Hunger

Has there been any change in how you perceive hunger since you started AF practice?
Do you feel hunger as an irritant/something that must be fulfilled for you to get back to your normal state?

I haven’t noticed any change in myself, but I thought you might find this interesting:

RESPONDENT No. 94: Do you experience hunger?

RICHARD: No (all appetitive desires are null and void).

RESPONDENT: If you don’t eat for a day or two, there would be certain sensations in your body which are usually classified as hunger by normal humans.

RICHARD: The bodily sensation of an empty stomach is not what is usually classified as hunger by normal humans – and it does not take a day or two of not eating anyway but only a few hours – as what is usually classified by normal humans as hunger is a feeling of being hungry which arises from that sensation … which feeling desists (in normal humans) when replaced by a feeling of satiety which arises from the sensation of a full stomach after having eaten.

I have quite often gone without food for twenty four hours or more yet have never, ever, experienced hunger.

RESPONDENT: Appetitive desires are something different.

RICHARD: On the contrary, hunger is an appetitive desire.

Source

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I can speak to this:

During my meditator phase I learned that any pain could be experienced as simply a sensation, rather than making additional suffering out of it. That awareness has been useful in my actualism practice as well, as it’s as simple as looking for the sensory-source of whatever suffering (in this case hunger) and deciding that while that sense-feedback is indeed occurring, and perhaps there is no way to satisfy that in the moment, that it isn’t sufficient grounds for feeling bad.

I’ve done it most effectively with feeling cold, I remember taking a walk some while back, feeling cold & miserable, figuring that out, and entering into a really wonderful time, completely cold all the while. Lately I’ve been experimenting with doing the same thing with feeling tired, I think it works the same with hunger.

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I do feel hungry from time to time. On the whole I am eating marginally less than before. So I would say appetite is blunted rather than absent. There is an absence of ‘emotional eating’ and the emotional charge associated with hunger e.g. feeling ‘hangry’. I am not sure whether this is something unique to Richard such as aphantasia or markedly reduced need for sleep - or something that develops after a prolonged period of fully free AF. Furthermore I can’t remember ever hearing that Vineeto or any other actually free person experienced a categorical absence of hunger

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I think Richard is just saying that he no longer experiences any emotional hunger. He says in the quote it takes “only a few hours” for him to experience “the bodily sensation of an empty stomach”, i.e. physical hunger, but he thinks it is different enough from emotional hunger to want to call it something else.

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…I have quite often gone without food for twenty four hours or more yet have never, ever, experienced hunger.

@claudiu This seems more straightforward than what you are suggesting - the absence of hunger. It’s not something I’ve noticed in myself is all I wanted to say.

Aye I think it is straightforward:

RICHARD: The bodily sensation of an empty stomach is not what is usually classified as hunger by normal humans […] as what is usually classified by normal humans as hunger is a feeling [i.e. an [affective] “appetitive desire”] of being hungry which arises from that sensation […]

So when he writes:

RICHARD: I have quite often gone without food for twenty four hours or more yet have never, ever, experienced hunger.

Then we can re-write it as:

RICHARD: I have quite often gone without food for twenty four hours or more yet have never, ever, experienced [an [affective] appetitive desire of being hungry].

This would be an interesting point to compare notes - how has the feeling or sensation of hunger changed since you became free @Srinath ? I guess you would agree it is not affective anymore but it looks like your experience of it isn’t all that different?

EDIT: Reminds me of when I was with Richard & Vineeto, we were eating a delicious meal, and Richard said something like “I want to eat more, but I can’t. I’m too full!” It stood out at the time as I had just visited affer Trent recently who was advising me to eat only a slight amount so as not to be hungry but not to be full as that would allow for better ‘concentration’/‘mindfulness’ and not be a distraction to meditating, which was qutie the contrast!

@claudiu re: your question, its mostly as I have written above. It’s hard now to call to mind specifically what hunger was like as a feeling being to compare it with what it is now. I don’t think there was a dramatic change. I’ve always tended to be a moderate eater.

As far as I can see from reading what Richard has written about appetite and sexual drives (links below), he seems to regard ordinary human hunger and sexual arousal as arising largely from desire, instinctual passions, libidinal energy, appetitive drive etc. Given all of those are derived or are part of ‘self’, hunger and lust must necessarily dry up after self-immolation.

I tend to see hunger and sexual arousal as largely physiological and neuroendocrine, rather than emotional - with emotion playing an important but accessory role (more so for hunger I suppose). It seemed that way both before and after AF. So it wouldn’t occur for me to say that I don’t feel hunger and I don’t feel sexual arousal (and unlike Richard I can certainly be aroused by things other than tactility it appears). So far, so good. Your ‘emotional hunger’ idea works. Potato vs potahto.

But when he talks about going without food for >24hrs without any hunger, eating one meal a day, sleeping for only a few hours and perhaps even the sexual tactility thing, it does make me think that there is more going on: potentially something about Richard’s unique individual physiology, a unique and particular response to actual freedom, evidence of a prolonged meaning of life freedom …. or something else!

http://actualfreedom.com.au/sundry/frequentquestions/FAQ06a.htm#1

http://actualfreedom.com.au/richard/selectedcorrespondence/sc-body2.htm

This really surprises me to hear you don’t experience the absence of hunger and lust @Srinath. I would have considered the disappearance of lust in particular (as well as hunger) as an element of Virtual Freedom, let alone Actual Freedom. Do you find either of these problematic or does the absence of self/being void the conditions of hunger and lust of their unpleasantness?

I am wondering if perhaps in this “new generation” of actualists, there has been a tendency by some to use repeated PCEs to get to actual freedom rather than “the virtual freedom method” as an initial runway, and that this is perhaps contributing to newly actually free people reporting, to some extent, at least some of the problems/emotional states/(feelings?) experienced by feeling beings?

For me personally I would say that I am following the virtual freedom method, whereby any feelings of hunger or libido are readily nipped in the bud (/cut off at the root). This has been effective in dismantling my sexual identity, which was the absolute bedrock of my identity and the habitual chemical state I would run to whenever I felt bad. Obviously it is an ongoing thing and I do have to be “on the lookout” and readily nip in the bud any time I feel my self going down that garden path. But it seems to be working just fine.

Could it be that in some way you “indulge” these hormonal states (/feelings?), whereas moving to a full actual freedom would involve dismantling them? And that maybe some people already did that dismantling in their Virtual Freedom phase?

I admit as someone who is committed to being Happy & Harmless come what may, and who is going through the psychic maze trying to undo every knot for the purpose of achieving peace for this body and every body, it is a bit doubt-inducing (something for me to look at :sweat_smile:) to read actually free people describe themselves as experiencing typical feeling-being “issues”.

I thought the idea is to trust and aim for the PCE, which becomes a permanent state - whereas I cannot imagine a PCE where hunger and lust are present.

I don’t think I would say that I experience lust, which I associate with an avaricious, craving, gnawing almost painful quality. But I can say that I experience sexual arousal for sure. In fact I experienced sex and sexuality as remarkably intimate, electrifying, delicious and pure after AF in a way that I have never experienced them before and this was quite noticeable. I guess I was using lust synonymously with sexual arousal above, but I suppose it can be differentiated.

@Felix I don’t think that.a rapid method produces a qualitatively different actual freedom. The ‘joy of sex’ does seem to be emphasised repeatedly by Richard and others. e.g. Vineeto here after becoming fully free

“…I described it as being innocence personified. Sensuosity, sensuality and sexuality are as much part of what I am just as sexuality and abundance are happening in nature everywhere.

You still need to eat after you are in actually free. You can still have and enjoy sex after actual freedom. I don’t see why you would want to eliminate the enjoyment that comes from those activities in your life.

For me personally I would say that I am following the virtual freedom method, whereby any feelings of hunger or libido are readily nipped in the bud (/cut off at the root). This has been effective in dismantling my sexual identity, which was the absolute bedrock of my identity and the habitual chemical state I would run to whenever I felt bad. Obviously it is an ongoing thing and I do have to be “on the lookout” and readily nip in the bud any time I feel my self going down that garden path. But it seems to be working just fine.

Sex was less problematic for me as a feeling being than it seems to be for you. Ultimately you will need to examine for yourself what does and doesn’t align with felicitiousness and innocuousness as a feeling being. But you’ll also need to take care not to bring morality into this, which is difficult as without pure intent actualism frequently turns into morality - even if one is quite vigillant.

Could it be that in some way you “indulge” these hormonal states (/feelings?), whereas moving to a full actual freedom would involve dismantling them? And that maybe some people already did that dismantling in their Virtual Freedom phase?

I don’t think of hunger and sexual arousal as feelings but primarily physiological states and I wouldn’t say I indulge them. They come and go in my life. Admittedly how this would change in a full actual freedom though remains to be seen.

I admit as someone who is committed to being Happy & Harmless come what may, and who is going through the psychic maze trying to undo every knot for the purpose of achieving peace for this body and every body, it is a bit doubt-inducing (something for me to look at :sweat_smile:) to read actually free people describe themselves as experiencing typical feeling-being “issues”.

I thought the idea is to trust and aim for the PCE, which becomes a permanent state - whereas I cannot imagine a PCE where hunger and lust are present.

I experienced something similar when I heard Richard or Vineeto say things that I thought were ‘suspiciously feeling being like’ or didn’t agree with. I realised only much later that it was my own fantasies of what actual freedom should be as a feeling being, my putting them on a pedestal and not following my own experience. You need to be careful not to turn actualism into an ideology. A PCE doesn’t need ‘trust’ really. You just experience it and it is that. What it says on the tin.

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Srinath: I don’t think I would say that I experience lust, which I associate with an avaricious, craving, gnawing almost painful quality. But I can say that I experience sexual arousal for sure. In fact I experienced sex and sexuality as remarkably intimate, electrifying, delicious and pure after AF in a way that I have never experienced them before and this was quite noticeable. I guess I was using lust synonymously with sexual arousal above, but I suppose it can be differentiated.

Your description of sex as intimate, electrifying, delicious and pure sounds “good” as an experience, but I am still surprised that hormonal sexual urges are being experienced post-freedom at all. Obviously, as a feeling being it is very hard for me to understand what that means and how it manifests - so I appreciate my interpretation/reaction of what you describe is probably not going to land particularly close to the actual experience. Would you say that the lack of ontological ‘being’ renders all chemical/hormonal experiences automatically harmless, even if this wouldn’t be the case in the feeling being? Being the experience of sexual arousal with a partner who is simultaneously aroused is obviously no issue, but I suppose I am thinking of all the other situations in life where sexual arousal leads to “harmful” or otherwise havoc-wreaking behaviour amongst human beings. I had always assumed Richard, when describing the joys and pleasures of sex, meant “as the senses only” and that no arousal was experienced. But I also wondered at that, why he would even want to have sex if there was no chemical difference between “sobriety” and the highs of sexual congress.

“…I described it as being innocence personified. Sensuosity, sensuality and sexuality are as much part of what I am just as sexuality and abundance are happening in nature everywhere.

Yeah it does sound like there would be a chemical experience of sex to justify Vineeto’s use of these three S words here.

@Felix I don’t think that.a rapid method produces a qualitatively different actual freedom.

That is good to know! I certainly would not begrudge anyone the application of the rapid method! Personally I have had to commit to happiness and harmlessness in that kind of virtual freedom way in order to create enough “space” for those kinds of experiences to happen (given that “a grumpy person locks themselves out of being here”). Would you not say though that the magnitude of shadow identity, and the issues created therefrom, affect the quality of actual freedom? Maybe we are using two different meanings. I am talking about the quality (as in scale of 1 to 10) of the quality (the distinctive characteristic/feature) of actual freedom. It seems to me that (maybe) it helps to deal with identity issues prior to immolation when they are experienced as fully-fledged feelings and thus easy to get a grip on, rather than self-immolate with a full social identity on board.

You still need to eat after you are in actually free. You can still have and enjoy sex after actual freedom. I don’t see why you would want to eliminate the enjoyment that comes from those activities in your life.

Definitely wouldn’t want to eliminate enjoyment - but to what degree is something enjoyable if you can’t do anything about it. For example, do you ever feel involuntary sexual attraction to people other than your wife?

Sex was less problematic for me as a feeling being than it seems to be for you. Ultimately you will need to examine for yourself what does and doesn’t align with felicitiousness and innocuousness as a feeling being. But you’ll also need to take care not to bring morality into this, which is difficult as without pure intent actualism frequently turns into morality - even if one is quite vigillant.

I think that a commitment to happiness and harmlessness, as opposed to a moral philosophy, is not that hard to separate out. Morals act as some sort of rule in your head which you need yourself (or others) to blindly follow, only to feel good or bad about oneself (or others) as to whether that tripwire has been tread on. Whereas a commitment to happiness and harmlessness means one has decided to imitate the PCE via feeling naive/felicitous, as the only sensible means of allowing intelligence to operate, thus freeing oneself of malicious/sorrowful feelings (internally) and the behaviour they manifest (externally). In my case it was clear that my behaviour was so instinctively driven and so compulsive as to be very much a Tried and True method of ‘escaping’ and thus further cementing an addiction to being ‘me’ as a malicious/sorrowful entity. What was interesting is that no longer pursuing the escape did not “remove” suffering - which is what enabled me to finally see that suffering is my very nature (ie it wasn’t the addiction itself which was at fault) and that I was addicted to being me. That being said, I do not have any hard and fast rules about sex itself - in fact I had sex last week. But it happened organically and it was not sought by me as some sort of escape or chemical high. There was no of having broken some moral I had or anything. In any case I would not expect your sexual experience to involve any malicious/sorrowful feelings, but nevertheless are not the sexual impulses impacting your behaviour and affecting your intelligence in those moments?

I don’t think of hunger and sexual arousal as feelings but primarily physiological states and I wouldn’t say I indulge them. They come and go in my life. Admittedly how this would change in a full actual freedom though remains to be seen.

At what point is a physiological state that different from feelings (which also “come and go”)? Also don’t you “indulge” them by willingly experience/expressing them, even if enjoyably? I am not at all trying to stitch you up here btw - I hope I am not being too “direct” :sweat_smile:…but it seems to me from hearing from yourself and @Craig that feelings and physiological states can still be experienced post-immolation, albeit without the element of suffering that comes from ‘being’. Would you agree with that? Is there anything you are doing to actively move towards a full actual freedom, and what would that involve? I know you say you don’t indulge

I experienced something similar when I heard Richard or Vineeto say things that I thought were ‘suspiciously feeling being like’ or didn’t agree with. I realised only much later that it was my own fantasies of what actual freedom should be as a feeling being, my putting them on a pedestal and not following my own experience. You need to be careful not to turn actualism into an ideology. A PCE doesn’t need ‘trust’ really. You just experience it and it is that. What it says on the tin.

Haha yes having spoken to them I know what you mean. Obviously these are potentially somewhat fraught topics for a feeling being focusing their whole life on become actually free, if the descriptions of actual freedom after self immolation seem at times to fall short of the PCE. That is what I meant by asking, is it not possible to “trust” (not an emotional trust) the PCE as an accurate taste of what actual freedom will be. A PCE is the only opportunity for a feeling being to experience what actual freedom would be, prior to self-immolation - so if you are saying they are different then it throws up some doubts for me.

RE ideology, I don’t see how it would be possible to turn actualism into that long term. Endeavouring to feel as happy and harmless as possible each moment again as one’s main aim in life cannot sustain having an ideology. So for example, whilst your posts/descriptions have raised some feelings of doubt in me, by staying true to my aim I now have something to look at and eliminate in terms of my beliefs about what actual freedom looks like. So any ideology should not be able to sustain the method itself…

I am realising one of the main beliefs I have is that “actual freedom is safe”, and that as such I am coasting on the positive descriptions of the experience of actually free people as a kind of security - making it seem like what I am doing with this process is all very safe/secure/normal/easy. Whereas actually, I see I am basically going to have to find out everything for myself, and take all the risks as if I were the first person ever doing it - with no guarantees that it will work or how it will look if it does. Hence Richard’s label of “pioneer”.

Hi Felix - regarding that specific assumption (and saying nothing to the general thrust of your commentary), Richard described sexual arousal as being an “exquisite experience” and elsewhere distinguished between hedonic arousal and anhedonic (“sensate only”) arousal:

Richard (2009): In terms of human sexuality, and due to its utter proximity, sexual congress sans identity/ affections is the exquisite experience of two flesh and blood bodies sensuously delighting in being sensually and sexually aroused.
Mailing List 'D' Respondent No. 6

Richard (2006): … there is a vast difference between hedonic pleasure, where arousal means desire, and anhedonic pleasure, where arousal remains sensate only … it is impossible to ever be hedonic (desirous) as the affective pleasure/pain centre in the brain … is null and void.
Mailing List 'AF' Respondent No. 111


Where to draw the line?

While there are physiological states that are preferable to others, ie, the physiological state of satiety may be subjectively preferable to the physiological state of non-satiety, there is never at any time a state or condition of a living organism that is not physiological, whether wakeful or sleeping, excited or neutral, hedonic or anhedonic. Would you agree, Srinath?

The hedonic tone (what researchers call ‘valence’) and the degree of arousal (excitation) of affective reactions are physiological states inherent to perhaps all warm-blooded vertebrate species.

As Richard and others demonstrate, the human being exhibits a unique capacity to function without the hedonic/valence mechanism that underpins or characterizes all affective states.


A study of the valence and arousal expressions of emotions of wild boar evidences, to me at least, the physiological nature of affect:

Emotions can be described using two key dimensions: valence (negative or positive) and arousal (bodily activation or excitation). In this study, we investigated vocal expression of emotional valence in wild boars (Sus scrofa). The animals were observed in three naturally occurring situations: anticipation of a food reward (positive), affiliative interactions (positive), and agonistic interactions (negative).
Encoding of Emotional Valence in Wild Boar (Sus scrofa) Calls

Dona and I discussed sex a bit when we were with Richard and Vineeto. Richard still enjoys the sight of a female body - I asked him whether he preferred looking at a female body and he said, “of course, I am a heterosexual male”. We did not go into whether sexual arousal was involved.

Perhaps the difference between ‘lusting’ as a feeling being and ‘enjoying’ looking at the female form as an actually free or virtually free person is, as Srinath put it the “avaricious, craving, gnawing almost painful quality”.

I would think Richard is still aroused by pheromones, as these are physiological. Srinath, do you still get aroused (talking erection here) other than by tactile stimulation (and maybe pheromones).

As many of you on here know, I have explored sex, sexuality and intimacy at length over the years with very positive results. What I tended to call a “sexual way of being” seems the same as what Richard describes on the following page, including:

that sexual energy (as in feeling lusty) is an affective energy – libido, as distinct from sexual arousal, is an instinctual passion otherwise known as desire – whereas bodily arousal (as in genital engorgement, erectile tissue, lubricious fluids and so on) is only sensuous (as in sensate) or, more properly, purely sensual.

That sexual dimension – a sexual world, so to speak, where sex and sexuality is virtually dripping off the walls; where there is only this beginningless and endless moment; where you both cannot ever possibly have enough of each other; where you cannot tell where the penis ends and the vagina begins/ where the vagina ends and the penis begins; where the distinction betwixt you and her/ betwixt you and him is as if non-existent – is indeed a dimension in which all the affective energy is directed towards the sex drive (or, rather, there is only that sex drive).
Selected Correspondence: Sex

This may be the same as what Srinath refers to:
I experienced sex and sexuality as remarkably intimate, electrifying, delicious and pure after AF in a way that I have never experienced them before

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It may help to elucidate this topic that there seem to be some situations where the physiological/hormonal ‘affect’ are detached from ‘Being’ itself.

I’ve described previously on this forum how a newly-free individual reported sweaty hands and what ‘looked like’ nervousness before public speaking, with no felt fear/nervousness present. It seemed that the body was maintaining the response out of ‘habit,’ a response that gradually waned over time for lack of fuel.

And speaking from my own experience a bit over a week ago, when I briefly saw the ‘turning cyclone’ that is ‘Me,’ (for the first time - I had always been intrigued by others’ descriptions), it had no discernible physiological fingerprint. I think a lot of the physiological stuff is closely related to ‘Being,’ eg frequently triggering states or being triggered by states, but not ‘Being’ itself. Others may be able to speak on this more eloquently than I.

I have taken a big step forward in my practice after this observation, as I previously felt that I had to look for physiological evidence to ‘catch’ my emotions. Now I just feel what ‘I’ am doing, it’s much more direct, much more effective.

Hi Henry - curiously, Richard is adamant that for the duration that he was newly free (those first 30 months), and that despite his particular tumultuous adjustment, described as a physically torturous [1] event that would be in an entirely different league of discomfort to mere public-speaking, there was never, at any time, any occurrence resembling what you say this newly-free individual said was occurring for them, such as “sweaty hands and what ‘looked like’ nervousness”. In fact, he specifically remarked how the occurrence of sweaty palms and other like-responses was entirely absent in his newly free condition, and furthermore that their presence would be indicative of ‘being’.

Richard (2001): … in 1992, when the break-through into this actual world occurred, the following thirty months or so were a time of intense brain agitation – neuronal excitation – which I have described before as being ‘mental anguish’ (not to be confused with emotional anguish) so as to convey the intensity of the cognisance that no body in human history had ever lived this up until now. That this disconcerting perplexity was only cerebral was evidenced by no sweaty palms, no increased heartbeat, no rapid breathing, no palpations in the solar plexus … none of those things connected with ‘being’.
Mailing List 'AF' Respondent No. 18

Maybe the contrast of reports is due to reaching the newly free condition via the ‘direct route’ vs enlightenment? Maybe this individual is in a dissociative state and ‘being’ is still intact? Can only speculate with limited data.


[1] physically torturous:

Richard (2012): So as to convey some idea of what it entailed I have, on occasion, likened the intensity of that involuntary and incessant synaptic reconfiguration to what it would be like, after having physically gashed an arm or leg deeply, to then spend the next 30+ months dragging the sharp point of a sewing-needle back-and-forth through that gash 24/7, without any let-up whatsoever, and with all of modern medicine’s arsenal of drugs only exacerbating/ magnifying the intensity
Mailing List 'D' Claudiu / Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem

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cover6

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Guess I’ll just have to become free to contribute to the available information 🤷🏻🙋🏻‍♀️

That’s the optimum solution Henry :grin:

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Pretty much!

@felix I’m guessing you’re less bothered by the hunger problem then? :grinning: This bodies sexuality with its complex neurophysiology and hormonal interplay is sublimely balletic and wondrous in its operation. There is nothing ‘dirty’ about it, apart from the dirt introduced in there by a feeling being that is.

You’ve used ‘chemical experience’ a number of times. I am not exactly sure what you mean. I initially assumed it was a metaphor for the driven, out-of-control and compulsive quality that you feel accompanies sexual excitement for you. But it might be that you are using it more literally, which makes sense as you’ve tended to see your previous experience of stress in fairly bodily terms - rather than it being the manifestation of ‘self’ and emotion. If that’s the case I can see why you’d want actual freedom to result in some definite change at a ‘chemical’ or hormonal level so as to abolish the source of the problem as that would be some sort of rock solid guarantee?

I’m not certain that things are as ‘chemical’ as you think they are. You may be seriously underestimating the role of ‘self’ and emotion in the sexual experience. When one is a feeling being, naive sex is almost always commandeered by ‘me’ or its own security and taken to the realm of power relations or enjoyment through transgression. It’s something you’ll need to investigate. Maybe having an intimacy experience or PCEs whilst having sex will help.

I guess it is a problem with talking about these things as an emotionless person to a feeling being audience. It seems they are liable to being taken up in emotional ways. This is why I’m reluctant to talk about my post AF experiences.

It’s hard to say Felix. The numbers are so small its hard to make any hard and fast claims. One thing to remember is even the ‘rapid method’ is not so rapid - or at least wasn’t for me :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: It did take me a number of years of whittling the identity down over a period of time and actualising enjoyment/appreciation persistently. How you want to approach it is up to you. In Ballina Richard recommended that we go for actual freedom as soon as possible as the identity ‘clean up’ after that would be far easier. I would tend to agree with him.

And yes, once again my identity clean-up is still a work in progress. That bears repeating, I suppose.

Yes, I do. Much as Richard enjoys a female body. It’s nice. Not something that tortures me. Again you’ll need to be able to see how sexual arousal can occur without emotion for this to make sense. This same scenario would affect you very differently, probably.

On the contrary I would say that it is fairly hard to separate out. No sooner does a PCE fade, that morality takes over. And ‘actualist morality’ merely sits on top of regular morality for the actualist, making the moral position even harder to see. While it’s commendable that you are seeking a sex life that doesn’t cause pain to yourself or to others - sexual identity is so critical to explore - I wouldn’t say that that your account is devoid of morality or ideas of virtue.

If you’ve had a PCE, then you already know what the experience of being emotionless is like, when all the while thousands of physiological processes are going on in your body regulating everything from your temperature to blood pressure. If you were actually free and suddenly came across a tiger lying in wait, your physiology would respond quickly and dramatically. You would be in a different physiological state. Feelings are a different matter. There would be no feelings. Feeling are gone after AF, although pseudo feeling like states (Vineeto’s facsimiles) can occassionally occur when one is newly free. I don’t experience these anymore.

A PCE is the only opportunity for a feeling being to experience what actual freedom would be, prior to self-immolation - so if you are saying they are different then it throws up some doubts for me.

Have you eaten or had sex in a PCE? I would recommend it.

RE ideology, I don’t see how it would be possible to turn actualism into that long term. Endeavouring to feel as happy and harmless as possible each moment again as one’s main aim in life cannot sustain having an ideology. So for example, whilst your posts/descriptions have raised some feelings of doubt in me, by staying true to my aim I now have something to look at and eliminate in terms of my beliefs about what actual freedom looks like. So any ideology should not be able to sustain the method itself…

That’s great Felix. Yes you’re right, relentlessly investigating and following pure intent are your main defences against ideology

You’ve absolutely got it here!

@rick , the line can be drawn where emotion appears. I guess the key word is ‘state’ rather than physiology is more important. There are time-limited as well as constant physiological processes going on all the time in the body, you’re right there and most of them are we cannot be conscious of.

@Alanji yes, definitely agreed.

This is such a great quote of Richard’s. So sexy and so true!

I would post this in my diary but it really is about an emotional response to reading your reply @Srinath.

I don’t know if there is some capacity for an actually free person to be very perceptive - perhaps the lack of self-centredness allows that. It’s like I got prodded in just the right spot by your reply, leaving me feeling very naive.

It’s not really the topic of what we spoke about - well, I really can’t say what aspect of the reply was important. Maybe the part about self being more of an issue than I realise, rather than chemicals. This mental construct of mine, that I would have a good experience if not for chemicals/hormones, might be one of the main things which has been holding me back and disempowering me - thus making me a victim. I have often times thought “how can it be that I don’t have more success? I try hard every minute of the day, go out on a PCE walk every day” etc etc.

I started this whole reply with my usual intricate responses to everything, and it just started to feel like such hard work. I am sick of making this process such hard work. This has honestly almost made me feel like giving up. In a good way. Like stopping resisting or stopping fighting. Like I can’t and don’t want to maintain this. I am feeling a lot calmer than usual, like I can finally rest/chill - for the first time in a long time. It feels so healthy.

I think I usually think of feeling good as some really active thing I need to do, to almost fight to stay in the feeling good zone (and fight to stay out of the feeling bad zone) - in a way that is precarious and exhausting. But here in this place of giving that up, I am suddenly likeable and liking. Soft, and not a relentless tyrant or ambitious fighter. I feel so much more safe and secure. Whereas on the whole, attempting to become free from the human condition has felt like the fight of my life. Trying to convince myself I am feeling okay when actually I have been kind of drowning in insecurity and trying to come up with all sorts of ways to control myself (case in point becoming essentially celibate because I don’t trust myself to lose control of things by being sexually active).

But suddenly I am not drowning at all. All of that has become still, and it’s like my nervous system is powering down. Have I been in some sort of fight mode this whole time, day in day out, without knowing it? What have I even been fighting? Feeling naive like this, it’s hard to tell.

Right now I am curled up in the middle of a carpet staircase. It’s so cozy and easy. I remember when I was a kid I used to just randomly chill in random spots like this on a staircase or on a mat or something. Back then there wasn’t much wrong with how I felt. Whereas I realise for about the last 2 years or so, something really hasn’t felt right with me. It’s like I have been in total overdrive (though it has been slowly improving).

Feeling naive like this, feels right. Whereas usually I feel like I’ve got the weight of the world on my shoulders. Then I try to escape from this position by using the actualism method, with a lot of will and wishful thinking thrown in - the results of which aren’t good. This then makes me seek escape again, only to then punish myself, and then set up a new rule to control myself. And so the cycle continues.

But if all I have to do, is do what I am doing now, which is basically observe how I am feeling, and “let” myself be here and enjoy effortlessly, via being naive, rather than try to force myself to feel good, then this isn’t a fight after all. It’s only a fight if I am fighting. I am.sort of sitting here wondering what all the fuss has been about.

I have been interpreting the words “feel good each moment again” to mean there is some thing I have to make myself do, each moment again, to make myself feel good. Like I’ve got a gun to my head (and having the emotionally exhausting experience of what that feels like). Right now it’s like I can see clearly that I have been putting the gun to my own head this whole time. And that maybe, just maybe, I can finally put it down.

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