What I was doing previously would be to really isolate and zoom in on a part of myself and then end up fighting tooth and nail to get rid of it thus creating internal conflict. It became very clear recently that past a certain point this does not work very well at all.
What I have been doing since reading the post is to first of all see/feel myself as a totality, the totality of my ground of being. This is seeing the good, the bad and everything that comprises ‘me’ as a feeling being then accepting that this is ‘me’ at the core, not accepting in a self-love type of way but actually seeing that this is simply what ‘I’ am. Seeing myself as a totality then allows to juxtapose ‘being’ with purity, it is what allows the third alternative to hove into view and from there it is just a case of allowing that purity each time again. The more I do this the easier it is to find my way back to purity. It is almost like a simple reminder each moment -“here ‘I’ am again doing ‘my’ feeling being business and here is a better way, already available, I just need to allow it now”
The way I have been feeling since then is like night and day, the word that describes it best is gentle, I have been feeling a significant gentleness and ease of character, the internal conflict is hugely reduced. It has actually clarified to me so well what all these words on the AFT are referring to eg - the wide and wondrous path, naiveté, delight, enjoying and appreciating, being likeable and liking. This current approach seems to orient me directly towards those things whereas the previous approach was more like an obsessive search and destroy mission.
I will see how I get on with this going forward but so far so good
I think it is worth mentioning though that I still think that there was benefit to the very obsessive investigations which I have done up to now and I think it is like I remember Srinath mentioning somewhere (I think the simple actualism page) that becoming overly interested in investigation can sometimes be a natural intermediate step along the path. I think because at first there is just so much to look at and consider, so much to make sense of before the simplicity of the method really becomes apparent.
In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu there is a saying that to use a little you need to know a lot. As in, in order to be a black belt who can effectively use a small handful of extremely effective techniques they must first spend years learning all there is to the art, even if 90% is eventually discarded.
The other thing I have noticed just now is that from this vantage point of no longer being at conflict with myself, of feeling likeable and liking. Investigation is more like a fun escapade into an unknown area. I just found myself drawn to investigate attraction/aversion and beauty as I noticed something within myself which I have not explored previously and it was actually really fun to do this, fun to see how I tick without being at war with myself. It seemed completely different, drawn by curiosity as opposed to desperation.
It’s because after a certain amount of time the reactions cannot be modified
I always thought Alan would be the first to receive a thumb down (or me ), but in any case someone had to take the first bullet; and it was probably good for @Kub933’s flesh and blood body to see how @Kub933’s self took it .
So a little update on how this approach has been going. I realised lately that there is a huge drama that I was previously in that has more or less disappeared.
Day to day it seems that feeling good or coming back to feeling good has become a lot more easy/effortless. A lot of the time it is the simple noticing that I am no longer feeling good that gets me back to feeling good. The internal conflict is still much minimised and it seems lately there is less and less for me to do but get out of the way and allow purity. It is all becoming very automatic. With that ease I have noticed the drive to become free has also decreased. It is really weird because from that dark place I was in previously I was so obsessed with becoming free. Now it seems I am very much in chilling out mode, enjoying the fact that I am feeling good more often than not.
Most days I will have glimpses of something more than just feeling good, glimpses of a perfection that has nothing to do with ‘me’, again when these are experienced I am simply allowing/enjoying these experiences as opposed to trying to push and control them.
Now the problem is that I want to become free and I know that we all have a limited time of being alive. So this laid back approach I have is somewhat concerning me. On one hand I know that going back into pushing is not the way to go, that is to go back into more conflict. I know that it is coming back to this purity that will get things done but at the moment I seem very content with just feeling good. There is a certain base level of control that ‘I’ want to continue having over this life and there is a lack of a desire to go further. So it is a pretty interesting time, it feels like I am on an actualist holiday just cruising on that nice level of feeling good, no longer ‘trying’.
Reading the reports and advice on becoming free it is pretty clear that this is not the place I want to be for ‘take off’, words like “wanting it like I have never wanted anything else” don’t really match with my current experience. It is more like a quiet contentment that is buzzing away more often than not and a seeing that there is actual perfection, that this is all there is. But I am content with that knowledge as opposed to wanting to live in that place 24/7.
ymmv, but along these lines of effort/no effort, i heard something in a video recently that clicked with me, in paraphrase: “true acceptance is really merely the absence of resistance” - if “cruising” is being subtly resisted, perhaps it is that resistance at issue, not any cruising itself
as i said, ymmv, i pass it along because it occurred to me to do so
@dhowell the cruising is not so much being resisted emotionally, as in I am enjoying and appreciating this current place I am at. However it leaves me wondering whether there is more I could be doing to become free sooner rather than later. To eradicate sorrow and malice rather than continue being on a little holiday away from it
only u can know u, but it would be a wonder if such a “wondering” was not somewhat affectively tinged and another wonder if the speculative-only manner in which such a “holiday” differs from “eradication” was not similarly inclined
I had something similar happen over the last week. I’m not sure what to make of it and I have no insights, but I have noticed that whenever I lose sight of the fact that this is the only life I have (one heartbeat away from death, to paraphrase Richard) I stop that “pleasant vegetating”, but then something stops forward progress anyway. A lot of the time it’s the anxiety I feel (no security, nothing to hold on to) but other times it just feels like an invisible wall of meh/no.
Yes @emp maybe it is a case of consistently raising/prolonging the baseline until something else takes over. Maybe I am looking to jump to the end without getting that firmly in place first. As in feeling great, excellent, perfect becoming more the norm rather than a now and then occurrence.
Along the same lines as @dhowell , my suspicion is that there’s nothing wrong with the ‘cruising,’ Peter and Vineeto expressed that they went through a long period of VF in which they were similarly cruising, in fact they characterized it as ‘sitting in a couch.’
At some point, partly because the emotions themselves are still occurring, it becomes increasingly apparent the gap between those emotional experiences and the perfect purity coming through from the actual… this is what generates the requisite energy/obsession/‘must’/choicelessness that occurs prior to immolation occurring.
I’m not so sure about that anymore, but I’m thinking it might be a personality thing, too.
I went there about two weeks ago and ended up in some very dark places that I could barely get out of (still not out entirely). I have no doubt that something needs to be done, but the “motivation” that the anxiety gave me was the kind we’ve discussed a lot of times as not working to become free. What’s everyone else’s experience? I tend to slide into trying to change other people, or events, when the anxiety gets the better of me and this probably compounds the issues I’m having.
My experience with anxiety is that engaging with the content that it produces(that is the particular thoughts, imagined situations etc) always makes me go in circles of further engagement with the content, thus staying in my head and not acknowledging that it’s a feeling.
At some point enough become enough and I took stock and sincerely saw that that’s the way it happened countless times and commit that next time instead of engaging with the content I’m gonna notice and acknowledge that it’s a feeling and treat it as such, try to relax and get to feeling a bit better.
More to the point: trying to change anything outside you whilst being driven by anxiety is engaging with the content it produces(with aforementioned problems) and forgetting you really can’t change anyone but yourself. What you can do is remove one being’s anxiety from the world.
I see it as a matter of not denying the fact, but rather figuring out the best course of action to take given the fact.
It is a fact that past atrocities happened and current atrocities are currently happening. Shutting ourselves away from this is essentially putting our heads in the ground. There is no use denying or avoiding the fact.
That being said, spiraling into dark places and spinning around in anxiety, does nothing to ameliorate the situation, and indeed just makes it worse.
This doesn’t mean that we should not acknowledge the fact of the state of the world, or that we shouldn’t still tap into our innate naive energies to want to do something to help. Rather it means simply that the dark-place-anxiety-spiral-spin is not a sensible application of energy to effectuate that help, rather, it is silly.
The task then is to determine what is the sensible application of energy, and then do that as much as possible.
Yes I certainly see the atrocities and even on the mundane level the fact that humans go round essentially in conflict with one another in whatever form. I always think about this when driving, here in the UK at least there is a lot of aggression and conflict even in something as simple as operating on the roads At times it can be like driving through a jungle with people clearly operating with malice and a general lack of consideration.
I can see how even freeing myself a little from sorrow and malice has made me able to operate in the world as it is in a way that is much more peaceful than I did in the past. This is clear in my relationship with Sonya or with my friends or family or work situation etc.
But it seems this is not enough to generate the intent to actually self immolate, this is the tricky part. What can make me agree to something as big as disappearing completely. It seems that it is only pure intent that can provide such energy and such commitment. It seems this is really the key thing here, as Srinath wrote somewhere that the powerful fragrance of actuality is what pulls one into making that decision. This is where the coming back to purity, having EE’s and PCE’s seems so important. I need to clearly see that there is something so much better available that it is worth sacrificing myself in order for this something better to be the overall state of affairs here on earth.