I find I’m under a lot of stress now and have been complaining a LOT.
I’ve started work in a new job in London and it’s a trainwreck with a lot of things wrong with it.
I’m unhappy going into work, and this is a rare for me.
I’m also not liking the oppressiveness of London, which is why anytime I’ve lived here, I’ve always lived near parks or rivers.
I’m enjoying interacting with patients, and colleagues and feeling appreciated by both.
There’s also moving home, relocating to a different city, going back to my old place every weekend to move stuff out, finding a new place, finding storage for my stuff, having to eliminate a lot of the old stuff, house search, viewings, and now paperwork, left my ID, information access, and driving license in India and its been lost in transit being posted back, so have to get all that again, and a fair few projects I’m chasing like a new business, editing second draft of my book, setting up a brand strategy, creating products, and all this whilst living out of suitcases in airbnbs.
I’ve turned into this whingey soul, and as I write that, I realise I’ve always been a whingey sort, complaining about everything. I might laugh in my complaining, so it doesn’t sound like that, but that indignation is an almost constant feeling.
Just fricking unhappy with the world and people around me.
I’m lucky that my normal baseline is a relative euphoria or ebullience, but this recently increased indignation and unhappiness with the world as it is, and people as they are is counterproductive and only harms myself.
I was looking at my past youtube comments, and almost all of them are indignant comments.
I looked up indignation - stresses righteous anger at what one considers unfair, mean, or shameful.
This self righteous anger at unfairness, incompetence and hypocrisy is probably a projection of my own unfairness, incompetence and hypocrisy.
And maybe I have to accept my own foibles as a first step towards accepting that in others.
It’s a bitter pill to swallow - my own incompetence, hypocrisy and unfairness and inconsistency in the way I treat and view others and myself.
Maybe compassion for my own self and others is a way out of this mess, as opposed to trying to throw out the baby with the bathwater and wholescale change my personality.
It’s okay to have flaws, and accept the shadow parts of me.
But maybe less complaining and more appreciation.
I’m in my favourite part of London, and moving into new digs with river views with a super cool flatmate, with steam, sauna, jacuzzi, gym, pool, clubhouse with bar, and super convenient transport links.
Signed up with a stylist, and getting a high end photoshoot organised for some dating profiles.
Completed the first draft of my book, and more at peace with myself and others than I’ve ever been.
Just appreciate the job that people are doing, the place I’m in that’s trying to do it’s best, and lucky to be in the job I am in.
So maybe less complaining.
I’ve always seen complaining and being unhappy with things as a positive, because it then means I’m driven to change things. But that’s getting into the resistance/change/contraction morass again.
How can I enjoy being alive. It’s not being pulled into the future, or the past, and just enjoying this moment.
That’s the most important job ahead of me, just enjoy now because that’s all there practically is.
And focus on the dozens of beautiful interactions that I have everyday, and the beautiful gifts I have been given.
I’m glad my answers were so helpful and appreciate the feedback!
With that in mind, I continue to answer here.
I know you don’t experience it as inconsistency. I know it because I went through a spiritual phase myself in which facts were not valued such that I too was able to believe simultaneously contradictory things with the scantest of reasons to do so.
Needless to say, I had to work my way out of it before I could have success with actualism.
Not at all. It requires a lot of cleverness and cunning - and as such, intelligence - to be able to pull off believing simultaneously contradictory things.
The issue more has to do with a lack of appreciation for facts and a lack of intent to stick to the facts, rather than a lack of intelligence.
In a similar vein, you might think I’m a simpleton who can’t understand or doesn’t appreciate the complexity or nuance of your position such as to comprehend that it isn’t in fact inconsistent/contradictory. However I do fully understand and appreciate your position, and even though it doesn’t appear inconsistent to you – it is. Evaluating it in a simple and fact-based manner easily reveals it to be so. It’s only by adding layers of apparently-sophisticated complication that the simple (and correct) conclusion can be evaded.
Well you yourself said you do this so I only take you at your word for it: ”I just adopt [i.e. “choose”] a mindset or set of ultimately false beliefs [i.e. “whatever belief I can mock up”] that get me to a sense of non resistance and peace. [i.e. “to suit my fancy”].”
If you don’t in fact do this, then, don’t say that you do .
As a core part of actualism is dismantling beliefs then you are not gonna have much luck with it going as you are.
You even recognize this yourself — you said you “absolutely love the insights that keep coming [from “exploring AF in a deeper way”]” - such as “belief dismantling”. How do you expect you’re gonna be able to dismantle beliefs while you are simultaneously explicitly and willingly choosing to adopt new beliefs — not to mention ones that you yourself think are false!
Ha, we both know this is a false humility.
Firstly, if you were sincere that you don’t know anything then I can just reply to everything you say with “But you don’t really know that” and there would be no conversation we could have.
Secondly, you don’t really think you don’t know anything, else you wouldn’t so confidently write what you write and claim your position (that you supposedly “don’t know anything” about) is “consistent with the latest neuroscience, and the oldest spiritual traditions”.
Not only that but you also already claim you may be more successful with actualism than possibly everyone else on the forum! “[…] whilst I continue to live it’s core principles of happy and harmless, appreciating and enjoying this moment of being alive and genuine caring as best as I can. Which might be a lot more than other people on the forum might be doing.”
So in short, you can drop the pretense!
And yet the answer has been found, and it is as clear as day – and it is none other than what you experience in a PCE. But more about the PCE later.
Oh? Yet here I sit, typing on my keyboard, looking at my monitor. It is a fact that I am sitting here. It is a fact that this keyboard is in front of me. It is a fact that the keys are making the clackety-clack sounds they do as my fingers press upon them. It is a fact that the words are appearing on the screen in front of me, as if by magic. It is a fact that you are reading these words now (when you do see them).
There are many facts to be found, plainly visible for all to see. But if you are not interested in them of course you will never find them!
What if instead you looked for the actual facts that are actually the case, with all the sensibility you can muster, looking as sincerely as you possibly can?
Then you might have a shot at success!
As you scare-quoted the word ‘facts’ you are implying that you don’t really know that these things are facts – besides which stating above explicitly that you don’t really know anything – so there’s no need for me to reply. I’m only interested in what the actual facts are.
Before you reemphasize this again and repeat that you aren’t interested in “BF/AF” or “Basic Freedom” or “Actual Freedom”, I will cut this off here and now.
You clearly are, based on what you write here, as in you being “back on the AF website” for the purpose of “exploring AF in a deeper way”; as in you “lov[ing] the insights that keep coming” such as “happy and harmless” and “how am I appreciating and enjoying this moment of being alive” and “PCE’s” and “belief dismantling” and more (“etc etc”), all of which are “the places [you] would like to go”; as in wanting to “Just [be] a happy, harmless […] human being”; as in what “is for [you]” are “the enduring principles happy and harmless” and “appreciating and enjoying this moment of being alive” and “caring as a key part of the process”; as in it not being able to get “any simpler” than “really really lik[ing] enjoying and appreciating the present moment and feeling good” for you.
So your protestations to the contrary will not work on me .
Either you don’t realize you are interested in it all, in which case you will have to work on being sincere about such things, or you somehow believe that all of what I quoted here is not what actualism is about or that it doesn’t all stem from an actual freedom from the human condition or that the point of it all isn’t to become actually free from the human condition – in which case you are simply mistaken, and repeatedly stating it over and over again and trying to separate it out from actualism won’t make it true.
To expand on it further, you cannot separate out “appreciating and enjoying this moment of being alive” from actualism and actual freedom, as “appreciating and enjoying this moment of being alive”is what the actualism method is, and “appreciating and enjoying this moment of being alive”isthe goal as well. And attempting to separate them out is really nothing more than attempting to confuse and mislead yourself as well as others as to what it is that actualism and actual freedom really are – to take the words on the AFT site, with precise meaning given to terminology, and to distort them, tack them on to something else, make them out to mean something other than what they do, then present it back to yourself and other people as if it’s what actualism is ‘really’ about, the ‘good’ part separate from the rest, and thus lead the unsuspecting astray, away from a shot at the real deal.
And I say this from experience because it’s exactly what happened to me when I first came into contact with actualism – it had been taken and distorted and blurred beyond all recognition, and presented to me as a variant of Buddhism, and I bought it, and was following the “affers” such as Trent and Tarin down the wrong path, having been misled by them – until I was finally able to come to my senses.
Don’t do the same as they did. It is a disservice to others who will read your posts, and ultimately a disservice to yourself.
This is spiritually-rooted nonsense. A probably-millenia-old trope, recycled here yet again, of wanting to change somehow being a bad thing and something to be avoided to be able to succeed.
All it takes to dispel it is to recognize, sincerely, in yourself, that of course you want to change something – otherwise you wouldn’t be doing what you are doing, exploring what you are exploring, writing what you write, etc. Even aiming to get to a place of non-resistance – is in itself wanting to change something, i.e. from not being in a place of non-resistance, to being in a place of non-resistance.
It’s even in the Pali Canon itself that wanting to change is a useful thing, not something to be spurned!
So again, we can dispense with the pretense .
As you write you’ve had “multiple close to PCE experiences” , you are saying in effect that you haven’t had any actual PCEs.
And, not having had any PCEs, how can you know that you had something “close to” a PCE?
And I say this because the PCE is so completely unlike anything else I have experienced, that there’s no possible way that I would have known what a PCE was like before having had one. (This makes sense once you realize that a PCE is experiential and can only be known experientially.) All of the words I read before having had one, were not sufficient to describe it, because I simply didn’t know what they were referring to. They made sense as descriptions after the fact – but they don’t do it justice without one’s own experience to refer them to.
As such there is no way I was able to know what something “close to” a PCE is up until I actually had one. And this isn’t peculiar to me, but is the very nature of PCEs – by which I mean that there’s no way that you can know, either.
As you earlier said you “don’t know anything”, as in anything at all, then it shouldn’t be hard to accept this subset of not knowing just this particular thing .
Ehm… ok, but as you said PCE’s “might be a journey” as done “from a place of exploration”, that means you are clearly interested in experiencing something towards this direction of experiences again.
If you do indeed drop all the pretense and admit it to yourself that you’re interested in all this — then I would suggest not hanging your hat on anything that seems like it might potentially be close to a description you may remember that you might have read or heard somewhere of what a PCE could potentially be like. Have a high standard for a PCE. Have a solid, clear one, unambiguous what it is. Then you will really be able to see what actualism is all about.
Further, as you didn’t experience it in the first place, you don’t yet have the knowledge to know whether you want to experience it again . Don’t knock it 'till you try it.
As a hint: if the experience isn’t of something so totally novel and refreshing, so amazingly simple and pure, such as to render all ‘your’ past efforts apparently fruitless and redundant by comparison, together with an astounding recognition that the actual world exists, has existed all along, and will continue to exist forever, along with time and space itself clearly and palpably existing and being vastly still (as in unmoving, no past or future only an aeonian now), plus an undeniable purity laying all about, simply there available to be perenially enjoyed and appreciated, together with (if other people be present) a seeing the others as simply other fellow human beings without the usual separation between ‘you’ and ‘them’ – or at least some subset of these descriptors and others – then it is very unlikely to be a genuine PCE.
Ehm… if you are “more than happy to live with them” then why on earth are you interested in “practically using [Actual Freedom’s] principles” such as “happy and harmless” and “appreciating and enjoying this moment of being alive and genuine caring as best as I can” to “become a better human to myself and more than that, others”???
You realize that to be living in “ups and downs” is to be neither happy nor harmless? That to be swinging in life’s vicissitudes of “ups and downs” is to be neither appreciating nor enjoying this moment of being alive? Further that to be flowing with the “ups and downs” of life is to not be able to be genuinely caring to others? And that riding the “ups and downs” of life, just like the other billions of people on the planet already are, is to not be becoming a better human to yourself, and, more than that, to others?
Again you are being self-contradictory here:
If you are interested in being happy and harmless, then you are interested in reducing and smoothing over life’s ups and downs and replacing them with stability – namely, a stable happiness and harmlessness. Your protestations to the contrary don’t change this fact. Nor is it a ‘sin’ to want to change (and it wasn’t even a ‘sin’ in the original Buddhism before it was corrupted by later generations, as evidenced by the Pali Canon sutta!).
Contrapositively, if you are not interested in changing anything and you are happy to live with the “ups and downs” just like everybody already does by default — then you are not interested in practically employing the principles you wrote interest you, such as to be come happy and harmless and enjoy and appreciate this moment of being alive.
There is simply no factual, sensible, rational, nor even logical way that it could be otherwise!
Simply put, you cannot both be content with the ups and downs and practically apply these principles to become more happy and harmless. All you can do is fool yourself into believing that you are somehow doing both – which it seems you’re doing a good job of so far .
Further, not even two hours later you wrote that you are “under a lot of stress now and have been complaining a LOT” and that you “started work in a new job in London and it’s a trainwreck with a lot of things wrong with it” and that you’re “unhappy going into work”. And by the end of the post you wrote “How can I enjoy being alive” and “That’s the most important job ahead of me, just enjoy now because that’s all there practically is.”.
So despite what you wrote that you are “happy to live with” the “ups and downs” — it seems that rather than being happy to be “unhappy going into work”, and happy to be “under a lot of stress now”, and happy to be “in a new job” that’s a “trainwreck” — you are not happy with this, not satisfied, not content with this, you do want to actually change it, to the point where you recognize it as “the most important job ahead of me”!
And I commend that you recognize it as the “most important job” – because indeed, what else is there to do, what other point to life, ultimately, than to be enjoying and appreciating this, the only moment, of being alive!
So what will it be? Will you continue to assert that you are happy with the ups and downs or are you gonna come to your senses and stop fooling yourself?
Erhm… speak for yourself. Upon what do you base this confident judgement?
Then you best stop here and cease looking into anything related to actualism or actual freedom – try and divorce it as you may from what it’s actually about – because to be successfully utilizing the actual principles that you yourself say you are interested in, is to be going down the path towards the ending of said feeling being!
So if you do want to keep being you precisely as you are now and you really don’t want to change anything – stop now, don’t proceed with actualism! Just continue down the enlightenment-path while also somehow not going down the enlightenment-path (i.e. doing the things that get one to enlightenment but simultaneously not wanting to change and not doing anything to go towards enlightenment). You will be in good company with the other millions+ of similarly-inclined spiritualists out there.
appreciate: “understand (a situation) fully; grasp the full implications of.” ↩︎
There is a lot of misconception here…I guess this kinda thing can happen when you’ve not perused the content of AFT
BF isn’t about releasing the ego-self…releasing ego-self is traditionally Enlightenment territory…BF is about the extinction of the feeling-being self…aka the rudimentary animal self one is born with…Colloquially speaking, we can call it the soul-self as well
I’m not sure where you found Actualism putting the soul and awareness together…