Notes from today
PS - anyone want to hop on a video call sometime in 18 hours or so?
7 | 3 | 23
I seem to have made some kind of sea change in my various amorous investigations and have been rewarded with a glimpse of a newfound sense of freedom, perhaps some kind of virtual freedom. We’ll see if it sticks around.
Basically the last year or so I’ve been allowing my interest to go where it has wanted to all along, aka toward girls. This has allowed me to open up the spigot on the ‘juice’ of my own desire / motivation, and then direct that energy to simultaneously feed what ‘I’ want and the actualist investigations. The key in this case is that the aim of intimacy is compatible with both.
This process gained considerable energy in February when I met someone that I found extremely attractive and began to do a bit of courting and a ton of investigating into the various parts of myself that were getting in the way of intimacy & confidence, and creating insecurity. This proved to be a rich vein for me, I made more substantial gains in the last 4 months than I had in the year or 2 previously.
All this culminated last week in asking her on a date. It turns out she has a partner and turned me down, but something curious happened: the rejection felt more like an increase in intimacy than a rejection as such.
Because her energy while turning me down was jovial - she thanked me for asking me out - I experienced the event as getting closer to her rather than farther.
This goes a couple directions, one of which being that now she knows without doubt that I’m interested, and who knows what that could open up one day.
But it also undermined the entire structure of my fears around rejection. I’m not getting ‘what I want,’ but there’s no loss of intimacy, I’m glad about where things are.
In addition, because I’ve taken care of the ‘material’ step of asking her out, there’s nothing more to do on that front, and all that’s left is for me to take care of myself / my vibe. Which has been basically my plan all along, but it’s now all that’s left to do.
For a couple days I felt a bit of an emptiness - not as a result of feeling negatively about the rejection, but because I no longer had ‘something’ to chase. I recognized this as an opportunity, a moment to experience ‘stark reality.’ After a few days, the starkness passed and while taking a bath I somewhat ‘woke up’ and was reminded about the ‘awake’ quality of the PCE. It wasn’t a PCE itself, but an awareness of the quality of the actual world from the position of ‘me.’
There’s really nothing to give up, it’s just a question of chasing the various things I’m interested in in a relaxed way, while more and more finding that ‘awake’ quality in my experience.
Maybe one day things will pan out with this girl, maybe someone else will come along at some point, maybe I’ll get hit by a semi truck, who knows! But I’m happy to say I have the scent of the actual in my nose and one less distraction.
It’s strange because it’s not that I’m no longer interested in girls, but the interest has a different character now. More to investigate I’m sure, but maybe not that much more.
7 | 8 | 23
Summer is the season of beachy bonfires in Juneau, which means that everyone is bringing their dogs out. This is great for the dogs, who get to run around with all the other dogs and bark at anything and everything. It also means dogs begging for the delicious fire-roasted meats the humans are enjoying.
I couldn’t help but noticing the energy of the dogs while they whine after a hopeful snack… sorrowful, ‘hangdog.’
That’s the exact way I feel when I’m not getting something I want… it made me realize that it’s a social emotion… what’s the point of sorrow, of whining, if there isn’t some other there to feel sorry for you, and maybe cough up the goods? And it reveals the pointlessness of sorrow when there’s no one there… who is going to give me what I want? No one, except some imagined deity ‘out there’ somewhere. There’s no one there to pity me.
It’s a leftover habit from childhood, when a forlorn expression was all it took for mother to rush to my every need… those days are long gone. The sorrow is for no one.
Nice, I remember I arrived at pretty much the same conclusion but through a different line of enquiry.
I remember Richard writing that it is intrinsic to the nature of love to promise eternity, is it intrinsic to the nature of sorrow that ‘I’ hope to be saved by a ‘someone/something’? Hence sorrow is inevitably a crippling emotion becasue it necessitates that ‘I’ don’t do anything in order to be saved.
Is it that sorrow is a instinctually programmed ‘tactic’ for survival, via seeking support from the ‘other’, in the human world this ends up being projected into some god/authority that will save us. The dirty aspect of this emotion is that it leaves one forever waiting in sorrow, for a resolution that must come from the outside.
What a funny dilemma, ‘I’ want something to save ‘me’ and so ‘I’ must continue suffering, continue to send out the signal.
This is quite easily observable with the victim mentality, how it is a tactic of stepping back and using sorrow as a means of getting one’s way, with such a damaging effect to both personal wellbeing and interpersonal harmony.
All this is diametrically opposite to standing on one’s own two feet, where I can go straight to the root of something as opposed to having to hang back and navigate life through emotion.
Ha ‘I’ must get crippled in order to be ‘saved’ woah I see the madness of this now! Sorrow will literally cripple me so that I can be saved by another, and for what reason?! The very energy of sorrow is a crippling influence and for a reason, for I must be left in such a condition so that salvation can come.
The mechanism of this reminds me of desire, that ‘I’ must create a void first so then ‘I’ can desire ‘something’ that will fill it, it is all over nothing.
And equally with sorrow ‘I’ will become helpless only so that ‘I’ can be saved, it is equally all over nothing.
I always thought that emotions are like an echo of something ancient that is no longer necessary - this seems exactly it.
As long as it’s something outside of me I’m chasing, it can be like “it just hasn’t happened yet” or “the universe is against me” or something.
But because it can happen right now… it’s really not a big deal… I’m the problem, I’m what’s in the way, and I’m what has to go if there’s going to be freedom.
8 | 14 | 23
Of course I’m the only one that can make it happen, bc I’m presently the one controlling this body… I decide if I go this way or that way
My ultimate motivation comes from death bc it sets a deadline… I don’t want to waste this life. So priority goes to enjoying & appreciating, to becoming free.
The pee-PCE is real
Did you have a PCE while peeing? Outside or inside?
Ha, @edzd sounds like you are describing the female orgasm modes .
I’d smoked a bit of weed beforehand and was at a friend’s house, so I was inside
I posted about it bc it’s a bit of a theme for me, using a friend’s toilet often brings on PCEs for me. Some combination of the delight of hanging out with someone, and the relief from peeing.
For me showering is something which reliably leads to one ensuing nowadays
I really enjoy these candid shared moments. Perhaps one day such an inauspicious moment will be the cornerstone of something more for me.
I always enjoy reading your journal @henryyyyyyyyyy, interesting to see where we align and diverge.
I am not sure I resonate with you on this. For me, sexual desire is more like hunger or an un-scratchable itch.
I have been dealing with it a lot lately and this feeling of horniness and polygamous desires. It feels different to other emotions…stickier and yet leads to such addictive loops and also feeds into the whole fantasising and escapism. I have had more sex dreams this year than in any other period of my life as well, including a lucid sex dream that was fun
Though I have seen aggressive tendencies regarding sexual desire displayed by other men including from my brothers, friends and other people. So maybe I am atypical in this way. Maybe because I want to be wanted rather than win a prize, it is very much about me being desired…pretty self absorbed of me lol.
I am fascinated by and desire so many people. But also fascinated by how desire manifests and works. At times, it so much like a false promise. Though it can lead to many addictive behaviours. There is a parallel for me in trying to reduce sugar content, all of these hedonistic addictions constantly trying to vie for my attention.
Interesting that you mention the word hedonism because I have had this word on my mind this morning.
What if hedonism is not the problem? It is just that the mechanism of desire goes round in a loop and leaves one forever unfulfilled, because as an identity I do not have access to anything that can fulfill.
When I find myself here and the cloud of affect that is ‘me’ disappears there is something like hedonism, as in everything is intrinsically pleasurable, it’s like drinking in all this pleasure that is intrinsic to pure sensate experiencing.
Isn’t this what desire aims for but it just never reaches? I think the way of control (morality) will always ultimately fail because it can never fulfil, so the cycle of lack and wanting, controlling and desiring continues.
I mean all it takes is to read one of the first articles in Richards journal to see that it is not about limiting pleasure or sexuality in any way. After all it was a sight of a breast that was one of the pivotal moments of his search for freedom!
Looking at it in a naive way it is actually so insane that humanity has come up with a belief system demonising pleasure. What’s wrong with something that is enjoyable It’s the identity that will cause mayhem on route to getting it’s good feelings, pleasure is not the culprit.
@son_of_bob maybe you can find the aspect of aggression in this: when you are hungry, how is food acquired?
I’ve continued to find that aspect of desire driving my existence. I had an interesting time last week, visiting my young nephews and niece. I could see how their attention was much more connected to whatever they were doing in that moment. Still plenty of desire, aggression, and sorrow, but where much of ‘me’ has become single-pointed on just a few things, they were interested in a lot of things. I’ve found that for me, so much of my life has become connected to a conceptual map where everything points back to specific desires: in my case, the fantasy of the girl.
From that perspective, I had a glimpse that my pursuit was psychotic in nature. I was trying to ‘be’ someone special with the belief that it would ‘make me’ attractive, whereupon this or that girl would fall in love with me and thereafter I would feel good all the time.
It may be that some girl might fall in love with me, but all that would mean would be that two people would be deluded rather than just me. There would not be good feelings all the time, they would not find me attractive 100% of the time, and I would not ‘be’ anything except inside of my own imagination - and even there it would be always on shaky legs, as my intelligence couldn’t help but notice the delusory nature of the identity - even as I try to hang onto it.
I’m seeing it more now as essentially just people hanging out. This or that person wants to hang out, or not hang out. It’s quite casual really. There isn’t ownership or a particular expectation of the future. I’m not really anyone in particular, because at any time I might go do something else, which would also effect mutual interest in hanging out or not. From that perspective, my previous attempts at being attractive are clearly delusory. All I can do is enjoy myself in whatever I’m doing, and if someone else wants to join me, great! And if not, it’s not much of a big deal because I’m doing what I like already.
My previous attempts at ‘being attractive’ had backed me into a corner because as I failed to attract the ‘right partner,’ I had crossed off various things that I was doing as being the improper thing to do. This or that fun thing was no longer fun so long as it didn’t result in someone falling in love with me. That meant that over time, the fun leeched out of every activity. I found a way to associate my every activity with failure, and then hunger for something outside my ken to solve the problem. That is obviously an impossible situation.
The first domino that landed me here I think was that I bought a jetski a couple months ago.
I had been pursuing a girl who I found attractive. I was giving myself free rein to let ‘myself’ fully engage with the feelings of desire, something I had been previously holding back on to be a ‘good actualist.’ I think that was a good move for me, because it has allowed me to more fully explore & understand the dynamics involved - dynamics which had always been happening in me, but so long as I avoided I could attempt to deny. Now they were right out in the open.
As the months ticked by, I learned more and more about myself. The insecurity was plain to see. I could see myself swinging wildly between bliss & misery with every nod & cold shoulder I got from her. Eventually it became clear that this roller coaster was not working for me. I was a nervous wreck, hanging on her every word & glance. Not hot. So I decided I needed to do something for myself. To live my own life and to be able to be happy with myself and the life I was living.
The opportunity popped up very shortly afterward in the form of a jetski. I’ve since taken it out on the ocean a number of times, run into electrical problems, seen whales, taken it completely apart, almost sunk, and had to be rescued in the middle of the night. But the best thing about it was that I wasn’t doing any of it to ‘be attractive,’ I was doing it because it was fun and I wanted to explore the ocean around my house. It was clear how narrow my view had been.
There’s an aspect of lightness in my life that is new because it’s not dependent on romantic approval. I’ve given myself permission to care about & enjoy playing soccer & hockey much more than I had in the past, because I had always been concerned that others would dismiss it as a silly game. They will dismiss it as a silly game, but that doesn’t matter. Everyone cares about something. And it’s all a bit arbitrary. People just think that the thing they care about is much cooler & more important than the things others care about - they have plenty of justifications & barbs they’ll throw around - but ultimately it’s just that, a justification.
I’ve already found something that I think is of tremendous importance & value in actualism, and funnily enough no one I talk to seems to recognize it. They’re too busy with whatever they’re convinced is important & valuable. And that’s fine - they will explore that thing in their life, and learn from it, and perhaps move onto other things. That’s the natural way of being a person. But any other person disagreeing with me about what’s important doesn’t feel threatening anymore. That they think playing sports is a silly priority isn’t threatening anymore. And that they don’t understand actualism isn’t threatening anymore. And if they don’t want to hang out with me, or see me as unimportant or uninteresting or low-status doesn’t feel threatening anymore. I have something to do in becoming free, and in enjoying my life, seeing how to incrementally have more peace & intimacy with others, and doing everything in my life as well as possible.
But everything Richard is talking about is a sensorial hedonism whereas much of what I am experiencing is also in the realm of fantasy and sexual horniness etc. So for him, sexual stimulation is purely tactile and requiring touch and physical initiation, right? Whereas for me the idea of something or someone, the imagination and fantasy can trigger me. Additionally, I find myself preferring the fantasy to reality. Which is itself a turning away from what actualism is about. It is also continuing a lifelong habit of living in imaginative worlds even over the real world let alone approaching the actual world. Old habits die hard I guess.
For me there is no demonisation of the pleasure, I have no guilt or shame about it, more so than most as I don’t come from a religious or spiritual background. However, for me the problem is the imaginative and sexual desire itself. I know that it takes me away from the naive and sensual enjoyment that leads to EE. I know experientially this type of pleasure is not the same as just having the physical pleasure of sex for example. It is in that realm of stickier emotions that I find it takes longer for current time awareness to kick in, like the pleasure from fantasy is itself a separate pathway and I know that it is still a conditional happiness but it is so addictive.
By going to the shops lol! Or now even ordering on an app, I can sit on my arse and get food delivered to me. I know what you mean though but it is not a reality that has ever been part of my environment. The aggression is redundant in my environment, the things that tend to manifest my aggression can be ridiculous at times but its only useful manifestation in my life has been dealing in reaction to aggressive, difficult or unstable people. I still can’t recall its manifestation as regards the opposite sex. I know that has been a problem with my wife and ex partners, like I am not masculine, aggressive, tough enough.
Yes, I too can relate to such aspects. In some ways, I enjoyed unrequited love more, because I could stay in that fantasy realm and control the made up outcome. Being in love in reality when reciprocated was always more confusing and messier. But this nature of being special, it is the exact same drive behind me when learning, creating or doing sports. There was always this desire to want to be someone special. When you are older and know for example you are never going to be a famous football (soccer) player and the chances of being a successful writer gets slimmer and slimmer, it gets harder and harder to maintain those dreams and fantasies, that came so naturally in my teens and early twenties.
Yes indeed, and there could be women wanting and loving you right now who you have on interest in so you don’t even pick up on them on your radar so to speak. We only focus on those that we have an interest in. When I realised this, especially as quite a low confident male, then realising I was ignoring and rejecting women who I wasn’t interested in physically, made me realise more reason to not like this whole normal realm of love and relationships. It is quite a cruel and cold the way love pans out.
I did much the same. To want to understand for myself what it was like to be in love as at the time of being introduced to AF and then when on board with it, I only had sort of teenage, childhood puppy love, the other love was just unrequited. I had to know it all for myself. I think exploring and understanding that whole realm is important.
Sounds very exciting and terrifying at the same time lol. I think I am naturally very risk averse. I find myself considering everything negative outcome and talking myself out of everything.
I can relate a lot to this. Still learning.
I’ve mainly been pushing the potential presence of aggression around sexuality because I found that it had been hiding under the rug for me for a long time, once I knew where to look it was really obvious. That makes me suspect it’s the case for others. But I’ve also been learning lately that everyone’s expression of their humanity is a bit different, and I have nothing to gain telling you or anyone what emotions are where. It’s for you to find out for yourself
This makes sense to me. I can recall a lot of cases especially when I was younger when I could spin up the most fantastical ideas about myself and who I was or was going to be as a lover, and then when shit actually hit the fan I was very confused haha. Many, many ‘moments of truth.’ And now my challenge is in not just becoming emotionally jaded.
Funny enough there’s been no fear associated with it, maybe because I’ve spent a good amount of time on the water. The worst was some embarrassment when I was stranded, but even that I was able to get through pretty quickly. It’s helped that most of my time on the water has been filled with delight.
I highly recommend doing things! Especially considering the relation between things we’re afraid of and desire, and the overall thrust of this thread which is that we find out a lot about things once we get in & get our hands dirty… it’s so easy to remain conceptual & maintain whatever fantasy from a distance.
I’ve found myself facing a lot of stark reality lately as a result of this process… not exactly fun in the traditional sense, but now that I’m typing it into this here actualism forum I’m reminded that it’s what I signed up for, and it is interesting in the sense that it is how my life is expressing itself right now. There has been something of a wall of fear in my life.