30 Jun 2022 - I decided to journal. I used to write journals (diaries) on a mixture of mediums all the time from the age of 10 (1994) until 21 (early 2006) during my AF exposure period, just before I started to practice the method in earnest. I was still in the - I will prove Richard and Actualism wrong and bullshit phase. I just hit this personal writers block and frustration and I stopped writing entries and threw loads of them away. I thought wiping stuff would give me some new creative fire and get me creating some hot shit again…nope.
So, let us flip to present day journal. I have been doing walks over the last year. Since Covid I have been working from home permanently so there is no commute anymore. So no walks, trains, buses and the exercise this gave me. During lockdown for the first time in my life I became physically unfit and reached my highest ever weight. To counteract this, I started doing walks with the intent of building up to then jogging again. I kept procrastinating on the jogging though, I didn’t want to suffer and experience the inevitable physical discomfort in getting back to fitness.
The walks then made me realise I could consider them EE/PCE walks too. As well as a good screen break, working as a developer is seriously unhealthy (so far haemorrhoids have been avoided though).
Over the months felicity and EE’s occurred, small doses. Like drops of water in an arid desert.
These last two weeks though, dang. I am finally, genuinely on track again. It was like relief from constipation of the self.
Today I finally did a jog. I struggled like a mofo to do one lap. 10 years ago I could do 8 laps on that field…each day of the week. The first few random jogs I have done over the Covid period and the going for walks period were painful too but there was this perfectionist berating of myself, shame for putting on weight, disappointment, anger, disgust. It was a whole can of worms mixed with cat food and shards of glass.
Today I laughed heartily at myself and accepted the fact that this will not be some instant recovery. My heart was racing like a panic attack level. However, I had the best EE I have had for a few years. The sky so brilliant it was like it was directly in my face. It was sweet.
Then again at dinner time, another EE and ever nuance of flavour in the food was amazing. It was like some deeper sensory awareness.
I think there has been this ultimate passivity to me, possibly tying into beliefs I have about no free will. I was not processing that there was still this choice for me to decide how I was going to live my life. That I can make a conscious choice as to how I am experiencing this moment.
29 Jul 2022 - As per usual the awesomeness and increased felicity didn’t last. Things have been derailed by being ill and multiple emotional triggers. As I believe I mentioned on one of the previous boards, if I have multiple triggers it seems so much harder to get to a happy and harmless baseline again. It is like I get overloaded…short circuited…
Sort of riding out the negative funk at the moment and getting slowly more felicitous. I don’t beat myself up about it anymore which helps aid getting out of those funks quicker.
Now the weeks of increased felicity have made me realise some excellent breakthroughs though.
I noticed that I was finding this physical intimacy with myself, with my body as a whole, a cosiness. It was great, something new for me.
I have made more progress as regards resentment, I am still finding it so much easier to do chores and work tasks I didn’t like before. (Like cleaning out the rabbit poop…they sure do poop a lot).
I am not binge eating as much.
I used to have a lot of hang ups and guilt about sleep, like it is a waste of time. Then when depressed the opposite, like I want to sleep and never wake up. I seem to be slowly getting back to a better baseline for sleep hygiene.
I have managed to resolve several confrontations in a non-fearful and non-aggressive way. In such a smooth way that it surprised me. I didn’t have any shakes, butterflies, or other types of symptoms that usual occur when I expect conflict.
My clarity of thought seems crisper, sharper, I am resolving issues for work easier. In stark contrast to how when I am more emotional/low mood.
Another weird benefit, I have found myself carrying out the method even in my dreams. I recently had a dream in which I was doing the method and I became lucid. In the dream I had damaged my front tooth and then suddenly all my teeth starting falling and my gums were bleeding badly. But I was applying the method in the dream and I just suddenly became aware that it was a dream and not real. I was just about to start seeing what I could alter and change and play with but then I woke up before the fun could begin.
As soon as I began to feel bad again, I noticed the immediate desire to want to binge eat or to masturbate. The habitual behaviours, those ones that have consistently helped evade/escape negative emotions pre-AF-awareness, post-AF-awareness and through depression and anxiety. There is a reliability to the pleasure of eating especially, hence during a down period during lockdown I found myself gaining weight of just over 2 stones (approx > 12kg). A first for me, always been a pretty skinny guy, such that work colleagues in the past have asked me if I had an eating disorder .
In the past, I always focused on learning and creativity as well. These always produced such an excellent highs. I think before AF-awaress, I had found my own system for getting to happy/positive states much more successful than most people, at least those I had met. Unfortunately, these methods didn’t work under extreme emotion: anxiety, depression, love, jealousy…all derailed the ability to derive happiness by these means. Once I saw their ineffectiveness in the bigger/stronger emotions, I noticed I much more started to lean towards the hedonism and escapism from eating and masturbation (or sex) as comfort far more frequently.
When I am ill, I can’t seem to stop focusing on the internal sensations of discomfort. I have had a sore throat (among other symptoms), so I would constantly swallow to assess the pain or possible change of affairs. It is like being trapped in this weird feedback loop of inspecting internal sensations. Even a few days of my back being sore was hard to not obsess.
Interestingly, when depressed or anxious I found myself not experiencing sorrow very often, I hadn’t noticed that until recently. Now I have started to get healthier, my normal level of sorrow has started kicking in and I have forgotten what it is like to feel it like that. There is a real masochistic quality to it. As I have started feeling better again just this weekend I met up with an old friend and visited old haunts and it provided plenty of opportunities to be overwhelmed with sorrow. I think I coped ok, I think previously I would have stuck in the loops of sorrow for longer. Not taking my sorrow seriously almost feels treacherous…betraying my humanity. Sorrow definitely seems to tie into a personal narrative of one’s life story. My kids, the different milestones they reach and changes they go through provide a ton of sorrow triggering instances. Even over things like when they out grow a favourite item of clothing, like a pang of sadness that I won’t see them wearing that any more.
I was wondering whether there will ever be a point when the subjective becomes objective. We will ever reach some technological achievement where the subjective can be known, copied, replicated or editable. I like the show Black Mirror which sort of covers these sort of ideas about downloading the mind and a better version of virtual reality, would love to see such things in my lifetime but probably won’t.
All of this so that matter can remain “alive” longer and replicate more often and continue a lineage of that matter…it is so bizarre when you think about it. Matter influenced by matter to react to matter…
Now the neuro-electrical, chemical, hormonal and biological processes involved in a given brain manifesting that emotional response is something tangible and repeatable. We may not have the fullest absolute understanding and mapping of everything yet and not a complete science of every individual but we could one day potentially. Then we could do such things as stimulate some region and make that fear reaction happen again at a whim. Or create other processes, medicines, etc that elicit that state explicitly. We are still in the infancy of such medications really with the types of medicines currently used (and recreational drugs created).
Now the strange thing for humans and to a lesser degree in some other animals potentially is that these emotions are perceived as a feeler. There is some projected sense of self that perceives things happening, having happened and will happen to them. I tend to see this simplistic view pushed by people that humans have this advanced sense of self and that animals don’t have any but in reality there are probably varying degrees of sophistication of neuronal structures also enabling these animals to perceive past, current and future events, especially in other mammals. Hence, there are possibly different rudimentary “self” structures in nature.
For example, if you consider a different type of organ such as eyes, there are varied levels of sophistication of eyesight, from those that merely detect the presence of light in their sense organ, with no image, or only a polarity of light detected, or some that have an image but no colour vision to our eye sight and even superior eye sight with certain birds etc; there are these different levels of sophistication regarding eye organs and the way their brains process this information, the same can be considered for this sense of self in the animal kingdom. Maybe a dolphin has a more sophisticated sense of self than a cat and a primate more so, etc. I don’t quite know the language for grading these levels of self lol.
I have thought along similar lines at times. In fact, there was a strong negative reaction when first introduced to AF and this area and type of thoughts were some of the first areas I tried to probe for attacks to weaken the validity of it.
How does one differentiate between the feelings, sensations and components that constitute this sense of a self of a feeler and the actual tangible existence of one. I know I feel like a self but that doesn’t mean I am a self, and that a feeler exists definitively. It is like the phantom limb phenomena, we know the person afflicted doesn’t have another limb only the sensations/experience of having another limb. Sensations and subjective experiences then have a degree of unreliability to them making ascertaining the facts trickier.
I would say that the neuronal mechanisms exist for making illusions, including a sense of an illusory (metaphysical) feeling-being to manifest rather than independently that there is an illusory feeling-being. That brains can make a “sense” of a feeler, an “expriencer”, an agent to whom all of this is happening to. Rather than there is definitely one in existence. In the same way, the neuronal mechanisms exists for allowing a phenomena such as phantom limb to occur.
“The problem with personal identity is, we feel there is a fact that ‘I’m me,’” John Searle, a philosopher of mind at the University of California, Berkeley, said on my TV series “Closer to Truth.” “But that’s hard to pin down philosophically, because all of my experiences change, all of the parts of my body change, all of the molecules in my body change.”
I had the above quote saved from some article I read once. It is crazy when you think about it, atom for atom (the majority at least), I am not the same SonOfBob I was a year ago.
The very body that is me has switched out all of these atoms, as cells regenerate, get replaced, etc. So this state of matter that is in perpetual flux and any sense of self that is derived in me constituently isn’t even the same combination of matter that it was last week. The molecules and proteins that make up the cells of the neurons have changed. Each neuron part of a larger circuit, with some of the circuit changed and altered or lost, failure in cell replication or some other cause of destruction. However, there is some internal means of allowing said circuits to remain functioning despite the constant change it works because these underlying mechanisms allow memory, a sense of self and a feeler to endure despite this constant flux.
That it can compensate for all this change is quite astounding. A sense self, a personal narrative can persist.
It is weird the complexity of the brain. When you think of the molecular structure of water, break it down and split it apart to Hydrogen and Oxygen but you could reconfigure it to be water again. When you try and imagine breaking down and reconstituting all the elements and molecules and systems that give rise to a self and consciousness, it seems beyond comprehension in the breadth of its complexity.
So many questions…so few answers. I used to hate not knowing. Not being able to understand something. Not being able to remember everything. This need for exceptionalism. It can hijack the simple enjoyments of being here, of fascination, wonder and curiosity. It is the same thing that led to my writer’s block. I had to have the best idea, when I first started writing it was purely selfishly writing whatever I desired and gave me pleasure. Then this grandiose need to be some amazing writer grew until it paralysed me with expectation.
I am definitely in newer territory now. I think I am getting back to felicitous states quicker. I have not had any PCE’s since 2007 but plenty of EE’s and felicitous and sensuously pleasant moments.
I’ve been experiencing this lately, I think it has to do with dissociation from the more intense feeling states during the bouts of depression and higher anxiety. Ironically as we feel better we’re open to actually feeling what’s been happening. Interesting
Regarding consciousness and the brain, seeing things like this has dramatically shifted my views
That’s a protein moving a molecule matter in the body.
It’s a little guy! Walking! WALKING!
Throughout our bodies and brains there are all kinds of weird and wonderful things happening, some of which we’ve discovered but so much of which we haven’t. We can hypothesize, but there will always be more levels of complexity to dig into. That’s part of the fun of being alive, peeking into these things, learning a little.
We seem to be conscious, we seem to create a ‘being’ that perceives themselves in the past, present, and future… and that is partly caused by little protein guys lugging things around… WEIRD!
Ok, this is interesting. I know a lot of you from the spiritual pathways seem to talk about dissociation a lot. I personally don’t really think this has happened to me much. I can see at times I have used my love of learning and creativity to dissociate from negative emotions but not that often, usually just the act of distracting myself would then re-channel that emotional energy, and every emotion and distinct vibes around it could be used for creative ideas and potential characters and such. Like inspiration from all the avenues of the human condition. Only the most extreme emotions that have happened can I see times where I have repressed/suppressed maybe more so out of defence from being overwhelmed. I was always comfortable with my emotions even as a child (other than the most intense), however the people around me of course punish you for this, my dad, siblings (esp brothers), other guys, even girls/women, everyone has there view of how you should be as a “boy” and then a “man”. I have always noticed a lot of people are uncomfortable with their emotions, especially here in the UK, maybe we are a bit emotionally repressed here lol.
Maybe another reason I didn’t like AF when first introduced. It was such an attack on my identities, my approach to how I live, my emotional state, creativity, everything.
Back to anxiety and depression, for me it is more that the anxiety or low mood of depression takes utter priority and I dwell in it entirely. Like being stuck in those states, like stuck in a trough or pit and not having sufficient kinetic energy to get out. As I mentioned recently, a lower level of anxiety still happens when unwell or injured. It consumes all my attentive faculties and seems to consume my utter sense of being. It is like I utterly invest in those states, they are more valid than being happy or any other emotion.
So, with depression and anxiety you have these automatic emotional responses that overwhelm you and then you start developing automatic negative though patterns and it sort of maintains a viscous cycle that perpetuates itself. It gets engrained and habitual. Like circumventing everything else that might help you be better, or just feel different like sorrow. In a way, I can see I got good at doing this with my love of imagination and learning, of maintaining a state so it seems I just ended up doing it in regards to different emotional starts that weren’t quite as nice. The anxiety because I had to be vigilant from threats and the depression because that resentment and horror towards the world suddenly rang more true and valid, “it is a horrible universe of untold suffering” type mentality.
It is funny because I seem really good at building momentum for emotional states other than felicitous states, I find them the hardest to influence and maintain. I think because there is carefree and uncontrolled aspect about this type of happiness. Maybe a reason I have taken a long time to get back to a better baseline.
It is utterly weird and fascinating. I was reading about the DeepMind AI being repurposed as AlphaFold to work on figuring out the structures of proteins, a process that has not developed too fast but now the AI seems to be smashing through figuring out protein structures. So many new discoveries going on is amaze-balls.
I don’t think dissociation is a rare thing, it’s happening all the time on a spectrum in my experience
On the extreme end of the spectrum is when all of life feels like a dream, like ‘nothing is real’ or ‘this isn’t my life.’
But I also experience a more quotidian daily dissociation, I’ll notice my vision is blurring and/or tunnel-vision a bit, I’m not paying attention to what I’m doing, sometimes I notice that I’m bumping my elbows etc. into objects a little more clumsily than usual… I’m less ‘here’ than usual at those times
And that dissociation is typically also distancing from my emotional states, ‘I’ am having a little trouble in those moments admitting that something is bothering me, ‘I’ want to keep it at a little distance… it’s repression. It happens subconsciously, I’ve sometimes gone weeks before I realized I was dissociating, and for that matter I’m confident that I’ve had some long-running dissociations running for years (with interruptions during EEs, PCEs etc)
I don’t think its rare either, I think I have seen it a lot in other people, if I am interpreting their states correctly… I am not sure. That is an interesting angle, one I have not thought about before. I have possibly viewed it more in a binary on/off state rather than a spectrum, this has got me thinking.
People seem to have a spectrum of emotions they are ok with experiencing and then the rest that they are less comfortable with that they either disassociate, suppress, repress, etc. This seems to be what I have gathered from the people in my life. I try to suss out how people will react based on the past reactions. I don’t like people who’s reactions I can’t predict. These type of people I noticed I weed out of my life and avoid.
I have experienced this at the most extreme end of emotions, especially grief or shock.
I have not had the blurring/tunnel vision that sounds quite weird (other than genuine blurring of eyesight due to needing glasses lol). So you are kind of zoning out? Most of my not paying attention and being clumsy happens because I am not paying primary attention to my senses/body/surroundings. Instead I am focused on internal thoughts, creative ideas or replaying a past event or projecting a future event rather than a current time awareness of my body and surroundings.
This got me thinking though, is this daydreaming and primacy to internal thoughts a type of disassociation?
Interestingly, I thought of disassociation primarily from the view point of not feeling real/like something is not happening to you and not acknowledging your emotions then I read a description from an abnormal psychology medical book I have at home:
For example, you may feel detached from your body or feel as though the world around you is unreal.
Reading such a slightly different definition triggered a cascade of thoughts. This has really been like a damn…moment…you think have your self sussed out and still much to learn about yourself and how you tick.
Growing up I always felt detached from my body, but not my emotions (excluding extreme ones like grief). I have been fine with emotions/ideas/thoughts but not with the reality of being a flesh and blood body. I never thought of this as a type of disassociation. I disassociate from being a body…
It is like a cliché lightbulb moment…why have I done this…I do this to cope with the anxiety and fear of being a flesh and blood body…so frail and at risk of harm…so many possible ways to get injured, ill or suffer. My physical body and its limitations are so much the cause of my emotional disturbances.
It is like a denial…I am not this body…and even with losing a belief in a soul or some sense of self that can transcend the physical flesh…I still want to deny that I am this.
Fuck, I am terrified of this body…terrified of what I actually am. I am not scared of horror movies about poltergeists, demons, ghosts…I am terrified of this form.
There is denial…there is rejection…I reject it…this unworthy flesh…it is not good enough for me. I wanted something better, safer, less vulnerable…
I perpetually check with this hypervigilant state derived from anxiety…check on my body that I reject…I check because I feel I have to compensate for its vulnerabilities and inadequacies…
Your body is in some ways vulnerable, but it has gotten you this far, it can handle itself; it knows to look both ways when you cross the street, it knows to put on a rain jacket when it rains, it knows to take headache medicine when there is a headache.
And it is also what you are, in the very factual sense… every thought, every emotion, every experience, every memory, is because of this body existing. It is not something to be missed or ignored!
I’m happy you’ve made this connection, I think it is important
I have created the perfect excuse to validate and justify my pereptual existence. Only “I” can keep this body self. Only this hyper vigilant state will protect us.
I truly don’t see myself as the body. As I grew up I noticed I wasn’t as aware of my body or attuned to it as other people were with theirs. I was always in my mind and very clumsy. I never understood rhythm and certain aspects of sports that were more subtle and about awareness of touch and power, I struggled with those and muscle memory. I never had an understanding or interest in dancing and yet to the majority of people it seems so important. At times it is like me and my body are strangers.
I think my accident forced me to realise I am this body. I was still lacking a deeper acknowledgement of this fact despite success with the method and growing awareness and knowledge of biology/neuroscience. At the time still prone to daydreams and creative high distractions. It cemented the fact I am a body but I still wanted to hide from that fact. Disingenuous of me…
I can’t trust things will be ok without me and what I provide… this tight knit feeling of being wound up and on edge and alert ready to protect from physical or psychological harm.
It seems like a belief at present rather than a fact that this body can do its thing without me…
It’s a bit ironic because as you say your whole life you’ve been a bit clumsy, how well are you protecting your body? And as far as psychological harm, that’s even funnier - ‘you’ are the psychological harm! Only ‘you’ can be hurt psychologically.
I can confirm for 100% that this body is in better shape when there’s less of me… when I’m happier I’m full of movement and grace. I play soccer and when I’m in a good space I play 10x better, and am even less sore after because I’m not jarring myself as much. I also started eating better when I started having PCEs as an adult, because I became aware that I actually exist, that the food I ingest literally becomes me.
Accepting a degree of hurt to protect from greater hurt…
Yes, I have noticed too when at my most felicitous. I used to play football (soccer yuk lol) too and basketball a lot and in my most successful period of practicing in 2006 to 2007 I started to massively improve in both sports. I think clearer, make decisions quicker and smoother when more felicitous.
06 Aug 2022 - Two big challenges encountered this week. Both involving a lot of different emotional triggers.
My wife basically said she doesn’t feel connected to me and wants to do her own thing. It was kind of an admission that she is going deeper into spirituality and I don’t support her or share her beliefs in this realm. It was more like we are going to just be together for the kids kind of talk. An end to any intimate or physical side of our relationship. Ultimately, it felt like she was trying to give an ultimatum that I need to practice what she believes to maintain our family. Additionally, she wants to move to a location that she knows I wouldn’t have been interested in. A place I know is nearer to some Buddhist temple.
A big work project looks to be dying and going to be cancelled. I have never put so much effort into something before to see it fail to come to fruition.
Hmm, where to begin. As regards issue 1) my wife’s comments really triggered me. I appreciated that she could be honest with me without malice but it felt deeply unfair. I have always been honest about being an atheist and here she is half way through our life together, marriage, kids, mortgage and suddenly decides my absence of beliefs are a problem. It seems disingenuous to me. Did she think I was somebody she could mould and shape and suddenly realised I am not so malleable?
It seems really manipulative to me too. She has been really pushy with spiritual beliefs, astral projection beliefs, other stuff recently and trying to force me to positively reinforce them. It has made me very uncomfortable and she tried to tell me what to do as regards praying, etc and I had to firmly lay down the importance of my autonomy and that she doesn’t get to tell me what to do. Thankfully I did so without caving to fear or flipping to aggression. It was a conversation that happened during my more felicitous week and I was really able to express myself and boundaries openly and unambiguously.
I got hit with waves of sadness and sorrow. Knowing now that my family unit is under threat too. The potential of being another broken marriage, another broken family. A sense of disappointment and of failure. That resigned feeling, that uncertainty abounds everywhere. There was resentment rising in me all week firmly fixated on her rather than the usual nebulous resentment towards life in general. It had been awhile since I had experienced resentment so singularly directed and it was tricky to nip that in the bud. Such focused resentment and anger felt again so justified and found myself looping back into memories of the conversation and imagined future arguments.
Those emotional bonds between myself, my wife, my children…the feelings that interplay here are very deep and powerful and complex, a swirling vortex and eddy of feelings.
As for 2) that brought up feelings of worry and dread as regards unemployment, concerns regarding debts if unemployment happened and shame/embarrassment as a sense of personal failure. Ultimately, I knew the problem of the project was out of control and this particular project has failed twice before me with even Microsoft failing. It made me again see that need to be exceptional and the project saviour and so on and so forth. I at least had parameters that could put the failures and issues into perspective and not take it all so personally. The feelings of taking it personally did arise but I was able to see the silliness of them and not drag it out so much.
Interestingly, every morning I woke up with a sense of dread something which has been gone quite recently over the last year, with just odd days here or there. This week it was back consistently upon waking each day. It seems work related anxiety as regards my performance and self image and money troubles always stir up unconscious anxiety. Conflict or expected conflict with my wife seems to do the same too. It was a double whammy. I cope with the triggers fine in my day to day and get back to being felicitous much better now. However, it seems in the sleep state and upon first waking these issues are manifesting in my subconscious so disturbing my dreams and starting my day with a base anxiety/dread. Additionally, now being off of my meds means I don’t have the added protection the meds gave me from the stronger feelings of dread/anxiety especially in the sleep state. I find this morning adjustment slower to get back to a better baseline. like I am bit discombobulated. Again, no biggie, I will just see how it pans out.
It has been a tough week but I think I have dealt with the triggers really well. I have got back to current time awareness with greater frequency. I think 2 years ago the suffering of these two events would have dragged out for much longer and with greater affect.
Even when having moments of intense emotion there were interrupts of doing the method and then flipping from a brief EE back to intense emotion and back and forth. It was such stark contrasts between being under the influence of intense emotions and being felicitous and sensuous.
Hey @son_of_bob, sorry to hear about the marriage problems. My parents split up when I came to England around 12 years old.
This is in no way trying to steer you into any direction but my observation from my experience.
Even before my parents split I experienced their constant fighting and sorrowful/malicious vibes, it really had a damaging effect on me at the time especially as I had just moved to a new country and needed stability.
The crazy thing is though, that it was when they split up that the situation was resolved. I do not see their choice to finally call it a day as a failure on either of their parts. I see it as a sensible choice that ensured me and my brother now at least had 1 happy household to live in with a parent that was no longer at war with someone 24/7.
And we could still visit the other parent and again have nice times with them.
Again I am not saying at all that you go do this, but I just thought I’d mention this from my experience of the situation and that sometimes the sensible thing, the thing to everyone’s benefit is the one that looks like ‘a failure’.
Oh I should add as well that fast forward 10 years and both my mum and my dad have now found and settled with partners that they are genuinely happy with, and I am glad that they did what they did, for my and my brothers sake but also for themselves.
Thanks for sharing your experience. It is nice to know that both your parents were able to find some form of happier outcome and you and your brother were able to maintain good relationships with both parents.
I have known a lot of different people whose families had split up or they never knew a certain parent, in my school I was the exception with having parents who were still together and married long term. I always surprised by the sheer number of broken families as a kid. I remember often trying to understand and reconcile that and not being able to understand the complexity of the human condition and human relationships. It was a problem I wanted to solve though, I stored it in my mind as something I wanted to understand better and know the cause of as I got older.
My parents were really close and loved each other very much. My dad was very difficult though and harsh and with my siblings there was a toxicity to our household not stemming from our parents relationship but more so their learned behaviours from their generation, mental health issues and extreme personalities among my siblings. So even a loving couple could still produce an uncomfortable home environment. I knew people who were single parent families and they had much nicer vibes at their homes.
Is there ever a sign that the status quo of living within the normal realms of the human condition isn’t working then surely the sheer number of divorces and failed relationships add up to that obvious evidence.
It is early days yet so I really don’t know what is going to happen, what the outcome of this will all be. Funnily enough, when things began to get better for me and back into Actualism around 2018 seems to be the beginning of this division between us and she started getting more into spiritualism around a similar time. It just seems an inevitable clash as to how we want to live our lives. I just hope whatever the future holds we can resolve things amicably.
The thought of not being among my children and not seeing them day to day cuts deep. Like I am not ready to confront the reality of that possibility or the depth of emotions involved in such an outcome.
I remember discussing with @Alanji in private messages the details of his split from his wife and how that experience unfolded for him.
I feel very private when it comes to my relationship. I have self censored a lot of issues and conflicts relating to me and my wife from this forum. Sometimes I have snapped and been aggressive or in the wrong, I have not wanted to share my failings and falling into deleterious behaviours.
Even mentioning these issues between us felt somehow treacherous, a betrayal of our relationship. I want to project an image of being successful…of a good husband…a good father…maybe I am not.
It must be admitted that people can change, perhaps it wasn’t a problem for her before and then later became one.
I almost wonder if these two triggers you’re mentioning are related to eachother, perhaps your wife has been picking up on stress you’ve had from your project having difficulties? She believes that the astral projection, spirituality etc. are the solution to problems, so if you’re having any trouble she’s pushing them more.
I was dating a Christian girl at one time so she had a belief that Christianity was the way to be happy. Then when I was having a difficult time she began pushing that on me more aggressively, she thought I was unhappy because I was an atheist.
This reminds me quite a lot of my recent breakup, once I started having considerable success with actualism it seemed to cause my partner discomfort somehow, perhaps because it didn’t fit in her wheelhouse, or she couldn’t understand it… it held up a mirror to her, maybe
At the time, something that helped me was seeing how Richard and Devika’s association fell apart in similar if more extreme circumstances, Richard describes her as experiencing ‘stage fright’ as her writings in Richard’s Journal became public, more people were visiting Richard and her, and she was no longer in virtual freedom - became too much for her. Something about that situation caused her to get cold feet and she ended up ‘bailing out’ into love.
I don’t think this means it’s necessary to only date actualists, there are a number of actualists and free people dating non-actualists with (apparently) few problems, it’s just when there’s some kind of identity gap like that.
Another aspect to the breakup I went through was it in an instant revealed many ways that I wasn’t living up to my own goals, I was being manipulative in ways that were convenient for me. It’s too bad that it took a breakup for me to see that.
It is the case right that people change, I can say the same for myself, that I have changed a lot. When it is a change with so much at stake it definitely evokes stronger emotional reactions because it threatens my “conditional” happiness.
No, it has been happening before that and she merely repeats what she believes are the solutions for the human condition. Shs just finally hit her limit of me not agreeing with her it seems. She would do that thing when friends are over like “did you know he doesn’t believe in a soul” or “did you know he doesn’t believe in life after death” and try and create an antagonistic situation. Which reminded me she never really has been someone so different and outcast based on ideas and beliefs or absence of beliefs, I am already ok with not sharing common beliefs with other humans. Her experiences of being outcast have related to racism which is something you can’t change I guess ao she hasn’t made a choice to be an outcast, so even our negative experiences within the human condition don’t quite align. I made a conscious decision to disagree with people on things and therefore have already had 100s of conversations with people in my life as to why I am an atheist and don’t believe certain things. It reminded me there is a lot she doesn’t know of me despite our long time together.
When first starting AF my first long term relationship was with a Christian too but I was much happier then (pre accident) and I was transparent about AF and it really bothered her. She cheated on me and sometimes I wonder if it was because of AF and she wanted to show she could make me feel jealous and bad in general like some weird power play.
I had this brief ASC a few years ago and it was an intense feeling of love and if I wasn’t experientally aware of the unsavoury parts of love I could have seen myself falling deeper into it only lasted minutes in the end. To me I know all emotions are in an essence are unconditional and unpredictable and therefore unreliable including my favourite emotional highs and vibes from creativity and learning.
I can understand for Devika being at the precipice so to speak one then knows that one is really leaving their humanity behind. It must not be an easy experience. At that nearing point I wonder if it feels like all or nothing.
Once I experienced love in a relationship rather than just unrequited love, I was surprised to find that the highs from creativity and learning were still better, in that sense those emotions have been my biggest pull to the emotional positive aspect rather than love. So for me love was never the top number 1 positive emotion anyway. If those highs from creativity had worked against depression and anxiety I would probably have abandoned AF but they are unreliable and conditional too so they proved they couldn’t be relied upon as a way for me to get better and for me to be happy.
Yes, I mean most of my atheist friends had this view as regards only dating atheists…maybe tolerate agnostics. It always annoyed a lot of my friends that I have had relationships with people who are religious or spiritual but I was always raised to live and let live so I thought it could work but the other person has to be on the same level of acceptance, which I think my wife was until recent changes. Funnily enough, I have never dated an atheist. Finding an actualist to date sounds like looking for a needle in a haystack lol.
Yes as I have been through a few breakups now, one where I accidentally called my partners phone and voice mail whilst bitching about her in my friends car. That was a fun one to be the bad guy for once lol. It always revealed a lot of how I tick.
Me and my wife have been together 13 years now. The emotions from shared traumas and joys and having kids is such a different level of intensity compared to my previous relationships. The emotional bonds towards my children are the strongest I have experienced, that bond with my parents coming second to this. Whatever happens I am sure I will be faced with some challenges to the core parts of my being and identity as a father. If I had no kids I genuinely think I could have split with my wife amicably and easily. Anyway, we are not at that stage yet so who knows. I can live without a physical side to the relationship easily enough.
11th Aug 2022 - The dreaded work project had a super big meeting yesterday. Not only did I have to go to the actual office for the first time in months but I had to demo all features so far and have a discussion on the future of the project. My colleague who works with me is on holiday in India so I had no back up. Plus he is in charge of admin/infrastructure side so if something was wrong on that I was screwed.
Facing up to the experience, all the dread and hypotheticals and feeling of responsibility, failure and shame totally gave way. I was really in the moment and suddenly so calm and just doing what the client had wanted and demonstrating in the order and sequenced they requested.
The discussions were really open and honest and all the blockers truly aired and it was a relief for everyone. A mutual realisation of problems outside of everyone’s sphere of influence. In fact, discussions were so detailed and distracting that we didn’t complete the demo, which was fine by me lol.
I had some amazing EE’s yesterday. All of these worries and feelings and they made no difference to the facts of the events that unfolded. This was my first EE at a work place.
In fact, I have quite a few first recently, my first EE in company of my wife, first EE having sex earlier in the year (that won’t be happening anymore lol), first EE looking after kids on my own, first EE just playing a computer game with kids (normally is when I am out and about they happen).
It has been a really hot summer so far and the commute was longer as the heat was slowing the trains down. It was an exhausting day physically and mentally and I had this moment when close to drifting asleep where it felt like my head was emptying out, it was still EE but felt very close to PCE territory. Then I fell asleep and had the best sleep I have had in ages, slept like a baby.