Hello everyone. My name is Frank, I came across AF about 2 1/2 years ago by accident ( my wife was translating a spiritual book called “I am That” by Nisargadata Maharah- which we both had studied extensively for 20+ years and one of the “questioners” in the book, asked Maharaj about, Douglas Harding; so I did a google search for that name and serendipitously, came across AF website. And I guess the “rest is history” I poured over the AF material and found it both rewarding and frustrating( as you may well know!). It was inspiring to read ( and would make me feel good) but hard to know what it was “prescribing”, and even harder to know how to apply “the thing that I did not understand”, lol. I am going to write this journal, as if I am trying to explain it to someone who is new to AF and wants to seriously start to Apply the AFM. I am new to this format, and I thought it would be better to write in segments, so that would not turn into long posts, I am open to any feedbacks, both in term of my sharing style and in regards to AAFM = Application of Actual Freedom Method .
And since then, June of 2019, it has been on and off with my AF involvement, as you may have guessed! I did not keep a journal except for a few entry’s few months apart ( I wish I had- not only for my benefit but also for those coming later to AFMethod ) . I was having a lot of emotional turmoil ( depression, anxiety, fear, boredom, listlessness, frustration, anger, etc. etc.) ,your run of the mill Human Condition Stuff . And I was not finding much relief with “studying” AF. All I was able to do, was to try and “fake”, happy and delightful feeling on top of my negative feelings for a few minutes( to an hour) a day, especially in the early morning hours ( 4-7 a.m.) when I would wake up with the anxiety and sense of fear that I have felt all my life, during those hours of the early morning ( for some people that might be natural Cyclical, Circadian, Amygdala “thinge medoodle”- to happen at those hours of the morning when we have just woken up and have not yet “wore our defense psychological clothing” .
The reason I am writing this journal now, is because today, the 1st day of Spring( our Iranian New Year’s Day), is the day that for the first time I was able to “Experience This Moment” as a senses human ( this happened again between the hours of 5-7 a.m. while I was still in bed). This experience was brand new for me, to just be with the “senses and at this very moment”. I was very relaxed and calm, and this was enjoyable!( although I was not looking for “enjoyment” ). This lasted for about an hour, then , at 8 a.m. me and my wife went for our “EE” daily walk, and I was able to feel good again and again by focusing my attention on “Experiencing This Moment”. I could see the trees, grass, flowers, birds, and would stand for several 15 minutes period, looking at various delightful reflections of the Sky and tress, and “movement” of these images in the crystal clear water of a pond that is in the park near our home. I was hearing the birds sing, smelled the fragrances of the flowers, the colors, etc.
When we came back home, this morning, after breakfast, I went looking for my AF notebook, to write a note about my ETM=“Experiencing of This Moment”, and I was shocked to see that exactly 1 year ago( March 21, 2021 first day of Spring) was my last entry in that notebook ( which I did not even remember writing in that much, let alone on that specific date !). What I had written a year ago was : ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------" This morning at ~ 6:00 a.m. (while in bed) I realized that I am “hard on myself” and sad, for not devoting my “thoughts and Energy” to AF FHC(=from human condition), in a moralistic, judgmental, and self deprecating way which I am used to doing to myself , which made me feel even worse, and that is the opposite of what the AFM says. I need to review these feelings/beliefs and try to diminish and dismantle them ( I was intellectualizing, I guess ) and to be more Happy and Harmless ( I was hoping and praying, I guess ) " . The End…------------ I wrote the above entry verbatim, except for where there is ( ) .
Then I read the rest of what was in my AF notebook, with it’s first entry on Sat. Dec. 6, 2020, which only said: “Happy and brimming with joy” ( wishful, hoping I guess ).
After reading my AF notebook, which only has about 10 pages of entrees , I am amazed and shocked, as to how much better I am feeling these days, compared to how I had been feeling then, according to my writings in this notebook! For the sake of conveying the experience and perhaps helping new members, I will write a few of those entrees here as well. But before I do that, I must say, that the main motivating reason for writing here ( aside from wanting to get AF FHC haha ), is seeing @geoffrey video [ come on Geoffrey, make the damn video “puplic”, we need more people exposed to this “merde” anyways, for all of our sake ]. I had also been “observing” and studying what you guys wrote on slack and then followed it here. Then in the Video, Geoffrey said : "Participate and post on Slack, it will help you, even for dealing with your “Actualist Personality”; why don’t you post on Slack, you just want to “watch”, be safe and be entertained " . Thank you again and again, Geoffrey and sorry for my poor paraphrasing.
Another reason I did not post here before, was that I felt like I had nothing to contribute, except for my confusion and bad feelings. I remember even asking on Slack: “about the Burden of having to feel good all the time”, because I did not know how to do it and it felt like it was hard work ( it still is , but getting easier by the day). Geoffrey came “back at me” and replied something to the effect that: “if you think being happy is a burden then you need to do something…???.. I don’t remember exactly what he said”. But I was shocked by his response, until a few months late, when I saw “the video”, which in it he said: "this feeling good is different than any other ways of feelings, it is a “third way or a new way of feeling” and if it had not been for the Alan and Dona’s trip to Ballina, delineating the meaning of “feeling good”, then the Maestro himself ( Geoffrey ) would have been lost and probably could have tried for several years to feel happy with very little success! Would you care to correct me please @geoffrey, if I have misunderstood your meaning !
As an identity, many a times, “I” have been thinking and tempted to “gripe” on here, about “youz guyz”, not sharing the “secret sauce”. Feeling happy in an AF way, is imho, a very new and unconventional way of experiencing life ( for we as humans have been encoded and applied the method of MAS=( misery and sadness, I just came up with that mnemonics ) for all our lives. The introduction of AFM needs to be more clear, more full of examples, roadmap, journals, etc etc.etc.( along with some gentle hand holding for the beginners, please - in other words - “paying it forward”). And I can see now that’s the reason we have this forum, and I want to thank everyone here, for creating such a space!
Why did “I” not write in my own journal, or here, before? Because I was too engulfed with my misery and my confusion. It seems that only in retrospect, we are even able to face our sufferings/condition, let alone write about it and share it with others ( the clever identity needs to preserve and protect itself and not be exposed ). I read and re-read the topics of my interest on AF site, took notes, downloaded them to my Evernote.com ( I shared one link to the “copy pasted AF Slack” entrees that I found helpful in the “Water Cooler” section on here, I think ) highlighted the notes like I was memorizing for exams; hoping for finding the “Key” ( now, that reminds me of Richard: “be the Key, instead of looking for the Key”), a clue, a hint of practical use for moving forward with AF. It was frustrating and very frustrating ( to say the least ), for the longest time( maybe 2 1/2 years ), until the last few days. Another thing that helped me a lot, was @Felix’s writings both on Slack and here. Felix shared his frustrations and un-successes very honestly, he even “griped” about Richard only telling him on his trip to Az, to be happy for the rest of his life. Thank you Felix. As a beginner AF person, I needed to see and here the frustrations and the “short comings”(for me) of the material presented. And then there was @Miguel, with his generous self revelations, @Kub933 and his macho and at the same time humble sharing, not to mention @claudiu with his wisdom and “dry” style of sharing ( sorry Claudiu, I am just rambling on ). And many many more people that have shared and nudged me( from Slack) to come and write here. Thank you all again!
I was thrilled to read you are in Iran! I made a friend in Tehran via looking for a programming partner in a project a couple of years ago, and we have stayed in touch. I enjoyed learning about his life, family and character. Really lovely man, and it seems like Iran is going well despite all the challenges.
Thankyou for reminding me about Geoffrey’s comments about “feeling good” being “different”.
Whilst reading and looking at Kuba’s diagrams, i was reminded about Richard’s remarks about channelling all one’s affective self into feeling good.
Like one might get angry, and make oneself even angrier, or sadder, i wonder how this works with “feeling good”?
When i make myself angrier, it’s by thinking and ruminating over some topic. Same with sadness.
I’ve been experimenting with the idea of making sensuous things the objects. It seems i need something to “ruminate” on, in a good way.
شما ایرانی هستید؟؟
It’s so interesting to see how long everyone here has known each other one way or another. “I” notice how, whatever it is “I” am involved in, it’s always from the sidelines. “I” love looking “in” from “outside”.
Yes @milito.paz , I am Iranian, but live in the US. I can’t believe that, it is such a small world that other Iranians have come across AF, I guess the Universe is Benevolent to All it’s inhabitants . And yes, I can totally relate to “not wanting to be seen” and “wanting to look in from the outside”; but Maestro told me: that would not work with Actualism. And I am actually enjoying my first day of participating in this forum, especially, as others have said, this helps me organize and focus my efforts on AAFM ( Applying Actual Freedom Method). Thank you @claudiu @Miguel and others for technically making this venue possible for us, with your effort. p.s. My wife has spent well over 200 hours on translating into Farsi ( Persian) some of the materials from the AFT site, and she has created a Telegram Channel and Group, posting those translations. The links are as follow, if you want, I can add you to the Group, and if you have anyone else who wants to join, just let us know. Telegram: Contact @actualfreedfromhuman …and Group is Telegram: Contact @AZADIVAGHEI
Wow that’s way cool. My dad’s Afghan and although I have no interest in persuading him this way or the other, it’s amazing to know some of these materials are available in Farsi.
I know what Maestro means and perhaps I should clarify as I think I know what is meant here, I am not talking necessarily about isolating myself. I know full well that it is only possible to become actually free by being happy and harmless in the world as it is with people as they are. What I was alluding to with my observation about myself is my general approach to group activities.
180 degrees opposite to the tried and failed ways of the past.
از ملاقات شما خوشبختم
I wanted to elaborate on this for the sake of clarity. “Experience This Moment”=ETM, you notice I did not say “How I was experiencing the Moment of Being Alive”, the reason is, for me as a newbie, it is too hard to “know How I AETMOBA” I have tried it, but have not been successful at it yet! Then this morning, I accidently came across just Experiencing This Moment ( and as R. et al, I think have suggested ), I focused my experienced “proprioceptively” on my body and my senses [ being aware of were my arm was, how I felt my weight and “heaviness” against the softness of the sheets and the mattress, etc. etc., and that seemed to do the trick for me [ being able to pay Exclusive Attention to The Senses At the Moment, hence Experience The Moment ] . And as I have seen in R’s writing in Attentiveness And Sensuousness And Apperceptiveness , ( same article in my Evernote AF &&& Attentiveness1 Sensuousness2 Apperceptiveness3 ) "Attentive Sensuousness can be the same as Enjoying and Appreciating TMOBA. And “One is this universe experiencing itself as a sensate and reflective human being”. Reading the above article 3 days ago, was a turning point for me, it made it clear to me to focus my Exclusive Attention on This Moment and This Place. Lucky for me
Glad to hear that @milito.paz . Maestro is a title that I have assigned ( humorously ) to Geoffrey, for his influence on me, vis a vi his video. You should watch it several times( I did twice) and take notes and “memorize” those notes. I have also commented about his video on here, under Geoffrey’s Video section.
Dear @Andrew. Thanks for the wonderful and kind words, really heart warming( I don’t know if that is allowed in AF! ). I am very tired now, but I will try to respond ( with my 2 cents only, and that is all that I can afford for now lol )to some of the topics that you touched upon. BTW most of you guys are lucky to be Australians, as I feel like R’s English is very indigestible ( at least at first), and then slowly becomes delicious and even “prophetic” ( showing us The Way and The Goal, and them also being one and the same ). I tell my wife that Richard is like the Einstein ( for lack of better choice) of Consciousness, his finding and results are not only Revolutionary but more importantly Evolutionary! , in my opinion.
I gathered that
Look forward to continued correspondence.
Btw for those telegram links require an app to be downloaded right? Is there something browser based I can access those Farsi materials in?
If you just want to get a preview without interacting, you can use the “Preview channel” button, I assume that with any browser (I’ve just entered with Chrome):
Otherwise you have to download the app.
Hi @FrankN ,
Great to see you posting here! Welcome to the Land of the Posters
I just wanted to chip in here and say that it looks like you are overcomplicating what it means to ask yourself “How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?”
You have probably already seen the latest version of @Kub933 's flow-chart, but I will re-post it here:
As you can see, there are two possibilities after asking oneself “How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?” (i.e. HAIETMOBA):
- feeling good (felicitous + innocuous)
- bad feelings (sorrow + malice) / good feelings (antidotal pacifiers)
That is, the answer to the question “How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?” is essentially one of the following, for a “newbie” :
A. I am feeling good – i.e. I am in a generally good mood
B. I am feeling bad – i.e. I am feeling angry, upset, peeved, annoyed, anxious, fearful, sad, sorrowful, etc…
C. I am feeling a ‘good’ feeling – i.e. I am feeling love, compassion, bliss, ecstasy, driven, etc.
D. (Not on the flowchart:) I am feeling ok/meh – i.e. neither feeling good nor bad, neither here nor there. Boredom might fit into here.
This does not require sophistication to answer, nor an advanced degree, nor even any degree of any sort, nor any philosophical knowledge or practice or experience, etc. It essentially comes down to, “How am I feeling?”
And the answer is gotten at by just using your normal regular human ability to feel your own emotions, i.e. just a regular, normal, plain, intuitive, ‘what am I feeling right now?’ Even a child can do this, it is really nothing very advanced whatsoever.
Then, as the flowchart says, what you do next depends on the answer:
1 - if you are feeling good – then, great! fantastic! Enjoy and appreciate it – and you are now employing the actualism method . Ask yourself the question again regularly until it becomes a non-verbal approach to life etc…
2 - if you are feeling bad/‘good’ feelings/neutral – then, no worries, it is a normal human thing – follow the flowchart to get back to feeling good.
And that is about it!
What you are going for by doing this is as continuous and consistent a sense of general well-being as possible. There is nothing specialized or particular to actualism about being in a good mood – except for it being the focus to life as opposed to anything else. But, at first anyway, it is just basically being in a good mood all the time.
All that happens ‘later’ is you see that a good mood can increase essentially exponentially . But you can cross that bridge when you get to it.
Also I realize I may pose an image on here as being someone who is ‘advanced’… and though I have a lot of knowledge about actualism, I’m by no means virtually free even, I still experience feeling bad on a regular basis – though I’ve had periods of multiple days where it was all feeling great or better – but I am still on the path .
Cheers and hope this helps,
 The only difference for a non-newbie will be that EEs and PCEs occur more frequently, or one may be feeling better than ‘good’, and so the answer to the question may be that – but I left it out of the post here for simplicity sake.
Apropos the same post alluded by @claudiu, I was just writing to @FrankN the warning that has already been made several times in the forum: although I do not know your background, those of us who have practiced various forms of Buddhism, mindfulness, mind control, etc., should be especially careful when applying (as I also frequently apply) the use of the senses as an entry point to feel good again, because it has been common for us to use that same technique for different purposes, such as to stop feeling bad feelings keeping the good ones, to isolate ourselves emotionally, to seek happiness based on physical hedonism, to generate peace by focusing on a certain sense or object, and others.
As long as your purpose is to use the technique as a bridge or means to ultimately enjoy and appreciate with felicitous feelings, you will be fine. And getting to enjoying and appreciating with felicitous feelings will be the way to check that you are doing it right.