After helping someone with some minor thing I started to experience the good feeling of having done a ‘good’ thing. And then I saw just how ridiculous this was… the good feeling was there as a motivator to get ‘me’ to do beneficial things for other people. And it was needed because ‘I’ am at ‘my’ core so blatantly uncaring that it wouldn’t otherwise occur to ‘me’ to do it! (and I don’t mean ‘me’ as in ‘Claudiu’ per se but any feeling-being).
It’s like there’s such a default lack of consideration and caring that good feelings and morals are needed even to just encourage the most basic of things… and it is also clear that with actual consideration and actual caring all these things are entirely redundant and not necessary any more. Far more caring actions will be taken without ‘me’ in ‘my’ entirety !
How will your identifying it help in your practise?
I recently felt an urge to check out the pics of some attendees in somebody’s wedding. That urge is suffering. I wanted to estimate where I lie in terms of looks among the people I wanted to check(my circle). To assure myself that my estimation is correct. To feel secured that I’m not falling behind. That’s not a strong urge, yet there’s suffering in it.
But how does noting this will help in my practise?
Of course! You can investigate into yourself, see how you tick - see what it is that makes you feel like you have to react this way. Once you see what underpins the reaction , and that it is silly to react that way (as in, it’s not a sensible thing to do) - then you will no longer be having that same reaction when a similar situation arises. This is what the actualism method is all about!
That’s investigation is all about, not actualism, no? Investigation, according to Rick, wasn’t accorded any conspicuous weightage in practising Actualism. I wonder how people dealt with such situations in the context of AF practice.
It appears silly, but the feelings won’t stop next time, I’m pretty sure. It appears there’s no more juice to squeeze from that episode to help AF practice. Yet, I will suffer again.
That means you haven’t really seen that it is silly. Which is fine, it can take a lot of time and repetition and effort to finally see it, in my experience.
That’s ok, as next time it happens you’ll have another opportunity to dig into the issue and resolve it.
The actualism method is enjoying and appreciating this moment of being alive. And as such, whatever takes away from that enjoyment, is something to be resolved. Investigation is not the actualism method itself, but it is one of the tools to facilitate the method.
In the context of actualism, what you do with such a situation is you recognize that you felt bad, you recognize the trigger / what mad you feel bad (which you’ve already done), you recognize you need to do something about it so it doesn’t happen next time, you encourage yourself to care enough to actually try to do something about it, and then you poke around in your own psyche, asking yourself things like what triggered the feeling per se, what about it in particular, what would you ‘lose’ if you didn’t react that way, what image are you trying to portray, etc. etc… we can try going through it together here if you like, as I know that I sometimes wished I had someone drag me through an investigation to see how it works in practice .
Yeah. You posted it at the time you were commenting about Richard editing what Actualism is about and his not adding any note on the editions/redactions he made. You (or Craig when he posted how Actualism wall poster looked like back then) further said it was after Vineeto’s arrival that Investigation was given its (due) importance.
What can be done when the stimulus for the bad or good feelings is internal–Thoughts?
With extraneous stumuli, I will observe how the feelings are arising, how they are wreaking havic, where they are loading up etc. But when the source of feelings is originating from thoughts(like some imagination, past regret, envy etc), then I find it difficult to observe because the moment I observe, the slathering feelings will go hiding.
For the record: I am not of the opinion that “Investigation … wasn’t accorded any conspicuous weightage in practising Actualism” nor am I of the opinion that “it was after Vineeto arrived that investigation was given its (due) importance”.
Something I have noticed in my practice that affords a certain degree of security is that we’re ready to investigate whatever we’re capable of investigating at that moment/time in life. So, if an emotion slips away before you have time to properly see and understand it, that’s ok… it will be back!! Or if something is so subtle that it’s hard to pin down, or too big & scary to process at that time, it’s ok. There are some other bite-sized pieces happening in your life which are more approachable.
The key is to keep going back to trying. For me this has meant maintaining that connection to sincerity/pure intent/memory of the PCE, and a refusal to just accept that my life will be miserable. And then I’ve continually done the work and learned things about myself and changed my approach when things weren’t working. And my life has gotten better with that work.
Something I have noticed is that over time, my sensitivity to emotional states - my ability to catch/observe/understand subtle states - has sharpened, and on the other end of the spectrum my ability to face/not run from ‘big’ emotional states has increased as well. That has come only from experience and practice and pure stubbornness. That has meant that over time, the percentage of spaces I can explore has expanded.
Regarding the importance of investigation, it is an important part of the actualism method:
“Where felicity/innocuity is not occurring find out why not.” (investigation)
It does require a certain amount of ‘doing’ to get the ball rolling.