Hedonic-tone and 'being'

Per the AFT

every feeling-being’s experience or state of being – including that feeling-being’s emotions, passions, moods, sentiments and, thus, affectively-tinged and/or emotionally-driven thoughts – has hedonic tone (a degree of affective pleasantness or unpleasantness/ a degree of affective pleasure or displeasure).

Would it be helpful to exclusively focus on hedonic-tone? I am taking time away from financial pursuits and idle hobbies and/or distractions to better approach being. The idea is to self-immolate. I am aiming to be fully aware of being as a barrier to actuality.

It occurred to me that hedonic-tone may be even more fundamental than being. If the most rudimentary self is in the attraction/aversion instinct that even jelly fish have then maybe hedonic tone is that instinct for more sophisticated species. And maybe that should be the focus instead of the feeling of being. I can’t say it’s easy to separate the two, however. In fact I can’t really notice a separation. But I can register the hedonic tone whenever I move from being to a more surface level emotion. I want to see if I can register it even before being morphs into something else. And looking for tips or warnings.

I don’t want to hack my hedonic tone. I just want to be aware of the self as an unnecessary barrier to the actual world.

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Moving on to separation. noticing a hedonic tone is good. But to focus on it exclusively leaves out the separation. the separation is me. that’s a better thing to be aware of.

It’s all the same thing, ‘I’ am my emotions and my emotions are ‘me,’ ‘I’ am my hedonic tone (& it is me), and the emotions / self / hedonic tone are what is creating the separation.

Paying attention to any of these amounts to seeing the others. ‘Self’ has many expressions, but the presence of emotion/hedonic tone/separation is what demonstrates its existence

The main things are to ensure that you’ve cleared out enough social identity to wade into that direct emotional awareness territory, and that the connection to pure intent is sufficient to give a clear sense of direction

Richard emphasizes ‘self’ because of the impossibility of ‘not experiencing emotion’ while still a self - you’ll just create a dissociated self. I have substantial experience in this avenue :innocent: Hence the focus on enjoying & appreciating (as a means to mimic the PCE & thus eventually immolate self)


Don’t be a hater bruh :smile:

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I have been known to partake in self-hatred, so this checks out

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So have I. Big time. It’s a really giant lie we fall for. To believe that the past matters and the future is so dangerous and that other people are judging us in the present. What bullshit.

They often are, it just doesn’t matter nearly as much as the being believes it does

I was just thinking about this today, I’m organizing some soccer over the summer and I realized I had a fear of promoting it & not getting any interest, thus putting my ‘reputation at risk.’

It’s true that people might look down on me; but what I was feeling was basically a survival fear

I don’t see how they matter at all

In the same way one could say it’s true that they may not look down on you, they might think you’re awesome for having the initiative to do something. The interesting question is - Why, in the absence of facts pointing in either direction you are tilted towards expecting a certain outcome (and you are doing this by virtue of this particular outcome occupying your mind). Why are you biased towards this particular turn of events being a possibility and not another.
If this is followed then it becomes clear that this tilt/bias is based upon nothing other than the belief that people will look down on you.
Then any strategy that follows is simply a coping-mechanism for the emotions triggered by this belief. What if you are simply wrong?

It seems to me that as a ‘self’ we play this game as a form of defence mechanism, if event X causes an intense emotional response this is then imprinted in the psyche in a way that skews any projection of the future towards having that element inside of it. ‘I’ believe that it will happen because ‘I’ need to ensure that it does not happen, ‘I’ am protecting myself from ‘danger’.

It creates a situation where in the absence of facts I am still somehow tilted in a direction, this is plain and simple belief though, that good old - “well you never know”.

Actually it’s kinda cool to contemplate naïveté here too, as in how do I approach a situation with naïveté vs via these pre-existing structures.

Entering a situation naively I am living the fact that I simply don’t know what is going to happen, how could I when this particular situation has never happened before?

Vs entering each situation as if I already know how it is to play itself out via belief.

Of course the problem is that if I do go via belief, I will simply set my radar in a way that it confirms what I believe anyways. Oh that 1 guy didn’t seem keen so they all looked down on me, I was right!

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Getting a little off topic at this point but I find it fascinating so perhaps you will too!

I was just contemplating all of the above and the bizarre nature of all this struck me.
I thought how a belief is something that I fervently wish to be true, that either in the absence of facts or even in direct opposition to facts I still wish this thing to be the case. I am emotionally/passionately invested in this thing being the case.

Now this kinda makes sense with nice things like - ‘I believe god loves me’.
But why on earth do I fervently wish it to be true that people look down on me? And as bizarre as this seems it is really like this.

I have done my hen party jobs for years now and I have done hundreds… The overwhelming majority of the jobs end with the customers being happy to have had me there, we’re talking like 99% of the say 500 bookings I’ve done.

So I am working tonight and I catch myself playing the same thing out - I believe that when I arrive there, they will dislike me. Now with such an overwhelming amount of information pointing in the opposite direction how could I possibly justify this expectation other than - fervently wishing it to be true, how weird…

So it is an open ended question at the moment to see what exactly is going on, so far I can see that I do indeed fervently wish for the various horrible things to be true simply because they support my very identity.


I would say that would be a difficult way to become simple. Instead one might just not worry about the future success of one’s program. There are reasons galore not to worry. But I suppose the most striking reason is that one is having too much fun simply being alive and as the ‘simply being alive’ part isn’t going to ever change, one has no reason to think the ‘too much fun’ part will ever change either. And that would be regardless of the outcome of any program.

Unfortunately for myself, I don’t have much experience planning future successes while being naïve. Hypothetically speaking however, I suppose one would just have to delightfully turn one’s remarkable intelligence to achieving a successful outcome while never ceasing to marvel at being here with everything else at this same time that everything is happening.

This is very true. But ultimately, whether they look up to you or down to you is just their projection of their insecure position in a made up hierarchy.

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If one were child like enough to wonder why a past, present, future is felt to exist even though one only ever experiences this moment, one might cease to support an entity that exists through said seemingly fictitious past, present and future. All the more so when there doesn’t seem to be any advantage to it.

Yeah to find oneself planning a future success most likely indicates that one is not being naive to begin with haha

That is in fact what I was contemplating this morning, can I function in the world whilst enjoyment and appreciation is the only thing that ‘I’ have left to do.

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I came back to address something like these comments. And my word was going to be aesthetic. Which is probably another word for preference.

As for the first quoted comment - I would say No!. Emphatically. For one, success is preferred over failure. And two, your success is also everyone else’s success. Don’t you prefer that everyone be having a good time? Wouldn’t the whole party prefer that? A lively party is a better aesthetic than a dull one. Laughter is more pleasing than yawning. A full well played soccer match is preferred over a listless 3 on 3 match. And so it goes. But it doesn’t matter either way. I prefer to smell fresh and match my shoes with my shirts - but it really doesn’t matter.

As for the 2nd quoted comment - I relate to this fear (i think you’re expressing a fear indirectly here.) Can one provide for oneself while still experiencing awe and wonder and fun? I sure hope so. And I think so. And I think it’s a worthwhile discovery to make. You may wind up homeless, cold, sick and alone but in awe that everything including yourself is happening all the time at this time. Not every adventure has the idyllic ending. Some end up on park benches, shivering with a coughing fit. But even that result is better than the constant frustrations and chronic anxiety of a successful upper middle class life (any social class life really). Then again, you may end up cold sick and lonely on a park bench while hating yourself and all of life. It is a risk worth taking.

Also, it’s quite reasonable to consider the other people and things we live amongst. They are living in the same space and time as you. While they are over there, you are here. And to them, you are over there and they are here. And you both are living now. Self aware the all of us are too. Even more commonality. Wouldn’t it be good, objectively and aesthetically speaking, to find a superior way to live. And it isn’t it natural that such an endeavor is fraught with risks? Are those risks worthwhile? Are you willing to sacrifice the middle/upper middle class lifestyle to find a better way to live for all your fellows on this planet, which even extends to the animals and the trees?

edits coming - always a million edits — edits done - now edits are done. i made a big typo


I think it’s related to fitting in with humanity

‘I’ am afraid of going off on my own away from everyone else, which means having to please them

If they’re displeased with me ‘I’ have to do something to rectify the situation, whether that’s fighting or fawning

For someone to be displeased with me and to be unbothered is considered strange and insensitive. So in all my actions, I run through a file of remembered grievances, and attempt to avoid all of them. Since that’s impossible, I inevitably wind up anticipating someone being displeased, and then the instinctive thing is to feel pre-emptive guilt, even if a choice is the best option or even unavoidable.

The guilt is one way of ‘making right’ with humanity

I think it symbolically has to do with being invited to parties. People finding me strange is an unacceptable outcome if I want to be ‘invited to parties.’ So I spend a lot of my time feeling anxious & pre-emptively guilty & frozen. And maybe I get invited to parties… and then at the parties I’m tense!

Just a bit silly