certain things that have extreme ramifications--such as going to work to avoid getting fired, and forcing myself to do mind-hacking practice to obtain permanent relief-- but I have a lot of trouble doing literally anything else.  Note here that it feels like I have tried everything: most types of medication, most of the major psychotherapuetic modalities, plenty of lifestyle changes, etc.-- and that some things have worked, particularly those I mentioned above.

    Much of what I do in my practice log is 'purposeful self-talk', aimed at influencing my future state in a certain way.  So in this case statements like 'my life doesn't matter' are more of a technique than an objective description.

    In short, all things must stand the test of time, but I think the thought that I have expressed about ignoring emotional energy and acting anyway might be an ingenious solution and a huge turning point in my personal path.  I am having to adapt to my particular situation, as we all must.  Also, this method or way of thinking would be derived from a sensibility based on seeing facts from my personal history (not from the pope or Richard).  

    Finally, I can see that you do not place much stock in my intuition as a valid source of a decision.  While the intuition is certainly a mechanism that is made up of affective energy, it is not the same type of energy that I am referring to as counterproductive.  So following my intuition, at its purest, does not seem to necessarily be a complete no-no at this point in my actualist path.  

    Cheers,
    Noah

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/19/15 6:24 PM as a reply to Noah.
    9/19

    It seems that there is 'actualism proper',  which are the general instructions for how to imitate life in the actual world (as contained on the AFT website) and then there is 'the things that Noah specifically has to do to get to imitating life in the actual world.'  I am finally discovering how to incorporate both of these.  Today, I have started to move forward with my plan of not relying on the help of affective energy to be productive.  It seems that as long as I am taking steps to move towards my ultimate psychic-self-immolation, I can find motivation to do things.  This is a wonderful discovery.  I am very satisfied, and feel that the path is laid out straight and narrow in front of me for miles.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/20/15 1:44 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
    Chris:

    There are quite a few important changes that occur, the least of which is the feeling of being "done." I'm posting this comment because I have never met a person who has attained 4th path who has reported anything less than a turning of perceiption on its head, a deep, pervasive and permanent change in the way the world is seen and experienced. There is no longer a hierarchy of things - all phenomena are seen as empty of essence and permanence, self included, and are seen to be on an equal playing field, having the effect of chaging the way one relates to the world deeply, permanently, without any doubt or question.

    This just needs to be said. 


    Understood.  And like I've said at various points up thread and in other discussions, my experience has changed a huge amount.  I don't specifically relate, on the level of semantics, with the terms 'empty' or 'in flow' or 'impermanent', but I do relate to things seeming to be 'on an equal playing field', and I would say that I have a sense of the incredibly solidity of all of matter (including whats in here, doing the typing), which is basically my version of not-self.  

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/21/15 2:15 AM as a reply to Noah.
    Noah S:
    Hey Bernd,
    [...]
    Finally, I can see that you do not place much stock in my intuition as a valid source of a decision.  While the intuition is certainly a mechanism that is made up of affective energy, it is not the same type of energy that I am referring to as counterproductive.  So following my intuition, at its purest, does not seem to necessarily be a complete no-no at this point in my actualist path. 
    Intuition, I think, is fine. The thing is: those things which are really important for you (i.e. probably inform your intuition) are typically those around which one feels most vulnerable. Also, this is what people usually develop weird fucked up emotional patterns around. Therefore, if you rely on some sort of intuition that is "devoid of emotional qualities" then it would seem that this sort of intuition has little to do with your actual values, but maybe with some of my other suggestions. Obviously, these were ridiculous examples, which means I have no idea where this sort of intuition might come from, if it exists. Or it's just that so far you've only applied it to trivial decisions.

    The Buddhist traditions use the term "Right view" to hint at the importance of one's model of how the mind works. I think this really is of utmost importance because it informs all your conclusions about meditation theory, AF theory, psychology theory etc.
    From your writing, I think a certain model of the mind is implicit, but obvious. I wonder if I'm correct in guessing that this is how you think it works:


    The mind has 2 boxes:
    1) This box is nice. It houses intellect, reason, pure perception. Nothing in this box hurts you. It is possible to live on the basis of this box alone.
    2) This box houses a lot of chaos. Emotional problems are at home in this, and only this, box. Emotional problems are things that are somehow broken and need "healing/nurture" to get to peace. In fact, any kind of affect comes from here: Joy, love, sadness, grief, delight...

    AF makes it possible to switch off the power from the second box. Problem solved.



    Did I get it right?

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/21/15 4:42 AM as a reply to bernd the broter.
    Intuition, I think, is fine. The thing is: those things which are really important for you (i.e. probably inform your intuition) are typically those around which one feels most vulnerable. Also, this is what people usually develop weird fucked up emotional patterns around. Therefore, if you rely on some sort of intuition that is "devoid of emotional qualities" then it would seem that this sort of intuition has little to do with your actual values, but maybe with some of my other suggestions. Obviously, these were ridiculous examples, which means I have no idea where this sort of intuition might come from, if it exists. Or it's just that so far you've only applied it to trivial decisions.


    Hmm, deep stuff here.  I'm not sure what to say.  I guess, the bottom line is that intuition is all I have: meaning, it is one of the only available resources from within my perception, which is the only possibly input anyone can have.  Regardless, I am happy with my results.  I'm moving in a positive direction.  

    The Buddhist traditions use the term "Right view" to hint at the importance of one's model of how the mind works. I think this really is of utmost importance because it informs all your conclusions about meditation theory, AF theory, psychology theory etc.


    Yes! Right view or perspective or understanding is very important: especially in actualism.  The material available is valuable to the extent that one is able to apply it.  There are no teachers in actualism other than oneself.

    The mind has 2 boxes:

    1) This box is nice. It houses intellect, reason, pure perception. Nothing in this box hurts you. It is possible to live on the basis of this box alone.
    2) This box houses a lot of chaos. Emotional problems are at home in this, and only this, box. Emotional problems are things that are somehow broken and need "healing/nurture" to get to peace. In fact, any kind of affect comes from here: Joy, love, sadness, grief, delight...

    AF makes it possible to switch off the power from the second box. Problem solved.


    Yes, you did get it right,  Well put.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/22/15 2:26 PM as a reply to Noah.
    9/22

    So I have this overall mission or goal right now.  I've been honing it down to its most essential form over the past week or so.  It basically incorporates a way to move in the direction of actual freedom, while also dealing with the bipolar in the meantime.  Here are some of the main points (or steps) to making it happen:

    1) Initially, ignore all emotional content arising from resistance to action.
    2) Act.
    3) While acting, check in:
              a) if agitation is still raging, just focus on continuing to move forward
              b) if its subsided:
                        i) bring attentiveness to the negative emotion, its starting point, the way it feels in the body, etc.
                        ii) if possible, start to enjoy the activity
    4) In the short-term, the goal is to improve the attitude, perspective and mindset in the direction of being one that supports the actualist way of life (i.e. being psycho-emotionally prepared for daily life logistics).  In the long-term, the goal is to have no mindset: but to have an ongoing sense of enjoying this moment of being alive only (i.e. need for psycho-emotional preparedness replaced by baseline, momentary confidence and efficacy with regard to daily life logistics).

    I like fractal-modelling for this type of map, especially for step 4, which is the core change that needs to happen.  It will take a certain amount of time to do this, to rework certain, personal tendencies that have long-been ingrained into my character.  And during this time, the first portion will probably be really hard.  Then it will probably get a little easier.  Then I will go on auto pilot for a time.  Then, I will become an expert at it.  Slowly, after that, I will start to gain true confidence and it will start to get fully ingrained.  Eventually, I can forget that I ever wrote any of this or doubted my ability to function with daily life logistics.  

    And each of these phases will have its own period of early-effort, middle-auto-pilot, and late-ingraining, which is where the fractalization comes in.  Thinking of it this way can help me take things one step, and one day, at a time.

    Of course, this whole arc of progress is only one portion of my wide and wondrous journey through life towards actual freedom.  There is still a social identity to be dismantled, and a set of animal instincts to be nipped, and a psyche to be extirpated.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/22/15 3:09 PM as a reply to Noah.
    What do you think of this statement, Noah: Actual Freedom is just perfect self confidence.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/22/15 4:57 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
    Not Tao:
    What do you think of this statement, Noah: Actual Freedom is just perfect self confidence.

    I sort of love it and sort of disagree with it.  I believe that anything I say in response will probably be percieved by you as 'overcomplicating it', but I will share thoughts anyway, since that is what we do on here.  

    Actual freedom is the confidence the universe has as it expresses itself solely through form, as a physical body appercieving.  But 'confidence' is already a misnomer here, since it personifies matter.  To paraphrase something I read on the Yahoo group, this moment is like the best possible way of expressing this physical universe.  There is no better version of existence possible, and we are lucky to be within it.  

    I know that part of my path (a process specific to me-- but perhaps an aspect that we both share) is the gaining of confidence.  But that is just another stepping stone to raise my baseline to feeling great most of the time.  

    Anyhoo, I like the koanic and poetic nature of the statement, and there are some thoughts in response to it.  

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/22/15 7:57 PM as a reply to Noah.
    Noah S:
    Not Tao:
    What do you think of this statement, Noah: Actual Freedom is just perfect self confidence.

    I sort of love it and sort of disagree with it.  I believe that anything I say in response will probably be percieved by you as 'overcomplicating it', but I will share thoughts anyway, since that is what we do on here.  

    Actual freedom is the confidence the universe has as it expresses itself solely through form, as a physical body appercieving.  But 'confidence' is already a misnomer here, since it personifies matter.  To paraphrase something I read on the Yahoo group, this moment is like the best possible way of expressing this physical universe.  There is no better version of existence possible, and we are lucky to be within it.  

    I know that part of my path (a process specific to me-- but perhaps an aspect that we both share) is the gaining of confidence.  But that is just another stepping stone to raise my baseline to feeling great most of the time.  

    Anyhoo, I like the koanic and poetic nature of the statement, and there are some thoughts in response to it.  
    There is no "I" or self, or self confidence, or me, or myself, or any of that in Actual Freedom. Anatta

    With the end of both ‘I’ and ‘me’, the distance or separation between both ‘I’ and ‘me’ and these sense organs – and thus the external world – disappears. To be living as the senses is to live a clear and clean awareness – apperception – a pure consciousness experience of the world as-it-is. Because there is no ‘I’ as a thinker (a little person inside one’s head) or a ‘me’ as a feeler (a little person in one’s heart) – to have sensations happen to them, I am the sensations.

    Ps  

     haha , get it, Psi, with no "i"

    Hakuna Anatta, what a wonderful phrase, it's a problem free , philosophy, Hakuna Anatta...

    189 degrees my butt

    You guys like DeadPool?

    Edit, Hi Noah, sorry if I am messing up your pracitce thread, but I do think that what Richard is pointing to is pretty serious and straightforward.  Especially if examined as a "Results taken as the Path" sort of angle.  Anyway, good practice log, good practicing.

    Ps

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/22/15 5:40 PM as a reply to Psi.
    Well, Richard's rhetoric aside, anyway... ;)

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/22/15 10:11 PM as a reply to Psi.
    @Ps:

    Yeah there's definitely no 'I' in AF.  But regardless of what words we use to describe the final outcome, I'm using every trick, tool and lever I have in the process.  That includes egoic confidence.  I honestly think this gives me an advantage...

    And yeah, I do agree with the 180 degrees angle, but thats just me yo.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/22/15 11:13 PM as a reply to Psi.
    Ps:
    There is no "I" or self, or self confidence, or me, or myself, or any of that in Actual Freedom. Anatta

    With the end of both ‘I’ and ‘me’, the distance or separation between both ‘I’ and ‘me’ and these sense organs – and thus the external world – disappears. To be living as the senses is to live a clear and clean awareness – apperception – a pure consciousness experience of the world as-it-is. Because there is no ‘I’ as a thinker (a little person inside one’s head) or a ‘me’ as a feeler (a little person in one’s heart) – to have sensations happen to them, I am the sensations.

    Ps  

     haha , get it, Psi, with no "i"

    I lolled at the last part. Maybe you didn't read the last part of what you quoted though? Let me bold it for emphasis:

    With the end of both ‘I’ and ‘me’, the distance or separation between both ‘I’ and ‘me’ and these sense organs – and thus the external world – disappears. To be living as the senses is to live a clear and clean awareness – apperception – a pure consciousness experience of the world as-it-is. Because there is no ‘I’ as a thinker (a little person inside one’s head) or a ‘me’ as a feeler (a little person in one’s heart) – to have sensations happen to them, I am the sensations.


    Sounds like an I to me... and here's some more from A Precis Of Actualism to be even more explicit about it - with extra emphases as well of course:

    3. Thus there are three I’s altogether but only one is actual (sensate) and not an identity; I am this flesh and blood body being apperceptively aware. [...]

    4. I am mortal in that I was born, I live for a period of years, then I die and death is the end, finish. The material universe is infinite and eternal and was here before I was born and will be here after I die.

    [...]

    7. When ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul psychologically and psychically self-immolate – which is the end of ‘being’ itself – then the answer to the ‘Mystery Of Life’ becomes evident as an on-going existential experiencing; I am this physical universe experiencing itself as a reflective, sensate human being; as me, the universe is intelligent (there is no anthropomorphic ‘Intelligence’ that is creating or running existence).

    [...]

    9. [...] I have always been here, in this actual world of sensorial delight, one realises [...]

    [...] 

    [...] Life is intrinsically purposeful, the reason for existence lies openly all around. Being in this very air I live in, I am constantly aware of it; I breathe it in and out; I see it, I hear it, I taste it, I smell it, I touch it, all of the time. It never goes away – nor has it ever been away – it was just that ‘I’/‘me’ was standing in the way of the meaning of life being apparent.

    Lots of Is indeed. To be clear there is no 'I' or 'me' - no identity - but in actual freedom there is this actual I, this body actually existing which is what-I-am.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/23/15 4:25 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
    Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem
    Lots of Is indeed. To be clear there is no 'I' or 'me' - no identity - but in actual freedom there is this actual I, this body actually existing which is what-I-am.

    Yes, there is a body.  Nama

    emoticon

    Psi

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/23/15 1:58 PM as a reply to Noah.
    Noah S:
    @Ps:

    Yeah there's definitely no 'I' in AF.  But regardless of what words we use to describe the final outcome, I'm using every trick, tool and lever I have in the process.  That includes egoic confidence.  I honestly think this gives me an advantage...

    And yeah, I do agree with the 180 degrees angle, but thats just me yo.

    Yes, every trick tool  and lever!  Methods are methods by any means.

    And I do understand the 180 degree thingy Richard is referring to, it is that it does not seem to refer to everyone else and everyone elses practice in the entire world.  But, hey, Hakuna Matata

    Psi

    Edit, that all sounded confusing.  What I mean is that the 180 degree reference, from what I can tell is that yes AF is 180 degrees opposite from most understandings of most people., 180 degrees away from most Religions, etc.  And that is because most Religions, philosophies, etc, believe in a self, an "I" , and not only do not attempt to cut through this seeming real "I" but actually train to support the "I", foster the growth of the "I", give immortality to the "I", etc.  But "I" am saying it is not 180 degrees opposite from everybody and every understanding in each and every case.

    I am still not able to really convey what I am saying, and even if I did I will probably raise objections and junk up your thread.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/23/15 8:38 PM as a reply to Psi.
    Psi:

    Edit, that all sounded confusing.  What I mean is that the 180 degree reference, from what I can tell is that yes AF is 180 degrees opposite from most understandings of most people., 180 degrees away from most Religions, etc.  And that is because most Religions, philosophies, etc, believe in a self, an "I" , and not only do not attempt to cut through this seeming real "I" but actually train to support the "I", foster the growth of the "I", give immortality to the "I", etc.  But "I" am saying it is not 180 degrees opposite from everybody and every understanding in each and every case.

    I am still not able to really convey what I am saying, and even if I did I will probably raise objections and junk up your thread.


    I think I do partially see what you're saying, and I admire your courage in surfing the gray area here.  That is what I try to do myself.  Part of my effort is to fully commit to actualism and not have one foot in and one foot out, the way that others in the past have.  In order to do that I must incorporate the 180 degrees idea into my working conceptual understanding, which then informs my direct efforts.  

    The truth is that, in my direct experience, I don't know.  I know that my previous mediation teacher seems to think I got something called 'technical 4th path' after a huge amount of meditating in daily life over about a two year period.  I know that I got a lot of what I wanted from it, which is partial relief from the set of internal things I call 'bipolar disorder' (things which then effect my external actions negatively).  I know that there is still a lot more to do, and that Ron says that more good things will automatically continue to happen (further developments).  I am choosing to not pursue any more insight into the supposed 3 characteristics of all experience.  

    I like what you're saying about 180 degrees referring to what most religions are doing to most people's understandings and not to everybody.  It could be true, I don't know.  But I like the spirit of the thought.  Here is my story about how I have come to truly believe that the ASC is, at its core, opposite the PCE, and the enlightenment is likewise, opposite actual freedom, and that the methods used to get to each of these destinations are also going in opposite directions.

    I initially got a response from Richard (which Claudiu posted on a separate thread on the DhO, btw) when I tried to basically say that while the spirituality that is opposite actualism (Richard's spirituality) is 'dogmatic', where as my spirituality is 'pragmatic.'  He then wrote me a 30 page response that took me a week to digest.  It seemed well-researched, meticulous, logically consistent, and grounded in his own experience.  It pretty much won me over.  He seemed to be saying that something happens to the mind when it experiences an energetic shift after doing something different with the attention for a long time.  This thing that happens to the mind seems to be the mind getting 'outside' of itself.  But really, it is the mind working behind the scenes to protect itself from the real ending to it, by manufacturing a percieved ending.

    This makes sense to me because I believe that everything is a survival mechanism and that we are all driven by them in ways that are much more direct than one might initially assume.  I have always believed this, well before discovering the DhO, or the AFT.  

    This also makes sense to me because I did 5 to 10 hours of noting in daily life for over 600 days straight.  I worked with a teacher and succeeded in my goals.  Before this particular period, I had done quite a bit of inconsistent meditation over a period of 10 years.  I believe I experienced those shifts that can occur in the mind that create the perception that one has contacted something outside of it.  

    As a result of this effort, this special perception, a lot of things in my experience had improved.  A lot of things had also not improved.  These things that did not improve included the actual CONTENT of my emotions.  Things that had improved where FORM through which they are percieved.  And the content of my emotions are driven by discrete and condensed mental events that take place outside of my attention.  I call these the 'impulses' or 'instinctual passions' in my 'subconscious', aka the 'animal identity.'  I can't prove that this is the format of them (the way the mind works), but I can take a good guess based on the data I have from what IS in my attention.

    I am a second generation, Western yogi, and have known for years that enlightenment does not stop bad behavior.  My mom and dad were both taught by gurus that were later ruined in scandal (Muktananda, Rama Murti Mishra).  However, I did not have a working theory of why until Richard's letter to me was fully absorbed.  The thing that happens to the mind as a result of the disciplined process of attention (the myriad forms of meditation) does not change the basic structure of the dense, animal identity that we all share.  It only changes the form or process through which those impulses are consciously percieved.  As a result of this deeper root system remaining intact, the emotions still arise in a somewhat similar way that they did before enlightenment.  

    It makes sense to me that this deeper root structure (which probably corresponds to the lower parts of the brain and brain stem) could be running the show to some degree (since meditation doesn't touch it-- perhaps IT touches meditation), guiding the mind to experience these waves that we call the process of insight, and to slowly experience a sense of permanence by touching something outside the field of perception (fruition and cessation). This would be something that would be programmed into all humans across the board.

    Actualism would be the effort to bring the attention backwards and shine a light on this root structure.  This does not involve doing the same thing with your attention over and over in a disciplined way, so I would not classify it as meditation.  Instead, it involves LOTS of different efforts (the "wide and wondrous path") which all seek to slowly model inner and outer experience in a way that resembles truly bare experience (one in which there is no psychic structure whatsoever).  

    These are my thoughts.

    Please don't worry about junking up my thread, conversation is good.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/23/15 9:29 PM as a reply to Noah.
    9/23

    I just had a big epiphany.  For a long time I have oscillated between periods of very little inner social anxiety + outer social success, and periods of a lot of social anxiety + outer social failure.  This oscillation has also occured in terms of logistics and academics back when I was in school.  The result was that I came to associate 'freedom' or a desirable end point with an inner state of mind.  

    Just today, this has reversed for me.  Freedom is not a state of mind, it is the ability to act in the world, regardless of your state of mind.  I believe that this is one small aspect of mimicking actual freedom, although it is not really mentioned on the website.  It is not instruction from 'actualism proper', just something that is part of my process.

    As a specific example, there have been long periods when my baseline mood was confidence in social situations, and I had a lot of romantic success.  The initial inner baseline led to outer circumstances which in turn reinforced this initial baseline even more.  I have come to fetishize this reinforced baseline of confidence over the years.  I believe that I have developed the strong delusion of believing that the right path is to aim for this all the time.  However, the truth is that my baseline mood changes (as does everyone's).  

    It now seems to be that the right thing to aim for is to live a life in which I act on what I want, in spite of my inner feelings.  In other words, at times when I feel confident, I should seek romantic success.  At times when I feel anxious, I should seek romantic success.  At times when I feel depressed, I should pursue my career.  At times when I feel inspired, I should pursue my career.  I should never expect to gain some internally recognizable baseline (some shift in my subconscious or energetic field).  My final goal is actual freedom, which is marked by the absence of internal content.  

    As an actualist, moment-to-moment enjoyment is the goal, and acting in the positive, moment-to-moment, without second guessing myself, is one way to enhance enjoyment.

    Its kinda simple.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/25/15 12:12 AM as a reply to Noah.
    9/24

    -Evidence that my life as an actualist is improving and becoming more dope:
              -Two days ago, I went to the park with my friends because it was nice out (even though I felt like staying in and watching netflix).  We drank beers, skateboarded, played basketball, listened to music and took walks in the woods (lots of random things I don't normal enjoy doing or engage in at all-- but I decided to fully commit to the fun).  This included doing skateboarding tricks that I hadn't done in years (and was really scared to do), including ollying (jumping down) a three set (3 stairs, from top to bottom).
              -Yesterday day, I drove a boat for the first time at the job I am leaving in two weeks.  It was amazing.  I normally would be nervous and obsessive but I decided to just be there with the experience and I ended up being really good at manuevering it in small docks on the Seattle waterfront.
              -Yesterday night, I went out to bars, decided not to listen to my emotional signals, and instead have fun with my roommate and his girlfriend.  In the process, we danced our faces off, acted silly, and I had good conversations with a bunch of girls in a playful and confident way. 
              -In general, I'm improving my habits by exercising, healthy dieting, playing guitar and practicing jhana meditation simply for the positive side effects it can have on the mind.

    edit: I also saw the president of China while riding the bus in Seattle yesterday on a closed off road that he was walking down to his car brigade.  He was waving to a crowd of Chinese onlookers waving flags.  

    cool

    ______________________________________________________

    I had cool experience of emptiness today at work.  I was rolling silverware and suddenly it felt like my awareness was occupying the whole room as the normal psychic container of it shattered after I pondered dependent origination for a couple minutes.  But I saw through the sensation of expanding awareness as being also "with cause."  In the past, I would have interpreted this event to be my mind making contact with something that is outside of perception, and therefore outside of cause and effect.  Within this experience, I understood that everything is an experience, and that the causal nature of perception is the core teaching of Buddhism.  Things like these have happened occasionally since technical 4th even though I've stopped meditating.

    The thing is, that in this moment (is it emptiness or rigpa or something lesser?  I honestly don't care because it felt significant to me), I could also detect that this is just a lens to view reality with.  In other words, I don't believe that this is a look at the unconditioned-deathless-nirvana Beyond.  I could feel that this is simply a potential mental effect that is encoded into the human brain by mother nature in an effort to protect her own assets.

    By allowing the potential for a sentient being to FEEL that it has touched immortality, that sentient being will not face the actual mortality of the situation, which is that the body dies and so does the mind, and that there is nothing we can do about this, including no way to touch something that is independent of death.  This conclusion also excludes the possibility of truly/actually CHARACTERIZING reality in a way that hints at something outside of that reality (seeing 3 c's leads to cessation and fruition).  

    The most important aspect of my interpretation here is that the enlightenment-survival-reflex (experienced as the waves of mind we know as 'the progress of insight') is not only used to protect the person from facing physical death, but also from the possibility of true psychic death (actual freedom) by mimicking psychic death through a shift in perceptual processing.

    ________________________________________________________________

    Even though I have been writing a lot about seeking material success, I wish to openly acknowledge that it is possible I am confused.  There can be quite a bit of confusion in the process of contemplation.

    It seems that part of the problem is that I am operating on a certain premise: that I should be an excited, newly independent, young man in a new city; that I should feel that the world is my oyster and that I can have anything that I want; that I should be experiencing positive emotions and achieving positive things.  The problem is that this is a flawed premise.  It doesn't work.  I won't get everything I want.  Furthermore, and most importantly, it has nothing to do with being actually free of the human condition.

    What is it that I am trying to say?  I guess that this came out of rereading Richard's response to me on the Yahoo group just now.

    I am tortured by my libido and by my emotions.  But, as they say, "I' am rotten to my core', anyway.  And frequently friends and family tell me that I do not have more problems or 'stuff' than the average, functioning individual, I am simply more sensitive to the average level of stuff that is there.  They also say that I am competent but not confident.  So, assuming they are right and I am wrong (meaning, I'm not really that fucked up after all), I shouldn't try to control or ignore or deal with these affective energies in some way, because I am trying to go from normal to actually free, not crazy to normal to actually free.  I shouldn't tolerate them at all.  I should try to end them.  Also, my solution and my process is just one, specific version of the solution that is appropriate for everyone.  It matters to me that this is generalizable.   

    So I'm just a sensitive person and I find that everything I do is polluted by this, including my actualism practice.  The desire to control, to win, to dominate, is creeping in.  This is aggression in its purest form.  I am seeking the strength to push back against a world that I have percieved to be pushing against me from an early age.  This is a flawed premise because the world is not actually pushing against me.  It is just there.  And it is actually a wonderful place: wonderful beyond belief.  

    I have experienced this in my PCE's.  In that moment watching the snow flakes fall as they basked in the soft glow of the lamp and the utter silence fostered by the trees and snow layer of the park at night.  In that peaceful dawn in which I felt that I was all alone on the pebbled beach, just me and hundreds of starfish, beautiful stars colored orange, blue, green, red.  At those times I was completely alone, and I was completely okay.  The world was not pushing on me at this times.  

    So why do I feel like the world is pushing on me now?  Why do I need to push back?  Why can't I just give up, just surrender?

    I think that if I was actually free I probably wouldn't want to do so much activity.  The tenor or quality or taste or glow or scent of this physical space that I occupy would continuously satisfy me.  And of course, the best language to use does not even include personal pronouns, for there would be no 'me' to speak of.  But I think thats what I mean when I say 'completely okay' or 'continuously satisfied.'  Those are states in which I disappear, or at least states which lead into my disappearance.  

    I feel like there is just this wounded creature inside of me that is very sensitive to everything, to just existing.  And I also feel that this creature would be willing to give up and disappear as long as this brain and body are promised something better.  The PCE fulfills that promise.  

    I know I sound dogmatic and crazy, but I am trying to really open up and write from the heart here, because I feel like I might be misguided in the way I am struggling so hard in my life every day.

    Maybe I just have to get out in nature and surrender to the moment a little bit, as a Yahoo group participant was saying earlier.

    I think it would be easier if I gave up on all my goals and just surrendered to this moment.  I think it would be easier if I surrendered to the memory of the PCE.  If I let that serenely guide me forward.  I think that would be nice.

    Living in society is so torturous.  It might be easier to live in nature.  I just feel like living in society gives me that chance to act with power and feel powerful: to reverse some of those feelings from childhood, and to ultimately nurture that wounded creature; to allow it to finally suck at the tit a little bit without feeling deprived.  And this part of my life is the perfect storm for it because I am in a new city.  But that doesn't mean I have to give in to these conditions.  I can resist.  I can metaphorically live in nature and be independent from human society while still living in it.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/25/15 2:26 AM as a reply to Noah.
    Hey, so, why not just stop thinking about other people? It seems to do a lot for me.  Actually, it's kind of hard to find other things to think about - kind of reveals how much thinking is just social contemplation.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/25/15 6:54 AM as a reply to Noah.
    I feel like there is just this wounded creature inside of me that is very sensitive to everything, to just existing.  And I also feel that this creature would be willing to give up and disappear as long as this brain and body are promised something better.  The PCE fulfills that promise.  


    Noah, his is something I believe could be very, very useful to ponder further, exploring the issue as deeply as you can. We all have these same things going on, some more, some less. In my experience there is no fix to be had through avoidance. It is by thoroughly experiencing and investigating the nature of these things that we might find peace with them. Acceptance, not avoidance.

    JMHO

    It's wonderful to see you being open about your feelings and the nature of your quest.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/25/15 4:07 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
    Not Tao:

    Hey, so, why not just stop thinking about other people? It seems to do a lot for me.  Actually, it's kind of hard to find other things to think about - kind of reveals how much thinking is just social contemplation.


    I think I am headed in this direction.  I need to handle some business, while also not being blindly influenced by societal beliefs.  I need to sustain the workings of the body and the mind.  I need to sustain the space I live in, as well as bring in some money and manage it once it is there.  I need to have a plan for how I will bring in enough money in the future so that my needs will be taken care of in the likely chance that I live a long life.

    Beyond that, it seems like it is all societal thinking.  My social-romantic life is a particularly confused subject.  I am confident that sex can be enjoyed without libido.  Peter and Vineeto have illustrated this through their example (lol, not graphically).  I predict that if this brain and body were to be actually free, the remaining sensibility would still be interested in the activity of sex.  So it makes sense to pursue it now, given that the practice is to imitate the actually free life.  However, how can I do that without blindly following the social-evolutionary script which is the drive to optimize my genetic longevity?  

    One answer seems to be; do not allow myself to be overwhelmed by the libido.  Instead, bring attentiveness to the sensations as they arise in the body.  Notice how it is pain, and from what thoughts it arises from.  Otherwise, go about my business, acting according to sensibility, and not according to my instincts or beliefs.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/25/15 4:13 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
    Chris:

    Noah, his is something I believe could be very, very useful to ponder further, exploring the issue as deeply as you can. We all have these same things going on, some more, some less. In my experience there is no fix to be had through avoidance. It is by thoroughly experiencing and investigating the nature of these things that we might find peace with them. Acceptance, not avoidance.

    JMHO

    It's wonderful to see you being open about your feelings and the nature of your quest.


    I agree with the utility of pondering it, as well as the fact that these issues are common to everyone, and that the fix will not be found through avoidance.  I have found good use of just looking at these feelings: layers of thoughts-->emotions-->thoughts-->emotions... deep into my psyche.

    While I honestly do not believe that acceptance is the final state of peace, I do know for a fact that it is part of an approach with I have found imminently useful.  Acceptance and forgiveness foster a sense of honestly and clarity that is part of getting a true look at what is going on (an intermediate step, as I might model it).  I am still entrenched within this territory.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/25/15 4:26 PM as a reply to Noah.
    9/25

    -I am going to try to shorten my practice log posts, as per the new, common courtesy guidelines.  

    -My thought today is about striking a balance between the serenity of inaction that the PCE's memory guides me towards, and the obvious need for direct intervention in my life in order to truly have the letting go of enjoyment in this moment.  My overall goal must be less drama/intensity, more sensible examination of facts and beliefs, more action based on resulting sensibility, more commitment to enjoyment and appreciation, and more resulting enjoyment and appreciation.  That is this portion of the path summarized.  

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/26/15 3:13 AM as a reply to Noah.
    Noah S:
    -My thought today is about striking a balance between the serenity of inaction that the PCE's memory guides me towards, and the obvious need for direct intervention in my life in order to truly have the letting go of enjoyment in this moment.  My overall goal must be less drama/intensity, more sensible examination of facts and beliefs, more action based on resulting sensibility, more commitment to enjoyment and appreciation, and more resulting enjoyment and appreciation.  That is this portion of the path summarized.  

    Nicely stated Noah. These may be the strings of the instrument in Buddhism - loose strings being inaction (I call it effortlessness) and the tighter strings of applied effort - the virtue of viriya in Pali
    It's like the breath, in, out, in out. Then there's the kumbhaka - the pause between. My yoga teacher instructs us to dwell in the kumbhaka. What is this pointing to?

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/26/15 5:31 AM as a reply to Daniel - san.
    Daniel:

    Nicely stated Noah. These may be the strings of the instrument in Buddhism - loose strings being inaction (I call it effortlessness) and the tighter strings of applied effort - the virtue of viriya in Pali
    It's like the breath, in, out, in out. Then there's the kumbhaka - the pause between. My yoga teacher instructs us to dwell in the kumbhaka. What is this pointing to?


    It seems to me to point to the need for movement towards balance in all things.  This is the conventional wisdom which seems to apply across the board.  Sometimes seemingly extreme means are necessary, but these are only to reverse previous trends.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/27/15 4:27 PM as a reply to Noah.
    9/26

    I had a good insight today, which was that I need to zoom out even further with my reasoning and my practice.  It started with the thought of how arbitrary it is that there are 12 inches in a foot in the U.S. customary system of units.  Was this measurement truly based on a real human, monarchs foot at one point in time?  Or does it have some other ludicrous beginning?  I am sure there are lots of ways to poke holes in the logic behind he SI measuring system as well.  We take these things as objective standards: not to be questioned, but they are totally subjective.  There are a million other ways we could measure the physical world around us.  The same workability applies to all human language.  

    If you zoom out even further, you can see how we have evolved as a species.  Mother nature too, is not objective, in one sense; she is random.  On other planets, there may be different species, different sexes, different realities.  In alternate realities, life on earth could look entirely different.  

    Sometimes I think actualism is to appreciate the schmorgesborg of this life with the intelligence of a superior alien visitor.  In that way, enjoyment will follow, because we are simply in a playground or a carnival of colors, shapes, sounds, textures, and little interconnected, internal worlds, are we not?  

    What is harmlessness?  Have I been personalizing the meaning of it too much, making it too close to home, too human, too Noah?  Is harmlessness not simply the realization that I am a thinking-feeling clump of cells, and so are you, and this world is simply a physical continuum of cells and atoms, a solid wall of matter and life?  So to hurt me or you is literally to harm a portion of this continuum of space and material we call the universe?   

    Now contrast this high altitude of thinking with the zoomed-in intensity that we (especially me) normally go about life.  It doesn't seem to make sense to get sucked into my feelings as much... It just doesn't quite fit.  When understand becomes embodied, the body changes its habits.  And emotions are a habit that cause damage to the body, and to the bodies of others, as our emotions are part of one, vast, interconnected web.  Most importantly, emotions block good thought from occuring, which in turn blocks good action.  There is a best internal and external way to be, but it must be found after one has zoomed out very, very far.  

    Is it spirituality, or is it actualism?  Is it emotionlessness, or is it positive emotional cultivation?  Is it the three characteristics that define reality, or is it pure physicality?  

    All of these thoughts are entrenched.  My head is up the butt of humanity, constantly being bombarded by, and participating in, the affective signalling system.  Stop!  Get out!  This moment is too good to be true, and yet, here it is.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/29/15 2:36 AM as a reply to Noah.
    9/28

    -I've been trying to do some concentration meditation, and I might also do some metta towards myself.  I used to think of these things as direct paths to an endpoint of enlightenment or some other type of trained, peaceful mind.  Now I'm thinking of them more as preliminary, waste-management tactics that can lead to a more intermediate platform of feeling good.  Then, from this platform, there can be an even more effective examination of feelings and beliefs than the one I am already doing.

    I am just adding in tactics here for the overall strategy.  I am still carrying on with my other tactic of not listening to emotional signals and acting in healthy and productive ways more consistently.  The reason for adding in meditation is that I have a huge amount of tense, affective energy, in general.  While I do think much of this energy is driven and directed by feeling-backed thoughts, I also think some of it is primal and has no rhyme or reason.  I know from past experience that the best way to deal with this latter type of 'stuff' is concentration meditation.

    There is something about forcing my mind to concentrate that has a healing or sublimating effect.  There is a process that occurs within a given concentration session, where I might experience resistance (associated with the 1st 3 nanas--possibly initial calmness with mind & body), then rapture (the a&p), then a much more intense type of resistance (the dark night) and then calmness of various forms (eq- low mid high).  But that process is much more surface level than a seemingly unrelated one, which I have come to believe is the proper arising of the factors of jhana when they occur in order (creating 'hard' jhana).

    This second process is the one I am interested in now, because I believe that is where the true waste-management potential lies.  In other words, I don't believe it is the progression through the nanas, but with poor samatha, that leads to lasting calmness throughout the day.  This type of effort has led to another type of favorable outcome for me.  Instead, it is the FORCING of the mind onto an object, leading into the mind's SUSTAINED attention on that object, which can then lead into a type of JOY that strikes me at my core.  All this can take days, weeks, or months, it seems, and is on a different axis of development than the nanas, for I have already worn that hill way down.

    Now, I used to hate the idea of mastering concentration and metta, because I felt like it packed no guarantees.  Meaning, even if I could get really good at them, I would still have to do them every day for the rest of my life in order to maintain that state with all of its positive, afterglow, side effects.  I have always looked for something that would maintain itself and not require extra upkeep past a certain level of attainment.  To some extent, I have found this with technical 4th path.

    And now, the actualism method has given me a set of tools geared towards eliminating beliefs forever (nipping them in the bud, such that they no longer arise).  By removing some of the primal, dumb energy, I will have more space to work on some of the more belief-driven energies.  So my working theory is that concentration and metta are worthwhile preliminary efforts because they are setting up favorable odds for a more permanent outcome.

    _______________________________________________

    -I had an interesting experiencing walking outside just now.  I suddenly felt very lucid and clear.  It became exceedingly obvious to me that this moment is "it", in a very simple and direct way.  I felt very confident about this and was not afraid that I would be going into an altered state of consciousness.  It was obvious that I was moving in the direction of pure consciousness.  

    I could see that all of my problems are things that I add in to this moment.  The baseline way of sensing this moment that is always occuring is bright, energized, clear, and full of life.  There is nothing that needs to be added to it, or subtracted from it.  

    Actualism is moreso about this brilliance, than it is about the humanness which blocks (the social and animal identities) or obscures (the spiritual identity) it.  This brilliance is freely expressed and experienced.  It is automatically granting the apperceiving being all the riches that one could possibly ever wish for.  It somehow touches a deep, inner button which turns off the identity entirely.  

    The way I am writing almost makes me wonder if I just had a PCE and didn't even realize it.  Or maybe I am still in it?  Damn.

    But my previous point is that the freedom of this reality, this universe, this moment, is implicit or inherent, or already built in.  That is why affective enjoyment is what mocks it, not automorphizing meditation which seeks to willfully appreciate the fullness of the sense field.  The sense field does not require any extra work to be appreciated.  The work comes with the fact that the person doing the sensing must "agree" to enjoy it, for that is the only logical relationship to have with it. 

    The PCE is just a type of sensing that can happen sometimes.  The work is to really dig deep into experiencing it, or the closest possibly proxy for it.  Then, you base your life around this deep experience.  You realize that all other states are muddling apperception out of view.  Why are we doing this?  This is a shitty way to live.  

    Freedom isn't about me feeling powerful, or me not being restless any more, or me not having fear anymore.  Freedom is about me disappearing.  And with me, all my beliefs.  Or it could be the other way around: with the disappearance of all my beliefs, comes the disappearance of me.  Because really, there is no 'me', there is just a cluster of beliefs, a psychic cloud parasitically inhabiting this physical body.

    My beliefs are just really ingrained thinking habits: ways I choose to 'be', moment by moment.  Actual freedom is the decision to 'be' the other way, the apperceptive way, all the time.  It is the fullest commitment to turn towards the brilliance of this perception and tune in to it so completely that you leave the body forever.  And then the body is free to just be awesome in this awesome field of reality.

    I think I want to be actually free, and I really mean it, which is saying a lot.  I think I will be ready to stop 'being' at some point soon.  There is no 'me', there is only a network of interconnected beliefs, feelings, thoughts, time-space perceptions, etc.  At the center of this network, there is some core 'Noah' belief that can be turned off.  And with it, must also go all the survival mechanism that lie deeper than the social stuff. 

    In fact, deeper than this core 'Noah', there is the basic, animalistic sense of 'I am', and 'this is': the creation of subject and object.  But this isn't nonduality; I'm not reshaping the way that I percieve to somehow fix the sense of duality and the tension that comes along with it.  That is actually just another way to stay as a psychic cloud inhabiting the body, but with a less tortured baseline.   

    I can see farther than that.  I can see the possibility of there not being a cloud here at all.  Cool.

    ________________________________________________

    -I don't know what it is that I just experienced (whether it was an excellence experience or a PCE), but it packed that punch of both confidence and understanding, that have weakened my practice thus far.  I understood things about the moment, and about this physical space we are in.  I felt that I was inhabiting my body, I could feel my rib cage and my internal organs.  I could feel the psychic force of my sense of sight as it continuously emerged from my skull.  

    I understood that 'I' am trapped in this moment via the psychic web of collective belief, and to become free is to stop being human at all.  It was weird.  I felt like indulging and watching a movie or going out to eat a nice restaurant.  I felt a very confident sense of 'fuck it.'  In the moment, I had already won, because I was allowed to simply be a physical form doing some perception stuff, and nothing more.

    I still have to deal with a lot of logistics.  I am a citizen, I have duties, a role to play in society.  But that stuff just doesn't matter that much.  It doesn't match up to the force of the purity of this immediate environment I am a part of. The utter beauty of this changing, decaying, recycling mass of matter that makes up the vast, eternal universe, is overwhelming.

    It doesn't matter if actual freedom exists, because there is no progress to be made.  No actual person to make progress, only a floating psychic cloud, and no actual time to make it in, only a skewed, artificial connection between actual events.

    I will continue to go about my business, but I will do so with no drama, no intensity.  Nothing is worth the fight or the stress when it is possible to be so completely destressed.

    ____________________________________

    Reading this page from Vineeto's correspondence: http://www.actualfreedom.com.au/actualism/vineeto/selected-correspondence/corr-humour.htm

    Its interesting because she was not actually free for most of these conversations, but she is still an excellent source of information for how to go about it.  A much better practitioner than I, no doubt.

    In one portion of this page, she talks about how sex isn't silly, but rather "utterly delightful and sensously scrumptious."  As a contrast, she references Osho's tactics of seeing sex as silly by participating in it, and ultimately getting tired of it and achieving a true celibacy.  This method obviously doesn't work.

    This reminds me of my own situation because part of me wants to be rid of responsibilities forever.  But the actual tasks of washing the dishes, making phone calls, going to work, etc. are not the problem.  The avoidance of tasks is a spiritual way of thinking.  Embracing them, in the moment, and enjoying working within the pristine field of reality, is closer to actualist thinking.

    What part of me is avoiding responsibilities?  Sometimes, it seems like it doesn't really matter: just that it has to go.  I do have to participate.  I do think it comes from me basically just being a brat and getting too much of what I want at a young age.  Its weird how its warped, morphed and grown into a full scale disorder.  And then, of course, another fucked up belief I have is faith in the disorder, itself.  Its all a lot of misconception, and the solution is just to enjoy the participation.

    I am already successfully doing this, so its only a matter of time before it starts to become easier and more automatic.  

    Why would this experience (bolded above) have such a continuously strong effect?  I think its because I have a deeply-held worldview that has become impossibly solid and immovable.  Its crazy because its such obvious bullshit but it won't budge.  It doesn't need to budge.  I have taken inventory of it and know it inside and out.

    The world needs to work.  There needs to be rules, and an organized system, and all the other aspects that we know about.  Even in an actually free world, there would still be common guidelines and understandings.  The root of my problem is the delusion that there is a possibility for me to have all of my desires be immediately satisfied, all the time.  I obviously developed this view by copying it in others (my dad), and also working it out and experiencing it in myself.  I also think I was heavily bullied by my sister, which caused a sense of continuous stress, so I needed to develop a way to feel comfort and security to not go insane.  Otherwise, the world would not be worth living in.  

    Its not my fault that these problems got developed.  I was just a child, trying to make sense of the world with a child's brain.  I was inserted into a fairly stressful situation and was not all that resilient or stable to start with.  So what came out of the other end is an imperfect product: it makes sense, doesn't it?  I must be forgiven, if I am to become free.  This belief has to be unlocked, and with it, the energy of forgiveness, and after that, the realization that I can feel however the fuck I want to feel, and no one can force me to do anything.  Its actually kind of ridiculous that I could be mad at myself in the first place.  Maybe I should stop.

    And the thing is, this isn't even the bottom of the bucket.  I came into this world with a set of animal instincts already programmed in.  Thats why I even felt like I had to somehow 'deal' with the adverserial energy coming from my sister, and 'identify' with the ways I percieved my dad to be interpreting the world.  We just copy problems in other, older admired people because blind mother nature tells us to.

    Stop trying to replace old expectations and beliefs with new ones.  Just start with a blank slate and enjoy this moment.  This enjoyment isn't connected with particular behaviors or thoughts.  Its a reaction to the entire system, not just particular activities within it.  Anything else I do will be linked to my anger at a helpless, childhood version of myself, that was actually a violent reptile disguised as a nurture-seeking human baby.  And there is also a sense of confidence inherent in this: a knowing recognition that "oh, I can do this... oh, this isn't that scary... oh, I'm just kind of chopping things off my to-do list, one item at a time... oh, this is the good moment, and these activities are good within it"...

    and an even deeper sense of actuality is to be had when I stop thinking about all of this and stop overcomplicating things.  Then I can really just be immersed in this actuality.  But yeah, there has to be a confidence, and an ease, for the basic idea of struggle comes out of the animal brain that we have.  Without mother nature at the helm, there is no concept of struggle.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/28/15 2:52 PM as a reply to Noah.
    Noah S:
    Now, I used to hate the idea of mastering concentration and metta, because I felt like it packed no guarantees.  Meaning, even if I could get really good at them, I would still have to do them every day for the rest of my life in order to maintain that state with all of its positive, afterglow, side effects.


    I have a different view on metta meditation. Poetically speaking, it´s like nurturing seeds of loving-kindness in oneself which after enough practice will grow and bloom - just by themselves and without further effort. I am not a brain scientist, but I imagine the process as something like strengthening certain neural pathways which will ultimately lead to positive, self-enforcing feedback loops. So I do not think metta meditation needs to be done everyday forever to keep up the effect.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/28/15 3:23 PM as a reply to Caro.
    Caro:

    I have a different view on metta meditation. Poetically speaking, it´s like nurturing seeds of loving-kindness in oneself which after enough practice will grow and bloom - just by themselves and without further effort. I am not a brain scientist, but I imagine the process as something like strengthening certain neural pathways which will ultimately lead to positive, self-enforcing feedback loops. So I do not think metta meditation needs to be done everyday forever to keep up the effect.


    I dig that.  It makes sense.  All the more reason to do it.  A little different from my overall framework, but definitely an idea to be incorporated in the interim of getting to feeling good all the time.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/30/15 7:47 AM as a reply to Noah.
    9/29

    -More of the same today.  Act with confidence.  Quickly.  Don't think about it.  

    Its starting to feel really good.  Went to Pike Place Market with some friends.  I noticed that some of the most obvious ways that malice (negative emotion towards others) and sorrow (negative emotion towards myself) manifest, is in the most basic sense of me not being able to chill.  Seeing how silly they are and choosing to chill is part of this process.

    I don't think that 'hypervigilance' is required.  Meaning, I don't have to pay more attention to myself, or to this moment.  Part of it is letting go and paying less attention.  All in the direction of balance.  

    At the same time, I realize that hypervigilance isn't 'bad' per say.  It is really just the underlying emotion of tension that is harmful.  The attention is actual, for at its root lies apperception, no?

    =====

    edit: I wanted to add that I chose not to do jhana meditation today.  I definitely don't have to do it to reach my goals.  But even moreso, part of me finds it based on flawed assumptions (whereas another part sees it as sensible).

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/30/15 1:50 PM as a reply to Noah.
    Noah S:

    I dig that.  It makes sense.  All the more reason to do it.  A little different from my overall framework, but definitely an idea to be incorporated in the interim of getting to feeling good all the time.

    I haven't been following along too closely, but is this your end goal these days, eternal bliss?

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    9/30/15 5:46 PM as a reply to Small Steps.
    Small Steps:

    I haven't been following along too closely, but is this your end goal these days, eternal bliss?


    Naw, I actually prefer a good feeling that is different from what I would call 'bliss.'  To me, bliss is still subtly painful in the body (because it is so intense), and is always linked to some type of low or depression either before or after.  The state I am going for might be more aptly described has 'felicitious' or 'light-hearted luck' or less accurately as 'celebratory' and 'humorously appreciative.'  I would also say the word 'eternal' would be a mismatch for a couple reasons, including the fact that the good feelings that I am going for are based in a grounded understanding of my physical and mental mortality.  Finally, there is the fact that this general category of good feeling can have different qualitites and flavors at different times, so it is dynamic and vibrant, not static or dead.

    But yeah, its been working.  I'm successful.  Not repressing either, just objectively examining all of my extreme emotions as they arise.  

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    10/1/15 5:00 AM as a reply to Noah.
    9/30

    -More of the same.  Thought up some important points as well:
              -I have previously had misconceptions that actual freedom must involve a certain dullness or 2 dimensionality or even stupidity.  I now realize that any affective energy that is lost is at least matched, if not overwhelmed, by the recieving of the fullness of appreciation.  In other words, there must be even more going on after actual freedom than before.  I feel like the phrase 'receiving fullness' is really good to epitomize this notion.
              -While at work, I felt bored and restless and wanted the shift to be over.  I realized that this was coming from the instinctual passion of desire.  The answer is not to counter this with another emotion, but just to keep rowing merrily down the stream.  The way to unplug is to just cut the intensity and enjoy.  I was successful in this endeavor.  Sometimes I actually feel too much emotion and must actually decrease my attentiveness, it seems.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    10/1/15 11:58 PM as a reply to Noah.
    10/1

    -I really feel great.  I realized that there is no need to feel any push-pull of emotions just because I am at work.  Meaning, I don't have to feel *desire* to leave work and *sorrow* (in the form of aggression) because I am there.  I don't have to feel *nurture* (in the form of joy) when I finally get out of work.  This is all part of the matrix. 

    I am choosing to feel laid back, energized, and humorous all the time, including the time when I am at work.  I am choosing not to follow the plan that five-year old Noah created to deal with stress, or the plan that blind mother nature instilled in that brain from the start.  And by choice, I mean it is happening effortlessly because my priorities are in order.  And, I am not supressing, but instead examining, all of my feelings as they arise.  Read 'em and weep, actualism-haters!   :p

    For the first time, I feel like I understand people who are "laid back."  I have always been the hyperactive and intense guy, and felt a sense of disdain and mystery surrounding people who were just calm by nature.  It has finally clicked; it simply makes more sense to live life this way. 

    I am also finding that I am not afraid to get on LinkedIn, or search for professional jobs through in-person networking.  I am no longer romanticizing about "the professional world" as some sequestered space for only the highest-functioning individuals.  Everyone poops and sneezes.  No one should be idealized, because the ideals are not actual.  The best way to live is to go about improving my life in a calm, steady, business-as-usual fashion, while also communicating with all people as effectively as possible.  Why not do all of this while staying in a good mood?

    Suddenly, life doesn't seem that hard anymore emoticon

    _______________________________________________________-

    -I think I am starting to touch the edge of the 'animal' identity.  I felt it today when I thought about how I still can not be in nature, at peace.  I always have to be doing something.  It is a good start to feel good under the conditions of being productive, but it is equally important to enjoy under the condition of doing nothing.  I have this basic sense of "push."  I believe that this is the animal brain reacting.  The parts of the genome that have been transmitted into our species were posessed by animals that survived by acting and constantly adjusting to their environment.  I feel this energy directly, at a very subtle level.  

    The answer is not to moralize this energy as 'bad', the answer is just to allow myself to experience it.  Watch it.  Look at it.  How does it feel?  What is its texture?  

    I don't need to live this way.  This animal brain is just as much me as the surface dynamics of my personality.  I can give this up.  I can give 'me' up.  It is safe, because sensibility will be there to guide my actions.  The intelligence is actual.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    10/3/15 9:52 PM as a reply to Noah.
    10/3

    -The basic instruction I've been following for the past couple weeks has been "act is if you were already actually free."  In doing so, I feel felicitious a lot of the time.  When I don't, I have been examining these feelings with less and less moralizing each day.  When I honestly get into them, I can really feel how many layers and flavors all of my emotions have.  None of this is a big deal: my ultimate goal is to ditch them, after all.  When I compare these flavors to those of felicity, there is no comparison.  Actualism is comparison shopping between states of mind.  And the PCE is the cadillac of mind states.  

    Another way to think of actualist practice is that it is independent thinking in every area of life.  There is a Saturday-morning farmer's market outside of where I live.  Walking by, I couldn't help but admire the way these people are choosing to live independently of the system, instead fostering their own, more sensible system.  I then felt guilty as a walked to the major supermarket by me.  However, I have recently been choosing to eat healthy.  This is a step up from frozen dinners and quick-order junk food.  It would be even better if I ate healthy, and organic supermarket food.  The best would be if I ate healthy, organic farmer's-market food.  So there are degrees of sensbility here, in my opinion.  

    The same can be applied to all areas of life, i.e. romance and dating.  It is better to be a romantically-unsuccessful, nice, shy guy than a jerk.  It is even better to be a romantically-unsuccessful, nice, outgoing guy.  The best thing would be to be a romantically-successful, nice, outgoing guy.  Of course, this implies sexual freedom as well, which would be the ability to choose my social outcomes based on the attitude and experience of abundance rather than scarcity (i.e. free to either have casual sex or pursue deep connections).  Once again, this would be an area of life to think and act, completely independently.

    Both of the above examples refer to independence from societal thinking.  However, we can go a level deeper.  It is possible to be independent from the demands of this human, brain and body, as well as the subtle-psychic connection to other brain-bodies.  This is where we get into the animal brain and thinking.  I am still honing my understanding here.  This is an exercise for me to do:

    What if I was completely independent from survival needs?  How would that feel?  What would the survival needs look like, from a clear, separated view?  How would this effect my emotional life?

    I think the answer is partially that life would be seen as a game: the playground type of game, not a serious poker or con-artist game.  

    But also, life on earth is really fucking serious.  Violence, poverty, disease, are real.  I would have to ask myself, to what degree should this body act to intervene?

    Thirdly, there would be no "me" without the glue of feelings holding the parts of the mind together and the usual, external reference points propping me up.

    Finally, my mind state would probably be something like the PCE.  Now, this does not mean it would always be the same, or that it would be flat.  It would certainly be vibrant, bubbly and humorously engaged with life.  But none of that would be with reference to a fantastical subject.

    Free, independent thinking, taken to the utmost.

    ________________________________________

    I was running near my local college campus and came upon a fountain.  I sat down to rest for a couple minutes.  Suddenly everything became super clear, and I felt a panoramic visual field.  All body reference disappeared.  I felt no stress, but instead like laughing.

    It lasted for a minute.  I think I was close to a PCE.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    10/4/15 10:40 AM as a reply to Noah.
    10/4

    -I went to a downtown bar last night after pregaming in my apartment, and something weird happened.  I began to talk to beautiful women, and groups of them, with no fear at all, and could tell that they were extremely responsive.  This triggered lots of red flags and societal/moral sirens for me: "wait!  this is supposed to be hard!", "what are you doing?  you're taking the meaning and significance out of everything! without this, nothing will have meaning."  There is also obviously egoic energy going on here, but I think even that energy is being understood for what it is.  

    Before this, I had easily cleaned my entire apartment, so I was feeling very successful.  Furthermore, I am starting to get on LinkedIn, and have the gut feeling that getting a job with my degree is not going to be so hard, after all.  These is a bizarre and trippy, new territory, because for years I have structured my life around the notion that I am inadequate.  As I type this, it feels like I am vomiting it out (unlike my usual experience of mostly, surface intellectualizing).  Some might read this and think 'he's missing something about dukkha', but I don't even feel like my happiness is conditional.  Maybe it is the 4th path realization hitting the body.  I feel like I KNOW that this body and mind could get splattered on the pavement tomorrow, and so could any loved one; I just don't CARE, for some reason.

    Anyway, back to last night; I realized that I would get to this point of the interaction where I would feel *fear*.  The fear arose surrounding the time when physical contact/ kissing might be appropriate in a drunken-bar-conversation context.  Suddenly I had a huge epiphany and walked away from the girl I was talking to.  I could 'feel' the energy coming off of her, and off of me, as a physical-gravitational pull between us.  But I could also feel that something in me was resisting that pull, a type of psychic wall.  I think it is possible that this could be a combined  tensing of my lower chakras: the root (basic survival of the organism-- don't approach this desired woman, or else another caveman will come bash me), the sex/2nd (my primal energy reservoir is closed off), and the 3rd/navel (more complex survival/willpower/self-esteem/the sense of self formed at age 7).  There was a resisting of that surrender, which renders both individuals locked into a union, and a temporary loss of sense of self, either through personal rejection, or complete, personal acceptance: with either of those extremes being the scary part.

    I think I am just touching upon a lot of new, extremes lately.  But really, I am simply balancing out, because for years this body-mind has lived in the slums of thought and action.  The premise for this was avoiding the seeming 'extremes' of a healthy mind and functioning body in the world, but they only seem to be extremes; in reality, they are just normal. sustained contact with what is "out there", when the usual fortress I have built up between 'in here' and 'out there' comes crashing down.

    When I am 'in' this fortress, I want to manipulate the world.  When I soften this grip, I can connect, and have what I want (whatever that may be), or at least feel/understand/be-in the scenario unconditionally.

    I will always FEEL these subtle distinctions and shifts more than many people.  I have always resisted being sensitive.  I have always found it painful to be aware of myself and others to a high degree.  Is actual freedom an end point to this?  I think so.  Even if it is not, the actualism method provides an approach of skillful means to it.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    10/4/15 11:51 AM as a reply to Noah.
    Noah S:
    9/24


    ________________________________________________________________

    Even though I have been writing a lot about seeking material success, I wish to openly acknowledge that it is possible I am confused.  There can be quite a bit of confusion in the process of contemplation.
    The thing about material success, from what I've seen, people who get all that tend to be even more miserable and desparate than the rest.  I think it's because although general society teaches that those things lead to happiness, in reality they only lead to a very short lived kind of happiness.  So you work really really hard to get something, and then you are happy for maybe a day or a week, maybe even 3 weeks or a few months, but then it wears off and you are back to the old you.  So you seek another type of success and the recyle repeats.  After a while, you may have lots of money, a nice girlfriend, fame and whatever and you are still not happy, now where to you go?  Desperation can then set in, which is why I think those people can be more miserable than those who can still have the fantasy that 'some day' they'll get this and that and be happy.  Because once you get all that stuff you thought would make you happy and you aren't happy, then you no longer have the fantasy to dream about,  Because the reason people work so hard to get all that stuff is they think it will make them happy, except it doesn't work, the happiness won't stick for long, it slips away.  THe only happiness that can stick is a happiness independent of those material gains.  And once you find a happiness independent of those material gains, the material gains lose a lot of importance in your mind, now they are just conveniences, no longer routes to happiness. 

    I suspect very strongly that a lot of the reason most people sabotage their own success is that deep inside, they know success is a dead end and if they get to the deadend with no idea of where to go, that would be too difficult to face and lead to misery.  IMO, success and all that stuff is not bad in itself, but the idea that those things can be more than just conveniences, more than just slightly pleasant ways to pass the time, that those things could actually lead to happiness, is a huge trap.   IMO, you have to let go of the idea of that those things can bring happiness and the too hard wanting of them can ironially even actually block you from getting them.  But if they are just preferences, not something you are strongly clinging too, then I think they are actually much more likely to be obtained because you can just relax and make good decisions without your subconscious getting in your way and trying to protect you from the hard truths.  Understand the hard truths now and then the subconscious will no longer have to protect you from them.   American society has become very much a 'keeping up with the joneses' and competitive society and we are taught that since childhood that such a route would lead to happiness, so perhaps it is extra hard for us to get past that training compared to some other cultures.       

    It seems that part of the problem is that I am operating on a certain premise: that I should be an excited, newly independent, young man in a new city; that I should feel that the world is my oyster and that I can have anything that I want; that I should be experiencing positive emotions and achieving positive things.  The problem is that this is a flawed premise.  It doesn't work.  I won't get everything I want.  Furthermore, and most importantly, it has nothing to do with being actually free of the human condition.
    I think even if you did get everything you want, which I think is quite possible to achieve, still those things would not make you happy. But if you become happy first, then those other things are much easier to achieve but also don't hold as much weight in your mind, they are just things to do with your time, like projects to work on or something.  Perhaps part of why they become easier to achieve is when they don't hold as much weight in yoru mind, then failure is not such a worry either, that makes you free to just try to stuff and see what happens without a lot of emotional baggage hanging off of it.   
    What is it that I am trying to say?  I guess that this came out of rereading Richard's response to me on the Yahoo group just now.

    I am tortured by my libido and by my emotions.  But, as they say, "I' am rotten to my core', anyway.  And frequently friends and family tell me that I do not have more problems or 'stuff' than the average, functioning individual, I am simply more sensitive to the average level of stuff that is there.  They also say that I am competent but not confident.  So, assuming they are right and I am wrong (meaning, I'm not really that fucked up after all), I shouldn't try to control or ignore or deal with these affective energies in some way, because I am trying to go from normal to actually free, not crazy to normal to actually free.  I shouldn't tolerate them at all.  I should try to end them.  Also, my solution and my process is just one, specific version of the solution that is appropriate for everyone.  It matters to me that this is generalizable.   
    Perhaps you have a goal to be perfect according to what society teaches us is perfect and then when you notice you are not anywhere near, you think you are a failure? (lots of people do that, I used to do it a lot)  That libido thing, almost all men have it.  I read somewhere the average teenage male thinks of sex like every 13 seconds or something.  Assumedly it gets a tad better with age but still that's really a lot!  And if that is average, then that means some are doing it even more!   Anyway, everyone has those weaknesses like yours, it's just that most are either not really aware of them or refuse to talk about them for fear of looking weak.  ;-P  
    So I'm just a sensitive person and I find that everything I do is polluted by this, including my actualism practice.  The desire to control, to win, to dominate, is creeping in.  This is aggression in its purest form.  I am seeking the strength to push back against a world that I have percieved to be pushing against me from an early age.  This is a flawed premise because the world is not actually pushing against me.  It is just there.  And it is actually a wonderful place: wonderful beyond belief.  
    I think American society teaches us to push, etc, that's where a lot of it comes from.  It used to be mostly the males but now it's gettng more on the females as well. 
    I have experienced this in my PCE's.  In that moment watching the snow flakes fall as they basked in the soft glow of the lamp and the utter silence fostered by the trees and snow layer of the park at night.  In that peaceful dawn in which I felt that I was all alone on the pebbled beach, just me and hundreds of starfish, beautiful stars colored orange, blue, green, red.  At those times I was completely alone, and I was completely okay.  The world was not pushing on me at this times.  
    Yep, it's perspective that colors the lens you look through and then colors what you see. 
    So why do I feel like the world is pushing on me now?  Why do I need to push back?  Why can't I just give up, just surrender?

    I think that if I was actually free I probably wouldn't want to do so much activity.  The tenor or quality or taste or glow or scent of this physical space that I occupy would continuously satisfy me.  
    What works for me is to give up trying to guess how I would be if things changed, because every time I have tried to guess, I've guessed wrong.  THings rarely pan out like I expect, but although different it can often be better!

    And of course, the best language to use does not even include personal pronouns, for there would be no 'me' to speak of.  But I think thats what I mean when I say 'completely okay' or 'continuously satisfied.'  Those are states in which I disappear, or at least states which lead into my disappearance.  
    That's an Actualist assumption that I don't personally plan to believe in.  My goal is not to be Richard, it's to be a better me.  But who knows, it may work for some!   

    I feel like there is just this wounded creature inside of me that is very sensitive to everything, to just existing.  And I also feel that this creature would be willing to give up and disappear as long as this brain and body are promised something better.  The PCE fulfills that promise.
    I don't think any energy ever gives up or disappears, but it can be tamed, trained, mollified, transformed into a better state, etc.  I tried for many many long years trying to 'get rid of' stuff inside me and I totally failed, end result is it would hide for a bit and then come back stronger, or my conscious mind would just block me from noticing it as much.  But it was always still there.  I suspect you just can't get rid of your $#%$ because it is a part of you, my only successful route has been to deal with it as deeply and honestly and bravely as possible.  

    I know I sound dogmatic and crazy, but I am trying to really open up and write from the heart here, because I feel like I might be misguided in the way I am struggling so hard in my life every day.
    Only a tad dogmatic (not a lot) and not crazy, these are normal people's insecurities, many have far more than this, they just hide them. 
    Maybe I just have to get out in nature and surrender to the moment a little bit, as a Yahoo group participant was saying earlier.

    I think it would be easier if I gave up on all my goals and just surrendered to this moment.  I think it would be easier if I surrendered to the memory of the PCE.  If I let that serenely guide me forward.  I think that would be nice.
    I don't think goals are bad in themselves, just the idea that they can lead to a lasting happiness is the trap. 
    Living in society is so torturous.  It might be easier to live in nature.  I just feel like living in society gives me that chance to act with power and feel powerful: to reverse some of those feelings from childhood, and to ultimately nurture that wounded creature; to allow it to finally suck at the tit a little bit without feeling deprived.  And this part of my life is the perfect storm for it because I am in a new city.  But that doesn't mean I have to give in to these conditions.  I can resist.  I can metaphorically live in nature and be independent from human society while still living in it.
    I think the thing with nature is that at first it is a calming experience to get away from society's influence for a bit, but just like anything, it cannot by itself lead to a lasting happiness.  And most people who stay long term in nature say that after the honeymoon period is over, all the insecurities come roaring back and it's really more like a hotbed of intense dealing with your stuff.  But it does give you an ability to look for a different perspective away from pressures of society.  ON the flip side, available distractions like TV, etc that you may use to not have to think may be gone.  And IMO, if nature is used as a way to escape problems instead of dealing with them, long term it's not the best road. 

    If you think of the mind like a dog, if you plan to train it, a well trained dog is expected to be well behaved in all environments.  If the dog is trained in the quiet back yard only and can't keep it together walking down a noisy street, then IMO, the dog is only a beginner when it comes to training.  The trainer can choose to show off the training in the back yard only and stick to only the place where the best results are obtained, or the training can begin anew in more challenging environments. 

    I think of meditation like that too, in a quiet time without distractions, much can be learned quickly (which in that way is advantageous), but if you can't yet apply that learning to the rest of your life or are hiding from more challenging situations, then you are not yet well trained.  ;-P 
    -Eva

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    10/4/15 12:10 PM as a reply to Noah.
    Noah S:
    Small Steps:

    I haven't been following along too closely, but is this your end goal these days, eternal bliss?


    Naw, I actually prefer a good feeling that is different from what I would call 'bliss.'  To me, bliss is still subtly painful in the body (because it is so intense), and is always linked to some type of low or depression either before or after.
    Yes!  I'm glad someone said it.  Yeah, sometimes it feels so good that it also kind of hurts like causing an itchiness and a strange form of desire or something and how exactly it feels will subtly shift.  And I've noticed that after bliss, there tends to be some blowback, like headachy feel etc, sometimes some crabby short tempered feelings later for a while that really stand out in comparison to the previous more even mood.  But over time and at least lately, the blowback has become less and the bliss more, my tolerance for it higher.  Sometimes it spreads out to be more of a diffuse in the environment thing and more like euphoria and no longer subtly painful.  It's like it goes from me feeling bliss to the world feeling blissful, then I don't feel the resistance part and it starts to resemble a PCE quite a lot.  I suspect you are not going to be stuck with the same bliss as you started with, seems like it is a work in progress and can smooth out to be more relaxing with time to a point where I don't feel any resistance to it anymore.  I suspect the body has to adapt and the initial blowback and resistance is that the body and mind have not fully balanced it yet and that the 'too much' bliss is actually just an underdeveloped PCE type event that did not fully form.  Anyway, may not want to give up on it just yet.  ;-P
    -Eva   



    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    10/4/15 9:30 PM as a reply to Eva Nie.
    Eva:

    Yes!  I'm glad someone said it.  Yeah, sometimes it feels so good that it also kind of hurts like causing an itchiness and a strange form of desire or something and how exactly it feels will subtly shift.  And I've noticed that after bliss, there tends to be some blowback, like headachy feel etc, sometimes some crabby short tempered feelings later for a while that really stand out in comparison to the previous more even mood.  But over time and at least lately, the blowback has become less and the bliss more, my tolerance for it higher.  Sometimes it spreads out to be more of a diffuse in the environment thing and more like euphoria and no longer subtly painful.  It's like it goes from me feeling bliss to the world feeling blissful, then I don't feel the resistance part and it starts to resemble a PCE quite a lot.  I suspect you are not going to be stuck with the same bliss as you started with, seems like it is a work in progress and can smooth out to be more relaxing with time to a point where I don't feel any resistance to it anymore.  I suspect the body has to adapt and the initial blowback and resistance is that the body and mind have not fully balanced it yet and that the 'too much' bliss is actually just an underdeveloped PCE type event that did not fully form.  Anyway, may not want to give up on it just yet.  ;-P 


    I relate to a lot of what your saying.  I have not attempted to increase my tolerance for bliss, but I have trained myself to become accustomed to being happy/feeling felicitious.  Making happiness the norm is work that requires part of me to 'fold my hand.'  I also agree that lots of different experiences can be precursors to potential PCE's, and it is known that PCE's can devolve into lots of other experiences.  I am definitely choosing not to pursue states which I would label "bliss", at this time, lol.

    Also, Derek had a great theory in another thread that states of spiritual joy are capped off by depressions because they reveal lots of underlying material and also because the previously normal material now appears so shitty.  I might have just butchered his words.  I apologize in advance!

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    10/4/15 9:49 PM as a reply to Eva Nie.
    Eva:

    The thing about material success, from what I've seen, people who get all that tend to be even more miserable and desparate than the rest.  I think it's because although general society teaches that those things lead to happiness, in reality they only lead to a very short lived kind of happiness.  So you work really really hard to get something, and then you are happy for maybe a day or a week, maybe even 3 weeks or a few months, but then it wears off and you are back to the old you.  So you seek another type of success and the recyle repeats.  After a while, you may have lots of money, a nice girlfriend, fame and whatever and you are still not happy, now where to you go?  Desperation can then set in, which is why I think those people can be more miserable than those who can still have the fantasy that 'some day' they'll get this and that and be happy.  Because once you get all that stuff you thought would make you happy and you aren't happy, then you no longer have the fantasy to dream about,  Because the reason people work so hard to get all that stuff is they think it will make them happy, except it doesn't work, the happiness won't stick for long, it slips away.  THe only happiness that can stick is a happiness independent of those material gains.  And once you find a happiness independent of those material gains, the material gains lose a lot of importance in your mind, now they are just conveniences, no longer routes to happiness.  


    My main thought here is that for me, success is moreso a series of behaviors, than the results of those behaviors.  I know that if I do certain things with my body and mind, every day, I will, on average, see net positive results over time.  There will also be lots of mini failures, and a few huge failures and losses.  These are all component peices of the process I call success.  My new goal isn't an internal state which has adapted to external experiences to not suffer: my new goal is an integrated interfacing between positive internal states and adaptive, consistent external actions based on the intellect and not swayed by emotions.  I would say it involves both inner peace and material success.  Its a process or verb, not a noun or state.

    Also, acting on the external conditions with sensibility further reinforces an inner happiness that IS independent from them.  Meaning, I feel good within myself, all the time.  The external outcomes are to be judged by the intellect, not the emotions and beliefs.  Its almost like being a really happy computer lol.

    I suspect very strongly that a lot of the reason most people sabotage their own success is that deep inside, they know success is a dead end and if they get to the deadend with no idea of where to go, that would be too difficult to face and lead to misery.  IMO, success and all that stuff is not bad in itself, but the idea that those things can be more than just conveniences, more than just slightly pleasant ways to pass the time, that those things could actually lead to happiness, is a huge trap.   IMO, you have to let go of the idea of that those things can bring happiness and the too hard wanting of them can ironially even actually block you from getting them.  But if they are just preferences, not something you are strongly clinging too, then I think they are actually much more likely to be obtained because you can just relax and make good decisions without your subconscious getting in your way and trying to protect you from the hard truths.  Understand the hard truths now and then the subconscious will no longer have to protect you from them.   American society has become very much a 'keeping up with the joneses' and competitive society and we are taught that since childhood that such a route would lead to happiness, so perhaps it is extra hard for us to get past that training compared to some other cultures. [emphasis' mine]


    I would say things with me are, in fact, moreso "slightly pleasant ways to pass the time", than "those things could actually lead to happiness."  And I totally agree with the idea that wanting things too badly blocks one from getting them.  Its all about being confidence, detachment, and a sense of humor when pursuing success.  Unplugging from emotions allows the mind to function.  Ala your point on the subconscious.  American society is bullshit, but so is every other society.  My goal is to think for myself, independent from any static, pre-established set of mores.

    I think even if you did get everything you want, which I think is quite possible to achieve, still those things would not make you happy. But if you become happy first, then those other things are much easier to achieve but also don't hold as much weight in your mind, they are just things to do with your time, like projects to work on or something.  Perhaps part of why they become easier to achieve is when they don't hold as much weight in yoru mind, then failure is not such a worry either, that makes you free to just try to stuff and see what happens without a lot of emotional baggage hanging off of it.    


    Agreed.


    Perhaps you have a goal to be perfect according to what society teaches us is perfect and then when you notice you are not anywhere near, you think you are a failure? (lots of people do that, I used to do it a lot)  That libido thing, almost all men have it.  I read somewhere the average teenage male thinks of sex like every 13 seconds or something.  Assumedly it gets a tad better with age but still that's really a lot!  And if that is average, then that means some are doing it even more!   Anyway, everyone has those weaknesses like yours, it's just that most are either not really aware of them or refuse to talk about them for fear of looking weak.  ;-P   


    Yeah, I'm noticing in the past few days that the libido can be part of the adventure, it turns out.  I'm not going to be able to end it yet lol.  There are things I have to do first.


    What works for me is to give up trying to guess how I would be if things changed, because every time I have tried to guess, I've guessed wrong.  THings rarely pan out like I expect, but although different it can often be better!


    The weird thing for me is that I HAVE been able to predict how I will turn out.  Its probably pretty unusual for most, though.


    I think the thing with nature is that at first it is a calming experience to get away from society's influence for a bit, but just like anything, it cannot by itself lead to a lasting happiness.  And most people who stay long term in nature say that after the honeymoon period is over, all the insecurities come roaring back and it's really more like a hotbed of intense dealing with your stuff.  But it does give you an ability to look for a different perspective away from pressures of society.  ON the flip side, available distractions like TV, etc that you may use to not have to think may be gone.  And IMO, if nature is used as a way to escape problems instead of dealing with them, long term it's not the best road.  

    If you think of the mind like a dog, if you plan to train it, a well trained dog is expected to be well behaved in all environments.  If the dog is trained in the quiet back yard only and can't keep it together walking down a noisy street, then IMO, the dog is only a beginner when it comes to training.  The trainer can choose to show off the training in the back yard only and stick to only the place where the best results are obtained, or the training can begin anew in more challenging environments.  

    I think of meditation like that too, in a quiet time without distractions, much can be learned quickly (which in that way is advantageous), but if you can't yet apply that learning to the rest of your life or are hiding from more challenging situations, then you are not yet well trained.  ;-P 
    -Eva


    Yeah, fuck nature, lol.  I still have to deal with me and the conditions of my life.  I'm actually starting to like it though.  Life isn't a chore anymore.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    10/5/15 3:38 AM as a reply to Noah.
    Noah S:
    10/4

    I realized that I would get to this point of the interaction where I would feel *fear*.  The fear arose surrounding the time when physical contact/ kissing might be appropriate in a drunken-bar-conversation context.  Suddenly I had a huge epiphany and walked away from the girl I was talking to.  I could 'feel' the energy coming off of her, and off of me, as a physical-gravitational pull between us.  But I could also feel that something in me was resisting that pull, a type of psychic wall.  I think it is possible that this could be a combined  tensing of my lower chakras: the root (basic survival of the organism-- don't approach this desired woman, or else another caveman will come bash me), the sex/2nd (my primal energy reservoir is closed off), and the 3rd/navel (more complex survival/willpower/self-esteem/the sense of self formed at age 7).  There was a resisting of that surrender, which renders both individuals locked into a union, and a temporary loss of sense of self, either through personal rejection, or complete, personal acceptance: with either of those extremes being the scary part.
    I so much want to see the girl-in-question's look on her face after her reading those reflection on your two's meeting.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    10/5/15 4:08 PM as a reply to bernd the broter.
    I so much want to see the girl-in-question's look on her face after her reading those reflection on your two's meeting.


    To be honest, her impression truly wouldn't matter to me.  I take pride in my eccentricity.  Beyond that, no one's privacy is being violated here.  It is possible that these details are too far off the topic of this forum.  I only included them because they were linked to a deep experience of the sense of self and other.  But in terms of caring (or not caring) about other's impressions at a sensitive level, that is my privilege.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    10/5/15 4:16 PM as a reply to Noah.
    @ Bernd:

    Just to add, my experience is that I am able to converse with a wide variety of people who have no background in spirituality or meditation, and introduce concepts and my own practice in such a way that they actually find it interesting and want to hear more.  I'm sure there is also some sense of xenophobia or slight disguist on some of their parts, some of the time, but I consistently get positive feedback that people are glad to have spoken with me about these things and find them intruiging.  

    So perhaps she wouldn't have the look that you are predicting.  Wouldn't you feel defeated, if she were actually interested (in our fantasy scenario) ?  :p

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    10/5/15 11:55 PM as a reply to Noah.
    10/5

    -I had a weird experience sitting in a chair today, triggered by my memory of the strong excellence experience I had yesterday, as well as a few previous ones.  I had the thought that "there is nothing special going on here" and realized that "there is nothing scary about this physical reality."  I then felt my vantage point shift from being in my head, at chair-level, to being in the head of the person sitting at the desk across from me, to being a birds-eye view, to being on the ground, looking up.  I realized that all of these are completely legitimate vantage points, and that my particular human life and perspective is so arbitrary.  I felt very relaxed after that, as if nothing could possibly touch me.  I also had this sense of waves of 'sweetness' rolling in towards me from the world outside.  I have been feeling this throughout my occasional excellence experiences, as of late.  There is a lot more confidence, in general, that I am headed in the right direction.

    Also, in general, I feel super confident, as if nothing could touch me, paired with a sense of peace surrounding my own physical death.  I am pretty sure this will also be the end of the 'soul' and identity, and I am totally fine with it, whether it happens tomorrow or in 80 years.  

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    10/6/15 2:55 AM as a reply to Noah.
    Noah:

    So perhaps she wouldn't have the look that you are predicting.  Wouldn't you feel defeated, if she were actually interested (in our fantasy scenario) ?  :p
    No that's even better; In this case I would love to see the faces of those around you xD

    btw I wasn't at all criticizing you. It's just that I imagined the situation in my head and thought it was dead funny.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    10/6/15 4:19 AM as a reply to bernd the broter.
    Hi Bernd:

    No that's even better; In this case I would love to see the faces of those around you xD

    btw I wasn't at all criticizing you. It's just that I imagined the situation in my head and thought it was dead funny.


    Dude, I felt really criticized by your comment, thats why I responded the way I did.  Why did I feel that way?  I am examining it now.

    Regardless man, whether or not 'conventional' folks appreciate the dharma, I know I communicate well.  And yes, that would be a funny situation.  In the context of the conversation I was referencing, the girl asked what my rudraksha beads were.  I responded with a humorous face of disbelief, saying "oh my god!  I don't even know how they got on my neck.  Do you put them here?"

    p.s.- I think we can change the world.... slowly.... but certainly... with expressions of insight, humor, and loving-kindness!

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    10/7/15 12:48 AM as a reply to Noah.
    10/6

    -I am having a somewhat powerful experience watching "American Sniper" right now.  War is so fucked up, and for some reason, with the way my mind has changed over the past few years, I think I'm more in touch with the reality of violence.  Also, I've been trying to read the news every day and I encounter similar information and react similarly.  

    There is a U.S. military funeral scene in the movie which displays many bits of culture.  There is also a scene in which a Muslim man hosts a group of American soldiers for dinner, displaying some of the culture of that region.  I truly think culture is the problem.  Man is always intensely interested in, and identified with both his bloodline and where he lives (including the people).  This is the societal manifestation of the instinctual passions.  

    Call me crazy, but I believe they can be wiped out.  And it is starting to make more and more sense to do so.  I am a very self-absorbed person but I feel like I am getting a peek of what is out there outside of my perspective.  Why am I so focused on improving conditions for myself, when I could be doing something to wipe out my instinctual passions?  If "Noah" disappears, that is a small reduction in the greater mass of 'being' that is occuring on this planet.

    Richard, Peter, and Vineeto take the idea of the 'psychic web' very seriously.  I am starting too as well.  It seems that huge movements in the history of mankind begin at the level of collective conscious, or as ideas in peope's heads.  When people change the way they think, they change their motivations, and thus their actions.  Externally imposed restrictions do not function as well as internally motivated changes.

    What if a small group of actually free people could have a much bigger impact at the level of the psychic web?  I don't want to sound too cultlike, and start talking about saving the world, which is why the previous question is not meant to be rhetorical, but an actual what-if prompt.  It might work, it might not, but I'm willing to give it a try.

    _________________________________________

    Edit: I want to add that I don't like labels 'actualism' and 'actual freedom', because they make it all sound to conceptual.  This process makes sense to me, on a very mechanistic level, the same way that medicine or auto repair functions, step by step, without making processes and outcomes into 'ideas.'  You nuetralize emotions by feeling pleasant all the time.  You examine how emotions tick, and how you, yourself tick.  You decide to think and act with intellegence/reason/logic ONLY and without the support of emotional energy.  You get in touch, more and more, with the world as it is naturally being percieved, without any filters (which is as a purely physical reality, independent of relative considerations of time and space).  You realize that your body is a part of this physical reality.  You get closer and closer to both the logical motivation, and the actual state, of completely shutting off the sense of being an individual unit.  When ready, you completely shut it off in favor of living completely grounded in the physical senses, and guided by smart judgement of the world around you, as it is.

    Furthermore, it is more sensible to be spiritual awakened, than 'normal.'  But that does not mean that spiritual awakening functions to actually fix the problem, which is that people are fucked up and kill each other, themselves, and the planet.  It seems to function on a different axis, more in line with repairing and integrating the structure, than actually eliminating anything.  And in order to help fix the problem, we are given 'morality' training from the various prophets and holy men.  However, the idea is that the passions are controlled, and not eliminated.  So, looked at from this angle, I can see why spirituality doesn't "work" in the way I am talking about.

    __________________________________

    I am coming to better terms with the fact that my body is basically a machine.  It is not a "temple" that needs to respected or bathed in love or something like that.  Its just a mass of flesh with automatically functioning and encoded systems.

    I've been drinking way too much.  This really is stupid of me.  Both the impulse to drink alcohol to the point of drunkenness, and the act itself, are stupid.  This reality is cool enough sober.

    ___________________________________

    I was speaking with my mother on the phone and noticed that even though I was having a great conversation (and was way less agitated than I have been in the past while talking to her), I was still subtly criticizing her.  Now, I want this to stop, but the problem is that I don't percieve the emotion that is driving this behavior; it is suppressed into the subconscious.  It would be best if I could attend to it, but that isn't possible as of now.  

    At the very least, I can catch myself in the act, and try to feel it then.  I also know where it comes from: I mirrored the behaviors of my dad, who I witnessed being somewhat of a 'bully' (not directly abusive, just a very tense communicator) when I was very young.  I am following this program when I carry on with my mother in this way.

    Of course, it is a fallacy to estimate the origins of the program to be within my own lifespan.  This program is actually none other than 'being' itself, which has been evolving and passing itself down through the genetic lines for millions of years.  That is why Richard advises not to trace back the origins of a bad feeling any earlier than 1 day.  What is the point?  I am not trying to win the psychotherapy game, which is a big shift for me.  I am not trying to perfect myself, I am trying to eliminate myself.  The more I practice actualism,  the more I can see that there is a HUGE difference.  I used to think it was just dogma.

    p.s.- I had a weird experience today when I noticed various personality traits arising in my thoughts, and I was able to link them to the genetics of individuals in my family, as well as to my ethnic heritage.  "I" am none other than a mosaic of these genetic tendencies.  

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    10/7/15 8:35 PM as a reply to Noah.
    Noah:
    10/6
    I truly think culture is the problem.  Man is always intensely interested in, and identified with both his bloodline and where he lives (including the people).  This is the societal manifestation of the instinctual passions.  

    Call me crazy, but I believe they can be wiped out.  And it is starting to make more and more sense to do so. 
    I kind of like them, breaks up the monotony I guess and makes me think about assumptions, prob is when people get too attached to them.  Anyway, I am not sure it's possible to not have a culture any more than it's possible to live without having assumptions.  The prob is when the assumptions/culture between groups clash AND the people in those groups are very attached to their assumptions.  Then again, thinking about it more, maybe it's more that people have anger, fear, etc inside them and are looking for excuses to let them out, culture, religion, etc are just the excuses they use to let stuff out that they wanted to express on some level.  So even if all had the same or little culture, IMO as long as they still have those emotions wanting to get out and raging, then they will find an excuse to express them.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    10/7/15 8:39 PM as a reply to Noah.
    Noah:
    Eva:

    I would say things with me are, in fact, moreso "slightly pleasant ways to pass the time", than "those things could actually lead to happiness."  And I totally agree with the idea that wanting things too badly blocks one from getting them.  Its all about being confidence, detachment, and a sense of humor when pursuing success. 
    Sounds like a good plan! If I treat it like the game that I think it is, then I can relax and enjoy the show a bit more.  ;-P


    Yeah, I'm noticing in the past few days that the libido can be part of the adventure, it turns out.  I'm not going to be able to end it yet lol.  There are things I have to do first.


    What works for me is to give up trying to guess how I would be if things changed, because every time I have tried to guess, I've guessed wrong.  THings rarely pan out like I expect, but although different it can often be better!


    The weird thing for me is that I HAVE been able to predict how I will turn out.  Its probably pretty unusual for most, though.
    Except for maybe the libido part?  ;-P


    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    10/8/15 5:01 AM as a reply to Eva Nie.
    Except for maybe the libido part?  ;-P


    Yeah haha.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    10/9/15 12:49 AM as a reply to Noah.
    10/8

    -There is a lot of time to become actually free emoticon  I have years to live with sensibility and enjoyment.

    That I feel this way probably means I lack the ingredients of altruism and harmlessness emoticon  But it also means that the actualism method is working.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    10/10/15 7:23 AM as a reply to Noah.
    10/10

    -Today I met in person with another practicing actualist (woo-hoo!) who was in my area for just a few days.  We had a great conversation at a random coffee shop.  He has met Richard, Peter and Vineeto, and I got some great, second-hand information about how they are in person, and just what the situation in Australia is like in general.  He said Richard is "shiny," which I loved, but also took sort of tongue-in-cheek.  He also talked about Vineeto saying she had to figure out how to navigate social situations after becoming actually free and no longer being able to feel the vibes of others.  It seems that they are able to do it through physical and verbal cues alone, which totally makes sense.  He said they are sometimes more physically tired, which effects their social energy level, and sometimes more lively.  So for me this means, they still display lots of human characteristics on the surface.

    A big epiphany for me in the conversation was the idea of 'character' (Peter's term) vs 'personality.'  Basically, 'personality' is the thing that is all wrapped in with the emotions, the baggage, the social identity, one's values, etc.  'Character' is more exact to the physical preferences of one's body and brain, as they are designed.  Meaning, without emotions, one will still have some preferences, including at a base level, the physical temperature range which you find most comfortable, and, in more refined areas, the level of socializing you are interested in, style of humor, etc.  People think those who are actually free are robot zombies, but thats just because you can't use your imagination to picture a state that is outside of it- lol.

    The other big thing I got from my conversation, is that there is no hard and fast, completely objective, sensibility.  That is sort of a part of actualism: that everything is relative.  That there is no ultimate (agape/atman/shiva), no lack-of-ultimate (nirvana/emptiness), no fucking guarantees at all!  To paraphrase what Richard wrote, in his 30 page response to me (which was reposted to this forum), "I can't necessarily help mentally ill people."  I love that because it is so real.  

    So, from this frame, sensibility is basically seeing what you are interested in, from the vantage point of intelligence/preference/character, and not what you are interested in from emotions/personality/identity.  Related to this subject, I just got the sense of a lack of drama coming from the AFT founders, via the conversation.  I sort of just get the purest form of the message, "just be yourself."  Just that its not that big of a deal, but I might as well make the most of my life, and spent the days doing what I enjoy.  If for some reason I am not able to do those things, choose to enjoy regardless, and know that there is a state in which enjoyment is inevitable.

    We also had fun fantasizing about possible 'actual-freedom-outbreak' scenarios.  Like if the most recent crop of actualists all get actually free within a short time frame, the type of effect that could on the pyschic web.  I talked about how I think actually free people should just have many skype and in-person conversations with skeptics and haters, and allow themselves to be observed, over a period of weeks, months, and years, in all different scenarios.  I think this is the only way to prove that the instinctual passions have been eliminated.  Its kind of like that tour-de-France team that allowed themselves to be followed, by camera, 24/7, in light of the Lance Armstrong scandal.  So yeah, fun talking fantastical scenario strategy and logistics as well.

    Anyway, overall, great ideas shared, great vibe shared, good stuff.

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

    Edit: I also wanted to add another thing I got from the convo, which is that PCE's can have different flavors, and people can get different types of insights from PCE's, which effects how they remember and describe them.  So when I rememorated the PCE from childhood, what stood out less to me was that 'I' was absent (even though that was true), and more that everything was really nice, safe, comfortable, and better then I could have ever imagined.  The person I was talking to was saying that another person had had deep insights into time in a PCE.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    10/12/15 3:30 AM as a reply to Noah.
    10/11

    -I have been trying to generalize my problems onto everyone else.  This is just projecting.  Real insight came tonight when I realized that everyone doesn't have the same problems.  Take romance and libido, for instance (a subject that has been on my mind as of late): some people will meet some one and be within a reasonable range of happiness for the rest of their lives.  Most will not, but that doesn't matter.  What matter is that a range exists; I am wrong for thinking that all long term relationships are doomed.  

    Balance is sensible for me.  I need human connection.  I also feel libido.  Both are present.  And when I zoom out, I can see how amazingly pervasive this struggle really is.  This is MY human condition, and that is what matters right now.  Just see!  Just open your eyes and look, see how the human condition is torturing you!  Slowly, slowly, slowly... falling out of love with the dramas of human life.  Slowly, slowly, slowly... falling in love with this moment, falling in love with feeling good, falling in love with the commitment to feel good, to not feel stress!  The body can perform without stress.  I have seen it happen, I have seen myself doing it these past few weeks.  Likewise, the mind can think without stress.

    Is the human condition inevitable?  Is pain inevitable, but suffering optional?  Are you SURE?  Absolutely?  Because, lately, to me, the evidence is pointing in the other direction.  I plan to put out the fire completely, not equanimously exist within the flames.

    ____________________________________

    I realize there is a magical transformation to be had in the discovery of actually wanting other to feel happy.  This is a feeling I have rarely had in my life, because I have felt so stressed out.  I accessed it just now when I thought of my roommate and his girlfriend, and how I was so happy to leave them alone tonight because when I asked if they were going to sleep at her house (which would require me to walk home alone-- no big deal), she said "I would like that."  I was just so happy to make her happy in this case.  It felt good.  But not in an impassioned or moralistic way.  Just a very simple idea.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    10/12/15 9:29 AM as a reply to Noah.
    Noah:
    10/10

    -Today I met in person with another practicing actualist (woo-hoo!) who was in my area for just a few days.  We had a great conversation at a random coffee shop.  He has met Richard, Peter and Vineeto, and I got some great, second-hand information about how they are in person, and just what the situation in Australia is like in general.

    Just wanted to chime in and say that it was me! I prefer that that be known - brings less of a mystery about it all =P.

    It was indeed a great conversation. Always fun meeting people off of the internet who are interested in these things and chatting about life and stuff.

    Noah:
    He said Richard is "shiny," which I loved, but also took sort of tongue-in-cheek.

    Haha. I was totally kidding here (100% tongue-in-cheek, that is =P).

    Noah:
    He also talked about Vineeto saying she had to figure out how to navigate social situations after becoming actually free and no longer being able to feel the vibes of others.

    To expand on this a bit, it wasn't just that she didn't feel their vibes, but she herself had no intuition about them. Like you look at someone and instantly evaluate what they are like, intuitively - 'good' or 'bad', 'friend' or 'foe', etc. We do this automatically and without even realizing it - I only realize it in some high EEs where purity abounds, how self-centric (as in evaluating everything in terms of myself) 'I' am, automatically, by default. That all stopped operating for Vineeto (no affective faculty) so she was bemused at first as to how she could get through life without that operating. But turns out it wasn't necessary at all.

    Noah:
    The other big thing I got from my conversation, is that there is no hard and fast, completely objective, sensibility.  That is sort of a part of actualism: that everything is relative.  That there is no ultimate (agape/atman/shiva), no lack-of-ultimate (nirvana/emptiness), no fucking guarantees at all!  To paraphrase what Richard wrote, in his 30 page response to me (which was reposted to this forum), "I can't necessarily help mentally ill people."  I love that because it is so real.

    So, from this frame, sensibility is basically seeing what you are interested in, from the vantage point of intelligence/preference/character, and not what you are interested in from emotions/personality/identity.  Related to this subject, I just got the sense of a lack of drama coming from the AFT founders, via the conversation.  I sort of just get the purest form of the message, "just be yourself."  Just that its not that big of a deal, but I might as well make the most of my life, and spent the days doing what I enjoy.  If for some reason I am not able to do those things, choose to enjoy regardless, and know that there is a state in which enjoyment is inevitable.

    Hehe ya pretty much. Though here now is a communication thing, which I know you don't like, but I think worth saying regardless. Usually "just be yourself" would mean be 'you' as 'you' are, including all 'your' emotions, judgements, beliefs, etc., e.g. if you are irritated at this then be irritated knowing that that is what you are doing and be okay with it/don't feel bad about that, and don't try to change it. In context that isn't what you are saying, though - you mention not pursuing interests stemming from emotions/personality/identity, which would fit into the 'yourself' of that phrase - and also choosing to enjoy regardless - which someone who is being themselves wouldn't do if they are not currently enjoying. So "just be yourself" does not seem an accurate way to characterize the approach.

    Anyways, fun stuff!

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    10/13/15 4:32 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
    10/13

    -Positives of my situation:  I am doing everything I have ever wanted to do, externally, in terms of being productive and functional, and not bipolar.  Where I once was completely unable to do these external things because I was overrun by negative emotion, I am now able to do them, in spite of negative emotion.  Also, sometimes, they bring me positive emotion.

    -Negatives:  I don't feel completely internally on board with this.  I am experiencing depression, lack of motivation, obsessing, etc.  In general, all these tasks feel like a long string of chores, and I find myself continuing to hope that they will become easier, and continuing to feel that there is some drama or romance or big "storyline" here.  

    -Other:  I do continue to try to make a special effort to enjoy and appreciate this moment of being alive, but I find that it can interfere with the issue of being functional, which is the one that I am wanting to sort out first.  Also, I feel like there is not necessarily a need to make an extra effort to enjoy, on top of the things I am doing, because I find that by progressing in my life (in external, material ways), I feel a very ingrained sense of enjoyment.  It seems that the outright actualism method is rather most useful when I STOP enjoying then as an extra effort to feel some added layer of special attention.

    -Action plan:  It seems that I need to let go some of my drama-romance-storyline.  I need to let go of all the ideas of 'bipolar' and 'birth scripts' and 'Noah's big fucking journey to greatness'- LOL.  Can't I just be a normal person?  I need to accept that it is okay to quietly go about my days, steadily improving my life, and just doing my best, as all of us are.  This is related to Richard's notion of not tracing a bad feeling back before a day and a half.  I need to drop everything that is blocking me from being functioinal, as this is the sensible thing to do.

    The more I can act with less self-awareness, time-awareness, general hypervigilance, and general psychic intensity, the closer I will be to living as an actually free person.  This involves dropping a lot of the ways that I prop myself and my story up.  There are ways I motivate myself, ways I support my self image, ways I think about the process of contemplative transformation as some huge drama, etc.  The problem is that these are all ways for me to avoid the fact that there is no such thing as a free lunch.  Every single person on this planet needs to work and expend lots of energy, every single day.  This includes the actually-free, flesh-and-blood-bodies-only!  All of my personal drama is aimed at making things easy where they can not be because they are inherently hard.  Recognizing this will hopefully allow me to go on autopilot.

    _______________________________________

    I realize the answer is not to be emotionally engaged in activities.  Actualism is becoming a happy computer, in my opinion.  Every once in awhile, the happy computer gets overrun by the sensitive animal inside.  When that happens, I get frustrated and grrr and why is this taking so long and why do activities feel so difficult, rooooarrr!!  I want it to stop --- lol.  

    Actualism is a process of maturation.  I don't suck my thumb anymore.  I don't feel the audience syndrome self consciousness I did in 6th grade.  I don't hold enlightenment as sacred the way I did before my training.  In the same way, I don't live as the sensitive-animal-social-identity quite as much anymore.  Instead, I live as the happy computer.  Because the mature, fact-finder inside of me can tell that thats the way to go.  

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    10/19/15 2:17 AM as a reply to Noah.
    10/18

    -I've honestly taken a slight side track from 'actualism-proper' training.  I have been much more focused on dating and expanding my social circles as of late.  What I have noticed is that when I put myself in challenging interpersonal scenarios and expose myself to great fear of rejection, I learn wonderful things.  The raw, deep emotions that are involved are highly informative, whether I push myself past my comfort zone, or whether I wimp out.  Likewise, these experiences are useful whether I am 'rejected' or 'accepted' in what I am trying to do within a given situation.

    I can feel that this project of mine is something that I must do in life; it is a totally necessary and organic part of my growth.  It honestly feels like my destiny (lol).  And I do think it is 'dharma' or contemplation related, because the emotions that I am learning about are really close to the core (I can just feel it).  Learning to push past these false boundaries and expose myself to true emotional danger is just so damn useful in life, so maybe this is something like morality training.

    Regardless of what it is, I have faith that it will spiral back around and have to do with gaining an actual freedom from this human life.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    10/25/15 1:16 AM as a reply to Noah.
    10/24

    -I am confused.  I found myself in used bookstore today buying books on poetry and magick.  I am craving more of an inner life.  Also, I am wondering if I should start pursuing a spiritual path again.  My mind has become so much more resilient than it ever was.  I can function on minimal sleep in stressful work situations.  I have been able to discipline myself to improve my life every day, in ways that I have never had before.  I feel and believe that these are the after effects of the technical 4th path event.  Ever since that moment, my mind has been less scared of the world, less prickly, more introduced to it, familiar with it, and somehow, "broken in."  

    It seems that I have a desire to increase my efficacy as a person.  I don't believe that this is the intended goal of actualist practice.  In fact, I would say that the goal is to figure out how much efficacy is necessary to get by in life, and then investigate any need for more efficacy, with the eventual goal of nipping those impulses in the bud.  I don't know if that is what I want.  I kind of want to be really effective and really powerful.  I want to increase my social/dating skills to nosebleed heights and get to a point where I feel "done" with this romantic journey I have been on for so many years.  I want to feel like satisfied in a permanent way, with regards to all manners of relating to this opposite sex.  When I say 'satisfied', I know what I mean by this, and I know that what I mean is possible.  I am not talking about the way everything is ultimately unsatisfactory, or this or that, I am talking about the way that a certain sense of mastery can be developed within a certain area past the point of no return: the point where you can never not be good or effective at something.

    I also want to develop, in a similar way, in the workplace.  I have yet to formally begin my career with my degree, but my intention is to take it by the horns.  And one idea I have been working with lately is the sort of archtype of the magician or the con-artist.  I have always been the sensitive, artistic, wear-my-heart-on-my-sleeve type.  However, now (with the help of actualist practice) I have learned about the wonders of not letting emotions guide my actions in the world.  I realize that relating to others in the most effective way possible does not necessarily involve "being myself" or "being genuine" or "being nice."  It does frequently involve the willingness to fall into a state of such utter confidence and charisma that you are able to win people over to your cause, and make your own rules within the context of the interaction.  This NEED NOT involve harming others.  I do not have devious intentions in life.  I just want a good job.  But I realize that I want to compete really well as both a job applicant and an employee.  

    Anyway, when I first got technical 4th path and started switching to actualist practice, my motivation was to eliminate all emotions, and with them, everything that is holding me back.  I still believe that actual freedom is possible, and is a discrete thing, opposite of spiritual enlightenment.  I just don't know if I possess the proper intent to make that happen any time soon.  I also don't know if the state of actual freedom will be what "I" am currently looking for.  Even if "I" am completely extinct, there will still be preferences, and I will act on those preferences.  I don't know if the state of actual freedom will complement those preferences.

    The results of meditation, on the other hand, do seem to be in line with my values and expectations.  My mind has become really stable, and I want more.  I can still take the beneficial practices I have found in actualism, and use them to my advantage (i.e. lifestyle design, prioritizing enjoyment and appreciation, not letting emotions guide actions, investigating emotions).  

    I am not making a full decision here, just brainstorming and exploring options.  I wonder, if I kept noting, if more good things would happen to my mind along the same vein?  When I do noting now, I start with the senses, and then go into the sense of center, and then there is no sense of center, and then I feel like I'm high equanimity, and then more stuff keeps changing, as stuff always does.

    __________________________________________________

    I wanted to add that I fully respect actualism, and that my thoughts reflect only on my limitations as a practitioner, and not the efficacy of the method.  The line of thinking fleshed out above shows that I am not ready to give these things up, to see how silly they are and instead take the sensible path.  Also, there does seem to be some "risk" associated with spiritual practice and also material success, as it get could me further into a rut of either ASC'ness or social-beliefs, respectively.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    10/27/15 8:33 PM as a reply to Noah.
    An interesting development, for sure! I particularly like that you are introspecting in order to figure out what you really want and that you clearly recognize which direction the actualist path leads (to that which you experienced when you rememorated that PCE) and which direction the meditative path leads (to what you've done thus far on your spiritual path, to more of an inner life, to increased efficacy and power as a feeling-being). It's such an improvement over people not knowing what is what and/or trying to shoehorn this into that. 

    About your decision: it may indeed be the case that 'you' don't want actual freedom right now (and maybe not ever). Yet, wouldn't it be sooooooooo just to be happy and harmless, just to experience more of what your rememoration showed you, just to go more in that direction? There is something so simple and sweet about it, is it not? =P. Nevertheless even though I fully recognize that sweetness and am drawn to it, 'I' still pull away from it, so I understand first-hand what obstacles 'I' can put up. But it is just so great isn't it? =P. 

    Noah:
    It does frequently involve the willingness to fall into a state of such utter confidence and charisma that you are able to win people over to your cause, and make your own rules within the context of the interaction.  This NEED NOT involve harming others.

    Hmm... physical harm, surely not. Yet is it entirely harmless to want to win somebody over to your cause? You place a burden on them with your demand - that they come over to your cause. Your happiness now depends on their actions. That is not setting them free from your demands, that is imposing your demands on them. 

    Plus, even if 'you' may not cause any mayhem and misery, just by existing 'you' (and 'I' and any other feeling-being) are perpetuating the human condition.

    I say this neither as an appeal to your morality, nor to win you over to my cause =P (it is your choice after all), but just to state some of my thoughts which may be of use to you.

    Cheers,
    Claudiu


    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    10/29/15 4:57 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
    @ Claudiu:

    Hmm... physical harm, surely not. Yet is it entirely harmless to want to win somebody over to your cause?


    No, you're right: it isn't.  There is definitely some agenda.

    Plus, even if 'you' may not cause any mayhem and misery, just by existing 'you' (and 'I' and any other feeling-being) are perpetuating the human condition. 


    Agreed.

    About your decision: it may indeed be the case that 'you' don't want actual freedom right now (and maybe not ever). Yet, wouldn't it be sooooooooo just to be happy and harmless, just to experience more of what your rememoration showed you, just to go more in that direction? There is something so simple and sweet about it, is it not? 


    Yes, it would be really nice, to truly feel "done."  To drop the entire weight, once and for all.  But part of my problem is that I need to finish reprogramming my brain from a bipolar-avoidant-sloppy-lazy-low functioning one to a hard working-high functioning one.  I am probably like 60% there.  Getting technical 4th + natural maturation + emdr therapy + other stuff (including actualist practice) definitely helped me go from like 25% to 60% in a few years.  But I feel like actualism practice will hold me back because it may have the side effect of undercutting my affective-motivation fuel source, which is something I really still need in order to push my functioning forward every day.




    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    10/29/15 7:17 AM as a reply to Noah.
    Hi, Noah,

    Are you looking around for practices?

    I was reading the Jed McKenna books, and the only practice he had was "Spiritual Autolysis." Adyashanti did something similar. And there's a non-written version variously called "reasoning" or "question and answer" in the Ozay Rinpoche book.

    Just thought I'd mention that in case you're interested.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    10/29/15 10:41 PM as a reply to Derek.
    Hi Derek,

    I don't think I'm really looking for an insight practice right now.  I did look into a description of 'spiritual autolysis.'  I'm probably more in a phase which is heavy on integrating whatever changes I have made into my daily life/behaviors.

    Thanks, 
    Noah

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    10/30/15 7:03 PM as a reply to Noah.
    10/30


    -I know my posts have been quite fickle lately, but thats just where I'm at.  I'm hoping this period of inner conflict will reveal something greater beneath the surface.  I'm at a crossroads between choosing to pursue a spiritual training, worldly success, an integration betweeen spiritual and worldly success, or the actualism method, which pretty much automatically incorporates each area of life.

    The main question I have for myself is this:  why do I feel like I have to improve my dating/social skills?  Why do I feel like I need to have multiple sexual partners?  And why do I feel like I need to improve my lifestyle, fashion, physique, home, etc.?

    My most recent answer to these questions was "because these are things I would do if I was already actually free."  I am no longer so sure about that.  There is clearly a lot of mixed emotions stirring in this pot.  Feeling isolated in a new city has helped to bring out latent feelings of worthlessness when I was previously in a very confident place.  

    My problem with my understanding of Buddhism and spirituality is that it involves *training* the mind.  This includes unilateral acceptance of what arises (or 'do nothing' or 'seeing clearly'): that is just another type of training.  My problem with conventional, 'real world' solutions are that they involve *training* in the world, which is actually an artificial, man-made, constructed set of circumstances, not some naturally occuring, order of the universe.  It does seem that it would be a lot easier to just go with actualism.  Actualism says relax, stop trying so hard.  Just make the effort that is necessary to get by in the world, and look at everything else.

    When I do this, I can see that I am just beating myself up.  Even after 4th path, I am still doing this.  It's gotten a lot better, as I am not really capable of being swayed by emotions nearly as much as before (I haven't had a proper "freak out" or "melt down" since my 4th path moment).  Why do I need to be more 'successful'?  If I look at my ledger, I've done pretty well: graduated high school and college despite bipolar disorder ravaging my efforts, success in both dating and plutonic friendships since early young adulthood, getting 4th path, moving to a new city just to be independent, and now I'm looking for my first professional-level job.  And then, at a deeper layer, there is the fact that I write like this: because I am very self absorbed.  

    In recent days, I have wanted to retire from all of this effort.  Let the actualism method kick back in.  Just prioritize enjoying and appreciating this moment above everything else.  And the distinction between 'spiritual/psychic', 'real' and 'actual' is becoming very clear to me.  When I say 'real', I am referring to the attitude which says ''what are you goals?  how will you achieve them?  come on man, just use common sense, get a job, pursue things in balance...."  When I say 'spiritual/psychic', I am referring to the deeper transformations that are occuring in my mind and my energy field as I grow up, absorb the ramifications of 4th path, explore my emotions, feel the vibrational pain of the jealousy emotion as I recall feelings of past disempowerment, notice the relationship between mental signals and physical perceptions, notice the vibratory nature of the five senses and how mental phenomena are also vibratory, notice how its ultimately all vibrations/energy, etc.  And, when I say 'actual', I am referring to the fact that I am sitting on a chair, in a room, on a rock floating through the stars.

    **more to be added later, perhaps**

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    10/31/15 12:08 PM as a reply to Noah.
    Noah, I think you're misjudging spiritual practices in general ,and their purpose. They are less about training and much more about understanding, accepting, and knowing (wisdom). I think this particular misunderstanding can generate a lot of confusion, which you are now experiencing. If you see the objective to be turning yourself into something different (training) before you understand what you are (wisdom) you will inevitably fall into the trap of expectation, disappointment, and frustration. If you see the objective to be knowing the nature of mind, wisdom, then an entirely different outcome is possible.

    Just sayin'


    emoticon

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    11/1/15 1:48 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
    Chris Marti:
    Noah, I think you're misjudging spiritual practices in general ,and their purpose. They are less about training and much more about understanding, accepting, and knowing (wisdom). I think this particular misunderstanding can generate a lot of confusion, which you are now experiencing. If you see the objective to be turning yourself into something different (training) before you understand what you are (wisdom) you will inevitably fall into the trap of expectation, disappointment, and frustration. If you see the objective to be knowing the nature of mind, wisdom, then an entirely different outcome is possible.

    Just sayin'


    emoticon


    Do you think that, if I continued doing 'insight' practice, I would find more relief than I already have?  If so, what shape or form do you think any improvements in my life (or the way I view it) might take?  And what techniques might I use to get there?

    I truly am asking here, since I am pretty open to whatever, at this juncture.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    11/1/15 7:57 AM as a reply to Noah.
    Do you think that, if I continued doing 'insight' practice, I would find more relief than I already have?  If so, what shape or form do you think any improvements in my life (or the way I view it) might take?  And what techniques might I use to get there?

    Yes, Noah, I think you would benefit from continued insight practice. The objective would be simple, direct investigation. Acceptance could be a big part of that and I also think a bit of metta practice would be helpful. I'm basing this on what I read on your topic here and nothing else, just to be up front.

    Edit:  as an example of why I say this - as I read your question I hear strong desire to change something, based on your use of the word "relief". The key to change is understanding.

    JMHO


    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    11/3/15 12:28 AM as a reply to Noah.
    11/2

    Here are some disjointed thoughts I am having today:

    1) Watching the Yogananda documentary 'Awake', which is now on Netflix streaming, I was struck by the idea that meditation and spirituality have not worked in the way that visionaries such as Yogananda have intended.  I see pragmatic dharma as a cultural reaction against these unrealistic expectations surrounding the transformation of society through spiritual methods, as well as the transformation of the human emotional system.  I feel that I have done a decent amount of effort within this pragmatic approach, and have had some success, as outlined by the rough agreements estabished within this community.  I DO feel that all is change, all is flow, there is no 'I' to be found, etc.  I am capable of witnessing the flow of thoughts and emotions and having a continuous, realistic sense of how they work.  I feel that sense of "this is it", moment by moment.  AND, this is not good enough!

    Anyways, my point is that I feel that mainstream spirituality is a bit of hoax, and that hardcore dharma, as I have explored it thus far, is too limited in its scope.  When I view clips (from 'Awake') of people meditating all around the world, I feel a sense of disappointment and hope that people do not buy into the idea that meditation will change the planet.  And when I look at my own practice, I believe that I went through a series of shifts or moments, which connected me with some changeless aspect of reality (cessation & fruition), which then served to improve my understanding or view of my life.  That is all well and good, but I also feel that, in some sense, it has been a bit of hoax, on a personal level, for me.  Meaning, once you see that all is change, all is perception, this moment is all there is, etc., you might still have drives and urges that completely sweep you off your feet, many times a day.  This fucking sucks!  I do always return to my new center of gravity, but I get sidetracked all the fucking time as well.  So frustrating.

    2) I feel that I have been idealizing the path of self-development and improvement in each area of life (as a type of post-technical-4th path practice).  I have envisioned that there is a way to try hard enough that I will reach some plateau where I magically transform from being a lazy, avoidant person, to a productive and inspired person.  I would watch the youtube channel of this dating coach 'squatting cassanova', and see how he had such an appealing home and bedroom, such a great physique and fashion sense, and such highly honed social skills.  The thing I failed to realize is that this guy was probably primed up to become that type of person already, before he began his path of transformation.  If you are a lazy person from the start, it is unlikely that you will be able to change your core temperament to become a go-getter.  And that means that even if you begin to alter your external conditions every day, an internal part of you will always be fighting these external adjustments.

    3) There is something flawed about me wanting to improve my external conditions.  There is something that I am not seeing, but I do not know what it is just yet.  I hope that by being so intensely absorbed into these emotions over these past 6 weeks or so, I will be able to surface for air with a new perspective.

    4) In the PCE I rememorated, none of these problems or sense of conflict existed.  The PCE I rememorated was far better than the sense of 'all-is-flow' and 'this-moment-is-all-there-is' that is my center of gravity these days.  I really believe that the difference is that, in the PCE, 'I' was gone.  There is some function of the core 'I' that has already disappeared in me, but there are also so many auxiliary processes that are still running strong.  In fact, I would say I have less emotional fluctuation these days, but more psychological fluctuation.  Meaning, I have less emotion, but more thought.  However, the amplified thinking I know experience is not exactly enjoyable.  

    It makes sense to commit to this PCE as the way to be.  And also, it is important to note that PCE's have different flavors or aspects which highlight different aspects of the world as it is.  So it is not as if I am aiming to be one, static way for the rest of my life.  But rather that it is possible to be existing as a flesh-and-blood-body-only, while still fully partipating in this vibrant, bubbly universe.

    5) Actualism still makes the most sense to me right now.  In fact, ever since really trying to put actualism to the test, I have never fully renounced it, because I can not deny the logic behind it.  It makes sense that the great psychic mass of 'being' that we call the 'collective conscious' is actually an evolutionary survival mechanism.  And it makes sense that the most successful and sophisticated evolutionary survival mechanism on the planet would have back-door escape mechanisms or smoke-and-mirror techniques that have allowed it to preserve itself over time.  

    I think the enlightenment-impulse is the grand-daddy of all of these survival mechanisms.  By cutting off certain aspects of the psychic being (stopping 'selfing'), the human is made to believe that they have totally eliminated all of their being, when really the molten, emotional core is alive and well. I think this is what I am experiencing.  There is no denying that meditation has worked for me.  I followed the instructions on the box, and the product pretty much works as indicated.  However, its limitations are also apparent as I re-experience the same restlessness and emotional drives, every day, albeit from a place of refined perceptual flow and impermanence awareness  

    So, there are tricky self-preservation mechanisms that come along with this parasitic, psychic state of being.  But it appears that there is also a 'self-destruct' button.  Richard may very well have been the first to discover it.  Its starting to look more and more attractive to me every day, so I suppose all is not lost in this process of confusion I have undergone.  

    __________________________________________

    There is another way.  I can go back to actualism, armed with my new perspective.  Even if I learn how do great diet, exercise, dating, housekeeping, personal development, financial management, connecting with family and friends, career success, fund-of-knowledge development, etc., that will not change who I am.  I will still basically be a type-B person trying to be a type-A person.  One of the basic ideas of actualism is that you can not change human nature, you can only destroy it completely.  

    Another idea of actualism is that there are such things as preferences which form the given 'character' that each flesh-and-blood-body posesses.  These are not the 'personality', which does get wiped out with the rest of the core self.  My 'character' probably does not include that much chop-wood, carry-water.  I would rather watch a movie and eat junk food.  The core self inside of me is trying to resist it, trying to change 'me.'  But I have discovered that I can not change 'me.' 

    Better to allow my preferences to freely express themselves and guide me, while committing to enjoying and appreciating the specialness of this moment.

    _________________________________________

    It is not worthwhile to attempt to moderate myself or improve my emotional state, persay.  Initially prioritizing feeling good is enough, I have already done that.  But it is counterproductive to then obsessively monitor myself or try to control my feelings moment by moment.  Feelings will come and go as they wish.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    11/3/15 8:30 AM as a reply to Noah.
    Another comment from the peanut gallery:

    There is something flawed about me wanting to improve my external conditions.  There is something that I am not seeing, but I do not know what it is just yet.  I hope that by being so intensely absorbed into these emotions over these past 6 weeks or so, I will be able to surface for air with a new perspective.

    I think you are missing something, bnut it's not outside of you. I think finding out what that "thing" is would be of great benefit. It may, however, require more insight practice - you know, the kind of practice you now think is a sort of scam (you used the term "hoax.") Anyway, it's pretty obvious that you are not recognizing that you are a fairly normal human being and not seeing that you are, right now, not able to forgive yourself for having normal human desires, needs and foibles. Not being able to just be with that is causing you angst and giving you a driving will to change. You see other models of behavior, other people who you want to be like, idealize them (make stories to tell yourself) and then when you do see the stories you blame yourself for creating them, thus causing remorse, and then more desire to change that process - and so it feeds on itself. It seems to be a kind of negative feedback loop.

    Yes, I'm pushing back on you.

    You can love yourself, Noah. There is much to love there.

    emoticon




    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    11/3/15 4:45 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
    Thank you for the push, Chris.  I do seem to need it.

    This is along the same lines as a discussion I am having over on the Yahoo AF group, having recently re-realized that it is OKAY for me to just be average and be a bartender right now.  I could go on like this for years if I wanted to (yip-eeee!!!).  When I lower the bar for myself, there are still all these voices saying "yeah but...." or "but how are you going to....": basically just not wanting me to feel restful and at peace.

    It is becoming more obvious to me that I do not "need" to do anything other than the material maintainence of my life which I am already doing.  Everything else just requires awareness, not necessarily action (unless I feel like it).  I will probably not stop feeling restless, but my goal is not to curb or contain my restlessness, but just to look at it in light of the fact that it has no sensible object to lock its grubby hands on.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    11/4/15 5:55 AM as a reply to Noah.
    11/3

    I have felt very relaxed all day since walking up.  I feel joy continuing from yesterday's realizations.  I bought junk food, watched netflix, and relaxed.  I'm going on a tinder date in an hour and looking forward to it.  Stringing together days like this is what this is all about.  I am neither hypervigilantly monitoring myself nor engineering or training my mind/emotions, nor trying to gain some special understanding of the psyche.  I am just, very simply, prioritizing enjoyment above all else.

    I notice a tendency I have to be very focused on the content of my activities, which does not matter so much as my enjoyment of the moment.  However, I am not endeavoring to change my natural patterns, but rather to accept them, at this moment, and in doing so, release even more joy.

    _____________________________

    Investigating emotions:

    emotion: agitation
    HAIETMOBA: feeling it IN THIS MOMENT, live, coursing through my body, suddenly bringing such mindfulness to it makes it stops, and I feel relief, then it begins again
    belief behind it: at first I think "its just my brain being bipolar"... but then, when I really consider how it started I realize that it is because I was very bored and did not know what to do with all the time on my hands... so the belief is really that 'I should not be wasting my time' and that 'I should be productive' or 'be progressing with my life.'
    silly vs sensible: in this case, the sensible thing to do would be to decide that it is OKAY to waste my time... because, it actually is okay... I can do whatever the fuck I want

    _____________________________

    My tinder date went really well.  We both agreed that it was one of the best first dates we had ever been on.  I wish I could say I was just 'being myself', but the truth is that the training I have been doing by going out and practicing pick-up so much has built a momentum that propelled me forward.  Perhaps accurate to say that I was 'being my best self.'  I certainly was not being disengenous.  I just feel that building an understanding and command of social dynamics helps foster qualities (such as fearlessness and humor) which can ultimately only be expressed through personality patterns that are already there.  Meaning, one can not create something from nothing in this 'game.'  Game can only amplify pre-existing positive traits, not create new ones.

    I also went on a run and did calisthenics at midnight since I had extra energy.  Actualism guides me to do different things on different days, depending on where my energy is at.  It is unlikely that I will be able to establish militaristic levels of disciplined routine at this phase in my life.

    I do feel that prioritizing happiness above all else is really important for me to keep things in perspective.  All the lifestyle design stuff is only good insomuch as I FEEL like doing it at the time.  When I take the pressure off and don't let these things become chores, some days I will do them, and some days I will not.  It is not as if eating healthy or exercising or cleaning or reading the news are not valuable one they are only done two or three days a week.  However, that inevitable inconsistency is still a hard pill for me to swallow, since my anxious-controlling tendencies make me want to do the same things every day.  But there is not space for two goals at the top of the pyramid.  I either have to choose happiness and harmlessness, or continue to bow down to the gods of ocd.  I think the sensible choice is obvious here.

    I also played guitar and listened to music and sang along to some of my favorite songs today.  I also got restless for a time, but did not let myself get swept away in it, and did not make stopping the restlessness a 'project.'  I don't need to stop emotions.  There are no goals or deadlines or before/after transformations in the actual world.  

    Also, I should probably start doing law-of-attraction work to be as happy as possible.  The phrase that comes to mind is "I am happier than I have ever been in my life.  This is the happiest period of my life."  Harmlessness will naturally follow.  Also, all my other goals will be sorted out this way.  Some may dissolve as they are shown to come from points of tension and passion within me.  Others may stick around if they prove to be sensible within the actualist way.  

    _______________________________________

    Countering perfectionistic tendencies (with the willingness to let things be sloppy and disorganized), moment-by-moment, seems to be very important for me right now.  Insomnia patterns remain.  And then anxiety arises.  Blah, blah-blah, blah-blah.  Who the fuck cares?  Does it really matter?  It can be good to zoom out on the microscope through which I examine my life: i.e. have less total volume of self-referential thoughts per day.  I will just keep making adjustments, as necessary. Sometimes you have to stubbornly insist on happiness this way.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    11/5/15 4:38 AM as a reply to Noah.
    11/4

    Today went well.  I feel some serious momentum with the dating game.  The swagger and confidence is kicking in.  Step number one in actualism is to up your mood-baseline to feeling good most of the time.  Felicity and harmlessness can come later.  For now, I'm using every trick in the book to put myself in a good mood, including pick-up, as well as loa/magick.  "I am heading into the happiest period of my life."

    I've been watching Californication and really vibing off of Hank Moody's character (David Duchovny).  He just rolls with the punches, stays loose, and doesn't seem to expect much from life.  In this way, a small dash of depression or darkness can add a real kick to the soup.  

    Went to a hot yoga session today.  I think I'm going to start to do it every day.  It will motivate me to diet well, since men usually go shirtless during it.  I also know how to concentrate (obviously), so it can become really meditative.  Regardless, its just good conditioning for the body, and there are a lot of girls there emoticon))  

    I'm also still playing guitar on the regular, building up finger calluses and what not.  Listening to a lot of music helps to put me in a groovy mood.  That kind of shit.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    11/6/15 4:54 AM as a reply to Noah.
    11/5

    aimless floating prism
    time is used to create structure
    linked to the fight

    static charge upon the flesh
    frozen in that moment when purity is revealed
    a world who's purpose lies outside of mental conception
    a truth to be found in matter alone

    the most happy becomes the most harmless
    when the fight is completely over
    the fires have been put out
    and the forest is allowed to grow 

    as it always knew it could.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    11/6/15 3:52 PM as a reply to Noah.
    11//6

    I went to hot yoga again.  I'm curious about seeing how the body can be used as a portal for actualist practice.  Not in the sense of 'fusing mind and body' or 'connecting with the body (ala shikantaza)' or any spiritual thing like that.  But rather in noticing how I do unhealthy stuff to the body all the time (drink alcohol, eat junk food, not exercising), and then tuning in to see if my body is experiencing pleasure when I do those things.  Or perhaps my body experiences pleasure when I do healthy things instead?  And, if the latter is the case, what are the ramifications?  I think this would show that these habits are being used to service the mind, not the body.  Specifically, how are the servicing the mind?  Are they limiting certain feelings and amplifying others?  Which ones?

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    11/10/15 4:02 AM as a reply to Noah.
    11/9

    Circling round and round.  I go for days and weeks changing my values, back and forth, and forth and back.  Perhaps a spiral image is better, because there is some order or sense of progress going on.  I can feel myself becoming a 'more powerful feeling being', as Claudiu put it.  In a short period of time I have successfully trained myself to quell my fear and consistently have favorable interactions with women in a variety of settings.  I quit all my bipolar meds and feel totally stable (note: by 'quit', I mean titrated off, very slowly-- something I felt confident about).  I have made healthy external changes to my life including improving my living space, my physical health, and the way I spend my time.

    But all of these pursuits bring me some pleasure, which is like a coating around an ultimately hollow shell.  That hollow shell is the core 'me', the soul.  This problem is about me craving an actual freedom.  I want to disappear.  My relative success is teaching me more about actualism than failure would, which is ironic, because I would think that actualism would be the thing I would want to turn to as a last resort.  What I'm learning is that this shit doesn't work for me.  I don't want to have a normal life because I still won't be satisfied.  The little bipolar demon will still thrash around inside.  The only way to stop him is to destroy the whole system.  And the way to do that is to commit to being internally happy and harmless.

    I have been trying to be happy by integrating my external and internal life, which is sort of a spiritualist/life-hacking type approach.  Its a good one on paper, but is not working for me.  I need something more extreme.  I need to go for the actual freedom.

    ___________________________________

    I have reactivated law of attraction to get actual freedom as my main goal in life.  

    Tonight I watched documentaries on nature and technology.  Appreciation of the natural, physical world is very important in actualism.  It is vital to see how incredible this world is, on its own.  One must then contrast this seeing with the spiritualist desire to create a special human relationship with this world, or to trascend it in some way or another.  The spiritualist appreciation of nature/life is not the same as the actualist appreciation.  

    Technology and science are also really important in actualism.  Without all the conveniences of modern life, actualism could not exist.  It is only because we have the possibility of ensured survival that it makes sense to drop the survival mechanisms.  Material science, and its products, are really the only sensible thing that man has created.  This form of evolution will continue, which is good news.  It would be wonderful if it could be pared with a widespread fostering of actual freedom in human society across the planet.  

    ----

    I feel inspired by the fact that there are multiple paths to actual freedom.  One is to prioritize happiness and harmlessness above all else by practicing enjoyment and appreciation and by bringing attentiveness and investigation to everything else.  Another is to rememorate a PCE and activate pure intent.  A third, which is related to the second, is to meditate on inevitable physical death, and how psychic death might as well happen first.  

    The universe knows how to get me to an actual freedom.  It has lots of different ways to facilitate this.  And who knows, maybe I will be the first to find af through a different path?

    Disclaimer:  While I do not know how to reconcile my unshakable spiritualist confidence in the law of attraction with my actualist convictions, I ultimately see sensbility linking me to both of them.  To the extent that law of attraction has worked and continues to help me reach various goals, and that living as an actually free person is the best possible goal, I see them as highly integrative.  However, to the extent that my experience of "thoughts becoming things" seems to suggest that there is some greater spirit behind material reality, the two are in conflict.  The bottom line is that I do not know why law of attraction works, and that I do not believe there is a magic to the universe beyond its physical magnificence.

    ________________________

    I'm watching "slingshot" on netflix, which is about Dean Kamen, the guy who invented the segway, as well as a water filtration system to use in third world countries.  The themes of the film include ideas about cultural change.  When Dean realized that most American children could not name a single living scientist who they admired, he started an organization called "First", which builds interest in science by allowing kids to compete in robot fighting competitions.  I hate sports myself, and loved this demonstration of his.

    I see Richard as a sort of inventor when it comes to the psyche.  In the same way that starvation, disease, and poverty are global endemics, the human psyche is as well.  Inventors are people who find innovative solutions to common problems.  They look at problems in a new way.  Richard chanced upon a state which he later realized was what people were talking about as the goal of spiritual practice.  From within that state, he was able to identify certain functional weaknesses of it, which helped to explain why spirituality has not succeeded in solving global problems with human behavior and motivation.  The weaknesses of that state, as well as the very low success rate of actually getting into it in the first place, encouraged him to push for a further solution.  His original motivation was to rediscover the PCE, so using that as a guide, he ultimately succeeded in this push.

    We all share sentience.  Within this general mold or common material that is human awareness, many unfortunate things arise.  These are, most notably, things we hold sacred, such as emotions and beliefs.  Humans have adapted, as independent forms arising out of blind mother nature, a variety of ways to survive and deal with this world.  These variety of ways do follow many common patterns and can collectively be called the human psyche.  At the root of the human psyche is the sense of independent beingness or existence.

    Spirituality seems to offer a way to eliminate this sense of beingness without eliminating all of the things that arise out of it.  This leads me to guess that it is only the perception of self that is eliminated, and not the true self.  Traditional spiritual systems claim that negative emotions and behaviors can be eliminated through the spiritual process.  However, even the most sophisticated systems, such as Theravadan Buddhism, require a full scale effort in all areas of life to work.  Meaning, one must work to maintain the state of freedom from self, every day.  In other words, they do not offer a permanent solution, even in theory.  I do not know of many meditation masters who claim that they do not need to make continuous, renewed effort on the morality front in order to maintain their freedom in life.  The one's that have claimed otherwise usually end up being revealed as abusers of their students in various ways, including emotionally, financially and sexually.

    I believe that encoded into this great common sentience we have, is a self-preservation mechanism.  Any great threat to its survival can be transmuted into a method of strengthening itself.  Spirituality may be an example of this.  It is remarkable that there is a possibility of perceiving the death of the self without the self actually dying.  This goes to show that the soul is a genius at tricking its vessels (human bodies and cognitive faculties).  

    "New ideas are always resisted by culture" is a quote from the Slingshot documentary.  I see this as pertinent here.  What if I told you, "listen, we can save the planet, and spread resources around evenly and eventually have peace on earth, but in order to do it, you will have to give up love, give up connection, give up culture, give up warmth, give up power, give up sentimentality, give up spirituality, give up religion, and generally give up all the romance and mystery of life that you hold sacred?"  It is obvious that most people would be resistent to this idea.  People are not willing to self-immolate, even if it could mean peace on earth.

    My dream would be to get actual freedom, and then to help others get actual freedom, and to try to get as many people as far along this track as possible.  This, in tandem with the leaps and bounds of science, could be sufficient to establish peace on earth within our lifetime.  The funny thing is that 'humanity' would be gone.  There would only be flesh-and-blood bodies walking around, sharing resources, and acting with a combination of sensibility and individual character.  There would be no romance, no attachment, no culture to speak of.  Are you willing to make that trade off?

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    11/11/15 3:34 PM as a reply to Noah.
    11/10

    -I was feeling down and depressed.  Then I was reading the actualism mailing list archives.  Then I was catastrophizing about work, as I have my first managerial-type shift tonight.  Then I realized that it truly doesn't matter in actuality how the shift goes.  I stopped feeling depressed and started thinking about how this moment is free, as it is.  I was also thinking about time, and how the identity is created through time.  My senses are always free to experience as they are.  The identity trapped in this body is pasted over.

    -I like the paragraph I wrote above, earlier today.  I am starting to feel a little more solid and consistent with my intentions again, after the muddled mess that has been this practice log lately.  I know I can do A LOT better as an actualist.  I felt inspired today when I was reading the actual freedom wiki, which is set up by practicing actualists from the yahoo group who are not yet vf or af.  I actually feel that this makes it more valuable, in some sense, since it can be more relatable to look through the lens of those who are more knowledgable then I, yet not fully transformed to the other way of being.  The link is here: https://github.com/ActualFreedom/home/wiki

    Anyway, the comment that I liked expressed the idea that the goal should be to improve one's mood, ever so slightly, as opposed to improving it a huge amount, which automatically incites the passions.  I also picked up the idea that the ideal mood is permeated with a calmness or coolness which will automatically temper any 'hot' energy to it.  Furthermore, there was some good statements about how 'being present' in actualism does not involve any special type of attention the way it does in spirituality.  The goal is not to manipulate the attention or to do anything to the self.  

    Being present just occurs naturally when there is a calm, generally pleasant regard for the the situation at hand.  This is a type of present-moment-orientation that everyone would be familiar with, and is not restricted to special meditation states or flow states.  Its just being in a decent mood and not resisting what is going on.  There is just a normal level of groundedness into the physicality of the scenario that occurs.  I think it is very important for an actualist to stay linked to this normalcy and mundaneness in order to counteract any spiritualist tendencies to search for a special option.

    I enacted these ideas all day today, and feel that they are definitely working.  I know that this is both the end point, and the path to the ideal way to be.  I am still basing my practice around a goal orientation, but have noticed that actualists who are farther along then I, tend to drop the goal orientation and become totally process oriented.  This will probably happen naturally, but I am still feeding off the promise of actual freedom, which is helpful for the time being.

    The more I am just normally calm, pleasant and felicitious, the better.  Slowly, the mind and brain will be trained into this way of being.  The key words here seem to be 'normal' and also 'natural.'  The minute I start trying to force the pleasure, dissassociation also occurs.  But if I can be satisfied with baby steps, just upping my mood by turning the dial one millimeter at a time, while also having a NORMAL level of self awareness (not a hypervigilant one), then day to day progress will be guaranteed.   

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    11/13/15 7:46 AM as a reply to Noah.
    11/12

    -I know what the next step towards actual freedom is for me.  I'm going to flesh it out in list form, as parallel ideas, below:
              -Strong/complete/integrated executive functioning
              -Having "control"... control of the 'house' of my mind.  Being the boss or authority.
              -Maintaining a center of calmness, stillness and groundedness, as the primary command center out of which I operate.  Everything else comes secondary to this initial step.
              -Expecting this control, making it the new norm, realizing that I MUST be this way in order to make it happen.

    A few experiences over the past couple days have confirmed this for me.  One is that I realized I should have a more challenging and fulfilling job than bartending.  I listen to my coworkers obsess for hours about the restaurant we work in, and can't help but think that I am meant for bigger and better things.  I also had an incident where I let a coworker crash on my couch after having some drinks after work.  He got drunk, and damaged several expensive items in my apartment.  Seeing him do these things caused me to identify him as truly mentally ill and out of control, and made me realize and appreciate how healthy I really am.  This in turn caused me to feel very motivated to actualize my potential stability and ease-of-mind to the fullest possible extent.

    This type of improvement to my 'inner committee' (as Than-Geoff would say) is not directly actualist training but it is totally necessary for me to get to consistently enjoying and appreciating this moment of being alive.  I have a messy inner house that I need to tidy up once and for all.  Getting all my mental and emotional ducks in a row will allow me to enjoy without suppressing emotions.  The key detail seemss to be that I have to have an initial sense of control, willpower and authority that I operate from.  Any resistance to living an orderly lifestyle and being a normal, high-functioning person, must be immediately uprooted from the vantage point of sensibility.

    _____________________________________-


    -I think I just had a PCE.  I was walking home in a light drizzle, and enjoying myself and my surroundings, but also had a lot of thinking surrounding actualism going.  I then told myself to just be in this moment.  I kept repeating "this moment...", "this moment..."  Suddenly I felt a rush of energy in my body and there was some tingling and adrenaline in my torso.  My visual field became much more vivid and seemingly covered in a magical glow.  Then, for a few seconds, it was as if "I" disappeared completely.  I was not aware of a transition, but rather the sense of being totally at one with the world at that moment, and then the next, "I" was back.  There was no sense of witness, no mental movement, no self-awareness, etc.  It felt like a totally different type of sentience.  In terms of the 'feeling' of it, I would say the closest proxy I have would be the word "pleasure", but there was also the distinct sense of "magic" and "thrill."  These are just convenient designators for an experience that I do not know how to describe.  

    The experience was remarkably short, maybe ten seconds.  Before it happened, there was a remarkable sense of expectation, and also of safety or certainty.  After it happened, there was a sense of complete confidence that "that was it."  There was no sense of the passage of time.  It almost felt like a photograph or still frame, as if the entire world stood still (including the 'me' that is created through the passage of time), despite the fact that matter was obviously moving.  

    -Other than that, I was fairly successful at maintaining a sense of solid enjoyment throughout work today.  I am continuing to be inspired by the Yahoo group's actualist wiki.

    -I feel that n excellence experience can reveal things about either time or space.  I wonder if I am bordering on spiritualism here, but this feels right in my gut.  The space part is frequently revealed through changes in the quality of the visual field or the felt sense of the body disappearing.  The time part is more subtle, and seems to deal with the disappearance of the aspect of the psychic identity which is created through the perception of time.  Without 'before' and 'after', the ego has no basis.  Then, somehow, the soul is still left as this timeless entity which 'I' still live through.  At the level where the soul also ceases, one is very close to actuality.  There is just the body which has a consciousness that is perceiving itself but has no other content whatsoever.

    ____________________________


    http://actualfreedom.com.au/richard/listdcorrespondence/jonathan.htm

    One thing I did, way back when I started doing that method, was to make sure I would never, ever, tell myself off for slipping back into the old ways – after all ‘I am only human’ and it is bound to happen from time-to-time – and instead I would pat myself on the back for being astute enough to notice that I had slipped back and thus get on with the business of being happy and harmless again ... and feeling good about myself for being able to do so.It is important to be friends with oneself – only I get to live with myself twenty four hours of the day (other people can and do move away) – and if I am at war with myself, disciplining myself, telling myself off, I am alienating the only person who can truly help me in all this.In short: be nice to yourself, not nasty ... there are already enough people doing that anyway.(Actual Freedom Mailing List, No. 50, 11 October 2003).

    This quote really struck me.  How do I get myself to chop wood and carry water, while also not "disciplining myself?"  That seems to be the a core issue for me, right now.

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    11/13/15 6:46 PM as a reply to Noah.
    11/13

    -I am still discovering things my coworker damaged.  This event is really bumming me out, even though he has promised to pay for it all.  At first, what was upsetting is that it means "I" have all this work to do.  But when I dig deeper I can see that I am upset because it was "my" stuff, "my" property.  Matter is not merely passive, and there is no one to claim any of it.  When I think about the responsibility of having to fix my place up again, "I" feel self-hatred and think that I won't be adequete in meeting this responsibility.  It is very important that I start being nicer to myself; without this, actual freedom will not be possible.

    I also realize a time pressure was making me feel bummed out.  If I don't get my coworker an estimate on the damages from my landlord quickly enough, might he refuse to pay?  What about the TV?  How am I going to get my new TV quickly enough when I have to wait to borrow a friend's car since I don't have one?  What underlies these worries is that "I" will not be 'powerful' or 'good' enough to get these things done on time!

    In the past, I would have analyzed even further, back to my childhood.  I no longer believe that is sensible or necessary, because even as a baby in the womb (before family dynamics caused traumas), I had inhereted animal and human tendencies that were already causing the great force of 'being' to parasitically inhabit this body.  The only time to reverse it is NOW.  And the only feelings which can be reversed, minimized, effected, etc., are feelings in the present.  So the big picture of my personality does not matter.  

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    11/15/15 7:37 AM as a reply to Noah.
    11/14

    -I felt bad tonight, after wanting to win the approval or connection with my friends while out.  It is not that such an event did not occur, but that it satisfies me less and less these days.  I notice the same thing with both material and emotional successes.  What is it that I am looking for?  Ultimately, all of these things are simply not satisfying.

    Sometimes true enjoyment and appreciation can't occur until you allow the actuality of things to shine through past your affective veneer of them.  And the actuality of things is much more simple or plain or boring in that it does not have the romance/sentimentality/meaning on top of it or injected into it.  Life is just slowly moving on...

    RE: my actualism practice
    Answer
    11/16/15 2:31 AM as a reply to Noah.
    11/15

    -I had an experience a couple minutes ago that felt like my emotional self identity was a hot bubble represented as expanding white light on my inner screen and it kept expanding until it popped.  After that I felt a certain lightness in my body and when I tried caring about certain things my mind simply could not go there.  I realize that shameless indulgence is one end of a spectrum of action that might move one in the direction of actual freedom.  I realize that I am obsessed with discipline and the power that I think it will bring me.  I realize that I am obsessed with winning the video game of life and that I see the level I am on as "beat bipolar disorder."  I realize that life is not a video game, but a benevolently occuring actuality, in this time-free, infinite now space.  There is nothing "I" need to do in this moment.  "I" am my emotions, passions and desire to control, and "I" am obselete given the advent of modern medicine, technology, food, shelter, and economic systems, and everything else.  This body will be provided for in this first world that I am blessed to be in.  "I" can safely disappear.

    -It is clear that the state described above could possibly be maintained and deepened as a baseline.  The truth about this type of unilateral 'uncaring' is that it is an affective trap.  The key word and litmus test here is harm.  Harmlessness balances happiness.  I may be able to be happy and idiotic, indulging in unhealthy habits