Josef's journal

I had what I think is a PCE yesterday while on a high dosage edible. I was just sitting on the couch, and suddenly the inside of my house began to look completely different. It was as if I was seeing everything for the first time again. There was very little affect, and I noticed that while I could think, the thoughts were disjointed from “me”. There was a very high level of sensuous appreciation. But the key aspect for me was time. Past and future were completely gone and it felt like I could stay in this moment forever. That there was nothing else. Again, very very little affect, but I’m reluctant to say a complete absence because i was also pretty intoxicated and hence a little confused.

It was a new way of experiencing entirely, and it was very pure and I would say close to perfect. It was the same world but like a different one within that same one. Like a veneer being pulled back. I was reading PCE reports while this was going on, and the phrase that resonated with me was,

The atmosphere of the peak experience, which I can best describe as the peace that supports everything from underneath, is the calm that makes undeniably clear that all is well after all

Like, if anything bad happening to me in that moment, it’d still be all fine. And all of this was so beyond intellectual understanding, it was purely experiential. Hence for me it is factual. The only caveat I have is that I don’t know if I can get there again while sober :confused:

I’ve also had a couple of near EEs, but if this is what a PCE is like, then they’re not even on the same level.

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A lot of the PCEs I’ve had as an adult have been while effected by drugs, so I understand where you’re coming from.

Even if you can’t easily have a PCE while sober, you now know that it exists and how much better it is than normal experiencing. And you have something to aim for, it can become a firm connection to pure intent.

Careful of ‘you’ turning this into cause for suffering! It’s wonderful that you’ve had a PCE.


The best thing is that you now have at least some confidence that this place exists, something beyond the normal way of experiencing even if it was glimpsed on drugs.

I also had the first experiences on drugs when I came back to actualism so I remember the hesitance that maybe I could never do it whilst sober but eventually it did happen.

And the coolest thing was that a PCE was even better than the PCE-like experiences I had on drugs. It was clean even of that last little bit that you describe.


I agree on the importance of having been able to establish this reference for the future.


I think that is what I am taking from this. Experiential confirmation that a state like this actually exists. The prospect is so incredibly exciting. I remember feeling like attaining this state permanently is worth dedicating one’s life to. I also understand now why people say a PCE can be life-altering.

Here’s the thing though: while the state was factual, I brought all my actualism knowledge into the interpretation of it. I think without a background in actualism I still would’ve recognized this as something extraordinary, but would’ve just attributed it to an exclusive drug experience.


Yeah it seems Richard was the one to finally recognise the significance of a PCE and also to devise a method of getting there again. Because so many people have them and yet no one ever dared to live that experience.

I remember having one before actualism and I wanted so bad to live like this all the time and yet I just had no clue how to and of course spirituality seemed to offer a way there…

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Having the most exquisite evening right now. So much feeling good, all precipitated by the rememoration of last weekend’s PCE. Funnily enough, I cannot remember it very well. My EEs are much easier to remember. But I assume this is because there was no affect in it.


This early morning (as they tend to be) is instead filled with anxiety. I kind of noticed a pattern. I think of something threatening, then either I get thoughts of expressing it, or get busy suppressing it. Or I get the self aggression from failing to repress/control it. These reactions are instantaneous.

A third alternative presents itself here. Feeling good in the above approach becomes a battle of whether I can conquer the feeling. But the feeling is me. I am feeling it because it is what is sensible to me. So if I want to really take a look at it, I make space for it. I refuse to react, with the intention that I will be controlled by feelings no longer.

I noticed that a lot of my angst comes from beating myself up over having various feelings. It is morality in action, I just seem to have a stronger disposition to it.


Right. The bravery is in the thought itself “it is possible to be free”; to be out from control.

I really like the observation by Claudiu that the reason we are doing this;

…is in the very content of what we are currently thinking about.

The fact you posted on the forum, the fact I am responding, the fact that the information “you can be free” is already known; all of this will result in the alternative to being “controlled” becoming apparent.

The decision to be free is already made. It’s now working itself out through all the layers of falsity and deception, misappropriation and apprehension. Pure intent is already at work.

You will do this thing called “an actual freedom”, it is your immanent destiny.

The future for which the reference of that PCE is important has arrived…

I notice a similar thing in the mornings, usually morning is where there is initially some swirl of resentful/sorrowful feelings. They don’t seem to have much of a trigger as I’ve just woken up but it’s almost like ‘me’ loading up after the slumber, maybe there is some resentment there that I have to get up and live another day, to ‘have to do all these things’.

So usually the first 20min or so is actually a case of feeling all this deeply and letting it somewhat dissolve. It is funny because every day it is the same, and before I know I find myself driving to work feeing good. To sincerely bring attentiveness to a feeling can really do some wonders but it does entail feeling it fully which is what I usually run away from.

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Now the somewhat disappointing thing is that I remember a period of time last year where I would wake up feeling already good and looking forward to the day ahead, somewhere something shifted and not for the better :joy:

I’ve been contemplating intimacy. Why is it that I am so intimate with only this one person (my partner) while not really being (or desiring) intimacy with others? What is actual intimacy? Is it completely equal in the sense that the quality is the same with one’s partner/friend/relative or even a stranger?

Edit: These questions aren’t rhetorical. I would appreciate any insights people have had :smiley:


I found that actual intimacy has an equitable aspect to it which I think is because everybody is seen to be made of the same same matter of this universe. However cognitive memory knows that such person is my partner and such person is my friend or relative etc so there is some additional special awareness about the person too.

Richard spoke about this exactly in Article 34, Page 241…the para starts with “My new companion…”…I tried searching for the same on the AFT, but since its not there, so will have avoid typing it here…maybe a good reason to buy Richard’s Journal hehe


The interesting thing to contemplate is that all those ‘categories’ of other people mentioned are various identities projected.

In order to say this is my girlfriend, this is a stranger, this is a friend, this is my brother etc I am indeed projecting something on top of the actual human beings. I then carry out my interactions with those identities via various rules, expectations, beliefs etc

Then to try experiencing actual intimacy with those various identities might seem conflicting and is in fact not possible!

To get the answer to those questions I think it is necessary to allow yourself to peel those identities back somewhat, to dare to experience ones fellow human beings outside of that usual narrative, outside of the roles that we both play.

What @Shashank mentioned sums it up pretty good as well I think, that to have actual intimacy does not mean that all of a sudden there is some cold equality pervading every interaction, as if everyone has been reduced to a 0, including those who were close to the ‘me’.


Also in terms of this one I can very much relate. I think having a partner can be great because it allows me to explore intimacy, however as you mention you get to a point where you start noticing that you are keeping a part of yourself separated when you interact with others, and why is that so?

I think in general it is socially accepted to be intimate with a partner but not so much socially accepted to be intimate with others (eg a stranger) so initially there is a fear of even going there, like it is taboo.

Initially it might be useful to review all those ‘rules’ which separate humans into various ‘groups’ and then dictate how I should relate to each one of them. For me I then found another (deeper) layer there as well, a fear of stepping outside of the normal ways of relating, of getting too close. Like it is dangerous to no longer experience people through that filter, as if there is a danger lurking there, but of course there isn’t.

I’ll add that sometimes we think of ‘intimacy’ as referring to certain actions we do with some people but not others, the most obvious being physically intimate eg sex, kissing, hugging, touching or being physically nearby. There are other aspects though such as talking about certain subjects, hanging out with no others around, or late at night for example. However, actual intimacy does not require any of these. It’s a way-of-being - or rather, that there’s a lack of way-of-being in the way of experiencing the other.

Where normally we are always projecting things onto others (as @Kub933 mentions), in actual intimacy there is the direct sensorial experiencing of the other with nothing - no ‘me’ - in the way.

An intimacy experience would be when there is /very little/ ‘me’ in the way.

@hunterad was talking about something similar the other day:

The area where this currently concerns me most is when my sincere naive self seems to want to talk with women in a naive/intimate way even if they are in a relationship. Really I want to talk to everyone that way but I am finding it easier with women (that’s new!).

I’m fearing that I am being harmful and then retreat into moral/social identity decisions about right and wrong. Best guess for now is to have confidence in my experience that my naive and sincere self will stop short of causing harm without the need for the social identity to take back over and make me withdraw.

It may be and seems likely to me that “talking with women in a naive/intimate way even if they are in a relationship” is thinking about intimacy in that first sense which could indeed cause problems. But there is no reason not to ‘directly sensorially experience [someone of the opposite sex who is a relationship] with nothing in the way.’

Critically, in actual intimacy one may find that the ‘normal intimacy’ moves are appropriate for the moment, but one may find the opposite as well: that it is not the time for physical intimacy, or even the time to push toward intimate subjects. I have frequently discovered that most people are not in a place where they are ready to talk those topics, which are most often considered ‘intimate’ because people commonly hold fears around them.

An excellent description of this actual intimacy comes from Peter’s description of becoming free:

The following evening, I found myself back on my couch, leaning across the little table that separated us, explaining to Richard that I experienced him as being on the other side of a veil – with only his face bulging through as it were. As I was explaining this to him, I was waving my hand in front of my face so as to illustrate the veil and I happened to look down at the table in front of me.

On the woven table mat my attention was drawn to a dark blue plastic cigarette lighter, an empty glass, a tobacco pouch and other sundry items. All of a sudden, Richard’s phrase “the actual world of people, things and events” came to mind and I found myself acknowledging that the things on the table existed in actuality, i.e. did in fact actually exist, and this being the case, here I was waving my hand in front of “people”, in this case Richard, saying that I experienced him as if behind a veil, i.e. not actually existing.

For my part I have had an extremely clear experience of the difference when I had a friend visiting, I entered a PCE and was dumbstruck by the realization that my friend was actually there with me, a physically-existing animal alive on this planet, and I was there with him! In that moment the significance of that event really hit me, a complete contradiction to the normal-way-of being ho-hum ‘boring’ way that I most often experience others.


I’m so tired of being miserable. Tired of investigating these issues over and over again. I know it’s all silly but I still feel scared, angry, and stuck. So frustrated. Frustrated that I cannot feel good. No matter how much I plot and plan and apply this method or that, nothing goddamn works. I’m THIS close to putting everything on a doesn’t matter basis and just chucking my worries into the wind. The truth is ALL of my successes of feeling good have come from intent. From wanting to feel good. None of the other stuff works for me. I want to change. Change completely.


Why haven’t you changed?

Humm I didn’t quite follow —- what you wrote there of chucking your worries into the wind, sounds like exactly the way to go ! What’s preventing you from doing it? The way it’s written it sounds like it’s something you don’t want to do.