Scout’s journal

hey all! don’t know if i’m going to keep with this whole journaling thing but i’ve been lurking a lot and trying to implement actualism practices. and i’ve been surprised - they actually seem to be working. for a little over a week, completely by “my” own volition (whatever that means lol), i have been happy. it has been a choice.

i left my job 2 years ago to take time to relax and figure out how to live and embody ultimate truth. many experiences with psychedelics had dismantled chunks of my identity and undermined foundational assumptions. i’ve spent much of these two years seeing the emotions that lay hidden beneath many of my avoidances and motivations. i rediscovered a tender sensitivity that i had numbed from childhood because it was too painful and vulnerable to permit. i have wept often over both the senseless suffering and cruelty, and the pure joy and beauty of life.

my identity chameleoned into one which loved its own benevolence and the wisdom which came with its heightened ability to look honestly at reality and my own psyche. insecurity remained because i had seen the truth in the past, and knew i was not seeing it fully now, and the inauthenticity created tension. the wisdom available further down the line is unobtainable to that which seeks the rush of pride from claiming it. i stagnated, reveling in the brief highs that came from those willing to listen to the things i had learned. but i still suffered.

in fact, i loved my suffering because it was the source of my newfound widespread empathy. and i had always associated my suffering with depth, and this was one of my most enduring vanities. but i have turned those stones over in my head for years - death, loss, suffering, the woundedness of mankind - and i do not know if the tears have much left to teach me.


the next step forward is a farewell to the precious habit of suffering. i have stopped picking up many of the threads of thought when i notice them arise; i already know where they go. in their absence i feel a calm happiness.

sometimes i feel fear about what will happen if i do not attend to these threads. i will investigate this a bit more. i sense it is just another thread that can ultimately be dropped as well.


the very notion of the “feeling good” strategy was an affront to my ego which cherished its suffering and saw itself as victim to it. the notion that i had any agency to stop was a whip that my masochistic ego could use to flagellate itself - if i wasn’t happy, i was doing something wrong. round and round we go

1 Like

“i” am an addiction, “i” am the mountaintops and valleys alike. “i” seduce myself with the fantasy that a mountaintop can exist without a valley. it is silly to hate “me” - “i” am just a process playing out programmed patterns, a feedback loop designed to self-perpetuate


All interesting stuff, thanks for posting!

Are you saying here that you’ve given yourself a hard time for not succeeding at feeling good, or something else?

ah sorry for the delayed response! i dumped here and then got caught up in new years festivities :joy: too ~in the moment~

yes exactly - historically my brain has leveraged shame and criticism as a motivational tool, and continued to do so in the avenue of figuring out how to feel good. a fun little self-defeating and self-perpetuating spiral: misery creates hate of misery creates misery

1 Like

i spent new year’s weekend with a new person i’m seeing. i had never really allowed myself to pursue people i found attractive. my ego was scared of the investment and rejection.

my date was beautiful, charming, and talented. i noticed the habitual insecure fixations arise - wondering if he found me attractive, looking for an edge of superiority i could claim through aloofness or cleverness so that i would not feel beneath him. it’s funny how all these thoughts used to feel all-consuming enough that i avoided dating.

having felt pretty good recently, it’s easier to recognize the idea that i need to be validated as attractive and lovable to be happy for the delusion it is. and easier to see my date as just a person - not a “catch”, not something to “lock down”. wherever it goes, it goes.

i had a lot of fun both in seeing the old patterns unravel, and in seeing how much more enjoyable it is to spend time with people when i do not feel like i need something from them


i have been binging a reality show called “alone”. great stuff. dumps a bunch of survivalists out in difficult territory and they all try to out-survive each other.

the premise is an incredible context for exposing the functionality of how we evolved. laziness, quitting from failures - qualities which our society condemns - make perfect sense when life is reduced to a simple calories-in, calories-out calculation. why waste precious energy with needless activity? society artificially overrides the simple mechanisms of the body with its “values”. it creates conditions that mimic scarcity to trigger our instincts and keep us on the hamster wheel far beyond what is natural, and necessary.

so fascinating. our resistance to perspective change, too - cognitive dissonance - is adaptable along the same energy-conserving principles. it is energetically expensive to throw out a mental model for how the world works and develop a new one. less computationally expensive to hold onto that model for as long as it’s functional. but then once you notice that retaining that model is actually draining (e.g. caring what people think about you in modern society expends constant emotional energy while providing no benefit to survival), it becomes worth the cost to re-evaluate

it’s all so sensible and delightful. existence is quite the spectacle


The kids and wife around here watch a show on cable called “Naked and Afraid.” At least, they used to. I think they’ve seen all the episodes by now. Similar concept to the television show you described. Full range of ancestral animal instincts on display. The two episodes that stand out in my mind (mind you, I’m just glancing at the show here and there from the corner of my eye), each involved a survivalist success story of a woman who exhibited a method that could be called “laziness.” Both were very physically attractive women but with quite different body types. On one episode the female was caucasian with a thin build; the other episode it was a woman of African descent with a “thick” build (Why I mention this, I don’t know! Maybe there’s a hidden natural selection function inside me that unconsciously correlates these things!). The common denominator to their respective approaches was a conscientious and deliberate “slow-down” of activity. They commented frequently on their male partners’ hustle-bustle approach predicting that that kind of energetic expenditure would wear them out too quickly. And they were absolutely right! Their male partners, who seemed to take up a more active “git’r’dun” approach, wore themselves out several days before they completed the challenge, and ended up quitting. The two women on the other hand went on to win the survivalist challenge by taking it very slow-and-easy.


interesting!! thank you for sharing! maybe that will be my next binge :slight_smile:

it definitely seems like in western society men are more conditioned than women to display their value through constant productivity. i know far more men than women with dedicated hobbies. my dad basically fills every moment of his free time with frenetic home improvement work, exercise, philanthropy, reading, etc - always building towards something. my mom watches a lot of tv :joy:


i feel manic!

i have never felt this way sober before (without the assistance of adderall :laughing:). so much of my “spiritual” journey was marked by grim emotional seriousness interspersed with pleasantly dull neutrality. but never such a zest!

some aspects of the the mania are actually almost too aggressive. painful in their pleasure. it is nice that it inspires me to become involved with life again. but if this is bliss, i can see how quiet sensory presence would be even more delightful.

in a moment where the stimmy buzzing pleasure in my brain abated, i noticed all the tiny droplets glittering on the shower walls. i felt the warm thrum of water against my skin.

i didn’t think this was possible. i honestly thought everyone was parroting richard and kind of deluding themselves (of course “i” wanted to believe that, lest i lose the precious depth of misery). and i can’t believe how quickly it’s working. part of me is still wary to lose myself in enthusiasm, wondering if i am somehow fooling myself.

but holy fuck! what a shift!



Just a general warning to be wary of mania vs. felicity :grin: . I’ve conflated the two before. Both feel very very good of course, and while in a mania-type of state (I have self-assessed that I have been hypomanic before, maybe, but never full-blown mania certainly) it seems like it is excellence (as in an EE) it becomes clear in hindsight that it is something different.

This isn’t an assessment of what you’re experiencing now, just something I found helpful to look out for!

Whatever the case may be… enjoy it!! :grin:

1 Like

Something I’ve experienced pretty frequently is 1 minute of PCE → manic for a short or long while → eventually figure out that’s what’s happening and re-orient

As this has happened more and more there was a blend of feeling discouraged about isolating purity (its own issue to figure out) and catching myself quicker and quicker.

I wrote about the back & forth between manic & depressive states here a few days back

1 Like

thanks @henryyyyyyyyyy and @claudiu for the feedback and perspective! i think you’re both right in your caution. it’s been happening as you described henry, where i’ll have a few moments of deep sensory clarity and they’re so rewarding and nice and i’m so excited to be “making progress” that i just get this euphoric emotional rush.

i did notice today a bit of a “hangover” to that rush, where something in me noticed its absence and craved its return. that, plus the buzzy high that mania entails, makes it seem like it’s pretty drug-like, and i’d prefer not to get caught in another cycle of high-chasing. so i think the best way to take it is probably just to allow it to come when it does, like sadness, and observe it without fighting it or indulging it, and not to feed it by longing for it either.

Something I’ve noticed is that because ‘I’ can only really remember the manically-inclined afterglow, a lot of the absence that I’m mourning & craving is that excitement- which only ‘spun up’ as the clarity experience ended. It’s a slight but significant redirect from the PCE/EE itself, and leads to trying to recreate that excitement rather than the initial experience itself.

This has been most obvious in me when I’ve tried to transmit excitement to others about actualism, where that excitement is slightly missing the point of the PCE itself, and is really just for ‘me’ to prove ‘my’ specialness.

There’s a reason Richard calls the self ‘sneaky!’

The other side of course is to use whatever fuel one has, for as long as it goes - if some excitement is the right button to push to get you out of bed, investigating, and having PCEs, then it’s the right thing to do at that time.

We talked about this a few months back, and I remember back in the meditation circles, they would talk about “insight disease”; chasing the byproducts and experience rather than the freedom (which in those systems was another insight, but we won’t go into that).

I experienced this last year. Really getting somewhere, however it wasn’t “sticking” because it was the reward of “getting somewhere” rather the the “being here” that was the motivation.
Not to say it’s not useful, those insights are the building blocks of confidence.


The way I am looking at it now is very simple, just two facts;

I have experienced perfection,

I have been told I can live that perfection permanently.

So, everything I am doing is about verification of the content of what I have been told.

How I experience it is that indeed there is the experience of perfection with I am looking to get as close to as possible each moment again. That is kinda the gist of the whole thing.

But this getting closer to it and allowing it more and more has an effect on ‘me’. That shadowy construct which is ‘me’ does not remain the same with the continued exposure to perfection, it cannot.

So there will be realisations, and things clicking and new things falling away etc, but perhaps the main thing is that these are bi-products of the success with the method, signs that things are actually changing.

The issue is when I begin to chase these things as an end in itself. Because firstly I am most likely operating from a place of not feeling good to begin with (looking for an escape) and secondly the various explorations will not be genuine, there will be some tinge of fabrication, of spinning an actualist story. I have done this a lot and nowadays I am starting to have more of a sense of when this starts to develop. Where I start to shift from a genuine exploration and towards a fabricated story.

most emotional pain doesn’t actually “hurt” upon close enough inspection.

what is a moment of insecurity, or annoyance, or craving once it is stripped of its story, and felt in the most raw and bodily way? a tense muscle, usually. it can relax when noticed. i notice the longing to continue stirring the waters of emotional agitation. i feel it as a tightness in the temple and jaw. and let go

that which told itself stories of hell is just a phantom. a foreboding compulsion to direct attention away from something i convince myself will be wretched, painful, terrifying - only to finally truly look and find the core of my suffering to be something hazy and half-formed, which dissolves as my attention draws nearer to it like a mirage