Claudiu / Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem
Report on Mailing List D about
On Being Less Anonymous
CLAUDIU: Hello everyone, I’ve decided that instead of being known only as ‘Respondent No. 26’ on the Actual Freedom Trust website, I’d like to be known by my real first name, Claudiu, instead. The reason for this is that I see how much we feeling-beings influence each other, and if having my real first name prominent would increase the impact of reading about how I had my life turned around by visiting Richard in April 2012 then I am only too happy to help.
In order to further stress just how much I thought I knew what actualism was about and what an actual freedom from the human condition was, before April 2012, and how wrong that turned out to be, I’d also like my name unambiguously linked with my Dharma Overground screen name, ‘Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem’. A list of the posts I’ve participated in on that forum can be found here if anyone would care to go through the archives:.
I would advise not taking anything I said about actualism or actual freedom before April 2012 on that forum as being too accurate.
I’ve already written Vineeto and provided my request & permission for my name to be used instead of ‘Respondent No. 26’ on the Actual Freedom Trust website, and she has already done a quick job of de-anonymizing my name in the correspondences & indices. I’ve also asked that she put this very (at that point yet-to-be-written) email on the top of my correspondence page so that everybody can indeed see that it was done with my explicit permission.
Hehe, this is pretty exciting.
Message 13117 Re: Visit with Richard and Vineeto
CLAUDIU: Hi all, Glad to hear your visit went well, No. 25! It sounds like you met the very same people that I did as I had very much the same impressions after my visit.
It’s been almost a year since I visited and I haven’t yet written my report of having visited Richard & Vineeto. I’m not sure exactly why I haven’t sat down and written it all, yet.
Part of it was how radical my understanding of emotions, [meditation and spirituality and religion], beliefs, the actual world, etc., changed. It took some time to sort it all out, and a few things made that more difficult, like being anxious or ashamed or fearful about how my words would be perceived by people on the DhO, for example.
Part of it was also that I wasn’t sure what to write or how best to write it. What should I write so it would best help someone reading it?
Going into that latter point was also the apparent ineffectiveness of the written word at imparting an understanding of actualism to the reader.
For the most part, and definitely for anything vitally important to understand, Richard and Vineeto did not say anything new to me at all. I had read the site and heard the things before. Reading the words, I was just not able to make the right connections, to glean what was most important, and to understand what the words were referring to or what information they were trying to convey.
The way it seemed to happen for me – really understanding actualism, I mean – is that I was able to observe how Richard and Vineeto were in the world, how they acted, how they lived, what they talked about, etc. From there it was obvious they were not only harmless but also meant well.
Then it became clear that they really were what they described themselves on the AFT as being. From there that opened up the possibility that they were actually living something original and new, that I had not read anywhere else or experienced anybody else to be. That then made it possible to consider that meditation was indeed leading me in the opposite direction. Then I could actually make a choice – keep going as I had been, or change course pretty radically. And I simply liked them more than I did the others I have met and talked to about what could broadly be called the quest for the meaning of life, e.g. Tarin, Trent, Dan Ingram, Kenneth Folk, to name a few. They were just having so much fun! And I was having fun too. And to be honest, it’s just so nice to be having a good time and to be enjoying being alive as opposed to not. And that’s really all there is to it.
And now it might be a good time to ask yourself, if you are interested – why do it? It’s so pointless from a real-world perspective to have enjoying being alive as your ultimate goal. What’s the point? That won’t necessarily lead to lasting relationships, or to good jobs, or good income, or a family, or becoming well-known or well-respected, or leaving a legacy behind or anything like that. Living actually free is definitely pointless from the real-world perspective.
Anyways, just thought I’d share that, and if anybody wants to know anything in particular or in general about my trip, feel free to ask, and that might be a good way to have me start writing about it.
P.S.: I do give Vineeto permission to put anything I write about my trip on my AFT correspondence page in hope of it helping anyone else make sense of what has come to be known as actualism, the actualism method, actual freedom etc.
Message 13124 Re: Visit with Richard and Vineeto
RESPONDENT No. 25: so at some point that has to be a recognition that nothing in the ‘real world’ will ultimately satisfy. Then, one is willing to try something new.
I also noticed what a grand time Richard and Vineeto were having, along with how ‘I’ was spoiling my experience of life.
Fun, humor, combined with sincerity beats seriousness, ...
RESPONDENT No. 19: wonder why it is hard to get the impression of fun and humor through the written word.
CLAUDIU: I think it’s a combination of two factors. On the one hand, a lot of what Richard says is offensive if you currently value real-world things like love or morality or spirituality. Thus you take it personally. In person, this can start to happen as well, but here’s where the other factor comes in. In person it is easier to tell that he is not being malicious. The lack of vibes is quite astounding, plus there is body language and voice tone and all that. Then maybe you can get curious about why he is saying this apparently offensive thing, and talk about exactly what it is that you took offense at. Then the conversation is really interactive and specifically tailored to you. Over the internet, however, you have plenty of time to read the words, take offense, then have it fester while you write out a reply. The long communication times seem to more easily lead to a breakdown of the conversation. This happens in person, too – Richard’s journal has plenty of examples – but apparently less so.
RESPONDENT No. 25: [Fun, humor, combined with sincerity beats seriousness,]... depression, compassion, dark nights, etc... hands down!
RESPONDENT No. 19: but surely... one had to cross all these to get where one is now? or maybe this is no more the case now? i am referring to ‘nerves of steel’, ‘intestinal fortitude’ etc.
CLAUDIU: I think it’s a matter of emphasis. If your goal is to plumb the depths of your psyche, see what it’s capable of, weather out the worst depression so you can take it & not suffer anymore, etc..., then you will not really get anywhere. If your goal is to enjoy life, then these things might happen as a side effect, but only because you have to figure those things out in order to better be able to enjoy your life. But there’s no reason to just go and do that for the heck of it (or to notice those things as impermanent, for example).
Meditation is like a skill. You get better at it over time. This seems quite different. It’s more just figuring things out with the goal of being happy & innocuous. There isn’t anything you have to constantly be doing. At least, that’s how it is for me currently.
What’s awesome is that it’s easier and easier for me to notice the actual world. All I have to do is start looking for the things that are actually here and pretty soon I’m face to face with them. Plus once in a while it’s like a circuit connects in my brain and there’s this really interesting sense of immediacy with it all.
Message 13166 Actualism is an active endeavor
CLAUDIU: Hello all, I recently got super annoyed during a rehearsal with my band (I’m a drummer for two bands at the moment) and I got around to investigating that. It seems to me that there’s a process starting at realizing that you are feeling bad, which is easy enough, and ending with feeling better, instead, which takes some perspicacity and doing. I outlined it as something like this.
– Actualism is about actively doing something about your situation.
– First, you notice that something is shitty/not ideal you don’t like something, etc. This is fairly straightforward.
– Then you have to get to the point where you want to feel better about the situation. This is beyond just feeling really bad about the situation and wishing it were different. You have to get to the point where you actually are willing to do something in order to fix the situation.
– Here I suppose you can take three approaches.
1) The materialistic solution is to talk to the persons involved with your problem, or to change your job, or diet, or something like that.
2) The meditative solution is to disembed from the unpleasant sensations or notice them as impermanent and as not really being you, etc.
3) The most effective solution, though, seems to be to actually change yourself so that you no longer feel bad about that same situation. This is not strictly an innovation of Richard’s and you can do it without wanting to be actually free, but it certainly helps (if it isn’t a necessity) on the path to actual freedom.
Thus, to go further with this approach you have to take path #3, and get to the point where you are actually willing to change yourself.
– This is when you can poke around to find your triggers and try to get all the facts of the situation in as much detail as possible to help you figure out why you feel bad about it the way you do.
– Once you figure it out what you have to change, you have to actually effect that change in yourself. I’m not sure this is actually a separate step.
It seems that, already being willing to change yourself, in the process of figuring out why exactly you were bothered you actually are changing yourself.
– If the issue is resolved, then you feel better! If not, then something didn’t go right with the above. No worries, just try again later. Maybe come back to it when you are feeling better.
For me, the above is where I’m at, at the moment, more so than plunging the depths of my psyche or going deep into the instinctual passions.
All in due time – or maybe not?
Message 13277 Re: A request to Claudiu: interactions, vibes, attentiveness, AF people, etc.
CLAUDIU: ‘Thanks for sharing, by the way. Perhaps I should write more of what’s going on with me. But at the moment it seems easier to read & comment on what other people are up to vs. writing out a post of my own.’
RESPONDENT No. 38: Now that you mention it, Claudiu, I would like to give you an excuse to write a post of your own, when you have the time. I’d want to know more about your visit to Australia, specifically about how your interaction with actually free people influenced ‘you’ during that time.
Here I’m coming from my own experience on how I change according to my social context: with some friends, ‘I’ tend to be malicious in traditional ways; with some others (with a more intellectual background) ‘I’ tend to be cynical, etc. and I understand that as ‘me’ mirroring the group attitudes in order to fit in and have certain role that validates ‘me’.
But what happens when those dynamics don’t happen (supposing that they don’t happen among actually free people)? What changed in your interaction ways? If something changed, do you think that was because of the lack of power dynamics and vibes or just a predisposition of yourself? What kind of realizations did you have in contrast with your interaction with ‘normal’ friends? For instance, did you notice some changes in your (need for) attentiveness in Australia? Were you less vigilant or less in control of your ‘normal’ being’s manifestations?
CLAUDIU: Hey No. 38, Sure thing, thanks for asking. I do much better when prompted, I’ve noticed. I’ll take the opportunity to also write some things about my trip in perhaps more detail than just answering your questions would demand, because I’ve been meaning to write about it for a while now.
One thing that happened is that I was able to gradually let ‘my’ guard down over the course of the first few days. Let me attempt to depict the environment so you see where I am coming from.
I did arrive to Australia a bit out-of-sorts. Here I was, travelling to a country I had never been to before to visit some people I had never met before. I didn’t know anyone else or anything about what it was like, there. I had a few thoughts on the long plane ride there, like, ‘Why couldn’t I just stay home, relax & play video games for a week?’ But the inevitability of this visit happening – which I myself set out to ensure, months before – was obvious as the plane certainly wasn’t going to turn around on my account, so I went on.
This out-of-sorts-ness happened once more on the first day, sitting at a cafe, when Richard & Vineeto happened to both be going to the restroom, and I was sitting on my own at the table. But that was the last time, thanks to Richard & Vineeto’s dispositions.
From the beginning, my impressions were positive. I noticed when I first met Trent, for example, there was a certain air of reticence, and small talk was discouraged as being contrary to my reason for visiting him (to ‘pay attention’ non-stop). Yet as soon as I met Richard & Vineeto, Richard began engaging me in conversation. How was my flight? Had I flown much before? He remarked that he hadn’t been to this particular airport in years. Etcetera. I also noticed that the way he was was actually very lively/vivacious. Although he did appear to be physically old, he was quite unrestrained in his movements. All this served to set a nice mood from the get-go.
That first night, they asked me what I wanted to talk about, now that I was here, and I suspect I was somewhat apprehensive about that, as well. I wanted to talk about actualism on the DhO, and how it differed from what Richard was saying, because I honestly couldn’t tell the difference. I thought they were the same. I remembered that reading Richard’s words on the topic could be unsettling to me as they seemed aggressive, and it was always a hot topic on the DhO. Yet I found that, as Richard began talking about it, nothing untoward/unpleasant was really happening. He was obviously just sharing his experience without any need to be right or any forcefulness/ aggressiveness behind his words. Perhaps Richard was indeed harmless? ‘My’ being on-guard-ness took another hit.
What finally (almost) put the nail in the coffin of ‘my’ guard happened a few days in, still towards the first part of the trip. I noticed that the atmosphere in Richard’s house-boat was quite delightful. He had arranged the interior very nicely. It was brightly lit. There were some wonderful curtains from India he had hung on the windows. But more importantly there was this sense of ease that I found myself enjoying whenever we returned there. I took that opportunity to verify for myself what I had read others saying about the lack of vibes around Richard. I tried feeling-out Richard & Vineeto and I was quite surprised at how clear the answer was – no vibes whatsoever! Whenever I had tried that with anybody else I had met, I never got such an obvious answer. I remarked to Vineeto at the time that ‘it’s impossible for you to hurt me’, by which I meant psychologically/ emotionally/ psychically. I understood she could certainly use physical force on me if she wanted, which she probably would if I would start to attack her, for example, yet there was a clear lack of malice.
So! Seeing that it was safe I was able to (almost) fully lay my guard down. Things definitely came up now and again. But the stage was set for a wonderful time to be had. This definitely came as a result of me seeing just how safe it was to be around Richard & Vineeto. But that also couldn’t have happened unless I had a certain predisposition, I’m sure.
What changed in how I interacted? I was more free to act in a way that I actually really enjoy acting in, anyway. Sort of being open, having fun, joking around. Not taking things too seriously. Able to just talk about things openly without worrying about offending anyone. It’s a really nice way to be in the world. I definitely behave like this some of the time in the course of my daily life, usually with close friends. It can happen in a more social environment as well, but I can still get some pretty severe social anxiety in such situations... I find it happens more often if I’m already in a good mood and I have a few drinks. But in that case I notice I’m a bit more uncaring and leaning towards malicious.
What kind of realizations did I have in contrast with interacting with feeling-beings? I definitely would still be a bit withdrawn or put the brakes on my enjoyment of the moment. What became obvious is how deep-seated and ingrained a habit that had become. Even in this idyllic, perfect environment, there was still a tendency to want to hide. But what became obvious is how much of how ‘I’ feel came from ‘me’ without being prompted, and how much from other feeling-beings.
It’s very nice to be able to interact with an actually free person as there’s nothing in terms of malice or sorrow coming from their side. So you know, when they say or do something, that however you feel as a result is a consequence of how you feel about the content of their actions, as opposed to them having any interest in harming you. This is not so when interacting with other feeling-beings, as there can be quite a lot of forcefulness behind what they say... conversations about religion, politics, or the economy are obvious cases where things can get quite heated.
It is nice to interact with other feeling-beings, though, because it provides more information about the human condition in action. I’ve actually noticed that a lot of the things I’m noticing now I had read about on the AFT site, but hadn’t actually observed in real life. It’s been refreshing to see that a lot of what Richard, Peter & Vineeto wrote about really does happen. This probably comes more from me being relatively young. But I noticed, for example, how many people suffer from bad relationships or hurts relating to those and how strained the relation between men and women can be, from both sides. Seeing that serves as a good reminder that becoming actually free would be of benefit to others. You can discuss actualism all you want, but what ultimately made the difference for me is seeing how actually free people are in the world.
Did I notice any changes in my attentiveness or need for it? I was definitely a lot more focused during my time there. That’s what I was there for, after all, and there wasn’t much else to do, anyway. I got a good taste of just how intense the actualism method can be in a few interactions with Vineeto. Something would come up, and she would help me investigate it, mostly by pointing out when I was going in circles, worrying about something that I had already just sensibly figured out wasn’t an issue at all. ‘I’ was putting up a lot of resistance, though. I think that has something to do with the survival instinct all feeling-beings have, to continue as they are regardless of whether it is beneficial or not. I didn’t see that at the time, though.
Was I less vigilant or less in control of ‘me’? There were periods where I was more able to enjoy myself, to allow the pure intent I was noticing to operate, and to ease off of the controls for a bit. This only got easier as the days went on and I settled into the atmosphere more. Those moments were really nice. I remarked that it was getting harder to take myself seriously, and noticed that I just enjoyed being in the world more.
One large change is that I eventually realized there was no need to feel bad about all the things ‘I’ get up to. Of course ‘I’ get up to those things – it’s only natural. It’s not ‘my’ fault, ultimately – I was just born this way. But now I can do something about it – change myself and enjoy myself more – whereas feeling bad accomplishes nothing and can indeed make it worse. So, there was a reduced need to be vigilant in that sense – of trying to make sure I don’t reveal parts of myself that I feel shouldn’t be there in the first place. Also because of the contrast between me & them, it was much easier to see when ‘I’ was spoiling the moment.
RESPONDENT No. 38: I’d appreciate a post on that because I’m currently struggling with those issues. I try to stay attentive to keep myself happy/harmless but something happens in social interactions that causes the quick dilution of attention. Then what happens is that I lose myself, and everything turns into full social-mission mode with ‘me’ commanding mindlessly, like a reboot to default experiencing. And I wonder if this is somewhat inevitable due to vibes or if there is something useful to know in order to comprehend/avoid those mindless moments.
CLAUDIU: I think it’s inevitable so long as you have hidden or partly-seen-but-still-unresolved issues and you hang out with other feeling-beings. That part of ‘you’ will want to hide from your peers. If you don’t have those issues then there’s nothing to hide (most complete case being if you’re actually free), or if you’re hanging out with actually free people, they might come up but there will be less of a need for ‘self’-defense, perhaps none at all, eventually.
Does that help any? I feel I’ve more talked about what happened vs. given any solid advice.
Message 13282 Re: A request to Claudiu: interactions, vibes, attentiveness, AF people, etc.
CLAUDIU to No. 38: Was I less vigilant or less in control of ‘me’? There were periods where I was more able to enjoy myself, to allow the pure intent I was noticing to operate, and to ease off of the controls for a bit. This only got easier as the days went on and I settled into the atmosphere more.
RESPONDENT No. 1: Claudiu, besides enjoyment, what can i do to notice this pure intent, and then allow it to operate more and more, when not already with actually free people? i.e., how to notice it while i’m alone or with feeling beings? i know you have talked about pure intent before; i’m specifically interested in grasping it fully, as it looks like the energy of pure intent can prevent one from going around in circles for years... [and by that i mean, seeing magnets, not believing in them (#11821). i’m not looking for conceptual/ intellectual grasp. it needs to be as obvious as the color of the leaves outside my apartment window.]
CLAUDIU: Hey Srid,
Glad you got something out of my post! I’m also really glad you asked about pure intent because it reminded me to look for it & experience it again and pretty soon I was on the right track again.
You’re absolutely right that ‘the energy of pure intent can prevent one from going around in circles for years.’ Pure intent is the only connection you have to the actual world when not experiencing pure (unfiltered) consciousness. Thoughts and emotions obviously aren’t connections to the actual world, but the senses per se aren’t, either, as by the time they are experienced they’ve already been run thru an affective filter. So, without pure intent, there’s really no way to get back to the actual world. Luckily it’s there all the time, so even if you forget about it for hours, days, weeks, months, or years, as soon as you look again, there it is. You can also experience it serendipitously/ when you’re not expecting it, which often happens with me if I’m walking around or have just done something really fun (like play the drums for 2 hours, just today – physical exercise seems to provide for a nice mood after the fact; or watching a Muse concert at Madison Square Garden on Monday, which was just incredible).
As to how to grasp it fully, the only way to do that is experientially. Then you can form thoughts about it and talk about the experience, but as soon as the experience of it goes away, then once again, you’re not fully grasping it. So the only time you can grasp it fully is in this moment.
Which happens all the time if you are actually free. It’s no wonder those folks are always so well-disposed!
As to how to go about experiencing it... you’ve got to consider the notion that it’s even possible for it to exist. Can it really be that life is inherently enjoyable if only ‘I’ were not here to mess it up? Ask the question but not to get a thought-out answer as a result, but rather, look for an experiential answer – as in, something in your experience that would answer the question. Look for a ‘positive’ answer, meaning, something beneficial/positive that is actually happening, vs. something that is not/something negative that is not the answer (e.g. don’t look for the ‘yes, I can see ‘I’ am rotten’ answer.)
In a similar vein, one that really gets to the nub of the issue is to ask, is anything actually happening at all? Is it possible for anything to be happening right now? Again, look for an experiential answer. How do you know something is happening?
Just do that, and see what becomes of your experience, and see if you can’t find something in it that doesn’t match up with the qualities of pure intent I’ve described and that have been described on the AFT site.
Message 13284 Re: A request to Claudiu: interactions, vibes, attentiveness, AF people, etc.
CLAUDIU: Hey there,
RESPONDENT No. 42: I just copied these instructions of Claudiu’s into my Journal, they are such good stuff!. It brings together ‘pure intent’ with all those moments of enjoying life listed a few pages before in my journal!
simplified pointer perhaps?; look for experientially positive answers to the question ‘Is life inherently enjoyable?’ ! Could it also be said, reading into what you have written, that rejecting negative answers / thoughts on the subject is just as important as accepting positive experiential answers (pure intent)?
Echoing Richard’s idea that life is not a sick joke; any thought suggesting it is, is absurd.
CLAUDIU: I wouldn’t say so, no. Maybe it’s a matter of the written word not being the best for communicating but I wonder if you’ve missed my point. I’m not sure so I’ll attempt to clarify.
The point of what I wrote was simply to provide a potential way that pure intent might start to be noticed and experienced. What I wrote is what works for me. If I wonder about things in that way, not looking for a thought-out answer or for a feeling-answer, then I start to notice pure intent.
I’m not sure if this would work if you don’t already have a good idea of what pure intent is, but it’s worth a shot. So, it’s not that you are looking for ‘positive answers’, there’s just one answer: the experience of pure intent. And it’s not a matter of rejecting negative answers, it’s just that those negative answers aren’t pure intent.
If you do feel or think negative thoughts, then I’d caution just dismissing them as being absurd out-of-hand. Far better is to investigate why you think or feel that way and to see what the facts are and what you can do about it. When I wrote about not looking for the ‘negative’ answer, I just meant that as a sort of pointer to help figure out where pure intent is. It’s not anywhere related to ‘me’.
Also, I actually find the second set of questions – about whether anything exists/anything is happening – to be more to-the-point/more direct/more helpful for noticing pure intent.
I think what I’m talking about here is what Richard calls reflective contemplation. The topic page is here. Here are some quotes from Richard’s correspondence page. I’ve added emphases to point out the bit that I’m talking about.
What I was referring to is that initial step of reflective thought and fascinated contemplation (e.g., Is anything happening? Is this actual world actually here?) leading to pure intent, which is the connection between the ‘real world’ and the actual world. Continuing to do so – following that pure intent – will lead to apperception.
Does that change your understanding of what I wrote, or is that how you already understood it?
Message 13291 Re: On considering Richard to be insane
CLAUDIU: Hello all, If anyone has been looking at Justine’s blog, it seems recently he’s greatly changed his stance and has now joined the ranks of those people who consider Richard to be insane (along with being loose about what, exactly, the facts are):
Justine is free to write as he wants, of course. I won’t try to stop him. But it reminded me that this ‘Richard is insane’ stance/phase seems to be a really common one, and, in keeping with me wanting to gradually write more about my trip, I thought I’d mention that I went through this phase myself whilst in Australia!
It happened while sitting in Richard’s house-boat discussing something or other (I forget what, exactly). Richard was expounding upon a point, and all of a sudden, seemingly out of nowhere, I had this rapidly intensifying sense/feeling that I was sitting next to a madman/hearing a madman speak. The phrase ‘utterly insane’ came to mind! Thanks to my experience with actualism up to that point, however, I was sort of forewarned, so I immediately took the opportunity to look about and see what was actually going on.
I noticed that nothing had changed from a few seconds before, wherein the atmosphere was peaceful and enjoyable, and Richard was sensible, not insane. Seeing the atmosphere was safe I started to listen to what he was saying again, and I ascertained that it was not, indeed, mad ramblings or insane ravings or anything of the sort. Actually, it was quite sensible. It wasn’t even a ‘hot topic’ or anything; I’m fairly sure it was about something more or less mundane. Seeing that fact – that my intense sense/feeling that Richard was insane did not have any sound basis – the notion that he was insane swiftly faded and I was able to resume sensibly interacting with him and Vineeto. It didn’t last more than a few seconds.
Once in a while I do consider the notion that Richard is insane, as some people really do want to make Richard out to be insane – for example, Justine most recently. I don’t consider it for long, though, because that’s where my actually having visited Richard comes in handy. I can simply reflect on my trip and realize that really Richard (and Vineeto) were nothing but sensible and amiable.
Here it might be worth pointing out that sane people do get upset and argue and fight and are sad occasionally, which Richard is incapable of doing – hence my use of the word ‘sensible’, above, instead of ‘sane’.
I am certainly glad I decided to go to Australia instead of a 10-day Goenka retreat (which was the other option I was considering at the time)!
Message 13999 Re: Few humble words from Justine
It is not about what and how Richard has written here or on internet, ALONE, but how has he acted with people – [No. 4] and Lady from the other continent who have met him extensivetly. [No. 4] actually did not write much about Richard after his second visit and pointed that he did not like the cult around Richard that had been buit. This was immediately after his second visit.
CLAUDIU: All I’ve seen is a lot of talk and no substance (i.e. facts). When I ask for substance I’m told that the substance can’t be revealed due to privacy concerns. This despite the fact that supposedly ‘secret’ stuff keeps being leaked – which, after being leaked, is also shown to have no substance. Further, archived messages with supposed substance in them have been deleted. In the meantime Richard is slowly demolishing factoid by factoid with his considered replies. If there was indeed anything of substance about any claims that reveal something adverse about Richard, everybody propagating those claims has done a terrible job of it. Pro tip: don’t pose as somebody’s dead ex-wife when you are trying to perform a character assassination of that somebody. It... well, it just doesn’t really promote you as someone of an honest nature.
RESPONDENT No. 6 (Sock-Puppet ‘MJ’): First impressions can be totally wrong and misleading because it is less about the person but more about what you think of them. It is only when you meet someone for a longer time that you get to know a person, how he acts in different situatiosn , where your pre conclusion are not (mis -) guiding you.
CLAUDIU: Sure, I could see that. So, how about Peter & Vineeto? Surely they would have said something by now if Richard had a history of violence. How many years have they known him? Likewise with Tom, Pamela, etc. In the meantime we have [No. 5 (Sock-Puppet ‘H’)], [No. 37 (Sock-Puppet ‘I’)], you [No. 6 (Sock-Puppet ‘MJ’)] and [No. 2], all railing against Richard without ever having met him.
Richard is entirely consistent in all his interactions. I remember Vineeto telling me that once, after having already known Richard for some time, she came by to visit Richard and caught him just waking up (or he was sleeping & she woke him up). She said she was impressed by what she saw – that just-woken-up Richard was exactly the same as fully-awake Richard – because most people, having just woken up, haven’t yet put their face/their persona on.
There’s a lot of talk, emotion, and feelings surrounding this whole debacle, but there’s simply not much in the way of facts to support any adverse claim against Richard or actual freedom.
CLAUDIU: Oh, I forgot to mention – further, Richard told me that nobody, while interacting with him in person, has ever accused him of being malicious, angry, uncaring, etc. People have accused him of those things but only afterwards or over the internet. Having met Richard, I can see why – because he... well, he isn’t, you see.
Message 14539 Re: Power, dominance hierarchy, control of narrative
RESPONDENT No. 25: This really explains a lot. It makes it clear that you deal strictly with the meaning of the words someone types out and do not get involved in the ‘guessing games’ that may occur in trying to figure out intention. What can be perceived or made out to be ‘willful and malicious ignorance’ (on your part) of a person’s intent, or further, an inability to understand the difference between speaker meaning and word meaning (on your part) is actually a practical decision to only concern yourself with word meaning, since at least that can typically be ‘nailed down’ in a factual manner, unlike speaker intent.
RICHARD: G’day No. 25, It is not a ‘decision’ on my part (be it ‘practical’ or otherwise) to not ‘read the intention’ and/or not ‘read between the lines’ and/or not ‘see the picture not the pixels’ and/or not (whatever description) but of being, of course, incapable of what Claudiu so eloquently described as [quote] ‘automatically ascrib[ing] the feeling-tones that the person intended to convey’ [endquote] in his very pertinent post of Jun 12, 2013. (Message 13996)
It is well-worth a re-read ... for instance:
Of course, Claudiu has yet to extend his thesis so as to account for what he described as [quote] ‘an amorphous blob of whatever (for lack of a better word)’ [endquote] in his earlier but certainly related post of Jun 7, 2013. (Message 13787)
He is, of course, referring to the psychic currents – which the (further above) ‘generation of feeling-tones over it/the reading-into it of affect coming from the other side’ automatically attunes to – whereby all feeling-beings are interconnected (in the human psyche) via an ethereal network.
Vis.: <snip utterly fascinating quotes given the context of above>
CLAUDIU: Yes, life is indeed grand! I was floored when I first read your post. It reminded me that one of the most fascinating and surprising (as in totally unexpected – I had no way of knowing) things about my visit was when I tried feeling you and Vineeto out and got nothing at all – it felt as if there was nobody in front of me at all yet I was clearly seeing two humans with my very eyes.
Although that already gave me all the information I needed, I figured to cover all the bases I would follow through and try to feel out other feeling-beings, as I did at the airport, and that confirmed what I had already learned:
1) An actual freedom from the human condition is indeed an entirely new, original way of being conscious.
This I did not expect to happen at all because, although during the experience which got me to go ahead and ask if I could visit you I definitely thought that you were right about everything, all along (and I had better go and visit you to confirm it for myself so I don’t forget it again – I give myself a pat on the back for that one), there was quite some time between that experience and actually landing in Australia, and during that time the notion that the whole DhO/affer business was just a big misunderstanding on your part crept back in. Thus I again thought Buddhism and Actualism were probably pointing to the same thing with different words, and though I didn’t understand this consciously, I didn’t think I would find something/ someone totally original waiting for me at the airport in Australia.
2) The psychic web described by you above (both now and previously in the quotes you gave) does indeed exist – in the ‘real world’ only, of course.
This I did not expect to happen at all because I didn’t see any definitive proof for there being a psychic web. There’s no scientific explanation for how such a web would exist (for if information can be transmitted instantly across distances, even if it’s just in the ‘real world’, there’s got to be some physical basis for that – similar to the way a feeling-being has a physical basis insomuch as destroying somebody’s brain causes that feeling-being to cease existing), and I didn’t have any information convincing enough to make me think these phenomena can’t be fully explained by body language, voice tone, pheromones perhaps, etc. However, being able to personally run an experiment that consistently gave a positive result in some circumstances (feeling out other feeling-beings) and a negative result in others (feeling out Richard & Vineeto) in a manner consistent with everything I had read on the AFT site and talked with Richard about up to that point was certainly enough to change my mind.
Reading those quotes of yours you helpfully provided served to drive home the point even further – that the psychic currents are where the power plays really occur.
Consider that, along with your comment about how automatic feeling-tone generation over words automatically attunes to psychic currents – a connection I hadn’t yet made – and it is easy to see why I was floored after reading your message.
Ain’t life grand, indeed!
P.S. Chalk this one up as another to add to my report of visiting you & Vineeto page!
Message 14845 Re: Power, dominance hierarchy, control of narrative
CLAUDIU: Sup No. 15, [...]
RESPONDENT No. 15: And I do consider the direct route ridiculous. I don’t feel any need to mock it. I’d love a true direct route don’t get me wrong (who wouldn’t), but what has been presented as one, and continues to be presented as such, is not fit for the term IMHO. I’m not sure if I need to elaborate on why I feel that way. It seems so obvious to me.
CLAUDIU: Why is it ridiculous? Direct route just means you go directly from normal to actually free, instead of taking the wide detour through enlightenment. It doesn’t mean it’ll take a month and then you’re done. It does seem to be a safer/less painful route, though, comparing Richard’s aftermath to that of all the others.
RESPONDENT No. 15: Similarly the psychic stuff still remains so impenetrable that you (the most diligent person i know to try to make sense of what Richard offers) are still only on the cusp of getting something ... anything :-) ... out of what Richard makes out to be simple [...]
CLAUDIU: Well firstly, I wouldn’t say ‘*only* on the cusp of’ as on the cusp means pretty darn close. Secondly, I’ve already gotten much out of what Richard wrote on the topic. Did you not read my post where I said I was ‘floored’? It’s #14539, and is also now available on the AFT.
RESPONDENT No. 15: [...] and that he has said all along, by pasting passages he wrote many years ago on the topic regardless of how sensible they are...n’t. Not mockery... Its just silly and I’m not afraid to label it as such because I’m not aligned/identified with the viewpoint presented. And it is a viewpoint. :-)
CLAUDIU: Hmm... let me draw an analogy. Say we’re living in a time when everyone believes the sun revolves around the earth. Some peoples come up with a new explanation that actually the earth is the one revolving around the sun! This challenges many dearly-held beliefs of the day, such as the earth being the center of the universe with humanity thus being the focus of Creation. Now someone says, regarding the earth-around-the-sun theory, ‘Its just silly and I’m not afraid to label it as such because I’m not aligned/ identified with the viewpoint presented. And it is a viewpoint. :-)’
Clearly he is wrong – it’s not a viewpoint – the earth does revolve around the sun. How do you know you’re not wrong, in this case? [...]
RESPONDENT No. 15: So much silliness, presented matter of factly. Ridiculous. Its good to say that, isn’t it? :-) can you admit it to yourself? What would be in danger if you did so?
CLAUDIU: It would be counterproductive to say that that which is factual is ridiculous.
RESPONDENT No. 15: I came across a phrase yesterday that almost captures it, in relation to a comic strip called Zippy the Pinhead. The phrase is literary nonsense.
I quote from wikipedia: (...)
CLAUDIU: Hmmm... which one of these is not like the other?
Twas bryllyg, and ye slythy toves
The Mungle pilgriffs far awoy
As for ‘the fact that life is interconnected’ ... well that is the problem, is it not? Humans are all connected via a psychic web – a network of invisible ‘vibes’ – that leads to incredible power-trips between competing members of society. A person may be nice to your face, for example, but the intuitive feeling is that they hate your guts ... this is the interconnectedness in action. It is a powerful force – an ‘energy’ – that seeks to control by psychic manipulation and leads to the most horrific consequences ... as has been the sorry demonstration of history.
Hey diddle diddle,
RESPONDENT No. 15: One final question... Do you think you would experience a vibe or psychic current if you found yourself being mocked by an actually free individual?
CLAUDIU: I wouldn’t experience any vibes or psychic currents coming from them, no, though ‘I’ might certainly manifest as an emotional reaction.
RESPONDENT No. 15: :-)
CLAUDIU: ~nn°’ (unicorn)
Message 14854 Re: Power, dominance hierarchy, control of narrative
RESPONDENT No. 00G: Garry Kasparov (from his book, ‘How life imitates Chess’): He who knows how, will always have a job. He who also knows why, will always be his boss. He who knows that he is actually not a ‘who’, (ie: sans identity), is free.
RESPONDENT No. 15: Hey [No. 00G] Nice quote. Nice addition too.
Here’s a question for you. Is it enough to know you’re not a ‘who’ to be free (if so – what is such a person free of exactly, other than the misperception that you are a ‘who’), or do you need to thoroughly eradicate any ongoing experience of momentarily arising perceptions of whatever type from being mistaken as having the appearance of a belonging to or being or containing a ‘who’ (or ‘another who’), such that they never occur with that appearance ever again, through substantially applied insight? :-)
CLAUDIU: O man. I don’t mean this in an offensive way but just reading your description of that almost makes me cringe. I’m never going back to that stuff ever again.
Message 14858 Re: Power, dominance hierarchy, control of narrative
RESPONDENT No. 15: That’s fine. No offense taken.
CLAUDIU: That’s good!
RESPONDENT No. 15: From insight mode it makes sense and is insightful. In PCE mode its missing the point. But are they just modes? Options? Mmm
CLAUDIU: Id say they are different things with different results.
A relevant anecdote from my trip to Australia, here. I remember discussing the affers with Richard. At the time I was a bit unhappy with them all for having led me astray (be it intentionally or not – as I too was also leading others interested in actualism astray by giving advice about something I didn’t understand). In any case, what Richard said surprised me. He said his *main* concern was that they were missing out on actuality! He was also concerned that they were leading others astray but the main one was that they were themselves missing out on the experience of actuality.
I also remember Richard expounding at length about how glorious his Enlightenment was. He remarked that it was strange that he was praising it so much – radiating bliss and love and a that, utterly glorious – Vineeto remarked that he didn’t usually talk this way and (at least somewhat jokingly) said not to tempt me too much with it! I say all that because, no matter how good and glorious it was, actual freedom was even better – infinitely better, I think he said.
So, there are options and then there’s... choosing between a normal life (which can be grand/amazing at best), a (now-defunct) enlightened life (utterly glorious) or an actually free one (infinitely better than either), or ... the stripped-down (compared to enlightenment) semi-dissociated (my feelings are not ‘me’) state that results from practices such as noting ...
All that just to make it obvious what my choice is!
Message 14945 Re: Day 11. up river
CLAUDIU: Fascinating stuff, No. 39. I appreciate your detailed reports. Glad to hear everything’s going really well =).
RESPONDENT No. 39: At that point, I decided that i wanted to be free. So I said as much. I decided to look at Richard and I felt fear as he was talking. I turned it into excitement. I reminded myself that I was a pioneer. Excellence and Perfection Here is worth the daring. That relationships were all a furpha.
In effect, I was giving up nothing in exchange for everything. And a shift occurred. I was Here. Everything was perfect. [...]
45 minutes later after the shift, Vineeto asked me when I was going to become free. I told that I already was. That it happened about 45 minutes ago. She was doubtful as was everyone else. [...] I went on about this moment and perfection and no future or past [...] no one was convinced. [...]
Richard, still unconvinced, moved on from me and went to Grace.
‘These two aren’t giving us anything.’ He said.
Vineeto laughed. ‘Yea. Jon just slinked away.’ [...]
I also was thinking that the group wasn’t as much fun anymore. I remember thinking that now that I was free I could leave Ballina earlier than planned and spend the rest of my trip in Sydney. [...] [Later] I slapped Vineeto on the leg and said that I had just experienced an unpleasant emotion of some kind.
CLAUDIU: It’s really interesting how often this seems to be happening – thinking that one has just done it – and how good Richard, Vineeto, et al are at figuring out that it didn’t. e.g. noticing that what you had done was slink away from the group (and you say you were contemplating leaving) instead of become actually free as you thought.
The same happened to me during my visit. I was really really anxious to be actually free before I left. I feared forgetting everything I learned and reverting to my old ways, which had become quite painful by that point. So I wanted to force it. Essentially ‘I’ tried to force it to happen/to make it happen. This was two or three days before I left.
It happened when I got back to my room after a day of interacting with Richard & Vineeto. I was showering and it struck me how unfair the ‘real world’ was. People have inconsistent standards. They blame you for things that aren’t your fault. (Not to mention making you feel bad for mistakes you did made/could have avoided, which doesn’t help anything. Though I wasn’t thinking this at the time.) And it feels really bad at times. So ‘I’ tried to put all of ‘me’ into allowing it to happen.
I was taking melatonin pills to try to regulate my sleep schedule, so I got into bed and fell into a light sleep, with this on my mind. I awoke a few hours later out of a dream (I forget the contents), and in that hypnopompic state I got the impression that yes, ‘I’ was 100% ready, and then – a shift happened!
I immediately thought I was actually free. That I had done it! It’s funny cause, in hindsight, I was so obviously emotionally excited and anxious, yet I managed to convince myself that it was just physical after-effects (mimicking what I had read on the AFT) and that there was ‘no affect’. I had already gained experiential knowledge of what pure intent was, at that point, and I tried to sense it out, and I noticed that it was somehow blocked. In hindsight this was so obviously fear of going there, but at the time I thought it was just again an adjustment or something and that eventually it would be experienced full time. It’s funny cause ‘I’ even convinced ‘myself’ that ‘my’ main goal was to make that purity evident 100% from then on. Whereas in fact it was a turning away. It even seemed obvious that what I actually was, was the consciousness this body was generating, which I experienced as a sort of blob moving around my head and body wherever I put my attention, which in hindsight was probably just ‘me’ making shit up...
That night I had super-intense very vivid dreams involving being shunned by society, by everyone I knew, sort of shamed. It was like a row of 20 people very familiar to me all standing around and looking at me disapprovingly. I also had an image of Richard sitting near a VCR, with the VCR stuck in a loop, and I was trying to press the ‘stop’ button but couldn’t quite do it, while Richard was saying to me ‘all you have to do is stop’, or something like that. Sort of funny in hindsight though I don’t know if it ‘means’ anything. (Vineeto said something like, dreams seem to mean whatever you want them to mean, which is probably a good approach to the whole thing.)
Anyway, luckily this happened while still in Australia, so the next morning at breakfast I set about telling Vineeto what had happened. Everything leading up to it was well-received because they were valid insights into ‘reality’ and the benefits of becoming actually free. But when I said I thought I had done it, it wasn’t so well-received. She asked me if I felt there was something more, and I said yes – I was referring to that purity thing above – and she said yes there is more (maybe she even said ‘much more’). I even tried psychically feeling out the waitress and said there was no affect, whereas in hindsight it was so obviously the fear (which I was pretending wasn’t there/wasn’t affective) which simply wasn’t budging, so it all felt the same regardless of what ‘I’ tried to do.
In any case, not sure how I got to the point, but a few minutes after I managed to accept that I wasn’t actually free. I immediately lost my appetite and was sort of disappointed. However I quickly became very glad of the fact that I realized this (I said I was glad it happened while I was still in Australia!) and vowed never to try to force myself to become actually free again. Which has served me well.
Interestingly, later that day in Richard’s house-boat, Vineeto pointed out that I said I experienced a shift, I agreed, and she said well it seems to have served more the purpose of keeping you away from actual freedom than towards it, no? Maybe you have to undo the shift? I didn’t have any idea how I would go about doing that, but it was an interesting notion. I started wondering if I could undo the shifts I had undergone as a result of meditating. In any case, there wasn’t an obvious ‘shift back’ from that ‘shift’ I said happened. I think all it was, was that I managed to start fooling myself, and then I simply stopped fooling myself. Luckily all it took was a 15-minute conversation with Vineeto! =).
This phenomenon might be worth investigating some more. It seems like potentially one of the most pernicious obstacles possible that could prevent one from entering the actual world. I wonder if this happened at all to Peter or Vineeto or any of the others, and if not, why not?
Recounting the above also reminded me of a most wonderful event during my trip. After realizing I shouldn’t force myself, I got a lot calmer and less anxious. I realized that it was ‘my’ choice, nobody was making me do it, and I didn’t have to force myself – actually that was counter-productive (leads to ‘shifts’ that take you away from the actual world). After that happened, on my last evening in Australia I got as close as I ever have been to the actual world.
I think what happened (this is an after-the-fact reconstruction) is that, being able to relax led to me being able to be curious. I had gotten a strange impression a few times during my trip which I didn’t pursue, but chose to pursue now. It was something along the lines of it seeming impossible for anything to be happening. I brought this up with Richard & Vineeto for the first time that evening and they asked me to elaborate.
So I attempted to put into words what I had experienced earlier. The only way I could possibly do that is by experiencing that sensation again, so I tapped into it again and then began trying to put it into words. Interestingly I couldn’t really say much about it, descriptively, except that it led to the question of ‘is anything actually happening right now?’ I decided to pursue the question, and I didn’t even consider trying to intellectually answer it. That would be missing the point. Instead it led to a deep existential probing. I became intensely curious to see the world Richard & Vineeto were actually living in.
What happened was amazing. What started coming through was an immense purity, more than I had ever experienced before. Everything looked so much finer than normal. It’s funny, I’m having trouble coming up with anything to say about it cause it seems it would be missing the point. Basically it’s like an entirely different world was shining through and that I was getting closer and closer to it. The world of Vineeto & Richard & Richard’s table & houseboat & coffee etc. A world of purity and sweetness. All precipitated by a deep curiosity as to whether anything was actually happening. Such a simple question!
I got close, very close, to experiencing it fully. But then I started to hesitate. Vineeto was smiling and was very inviting. But the hesitation grew into anxiety and fear and then I didn’t go any further. As I pulled away I noticed more of ‘me’ starting to come back. And I remember being completely astounded because I had no idea where those parts of ‘me’ that disappeared went. For the moment it’s like they had never been there. Then out of nowhere they came back.
At the time I thought I was on the brink of a PCE but I think now that it was more than that. What’s interesting is that Richard & Vineeto experienced something, then, as well. Here is a part of Vineeto’s email to me on July 11th, 2012, which I am reproducing with her permission:
I also recall immediately taking away two very important points thanks to the above experience:
1) This whole becoming free business is remarkably simple.
2) Felicity is indeed the closest affective imitation to the actual world.
This is all such fascinating stuff!
Message 15152 Subject: A Case of an Astounding PCE
CLAUDIU: Hello all,
I had quite the astounding PCE yesterday and I’d like to share it with y’all! The actual experiencing of unadulterated consciousness drove home many understandings which I want to share.
It happened as I was walking home from the subway. As I got out of the deep and dark subway tunnels, ascending the staircase to the outside, I realized it was an astonishingly beautiful day! The sun was bright and warm and everything looked delightful in its light.
I said on Friday that I was going to go into work on Saturday, yet it was obvious now that that wasn’t happening, so I texted my boss to inform him I’d be coming in on Sunday, instead, which put that worry to rest right away. Then, when walking along a small park (just a tiny one between two streets) as was my usual route, I looked into the park and remarked to myself how awesome it looked! So I doubled back a bit and stepped into the park, instead.
The PCE came on sometime from that point to when I exited the park a few minutes later. I simply really took notice of what was going on and was simply enjoying it all. I noticed some motion to my right, stopped suddenly to take a look, and there was a squirrel! I got a bit closer without scaring it away and managed to take a look. I wondered that I hadn’t seen a squirrel in forever. Its heart was beating so fast. At first it seemed timid but then it looked up at me and sort of stood on its hind legs. I think it wanted food.
I moved on, taking particular note of how awesome the trees looked. What ensued was a really brilliant interplay of me noticing something with delight, then me reacting to it/contemplating it with delight, then doing something else with delight, etc., all because it was just delightful. Like I stopped at the crosswalk and I had a red light. So I looked around to see if there were cars coming, and they weren’t. So then I started walking across. Then a car came and started turning left onto the road I was crossing, so I bolted the rest of the way, with no fear at all, almost just because it was fun, but also so I wouldn’t get run over. Then I decided to stand to the left of a parking meter instead of the right, when waiting to cross the other street, because I was curious how that looked.
It was very much like what Richard describes here in part of his dialogue with Konrad:
I had just read that on Friday and it struck me the right way.
The ‘WOW’ factor was definitely there. And this ‘WOW’ factor definitely comes from the identity. Unbidden thoughts arising of like ‘wow this is just so amazing!’ I was now at a point where I could choose to go either way. I noticed that thoughts were totally unnecessary, and that indeed I was enjoying myself the most when thoughts were not occurring. This is because they were feeling-fueled thoughts, spinning around about ‘me’, ‘me’, ‘me’. Whereas I could simply enjoy life without the thoughts. All the decisions I made when I described the crosswalk experience were made without thoughts at all, just a direct appraisal of the situation, though of course I understood exactly what was going on and why and I can now put it into words. But it was totally pointless to put what was already going on and being understood into thoughts and then go on thinking about it. That would have just ended the PCE. And I could choose to go either way! I chose to keep experiencing the PCE.
Here’s where I realized ‘I’ cannot tell whether ‘I’ am in abeyance by feeling it out. The feeling function only works when ‘I’ am fully there, not in abeyance. Trying to feel whether ‘I’ am in abeyance (i.e. whether a PCE is happening) only results in ‘me’ coming back (i.e. the PCE ending). A pure consciousness experience is experienced apperceptively. That’s how non-feeling consciousness works. And it’s so delightful!
So, I successfully crossed both streets and was now on the final sidewalk before getting into my apartment building. I was truly having a blast. It was so incredibly simple! Here’s where more understanding started flowing, as a direct result of that experience, and that’s part of how I know it was a PCE.
First of all, it was excessively obvious that a PCE is a factual occurrence and that ‘I’ as a feeling-being play no part in it, because that’s exactly what was happening and I was experiencing it! There was also an immediate recognition in the veracity of the words on the AFT. It’s not a belief system. Rather, the words on the AFT site accurately describe this factual occurrence. Richard described it first, then other people understood and experienced what the words described and then described it as well, which descriptions are unsurprisingly consistent because they are describing the same factual occurrence. It was also clear that really actualism is all about the PCE. That is how I want to experience life 24/7. There’s an unshakeable confidence that results from PCEs, and for me, from this one in particular, so much so that even though now ‘I’ am here and a PCE is not occurring, I have the confidence that the actual world exists and ‘I’ know that that is my destination.
Actualism is great because it provides all the information you need to understand the PCE fully. If this experience happened to me without any exposure to actualism, I would not have gotten the same out of it. I wouldn’t know what to make of it after-the-fact, I would forget it, I wouldn’t see all the implications, etc. But now I do. Finally, people can now combine their ability to reason intelligently with their natural ability to apperceive, with the ultimate result being an actual freedom!
I was having the time of my life, walking along on that final sidewalk. ‘Me’ and all ‘my’ desires and fears and addictions and problems and whatever was totally gone. There was no need to do anything to correct for ‘me’ because there were no problems in the first place. Truly amazing! And it was so *easy* and simple to just be there.
This was a seriously jam-packed PCE (in real-world terms... the experience of it was of utter carefreeness (not carelessness)), but I’m not done yet! At this point, I decided to notice the purity of the actual world more, to let it in a bit more. And then the purity really started to shine through. As the purity became more apparent there was a thought (probably from the abeyant identity, much like the WOW factor), that the level of purity this experience was bringing made everything up to that point, delightful as it was, pale by comparison.
Richard told me that back in the day, he would have multiple PCEs a day, but that they had different flavours. Some of them had a more ‘meaning-of-life’ flavour, and he said those are the ones that ‘he’ tended to shy away from, as being too much. That’s exactly what happened to me here. That purity was bringing with it the experience of the meaning of life, but it was just too much at that point, so ‘I’ shied away from it and came back.
I’m speculating a bit now but this might be why the transition from peace-on-earth freedom (which I take to be an ongoing experience of the first part of this PCE) to meaning-of-life freedom (which I take to be an ongoing experience of the result of allowing that meaning-of-life purity fully instead of shying away from it) doesn’t happen automatically, why it still takes some doing... because it still seems like too much, even compared to how delightful things are, already...
‘I’ am not wasting this PCE. I’ve derived newfound confidence from it and the memory of it isn’t going anywhere. I think up till now I’ve done a good job of extricating myself from the spiritual mess I had gotten myself into and re-integrating back into the real world, which is a lot better by comparison, but now it’s time for me to really arrange ‘my’ matters to make ‘my’ life much more conducive to becoming actually free.
Message 15163 Re A Case of an Astounding PCE
RESPONDENT No. 40: Claudiu, if you don’t mind sharing, could you please expound more on this paragraph, specifically where you say:
Would you really not see all the implications, if you had never had any previous exposure to actualism?
CLAUDIU: No. Consider that having a PCE is not an actualism-specific thing. People who have never heard of actualism have PCEs. Richard says that everyone he’s spoken to at length eventually remembers a PCE. Yet no one became actually free – using the knowledge gained from a PCE to become free of the human condition – until Richard. He was the first one to fully understand all the implications. It took however many years of humans being self-aware for that to happen. Maybe I would have but I doubt it.
Case in point, what started this whole journey was what was probably an MDMA-induced PCE at a new year’s party. Yet I then spent 2 years meditating. Oops!
Message 15184 Re: A Case of an Astounding PCE
CLAUDIU: Richard told me that back in the day, he would have multiple PCEs a day, but that they had different flavours. Some of them had a more ‘meaning-of-life’ flavour, and he said those are the ones that ‘he’ tended to shy away from, as being too much. That’s exactly what happened to me here. That purity was bringing with it the experience of the meaning of life, but it was just too much at that point, so ‘I’ shied away from it and came back.
RESPONDENT No. 40: Claudiu, if you can, would you write more about:
Did you actually experience the meaning of life, and why did you experience it as being too much, as in, maybe, too much to bear physically?
CLAUDIU: Sure thing.
It wasn’t too much to bear physically, like my body was straining or anything. I would say ‘it threatened’ to be too perfect. And by ‘it threatened’ I mean that’s how ‘I’ reacted to it. ‘I’ wish ‘I’ wouldn’t have but that’s who ‘I’ am for now! But really it was just such an astounding contrast from even what I was experiencing before, not to mention the regular ‘real world’.
The meaning of life was there. I wasn’t experiencing it fully but I got a good glimpse. It was just in the way things were. It’s the nature of actuality, it seems. So pure and sweet and perfect. In the very air & trees around me. Fuckin’ awesome!
It’s strange. ‘I’ shy away from it cause it’s like... ‘I’ wouldn’t know what to do with ‘myself’ if that was ‘my’ ongoing experience. ‘I’ feel that ‘I’ would turn into a gibbering heap of slag-brained insanity in the face of that purity. Maybe because ‘I’ intuit that ‘I’ wouldn’t be there if that comes to fruition (it could never be ‘my’ ongoing experience), thus ‘I’ wouldn’t be able to control anything, and since ‘I’ can’t imagine what it would actually be like ‘I’ go about intuiting madness or insanity or all sorts of crazy stuff like that.
But, sensibly speaking, deep down I know it won’t be like that. I know it will be pure and perfect. And it’s much easier not being the first because I can see how not only one but two people have gone fully there, and not only are they perfectly reasonable and sensible, they are immensely enjoying themselves. ‘I’ just have to work to get all of ‘me’ on-board!
Starting with where ‘I’ am at... which is being generally angry and annoyed at work. That won’t lead to that purity! Anyways, back to that...
Message 15648 Re: Knack at seeing silliness
CLAUDIU: But why don’t you want to spread ill-will?
JONATHAN: You just don’t. It seems like a terrible idea. People with HIV don’t want to spread that around. A moral injunction isn’t necessary. Guilt isn’t even necessary. It doesn’t just seem like a terrible idea. It is a terrible idea for the very fact that no good reason can be thought of to support it. Except for people who enjoy seeing other people suffer: sociopaths.
CLAUDIU: Eh.. the world does not mostly consist of sociopaths. It’s regular people that are constantly perpetuating ill will and malice. Be it being annoyed in traffic. Annoyed at your spouse or girlfriend or boyfriend. Angry at your boss or your employee. Pissed at someone who’s walking too slowly. Impatiently waiting for the elevator to come. Indignant at some poor quality of service. etc.
Is it a bad idea to do all that? Maybe, but people do it anyway. It’s socially accepted that it’s better not to do those things, and maybe people feel guilty about it in a social context e.g. admitting it to others. But then again maybe not. You complain about your shitty day and your friends commiserate with you and take your side in whatever, or you get upset if they don’t.
So whether they consciously know it or not they are spreading ill will. The general solution is the spiritual/moral one, i.e. be a better person, control or eliminate your temper, etc. How is what you are saying – wanting to not spread ill-will – different from a moral injunction?
CLAUDIU: What were you trying to say when you said ‘what the self is and how that jives with the ‘actual world’’? I’m not too sure.
JONATHAN: I just meant the process of learning about feelings and beliefs; how they operate and what their effects are.
CLAUDIU: Oh I see. Well feelings & beliefs don’t affect the actual world at all. I remember sitting at the airport on my way back with Richard & Vineeto. By that point I had been in a vibeless space for so long that I grew very sensitive to perceiving vibes. There were tons of people in the airport, and there were vibes just completely permeating the space around us, everything at all. And each person was like a little dot in that vibespace, somehow picking it up & affecting it. Yet when I looked at Richard he was just sitting, completely at ease, and completely oblivious to the vibes around us. They were just passing right through him as if he wasn’t there. Trippy shit yo.
The only effect they have on the actual world is in what they get the feeling-beings inhabiting various actual bodies to do in terms of controlling their bodies to do this or that, which actions then actually happen. But they do affect other feeling-beings directly, obviously.
Message 15710 Subject: Back a summary of the entire path
Before going to Australia, I emailed Richard to ask him how I could best take advantage of my trip. Unfortunately I wasn’t in the position at that point to really fully appreciate it. However, I found it relevant to what we’ve been discussing recently, so I’ve asked and he has given me his permission to post an excerpt from the email he sent in reply.
What stands out here for me is the idea clearly presented here is that the actualism method is *enjoying and appreciating being alive, each moment again, come what may*. That is the actualism method. I remember when first reading it that this pierced my worldview somewhat, because I recognized that I wasn’t doing that. That made me feel uncomfortable cause I had supposedly been putting actualism into practice for many months. Unfortunately I didn’t take the opportunity to start going about changing those things I’d need to change to get to the point where I would be enjoying and appreciating each moment of being alive. Instead I remained as I had been and it took a few more encounters with this fact - that the actualism method is enjoying and appreciating each moment of being alive.
The second paragraph makes it clear that everything else, all the other techniques, are ways to effect the enjoyment and appreciation of being alive. Also note that that is *regardless of the situation and the circumstances*. So all the things like minimizing good & bad feelings & maximizing felicitous feelings & being naiveté & attentiveness & sensuousness etc are techniques one uses to effect the goal, which is enjoying and appreciating each moment of being alive.
The same goes for eliminating the social identity. The social identity really prevents enjoying being alive! It’s like the first most obvious thing that is preventing it. Of course it hasn’t arisen on its own, so once it is taken care of you get to the rawer good & bad feelings, and then those must be minimized as well. But yea it’s all about enjoying & appreciating being alive!
Then Richard goes into how an out-from-control way of being occurs: it’s when enjoying & appreciating each moment of being alive has become so automatic because one has been doing it so much. And from there actual freedom is right around the corner.
Also, just noticing this now, but the way I phrased my queries were all in terms of the techniques. What should I do? Is this ok?
– practice as sincerely as possible
Sounds good on the surface, maybe, to the untrained eye, but nowhere in that list did I ever mention actually enjoying and appreciating this moment of being alive! It’s like I didn’t know what the point was at all. Which is an accurate way to describe it.
Hope this helps!
(Dharma Overground) RE: Triplethunk: ...
RESPONDENT: <...> So I am expecting that there should be more obvious clues in stuff I and others have already written. It appears many have picked up on this; that we can and are are very commonly doing this – harming ourselves somehow – both as individuals and together as a group. <...>
CLAUDIU: as a reply to triple think.
Yes! I agree entirely. These really are two of the Big Problems – why do we hurt ourselves and why do we hurt each other? Clearly those are two related problems, if not the same one. But one would think the same sort of thing that leads to one also leads to the other, no?
My approach is currently inspired by two individuals I met in Australia who had no souls. They didn’t have a calming or loving presence, but they also didn’t have a normal or malicious one. In fact, they had zero presence whatsoever. There was no love emanating from them, nor was there aggression – there was nothing emanating from them at all! When I first noticed this I said ‘it’s impossible for you to hurt me’. They had managed to completely extricate themselves from the mess that humanity is so that they were both completely unaffected by it – in that all the malice and sorrow that is intrinsic to humanity was no longer ‘picked up’ by them. Not only that but they also didn’t affect it at all on that psychic and emotional level. They did this not by suppressing emotions nor by eliminating emotions per se, but rather by eliminating identity entirely – not only their egos but also their souls. And ‘their souls’ is a bit of a misnomer because they were their souls.
So what remains? It appears that being a soul (and an ego on top of it) was the problem. Without the sorrow that entails, there is no longer anything to prevent them from the full enjoyment of life. Without the malice intrinsic to that, they are completely incapable of ill will. Animals also notice this in that animals don’t run away from them when they approach them. It seems they treat them almost as part of the scenery, which is how I subjectively experienced them on an emotional level.
So a lot of what I will say now is not my original ideas but is what I put together by visiting them and reading what they wrote.
I contend that morality can never be the solution to these two Big Problems. Here we have to be careful of definitions. The two soulless people I met had absolutely no morality at all because it was no longer needed. Morality is only necessary when there is the potential for malice in the first place. What do I mean by morality? I mean a set of guidelines spearheaded by love and compassion for one’s fellow humans, which proscribe how you should act. In this sense they had no morality. But they also weren’t going around hurting people, not even in the slightest.
What they have found is that without the soul there is no malice, so they are automatically benevolent – without needing to meditate or spend energy on forming a benevolent presence.
As to the question of ‘why?’, as in, why do we have souls aka malice and sorrow in the first place, it’s not because we are reifying selves per se. The soul is not something reified, rather it’s just what you are without having to do anything. It’s there because of our animal nature. Other mammals at the very least are also malicious and sorrowful (and can be loving too). We aren’t fundamentally different, we just have way more brain capacity than they do so all of the problems intrinsic to that get blown up into worldwide proportions – as in the same cause for fighting over territory getting blown up into a World War or two, for example.
Eliminating self-reification doesn’t eliminate the soul, rather it goes on in the form of say the bramaviharas or emptiness or non-duality. A presence remains that can be picked up by other people. And that very presence – even if it is a kind or inconspicuous or loving one – by it’s very nature perpetuates the presence in others. And so the cycle of hurting ourselves and each other continues ..
It is all quite fascinating. I haven’t allowed ‘me’ as my soul to disappear, yet, but that is my goal.
I also contend that Fun is a big part of the solution here – they were having so much fun being alive, and me with them – and that those questions I asked about existence are also quite relevant here. No soul means no reincarnation of course.
Let me know what you think. (http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/4887303#_19_message_4910554)
Message 16320 Subject: Re: On the difficulties of communication
RICHARD: [...] Be all that as it may: the specific reason why you had to fly to meet me, in person, so as to understand what I had already written, about an actual freedom, on many occasions, was – as I recall and as confirmed just now by Vineeto – my verbal explication of Buddhism as per the buddhānasāsanaṃ (usually translated as ‘The Message/ Dispensation of all the Buddhas’). Along with considerable reference to the buddhavacana (usually translated as ‘The Word/ Teaching of the Buddha’), as per the Pāli Canon, that was what the turning point for you was as I had not yet begun to write at that level of detail on my portion of The Actual Freedom Trust website back then. [... snip explanation of ‘that level of detail’ ...]
Specifically, it was whilst chatting about what both the Pāli word ākāsa (=the Greek aether; as in that hoary ‘luminiferous aether’ of pre-Einsteinian yore for instance) referred to, and how the first of the five arūpa samāpatti (aka anupubbavihara) – namely, akasanancayatana, in Pali, or the ‘boundless etheric plane, luminous/lustrous all throughout’ (as in ‘lit. shining forth’ according to the PTS Pāli-English Dictionary’s etymology of ākāsa) – served as the mystical *interface* betwixt the physical world (as in the Pāli rūpabhava, aka samsāra) and the metaphysical world (as in the Pali arūpabhava, aka arupavacara), that it all started to make sense for you. [... snip explanation of above ...]
All of the above – and, of course, more – was the reason why you had to fly to meet me, in person, so as to understand what I had already written about an actual freedom on many occasions.
In effect, during that chat you had an insight – via the word *interface* (you repeated it, ruminatively, several times) – into the deceit of both the western ‘Secular Buddhism’ (which more resembles a buddhistic-flavoured therapeutic humanism with phenomenological overtones, per favour Mr. Edmund Husserl et al., than anything canonical) and the sectarian ‘Theravādan Buddhism’ (an impossible-to-achieve orthodoxy institutionalised, by many and various unawakened/ unenlightened practitioners, commentators, translators, scholars/pundits, and so on, around an uncanonical ‘diṭṭhi’/ ‘drsti’ known as the anatta/anatma doctrine) and thus cleared the way, for yourself, to be able to read with both eyes open.
CLAUDIU: Ah yes. I remember that moment well. I grasped an entire understanding, all-at-once, as several things snapped into place. My experience was even that I had glimpsed akasa – or perhaps that interface – and seeing that that is exactly what Buddhism is actually referring to and that it is what you lived night & day for 11 years. This allowed me to actually take your experiences into account instead of dismissing them out-of-hand because they didn’t agree with my notions of what Buddhism was.
And I do remember the progression very well. I think on the first night, we were discussing what we should talk about. I was at that point totally ignorant of how aff was different from actualism and actual freedom. So I said that that’s what I would like to know – how is it different? – because I just can’t tell, and Tarin & Trent & Nikolai’s descriptions seem to me in accord with the AFT site. What the insight you mentioned did is let me understand what Buddhism was and how it was indeed totally opposite from actual freedom. From there I saw how Theravadan Buddhism was a perversion of that. From there I saw how MCTB was at best in accordance with and at worst a perversion of even that. Then I saw how aff was an attempted melding of that already-perverted Buddhism with Actualism as if they were the same thing – yet that very Buddhism it was a perversion of was already something totally different, so how could they even be the same? Then I was able to actually understand what you were saying – whether it was in writing or in person – and begin to make sense of it all for myself... to begin to even contemplate the notion that you were living something totally new. [...]
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