Road block

I hit a massive roadblock in my practise.
To exemplify,
Should I need to delve deep into economics and finace?
Unless there’s subtle greed or to feel secured. Is it valuable to exchange 1000s of hours of valuable time for it?
As long as the self is acting, it can look right because there is rationalisation which you might call natural, or some baloney like it’s important to have money(sweeping the operative theme under the carpet “even if it’s beyond your needs and comforts”), which is also rationalisation.

But almost everything comes under that category: Self grabs anything and everything. It’s always at some level to alleviate insecurity or accrue or secure more security, or chasing after some pleasure or to fill some void.
When almost everything feels like it, it’s paralysing. And investigation doesn’t help because it has already come to the dead end–it has done what it could.
What I do feels good, but not really given its underlying subtle intentions.
Should I just wait it out as long as it takes for pces to occur?

Do you get what I am saying?

Suggestions, please.

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Are you asking whether it is worth it for you to expend a large amount of effort and time into becoming rich?

No. Becoming rich is a one-stop solution for many desires. Not just material comforts. Riches brings with it
—Being socially desirable.
—People going out of their way to be pleasant with you or help you out or wanting to share things with you etc.
—Huge money or assets is huge security and therefore certainty, emotionally.

Becoming rich is one desire, which bears the said underpinning motives and more, and I also have other subtle desires that motivate my actions.

My query is:
How can I really be feeling good when that feeling good is underpinned by pursuit of desires? Isn’t it just being a hamster running on a wheel?
Progress occurs when that underlying current that motivates activities I do stops, but whatever I do has an ulterior motive.
Given this, how can I make headway?

Ah OK, that helps clarify.

Is it really feeling good when that “feeling good” is underpinned by pursuit of desires? If not, then why call it “feeling good”?

Does the hamster enjoy himself on that wheel?

What’s the nature of that “underlying current”? What “ulterior motive”?

By underlying current and ulterior motive, do you mean the seeking or pursuing that which you desire?

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This is great @rick, Richard from what I read was very successful business wise etc whilst applying the method. I find the same, the times when I’m feeling good I’m usually doing so much more martial arts training and having a blast with it all.

A happy and harmless hamster :grin: except I want to be on this particular wheel cos it’s fun.

I notice times when I am not feeling good, maybe there’s some underlying fears or insecurities I then turn it into a moral thing of - I’m an actualist, I shouldn’t be pursuing things. And so I end up sat at home doing nothing and feeling bad about it.


Yes, yes, of course.

@Srinath Whatchu say?

:smile: this reminded me of something Vineeto wrote to me in ~Oct 2022 that is really apt.

I’ll put a relevantly-snipped version here:

VINEETO: Have you found out yet what is the last obstacle to giving yourself permission to allow yourself to become free ?
CLAUDIU: As to your last question, I haven’t found the last obstacle yet :smile:. I’m not sure if I would know it’s the last one until after I am free? Then I could look back and say “it was that one” haha.
CLAUDIU: Currently I am finding that desire is a big one for me. I’ve come to realize I like the feeling of desire, of chasing after something. I am realizing that this is because it gives ‘me’ a shape, it validates my existence. But as I don’t substantially exist it’s very tenuous. Meeting the object of desire provides a feeling that this accomplished feeling could be infinite and eternal, even though I simultaneously know that it absolutely is not.
[…] I still find myself chasing my desires. At the same time I am seeing how I don’t feel good when I’m doing this. And contrary to what I thought and experienced before, it’s actually ridiculously easy to get “back on track”. It just takes me wanting to do it, to getting back to that feeling good (which for me is suffused with pure intent now), and then within a few moments it’s happening again. But there is this strange pull back that I continue to feel in the background, to follow the desire again - and I realize the pull is me / is not ‘outside of’ me - but there it is regardless.
VINEETO: As I understand it, ‘you’ wanting to stay in existence are presently choosing to chase desires to express ‘your’ objection to manumit your (actual) body from the ‘your’ tyranny.

Here is what Richard had to say on the topic of desire -

Respondent: Want is desire.

Richard: Yes, the ‘I’ that was revved up desire like ‘he’ had never desired before … only ‘he’ channelled all of ‘his’ desire into enabling the already always existing peace-on-earth to become apparent through ‘his’ demise. And ‘he’ succeeded.

Respondent: Desire is ego.

Richard: Oh yes … and the ego has a job to do: When ‘I’ willingly self-immolate – psychologically and psychically – then ‘I’ am making the most noble sacrifice that ‘I’ can make for oneself and all humankind … for ‘I’ am what ‘I’ hold most dear. It is ‘my’ moment of glory. It is ‘my’ crowning achievement … it makes ‘my’ petty life all worth while. It is not an event to be missed … to physically die without having experienced what it is like to become dead is such a waste of a life.

This is altruism … pure and simple. (

And -

Richard: Nothing worth anything is gained without extending oneself way beyond the norm. One has to want freedom like one has never wanted anything before. I say: rev up desire until one feels that one must surely implode … and rev it up some more. Unless freedom is one’s number one priority in life – amounting to an obsession – one will always live a second-rate life. (

And here is what ‘Vineeto’ wrote -

[Vineeto]: With the memory of the PCE ‘I’ could clearly see that ‘I’ am standing in the way of perfection and therefore ‘I’ agreed to take ‘myself’ apart. The impetus to examine, investigate and change comes from ‘me’ – ‘I’ am willing to die because ‘I’ have unmistakably understood it to be the best and only solution to the human condition. Once ‘I’ made the full-hearted decision to actively stage my own disappearance, the journey became easier and I could make use of my instinctual passions to help ‘my’ mission. Now desire helps me to achieve the best possible, aggression to stubbornly stick to my goal, nurture to altruistically sacrifice my ‘self’ for the benefit of this body and every body, and fear, well, fear gives me the impetus to end fear forever.

But it is ‘me’, and only ‘me’, who is willingly doing all the work of becoming free. (

Once the overall desire - to become free from the human condition - is firmly established and there is a clear hierarchy of what is most important to you, then everything else you desire can be simply a preference, and the enjoyment and detailed appreciation of being alive, the delight in using your intelligence and all your capabilities to achieve what you would like plus the job satisfaction that comes with that.

To link it back, the hamster enjoying himself on the wheel reminded me of this “plus the job satisfaction that comes with that”.

To summarize, the point is not to stop desiring, as a moralistic/spiritual/religious/buddhistic principle… rather the point is to actually desire, more than ever, with 100% of your ‘being’, desiring in the same way you desire anything else – but desiring becoming actually free, as opposed to anything else.

It’s impossible to stop desiring… but it is easy to desire just one thing.

With that primary desire in place, you can then want/need/prefer/desire whatever else you might want in life, and it’s no ‘problem’ as far as actualism is concerned, it’s just you living your life and enjoying pursuing those things, because your overarching goal is in place and you’re heading inexorably towards your destiny.

Personally I find I’m currently still scared to do this. I can relatively easily start doing it… and then I see that this would lead to the end, it would actually work, and I pull back. The hard part is not desiring to be free per se, in that it’s some trick or technique… it’s in actually desiring to be free, sincerely, 100%, and accepting all the ramifications of what that entails.

Hope it helps!



This seems a great way to simplify things - make freedom the primary goal in one’s life - then go about living life in whichever way I wish to, which includes pursuing certain things.

As the pursuing is done with the commitment to freedom already in place it remains in the proper context of being a preference.

I can really observe this in myself, I am very committed to training martial arts for example and there are all sorts of progressions I am pursuing, with the long term goal of reaching very high competence in this particular area.

However this happens to be simply what I have chosen to do with the specifics of my life, the overarching goal/commitment (which is like a grand arena for everything else to happen within) is to freedom, and the every day expression of this commitment is the commitment to feeling good each moment again come what may.


@Kiman I second what Claudiu said.

That desire is a problematic way to happiness was well understood even by the Buddha, so no real surprises there.

Rather than telling yourself off for having desires, commit to being happy and harmless each moment again. This will reveal the limitations of a particular desiring landscape that forms an identity. With luck and persistence these can melt away quite surprisingly. This is the oft talked about dismantling of social identity, habits, psitacissms and so on.

Desire is ultimately who ‘you’ are though and it is also the way out of ‘you’.


So much gold in this thread so far!

This is a really good point because it highlights the difference between blindly enforcing a moral/belief system vs an open exploration which happens on the wide and wondrous path.

Because the traditional way is to rigidly place some moral tenets on top of this problematic desire (or any of the other passions) in an attempt to control it.

The problem is that this ends up locking one more firmly within those shackles which prevent freedom. It also tends to have the side effect of withdrawing one further away from life, this is obvious when looking at any religion really but also any particular belief/moral system say veganism for example.

I remember this from when I was younger, that sense of feeling locked away in a progressively tighter cell, no matter how much stricter I tried to be with the application of those beliefs/morals I was progressively moving in the wrong direction, away from freedom. Away from those brief experiences which I had locked away in my memory, which showed that there was an altogether superior way of living.

Taking the other approach of committing to feeling good and then going out in the world, into the marketplace and actually exploring all these things first hand is totally different. It is an open exploration which eventually as @Srinath mentions, begins to expose various limitations. So things begin to fall off but not as the result of a strict adherence to some code but rather as the result of those parts of ‘me’ being seen as silly, unnecessary, redundant, counter-productive etc. And at the same time building a greater clarity as to which path is simply more sensible, more intelligent, better off for all concerned, each moment again.

So it is intelligence in operation and it actually leads to freedom. And the great thing is, and I have found this personally is that you get to do all those things which at some point you believed that you would have to give up in the name of freedom, but actually none of that was ever needed! :grin:


And the best example of this for me was driving down to meet Dona and Alan couple years back and worrying that they would be upset with me if I drank beers at the pub, after-all they were actualists :laughing:

Fast forward couple hours and we are all sat at the pub drinking beers and having a great time.


Haha yes and what I will name the “Actualist Tobacco Effect” must not be understated – as the number of actualists in a group increases the likelihood they will start smoking grows parabolically :smiley: .

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Indeed I find this too!

It is a bit strange at times. I find that I’m unable to tell myself off anymore or beat myself up for “desiring something I shouldn’t” or doing something that isn’t sensible. It just doesn’t make any more sense to do it. So there is therefore no ‘moral punishment’ for doing something ‘wrong’…

The traditional advice is that this would lead to licentiousness, that you need that moral shame or guilt to prevent yourself from doing bad things. But pure intent, sincerity and sensibility have become active enough where instead what happens is I’m just left appraising what I just did. I can see I didn’t feel good while doing it… and then I’m just left wondering why I would do that in the first place! And eventually the answer is that it just doesn’t make sense to keep doing it, so I just stop doing it… and that’s it! No fireworks or drama. It is odd but I’m becoming more used to it!


Perhaps worth mentioning that things like money, career success, exist so often as desires that those of us wishing to ‘do better’ may think that part of doing better means doing away with those, whether as desires but also as simple preferences.

As @Kub933 mentions above, this can result in an increasing strait-jacket as we add rules to our lives in an ill-fated attempt at increasing freedom.

There is nothing ultimately wrong with making lots of money, or making whatever sensibly might improve one’s career position. As with all things, whether it’s sensible or not for you at any particular moment is completely dependent on conditions - trying to pin down a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ rule is looking for a ‘way out’ of being here, alive, right now, and being in the position to live this moment.


I’m glad this post came up today, because thinking on this subject I can see several areas of my life I have been doing this. Money & career ideas have definitely been one of them

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Reflecting more on this & really the height of foolishness here is not wanting this or that thing, it’s thinking that worrying about it or desiring it will help us to get them. It won’t, it’s really debilitating

So a lot of what happens here is we desire/want something → our psyches betray us via handicapping intelligence → we give up on the wanting (while subtly still wanting)

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What you mention @henryyyyyyyyyy makes me think of feelings being a gross distortion of the actual. As in desire is there in an attempt to do what intelligence can now do much better.

So it’s not that wanting this or that is evil in itself, it is just that the tool of desire which nature implanted is the blind and dirty way of getting there, it has that intrinsic handicap within itself. It’s what drove organisms to act before intelligence developed.

Now there is a way to move towards that which is wanted without being blindly driven.


There are some interesting models of desire that go beyond the usual common-sensical ones. I used to find these useful and fun to contemplate and still find them compelling.

Rene Girard’s Mimetic Desire: What is Mimetic Desire?

Jacque Lacan’s theory of desire is harder to explain and more convoluted. But he too sees desire as a mimetic social product than something biological. Unlike animals the human being is a unique product of language intersecting with the body. Because language can only go so far in its production of human subjects, it creates a lack - a yawning hole that can never be closed. It stays there like an existential void at the heart of human subjectivity. It’s sort of like a half rendered video game where the scenery turns to black pixels and wire mesh. From this lack desire springs - a fantasy that wholeness and closure are possible if only we get the longed for X, Y or Z which we fantasise the Other has. The Other is a hallucinated socially produced figure that we imagine to be un-lacking and complete e.g. Elon Musk, Dua Lipa or maybe just a moderately socially/sexually successful friend. Furthermore as infants our needs as babies are interpreted by powerful caregivers e.g. ‘johnny is hungry’, ‘johnny’s nappy is wet’. But our caregivers dispense not only bottles and clean nappies but also love and recognition. Over time biological needs get complicated and saturated by psychological demands for love/recognition and caregivers are internalised in the babies minds as powerful Others. But even the best caregivers, being only human are always getting it wrong and falling short. The demand for love is frustrated and what remains is desire - a sort of never-ending preoccupation with the Other and the fantasising of what the Other wants, has or doesn’t have. By this point the Other has been so thoroughly internalised that we don’t even realise we are doing it and simply experience it as desire. We are constitutionally desiring beings that desire as Others. Lacan would probably say that the goal would be to move away from demand - something that is rigid and concretely mimetic and into desire - one that is looser, socialised and tragi-comically aware of the ultimate futility of desire, yet realising there is no escaping it. Actual freedom would agree with Lacan and Girard insofar that desire is constitutional of ‘me’, but of course there it is possibly to bring desire to an end by ending ‘me’.

Hope that wasn’t too much of a head fuck :crazy_face: Happy New Year everyone!!!


Very nice indeed.

It lines up with many insights into the way I have seen this over the years.

Nature repurposes what I call “primal distress” into what becomes what psychology calls “libido”.

It’s the same thing. What can’t be satisfied, an ultimate comfort/survival becomes, a longing for the Other.

Julian Jayne’s book “The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind” makes a similar point about the hallucination of the Other. The analog ‘I’ is a product of the social imagination of the complete “leader”.

These ideas are far out @Srinath. Still, I think I’m partial to my arguably more conventional actualism bottle :baby_bottle: (or model) to explain the origins of compulsion and desire. To each their own of course.