In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread Bruno Loff 4/28/10 9:05 AM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread ManZ A 4/28/10 9:22 AM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread Bruno Loff 4/28/10 10:42 AM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread ManZ A 4/28/10 11:20 AM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread Bruno Loff 4/28/10 12:46 PM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread Trent . 4/28/10 4:19 PM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread Bruno Loff 4/28/10 4:36 PM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread tarin greco 4/28/10 7:57 PM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread Constance Casey 5/3/10 12:49 PM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread ManZ A 5/3/10 3:19 PM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread tarin greco 5/4/10 1:23 PM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread ManZ A 5/4/10 4:09 PM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread tarin greco 5/6/10 11:11 PM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread ManZ A 5/7/10 12:05 AM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread tarin greco 4/28/10 6:43 PM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread Bruno Loff 4/29/10 2:53 AM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread tarin greco 4/29/10 5:32 PM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread Bruno Loff 4/30/10 4:04 AM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread Yadid dee 4/30/10 12:23 PM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread Trent . 4/30/10 1:39 PM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread Yadid dee 5/1/10 5:28 AM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread Trent . 5/1/10 4:46 PM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread ManZ A 5/1/10 5:20 PM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread tarin greco 5/1/10 8:54 PM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread ManZ A 5/1/10 9:21 PM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread Velvet V. 5/1/10 10:22 PM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread Trent . 5/2/10 1:17 AM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread Yadid dee 5/2/10 2:16 AM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread Trent . 5/2/10 2:35 PM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread Yadid dee 5/2/10 3:20 PM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread Trent . 5/2/10 4:02 PM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread ManZ A 5/2/10 4:56 PM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread Trent . 5/2/10 5:44 PM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread Velvet V. 5/2/10 3:00 AM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread tarin greco 5/2/10 4:00 PM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread Yadid dee 5/3/10 12:20 AM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread tarin greco 5/3/10 12:56 AM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread Velvet V. 5/3/10 8:42 AM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread tarin greco 5/4/10 12:51 PM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread Velvet V. 5/5/10 9:52 AM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread tarin greco 5/7/10 12:40 AM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread Bruno Loff 5/7/10 11:22 AM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread Trent . 5/7/10 3:36 PM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread tarin greco 5/7/10 3:36 PM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread Jill Morana 5/9/10 8:25 AM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread Daniel M. Ingram 5/9/10 5:45 PM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread This Good Self 5/9/10 8:54 PM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread Yadid dee 5/2/10 7:18 AM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread tarin greco 5/2/10 1:29 PM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread Trent . 5/2/10 5:39 PM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread Bruno Loff 5/3/10 5:38 AM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread Yadid dee 5/3/10 6:18 AM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread tarin greco 5/4/10 11:45 AM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread Yadid dee 5/4/10 1:19 PM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread tarin greco 5/4/10 11:33 AM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread Brian . 5/3/10 7:28 PM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread tarin greco 5/4/10 5:30 PM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread This Good Self 5/5/10 12:49 AM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread Trent . 5/5/10 1:53 AM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread This Good Self 5/5/10 2:37 AM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread Trent . 5/5/10 4:01 PM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread This Good Self 5/6/10 9:59 AM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread Pavel _ 5/6/10 3:10 PM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread Velvet V. 4/25/15 4:41 AM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread Trent . 5/6/10 10:39 PM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread This Good Self 5/6/10 11:14 PM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread Velvet V. 5/6/10 11:11 PM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread Trent . 5/7/10 3:47 PM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread This Good Self 5/8/10 10:22 PM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread tarin greco 5/9/10 2:25 AM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread This Good Self 5/9/10 2:58 AM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread tarin greco 5/9/10 8:42 AM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread Trent . 5/6/10 3:40 PM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread This Good Self 5/6/10 9:07 PM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread Trent . 5/6/10 10:05 PM
RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread tarin greco 5/6/10 11:42 PM
Thread Splitted Daniel M. Ingram 5/12/10 8:37 PM
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Bruno Loff, modified 13 Years ago at 4/28/10 9:05 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 4/28/10 9:05 AM

In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
As Daniel pointed out today, we need to be careful about terminology and phrasing etc if we are to have a discussion regarding the AF techniques and outcomes, as well as Tarin's Perfection, which could or could not be the same thing. Also Daniel mentioned, in a thread a while back "perfect sensate directness," which in the end could also be the same thing, or not.

I think it would be interesting to find out whether these achievements are the same, or not. Also interesting would be to find if traditions such as "dzogchen" (which translates as the great perfection), "mahamudra," etc aim at the same states. It is interesting that a brief glance at the "completion practices" of mahamudra seems to reveal similarities with Tarin's Perfection flowchart.

Also, Tarin, your description of the state you are in leaves me very curious. It is very hard to imagine living without affective feeling, and while I would usually pass it off as undesirable, I know that I have once had the same impression about the whole meditative path altogether. Meanwhile, I understood that many of the things I thought "living without an ego" meant, where really a misunderstanding of what the ego actually is, when used in the context of meditation. This is the "technical" ego vs the "common-language" ego issue.

The same thing could happen with affectivity. That there is an affectivity in the technical sense, which disappears. That its role is merely a distortion of experience, and that the important aspects (behavior and performance, to use two very unaffectionate words) are really utterly unrelated with the arising, or otherwise, of the "feeling". However, although I can entertain this matter intellectually (which might not surprise you Tarin), the idea of getting rid of the "feeling of love," for instance, seems frankly horrible.

Although it isn't clear to me if that actually happens, nor is it clear what the consequences of that would be.

So I have a few questions for Tarin. Some behaviour-perception questions are:
1) You say you have no affectivity. Still you have friends, interact with them (apparently with an improved rapport, somehow), and so on. Let's take the feeling of love, say. Do you not feel love for your friends? If that is the case, then why do you remain friends with them? In general the question is: how is action and motivation guided without feeling?

2) If you where to hurt someone accidentally or misguidedly, would this not cause any upset? What prevents you, without feeling, from, say, mutilating a child? Or killing yourself right now?

3) You mention that things can be "entertaining." How is something "more" entertaining than something else, without feeling? I'm guessing you feel pleasure, or some form of bliss? (if so, how is that "not a feeling," or, "less of a feeling" than love, say?)

Some questions regarding the function of the nervous system are:

4) Have you tried to do energy practices such as Tai Chi or Yoga, and if so what is this experience like? I ask this because I know that these practices can really work on the blockages in one's nervous system, and I wonder how that would be like for you.

5) Is your concentration perfect? I.e. can you effortlessly sustain attention on any chosen object for any amount of time?

6) Various feelings DO have specific physiological effects, such as releasing hormones and so on. Do you think that your body works without these? When and how would you guess they are produced?

Finally:
7) Suppose that you decide, right now, that you want to experience a specific affection. Such as one would feel love if one did metta meditation. Would you be able to do it?

8) Given that feeling seems not to arise in you, how would you describe, having been with and without, the nature of feeling in the perceptual mechanism? (e.g. vibration in specific parts, etc)

Thank you :-),
Bruno
ManZ A, modified 13 Years ago at 4/28/10 9:22 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 4/28/10 9:22 AM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

Posts: 105 Join Date: 1/12/10 Recent Posts
What is Actual Freedom anyway? Since I see the term get thrown around here sometimes.
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Bruno Loff, modified 13 Years ago at 4/28/10 10:42 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 4/28/10 10:42 AM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
http://www.actualfreedom.com.au/
ManZ A, modified 13 Years ago at 4/28/10 11:20 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 4/28/10 11:17 AM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

Posts: 105 Join Date: 1/12/10 Recent Posts
Interesting. So is that like Arahantship? Or what would be the difference? I'm looking at the schematic diagram of the experiences that occur on the path, and it's kinda similar. But they call what is NOT enlightenment, enlightenment and contrast it with Actual Freedom. I dunno, sounds weird.
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Bruno Loff, modified 13 Years ago at 4/28/10 12:46 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 4/28/10 12:46 PM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
Many people here think it's weird. That's why we are preparing the battleground to try and make it as conceptually clear as possible, as to what exactly happens when these AF techniques are applied. This thread is a bit less formal than that, it's just that I found Tarin's descriptions astonishing, and was curious to know more.
Trent , modified 13 Years ago at 4/28/10 4:19 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 4/28/10 4:17 PM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

Posts: 361 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Bruno Loff:
Many people here think it's weird. That's why we are preparing the battleground to try and make it as conceptually clear as possible, as to what exactly happens when these AF techniques are applied. This thread is a bit less formal than that, it's just that I found Tarin's descriptions astonishing, and was curious to know more.


Hi,

It is weird indeed, but so is the human condition; so that's not something to be upset about or anything.

It would be beneficial to those of you involved not to enter into a discussion as if it is a "battleground," as this is completely unnecessary. "Battling" in some way has been the instinctual identity's passionate MO since time immemorial, and that might key one in to why this immaculate planet has yet to be the grounds for world-wide peace on earth. Also, you'll only be battling one's self if you are "battling" anything while speaking with a flesh and blood body (such as is the case with Tarin).

It is worth noting that 99% of everything you could wish to know about this matter is contained on the AFTrust website (linked above), including the answers to the questions in the original post. The original pioneer of becoming free from the human condition made certain that -- through the millions of words provided on the site-- everything necessary (and far more) would be detailed in clear and unambiguous language. Further, you will not find derivations of the site unless they were approved by the Trust (I do not know of any), so you do not need to worry about translating between 10 types of methods of attaining an AF or anything like that. Richard's terms, descriptions, usages, etc for enlightenment may indeed be different, and so this is where discussion may be especially useful to peoples on the DhO. However, if you wish to know about how to actualize a freedom from the human condition, one needs only read the AFTrust site with both eyes wide open.

Regards,
Trent
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Bruno Loff, modified 13 Years ago at 4/28/10 4:36 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 4/28/10 4:36 PM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
Yes, things are beginning to become more clear as I read the AF site.

It seems that it is again an unraveling of a process, much like the identity process. That this refers to an real, specific transformation, became very clear as I read his correspondence. Richard's lucidity and rigorous style really shows through the text.

Once again, I really want to love my mom and miss my friends, it is unclear why getting rid of the affective aspects is desirable at all. I do hope I have a choice in the matter :-)
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tarin greco, modified 13 Years ago at 4/28/10 6:43 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 4/28/10 6:43 PM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

Posts: 658 Join Date: 5/14/09 Recent Posts
Bruno Loff:
As Daniel pointed out today, we need to be careful about terminology and phrasing etc if we are to have a discussion regarding the AF techniques and outcomes, as well as Tarin's Perfection, which could or could not be the same thing.


i do think so, as does richard of the af trust site (with whom i have spoken about this), and while it is possible that we are both mistaken about the matter, it is unlikely.

Bruno Loff:

Also Daniel mentioned, in a thread a while back "perfect sensate directness," which in the end could also be the same thing, or not.


daniel was referring to the 'perfect sensate directness' in this context:

Daniel M. Ingram:

Most interesting thing to me these days: subtle distinctions of when there is a subtle attention wave, like a slight phase problem, and when there is just perfect sensate directness...


from what i have been able to gather, from conversations with daniel and from my own experiences that line up well with what he describes, the 'perfect sensate directness' he refers to here is, more or less, what i am experiencing.. sans the 'subtle attention wave'.

though, there is also the matter of the 'perfect sensate directness' taking on additional qualities when it becomes permanent (and is no longer proximate to, and so contrasted against, the other modal possibilities that existed due to the 'slight phase problem').

Bruno Loff:

I think it would be interesting to find out whether these achievements are the same, or not. Also interesting would be to find if traditions such as "dzogchen" (which translates as the great perfection), "mahamudra," etc aim at the same states. It is interesting that a brief glance at the "completion practices" of mahamudra seems to reveal similarities with Tarin's Perfection flowchart.


i have never been trained in dzogchen or mahamudra, nor have i sought either practice independently, and so lack the experience to discern, firsthand, just what their aims are. however, if i am presented with sufficiently descriptive accounts of their results, i ought to be able to determine whether there is identity or not between those states and the condition of an actual freedom.

Bruno Loff:

Also, Tarin, your description of the state you are in leaves me very curious. It is very hard to imagine living without affective feeling, and while I would usually pass it off as undesirable, I know that I have once had the same impression about the whole meditative path altogether. Meanwhile, I understood that many of the things I thought "living without an ego" meant, where really a misunderstanding of what the ego actually is, when used in the context of meditation. This is the "technical" ego vs the "common-language" ego issue.

The same thing could happen with affectivity. That there is an affectivity in the technical sense, which disappears. That its role is merely a distortion of experience, and that the important aspects (behavior and performance, to use two very unaffectionate words) are really utterly unrelated with the arising, or otherwise, of the "feeling".


make no mistake, the complete disappearance of affectivity in the technical sense (as a distortion of experience) effects the disappearance of affectivity in toto (it is the complete disappearance of feelings). this isn't merely a semantic difference, this is an entirely different mode of experience (distinctly absent of an affective quality or aspect).

Bruno Loff:

However, although I can entertain this matter intellectually (which might not surprise you Tarin), the idea of getting rid of the "feeling of love," for instance, seems frankly horrible.


why?

Bruno Loff:

Although it isn't clear to me if that actually happens, nor is it clear what the consequences of that would be.


to make it as clear as possible, i will state outright that i neither experience a sense of separation from the world nor a sense of unity with it. as such, i do not experience either a longing of love (love in the condition of separation) or a feeling of identification with love (love in the condition of unity). all that was only ever a fervently imaginative play of feelings.. which play is over.


Bruno Loff:

So I have a few questions for Tarin. Some behaviour-perception questions are:
1) You say you have no affectivity. Still you have friends, interact with them (apparently with an improved rapport, somehow), and so on. Let's take the feeling of love, say. Do you not feel love for your friends? If that is the case, then why do you remain friends with them? In general the question is: how is action and motivation guided without feeling?


no, i feel no love for my friends.. i have not found it necessary to feel love, or anything at all, in order to appreciate and value the company of other people in this world, the manner of which (appreciation and valuation) are directly dependent on how they themselves operate and behave, in general, in this world, and, in particular, toward me.

action and motivation are guided very clearly and easily without feeling, as will (which is innately bodily) and desire (which is affective) are not at all the same thing.


Bruno Loff:

2) If you where to hurt someone accidentally or misguidedly, would this not cause any upset? What prevents you, without feeling, from, say, mutilating a child? Or killing yourself right now?


no, that would not cause any upset at all.. the desire to inflict harm upon anyone has been totally voided, as has been any potential for shame or remorse.

i see no benefit to either mutilating a child or killing myself right now; it is not so much a matter of something which prevents me from doing so, but that there is no reason to do either.


Bruno Loff:

3) You mention that things can be "entertaining." How is something "more" entertaining than something else, without feeling? I'm guessing you feel pleasure, or some form of bliss? (if so, how is that "not a feeling," or, "less of a feeling" than love, say?)


without affect (without feeling), what i enjoy paying attention to, say, visually, is wholly dependent on my aesthetic preferences - as they relate to the forms and colours and compositions which are naturally pleasing to my eye - and which are, to some extent, likely idiosyncratic to the very structure of my body. in short, it is a purely a matter of taste.

Bruno Loff:

Some questions regarding the function of the nervous system are:

4) Have you tried to do energy practices such as Tai Chi or Yoga, and if so what is this experience like? I ask this because I know that these practices can really work on the blockages in one's nervous system, and I wonder how that would be like for you.


i haven't actually, no. but i can tell you that when i sit still these days, i don't experience any build-up of energy.. it's just an opportunity to appreciate the sensate clarity that abounds here in the actual universe.

Bruno Loff:

5) Is your concentration perfect? I.e. can you effortlessly sustain attention on any chosen object for any amount of time?


if required, i can do this, more or less, as without a sense of time's movement, there is no urgency or impatience to get in the way of doing so (for example, while looking at a knife glittering in an overhead light, i remember commenting to someone, 'i could look at this forever').

while sustaining attention is, in this way, effortless, eventually my attention will move to other things (such as other sights or sounds around me which gain prominence), and trying to keep it fixed on one object to the exclusion of others will result in mental fatigue (much the same way that when doing push-ups, for example, it is possible to keep going up to a point where your arms will suddenly and rather unexpectedly collapse).. as would trying to pay attention to things all day and all night long (i need to sleep).


Bruno Loff:

6) Various feelings DO have specific physiological effects, such as releasing hormones and so on. Do you think that your body works without these? When and how would you guess they are produced?


i speculate that the hormonal load my body regularly produces is probably different now from how it was before i attained actual freedom. curiously, my resting pulse is now about 5-10 bpm lower than it was before, and that may be related to hormonal differences.

Bruno Loff:

Finally:
7) Suppose that you decide, right now, that you want to experience a specific affection. Such as one would feel love if one did metta meditation. Would you be able to do it?


no. the attempt to either generate an affective response, much less to project it, does nothing whatsoever.

Bruno Loff:

8) Given that feeling seems not to arise in you, how would you describe, having been with and without, the nature of feeling in the perceptual mechanism? (e.g. vibration in specific parts, etc)


i'm not sure i understand this question. can you re-phrase it?

tarin
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tarin greco, modified 13 Years ago at 4/28/10 7:57 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 4/28/10 7:41 PM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

Posts: 658 Join Date: 5/14/09 Recent Posts
Bruno Loff:

Once again, I really want to love my mom and miss my friends, it is unclear why getting rid of the affective aspects is desirable at all.


felicitous feelings[1], when taken to their max, end up being hardly feelings at all. getting rid of affect is desirable in that feeling really, really well (feeling excellent) just happens to engender naivete (a mode of experience in which a feeling being is marked by sensuous wonder), which naturally leads into the innocence of the pure consciousness experience (a state in which affect is distinct absent).


Bruno Loff:

I do hope I have a choice in the matter :-)


i would think so, as this sort of change can only occur with 'your' consent.

tarin

[1] i'm here referring to felicitous feelings as they are in the three-way distinction (between felicitous feelings, good feelings, and bad feelings) often made on the actual freedom trust website, viz:

RICHARD: The felicitous/ innocuous feelings are in no way docile, lack-lustre affections ... in conjunction with sensuosity they make for an extremely forceful/ potent combination as, with all of the affective energy channelled into being as happy and harmless as is humanly possible (and no longer being frittered away on love and compassion/ malice and sorrow), the full effect of ‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being – which is ‘being’ itself – is dynamically enabled for one purpose and one purpose alone. [emphasis added]

http://www.actualfreedom.com.au/richard/selectedcorrespondence/sc-feelings.htm
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Bruno Loff, modified 13 Years ago at 4/29/10 2:53 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 4/29/10 2:53 AM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
(8) In the email you asked:
what do you think is going on at the location of the soul identity (the location of the entire affective faculty)? viz:

(link) The location of ‘me’ as soul/ spirit only became known upon the extinction of identity in toto/ the entire affective faculty (again solely by its absence): it occupied the entire posterior of the brain centred immediately above the nape of the neck and extending from a cross-section just behind the ears to the very rear of the skull.


This is related to question number 8. What is going on in the mind when there is an emotion.

If I where to answer this question, I would do it like this: as the sensate flow (chi, prana, whatever) passes through a specific area, it is "transformed" into a different wave-form; the wave-form then acquires a symmetry of some sort, which can propagate throughout the sensate system. This allows one to feel, say, love, anywhere, if one is able to do so in the first place. I would guess that various hormones help in the bringing about of such a wave form. Maybe their release itself is the underlying cause of the variation.

(Of course, whether this is actually what happens or not is not the point, this is just a metaphor for how I experience these things.)

For instance, fear. As I am about to feel afraid (I'm doing it right now), I feel a "tightening" in two points that I guess are the adrenal glands in the kidneys; then this tightening vibrates and the vibrations spread around. It feels a bit like a rush, it causes my body to shake. Now I calm it down, it slowly subdues, the extra energy of the vibrations seems to be absorbed everywhere, and leaves a specific after-taste. It's not that unpleasant I guess :-)

It strikes me as odd that you can't feel the same, say, by stimulating the adrenal glands with attention. I would expect that one would be able to do it (after all, all the biological gear is there), although one might experience it differently.

But your remark about not experiencing any buildup of energy seems to indicate otherwise. Of course, maybe you would if you did a regular practice, but maybe not. I was curious as to what you would experience, with your sensory clarity, if you do, say, a chi kung form. Then one works on specific techniques for moving energy in specific ways, through specific places. E.g. you might work on the meridians, or the microcosmic orbit. When I do it, I feel stuff moving around more or less the way it's supposed to. Other examples, maybe more direct, are: do you experience orgasm if you are stimulated in the usual way? Or, for instance, if you breath in and out very very fast and deeply, for a few minutes, (this is a classic energy buildup exercise) do you experience energy build-up then?

Tarin do you think emotions in themselves necessarily affect sensory clarity? Can't one feel an emotion with full clarity? Does full clarity necessarily bring emotions to a halt?

E.g., Daniel, when you refer to perfect sensate directness, does this state require or seem to lead to the disappearance of emotion? Can you be perfectly sensately clear, say, of the feeling brought about by metta meditation?

without affect (without feeling), what i enjoy paying attention to, say, visually, is wholly dependent on my aesthetic preferences - as they relate to the forms and colours and compositions which are naturally pleasing to my eye - and which are, to some extent, likely idiosyncratic to the very structure of my body. in short, it is a purely a matter of taste.

But how do you discern that something is more or less pleasing to the eye, how do you form a "taste"? I mean, what is it that is more there when you see your favorite painting, that is less there when you see your least favorite painting? Pleasure/bliss? Intensity? Symmetry of the perception's wave-form? Associations?

I also find this distinction between "will" and "desire," very interesting. Now that you put it that way, I do understand them to be different aspects of my mind also, usually the later clearly subjugating the former.

It also seems that this state of great clarity is somewhat independent on the ability to sustain concentration.

I will look into descriptions of "the way the realized mind stays" in the mahamudra tradition, and type them here later on.

Bruno
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tarin greco, modified 13 Years ago at 4/29/10 5:32 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 4/29/10 5:30 PM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

Posts: 658 Join Date: 5/14/09 Recent Posts
Bruno Loff:

But your remark about not experiencing any buildup of energy seems to indicate otherwise. Of course, maybe you would if you did a regular practice, but maybe not. I was curious as to what you would experience, with your sensory clarity, if you do, say, a chi kung form. Then one works on specific techniques for moving energy in specific ways, through specific places. E.g. you might work on the meridians, or the microcosmic orbit. When I do it, I feel stuff moving around more or less the way it's supposed to. Other examples, maybe more direct, are: do you experience orgasm if you are stimulated in the usual way? Or, for instance, if you breath in and out very very fast and deeply, for a few minutes, (this is a classic energy buildup exercise) do you experience energy build-up then?


no, but in breathing in and out very very fast and deeply for a few minutes, i do experience numbness, light-headedness, and a slight tingling in my extremities (most prominently in my lips, fingertips, and toes)... which i presume are caused by vasoconstriction effected by hyperventilating myself in such way.

Bruno Loff:

Tarin do you think emotions in themselves necessarily affect sensory clarity? Can't one feel an emotion with full clarity? Does full clarity necessarily bring emotions to a halt?


yes; no (not in quite the same way/ in the same mode of experience); and yes, entirely.

Bruno Loff:

without affect (without feeling), what i enjoy paying attention to, say, visually, is wholly dependent on my aesthetic preferences - as they relate to the forms and colours and compositions which are naturally pleasing to my eye - and which are, to some extent, likely idiosyncratic to the very structure of my body. in short, it is a purely a matter of taste.

But how do you discern that something is more or less pleasing to the eye, how do you form a "taste"? I mean, what is it that is more there when you see your favorite painting, that is less there when you see your least favorite painting? Pleasure/bliss? Intensity? Symmetry of the perception's wave-form? Associations?


it is not a matter of whether i discern that something is more or less pleasing to the eye, it is that something is more or less pleasing to the eye. what is more there when i see a painting that i like (which is less there when i see a painting that i don't like) is interest - likely engendered by an experience of sensate pleasure inherent in the viewing.

further, richard has documented his correspondence about similar topics and made them available online; you may be interested in the following links (as they relate to what we are discussing here):

http://www.actualfreedom.com.au/richard/listafcorrespondence/listaf27.htm#08Jan02
http://www.actualfreedom.com.au/richard/selectedcorrespondence/sc-beauty.htm
http://www.actualfreedom.com.au/richard/abditorium/taste.htm

tarin
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Bruno Loff, modified 13 Years ago at 4/30/10 4:04 AM
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RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

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Thank you Tarin, for all the clarification. Indeed the actual freedom web site is very clear and extensive.

So it is as if you went to the earlier, affective part of the brain, erased every program that was there, and, without these programs generating the content they usually do, the signal from the senses can pass through unchanged and unhindered, thus clear, and thus "pure". This is actually explicitly stated:

(link) The entire affective faculty vanishes ... blind nature’s software package of instinctual passions is deleted.

That this can be done is astonishing. I can certainly see that it must change experience dramatically. And as one probes into Richard's correspondence, more and more surprises show up. It seems that (correct me if I'm wrong Tarin) the ability to imagine utterly disappears (link).

The subtitle, "An actual freedom from the human condition" seems very adequate. This condition marks the end of poetry, romance and music. It sort of dawns as a new, utterly clear, un-suffering, perfected intelligence.

Daniel: do you think this is where your arhatship is leading to? Or my stream entry, for that matter. That would be the utter confirmation of the "limited emotional range" model hey? Funnily enough, the MCTB mentioning that attainment was not emotionally limiting was one of the things that convinced me it would be OK to get enlightened. Whichever process stream entry has begun, it seems to be progressing very well on its own. It seems to involve various sensations in the brain stem (which apparently plays an essential role in the AF process). An increase in clarity.

Maybe I should have paid more attention to all that "dogma" about becoming utterly passionless? As I say this, a slight panicky feeling comes over me --- heck, I see it clearly, and know exactly what to do to get it to go away, thanks to my meditation skills. I would usually thing that's good, but in this context, that makes me cry, I can still do that for now.

Did I get more than what I bargained for? Did you?
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Yadid dee, modified 13 Years ago at 4/30/10 12:23 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 4/30/10 12:23 PM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

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Tarin,
Would you be able to have an intimate romantic relationship in your current way of being?
Trent , modified 13 Years ago at 4/30/10 1:39 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 4/30/10 1:36 PM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

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Yadid Bee:
Would you be able to have an intimate romantic relationship in your current way of being?


Hi. Although this is directed at Tarin, I decided to answer as well. As I am also free of the human condition, it is simply another testament from another human in another situation.

This was a big question for 'me' and caused significant hesitation throughout the entire process. I am currently living with the same ("normal") companion (she practices AF methods quite casually) as when I was both normal and enlightened (she is, evidently, very flexible as well in her own way). This gives me an interesting opportunity to compare how functional the three ways of being are in this context. I can say, without any hesitation, that our time together is generally far more enjoyable now than at any other time (as in: watching tv, taking a walk), functional (as in: no fighting, flexibility with each others preferences), and more zesty (as in: the sex is far better). I attribute this largely to the condition I find myself in now, especially my ability to understand and be patient, open and straight forward, uninhibited and reliable, caring and considerate, and so on. You see, not only am I happy and harmless and free, but by being so, it allows the persons in my company to be equally happy, harmless and free to the degree that they are able.

To answer specifics in your question: intimacy is far greater than love ever offered, and it is not a choice; I'm this way with everything and every one. Romance is void completely, and this has caused a lot of upheaval in my companion (only recently she admitted to being quite resentful of me because I refuse to surprise her with flowers). And finally, there is no relationship here, as I do not exist in relation to others, but as a factual actuality regardless of the existence of another human. As such, I have no relationship with my companion, nor an emotional rapport. This isn't as dysfunctional as it may sound, though it can be at times. The reason is that the foundation for what lead to the emotional resonance in the first place is still largely in tact-- because there are things I have in common with her for example-- such as tastes and preferences regarding what we do with our free time.

So in summary, regarding this person and his companion, being actually free has proven to be the most functional/salubrious/comfortable/fun for both of us in most ways. I qualify it in such a way as to say that not every companion is going to be "ok" with such a change, I suspect, but that it doesn't automatically mean that the companion won't be "ok" with it, nor does it mean one will never have another companion again in their life (not that it would be a big deal, anyway).

Regards,
Trent
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Yadid dee, modified 13 Years ago at 5/1/10 5:28 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/1/10 3:42 AM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

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What's going on here is very interesting.

Daniel, who founded this site, went out of his way to smash the Limited Emotional Range model and here come two or more people claiming that one can become free of all emotions and feelings.

This is truly intriguing.

Trent, now that you are "free of the human condition", can you decide to "go back" to the human condition? (this sounds so funny).

Also
I qualify it in such a way as to say that not every companion is going to be "ok" with such a change, I suspect
\

When you say "not going to be ok with such a change", what kind of change are you referring to? how would your partner notice this change in you.
Trent , modified 13 Years ago at 5/1/10 4:46 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/1/10 4:46 PM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

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Yadid Bee:
Daniel, who founded this site, went out of his way to smash the Limited Emotional Range model and here come two or more people claiming that one can become free of all emotions and feelings.


The limited emotional range model refers to arhatship and is, in my opinion, valid regarding what I call arhatship. I am not talking about arhatship in that way. I do not consider myself enlightened-- that "person" decided that this body and the world would be better off without him, and I commend him for putting forth the effort necessary to actualize the condition I now find myself in.

Yadid Bee:
Trent, now that you are "free of the human condition", can you decide to "go back" to the human condition? (this sounds so funny).


No, I cannot. There is no trail to follow back, nor an identity or condition to find "back there." Gone without a trace, as it was never actually there to begin with. I am glad that you find it funny, though I wonder what specifically you find to be humorous...?

Yadid Bee:
When you say "not going to be ok with such a change", what kind of change are you referring to? how would your partner notice this change in you.


Many things have changed, some of which have been spoken to around the DhO before and others which can be read about on the ATF website. Perhaps it would help just to consider that most identities I have known in my life would rather not have their partner radically change in any way. I remember "loving my partners imperfections," for instance, and feeling a sense of loss if something quirky and "imperfect" changed. The whole notion is silly, as she was never imperfect to begin with, but I think its a nice example to show how change-resistant people often are, even to things they deem undesirable.

Regards,
Trent
ManZ A, modified 13 Years ago at 5/1/10 5:20 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/1/10 5:20 PM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

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So much STUFF! Then if this is better and different than the Arahantship, then what is Arahantship for then or what is it? Or maybe this is really Arahantship? Would you say you should try to get Actual Freedom instead of Arahantship? It seems that the advocating of this Actual Freedom is at odds with the advocating of Arahantship on this site, but forgive me cause I haven't really read the entire AF website yet. I'm still gonna continue to practice Vipassana and then I'll attend to this one.


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tarin greco, modified 13 Years ago at 5/1/10 8:54 PM
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RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

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ManZ A:
It seems that the advocating of this Actual Freedom is at odds with the advocating of Arahantship on this site, but forgive me cause I haven't really read the entire AF website yet.


from the front page of the site:


In general our basic principles and attitudes favor:

- pragmatism over dogmatism: what works is key, with works generally meaning the stages of insight, the stages of enlightenment, jhanas, etc.
- diligent practice over blind faith: this place is about doing it and understanding for yourself rather than believing someone else and not testing those beliefs out
- openness regarding what the techniques may lead to and how these contrast or align with the traditional models


given that i am completely happy to be open about how i achieved an actual freedom via a pragmatic (non-dogmatic) and diligent practice (and not via blind faith), i think my advocation of actual freedom here is not at all at odds with the core of what the dharma overground is stated to be about.

tarin
ManZ A, modified 13 Years ago at 5/1/10 9:21 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/1/10 9:21 PM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

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Ya I read that part. I just meant that the advocating of one is at odds with the advocating of the other is all, not that it goes against the goal of the site in general. I should really watch how I phrase things. This condition sounds interesting though, in fact it sounds like what the Buddha describes an Arahant as (you know with the whole not having any desire to harm living beings and being "passionless"), but I dunno if they are the same thing. How long did it take you to get Actual Freedom from when you discovered and started practicing it?
Velvet V, modified 13 Years ago at 5/1/10 10:22 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/1/10 10:22 PM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

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Not that anybody cares for my opinion, but I can't stay silent any longer. I don't believe these guys! They must live in their own private imaginary quarters of reality. You can't stop feelings and still act, and they write posts in this forum just fine. One even claims to have sex, but why would he need it if he's unable to feel feelings, including the feeling of satisfaction from having it? Why write anything at all, if he has no emotions and thus no desires to write or do anything else. The whole thing reeks of self-deceit or pretense.
Trent , modified 13 Years ago at 5/2/10 1:17 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/2/10 1:17 AM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

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Velvet V.:
Not that anybody cares for my opinion, but I can't stay silent any longer. I don't believe these guys! They must live in their own private imaginary quarters of reality.


It is, in fact, quite the opposite. Flesh and blood bodies (as opposed to emotional identities) live in the world of people, things and events; the only place where anything actually ever happens.

Velvet V.:
You can't stop feelings and still act, and they write posts in this forum just fine.


It is, in fact, quite the opposite. Acting is a function of one's will, which I suspect is a function of the intellect and is certainly not part of the affective faculties in any case. A flesh and blood body is free of reactions, which means that anything I choose to do happens via freed will. This is a radical freedom indeed.

Velvet V.:
One even claims to have sex, but why would he need it if he's unable to feel feelings, including the feeling of satisfaction from having it?


I do not "need" to have sex, as I have no instinctual drives to satisfy, but it is actually my favorite activity to partake in currently. Consider that the genitals are packed full of nerves, that those nerves are no longer filtered via an identity (thus are much heightened in sensitivity), that the senses themselves are inherently pleasurable (I have read that dopamine is the primary neurotransmitter for the senses, so this makes sense), and that it's impossible for anything to spoil my experiences (I do not experience suffering at all). The primary outcome of those facts (and others that I am leaving out) is a pleasure far surpassing "satisfying" and which enters into the realm of "magical," to say the least.

Velvet V.:
Why write anything at all, if he has no emotions and thus no desires to write or do anything else.


I care about the other seven billion plus human beings that live on this planet (rather than just feeling that I care), and think that it's a worth while endeavor to spend a bit of my free time to let them know that it's possible to end their own suffering. It is, in a word, philanthropic.

Regards,
Trent
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Yadid dee, modified 13 Years ago at 5/2/10 2:16 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/2/10 2:16 AM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

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Trent,
Thanks so much for your replies, they are quite interesting.
I find in myself, at times, the same reaction as Velvet, though I realize you guys have nothing to hide or lie about, so it is simply fascinating at the moment, though I prefer to finish with the 'insight-disease' before I turn my efforts to other directions.

In any case, what I find funny is the terminology, ("free of the human condition" and "flesh and blood bodies"), i dunno why, but it just tickles me.

Do you still practice meditation Trent? Jhanas, Fruition and Nirodha Samapatti? Or do you have no need for such activities.
Velvet V, modified 13 Years ago at 5/2/10 3:00 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/2/10 3:00 AM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

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Trent,

Your freedom is freedom from human nature and emotions, pure intellect. You think that it's possible to become a machine in an organic body after purifying oneself from the remnants of human nature, right? What you say is strange, though:

Trent H.:
Flesh and blood bodies (as opposed to emotional identities) live in the world of people, things and events; the only place where anything actually ever happens.


It's strange because if we oppose reality at large to emotions, then emotions and pure intellect are both equally opposed to reality. Nothing ever happens in your thinking and evaluating mind, it isn't on par with flesh bodies and events that actually happen.

I must say that your ideas are the very opposite of buddhism so far. You claim that there is a part of "you" that is very real, on par with solid reality, that you can separate it from the rest of your (unreal) emotions and desires and it will guide you.

Trent H.:
Acting is a function of one's will, which I suspect is a function of the intellect and is certainly not part of the affective faculties in any case. A flesh and blood body is free of reactions, which means that anything I choose to do happens via freed will. This is a radical freedom indeed.


It's very original to say that there is a separate will that belongs to the intellect, as if there are two wills, an emotional will and an intellectual will. Even if there are two of them, what kind of "freedom" eliminating one grants you? The freedom from another one?

That said, I already met people who believed that their lives will be better if their actions would all be guided by intellect and emotionless decisions, people who were not aware of what really drove them and chose to purposefully dumb down their emotions. It never worked fully for them, you and others are the first ones whom I've seen to claim to have achieved that goal.
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Yadid dee, modified 13 Years ago at 5/2/10 7:18 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/2/10 4:55 AM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

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Tarin,
Would you be able to have a romantic intimate relationship in your current way of being in the world? (actually free from the human condition?)
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tarin greco, modified 13 Years ago at 5/2/10 4:00 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/2/10 1:27 PM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

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though these comments and questions were directed at trent, they are about what is essentially (give or take some idiosyncrasies) also my condition, and so i will respond.

Velvet V.:

Your freedom is freedom from human nature and emotions, pure intellect.


no, the freedom is a freedom from the human condition (being and its artefacts of affects), resulting in a change in human nature, and in uninterrupted apperceptive awareness and unmediated experience of the actual world (which includes unmediated - and thus undriven - thought).

Velvet V.:

You think that it's possible to become a machine in an organic body after purifying oneself from the remnants of human nature, right?


no, it is possible to be an organic body only, and not anything in it (whether a machine or a feeling being).

Velvet V.:

What you say is strange, though:

Trent H.:
Flesh and blood bodies (as opposed to emotional identities) live in the world of people, things and events; the only place where anything actually ever happens.


It's strange because if we oppose reality at large to emotions, then emotions and pure intellect are both equally opposed to reality.


what trent is proposing here is that affective experience (which is the experience of a feeling being, however rarified) invariably distorts one's experience of the world (and obscures its actuality), not that actuality is opposed to emotions (experientially, they cannot co-exist - not even in opposition), and certainly not that his intellect is separate from the actual world.

Velvet V.:

Nothing ever happens in your thinking and evaluating mind, it isn't on par with flesh bodies and events that actually happen.


your conclusion here does not hold as it is supported only by your argument above which was made on a false premiss.

further, i can testify that what happens in my thinking and evaluating mind is far from 'nothing' - i am thinking and evaluating right now (i do it all the time), and it is indeed on par with flesh bodies, as it is, itself, an event (a function) which actually happens (and is equally excellent in the experience of its happening).

Velvet V.:

I must say that your ideas are the very opposite of buddhism so far.


i have said this many times, but older, more established (and arguably more accomplished) buddhist practitioners such as dan ingram, chuck kasmire, and yet another well-respected, greatly-accomplished buddhist practitioner (who will remain anonymous for now) all disagree, claim to recognise what i'm talking about, and consider it a worthy attainment.

who will you believe, them or someone you've already decided must live in his own 'private imaginary quarters of reality?[1]

Velvet V.:

You claim that there is a part of "you" that is very real, ...


this living, functioning flesh-and-blood body actually exists.. there is no 'me' apart from it.

Velvet V.:

... on par with solid reality, ...


this living, functioning flesh-and-blood body is part of the actual world.

Velvet V.:

... that you can separate it from the rest of your (unreal) emotions and desires and it will guide you.


experience of the actual world (as a flesh-and-blood body only) cannot be 'separated from' the experience of emotions/desires as the two cannot be experienced at the same time - it is only in the absence of the latter that the former is known.

what guides a feeling being who seeks experience of the actual world is pure intent, which is most readily engendered by the memory of a pure consciousness experience (and thus direct knowledge of its possibility).


Velvet V.:


Trent H.:
Acting is a function of one's will, which I suspect is a function of the intellect and is certainly not part of the affective faculties in any case. A flesh and blood body is free of reactions, which means that anything I choose to do happens via freed will. This is a radical freedom indeed.


It's very original to say that there is a separate will that belongs to the intellect, as if there are two wills, an emotional will and an intellectual will. Even if there are two of them, what kind of "freedom" eliminating one grants you? The freedom from another one?


as the intellect is a function of the flesh-and-blood body, then the freedom which is granted by the elimination of drives and desires is a freedom of that flesh-and-blood body from its compulsive, tortured demands.

Velvet V.:

That said, I already met people who believed that their lives will be better if their actions would all be guided by intellect and emotionless decisions, people who were not aware of what really drove them and chose to purposefully dumb down their emotions. It never worked fully for them, you and others are the first ones whom I've seen to claim to have achieved that goal.


i did not achieved the goal of being free of feelings completely by having 'dumb[ed] down my emotions' but by having discovered that *i am them* ('i' am 'my feelings' and 'my feelings' are me), by having discovered that 'i' can actually be driven, by those very forces, to 'my' (and their) utter extinction ... and by having understood that the world will a better place for it.

thus, is it any wonder that those people you met who were not aware of what really drove them could not achieve actual emotionlessness no matter how they tried?

tarin

[1]
Velvet V.:

I don't believe these guys! They must live in their own private imaginary quarters of reality.


does it not strike you as odd that you find claims that humans can perform extra-sensory feats like divination or telekinesis, or claims that humans can transform their entire flesh-and-blood bodies into pure light via meditation, plausible ... but consider the prospect that humans can live in utter peace and tranquility so totally implausible that people who claim to do so must be pretentious, self-deceiving liars?
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tarin greco, modified 13 Years ago at 5/2/10 1:29 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/2/10 1:29 PM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

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Yadid Bee:
Tarin,
Would you be able to have a romantic intimate relationship in your current way of being in the world? (actually free from the human condition?)


romantic, no; intimate, yes.

tarin
Trent , modified 13 Years ago at 5/2/10 2:35 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/2/10 2:35 PM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

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Yadid Bee:

Do you still practice meditation Trent? Jhanas, Fruition and Nirodha Samapatti? Or do you have no need for such activities.


No, I have not intentionally meditated in more than ten months (which was actually before setting out to actualize my current condition). I am incapable of all three of the listed as I have no psyche / no psychic being residing within me.

Trent
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Yadid dee, modified 13 Years ago at 5/2/10 3:20 PM
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RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

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Trent H.:

No, I have not intentionally meditated in more than ten months (which was actually before setting out to actualize my current condition). I am incapable of all three of the listed as I have no psyche / no psychic being residing within me.


What happens when you close your eyes and observe. What's going on inside?
Trent , modified 13 Years ago at 5/2/10 4:02 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/2/10 4:02 PM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

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Yadid Bee:
What happens when you close your eyes and observe. What's going on inside?


What's "going on inside" is basically just my eyes seeing the back of my eyelids. Not a whole lot of anything really; just a vividly alive, velvety darkness. Further, my awareness of the other senses does not dull (unless the body needs sleep, then it is a gradual dulling until sleep occurs). There is none of the images/sounds/future scenarios/memories of the past being played out as was the case during normality or enlightenment, as this body no longer harbors an emotional "subject" identity.

Regards,
Trent
ManZ A, modified 13 Years ago at 5/2/10 4:56 PM
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RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

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So essentially, this condition is one where you have no thoughts or feelings and you are only aware of the five senses. Is that somewhat right?
Trent , modified 13 Years ago at 5/2/10 5:39 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/2/10 5:39 PM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

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Bruno Loff:
This condition marks the end of poetry, romance and music. It sort of dawns as a new, utterly clear, un-suffering, perfected intelligence.


Hi,

Just thought I would mention that it may not necessarily end music in the sense of purposefully composed, aesthetically pleasing arrangements of sounds. It would certainly change the content of music drastically-- in tone and lyric especially-- but I certainly still enjoy listening to music from time to time. This appears to be idiosyncratic, as the other actually free peoples I've read of / spoken to do not seem to go out of their way to listen to music, whereas I do (although much, much less often than before). I've been a big music listener for most of my life, for unknown reasons, but perhaps that contains a hint as to why I still enjoy it.

My tastes have changed a lot, for sure, but are surprisingly similar at the same time. I enjoy highly melodic music of just about any kind, as has been the case for years. The difference in my play-list these days is that I do not listen to music which previously was something 'I' identified with or, in other words, was listened to for solely emotional purposes. I especially like music that 'I' use to, previously, deem to be "too busy." Due to heightened perception of sound, I am able to clearly discern a much more complex composition than previously (therefore, it is no longer "too busy," but is instead, pleasing in the added complexity of melody).

It is interesting to note that I listen to some music which use to be very sad or has sorrowful lyrics, and music which has themes of love and romance and so forth (as is the case with so much of music). These overtones are basically just "ignored" in that they don't affect me in any way; I usually don't notice it at all while I listen. Finally, there is some music I listen to which is pleasing to hear for largely unknown reasons to me; perhaps I just find certain voices or sounds to be more pleasing than others.

Here's a song that I like for the overall tone it presents; the various instruments (the cool elegance of the piano and violin mixed with the grit of the rest of the song is especially excellent), the quality of the two singers' voices (the female's voice elegant like the piano and violin, whereas the male's voice is gritty like the guitar), and so on. It also has some lyrical lines which are quaintly appropriate to this topic. A lot is lost in the quality of this format, but here it is anyway: Dark Tranquility - The Mundane and the Magic

Enjoy,
Trent
Trent , modified 13 Years ago at 5/2/10 5:44 PM
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RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

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ManZ A:
So essentially, this condition is one where you have no thoughts or feelings and you are only aware of the five senses. Is that somewhat right?


Thought continues on, and the intellect -- no longer stuffed up by the identity-- operates with staggering acuity. The senses are heightened a lot, and yes, no more feelings.

Enjoy,
Trent
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Yadid dee, modified 13 Years ago at 5/3/10 12:20 AM
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the prisoner greco:

i have said this many times, but older, more established (and arguably more accomplished) buddhist practitioners such as dan ingram, chuck kasmire, and yet another well-respected, greatly-accomplished buddhist practitioner (who will remain anonymous for now) all disagree, claim to recognise what i'm talking about, and consider it a worthy attainment.


So how come they haven't pursued / aren't pursuing this attainment?
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tarin greco, modified 13 Years ago at 5/3/10 12:56 AM
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Yadid Bee:
the prisoner greco:

i have said this many times, but older, more established (and arguably more accomplished) buddhist practitioners such as dan ingram, chuck kasmire, and yet another well-respected, greatly-accomplished buddhist practitioner (who will remain anonymous for now) all disagree, claim to recognise what i'm talking about, and consider it a worthy attainment.


So how come they haven't pursued / aren't pursuing this attainment?


chuck considers the attainment synonymous with 4th path (he did not consider me to be an arahat prior to this) and so considers that he already has done it, dan i'll let speak for himself (he will soon enough), and mystery accomplished buddhist practitioner remains a mystery.

tarin
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Bruno Loff, modified 13 Years ago at 5/3/10 5:38 AM
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RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

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Yes Daniel, please make your mind known. I am very interested in what you have to say.

I guess whatever happens to me, alea jacta est. Whichever process has begun seems to have taken its own momentum, I feel stuff changing within every day. I will go on loving my family and friends as far as I can.

Already I notice that, understanding the mechanisms of suffering a lot better, I can see how people are driven into causing more suffering, in themselves and others, because they don't see it happening themselves. Once one sees how it happens, in particular in our own mind, it is just natural not to do it ourselves any longer, because the mechanism is clearly painful. So one is no longer an actor in the human drama.

I am glad to know that at least behaviourly, this AF conditon, should it come, will apparently not prevent me from caring for those who love me (is that so guys? do you still visit mom & dad?). Still I would much better be sad when they are sad, and joyful when they are joyful. That is, Tarin, in essence, why I am not fond of the AF condition. You see, you say you live in the "actual" world, but as far as I know, in the ACTUAL world, most people DO HAVE feelings, which is a dimension AF utterly eradicates. The human drama plays on, in the ACTUAL world. It seems to me that, in AF, one has "left the boat" in some way, somehow no longer part of the story, as one has very clearly seen the mechanisms writing the play, and gone so far as to erase them in oneself. Suffering ceases, since it is just one of those mechanisms (or maybe the underlying fundamental aspect of these mechanisms, I don't know).

I have utterly lost all rush to reach buddha's end goal. But this, ironically, seems to bring it ever closer.
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Yadid dee, modified 13 Years ago at 5/3/10 6:18 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/3/10 6:16 AM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

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Tarin, thank you letting us know that this is not some state discovered and invented by AF, it is recognized by high-level buddhist practitioners.

About the mystery accomplished practitioner - can't he remain a mystery but with you sharing with us his current state? just for statistics-wise.

Also, this kind of sounds like something I have heard U Ba Khin say about eventually getting rid of all the sankharas, wholesome and unwholesome.

And Bruno - thank you for your post.
Velvet V, modified 13 Years ago at 5/3/10 8:42 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/3/10 8:42 AM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

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the prisoner greco:
further, i can testify that what happens in my thinking and evaluating mind is far from 'nothing' - i am thinking and evaluating right now (i do it all the time), and it is indeed on par with flesh bodies, as it is, itself, an event (a function) which actually happens (and is equally excellent in the experience of its happening).

The same can be said about emotions.

the prisoner greco:
who will you believe, them or someone you've already decided must live in his own 'private imaginary quarters of reality?[1]

My own evaluation, however inaccurate it may be. I don't necessarily believe them to have achieved what they claim, it would take an arahat to know that for sure. In this case I can't believe that what you're doing is alike to buddhism, because buddhism does glorify some feelings and some are deemed necessary for progress, especially compassion.

what guides a feeling being who seeks experience of the actual world is pure intent, which is most readily engendered by the memory of a pure consciousness experience (and thus direct knowledge of its possibility).


What is this pure intent? What is this intent being driven by, in the absence of all feelings?

as the intellect is a function of the flesh-and-blood body, then the freedom which is granted by the elimination of drives and desires is a freedom of that flesh-and-blood body from its compulsive, tortured demands.


You do not believe that feelings can be pure, all of them are compulsive and tortured?

but consider the prospect that humans can live in utter peace and tranquility so totally implausible that people who claim to do so must be pretentious, self-deceiving liars?

Utter peace and tranquility is a description of a mood, a feeling. This is what I think is happening, you've arrived at a certain mood and labeled it "lack of feelings".

But to answer your rhetorical question, I've been trying to deal with my own feelings for a very long time, and the final conclusion was that you cannot fight feelings directly. There's a lot more to them than meets the eye, feelings aren't all so plain like anger or love, there are many other vague impulses and moods, and it's impossible to know completely why you're doing something or why you want something. Trying to understand them is guesswork. Of course claims of people who say that they don't have feelings don't sound right, they should've lost all of this vague and undefined foundation that drove them, but they're writing in the forums and have no trouble feeling stimulated enough to formulate sentences.
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Constance Casey, modified 13 Years ago at 5/3/10 12:49 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/3/10 12:49 PM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

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I reviewed some of the actual freedom site material and my synthesis is that while Richard may be 4th path, he interprets it as beyond enlightenment because at the time he went through that stage there wasn’t material and individuals who had gone through fourth path available to him.

Bernadette Roberts said that she also had gone beyond all of the Unitive teachings that she had come across and so she felt her experience had also gone beyond.

I interpret this to mean that she had simply arrived at fourth path. Her previous stage of experience sounded similar to 3rd path.

So, it is easy to assume that one is fully enlightened at 3rd path when there is more to discover, or much less than one ever thought possible-so to speak.

And, on the actual freedom writings: I feel that if it is useful to some , so be it, and it hasn’t resonated with me along the way; seems very focused on the transcendent more than I tend to utilize.
ManZ A, modified 13 Years ago at 5/3/10 3:19 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/3/10 3:19 PM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

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Ya that's what I think too, but I'm not sure entirely. Coincidentally, I read a sutta yesterday that involved some bhikkhus coming to testify to the Buddha that they had attained Arahantship. When a householder asked if they had all truly attained Arahantship, the Buddha said that some of the bhikkhus were mistaken while some had truly attained it. Which made me wonder how would one really know for certain that they had attained Arahantship, it seems a bit subjective. But there's nothing to say whether this AF is really Arahantship or something else. To me it sounds like Arahantship, but I'm a n00b so idk.
Brian , modified 13 Years ago at 5/3/10 7:28 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/3/10 7:28 PM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

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I think the use of the word "feeling" in this discussion is potentially a source of confusion. For instance, Tarin speaks of "sensate pleasure" and Trent seems to allude to the same. On one common way of understanding the word "feeling," any kind of "pleasure" would be an instance of "feeling". So two questions:

1. what is the phenomenological distinction between "sensate pleasure" and "feeling pleasure" or "affective pleasure"?

2. is there a word or phrase that could be used instead of "feeling" that refers to what is eliminated in AF, such that this new word or phrase is not easily confused with things that are preserved in AF such as "sensate pleasure"?
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tarin greco, modified 13 Years ago at 5/4/10 11:33 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/4/10 11:33 AM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

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Bruno Loff:

I am glad to know that at least behaviourly, this AF conditon, should it come, will apparently not prevent me from caring for those who love me (is that so guys? do you still visit mom & dad?).


the condition of being actually free allows me to actually care about others (as contrasted from feeling that i do), and does not prevent me from caring for anyone, regardless of whether or not they love the identity they take to be me, and irrespective of any familial relation or genetic similarity they may have with or to me. that they are fellow human beings is enough to care - it no longer takes any effort or intention whatsoever to be this way.

Bruno Loff:

Still I would much better be sad when they are sad, and joyful when they are joyful.


why?

Bruno Loff:

That is, Tarin, in essence, why I am not fond of the AF condition. You see, you say you live in the "actual" world, but as far as I know, in the ACTUAL world, most people DO HAVE feelings, which is a dimension AF utterly eradicates.


attaining an actual freedom doesn't eradicate a dimension of feeling, it simply brings one to one's senses so that one may continuously and uninterruptedly perceive what actually exists. it's somewhat akin to the old example of seeing the rope on the floor in a dark room, rather than imagining a snake - the distorting effect of passional existence on sensate percepts is gone entirely, like it was never there to begin with (the rope was never really a snake).. and thus all feelings and desires are gone entirely as well.

here in the actual world, i encounter no feelings; i only encounter other people, virtually all of whom behave according to the dictates of their illusory feelings... feelings which exist only in their imaginations and not at all here.

Bruno Loff:

The human drama plays on, in the ACTUAL world.


the human drama is utterly absent here.

Bruno Loff:

It seems to me that, in AF, one has "left the boat" in some way, somehow no longer part of the story, as one has very clearly seen the mechanisms writing the play, and gone so far as to erase them in oneself. Suffering ceases, since it is just one of those mechanisms (or maybe the underlying fundamental aspect of these mechanisms, I don't know).


suffering is, at root, the experience of an identity which has no existence in the actual world (this world of people and things).


Bruno Loff:

I have utterly lost all rush to reach buddha's end goal. But this, ironically, seems to bring it ever closer.


buddha's end goal was parinibbana (parinirvana) - what does that have to do with this discussion?

tarin
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tarin greco, modified 13 Years ago at 5/4/10 11:45 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/4/10 11:44 AM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

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Yadid Bee:
Tarin, thank you letting us know that this is not some state discovered and invented by AF, it is recognized by high-level buddhist practitioners.


i have been a high-level buddhist practitioner (albeit with fewer years of post-attainment experience than each of the three people i mentioned) but i am inclined to disagree with chuck's assessment that actual freedom is the same as 4th path, as well as the mystery practitioner whose assessment (based on my personal account) is that it is part of the development charted by the buddha (by the way, he does not recognise anyone here as an arahat); dan will let his thoughts be known in due time.

Yadid Bee:

About the mystery accomplished practitioner - can't he remain a mystery but with you sharing with us his current state? just for statistics-wise.


i don't know his state as such but he's clearly at least 3rd, possibly 4th, path by the standards used at the dho.

Yadid Bee:

Also, this kind of sounds like something I have heard U Ba Khin say about eventually getting rid of all the sankharas, wholesome and unwholesome.


will you please quote the relevant text here?

tarin
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tarin greco, modified 13 Years ago at 5/4/10 12:51 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/4/10 12:51 PM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

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Velvet V.:
the prisoner greco:
further, i can testify that what happens in my thinking and evaluating mind is far from 'nothing' - i am thinking and evaluating right now (i do it all the time), and it is indeed on par with flesh bodies, as it is, itself, an event (a function) which actually happens (and is equally excellent in the experience of its happening).

The same can be said about emotions.


the same cannot be said about emotions because emotions do not actually happen; they are only ever ephemeral illusions felt by an identity who is equally non-existent here (and whose absence reveals the utterly clear sensate experience of what actually happens).

Velvet V.:

the prisoner greco:
who will you believe, them or someone you've already decided must live in his own 'private imaginary quarters of reality?[1]

My own evaluation, however inaccurate it may be. I don't necessarily believe them to have achieved what they claim, it would take an arahat to know that for sure.


perhaps; yet, in my experience, self-claimed arahats frequently fail to recognise one another. consider the following (from earlier in this thread):

ManZ A:

(...) I read a sutta yesterday that involved some bhikkhus coming to testify to the Buddha that they had attained Arahantship. When a householder asked if they had all truly attained Arahantship, the Buddha said that some of the bhikkhus were mistaken while some had truly attained it. Which made me wonder how would one really know for certain that they had attained Arahantship, it seems a bit subjective.


clearly, either the buddha was mistaken or not all arahats can recognise each other.

Velvet V.:

In this case I can't believe that what you're doing is alike to buddhism, because buddhism does glorify some feelings and some are deemed necessary for progress, especially compassion.


indeed, and the emphasis which buddhism places on feelings such as compassion makes me think it

by the way, on the path i took here it was absolutely necessary to magnify certain feelings, such as felicity, delight, light-heartedness, exuberance, the joy of being alive, etc ... all of which have this particular quality to them (such that they can be grouped together under the moniker 'felicitous feelings') and all of which, when felt sincerely and whole-heartedly, have this capacity for leading one further into modes of experience marked by sensuousness.

Velvet V.:

what guides a feeling being who seeks experience of the actual world is pure intent, which is most readily engendered by the memory of a pure consciousness experience (and thus direct knowledge of its possibility).


What is this pure intent? What is this intent being driven by, in the absence of all feelings?


pure intent is the intent a feeling being has to, above all else, live this moment as best as is humanly possible, which standard has been set by the knowledge (the memory) of a pure consciousness experience, and which is enabled by the knowledge that 'i' am nothing more and nothing less than 'my intent'.

in the absence of being (and resultingly, all feelings), this intent no longer exists to be driven by anything (it has already been fulfilled and is now gone - extinguished).

Velvet V.:

as the intellect is a function of the flesh-and-blood body, then the freedom which is granted by the elimination of drives and desires is a freedom of that flesh-and-blood body from its compulsive, tortured demands.


You do not believe that feelings can be pure, all of them are compulsive and tortured?


all feelings are compulsive (a feeling being is inevitably driven - compelled - by their occurrence).

when compared to the condition of actual freedom, even the self-diminishing felicitous feelings are tortured (not to mention the separation-bridging feelings such as love and compassion).

Velvet V.:

but consider the prospect that humans can live in utter peace and tranquility so totally implausible that people who claim to do so must be pretentious, self-deceiving liars?

Utter peace and tranquility is a description of a mood, a feeling. This is what I think is happening, you've arrived at a certain mood and labeled it "lack of feelings".


the utter peace and tranquility i am referring to here is a description of a state of which feelings of peace and tranquility are only approximations. it is an entirely different mode of experience than anything in the affective range, including those approximate feelings - i am neither falsifying nor exaggerating this.

Velvet V.:

But to answer your rhetorical question, I've been trying to deal with my own feelings for a very long time, and the final conclusion was that you cannot fight feelings directly.


as what i have been saying is that 'i' am 'my feelings', i agree with your conclusion that 'you' cannot fight feelings directly ... or even indirectly, for that matter.

Velvet V.:

There's a lot more to them than meets the eye, feelings aren't all so plain like anger or love, there are many other vague impulses and moods, (...)


there is indeed much more to feelings than meets the eye (such as the fact that 'they' are 'you').

Velvet V.:

(...) and it's impossible to know completely why you're doing something or why you want something. Trying to understand them is guesswork.


though feelings are ephemeral and elusive (and illusory), and though it takes significant investigation to understand your own thoughts, feelings, and impulses (what it is that makes 'you' tick), it is possible, given the requisite sincerity, to understand if you want to live right now as well as is humanly possible.

this is pure intent.

Velvet V.:

Of course claims of people who say that they don't have feelings don't sound right, they should've lost all of this vague and undefined foundation that drove them, but they're writing in the forums and have no trouble feeling stimulated enough to formulate sentences.


i experience no vague and undefined foundation, nothing drives me, and so i am free to choose to write in the forums (or not). feelings or drives are not needed in the slightest to write, form sentences, or do anything else which will can accomplish.

can you see the difference between will and desire?

tarin
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Yadid dee, modified 13 Years ago at 5/4/10 1:19 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/4/10 1:19 PM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

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the prisoner greco:

Yadid Bee:

Also, this kind of sounds like something I have heard U Ba Khin say about eventually getting rid of all the sankharas, wholesome and unwholesome.


will you please quote the relevant text here?

tarin


I just went through all the material I have and I couldn't find it, maybe I will at a later time and will post it here.
However, I do remember exacly that it said: "first one uproots the unwholesome sankharas and then even the wholesome ones." I remember it because it made a strong impression on me.
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tarin greco, modified 13 Years ago at 5/4/10 1:23 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/4/10 1:23 PM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

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Constance Casey:
I reviewed some of the actual freedom site material and my synthesis is that while Richard may be 4th path, he interprets it as beyond enlightenment because at the time he went through that stage there wasn’t material and individuals who had gone through fourth path available to him.


i am not surprised, as this is what chuck also gathered.


Constance Casey:

Bernadette Roberts said that she also had gone beyond all of the Unitive teachings that she had come across and so she felt her experience had also gone beyond.

I interpret this to mean that she had simply arrived at fourth path. Her previous stage of experience sounded similar to 3rd path.


unless you provide textual references (or, preferably, quote the relevant text), i will not be able to comment meaningfully on this (as i know too little about bernadette roberts to do so).

Constance Casey:

So, it is easy to assume that one is fully enlightened at 3rd path when there is more to discover, or much less than one ever thought possible-so to speak.


is it equally easy for you to assume that one who is fully enlightened at 4th path has already discovered a way of living which is completely, uninterruptedly, and unequivocally free of, among other things, anger, irritation, agitation, frustration, libido, craving, greed, disquietude, uneasiness, nervousness, nervous tension, or apprehension ... such that not even a trace of those feelings remains to ever arise?

Constance Casey:

And, on the actual freedom writings: I feel that if it is useful to some , so be it, and it hasn’t resonated with me along the way; seems very focused on the transcendent more than I tend to utilize.


what the actual freedom trust homepage emphasises is the dissemination of a practical and down-to-earth method by which practice a sufficiently motivated human being can set in motion a process that results in a condition permanently free from all anxiety, grief, and ill-will.

how is that in any way 'very focused on the transcendent' (and what is it transcendent of)?

tarin
ManZ A, modified 13 Years ago at 5/4/10 4:09 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/4/10 4:09 PM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

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On the other sutta I mentioned, I'm usually assuming that the Buddha would be able to tell who was an Arahant and who wasn't by "encompassing their mind" or something. Of course this is all speculation. I'm curious, what exactly is the main difference/s at least for you since you've attained fourth path, between Arahantship and Actual Freedom?
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tarin greco, modified 13 Years ago at 5/4/10 5:30 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/4/10 5:30 PM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

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Brian M:
I think the use of the word "feeling" in this discussion is potentially a source of confusion. For instance, Tarin speaks of "sensate pleasure" and Trent seems to allude to the same.


i use the word 'feeling' at least almost exclusively to refer to affective experience (i may from time to time mean 'tactile experience', particularly in casual conversation in which i am considerably less careful about being clear).

Brian M:

On one common way of understanding the word "feeling," any kind of "pleasure" would be an instance of "feeling". So two questions:

1. what is the phenomenological distinction between "sensate pleasure" and "feeling pleasure" or "affective pleasure"?


the experiential difference between sensate pleasure and affective pleasure is that in the former, the pleasure is of sensate (bodily) experience which is inherently pleasant, whereas in the latter, the pleasure is of the emotional or passional sort, which is the sort that the pleasure/pain centre - a part of the affective faculty - produces, and which is part and parcel of the experience of 'i' (the very sense of 'i' is an inchoately affective experience). though both forms of pleasure are dependent on conditions, the former (sensate) pleasure is dependent on physical conditions, while the latter (affective) pleasure is dependent on the condition of one's being and resulting passions and emotions.

however, there is a perfection which is independent of either sensate or affective pleasure, and which is apperceived by a human being only when there is no pleasure/pain centre operating (due either to being in abeyance or having gone into extinction). this perfection, though actually always already the case, is obscured (from one's living experience) by an identity which comprises, elementarily, instinctual passions, and which has a dulling and distorting effect on one's perception (both numbing one to sensate pleasure and blocking apperception).

Brian M:

2. is there a word or phrase that could be used instead of "feeling" that refers to what is eliminated in AF, such that this new word or phrase is not easily confused with things that are preserved in AF such as "sensate pleasure"?


i find 'feelings' to be a useful catch-all word to refer to all manner of affect, but 'emotions' and 'passions' work just as well.

tarin
This Good Self, modified 13 Years ago at 5/5/10 12:49 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/4/10 11:36 PM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

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Isn't the practice of AF basically the same as insight meditation?

Isn't 'HAIETMOBA' basically the same as noting every sensation and thought, moment to moment?

Isn't PCE = A&P?

By the way, greco, I really like this quote of yours:

"the condition of being actually free allows me to actually care about others (as contrasted from feeling that i do), and does not prevent me from caring for anyone, regardless of whether or not they love the identity they take to be me, and irrespective of any familial relation or genetic similarity they may have with or to me. that they are fellow human beings is enough to care - it no longer takes any effort or intention whatsoever to be this way".

To me, this ^^ seems very pure. Can you heal people of illness/disease with this sort of 'actual caring'? Ever tried? Would be a good experiment.

Also, a question for both trent and tarin - what do people feel when they hang around you? Do they get a contact high? Do they become peaceful, angry, irritable...etc? Is there any noticeable effect on others? I ask this because I assume (rightly or wrongly) that a normal person's nervous system would react quite unusually to the vibe you give off. I'm particularly interested in what effect your gaze has on others, since I believe massive amounts of information, both subtle and not-so-subtle, comes through the eyes, whether you intend it or not.
Trent , modified 13 Years ago at 5/5/10 1:53 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/5/10 1:51 AM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

Posts: 361 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
C C C:
Isn't the practice of AF basically the same as insight meditation?

No.

C C C:
Isn't 'HAIETMOBA' basically the same as noting every sensation and thought, moment to moment?

No.

C C C:
Isn't PCE = A&P?

No.

C C C:
Can you heal people of illness/disease with this sort of 'actual caring'? Ever tried? Would be a good experiment.

No, no and no.

Hint: common theme on this thread: too much trying to shoe-horn the methods proposed on the AFTrust website (or advice given on the DhO regarding the pursuit of an AF) into a spiritual context.

C C C:
Also, a question for both trent and tarin - what do people feel when they hang around you? Do they get a contact high? Do they become peaceful, angry, irritable...etc? Is there any noticeable effect on others? I ask this because I assume (rightly or wrongly) that a normal person's nervous system would react quite unusually to the vibe you give off. I'm particularly interested in what effect your gaze has on others, since I believe massive amounts of information, both subtle and not-so-subtle, comes through the eyes, whether you intend it or not.


I've had people (not knowing about my condition) look at me confusedly (they were trying to "feel me out"), for instance and could not find a "vibe" at all. Whereas others may just be open and friendly and realize the harmlessness of whom they're interacting with. I give these two examples so as to say: it varies from person to person. I have not interacted with a lot of people since then, however, so Tarin could probably give a more varied response.

Enjoy,
Trent
This Good Self, modified 13 Years ago at 5/5/10 2:37 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/5/10 2:35 AM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

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trent, can you expand on 'no'? Doesn't help me a lot. I asked because there appears to be many similarities. Not trying to shoe horn anything, just understand the basics of AF.

If I am way off base in my understanding, then say so. But if not, please explain how they are different. Thanks.
Velvet V, modified 13 Years ago at 5/5/10 9:52 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/5/10 9:52 AM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

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the prisoner greco:
the same cannot be said about emotions because emotions do not actually happen; they are only ever ephemeral illusions felt by an identity who is equally non-existent here (and whose absence reveals the utterly clear sensate experience of what actually happens).

We'll agree to disagree. I can picture emotions being felt even without a conventional "me", just like thoughts can be thought without a conventional "me". Both are on the same footing.

the prisoner greco:
clearly, either the buddha was mistaken or not all arahats can recognise each other.

Wasn't buddha an arahat himself? He could recognize. We don't know if those other arahats tried to evaluate one another and what the outcome of their attempts was.

the prisoner greco:
there is indeed much more to feelings than meets the eye (such as the fact that 'they' are 'you').

I think they exist independantly from "me". Most of them. Otherwise they'd be easier to control. But it's like rain or sun or tsunami, it happens and you're always an observer who is affected.

it is possible, given the requisite sincerity, to understand if you want to live right now as well as is humanly possible.

this is pure intent.

What "this" is pure intent, a desire to live well? Then I have to ask you what the reason for this desire is, why you want to live in this way and why it's important. If there are no emotions, you can't really care for anything, including how you live.

By the way, the only place I met the word intent in spiritual context were the works of Carlos Castaneda, and I saw an idea of living as well as possible there, too...

i experience no vague and undefined foundation, nothing drives me, and so i am free to choose to write in the forums (or not). feelings or drives are not needed in the slightest to write, form sentences, or do anything else which will can accomplish.

Can you stand on one leg for 15 hours? I'm serious, you would be able to do that in absence of emotions. Nothing would drive you away from doing it, if no annoyance is possible.

can you see the difference between will and desire?

No I can't, will isn't possible without desiring the outcome in my book. That desires can be conflicting is another matter altogether.
Trent , modified 13 Years ago at 5/5/10 4:01 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/5/10 3:59 PM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

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C C C:
If I am way off base in my understanding, then say so.


You seem to be "way off base." Reading the AFTrust web site sincerely will likely ameliorate this. I would respond to each question myself in detail, but the answers are already provided on that site given you have a working knowledge of insight meditation (which I am assuming is the case given that you are trying to compare the two). I provided a few links / pointers below to assist.

C C C:
Isn't the practice of AF basically the same as insight meditation?


There are similarities at first glance, which is probably why it's easy to confuse the two. They are very much different in most ways, however. For one very big difference: I did not meditate at all to reach an AF. I recommend a quick glance at the chart at the top and the checklist-style write-up toward the bottom of this page: http://actualfreedom.com.au/library/topics/180-degrees.htm

C C C:
Isn't 'HAIETMOBA' basically the same as noting every sensation and thought, moment to moment?


The "HAIETMOBA" method is basically meant to help one see for oneself, each moment again, when one's passions flare up ("I" get angry, sad, lusty, etc) and what caused that flare up so that the "trigger" (the identification) can be eliminated (not transcended). This is practiced in all of one's daily life -- work, play, chores, etc-- with eyes open.

C C C:
Isn't PCE = A&P?


The A&P is highly affective in nature (probably the biggest surges of feeling 'I' ever experienced in my life), marked especially by bliss, awe, wonder, and the like. The PCE has none of these, and is a far cleaner, more pure, direct, sensate experience.

You can find descriptions of the A&P all over this site and I think there are some in MCTB as well. Here are some descriptions of the PCE written by practitioners: http://actualfreedom.com.au/actualism/others/corr-pce.htm

C C C:
Can you heal people of illness/disease with this sort of 'actual caring'? Ever tried? Would be a good experiment.


Actual caring is a function of a flesh and blood body, which is devoid of emotional "vibes" or ability to "directly" influence emotional entities to cause placebo effects in their body or whatever (let me know if I have assumed too much here). As such, if I wanted to be healed, I would see a trained and experienced doctor of the human biological organism and whom is well versed in all the other things that are necessary for being a doctor. With these things in mind, I can think of no experiment --involving such a premise as would be the requisite assumption for hypothesis-- that would yield any insight or aid which could increase anyone's quality of life. Any "trying" would just be me staring at someone, -- probably smiling at the ridiculousness of it all-- watching while they tried to think or feel away their ailment, or some other similar silliness.

Enjoy,
Trent
This Good Self, modified 13 Years ago at 5/6/10 9:59 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/5/10 9:30 PM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

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More questions trent! Thanks for the previous replies. Has been edited a few times as new things occurred to me and certain questions answered themselves on reflection. emoticon

1. Does humour resonate with you? Do some types of humour get a "does not compute" reaction from your brain, when previously they may have caused laughter? What about when a female flirts with you - do you stand there Spock-like or are you able to *engage* her?

2. Do you believe that the process you undertook switched off the genes that control the emotive part of your brain?

3. May I know something about your personal history, such as the following: age, occupation, nature of your childhood, childhood illnesses, relationships with your parents, relationships with siblings and peers at school and afterwards, where you live, what made you decide to do AF stuff, etc.? Yes, I'm trying to see if anything went wrong!!! I'd apologise for being intrusive, but then again....it wouldn't worry you if I was, right?

5. I'm continuing to read the AF site, despite the poor layout and sometimes supercilious language. Granted I haven't read the whole thing but it's now starting to look very much like modern cognitive therapy, but perhaps a bit less sophisticated.

6. The 180 degree chart is just plain wrong. I'm pretty new to this stuff, but it's glaringly obvious even to me that the "enhancement of good emotions and the denial of bad emotions" is not at all what the "tried and tested" spiritual traditions are aiming for. They aim for freedom from both.

7. I challenge you to respond in normal language, free from the tortuous "AF-speak", if you would be so kind!

Thanks again.
Pavel _, modified 13 Years ago at 5/6/10 3:10 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/6/10 3:10 PM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

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I have to say that I am tremendously enjoying the discussion here, I think that it is a great opportunity for all of us to get a glimpse of what AF has to offer (sure, I find some of this stuff very alien and very scary but fascinating nevertheless). Which is why it would be a good idea to keep the discussion civil and polite as otherwise it will probably end very soon, as has been the case many times before with other people and in other contexts. While the AF guys do tend to have a very brusque and hard tone, there is no reason to answer with a biting/aggressive/mocking one (which was not the case when they were talking about insight rather than AF, something in which they help this site a lot in my opinion, also something that should be kept in mind).

I think that responding with a bite rather than respect and curiosity is not necessary and does all of us very little favour.
Trent , modified 13 Years ago at 5/6/10 3:40 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/6/10 3:40 PM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

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Hi there,

C C C:
1. Does humour resonate with you? Do some types of humour get a "does not compute" reaction from your brain, when previously they may have caused laughter? What about when a female flirts with you - do you stand there Spock-like or are you able to *engage* her?


Yeah, I find some things very funny, some things grin-worthy, some not so funny (which does not mean I feel bad about it, it just "does not compute"). I find some things funnier now than I did before, and some things not very funny now that I did before. I find humor in silly things (watching an animal or child do something goofy), dark humor (especially if it mocks cleanliness/dirtiness or authority/power), for two examples.

If a female flirts with me, I am free to be humorous, inquisitive, and perhaps even banter a bit. I can pick up on her suggestive body language, and could present some of my own if I wanted. I don't really engage in this though, as this seems kinda silly and slightly dysfunctional since the subtle affective "chemistry" is not there, especially given the context (next sentence). I only know this from my own companion by the way -- whom "flirting" with is not really the same as what your question seems to insinuate the situation as being -- so I can't say more, as I do not engage other females in any way that could be reasonably mistaken as flirtatious.

C C C:
2. Do you believe that the process you undertook switched off the genes that control the emotive part of your brain?


I'm not really sure what you're asking. A physical mutation certainly occurred, which was gradual throughout months of work, which effectively rendered the affective faculties null and void; does that answer your question?

C C C:
3. May I know something about your personal history, such as the following: age, occupation, nature of your childhood, childhood illnesses, relationships with your parents, relationships with siblings and peers at school and afterwards, where you live, what made you decide to do AF stuff, etc.? Yes, I'm trying to see if anything went wrong!!! I'd apologise for being intrusive, but then again....it wouldn't worry you if I was, right?


I am 24 years old. I completed and hold an undergraduate degree in computer information systems and my last job (I am currently unemployed after moving cross-country from Texas to Oregon) was as an operations & business analyst for a mid-sized corporation. The question regarding the nature of my childhood is a big key to why I ended up as I am, but it would take way too long for me to write out right now; perhaps some other time (some is mentioned below). I had no mental illness as a child, to my knowledge. I had a good relationship with my parents and, for their sake, still call them to say "hey, whats up" every month or so. I was never close to my sister and was close to my older brother (four years my senior); I emulated him or was highly influenced by him for years (he is now in the last year of his phd in philosophy and rhetoric; which is not a coincidence, his initial inquisition into life and what it means to be human rubbed off on me, although we went at it at different angels). I chose an actual freedom from the human condition because enlightenment, or what I called enlightenment, did not deliver what I was looking for, which was offered up by actualism. I wanted a solution to personal happiness and salubrity, the answers to the mysteries of life, to do away with ethics and morals all together, and so forth.

C C C:
6. The 180 degree chart is just plain wrong. I'm pretty new to this stuff, but it's glaringly obvious even to me that the "enhancement of good emotions and the denial of bad emotions" is not at all what the "tried and tested" spiritual traditions are aiming for. They aim for freedom from both.


Taken from "Ethics for the New Millennium" by the Dalai Lama, in a chapter called "The Supreme Emotion," he says this:

"When I speak of basic human feeling, I am not only thinking of something fleeting and vague, however. I refer to the capacity we all have to empathize with one another, which, in Tibetan we call 'shen dug ngal wa la mi so pa.' Translated literally, this means 'the inability to bear the sight of another's suffering.' Given that this is what enables us to enter into, and to some extent participate, in others' pain, it is one of our most significant characteristics."

Interesting, is it not, that "one of our most significant characteristics" is not -- in the opinion of the Dalai Lama-- the ability to care for one's fellow human beings, but is instead, the ability to be tortured by another's suffering. He goes on to say:

"It is what causes us to start at the sound of a cry for help, to recoil at the sight of harm done to another, to suffer when confronted with others' suffering. And it is what compels us to shut our eyes even when we want to ignore others' distress."

Speaking personally, I help people because I care about others in general, not because I need to end the suffering which their cry put into me. Further, I do not need to be "compelled" to open my eyes when another is in distress, because I can act freely to aid them (if giving aid is an option) without "recoiling at the sight of harm done to another."

I placed my commentary in there as a bit of a tangent, but an example quite contrary to your "just plain wrong" opinion is looming large within this example. To recap the relevant portions of this chapter not mentioned above, he essentially puffs up empathy, compassion, love and other "good feelings" while stamping into the ground the "bad feelings" such as aggression, hatred, and so forth. It is worth mentioning that enlightenment is a transcendence of the feelings, not an elimination (meaning, they're still there, just not personalized, as they were before enlightenment), which means one still needs ethics and morals to keep the instinctual passions at bay so as to have some sort of harmony with others. Hence the same "good and bad" emotional dichotomy as before.

With my commentary and the words of "His Holiness" in mind, how is the chart "just plain wrong?"

Enjoy,
Trent
This Good Self, modified 13 Years ago at 5/6/10 9:07 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/6/10 9:05 PM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

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Pavel, I noticed the 'bite' in my last question, but then thought "hmmm, I wonder if I can actually provoke trent or tarin into an outburst of rage or frustration!" Naughty aren't I?! But I agree with you that the AF guys do provide very interesting commentary, answers and explanations for this thread.

Thanks again trent for being upfront. I only take exception to you using the Dalai Lama and his writings as being representative of "tried and tested" spirituality. The DL's stuff, the sections I have read, is laced with guilt and fear and instructions on how to be nice to others - a bit like strict Catholicism, only worse. He talks about "being good" so as to avoid a bad re-birth which irks me - I mean, who on earth am I trying to appease?? - a God in Heaven who says "well done for being pious, here is your reward!". And obviously the quote you just provided about suffering is misguided (well to my way of thinking it is). From real-world personal experience I know that if you suffer with those who are suffering, you simply double the suffering in the World. If on the other hand you stay fully present in the now-moment as you attend to those who suffer, without getting dragged down, you help them immensely. As for morals....I think all of us in here are bright enough to know morals are mental contructs that gradually get broken down from black/white into shades of grey, the more wisdom you acquire, and that high morality is a weak substitute for living in accord with Tao (or God or whatever). So I've never liked the DL's work and I'd say to you that he does not represent what 'high' spiritual work is about. Why would you pick out such a person to represent the "tried and tested" spirituality?

The bit about cognitive therapy was meant to be a question. AF looks very much like modern cognitive therapy, don't you agree?
Velvet V, modified 9 Years ago at 4/25/15 4:41 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/6/10 9:56 PM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

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Pavel:
I think that responding with a bite rather than respect and curiosity is not necessary and does all of us very little favour.

They can't feel offended and leave if they have no feelings, can they? That said, respect and curiosity is one matter, but most of what I see here can only be called grovelling, especially from C C C. As if anybody who claims to attain anything becomes an omnipotent god whose benevolent attention he's craving for and feels unworthy of, even knowledge of Trent being only 24 didn't put him off of that track and didn't enable him to talk normally. That makes this thread look more like the beginning of a cult than a real discussion.
Trent , modified 13 Years ago at 5/6/10 10:05 PM
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RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

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C C C:
Why would you pick out such a person to represent the "tried and tested" spirituality?


As the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, holds a large amount of influence over spiritual communities all over the world, and the book referenced was already sitting on the desk in front of me, it seemed like a reasonable reference.

Since he does not seem to represent the "tried and tested" adequately enough, I have provided a few more references:

"A Path with Heart" by Jack Kornfield.
Ch1: Did I Love Well?
Ch 15: Generosity, Codependence, and Fearless Compassion

"The Attention Revolution" by Alan Wallace.
Sec. 1 includes sub-sections: Loving-Kindness, Compassion, Empathetic Joy.

From Shinzen Young's website home-page (http://www.shinzen.org/):
"If anybody asks you what the path is about," (...)
"It's about the cultivation of subjective states of compassion and love based on insight."
"And it's about translating that compassion and love into actions in the real world."

This begs the question: in what way are they "aiming for freedom from both ('good' emotions and 'bad')?"

With those examples out of the way, I do think it is generally a salubrious idea, especially given the current status quo, to favor "good" emotions over "bad" ones. I am not arguing the contrary, except to say that there is a better alternative available, which recognizes that both "good" and "bad" feelings are to blame for the suffering people find themselves in.

C C C:
The bit about cognitive therapy was meant to be a question. AF looks very much like modern cognitive therapy, don't you agree?


As I am not a cognitive therapist (I am unaware of any experience I may have pertaining to the field as it is called such), nor hold a degree or have friends directly related to the field of cognitive psychology (no one has taught me anything about cognitive psychology), nor read a whole lot that seems to me to related to cognitive psychology that is more than just encyclopedic (so as to have the knowledge regarding any of this), I cannot answer meaningfully.

I can, however, say that a major underlying theme behind contemporary psychiatry (as a broad field, and generally speaking) is that "you can't change human nature" and other self-fulfilling psittacisms. This essentially makes the aim of the field to first define what is a "normal" amount of suffering and what is "too much" or "too little." The confusion this causes resonates throughout everything done in the field, as do other weird "normal" ways of thinking (including their attempts to define what "normal" is) which show up in any psychology 101 college text-book you can find (which is the genesis of the doctors' entire education and thus likely their post-academic practice as well).

And this is only the beginning of the confusion they've gotten themselves into.

Enjoy,
Trent
Trent , modified 13 Years ago at 5/6/10 10:39 PM
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RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

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Velvet V.:
but most of what I see here can only be called grovelling, especially from C C C.


I have yet to see "grovelling" coming from any poster on this thread. Can you provide examples of this behavior?

Velvet V.:
As if anybody who claims to attain anything becomes an omnipotent god whose benevolent attention he's craving for and feels unworthy of,


If I may suggest, you may want to think twice before airing your dirty laundry in public, as this line specifically suggests far more than what you seem to realize, given the nature of the thread and the civility of the other contributors. But anyway, do what you wish.

Velvet V.:
even knowledge of Trent being only 24 didn't put him off of that track and didn't enable him to talk normally. That makes this thread look more like the beginning of a cult than a real discussion.


Do you find an issue with me obtaining specific mastery of a narrow type of knowledge by the age of 24? Just curious, as this is a topic that I find great delight in discussion. The topic being: learning, age (biological development) and maturity (psychological development), and other relevant ideas regarding one's ability to acquire knowledge, memory capacity, functionality, etc. My initial interest in those matters was in finding ways in which to counter silly biases, but now it has become a fun past time.

What do you mean when you say that "(it) didn't enable him to talk normally?" Are you implying that a normative way of speaking is somehow more effective in communication than the style which is, in your opinion, not normative? If so, why? I ask because I have so far understood him quite well, and I am happy to answer his questions.

Cult? Oh goody, I'm so thirsty! Where can I sign up?

Enjoy,
Trent
This Good Self, modified 13 Years ago at 5/6/10 11:14 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/6/10 10:55 PM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

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velvet, I don't look up to anyone, not the AF guys (who I am still sussing out), not Daniel, not anyone in here, nor anyone I've ever met. I honestly don't see anyone as being 'better' than me, even those who might be more accomplished in certain areas. In my professional life I have dealt with a number of people in positions of power and celebrity, and not one of them has ever impressed me to the point of thinking 'wow I want to be close to him, I want to follow him' - not even close. I covet their wealth at times, but that's the limit of it. Even if I choose to practise AF at some point in the future, (which looks unlikely at this point but I'm yet to make a final decision) I won't be bowing down to anyone I can assure you.

I'm not allied to any idea or philosophy or person or group, and I never will be. If I use a certain Buddhist technique, I'd never call myself a Buddhist - I simply use something those guys talk about. If I repeat a koan for contemplation, I'd never call myself a Zennist. I despise such labels mainly because people use them to bolster their egos and they fuck up anything that might be good about a particular philosophy or practice. "If you see Buddha walking down the street, kill him!" - do you understand this statement? I'm very much the iconoclast.

If I really want to know someone, and I was a bit suspicious of him, I'd never start with an offensive attack the way you do. I'd get under his radar by being civil and polite, then have a good look around and see for myself, which is what I'm doing, if you must know.
Velvet V, modified 13 Years ago at 5/6/10 11:11 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/6/10 11:11 PM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

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Trent, I don't fear to be seen badly and don't care to pretend to be seen well, so I do not care for laundry. But as for the situation itself, if you've been interested in what we can generally call "spirituality" long enough, you know that most if not all newcomers pass this stage, be it out of confusion or young age. It's not shameful per se, but it doesn't hurt to pass it quicker either, if you have somebody point it out to you, in most certain terms.

Trent H.:
Do you find an issue with me obtaining specific mastery of a narrow type of knowledge by the age of 24?

That makes it less credible, if only due to time limits.


C C C, everybody believes the same things about himself, we'll agree to disagree.
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tarin greco, modified 13 Years ago at 5/6/10 11:11 PM
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RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

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ManZ A:
On the other sutta I mentioned, I'm usually assuming that the Buddha would be able to tell who was an Arahant and who wasn't by "encompassing their mind" or something.


that the buddha would be able to know (via some specialised means or another) who is and isn't an arahat is an assumption made by buddhists, as is the assumption that other arahats (than the super-arahat buddha) would be able to determine this as well.

by the way, would you please provide the source for that particular sutta you mentioned - or at least its name and reference number?

ManZ A:

Of course this is all speculation. I'm curious, what exactly is the main difference/s at least for you since you've attained fourth path, between Arahantship and Actual Freedom?


nowadays, as opposed to when i was an arahat, i experience:

-no sense of 'i' at all (rather than not identifying with the sense of 'i'/being embedded in the so-called strata of those so-called sensations)
-no feelings (no passions, appetites, emotions, or vibes)
-full-time pristine sensate immediacy (as opposed to some of the time), increased sensitivity to small changes in things like light
-the world has this paradisical fairytale quality to it, inherent in which is a more profound appreciation of space and time
-no attention wave / phase distortion problem
-a decreased need for sleep
-increasingly frequent image-less dreaming (unlike richard, my capacity for imagination - image-making - hasn't been entirely eliminated, just notably reduced)

that's all i can think of off the top of my head.

tarin
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tarin greco, modified 13 Years ago at 5/6/10 11:42 PM
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RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

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C C C:
Isn't the practice of AF basically the same as insight meditation?


while i can see similarities, i can also see differences, which latter are sufficient to explain why one leads to one result and the other to another (insight practice enables the progress of insight which leads to path-attainment, while the practice of actualism enables the actualism process which leads to actual freedom).

C C C:

Isn't 'HAIETMOBA' basically the same as noting every sensation and thought, moment to moment?


no, the process of asking oneself 'how am i experiencing this moment of being alive?', and then keeping that as a running question, is basically a more drawn out (for a purpose) way of asking oneself 'how am i feeling right now?', and has nothing to do with observing the three characteristics of every sensation and thought, moment to moment.

C C C:

Isn't PCE = A&P?


while pure consciousness experiences (pce's) can occur spontaneously at any time, they are more likely to show up when one's sense of identity is either forgotten (as one is immersed in sensuous wonder) or de-stabilised (as does occur on the path of insight). they are not at all uncommon, and most, if not all, people have probably experienced one or more at some point in their lives .. though it is also common for the experience to devolve, involve the passions, and then be interpreted according to one's cultural or personal beliefs (and thus begins 'my' spiritual quest).


C C C:

"the condition of being actually free allows me to actually care about others (as contrasted from feeling that i do), and does not prevent me from caring for anyone, regardless of whether or not they love the identity they take to be me, and irrespective of any familial relation or genetic similarity they may have with or to me. that they are fellow human beings is enough to care - it no longer takes any effort or intention whatsoever to be this way".

To me, this ^^ seems very pure. Can you heal people of illness/disease with this sort of 'actual caring'? Ever tried? Would be a good experiment.


no, unless the illness/disease were psychosomatic, in which case caring feelings would also be likely to do the trick.

C C C:

Also, a question for both trent and tarin - what do people feel when they hang around you? Do they get a contact high? Do they become peaceful, angry, irritable...etc? Is there any noticeable effect on others?


off the top of my head, i can recall that various observers have commented on me seeming, inter alia, kinder, more courteous/considerate, more sensitive/receptive/empathic (funny that last one, as i actually experience no feelings), more tidy, more indifferent/more uncaring toward them, vastly more communicative of this particular mode of experience (for which i had previously only been striving rather than continuously living), easier to talk to, sharper, etc.

C C C:

I ask this because I assume (rightly or wrongly) that a normal person's nervous system would react quite unusually to the vibe you give off. I'm particularly interested in what effect your gaze has on others, since I believe massive amounts of information, both subtle and not-so-subtle, comes through the eyes, whether you intend it or not.


neither having nor being an identity (a feeling being), i don't give off a vibe at all (nor do i pick up on vibes put out by another's/others), which is unusual in itself, but i don't know what kind of unusual reactions any normal person's nervous systems has had to this, if any at all.

tarin
ManZ A, modified 13 Years ago at 5/7/10 12:05 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/7/10 12:05 AM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

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Pavel, you've expressed in words what I could not. Great job! emoticon

the prisoner greco:
by the way, would you please provide the source for that particular sutta you mentioned - or at least its name and reference number?


It's the Sunakkhattha Sutta, which is sutta 105 in the Majjhima Nikaya. But I think a similar situation occurs in other suttas, not entirely sure.

the prisoner greco:
nowadays, as opposed to when i was an arahat, i experience:

-no sense of 'i' at all (rather than not identifying with the sense of 'i'/being embedded in the so-called strata of those so-called sensations)
-no feelings (no passions, appetites, emotions, or vibes)
-full-time pristine sensate immediacy (as opposed to some of the time), increased sensitivity to small changes in things like light
-the world has this paradisical fairytale quality to it, inherent in which is a more profound appreciation of space and time
-no attention wave / phase distortion problem
-a decreased need for sleep
-increasingly frequent image-less dreaming (unlike richard, my capacity for imagination - image-making - hasn't been entirely eliminated, just notably reduced)

that's all i can think of off the top of my head.


I dunno but what you guys refer to as Actual Freedom is in almost every way what I've always understood of as Arahantship as described in the suttas (e.g. the destruction of lust, hatred, and delusion, or seeing things as they really are which now you seem to be able to do without the "I" filtering reality, or Nibbana [cessation of being]). There are just too many similarities. In MHCTB , the limited emotional range model is mentioned as being something unrealistic, so I thought ok sounds reasonable enough. Now it's a complete 180 degree turn back, so Actual Freedom is indeed different from the way Arahantship is described in MHCTB, but sutta-wise it sounds very similar. That's some reasons why I think Actual Freedom might be Arahantship.

There is one big factor which might separate it though, it's something Trent mentioned. He said that he is no longer able to meditate (Assumed since he said that he can't enter jhanas, or have Fruitions). Is this true for you too Tarin? Oh and would one person that has attained Actual Freedom be able to recognize (in whatever way) another person who has?
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tarin greco, modified 13 Years ago at 5/7/10 12:40 AM
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RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

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Velvet V.:
the prisoner greco:
the same cannot be said about emotions because emotions do not actually happen; they are only ever ephemeral illusions felt by an identity who is equally non-existent here (and whose absence reveals the utterly clear sensate experience of what actually happens).

We'll agree to disagree. I can picture emotions being felt even without a conventional "me", just like thoughts can be thought without a conventional "me". Both are on the same footing.


i will agree to do no such thing, as while it is true that emotions can be felt without a conventional 'me', extirpation of the entire identity (rather than merely the part that 'identifies with it') completely eliminates the faculty that produces (and in doing so, feels) emotions. the absence of this faculty (whether in its abeyance or by its extinction) is what reveals the utterly clear sensate experience of what actually happens uninterruptedly (as opposed to the experience of what is felt to happen).

Velvet V.:

the prisoner greco:
clearly, either the buddha was mistaken or not all arahats can recognise each other.

Wasn't buddha an arahat himself? He could recognize. We don't know if those other arahats tried to evaluate one another and what the outcome of their attempts was.


as you are committed to the position that the buddha, being an arahat, was able to infallibly recognise other arahats, yet give no reason for this commitment, i cannot reply in a meaningful way.

Velvet V.:

the prisoner greco:
there is indeed much more to feelings than meets the eye (such as the fact that 'they' are 'you').

I think they exist independantly from "me". Most of them. Otherwise they'd be easier to control. But it's like rain or sun or tsunami, it happens and you're always an observer who is affected.


and that is certainly how they appear to a 'me' ... hence, they are difficult to control and 'i' find 'myself' a victim to them (like an observer affected by rain or sun or a tsunami).

seeing how it can be otherwise is the first step to ending the victim-hood (by relinquishing the role of the passive, affected observer).

Velvet V.:

it is possible, given the requisite sincerity, to understand if you want to live right now as well as is humanly possible.

this is pure intent.

What "this" is pure intent, a desire to live well? Then I have to ask you what the reason for this desire is, why you want to live in this way and why it's important.


the exact reasons given to the desire to live well will likely vary between various people who feel this desire (yet are, based on what i've gathered, likely to revolve around common themes such as being drawn to experiencing the optimum of what is possible, being keen to cease suffering, being inclined to stop harming others and enabling their harm of themselves), 'i' wanted to live in this way for all the above reasons, and it was important to 'me' because the benefits of having a very palpable and concrete peace-on-earth in this very lifetime were obvious.. nothing else could have been more important.

by the way, not being an identity, i don't experience pure intent (it has been fulfilled/been extinguished)


Velvet V.:
If there are no emotions, you can't really care for anything, including how you live.


oh? so it is only possible to care about your feelings, eh?

Velvet V.:

By the way, the only place I met the word intent in spiritual context were the works of Carlos Castaneda, and I saw an idea of living as well as possible there, too...


would you care to expand on this?

Velvet V.:

i experience no vague and undefined foundation, nothing drives me, and so i am free to choose to write in the forums (or not). feelings or drives are not needed in the slightest to write, form sentences, or do anything else which will can accomplish.

Can you stand on one leg for 15 hours? I'm serious, you would be able to do that in absence of emotions. Nothing would drive you away from doing it, if no annoyance is possible.


i could, under necessary situations, stand on one leg for however long until the muscle groups supporting such posture give way (as could you, probably, given sufficiently compelling circumstances) ... but why on earth would i choose to do this even if no annoyance is possible?

Velvet V.:

can you see the difference between will and desire?

No I can't, will isn't possible without desiring the outcome in my book.


and so your book ends on that chapter.

Velvet V.:

That desires can be conflicting is another matter altogether.


while it is possible to whittle the conflict between desires down to a pittance (from my experience, it is actually necessary to first do this), the elimination of the conflict between desires is the elimination of those desires entirely.

desire is suffering.

tarin
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Bruno Loff, modified 13 Years ago at 5/7/10 11:22 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/7/10 11:22 AM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
"Desire is suffering"

I am actually utterly convinced you are right. It is an ingeneous mechanism of the mind. We convince ourselves we'll be saved by the creation of the very harm we wish to be saved from.

While developing things in the direction you have developed might one day be interesting, I frankly believe it is foolish to rush into it.

Think Tarin, if everyone around you got rid of their all-evil "human condition," what would there be left for you to do hun?

Without desire, there is no story. Correct me if I'm wrong. For me the drama is part of the fun.

"Peace on earth"? Yes, utter peace, utter, void, perfect peace. As pretty as a flower on an empty stage.
Trent , modified 13 Years ago at 5/7/10 3:36 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/7/10 3:36 PM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

Posts: 361 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Bruno Loff:
We convince ourselves we'll be saved by the creation of the very harm we wish to be saved from.


Such convincing could only be "backwards rationalization," in that desire exists regardless of whether we convince ourselves of it or not until it is eliminated (humans are born with the instincts). It is sort of like an alcoholic making up excuses why they drink and/or why they don't need to stop. In essence, all humans are addicted to the same chemicals as the alcoholic, except it is seen as "okay" socially as long as the chemicals are triggered from multiple sources (and in "moderation") rather than a single source (in "excess").

Bruno Loff:
...if everyone around you got rid of their all-evil "human condition," what would there be left for you to do hun?


Anything one wants to do, except this time without wreaking misery upon yourself and others.

Bruno Loff:
Without desire, there is no story. Correct me if I'm wrong. For me the drama is part of the fun.


So drama is part of the fun, eh? How about the drama of war, rape, loneliness, murder, corruption, theft, poverty, domestic and child abuse and so on? Are those fun too? Do those acts not compel one to end the sorrowful story in oneself? The chemicals that cause those acts are the same chemicals that urge any instinctual person to do anything; it is a difference of degree and not a difference of kind. Meaning: 'I' am the human condition and the human condition is 'me.' It behooves one to do the only thing that one needs to do to bring about the end of suffering globally: to end suffering in oneself.

Bruno Loff:
"Peace on earth"? Yes, utter peace, utter, void, perfect peace. As pretty as a flower on an empty stage.


And yet, it is so much more than that.

Enjoy,
Trent
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tarin greco, modified 13 Years ago at 5/7/10 3:36 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/7/10 3:36 PM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

Posts: 658 Join Date: 5/14/09 Recent Posts
Bruno Loff:
"Desire is suffering"
While developing things in the direction you have developed might one day be interesting, I frankly believe it is foolish to rush into it.


foolishly rushing into this was the most exhilarating thing 'i' ever did.

Bruno Loff:

Think Tarin, if everyone around you got rid of their all-evil "human condition," what would there be left for you to do hun?


i'd do what i'm doing right now - i'd have a good time exploring the world of people and things. i'm not a saviour and have no interest in playing the part (i'm not out to save anyone).. not playing that role, there wouldn't be anything to miss.

Bruno Loff:

Without desire, there is no story. Correct me if I'm wrong. For me the drama is part of the fun.


without desire, the story is a story of pure choice, and adventure, and freedom.. for while the stakes are higher than ever before here in the actual world (this world is not an illusion to be transcended), nothing is played for keeps (free or not, we will all die anyway and eventually the earth will disappear into the sun).

Bruno Loff:

"Peace on earth"? Yes, utter peace, utter, void, perfect peace. As pretty as a flower on an empty stage.


or as happy as this human being sitting here typing on a keyboard (while other people play darts and one person a guitar in the background).

this is so utterly perfect.

tarin
Trent , modified 13 Years ago at 5/7/10 3:47 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/7/10 3:47 PM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

Posts: 361 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Velvet V.:
if you've been interested in what we can generally call "spirituality" long enough, you know that most if not all newcomers pass this stage, be it out of confusion or young age.


Okay then, what stage is it that I am needing to pass?


Velvet V.:
Trent H.:
Do you find an issue with me obtaining specific mastery of a narrow type of knowledge by the age of 24?

That makes it less credible, if only due to time limits.


Time limits, eh? From where I'm sitting here, time does not go anywhere nor does it have a quantity which is "limit(ed)," which also means it is not possible to deplete-- it is always just now.

If I may make a suggestion? Anytime one finds oneself believing or doubting something based on a notion of "credibility," double check what your assumptions are. The variables that constitute "credibility" are, more often than not, vaguely defined to the point of ineffectiveness; typically not based on facts, and which find reinforcement via group-think, other forms of social "wisdom" / normality, false premises, or other irrational notions. In other words: the notion of credibility is all-too-often used as a way of justifying something that cannot be articulated and/or is used to justify a feeling, rather than a fact. And feelings, I might add, are quite an unreliable way of figuring out whats-what.

Enjoy,
Trent
This Good Self, modified 13 Years ago at 5/8/10 10:22 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/8/10 10:13 PM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

Posts: 946 Join Date: 3/9/10 Recent Posts
Let's get down to practice:

I set the HAIETMOBA questions running, and immediately I feel frustrated at trying to understand the AF website to my satisfaction, so the answer to the HAIETMOBA question is "frustration". The answer is always a feeling, good or bad, yes?

I take the frustration, and I neither express nor suppress it, as suggested. Instead I immerse myself in it, and find the trigger. I already know it: frustration caused by confusion and unmet desire (desire for understanding, satisfaction).

Next, I have to ask "what is the underlying belief causing this emotion?" Belief? I don't know....a belief that I should get what i want? Dunno.

Then I have to ask "which part of my identity has been insulted or threatened?" The answer, intellectually, is my ego, since it's my ego that desires things and gets frustrated when I don't get what i want. Not sure where to go here... any suggestions?

Having done this, I have to "get back to being happy and harmless as quickly as possible", but I haven't been truly happy for 20 years, and harmless, well yeah I guess I am most of the time, but it involves suppressing agression usually. So "getting back to being happy and harmless" is like saying "getting back to full enlightenment" - never been in the first place mate!! Nor has anyone who reads your website.

So..... using "frustration", how would one progress through the practice properly, so as to get a result?

I am interested in a practical, straight-forward answer. No links, no looping arguments, no flaky intellectualism please.
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tarin greco, modified 13 Years ago at 5/9/10 2:25 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/9/10 2:25 AM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

Posts: 658 Join Date: 5/14/09 Recent Posts
C C C:
Let's get down to practice:

I set the HAIETMOBA questions running, and immediately I feel frustrated at trying to understand the AF website to my satisfaction, so the answer to the HAIETMOBA question is "frustration". The answer is always a feeling, good or bad, yes?


the answer is always a feeling - good, bad, or felicitous.. and it's the felicitous ones you want to be aiming for. its absolutely necessary to understand the difference between good feelings and felicitous feelings to proceed quickly here.

possible shortcut: did you notice how when you asked that question, in the split-second or so prior to the feeling with which 'you' answered it (you felt frustrated), you did not feel anything at all - that in that split-second or so, there was only pure perception?


C C C:

I take the frustration, and I neither express nor suppress it, as suggested. Instead I immerse myself in it, and find the trigger. I already know it: frustration caused by confusion and unmet desire (desire for understanding, satisfaction).

Next, I have to ask "what is the underlying belief causing this emotion?" Belief? I don't know....a belief that I should get what i want? Dunno.

Then I have to ask "which part of my identity has been insulted or threatened?" The answer, intellectually, is my ego, since it's my ego that desires things and gets frustrated when I don't get what i want. Not sure where to go here... any suggestions?


i understand your difficulty.

perhaps, instead of taking this route (of investigating beliefs), you could instead try remembering the last time you felt fine (it may have just been a moment ago - it was almost certainly sometime today) and looking at why that changed/why that went away.

C C C:

Having done this, I have to "get back to being happy and harmless as quickly as possible", but I haven't been truly happy for 20 years, and harmless, well yeah I guess I am most of the time, but it involves suppressing agression usually.


having done the above (remembered the last time you felt fine - which may have just been a moment ago and was almost certainly at some point today - and looked at why that changed/why feeling fine went away), you can now see how unnecessary (silly) it was to stop feeling fine, realise that it's better to feel fine, and just get back to feeling fine.

if feeling fine isnt immediately available, despite your sincere efforts - sincerity is key here - then aim at least for feeling neutral (as feeling neutral is clearly better than feeling frustrated).

C C C:

So "getting back to being happy and harmless" is like saying "getting back to full enlightenment" - never been in the first place mate!!


you may have felt fine just a moment ago.. if not, then you almost certainly have at some point today.

C C C:

Nor has anyone who reads your website.


are you referring to the actual freedom trust website, or the dharma overground? neither are 'my' website (nor trent's, if that comment was directed toward him).

C C C:

I am interested in a practical, straight-forward answer. No links, no looping arguments, no flaky intellectualism please.


good, i'm much more interested in having practical discussions about these matters.. hence, i would, likewise, prefer to see no looping arguments or flaky intellectualism in your responses (relevant links are ok).

tarin
This Good Self, modified 13 Years ago at 5/9/10 2:58 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/9/10 2:54 AM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

Posts: 946 Join Date: 3/9/10 Recent Posts
Felicitous = apt, suitable, appropriate. I think a better word would be 'neutral', since painful/pleasurable feelings will seem quite apt to anyone experiencing them. Let's not use the word felicitous just because Richard does.

Your question about the possibility of feeling neutral at some point of the day or last few weeks is difficult because I can't remember any such time. However I can start by paying much more attention to my moment to moment feelings, and I may well find something to work with. Whenever i tune in it's pain, that's my condition, so I'm keen to get beyond that. I never have felt pure perception as far as i can recall, but again, I can work on remembering.

So let's say I find out what made me generally unhappy, which is actually easy for me, then I just say to myself "you silly person, why are you doing this to yourself? Why are you creating this uncomfortable feeling?". I can see some merit in this process of separating oneself from one's emotional rections, through observation or investigation in this way. But it seems very like when my friend used to say "hey, don't beat yourself up!", and that didn't really work too well.

I just did the process - I tried to see how silly the emotion was. And I feel exactly the same. Same before the process, same during the investigation of silliness, and same after.

I understand that it may require ongoing effort, so I'll give that a shot too and post back here, just in case anyone is interested.
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tarin greco, modified 13 Years ago at 5/9/10 8:42 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/9/10 7:04 AM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

Posts: 658 Join Date: 5/14/09 Recent Posts
C C C:
Felicitous = apt, suitable, appropriate. I think a better word would be 'neutral', since painful/pleasurable feelings will seem quite apt to anyone experiencing them. Let's not use the word felicitous just because Richard does.


ok.. but let's use it because it makes sense. here is another definition of felicity - 'producing or marked by happiness'. as such, a better word would definitely not be 'neutral', as what is meant by 'felicity' here is different from (and feels better than) merely 'neutral'.

some examples of felicitious feelings already given in this thread: felicity, delight, light-heartedness, exuberance, the joy of being alive[1].

C C C:

Your question about the possibility of feeling neutral at some point of the day or last few weeks is difficult because I can't remember any such time. However I can start by paying much more attention to my moment to moment feelings, and I may well find something to work with. Whenever i tune in it's pain, that's my condition, so I'm keen to get beyond that. I never have felt pure perception as far as i can recall, but again, I can work on remembering.


when was the last time you remember feeling fine?

C C C:

So let's say I find out what made me generally unhappy, which is actually easy for me, then I just say to myself "you silly person, why are you doing this to yourself? Why are you creating this uncomfortable feeling?". I can see some merit in this process of separating oneself from one's emotional rections, through observation or investigation in this way. But it seems very like when my friend used to say "hey, don't beat yourself up!", and that didn't really work too well.


what would you say if you saw another person beating themselves up for something that you saw clearly wasn't at all their fault? what do you think might work for them - what would you say to them if you thought they might consider it sincerely?

C C C:

I just did the process - I tried to see how silly the emotion was. And I feel exactly the same. Same before the process, same during the investigation of silliness, and same after.


first, you have to remember what it's like to feel fine/feel well, as only then does seeing how silly it is to be frustrated become an option (otherwise, what happens is merely another iteration of the same frustration).


C C C:

I understand that it may require ongoing effort, so I'll give that a shot too (...)



what this method requires is an ongoing sincere effort. it may be tricky to pick up, but once it gets going, i can see no reason, given sufficient intent, that it would not work.

C C C:


(...) and post back here, just in case anyone is interested.


i can vouch that at least one person is interested.

tarin

[1]
'on the path i took here it was absolutely necessary to magnify certain feelings, such as felicity, delight, light-heartedness, exuberance, the joy of being alive, etc ... all of which have this particular quality to them (such that they can be grouped together under the moniker 'felicitous feelings') and all of which, when felt sincerely and whole-heartedly, have this capacity for leading one further into modes of experience marked by sensuousness.' (this thread, 5/4/10)
Jill Morana, modified 13 Years ago at 5/9/10 8:25 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/9/10 8:25 AM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

Posts: 93 Join Date: 3/1/10 Recent Posts
If this is preparation for the Actual Freedom thread, then where and when is the actual Actual Freedom thread starting? Are you guys waiting for more people around here to reach AF?
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Daniel M Ingram, modified 13 Years ago at 5/9/10 5:45 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/9/10 5:45 PM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

Posts: 3268 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
Nice one, Broccoli.

I agree. We have gotten down to it.

I have posted a new thread Arahatship and Actual Freedom just to keep going with that particular topic, and I think we should break it down into manageable topics when possible, as 75+-post threads get cumbersome for people to follow.

Those who want to discuss other topics, start threads on those specifically. Note, there is an Actual Freedom sub-category in the Insight Practice Category, and while I realize the AF kids say that insight practice is not AF, I put it there as it is related to the development of freedom and wisdom, which is what I think insight practice in the broad sense is about.

Have fun,

Daniel
This Good Self, modified 13 Years ago at 5/9/10 8:54 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/9/10 8:54 PM

RE: In preparation for the Actual Freedom thread

Posts: 946 Join Date: 3/9/10 Recent Posts
Righto, point taken Daniel. I'll start a new thread that looks at me and my issues specifically as they relate to AF, cognitive therapy and insight. I'm very aware that in polite society, one doesn't start airing one's issues for all and sundry to hear about.
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Daniel M Ingram, modified 13 Years ago at 5/12/10 8:37 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/12/10 8:37 PM

Thread Splitted

Posts: 3268 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
I have split this thread off of the main one as it had gotten quite long.

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