The "unknowable"

The "unknowable" Adam . . 9/4/13 9:19 PM
RE: The "unknowable" Bruno Loff 9/5/13 6:01 AM
RE: The "unknowable" Adam . . 9/5/13 9:46 AM
RE: The "unknowable" Bruno Loff 9/5/13 11:47 AM
RE: The "unknowable" Adam . . 9/5/13 1:31 PM
RE: The "unknowable" Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 9/5/13 3:04 PM
RE: The "unknowable" Bruno Loff 9/5/13 3:20 PM
RE: The "unknowable" Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 9/5/13 3:43 PM
RE: The "unknowable" Bruno Loff 9/5/13 4:39 PM
RE: The "unknowable" Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 9/5/13 4:49 PM
RE: The "unknowable" Adam . . 9/5/13 5:10 PM
RE: The "unknowable" Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 9/5/13 5:15 PM
RE: The "unknowable" Adam . . 9/5/13 6:26 PM
RE: The "unknowable" Jon T 9/5/13 7:12 PM
RE: The "unknowable" Jon T 9/5/13 3:48 PM
RE: The "unknowable" Adam . . 9/5/13 3:55 PM
RE: The "unknowable" Adam . . 9/5/13 3:24 PM
RE: The "unknowable" Bruno Loff 9/5/13 4:52 PM
RE: The "unknowable" katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 9/5/13 5:08 PM
RE: The "unknowable" Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 9/5/13 5:37 PM
RE: The "unknowable" Bruno Loff 9/6/13 4:50 AM
RE: The "unknowable" Bruno Loff 9/6/13 5:28 AM
RE: The "unknowable" Jon T 9/6/13 9:47 AM
RE: The "unknowable" Felipe C. 9/6/13 10:19 AM
RE: The "unknowable" Jon T 9/6/13 11:14 AM
RE: The "unknowable" Bruno Loff 9/6/13 1:50 PM
RE: The "unknowable" Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 9/6/13 4:44 PM
RE: The "unknowable" Felipe C. 9/6/13 6:32 PM
RE: The "unknowable" Jon T 9/7/13 10:29 AM
RE: The "unknowable" Bruno Loff 9/7/13 11:38 AM
RE: The "unknowable" Jon T 9/7/13 4:48 PM
RE: The "unknowable" Bruno Loff 9/8/13 4:21 AM
RE: The "unknowable" Change A. 9/8/13 9:08 AM
RE: The "unknowable" Jon T 9/8/13 1:38 PM
RE: The "unknowable" Change A. 9/8/13 7:49 PM
RE: The "unknowable" Felipe C. 9/8/13 1:51 PM
RE: The "unknowable" Change A. 9/8/13 7:44 PM
RE: The "unknowable" Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 9/8/13 8:08 PM
RE: The "unknowable" Change A. 9/8/13 10:16 PM
RE: The "unknowable" Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 9/9/13 12:25 AM
RE: The "unknowable" Change A. 9/9/13 8:56 PM
RE: The "unknowable" Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 9/10/13 10:08 AM
RE: The "unknowable" Change A. 9/10/13 8:39 PM
RE: The "unknowable" Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 9/10/13 11:06 PM
RE: The "unknowable" Adam . . 9/10/13 11:48 PM
RE: The "unknowable" Felipe C. 9/11/13 12:17 AM
RE: The "unknowable" Jon T 9/11/13 3:41 AM
RE: The "unknowable" Change A. 9/11/13 7:19 AM
RE: The "unknowable" Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 9/11/13 10:10 AM
RE: The "unknowable" Adam . . 9/11/13 11:24 AM
RE: The "unknowable" Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 9/11/13 12:02 PM
RE: The "unknowable" Adam . . 9/11/13 12:35 PM
RE: The "unknowable" Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 9/11/13 1:16 PM
RE: The "unknowable" Adam . . 9/11/13 2:09 PM
RE: The "unknowable" Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 9/11/13 2:33 PM
RE: The "unknowable" Adam . . 9/11/13 3:28 PM
RE: The "unknowable" Adam . . 9/11/13 7:19 PM
RE: The "unknowable" Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 9/11/13 10:14 PM
RE: The "unknowable" Adam . . 9/12/13 12:15 AM
RE: The "unknowable" Shashank Dixit 9/12/13 5:06 AM
RE: The "unknowable" Change A. 9/11/13 7:10 AM
RE: The "unknowable" Change A. 9/9/13 9:48 PM
RE: The "unknowable" Bruno Loff 9/7/13 10:39 AM
Adam , modified 9 Years ago at 9/4/13 9:19 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/4/13 4:21 PM

The "unknowable"

Posts: 613 Join Date: 3/20/12 Recent Posts
Hi...

Let me recount an experience I had yesterday and talk about the extreme fear and doubt that have been arising as a result of it. So yesterday afternoon I started to think about the issue of 'honesty' in practice.

I thought to myself that "any freedom which has the slightest dependence on ignoring something is not really free." I looked at my current practice and it was suddenly so obvious that I was ignoring many, many things. Places normally that are simply too frightening to look into. The normal practice strategy is more or less one of ignoring and suppressing. It is like this: doubt comes up, I look at it and I say "that is just doubt adam, a mere condition of the mind that I must not give validity to. accept it, don't repress it, but don't believe it."

Anger arises and I say "ah just accept it and do not act on it. surrender resistance. allow it within awareness. if you keep doing this it will eventually stop arising because it will not have any fuel."

More or less I 'take refuge' in some sort of manipulation of experience or belief. At this point it started to feel like I was going crazy... doubts that really plague me at a deep level were just allowed to come up. my only strength was the sense that honesty was need to progress. complete honesty, nothing could be too scary or destructive.

"Maybe enlightenment is just a complex delusion and a sort of subtle manipulation of consciousness."

"Maybe actual freedom is really truly something different, something that is actually just the opposite."

These doubts are hard to admit to as there is something arising in consciousness about being proven wrong despite how many times I have argued fervently (to myself and others) to the contrary. Specific individuals come to mind and I think to myself "good job adam now you are letting them win." I think "they aren't even really free themselves this will just strengthen their self-deception if they see you writing this."

Also I don't even want to admit that I think about these issues. They seem so stupid and petty and not about real life.

Then there is the thought that maybe being free means an abandonment of this concern about being part of "real life." I won't let myself rest there. Not on the cynical view that i must simply find a way to live well and I can settle for second best as long as it works out ok.

At this point I start to think I am literally on the brink of going insane. The thought stops me in my tracks and I start reaching for something, anything to hold on to. I consider that I could become an actualist and find a new "resting place" for self there... or I could just go back to my old practice. the rationale being that maybe I could gain strength for that and then it would be easier to face this apparent total oblivion.

At this point I more or less backed down. It was simply too scary. I literally thought that I could go totally insane and I felt very worried about how my friends and family would perceive me and the pain it would cause them and the unknown agony I would experience as a crazy person.

It occurs to me that there has never, ever been a period in my practice where this total doubt, total lack of belief was not there, beneath the surface, terrifying me into conforming into some belief or practice. Usually I would just be really good at suppressing it.

It occurs to me that writing this is basically asking for an invitation to some new belief or practice. Asking for someone to say that "i have cured that doubt, just do like me (and maybe it will take time)'. I know I have done the same to other people experiencing doubt, and it was probably quite comforting (to some).

I don't think I can back out of the doubt like usual. Step back and create a 'bigger container' for it as is usual, Richard's concept of enlightenment as just an ever-expanding version of self seems to have merit. Your awareness just gets bigger and so the psychological issues seem smaller by comparison. I have to go straight forward into knowing absolutely nothing about anything. I just can't try to have faith in anything else. So i guess now I am just going to look for the places in myself where there is any belief and encounter it directly without any refuge, nothing can be made a safe place for 'me' to land... including any actualist beliefs or practices...

It also occurs to me that whatever it is I am experiencing right now will probably be gone in a week and I don't know what to make of that. Also that I am relinquishing any sort of reputation and I don't think I will ever try to give any advice to anyone about how to live ever again, because I just don't know. This is certainly not freedom that I am experiencing now. Again I don't know what to make of this all.

I know the way back out of this which would be to more or less some form of repression that I am not going to settle for.

I am sorry if this sounds hysterical or has anybody worried I think I will be more or less ok but I am just not going to take the easy way out of doubt this time and see what happens.

p.s. a few hours later i have calmed down a lot but still see the same basic insight. that rather than suppressing doubts and fears I have to go directly into the doubt and fear and have no beliefs to be doubtable. i am going to take a break from the dho and reading dharma books for some time and just work on this challenging beliefs thing.
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Bruno Loff, modified 9 Years ago at 9/5/13 6:01 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/5/13 6:01 AM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
Adam .:
I thought to myself that "any freedom which has the slightest dependence on ignoring something is not really free." I looked at my current practice and it was suddenly so obvious that I was ignoring many, many things. Places normally that are simply too frightening to look into. The normal practice strategy is more or less one of ignoring and suppressing. It is like this: doubt comes up, I look at it and I say "that is just doubt adam, a mere condition of the mind that I must not give validity to. accept it, don't repress it, but don't believe it."

Anger arises and I say "ah just accept it and do not act on it. surrender resistance. allow it within awareness. if you keep doing this it will eventually stop arising because it will not have any fuel."

More or less I 'take refuge' in some sort of manipulation of experience or belief. At this point it started to feel like I was going crazy... doubts that really plague me at a deep level were just allowed to come up. my only strength was the sense that honesty was need to progress. complete honesty, nothing could be too scary or destructive.


In my opinion, you are touching on the essence of what is wrong with actualism. Actualism is one of the most radical acts of magick you can do, it is one gigantic act of "felicitous" reinterpretation.

"Just see that doubt is silly, and be sensible" :-P

And if the idea of learning to arbitrarily reinterpret reality as perfect, your own motivations as sincere, and your intentions as pure scares you, well then

"That is just you being afraid of your own extinction" :-)

If you believe that, then you'll just carry on anyway... ah, the power of positive feedback loops!

You are entirely correct in being afraid. That IS the adequate response. The fact that you can learn to change your mind so arbitrarily is terrifying, because if you can change your interpretations at whim, then there is nothing preventing you from being utterly convinced in something that simply isn't true. And when you are so convinced, the brain has this way of magically reinterpreting the world to conform to your conviction. There is no safety net, no god to come down and tell you that you're wrong. Your friends might try, but maybe you won't listen.

This I have glimpsed with my very eyes, and it seems you may be close to this territory yourself. Take the opportunity and make it into an irreversible insight into self-delusion: all it takes is for you to catch yourself lying to yourself.

A friend might be able to help you with that. Maybe one of those "specific individuals that come to mind" is a close friend?

If not, maybe seeing the sheer arrogance, the self-serving flavor of the whole thing, or the a-posterioriness of it, will help.
Adam , modified 9 Years ago at 9/5/13 9:46 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/5/13 9:45 AM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 613 Join Date: 3/20/12 Recent Posts
In my opinion, you are touching on the essence of what is wrong with actualism. Actualism is one of the most radical acts of magick you can do, it is one gigantic act of "felicitous" reinterpretation.


yea I am not switching to actualism per se. I just considered my practice from that angle because the idea that they really are right and I am "doing it wrong" was scary

And if the idea of learning to arbitrarily reinterpret reality as perfect, your own motivations as sincere, and your intentions as pure scares you, well then

"That is just you being afraid of your own extinction" :-)

If you believe that, then you'll just carry on anyway... ah, the power of positive feedback loops!

You are entirely correct in being afraid. That IS the adequate response. The fact that you can learn to change your mind so arbitrarily is terrifying, because if you can change your interpretations at whim, then there is nothing preventing you from being utterly convinced in something that simply isn't true. And when you are so convinced, the brain has this way of magically reinterpreting the world to conform to your conviction. There is no safety net, no god to come down and tell you that you're wrong. Your friends might try, but maybe you won't listen.

This I have glimpsed with my very eyes, and it seems you may be close to this territory yourself. Take the opportunity and make it into an irreversible insight into self-delusion: all it takes is for you to catch yourself lying to yourself.


I totally agree. this is the "crisis" here. never knowing for sure. my approach is basically to have no ground to stand on, no belief to be doubtable. yes I am trying to avoid any lying to myself. I am looking at every what if situation to find the lies there. "what if I am still getting it wrong?" "what if actualism is right?" "what if buddhism is right?" "what if none of them are right?" "what if I am crazy?" "what if I am enlightened?" "what if there is no more progress I can make?" "what if I am stuck asking what ifs forever"

I am using the fear and doubt as pointers to where I am still landing.

If not, maybe seeing the sheer arrogance, the self-serving flavor of the whole thing, or the a-posterioriness of it, will help.


not sure exactly what you mean. though I have been considering "maybe this is all a big delusion put on to make me feel like i know things no one else does."
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Bruno Loff, modified 9 Years ago at 9/5/13 11:47 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/5/13 11:47 AM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
I think I grossly misinterpreted your post, my apologies. (though, in fairness, wanting to be more right than others is generally a bad sign)

Here is a question: Do you think you have any choice in following a path of some kind, be it buddhist or actualist? Could you possibly drop all practices and paths?
Adam , modified 9 Years ago at 9/5/13 1:31 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/5/13 1:30 PM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 613 Join Date: 3/20/12 Recent Posts
Bruno Loff:
I think I grossly misinterpreted your post, my apologies. (though, in fairness, wanting to be more right than others is generally a bad sign)

Here is a question: Do you think you have any choice in following a path of some kind, be it buddhist or actualist? Could you possibly drop all practices and paths?



Wanting to be right was a good sign in a way because it showed me where I was hiding. I had no certainty but wanted to portray such in basically each new practice I took up be it Buddhism or Actualism (or being pragmatic and finding a good and integrated way to live based on no dogma from any path). All of these things are just new places to set up shop for self. My tendency was to argue in these things, like getting into arguments with 'actualism purists' about actualist aims and methods being fundamentally similar to Buddhist ones. Each time I made that argument and portrayed a false certainty about this claim I kind of dug myself deeper into the hole of denial. Admitting that I just wanted to be right and that I never really felt sure about whether I was right is/was a step in the direction of honesty and freedom.

As to your second question, that is sort of the "practice" i just came out of. Some sort of stance on life based on the idea that I just have to find a good way to live life regardless of any dogma or whatever, just be my own guide etc. Basically the founding belief of "pragmatic dharma". But consider that the very ground on which such a practice stands on is some idea that there *isn't* a "objective" freedom which renders your "good life" a meaningless delusion based on attachment and impurity. Maybe that very ground is just as shaky as the "I am following the true path and you aren't" ground.

I have been investigating this interest in a "good life" and find that even it is based on ignoring the possibility of an "objectively best life" and as such can not possibly be truly free. There can be so much fear in that place because it usually is a place people come to after "finally seeing through" their "dogmatic" beliefs and deciding "oh I am just gonna follow my own understandings and place no head above my own." There is fear there because what if there really is a head above your own?

The place I am in right now is so wacky. I am still looking for any fear, any comfort based on a belief based on ignoring some other possibility. At the moment I am finding it impossible to think in statements. Or believe the statements of others. The words just ring hollow. Even the ones I am saying now. Which is why I think I will shut up.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago at 9/5/13 3:04 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/5/13 3:04 PM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Bruno has some very good advice here, though I would just add six words to his post:

Bruno Loff:
In my opinion, you are touching on the essence of what is wrong with [my misinterpretation of] actualism. [My misinterpretation of] Actualism is one of the most radical acts of magick you can do, it is one gigantic act of "felicitous" reinterpretation.

"Just see that doubt is silly, and be sensible" :-P

And if the idea of learning to arbitrarily reinterpret reality as perfect, your own motivations as sincere, and your intentions as pure scares you, well then

"That is just you being afraid of your own extinction" :-)

If you believe that, then you'll just carry on anyway... ah, the power of positive feedback loops!

You are entirely correct in being afraid. That IS the adequate response. The fact that you can learn to change your mind so arbitrarily is terrifying, because if you can change your interpretations at whim, then there is nothing preventing you from being utterly convinced in something that simply isn't true. And when you are so convinced, the brain has this way of magically reinterpreting the world to conform to your conviction. There is no safety net, no god to come down and tell you that you're wrong. Your friends might try, but maybe you won't listen.

This I have glimpsed with my very eyes, and it seems you may be close to this territory yourself. Take the opportunity and make it into an irreversible insight into self-delusion: all it takes is for you to catch yourself lying to yourself.

A friend might be able to help you with that. Maybe one of those "specific individuals that come to mind" is a close friend?

If not, maybe seeing the sheer arrogance, the self-serving flavor of the whole thing, or the a-posterioriness of it, will help.

With just that slight modification, I agree 100%. These are the dangers of taking on actualism as a belief system. Another relatively recent example of the dangers of doing this is Tommy:
Tommy M:
Contrary to my previous claims, I do indeed still experience affective emotion; in the last four or five weeks, I had been lower than I can recall at any time in my life and actually ended up hospitalized with chest pains brought about by the stress of my current situation.
[...]
As I’ve contemplated what’s gone on over the last four to six months of my life, it’s occurred to me that I used the whole AF/no affective emotion idea as a way to avoid facing up to the stressful and genuinely difficult situation I found myself in. Not that I didn’t pursue that outcome with complete sincerity, but my overwhelming desire to not have to feel the way I did led to me deluding myself and, through strong intent, creating a reality-tunnel for myself where I basically stopped registering emotions…temporarily.

It's good that Bruno managed to stop going before before something like that happened to him, and I'm not being facetious here.

So, whatever you do, don't get sucked into another belief system.
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Bruno Loff, modified 9 Years ago at 9/5/13 3:20 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/5/13 3:20 PM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
Claudiu, I won't believe you are doing any different as long as your way of writing brings me a certain sense of familiarity with what I was experiencing back then.

I could dissect those aspects of how you write about stuff that put me on alert, but frankly I prefer that you don't know what they are.

I'm sure you'll do your best not to be annoyed emoticon Don't let that rotten core get the best of you emoticon
Adam , modified 9 Years ago at 9/5/13 3:24 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/5/13 3:24 PM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 613 Join Date: 3/20/12 Recent Posts
So, whatever you do, don't get sucked into another belief system.


Precisely emoticon I am doin my best
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago at 9/5/13 3:43 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/5/13 3:41 PM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Bruno Loff:
Claudiu, I won't believe you are doing any different as long as your way of writing brings me a certain sense of familiarity with what I was experiencing back then.

Ok, but I will keep pointing it out to others when it comes up. Maybe you will get it eventually but I doubt it.

Bruno Loff:
I could dissect those aspects of how you write about stuff that put me on alert, but frankly I prefer that you don't know what they are.

Ok. But as it's really not a matter of language I don't think I'd change the way I write to avoid those things, if that's what you were getting at.

Anyway, here are some things that I'm not doing that it seems that you were:
1) Re-interpreting things in a felicitous light. If I'm anxious then I'm anxious, not felicitous.
2) Labeling doubt as 'silly' and then proceeding to continue doing what I am doing without taking it into account.
3) Re-interpreting reality as perfect. If I'm anxious then reality is certainly not perfect.
4) Always assuming my motivations are sincere. They are often not. I usually recognize when that is.
5) Always assuming my intentions are pure. This is similar to #4.

Bruno Loff:
I'm sure you'll do your best not to be annoyed emoticon Don't let that rotten core get the best of you emoticon

Ha. I'll be annoyed if I want to be! Besides, I am not my own enemy here.

Last thing:
Bruno Loff:
(though, in fairness, wanting to be more right than others is generally a bad sign)

Do you think that applies to you here? If not then why not?
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Jon T, modified 9 Years ago at 9/5/13 3:48 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/5/13 3:45 PM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 401 Join Date: 12/30/10 Recent Posts
Way to hijack Adam's thread guys! You partisans make me want to puke.. j/k

Bruno, no offense but you did the practice all wrong. So has everyone else it seemed including claudiu and myself. And of course we continue to err but hopefully our understanding is correct at least. Everyone wants to interpret the words on the AFT according to their own prior understanding going so far as to call it a religion, a cult, a marketing scheme, even insisting that the Buddha had no feeling. No one is able to read just the words.

Adam, I think your questions are admirable. Don't run from them. Take your time and sort them out. Even if it takes years. Your diligence will be comforting and give you confidence. Don't settle for anything less than certainty. When you are certain, you won't have doubt. And don't settle for merely experimenting until you think you get it right. Combine experiment with rational though: Think through the merits of whatever practice you chose to experiment with. It should make rational sense after all. And, of course, compare the practices to each other. Use this forum and others to meet friendly people and engage them intellectually about the most important subject in the world; how do we live? why are we here?
Adam , modified 9 Years ago at 9/5/13 3:55 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/5/13 3:55 PM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 613 Join Date: 3/20/12 Recent Posts
Adam, I think your questions are admirable. Don't run from them.


Thank you Jon for this compliment that the questions are admirable. I think everyone has them but the usual approach is to run from them as you say. I won't settle for less than certainty, but I have convinced myself of certainty many times before haha.

Bruno, no offense but you did the practice all wrong. So has everyone else it seemed including claudiu and myself.


are you sure? so only Richard and Vineeto and Peter then? I am just curious and perhaps it will help with your own inquiry.

When you are certain, you won't have doubt.


I dont think i even know what that would look like, very interesting

Use this forum and others to meet friendly people and engage them intellectually about the most important subject in the world; how do we live? why are we here?


A delightful prospect haha sounds like fun.
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Bruno Loff, modified 9 Years ago at 9/5/13 4:39 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/5/13 4:36 PM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
Just so you know, my main motivation in replying to you in this discussion and others like it is not to argue with you, but to keep on public record a view that is different to your own. This is not so that I am declared correct by you or someone else, it is so someone who reads this thread has at least access to a different perspective.

My motivation is the previously mentioned sense of familiarity. I recognize my thinking patterns of that time in how you write, and in parts of what Adam has written ("projections" you'll undoubtedly think), and I know how seductive these patterns are are, and how they can take over unseen. So I write warnings: there is something wrong with actualism. Richard's writing is full of it, too.

As for trying to be more right than others, the specific phenomenon that I have in mind (let's call it X) has not happened to me in replying to this thread, no. Though I admit that the phrasing wasn't very fortunate, as in, there are instances (let's call them Y) where one might want to be more right than others, which are not instances of X, and in which I see no problem whatsoever. Even then, my writing is not an instance of Y; oh how I wish I was wrong emoticon But nowadays I require more objectivity from my evidence, even more so when it concerns things that I want.

The sentence that alerted me to X was:

Adam .:
These doubts are hard to admit to as there is something arising in consciousness about being proven wrong despite how many times I have argued fervently (to myself and others) to the contrary. Specific individuals come to mind and I think to myself "good job adam now you are letting them win." I think "they aren't even really free themselves this will just strengthen their self-deception if they see you writing this."


This kind of thing reeks of X. Fortunately Adam is at least aware that this kind of mental dynamic is happening. "Good job adam now you are letting them win" and "they aren't even really free themselves etc" betray two different patterns of thought that I associate with actual freedom (it is splattered everywhere in the AF website).

I would have engaged in X if I had, for instance, pitied you for being trapped in the actualist meme, or if I had tried to use the things you write to support my own worldview, or if I used my jhana powers to feel OK even when you write things I dislike, and then mentally declare myself superior for this OKness. The common theme, I guess, is to subtly disregard what someone else says by mentally placing them at "a lower level" (which can be done in many ways).

However, I expect that in reading this, you will think that it is reasonable and that it should not be done. And in doing so you have engaged in phenomenon Z. X and Z exist together, support each other, and there are many more letters in this intricate alphabet, the beautiful mental edifice that is actualism. For instance letter W: coming up with a reason for having done something, easily and on demand. Or letter V: the belief that it is possible to interpret reality without beliefs. Or U: the belief that it is possible to see reality directly, as it actually is.

Indeed it is a very powerful act of magick emoticon How are your purely calorific energies doing? emoticon
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago at 9/5/13 4:49 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/5/13 4:48 PM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Bruno Loff:
Just so you know, my main motivation in replying to you in this discussion and others like it is not to argue with you, but to keep on public record a view that is different to your own. This is not so that I am declared correct by you or someone else, it is so someone who reads this thread has at least access to a different perspective.

Alright. That was also the reason I replied to you so it seems we're on the same page.

Bruno Loff:
The sentence that alerted me to X was:
[...]
The common theme, I guess, is to subtly disregard what someone else says by mentally placing them at "a lower level" (which can be done in many ways).

Ok, so are you not mentally placing me at "a lower level" when you write comments such as:
Bruno Loff:
I'm sure you'll do your best not to be annoyed emoticon Don't let that rotten core get the best of you emoticon

and:
Bruno Loff:
Indeed it is a very powerful act of magick emoticon How are your purely calorific energies doing? emoticon

If not, then why not? Because when you write that, I get the impression of smug self-superiority.
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Bruno Loff, modified 9 Years ago at 9/5/13 4:52 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/5/13 4:51 PM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
I'm sorry, I just felt I needed to frame your response, a bit like one frames a painting and puts it on a wall.

Wonderful sentence that came out, as an example of X, "if I had tried to use the things you write to support my own worldview"

Actually this isn't exactly X, it is a mix of X and Z, maybe it is its own thing let's call it XZ... either way:

Now notice how you posted a gigantic quotation from me, while changing it in the slightest way, so that your worldview remains untouched. That is such a beautiful, concise, even pictorical illustration of phenomenon XZ, that I repost here, a bit like one hangs a painting:

Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Bruno has some very good advice here, though I would just add six words to his post:

Bruno Loff:
In my opinion, you are touching on the essence of what is wrong with [my misinterpretation of] actualism. [My misinterpretation of] Actualism is one of the most radical acts of magick you can do, it is one gigantic act of "felicitous" reinterpretation.
(...)
If not, maybe seeing the sheer arrogance, the self-serving flavor of the whole thing, or the a-posterioriness of it, will help.

With just that slight modification, I agree 100%.
(...)
It's good that Bruno managed to stop going before before something like that happened to him, and I'm not being facetious here.

So, whatever you do, don't get sucked into another belief system.


Amazing, with just six words, and a little post-scriptum, you managed to take what I consider a legitimate attack on your worldview, and turn it into something that reinforces it. Funnily enough, while at the same time denying that you are doing acts of arbitrary reinterpretation! If that's not illustrative enough, what is?
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katy steger,thru11615 with thanks, modified 9 Years ago at 9/5/13 5:08 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/5/13 5:08 PM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 1740 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
[Oo! Everyone, get your logician pants on! This is a nice logician hoe down! I can't start reading it til tomorrowy... shooey.]
Adam , modified 9 Years ago at 9/5/13 5:10 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/5/13 5:10 PM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 613 Join Date: 3/20/12 Recent Posts
Claudiu, Bruno seems to have offered you an invitation to a particular line of thought and investigation. You then offered that he do the investigation himself. Between those two events did you with total openness do the investigation?
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago at 9/5/13 5:15 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/5/13 5:15 PM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Adam . .:
Claudiu, Bruno seems to have offered you an invitation to a particular line of thought and investigation. You then offered that he do the investigation himself. Between those two events did you with total openness do the investigation?

I've re-read the thread and can't see what you're referring to when you say "Bruno seems to have offered you an invitation to a particular line of thought and investigation." Can you be more specific? I opened the exchange with "Do you think that applies to you here? If not then why not?" and have been following up on that.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago at 9/5/13 5:37 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/5/13 5:31 PM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Bruno Loff:
I'm sorry, I just felt I needed to frame your response, a bit like one frames a painting and puts it on a wall.

Wonderful sentence that came out, as an example of X, "if I had tried to use the things you write to support my own worldview"

Which sentence?

Bruno Loff:
Actually this isn't exactly X, it is a mix of X and Z, maybe it is its own thing let's call it XZ... either way:

I didn't quite understand what Z is.

Bruno Loff:
Now notice how you posted a gigantic quotation from me, while changing it in the slightest way, so that your worldview remains untouched. That is such a beautiful, concise, even pictorical illustration of phenomenon XZ, that I repost here, a bit like one hangs a painting:

You used the 'painting' metaphor already - that's too soon!

In any case, you seem to be assuming that I did not consider your reply at all, and that I just assumed it didn't apply to me and could thus safely ignore it. But no, I actually did consider your reply, enough to recognize that they are all valid arguments, and also enough to realize that I am just not doing those things. It would be like someone saying:

Hypothetical:
Meditation doesn't work. I've been reading these prayer books all day and I learned a whole bunch of Pali words. I send merit to the Buddhas twice a week. I also spend hundreds of hours on meditation forums. I've memorized the stages of insight backwards and forwards and can recite the criteria for each. But I'm not gaining any insight into reality! None of those stages have happened for me! Clearly meditation doesn't work.


Now an accomplished meditator would read that and go, ok, he has a valid critique against what he's been doing: reading prayer books doesn't lead to insight. Learning pali words doesn't lead to insight. Sending merit to Buddhas twice a week doesn't lead to insight. etc. So he is really saying what doesn't work about his own misinterpretation of meditation.

As for your own reply, I did much the same thing, and came to these conslusions (note that I thought of these before my six-words-post, and considered answering to your post that way instead):
Claudiu:
Anyway, here are some things that I'm not doing that it seems that you were:
1) Re-interpreting things in a felicitous light. If I'm anxious then I'm anxious, not felicitous.
2) Labeling doubt as 'silly' and then proceeding to continue doing what I am doing without taking it into account.
3) Re-interpreting reality as perfect. If I'm anxious then reality is certainly not perfect.
4) Always assuming my motivations are sincere. They are often not. I usually recognize when that is.
5) Always assuming my intentions are pure. This is similar to #4.


My six words didn't transform your attack into something else. Your attack already was that something else. I just wanted to make it clear that it was, and in some way it seems you appreciated the elegance with which I did it, hah =P.

Anyway, I thought you were going to reply in another post, but I'm still curious. In what way are you not placing me at a lower level (doing X) when you write comments such as:
Bruno Loff:
I'm sure you'll do your best not to be annoyed emoticon Don't let that rotten core get the best of you emoticon

and:
Bruno Loff:
Indeed it is a very powerful act of magick emoticon How are your purely calorific energies doing? emoticon

Because when you write that, I get the impression of smug self-superiority - that you consider yourself above me - that you are placing me below you.
Adam , modified 9 Years ago at 9/5/13 6:26 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/5/13 6:26 PM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 613 Join Date: 3/20/12 Recent Posts
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Adam . .:
Claudiu, Bruno seems to have offered you an invitation to a particular line of thought and investigation. You then offered that he do the investigation himself. Between those two events did you with total openness do the investigation?

I've re-read the thread and can't see what you're referring to when you say "Bruno seems to have offered you an invitation to a particular line of thought and investigation." Can you be more specific? I opened the exchange with "Do you think that applies to you here? If not then why not?" and have been following up on that.


I am referring to investigating the mental dynamic Bruno referred to as "X." I think one of the intentions in the post where he talks about "X" was to try and point you towards an investigation of whether you engage in "X."

X I basically understand to be defending and holding on to a worldview because it supports your identity. I think Bruno finds that X is rampant in your posts, my posts, his past thinking, and things he sees on the Actualism Trust Homepage.

I think that this is also what you pointed to with your recommendation to me not to get sucked into any belief systems with the example of Tommy.

Are you sucked into any Actualist beliefs systems specifically ones about Actualism being a different thing than Buddhism? Do you think it is possible that your "I" is using these belief systems to "gain footing?"

I am not even suggesting that Actualism is the same as Buddhism. Nor am I suggesting that they are not 180 degrees opposite. I am also not suggesting that the Buddha or anyone else found total freedom. I am not suggesting there is anything wrong with Actualism or Richard or anything else just offering an inquiry about your own identity's involvement in these issues. Can fear or doubt arise through these lines of investigation?

For me Bruno's suggestion about my engaging in X sparked curiosity and a hope that I could find some fear or identity in examining whether this (behavior and thinking I am doing now) is a ridiculously subtle, tricky form of self-deception that I am engaging in and if "I" am finding a new place to set up shop through this whole "question all beliefs" doctrine. I have yet to find that I am engaging in such but I am striving to be as fearless and vulnerable as possible and continuing to ask.
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Jon T, modified 9 Years ago at 9/5/13 7:12 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/5/13 7:08 PM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 401 Join Date: 12/30/10 Recent Posts
The proof is right in Bruno's replies: (Edited for clarity, the whole thing is in his original posts)

(Actualism) is one gigantic act of "felicitous" reinterpretation.

"Just see that doubt is silly, and be sensible" or "(Doubt) is just you being afraid of your own extinction"

And if the idea of learning to arbitrarily reinterpret reality as perfect, your own motivations as sincere, and your intentions as pure scares you...You are entirely correct in being afraid.



Right there Bruno reveals where he got the whole thing wrong. If you want to debate then star by quoting the AFT where it says that you are to interpret reality as perfect: We can then go into context and interpretation. It certainly doesn't say or imply that one is to learn to reinterpret one's own motivations as being sincere and pure. My gods, man, that is a horribly heinous habit: lol. If you must stop associating with actualism and keep others away just in order to stop said repulsively putrid practice then by all means...In fact, I commend you from ceasing to engage in such harmful activity.

Vineeto does write that doubt is an insidious emotion. But you abandon any emotion, including doubt, through investigation not through sheer will. When you finally see clearly a fact for a fact then any beliefs surrounding the issue drop away and the emotions that hold up those beliefs no longer have anything to hold onto. This then allows you to get back into felicity and innocuity much quicker which leads to wonder and then reflective contemplation and then a PCE. And the PCE shows you that it's possible and desirable to live life without being beholden to your friends, family, co-workers, nation, tribe, etc through sorrow and malice or the finer feelings of love and compassion.


And if you can't get into a PCE then you simply have more investigating to do to get back you to feeling good then happy and then wonderful onto reflective contemplation. And that investigating should be fun because it's interesting.

As for trying to be more right than others, (let's call it X) there are instances (let's call them Y) where one might want to be more right than others, which are not instances of X, and in which I see no problem whatsoever.


I actually see X as a more desirable trait than Y. Wanting to be right will lead to selective listening and selective memory; trying to be right can lead to greater diligence and honest self-critiques.

However, I expect that in reading this, you will think that it is reasonable and that it should not be done. And in doing so you have engaged in phenomenon Z. X and Z exist together, support each other,


Does Z stand for zany?

letter W: coming up with a reason for having done something, easily and on demand. Or letter V: the belief that it is possible to interpret reality without beliefs. Or U: the belief that it is possible to see reality directly, as it actually is.


Shouldn't letter W be changed to R for rationalizations. And V can be changed to O for optimistic experimentation and U can be change to P for the PCE. Just suggestions.
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Bruno Loff, modified 9 Years ago at 9/6/13 4:50 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/6/13 4:46 AM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Anyway, I thought you were going to reply in another post, but I'm still curious. In what way are you not placing me at a lower level (doing X) when you write comments such as:
Bruno Loff:
I'm sure you'll do your best not to be annoyed emoticon Don't let that rotten core get the best of you emoticon

and:
Bruno Loff:
Indeed it is a very powerful act of magick emoticon How are your purely calorific energies doing? emoticon

Because when you write that, I get the impression of smug self-superiority - that you consider yourself above me - that you are placing me below you.


"Vexing - annoy, as with petty importunities; bother"

If I placed you below me, I wouldn't have thought you worth vexing. Like I wouldn't vex an immature child.

If I was convinced, for instance, that I have privileged access to reality, or the truth, or "things as they actually are", and by privileged I mean "better than yours," I would be doing X.

As it is, I think there is a high degree of variation in how one interprets reality, and actualism is one way among many. An actualist worldview has some positive aspects, some of which I have incorporated in my own filter (of course, you believe that it is possible to live without filters; that was not one of the aspects I adopted from actualism). I see it as solidly build and unusually self-consistent. But I fear that, for me, the problems I see in it outweigh the benefits by far. And while you might not entirely understand why, the way that you write in various posts, including those in this thread, indicates to me that you have not solved these problems.

And I say you might not understand why, which is partly because I have not explained it properly, partly because it is subtle and hard to point out (so it is possible to simply refuse seeing it if one is willing), and partly because you live actualism from the inside, so to speak.

I admit that my writing about it is terribly messy. I think of actualism as a bundle of things that happen simultaneously, that support each other X supports Y supports Z supports X etc. So when I see one or two of these features, I am instantaneously reminded of the whole package, when perhaps that is not entirely accurate. I.e., I do not fully understand the causal relationships that make up actualism, as a meme (and don't feel belittled if I say meme, anything that preserves itself in the human mind is a meme, for instance the noble eightfold path is a meme). And then what happens is that if I point out only a few of the letters, the others come up to restore the status quo. What is missing is a sort of dependent origination of actualism, and it is very difficult to do it from memory alone, and unlikely to happen when living actualism from the inside.

I think actualism is not healthy, but I don't think actualism is harmful, in the sense that, for instance, being a violent psychopath is harmful. The upholding of peace as a central value of actualism, and the eventual tranquility one may acquire through its various practices, should at least ensure restraint from gross forms of violence.

So, you know, I think you are free to do it, why not? Though I wouldn't leave you alone with my girlfriend, lest you want to "liberate" her ha ha emoticon

The following intent helps me with some of the problems I saw in actualism (some of which still linger today). The choice of words "luck" and "humility" are what gives the statement its power over these problems, rather than being a general me-not-hurt-others statement.

If my (physical, mental or verbal) actions bring harm to others, may I have the luck to see it happen, the humility to admit I was wrong, and the fortitude to change my ways.
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Bruno Loff, modified 9 Years ago at 9/6/13 5:28 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/6/13 5:28 AM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
I thought this deserved its own post: one of the things that I admire about buddhism, is that it is extremely explicit about the forces that keep the path in place — as a meme.

Whereas by contrast many features of actualism are never explicitly stated in the text of the website. If one reads the text of the actualist website focusing only on the meaning of its words one sees one thing. But actually the writings have the power to induce something else, an undercurrent of something that is completely at odds with the meaning of the text. The subtext is very subtle and very powerful, and very perverse, and very seductive.

Actualists copy many features of Richard's way of thinking simply because they are... contagious; Richard never makes them explicit, probably because he doesn't see these features himself. The readers are actually actively encouraged to read the text as naively as they can:

Jon T:
No one is able to read just the words.


Letter... N: see what I mean? When some letters are attacked others come to the rescue! It has never occurred to Jon that maybe naiveté is actually a way of dulling one's ability to see subtext. The advantage of subtext is that one can always deny that it is there if one wants to; but, returning to the theme of magick, one should be aware that subtext is one of the most powerful tools for manipulating others and oneself. Learning to ignore it doesn't make it go away.

I claim that what is wrong with actualism will only be found in the subtext. That is where it lives. One can bring these things to the surface, but their existence can easily be denied, even when their effects abound.

Returning to Buddhism; buddhism, or at least some forms of it, is very explicit about the forces that make the path happen. For instance, conviction, sometimes translated as faith, is explicitly stated as one of the five mental qualities required for the path to happen. Buddhism has a specific "right view" that is stated as the view that is required to move things forward, and the contents of said view are explicitly stated upfront.

Of course, this opinion of mine could be the result of me currently exploring buddhism "from the inside," and I could be missing some form of subtext myself.
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Jon T, modified 9 Years ago at 9/6/13 9:47 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/6/13 9:47 AM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 401 Join Date: 12/30/10 Recent Posts
There isn't a single example in either of your two replies. Back up your pov with specific quotes from the AFT along with your interpretations and links to the exact page. And clarify what 'Z' is, please.
Felipe C, modified 9 Years ago at 9/6/13 10:19 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/6/13 10:19 AM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 221 Join Date: 5/29/11 Recent Posts
Bruno Loff:

Whereas by contrast many features of actualism are never explicitly stated in the text of the website. If one reads the text of the actualist website focusing only on the meaning of its words one sees one thing. But actually the writings have the power to induce something else, an undercurrent of something that is completely at odds with the meaning of the text. The subtext is very subtle and very powerful, and very perverse, and very seductive.


I'm curious to see some examples that support this one, because I wonder where is the perversity or the "something else" in "feel as happy and harmless as you can, each moment, until you are happy and harmless 100% of the time" (which is really what the actualism method is).
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Jon T, modified 9 Years ago at 9/6/13 11:14 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/6/13 11:10 AM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 401 Join Date: 12/30/10 Recent Posts
"feel as happy and harmless as you can, each moment, until you are happy and harmless 100% of the time" (which is really what the actualism method is).



Don't forget Neither Express Nor Repress, Investigating and the PCE. If one just tries to be happy and harmless all the time then one falls into repression/suppression. Neither Express Nor Repress allows you to fully feel and own the emotion thus preventing repression. Investigating the cause of the harmful mood reduces it's re-occurrence. It untangles the mood thus allowing one to go from investigating well after the fact to investigating shortly after the fact to investigating during the harmful mood to nipping it in the bud. Each stage gives one more and more time to be happy and harmless right now. And when one is happy and harmless right now then one can move from feeling good,great,perfect to wonder,fascination, reflective contemplation then naivete then a PCE. The PCE is the goal line and the proof. If there is no PCE in the memory bank then actualism is an optimistic experiment.

I wanted to clarify because I really do think that the reason why everyone gets it wrong is because they are suppressing their emotions.
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Bruno Loff, modified 9 Years ago at 9/6/13 1:50 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/6/13 1:48 PM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
Felipe C.:
Bruno Loff:

Whereas by contrast many features of actualism are never explicitly stated in the text of the website. If one reads the text of the actualist website focusing only on the meaning of its words one sees one thing. But actually the writings have the power to induce something else, an undercurrent of something that is completely at odds with the meaning of the text. The subtext is very subtle and very powerful, and very perverse, and very seductive.


I'm curious to see some examples that support this one, because I wonder where is the perversity or the "something else" in "feel as happy and harmless as you can, each moment, until you are happy and harmless 100% of the time" (which is really what the actualism method is).


I mentioned the reasons I am not particularly interested in offering counter-examples. I do have them, and I could support them with quotations from Richard and new-generation actualists. However that is too much trouble, and what for? Throughout my life I have met only a handful of people who dare admitting they are wrong when they are invested in something... I personally needed the shock from John Wilde's story in order to be in the position to question actualism, and I imagine that at this point you must have fully assimilated and digested and found reasons for the existence of those reports...

To summarize: (1) actualism has many facets, and they all support each other, so that if you attack one, the others come rushing in, keeping the edifice stable. This is not a bad thing in itself, every thriving biological system relies on such redundancy. But it makes it so that the only capable attack is one that understands all of these facets, and exposes them simultaneously. It took me many months of introspection to get a feel for how actualism works as a meme. Even then, I was highly motivated to figuring this out, and I strongly suspect I don't have the full picture.

And (2) I believe that what is problematic about actualism is subtle, and can only be detected if one stops reading the text naively and tries to understand the full implications of what is written. Meaning, one can not interpret what is written "at face value" (unlike what is recommended), but rather one must question what is being said, where it comes from and what it implies. This in itself is an act of interpretation — everyone can understand the first level of meaning in a text, but usually people need to be proactive in order to consciously grasp the much more subtle undercurrent; however, most people will pick up the subtext intuitively and unconsciously, and be influenced by it, and respond to it. And because this requires such proactivity, effectively the way it works is: you won't see it if you don't want to.

---

For the sake of experiment, I will put forward one example. Let us re-read the following Q&A, entitled "Hurt and hurting": link. More specifically, this excerpt which appears right at the beginning:

AF Q&A:
Q: But you can foresee it. You can see that you are going to hurt someone else – even if you don’t intentionally do it. If you can see it in advance and you can’t avoid it ...
R: Okay. Now what gets hurt in the other people? It is their feelings, is this not it?
Q: Yes.
R: And if they did not have those feelings then they would not get hurt. It is their precious feelings that they hold so dearly.
Q: True.
R: When somebody says to you ... no ... when somebody says to me: ‘You’ve hurt my feelings’, then I say: ‘Oh, that is interesting. Why do you have them? Because that means that you set yourself up for hurt – for a disaster. If you go around with those feelings, somebody, somewhere is going to hurt them. Be rid of those feelings. Then you will not get hurt.


The superficial meaning of the text is exactly what is written there. When someone says to Richard that he hurt their feelings, he tells them that it is because they have those feelings that they set themselves up for hurt, and exhorts them to get rid of those feelings, so that they won't get hurt. He doesn't inquire further into why they were hurt, or into how he could change his own behavior so that they aren't repeatedly hurt. Also, he doesn't inquire himself if he has possibly done something wrong. The person has feelings, and should get rid of them, and that's the end of the story.

Here I claim the following. The subtext is that whenever someone feels hurt, it is their own responsibility. The subtext is that whenever someone feels hurt, it is not important to understand if someone else has done something wrong, because feelings are never legitimate (they are never appropriate as a response). And because they are never legitimate, the position of legitimacy is held by the person that doesn't have feelings, over the person that does (i.e., X).

Of course, if systematically believe that Richard has pure intentions, you could instead read in Richard's reply that he only says it because "it is actually the case" (that people who have feelings set themselves up for hurt), and that actually he wants to help this person overcome their hurt, that he has this person's wellbeing in mind. Richard himself believes this is the case; but my own interpretation is that he is simply dodging blame, and fitting everything into his worldview (Z).

---

It was very educational (and very humbling) to realize how much I had been able to ignore, simply because I wanted something to be true. Also I do not exclude the possibility that some actualists are reading the AF site and following its instructions without taking in (being seduced by) the features I dislike; or — in those cases I detect these features in their forum posts — taking in these qualities to the point I am still able to detect them but where they are not as extreme and in-sane as they became in my case... who knows? It really is your own life, and none of my business emoticon

All I can say is: If your (physical, mental or verbal) actions bring harm to others, may you have the luck to see it happen, the humility to admit you were wrong, and the fortitude to change your ways.

Bruno out
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago at 9/6/13 4:44 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/6/13 4:41 PM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Bruno Loff:
I mentioned the reasons I am not particularly interested in offering counter-examples. I do have them, and I could support them with quotations from Richard and new-generation actualists. However that is too much trouble, and what for? Throughout my life I have met only a handful of people who dare admitting they are wrong when they are invested in something... I personally needed the shock from John Wilde's story in order to be in the position to question actualism, and I imagine that at this point you must have fully assimilated and digested and found reasons for the existence of those reports...

Fair point. I personally needed the shock from witnessing Richard and Vineeto acting in person exactly as described on the AFT - lack of vibes & sheer fun & enjoyment & no ill will or malice & all - in order to be in the position to question my understanding of actualism.

Bruno Loff:
To summarize: (1) actualism has many facets, and they all support each other [...]

This is true. You might even say that actualism has many facts, and they all support each other =P. Would that be letter F in your book perhaps?

But anyway, I know what you mean about it having multiple facets that all support each other. I've come across this whenever attempting to give a total summary of actualism to someone who has never heard of it. It's hard to pick a starting point. An obvious one is the PCE. Then it's like ok, so what is the PCE? How do I know I've had one? Then you have to get into the universe actually existing, with the self only 'really' existing. And that leads to other stuff, etc. It's a whole understanding.

Bruno Loff:
[...] so that if you attack one, the others come rushing in, keeping the edifice stable.

Well I disagree with the implications here because it makes it out like some belief system that requires sustaining. If that's what is happening then it's something to stop doing, and soon.

Bruno Loff:
This is not a bad thing in itself, every thriving biological system relies on such redundancy. But it makes it so that the only capable attack is one that understands all of these facets, and exposes them simultaneously. It took me many months of introspection to get a feel for how actualism works as a meme. Even then, I was highly motivated to figuring this out, and I strongly suspect I don't have the full picture.

It wouldn't take me long to write out a web of things. I'd start with the PCE then draw arrows to all the explanations that are required to make sense of it all. Since I'm not actually free yet though the web would probably be missing some things and maybe some things would be incorrect. I actually don't think anyone else has tried to represent actualism as a web of interlinked nodes before... might be an interesting and potentially useful project.

Actually it might then be doubly useful to draw the 'subtext' web - I would need your cooperation here. Basically there would be dotted lines from all the nodes to your letter nodes, such as "feelings are never an appropriate response", which indicate the nearest misinterpretations and how to avoid them.

Bruno Loff:
And (2) I believe that what is problematic about actualism is subtle, and can only be detected if one stops reading the text naively and tries to understand the full implications of what is written. Meaning, one can not interpret what is written "at face value" (unlike what is recommended), but rather one must question what is being said, where it comes from and what it implies. This in itself is an act of interpretation — everyone can understand the first level of meaning in a text, but usually people need to be proactive in order to consciously grasp the much more subtle undercurrent; however, most people will pick up the subtext intuitively and unconsciously, and be influenced by it, and respond to it. And because this requires such proactivity, effectively the way it works is: you won't see it if you don't want to.

Funny cause the way I see it, most of why people have trouble with actualism is because they read things into the text that are not there. I used to do this all the time. It still happens on occasion. This prevents you from understanding what is being said. This leads to misunderstandings like thinking the point is to ignore doubts and deny that you have insincere intentions and to reinterpret situations that are really shitty into felicitous ones (like in a DhO post you made where you were offended or threatened by a new person - I forget the details - and you rationalized that you should actually get to know them cause hey it'd be great - instead of addressing why it is you felt threatened). Again, I didn't really get what was on offer until I went to see for myself in person, and I had read a lot of the site for months before then.

Bruno Loff:
For the sake of experiment, I will put forward one example. Let us re-read the following Q&A, entitled "Hurt and hurting": link. More specifically, this excerpt which appears right at the beginning:

AF Q&A:
Q: But you can foresee it. You can see that you are going to hurt someone else – even if you don’t intentionally do it. If you can see it in advance and you can’t avoid it ...
R: Okay. Now what gets hurt in the other people? It is their feelings, is this not it?
Q: Yes.
R: And if they did not have those feelings then they would not get hurt. It is their precious feelings that they hold so dearly.
Q: True.
R: When somebody says to you ... no ... when somebody says to me: ‘You’ve hurt my feelings’, then I say: ‘Oh, that is interesting. Why do you have them? Because that means that you set yourself up for hurt – for a disaster. If you go around with those feelings, somebody, somewhere is going to hurt them. Be rid of those feelings. Then you will not get hurt.


The superficial meaning of the text is exactly what is written there. When someone says to Richard that he hurt their feelings, he tells them that it is because they have those feelings that they set themselves up for hurt, and exhorts them to get rid of those feelings, so that they won't get hurt.

I agree so far - this is simply a summary of what he said.

Bruno Loff:
He doesn't inquire further into why they were hurt, or into how he could change his own behavior so that they aren't repeatedly hurt. Also, he doesn't inquire himself if he has possibly done something wrong. The person has feelings, and should get rid of them, and that's the end of the story.

No, this is not the superficial meaning of the text. This is you assuming things about how Richard behaves. And also assuming things about what it means to not have feelings - that you won't care. And it's also just not true. For example, I can't find the link now, but Richard wrote somewhere that he realized that it was inappropriate to laugh in certain circumstances because people would get offended, so he doesn't do that anymore. Another example:
Richard:
Quite frankly, nobody of the ilk you allude to (i.e. ‘sock-puppets of Richard & Associates’) could have ‘threatened to post details’ as there are only two people on this planet who intimately know them and, thus far, I have of course remained as circumspect as possible (so as to spare her feelings as she was, quite evidentially, hurt, hurting and hurtful) in the circumstances.


Bruno Loff:
Here I claim the following. The subtext is that whenever someone feels hurt, it is their own responsibility.

Ok, not sure if it qualifies as a subtext, it's pretty straightforward from "If you go around with those feelings, somebody, somewhere is going to hurt them."

Bruno Loff:
The subtext is that whenever someone feels hurt, it is not important to understand if someone else has done something wrong,

Again this is you reading things into those words that are not there. I never got the notion that it wasn't important to understand why - as a result of what things that I did - someone else feels hurt. Then it's a separate issue of deciding whether I want to change my behavior.

Bruno Loff:
[...] because feelings are never legitimate (they are never appropriate as a response).

Hmm this brings to mind what Jon just said recently: "[..] I really do think that the reason why everyone gets it wrong is because they are suppressing their emotions." Again this is something you are reading into it, which I also used to read into it, which I now no longer do, which is why I'm actually making progress now and I wasn't before.

Bruno Loff:
Of course, if systematically believe that Richard has pure intentions, you could instead read in Richard's reply that he only says it because "it is actually the case" (that people who have feelings set themselves up for hurt), and that actually he wants to help this person overcome their hurt, that he has this person's wellbeing in mind.

Well it would hardly be having someone's wellbeing in mind to keep doing something that somebody else is hurt by without ever figuring out why, no?

Bruno Loff:
Richard himself believes this is the case; but my own interpretation is that he is simply dodging blame, and fitting everything into his worldview (Z).

So what you are doing is fitting everything into your worldview (via your interpretations), and in doing so you come to the conclusion that Richard is fitting everything into his worldview... interesting.

Bruno Loff:
All I can say is: If your (physical, mental or verbal) actions bring harm to others, may you have the luck to see it happen, the humility to admit you were wrong, and the fortitude to change your ways.

It hardly seems one could be aiming to be harmless without ever trying to figure out whether one is bringing harm to others... anyway, I can agree with the luck and fortitude part, but will of course have to demur as to the 'humility' aspect because of the obvious M, D, and Q.

In conclusion:
Bruno Loff:
I claim that what is wrong with actualism will only be found in the subtext. That is where it lives. One can bring these things to the surface, but their existence can easily be denied, even when their effects abound.

I agree, because the "subtext" is where lie all your misinterpretations, such as the ones I have distinguished above. I don't deny the subtext is there for you and capable of being derived - they are natural enough misinterpretations - just that that is not actually part of what the actualism that leads to actual freedom is about.

Cheers,
- Claudiu
Felipe C, modified 9 Years ago at 9/6/13 6:32 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/6/13 6:22 PM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 221 Join Date: 5/29/11 Recent Posts
Bruno Loff:
Here I claim the following. The subtext is that whenever someone feels hurt, it is their own responsibility.


But it is their own responsibility, mostly if you consider some previous Richard's line from the same conversation:

R: Yes, then whatever you do – if you do not intentionally set out to hurt other people – you do freely. What can happen is that they may become hurt into the bargain ... but it is up to them to deal with that. It is their hurt, when all is said and done.


Bruno, do you feel equally responsible (or even "bad" or sorry) when you cause some hurt unintentionally than when you do it intentionally? If you still feel responsible for that hurting, even if you did that unintentionally, why do you think is that?

Also, remember the context, which is a conversation between Richard and someone interested in practicing Actualism, and he's giving him advice. Remember that Richard claims that this practice leads to harmlessness, which is the complete or virtual absence of malice. When you don't feel malice is impossible to hurt someone's feelings intentionally (by insulting, belittling, lying, deceiving, etc.). From that premise, there's no need for remorseful, sorrowful, empathetic or compassionate patches, because the root cause is extirpated or virtually extirpated when you reach AF or VF.

Bruno Loff:
The subtext is that whenever someone feels hurt, it is not important to understand if someone else has done something wrong,


Again, if in the emotional hurting was no intention to hurt on the sender, where is the burden of that "wrong"? Assuming --since the context is a case where someone feels emotionally hurt-- that by wrong you mean "a. Contrary to conscience, morality, or law; immoral or wicked. b. Unfair; unjust." and not "1. Not in conformity with fact or truth; incorrect or erroneous."

Granted, an AF person would not feel the "wrongness" of a certain situation but he would rather analyze it and its potential results, and appreciate the silliness of saying this or that to other persons, for instance (it would be silly because it unnecessarily hurts other people and, also, hurting other people's feelings puts one in physical danger). Anyway, as Claudiu just wrote, there is no mention of the importance or no-importance of the understanding of the "wronging".

Bruno Loff:
because feelings are never legitimate (they are never appropriate as a response).


They are an appropriate and legitimate response from and to the blind nature's program, but consider that that program includes a very high dose of chemical and visceral impulses (suddenly and easily getting mad or hurt with delayed or with no intelligent judgement) and self-centeredness (everything seems related somehow to "me"). Every human equipped with that program will tend to see "wrong" things where there aren't, don't you think?

Richard's response is not that feelings aren't legitimate or appropriate but, instead, that they will always lead to more hurt in oneself and in others.

Bruno Loff:
And because they are never legitimate, the position of legitimacy is held by the person that doesn't have feelings, over the person that does (i.e., X).


As emotional wrongs and hurts usually come from beliefs, and we feeling beings are very moral people (following those beliefs) and AF persons are amoral (having no beliefs), all this really falls into subjectivity.

But, anyway, when you accuse Richard of "dodging blame, and fitting everything into his worldview", for instance, you are coming from your own interpretation as a feeling being. Could you put yourself in Richard's position for a little and assess such a situation when someone feels hurt and you are incapable of feeling malice (therefore, incapable of creating intentional hurt)? Could you at least try to formulate an informed opinion (from remembering a PCE, for instance) of Richard's position just as you have your informed opinion of you as a feeling being (because you've been one all this time and know exactly how it is/feels)?

I say this because it's important to start from facts rather than suppositions when talking about our capacity to hurt and be hurt.

I can personally tell how I feel as a "hurter" when I am basketful of good/bad feelings and in a walk in a park (maliciously judging people around, for instance) vs how I feel/am when in a EE/PCE (delighting with people and things as they are).

I can also personally tell how I feel how I feel as a "hurt" when I am basketful of good/bad feelings and in a walk in a park (fearfully thinking people is judging me maliciously, for instance) vs how I feel/am when in a EE/PCE (delighting with people and things as they are).

So, I could really put myself in both positions and, besides from judging a given situation about Richard vs the world for its own elements, I also have experiential and solid evidence of how it is to being "hurter"/hurt in both cases: feeling being / suspended feeling being.

In other words, I also can see how it's a lot more probable that the responsibility of the hurting is in "Feeling Being Felipe" rather than the "PCE Felipe" in a hypothetical "Feeling Being Felipe" vs "PCE Felipe" situation, because I've been expending two years investigating both and I recognize the tendencies and potentials of both of them.

Note that those kinds of observations (both studying how it is to be a feeling being and a suspended one) also gives a deep understanding of the hurting process itself. That insight gives one a common sense of how people and their feelings works, because they are very similar to me. Along with being less self-centered, one can actually and naturally care and act in sensible ways in the world, or at least try one's best to do so. Since Richard's description have lead me to see that, I can see where he's coming from when says all that, instead of trying to interpret his written words negatively or positively according to my beliefs and feelings.

See, this is very different from what you said previously: "Actualists copy many features of Richard's way of thinking simply because they are... contagious".

Bruno Loff:
All I can say is: If your (physical, mental or verbal) actions bring harm to others, may you have the luck to see it happen


Why leave that to luck? How about attention?

Bruno Loff:
the humility to admit you were wrong


Just as pride obscures your assessments (by denying your faults and responsibilities, for instance), humility --which means humiliating oneself-- could also do so but in the opposite way (by appropriating more faults and responsibilities than the really deserved). How about honesty?

Bruno Loff:
And the fortitude to change your ways.

I'd add sincerity and common sense.

Regards,

Felipe
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Jon T, modified 9 Years ago at 9/7/13 10:29 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/7/13 10:29 AM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 401 Join Date: 12/30/10 Recent Posts
I doubt Bruno responds. He said "Bruno out" which indicates that he's done. He also said.


9/5/13 4:39 PM
my main motivation in replying to you in this discussion and others like it is not to argue with you, but to keep on public record a view that is different to your own.


which may be his reason for not being...


9/6/13 1:50 PM
particularly interested in offering counter-examples.



So I think he only wants to present an alternate view and isn't interested in debate. I don't know why and how he mistook a post solely about doubt and bravado in order to present a view solely about Actualism. I think the very word makes his mind go haywire. And why bother bringing up a line of criticism while refusing an opportunity to defend it fully?



Going by what Bruno writes in has last post regarding the AFT,

The subtext is that whenever someone feels hurt, it is their own responsibility...but my own interpretation is that he is simply dodging blame.


I have come up with the following theory:

While "practicing" actualism, Bruno subconsciously knew he was slowly turning into a monster. And for it, he blames Richard. After hearing the disseminated tales of Richards libido and ego gone made, Bruno saw in himself what he was becoming. It scared the shit out of him and he resolved never to go down that road again. He still believes Patrick's stories, because they resonate with him; he saw first hand how close he had become to the Richard depicted therein. As a result, he thinks actualism is a covert glorification of a particular mental illness.
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Bruno Loff, modified 9 Years ago at 9/7/13 10:39 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/7/13 10:39 AM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
Can't wait for brain-to-brain interfaces emoticon

Until then, I would rather not continue this discussion. I don't think any further benefit can be derived to either one of us, and I would explain why, but that would just perpetuate the pointless back and forth. I consider the experiment done, and I am happy with the public character of its outcome. If you feel it is unfair that I end it abruptly like this, let me know privately.

May we have some other, more productive exchanges at some point.
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Bruno Loff, modified 9 Years ago at 9/7/13 11:38 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/7/13 11:38 AM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
Jon T:
I have come up with the following theory:

While "practicing" actualism, Bruno subconsciously knew he was slowly turning into a monster. And for it, he blames Richard. After hearing the disseminated tales of Richards libido and ego gone made, Bruno saw in himself what he was becoming. It scared the shit out of him and he resolved never to go down that road again. He still believes Patrick's stories, because they resonate with him; he saw first hand how close he had become to the Richard depicted therein. As a result, he thinks actualism is a covert glorification of a particular mental illness.


I think your theory is incorrect in almost every sentence, but expected your perspective to be exactly that.

The only beneficial thing I might add: There was no part of me that subconsciously knew about the recently acquired undesirable traits [1]. But in the end it was very educational to see how much can be happening in my mind without me having the slightest clue. People generally believe that they "know" themselves somewhere in their minds; they think they understand their motivations completely, even if only subconsciously. That the truth is somehow, someway, always accessible to them by introspection.

My view nowadays is that our understanding of our own motivations is mostly interpretative (which is backed up by one of my favourite articles). I don't share in the idea that you will understand what drives you just because you are honest to yourself. Hence the need for luck emoticon

That understanding has been of value to me in the last couple of years.

[1] By the way when you say "turning into a monster" instead, for instance, of "acquiring some undesirable traits" you are exaggerating my position in order to make it less credible; this strategy, at least, is not exclusively actualist.
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Jon T, modified 9 Years ago at 9/7/13 4:48 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/7/13 4:48 PM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 401 Join Date: 12/30/10 Recent Posts
Hi Bruno,

This time around you presented an argument with citations (in the form of an article). Thank you for that. Previously you had simply offered your opinion and then declined to defend it. I call that a punk move. Thank you for not doing that this time around. You may, yet, choose to defend your original opinions:

...the idea of learning to arbitrarily reinterpret reality as perfect, your own motivations as sincere, and your intentions as pure...


and your one attempt at an example:

Let us re-read the following Q&A, entitled "Hurt and hurting":
.

If you decide to do so, you can start by answering the points made by Felipe and Claudiu one by one.




Back to the latest reply. Given the value you place on the ISA theory of self-knowledge, I'm not sure how you can purport to know anything about yourself. Yet you say.

I think your theory is incorrect in almost every sentence, but expected your perspective to be exactly that.


Why did you expect my perspective to be exactly that? And how can you be sure that you aren't confabulating?


Before moving on to the article, I want to reply to the following.


[1] By the way when you say "turning into a monster" instead, for instance, of "acquiring some undesirable traits" you are exaggerating my position in order to make it less credible; this strategy, at least, is not exclusively actualist.


I don't know why the choice of language would make you less credible. You turned away from slowing morphing into a "monster"; away from those "undesirable traits". That is quite laudable. The only strategy I had considered was the paragraph's readability. The first draft didn't read monster. It read psychopath (I use the term loosely). I changed it to monster because it's more concise and less clinical. If I wanted to insult, instead of writing "slowly turning into a monster", I would have written turned into a monster. The former is a process which you stopped and the latter would have implied a full blown psychotic condition.



Back to the article. Due to the ISA theory of knowledge, you write.


I don't share in the idea that you will understand what drives you just because you are honest to yourself.


The article doesn't make any mention of contrastive studies between people who are forced to be honest with themselves (i.e. by presenting evidence of their opinion change) and people who aren't forced to be honest with themselves (not being presented that evidence). Nor does it give examples of subjects who did interpret their own thoughts and opinions correctly. Where there any of these subjects in any of the studies? Where they ever invited back to study their ability to self-interpret correctly?

It's also interesting to note that the subjects changed their opinion in order to feel good about themselves. But an actualist experiences his/her emotion and tries to understand it in order to feel good about life itself. The attempt to understand as well as the difference in motivation may very well make all the difference in the world. The studies are interesting but they aren't comprehensive. They don't address people who want to be honest with themselves. It's fairly clear that most people (nearly everyone) have no interest in that type of honestly so a blind study measuring peoples self-knowledge may very conclude that there is no such thing.
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Bruno Loff, modified 9 Years ago at 9/8/13 4:21 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/8/13 4:19 AM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
Jon T:
Hi Bruno,

This time around you presented an argument with citations (in the form of an article). Thank you for that. Previously you had simply offered your opinion and then declined to defend it. I call that a punk move. Thank you for not doing that this time around. You may, yet, choose to defend your original opinions:

...the idea of learning to arbitrarily reinterpret reality as perfect, your own motivations as sincere, and your intentions as pure...


and your one attempt at an example:

Let us re-read the following Q&A, entitled "Hurt and hurting":
.

If you decide to do so, you can start by answering the points made by Felipe and Claudiu one by one.


I won't do this, and I already said why. The reason I called it an experiment was because I was expecting that, in the answer, I would recognize a few of the "letters" I was talking about. And I did. And given that I did, I have already explained that the only possible attack that I could attempt to make would be one that would be full and systematic, one that can predict all of the actualism-type responses that systematically occur when discussing actualism with an actualist.

To give a somewhat weird analogy, suppose you have 10 types of repair drone; if you destroy just one, the other nine repair it again so the ten are back in full force; if you destroy just two, the other eight repair them again; etc... It is even worst than this: if you attack one type of drone, one of the other types will create antibodies that prevent your attack in the future! So you either take everything down at once with a completely new line of attack, or you fail miserably and have to start all over...

Now, I quite frankly don't think I am up to the task of taking out all 10 types of drone, and I fear that, quite probably, I remember only 10 types but it turns out they are 12... Richard is much more intelligent than I am.

Jon T:
Back to the latest reply. Given the value you place on the ISA theory of self-knowledge, I'm not sure how you can purport to know anything about yourself. Yet you say.

I think your theory is incorrect in almost every sentence, but expected your perspective to be exactly that.


Why did you expect my perspective to be exactly that? And how can you be sure that you aren't confabulating?


Here is another instance of exaggeration. The interpretative sensory-acess (ISA) theory of self knowledge doesn't state that self-knowledge is impossible. It states that it is interpretative. Self-knowledge, according to ISA, is interpreted from sense data: what we feel, what we think, what we say, etc, pretty much in a similar way we interpret other people's intentions, but with more sense-data (for instance, we feel our own body sensations but not other people's).

And just like it is possible to know something about other people's intentions, even though this knowledge can't avoid being interpretative, it is also possible to know something about our own intentions, even though — according to ISA — that knowledge can't avoid being interpretative.

Hence my phrasing, I think your theory is incorrect; meaning my view is that your theory is incorrect. If I believed I had direct access to my true attitudes I might have written instead "I know that your theory is incorrect."

I had written why I think your view is incorrect, but then I realized that it was none of your business. As to why I expected you to have such a view, it is because the simplest explanation for my fallback from actualism, that also allows you to continue pursuing it without questioning it, is that I was doing it wrong.

What if I was doing it exactly right? In my view, I only started doing it wrong when I questioned my own motivations for pursuing it.

As for your reply to the article itself... Shall I reveal to you another letter? Letter A (for "also"), as in "actualism also takes care of that." You will find it elsewhere in this thread.

And with that I am definitely out of this discussion. That means that next time I won't even give you the courtesy of a reply. I am happy if you don't reply to this message either, you do me no discourtesy.

And look: just because we have this disagreement, it doesn't mean we can't work side-by-side in other things we see eye-to-eye (such as upgrading DhO to liferay 6?). I am not rejecting you as persons — I don't think you are monsters, or are working to become monsters, or anything of the sort. I think you are earnest in your desire to solve your life's riddle, and I profoundly empathize with that quest, for I live it myself every hour of every day. The reason I won't reply is because I don't think I have the skill to make something good out of this particular exchange (good for me, good for you). So I leave this conversation with a sincere goodwish, that you may find the happiness you seek, and with the belief that, regardless of our disagreement, you wish the same for me.
Change A, modified 9 Years ago at 9/8/13 9:08 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/8/13 9:08 AM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 791 Join Date: 5/24/10 Recent Posts
Bruno Loff:
To give a somewhat weird analogy, suppose you have 10 types of repair drone; if you destroy just one, the other nine repair it again so the ten are back in full force; if you destroy just two, the other eight repair them again; etc... It is even worst than this: if you attack one type of drone, one of the other types will create antibodies that prevent your attack in the future! So you either take everything down at once with a completely new line of attack, or you fail miserably and have to start all over...

Now, I quite frankly don't think I am up to the task of taking out all 10 types of drone, and I fear that, quite probably, I remember only 10 types but it turns out they are 12... Richard is much more intelligent than I am.


Excellent analogy. I can add another point to this analogy. The drones that eventually leave the AF sphere don't like to get into much of a fight with the drones that are still in the AF sphere of influence.

The drones that are still in the AF sphere are highly influenced by the meme that AF is IT. Hence they do what they do. Debating ad nauseum is a given with any Actualist and this meme started with the genitor himself.
Felipe C, modified 9 Years ago at 9/8/13 1:51 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/8/13 12:45 PM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 221 Join Date: 5/29/11 Recent Posts
What Bruno seems to imply is that Richard's and other actualists' arguments are merely rhetorical and not precisely coming from facts. You can destroy a merely rhetorical drone but not a fact-based-one, so it will come to you again and again in the same form, because facts don't need to transform themselves in order to survive as facts.

These are some facts, the material from which actualist drones are made...

1. In order to emotionally suffer you need to have feelings. A tree, a rock or a dead person have no feelings, so they can't suffer.

2. Feelings serve a survival purpose for this and other species.

3. This survival purpose is clear and pervasive enough to find predictable conditions, causes and effects in regards to feelings and behaviors in this and other species. The fight-or-flight response, for instance, puts a feeling being in a constant offensive/defensive position. He will feel predictably fearful when attacked and predictably aggressive when attacking. When someone important to one goes away, grief is the very predictable outcome too, and not only in humans but also clearly in other social species as elephants and dogs. There are documented patterns related to these survival mechanisms in thousands of cases among human and non-human animals. Thanks to this documentation, humans have been able to develop therapies in order to understand and alleviate suffering via self-awareness.

Bruno doesn't seem to agree with, at least, number 3 {affective patterns and the effectiveness of self-awareness to recognize them} or maybe he agrees but only in a theoretical level or not in a comprehensive or personal level. I say this because he maintains an agnostic position in regards to his own feelings and their causes, as manifested in this and other threads. He believes that what one does with oneself's 'inner life' is an interpretation or a reinterpretation but not precisely an accurate diagnosis of what's happening and its causes and conditions. Starting from that view, the idea of extirpating the feeling of being certainly sounds a lot more alien. Obviously one needs to have the bugger by the throat first in order to do the killing later... or else how could be possible to change or diminish or eliminate something that can't be even identified?

And it's ok and his business if he chooses to view things that way, but what Claudiu did at the beginning and what I did later has to be, not with the repairment of some drones, but with showing that the actual drones were intact. In other words, Bruno confused his targets and went chasing and attacking drones that are not the ones that he's thinking he is attacking.
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Jon T, modified 9 Years ago at 9/8/13 1:38 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/8/13 1:38 PM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 401 Join Date: 12/30/10 Recent Posts
Fair enough Felipe. You have given him more courtesy than I am willing to. Putting it in my own words, you claim that Bruno says actualism is a rhetorical tour de force. Something so well constructed that it would take a genius to dismantle. And, of course, you counter that it isn't solid because it's well constructed but because it's based on facts and facts are impossible to dismantle. One still has to wonder why Bruno refuses to even consider that actualism is based on facts. Why does he hijack a thread and then claim he can and should ignore the pov of his detractors?


As I see it, it's weird weird weird. Bruno reads the words 'actualism' in the OP and then writes a critique on actualism. This despite the fact that the OP isn't about actualism; it is about doubt and wanting to be right (if memory serves). Then he says he won't defend his critique but kind of tries anyway, relying on the vague and highly subjective "subtext". And declines to answer the counter-arguments because actualism is too large and too complex and Richard is too smart. It's like a highly sophisticated temper tantrum over the internet

Don't bring up the subject of actualism if you want nothing to with it. But if you do find it compelling then engage in an honest discussion. That's how you learn, make friends and uncover parts of yourself. To voluntarily bring it up yet refuse an honest, comprehensive discussion because it's just too difficult is like a 3 year old crying all grumpy and miserable because it's way past his bed time yet stubbornly insists that he wants to play more with Uncle Jonny. Why does the child want to continue to play if he's just going to be grumpy and miserable? Why does Bruno bring it up if he's unable to pursue a meaningful exchange?

This is especially puzzling given that a meaningful exchange is such an enjoyable and simple activity. It's a great privilege to speak intelligently with someone about consciousness, the meaning of life, the pursuit of happiness, etc. And it's easy. It's just a conversation over the internet. All you have to do is answer the counter-arguments one by one with an open mind and an open heart and see what happens. When you don't have an answer then acknowledge that. When you don't have an answer but still feel that your position is the correct one despite not being able to defend it then acknowledge that. Maybe someone else will pipe in and help explain your position for you and that will help you understand. Maybe you'll run across someone in the real world who's interested in these matters and you can pose that troubling point to him or her. And maybe he/she will have the answer or will have a fun pov and maybe you'll make a friend. Maybe you'll have no choice but to change your position. What's so horrible about growing as a human being? Maybe you'll get me to change my position and I become grateful to you. As you mentioned, we both are on a quest. The difference seems to be that I am questing with an open heart and an open mind.

And then Aman pipes in and says former AF drones don't like to fight current AF drones but current AF drones like to argue ad nauseum. LOL. Aman comes in and gives his two cents over at the AF yahoo group where it's specifically about actualism. No one cares what he has to say. He's free to do what he wants but no one invites his comments. Yet he makes them and makes a lot of them. And most people just ignore him but I usually take on the challenge. You learn by taking on challenges. You get to research the AFT site and clarify your thoughts and it's fun to write and think and, most importantly, it's a way to identify and investigate those various combative emotions that arise. But just like Bruno, Aman stops as soon as he fails to think of a counter-argument. Yet he always comes back a few weeks later uninvited, unwanted and with a new half baked premise. And now he is claiming that's it's us AF drones who like to argue.

I would think everyone agrees that it's the person who starts the argument who is responsible for it. Somehow, Bruno and Aman have twisted that. They are claiming it's the person who answers each point and counter-point clearly and concisely who bears the responsibility. Iow, they want the space to type out their opinions without the burden of defending them. And they especially don't want the burden of reflecting on the validity of their opinions. That is too much too handle hence the analogy of AF being like an armada of repair drones flying around with jet streams of subtext.




And I'll finish this thread (that is ostensibly what you desire) with a thank you and with one, hopefully, constructive tidbit:

Thank you Bruno for showing me where I projected my emotions into your response (RE: I think your theory is incorrect...2nd quote in your latest response ) You were incorrect, however, to call it "another instance of exaggeration." Because as I pointed out in the earlier response your first accusation of exaggeration was incorrect. (7th paragraph and after the 4th quote)


Even if self-knowledge is completely interpretative it does stand to reason that the more often and the more rigorous ones analysis is (the interpretation) the more likely it is to be correct.
Change A, modified 9 Years ago at 9/8/13 7:44 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/8/13 7:44 PM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 791 Join Date: 5/24/10 Recent Posts
Felipe C.:
These are some facts, the material from which actualist drones are made...

1. In order to emotionally suffer you need to have feelings. A tree, a rock or a dead person have no feelings, so they can't suffer.


There is no factual evidence that the Actualism practice can take out the feelings from a person. Richard used to make a case (which has since been deleted from the AFT site) that in the end, the connection from limbic brain to the other parts of the brain is severed and that there are some physical sensations to go with it at the nape of the neck. When somebody told him that some yogis also experience that, the reference to that was removed from the site.

Your response might be along the lines that you can experience it for yourself but that doesn't count as a fact. It is just self observation.
Change A, modified 9 Years ago at 9/8/13 7:49 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/8/13 7:49 PM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 791 Join Date: 5/24/10 Recent Posts
Jon T:
Even if self-knowledge is completely interpretative it does stand to reason that the more often and the more rigorous ones analysis is (the interpretation) the more likely it is to be correct.


In Actualism, one doesn't have to be naive, one has to be naivete.

Jon T:
You have given him more courtesy than I am willing to.


Actual caring and harmlessness is not foreign to me especially from you.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago at 9/8/13 8:08 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/8/13 8:07 PM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Change A.:
There is no factual evidence that the Actualism practice can take out the feelings from a person. Richard used to make a case (which has since been deleted from the AFT site) that in the end, the connection from limbic brain to the other parts of the brain is severed and that there are some physical sensations to go with it at the nape of the neck. When somebody told him that some yogis also experience that, the reference to that was removed from the site.

The case was deleted, you say? And the reference was removed?
June 11 2003:
RESPONDENT: You said that you felt a brain change.
RICHARD: More specifically: I said that there was a physical sensation in the brain-stem (at the base of the brain/ nape of the neck). [link]

April 03 2004:
RESPONDENT: When you ended the second self (or when it ended), was there any physical brain sensation?
RICHARD: Yes ... an intense pressure-pain in the base of the brain/nape of the neck which continued, with varying intensities, for 20+ months. [link]

April 13 2004:
RESPONDENT: And an actual freedom from the human condition results in a reduced amygdala activity or even ends it?
RICHARD: If I may ask? Why the focus upon the amygdalae (two almond-shaped organs in from and just to the back of and below the ears) when I specifically report that the pressure-pain happened in the base of the brain/nape of the neck? [link]

December 23 2004:
[Richard providing quotes and links to the above.] [link]

December 23 2005:
RICHARD: There were two events which precipitated much sensational activity at the nape of the neck – at the top of the brain-stem/ the base of the brain (popularly known as the ‘lizard brain’/ ‘reptilian brain’) – and it was in the first of such incidences, in 1981, that the ego/ self (aka ‘the thinker) died whereas the soul/ spirit (aka ‘the feeler’), or ‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being (which is ‘being’ itself), did not similarly die until 1992 whereupon then, and only then, could it be said that identity in toto was extinct. [link]

January 15 2010:
SUBSCRIBER NO. 10: Does anyone have any thoughts on why the brain stem thing did not occur? Perhaps certain parts of the brain were so barely functioning the brain did not take it as a ‘major event’? Thanks!
VINEETO: According to Richard, now with this new information, the turning over in the back of the neck was obviously only connected to him becoming enlightened.
Some other enlightened Beings have reported similar occurrences. [link]
Change A, modified 9 Years ago at 9/8/13 10:16 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/8/13 10:16 PM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 791 Join Date: 5/24/10 Recent Posts
There is no factual evidence that the Actualism practice can take out the feelings from a person. Richard used to make a case (which has since been deleted from the AFT site) that in the end, the connection from limbic brain to the other parts of the brain is severed and that there are some physical sensations to go with it at the nape of the neck. When somebody told him that some yogis also experience that, the reference to that was removed from the site.

Severed is the operative word here.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago at 9/9/13 12:25 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/8/13 11:53 PM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Change A.:
There is no factual evidence that the Actualism practice can take out the feelings from a person. Richard used to make a case (which has since been deleted from the AFT site) that in the end, the connection from limbic brain to the other parts of the brain is severed and that there are some physical sensations to go with it at the nape of the neck. When somebody told him that some yogis also experience that, the reference to that was removed from the site.

Severed is the operative word here.

Oh so you're saying Richard used a sentence containing the word "severed" at some point, and at a later point the sentence was changed/removed? What part of the site was it? Do you have a copy of how it was before to compare with how it is now? Also when did it happen - who is the somebody you are thinking of (or which anonymous respondent if you prefer) and what is the message they wrote that you think caused Richard or one of the other AFT directors to change the site?
Change A, modified 9 Years ago at 9/9/13 8:56 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/9/13 8:56 PM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 791 Join Date: 5/24/10 Recent Posts
Unlike Richard, I don't keep a record of everything on my computer.

Do you have anything to say about AF "facts"?
Change A, modified 9 Years ago at 9/9/13 9:48 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/9/13 9:46 PM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 791 Join Date: 5/24/10 Recent Posts
http://web.archive.org/web/20070606213659/http://www.actualfreedom.com.au/introduction/actualfreedom5.htm

Richard: The day finally dawns when something irrevocable happens inside the skull. In an ecstatic moment of being present, ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul expire … the entire identity ceases to exist, permanently. There is a sensation inside the top of the brain-stem that is experienced as a physical ‘turning over’ of some kind ... something that can never, ever, turn back.

Something immutable occurs and everything is different, somehow, although everything stays the same physically ... with the outstanding exception of a perfection and a purity permeating all and everything. Something has changed, although it is as if nothing has happened ... except that the entire world is a magical fairy-tale-like playground full of incredible joy and a delight that is never-ending.

‘My’ demise was as fictitious as ‘my’ apparent presence. I have always been here, I realize, it was that ‘I’ only imagined that ‘I’ existed. It was all an emotional play in a fertile imagination ... which was, however, fuelled by an actual hormonal substance triggered off from within the brain-stem because of the instinctual passions bestowed by blind nature. Thus the psyche – the entire affective faculty born of the instincts itself – is wiped out forever and one is finally what one actually is … this thoughtful flesh-and-blood body simply brimming with sense organs, delighting in this sensuous world of actual experience.

I am this very material universe experiencing itself as a sensate and reflective human being.




http://actualfreedom.com.au/introduction/actualfreedom5.htm

[Richard]: The day finally dawns where the definitive moment of being here, right now, conclusively arrives; something irrevocable takes place and every thing and every body and every event is different, somehow, although the same physically; something immutable occurs and every thing and every body and every event is all-of-a-sudden undeniably actual, in and of itself, as a fact; something irreversible happens and an immaculate perfection and a pristine purity permeates every thing and every body and every event; something has changed forever, although it is as if nothing has happened, except that the entire world is a magical fairytale-like playground full of incredible gladness and a delight which is never-ending.

Put succinctly: my demise was as fictitious as my apparent presence; I have always been here, in this actual world of sensorial delight, one realises, for it was that I only imagined I existed; my presence had been but an emotional/ passional play in a fertile imagination; an emotional/ passional play which fuelled actual hormonal substances, however, triggered off from within the brain-stem by the instinctual emotions/ passions bestowed per favour blind nature. Thus the psyche the entire affective faculty born of the survival instincts themselves is wiped out forever and one is finally what one has actually been all along: a sensitive and reflective flesh-and-blood body simply brimming with sense organs revelling in this sensuous world of immediate experience.

As this flesh-and-blood body only one is this infinite, eternal, and perdurable universe experiencing itself as an apperceptive human being ... as such it is stunningly aware of its own infinitude.

And this is truly wonderful.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago at 9/10/13 10:08 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/10/13 9:36 AM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Change A.:
Unlike Richard, I don't keep a record of everything on my computer.

Well I just wanted something a bit more substantiated. You made it out as if something sneaky and nefarious had occurred - designed to fool the gullible, or something like that - and also without any proof or any specific reference to anything.

Thanks for the wayback machine link. The changed excerpt you provided doesn't mention "severed', so were you thinking of something else, or were you thinking of this but you mistakenly thought the word "severed" was included? Also there's no evidence that the change happened because "somebody told him that some yogis also experience that". In any case, I don't see how this change affects one way or another whether there is factual evidence that the Actualism practice can cause 'being' (including the feelings) to cease entirely.

Change A.:
Do you have anything to say about AF "facts"?

They aren't "AF facts" or "actualism facts", they're just facts. Facts do not belong to anybody.

Fact #1: Richard experienced a turning-over in his brain stem when he became actually free.
Fact #2: Nobody after Richard experienced a turning-over in their brain stems when they became actually free.

So when Fact #1 was the only fact (because it hadn't happened to anybody else), Richard assumed or had the opinion that it would happen to everyone that way, so the AF presentation you linked reflected that. Then when Fact #2 occurred it became obvious that was peculiar to Richard, so the current AF presentation link was changed to reflect that new information.

Note that Fact #1 still appears all over the site - see the links I provided. The sentence "There is a sensation inside the top of the brain-stem that is experienced as a physical ‘turning over’ of some kind ... something that can never, ever, turn back." still appears in various places like here.
Change A, modified 9 Years ago at 9/10/13 8:39 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/10/13 8:39 PM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 791 Join Date: 5/24/10 Recent Posts
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
In any case, I don't see how this change affects one way or another whether there is factual evidence that the Actualism practice can cause 'being' (including the feelings) to cease entirely.


Are you saying that there is factual evidence that the Actualism practice can cause the feelings to cease entirely? If so, then provide the evidence.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago at 9/10/13 11:06 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/10/13 11:06 PM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Change A.:
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
In any case, I don't see how this change affects one way or another whether there is factual evidence that the Actualism practice can cause 'being' (including the feelings) to cease entirely.


Are you saying that there is factual evidence that the Actualism practice can cause the feelings to cease entirely? If so, then provide the evidence.

There is factual evidence, yes. There's Richard's reports of his experience. There's the verification of the other actually free people that actualism works to get that same result. There's the experience of feeling-beings (including me) who meet Richard and report the lack of vibes, feelings, and emotions. There's the experience of feeling-beings (including me) having PCEs which verify what Richard is saying and point to the possibility.

As for scientific proof, which is what I think you were asking for, no there isn't any yet. Which is fine with me, and I understand why that might not be fine for others. It seems, though, that before there could be scientific proof for someone not having feelings entirely (vs. having them but not being able to feel them, as in alexithymia), there would have to be a comprehensive scientific understanding of feelings, of the self, how emotions are formed, a better understanding of consciousness, etc.

Anyway, as soon as I become actually free I'm gonna email Judson, if he's still doing experiments. Will be interesting to see what he makes of it.
Adam , modified 9 Years ago at 9/10/13 11:48 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/10/13 11:48 PM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 613 Join Date: 3/20/12 Recent Posts
Anyway, as soon as I become actually free I'm gonna email Judson, if he's still doing experiments. Will be interesting to see what he makes of it.


or maybe you won't ever become actually free!
Felipe C, modified 9 Years ago at 9/11/13 12:17 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/11/13 12:17 AM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 221 Join Date: 5/29/11 Recent Posts
Hehe.

Finally, Adam's revenge for the hijacking of his thread. Now you are cursed, Claudiu!
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Jon T, modified 9 Years ago at 9/11/13 3:41 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/11/13 3:41 AM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 401 Join Date: 12/30/10 Recent Posts
Not that it matters,

(because the method is completely self-testable by a) trying the method and b) verifying your fidelity to it through peer review. The two together will answer the questions: 1. Are you getting satisfying results and 2. Are those results as good as they can be.)

but there is said to be documentation regarding Richards condition in at least one scientific journal and I think a government bureaucratic department may have the same diagnosis on record. That condition is said to be alexythymia, anhedonia, depersonalization and, i think, derealization.
Change A, modified 9 Years ago at 9/11/13 7:10 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/11/13 7:09 AM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 791 Join Date: 5/24/10 Recent Posts
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
As for scientific proof, which is what I think you were asking for, no there isn't any yet. Which is fine with me, and I understand why that might not be fine for others. It seems, though, that before there could be scientific proof for someone not having feelings entirely (vs. having them but not being able to feel them, as in alexithymia), there would have to be a comprehensive scientific understanding of feelings, of the self, how emotions are formed, a better understanding of consciousness, etc.

Anyway, as soon as I become actually free I'm gonna email Judson, if he's still doing experiments. Will be interesting to see what he makes of it.


Yes, it will be scientific proof that would be factual, not self-reported hypothetical situations like 'turning over' that can never, ever, turn back. But I guess some AF statements can be turned over easily.
Change A, modified 9 Years ago at 9/11/13 7:19 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/11/13 7:19 AM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 791 Join Date: 5/24/10 Recent Posts
Adam . .:
or maybe you won't ever become actually free!


Claudiu has one big drawback and that is him being a male. It is one big curse on him. That holds true for Felipe and Jon too. Richard provides undivided attention on the women in his life.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago at 9/11/13 10:10 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/11/13 10:10 AM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Adam . .:
Anyway, as soon as I become actually free I'm gonna email Judson, if he's still doing experiments. Will be interesting to see what he makes of it.


or maybe you won't ever become actually free!

That is always a possibility. I would give myself way over 50% though.
Adam , modified 9 Years ago at 9/11/13 11:24 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/11/13 11:16 AM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 613 Join Date: 3/20/12 Recent Posts
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Adam . .:
Anyway, as soon as I become actually free I'm gonna email Judson, if he's still doing experiments. Will be interesting to see what he makes of it.


or maybe you won't ever become actually free!

That is always a possibility. I would give myself way over 50% though.


Ya I hope you get it and I really think you probably will emoticon. I have just found that poking at scary parts of my identity like "what if I am doing it wrong" "what if i never get it" and really openly considering those difficult possibilities can have big pay offs in terms of felicity. It can leave you in a state of naiveté being totally joyful in thinking "i don't really know the "right" way." just living in that innocuous state of having no religion to defend, a marveling state of not really feeling like "i" know what this world is.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago at 9/11/13 12:02 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/11/13 12:02 PM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Adam . .:
I have just found that poking at scary parts of my identity like "what if I am doing it wrong" "what if i never get it" and really openly considering those difficult possibilities can have big pay offs in terms of felicity.

Yea those can be good questions to ask. If fear is the reaction to me asking those questions then there's something to look at - probably something I am doing wrong!

Adam . .:
It can leave you in a state of naiveté being totally joyful in thinking "i don't really know the "right" way." just living in that innocuous state of having no religion to defend, a marveling state of not really feeling like "i" know what this world is.

You might be conflating naïveté with not-knowing. Naïveté does have some similarity to not-knowing, in that for example it's the opposite of cynicism... a cynic might say "the world is set up for humans to be miserable in" - naïveté would be an unlearning of that. Although actually, it's true that the 'real world' often sucks... so it's actually more being open to the fact that the actual world could possibly exist, wherein everything is intrinsically delightful, vs. not knowing that the 'real world' sucks or unlearning that fact, because it often does.

As for not knowing the way, if you don't know the way you're very unlikely to get there... but you have to be open to the fact that you might have it wrong, I suppose!

Anyway I would emphasize more the marveling and open and simple aspect and less the "not-knowing" aspect, as in:

Richard:
In a nutshell it is where one is walking through the world in a state of wide-eyed wonder ... simply marvelling at it all. Naiveté is that intimate aspect of oneself that one usually keeps hidden away for fear of seeming foolish ... it is like being a child again, but with adult sensibilities, which means that one can separate out the distinction between being naïve and being gullible.
Some synonyms of naiveté are: guileless, artless, simple, ingenuous, innocuous, unsophisticated, artless, frank, open.
What ensues when one walks through the world in a state of wide-eyed wonder and amazement – simply marvelling at the magnificence that this physical universe actually is – is a blitheness (being carefree, happy, merry, amiable and so on) and a gaiety (jollity, joviality, cheeriness, delight, fun, and so on) as the inevitable result


Thanks for bringing naïveté up!
Adam , modified 9 Years ago at 9/11/13 12:35 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/11/13 12:34 PM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 613 Join Date: 3/20/12 Recent Posts
This is interesting Beo. It seems like whenever I start "knowing the way" I get upset and sort of despairing. Either that or I get excited and euphoric.

I can do this with any "method" out there. Like I start "knowing" that I am "supposed" to investigate my beliefs, then i start worrying "oh maybe this is a belief, or maybe that is" and there is some despair at how difficult the task seems. I compare myself to the ideal of not having these beliefs and lots of emotions kick in.

My last couple posts are evidence of this sort of emotional system arising. I was firmly decided based on my recent experiences that the only way "forward" was to be naive and open yet I can be very non-naive and closed down in my application of that insight. I woke up this morning and got upset because I decided that I am not being open then read a bunch of quotes from various sources to try and figure out how to get back to naiveté. My post to you was more or less an attempt to suppress the doubt about whether I was doing it "right." Really all of this is being driven by a very anti-naive sentiment, i.e. that I "should" be naive because that is "right" way to live.

It is like I am always having to do another 180 degree turn in this practice. Every time I start going somewhere with a method I have to do a total turn around and question the very impetus and belief system behind it all. I get fooled every time! This is all quite counter-intuitive.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago at 9/11/13 1:16 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/11/13 1:15 PM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
I know that pattern well. I'm not 100% sure, but this might be a result of trying to force yourself to do something that not all of you wants to do. Consider that part of 'you' is this emotional pattern which is doing everything it can to sabotage your progress, because it doesn't want to go there, and you are trying to pretend it isn't there. But I shouldn't say "it" because it's really 'you' - it might feel like an "it" to you right now, though. This latest "not knowing" thing maybe was a way to try to pretend it wasn't there?

So instead of feeling bad that you're not making progress with your newest direction, and driving yourself nuts as a result of it, then picking a new direction & repeating ad nauseum, try just figuring out what the common factor is when all the latest attempts start failing in the same way. And be open to the possibility that you have motivations not fully brought to light that aren't all aligned in the same direction. Instead of trying to force it without knowing what those are, figure out what those are.

Again, just a potential explanation - let me know if it resonates and if anything comes of it.

Oh and don't make this into another "I have to do this particular thing now and if I'm not figuring it out I'm not doing the 'right' thing" etc. Maybe that'll start happening, but if it does, notice it as a repetition of the same pattern, and stop forcing it. If you feel bad at the thought that you're not making progress then that'd be a sign of repetition as well.
Adam , modified 9 Years ago at 9/11/13 2:09 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/11/13 2:07 PM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 613 Join Date: 3/20/12 Recent Posts
this might be a result of trying to force yourself to do something that not all of you wants to do.


I am not sure exactly what you mean. Feel free to use specifics it seems like you might be skirting around something.

This latest "not knowing" thing maybe was a way to try to pretend it wasn't there?


Truly I have never been more open and honest and free and vulnerable than I was during that period. I know that at least i was more open then than I am atm, so I don't think I can analyze that until i get back up to that level of openness. I know that if I could live from that level of openness it would be basically satisfying. So much better than what is going on with me today.

I was truly considering in a very open way whether that state was deluded and self-deceiving while in it and I really couldn't find much until it was fading. It apparently faded when there started to be ideas about methods to keep it going, and analyses of what it meant and a general congealing of ideas to form a new belief system.

So instead of feeling bad that you're not making progress with your newest direction, and driving yourself nuts as a result of it, then picking a new direction & repeating ad nauseum, try just figuring out what the common factor is when all the latest attempts start failing in the same way.


The common factor is apparently picking a direction in the first place. Creating an ideal and then forming a belief system and method around it seems to automatically lead to disappointment and confusion. Yet even recognizing this and trying to do something about it seems to create more of the same for me. However there are a few periods where the openness is there and I guess I have to just keep tracing back to that.

And be open to the possibility that you have motivations not fully brought to light that aren't all aligned in the same direction. Instead of trying to force it without knowing what those are, figure out what those are.


Could you be more specific? I really am not sure what you mean by this.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago at 9/11/13 2:33 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/11/13 2:33 PM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Adam . .:
this might be a result of trying to force yourself to do something that not all of you wants to do.


I am not sure exactly what you mean. Feel free to use specifics it seems like you might be skirting around something.
[...]
And be open to the possibility that you have motivations not fully brought to light that aren't all aligned in the same direction. Instead of trying to force it without knowing what those are, figure out what those are.


Could you be more specific? I really am not sure what you mean by this.

Ok, like specifically right now, you want to get to that point of being totally open and honest and free and vulnerable etc. Yet when you try to get to that point, you fail, and get disappointment and confusion. My contention is that not all of you wants to be totally open and honest and free and vulnerable. Part of you has that intention, and that's at the forefront of your consciousness - that intention - yet there is a part of you, behind the scenes, that is frustrating those efforts, as you have noticed. Maybe you forming a belief system and trying to pursue it is the way that that part of you is frustrating those efforts. Or maybe you forming a belief system and trying to pursue it is the way that you are, by default, trying to override that part of you that generally frustrates the efforts, but it doesn't work.

So my suggestion was: look to see what part of you doesn't want that goal (in this case, being totally open and honest and free and vulnerable), and see why that is, and do something about it at that level.
Adam , modified 9 Years ago at 9/11/13 3:28 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/11/13 3:28 PM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 613 Join Date: 3/20/12 Recent Posts
So my suggestion was: look to see what part of you doesn't want that goal (in this case, being totally open and honest and free and vulnerable), and see why that is, and do something about it at that level.


ok i will try this
Adam , modified 9 Years ago at 9/11/13 7:19 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/11/13 7:18 PM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 613 Join Date: 3/20/12 Recent Posts
I am now meditating/contemplating/considering openly the idea that I will never ever get enlightened or be happy ever (ever). Tired of trying to disprove this. no hope no hope no hope, kind of in a similar space to what i talked about in the OP.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago at 9/11/13 10:14 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/11/13 10:14 PM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Adam . .:
I am now meditating/contemplating/considering openly the idea that I will never ever get enlightened or be happy ever (ever). Tired of trying to disprove this. no hope no hope no hope, kind of in a similar space to what i talked about in the OP.

Well, this is patently false. You were happy when you wrote that "freedom!" post. You will probably be happy again pretty soon. So what makes the feeling of hopelessness so compelling?
Adam , modified 9 Years ago at 9/12/13 12:15 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/12/13 12:03 AM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 613 Join Date: 3/20/12 Recent Posts
As for it being "patently false" it seems true actually. I have been trying to achieve with so much effort for so long that there is no way I am going to ever finally achieve the goal whatever it might be. I might have some temporary victory where I feel like I was achieving whatever I am supposed to achieve but it is always transient.

That's not to say I am depressed at this moment really, there is a hopeless aspect but also a peaceful aspect and even an exciting aspect. I think I really just have to give up the entire achievement game.

I am going to let this play out a bit..
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Shashank Dixit, modified 9 Years ago at 9/12/13 5:06 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 9/12/13 5:06 AM

RE: The "unknowable"

Posts: 282 Join Date: 9/11/10 Recent Posts
Adam . .:
As for it being "patently false" it seems true actually. I have been trying to achieve with so much effort for so long that there is no way I am going to ever finally achieve the goal whatever it might be. I might have some temporary victory where I feel like I was achieving whatever I am supposed to achieve but it is always transient.

That's not to say I am depressed at this moment really, there is a hopeless aspect but also a peaceful aspect and even an exciting aspect. I think I really just have to give up the entire achievement game.

I am going to let this play out a bit..


This hopeless aspect has happened with me also many a times and sometimes I think I'm just not cut for it until
I read that Vineeto faced the same thing and thought that she was just too scared to do it all and Richard asked
her something in the lines of - "What are you going to do with the rest of your life anyway, day-in day-out ?"
This nailed it for me and also , Richard said somewhere that when the intent is low, one can amp it up by
remembering that all this can lead to the end of all the wars, murders, loneliness etc.

oh and btw to all those who have doubts here - there is neither a normal nor a spiritual nor a materialistic world sitting right
here under one's very nose - the actual world - regardless of what you think and feel !

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