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my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho

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my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho tarin greco 1/19/12 9:27 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Yadid dee 1/19/12 5:46 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho tarin greco 1/19/12 10:13 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Change A. 1/19/12 6:32 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Bruno Loff 1/19/12 7:04 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Change A. 1/19/12 7:11 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Yadid dee 1/19/12 7:14 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Change A. 1/19/12 7:19 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Yadid dee 1/19/12 7:23 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Yadid dee 1/19/12 7:24 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 1/19/12 9:53 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Change A. 1/19/12 8:07 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Omega Point 7/15/12 12:56 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho End in Sight 1/19/12 8:09 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 1/19/12 9:09 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Bruno Loff 1/20/12 5:24 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho John Wilde 1/19/12 7:05 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho tarin greco 1/19/12 10:53 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 1/19/12 11:25 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho tarin greco 1/19/12 11:44 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 1/19/12 11:54 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho tarin greco 1/19/12 12:01 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 1/19/12 12:02 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho josh r s 1/19/12 12:44 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho tarin greco 2/10/12 2:36 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Steph S 1/19/12 12:26 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Felipe C. 1/19/12 1:53 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Vas A 1/19/12 2:37 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Nikolai . 1/19/12 3:43 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho End in Sight 1/19/12 4:04 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Tommy M 1/19/12 4:06 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho John Wilde 1/19/12 4:11 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 1/19/12 4:59 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Nikolai . 1/19/12 5:55 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Jeff Grove 1/20/12 2:00 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho tarin greco 1/30/12 2:24 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Change A. 1/30/12 6:40 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho tarin greco 2/2/12 11:25 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Daniel Johnson 1/30/12 5:18 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho tarin greco 2/2/12 11:44 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Vas A 2/2/12 1:40 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 1/31/12 6:00 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho tarin greco 2/2/12 11:53 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Vas A 2/2/12 1:22 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho tarin greco 2/8/12 11:50 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Vas A 2/9/12 11:11 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Jasmine Marie Engler 7/22/12 5:35 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Tommy M 7/22/12 6:54 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Jasmine Marie Engler 7/25/12 2:53 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho George Campbell 1/19/12 4:15 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Change A. 1/20/12 5:20 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Florian 1/20/12 8:19 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Oliver Myth 1/21/12 2:36 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Alan Smithee 1/23/12 12:09 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Oliver Myth 1/23/12 4:35 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Oliver Myth 1/23/12 4:17 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Alan Smithee 1/23/12 5:34 PM
Meditation Terms and Describing Attainments Daniel M. Ingram 1/24/12 3:18 AM
RE: Meditation Terms and Describing Attainments katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 1/24/12 2:00 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho tarin greco 1/30/12 3:50 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Daniel Johnson 1/23/12 5:03 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Tommy M 1/23/12 5:26 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Vas A 2/1/12 7:01 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Nikolai . 2/1/12 10:55 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Andrew . 2/1/12 10:43 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Change A. 2/1/12 11:59 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Tommy M 2/2/12 5:31 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Simon Ekstrand 2/2/12 1:06 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Vas A 2/2/12 1:24 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho My Fragile Ego 2/5/12 9:35 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Pål S. 2/6/12 4:34 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Yadid dee 2/6/12 4:59 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho My Fragile Ego 2/6/12 3:52 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Andrew . 2/6/12 7:28 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho josh r s 2/6/12 8:56 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Change A. 2/6/12 10:44 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho josh r s 2/7/12 6:48 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Change A. 2/7/12 6:57 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho josh r s 2/7/12 9:29 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Andrew . 2/7/12 6:32 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho josh r s 2/7/12 6:54 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho josh r s 2/7/12 6:56 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Andrew . 2/7/12 7:33 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho josh r s 2/7/12 7:45 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Andrew . 2/7/12 8:00 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Change A. 2/7/12 7:48 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho josh r s 2/7/12 8:08 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Change A. 2/7/12 8:15 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho josh r s 2/8/12 8:26 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/8/12 9:21 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Change A. 2/8/12 8:30 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Jon T 2/8/12 10:09 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Change A. 2/8/12 10:46 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Jon T 2/9/12 5:09 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Omega Point 7/15/12 2:32 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/8/12 10:29 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Change A. 2/8/12 11:18 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/9/12 7:59 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Change A. 2/9/12 8:32 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/9/12 10:04 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Vas A 2/9/12 11:03 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/9/12 11:11 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Vas A 2/9/12 12:39 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Vas A 2/9/12 1:10 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/9/12 1:41 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Vas A 2/9/12 2:05 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/9/12 2:18 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Vas A 2/9/12 2:30 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/9/12 2:49 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Vas A 2/10/12 2:21 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Change A. 2/9/12 7:23 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/9/12 8:59 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Change A. 2/9/12 9:35 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/9/12 11:16 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Change A. 2/10/12 1:21 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/10/12 8:03 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Change A. 2/10/12 8:43 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Stian Gudmundsen Høiland 2/10/12 9:27 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/10/12 2:12 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Change A. 2/10/12 8:21 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Stian Gudmundsen Høiland 2/10/12 8:13 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Andrew . 2/6/12 11:03 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho josh r s 2/7/12 6:54 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho End in Sight 2/7/12 6:55 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho End in Sight 2/6/12 9:39 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Vas A 2/9/12 3:30 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Omega Point 7/15/12 1:09 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Felipe C. 7/15/12 2:40 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Change A. 7/18/12 1:28 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Felipe C. 7/18/12 2:01 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Change A. 7/18/12 3:27 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Adam . . 7/18/12 2:36 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Tom Tom 7/18/12 5:01 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Change A. 7/25/12 11:31 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 7/25/12 1:41 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Change A. 7/25/12 2:48 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Jasmine Marie Engler 7/25/12 3:02 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho . Jake . 7/25/12 3:55 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Fred none 7/25/12 9:40 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Tom Tom 7/25/12 10:13 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Change A. 7/26/12 11:19 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 7/26/12 11:25 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Change A. 7/26/12 12:38 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 7/26/12 1:45 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Change A. 7/26/12 2:43 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Yadid dee 7/26/12 5:12 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Jon T 7/27/12 9:16 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Change A. 7/28/12 10:21 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Jon T 7/28/12 11:02 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Felipe C. 7/31/12 2:03 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 7/31/12 8:32 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Nikolai . 7/31/12 4:20 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho . Jake . 7/31/12 8:14 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Change A. 7/31/12 8:48 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Jill Morana 8/1/12 9:00 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 7/31/12 8:35 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Omega Point 7/19/12 7:03 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Felipe C. 7/19/12 7:26 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Omega Point 7/20/12 2:30 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Tommy M 7/20/12 4:10 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Simon Ekstrand 7/20/12 4:19 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Simon Ekstrand 7/20/12 4:49 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Tommy M 7/20/12 5:12 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Simon Ekstrand 7/20/12 5:42 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Tommy M 7/20/12 5:44 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Omega Point 2/28/13 12:27 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Change A. 3/2/13 8:22 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Pål S. 7/23/12 4:16 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Tom Tom 7/23/12 1:48 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Nikolai . 7/20/12 5:37 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Felipe C. 7/20/12 10:11 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Nikolai . 7/20/12 8:34 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho End in Sight 7/20/12 8:22 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Felipe C. 7/20/12 8:38 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Nikolai . 7/20/12 8:51 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Felipe C. 7/20/12 9:16 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Nikolai . 7/20/12 10:01 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Felipe C. 7/20/12 10:11 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho End in Sight 7/21/12 5:31 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho An Eternal Now 7/22/12 11:21 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho An Eternal Now 7/22/12 11:23 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Andrew . 7/22/12 7:57 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Jeff Grove 7/23/12 9:05 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Andrew . 7/24/12 3:31 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 7/24/12 9:30 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Jeff Grove 7/24/12 4:56 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Tommy M 7/24/12 7:50 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho . Jake . 7/24/12 7:58 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Omega Point 3/1/13 9:21 AM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Change A. 3/2/13 7:59 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Omega Point 2/27/13 10:47 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Omega Point 3/1/13 1:22 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Felipe C. 3/2/13 7:30 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Change A. 3/2/13 4:26 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Trent . 7/24/12 12:53 PM
RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho Omega Point 3/1/13 1:39 AM
there has been, over the past two years on the dho, far more than merely the asking of questions about the relations between the actualism method and practices found in buddhism, or complaints about actualism's influence on a supposedly-buddhist online community; there have also been individual, independent investigations into the practices themselves, enabling understandings of possible relations, and there have also been skilful adapations and uses of whatever resources have happened to exist in order to further practical inquiries and develop their results. this has been very much in the spirit of the dho's stated purposes.

yet during this time, no consensus has been reached on the topic of actualism's relation to buddhism. this is immediately understandable: there are numerous differing yet each strongly-justified ways of reading buddhism's foundational discourses. there are even numerous ways of valuing and validating readings of buddhism that don't make use of those foundational texts or which use them to demonstrate the texts' shortcomings. these differing readings and purposes make cooperative comparison difficult, because differing assumptions and divergent emphases continually arise. but the difficulty in agreeing on the meaning of buddhist texts is not the only reason no consensus has been reached. for as precisely delineated and clear as the founder of actualism has attempted to make his presentation of it, readers have still come away with many varieties of ideas. to entirely attribute this diversity to 'imaginings' or 'distortions' or 'careless reading' on the parts of various readers would be to overlook a contributing circumstance not addressed by that attribution: that idiosyncratic readings are produced by idiosyncratic individuals, with idiosyncratic faculties of memory and language, and so, to a notable extent, diversity is inevitable. differing readings and understandings can result in opposition, however, and in this way can cause purposes to cross, which may preclude consensus. a lack of consensus, though, need not necessarily have a detrimental effect on the individual practices reported to, and informing discussions at, the dho community. it has seemed to me, rather, that the plurality of understandings which have been put forth has introduced elements and emphases which have very likely fostered these individual practices, aiming them towards greater goals. this too seems to have been in keeping with the dho's purpose.

however, the endorsement of this plurality is not everybody's purpose, nor is it compatible with everybody's purpose. it is not the purpose of the actual freedom trust, for example, to have practitioners of the actualism method simultaneously experimenting with buddhist methods. this is understandable, for they hold that the aims of actualism are entirely inconsistent with and unsupported by whatever can be gained from practising buddhist methods. on the other hand, i am not convinced of this, for i have seen, for quite a while, quite a few buddhist practitioners make further advances in their practices aided by the actualism method, and also have seen quite a few practitioners of the actualism method enabled to apply it more fully by having made progress in buddhist meditation.. and so i have valued the confluences and cross-pollinations that have occurred on the dho these past two years.

owing to this, i have also been attentive to the possibility that buddhist practices, when guided by the pce, may produce similar or identical types of results as those produced by the actualism method. the claims of accomplishment made by other participants here are strong evidence for the case. i cannot also but have noted, during this time, strong resemblances between many of the things other practitioners here, and elsewhere, have said of their practices, results, and reflections and the practices, results, and reflections that i have known. further, i have observed, in person, the conduct of several other practitioners, and have noted strong consistencies between their conduct and what they have said about their practices, results, and reflections. i have taken these similarities to be significantly indicative of the likelihood that they and i have achieved similar or identical types of accomplishments.

the progenitor of the actualism method has informed me that i am mistaken about this, however; he has stated that, of the practitioners on the dho i have indicated to him as having possibly become actually free, several have certainly not done so, despite my impressions. further, he has stated that i, at my current stage of actualism development (being only 'newly-free of the instinctual passions'), cannot gauge whether another person's condition is that of an actual freedom or not... not even from extensive direct contact and conversation. evidently, then, i have no reliable way of recognising an actually free person at all. essentially, what this means is that the criteria which i've so far used to determine what an actual freedom is, is actually invalid for the purpose.

this invalidity raises two questions interesting to me: firstly, about my suitability for facilitating or guiding practitioners of the actualism method when i cannot tell whether or not they actually achieve its purpose; and secondly, about the suitability of my making a claim to a condition which i cannot recognise for myself.

the answer to the first question is complex, but put concisely involves perhaps not guiding practitioners of the method who seek guidance with any authority, not even that of technical expertise; for anything i ever knew, i knew not as fundamentally correct knowledge but simply that it happened to work to know it.

the answer to the second question is simple: i do not find it suitable for me to make a claim of a condition which i cannot recognise. for this reason, i am relinquishing any claim of an actual freedom, whether on my behalf or the behalf of any other.

this is not to say that i am renouncing my claim of being free of malice and sorrow (which is what all this has been about for me anyway); i am not. what i am indicating is that i no longer have sufficient confidence that what i mean by this claim and what i find it to entail and imply is similar enough to what richard means and what that entails and implies to state any kind of equivalence. accordingly, i no longer find it suitable to use the terms that richard has put to his experiences and observations to describe my experiences or observations. without doing so, however, i find that i cannot participate very meaningfully in the conversations concerning actual freedom (which is essentially whatever richard says it is); as i cannot be sufficiently certain that what i have in mind is closely coherent with what richard does, i rarely find it purposeful to present my thoughts on these topics. conversely, it seems more appropriate for me to retire from any statement or claim of authority or authoritative understanding on these matters, so that it is understood that any further thoughts i may present on an actual freedom and related topics are to be understood in light of this retirement.

so that there is no unnecessary confusion, i have written to the af trust suggesting that my announcement be removed from their website's 'annoucements' page. i previously renamed the 'actualism/actual freedom' forum category here, which i have been responsible for moderating, 'practices inspired by actualism', and so opened it up to discussion on the buddhist-actualist hybrid practices that have been innovated by dho participants. not only did this bring the category more in line with a use that dho forum participants have tended towards anyway, but it also spared moderators much of the task of keeping the category focused on discussion of the practice of the actualism method. further, as the renamed category is subtitled 'but not necessarily either approved or endorsed by the actual freedom trust', the category's discussions can be considered independently of the actual freedom trust and their statements, and as such, is now able to include a greater variety of approaches to practice than is directly conducive to retaining the methodological integrity insisted on by the af trust.. and, for that matter, is able to do so without relying on the authority of an actually free person to oversee the discussion (for example, to determine for anyone else whether or not the practices they are considering will lead them to their desired results).

i look forward to continuing to see what we all continue to come up with.

tarin

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
1/19/12 5:46 AM as a reply to tarin greco.
So, basically, Richard said you're wrong and that you cannot tell whether someone is AF or not, and so you will stop using this terminology ?

But being free from malice and sorrow (The Mental Defilements), you are sure about?

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
1/19/12 6:32 AM as a reply to tarin greco.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/actualfreedom/message/10573

As per the above message from Richard, there was another step that Vineeto had to take to make it 'fully here in this actual world' or to gain "meaning-of-life" actual freedom. That means that there is just Richard and Vineeto who have made it fully to the actual world.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
1/19/12 7:04 AM as a reply to tarin greco.
tarin greco:
the progenitor of the actualism method has informed me that i am mistaken about this, however; he has stated that, of the practitioners on the dho i have indicated to him as having possibly become actually free, several have certainly not done so, despite my impressions. further, he has stated that i, at my current stage of actualism development (being only 'newly-free of the instinctual passions'), cannot gauge whether another person's condition is that of an actual freedom or not... not even from extensive direct contact and conversation. evidently, then, i have no reliable way of recognising an actually free person at all. essentially, what this means is that the criteria which i've so far used to determine what an actual freedom is, is actually invalid for the purpose.


Has Richard been verbally clear about what is the difference between AF1 (newly-freed from instinctual passions) and AF2 (after which you should be able to recognize AF(1?2?) ) ?

I thought it was just the "dust-on-the-lens" thing? (actually vineto's description of moving from AF1 to AF2 seems to suggest this)

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
1/19/12 7:11 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
I thought it was just the "dust-on-the-lens" thing? (actually vineto's description of moving from AF1 to AF2 seems to suggest this)


Vineeto 'interacted' intensively with Richard for 40 days. I don't think dust on the lens would require that much time to be removed.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
1/19/12 7:14 AM as a reply to Change A..
Richard didn't interact with those people Tarin thought had attained AF, before concluding they didn't, right ?
So he was going by what Richard heard Tarin say about what they told him.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
1/19/12 7:19 AM as a reply to Yadid dee.
Yadid dee:
Richard didn't interact with those people Tarin thought had attained AF, before concluding they didn't, right ?
So he was going by what Richard heard Tarin say about what they told him.


I don't know if they did interact or not. I think there is a lot of behind-the-scene activity that goes on about AF.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
1/19/12 7:23 AM as a reply to Change A..
Aman A.:


I don't know if they did interact or not. I think there is a lot of behind-the-scene activity that goes on about AF.


Behind-the-scene meaning interactions that go on outside this forum, about AF and other things, I agree.

Seeing that the most important thing (to me) is the condition of the permanent end of afflictions, I don't think Tarin's post changes much about that, more about the background baggage on the way there.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
1/19/12 7:24 AM as a reply to Change A..
John Wilde:

You guys have no idea who/what you're dealing with here.

John


Could you elaborate please, that phrase is a bit vague to understand.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
1/19/12 8:07 AM as a reply to Change A..
John Wilde:
However, it didn't take as long as Richard expected. A woman (whom I'll call "P") was soon declared (by Richard) to be the first to have "come to completion", a mere couple of months after her initial AF event.

But then, a while later, when "P" had moved away with her husband, Vineeto was declared to be ... you guessed it ... the first to have "come to completion".

Other ways of phrasing this: she had "become the universe". Alternatively: she had "become Richard".

You guys have no idea who/what you're dealing with here.

John


Where was it declared that "P" had come to completion? As far as I'm aware, it was only declared that she had become actually free.

If "P" has moved away with her husband, is the MSV Actualis still in the pipeline as I think it was mostly P's husband who has deep pockets and was financing AF a lot?

How do you have an idea that who we are dealing with here? Have you met Richard in person?

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
1/19/12 8:09 AM as a reply to Change A..
John Wilde:
It took Richard 30 months. When other people became AF in late 2009 and early 2010, it was assumed that it might take a while for them to attain fully-fledged AF. However, it didn't take as long as Richard expected. A woman was soon declared (by Richard) to be the first to have "come to completion", a mere couple of months after attaining AF. But a while later, when this woman had moved away with her husband, another woman (Vineeto) was declared to be ... you guessed it ...the first to have "come to completion".


If this is true, it would shed light on something that came up in a conversation between us previously (the claim that one can enter or exit conditions such as in-control VF or out-from-control VF, implying that they are not permanent developmental attainments). If what you say is true, it seems that claims about who attained but subsequently exited some attainment should be discounted.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
1/19/12 9:09 AM as a reply to Change A..
John Wilde:
This was also described as: she had "become the universe" or "become Richard".

Could you provide links to these descriptions? I don't keep up with the actualfreedom yahoo group (though perhaps I should).

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
1/19/12 9:53 AM as a reply to Yadid dee.
Hi John:
The carefully constructed and maintained public facade of AF gives few clues as to how bizarre and ludicrous things can be behind the scenes.
The risk of public facade diverging with private actuality (e.g., (offline)) exists anywhere, including here.

The risks of behind-the-scenes communications in a forum like the DhO are:
- collusion of delusion (e.g., two or more opaque writers chat/skype privately and agree to agree on their language and sustain the obfuscation by tag-teaming and re-inforcing their agreement in the public forum which...

- ...promotes optative guru-ism: "you won't understand until you get there, therefore there is no need (for us) to explain or support (our) words" wherein the public participant has the option to ask questions and be ignorantly hushed/invited offline or the option to play along with the blind "believe me (us)/you don't understand" politics (anthropologically, this political organization is a kinship hierarchy common to organized religion, which in the DhO offline kinship may impute online teachers), which

- misleds/delays seekers from their simple, straight-forward, path of autonomy (essentially, an erosion of personal obstacles and their re-generation)

Inherent to autonomy-seeking (aka: seeking nibbana) are admittedly obscurations and fetters, and these difficulties are often expressed in some Buddhist traditions vcia the Insight Stages of suffering 5-10 (often called in the DhO "the Dark Night", whereby MCTB borrows from the Christian carmelite John of the Cross, deemed a Christian saint by his community).

Anyone taking up the role of an enlightened teacher (or allowing such a role to be imputed) bears the responsibility of being clear and publicaly transparent (not privately coordinating) with their words. This responsibility occurs, because autonomy-seekers are quite vulnerable to being (mis)led away from their simple autonomy.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
1/19/12 10:13 AM as a reply to Yadid dee.
Yadid dee:
So, basically, Richard said you're wrong and that you cannot tell whether someone is AF or not, and so you will stop using this terminology ?

But being free from malice and sorrow (The Mental Defilements), you are sure about?

it's all up there in my original post, but short answers are yes (richard has told me that my assessments are not reliable; i will no longer make assessments dependent on terms he has defined) and yes (all that has changed is i no longer have grounds for determining how to relate my experiences or observations to those assessments).


Yadid dee:

Richard didn't interact with those people Tarin thought had attained AF, before concluding they didn't, right ?
So he was going by what Richard heard Tarin say about what they told him.

and going by things those people have written publicly.

*

regarding behind the scenes activity concerning AF: no idea.

*

Bruno Loff:
Has Richard been verbally clear about what is the difference between AF1 (newly-freed from instinctual passions) and AF2 (after which you should be able to recognize AF(1?2?) ) ?

dunno.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
1/20/12 5:24 AM as a reply to Change A..
Moved to this thread.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
1/19/12 10:53 AM as a reply to tarin greco.
it occurs to me that the aspects of my post beginning this thread which concern the ways in which the understandings and practices of both actualism and buddhism have developed over the previous two years on the dho may only stand to be properly understood by readers who are already familiar with 1- actualism and the af trust's writings, 2- canonical buddhist texts and their practical readings, and 3- daniel ingram's book 'mastering the core teachings of the buddha', the form of insight practice taught in the mahasi sayadaw tradition(s), and the history of the dho's discussions from at least mid-2009 onwards. for this reason, i would suggest that anyone who wishes to reply and contribute to this discussion yet is not informed by this background and context first endeavour to learn about the three things listed, and learn them well[1], so that any resulting discussion about these aspects which may ensue stays on-topic and high-level. this can be easily accomplished by:

1
(a) reading (at least the articles in richard's section of) the af trust website (for an understanding of what actual freedom and the path towards it are authoritatively described to be) and
(b) putting the actualism method into practice (for an understanding of how the experience of an actual freedom and/or the path towards it accord with the authoritative accounts);

2
(a) reading the canonical buddhist discourses,
(b) reading modern scholarship done on the those discourses (for various senses of which things can and cannot be known about those discourses),
(c) reading posts and articles written by practitioners who have declared that their models of practice and fruits reflect the contents of those early buddhist discourses, and have provided sources and citations (for various senses of what may be practised and achieved in accordance with the contents of those early discourses), and
(d) putting into practice instructions derived from a practical reading of those discourses; and

3
(a) reading MCTB,
(b) reading 'practical insight meditation' (both parts 1 and 2) by mahasi sayadaw and performing the exercises therein prescribed, and
(c) trawling thoroughly through the dho archives for discussions beginning in 2009 which concern the topics of actualism/actual freedom, differing models of practice and enlightenment, and realisations and development. many threads will contain replies seemingly posted by 'wet paint' (which indicates that the thread existed on and was moved over from the previous dho forum, which lived on a hosting platform called 'wet paint'); those threads are a good place to begin (or end, if you're reading in reverse chronology).

meanwhile, would all speculators and debaters on other matters please take those discussions elsewhere - at least, to a different thread? thank you.

tarin

[1] take your time with the research, as this thread isn't going anywhere, and threads in the 'dharma battleground' category (in which this thread is located, 'recent post' readers) have tended to be resurrected from the back pages again and again.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
1/19/12 11:25 AM as a reply to tarin greco.
tarin greco:
what i am indicating is that i no longer have sufficient confidence that what i mean by this claim and what i find it to entail and imply is similar enough to what richard means and what that entails and implies to state any kind of equivalence.
...
so that there is no unnecessary confusion, i have written to the af trust suggesting that my announcement be removed from their website's 'annoucements' page.

I am a bit puzzled. Given that the announcement was on the af trust site, I assume that Richard verified that you had attained an actual freedom, if only 'newly free' and not the 'meaning-of-life' stage. Thus, your experience must match that stage of actualist development, at least according to Richard - and I assume he considers himself capable of judging who is free or not[1]. For what purpose are you relinquishing your claim to (at least a certain stage of) actual freedom? Is it a matter of erring on the side of safety?

[1] or at least, we are defining the attainments based on what he says they are, and (I assume) he said you were actually free of the instinctual passions

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
1/19/12 11:44 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
tarin greco:
what i am indicating is that i no longer have sufficient confidence that what i mean by this claim and what i find it to entail and imply is similar enough to what richard means and what that entails and implies to state any kind of equivalence.
...
so that there is no unnecessary confusion, i have written to the af trust suggesting that my announcement be removed from their website's 'annoucements' page.

I am a bit puzzled. Given that the announcement was on the af trust site, I assume that Richard verified that you had attained an actual freedom, if only 'newly free' and not the 'meaning-of-life' stage. Thus, your experience must match that stage of actualist development, at least according to Richard - and I assume he considers himself capable of judging who is free or not[1]. For what purpose are you relinquishing your claim to (at least a certain stage of) actual freedom? Is it a matter of erring on the side of safety?

note that the announcements on the site are worded such that it is the individuals who have confirmed their freedom from the instinctual passions (and the directors are merely announcing their confirmations, though they are also implicitly agreeing with the announcement). regardless of what anyone else may say, i am merely withdrawing my own contribution of that confirmation for the purposes of clarity and ending obfuscating entanglements in uncertain meanings and crossed purposes.

Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

[1] or at least, we are defining the attainments based on what he says they are ...

if you say so; i'm content to let others see to the definitions of these attainments.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
1/19/12 11:54 AM as a reply to tarin greco.
tarin greco:
note that the announcements on the site are worded such that it is the individuals who have confirmed their freedom from the instinctual passions (and the directors are merely announcing their confirmations, though they are also implicitly agreeing with the announcement). regardless of what anyone else may say, i am merely withdrawing my own contribution of that confirmation for the purposes of clarity and ending obfuscating entanglements in uncertain meanings and crossed purposes.
Ah, ok, understood.

tarin greco:
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

[1] or at least, we are defining the attainments based on what he says they are ...

if you say so; i'm content to let others see to the definitions of these attainments.

I am puzzled yet again:
tarin greco:
without doing so, however, i find that i cannot participate very meaningfully in the conversations concerning actual freedom (which is essentially whatever richard says it is)

Is it what Richard says it is? Or is it up to each person to define it? Or is it the latter yet a possible definition is "whatever richard says it is"?

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
1/19/12 12:01 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

tarin greco:
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

[1] or at least, we are defining the attainments based on what he says they are ...

if you say so; i'm content to let others see to the definitions of these attainments.

I am puzzled yet again:
tarin greco:
without doing so, however, i find that i cannot participate very meaningfully in the conversations concerning actual freedom (which is essentially whatever richard says it is)

Is it what Richard says it is? Or is it up to each person to define it? Or is it the latter yet a possible definition is "whatever richard says it is"?

how about, 'it's up to each person to make sure they properly understand for themselves what richard says an actual freedom is'.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
1/19/12 12:02 PM as a reply to tarin greco.
tarin greco:
how about, 'it's up to each person to make sure they properly understand for themselves what richard says an actual freedom is'.
ok, makes sense. that neatly resolves the increasingly-confused questions that were arising in my head.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
1/19/12 12:26 PM as a reply to tarin greco.
in another thread recently i told a friend, hey remember when you told me...

hey tarin, remember when you told me.... a reasonable estimate for any sort of path = 95% a solo journey, about 4% feedback from others, about 1% having a cheerleader friend

i'm hoping any backlash regarding this thread is kept to a minimum and this can be a civil discussion. each person knows their own mind and can't know the mind of another. actually free, just damned happy, over the moon. we're all smart enough to forge our way through and know what's best for ourselves.

carrying on... emoticon

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
1/19/12 12:44 PM as a reply to tarin greco.
how about, 'it's up to each person to make sure they properly understand for themselves what richard says an actual freedom is'.


Could you tell us which phenomenological differences in peoples' experiences Richard has used to discount their claims to AF as being false, not the specific people but just the phenomenological issues and differences? or does he claim they are lying? or are his assertions based on the practices they used? or were the assertions made without any specific explanation?

also, I think it will be tough to make any progress in the theory until we get a definition of AF1 and AF2 are, as without any clear definition, it is a gaping hole which could easily be seen as Richard simply using his authority as founder of the AFT to discount anyone who's actions conflict with his perceived agenda.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
1/19/12 1:53 PM as a reply to Steph S.
Steph S:
in another thread recently i told a friend, hey remember when you told me...

hey tarin, remember when you told me.... a reasonable estimate for any sort of path = 95% a solo journey, about 4% feedback from others, about 1% having a cheerleader friend

i'm hoping any backlash regarding this thread is kept to a minimum and this can be a civil discussion. each person knows their own mind and can't know the mind of another. actually free, just damned happy, over the moon. we're all smart enough to forge our way through and know what's best for ourselves.

carrying on...


Maybe Tarin could put it in probabilistic terms: if there is a list of what's expected as a result of AF (as indicated in the AFT site), which of those points are fulfilled by Tarin's experience (or at least almost sure fulfilled)?. If the majority of these points seem covered, he is at least super close to being in that state named "AF", but still he can not affirm that categorically because language conserves its ambiguity.

Anyway, I'm replying this to you because it's pretty interesting how the "I" reacts with doubt after reading threads like this, even tough they are discussing semantics.

If I practice Actualism, I must look at the facts: Tarin still claims that he's free of malice and sorrow, and I am experimenting vast results with my practice each day. The feelings that come to (as) "me" are just another affective experience to investigate: in this case, my relation to authorities and to the thinking of groups like DhO.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
1/19/12 2:37 PM as a reply to tarin greco.
tarin greco:

the progenitor of the actualism method has informed me that i am mistaken about this, however; he has stated that, of the practitioners on the dho i have indicated to him as having possibly become actually free, several have certainly not done so, despite my impressions. further, he has stated that i, at my current stage of actualism development (being only 'newly-free of the instinctual passions'), cannot gauge whether another person's condition is that of an actual freedom or not... not even from extensive direct contact and conversation. evidently, then, i have no reliable way of recognising an actually free person at all. essentially, what this means is that the criteria which i've so far used to determine what an actual freedom is, is actually invalid for the purpose.
tarin


firstly, thanks for the fresh air you have given to the whole subject.

let me ask you a bold question... before you drop your ability to recognize (faultily or not) an 'actually free person', could you apply that ability one last time.. on the progenitor himself? in your extensive communication and interaction with the progenitor (of af), did you find anything puzzling that you could not account for? [this question is being asked in the light of various controversies that are occuring with new documents being circulated etc. a honest opinion, even if it is just that, will help me]. iow, freshly evaluating by your own experience, is he 'actually free' or not?

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
1/19/12 3:43 PM as a reply to Vas A.
Excellent. I would also like to take this opportunity to state that my ongoing experience does not resembles Tarin's. I still experience certain 'shadow' experiences (formerly gross affect) as explained a number of times (not very well) by myself mostly in my practice journal at the HP.

I have had two major shifts since what I was calling MCTB 4th (which matched Daniel's recent outlining of that attainment). I believe these last two shifts were more in line with the fetter model of the pali canon suttas and am ok with letting go of the whole AF or not titles/attainments. If I am not at the stage where Tarin is (perhaps a stage right before it), I am certainly not at what Richard considers 'Newly AF'. From now on, I will avoid (which I have been doing for awhile now) any talk of being AF. I am not by the AFT definitions. I will talk from now on more from the buddhist angle that has informed my practice at the same time as AF informed practices.

Nick

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
1/19/12 7:05 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:

John:
You guys have no idea who/what you're dealing with here.


It is absurd to make vague innuendos and unsupported statements, and expect (?) that we have a clear idea of what you are talking about. I would appreciate a more extensive, well-put-together account from your part, rather than this "erratic hinting" which is of help to no-one. Such as what is it exactly you know, and how exactly you have come to know what you have come to know.

You hint something shady is going on with Richard & friends, but you are starting to come off as having an agenda yourself. How is anyone to assess if your views are anything more than fluff and opinions, if you don't freely give out the factual data for everyone else to interpret?


To put together an extensive, well-documented account of all this would be a major undertaking, and would have all sorts of practical and legal ramifications that go beyond the scope of my intentions. To the extent that I have an agenda, it's this: (1) to participate in conversations about topics that interest me; (2) to make some observations about AF informed by details that few people know, with the aim of prompting people like you (people like me) not to take too much at face value.

I understand why you would ask me to - more or less - put up or shut up. But 'putting up' in the way that you desire is too much work for me, and has too many other inconveniences. It's not what I want to do with my life. On the other hand, 'shutting up' is not what I think best either. This isn't a court of law; I'm writing informally but truthfully, in accord with my own conscience.

Better this way: you're free to consider everything I write as "fluff and opinions", and I'm free to write informally but truthfully. My comments on AF are motivated by an intention to help people in the best way that I can / am prepared to do, given current constraints. As more information comes to light, the "fluff and opinions" may come to seem less 'fluffy' to you.. but only time will tell.

(Edit: Actually, in light of Tarin's recent remarks, I expect to see the DhO abandon the somewhat 'proprietary' lexicon of AF and develop its own language and culture surrounding these experiences and aspirations... which would be a good thing, IMO).

John

********* EDIT *******
In response to Tarin's request - up thread - to avoid cluttering up this thread with debate, I've deleted some earlier messages and will delete this one too, in a while. People who engaged with me might want delete their responses for the same reason. We can take that conversation elsewhere, if there's anything left to be said...
*************************

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
1/19/12 4:04 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nikolai .:
I believe these last two shifts were more in line with the fetter model of the pali canon suttas and am ok with letting go of the whole AF or not titles/attainments.


In many ways I regret ever talking about my experience in AFT terms, as I have never been involved in the actualist community, nor practiced actualism, nor accepted AFT dogma, nor had extensive and detailed familiarity with AFT writings (rather than a general knowledge)...and so, doing so was a kind of impulsiveness based on the fact that other models that were current in this community (MCTB's, Kenneth Folk's) were not speaking to my experience.

Sticking with Pali Buddhism would have been much more sensible given my practice and background and given the theory that makes most sense to me. So, I think I'll join you in this.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
1/19/12 4:06 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
In light of my recent change in approach, this post is really refreshing and encouraging as it confirms that there are lots of ways to go about this stuff depending on what works for you. I think that if people can drop all the ideas about getting to this goal or that path then this whole adventure can become much more enjoyable, and when we can talk about these things in simple, straightforwards phenomenological terms without fancy labels or terminology then all the bullshit can drop away. Don't get me wrong, it's useful to a point but can become troublesome if it's given too much importance, or not understood clearly enough.

Whether Tarin or anyone else is "AF" is of no concern to me, their practical advice and the verification, via direct experience, of the information they've provided speaks for itself. Richard's got his take on what's what and so has everyone else, it's what we do as human beings, with or without affect, so it'll be good to see if dropping the AF baggage and moving on will allow people to find the way that's most effective for them to make their lives happier and less stressful.

In the words of Al Crowley, do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.

The door's wide open, anyone fancy exploring outside? emoticon

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
1/19/12 4:11 PM as a reply to Tommy M.
Tommy M:
In light of my recent change in approach, this post is really refreshing and encouraging as it confirms that there are lots of ways to go about this stuff depending on what works for you. I think that if people can drop all the ideas about getting to this goal or that path then this whole adventure can become much more enjoyable, and when we can talk about these things in simple, straightforwards phenomenological terms without fancy labels or terminology then all the bullshit can drop away. Don't get me wrong, it's useful to a point but can become troublesome if it's given too much importance, or not understood clearly enough.

Whether Tarin or anyone else is "AF" is of no concern to me, their practical advice and the verification, via direct experience, of the information they've provided speaks for itself. Richard's got his take on what's what and so has everyone else, it's what we do as human beings, with or without affect, so it'll be good to see if dropping the AF baggage and moving on will allow people to find the way that's most effective for them to make their lives happier and less stressful.


Yay.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
1/19/12 4:15 PM as a reply to tarin greco.
tarin greco:


the answer to the second question is simple: i do not find it suitable for me to make a claim of a condition which i cannot recognise. for this reason, i am relinquishing any claim of an actual freedom, whether on my behalf or the behalf of any other.


tarin


excellent and best of luck with your journey ahead!!

If you get around to building your boat, let me know, I will pay a visit ;)

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
1/19/12 4:59 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nikolai .:
I have had two major shifts since what I was calling MCTB 4th (which matched Daniel's recent outlining of that attainment).

Did it match it precisely? Daniel said:
Daniel Ingram:
To whoever is speculating about the thing fading or center reestablishing itself or subtle center point stuff or anything like that: simply no, not at all, not in 9 years, never, not even a little. There is this diffuse, open field of stuff doing its thing.

And, if I recall correctly, during the 'friendly chat' podcast with Owen that you both agreed that the center-point would re-arise sometimes. (Not sure of the exact time in the podcast or the precise wording - I will re-listen to it and point it out if necessary.)

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
1/19/12 5:55 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Nikolai .:
I have had two major shifts since what I was calling MCTB 4th (which matched Daniel's recent outlining of that attainment).

Did it match it precisely? Daniel said:
Daniel Ingram:
To whoever is speculating about the thing fading or center reestablishing itself or subtle center point stuff or anything like that: simply no, not at all, not in 9 years, never, not even a little. There is this diffuse, open field of stuff doing its thing.

And, if I recall correctly, during the 'friendly chat' podcast with Owen that you both agreed that the center-point would re-arise sometimes. (Not sure of the exact time in the podcast or the precise wording - I will re-listen to it and point it out if necessary.)


The experience that was experienced as a 'centrepoint' for most of my life lost that status of 'centrepoint' in July 2010 but the sensations that would be read as a 'centrepoint' were still occasionally read as the 'watcher' (which was seen to be a cluster of sensations with a mental overlay), as mentioned by End in the quote below, but without the 'centrepoint' status. Does that make sense?

There was no 're-establishing' of the 'centrepoint' as a status nor it fading in and out, or being sublte this or that. It lost the status of 'centrepoint' for ever, YET the sensations that implied 'centrepoint' previous to this shift would still be experienced from time to time as a transient impersonal 'selfing' experience sans the mental status of 'centrepoint'.

From what I remember, I think any sort of reference to a centre point for me usually was connected to the area in the head more than any other area. For my ongoing experience during pre- (what I consider) 4th path shift, that was the centre point of the selfing experience. Post shift, those sensations in the middle of the head occasionally would arise to be read as a mentally felt 'self' or 'me-ness' experience from time to time but appear extremely transient and very sticky-free and had lost all sense of being a 'centre'. They would arise and pass very quickly.

The sense of 'being' which became more predominant as the ongoing experience afterwards though felt quite diffuse and without a location. This took the centrepoint's place as the sort of default setting of the continuation of the 'selfing' process post shift. It was then seen to be any 'mood' that was arising, one and the same. Any notion of it being the agent went when the sense of centrepoint collapsed and ceased having 'status' in the mind as a 'centrepoint'.

Post shift, there was the immediate recognition that any arising of a felt 'me-ness' located as a cluster of sensations, was just that, a cluster of sensations with a mental overlay. Until I owned up to that sticky-free and centreless mental overlay as being the continuation of a 'selfing' process that was still inherently unsatisfactory, everything was pretty much how Daniel describes.

End asked:
Would you consider your 4th path experience in context of this state well characterized by a statement such as "if there is an experience of something that would be described as a super-pervading watcher, it is immediately known to be an experience that is empty of being a watcher, self, subject, witness, etc. despite the description being apt?"

(In other words, "watcher" would just be a label for some sensation or sensations that would previously have been called a watcher but are now just sensations, despite it being clear that "watcher" captures how those sensations would previously have been understood as well as describes them in some way currently.)


to which Daniel answered;
precisely.


Edited a few times for flow.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
1/20/12 2:00 AM as a reply to Nikolai ..
HAIETMOBA and the sweet spot are still excellent tools for creating conditions favorable to insight especially DO.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
1/20/12 5:20 AM as a reply to tarin greco.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/actualfreedom/message/10555

"In this post he played his other favorite game of killing many birds with one stone: he re-established his control over the AF enterprise and reminded everyone that he is alive, active and engaged in exciting things - that the pied piper is doing rather well...setting many other people('kids') free. He has, of course, also given his personal opinion about the 'watered down " version of HIS enterprise and in the process shaken and stirred up things for those who were beginning to call curtain on AFT or Richardism!

So, he has not only reminded his 'followers' as to who is the skipper of the AF ship, also demonstrated to everyone how much his WORD matter."

Establishing control over the AF enterprise could be the reason as to what happened between Richard and Tarin. The above message was posted on Dec 24, 2011.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
1/20/12 8:19 AM as a reply to tarin greco.
tarin greco:
the progenitor of the actualism method has informed me that i am mistaken about this, however; he has stated that, of the practitioners on the dho i have indicated to him as having possibly become actually free, several have certainly not done so, despite my impressions. further, he has stated that i, at my current stage of actualism development (being only 'newly-free of the instinctual passions'), cannot gauge whether another person's condition is that of an actual freedom or not... not even from extensive direct contact and conversation. evidently, then, i have no reliable way of recognising an actually free person at all. essentially, what this means is that the criteria which i've so far used to determine what an actual freedom is, is actually invalid for the purpose.

this invalidity raises two questions interesting to me: firstly, about my suitability for facilitating or guiding practitioners of the actualism method when i cannot tell whether or not they actually achieve its purpose; and secondly, about the suitability of my making a claim to a condition which i cannot recognise for myself.

the answer to the first question is complex, but put concisely involves perhaps not guiding practitioners of the method who seek guidance with any authority, not even that of technical expertise; for anything i ever knew, i knew not as fundamentally correct knowledge but simply that it happened to work to know it.

the answer to the second question is simple: i do not find it suitable for me to make a claim of a condition which i cannot recognise. for this reason, i am relinquishing any claim of an actual freedom, whether on my behalf or the behalf of any other.


The first one is actually not that complex, I think: you do what you do, regardless of what you or other people call it. As far as I am concerned, you are doing it well - i.e. those who request your guidance benefit from it, in pursuit of whatever it is they are pursuing. I count myself in, here.

The second seems more complex to me! Part of what makes the DhO such a good place to frequent is just this normalization of attainment: that "ordinary" people can and do get these results. So having a vocabulary or shorthand for these results ("titles" or attainments) is a useful thing. In my recent post about integration and my opinions about it, what resulted in the most reactions were the conveniently pithy "centerlessness" and "tape-loops" and "disconnect". All my other observations had no such nice handles, and were not scrutinized as closely. My bet is that the DhO will coin new terms to describe your and other's experience of freedom from malice and sorrow.

Anyway, that's a big homework assignment you suggest in your follow-up emoticon Good one, too.

Cheers,
Florian

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
1/21/12 2:36 AM as a reply to Florian.
I would like a thread with everyone's definition for the words they use to describe attainments. (so like, one person would describe what 1st path, AF, and whatever, ~each term in how they understand it). Of course, ONLY with things which they themselves have achieved (so everything is personal experience)....

Then we could go down the line with what all the major players here on DhO think each term means....

I know it is hard to write about something as ethereal as meditation attainments with exactitude.. but best efforts here might do a lot of good and increase clarity .

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
1/23/12 12:09 PM as a reply to Oliver Myth.
Olyver Mith:
I would like a thread with everyone's definition for the words they use to describe attainments. (so like, one person would describe what 1st path, AF, and whatever, ~each term in how they understand it). Of course, ONLY with things which they themselves have achieved (so everything is personal experience)....

Then we could go down the line with what all the major players here on DhO think each term means....

I know it is hard to write about something as ethereal as meditation attainments with exactitude.. but best efforts here might do a lot of good and increase clarity .


If you would like to know this, then you should spend the next fifteen years doing the following. Afterward, if you still have questions, then you should PRACTICE and discover these things for yourself.

1
(a) reading (at least the articles in richard's section of) the af trust website (for an understanding of what actual freedom and the path towards it are authoritatively described to be) and
(b) putting the actualism method into practice (for an understanding of how the experience of an actual freedom and/or the path towards it accord with the authoritative accounts);

2
(a) reading the canonical buddhist discourses,
(b) reading modern scholarship done on the those discourses (for various senses of which things can and cannot be known about those discourses),
(c) reading posts and articles written by practitioners who have declared that their models of practice and fruits reflect the contents of those early buddhist discourses, and have provided sources and citations (for various senses of what may be practised and achieved in accordance with the contents of those early discourses), and
(d) putting into practice instructions derived from a practical reading of those discourses; and

3
(a) reading MCTB,
(b) reading 'practical insight meditation' (both parts 1 and 2) by mahasi sayadaw and performing the exercises therein prescribed, and
(c) trawling thoroughly through the dho archives for discussions beginning in 2009 which concern the topics of actualism/actual freedom, differing models of practice and enlightenment, and realisations and development. many threads will contain replies seemingly posted by 'wet paint' (which indicates that the thread existed on and was moved over from the previous dho forum, which lived on a hosting platform called 'wet paint'); those threads are a good place to begin (or end, if you're reading in reverse chronology).

If you trawl through every DhO post since 2009 (and before!), then you will discover this information. Gad, we are trying to keep these discussions high end here. Please don't inflict your ignorance on us. [I hope you are picking up on the fact I am being a lil' sarcastic...]

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
1/23/12 4:35 PM as a reply to Alan Smithee.
@ Allen,

Hello. Thanks for your response. I have asked for the definition because they frequently are not identical. The most obvious example of this is in This Thread where Nickolai and Trent all claim fourth path, but think that they may have experienced different phenomena. On that thread you will also find Daniels 'official' definition of 4th path in his terms. Likewise, Nickolai has pioneered what seems to be Anagami as it is referred to in the old suttas. Quite a variety of definitions for the same terms, yes? I likewise will explain what I mean by different things in a different post.

As far as your criteria goes... Do you mind if I respond to each credential?

1) I have read much of the actual freedom website. I am far from an expert but I have read much and clarified many questions I had about it thru some extensive reading. I also have my practice thread here. so you can see exactly the efforts I have been putting into the actualism method for the past 4-5 months.

2) I have read many, many of the suttas. My favorite ones being the pali cannon and the Vissudimagga. I have made comments on the Vissudhimagga and suggestions to certain chapters to certain people on other threads.

3) This is not your fault for not knowing, but I have been participating on the forums now and then since the old wetpaint days in 2009, but under other names (I would irritatingly lose my passwords and had to make new accounts). I have been TheQuestioner7, Jeff Stocks, and a few others. I apologized in email to Daniel for this a while ago. I have since got my crap together and now use this one account.


We are definitely trying to keep high end discussions here! I completely agree. The more advanced people become the more their posts start to sound like academic reports with citations and quotes everywhere! And I think this is right. The begining practitioner's threads will sound like elementary school level, with a lot of emotional support, etc. The more advanced practitioners will start to sound like college graduates. I think this is beautiful.

Why not take another step to help academize (aka sophisticate) the website by have a dictionary of terms by the people here who practice? You said it yourself that one would have to "trawl" thru thousands of posts since 2009 to find them all. Is that really reasonable? Cause I'm not about to do that! To make it worse, some useful information is frequently not in threads that fit with the thread title (my above link being an example).

I'm glad that was sarcasm at the end of your post, because I don't see how offering my want/idea to the DhO community is inflicting ignorance!


@Daniel

And thanks Daniel! That website is brilliant!

I was hoping we could have one lone thread dedicated to this. Could a moderator move it to another thread? I will post my official definitions here for now but in another post right after this (so that a mod could move it to an appropriate thread, should my idea be accepted and there won't be all this extra explanation to Alan emoticon )

Edit: Or, if we just want to forward people to the site (http://mindtrainingterms.org/), then we could do that. Is that site a 'wiki' or anything? That would make it useful. Once again, thanks!

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
1/23/12 4:17 PM as a reply to Oliver Myth.
Path Moment: A fruition, followed by a notable ability to see closer to the "source of suffering", a substantial and permanent dropping away of suffering, and the mind stops doing useless things it used to do before. Not every fruition will do this.

Fruition: Percieved as a short lapse of consciousness where there is no awareness. It is discernible by being aware of the moments before and after and realizing that there is a blinking out of consciousness. Frequently right before a fruition the mind naturally is calm, panoramic, and aware of the sense field (In other words, not lost in mental proliferation). The mind frequently feels refreshed and like a computer re-booting, and there may be a wave of bliss a few seconds after the fruition.

Nidhora Sampatti: A meditative state where consciousness will willingly allow itself to 'turn off' over a period of a few moments, followed by a fruition-like state of mind. When coming out of it it freqently leaves one wondering exactly how long they have been out. There is a Massive afterglow which will last for hours. There are many ways to enter this, myself using a dual attention on the third eye and the surface of my skin.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
1/23/12 5:03 PM as a reply to tarin greco.
tarin greco:
this is not to say that i am renouncing my claim of being free of malice and sorrow (which is what all this has been about for me anyway); i am not. what i am indicating is that i no longer have sufficient confidence that what i mean by this claim and what i find it to entail and imply is similar enough to what richard means and what that entails and implies to state any kind of equivalence.


Can we start a new forum section here about "being free of malice and sorrow", then? I don't care what you call it, but it may be that this "is what all this has been about" for others of us as well. And, I would think you could offer guidance with authority on that subject quite fine.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
1/23/12 5:26 PM as a reply to Daniel Johnson.
Can we start a new forum section here about "being free of malice and sorrow", then?

With a sub-category of "happiness". emoticon

Nice idea, the sentiment (even if I'm just interpreting it from the words on the screen) is really lovely.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
1/23/12 5:34 PM as a reply to Oliver Myth.
@Olyver: Actually, my post was a joke. I was not questioning your credentials in any way. I thought my "sarcasm" statement would make this clear, but it didn't, so, sorry!

@All: All kidding aside, I think the project of creating a secular, non-denominational, highly precise language of terms and measures, used to describe mind training, and the stages and states encountered therein, is an incredibly valuable one.

This would take mind training out of the realm of the religious, with all its passions, residues, connotations, fuzziness, dogmas, and complications, and make it more scientific, academic, measurable, and universal.

How many of the Buddhism vs Actual Freedom debates/wars were truly the result of bruised religious sensibilities? Would anybody have fought if some folks had simply proclaimed that they were going to try another style of mind training (in a way divorced from religious connotations and terminology?)

As a side note, there are similar debates going on now in far left political circles regarding the possibility and/or need to speak in post Marxist, post Communist terms and language, such that ideas can be presented and discussed and investigated which don't have long-standing, debilitating historical residues and connotations attached to them which stop conversations before they can begin.

To those of you with the direct expereince and knowledge necessary to perform such an undertaking -- to develop a post AF, post Buddhist language of terms and measures regarding the training of the mind -- this could be a very valuable contribution to the study and dissemination of these practices. I hope ya'll take up the challenge and I wish you the best of luck. I'll be lurking to see what you come up with. Maybe when I start nailing attainments, I'll contribute a thing or two myself.

Meditation Terms and Describing Attainments
Answer
1/24/12 3:18 AM as a reply to Alan Smithee.
This thread was split off of RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho

RE: Meditation Terms and Describing Attainments
Answer
1/24/12 2:00 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Did you intend to call the thread "Meditation Terms and Describing Attainments" (the subject header you have in your lat post)?

You may be interested in the April Mind and Life Synposia (Denver, CO, this year). Here is the information:
http://contemplativeresearch.org/
with a little information here as well:
http://www.garrisoninstitute.org/index.php?option=com_civicrm&task=civicrm/event/info&reset=1&id=240&Itemid=998

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
1/30/12 2:24 AM as a reply to Vas A.
Vas A:
tarin greco:

the progenitor of the actualism method has informed me that i am mistaken about this, however; he has stated that, of the practitioners on the dho i have indicated to him as having possibly become actually free, several have certainly not done so, despite my impressions. further, he has stated that i, at my current stage of actualism development (being only 'newly-free of the instinctual passions'), cannot gauge whether another person's condition is that of an actual freedom or not... not even from extensive direct contact and conversation. evidently, then, i have no reliable way of recognising an actually free person at all. essentially, what this means is that the criteria which i've so far used to determine what an actual freedom is, is actually invalid for the purpose.
tarin


firstly, thanks for the fresh air you have given to the whole subject.

you're welcome.


Vas A:

let me ask you a bold question... before you drop your ability to recognize (faultily or not) an 'actually free person',

while i appreciate the humour, i should make this clear: it's not that i dropped the ability, but rather that i realised that i could have no such ability to begin with.


Vas A:

could you apply that ability one last time.. on the progenitor himself?

while i'll do my best to accommodate what i understand you to be seeking by your request, bear in mind that my reply cannot actually answer the question as you have asked it (i have explained why above).


Vas A:

in your extensive communication and interaction with the progenitor (of af), did you find anything puzzling that you could not account for? [this question is being asked in the light of various controversies that are occuring with new documents being circulated etc. a honest opinion, even if it is just that, will help me].

no.. but i am also not in the habit of attempting to interpret every little detail in another person's speech or actions (i have met too many different people and lived in too many different cultures to regard that as a skilful endeavour), and so i would have had to have witnessed a transgression on his part against either my or another person's well-being for me to have had something to attempt to account for.. and i saw no such thing (in the week or so that i spent with him, on two separate occasions).


Vas A:

iow, freshly evaluating by your own experience, is he 'actually free' or not?

you may have missed one of the points of my original post - i actually don't know what an actual freedom is (that is, i am not being evasive or engaging in wordplay).

tarin

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
1/30/12 3:50 AM as a reply to Florian.
Florian Weps:
tarin greco:
the progenitor of the actualism method has informed me that i am mistaken about this, however; he has stated that, of the practitioners on the dho i have indicated to him as having possibly become actually free, several have certainly not done so, despite my impressions. further, he has stated that i, at my current stage of actualism development (being only 'newly-free of the instinctual passions'), cannot gauge whether another person's condition is that of an actual freedom or not... not even from extensive direct contact and conversation. evidently, then, i have no reliable way of recognising an actually free person at all. essentially, what this means is that the criteria which i've so far used to determine what an actual freedom is, is actually invalid for the purpose.

this invalidity raises two questions interesting to me: firstly, about my suitability for facilitating or guiding practitioners of the actualism method when i cannot tell whether or not they actually achieve its purpose; and secondly, about the suitability of my making a claim to a condition which i cannot recognise for myself.

the answer to the first question is complex, but put concisely involves perhaps not guiding practitioners of the method who seek guidance with any authority, not even that of technical expertise; for anything i ever knew, i knew not as fundamentally correct knowledge but simply that it happened to work to know it.

the answer to the second question is simple: i do not find it suitable for me to make a claim of a condition which i cannot recognise. for this reason, i am relinquishing any claim of an actual freedom, whether on my behalf or the behalf of any other.


The first one is actually not that complex, I think: you do what you do, regardless of what you or other people call it. As far as I am concerned, you are doing it well - i.e. those who request your guidance benefit from it, in pursuit of whatever it is they are pursuing. I count myself in, here.

refresh my memory sometime: have you requested my guidance in practising the actualism method, and i have i given any to you? while what i wrote could also apply (though more loosely) to other practices i have undertaken and in which i have given others guidance (and to which i'm assuming you were referring), i myself was referring to the actualism method specifically.


Florian Weps:

The second seems more complex to me! Part of what makes the DhO such a good place to frequent is just this normalization of attainment: that "ordinary" people can and do get these results. So having a vocabulary or shorthand for these results ("titles" or attainments) is a useful thing. In my recent post about integration and my opinions about it, what resulted in the most reactions were the conveniently pithy "centerlessness" and "tape-loops" and "disconnect". All my other observations had no such nice handles, and were not scrutinized as closely. My bet is that the DhO will coin new terms to describe your and other's experience of freedom from malice and sorrow.

something worth noting is that whether or not a person is regarded as 'ordinary' may, to some extent, depend on who it is doing the regarding and when they arrived to the scene. i have observed that people can lose their 'ordinary' status over time.. perhaps even to the extent that the fact that they were ever only 'ordinary' is lost on their later contemporaries. yet, there will be others in whose eyes this status remains intact; for example, i cannot conceive that gotama's father, or ex-wife, ever forgot his ordinariness. those persons' perspectives are not remembered in his towering hagiographies, of course. hopefully, no hagiographies will ever arise from the dho, despite all the heavy interest in attainments and having opinions about them. i like to think that a heavier interest in practice will limit the possible growth of any version of a new 'arahant cult' (or anti-arahant cult, for that matter).


Florian Weps:

Anyway, that's a big homework assignment you suggest in your follow-up emoticon Good one, too.

i think it may only seem big to folks who aren't already interested in these things.. otherwise it should be a breeze (though perhaps a lengthy one, taking a few weeks or more). i know you've done a lot of 2, and you've been around for 3, so most of what would remain for you would be 1. i look forward to reading your contributions if/when you have more to say on these subjects.

tarin

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
1/30/12 6:40 AM as a reply to tarin greco.
tarin greco:

no.. but i am also not in the habit of attempting to interpret every little detail in another person's speech or actions (i have met too many different people and lived in too many different cultures to regard that as a skilful endeavour), and so i would have had to have witnessed a transgression on his part against either my or another person's well-being for me to have had something to attempt to account for.. and i saw no such thing (in the week or so that i spent with him, on two separate occasions).


Did you ask one question that was critical of AF?

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
1/30/12 5:18 PM as a reply to tarin greco.
Vas A:

iow, freshly evaluating by your own experience, is he 'actually free' or not?

tarin:
you may have missed one of the points of my original post - i actually don't know what an actual freedom is (that is, i am not being evasive or engaging in wordplay).


By your own experience, tarin, do you think he is free of malice and sorrow? Do you think you are able to asses if other people are free of malice and sorrow (in the sense that you mean by "free of malice and sorrow")?

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
1/31/12 6:00 PM as a reply to tarin greco.
tarin greco:
you may have missed one of the points of my original post - i actually don't know what an actual freedom is (that is, i am not being evasive or engaging in wordplay).

Have you asked Richard what an actual freedom is? Or told him what you think an actual freedom is and asked him to clarify what differences he has in mind? Or told him the reasons you had for considering a person actually free, and asked him to give the reasons he had for considering that person to not be actually free? If not, do you have any interest in doing so? If not, why not?

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/1/12 7:01 PM as a reply to tarin greco.
Response from the aft


http://www.actualfreedom.com.au/announcement.htm#Addendum6

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/1/12 10:55 PM as a reply to Vas A.
Message has been removed because message have special character which are not able to parse.Please contact to administrator

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/1/12 10:43 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
emoticon

He is a body, You are not.

Special.

Now we can finally drop all the AF terms yeah? thank christ for that. By the way, I would like to officially announce being Actually Free*

The whole episode has taught me what a 'view' is; a great way to get completely lost. Now back to my PSA training and Mindfulness in PLAIN English.



*(from what I haven't decided yet, more announcements coming soon)

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/1/12 11:59 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Tarin: how about, 'it's up to each person to make sure they properly understand for themselves what richard says an actual freedom is'.

Nik, as you have already claimed the 4th alternative, I hereby claim my path as 5th alternative.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/2/12 11:25 AM as a reply to Change A..
Aman A.:
tarin greco:

no.. but i am also not in the habit of attempting to interpret every little detail in another person's speech or actions (i have met too many different people and lived in too many different cultures to regard that as a skilful endeavour), and so i would have had to have witnessed a transgression on his part against either my or another person's well-being for me to have had something to attempt to account for.. and i saw no such thing (in the week or so that i spent with him, on two separate occasions).


Did you ask one question that was critical of AF?

plenty.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/2/12 11:44 AM as a reply to Daniel Johnson.
Daniel Johnson:
Vas A:

iow, freshly evaluating by your own experience, is he 'actually free' or not?

tarin:
you may have missed one of the points of my original post - i actually don't know what an actual freedom is (that is, i am not being evasive or engaging in wordplay).


By your own experience, tarin, do you think he is free of malice and sorrow? Do you think you are able to asses if other people are free of malice and sorrow (in the sense that you mean by "free of malice and sorrow")?

in none of my interactions with richard did i think, or wonder if, richard was being malicious or sorrowful.

i don't think i am able to assess with any certainty if other people are free of malice and sorrow; as working hypotheses[1], however, tentative assessments can be made and updated as their conditions are. practically speaking, i have not found it difficult to tell that notable (and vastly beneficial) changes have come over people i have known - even those in whom i had noted other notable (and vastly beneficial) changes previously - and my thoughts there have not yet been contradicted.

tarin

[1] where i use 'hypothesis' to mean 'an interpretation of a practical situation or condition taken as the ground for action'. (merriam-webster)

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/2/12 11:53 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
tarin greco:
you may have missed one of the points of my original post - i actually don't know what an actual freedom is (that is, i am not being evasive or engaging in wordplay).

Have you asked Richard what an actual freedom is? Or told him what you think an actual freedom is and asked him to clarify what differences he has in mind? Or told him the reasons you had for considering a person actually free, and asked him to give the reasons he had for considering that person to not be actually free? If not, do you have any interest in doing so? If not, why not?

not recently;
not recently (since understanding that there has been a difference);
no (owing to the course of correspondence, there was no point);
not at this time, as i currently have too much else to attend to to either initiate or be drawn into further correspondence on this matter, particularly as such correspondence tends to be very lengthy and very, very time-consuming.. suffice it to say that there are more (new) things under the sun than whether two people agree with one another (and this sun will not last forever..).

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/2/12 1:06 PM as a reply to Vas A.
Vas A:
Response from the aft


http://www.actualfreedom.com.au/announcement.htm#Addendum6


Is it just me or did that announcement come of as very passive-aggressive? Perhaps it's all just in my head.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/2/12 1:22 PM as a reply to tarin greco.
tarin greco:
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
tarin greco:
you may have missed one of the points of my original post - i actually don't know what an actual freedom is (that is, i am not being evasive or engaging in wordplay).

Have you asked Richard what an actual freedom is? Or told him what you think an actual freedom is and asked him to clarify what differences he has in mind? Or told him the reasons you had for considering a person actually free, and asked him to give the reasons he had for considering that person to not be actually free? If not, do you have any interest in doing so? If not, why not?

not recently;
not recently (since understanding that there has been a difference);
no (owing to the course of correspondence, there was no point);
not at this time, as i currently have too much else to attend to to either initiate or be drawn into further correspondence on this matter, particularly as such correspondence tends to be very lengthy and very, very time-consuming.. suffice it to say that there are more (new) things under the sun than whether two people agree with one another (and this sun will not last forever..).


well said... and many of us do not have the time to meticulously sort out the whole thing (not sure if it is even fruitful to do so) though some of the things are nebulous for us (and we prefer it to be sorted out). if at any point you would have the time to explicate the new found wisdom/experience that you encountered in a language that is not restricted by the existing baseline, it would help some of us who think there is something in this but not quite sure what that something is.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/2/12 1:24 PM as a reply to Simon Ekstrand.
Simon E:
Vas A:
Response from the aft


http://www.actualfreedom.com.au/announcement.htm#Addendum6


Is it just me or did that announcement come of as very passive-aggressive? Perhaps it's all just in my head.


a million $ question.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/2/12 1:40 PM as a reply to tarin greco.
tarin greco:
Daniel Johnson:
Vas A:

iow, freshly evaluating by your own experience, is he 'actually free' or not?

tarin:
you may have missed one of the points of my original post - i actually don't know what an actual freedom is (that is, i am not being evasive or engaging in wordplay).


By your own experience, tarin, do you think he is free of malice and sorrow? Do you think you are able to asses if other people are free of malice and sorrow (in the sense that you mean by "free of malice and sorrow")?

in none of my interactions with richard did i think, or wonder if, richard was being malicious or sorrowful.



that is definitely helpful (not sure in what ways). but could you answer a small follow up query to make it more helpful - while during that time where you did not think or wonder if richard was being malicious or sorrowful, did you (at least as a working hypothesis) encounter in you or in some others (maybe a stranger) traces of 'malice or sorrow' ? if the reason i am asking is not clear, here it is: it is to ascertain if you had not moved to a total state of positiveness where you could not recognize the opposite (i am reminded of this story of yudhistara/duryodhana from indian epic mahabharata: where both were asked to find a bad person they encounter; the latter could not because everybody he encountered looked bad; and the former could not, too.. because everybody he encountered had some good in him).


tarin greco:

i don't think i am able to assess with any certainty if other people are free of malice and sorrow; as working hypotheses[1], however, tentative assessments can be made and updated as their conditions are. practically speaking, i have not found it difficult to tell that notable (and vastly beneficial) changes have come over people i have known - even those in whom i had noted other notable (and vastly beneficial) changes previously - and my thoughts there have not yet been contradicted.

tarin

[1] where i use 'hypothesis' to mean 'an interpretation of a practical situation or condition taken as the ground for action'. (merriam-webster)

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/2/12 5:31 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Message has been removed because message have special character which are not able to parse.Please contact to administrator

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/5/12 9:35 PM as a reply to Vas A.
Vas A:
Simon E:
Vas A:
Response from the aft


http://www.actualfreedom.com.au/announcement.htm#Addendum6


Is it just me or did that announcement come of as very passive-aggressive? Perhaps it's all just in my head.


a million $ question.


But isn't that exactly how sticking to your guns would sound, if you had no aggression in you?

It's tough to interpret actions and words without corrupting/overlaying them with our own affective imagination.

I thought it came across passive-aggressive too until I realised that was me adding the passive-aggressive voice to it.

Craig

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/6/12 4:34 AM as a reply to My Fragile Ego.
And why did you add the passive-aggressive voice to it?

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/6/12 4:59 AM as a reply to Pål S..
I gotta say that that long rant on the AFT website is weird and confusing to me, as it is written in a long, 'quote unquote' way..
Who do you think wrote it?

For example,
AFT:
And, speaking of which, the directors of The Actual Freedom Trust hereby recommend, publicly, that Tarin taps into that palpable life-force, that actually occurring stream of benevolence and benignity, which originates in the vast and utter stillness that is the essential character of the universe itself, because to be actually free from the human condition is to be that pure intent ... as in, to be that benevolence and benignity *as a flesh-and-blood body only*.
Put succinctly: there is no other way, than to be that, because there is no other actual freedom from the human condition (than being that).

huh.. weird! emoticon

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/6/12 3:52 PM as a reply to Pål S..
Pål S.:
And why did you add the passive-aggressive voice to it?


Well my point was mainly that if you're not free [of malice and sorrow], this is the type of thing affect does. It is a false vineer added to sensual experience. It is patently false and untrustworthy, this can be easily seen by anyone with sufficient interest and integrity to look.

Obviously I'm not actually free of malice and sorrow or whatever we want to call it.

But I'm working on it emoticon

Why did *I* personally add it? I can tell you it happens at the time in a way that I experience as automatic.

I first read Tarin's account of the disagreement here before reading the update on the AF trust site. Having met Tarin (albeit briefly) since he became free of malice and sorrow my imaginative faculty is overruled by the clear memory of his affect-free behavior. Despite living fairly close to Richard I have unfortunately never met him (he never openly welcomed visitors so I never asked - silly, but I digress) so my imagination is free to run riot and posit conspiracy, unreliability, craziness, anything affect can muster up to scare me away from ending it forever. After my intellect returns to the drivers seat I can see what I posted above and then I feel foolish, and around it goes.

Describing it more closely, moment to moment, my own feelings (reactions to
previous sensory input) are mixed up with the realtime sense impressions being received so that clarity is lost as to the true source of the sensations. The senses perceive mere words on the screen, but an imagined speaker with impure motivations causes those words to be experienced as snide word play masking hidden (imagined) intent. My own feelings are thusly projected onto the imagined speaker.

It's downright scary to put words to the experience of this. Explaining the delusion of it so matter-of -actly. It is the self-same mechanism (pardon the pun) that causes all the wars etc that the Richard talks about on the AF trust site. I think I should journal this type of real time report more often to force myself to face up to the affect I am still living with, and still thinking is ok for the mean time. It's really not ok when I see the true face of it, and its real-world consequences.

Craig

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/6/12 7:28 PM as a reply to My Fragile Ego.
Craig N:
so my imagination is free to run riot and posit conspiracy, unreliability, craziness, anything affect can muster up to scare me away from ending it forever.....[imagination?]... It's really not ok when I see the true face of it, and its real-world consequences.

Craig


I can't see the functional difference between this type of 'demonization' and original sin. I bought into it, had a go, but most definitely let it alone. A little bit is good, too much is not safe. Safe for who? those around you.

Breaking down old beliefs then holding a new belief about the benevolent and benign universe and being an expression of the same is fine, but at least realise that that is what has happened. Old belief out, new belief in. Not that you said anything about that; that's me talking there about my own path. Contemplation will lead to beliefs being confronted, continued contemplation with result in them being replaced. The propensity to believe remains unchanged.

One may end up free of imagination, but one cannot end up free of 'faculty' of belief/ power to will/ operating system. It will continue to run a program of our 'choosing'.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/6/12 8:56 PM as a reply to Andrew ..
I disagree, if we are using the AFT's framework, here is how they define belief

To believe means ‘fervently wish to be true’. The action of believing is to emotionally imagine, or fervently wish, something to be real that is not actual – actual, as in tangible, corporeal, material, definitive, present, obvious, evident, current, substantial, physical and palpable. A belief is an assumption, a notion, a proposition, an idea that requires faith, trust or hope to sustain in the face of doubt, uncertainty and lack of factual evidence. Whereas a fact is a fact, demonstratively evident to all that it is actual and/or that it works.

http://actualfreedom.com.au/library/glossary/glossary-a.htm#b

The benevolence of the universe is something self-evident through experience, and the experience is not an affective (willed) one as the affective experience of unity with a God is usually reported to be, reported to be affective that is, usually the affect isn't clearly perceived as intended, but this is also self-evident with enough contemplation.

Actualism is realizing the nature of the universe, it is realizing the qualities of stillness and infinitude in which existence occurs (space, consciousness, time.) These things become self-evident directly as experiences, it might take some progress to do this, but try relaxing alot, paying attention to the background, consciousness itself, on which experience is happening and inclining towards the essence of this consciousness without taint, you might catch a glimpse of the utter stillness which is the essence of the universe, the quality which remains when everything is removed, the uncaused and undying, literally the lack of movement (the movement of space, time, and consciousness caused by the self)[1]. Images of opening, softening, calming, and removing are useful.

The lack of something is the default characteristic of the universe, there is a lack and then there is the addition of changing, fabricated (caused) things, but the essential nature of the universe is whatever is left beneath the caused stuff, the stillness, the infinitude. The stillness is a lack of sorrow and malice, it is the essential goodness of the universe, it is benevolence. It is pure intent because it, in and of itself, is the drive for its own realization.

I want to explain what i think this inherent benevolence is. It is the inherent, absolute drive towards this stillness, it isn't a choice because it is truly a matter of what is good for consciousness verse what isn't, there is no equivocating here, stillness is happiness, movement (affect, attention wave) is suffering, thus the pure intent happens without choice because as soon as the stillness is seen clearly there is no doubt, it is the meaning of life because it is the value in the world, not subjective because by definition a subject is conscious and this is positive for consciousness.

When there is no longer the instinctual self there is nothing to cause imaginary movement in space time and consciousness, the inherent nature of the universe is realized, the objective value is attained, the purpose of life completed.

I got a little poetic, but I am being very earnest, please challenge me on any points which you disagree with or don't understand, this seems self-evident to me at the moment after having an extremely strong experience.

[1] the self moves time by creating an identity that exists outside of the physical movement of objects, it moves space by creating a sense of center which thus creates edges that can also moves, it moves consciousness via craving and the attention wave. when i say "move" in these three cases i mean creates the illusion of movement (suffering). Also, I am starting to doubt my assumed separation of these three domains but it's hard to say why... do time, space, and consciousness really have separation if the three are all infinite... are they reducible into any other form? if there is no center or edges how can some "thing" be located in them? there are some vague thoughts I am trying to put to my experiences here, I will see if I understand more in "time."

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/6/12 9:39 PM as a reply to Andrew ..
Andrew Jones:
Breaking down old beliefs then holding a new belief about the benevolent and benign universe and being an expression of the same is fine, but at least realise that that is what has happened. Old belief out, new belief in. Not that you said anything about that; that's me talking there about my own path. Contemplation will lead to beliefs being confronted, continued contemplation with result in them being replaced. The propensity to believe remains unchanged.


Just wanted to insert a quote I found interesting here (relevant but rather tangential):

http://www.spiritualteachers.org/b_roberts_interview.htm:
Stephan: How does the path to no-self in the Christian contemplative tradition differ from the path as laid out in the Hindu and Buddhist traditions?

Bernadette: I think it may be too late for me to ever have a good understanding of how other religions make this passage. If you are not surrendering your whole being, your very consciousness, to a loved and trusted personal God, then what are you surrendering it to? Or why surrender it at all? Loss of ego, loss of self, is just a by-product of this surrender; it is not the true goal, not an end in itself. Perhaps this is also the view of Mahayana Buddhism, where the goal is to save all sentient beings from suffering, and where loss of ego, loss of self, is seen as a means to a greater end. This view is very much in keeping with the Christian desire to save all souls. As I see it, without a personal God, the Buddhist must have a much stronger faith in the "unconditioned and unbegotten" than is required of the Christian contemplative, who experiences the passage as a divine doing, and in no way a self-doing.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/6/12 10:44 PM as a reply to josh r s.
josh r s:
The benevolence of the universe is something self-evident through experience, and the experience is not an affective (willed) one as the affective experience of unity with a God is usually reported to be, reported to be affective that is, usually the affect isn't clearly perceived as intended, but this is also self-evident with enough contemplation.

Actualism is realizing the nature of the universe, it is realizing the qualities of stillness and infinitude in which existence occurs (space, consciousness, time.) These things become self-evident directly as experiences, it might take some progress to do this, but try relaxing alot, paying attention to the background, consciousness itself, on which experience is happening and inclining towards the essence of this consciousness without taint, you might catch a glimpse of the utter stillness which is the essence of the universe, the quality which remains when everything is removed, the uncaused and undying, literally the lack of movement (the movement of space, time, and consciousness caused by the self)[1]. Images of opening, softening, calming, and removing are useful.


The benevolence of the universe that is self-evident through experience is experienced by your consciousness. It is still your consciousness that experienced it as such, so it is a subjective experience though it can be replicated by others as well. What is happening here is that because this is an experience where there is no self/Self, one wrongly attributes it as a characteristic of the universe itself which is a flawed way to label your experience to the essence of universe. This is a fundamental flaw in Actual Freedom and even Richard is not aware of this. This is delusion and a condition of altered state of consciousness (ASC).

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/6/12 11:03 PM as a reply to josh r s.
josh r s:


The benevolence of the universe is something self-evident through experience, and the experience is not an affective (willed) one as the affective experience of unity with a God is usually reported to be, reported to be affective that is, usually the affect isn't clearly perceived as intended, but this is also self-evident with enough contemplation.


I would not disagree that after periods of contemplation over the last 10 years, this sort of experience does come through. I would not say it was a common experience however, though the more free of a particular set of beliefs (blind faiths I would call them) a person is the more able they are to contemplate the experience of being 'pure intent'.

My recent experience is this, not only do you have to see the belief being confronted, but also the process by which they got there in the first place. The process of believing goes on. It will continue to accumulate assumptions.


Actualism is realizing the nature of the universe, it is realizing the qualities of stillness and infinitude in which existence occurs (space, consciousness, time.) These things become self-evident directly as experiences, it might take some progress to do this, but try relaxing alot, paying attention to the background, consciousness itself, on which experience is happening and inclining towards the essence of this consciousness without taint, you might catch a glimpse of the utter stillness which is the essence of the universe, the quality which remains when everything is removed, the uncaused and undying, literally the lack of movement (the movement of space, time, and consciousness caused by the self)[1]. Images of opening, softening, calming, and removing are useful.


Not a bad summing up, and some good stuff in there, thanks. I would say though that, actualism like buddhism before it and any other point of view, will quickly fill the void left in the thinking of the freshly swept 'hall of mirrors' that is our mind.



The lack of something is the default characteristic of the universe, there is a lack and then there is the addition of changing, fabricated (caused) things, but the essential nature of the universe is whatever is left beneath the caused stuff, the stillness, the infinitude. The stillness is a lack of sorrow and malice, it is the essential goodness of the universe, it is benevolence. It is pure intent because it, in and of itself, is the drive for its own realization.


We are well into a belief structure when we talk about 'essential natures'. Not that it is a bad thing at all, but we need to realise we have not arrived at some absolute, just an experience that we enjoy profoundly.

I want to explain what i think this inherent benevolence is. It is the inherent, absolute drive towards this stillness, it isn't a choice because it is truly a matter of what is good for consciousness verse what isn't, there is no equivocating here, stillness is happiness, movement (affect, attention wave) is suffering, thus the pure intent happens without choice because as soon as the stillness is seen clearly there is no doubt, it is the meaning of life because it is the value in the world, not subjective because by definition a subject is conscious and this is positive for consciousness.


Not going to disagree, but the method remains a mix of contemplation and meditation and common sense. As soon as it becomes a doctrine of faith we will start to look around wondering why others can't see it. At that point we are no more able to bring peace to a situation than before. We will be the chosen messengers of the Universe. Capital U.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/7/12 6:48 AM as a reply to Change A..
Aman A.:
josh r s:
The benevolence of the universe is something self-evident through experience, and the experience is not an affective (willed) one as the affective experience of unity with a God is usually reported to be, reported to be affective that is, usually the affect isn't clearly perceived as intended, but this is also self-evident with enough contemplation.

Actualism is realizing the nature of the universe, it is realizing the qualities of stillness and infinitude in which existence occurs (space, consciousness, time.) These things become self-evident directly as experiences, it might take some progress to do this, but try relaxing alot, paying attention to the background, consciousness itself, on which experience is happening and inclining towards the essence of this consciousness without taint, you might catch a glimpse of the utter stillness which is the essence of the universe, the quality which remains when everything is removed, the uncaused and undying, literally the lack of movement (the movement of space, time, and consciousness caused by the self)[1]. Images of opening, softening, calming, and removing are useful.


The benevolence of the universe that is self-evident through experience is experienced by your consciousness. It is still your consciousness that experienced it as such, so it is a subjective experience though it can be replicated by others as well. What is happening here is that because this is an experience where there is no self/Self, one wrongly attributes it as a characteristic of the universe itself which is a flawed way to label your experience to the essence of universe. This is a fundamental flaw in Actual Freedom and even Richard is not aware of this. This is delusion and a condition of altered state of consciousness (ASC).


I disagree. I didn't mention no self, but still you very assuredly tell me that this was the cause of my experience. The question of self v. no self doesn't even make sense, it's just experience, what would something that is "self" be? There is only the label of self v. not-self. Since you are not going on my description but apparently looking at the corresponding descriptions Richard gives when talking about benevolence, you might notice that he doesn't say the universe is "no self" either.

What the focus of my post was was that the essence of the universe is what you get when you remove all the caused and decaying fabricated things, all the movement. What exactly is left when there is a lack of this stuff? stillness (simply a word for it that makes sense.) It isn't some phenomena generated by your mind, it is a lack of phenomena, if there are no phenomena then what are you experiencing? the essence of the universe.

You said that the characteristic of no self was what I was labeling my experience with, I wasn't, it wasn't necessary to do so and it still isn't, but on what basis would you suggest that this is a flawed way to label ones experience?

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/7/12 6:54 AM as a reply to Andrew ..
We are well into a belief structure when we talk about 'essential natures'. Not that it is a bad thing at all, but we need to realise we have not arrived at some absolute, just an experience that we enjoy profoundly.


Except that by definition this is the essence of the universe, as it is the lack of everything else, it is the default underlying character. It is an experience, the experience of the lack of phenomena, if we are experiencing this lack then we are experiencing the nature of the universe, the nature of experience/awareness itself.

Not going to disagree, but the method remains a mix of contemplation and meditation and common sense. As soon as it becomes a doctrine of faith we will start to look around wondering why others can't see it. At that point we are no more able to bring peace to a situation than before. We will be the chosen messengers of the Universe. Capital U.


Where did this become a doctrine of faith? It takes even less faith than believing that your body has physical existence separate from consciousness, it is simply saying that this quality of stillness exists and is the lack of other phenomena, it does exist, as an experience, it is experienced therefore it exists as an experience, self-evident for one who experiences it. As for methods, I don't think I mentioned anything about what one should/shouldn't do, but perhaps you were just warning me.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/7/12 6:57 AM as a reply to josh r s.
josh r s:
What the focus of my post was was that the essence of the universe is what you get when you remove all the caused and decaying fabricated things, all the movement. What exactly is left when there is a lack of this stuff? stillness (simply a word for it that makes sense.) It isn't some phenomena generated by your mind, it is a lack of phenomena, if there are no phenomena then what are you experiencing? the essence of the universe.


Who removes all the caused and decaying fabricated things, all the movement? Isn't it mind?

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/7/12 9:29 AM as a reply to Change A..
Aman A.:
josh r s:
What the focus of my post was was that the essence of the universe is what you get when you remove all the caused and decaying fabricated things, all the movement. What exactly is left when there is a lack of this stuff? stillness (simply a word for it that makes sense.) It isn't some phenomena generated by your mind, it is a lack of phenomena, if there are no phenomena then what are you experiencing? the essence of the universe.


Who removes all the caused and decaying fabricated things, all the movement? Isn't it mind?


No, the mind craved (the movement,) it can stop craving and then things are clarified. If you have a lens over your eye and you remove the lens, the world changes from your perspective, but did you change the world or did you just stop changing it?

I expect you might suggest that I could equally be adding a lens to create the appearance stillness on a moving world rather than taking a lens of movement away and revealing a still world, but the experience is clearly stopping intentions, letting go, letting things be as they are, relaxing, calming that which you control etc.

This is counterintuitive because we have been craving and creating the movement all our lives, it doesn't seem intentional.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/7/12 6:32 PM as a reply to josh r s.
You are making good points josh, certainly not disagreeing with you as much as making a philosophical statement which has some personal value. The point you make about;

letting go, letting things be as they are, relaxing, calming that which you control etc


Is where it is at for sure. i suppose I would simply say that one can do this without the framework of 'the universe this, or the universe that' and experience the same outcome. Admittedly I'm quite partial to the whole benevolent and benign universe thing, being raised a christian I find it comforting, like i know the territory already (God is good, self is bad, die to self, live in God etc)

What you are saying is more inline with the DhO version of being 'actually free', the AFT version is more like the territory i grew up in. That would be why I'm saying that the point I'm making is philosophical rather than whether it is true or not.

what if the essential nature of the universe wasn't so still and relaxing? Would it make any difference to you? Could you still relax, let go , enjoy the experience for it's own sake?

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/7/12 6:55 PM as a reply to josh r s.
josh r s:
The lack of something is the default characteristic of the universe, there is a lack and then there is the addition of changing, fabricated (caused) things, but the essential nature of the universe is whatever is left beneath the caused stuff, the stillness, the infinitude. The stillness is a lack of sorrow and malice, it is the essential goodness of the universe, it is benevolence. It is pure intent because it, in and of itself, is the drive for its own realization.


Some fun pan-mystical whatever:

Bhagavad Gita, 9.4-6:
By Me, in My unmanifested form, this entire universe is pervaded. All beings are in Me, but I am not in them. And yet everything that is created does not rest in Me. Behold My mystic opulence! Although I am the maintainer of all living entities and although I am everywhere, I am not a part of this cosmic manifestation, for My Self is the very source of creation. As the mighty wind, blowing everywhere, always rests in ethereal space, know that in the same manner all beings rest in Me.


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an10/an10.058.than.html:
All phenomena gain their footing in the deathless. All phenomena have Unbinding as their final end.


Just food for thought.

In terms of whatever interpretation you may or may not come up with, it may be invaluable to bear this in mind:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.001.than.html:
A monk who is a trainee...He directly knows Unbinding as Unbinding. Directly knowing Unbinding as Unbinding, let him not conceive things about Unbinding, let him not conceive things in Unbinding, let him not conceive things coming out of Unbinding, let him not conceive Unbinding as 'mine,' let him not delight in Unbinding. Why is that? So that he may comprehend it, I tell you.



(EDIT: Just FYI, for whatever reason, I have found pondering this to be highly practical, somehow.)

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/7/12 6:54 PM as a reply to Andrew ..
certainly not disagreeing with you as much as making a philosophical statement which has some personal value.

ok, that's fine, I just think your philosophy isn't accurate, it is taken as assumption that things are good and bad by a chosen framework, which seems perfectly rational and is the basis for most people's thought, but I would actually go as far as to dispute this base assumption.

The basic nature of the domain in which we exist is that it is still. It is unchanging and seemingly independent upon anything. The experience of this domain in and of itself is an experience of stillness and constancy. I would say that this stillness is objectively valuable.

In the sense that it exists as an experience, it has inherent value because it is an always-good experience to consciousness. This stillness, this quality of consciousness itself is valuable to consciousness, it is valued by consciousness, thus it is inherently valuable (what else could value it other than consciousness?). This thought isn't quite complete in explaining my notion that it is objectively valuable and thus the meaning of life, because i have not resolved the issue of why it seems that the separation between the domains (space time consciousness) is an illusion, if I could understand that I could understand why the stillness is objectively valuable, for now it will simply be self-evident to me either to be understood or cast aside as delusion.

I am leaning towards the idea that all that exists, at least in this dimension (perhaps not the right word) is consciousness, i.e. space and time are not created by consciousness, but they are in fact simply happening within the domain of consciousness. If that was the case consciousness would stop being the right word for experience, because those words, experience and consciousness imply a reality which is being experienced rather than just a reality. This last paragraph though is simply a speculation/rationalization, whereas the sense of the objective value, meaning of life-ness, essence of universe-ness, and uncaused unchanging-ness are experiences.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/7/12 6:56 PM as a reply to josh r s.
A monk who is a trainee...He directly knows Unbinding as Unbinding. Directly knowing Unbinding as Unbinding, let him not conceive things about Unbinding, let him not conceive things in Unbinding, let him not conceive things coming out of Unbinding, let him not conceive Unbinding as 'mine,' let him not delight in Unbinding. Why is that? So that he may comprehend it, I tell you.


thanks for that one, I guess I read this after posting a post trying to conceive of unbinding...

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/7/12 7:33 PM as a reply to josh r s.
Contemplation is worthy of time spent on it, but it does come back to a moment by moment mindfulness of what is right infront of us, still or not. A 'working framework' is I suppose a fair assessment of what I see these things as, and certainly I'm expressing my belief here as much as anything.

Tarin made the point in the OP that he was all about 'ending malice and sorrow', and that is where he kept he focus, to the exclusion of much of the other intricacies of the AFT cosmology it would seem. It is quite a skill to do that. I can't. I get caught up in the whole story, and while I found that useful, in that I've grown (read: been hit upside the head and shaken out of my buddhistic malaise), it wasn't so I can go on to champion yet another view of the universe/life. Rather I've learnt to let another view of it go.

At the same time, i perceive that benevolence as being real to me, but maybe i just got a little less uptight over the last few months and breakfast is digesting properly today. Watching with a inner smile all the coming and going thoughts is becoming as much fun as diving into them used to be/is...I've learnt a new game maybe?

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/7/12 7:45 PM as a reply to Andrew ..
ok well thanks for at least reading my rambles ;)

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/7/12 7:48 PM as a reply to josh r s.
josh r s:
No, the mind craved (the movement,) it can stop craving and then things are clarified.


The mind craved, the mind stopped craving, and then the 'mind minus the craving' started seeing things which are clarified. It is still mind, no?

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/7/12 8:00 PM as a reply to josh r s.
josh r s:
ok well thanks for at least reading my rambles ;)


Likewise, yours are quite enjoyable. I'm reading quite a bit more carefully these days, and by extension enjoying the various point made more.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/7/12 8:08 PM as a reply to Change A..
The mind craved, the mind stopped craving, and then the 'mind minus the craving' started seeing things which are clarified. It is still mind, no?


The mind stopped craving which revealed the experience of mind without craving (temporarily) this state was more natural and thus its qualities were inherent of the mind, nothing was being added. there was sense experience but this didn't touch the quality of stillness inherent in the mind.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/7/12 8:15 PM as a reply to josh r s.
josh r s:
The mind stopped craving which revealed the experience of mind without craving (temporarily) this state was more natural and thus its qualities were inherent of the mind, nothing was being added. there was sense experience but this didn't touch the quality of stillness inherent in the mind.


Because the mind stopped craving, the stillness inherent in the mind got revealed. But where and how does universe come into this picture?

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/8/12 8:26 AM as a reply to Change A..
Ok, I won't make any claims about the parts universe which are separate from consciousness(I wasn't really intending to do this, because at the time it seemed more obvious that the universe i was thinking about wasn't separate in this way)

as I said before this thought was incomplete because I couldn't understand why it seems to me that consciousness isn't separate from the actual universe in any way, maybe i will understand this more later.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/8/12 9:21 AM as a reply to josh r s.
josh r s:
as I said before this thought was incomplete because I couldn't understand why it seems to me that consciousness isn't separate from the actual universe in any way, maybe i will understand this more later.

The way I see it is: any talk about 'the universe' objectively (not from the point of view of a human) doesn't have much purpose from the point of view of contemplative practice, as we are humans, after all, and not some other kind of being, and we observe the universe as a human.

Any talk about 'the universe' objectively (not from this particular flesh&blood body's experience) doesn't have much purpose from the point of view of contemplative practice, as I can only experience the universe through this body/mind/whatever.

Thus "the universe" really is "my" universe, not as a possessive, but as a combination of these 5 aggregates, or as this flesh&blood body, or <take your pick of descriptive style>. Thus the universe is indeed not separable from consciousness, as the universe is only experienced through this (human) consciousness.

When all is in accord (no 'being') it's just the universe, untainted, as it always was (as 'being' only ever distorted what was clear&clean&pure)... "the universe" here meaning, the universe as this flesh&blood body experiences it. It is indeed more "elemental"/"at the source" as you only ever take away to get to it.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/8/12 8:30 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Any talk about 'the universe' objectively (not from this particular flesh&blood body's experience) doesn't have much purpose from the point of view of contemplative practice, as I can only experience the universe through this body/mind/whatever.

.....................

It is indeed more "elemental"/"at the source" as you only ever take away to get to it.


If the objective of a contemplative practice is to make yourself "free of suffering/happy and harmless/free of malice and sorrow" even at the cost of making your delusions more "elemental"/"at the source" then yes, any talk about 'the universe' objectively doesn't have much purpose.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/8/12 10:09 PM as a reply to Change A..
If the objective of a contemplative practice is to make yourself "free of suffering/happy and harmless/free of malice and sorrow" even at the cost of making your delusions more "elemental"/"at the source" then yes, any talk about 'the universe' objectively doesn't have much purpose.


I like this. at first glance, it seemed pointed and wise. but how can a human being ever come to the objective truth about the univese or anything? to the the best of our current knowledge, we live in 11 dimensions but we'll never understand more than 3. Mathematicians and theoretical physicists, even, admidt to being unable to think in 4 dimension let alone 11. Are we to refuse any choice because it doesn't take into account the 8 dimensions of which we have only a bare understanding, if that. We make do with what we have because we have no choice. We choose not to suffer because we see no merit in suffering. Maybe there is some theoretical merit in suffering but if isn't verifiable in our experience then such theory is worth about as much as those 8 extra dimensions. (sorry but i'm not going to labor over that analogy - if it smells like home cooked shit pie then so be it.)

Or to put it another way, in any conflict, does it matter who's wrong and who's right? Isn't the best thing to do, always the smartest thing to do? Isn't the smartest thing, always the thing which is most equitable to the most amount of people and least equitable to the least amount of people and completely unequitable to no-one, justice, morality, truth be damned? I don't want to suffer in the name of the truth or the good. I would like to be free from suffering in the name of my own well-being hoping that others may learn from the thousands of skillful examples set in my wake.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/8/12 10:29 PM as a reply to Change A..
Aman A.:
If the objective of a contemplative practice is to make yourself "free of suffering/happy and harmless/free of malice and sorrow" even at the cost of making your delusions more "elemental"/"at the source" then yes, any talk about 'the universe' objectively doesn't have much purpose.

I don't think I follow. Making which delusions more "elemental"/"at the source"?

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/8/12 10:46 PM as a reply to Jon T.
Jon T:
I don't want to suffer in the name of the truth or the good. I would like to be free from suffering in the name of my own well-being hoping that others may learn from the thousands of skillful examples set in my wake.


As only "theoretical" physicists talk about it in that way, it is a theoretical explanation about the universe, nothing more. And those "theoretical" physicists won't say that what they have proposed about 11 dimensions is a fact. Only deluded people do.

Delusion may relieve for a while but it doesn't relieve suffering permanently. That is why delusions have been falling ever since they started appearing. One delusion falls, another springs up but it has to be more "elemental/at the source" if it has to have some hold over people who got free from the previous delusion that they were believing in.

One may try desperately to hold on to delusion but eventually, it is going to fail. One may become a recluse trying to keep the delusion from falling, but for how long? Some are lucky to have pensions but those who are not, they can't be as reclusive as one who gets a pension.

As you have chosen not to suffer in the name of delusion, I will say good luck to you!

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/8/12 11:18 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Making which delusions more "elemental"/"at the source"?


Those delusions which keep one apparently-not-really "free of suffering/happy and harmless/free of malice and sorrow" or at least which make suffering less so.

Those in the business of freeing people of suffering have to resort to ever more deluded ways which are more "elemental"/"at the source" so as to keep people in 'thralldom' of their making. They have to do so in order to attract people who have started to see that the delusions they have believed in till now don't work for them. For eg., if people who were following Buddhism don't see the benefits that were promised, they start looking for other available options. They will try the new option if it is beyond their current level of understanding or is more "elemental"/"at the source". The new option may not just stop at "no self", it may have to go beyond to "no Self" and even to the level of "being". Being is more elemental than Self which is more elemental than self.

Also the proponent of the new option will have to point out the shortcomings in all the other options so as to appear more alluring.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/8/12 11:50 PM as a reply to Vas A.
Vas A:
tarin greco:
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
tarin greco:
you may have missed one of the points of my original post - i actually don't know what an actual freedom is (that is, i am not being evasive or engaging in wordplay).

Have you asked Richard what an actual freedom is? Or told him what you think an actual freedom is and asked him to clarify what differences he has in mind? Or told him the reasons you had for considering a person actually free, and asked him to give the reasons he had for considering that person to not be actually free? If not, do you have any interest in doing so? If not, why not?

not recently;
not recently (since understanding that there has been a difference);
no (owing to the course of correspondence, there was no point);
not at this time, as i currently have too much else to attend to to either initiate or be drawn into further correspondence on this matter, particularly as such correspondence tends to be very lengthy and very, very time-consuming.. suffice it to say that there are more (new) things under the sun than whether two people agree with one another (and this sun will not last forever..).


well said... and many of us do not have the time to meticulously sort out the whole thing (not sure if it is even fruitful to do so) though some of the things are nebulous for us (and we prefer it to be sorted out). if at any point you would have the time to explicate the new found wisdom/experience that you encountered in a language that is not restricted by the existing baseline, it would help some of us who think there is something in this but not quite sure what that something is.

encountered when?

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/9/12 5:09 AM as a reply to Change A..
As only "theoretical" physicists talk about it in that way, it is a theoretical explanation about the universe, nothing more. And those "theoretical" physicists won't say that what they have proposed about 11 dimensions is a fact. Only deluded people do.


this stung so i'll reply. first off, i said to the best of our knowledge, by which i meant, the best guess our best minds have come up with. secondly, the theoretical explanation is mathematically consistent giving it some credence or else i'd have used another analogy. third, it was just an analogy.

One may try desperately to hold on to delusion but eventually, it is going to fail.


i couldn't agree more. and since existence is not yet understood (at least by me), it makes no sense to have beliefs (at least for me). and as soon as existence was understood then beliefs would either be proved false or proved true (facts) through the use of precise and quantifiable measurement. I don't agree that beliefs are inevitable...working hypothesis may be (how else would i get to the grocery store without a testable hypothesis that the store is over there). But anything that isn't verifiable either through direct knowledge or a lot of circumstanial evidence is a delusion. believing that one person was the first to do this or that isn't verifiable. believing that the universe has this or that unquantifiable quality isn't verifiable. To say that this or that un-testable theory (eg. the universe is pure intent) seems to hold water due to my own perception which i have no reason to call unreliable is one thing, to absolutely insist upon it must be delusion.

As you have chosen not to suffer in the name of delusion, I will say good luck to you!


thank you.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/9/12 7:59 AM as a reply to Change A..
Aman A.:
Those delusions which keep one apparently-not-really "free of suffering/happy and harmless/free of malice and sorrow" or at least which make suffering less so.

Those in the business of freeing people of suffering have to resort to ever more deluded ways which are more "elemental"/"at the source" so as to keep people in 'thralldom' of their making. They have to do so in order to attract people who have started to see that the delusions they have believed in till now don't work for them. For eg., if people who were following Buddhism don't see the benefits that were promised, they start looking for other available options. They will try the new option if it is beyond their current level of understanding or is more "elemental"/"at the source". The new option may not just stop at "no self", it may have to go beyond to "no Self" and even to the level of "being". Being is more elemental than Self which is more elemental than self.

Also the proponent of the new option will have to point out the shortcomings in all the other options so as to appear more alluring.

Define "delusion", then. What would "no delusion" be?

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/9/12 8:32 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Define "delusion", then. What would "no delusion" be?


Total belief (while denying it as a belief) in what is experienced during a specific state of mind (a state which is reached after a lot of mental gymnastics and reading/listening about it from someone else) as a fact which has no experimental (just experiential) basis with the aim of such a belief to end all suffering. Eg. universe is infinite, eternal, benevolent etc.

When one gets out of such a state then it becomes clear that one was in an ASC.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/9/12 10:04 AM as a reply to Change A..
Aman A.:
Total belief (while denying it as a belief) in what is experienced during a specific state of mind (a state which is reached after a lot of mental gymnastics and reading/listening about it from someone else) as a fact which has no experimental (just experiential) basis with the aim of such a belief to end all suffering. Eg. universe is infinite, eternal, benevolent etc.

When one gets out of such a state then it becomes clear that one was in an ASC.

That is quite a specific definition. It also neatly excludes normality as being delusory, which I think is not the case - one can practice no meditation at all and be quite deluded, that is, believing in things that aren't there, acting in totally irrational ways, etc. My goal is to not be deluded. So what to do then, if I am already deluded (or at least ignorant of certain things I think it's important not to be ignorant of, which I have determined based on my practice)? Practice to find a way of experience that is less deluded. And once I'm there, am I free of delusion? No way to know for sure unless I find a way of existing (or hints at one) that seems less deluded. And, indeed, if I find a state that I think is not delusory, and then I find a way out of it (to a less delusory state), then it becomes clear (in hindsight) that that state was, indeed, delusory (an ASC).

Is there a state with no delusion? I'm not sure. You also never answered my question of what "no delusion" would be.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/9/12 11:03 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Aman A.:
Total belief (while denying it as a belief) in what is experienced during a specific state of mind (a state which is reached after a lot of mental gymnastics and reading/listening about it from someone else) as a fact which has no experimental (just experiential) basis with the aim of such a belief to end all suffering. Eg. universe is infinite, eternal, benevolent etc.

When one gets out of such a state then it becomes clear that one was in an ASC.

That is quite a specific definition. It also neatly excludes normality as being delusory, which I think is not the case - one can practice no meditation at all and be quite deluded, that is, believing in things that aren't there, acting in totally irrational ways, etc


i liked aman's definition as well as your observation that it neatly excludes 'normality'. normality, while containing all kinds of irrationalities, i think still escapes delusion - simply because of its social interconnection which keeps the simple irrationailities from devolving into a total delusion.

whereas the challenge for anybody involved in inquiring these matters is that when taking off from the crowd, the same ideas that were easily dismissed due to their inapplicability in a social context become monsters for oneself to tackle.

when i was normal, i shunned normality. and ended up with some not so normal experiences. and now i respect normality and don't mind submerging myself into normality. only that i would not lose my wisdom gained in this process, which is precisely required for appreciating the normality better. somewhat like
http://grammar.about.com/od/classicessays/a/The-Advantages-Of-Having-One-Leg-By-G-K-Chesterton.htm

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/9/12 11:11 AM as a reply to tarin greco.
tarin greco:
Vas A:
tarin greco:
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
tarin greco:
you may have missed one of the points of my original post - i actually don't know what an actual freedom is (that is, i am not being evasive or engaging in wordplay).

Have you asked Richard what an actual freedom is? Or told him what you think an actual freedom is and asked him to clarify what differences he has in mind? Or told him the reasons you had for considering a person actually free, and asked him to give the reasons he had for considering that person to not be actually free? If not, do you have any interest in doing so? If not, why not?

not recently;
not recently (since understanding that there has been a difference);
no (owing to the course of correspondence, there was no point);
not at this time, as i currently have too much else to attend to to either initiate or be drawn into further correspondence on this matter, particularly as such correspondence tends to be very lengthy and very, very time-consuming.. suffice it to say that there are more (new) things under the sun than whether two people agree with one another (and this sun will not last forever..).


well said... and many of us do not have the time to meticulously sort out the whole thing (not sure if it is even fruitful to do so) though some of the things are nebulous for us (and we prefer it to be sorted out). if at any point you would have the time to explicate the new found wisdom/experience that you encountered in a language that is not restricted by the existing baseline, it would help some of us who think there is something in this but not quite sure what that something is.

encountered when?


that which you gained after encountering actualism.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/9/12 11:11 AM as a reply to Vas A.
Vas A:
i liked aman's definition as well as your observation that it neatly excludes 'normality'. normality, while containing all kinds of irrationalities, i think still escapes delusion - simply because of its social interconnection which keeps the simple irrationailities from devolving into a total delusion.

Here it seems to me that you're equating a lack of delusion with mass consensus, i.e. if everybody agrees on this, and strays not too far from the mass consensus, one is not delusional (even if there is irrationality). That is hardly an appealing definition, given the insanity masses of people can cause/participate in (see: wars).

Vas A:
when i was normal, i shunned normality. and ended up with some not so normal experiences. and now i respect normality and don't mind submerging myself into normality. only that i would not lose my wisdom gained in this process, which is precisely required for appreciating the normality better. somewhat like
http://grammar.about.com/od/classicessays/a/The-Advantages-Of-Having-One-Leg-By-G-K-Chesterton.htm

By 'normality' I mean the condition of being compelled to feel bad, again and again, reacting to what other people do to you and what happens to you by feeling bad about it/beating your breast, etc. I'll take peace/equanimity to that. But I agree that it is enjoyable to participate in the world without those burdens (feeling bad again and again), that is to say, "Entering the Marketplace with Arms Hanging Loose" does sound appealing to me - just need to loosen those arms first!

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/9/12 12:39 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Vas A:
i liked aman's definition as well as your observation that it neatly excludes 'normality'. normality, while containing all kinds of irrationalities, i think still escapes delusion - simply because of its social interconnection which keeps the simple irrationailities from devolving into a total delusion.

Here it seems to me that you're equating a lack of delusion with mass consensus, i.e. if everybody agrees on this, and strays not too far from the mass consensus, one is not delusional (even if there is irrationality).



i would like to save the word 'delusion' for those who have lost the plot.


Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

That is hardly an appealing definition, given the insanity masses of people can cause/participate in (see: wars).


yes the collective gets deluded due to this lack of understanding in the participants.
but when the collective is somewhat enlightened (a society which insists on global peace, equality, non-discrimination, politeness etc.), the participant, though being less than perfect, is still operating at a somewhat reasonable level than somebody who is in an asylum.

Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Vas A:
when i was normal, i shunned normality. and ended up with some not so normal experiences. and now i respect normality and don't mind submerging myself into normality. only that i would not lose my wisdom gained in this process, which is precisely required for appreciating the normality better. somewhat like
http://grammar.about.com/od/classicessays/a/The-Advantages-Of-Having-One-Leg-By-G-K-Chesterton.htm

By 'normality' I mean the condition of being compelled to feel bad, again and again, reacting to what other people do to you and what happens to you by feeling bad about it/beating your breast, etc.


though normal people are prone to such, not all normal people have to go through such fate as one can avoid extreme conditions such as this with practical wisdom and the help of social means, not necessarily requiring absolute clarity.


Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

I'll take peace/equanimity to that. But I agree that it is enjoyable to participate in the world without those burdens (feeling bad again and again), that is to say, "Entering the Marketplace with Arms Hanging Loose" does sound appealing to me - just need to loosen those arms first!


thanks for the link.. though i have read this many years ago, i enjoyed it much more this time.
yes, you are right that 'without those burdens' makes it much more enjoyable.
but what is the cost of achieving that?

A:normal man ----> 80% enjoyment (just as an example)

B:enlightened normal man ---> 99% enjoyment.

the path from A --> B is not affordable by many. for some it can mean that they have to go through hell, and is that worth it? for some others, like you maybe, there is no choice. once B is known, one has to go there. though it can be said that the path from A --> B can be enjoyable, often it is not, as one may have to work with the 'normalcy' as well. and for those who go to the forest to achieve B, they may end up in a different version with a 'smell of enlightenment'....

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/9/12 1:10 PM as a reply to Vas A.
in summary*, though normalcy is prone to delusion (than the enlightened normal ones), equating** it with delusion has caused a lot of confusion for me. potential from actual. proneness from yielded.

similarly, i find the accusation that 'normal people harbor malice (and sorrow) in their bosom' is lacking such a discrimination - it doesn't distinguish the case where somebody's M.O has become this from somebody who works with morals and virtues and uses these productively. though we are prone to fall, we are able to counter it and balance it as well, and to segregate the falling tendencies from the balancing tendencies (essentially morality and conscience) and make it a bigger problem than it is - is as unenlightened as the original problem - though it works - which is by making the person not to exercise the balancing tendencies (morality), one is forced to suffer the serious consequences of the falling tendencies (the natural and raw and crude forces that one already is/has), in which he can either grow out and emerge perfect or fail even more pathetically.

* maybe i need to repost this as 'on defense of normalcy'

** such an equating forces one to totally reject normalcy, while on one hand making the goal more urgent, might cripple one's relationship with normalcy and normal people.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/9/12 1:41 PM as a reply to Vas A.
Vas A:
i would like to save the word 'delusion' for those who have lost the plot.

Ok. We should flesh out some of these terms a bit otherwise we might not be able to communicate effectively.

Vas A:
though normal people are prone to such, not all normal people have to go through such fate as one can avoid extreme conditions such as this with practical wisdom and the help of social means, not necessarily requiring absolute clarity.

I wasn't even speaking about extremes. It's just the course of 'normal' life in the 'real world'. Any couple I've seen will have little fights, seeds of discontent. People are always complaining about work, about how there isn't any time to get what they want done, about how they want peace, or about how they want excitement. On so many occasions, I've just met somebody and started talking to them, and they will totally unprompted start talking about some issue or other of theirs. I don't mind, not anymore anyway, I find it interesting to listen to them.. but it is clear everyone has problems.

Vas A:
but what is the cost of achieving that?

A:normal man ----> 80% enjoyment (just as an example)

B:enlightened normal man ---> 99% enjoyment.

the path from A --> B is not affordable by many. for some it can mean that they have to go through hell, and is that worth it? for some others, like you maybe, there is no choice. once B is known, one has to go there. though it can be said that the path from A --> B can be enjoyable, often it is not, as one may have to work with the 'normalcy' as well. and for those who go to the forest to achieve B, they may end up in a different version with a 'smell of enlightenment'....

I think it's far more than a 23.75% improvement in well-being. It's more like something totally unimaginable - in that, you simply cannot imagine what it is like, to not suffer at all (or at least drastically, drastically reduced from 'normal'). I've had glimpses, and if life was always like in those glimpses... it would be swell indeed. And even those glimpses weren't perfect.

About the path, I like to think of it this way: the path itself is safe. It's only reactions to things happening (things the path might reveal) that are painful. And yes, there can be many of those, such as to engender a hellish existence for a few months/years (few months in my case). But, cost-benefit-anaylsis-wise, I think it is worth it.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/9/12 2:05 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Vas A:
i would like to save the word 'delusion' for those who have lost the plot.

Ok. We should flesh out some of these terms a bit otherwise we might not be able to communicate effectively.

Vas A:
though normal people are prone to such, not all normal people have to go through such fate as one can avoid extreme conditions such as this with practical wisdom and the help of social means, not necessarily requiring absolute clarity.

I wasn't even speaking about extremes. It's just the course of 'normal' life in the 'real world'. Any couple I've seen will have little fights, seeds of discontent.


little fights, seeds of discontent ---> yes.
many good memories, happiness, ice creams, movies, romance, intimacy as well --->
what is the proportion of positive (happiness, harmony, relaxation) vs negative (little fights, seeds of discontent) we are talking about?
for the best, i think it can go up to 80% and for the worst it can drop to 20% (and less than that, they separate)
and summing over a bell curve, i would think average should be more than 50% happiness


Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

People are always complaining about work,


though most do it sometime, "always" ?
not necessarily, i know a lot of people who are really excited about the work, they are so satisfied about the work,
and at the end of a tiring day, they may just want something else (just like even after a pleasurable meal, you want something else)...

Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

about how there isn't any time to get what they want done,


the standard problem of having a lot of desires and not managing the time well.. all kids face this all the time (though they don't hang on to their failures), but thre are a lot of people who manage it quite well (since the world is full of temptations, there is always more to be done/experienced/achieved).. but there is satisfaction and enjoyment while doing work as well and we don't talk to people when they are enjoying their work because they are busy doing that


Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

about how they want peace, or about how they want excitement.

yes, repetitive jobs might bore the people who want some challenge but they are forced to take some
such vocation due to security... though there is an undercurrent dissatisfaction due to this component, after having gotten to work, they do have some pleasures of a teamwork and other workplace excitements... all this never gets mentioned because of the underlying compromise and dissatisfaction


Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

On so many occasions, I've just met somebody and started talking to them, and they will totally unprompted start talking about some issue or other of theirs. I don't mind, not anymore anyway, I find it interesting to listen to them.. but it is clear everyone has problems.

could it be because it is safe to discuss an issue with a stranger (rather than their achievements) and a good ice breaker?
it is clear that everyone has problems..
but only problems?
and nothing else?
i am not sure it is that dim.

Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

Vas A:
but what is the cost of achieving that?

A:normal man ----> 80% enjoyment (just as an example)

B:enlightened normal man ---> 99% enjoyment.

the path from A --> B is not affordable by many. for some it can mean that they have to go through hell, and is that worth it? for some others, like you maybe, there is no choice. once B is known, one has to go there. though it can be said that the path from A --> B can be enjoyable, often it is not, as one may have to work with the 'normalcy' as well. and for those who go to the forest to achieve B, they may end up in a different version with a 'smell of enlightenment'....

I think it's far more than a 23.75% improvement in well-being. It's more like something totally unimaginable - in that, you simply cannot imagine what it is like, to not suffer at all (or at least drastically, drastically reduced from 'normal'). I've had glimpses, and if life was always like in those glimpses... it would be swell indeed. And even those glimpses weren't perfect.

About the path, I like to think of it this way: the path itself is safe. It's only reactions to things happening (things the path might reveal) that are painful. And yes, there can be many of those, such as to engender a hellish existence for a few months/years (few months in my case). But, cost-benefit-anaylsis-wise, I think it is worth it.


i am not totally in disagreement.
but totally understanding all aspects of change allows me to sympathetically view myself when i choose not to go for it or those who don't go for it.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/9/12 2:18 PM as a reply to Vas A.
Yes, I agree, it's not all dreariness out in the 'real' world. There are good moments. But you agree there are bad moments. So, what about those bad moments? Why keep those around? Why compromise at 80%?

Vas A:
but totally understanding all aspects of change allows me to sympathetically view myself when i choose not to go for it or those who don't go for it.

I agree, it is quite silly when people don't view others sympathetically, regardless of what they do, and especially if it's cause they choose not to do something you are doing.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/9/12 2:30 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Yes, I agree, it's not all dreariness out in the 'real' world. There are good moments. But you agree there are bad moments. So, what about those bad moments? Why keep those around? Why compromise at 80%?


firstly, the case of 100% is quite nebulous.

secondly, as you agree here, 'cos 100% is 100%, it is not accurate to view 80% (or even those that are less) as 0%. something called 'all or nothing' or 'black and white' thinking. and cause of many issues. better good, imho, should come out of viewing x% as x% and not 0%, and make an informed decision of whether one can raise it now, or keep it constant, or go through a lower number in order to reach a bigger number in the near (or even far!) future.

iow, the methodlogy (say M) that - this is the only moment and you are wasting it if you are living sub-optimally -- is a viewpoint that may suit those that have made it. for those who are trying to achieve, it still can be appealing to think in this way (perfectionism) as it puts a demand on the self not to be satisfied with the intermediate solution.

all is well if there is continuous progress and one is getting somewhere.

but when one gets stuck, or things worsen, like it did for me, i saw that this M was too restrictive and letting that go helped.
and as a separate point M is not epistemologically accurate.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/9/12 2:49 PM as a reply to Vas A.
Vas A:
firstly, the case of 100% is quite nebulous.

I wasn't making a case for 100%. I just mean, if there is apparent suffering, and there is apparently a way to lessen that (whatever it is), why not do that (lessen that)?

Vas A:
secondly, as you agree here, 'cos 100% is 100%, it is not accurate to view 80% (or even those that are less) as 0%. something called 'all or nothing' or 'black and white' thinking. and cause of many issues. better good, imho, should come out of viewing x% as x% and not 0%, and make an informed decision of whether one can raise it now, or keep it constant, or go through a lower number in order to reach a bigger number in the near (or even far!) future.

I wasn't viewing 80% as 0%, I just mean, if there is apparent suffering (in this example, 20%), and there is apparently a way to lessen that (say to make it 15%), why not do that?

Vas A:
iow, the methodlogy (say M) that - this is the only moment and you are wasting it if you are living sub-optimally -- is a viewpoint that may suit those that have made it. for those who are trying to achieve, it still can be appealing to think in this way (perfectionism) as it puts a demand on the self not to be satisfied with the intermediate solution.

all is well if there is continuous progress and one is getting somewhere.

but when one gets stuck, or things worsen, like it did for me, i saw that this M was too restrictive and letting that go helped.
and as a separate point M is not epistemologically accurate.

It is not only possible but likely that the beneficial motivation of the past becomes the non-beneficial suffering of the present. One must be flexible in that sense, and know when to drop certain ways of mentally/physically acting and to adopt others.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/9/12 3:30 PM as a reply to My Fragile Ego.
Craig N:
Vas A:
Simon E:
Vas A:
Response from the aft


http://www.actualfreedom.com.au/announcement.htm#Addendum6


Is it just me or did that announcement come of as very passive-aggressive? Perhaps it's all just in my head.


a million $ question.


But isn't that exactly how sticking to your guns would sound, if you had no aggression in you?

It's tough to interpret actions and words without corrupting/overlaying them with our own affective imagination.

I thought it came across passive-aggressive too until I realised that was me adding the passive-aggressive voice to it.

Craig


i had the same experience. but one needs to cover all the cases...
just because you detected the 'passive-aggressive voice' in your head does not mean that it is in your head alone.
it could be that you are adding to it... while something in the text is triggering it.

what is that in the text that is triggering it?

from my experience, i think we sense a certain rigidity from these phrasings, which verbosely expressed can read like an attitude like this:

this is how i see the world. this is it. take it or leave it. i don't want to negotiate. i am 100% sure about all this. i do not want to give any benefit of doubt about the inherent ambiguities in wording experiences, or any failings on your part will be attacked with loads of evidence and imperfection from your current and past and future wordings. if you don't see eye to eye with all these things, your malicious and sorrowful identity is the reason.

while there is a possibility that a person who sees the actual truths like one sees the sun and one breathes the air (absolute certainty) might adapt such an attitude, one who understands the struggles in all these, imho, may not. be that as it may, if there are some special reasons for such way of going about these things, this is what causes the passive-aggressive voice in us. giving all the benefit of doubt to the text, it is the pattern recognition part of our brain which reads such a pattern to mean passive aggression, and hence if these writers are an exception to that.. but it is very intriguing indeed emoticon.

whereas we like to dance, go for the intentions and meanings rather than dictionary standards, negotiate, discuss, flexible using the words as a means and not as an end. of course, everything has a pro and a con - the mathematicians prefer the rigid approach, but not when talking about the general idea (only when they do proofs). when human understanding and communication is the key, even mathematicians and scientists use natural language while keeping the baseline.

and in addition to this, the whole thing is radical. it calls for non-standard meanings of some basic words like real / actual / truth and redefines many things. so, when we try to use our regular language, we are bound to use the emotional / vague meanings and them correcting us, this causes a lot of friction. it is like the actualists are talking about non-eucledian geometry and we are using our eucledian intuition (which is true i am not going to judge.. at this point eucledian sounds fine). like hilbert used totally different words beer mugs / tables /chairs to denote points / lines / planes in order not to mistake (like all those fifth postulate derivers did), while using actualist terminology might serve actualist ends, it is sure a lot of hiccup for one's free thinking and informal stream of consciousness expressions, which one is accustomed to do. that's why i think somebody can tarin who understands this can come up with a better language for documenting such processes and experiences without causing so many frictions.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/9/12 7:23 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Aman A.:
(a state which is reached after a lot of mental gymnastics and reading/listening about it from someone else)

That is quite a specific definition. It also neatly excludes normality as being delusory, which I think is not the case - one can practice no meditation at all and be quite deluded, that is, believing in things that aren't there, acting in totally irrational ways, etc.


In the case of 'normality' where delusions get created, it is still a case of mind doing mental gymnastics on its own.

Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
My goal is to not be deluded. So what to do then, if I am already deluded (or at least ignorant of certain things I think it's important not to be ignorant of, which I have determined based on my practice)? Practice to find a way of experience that is less deluded. And once I'm there, am I free of delusion? No way to know for sure unless I find a way of existing (or hints at one) that seems less deluded. And, indeed, if I find a state that I think is not delusory, and then I find a way out of it (to a less delusory state), then it becomes clear (in hindsight) that that state was, indeed, delusory (an ASC).


One should practice to find a way of experience where mind is not doing mental gymnastics on its own. Practice should not increase the capacity of the mind to do mental gymnastics instead should decrease it and everyday normal experience of that would be that the awake state would increase and the dream state would decrease. When you think about the universe to be infinite and eternal, don't you think that there is some dreamy quality to it? Practice should increase the capacity to discern between the awake and dream state with an aim towards moving ever more awake state.

Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Is there a state with no delusion? I'm not sure. You also never answered my question of what "no delusion" would be.


No delusion would be being able to 'enter the marketplace with arms hanging loose' with no imaginary/mystical/dreamy quality attributed to nature which is helping one to be able to let arms hang loose.

Arms can hang loose in the marketplace only if the instincts are not reacting (mind not doing mental gymnastics on its own) to every sight/sound (which are plenty in marketplace) which would 'normally' be 'seen' as potentially harmful or would be 'seen' as competitive.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/9/12 8:59 PM as a reply to Change A..
Aman A.:
Practice should increase the capacity to discern between the awake and dream state with an aim towards moving ever more awake state.

We're in agreement here.

Aman A.:
When you think about the universe to be infinite and eternal, don't you think that there is some dreamy quality to it?

I won't presuppose to know what the fully awake state is like yet. My experiences of being close to actuality did not have a dreamy quality, but rather more like being hyper-awake.. so hyper-awake, though, that the senses definitely took on a quality that was not there (or not noticed) earlier.

I don't know whether the universe itself is really infinite or eternal, and I don't think it is necessary to know for practice. I do see benefit in assuming that it is while practicing, as those kinds of pointers seem to help, sometimes, but I don't think that gives me any knowledge about the objective universe itself, just my experiencing of it, which, from my (relative/subjective) point of view, is the universe itself, as the only universe for me is my experience of it.

Speaking idea-wise: if the laws of thermodynamics hold, then there cannot be a beginning to the universe, as matter+energy is always conserved and there is matter+energy now. Then there also cannot be an end to the universe, as matter+energy is always conserved. Thus it certainly seems eternal to me. Since it has no beginning & no end, then how can it have any edges?

Aman A.:
No delusion would be being able to 'enter the marketplace with arms hanging loose' with no imaginary/mystical/dreamy quality attributed to nature which is helping one to be able to let arms hang loose.

Well, depends what you mean by imaginary/mystical/dreamy, I suppose. In the course of looking, you might find something happening which you previously thought was imaginary/mystical/dreamy, but there it is, happening anyway. Assuming that you know, right now, what is imaginary/mystical/dreamy and what isn't might prevent open-minded investigation which might cause you to miss something.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/9/12 9:35 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
I don't know whether the universe itself is really infinite or eternal, and I don't think it is necessary to know for practice. I do see benefit in assuming that it is while practicing, as those kinds of pointers seem to help.......


Aman A.:
No delusion would be being able to 'enter the marketplace with arms hanging loose' with no imaginary/mystical/dreamy quality attributed to nature which is helping one to be able to let arms hang loose.


Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Well, depends what you mean by imaginary/mystical/dreamy, I suppose.


Imaginary is 'assuming' the universe to be infinite or eternal while practicing when you don't know whether it really is which in turn 'benefits' the practice not to make one more awake but to lead more towards an ASC where one starts to believe what at the start of practice was assumption as a fact at the end of the practice.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/9/12 11:16 PM as a reply to Change A..
Aman A.:
Imaginary is 'assuming' the universe to be infinite or eternal while practicing when you don't know whether it really is which in turn 'benefits' the practice not to make one more awake but to lead more towards an ASC where one starts to believe what at the start of practice was assumption as a fact at the end of the practice.

How do you distinguish between being awake and an ASC? That is to say, how do you know the pointer isn't leading to being awake, but is instead leading to an ASC?

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/10/12 1:21 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
How do you distinguish between being awake and an ASC? That is to say, how do you know the pointer isn't leading to being awake, but is instead leading to an ASC?


When you wake up from sleep, does anyone need to tell you that you are awake? When you come out of day-dreaming and become awake, does someone need to tell you that you are awake? Someone may say something to bring you out of day-dreaming but you will yourself realize that you were day-dreaming when you come out of it. Though other people may notice a change as to you being more aware/alert/awake/sharp. Can you notice difference in people when they are day-dreaming and when they are alert/awake? Can you notice difference in writing of people who are mystical/spiritual and those who are not?

In the same way, those who have come out of ASC created by practicing AF or some other practice, know that they were in an ASC. Also because of their experience, they can know if others who are still practicing or have achieved the result of their practice are in an ASC.

If and when you come out of the ASCs (not saying that you have any because I haven't read your messages describing your practice and its result), you will know yourself.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/10/12 8:03 AM as a reply to Change A..
Aman A.:
When you wake up from sleep, does anyone need to tell you that you are awake? When you come out of day-dreaming and become awake, does someone need to tell you that you are awake? Someone may say something to bring you out of day-dreaming but you will yourself realize that you were day-dreaming when you come out of it. Though other people may notice a change as to you being more aware/alert/awake/sharp. Can you notice difference in people when they are day-dreaming and when they are alert/awake? Can you notice difference in writing of people who are mystical/spiritual and those who are not?

In the same way, those who have come out of ASC created by practicing AF or some other practice, know that they were in an ASC. Also because of their experience, they can know if others who are still practicing or have achieved the result of their practice are in an ASC.

If and when you come out of the ASCs (not saying that you have any because I haven't read your messages describing your practice and its result), you will know yourself.

So to paraphrase, you're saying that someone will just know what the difference between being awake and being in an ASC is. The hyper-awake states that I reach from practicing actualism seem more like awake states, making the non-hyper-aware states seem like a daydream. When I'm in the daydream (like right now mostly) it is easy to forget how hyper-awake those states were, so I figure the daydreaming is normal.. but when I chance into the hyper-awake state, I remember just how daydream-like 'normal' baseline is, and I wonder why I was doing anything else.

As the shift formerly known as an actual freedom from the human condition is permanent, much like the MCTB paths are permanent, it is impossible to 'come out' of it, except perhaps by further shifts in a deeper direction (e.g. "meaning-of-life" actual freedom). Where does that leave your theory of being able to 'come out' of an 'ASC' by practicing 'AF'?

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/10/12 8:13 AM as a reply to Change A..
Aman A.:
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
How do you distinguish between being awake and [being in] an ASC? That is to say, how do you know the pointer isn't leading to being awake, but is instead leading to an ASC?


When you wake up from sleep, does anyone need to tell you that you are awake? When you come out of day-dreaming and become awake, does someone need to tell you that you are awake? Someone may say something to bring you out of day-dreaming but you will yourself realize that you were day-dreaming when you come out of it. Though other people may notice a change as to you being more aware/alert/awake/sharp.

In the same way, those who have come out of ASC created by practicing AF or some other practice, know that they were in an ASC.

If and when you come out of the ASCs (not saying that you have any because I haven't read your messages describing your practice and its result), you will know yourself.


Emphasis added by me.

BCDEFG is asking how you can know while in any state whether it is 'awake' or an 'ASC'. Sure, you'll know when you come out of an ASC that you were in an ASC, but how can you know while in an ASC?

And when you come out of one ASC, how do you know you didn't just enter another, maybe subtler ASC? Yeah, you'll know that you entered another ASC if you come out of even that. But how do you know you didn't just enter another ASC...

I don't find that way of thinking useful at all.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/10/12 8:43 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
The hyper-awake states that I reach from practicing actualism seem more like awake states, making the non-hyper-aware states seem like a daydream.


One can know that one is in ASC when one starts to believe something like universe is infinite and eternal while in an awake state, it is clear that one can not know whether it is infinite and eternal or not.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/10/12 9:27 AM as a reply to Change A..
Tumbling down the rabbit hole...

So when one (believes that one) knows something which (someone else says?) is unknowable, then one knows for sure whether one is awake or not.

Aman A.:
it is clear that one can not know whether [the universe] is infinite and eternal or not.

How is this clear? Are you sure you aren't in a ASC where you are only believing that one can not know whether the universe is infinite and eternal or not?

-

Epistemology

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/10/12 2:12 PM as a reply to Stian Gudmundsen Høiland.
Stian Gudmundsen Høiland:
Aman A.:
it is clear that one can not know whether [the universe] is infinite and eternal or not.

How is this clear? Are you sure you aren't in a ASC where you are only believing that one can not know whether the universe is infinite and eternal or not?

What Stian said. What if anything that makes it seem the universe is finite and temporally limited, or anything that makes it seem like it is impossible to know, is just something that is preventing you from being awake?

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/10/12 2:21 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Vas A:
firstly, the case of 100% is quite nebulous.

I wasn't making a case for 100%. I just mean, if there is apparent suffering, and there is apparently a way to lessen that (whatever it is), why not do that (lessen that)?


sure... just that:
what is the method?
what is the cost? what do you have to lose? what are the long term effects?
what is the fine-print? what is the hidden cost?

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/10/12 2:36 PM as a reply to josh r s.
i missed this post.

josh r s:
how about, 'it's up to each person to make sure they properly understand for themselves what richard says an actual freedom is'.

Could you tell us which phenomenological differences in peoples' experiences Richard has used to discount their claims to AF as being false, not the specific people but just the phenomenological issues and differences? or does he claim they are lying? or are his assertions based on the practices they used? or were the assertions made without any specific explanation?

richard's take on the matter can be found, neatly framed, in the latest update (addendum 7) on the actual freedom trust's website.


josh r s:

also, I think it will be tough to make any progress in the theory until we get a definition of AF1 and AF2 are, as without any clear definition, it is a gaping hole which could easily be seen as Richard simply using his authority as founder of the AFT to discount anyone who's actions conflict with his perceived agenda.

if you see the gaping hole that way, it stands little chance of being filled. it may be worth considering that language is no less malleable than a mind and its memories. good luck with your theory project.

tarin

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/10/12 8:21 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
"Life the Dream"

"Once upon a time, I, Chuang Tzu, dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of following my fancies as a butterfly, and was unconscious of my individuality as a man. Suddenly, I awoke, and there I lay, myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly dreaming that I am now a man."

http://www.vibrationdata.com/tao.htm

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/15/12 12:56 AM as a reply to Change A..
Though I have not met Richard, one can gather some points of data concerning his logical faculties. His explanation of him coming to the conclusion that everything is physical is the equivalent of irrationality. Further to claim physicality at all is rather silly, I am a trained physicist and and can tell you right now there isn't a single physicist in the whole world who could show you an iota of matter. He claims to be actually free, I claim he is free of coherent ontology.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/15/12 1:09 AM as a reply to tarin greco.
In terms of methodology/soteriological axioms I am having trouble finding what exactly is unique about AF. I have been really involved in the tantras and atiyoga and totally don't see what is unique about how AF practices are presented or done. Besides the fluff of explaining how to posture the mind, the postures themselves seem identical. I think it was simply a re-branding, and accidental or intentional misrepresentation of the the 'apparent' novelty, reminiscent of Osho to some degree.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/15/12 2:32 AM as a reply to Change A..
Theories are higher than facts, they explain facts. There are different grades of theories and some are far superior than any particular fact, as they will accurately and coherently organize and explain 1000s of particular facts. In physics there are different types of evidence that are weighed in differing ways. String theory has no testable prediction but error correction codes have been found using some of the equations (an awesomely BIG deal). Other axioms are so accepted they are considered virtual fact, like the holographic principle and further it being applied to the whole universe. When I am speaking in physics circles, we speak with virtual certainty that space and time are emergent phenomena and most of us whisper with virtual certainty that Stephen Hawking is a good physicist but a terrible philosopher. So no, we are not deluded but we are mostly probabilists to some degree or another. We have so many fantastic reasons to believe what we do that it puts to shame any attempt to label them as 'mere' theories. So we don't claim fact, we claim an extremely high probability of what we believe being true or pretty damn close, to the degree of virtual certainty. We have particle accelerators on our side. emoticon

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/15/12 2:40 AM as a reply to Omega Point.
Hi, Omega Point

In terms of methodology/soteriological axioms I am having trouble finding what exactly is unique about AF. I have been really involved in the tantras and atiyoga and totally don't see what is unique about how AF practices are presented or done. Besides the fluff of explaining how to posture the mind, the postures themselves seem identical. I think it was simply a re-branding, and accidental or intentional misrepresentation of the the 'apparent' novelty,


Have you practiced the actualism method? Have you had a PCE? Have you gathered your conclusions based on practice or just theoretical speculation?

reminiscent of Osho to some degree.


If I'm not mistaken, two of the Actual Freedom Trust directors, Vineeto and Peter, were practitioners of the Osho's methods for more than a decade, and after that they spent another decade or so practicing actualism. They clearly saw and experienced the differences empirically.

There are several, several posts in this and other forums arguing philosophically that what needs to be addressed experientially. The only way to know if something is different, valuable or deluded is trying it sincerely.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/18/12 1:28 PM as a reply to Felipe C..
According to the latest news, Peter has resigned as a director of the Actual Freedom Trust.

Also, some of the long-term practitioners who tried the AF method sincerely have gone away including one who was interested in AF to the point that she was planning to make a documentary and was co-authoring a book with Richard. She met Richard a couple of times and concluded that AF can not be attained unless one "ACTUALLY GET THOSE SAME
PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDERS that will classify them as patients of PTSD".

Omega Point, it will save you a lot of your time and what not if you do not fall in the trap of "first try the method sincerely". This is an old ploy which has been utilized before in AF circles.

P.S. This is not for irrational individuals. They can disregard this message and keep moving towards their goal in a 'happy and harmless' way.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/18/12 2:01 PM as a reply to Change A..
Hi, Aman,

I'm sincerely curious... can you share a source in which the resignation of Peter is specified? What I know is that Peter's journal is back on online sale again.

Regards,

Felipe

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/18/12 2:36 PM as a reply to Change A..
P.S. This is not for irrational individuals. They can disregard this message and keep moving towards their goal in a 'happy and harmless' way.


Ah, good. Thanks for specifying.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/18/12 3:27 PM as a reply to Felipe C..
I know that Peter's journal is back online. Peter's resignation was mentioned by Aloha in one of her messages on the yahoo forum.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/18/12 5:01 PM as a reply to Change A..
concluded that AF can not be attained unless one "ACTUALLY GET THOSE SAME
PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDERS that will classify them as patients of PTSD".


Maybe this just means that it is very hard to obtain without some degree of progress in insight? (like at least A&P or stream entry). As "untreated" insight disease is likely to lead to various clinical diagnoses.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/19/12 7:03 AM as a reply to Felipe C..
Felipe,
You responded only to your assumptions and none of my points or you failed to comprehend the meaning. Why not give me the benefit of the doubt if you are going to assume anything?

Richard hints that everyone or a large portion of people experience PCEs, so why assume the poorer? Further are you sure you have experienced a PCE? As it is at the same time "This peak experience of one’s potentiality". If AF's goal is a benign identitylessness in which select instincts are dissolved then it appears I am as free or more free then Richard.

Further, how can anyone say he is actually free if he isn't free from delusion or pseudo-scientific thinking?
Nitrous acid mixing with nicotine creates cancer causing dust, which persists for several months and harms anyone it contacts. If being AF equates to being harmless, then how does that jive? Is that selflessness, volitionally carelessness? If it is careless is surely isn't benign, If it is selflessness then it's clearly an ethically neutral selflessness (as how could you justify that harm and claim non-neutrality, one eventually would be left admitting one was too careless to learn or that one is actually not free from ignorance and delusion) and therefor volitionally careless and ergo not benign. Does an ethically-neutral, non-benign, careless-selflessness share that much difference with an inflated sociopath who subtly reifies self and even self-identity as 'flesh and blood human being' in terms of a posteri results? If he is smoking because he is 'free' and not because he actually not-free, then does he intend on smoking? If he intends, what causes the mind to move leading to the smoking behavior? If you say it is because he thinks through and decides on principle, then what caused that thought to arise etc? One eventually sees that neurochemical impulses are to blame. Impulses in this case equates to saying it's cause is instinctual. So if he intends to smoke, he isn't free from instincts, no matter the rationalization proclaimed. If he doesn't intend to smoke then how can he be properly called free, as behavior without intent is tautologically identical to random behavior.

After practicing long enough to see how one is supposed to mentally posture, it appears clear to me they are rather simple postures that were derived using principles that would be known and practiced by any buddhist considered to be Arya by any higher schools. They are rather simplistic practices related to emptiness mostly with what is considered the course level of mind. Considering the goal of AF is achieving a type of mere identitylessness (nearly identical to lower schools); much more efficacious practices and principles have personally demonstrated themselves (even simplistic Tibetan practices related to subtle-mind/subtle-body coupled with a conceptual knowledge of emptiness are more effective).
I practiced AF long enough to realize I had already learned superior practices and principles. Heat yoga, bardo yoga, dream yoga, and applying emptiness to manifest and control fabrications (especially after heat yoga fruitions). I have experienced the clear light visions, suchness, both the ethically-neutral ground and the actual ground, as well as the emanation body in dream-yoga.

If you are saying it boils down to a priori evidence alone, How can AF make the claim of novelty? Further then how can AF present itself as generally superior to all other traditions and enlightened beings?

How could anyone want to delude themselves with a philosophy and practice coming from someone who thinks so highly of themselves they just simply disregard the most evidence based branch in ALL OF PHYSICS in ALL of human history because it doesn't jive with his opinion construct (which comes from an identity-complex...) that it's somehow 'mystical' and actually not science but "metaphysics". If these practices can cloud one's thinking to this degree than how can that be properly considered freedom? Is AF claiming delusion is freedom? It isn't even consistent internally, if physics of the last 70 years is just plain wrong and there is physicality then determinism must be true in such a way as to remove any notion of free will. How can one be properly called free if one even lacks free-will? If one tries to claim it's physical but only partially deterministic, then one is claiming random behavior and random behavior once again throws free-will out the window. The only way get around this to disregard the notion of physicality and instead embrace immateriality. It appears AF claims it's major differential between AF and buddhism is physicality, but if it embraces this, it refutes the notion of freedom all together, and further embraces pseudo-science. Again no physicist in the whole world can show you an iota of matter and instead agree in physics circles that all the evidence shows we live in a VR; how does AF have any room to stand and say they are physical flesh and blood humans? Since the flesh and blood is after all nothing but molecules and atoms which after all ONLY follow the laws of quantum mechanics and therefor in no way, shape, or form are physical at ALL. Imagining a three-dimensional physical space in all directions is mystical and plain wrong.

Further if AF'ers claim they are flesh and blood human, the most coherent claiming a self with the quality of identitylessness, yet reinforcing that the flesh and blood human complex is the self. If this is the case then why can you not properly control all that happens with the flesh and blood? If you cannot control it, can not change it's rules, do not have it at your beck and call, then how can one be properly called flesh and blood human? If one cannot be properly called a flesh and blood human then why do AF's constantly reify the label of flesh and blood human as replacement of identity or self? For those that say AF doesn't claim one is flesh and blood human but instead the 'the identity of oblivion', then why is oblivion pre-death spoken of in a positive sense and post-death in a negative...especially since speaking of oblivion like this begs the question as to what exactly is the change between the positive sense and negative sense if "nothing is lost". What causes something to come and disappear? Lastly how in the world is an oblivion physical? How is speaking of oblivion unlike speaking of atman or a mind-stream? AF seems to be actually free of logic.

In your case though, what evidence can you provide to the claimed uniqueness of any of the AF practices? AF's philosophy? How about coherent philosophy stemming from AF?

You completely misunderstood the comment in regards to Osho. Osho upon any mild investigation, appears to be a drug-addict fraud, who used his knowledge to straw-man the teachings of wiser men to make himself seem superior. Osho was the one saying he was the man that was going to unite eastern and western rationalism, though this is same fool who said that Einstein spoke of "three dimensions of time and one of space". Further, repeating a wise man's words doesn't make one wise(or worse, misquoting wise men's words makes one a fool). Further, re-printing the practices or philosophies of wise men doesn't necessarily give credence to one's wisdom.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osho
"Uday Mehta, in summing up an appraisal of Osho's teachings, particularly errors regarding his interpretation of Zen, Mahayana Buddhism and how they relate to the proto-materialist nature of Tantric philosophy, suggests that: "It is not surprising to find that Rajneesh could get away with several gross contradictions and inconsistencies in his teachings. This was possible for the simple reason that an average Indian (or for that matter even western) listener knows so little about religious scriptures or various schools of thought that it hardly requires much effort to exploit his ignorance and gullibility."

I advise to read the whole wiki on him if you want a clearer picture, even watch the documentary with his bodyguard etc. As some rather morbid claims are leveled against the poor fool.
Beyond this I feel the above quote relates to some degree to what appears to me when understanding AF. Richard can talk plain non-sense about physicality and matter, he can re-brand simplistic practices constructed upon soteriological axioms that have been around for 1000s of years...and yet credence still emerges due to a lack of knowledge amongst Richard's peers concerning Mahayana buddhism and the penetrating depths of analysis achieved by the advanced schools as well as the last 80 years of physics.

Further, AF doesn't make purely soteriological or methodological claims. Which utterly refutes any attempt to say a purely experiential approach is needed to validate or invalidate all of AF's claims. AF makes claims against science, it posits ontology and further occasionally hints at it's epistemological leanings. Though most of these claims are mere lip service, as many are never backed with logic. The majority of pages I have read on the AF website are riddled with logical errors and incoherence, and often brutal straw-men, where AF misrepresents or assumes the poorer about basically all wise men of historical past.

"Despite all their rhetoric, peace-on-earth is not actually on their agenda." -AF's claim in reference to all sages, monks, masters, enlightened beings etc... except the AF crowd that is...this isn't a case of Jung's inflation at all...

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/19/12 7:26 PM as a reply to Omega Point.
Hiya, Omega,

Omega Point:
You responded only to your assumptions and none of my points or you failed to comprehend the meaning. Why not give me the benefit of the doubt if you are going to assume anything?


Fair enough. Could you tell me then for how much did you practice Actualism and how sincere/willing you were when doing that? Did you completely empty your bowl of any spirituality before you poured the actualism into it?

Omega Point:
Further, how can anyone say he is actually free if he isn't free from delusion or pseudo-scientific thinking?
Nitrous acid mixing with nicotine creates cancer causing dust, which persists for several months and harms anyone it contacts. If being AF equates to being harmless, then how does that jive? Is that selflessness, volitionally carelessness? If it is careless is surely isn't benign, If it is selflessness then it's clearly an ethically neutral selflessness (as how could you justify that harm and claim non-neutrality, one eventually would be left admitting one was too careless to learn or that one is actually not free from ignorance and delusion) and therefor volitionally careless and ergo not benign. Does an ethically-neutral, non-benign, careless-selflessness share that much difference with an inflated sociopath who subtly reifies self and even self-identity as 'flesh and blood human being' in terms of a posteri results? If he is smoking because he is 'free' and not because he actually not-free, then does he intend on smoking? If he intends, what causes the mind to move leading to the smoking behavior? If you say it is because he thinks through and decides on principle, then what caused that thought to arise etc? One eventually sees that neurochemical impulses are to blame. Impulses in this case equates to saying it's cause is instinctual. So if he intends to smoke, he isn't free from instincts, no matter the rationalization proclaimed. If he doesn't intend to smoke then how can he be properly called free, as behavior without intent is tautologically identical to random behavior.


I'm not concerned about the quirks and idiosyncratic aspects of Richard. What one thinks he should or shouldn't consume is a matter of personal preference. Could you point me to a completely harmless form of life? The pure act of breathing kills you slowly. Anyone could adopt a Paleolithic, organic or vegan diet thinking these trends are the answer to humanities health issues, just to discover other effects later (lack of proteins or whatever). The Buddha was enlightened and he wasn't having precisely the "more balanced diet". If Richard lived in a violent city, knowing that the probabilities of harm are higher going out than staying in home, should Richard stay in home forever then? To answer your question more precisely: I understand that smoking, for Richard, is a preference and not a need, but, again, I don't know and I don't care; what I care about is his advice on psychological and psychic aspects rather than the health-related ones.

Omega Point:
After practicing long enough to see how one is supposed to mentally posture, it appears clear to me they are rather simple postures that were derived using principles that would be known and practiced by any buddhist considered to be Arya by any higher schools. They are rather simplistic practices related to emptiness mostly with what is considered the course level of mind. Considering the goal of AF is achieving a type of mere identitylessness (nearly identical to lower schools); much more efficacious practices and principles have personally demonstrated themselves (even simplistic Tibetan practices related to subtle-mind/subtle-body coupled with a conceptual knowledge of emptiness are more effective).
I practiced AF long enough to realize I had already learned superior practices and principles. Heat yoga, bardo yoga, dream yoga, and applying emptiness to manifest and control fabrications (especially after heat yoga fruitions). I have experienced the clear light visions, suchness, both the ethically-neutral ground and the actual ground, as well as the emanation body in dream-yoga.


How much have you practiced each? What is "superior " to you? This seems to be a matter of agenda. What's your agenda in your practice and in your life? Mine is to completely eradicate any psychic/psychological disturbance, stress, dissatisfaction, suffering 24/7/365. Now, I practiced Tibetan Buddhism for a couple of years (although not so much Tantric stuff) and I can honestly tell you that the results in my everyday life are more satisfactory and effective (according to my said agenda) with one year of Actualism than those two years with Tibetan.

Omega Point:
How could anyone want to delude themselves with a philosophy and practice coming from someone who thinks so highly of themselves they just simply disregard the most evidence based branch in ALL OF PHYSICS in ALL of human history because it doesn't jive with his opinion construct (which comes from an identity-complex...) that it's somehow 'mystical' and actually not science but "metaphysics". If these practices can cloud one's thinking to this degree than how can that be properly considered freedom? Is AF claiming delusion is freedom? It isn't even consistent internally, if physics of the last 70 years is just plain wrong and there is physicality then determinism must be true in such a way as to remove any notion of free will. How can one be properly called free if one even lacks free-will? If one tries to claim it's physical but only partially deterministic, then one is claiming random behavior and random behavior once again throws free-will out the window. The only way get around this to disregard the notion of physicality and instead embrace immateriality. It appears AF claims it's major differential between AF and buddhism is physicality, but if it embraces this, it refutes the notion of freedom all together, and further embraces pseudo-science. Again no physicist in the whole world can show you an iota of matter and instead agree in physics circles that all the evidence shows we live in a VR; how does AF have any room to stand and say they are physical flesh and blood humans? Since the flesh and blood is after all nothing but molecules and atoms which after all ONLY follow the laws of quantum mechanics and therefor in no way, shape, or form are physical at ALL. Imagining a three-dimensional physical space in all directions is mystical and plain wrong.

[...]

You completely misunderstood the comment in regards to Osho. Osho upon any mild investigation, appears to be a drug-addict fraud, who used his knowledge to straw-man the teachings of wiser men to make himself seem superior. Osho was the one saying he was the man that was going to unite eastern and western rationalism, though this is same fool who said that Einstein spoke of "three dimensions of time and one of space". Further, repeating a wise man's words doesn't make one wise(or worse, misquoting wise men's words makes one a fool). Further, re-printing the practices or philosophies of wise men doesn't necessarily give credence to one's wisdom.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osho
"Uday Mehta, in summing up an appraisal of Osho's teachings, particularly errors regarding his interpretation of Zen, Mahayana Buddhism and how they relate to the proto-materialist nature of Tantric philosophy, suggests that: "It is not surprising to find that Rajneesh could get away with several gross contradictions and inconsistencies in his teachings. This was possible for the simple reason that an average Indian (or for that matter even western) listener knows so little about religious scriptures or various schools of thought that it hardly requires much effort to exploit his ignorance and gullibility."

I advise to read the whole wiki on him if you want a clearer picture, even watch the documentary with his bodyguard etc. As some rather morbid claims are leveled against the poor fool.
Beyond this I feel the above quote relates to some degree to what appears to me when understanding AF. Richard can talk plain non-sense about physicality and matter, he can re-brand simplistic practices constructed upon soteriological axioms that have been around for 1000s of years...and yet credence still emerges due to a lack of knowledge amongst Richard's peers concerning Mahayana buddhism and the penetrating depths of analysis achieved by the advanced schools as well as the last 80 years of physics.

Further, AF doesn't make purely soteriological or methodological claims. Which utterly refutes any attempt to say a purely experiential approach is needed to validate or invalidate all of AF's claims. AF makes claims against science, it posits ontology and further occasionally hints at it's epistemological leanings. Though most of these claims are mere lip service, as many are never backed with logic. The majority of pages I have read on the AF website are riddled with logical errors and incoherence, and often brutal straw-men, where AF misrepresents or assumes the poorer about basically all wise men of historical past.


I don't care nor do I believe in the cosmological/astrophysical claims of Richard, the same way I didn't with those of the Buddha while I practiced Buddhism. Now, pardon my tu quoque, but you, as both a scientist and a practitioner of one of the most supernatural forms of Buddhism, should know that one can take whatever is useful from certain method and don't take those "truths" that seem scientifically questionable (infinite universe in Actualism, rebirth in Buddhism). I do this keeping in mind the agenda in this endeavor: I don't know about you, but mine is to be free of suffering, not understanding the nature of the universe. In summary, I can not respond to this personally as I haven't had any cosmological insights with this method, just psychological/psychic ones. In the latter ones, this method works beautifully. (Insert obligatory poisoned arrow metaphor)

Omega Point:
Further if AF'ers claim they are flesh and blood human, the most coherent claiming a self with the quality of identitylessness, yet reinforcing that the flesh and blood human complex is the self. If this is the case then why can you not properly control all that happens with the flesh and blood? If you cannot control it, can not change it's rules, do not have it at your beck and call, then how can one be properly called flesh and blood human? If one cannot be properly called a flesh and blood human then why do AF's constantly reify the label of flesh and blood human as replacement of identity or self? For those that say AF doesn't claim one is flesh and blood human but instead the 'the identity of oblivion', then why is oblivion pre-death spoken of in a positive sense and post-death in a negative...especially since speaking of oblivion like this begs the question as to what exactly is the change between the positive sense and negative sense if "nothing is lost". What causes something to come and disappear? Lastly how in the world is an oblivion physical? How is speaking of oblivion unlike speaking of atman or a mind-stream? AF seems to be actually free of logic.


You are playing with semantics and overestimating the scope of Actualism/Actual Freedom. It doesn't deal with the brainstem in order to control motor or automatic functions; it just deals with emotional and higher parts/functions. The term "flesh and blood human" is used because one does not experience the world psychically/psychological, only sensuously: in a pure consciousness experience, the only experience is the one of the senses and (not self-based) thought. Thus, the human being is just another object (a body) among other objects in the universe, because it doesn't subjectivize experience. In Richard's words:

I had been using for eleven years more specific and to regain the actual purity of the unadulterated sensuous experience of *consciousness without a subject* (a body sans identity) from the adulterated mystical experience of consciousness without an object (an identity sans body)’


Another explanation In Stephanie's words:

You might say that most people experience the world through a relationship between an object and its shadow. That object would be your flesh and blood body and the shadow would be your feelings (including unconditional love, which I'll say more about below). Most of us spend our time talking and interacting shadow to shadow, then don't understand why we can't connect. So, for example, there is driving (the mechanical act) and then there is what I think about driving (the affective charge, the shadow): what kind of car do I drive, memories of when I learned to drive, anger at the other people who drive so horribly, unlike myself, who is a perfect driver, and so on, as the affective charge which parallels the act of driving. There is sitting and what I think about sitting; there is walking and what I think about walking; there is eating and what I think about eating (not to mention the other things I am thinking and feeling not related to sitting, eating, walking, etc.). But what if there was simply driving, sitting, walking, eating, for what they are themselves with all that other stuff added on?


This is what is meant by "flesh and blood body", in the sense of perceiving physical reality through senses and unselfish thought, without the intervention of perceptual aspects of other kind. It's just a way to say that, without any identity, you are only your physical-related brain functions and materials (you are flesh and blood and their automatic management by the brain) receiving information from the physical world. Do you really need to "control" the flesh and blood in order to accept the fact that you are composed of flesh and blood, that you are a flesh and blood body only?

Oblivion is perceiving the physicality with this physical body only, without remembering or experiencing something emotionally. One achieves oblivion by wanting to be free of any malice and sorrow according to the PCE. "Oblivion" is used in a comparative way, for, before becoming AF, there is an I who decided to be oblivious of this psychological/psychic entity experiencing of the world, which is the cause of suffering. With this intent and objective, after the elimination of this entity which creates a subjective persona, one becomes the physicality that the universe has been, only that in the form of an aware and reflective human being. "Oblivion" is just a term for the fact that, in a PCE or AF, there is not a subject interpreting the object, just the objects themselves (universe).

As for the difference between this and atman or mindstream, from my undestanding, the quote I pasted by Richard illustrates the difference. Richard doesn't say that one realizes true self or achieve some kind of immortality. As we are just a body, and the mind depends entirely of the body ("a body sans identity"), there is no self who is infinite nor that will become infinite after some realization. Consciousness ceases with physical body death. Now, how does that relate to the following?

Thubten Chodron:

Each moment of mind is a continuation of the previous moment. Who we are and what we think and feel depends on who we were yesterday. Our present mind is a continuation of yesterday's mind. This is why we can remember what happened to us in the past. One moment of our mind was caused by the previous moment of mind. This continuity can be traced back to childhood and to being a fetus in out mother's womb. Even before the time of conception, our mindstream existed. Its previous moments were linked to another body.

Our mind has no beginning and its continuity is infinite. This may be difficult to grasp initially, but if we use the example of a number line, it becomes easier. From the "0" position. Looking left, there is no first negative number, and looking right, there is no last, highest number. One more can always be added. In the same way, our mindstream has no beginning and no end. We all have had an infinite number of past rebirths, and our mind will continue to exist infinitely.


And Paranirvana::

One of the main themes of the MMPS [Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra] is that the Buddha is eternal ... The Mahayanists assert the eternity of the Buddha in two ways in the MMPS. They state that the Buddha is the dharmakaya, and hence eternal. Next, they reinterpret the liberation of the Buddha as mahaparinirvana possessing four attributes: eternity, happiness, self and purity.


In other words, an "identity sans body".

Omega Point:
In your case though, what evidence can you provide to the claimed uniqueness of any of the AF practices? AF's philosophy? How about coherent philosophy stemming from AF?


I can only speak from the causes and effects from my practices. With Tibetan Buddhism, I remember the enhancement of feelings: for example, compassion and love for all the sentient beings through Mahayanist lamrim practices; and bliss with tantric visualizations of deities. In contrast, with Actualism, I'm experimenting a progressive reduction of feelings as well as specific moments where feelings cease completely.

I also haven't read a clear description from a 100% Buddhist practitioner where the complete eradication of being (feelings) is specified. Maybe you could share some as I am not closed to that possibility, I just haven't seen it yet.

Regards,

Felipe

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/20/12 2:30 PM as a reply to Felipe C..
Felipe,
It appears you either are being facetious or you misapprehend or have completely ignored most of what I have written. I am going to respond as if you are not being facetious. I wish you had responded to some depth and actually addressed some of my postulates. Regardless thanks for you time.
Before I jump into this please understand that a premise that is anti-scientific or pseudo-scientific is not equal to a premise that conforms tautologically to science in it's present state. Thinking otherwise is just plain wrong, arguing with the fundamental validity of the most evidenced scientific fields (more evidence for quantum mechanics than for evolution, literally) is the absolute height of arrogance. Anyone that stands by AF claims against science are absolutely not free of arrogance or delusion. Though AF seems to have roots in anti-scientific pseudo-philosophies like objectivism so I am not surprised about this. AF would of been a great philosophy of the 18th century.

Felipe C.:
Could you tell me then for how much did you practice Actualism and how sincere/willing you were when doing that? Did you completely empty your bowl of any spirituality before you poured the actualism into it?


You should probably define actualism. As the more I read responses from AFers the more it seems muddled and inconsistently defined. You have gone out of your way to say you disagree with Richard, yet these claims are on the AF site and are presented as reflecting AF's views. Didn't Richard come to these conclusions in relation to his AF practices? Do you mean have I practiced your form of 'actualism'? Further, do you mean practice actualism stripped of anti-scientific rhetoric and claims? Or do you mean practice actualism where I just assume physics is false (which is the AF that is presented both on the AF website AND within your response here). Under no circumstances will I delude myself into thinking that I just didn't believe enough or have enough faith in the magic of the practices to compensate for making claims that are not opinions but just wrong.
If the practice actually requires a frame of belief, such as the irrationality of being a physical non-being...then one is clearly practicing the implementation of delusion.
So without the anti-logical faith based approach I practiced intensively for dozens of hours during retreat to identify the mental postures. After removing the AF fluff and paying attention solely to what the practice is asking in regards to posture, one can easily identify that NO new principles exist (in practice) from those principles that make any meditation a "dharma" practice. I am referring to soteriological/methodological principles. So if the philosophy is incoherent and anti-scientific, and the postures themselves are identical in principle with the category of 1000s of Buddhist/Hindu/Jain/etc called dharma practice, then how can AF be considered separate or novel?
If AF can't be shown to actually be novel in terms of practice/mental posture, how in the world can one speak of practicing actualism? Especially when I ask for specifics concerning the differences and all I am pointed to is various unbacked claims that have nothing to do with the practices themselves; then upon refuting those I am told it's just about the practices;yet when I mention there isn't any discovery or novelty in the practices or methodological principles I am referred to the unbacked claims unrelated with the practices themselves. I smell circularity.
The purpose is to eliminate all forms of unpleasantness and the postures are the same in principle. If it looks and quacks like a dharma, it probably is a dharma.

The only ones participating in 'mystical or spiritual' thinking are the AFers or anyone else who thinks that there is three-dimensional space in all directions.

Felipe C.:
I'm not concerned about the quirks and idiosyncratic aspects of Richard. What one thinks he should or shouldn't consume is a matter of personal preference. Could you point me to a completely harmless form of life? The pure act of breathing kills you slowly. Anyone could adopt a Paleolithic, organic or vegan diet thinking these trends are the answer to humanities health issues, just to discover other effects later (lack of proteins or whatever). The Buddha was enlightened and he wasn't having precisely the "more balanced diet". If Richard lived in a violent city, knowing that the probabilities of harm are higher going out than staying in home, should Richard stay in home forever then? To answer your question more precisely: I understand that smoking, for Richard, is a preference and not a need, but, again, I don't know and I don't care; what I care about is his advice on psychological and psychic aspects rather than the health-related ones.


Your response is muddled and barely touches anything I wrote. To the degree that I wonder if you even read it. You are ethically-neutral and careless concerning Richards behavior? You do understand what I was saying in regards to the compound emerging from nicotine and nitrous acid right? It has little to nothing to do with his health. The compound is toxic and hurts everyone the dust touches. So he smokes (there is nearly always nitrous acid in the air), the compound emerges and toxifies everything the smoke touches for several months. It is carried in the air and toxifies every surface,plant, human etc. These compounds are worse then second-hand smoke. How in the hell can one claim to be benign and harmless, but literally not give an ethical crap about hurting others? Or are you claiming to be actually free, one doesn't have to give a hoot about anyone else and can hurt them passively? If passive violence is allowed towards others then why not active violence?

I really want to emphasize I hope you simply didn't grasp the science and assumed I was saying it was ONLY harmful to his body. As being ethically-careless and harmful to others doesn't equal being 'harmless'. If you did understand and support his 'selfless' decision to harm others, then AF might be breeding sociopaths. As by definition it would mean that the progenitor of AF is literally pathological, as he directly and carelessly participates in the pathology of others.

I am not going to respond to much of the rest of the quote as it is you responding to points I didn't write. I will quickly say that psychological and psychic is redundant for one, for two are you claiming a dualism between mind and body? As smoking has been linked to Alzhemers, directly refuting your false distinction between "health-related ones" and "psychological and psychic aspects"



My agenda is to rid myself of all unpleasantness as you, but also to rid myself of as much delusion such as anti-logic or pseudo-science as possible including grasping at qualia as physical. For if your goal is simply the lack of unpleasantness, then after one is AF, there still is clearly so much left to perfect and master, as delusion (therefor ignorance) is still clearly present in every AF person. Therefor there is obviously a higher level of perfection/enlightenment. If this is the case then it could also be said that AF is no perfection or enlightenment at all. My agenda includes perfection to the degree to which I can catalyze the loss of delusion in others.

Felipe C.:
Now, I practiced Tibetan Buddhism for a couple of years (although not so much Tantric stuff) and I can honestly tell you that the results in my everyday life are more satisfactory and effective (according to my said agenda) with one year of Actualism than those two years with Tibetan.


If you were not practicing the tantric/dzogchen stuff then you were very likely practicing a way that equates to the very opposite of your agenda. Long-path of Bodhisattva is about heart perfection and renouncing enlightenment/nirvana throughout the duration of this life. Though you said you practiced deity yoga, which utilizes more than all the principles required to construct all the AF practices... Using only others' meditations rather than naturally constructing them using the principles derived out of rigorous logic is a much newer and less effective phenomena. Wisdom is far more critical then meditation.

Secondly, discounting the neuronal changes through two 'years' of meditation is simply confusing the issue. We have no idea what the outcome would of been if you had first spent a year 'doing AF' and then 2 doing the Tibetan practices etc.


Felipe C.:
I don't care nor do I believe in the cosmological/astrophysical claims of Richard, the same way I didn't with those of the Buddha while I practiced Buddhism. Now, pardon my tu quoque, but you, as both a scientist and a practitioner of one of the most supernatural forms of Buddhism, should know that one can take whatever is useful from certain method and don't take those "truths" that seem scientifically questionable (infinite universe in Actualism, rebirth in Buddhism). I do this keeping in mind the agenda in this endeavor: I don't know about you, but mine is to be free of suffering, not understanding the nature of the universe. In summary, I can not respond to this personally as I haven't had any cosmological insights with this method, just psychological/psychic ones. In the latter ones, this method works beautifully.


To say that there isn't truth is a literal contradiction in terms. Seeking the highest possible truth is my goal, that truth includes the knowledge of suffering and it's unreality. You say you don't care about the claims of Richard, yet claim later the same errors I had already refuted (without addressing my refutations beyond saying you don't care about Richard's claims).
Please do not use the word supernatural, as you are referring to the pop-culture use of the word that is used when referring to the occult. Beyond this it's irrational to refer to schools of thought I am referring to as supernatural without demonstrating an ignorance of the schools themselves or the use of the word. As you will have quite a lot of trouble actually postulating and backing up any particular as supernatural.
While I can simply point to literally one of the only premises in AF and literally and correctly refer to it as supernaturalist thinking. As physicality isn't in accords with the laws of nature. I don't know how many times AF will blatantly ignore this most critical fact of modern physics.

I would LOVE to hear how you think rebirth in Buddhism is somehow scientifically questionable. We know that the "it comes from bit", that information and information processing IS reality. We also know that information is NEVER lost. As the energy state of the universe is actually 0. I can go on and on, but lets just say one has to actually postulate and explain the cause for something to arise, exist, then dissolve and cease to exist. Though this violates physics and Buddhisms understanding of causality (so best of luck). Consider catching up on the last 80 years of physics before making bold claims about it. I comprehend Richard to be free from humility and like Osho, feels like he can discount and discuss science without knowing a damned thing about it.

The American physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer made an analogy to Buddhism when describing the Heisenberg uncertainty principle:
"If we ask, for instance, whether the position of the electron remains the same, we must say 'no;' if we ask whether the electron's position changes with time, we must say 'no;' if we ask whether the electron is at rest, we must say 'no;' if we ask whether it is in motion, we must say 'no.' The Buddha has given such answers when interrogated as to the conditions of man's self after his death; but they are not familiar answers for the tradition of seventeenth and eighteenth-century science. "

The Buddha made claims that agree or are parallel with physics 2500 years later(like the divisibility of the atom). AF has made claims that were known to be wrong BEFORE the creation of AF (too careless to actually learn quantum mechanics).


You are playing with semantics and overestimating the scope of Actualism/Actual Freedom. It doesn't deal with the brainstem in order to control motor or automatic functions; it just deals with emotional and higher parts/functions. The term "flesh and blood human" is used because one does not experience the world psychically/psychological, only sensuously: in a pure consciousness experience, the only experience is the one of the senses and (not self-based) thought. Thus, the human being is just another object (a body) among other objects in the universe, because it doesn't subjectivize experience. In Richard's words:


I had been using for eleven years more specific and to regain the actual purity of the unadulterated sensuous experience of *consciousness without a subject* (a body sans identity) from the adulterated mystical experience of consciousness without an object (an identity sans body)’


When Richard chooses to smoke and harms everyone around him, that isn't the brain-stem, that IS the emotional and higher parts/functions. Indicating he is either careless, and ethically neutral (not benign and harmless by definition then), not free from the instincts like he claims, or he has lost the ability to think clearly or he is not telling the truth.

I guess the use of logic,philosophy, and science is "playing with semantics". I suppose AF is fully involved in playing with semantics as you are saying "by harmless we really mean not-harmless; by actually-free we don't mean actually free; by flesh and blood human we don't really mean flesh and blood human; by one does not experience the world psychologically, we actually mean psychologically. etc etc"

Ceasing the I-maker doesn't inherently make the experience pure. It is playing with semantics to say so.
What do you mean by thus? That sentence is not derived from the prior in any way nor are they related.

Again stop reifying medieval concepts of how the universe is constructed please. There are no objects.
It is playing with semantics to say "it doesn't subjectivize experience". Experiences by definition are subjective. Objective perception is a contradiction in terms. Same with objective experiences, or objective senate. A body by definition lacks the capacity to be objective, same with a "flesh and blood human" or a mind.

The body doesn't exist inherently as a singularity or a multiplicity, therefor what sense does it make to say the body directly equals consciousness?
Richards quote is so muddled. Objective consciousness is a contradiction in terms. Consciousness is subjective by definition. Saying "consciousness without a subject" is playing with semantics at the very best.
His relations don't make sense without semantically ripping everything to pieces:
Consciousness(a) without subject(b) = a body(a) sans identity(b) ; Consciousness(a?) without an object(b?) = an identity(a?) sans body(b?)
=
consciousness = body and identity
subject = identity and consciousness
body = consciousness and object
identity = subject and consciousness
object = body and consciousness
With the circularity how can things be different from themselves? How can adulteration lead to consciousness going from being the body to being identity and inverse?
If this adulteration doesn't actually exist then why isn't AF evident a priori. If it is evident a priori then why isn't everyone automatically AF? If it isn't a priori then it requires a view and faith in that view. As the view wouldn't be a view if it was available a priori. If the adulteration does exist then it cannot be evident a priori, which one requires a view and faith in that view.

The next quote sums it up as Stephanie objectifies and reifies the flesh and blood body on faith right off the bat(as none of that is derived a priori). Moving on...

[quote=]This is what is meant by "flesh and blood body", in the sense of perceiving physical reality through senses and unselfish thought, without the intervention of perceptual aspects of other kind. It's just a way to say that, without any identity, you are only your physical-related brain functions and materials (you are flesh and blood and their automatic management by the brain) receiving information from the physical world. Do you really need to "control" the flesh and blood in order to accept the fact that you are composed of flesh and blood, that you are a flesh and blood body only?


So the senses are capable of sensing physicality? How does qualia translate to physicality to your mind? You are saying that without 'subjective' identity one's 'objective' identity is the reductionism to the scale of "physical" brain functions and materials. Though this reductionism is based on old science and assumptions, to which you AFers advocate an unwavering faith in the claim that you are physical bodies. The brain isn't physical, matter has nothing to do with the brain. Blood isn't physical, matter has nothing to do with blood. Flesh isn't physical, matter has nothing to do with flesh. Remember the brain after all is merely molecules, where are merely atomic fields, where are merely subatomic fields, which further are merely emerging immaterial forces. So can you explain at what level the miracle occurs and matter and physicality just appear out of nowhere.
Perceived solidarity is NOTHING but qualia, which emerges from the immaterial (meaning NO MATTER) vacuum (not of space, as space emerges, it's more like a hyper-advanced n-space, which is like the exact opposite of anything physical or material.)

So physics demands a restructuring of AF's language as what the hell does it mean to say you are an immaterial flesh and blood human (as saying it's physical is invoking pseudoscience and religious type faith)? This would still be falling for the fallacy where one is 'objectively' (incorrectly) identifying with a differentiation from scale of emergence as being real in relation to totality.
One can get the same amount of information from a "physical world" as any other deluded mystical way of thinking. Repeating the mantra of positing matter will never make it true or any less anti-scientific.
Saying that one is composed of flesh and blood is reification based on a religious-like faith.
Don't misrepresent me, I said to invoke a identityless self (which is what AF is claiming, as if they were truly claiming no-self then they are denying they have a priori experience, which refutes itself as this could only be discerned from a priori experience) one should at least demonstrate a single reason why one should be claimed as a flesh and blood body. You don't seem to grasp the idea of a identityless self in relation to this claim. As if operational control isn't the deciding factor then why choose the body to begin with? Why stop there, why are you not me or all flesh and blood bodies? According to your thinking the answer can be derived from only a posteriori sources, best of luck.


I am starting to realize AF might contribute to muddled thinking so I am going to pick up the pace.

How does AF handle Chalmers hard problem?



Oblivion is perceiving the physicality with this physical body only, without remembering or experiencing something emotionally. One achieves oblivion by wanting to be free of any malice and sorrow according to the PCE. "Oblivion" is used in a comparative way, for, before becoming AF, there is an I who decided to be oblivious of this psychological/psychic entity experiencing of the world, which is the cause of suffering. With this intent and objective, after the elimination of this entity which creates a subjective persona, one becomes the physicality that the universe has been, only that in the form of an aware and reflective human being. "Oblivion" is just a term for the fact that, in a PCE or AF, there is not a subject interpreting the object, just the objects themselves (universe).


A lot of religious stuff about this physicality stuff, can you show me an iota of matter? You can't because everything is constructed from information and not matter. The universe has NEVER BEEN PHYSICAL. This isn't an axiomatic, opinionated divergence. AF is diverging with fact. If one truly eliminated the entity, it would make no sense to ever say one who is AF is a flesh and blood human being.

Consciousness ceases with physical body death


Again with the religious voodoo. I guess AF isn't being free from faith. On faith you say consciousness ceases? Why exactly? If you claim consciousness emerges from the brain, the brain emerges from moleculer fields, which emerge from atom fields, which emerge from subatomic fields, which emerge from emerging forces in relation. At what point does the miracle happen and a magic cause creates something out of nothing and experiences? If no information can be lost, how does consciousness become obliterated and cease to exist? This nothing that the consciousness comes from, is that physical? How? If it is physical it's self refuting as nothing cannot be physical. If it isn't physical then the universe is immaterial. Unless you postulate a dualism (dualism is irrational).


Thubten Chodren is way over-simplifying and presenting from a conventional point of view. The relevance of you bringing up the quote has already been entirely extinguished as you are once again attempting to reify differences that are anti-scientific or most recently, just plain based on religious faith. If you are really trying to solidify the claimed divergence, it totally backfired. You have only made my position much clearer and made AF appear that much more muddled.

Quote mining wiki for one of the most misunderstood sutras of all time doesn't exactly help your case. Also "In other words, an "identity sans body"." is a rather poor attempt to straw-man Padmasambhava's teachings and is blatantly wrong.


I also haven't read a clear description from a 100% Buddhist practitioner where the complete eradication of being (feelings) is specified.


Eradicating feelings isn't the "complete eradication of being". A complete eradication of being would permanently extinguish a priori, which is logically untenable for a variety of reasons (like its self-refuting as this knowledge could only known a priori, meaning if it were true that the being was eradicated, that-which-was-eradicated would have no way of knowing, so the claims or teachings couldn't possibly arise.)

Without even having to invoke the more advanced schools, feelings is said to arise due to dependent origination (in the first 10,000 suttas) and if any link is removed underneath feelings then feelings cease. Therefor by definition of the most fundamental/core/basic teachings that are buddhist (dependent origination are some of the few core & novel Buddhist themes) ALL claim that feeling would be completely eradicated by removing ignorance. Before even that far ALL by definition imply directly that feeling would be eradicated by ceasing the grasping of name and form.

Please AF, stop strawmanning Buddhism, for this is a trend directly paralleling Richards own rather futile attempts to strawman the traditions. Jung's inflation/Osho-syndrome...

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/20/12 4:10 PM as a reply to Omega Point.
Omega Point,

Your last two posts on this are quite simply exceptional, a really outstanding breakdown of the entire thing and at a level way beyond any other analysis or criticism I have ever seen of Actualism. I really do hope you'll stick around to talk more.

Thanks.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/20/12 4:19 PM as a reply to Omega Point.
Omega Point:
So without the anti-logical faith based approach I practiced intensively for dozens of hours during retreat to identify the mental postures. After removing the AF fluff and paying attention solely to what the practice is asking in regards to posture, one can easily identify that NO new principles exist (in practice) from those principles that make any meditation a "dharma" practice. I am referring to soteriological/methodological principles. So if the philosophy is incoherent and anti-scientific, and the postures themselves are identical in principle with the category of 1000s of Buddhist/Hindu/Jain/etc called dharma practice, then how can AF be considered separate or novel?


Could you please describe the "mental postures" used in AF practice in more detail? It would also be great if you could cut down on the rhetoric a bit, I sometimes have a hard time getting to the point of what you're writing.

Thanks,
Simon

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/20/12 4:49 PM as a reply to Omega Point.
Omega Point:
While I can simply point to literally one of the only premises in AF and literally and correctly refer to it as supernaturalist thinking. As physicality isn't in accords with the laws of nature. I don't know how many times AF will blatantly ignore this most critical fact of modern physics.


Really? Could you please explain what you mean in more detail?

In my day to day experience I personally have no problem distinguishing the physical from the mental/spiritual/social. I have no idea if physicality is or isn't in accords with the laws of nature, but do you really mean that you have trouble understand the meaning of the word physicality in an AF context as it relates to day to day experience?

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/physicality :
"intensely physical orientation : predominance of the physical usually at the expense of the mental, spiritual, or social"

Your whole message comes across as very nit-picky to me, which is a shame as I'm sure there are some great points in there.

Thanks,
Simon

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/20/12 5:12 PM as a reply to Simon Ekstrand.
Simon, this guy is talking about stuff way beyond what you've experienced so far and I don't mean to be insulting or patronizing when I say that. I know what he's talking about with the physicality thing to some extent from my own experience of, what AEN described in terms of Thusness' map as, "mind and body drop", which I mentioned a while back, but what Omega Point is describing in the previous posts is so far beyond what the majority of people on here, or anywhere else in the pragmatic dharma community, as far as I can see, have experienced that any explanation will just lead to further confusion.

Again, I don't mean to be patronizing or imply that you "don't understand" for whatever reason, but I don't think your line of questioning will take you very far. This dude is either the 'real deal' and seriously knows his stuff, or is one of the finest bullshitters I've ever encountered online. emoticon

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/20/12 5:37 PM as a reply to Omega Point.
Omega Point:

Without even having to invoke the more advanced schools, feelings is said to arise due to dependent origination (in the first 10,000 suttas) and if any link is removed underneath feelings then feelings cease. Therefor by definition of the most fundamental/core/basic teachings that are buddhist (dependent origination are some of the few core & novel Buddhist themes) ALL claim that feeling would be completely eradicated by removing ignorance. Before even that far ALL by definition imply directly that feeling would be eradicated by ceasing the grasping of name and form.


I agree.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/20/12 5:42 PM as a reply to Tommy M.
Tommy,

I don't doubt for a second that Omega Point knows more than I ever will on the subject of meditation and related disciplines.

However, words like physicality have a fairly simple and obvious day to day use that can't just be ignored or the whole discussion becomes pointless. The uses of the word physical/physicality that I have seen in the basic AF documents have followed this day to day definition of the word. What Omega Point is doing to some extent seems to me to be the equivalent of joining a car forum and arguing that cars don't exist at all from certain perspectives. While it may certainly be true, the spirit of the whole discussion has been lost.

I'm assuming that the definition for physicality in this case must come from an AF context, since AF is what is being discussed in this thread.

Simon

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/20/12 5:44 PM as a reply to Simon Ekstrand.
A fair point, hopefully O.P. will get a chance to say some more about this.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/20/12 10:11 PM as a reply to Omega Point.
Hi, Omega,

I can't argue with you in the physics/physiology area as I am no scientist like you, and I don't even know how to find you are right or wrong. I'm far from being an expert on those areas, so maybe someone else could enter in this debate if he prefers so. You seem to make a lot of good points that I will consider, as I am not closed minded like I said to you. However, before going forward, let me remind you to what exactly did I reply to you in the first place:

Omega Point:
In terms of methodology/soteriological axioms I am having trouble finding what exactly is unique about AF. I have been really involved in the tantras and atiyoga and totally don't see what is unique about how AF practices are presented or done. Besides the fluff of explaining how to posture the mind, the postures themselves seem identical. I think it was simply a re-branding, and accidental or intentional misrepresentation of the the 'apparent' novelty, reminiscent of Osho to some degree.


So I'll try to answer to methodological concepts and potential methodological differences between Actualism and Buddhism.

- Harmless: This has been a matter of debate here before. In the AFT this refers to the absence of malice (the desire to hurt another person; active ill will, spite or hatred; a deep resentment). Now, back to my point in the smoking debate, could a human being live without causing some kind of harm? Let's consider "harmless" just as an intention. Are you suggesting that Richard smoke with the (malicious) intention to cause harm? Should he stop walking because he potentially kill hundreds of insects? Should he stop talking because other people can interpret his words in some way and get offended? If the argument is that of level of necessity and that smoking is just a pleasure, should he stop going to the movies because he can contaminate with his car or should he stop turning on the TV because that consumes energy and the process of generation of that energy contaminates the planet? Perhaps you are seeing this in a more broader sense than the one it's specified by Richard.

- Physical body: Let's bring it down here, and let's discuss this in relative terms ("our daily experience of a concrete world") and not in absolute ones ("emptiness"). Or in traditional physics terms, if you may ("a physical body or physical object [sometimes simply called a body or object] is a collection of masses, taken to be one"). After all, I don't have to know quantum physics in order to avoid a (very physical) baseball directed at me.

You said "There are no objects" and "physicality isn't in accords with the laws of nature", so perhaps you won't see a baseball (an object) in a frank trajectory to you (another object), and that's gotta hurt. My body is some kind of object, a lion is a kind of object, a skyscraper is a kind of object, etc. Now, back to methods, from my understanding, Actualism enhances the receptors of physicality (senses) and leaves everything else behind ("soul" and "ego", which are interpretations of that physical inputs). Richard names that physical because physical objects (baseballs, skyscrapers, apples) are received by other physical objects (tongue, skin) which have nerves (physical objects) that are processed by another object (brain):

Richard on delight:
"In this context delight is the sensuous experience of the thrill that being a flesh and blood body automatically evokes: the delicious (physical) excitation of the senses ... all the senses tingling with utter enjoyment and exhilaration."


Now, Buddhism has a different relation to objects and their relation to human bodies. For example:

Buddhism both Theravada and Mahayana:

In the Hinayana tradition, mindfulness of body is also practiced using the method known as the “meditation on ugliness,” or the “meditation on that which is repulsive.” The object of one’s meditation, in this case, includes both one’s own body and the bodies of others. Traditionally, one reflects on how our bodies are impure or unclean, to counteract the perception of our bodies as pure, and the five skandhas are viewed as “aggregates of filth.” This meditation engenders a sense of disgust toward the body and strengthens our sense of renunciation, of wishing to be free of samsara.

[...]the Mahayana views the body in the same way as someone who wishes to cross a river views a boat. It is immediately useful and beneficial, if used properly. Shantideva, one of the greatest exponents of the bodhisattva path, who lived in India in the seventh and eight centuries, says in his classic work the Bodhicharyavatara:

Upon finding the boat of human birth now, cross the great river of suffering.

O fool, there is no time for sleep, for this boat is hard to catch again.

And, again, Parinirvana:

Having dwelt upon the nature of nirvana, the Buddha now explains its positive aspect and says that nirvana has the four attributes of the Eternal, Bliss, the Self, and the Pure ... the Buddha says: "O you bhiksus ! Do not abide in the thought of the non-eternal, sorrow, non-Self, and the not-pure and have things as in the case of those people who take the stones, wooden pieces and gravel for the true gem [of the true Dharma] ... In every situation, constantly meditate upon the idea of the Self, the idea of the Eternal, Bliss, and the Pure ... Those who, desirous of attaining Reality meditatively cultivate these ideas, namely, the ideas of the Self , the Eternal, Bliss, and the Pure, will skilfully bring forth the jewel, just like the wise person."


What conclusions should we extract out of this? Richard says that paradise is here/now experiencing reality in this physical body (experiencing delight eating mangos and having orgasms); Buddhism seems to see this human body as an (often refered as impure, repulsive) opportunity, as a means to an end (Budhahood, Parinirvana) that occurs elsewhere, and apparently is Eternal. I won't discuss again if consciousness does cease or doesn't cease after physical death (Parenthesis: I would also LOVE an explanation from you on how is not scientifically questionable or not-supernatural the transplantation of accumulated abstract actions and effects from body to body, existing in 6 different realms, incluiding hell and heavens; all this dynamic according to some moral precepts and rules, for example). The thing I'm saying, and you are agreeing with me here, is that the methods and results are different: Actualism emphasizes a life free of malice and sorrow experienced by this body and the consciousness product of the components of this body (brain), and Buddhism emphasize a series of abstract actions (karma) going through the wheel of suffering from body to body. It's without the body, after the death of the physical body, when the Eternal and the Bliss of parinirvana bring complete relief and answer to suffering.

- Subjectivization, self and being. You said "Consciousness is subjective by definition". You referred to something I said before: "because it doesn't subjectivize experience". And, you're right about this: I still see red as always and differently from a color-blinded person, for example. Maybe I would salivate more with a steak than with a tomato. Would you agree that there are levels of subjectivization at least?

Richard:

1. There are three ways of experiencing the world of people, things and events: 1. sensate (senses); 2. cerebral (thoughts); 3. affective (feelings). The feelings include both the affectionate and desirable emotions/ passions (those that are loving and trusting) and hostile and invidious emotions/passions (those that are hateful and fearful).
2. All sentient beings are born with instinctual passions like fear and aggression and nurture and desire genetically bestowed by blind nature which give rise to a rudimentary animal ‘self’ – which is ‘being’ itself – that human beings with their ability to think and reflect upon their mortality have transformed into a ‘me’ as soul (a ‘feeler’ in the heart) and an ‘I’ as ego (a ‘thinker’ in the head).
3. Thus there are three I’s altogether but only one is actual (sensate) and not an identity; I am this flesh and blood body being apperceptively aware. The primary cause of all the wars and murders and rapes and tortures and domestic violence and child abuse and suicides and so on is the instinctual passions which give rise to malice and sorrow and the antidotally generated pacifiers of love and compassion which, if sublimated and transcended, give rise to Love Agapé and Divine Compassion


This subjectivization greatly increments with this feeling of being. You haven't answered how you practiced the Actualism method nor if you've had a PCE. In a PCE, this becomes apparent as feelings stop to arise, even in circumstances when they traditionally arise. This implies the elimination of some of that subjective experiencing: if someone make a loud noise while I'm in a PCE, I will have an automatic startle reflex but not some fear/ruminations for hours and hours. One could say that this body detected a physical danger and acted according to that circumstance jumping, but there is no entity who will interpret this as something personal or a real menace to his life. There is a jump, but there is no feeling in the solar plexus and neurotic thoughts. There is no effect as there is no one creating the effect.

This feeling of being is the very malice and sorrow. Malice and sorrow exist because there is a feeling of being. "I" am "my" feelings and "my" feelings are "me". Now, what does the Buddha said about self and feelings?

The Buddha:
"Feeling, O monks, is not-self; if feeling were self, then feeling would not lead to affliction and it should obtain regarding feeling: 'May my feeling be thus, may my feeling not be thus'; and indeed, O monks, since feeling is not-self, therefore feeling leads to affliction and it does not obtain regarding feeling: 'May my feeling be thus, may my feeling not be thus.'
(the same with form, perception, mental formations, consciousness)
[...]
"Therefore, surely, O monks, whatever feeling, past, future or present, internal or external, coarse or fine, low or lofty, far or near, all that feeling must be regarded with proper wisdom, according to reality, thus: 'This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.'
(the same with form, perception, mental formations, consciousness)"


This seems to have the objective of not relating and embracing "feelings" as part of "me". Instead, to realize no-self, one have to detach from feelings, seeing them as "not mine". Actualism accept feelings as "mine" (actually, they are part and parcel as they constitute the self), and work from within that idea to deconstruct self.

Now, some (MTCB ) arahats here have claimed that they keep experiencing the arising of feelings, and the actually free persons said they aren't experiencing them anymore. If you have some Vajrayana, Mahayana or Theravada reports where the complete absence of feelings 24/7/365 is specified, please share. If not, we can't say categorically that Actualism is not new and that was covered by Buddhism before Richard's method.

Now, you said:

Eradicating feelings isn't the "complete eradication of being"


From the Buddhist point of view, maybe, and that's where both methods are different. Let's remember part of the dependent origination:

"With Mind and Matter as condition, Sense Gates arise
With Sense Gates as condition, Contact arises
With Contact as condition, Feeling arises"

Actualism is ok with sense gates and contact. They don't represent any kind of suffering. Buddhism, on the other hand, seems to encounter links of creation of suffering before that. Where? In the mind but also in the body ("With Mind and Matter as condition, Sense Gates arise"). Body and mind (Nāmarūpa) meaning:

This term is also used in Buddhism, to refer to constituent processes of the human being: nāma is typically considered to refer to psychological elements of the human person, while Rūpa refers to the physical. The Buddhist nāma and rūpa are mutually dependent, and not separable; as nāmarūpa, they designate an individual being.[1]


So, what's one condition for the problem of suffering to exist (along with ignorance, mental formations, and conciousness)? The very arising of Nāmarūpa. This cycle of suffering goes on and on until one stops and cuts this process, and this stoppage implies not having a human mind and body or human birth. Again, this sounds like "consciousness without an object (human body)".


Now, don't get me wrong. I still find some aspects of Buddhism useful, even to my Actualist practice. What I am saying here, and that's why I asked you in the first place, is that I think that this Actualism thing is somewhat different to Buddhism. I won't say 180 degrees opposite, but at least, I think, there is a difference of some degrees. Also, pardon me if I didn't answer all your questions, you certainly touched a lot of points there, and I don't have more time right now.

Regards,

Felipe

EDIT NOTE. This post includes examples with quotes from different Buddhist traditions. Feel free to ignore it if it confuses someone more than what it helps to clarify the differences.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/20/12 8:34 PM as a reply to Felipe C..
Felipe C.:

And, again, Parinirvana:

Having dwelt upon the nature of nirvana, the Buddha now explains its positive aspect and says that nirvana has the four attributes of the Eternal, Bliss, the Self, and the Pure ... the Buddha says: "O you bhiksus ! Do not abide in the thought of the non-eternal, sorrow, non-Self, and the not-pure and have things as in the case of those people who take the stones, wooden pieces and gravel for the true gem [of the true Dharma] ... In every situation, constantly meditate upon the idea of the Self, the idea of the Eternal, Bliss, and the Pure ... Those who, desirous of attaining Reality meditatively cultivate these ideas, namely, the ideas of the Self , the Eternal, Bliss, and the Pure, will skilfully bring forth the jewel, just like the wise person."


What conclusions should we extract out of this? Richard says that paradise is here/now experiencing reality in this physical body (experiencing delight eating mangos and having orgasms); Buddhism seems to see this human body as an (often refered as impure, repulsive) opportunity, as a means to an end (Budhahood, Parinirvana) that occurs elsewhere, and apparently is Eternal. I won't discuss again if consciousness does cease or doesn't cease after physical death (Parenthesis: I would also LOVE an explanation from you on how is not scientifically questionable or not-supernatural the transplantation of accumulated abstract actions and effects from body to body, existing in 6 different realms, incluiding hell and heavens; all this dynamic according to some moral precepts and rules, for example). The thing I'm saying, and you are agreeing with me here, is that the methods and results are different: Actualism emphasizes a life free of malice and sorrow experienced by this body and the consciousness product of the components of this body (brain), and Buddhism emphasize a series of abstract actions (karma) going through the wheel of suffering from body to body. It's without the body, after the death of the physical body, when the Eternal and the Bliss of parinirvana bring complete relief and answer to suffering.


Is the way the 'parinirvana' or parinibbana in pali described in that quote above from wiki (a mahayana related quote) universally accepted as the definition of parinibbana? Is it found in the pali sutta version? I'm not sure. Don't have time at the moment, but I'm curious if it is. Have you researched this yourself, Felipe?

As far as i understand it parinibbana is simply translated as 'totally unbound', meaning the last of that which binds disintegrates, i.e. the sensory spheres


"He discerns that 'Whatever disturbances that would exist based on the effluent of sensuality... the effluent of becoming... the effluent of ignorance, are not present. And there is only this modicum of disturbance: that connected with the six sensory spheres, dependent on this very body with life as its condition.' He discerns that 'This mode of perception is empty of the effluent of sensuality... becoming... ignorance. And there is just this non-emptiness: that connected with the six sensory spheres, dependent on this very body with life as its condition.' Thus he regards it as empty of whatever is not there. Whatever remains, he discerns as present: 'There is this.' And so this, his entry into emptiness, accords with actuality, is undistorted in meaning, pure — superior & unsurpassed.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.121.than.html


What does this sound like? a mode of perception empty of all that is described above (by definition then with dependent origination and all it entails not arising such as malice, sorrow and 'emotion') but still with only a 'modicum of disturbance' of the six sensory spheres, that which disintegrates upon physical death. This would be 'totally unbound'. Could the 'six sensory spheres' conventionally be termed a 'physical flesh and blood body' with a cognising brain?

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/20/12 8:22 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nikolai .:
Is the way the 'parinirvana' or parinibbana in pali described in that quote above from wiki (a mahayana related quote) universally accepted as the definition of parinibbana? Is it found in the pali sutta version?


It would be grossly out of place in the Pali canon...

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/20/12 8:38 PM as a reply to End in Sight.
Hi, Nick and EiS,

Since Omega is a Tibetan practitioner, and Tibetan has these particularities of Buddhas being eternal, incorporeal and etc. , for example...

In the Dharmakaya doctrine the Buddha teaches that the Buddha is no longer essentially a human being, but has become a being of a different order altogether. In his ultimate transcendental "body/mind" mode as Dharmakaya, he has eternal and infinite life, is present in all things as the Buddha-nature, and is possessed of great and immeasurable qualities.

The Nirvana Sutra mentions the Buddha-nature as "the boundless Dharmadhatu". The Lotus Sutra and especially such tantras as the Kunjed Gyalpo Tantra give expression to a vision of the Buddha as the omnipresent, all-knowing, liberative essence and deathless Reality of all things.

In the Mahaparinirvana Sutra the Buddha declares:
Nirvana is stated to be eternally abiding. The Tathagata is also thus, eternally abiding, without change.
This is a particularly important metaphysical and soteriological doctrine in the Lotus Sutra and the Tathagatagarbha sutras. According to the Tathagatagarbha sutras, failure to recognize the Buddha's eternity and, even worse, outright denial of that eternity, is deemed a major obstacle to the attainment of complete awakening (Bodhi).

For the Tibetan Buddhist master, Dolpopa, and his Jonangpa School, the Buddha is to be understood as the wondrous and holy wish-fulfilling Essence of all things, beyond comprehension:
Buddha—an essence of immeasurable, incomprehensible, unfathomable, excellent exalted body, wisdom, qualities, and activities extremely wondrous and fantastic—is vast like space and the holy source, giving rise to all that is wished by sentient beings like a wish-granting jewel, a wish-granting tree …[11]


I decided to use that definition to make a clear difference between that outcome and objective and those of Actualism. Tibetan deals with a lot of 'incorporeality', and Actualism with non. And that's my point. I remember when I studied Tibetan, the teacher even said 'the future is the most important time for a Buddhist', referring to those future states of 'Buddhahood'. For Actualism, there is no actual future, it doesn't exist yet, the most important and unique time is now and here, in this physical world.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/20/12 8:51 PM as a reply to Felipe C..
Felipe C.:
Hi, Nick and EiS,

Since Omega is a Tibetan practitioner, and Tibetan has these particularities of Buddhas being eternal, incorporeal and etc. , for example...

In the Dharmakaya doctrine the Buddha teaches that the Buddha is no longer essentially a human being, but has become a being of a different order altogether. In his ultimate transcendental "body/mind" mode as Dharmakaya, he has eternal and infinite life, is present in all things as the Buddha-nature, and is possessed of great and immeasurable qualities.

The Nirvana Sutra mentions the Buddha-nature as "the boundless Dharmadhatu". The Lotus Sutra and especially such tantras as the Kunjed Gyalpo Tantra give expression to a vision of the Buddha as the omnipresent, all-knowing, liberative essence and deathless Reality of all things.

In the Mahaparinirvana Sutra the Buddha declares:
Nirvana is stated to be eternally abiding. The Tathagata is also thus, eternally abiding, without change.
This is a particularly important metaphysical and soteriological doctrine in the Lotus Sutra and the Tathagatagarbha sutras. According to the Tathagatagarbha sutras, failure to recognize the Buddha's eternity and, even worse, outright denial of that eternity, is deemed a major obstacle to the attainment of complete awakening (Bodhi).

For the Tibetan Buddhist master, Dolpopa, and his Jonangpa School, the Buddha is to be understood as the wondrous and holy wish-fulfilling Essence of all things, beyond comprehension:
Buddha—an essence of immeasurable, incomprehensible, unfathomable, excellent exalted body, wisdom, qualities, and activities extremely wondrous and fantastic—is vast like space and the holy source, giving rise to all that is wished by sentient beings like a wish-granting jewel, a wish-granting tree …[11]


I decided to use that definition to make a clear difference between that outcome and objective and those of Actualism. Tibetan deals with a lot of 'incorporeality', and Actualism with non. And that's my point. I remember when I studied Tibetan, the teacher even said 'the future is the most important time for a Buddhist', referring to those future states of 'Buddhahood'. For Actualism, there is no actual future, it doesn't exist yet, the most important and unique time is now and here, in this physical world.


Hi Felipe,

Then so as to not seemingly make absolute statements as others may have done about 'Buddhism' and all the schools that could be included under such an umbrella term, including the 'pragmatic dharma movement' and its adherents, it would be clearer and less confusing for all to avoid calling 'Buddhism' as this and that based off of one school of thought when approaches that could fall under such a term may not actually meet the definitions you are using. It can confuse others readings and lead to misinterpretations and misrepresentations and may simply be a way to sell a point, based on half truths. I'm a stickler for clarity. Be specific. Also there is no 'future' in the dharma I put into practice that is divorced from 'thought'.

Nick

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/20/12 9:16 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Maybe you're right. I guess I mixed because, according to my poor memory, in the Tibetan Mahayana school it's said that they cover the topics of both 'Hinayana' {Theravada} and 'Mahayana', along with 'Vajrayana', but maybe I was wrong on that assumption.

However, I don't think my references about no-self {from a sutta of the pali canon} and dependent origination {from a generic wiki article} are that different in Tibetan.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/20/12 10:01 PM as a reply to Felipe C..
Felipe C.:
Maybe you're right. I guess I mixed because, according to my poor memory, in the Tibetan Mahayana school it's said that they cover the topics of both 'Hinayana' {Theravada} and 'Mahayana', along with 'Vajrayana', but maybe I was wrong on that assumption.

However, I don't think my references about no-self {from a sutta of the pali canon} and dependent origination {from a generic wiki article} are that different in Tibetan.


Hi Felipe

Whatever floats your boat and motivates you to stop delaying. but be wary, are you simply posting such things to validate your own motivations and objectives at the detriment of clarity at the DhO? Disclaimers wold help. e.g This is my view of 'Buddhsim'. It helps me drop the things I've deemed blocks for what I wish to achieve on the path I'm walking.

Your view could be a mixed up balls of a view with no ground to stand on, but if it motivates you to do what must be done, then I'm all for it. But, disclaimers all round and being clear about where your ideas are based will avoid confusing others or pushing what could be an underlying and hidden from view self-serving agenda. Unless that is one's intention to begin with. If so, then the DhO with its eclectic mix of approaches, objectives, practitioners and motivations doesn't benefit in my opinion.

Nick

Edited for more words.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/20/12 10:11 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
but be wary, are you simply posting such things to validate your own motivations and objectives at the detriment of clarity at the DhO?


Perhaps, it could also contribute and not only be 'detrimental'. If you think is mixed, then consider it mix. Does this mixing implies that I'm wrong point by point? I am, after all, quoting relevant and valid sources. Maybe someone could also learn from these fragmentary points in a more specific way. A Tibetan practitioner could extract some value, a Theravadan one other, and an actualist another. I will add a note in my post, if that helps.

Cheers,

Felipe

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/21/12 5:31 AM as a reply to Felipe C..
Felipe C.:
Maybe you're right. I guess I mixed because, according to my poor memory, in the Tibetan Mahayana school it's said that they cover the topics of both 'Hinayana' {Theravada} and 'Mahayana', along with 'Vajrayana', but maybe I was wrong on that assumption.


You're right in that those claims (about covering everything, about superseding previous forms of Buddhism) do seem to be commonly made in Mahayana / Vajrayana forms of Buddhism.

However, I don't think my references about no-self {from a sutta of the pali canon} and dependent origination {from a generic wiki article} are that different in Tibetan.


About no-self and feeling: I wouldn't assume that what the AFT refers to by "feeling" is what is called "vedana" in Pali, or that the two are identical in meaning. "Feeling" in English is a polysemous word.

'I' am anger and anger is 'me' (AFT endoses)
vs.
'I' am pain and pain is 'me' (AFT does not endorse)

Both are felt, but that doesn't mean that both are vedana.

About dependent origination: people from Mayahana / Vajrayana backgrounds seem to have different ideas about what dependent origination is about. I don't know why.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/22/12 11:23 AM as a reply to Felipe C..
Felipe C.:
Hi, Nick and EiS,

Since Omega is a Tibetan practitioner, and Tibetan has these particularities of Buddhas being eternal, incorporeal and etc. , for example...

In the Dharmakaya doctrine the Buddha teaches that the Buddha is no longer essentially a human being, but has become a being of a different order altogether. In his ultimate transcendental "body/mind" mode as Dharmakaya, he has eternal and infinite life, is present in all things as the Buddha-nature, and is possessed of great and immeasurable qualities.

The Nirvana Sutra mentions the Buddha-nature as "the boundless Dharmadhatu". The Lotus Sutra and especially such tantras as the Kunjed Gyalpo Tantra give expression to a vision of the Buddha as the omnipresent, all-knowing, liberative essence and deathless Reality of all things.

In the Mahaparinirvana Sutra the Buddha declares:
Nirvana is stated to be eternally abiding. The Tathagata is also thus, eternally abiding, without change.
This is a particularly important metaphysical and soteriological doctrine in the Lotus Sutra and the Tathagatagarbha sutras. According to the Tathagatagarbha sutras, failure to recognize the Buddha's eternity and, even worse, outright denial of that eternity, is deemed a major obstacle to the attainment of complete awakening (Bodhi).

For the Tibetan Buddhist master, Dolpopa, and his Jonangpa School, the Buddha is to be understood as the wondrous and holy wish-fulfilling Essence of all things, beyond comprehension:
Buddha—an essence of immeasurable, incomprehensible, unfathomable, excellent exalted body, wisdom, qualities, and activities extremely wondrous and fantastic—is vast like space and the holy source, giving rise to all that is wished by sentient beings like a wish-granting jewel, a wish-granting tree …[11]


I decided to use that definition to make a clear difference between that outcome and objective and those of Actualism. Tibetan deals with a lot of 'incorporeality', and Actualism with non. And that's my point. I remember when I studied Tibetan, the teacher even said 'the future is the most important time for a Buddhist', referring to those future states of 'Buddhahood'. For Actualism, there is no actual future, it doesn't exist yet, the most important and unique time is now and here, in this physical world.


Shentong teachings, and the school of Jonang, are a minority school of Tibetan Buddhism, in fact the least adherents out of the 5 schools of Tibetan Buddhism - in fact Jonang is only recently 'officially recognized' this year as one of the schools of Tibetan Buddhism by the Dalai Lama. Shentong is often accused by Tibetan Buddhists of leaning towards the eternalist side of interpretation (but so does certain early sutras of the Tathagatagarbha class of Mahayana scriptures) and is much closer to the view of Hinduism/Advaita Vedanta than other forms of Tibetan Buddhism, and I think these certain schools (like Shentong/Jonang) and some Tathagatagarbha class sutra (like the early version of Mahayana Mahaparinirvana sutra) are as eternalistic as they are accused of (though the degree of being affected by eternalist view very much depends on each individual shentong-view teacher, some are less eternalistic than others). However, vast majority of Tibetan Buddhism/Mahayana do not hold such views (though not very uncommon either).

Most Tibetans do not hold an eternalist view and are more towards the Nagarjuna 'middle way' teachings in terms of view... just mentioning this because Mahayana and Tibetan is very vast, there is no single uniform view that is accepted throughout.

And whenever Richard of AF accuses Buddhism, he always accuses Buddhism as if Buddhism is teaching a form of Hinduism and an eternalistic Self... obviously, this is a view held by a small minority of Buddhists even among Tibetan/Mahayana (needless to say, much less in Theravada) and most do not think it represents the teachings of Buddha.

As for 'future', in Dzogchen form of Tibetan Buddhism, Buddhahood is already spontaneously perfected right now as the three kayas. It only needs to be discovered.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/22/12 11:21 AM as a reply to Felipe C..
Felipe C.:
Maybe you're right. I guess I mixed because, according to my poor memory, in the Tibetan Mahayana school it's said that they cover the topics of both 'Hinayana' {Theravada} and 'Mahayana', along with 'Vajrayana', but maybe I was wrong on that assumption.

However, I don't think my references about no-self {from a sutta of the pali canon} and dependent origination {from a generic wiki article} are that different in Tibetan.

In Pali suttas, the original words of Buddha, Nirvana (pali: Nibbana) is always taught as the cessation, or remainderless termination of craving.

There are two kinds of nirvana: nirvana with remainder which is termination of craving with the remainder of body-mind/sense awareness fully functioning.

Nirvana without remainder, which is parinirvana (final cessation), is the termination of even body-mind in a post-mortem state. So when the Buddha 'nirvanas' (ceases), an analogy used by the Buddha is like the fire of a candle 'blowing out'.

However, Nirvana is not just the end of life. As mentioned earlier, Nirvana can be 'reached' in this life, and that is nirvana with remainder. There is no nirvana without remainder without first attaining the nirvana with remainder in this life.

The Buddha taught,

"This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications, the relinquishment of all acquisitions, the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Nibbana."

— AN 3.32

SN 43 Asaṅkhata Saṃyutta (1-44 combined & abridged):

And what, monks, is the not-fabricated (asaṅkhata)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the not-fabricated.

And what, monks, is the not-inclined (anata)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the not-inclined.

And what, monks, is the outflowless (anāsava)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the outflowless.

And what, monks, is the truth (sacca)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the truth.

And what, monks, is the farther shore (pāra)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the farther shore.

And what, monks, is the subtle (nipuṇa)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the subtle.

And what, monks, is the very hard to see (sududdasa)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the very hard to see.

And what, monks, is the unaging (ajajjara)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the unaging.

And what, monks, is the stable (dhuva)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the stable.

And what, monks, is the undisintegrating (apalokita)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the undisintegrating.

And what, monks, is the non-indicative (anidassana)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the non-indicative.

And what, monks, is the unproliferated (nippapañca)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the unproliferated.

And what, monks, is the peaceful (santa)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the peaceful.

And what, monks, is the death-free (amata)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the death-free.

And what, monks, is the sublime (paṇīta)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the sublime.

And what, monks, is the auspicious (siva)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the auspicious.

And what, monks, is the secure (khema)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the secure.

And what, monks, is the elimination of craving (taṇhākkhaya)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the elimination of craving.

And what, monks, is the wonderful (acchariya)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the wonderful.

And what, monks, is the amazing (abbhuta)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the amazing.

And what, monks, is the calamity-free (anītika)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the calamity-free.

And what, monks, is the dhamma free of calamity (anītikadhamma)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the dhamma free of calamity.

And what, monks, is extinguishment (nibbāna)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called extinguishment.

And what, monks, is the unafflicted (abyāpajjha)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the unafflicted.

And what, monks, is dispassion (virāga)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called dispassion.

And what, monks, is purity (suddhi)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called purity.

And what, monks, is freedom (mutti)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called freedom.

And what, monks, is the unadhesive (anālaya)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the unadhesive.

And what, monks, is the island (dīpa)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the island.

And what, monks, is the cave (leṇa)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the cave.

And what, monks, is the shelter (tāṇa)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the shelter.

And what, monks, is the refuge (saraṇa)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the refuge.

And what, monks, is the destination (parāyana)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the destination.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
definitions
Answer
7/22/12 5:35 PM as a reply to Vas A.
Vas A:
tarin greco:

the progenitor of the actualism method has informed me that i am mistaken about this, however; he has stated that, of the practitioners on the dho i have indicated to him as having possibly become actually free, several have certainly not done so, despite my impressions. further, he has stated that i, at my current stage of actualism development (being only 'newly-free of the instinctual passions'), cannot gauge whether another person's condition is that of an actual freedom or not... not even from extensive direct contact and conversation. evidently, then, i have no reliable way of recognising an actually free person at all. essentially, what this means is that the criteria which i've so far used to determine what an actual freedom is, is actually invalid for the purpose.
tarin


firstly, thanks for the fresh air you have given to the whole subject.

let me ask you a bold question... before you drop your ability to recognize (faultily or not) an 'actually free person', could you apply that ability one last time.. on the progenitor himself? in your extensive communication and interaction with the progenitor (of af), did you find anything puzzling that you could not account for? [this question is being asked in the light of various controversies that are occuring with new documents being circulated etc. a honest opinion, even if it is just that, will help me]. iow, freshly evaluating by your own experience, is he 'actually free' or not?


To others who may be confused by the consistent use of this word "phenomenological", as I have been, I thought it might be useful to attach the definition found on Wikkipedia (Go Wikki! ;-) ). However, put succinctly, it appears to mean to discuss/ research everything from the perspective of one's own actual experiences (not using actual to correlate to any "af" meanings, lol!).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phenomenology_(philosophy)

Love and Peace!

Jazzi

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/22/12 6:54 PM as a reply to Jasmine Marie Engler.
Hiya Jazzi,

Welcome to the DhO,

To others who may be confused by the consistent use of this word "phenomenological", as I have been, I thought it might be useful to attach the definition found on Wikkipedia (Go Wikki! ;-) ). However, put succinctly, it appears to mean to discuss/ research everything from the perspective of one's own actual experiences (not using actual to correlate to any "af" meanings, lol!).

Thank you for taking the time to post that link, and I'm glad your no longer confused about the words used here. I had no idea what the word meant until I started using this site either so you're not alone in your confusion, we've all been there at some point. emoticon

I've wondered whether or not it'd be helpful to create a sort of DhO glossary thread, just basic descriptions of what certain commonly used words such as "phenomenological" actually mean in plain English, maybe with some contextual examples or links to various online dictionaries?

Sometimes it's just that there's one big word that encapsulates something in a clearer way, but there's been criticism of the tendency towards an intellectual approach to discussing this stuff before on here. However, having a more empirical and phenomenological emphasis when describing your practice can make it much clearer to discern what's required to move forward.

T

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/22/12 7:57 PM as a reply to Omega Point.
Hi OM,

Thanks for all the effort put into your posts over the last little while, there has been some real gems in there which have been helpful.

One thing perhaps you have not considered in your assessment of actualism is the imperative to "enjoy this moment of being alive" as the means and end of the method. Novel? in the dhamma world, yes. You will be hard pressed to find anyone sum up Buddhism (of any flavour) as that.

all of the great scientific points you make have enriched my understanding (which was always Spinoza's monism at it's heart anyway) so i am more than happy, as an 'actualist' (as if such a thing existed), to carry on with the 'set of facts/theories' presented and consider how this 'moment of being alive' is enhanced in the light of them.

Loyalty to Richard and his optimisation of freedom has never been part of the method, or subjection to his intellect for that matter.

beholden to no one includes him. loyalty and gratitude will get one in all sorts of convoluted and unnecessary affective states.

'regards and cheers' (!) haha

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/23/12 4:16 AM as a reply to Tommy M.
Although cut from a different context I always found the following quote useful:


I'm not going to tackle the last position, but instead ask you to partake in one of the following: take a hammer and smash one of your fingers as hard as you can, or cut yourself deeply with a knife. Now, as you experience the searing pain of your body unleashing a whirlwind of reactions in your brain, ask yourself: is this an illusion, is this real? If you need to go to the hospital afterward, ask the nurses "is this an illusion, is this real?" If they submit you to another person of your profession, ask them "is this an illusion, is this real?"

http://dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/590397

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/23/12 1:48 PM as a reply to Pål S..
Pain/suffering is generally the only indicator people use to discern if something is "real."

-People think dreams (during sleep) are unreal because they are generally less painful than waking reality.
-People watch movies and say they aren't real because they're sitting in the comfort of their chairs at room temperature.
-Same goes for video games.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/23/12 9:05 PM as a reply to Andrew ..
Andrew .:
One thing perhaps you have not considered in your assessment of actualism is the imperative to "enjoy this moment of being alive" as the means and end of the method. Novel?


http://www.janfrazierteachings.com/blog/?p=3093#more-3093

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/24/12 3:31 AM as a reply to Jeff Grove.
Thanks for the link Jeff, I wasn't making that exact point (Novel in general) rather in contrast to what buddhism generally is summed up as, though I guess buddhism really is so vast that it wouldn't be hard to find someone summing it up that way.

I like the link to Jan frazier, very clear writer. cheers.

for the record, I have really enjoyed the debate in this thread, my contribution probably seemed defensive, but it was more an attempt to balance the equation a bit with what I have found useful in the AFT writings, I have no argument with science, infact enjoyed a good hour of watching homemade double spit wave/particle experiments that appeared in the youtube margin besides Omega Point's links!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asxo-IdcuH0&feature=related

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/24/12 9:30 AM as a reply to Jeff Grove.
Jeff Grove:
Andrew .:
One thing perhaps you have not considered in your assessment of actualism is the imperative to "enjoy this moment of being alive" as the means and end of the method. Novel?


http://www.janfrazierteachings.com/blog/?p=3093#more-3093


What did you mean to show by posting that link? Nothing written at that link talks about enjoying this moment of being alive.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/24/12 12:53 PM as a reply to Omega Point.
hello everyone, Omega Point,

one of the many excellent things about actualism is that the principles are inarguable as far as sensibility is concerned. there is absolutely no argument whatsoever that could possibly invalidate the sensibility that is part and parcel the actualism method. even if there were hypothetically-- and i emphasize the *if* and the *hypothetically*-- inconsistencies or contradictions or otherwise disagreeable content published on the actual freedom trust web-site, none of it-- no matter how wild the imagined disparity-- could invalidate the sensibility of the method.

the actualism method-- which is the consistent enjoyment and appreciation of this moment of being alive-- is remarkably simple. one needn't learn anything about something else in order to apply the method, let alone does one need to understand modern quantum physics theories or centuries old religious practices, nor does one need to even have an opinion about what those have to do with actualism. the foundation necessary for the method is already available, by virtue of the fact that to be reading these words means to be a living human being.

since the foundation is already available, then sincerity is all what else is required. otherwise, one will forgo the sensible imitation of the actual (by way of the method) and instead initiate silly logical arguments, all the while squandering away one's only moment of being alive defending one's identity; which is, in effect, to defend one's malicious and sorrowful nature; which is, in effect, to defend the malicious and sorrowful nature of all 'humanity' and the appalling behavior incited by it.

since the successful application of the method is no different than the end itself (the consistent enjoyment and appreciation
of this moment of being alive), then noticing that is really the only reason one needs to jump in with both feet, to be totally committed. indeed, one can easily verify for oneself that the method is both personally and socially harmonious, and that there is nothing to worry about whatsoever. here is where one can become quite unbelievably overjoyed, by confirming the undeniable fact that the more committed one is, the more wonderful, joyous and fun life becomes. as this unleashed appreciation precipitates more of the same, one only need step out of the way, for the end is far nearer than one ever felt possible ... indeed, it was right here all along.

in case it is not clear, allow me to emphasize just how auspicious an opportunity this really is: you have before you a freely available method, elucidated in both generalities and specifics, that is harmless through and through, which eventuates the very meaning of life. it is a way by which to end all of the sadness and loneliness and anxiety and confusion and anger and so forth which plagues the vast majority of some 7,000,000,000 people on this planet, which includes (or at one time included) every person you have ever known, cared for, conversed with or even laid eyes upon. it is the means to living in peace and and tranquility for the remaining duration of your life. the method is immediately effective (and instantaneously verifiable), reproducible on demand, does not require input or assistance from anybody else, needs absolutely no supplementation,
and cannot ever be stripped away from you by another. furthermore, the abundance of details about the method and many preemptive writings that counter common hesitations are widely available through millions upon millions of words of text and video, including autobiographical articles, journals, essays, one-on-one and group correspondences. yet still further, the content has an impeccable consistency and integrity, having been carefully supervised, edited and and presented by Richard, an undoubtedly perspicacious and caring man with decades of experience being a normal person, being a spiritual person, being a family man and parent, being a person practicing what was later named the actualism method, and as a person living the result. finally, he is still to this day actively assisting and aiding his fellows online and in person.

now, if all that still isn't enough for you, then perhaps that is a not-so-subtle hint about the insatiability of your current condition, eh? but not to worry, if that is the case ... seeing so may be the very impetus needed to quit quibbling, to get off of one's backside, and to actually do something about it.

enjoy,
trent

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/24/12 4:56 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Jeff Grove:
Andrew .:
One thing perhaps you have not considered in your assessment of actualism is the imperative to "enjoy this moment of being alive" as the means and end of the method. Novel?


http://www.janfrazierteachings.com/blog/?p=3093#more-3093


What did you mean to show by posting that link? Nothing written at that link talks about enjoying this moment of being alive.



The techniques of AF are excellant tools for creating conditions for a favourable outcome, but the more insight I get into the evolution of practices among the different traditions throughout the world the more the methods of AF are not novel

Andrew summed it up in the post above - I enjoyed reading the above link

cheers
Jeff

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/24/12 7:50 PM as a reply to Jeff Grove.
The techniques of AF are excellant tools for creating conditions for a favourable outcome, but the more insight I get into the evolution of practices among the different traditions throughout the world the more the methods of AF are not novel

I've emphasized the first line because it's a really useful, not to mention skilful, way to look at the AF methods, particularly in light of Trent's post, and the second section is just a wonderfully insightful comment.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/24/12 7:58 PM as a reply to Tommy M.
Tommy M:
The techniques of AF are excellant tools for creating conditions for a favourable outcome, but the more insight I get into the evolution of practices among the different traditions throughout the world the more the methods of AF are not novel

I've emphasized the first line because it's a really useful, not to mention skilful, way to look at the AF methods, particularly in light of Trent's post, and the second section is just a wonderfully insightful comment.


Can't help myself... seconded emoticon

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/25/12 11:31 AM as a reply to Tom Tom.
Tom A Vitale:
concluded that AF can not be attained unless one "ACTUALLY GET THOSE SAME
PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDERS that will classify them as patients of PTSD".


Maybe this just means that it is very hard to obtain without some degree of progress in insight? (like at least A&P or stream entry). As "untreated" insight disease is likely to lead to various clinical diagnoses.


"I mean it when I say: ‘I have the most classic indication of insanity. That is: everyone else is mad but me’."

"The doorway to an actual freedom has the words ‘Warning: do not open ... insanity lies ahead’ written on it. I opened the door and walked through. Once on the other side – where thousands upon thousands of atavistic voices were insistently whispering ‘fool – fool – fool’ – I turned to ascertain the way back to normal."

http://www.actualfreedom.com.au/richard/selectedcorrespondence/sc-sanity2.htm

Richard thinks of himself as having made his way back to normal but still has the classic indication of insanity. But Aloha concluded that AF can't be attained unless one "ACTUALLY GET THOSE SAME PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDERS that will classify them as patients of PTSD".

Some practitioners of Actualism actually do seem to lose touch with rationality and start to write completely irrational things, pure intent being the latest example by one of them.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/25/12 1:41 PM as a reply to Change A..
Aman A.:
"The doorway to an actual freedom has the words ‘Warning: do not open ... insanity lies ahead’ written on it. I opened the door and walked through. Once on the other side – where thousands upon thousands of atavistic voices were insistently whispering ‘fool – fool – fool’ – I turned to ascertain the way back to normal."

http://www.actualfreedom.com.au/richard/selectedcorrespondence/sc-sanity2.htm

Richard thinks of himself as having made his way back to normal but still has the classic indication of insanity.

No, you misrepresented his quote:
Richard:
Once on the other side – where thousands upon thousands of atavistic voices were insistently whispering ‘fool – fool – fool’ – I turned to ascertain the way back to normal. The door had vanished – and the wall it was set in – and I just knew that I would never, ever be able to find my way back to the real-world ... it had been nothing but an illusion all along. I walked tall and free as the perfection of this material universe personified ... I can never not be here ... now.

So no, he doesn't think of himself as having made his way back to normal.

The way he put it to me in person is that sanity lies on one end of the spectrum and insanity lies on the other end of the spectrum, but actual freedom lies nowhere on that spectrum at all. As he put it, sanity itself is the problem (sane people do malicious and sorrowful things all the time), but insanity (aka religion/enlightenment) is not the solution.

(To be clear: he says he has the most classic indication of insanity, but he does not say he is insane.)

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/25/12 2:48 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Okay, so he has the classic indication of insanity.

And Aloha concluded that AF can not be attained unless one "ACTUALLY GET THOSE SAME PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDERS that will classify them as patients of PTSD".

What you have been writing lately about Pure Intent is also completely irrational. Maybe you are getting closer to being AF.

Good luck!

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/25/12 2:53 PM as a reply to Tommy M.
Tommy M,

Thanks for this! :-) I agree with both points- coming from a medical standpoint, we are always told to 'use language that the patient will understand.' However, it is truly difficult to express oneself if one limits oneself to always calling the 'neuromagnetic pathways', the 'electrically stimulated pathways that the brain uses to communicate an action to the body'. It can get wordy and impractical- you are correct. And, in this, we have all chosen to be students; it was not a 'necessity' in the same way that a doctor's visit was. Therefore, no one truly has any responsibility to 'dumb it down' for the newbies like me. However, my limited understanding of the language (in particular, the yogi/ chinese words), due to my limited background with Buddhism, does oftentimes lead to my feeling helplessly lost in the waves, and wondering at my practical ability to overcome these language barriers. Therefore, it is a turn-off to new yogis. However, your idea of a glossary page is brilliant, or perhaps, when someone uses a term that is little-known or of a different language, it would be incredibly generous of them to allow for a parenthesied definition directly after. But, as I said, I understand how trying that may be, especially if one is in the 'flow' of what they are writing. But a glossary sounds golden! Thanks, Tommy! You rock!
emoticon

Love and Happiness,

Jazzi

PS- Just ecstatically happy today, and thanks for this moment of happiness!

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/25/12 3:02 PM as a reply to Change A..
Aman,

Meaning no disrespect, and I am new here, so I may be speaking out of turn. If so, I apologise. However, your comment "...What you have been writing lately about Pure Intent is also completely irrational..." lacked the support and credence that this site usually seems to offer, leaving one with the impression that your tone was sarcastic, pointed, and, in short, an attack of the person to whom this comment was addressed. Was there any point to adding this besides causing insult, which equates harm, which does not follow the inherent concept that seems to be practiced by the majority of 'harmlessness'? As stated, I am fairly new, and could be missing old lines of friendship or familiarity. But this comment, had it been directed toward me, would not have assisted in any way with my understanding of self, and, in my limited perception, I am having difficulty seeing how it could be assisting any other.

Love and Happiness,

Jazzi

PS- nothing wished by this comment but a genuine friendliness and Happiness. :-)

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/25/12 3:55 PM as a reply to Change A..
Aman A.:


What you have been writing lately about Pure Intent is also completely irrational


What does this sentence mean? Can you unpack it a bit?

What is rationality (according to your usage)? And what makes it preferable to the alternative(s)?

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/25/12 9:40 PM as a reply to Change A..
Aman A.:
Okay, so he has the classic indication of insanity.

And Aloha concluded that AF can not be attained unless one "ACTUALLY GET THOSE SAME PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDERS that will classify them as patients of PTSD".

What you have been writing lately about Pure Intent is also completely irrational. Maybe you are getting closer to being AF.

Good luck!


If you're interested and not merely speculating on the basis of hearsay, I suggest you get it straight from the horse's mouth:

Richard
RICHARD: I have been examined by two accredited psychiatrists and have been officially classified as suffering from a pronounced and severe mental disorder. My symptoms are: 1. Depersonalisation. 2. Derealisation. 3. Alexithymia. 4. Anhedonia. Also, I have the most classic indication of insanity. That is: everyone else is mad but me. I just thought I might share that with you, as I consider that it may be important for you to know that you are currently engaged in a correspondence with a madman.

RESPONDENT No. 19: Richard, I’m going to let my light out from under the bushel and tell you what I see: You are still ‘crazy’, and I still have affection and/or compassion for you.

RICHARD: As I am a person devoid of either latent or active enmity, I require no restorative affection whatsoever to create the illusion of intimacy in my human interactions. And as I am also a person devoid of either latent or active sorrow, I require no antidotal compassion whatsoever to create the illusion of caring. Thus, in an actual freedom, intimacy is not dependent upon cooperation. I experience an actual intimacy – a direct experiencing of the other – twenty four hours of the day irrespective of the other’s affection and/or compassion ... or mood swings. If this is being crazy – if this is a severe mental disorder – then it sure beats the sanity of the real world ... which is a sanity that produces wars and rapes and murders and tortures and domestic violence and child abuse and sadness and loneliness and grief and depression and suicide.


This is an extract, the whole page is a well worth read:

http://www.actualfreedom.com.au/richard/selectedcorrespondence/sc-sanity2.htm

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
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7/25/12 10:13 PM as a reply to Fred none.
Clinical Psychology = Abnormal psychology and thus is the study of abnormality and has nothing to do with sanity/insanity as these are "outdated" terms psychiatrists/clinicans do not use themselves.

This is likely due to the fact that the psychologists/psychiatrists do not represent a state of perfect sanity and thus are not qualified to determine whether someone is insane or sane (other than if they are more "insane" than "they" themselves are, and would not be qualified to determine if someone is more "sane" than them).

A modern psychiatrist would mention nothing of sanity/insanity and Richard is therefore inferring "madman" from "mental disorder" (abnormality) where the two are in no way synonymous.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
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7/26/12 11:19 AM as a reply to Fred none.
It is not hearsay but a personal account by a person who actually met Richard. I quoted her exact words. The said horse has an agenda and that is to be known as the first human in the world who has achieved a condition he calls as Actual Freedom. What is funny about this is that at the same time, he also wants to be known as someone who has no self/Self.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
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7/26/12 11:25 AM as a reply to Change A..
Aman A.:
It is not hearsay but a personal account by a person who actually met Richard.

Haha, I couldn't resist:

wiktionary:
hearsay
1. information that was heard by one person about another
2. (law) evidence based on the reports of others rather than on personal knowledge; normally inadmissible because not made under oath

That is, "information that was heard by one person" (you) "about another" (Richard).

Or: "evidence based on the reports of others" (Aloha) "rather than on personal knowledge" (your own experience of meeting Richard).

In my personal experience of meeting Richard, he was not suffering from PTSD or any psychological disorders that would classify him as a patient of PTSD... and that is not hearsay because I met the man myself, thus it is my personal knowledge I am using as evidence.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
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7/26/12 12:38 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
The words I quoted are not my words but the exact words which were typed by Aloha on yahoo forum. I should have provided the link to the message as well. Here is the link: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/actualfreedom/message/10750

She met the man herself on many occasions, that is her personal knowledge.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
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7/26/12 1:45 PM as a reply to Change A..
Aman A.:
The words I quoted are not my words but the exact words which were typed by Aloha on yahoo forum. I should have provided the link to the message as well. Here is the link: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/actualfreedom/message/10750

She met the man herself on many occasions, that is her personal knowledge.

Yes, I agree with all you just said. I think, by definition, you posting her words here would be considered "hearsay" (vs. if she posted them here herself). But I am not a lawyer and I don't know how it works when referring to documented statements so I am content not to pursue the conversation.

In any case, you having never met the man, you can't really know what the facts are, so you'll have to choose to believe either Aloha or me, as we offer pretty directly contradictory statements. I will add that my reports and experiences of Richard are consistent with the millions of words available on the AFT whereas Aloha's reports are not.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
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7/26/12 2:43 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
I have seen this behavior among other Actualists as well that when it comes to their way of looking at things (when it helps them), they will try to go for the exact meaning of words such as "hearsay" in this instance. But even then, I don't think that quoting someone would be considered "hearsay". If I go by your understanding of the definition of "hearsay", that would mean that wherever anyone has quoted Richard, that is "hearsay" as well. Right?

Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
In any case, you having never met the man, you can't really know what the facts are, so you'll have to choose to believe either Aloha or me, as we offer pretty directly contradictory statements. I will add that my reports and experiences of Richard are consistent with the millions of words available on the AFT whereas Aloha's reports are not.


I choose to believe Aloha because the example that you gave of "seeing" metal moving other pieces of metal without touching as implying to be somehow equivalent to "experiencing" non-sensate non-affective benevolent life force that is called pure intent is simply not the same. Aloha seems more sensible to me than you currently.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/actualfreedom/message/11836

And when it helps the Actualists, they will go for very loose definitions of words and will equate something as different as "seeing" metal moving other pieces of metal without touching as "experiencing" non-sensate non-affective benevolent life force that is called pure intent.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/26/12 5:12 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

In my personal experience of meeting Richard, he was not suffering from PTSD or any psychological disorders that would classify him as a patient of PTSD... and that is not hearsay because I met the man myself, thus it is my personal knowledge I am using as evidence.


Hey Beo,
Sorry, I couldn't resist emoticon

Are you qualified to give a positive/negative diagnosis of PTSD, or any other psychological disorder?
Do you realize that usually, to give such a diagnosis one must be both qualified in terms of mental health training, and then diagnose the patient in a clinical setting?

I don't think you visiting a man you have never met before, for a few days, qualifies you to diagnose Richard as having, or not having, any psychological disorders.

I do think it does give you a glimpse into a man, but as the old saying goes - monks would delay their diagnosis of someone's attainment to after at least spending a year or more with them. (I think it was Ajahn Chah who said that).
This also relates to Daniel Ingram's 'Dharma Jet Set Culture', which relates to the phenomena of a person you've never met before coming in for a few days, seeming perfect and flying away before you could see their issues.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/27/12 9:16 PM as a reply to Yadid dee.
I wonder if people argue because they are dissatisfied with their current moment and so choose a feeling of important engagement.

Trent wrote a most concise piece and the primary interlocutors choose to ignore it. In light of that main point (that enjoying this moment is self-evidently sensible), perhaps the parties can choose to argue why and why that is not so. Perhaps, we can argue if more needs to be done in order to achieve the cessation of all our own suffering. And what those other things may or not be and why. Richards credentials may be evidence one way or the other but they are not the only piece of evidence nor necessarily the most important.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
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7/28/12 10:21 AM as a reply to Jon T.
If you see this thread as argumentative, then what about the AFT site? Isn't it full of arguments especially Richards?

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/28/12 11:02 AM as a reply to Change A..
Aman A.:
If you see this thread as argumentative, then what about the AFT site? Isn't it full of arguments especially Richards?


Yes.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/31/12 2:03 PM as a reply to Jon T.
I wonder if people argue because they are dissatisfied with their current moment and so choose a feeling of important engagement.


Bingo.

After that debate, I investigated my intentions and the emotional effects of those judgements. Why am I arguing on the Internet if this very action is making me uneasy? Why is it making me uneasy? What do I have to defend?

I retired from reading/posting in the DhO a few days and realized that my judging abilities were impeded/contaminated by my own confirmation bias and my actualist calenture. I realized that there was an identity behind all those lines: I was creating a belief of the (supposedly) absence of beliefs, and "my" identity clung to that part of "me" the same way it has clung with other aspects of my life that I considered important in the past, at the time of elaborating a definition of "me", of my identity and my role as a human being.

I realized that the judging is not the problem; it's the emotional shadow behind it (in the form of defensive pride or motivation) that makes the judging corrupted, biased, dishonest, cunning.

I'll continue to investigate those issues, and I'll refrain myself from commenting here for a while.

Good luck!

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/31/12 8:32 PM as a reply to Felipe C..
Felipe
Jon T
Felipe C.:
I wonder if people argue because they are dissatisfied with their current moment and so choose a feeling of important engagement.


Bingo.


Bingo.


Felipe:
After that debate, I investigated my intentions and the emotional effects of those judgements. Why am I arguing on the Internet if this very action is making me uneasy? Why is it making me uneasy? What do I have to defend?

I retired from reading/posting in the DhO a few days and realized that my judging abilities were impeded/contaminated by my own confirmation bias and my actualist calenture. I realized that there was an identity behind all those lines: I was creating a belief of the (supposedly) absence of beliefs, and "my" identity clung to that part of "me" the same way it has clung with other aspects of my life that I considered important in the past, at the time of elaborating a definition of "me", of my identity and my role as a human being.

I realized that the judging is not the problem; it's the emotional shadow behind it (in the form of defensive pride or motivation) that makes the judging corrupted, biased, dishonest, cunning.

I'll continue to investigate those issues, and I'll refrain myself from commenting here for a while.

Good luck!


I totally agree: a person must be willing to check their own cunning and (dis)honesty. In this way, a big release is self-made. Seeing the emotional condition of mind producing cunning, dishonest, corrupted action.


tarin greco:

"... there have also been individual, independent investigations into the practices themselves, enabling understandings of possible relations, and there have also been skilful adapations and uses of whatever resources have happened to exist in order to further practical inquiries and develop their results. this has been very much in the spirit of the dho's stated purposes.

...that idiosyncratic readings are produced by idiosyncratic individuals, with idiosyncratic faculties of memory and language, and so, to a notable extent, diversity is inevitable. differing readings and understandings can result in opposition, however, and in this way can cause purposes to cross, which may preclude consensus. a lack of consensus, though, need not necessarily have a detrimental effect on the individual practices reported to, and informing discussions at, the dho community. it has seemed to me, rather, that the plurality of understandings which have been put forth has introduced elements and emphases which have very likely fostered these individual practices, aiming them towards greater goals. this too seems to have been in keeping with the dho's purpose.

...and so i have valued the confluences and cross-pollinations that have occurred on the dho these past two years.

(...)

i look forward to continuing to see what we all continue to come up with.

tarin


So, Felipe, I hope you keep sharing your practice as you find it useful/beneficial to yourself and others.

Thank you.

editx1: coding problem fix
edtx2: oof. Thank you, Nick. Please excuse me Felipe and Yadid!

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/31/12 4:20 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
It was Felipe who posted that, Katy. Not Yadid. And I think it is an important lesson to address on any of the paths being sold around here.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/31/12 8:14 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nikolai .:
It was Felipe who posted that, Katy. Not Yadid. And I think it is an important lesson to address on any of the paths being sold around here.


Indeed. Upon reflection, I am beginning to think (in reference to my own posting behavior and debate engagement as well as others') that there is a divide of some kind-- probably more than one-- between mature practice (based on authentic insights) and immature practice (based on a 'practitioner' or even 'realizer' identity). However we conceptualize our practice, whatever techniques we use, we often seem to go through this process of maturation.

The funny thing that happens is we sometimes then associate the maturity with the conceptualizations and techniques being deployed at that time... and create a story. "Well, I practiced like X for a while, but then I discovered *this* method and conceptual view, and really broke through to a deeper insight, so therefore this newer approach is 'best'". Meanwhile, it is just that we have *begun maturing* out of that phase of identifying with practice, conceptual views, and realizations. And we mistakenly associate that maturity with a change in descriptions, techniques, and groups, ironically repeating the cycle and keeping ourselves trapped in immaturity.

It seems to me that authentic practice and realization that truly goes beyond practitioner or realizer identities produces an automatic open mindedness about others' descriptions and experiences. Because it innoculates us against reifying descriptions, and opens us to the nameless/indescribable/groundless.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/31/12 8:35 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Thanks much, Nick. Yadid and Felipe, please excuse my mistake.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
7/31/12 8:48 PM as a reply to . Jake ..
. Jake .:
Indeed. Upon reflection, I am beginning to think (in reference to my own posting behavior and debate engagement as well as others') that there is a divide of some kind-- probably more than one-- between mature practice (based on authentic insights) and immature practice (based on a 'practitioner' or even 'realizer' identity). However we conceptualize our practice, whatever techniques we use, we often seem to go through this process of maturation.

The funny thing that happens is we sometimes then associate the maturity with the conceptualizations and techniques being deployed at that time... and create a story. "Well, I practiced like X for a while, but then I discovered *this* method and conceptual view, and really broke through to a deeper insight, so therefore this newer approach is 'best'". Meanwhile, it is just that we have *begun maturing* out of that phase of identifying with practice, conceptual views, and realizations. And we mistakenly associate that maturity with a change in descriptions, techniques, and groups, ironically repeating the cycle and keeping ourselves trapped in immaturity.

It seems to me that authentic practice and realization that truly goes beyond practitioner or realizer identities produces an automatic open mindedness about others' descriptions and experiences. Because it innoculates us against reifying descriptions, and opens us to the nameless/indescribable/groundless.


Sounds right to me.

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
8/1/12 9:00 PM as a reply to . Jake ..
. Jake .:


Indeed. Upon reflection, I am beginning to think (in reference to my own posting behavior and debate engagement as well as others') that there is a divide of some kind-- probably more than one-- between mature practice (based on authentic insights) and immature practice (based on a 'practitioner' or even 'realizer' identity). However we conceptualize our practice, whatever techniques we use, we often seem to go through this process of maturation.

The funny thing that happens is we sometimes then associate the maturity with the conceptualizations and techniques being deployed at that time... and create a story. "Well, I practiced like X for a while, but then I discovered *this* method and conceptual view, and really broke through to a deeper insight, so therefore this newer approach is 'best'". Meanwhile, it is just that we have *begun maturing* out of that phase of identifying with practice, conceptual views, and realizations. And we mistakenly associate that maturity with a change in descriptions, techniques, and groups, ironically repeating the cycle and keeping ourselves trapped in immaturity.

It seems to me that authentic practice and realization that truly goes beyond practitioner or realizer identities produces an automatic open mindedness about others' descriptions and experiences. Because it innoculates us against reifying descriptions, and opens us to the nameless/indescribable/groundless.


thank you Jake

RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
Answer
2/27/13 10:47 PM as a reply to Omega Point.
Good Friends,


It is not rare for certain peoples to make category errors when attempting to understand the various orders of profundity that are the teachings associated with Shakyamuni & the family of Buddhas. Generally confusing the phenomenological, epistemological, & soteriological, with the ontological. Generally, the teachings are not meant ontologically, in fact, Shakyamuni specifically refused to answer questions in this respect, instead maintaining noble silence. This includes the teachings on dependent origination, karma, 'rebirth' etc. Nagarjuna heavily reenforced this with his own analysis of Shakyamuni's teachings, concluding the teachings are absolutely anti-foundationalist. This does not mean however that the yield is devoid of epiontic understanding.

Recognizing the possibility of category error, Shakyamuni taught generally not to spend time overly ruminating, pontificating, or trying to analyze karma etc until one is a Buddha. As many non-domesticated minds can't help but to ontologically mistake & further delineate boundaries. Upon reaching Buddhahood and having access to the proper vision samadhis & bardo visions or attaining these states prior, this conflation is destroyed. Timothy Leary for example, recognized the underlying causal structure responsible for the visions as properly the Buddhist karmic/rebirth psychological structure through the bardo visions prior to any dawning of attained Buddhahood (versus atemporal Buddhahood).



The various vision states can reveal, amongst many things, tha