Rotten feelings, vs being rotten


I have been thinking about our phone chat all week so far. It seems to activate some “problem solving” characteristic in me to have shared with each other our mutual struggles with being a “rotten self” and yet liking oneself. In us sharing our thoughts on this, it really focused me, as i want to solve this “for you”, which means of course i have to solve it for me! :grin:

My thoughts on is are that it’s easier to deal with rotten beliefs and feelings, than “myself” as a whole.

I realise the suggestion to see “my feelings are me” is recommended, yet it seems that the AFT very much (in Peter and Vineeto’s cases at least) deals a lot with specific feelings and beliefs.

The idea being it’s easy to be specific about “rotten feelings and beliefs” and otherwise like oneself in the meantime. It’s not disassociated to see a belief and it’s feelings individually, as that’s how we are already experiencing them.

That’s my thinking on this so far. There’s a place for dividing up the obviously “rotten” from an otherwise likeable me for the purpose of being virtually free of something specific.

Your thoughts on this?

I think having a perception of aspects of yourself as “rotten” or “not-rotten” is natural. No different than being instinctually averse to rotted spoiled meat versus fresh succulent steak. Dog shit has a repulsive odor whereas lavender has an attractive fragrance. But if you experience both the essence and entirety of who you are, at the core of yourself, as something putrid and rotten, then how can you be anything but averse to yourself?

Richard saw himself as fundamentally rotten:

Richard (2002): … it is the identity (‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul) residing parasitically in all human beings who is rotten to the core …
Mailing List 'B' Respondent No. 39

As did Vineeto:

Vineeto (1999): It is not a matter of having an ‘intimate’ relationship with one’s instincts, but to acknowledge, feel and experience that ‘I’ am my instinctual passions, nothing else. ‘I’ am rotten to the very core.
V – Actual Freedom Mailing List Correspondent # 16

Peter was especially eloquent about what a complete and utter piece of shit he was:

Peter (2000): ‘I’ am nothing but a chemically-fuelled rotten little feedback loop, an errant, stubbornly perverse virus …
P – Actual Freedom Mailing ListCorrespondence Alan – 5

Dear me. “Nothing but” means entirely. Not just aspects. The whole kit and caboodle. A “virus” or “parasite” is not typically regarded as something that is, as you say, “otherwise likeable.” If we go about designating parts of ourselves as not-rotten, then we will be starting down a path that diverges from actualism.

You are nothing more than a putrid little virus, Andrew! :face_vomiting: But do remember to like yourself. :blush:

The way I see it: the universe made rotten meat, dog shit, and viruses, just as it made Scarlet Johansson, puppies, and vaccines. Regardless of where “you” fall in on that spectrum, ultimately it is the universe that has designed every aspect and feature, and is the cause of every event and experience. Ultimately, the universe is incapable of making mistakes or doing anything wrong, even when it comes to parasites. It is this ultimate vantage that I regard as my “saving grace”, however “rotten” I may be regarded as.

Aye that is the nub of it :smiley:

The question is, essentially - “Can you emotionally accept what is intellectually unacceptable?”

Can you emotionally accept (as in not being emotionally averse) that you are rotten to the core - even though it is intellectually unacceptable that it be so?

Because once you can emotionally welcome this and even be cheery about it, then it becomes a lot easier to do what is necessary to change your (rotten) self such as to be more conducive to enjoying and appreciating, PCEs, and eventually (as I understand it, but not yet from my own experience) to be able to self-immolate.


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If one operates within a framework where there are “rotten” and “not-rotten” (and perhaps “more-or-less-rotten”) parts of oneself then conceivably one could isolate and then excise those less-desirable parts while retaining the more desirable ones. So if one is prone to compulsive sexual behavior, for instance, and for whatever reason one views that behavior as “rotten” or “undesirable”, where otherwise one considers themselves not-rotten and likeable, what normally occurs is that one seeks a way to remove that individual rotten component while preserving the rest, as evidenced by organizations, movements, and groups that focus on removing, minimizing, or at least managing one particular undesirable trait. Alcoholics Anonymous for alcohol addiction, NoFap support groups for porn addicts, even psychiatrists/ psychologists/ therapists for things like mood disorders, come to mind. One could follow this line further and throw in cosmetic surgeons, dermatologists, virologists, oncologists; indeed the healthcare field as a whole relies on methods that attempt to isolate, extract, eradicate, minimize, or manage individual undesirable aspects of the organism (disease, disorder, pain, etc.) while preserving or enhancing the desirable ones. Conceivably one could apply this “pick-and-choose” approach to the psyche and see what comes of it. I think we are already naturally inclined towards that “pick-and-choose” approach, and perhaps there are circumstances where that approach legitimately improves one’s quality of life. In actualism, however, “you” in your entirety (yes, even that part of you) are an irredeemable and vicious malignant cancer through-and-through that must, like Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse Now, be terminated with extreme prejudice.

On the other hand, and in line with that “pick-and-choose approach”, instead of viewing the essence of oneself as “rotten” one could consider adopting Richard’s alternative view of “his” essence (which is the essence of “humanity”):

Richard (2009): … it was the hypnopompic state which revealed the essence of who ‘I’ am – the precise nature of ‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being (which is ‘being’ itself) […]. In that crystal-clear fully-lucid hypnopompic state ‘I’ was able to penetrate deeply into ‘myself’ at the core of ‘my’ being (which is ‘being’ itself) – or, rather, the penetration took place via ‘my’ full acquiescence – and there, in the centre of all the feelings swirling around, the essence of who ‘I’ am lay gorgeously exposed … not all that unlike a beautiful rosy pearl, nestled coyly amidst the delicate fleshy tissue of its host, in its shimmering nacreous shell.
Mailing List 'D' Respondent No. 11

Richard (2009): […] what lay exposed (as in completely unprotected) was the essence of ‘me’ in all ‘my’ glory … beautiful, radiant, resplendent and unquestionably worthy of the utmost adoration, worship and veneration. […]. Kings and Emperors and Sages and Seers alike tremble at the rare honour bestowed only on a graced few, to prostrate before that sacred effulgence, upon choice revelation of its almighty presence. […] And, as ‘I’ knew exactly who ‘I’ was, that very knowledge was in itself empowering (to use the jargon) and thus contributed enormously to ‘my’ eventual demise.
Mailing List 'D' Respondent No. 2

An appraisal of oneself as essentially either “rotten” or “resplendent” – or anything in between – appear to be equally valid/ invalid. Taking a page from the postmodernist playbook, I reckon it would be easier to be friendly with someone who is “not all that unlike a beautiful rosy pearl, nestled coyly amidst the delicate fleshy tissue of its host, in its shimmering nacreous shell” rather than someone who is a “chemically-fuelled rotten little feedback loop, an errant, stubbornly perverse virus”.

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Without such an insight as Richard had of ‘himself’ as a “resplendent rosy pearl” or as “residing parasitically… rotten to the core” we only have the all to normal self loathing / narcissistic spectrum of feelings.

The idea of emotionally accepting the intellectually unacceptable sounds like a koan. We are always identifying, surely? Isn’t this very much like equanimity towards all phenomena?

I actually remember Richard using the word “equanimity” somewhere. At least once, but he probably stopped using it as he stopped using many words that are common in spiritual circles.

Actually, this reminds me of something i often experienced, and experienced again on the weekend; a knowing that i was missing something very important, and had to think a lot harder to sort it out. Something out of reach mentally. Very much like what is being described in the thread about actually free people and feelings. It being clear that my emotions are blocking thoughts from forming clearly. Clouding intelligence.

Which i assume they (‘i’) am doing all the time but i am too busy justifying myself (my feelings) to notice it.

To bring it down to earth, i saw on the weekend how measurable, actual actions were needed with my sons. No amount of talk was going to make a difference. And that those actions would cost me. Not be necessarily pleasant. (though potentially pleasant, as it’s a perception of a future that does not exist dreamt by ‘me’).

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One of the things which is slowly getting clearer is that feeling good is the primary thing i can do for them.

Ultimately, becoming free, yes. But right now, feeling good, and taking action seem equally important.

I am thinking in far less definite “lines in the sand”. I guess the same as “refusing to believe life was meant to be a veil of tears”, is not the same as “believing life is meant to be a happy experience”

Not so much about trying to build or retain “desirable ones”, but refusing to allow the obviously “undesirable ones” creating more havoc.

In a way, working with the obvious, not the theoretical. At such a point that i also have had very clear insights into being a “rotten rosy pearl parasite” RRPP™. Then, working with that insight.

@Srinath @geoffrey what do you say about this?

It’s simple, Andrew. It just means not getting ruffled emotionally, but not via dissociation. It means it’s “not ok” when it’s not ok, but “not ok” is not accompanied by emotions.
As for “we are always identifying”, sure. That’s where the dismantling via investigation part comes into play.
As a simple example, civil war in Syria is “not ok”, but getting disturbed, agitated and angered by it is intruding my peace for nothing. The recognition of that fact brings emotional acceptance.


Could you explain it?

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Yea - if ‘I’ am hating ‘myself’, then ‘I’ split myself into two pieces, one part (that somehow isn’t “really” me) that is the hateful part, and one part (that is the “true” me) that is hating the other part. This way I can preserve a pretension that ‘I’ am not fully rotten to the core – because look how moral I am being, condemning this vile thing over there that I’m definitely not!

Of course, if you don’t think that ‘other’ part is you, you can’t change it, it’s out of your control – all you can do is try to suppress it.

But if you accept this, that the vile part is ‘you’ as well, then you are being sincere, “all-of-one-growth”, and then you , as that vile part, can agree to change.


Instead of starting new topics, or just posting in my journal, I thought I would revive this one.

In searching out the “intimate part of myself” it’s interesting to note that this interest only came after seeing just about everything my recent ex and I did and said was ‘self’ serving. I was laughing at it.

Very interesting.

Before that night, around a week ago, I was convinced of my own basic righteousness. That I was better than her, and just about everyone else too.

The definition of a parasite is that it will destroy the host.

From the online Oxford;

“an organism that lives in or on an organism of another species (its host) and benefits by deriving nutrients at the other’s expense.”

While a symbiotic relationship can exist as well, in the case of our gut flora.

As a side note, in total cell count, “alien” species out number human cells in our bodies.

So is all of ‘me’ a parasite? What about that “intimate aspect of oneself”, is that also a parasite?

It seems that is progressive. That the initial ‘self’ is otherwise the same as any other mammal. Something happens in humans though. Something parasitic. Very early on in developing an identity, the ‘self’ becomes something which fits the definition of parasite. Before that, it can’t be differentiated from any other animal ‘self’.

So the intimate part of my ‘self’ then is a very early sense of ‘being’. Before ‘i’ became parasitic.

And indeed I did become parasitic. Worrying about my attractiveness came very early on. Obviously this has no benefit to the body as there is nothing a child can do to alter its genetic inheritance.

I always found it bizarre that I could hate the way I looked. That the very body producing ‘me’ could be hated. This body hosted something which hated it.

So it’s a progressive thing. Indeed Richard specifically says a mature adult is a lost, lonely and very cunning entity.

I used to live in a place by the beach with lots of trees. I would sit and watch the parrots (parakeets, cockatoos, gallahs) all squabble and have all sorts of parrot dramas. At a certain point though, they would all calm down and roost. I called it “animal repose”.

They seemed all upset, but then would all end up perched next to each other. There was no wars, I never saw them hanging each other, or any murders. They would do the same thing every day.

Even though it can’t be said that children are “tabula Rasa”, without innate drives, it also can’t be said they are working against themselves.

They cry for milk, to be held, to be cleaned. They look after their body. They have no hatred of themselves. They will smile at strangers on busses.

Any game of peek-a-boo is welcome, and anything that is within reach is fair game from grasping and sucking on.

At some point, this innocent self care, is perverted.

Either way, there must be a place in my feelings where this innocent self care still survives.

In less words;

There has to be something likeable about ‘me’.

I don’t think I have ever located some deep part of the ‘self’ which is intrinsically likeable, innocent, not rotten etc

When naive ‘I’ am liking and likeable but that is because ‘I’ am opening ‘myself’ up to the wonder of the world all around, so it is like ‘I’ am being blessed by the magnificence of it all. Without the blessing of pure intent ‘I’ have no way out of perversity.

So my vote is going to ‘I’ am indeed rotten to the very core :grin:

But there is something ‘I’ can do… Sincerity, naiveté and pure intent set ‘me’ on a path of being liking and likeable.

Sure, I don’t think I can resurrect a baby Andrew self, but it’s the peek-a-boo aspect, the play, the near perfect alignment of crying when needs of this body are at stake.

I deleted the rest of my thinking on the topic.

I’m gonna spam my ‘pure intent depiction’ here once more :joy: Depictions of Pure intent

This is my understanding of it all and I think the key is that the purity of the actual ‘trickles’ down. So as much as ‘I’ am forever rotten, ‘I’ always have access in some degree to that blessing, to a way out of perversity. But that something originates outside of ‘me’, it is not intrinsic to ‘being’.

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Spam away. I will check it out now.

I am already in agreement with the premise.

So in your depiction, naivete is on the extremities, rather than some core quality.

Almost outside of ‘me’.

So it goes; normal reality (rotten to the core) > feeling good> naivete.

So you would locate the “intimate aspect of yourself” on the edge of self, rather than towards to core?

Interesting indeed.

It reverses the intuitive interpretation I was going for.

Ok, this makes sense so far.

One, as a ‘self’, innately internalised everything we would call rotten. It is itself rotten because of this function?. Not sure. We can’t know that until two actually free people have a baby and raise it. But as of now; as we mature, we are becoming more rotten, until normal reality is all there is.

Pure intent is otherwise creating a layer around this core. Which, as children, we have less accumulated rottenness, while the ‘innate self’ is still essentially the cause, because without the function of accumulating “rotten” nothing would stick.

All we can know is that we have an innate self which we can’t find anything that isn’t rotten about it by the time we go looking for it as adults.

That also makes sense; An apple, once rotten, doesn’t have a fresh apple at it’s core.

Well this particular presentation was more to point to how naïveté gets one closer to purity not necessarily whether it is more in the centre of being or towards the extremities. The whole diagram is mostly centred around accessing purity in increasing increments hence the location of naivete.