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AF method
Answer
7/17/10 3:30 AM
Hi Tarin,
thanks for your replies.
I have followed your advice and am starting a new thread.

What I am doing:
When i recognize feeling bad and the situation allows it I try to direct my attention to the feeling without getting more engaged with it and try to find out the cause of this feeling and then to recognize that it is just not worth it compared to what I experienced
when in EE.A lot of the times i just cannot find out the cause and just skip to trying to recognizing that it is not worth it.
When feeling good or great,to be frank i am afraid to apply the method because almost always in these situations I try to "grab" to these great feelings or sensations and end the experience.

What lead my to believe that I'm doing something wrong:
Plain and simple-success rate in the beginning was much higher.I find two reasons for that:
1)the exam session put a lot of stress on me in addition to taking up most of my time ,so in short unfavorable conditions for a complete beginner.
2)up to until recently i had the misconception that thoughts are verbal: *) so I have trouble with thinking non verbally.In the beginning i failed miserably because i was trying to apply the method by essentially talking to myself(something we humans are quite proficient at) which caused only more problems without solving any.Now i recognize the problem but often instead of non-verbally applying the method i just find myself more engrossed in the feeling i should have been examining.Sometimes i recognize that and succeed in disengaging but more often when i recognize that i failed to apply the method correctly frustration takes over and significantly lowers my probability of successfully applying the method.It is obvious that frustration should be examined the same way other feelings should but in practice it is much harder.I guess it is a matter of patiently applying the method until these mechanisms become weakened in the long term i.e. not just after applying the method.

Concerning your other question:
is it a logical deduction (based on the memory of this state) that you already feel a natural draw toward making (because there is some kind of draw to living like that even when you're not in that state)?

well no.While i am certain that it is not a logical deduction because it looks like an independent process but i don't know what it is.

RE: AF method
Answer
7/17/10 7:34 PM as a reply to Bozhidar Veselinov Mihaylov.
Bozhidar Veselinov Mihaylov:
Hi Tarin,
thanks for your replies.
I have followed your advice and am starting a new thread.

What I am doing:
When i recognize feeling bad and the situation allows it I try to direct my attention to the feeling without getting more engaged with it and try to find out the cause of this feeling and then to recognize that it is just not worth it compared to what I experienced
when in EE.A lot of the times i just cannot find out the cause and just skip to trying to recognizing that it is not worth it.
When feeling good or great,to be frank i am afraid to apply the method because almost always in these situations I try to "grab" to these great feelings or sensations and end the experience.

What lead my to believe that I'm doing something wrong:
Plain and simple-success rate in the beginning was much higher.I find two reasons for that:
1)the exam session put a lot of stress on me in addition to taking up most of my time ,so in short unfavorable conditions for a complete beginner.
2)up to until recently i had the misconception that thoughts are verbal: *) so I have trouble with thinking non verbally.In the beginning i failed miserably because i was trying to apply the method by essentially talking to myself(something we humans are quite proficient at) which caused only more problems without solving any.Now i recognize the problem but often instead of non-verbally applying the method i just find myself more engrossed in the feeling i should have been examining.Sometimes i recognize that and succeed in disengaging but more often when i recognize that i failed to apply the method correctly frustration takes over and significantly lowers my probability of successfully applying the method.It is obvious that frustration should be examined the same way other feelings should but in practice it is much harder.I guess it is a matter of patiently applying the method until these mechanisms become weakened in the long term i.e. not just after applying the method.


would it not be way more fun to be better friends with yourself (indeed, to be best friends with yourself), so that even if you do become frustrated with yourself (frustrated with your feelings), you are then willing to look him (yourself) in the eye and mutually agree, you and he, to not be frustrated.. but to, instead, continue to cooperate in finding a good way to live... and to thus carry on together, in the spirit of true friendship, hand-in-hand?

'you' and 'your feelings' can be best friends ... because 'you' are 'your feelings', and 'your feelings' are 'you'.

Bozhidar Veselinov Mihaylov:

Concerning your other question:
is it a logical deduction (based on the memory of this state) that you already feel a natural draw toward making (because there is some kind of draw to living like that even when you're not in that state)?

well no.While i am certain that it is not a logical deduction because it looks like an independent process but i don't know what it is.


ah, no that is not what i meant. what i meant was, 'when you are experiencing the logical deduction (that you would like to live in that state) while you are out of that state, do you, then, also experience a draw toward (living in) that state?'

tarin

RE: AF method
Answer
8/15/10 11:27 PM as a reply to Bozhidar Veselinov Mihaylov.
Guilherme  :
At the risk of sounding like a pedant, I will make a comment with regards to terminology here. I don't mean to be rude and actually this is really for everyone who reads the "Actual Freedom" section of the forum.

There is no such thing as "the AF method", the method invented by Richard is called "the actualism method" or just "actualism". It is the method that is used to achieve "an actual freedom from the human condition". An "actually free" person *does not* use the method.

As an analogy, it could be said that Siddhattha is the founder of "buddhism", but Siddhattha is not the founder of "enlightenment". There is no such thing as "the enlightenment method" or "an enlightenment practice" but there is "buddhist practice".

And Richard is not "the AF founder" either, like the description of the forum says, he is "the founder of actualism" or "the developer of actualism". Really, even calling him a "founder" is a bit misleading because actualism is not an institution but a method.


hi guilherme,

your points are well made, and it is good that you bring attention to these details.

to them, i will add that what richard is (one of) the founder(s) of is the actual freedom trust, which website can be found at http://www.actualfreedom.com.au.

tarin

RE: AF method
Answer
7/17/10 8:46 PM as a reply to tarin greco.
tarin greco:



'you' and 'your feelings' can be best friends ... because 'you' are 'your feelings', and 'your feelings' are 'you'.




Hi Tarin & Bozhidar,

Sorry to butt in here, but I don't really understand this. If 'I' am 'my feelings', 'I' should be able to choose how 'I' manifest right now, but that doesn't seem to be true. It is common for 'me' to feel something that 'I' don't want to feel, or to want to feel something that 'I' don't feel.

If 'I' and 'my feelings' are the same, how is it possible for 'me' to be in conflict with 'my feelings'? What is really going on when that seems to be happening? Most importantly, what can 'I' do to discover that 'I' have the power to choose how 'I' feel (if in fact I do)?

Best,
Neil

RE: AF method
Answer
7/18/10 1:09 AM as a reply to tarin greco.
It would be better to be best friends with myself,but i am not sure exactly what is the practical side:how to do it.I will try just doing it.
About the frustration.I experience this draw when experiencing the logical deduction.It is what drives me to practice(along with ,I'm sure, a lot of psychological "stuff").

RE: AF method
Answer
7/19/10 11:35 AM as a reply to Neil Hughes.
Neil Hughes:
tarin greco:



'you' and 'your feelings' can be best friends ... because 'you' are 'your feelings', and 'your feelings' are 'you'.




Hi Tarin & Bozhidar,

Sorry to butt in here, but I don't really understand this. If 'I' am 'my feelings', 'I' should be able to choose how 'I' manifest right now, but that doesn't seem to be true. It is common for 'me' to feel something that 'I' don't want to feel, or to want to feel something that 'I' don't feel.


what i mean by 'i' am 'my feelings' (and 'my feelings' are 'me') is that the feeling of being (the feeling of being me) is of the same nature (of the same substance, so to speak) as any other feeling; any other affective experience (say, joy or anger or worry or jealousy, etc) is inexorably intertwined with the feeling of being (the feeling of being me).

Neil Hughes:

If 'I' and 'my feelings' are the same, how is it possible for 'me' to be in conflict with 'my feelings'?


it is in the very nature of the existence of being and of feelings that 'i' feel in conflict with 'my feelings' - both exist due to the separation that produces both.

Neil Hughes:

What is really going on when that seems to be happening?


what is really going on is that 'you' don't see how 'your feelings' are the same thing as 'you'.

Neil Hughes:

Most importantly, what can 'I' do to discover that 'I' have the power to choose how 'I' feel (if in fact I do)?


get in touch with your feelings without being overwhelmed by them. ask yourself, here and now, 'how am i experiencing this moment of being alive?' because it genuinely matters to you to truly know.. and because you are sincerely interested in making the most of it (this moment of being alive).

helpful?

tarin

RE: AF method
Answer
7/19/10 3:49 PM as a reply to tarin greco.
Tarin: So it does make sense to say that we can contact "who we really are" and that it "just is"? Given that the process of being actually is "the me"? Could this be what buddhists call "buddha nature" etc? All of them repeatedly say it "just is." What I'm asking is if it would make sense to say that this is what buddhists are pointing out when they talk about one's "true nature" and such.

RE: AF method
Answer
7/19/10 8:06 PM as a reply to tarin greco.
tarin greco:

what i mean by 'i' am 'my feelings' (and 'my feelings' are 'me') is that the feeling of being (the feeling of being me) is of the same nature (of the same substance, so to speak) as any other feeling; any other affective experience (say, joy or anger or worry or jealousy, etc) is inexorably intertwined with the feeling of being (the feeling of being me).


That makes sense. I can understand that the 'me'-ness in experience is essentially a feeling, or is made of the same stuff as other feelings. I can also understand that without feelings there would be nothing to form a 'me' out of. Likewise, if there was no 'me' at the core of experience, no feelings would arising on 'my' account.

tarin greco:

it is in the very nature of the existence of being and of feelings that 'i' feel in conflict with 'my feelings' - both exist due to the separation that produces both.


I'm not exactly sure what you mean here. Separation of what from what?

tarin greco:

get in touch with your feelings without being overwhelmed by them. ask yourself, here and now, 'how am i experiencing this moment of being alive?' because it genuinely matters to you to truly know.. and because you are sincerely interested in making the most of it (this moment of being alive).

helpful?


It sounds like it should be, and I thank you for the suggestion, but no. Over time this creates more separation and tension between what I'm actually feeling and what I'd prefer to be feeling. Intending to "make the most of this moment of being alive" translates as "trying to feel something I don't feel, or trying not to feel something that I do feel" - which actually introduces a new kind of unhappiness.

The technique that works best for me is the one I mentioned to you in another thread. When I catch myself suffering, I just observe and objectify the phenomena that seem to comprise a 'me'. I find this deeply soothing. It allows me to actually *see* how silly it is to feel bad. The seeing is instantaneous and direct, so it doesn't require strain or inner conflict to let it go. (It just goes).

Best,
Neil

RE: AF method
Answer
7/19/10 11:55 PM as a reply to Neil Hughes.
Neil Hughes:

tarin greco:

it is in the very nature of the existence of being and of feelings that 'i' feel in conflict with 'my feelings' - both exist due to the separation that produces both.


I'm not exactly sure what you mean here. Separation of what from what?



the separation of 'i' from 'my feelings'; 'i' on one side, 'they' on the other.. hence, the perpetual struggle.

Neil Hughes:

tarin greco:

get in touch with your feelings without being overwhelmed by them. ask yourself, here and now, 'how am i experiencing this moment of being alive?' because it genuinely matters to you to truly know.. and because you are sincerely interested in making the most of it (this moment of being alive).

helpful?


It sounds like it should be, and I thank you for the suggestion, but no. Over time this creates more separation and tension between what I'm actually feeling and what I'd prefer to be feeling. Intending to "make the most of this moment of being alive" translates as "trying to feel something I don't feel, or trying not to feel something that I do feel" - which actually introduces a new kind of unhappiness.


do you understand how what you feel when you are 'trying to feel something dont feel' is itself how you are feeling?


Neil Hughes:

The technique that works best for me is the one I mentioned to you in another thread. When I catch myself suffering, I just observe and objectify the phenomena that seem to comprise a 'me'. I find this deeply soothing. It allows me to actually *see* how silly it is to feel bad. The seeing is instantaneous and direct, so it doesn't require strain or inner conflict to let it go. (It just goes).


then, as i mentioned to you in that other thread, the best advice i can offer is that you go with what you, pursuant to your own sincere investigation, have demonstrated, to your own satisfaction, to deliver the results you wish to obtain.

now, using the methodology you describe, when you see how silly it is to feel bad (and you stop feeling bad), what then? what do you then do with all that freed-up affective energy (that was previously going into feeling bad) which is now available?

tarin

RE: AF method
Answer
7/20/10 6:08 AM as a reply to tarin greco.
tarin greco:

it is in the very nature of the existence of being and of feelings that 'i' feel in conflict with 'my feelings' - both exist due to the separation that produces both.

(. . .)

the separation of 'i' from 'my feelings'; 'i' on one side, 'they' on the other.. hence, the perpetual struggle.


OK, I am still contemplating how "the separation produces both".


tarin greco:

do you understand how what you feel when you are 'trying to feel something dont feel' is itself how you are feeling?


Yes, the effort to change how I'm feeling becomes part of how I'm feeling. In that mode I'm usually striving without skillful means. It only adds conflict.


tarin greco:

now, using the methodology you describe, when you see how silly it is to feel bad (and you stop feeling bad), what then? what do you then do with all that freed-up affective energy (that was previously going into feeling bad) which is now available?


The affective energy becomes quite subtle, like the "feeling tones" that you have been discussing with another DhO member (whose name escapes me, sorry). The inner world is made relatively harmless, painless and non-intrusive by being objectified, and the outer world is vivified by having fewer feelings of separation. In that mode it comes naturally to marvel at everything, including consciousness itself.

Best,
Neil

RE: AF method
Answer
7/20/10 9:33 AM as a reply to Neil Hughes.
Neil Hughes:
tarin greco:

it is in the very nature of the existence of being and of feelings that 'i' feel in conflict with 'my feelings' - both exist due to the separation that produces both.

(. . .)

the separation of 'i' from 'my feelings'; 'i' on one side, 'they' on the other.. hence, the perpetual struggle.


OK, I am still contemplating how "the separation produces both".


a pce is absent of the separation, of 'i', and of 'my feelings', and so going into and coming out of pce again and again reveals this quite clearly.

it is the dualistic illusion that brings both 'i' and 'my feelings' into existence on opposite sides of the (also illusory) separation, (whereas, for contrast, in the non-dualistic illusion there is the sense that the split has ended entirely while leaving either one or both of those two components intact).

Neil Hughes:

tarin greco:

do you understand how what you feel when you are 'trying to feel something dont feel' is itself how you are feeling?


Yes, the effort to change how I'm feeling becomes part of how I'm feeling. In that mode I'm usually striving without skillful means. It only adds conflict.


it sounds like you are only doing it half-willingly (from the half that you call 'i', but not the half that you call 'my feelings').

in order to genuinely have control of how you are feeling, it has to be control from within, not without; 'my feelings' themselves have to be willing to change, which they are only reliably willing to do when they recognise themselves as 'you'.

it's as if there is a master-slave relationship[1] happening in the relationship of 'you' and 'your feelings' (and so you are both master and slave), a relationship wherein both participants/components are working together for their mutual benefit (and it is not a case of one taking advantage of or being insensitive to the other). the slave recognises that he (you) is blind without the master (also you), and the master (you) recognises that he is powerless without the slave (also you). this mutual (self-)recognition avoids resentment on either party and fosters cooperation from both: the slave permits the master to call the shots and carries out the directives willingly; the master counts on the slave to be both willing and able to do what he commands. for example, when the master commands the slave to feel better, the slave recognises that, despite whatever feelings he himself may currently have which favour maintaining his current condition, the master knows better and would not be commanding him otherwise and so the slave cheerfully consents to the order (indeed the master makes his decisions based on information - feelings - coming from the slave... the slave has good reason to cheerfully consent).

it is a circular feedback loop, and is only meaningful when the slave (you) is willing to totally submit and the master (you) is willing to totally assume responsibility. they (you) play their parts hand-in-hand, in the spirit of true friendship. it is the mutual (self-)recognition between the two (the recognition of a shared identity) that makes this possible.

Neil Hughes:

tarin greco:

now, using the methodology you describe, when you see how silly it is to feel bad (and you stop feeling bad), what then? what do you then do with all that freed-up affective energy (that was previously going into feeling bad) which is now available?


The affective energy becomes quite subtle, like the "feeling tones" that you have been discussing with another DhO member (whose name escapes me, sorry). The inner world is made relatively harmless, painless and non-intrusive by being objectified, and the outer world is vivified by having fewer feelings of separation. In that mode it comes naturally to marvel at everything, including consciousness itself.


here is a suggestion then - when you are in currently in that state you describe, ask yourself these questions: do you see how the inner world, being now only relatively harmless, painless, and non-intrusive, is still relatively harmful, painful, and intrusive? do you see how the outer world, while vivified by having fewer feelings of separation, is still marked by those feelings which are, as you point out, of separation? and if so, do you see how silly it is to be harmful, painful, and intrusive ... and to have any feelings of separation at all?

by the way, the thread you are referring to is 'contributions to the discussion about emotions' and my correspondent whose name escaped you was Vajracchedika Ian Vajra.

tarin

[1] for some other interesting (and possibly relevant) ways the term master/slave (in relationship) has been used:

Master/slave is a model of communication where one device or process has unidirectional control over one or more other devices. In some systems a master is elected from a group of eligible devices, with the other devices acting in the role of slaves. ([url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master/slave_(technology)]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master/slave_(technology))

As the slave creates more and more products with greater and greater sophistication through his own creativity, he begins to see himself reflected in the products he created, he realizes that the world around him was created by his own hands, thus the slave is no longer alienated from his own labour and achieves self-consciousness. while the master on the other hand has become wholly dependent on the products created by his slave; thus the master is enslaved by the labour of his slave. The realization of this contradiction allows the slave to once again struggle against his master. The contradiction is resolved when the difference between slave and the master is dissolved and both recognize that they are interdependent[2]. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master-Slave)

[2] except that i am ultimately encouraging you to go beyond recognising that they are interdependent, and to recognising that the entire phenomenon is illusory.

RE: AF method
Answer
7/20/10 8:26 PM as a reply to tarin greco.
tarin greco:

Neil Hughes:

Yes, the effort to change how I'm feeling becomes part of how I'm feeling. In that mode I'm usually striving without skillful means. It only adds conflict.


it sounds like you are only doing it half-willingly (from the half that you call 'i', but not the half that you call 'my feelings').


Yes, you're right. I see the truth of this. Also, the half called 'I' is somewhat afraid of the half called 'my feelings', because it believes (based on unsuccessful attempts in the past) that it lacks the leverage to induce real change. Hence the fall-back option of objectifying both, and shifting attention to the field of awareness itself.


tarin greco:

in order to genuinely have control of how you are feeling, it has to be control from within, not without; 'my feelings' themselves have to be willing to change, which they are only reliably willing to do when they recognise themselves as 'you'.


This makes good sense, as does what follows. Thanks for the insight and the recommendation. I'll test it out and let you know how it goes.


tarin greco:

it's as if there is a master-slave relationship[1] happening in the relationship of 'you' and 'your feelings' (and so you are both master and slave), a relationship wherein both participants/components are working together for their mutual benefit (and it is not a case of one taking advantage of or being insensitive to the other). the slave recognises that he (you) is blind without the master (also you), and the master (you) recognises that he is powerless without the slave (also you). this mutual (self-)recognition avoids resentment on either party and fosters cooperation from both: the slave permits the master to call the shots and carries out the directives willingly; the master counts on the slave to be both willing and able to do what he commands. for example, when the master commands the slave to feel better, the slave recognises that, despite whatever feelings he himself may currently have which favour maintaining his current condition, the master knows better and would not be commanding him otherwise and so the slave cheerfully consents to the order (indeed the master makes his decisions based on information - feelings - coming from the slave... the slave has good reason to cheerfully consent).

it is a circular feedback loop, and is only meaningful when the slave (you) is willing to totally submit and the master (you) is willing to totally assume responsibility. they (you) play their parts hand-in-hand, in the spirit of true friendship. it is the mutual (self-)recognition between the two (the recognition of a shared identity) that makes this possible.


tarin greco:

here is a suggestion then - when you are in currently in that state you describe, ask yourself these questions: do you see how the inner world, being now only relatively harmless, painless, and non-intrusive, is still relatively harmful, painful, and intrusive? do you see how the outer world, while vivified by having fewer feelings of separation, is still marked by those feelings which are, as you point out, of separation? and if so, do you see how silly it is to be harmful, painful, and intrusive ... and to have any feelings of separation at all?


Yes, I do see that. It's the best I could do so far, but I do recognise its limitations.

Thanks for the new tool set!

Best,
Neil

RE: AF method
Answer
8/15/10 11:40 PM as a reply to Bozhidar Veselinov Mihaylov.
hi bozhidar,

i just found your post to which i forgot to reply:

Bozhidar Veselinov Mihaylov:
It would be better to be best friends with myself,but i am not sure exactly what is the practical side:how to do it.I will try just doing it.


how is that going?

Bozhidar Veselinov Mihaylov:

About the frustration.I experience this draw when experiencing the logical deduction.It is what drives me to practice(along with ,I'm sure, a lot of psychological "stuff").


is the draw you experience pleasant.. is it enjoyable? is it worth experiencing for its own sake (rather than just as a tedious or otherwise-unwanted means to a desired end)?

regarding the psychological stuff... that's what motivates everyone, man. it can work.

tarin

RE: AF method
Answer
8/16/10 6:27 PM as a reply to Neil Hughes.
Hi Tarin,

After more experiments, these are my main observations:

Felicity often comes unbidden, but not when I am looking for it. The attempt to secure greater happiness or to increase felicitous feelings actually makes me less prone to experience my natural quota of happiness/felicity. I feel myself engaged in a not-fully-satisfying striving toward happiness, which feels quite different from happiness. Happiness feels like a gift of abundance that I can delight in and wonder at and be grateful for, whereas my actualism practice feels like an unsatisfying struggle to acquire something that's lacking.

The 'me' who is trying to be happier is clearly the same 'me' who causes unhappiness, so I feel too wrapped up in myself. If I just let all this settle down, and incline myself to other things, I'm more likely to experience good, happy, harmless, benevolent feelings.

Also, although I acknowledge that we are primarily feeling beings, most of my day-to-day suffering is caused by my own thinking. If I mainly pay attention to feelings I feel powerless to improve this, but if I pay attention to how my thinking is causing bad feelings, it gives me some leverage, some choice.

For me, felicity comes from not being so self-centered, being open to wonder, being grateful and appreciative of the simple and stuff that makes up life on earth. Living by a simple moral code greatly facilitates this. So far, goodness and wonder seem to be the most beneficial 'practices' all round.

What leads me to keep trying for more is the lure of absolute perfection. Right now, I can't have it, yet I can't ignore it either.

I think the smartest thing I can do is stay with what works, see how far it can take me, and maybe the way forward will become clearer as I proceed.

Does that sound reasonable to you, or more like a cop out?

Best,
Neil

RE: AF method
Answer
8/20/10 1:28 PM as a reply to Neil Hughes.
Hello Neil,

After the first stage* in the actualism path the selfish and the altruistic will converges in one prima fascie case. Then start the questioning of all our spiritual values, the social identity, the emotions, the instinctual passions and "who" you are. And next, "what" you are. Doubts, fears, skepticisms, self-justifications, dreads, you name it, will happens. Keep the hands in the pockets and ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive’ will be useful to experiencing one’s own fellings and thoughts in operation.
I´m in this phase now, and Virtual Freedom is actually possible and desirable.
Actual Freedom seems to be a natural consequence of this on-going process/method of previous liberation of all this burden above, don´t matter if by Direct Route or Enlightenment. But I need confirm/achieve it before any claim.
Sincerely,
Luciano

*http://www.actualfreedom.com.au/actualism/path2.htm

RE: AF method
Answer
8/23/10 9:35 AM as a reply to Neil Hughes.
Neil Hughes:

After more experiments, these are my main observations:

Felicity often comes unbidden, but not when I am looking for it. The attempt to secure greater happiness or to increase felicitous feelings actually makes me less prone to experience my natural quota of happiness/felicity. I feel myself engaged in a not-fully-satisfying striving toward happiness, which feels quite different from happiness. Happiness feels like a gift of abundance that I can delight in and wonder at and be grateful for, whereas my actualism practice feels like an unsatisfying struggle to acquire something that's lacking.


does felicity always come when you are not looking for it? the key word here is 'always'.

if so, then your way forward here seems very straight-forward: simply never look for it (and felicity will be here always).

but if not.. why not?


Neil Hughes:

The 'me' who is trying to be happier is clearly the same 'me' who causes unhappiness, so I feel too wrapped up in myself. If I just let all this settle down, and incline myself to other things, I'm more likely to experience good, happy, harmless, benevolent feelings.


oh, good. and are you able then to just continue feeling good, happy, harmless, and benevolent?

if no.. why not?


Neil Hughes:

Also, although I acknowledge that we are primarily feeling beings, most of my day-to-day suffering is caused by my own thinking. If I mainly pay attention to feelings I feel powerless to improve this, but if I pay attention to how my thinking is causing bad feelings, it gives me some leverage, some choice.


hmm.. why do you think thoughts which (you say) cause bad feelings in the first place?


Neil Hughes:

(...)

Does that sound reasonable to you, or more like a cop out?


the cop out is doing what doesn't work, and not doing what works.

does what you are doing work?

tarin

RE: AF method
Answer
1/31/11 11:02 AM as a reply to tarin greco.
tarin greco:

... a pce is absent of the separation, of 'i', and of 'my feelings', and so going into and coming out of pce again and again reveals this quite clearly.

it is the dualistic illusion that brings both 'i' and 'my feelings' into existence on opposite sides of the (also illusory) separation, (whereas, for contrast, in the non-dualistic illusion there is the sense that the split has ended entirely while leaving either one or both of those two components intact) ...


Tarin,

Could you please clarify and expand on what you mean by the phrase "non-dualistic illusion"?

Are you indicating that non-dualism is an illusion? If so, could you please define what you mean by non-dualism?

Or, are you referring to the illusion that a non-dual state has been achieved when in fact it hasn't.

Thanks,
AugustLeo

RE: AF method
Answer
1/31/11 7:04 PM as a reply to AugustLeo.
I find this a really interesting question. Maybe it deserves its own thread. I often use the term "non-duality" rather naively to describe my practice orientation. However, I also frequently encounter practitioners who use the term in the way Tarin has indicated in the quoted section of Michael's post. In fact I have heard many current actualist practitioners mention that they practiced non-dualism in the past, but their descriptions generally seem to be of this pseudo-nonduality.

I think of it like a water balloon that has a ring in the center, so that it has an hourglass shape. this is the "illusion of duality". Through the manipulation of attention one can "squeeze" the balloon so that nearly all of it is on the object side: "just objects". Or one can "squeeze" the balloon so that nearly all of it is on the subject side: "I am". In either case it's really the same thing, either all "objects" are being assimilated to the "subject" side-- as in some Advaita techniques for example-- or else all "subjectivity" dissappears into the "object(s)" which is what some folks' description of jhanna sounds like to me.

It's interesting to me that in the case of either kind of technique, which can lead to such a pseudo-nondual state, there is an active manipulation of attention-- an attending towards some aspects of this present moment, and away from others. I'm not completely satisfied with my own inquiries yet, but at this point it seems interesting that pretty much the only use of voluntary attention is to avoid the present moment-- or to head straight into whatever's going on until another moment of complete relaxation here-and-now arises without borders or the sense of being an "entity" (the "feeling of being"?).

So this psuedo-nonduality is quite a contrast to simply relaxing completely in the present moment, which by definition means relaxing the sense that one is a solid separate entity. I'm not quite sure how this relates to actualism as a practice or to an AF as the outcome of practice. But I thought I'd throw my two cents in r.e. the "illusion of non-duality", which I think is a valuable critique of some approaches such as Vajrayana and Advaita.

However, in my experience, such pseudo-nonduality is not the aim of all "non-dual" approaches, although it's entirely possible that many teachers and students of such schools do in fact settle for the facsimile. Interesting discussion ;-)

RE: AF method
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1/31/11 7:05 PM as a reply to . Jake ..
Oh my, puts the whole name up there huh? Kinda thought that was the point of a "screen name". Or maybe I created this account with that screen name... but suffice it to say, call me Jake. ;-)

RE: AF method
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1/31/11 7:22 PM as a reply to . Jake ..
Jacob Henry St. Onge Casavant:
Oh my, puts the whole name up there huh? Kinda thought that was the point of a "screen name". Or maybe I created this account with that screen name... but suffice it to say, call me Jake. ;-)

Don't worry about it Jake. You know who you are.

But, gosh'almighty- you are a wordy cuss!

RE: AF method
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1/31/11 7:32 PM as a reply to AugustLeo.
Michael AugustLeo:
Jacob Henry St. Onge Casavant:
Oh my, puts the whole name up there huh? Kinda thought that was the point of a "screen name". Or maybe I created this account with that screen name... but suffice it to say, call me Jake. ;-)

Don't worry about it Jake. You know who you are.

But, gosh'almighty- you are a wordy cuss!


You know it ;-) That's me old brain and its tricks. Hey, if it puts me through college and graduate school and lands me an interesting helpful job and puts food on my family's table, whatever, right? My grandfather, uncles, brother and cousins are generally quite good with their hands and mechanics and such. i don't hold it against 'em.

RE: AF method
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1/31/11 7:47 PM as a reply to . Jake ..
Jacob Henry St. Onge Casavant:
Michael AugustLeo:
Jacob Henry St. Onge Casavant:
Oh my, puts the whole name up there huh? Kinda thought that was the point of a "screen name". Or maybe I created this account with that screen name... but suffice it to say, call me Jake. ;-)

Don't worry about it Jake. You know who you are.

But, gosh'almighty- you are a wordy cuss!


You know it ;-) That's me old brain and its tricks. Hey, if it puts me through college and graduate school and lands me an interesting helpful job and puts food on my family's table, whatever, right? My grandfather, uncles, brother and cousins are generally quite good with their hands and mechanics and such. i don't hold it against 'em.

Well, hugs to you and yours, and the best of everything to you.

RE: AF method
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1/31/11 7:52 PM as a reply to AugustLeo.
And you Michael ;-)

RE: AF method
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1/31/11 7:55 PM as a reply to . Jake ..
Jacob Henry St. Onge Casavant:
And you Michael ;-)

Thank you Jake.

RE: AF method
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2/1/11 4:31 AM as a reply to AugustLeo.
Michael AugustLeo:
tarin greco:

... a pce is absent of the separation, of 'i', and of 'my feelings', and so going into and coming out of pce again and again reveals this quite clearly.

it is the dualistic illusion that brings both 'i' and 'my feelings' into existence on opposite sides of the (also illusory) separation, (whereas, for contrast, in the non-dualistic illusion there is the sense that the split has ended entirely while leaving either one or both of those two components intact) ...


Tarin,

Could you please clarify and expand on what you mean by the phrase "non-dualistic illusion"?

Are you indicating that non-dualism is an illusion? If so, could you please define what you mean by non-dualism?

Or, are you referring to the illusion that a non-dual state has been achieved when in fact it hasn't.

Thanks,
AugustLeo


as the non-dualistic illusion has differing permutations, is slippery, and is frequently couched in or 'pointed at' by particularly coy language, it is difficult to indicate in a constructive way what about the state may be found dissatisfactory without characterising it as either solipsistic or utterly impotent in bringing the human condition of malice and sorrow to an end (which characterisations are not actually inaccurate but which characterisations i have in the past observed adherents of the non-dual state to have not found particularly constructive). hence, as you have indicated on numerous occasions, on kfd, that you are intimately familiar with the non-dual state[1], the clarification you seek might best be found in your own experience in the following way:

examine whatever it is you call a non-dual state; if you find either 'i' (any sense of being whatsoever), or feelings (any affect whatsoever), or both, then (provided it isn't just another form of the dualistic illusion) what you are examining is what i was referring to in the quotation of mine you asked about above.

tarin

[1] on kfd, though it is difficult to quote you on the topic as you have deleted the vast majority of your posts there.

RE: AF method
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2/1/11 7:08 AM as a reply to tarin greco.
Thank you for your reply.