What kind of thoughts do you have in a PCE?

Tommy Ly, modified 5 Years ago.

What kind of thoughts do you have in a PCE?

Posts: 13 Join Date: 12/9/15 Recent Posts
Hi,

I've just started practicing actualism recently, but haven't experienced a PCE yet. I was wondering for those who have, how does thinking work in PCE? Are there still thoughts? If so, how does it compare to when you are in cycle mode in terms, of volume of thoughts and the nature/content of the thoughts. 

Thanks.

P.S. Can someone explain why noone has been posting in the actualism inspired thread recently? :/
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Noah, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: What kind of thoughts do you have in a PCE?

Posts: 1532 Join Date: 7/6/13 Recent Posts
Hi Mindfool,

The type of 'practices inspired by actualism' that were a craze on the DhO circa '10/'11 have since completely died out.  To my understanding, these practices did result in major openings and shifts for a handful of yogis.  Specifically, these shifts were basically meditative in nature.  The so-called 'PCE's' that occured due to the moment-by-moment appreciation of the sensuous nature of external reality, were not the same state as what the term initially referred to.  The initial meaning of a PCE referred to a state that can not be forced, and is simply a natural extension of feeling really good, in a normal-thinking/sober mindstate, a lot of the time.  

It turned out that these methods 'inspired by actualism' were not closely related to the methods employed by the people who had become actually free and started actualism in the first place.  The primary difference between the method 'inspired by actualism' and the "actualism method" is that the instructions for the latter honestly do not resemble meditation.  They look more like a cross between hedonism and psychotherapy, lol.  If you wanted to practice the actualism method, I reccomend joining this discussion group.  If you want read about the method, do so here and here.  

To answer your original question, what I have read about real PCE's suggest that thinking is a lot lighter, more enjoyable, and makes a lot more sense in a down-to-earth way.  
neko dullnessbunny, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: What kind of thoughts do you have in a PCE?

Posts: 756 Join Date: 11/26/14 Recent Posts
Hey Noah,

dumb question, which I am sure has been asked a thousand times before: What is the AF definition of a PCE, and how does it compare to Culadasa's "PCE = fruition + metacognitive introspective awareness"?
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Noah, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: What kind of thoughts do you have in a PCE?

Posts: 1532 Join Date: 7/6/13 Recent Posts
Hi Neko,

It is just a coincidence that Culadasa uses the term PCE to define awareness during a fruition.  I actually just saw that this week while reading TMI, and was really surprised.

The Actualist definition of a PCE would be a state in which there is no trace of the 'self' whatsoever.  However, in the Actualist formation, this means no affective energy, not no dualistic/volitional percepts.  So it has more to do with the content of what is exerienced, rather than the form or lens through which it is experienced.  Another way of looking at the Actualist definition would be to say that it is the experience of perfection and complete delight/felicity.  Strictly speaking, the only way this can occur is through the basic, normal means of feeling good, in a completely non-meditative sense.  Meditation techniques tend to adopt a specialized lens through which one views reality and skews emotions in one way or another.  Not better or worse, just completely different approaches.  
neko, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: What kind of thoughts do you have in a PCE?

Posts: 756 Join Date: 11/26/14 Recent Posts
Thanks, that clears it up.

By the way, what do you make of the "opposite directions" claim, that AF and "spirtual stuff" are not only different, but incompatible?
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Noah, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: What kind of thoughts do you have in a PCE?

Posts: 1532 Join Date: 7/6/13 Recent Posts
I agree with them, at least on a conceptual level.  Meditation/enlightenment=sublimating emotions, Actualism/AF=eliminating emotions.  I can say from experience that the "spiritual stuff" does work through the sublimation of emotions,  which is how Richard (of the AFT) characterizes it.  In fact, I just started a new practice log describing my experience of this type of practice.  In contrast, the "actualist stuff" theoretically works through the complete elimination of emotions, or not at all.  I believe this because I had a deep, intuitive memory of a childhood PCE in my actualism practice; it was characterized by a complete lack of emotional energy.  

I believe in actual freedom.  What I don't believe is that the method is a viable way for me to efficiently transform my experience of the world and improve my life.  I also don't believe that spirituality is harmful the way that Richard claims it is.  It it is perfectly okay that another developmental outcome exists which is not enlightenment, and does not have to do with meditation.  I don't see why people have a problem with this diversity, unless we are measuring genitalia, which is basically what the 'Actual Freedom Crisis' was all about.
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Noah, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: What kind of thoughts do you have in a PCE?

Posts: 1532 Join Date: 7/6/13 Recent Posts
To clarify further:
I would like to see some evidence that the actualism method produces the result that Richard (of the AFT) talks about.  Meaning, I would need to see one of the Yahoo-group participants, or someone else in my immediate view (at the ground level) actually getting into a virtual or actual freedom, in order to believe that the method works.  Otherwise, what we basically have is a final destination and no road map of how to effectively and quickly get there. 
neko, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: What kind of thoughts do you have in a PCE?

Posts: 756 Join Date: 11/26/14 Recent Posts
I don't get it once again. On the one hand you describe the "AF path" as hedonistic and having to do with delight and felicity, on the other hand you talk about eliminating emotions and a childhood PC without emotional energy. What am I missing?

About the method: Some things are clear to me by the descriptions of those who have done this work (as in: it is either stuff I have done already, or that I see as within reasonable reach for me). But the overall idea is less clear. I might not have read enough, or the right things,  though, so it is probably just me.

For what it's worth I have no problems with claims that there are different things to be achieved. I do find it puzzling when it is claimed the they are incompatible though. From a magick point of view, if E and AF are different reality tunnels, well one might become able to switch from one to other, right?
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Noah, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: What kind of thoughts do you have in a PCE?

Posts: 1532 Join Date: 7/6/13 Recent Posts
So I used the word hedonism mostly just to disidentify it from meditation.  'Delight' and 'felicity' are the closest emotional proxies to the experience of pure consciousness in the actualist formation.  The idea is that states of mind exist on a scale from bad to good to excellent to perfect.  At the point of being perfect, that is pure consciousness, which is also synonymous with no emotion.  So just erase the comments about hedonism and use that as the conceptual framework and you'll have an understanding of what the actualists are saying.  

I agree with your general impression of the method; it is similar to my own.  What the actualists emphasize is that it is possible to eliminate the occurence of emotions and emotion-backed thoughts through factual reasoning.  This is the main sort of pivot-point of the method; where the break throughs are supposed to happen.  This is the part that I don't believe.

Interesting point about the magickal view of reality.  Very trippy, but yeah that makes sense!
Eva Nie, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: What kind of thoughts do you have in a PCE?

Posts: 831 Join Date: 3/23/14 Recent Posts
neko:
I don't get it once again. On the one hand you describe the "AF path" as hedonistic and having to do with delight and felicity, on the other hand you talk about eliminating emotions and a childhood PC without emotional energy. What am I missing?
You are not the only one that gets confused!  I think a big reason why is the way AF used their terminology.   They say there are certain types of experience for which they use words like 'felicity' but that those experiences are actually NOT emotions , I think it was because they say the felicity in question does not come through or from the body and emotions do come through the body (hopefully I got that right but would not swear to it).  I think that change of common use of terminology came about due to their world view, but basically since their world view is hard to understand, their alteration of commonly used terminology just confuses the check out of everyone else. 

Ironically, I do think I understand a bit why they say that their felicity is not 'an emotion.'  I have experienced a few times something that sounds just like their descriptions of PCE and it does feel like something that is just not the normal kind of happy or joy or the usual emotions.  For me it was kind of like it was just there in the air and around an everything was it too and like everything in the world was perfectly fine and has it should be, even the 'bad' things had their place and reasons, I could see that too. It really didn't seem to come through the normal channels like regular emotions do.  I was perfectly satisfied with everything, there was no stress in me at all that I could tell.  I consider myself a rather relaxed person so I really had no idea how much stress was still there until it was suddenly gone.  The stress seems to suck a lot of energy, once it's gone, I really did feel so much lighter.  Nothing I encoutnered would bother me, even when my stupid computer would not work and I was fixing it for hours, super irritating people were trying to bug me, etc.  None of that bothered me, everything felt perfectly fine, I just worked peacefully at whatever task was at hand.  Working, not working, either way was fine.  I think this is similar to what Actualists call a PCE but who is to say if it was the exact same thing.  I can certainly see why they might have a goal to have such a thing full time though!  

About the method: Some things are clear to me by the descriptions of those who have done this work (as in: it is either stuff I have done already, or that I see as within reasonable reach for me). But the overall idea is less clear. I might not have read enough, or the right things,  though, so it is probably just me.

For what it's worth I have no problems with claims that there are different things to be achieved. I do find it puzzling when it is claimed the they are incompatible though. From a magick point of view, if E and AF are different reality tunnels, well one might become able to switch from one to other, righ

From what I can see, Richard is big on the idea that his way is the only way and is completely different from meditation/buddhism.  I do think his world view is diff and likely not compatible with the typical buddhist view.  But I personally separate his world view from the activities he says are useful and consider them two separate things.  The activities themselves, to me sound a whole heck of a lot like a combo of mindfulness and psychology.  He says his stuff is all entirely new, but in my view, those types of activities have been done before but perhaps not with his particular collection of bundling and terminology and world view tacked on.  Personally, I think the basic practices are probably helpful to many but some have come out in favor at first but then later said they had problems with the method and it did not lead where they expected.  WHile others have used some AF methods in conjunction with their more traditional buddhist stuff and said it helped them reach new levels.  But Richard says that any alteration or deviation from his exact instructions is bad and has gone so far as to insinuate that speaking of such is a sneaky plot to destroy actualism.
-Eva  
Mindfool, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: What kind of thoughts do you have in a PCE?

Posts: 13 Join Date: 12/9/15 Recent Posts
Well it seems like noone has actually answered my question yet, but what you wrote Noah has raised some doubt in me.

When I said I started practicing "actualism", what I meant is I've been following the basic instructions laid out by tarin and daniel in the AF hurricane ranch podcasts. They make a lot of logical sense to me. About 6 weeks ago I attained stream entry and since then I've been kind of neglecting noting practice and have been focusing on those AF instructions instead. I would say that it has opened some new insight for me and I feel that I have elevated sense of wellbeing, but it's almost like positive psychology in a way. 

So I want to know is, how real is this AF business? How many people have achieved AFs and is the actualism inspired practices still worth pursuing? Or should I really be aiming to attain second path, or a combination of both? 
Eva Nie, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: What kind of thoughts do you have in a PCE?

Posts: 831 Join Date: 3/23/14 Recent Posts
Mindfool:
Well it seems like noone has actually answered my question yet, but what you wrote Noah has raised some doubt in me.



Sorry yes, thoughts arrive as needed to perform tasks at hand.  If you are doing a project for work, you will need to do some thinking and planning on the project.  What you will not have is all that extra useless mental chatter, fears, worries, etc.  Most thought is gone, only useful thought remains, it's very efficient.  You are not just 'distant' from the not useful thoughts and fears, as described in technical 4th MCTB literature, they are just simply not there at all.  And the remaing thought is of a different nature, it seems sort of in conjunction with the environment or something, like awareness is no longer just in the mind but also outside the head and mixed with the environment.  I don't know if that is a useful description and others might describe it differently.  Also, I'd probably do better to try to describe while I am in one, right now I am going from memory.  But the knowledge is strong when it is happening that this way of being is the right way of being, there is no doubt, everything is so much more clear and simple, there is a beautiful clarity around my mind, some kind of obscuring element that usually is there is gone. 

As for the world view of Richard's Actualism, few have found that long term to be of use.  However, the suggested methods themselves have been found useful by quite a few as an adjunct to their other practice, just not as a final end point.  IMO people seem attracted to paths that seem mystical and 'special.'  Perhaps they do not feel as attracted to 'ordinary' run of the mill psychological methods, self analysis, and the power of positive thinking, why that's just normal boring stuff!  But it works and works well for many.  I think that leaves a big opening for people like L Ron Hubbard (Scientology), Richard (Actualism), etc to repackage these 'mundane' methods with a more mystical or special seeming spin and capture a following, because people find that what these guys are selling does work!  They combine thing that are known to work, change the terminology to hide the origins, and put a very interesting and special spin on the 'advertising.'  Yet these methods do work and are worth doing, I'd personally just do them minus the personality cult and blind obedience and blind acceptance part of the game that is often required by the leader.  Because although the methods do work to help you, there are typcially a few additional elements mixed in there that are designed to inslave your mind to the creator of the system and I prefer to skip that part!   ;-P 

I think Actualism also maybe orients towards mental issues that are a tad neglected in modern western Buddhism.  As much as there are some that are very attracted to concepts of no self, there are also some that really don't like it.  No self is all the rage lately it seems so Actualism probably attracts those that do not want to buy into blind obedience to no self.  Also, IME and from what I have read from others, enlightenment is very much a thing that happens in body as well as mind and Richards seems to touch on that a tad, as dealing with issues as they come through the body, not just only considering thoughts as being some kind of solo entity regardless of body.  There are IMO as many physical manifestations as mental, but the former is typically not talked about much in Buddhist circles.  I had gone in thinking it was only some kind of mental game and so was really quite confused and surprised when that turned out to be totally wrong.  Others might disagree but IMO, that's one area where Buddhism is totally falling down on the job!  ;-P  So anyway, back to the subject at hand, IMO, Actualism practices have shown themselves useful for many but as an adjunct, not as the only method on their path.  So my personal opinion is the middle road, that it is neither useless nor the be all and end all of the universe as sometimes advertised.  
-Eva 
Mindfool, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: What kind of thoughts do you have in a PCE?

Posts: 13 Join Date: 12/9/15 Recent Posts
Thanks for the responses. 

Something that I've been trying to cultivate recently in conjunction with the regular instructions of AF is this mode of wonder, as per this post. 
http://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/956281
What I try to do is kind of decentralize my sense of body and self, relaxing the body, really loosening the eyes, turning the focus of attention towards consciousness and just experiencing the raw flow of sensations only, whilst maintaining an overtone of curiousity and wonder. It feels similar to that state you are in when you are under the effects of LSD or shrooms, except without that high feeling. There's very little thought about the past or the future, instead there's a curious fixation on the present sensual world. There's also a overtone of bliss, of being free and not worrying about anything. 

Is this how it feels in a PCE? Is this the sort of feeling I should be trying to cultivate off the cushion or is there anything you would add to that?

Anyway, so what happened to the people that claimed AF like Tarin and Trent? Are there still out there living in 100% pure happy land? Or have they retracted their statements somewhere. Anyone know what's Daniel's position on AF is? 
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Noah, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: What kind of thoughts do you have in a PCE?

Posts: 1532 Join Date: 7/6/13 Recent Posts
Mindfool:

Anyway, so what happened to the people that claimed AF like Tarin and Trent? Are there still out there living in 100% pure happy land? Or have they retracted their statements somewhere. Anyone know what's Daniel's position on AF is? 


I'm pretty sure Daniel still maintains the observations he made about his own experiments with actualism.  All the "AFfers" (as Richard of the AFT calls them) retracted their statements, except for Trent, who has remained silent.  Who cares whether or not they eliminated ALL emotion?  I think the relevant point is that they found these practices somewhat beneficial, regardless of whether or not they have anything to do with the real actualist method and its outcome.  The benefit is the bottom line.  

What I try to do is kind of decentralize my sense of body and self, relaxing the body, really loosening the eyes, turning the focus of attention towards consciousness and just experiencing the raw flow of sensations only, whilst maintaining an overtone of curiousity and wonder. 
Is this how it feels in a PCE? Is this the sort of feeling I should be trying to cultivate off the cushion or is there anything you would add to that?


The short answer would be, "no, this is not how it feels in a PCE."  However, that IS probably how it feels in the state cultivated by practitioners like Trent and Tarin.  That seems to be what you are after, so go full steam ahead!  I am sure you will find the outcome of this practice to be beneficial.  

I would recommend that you do these practices without holding them in a conceptual framework of "AF" or "actualism."  Why not just consider them an interpretation of Buddhist mindfulness, with outcomes along those lines?  I believe that this will prove to be a more skillful, conceptual framework in the long run.  One advantage is that then you can draw from the large pool of Buddhist literature out there, instead of making it into something new or different.  

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