Sweetness in the arms of the other

Continuing the discussion from Journal de Henry:

This comment by @rick on my journal has left me floating in surprise, because I have always taken primarily ‘autonomy’ from my past PCEs, but it explains a lot with regards to my continual interest in girls (and to a further extent, ‘friends’). It’s not JUST love, there is this sweetness aspect to dissolving in intimacy with another which cannot/should not be ignored.

I was wondering if anyone else had experience with this / experiences in this that they could share, as it is a huge aspect of my current-investigation and may prove as interesting to others as well.

Perhaps to grease the wheels:

@Srinath becoming free in part thanks to sweetness of intimacy:

That night I stood in the balcony knowing that something was required to convince me to let go of the controls. I kept thinking about that last piece of pizza that was me and what the reason could there be to ‘die’? It seemed like I was hanging on by a very thin thread that stayed firmly in place. At that point I saw my girlfriend lying on the couch and once again I could see that what was separating us was ‘me’. I went out to the balcony and looked down and saw some people walking. I could see that even though everything was nearly perfect that last little bit of ‘me’ was there separating myself from everyone else on this planet and spoiling perfection. The spoonful that weighed a tonne. ‘I’ would roar back into full existence creating havoc for this body and every body, given half a chance. I had to ‘die’ so that this body and every other body could live peacefully. I would need to truly die. The enormity of this dawned on me suddenly like it never had before. The enormity of what I had to give up. It took my breath away. Suddenly I felt a twinge of sadness that emerged from me like a thin pungent streak. But it cut-off abruptly as if in mid-air, still-born.

Nothing else happened.

It was all over in about 2 seconds. I experienced an utter stillness in my mind and all around me right afterwards. The stillness was so strong it was virtually palpable. There was an ease and effortlessness in the body and mind, which was different from the somewhat keyed up quality of a PCE. ‘I’ was not there anywhere remotely. I felt like a newborn baby, so fresh and exquisitely sensitive to the universe around me. It was odd having my thoughts not linked to any being in the centre. They seemed like they were disconnected and just floating around me. All of this smoothed out in the next few days and became increasingly coherent and natural, as I adjusted to the newly free state.

And Richard re: the second convivium:

that ‘over-arching benevolence and benignity’, which the feeling-being inhabiting this flesh-and-blood body all those years ago experienced and named ‘pure intent’, became directly immanently accessible to some select associates during a specific situational setting called ‘The Second Convivium Gathering’, in late 2009/early 2010, and was variously experienced by them as a ‘palpable sweetness’, for instance, and an ‘infinite tenderness’, for example, and has been more generally described as ‘being bathed in intimacy’.

And Vineeto: (same link as above)

‘I had known this sweetness from previous occasions – one such experience happened during the video-shoot of the ‘Out-from-Control’ DVD we present on the website. This sweetness always accompanied an experience of closeness (…)’(A Long-Awaited Public Announcement).

She has also reported it as being ‘ambrosial in nature’ and as ‘an ambrosial gentleness’ and has written of it, in a private email, as being ‘an overwhelming sweetness, so overwhelmingly sweet that tears were running down my face. At another time I experienced a tenderness so vast that I was speechless for a good time afterwards’.

This is great because I can pull out the DVD and bathe in it myself!

Current-time investigation ongoing

Is that sweet feeling, which i have had only tangently whilst infatuated, akin to giving oneself completely to what is happening now?

It is curious to me. As if only in the most emotionally dangerous situation, with the most vulnerability was it possible for me.

What’s more, i believe it was one sided.

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Hmm I will just write briefly to advise that the ‘sweetness’ of emotional love or emotional intimacy, is not the same at all, of the sweetness of naivete or the sweetness experienced in an intimacy experience. It is of an entirely different nature. So I would forewarn you (as to be forewarned is to be forearmed) to keep your wits about you when you allow (as opposed to express or suppress) this loving/affectionate sweetness, to experience it with a clear head and to look out for what way it is self-centered as opposed to the (relatively) self-less sweetness of naivete/of an intimacy experience, or an actual self-less sweetness in a PCE around others.


Although I didn’t manage to read the whole post in your journal, it generated a strong doubt, especially this line:

Leaving aside the experienced in PCEs, I frequently experience the “(relatively) self-less sweetness of naivete/intimacy” referred by @claudiu, but I’m confused about the kind of sweetness you were tracking and talking about there…

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@claudiu @Miguel

To be honest part of why I’m embarking on this investigation is that @rick ’s initial post made it clear that I was missing SOME kind of sweetness, which I had always avoided because I associated it strongly with love. It also hasn’t jumped out at me after my PCEs. However, it’s clearly described as a core attribute of actual freedom.

I fully expect myself to be a little confused as I figure this one out, and figure out experientially where that line is.

And any input is thus highly appreciated :raised_hands:t2:

Yes this seems similar. I remember being completely safe, there was 100% gladness about where I was, what was happening. It happened because of my romantic beliefs of what happened, but it connected to something much bigger.

It’s so easy for that experience with a man or a woman and sex to be hijacked by lust/love because those emotions have such power on the animal and the human.

Cross-post, I’ve found barrenness of ‘me’ as a contrapposto to the sweetness bleeding out from the actual. They’re very very near to eachother experientially (weirdly)

@henryyyyyyyyyy There’s a few things… I haven’t been able to fully read everything in your journal up to the present day but this is what I saw around where this topic came up.

You have got it right here that these emotions are the jealousy-possession-love bundle.

Here it’s clear that by “sweetness” you are referring to the ‘good’ part of the jealousy-possession-bundle, namely, the loving and affectionate feelings, as opposed to the ‘bad’ part of it, namely, the jealous and possessive ones.

When the ‘good’ feelings are threatened, you very much “VERY DON’T” like it, hence the jealous and possessive part of the bundle (which is necessary to keep the ‘good’ part of the bundle alive) comes into play.

This is very percipient and it’s well worth keeping this in mind. As when you aren’t experiencing the ‘good’ feelings it seems all you want is to be with the person, i.e. experience the ‘good’ feelings again. But then once you have that person, you just start desiring moving on to the next person - i.e. via accommodation and habituation the ‘good’ feelings with one person become lessened and then you seek to experience the elation again, which another person will trigger for you.

Just like a drug - because it is a drug! It’s just one that your body can produce on its own. But it’s the same exact addiction, reward, habituation, pathways.

Isn’t it so clear this is the result of evolution in action? The effect of this is to have you mate with one person, and then mate with another as soon as you mated with the one person, repeated ad infinitum, so as to best increase the chances of your genes surviving.

Here I’ve replaced ‘sweetness’ with how you were using the word before to make it clear that this doesn’t make sense.

Firstly the loving and affectionate feelings can never be truly unconditional… and secondly, attempting to feel them more even in any “non-partner situation”, won’t ever lead to a PCE.

Isn’t it clear looking back on those PCEs that there were no loving and affectionate feelings experienced at the time at all?

You aren’t the first to try and make the loving and affectionate feelings unconditional, nor will you be the last. This is touted by society as the solution to all the world’s problems. Yet if it really worked it would have worked by now, millenia later. So it’s clear something else is needed :slight_smile:

Not quite… It is true that the loving and affectionate feelings arise from a union of your ‘self’ with her ‘self’. But the result of this is not no selves or selves in abeyance. It is a unified ‘self’. Two selves form a union which is still an identity. Further the union is only an illusory one. You feel as if you are united with her, but in fact you are still a separative self, albeit feeling (temporarily) unified. And the unified ‘self’ is still separated from actuality.

The best you can do via this route is become fully Enlightened like Richard did, to be that very love, unconditionally (at least it is felt to be unconditional). Yet we already know that that doesn’t work - Richard found it wanting and moved on to an eventual actual freedom. So you don’t have to repeat the experiment.

Firstly, with this firmly in mind (i.e. that what you understand as “sweetness” is actually love and affection and not what that word refers to on the Actual Freedom Trust website) I’d recommend reading (or re-reading) everything on the site about love, naivete, excellence experiences, intimacy experiences, and intimacy.

I’ll put a few paragraphs for ‘spacing’ to indicate, via text, the reading of these topics.

There is a lot to read about, after all.

The Actual Freedom Trust website has words, so many words.

Yet aren’t they so delightful?

For example, when feeling-being Richard was virtually free, his at-first naively intimate experiences, were increasingly overshadowed by love, due to a lack of precedence:

In the same way that excellence experiences (EE’s) were a notable feature of feeling-being ‘Richard’s virtual freedom experiencing circa March-September 1981, although of course not named as such back then, so too did intimacy experiences (IE’s) play a similarly significant role even though increasingly overshadowed by the insistent emergence of love – and, especially, Love Agapé – in the later months due to a marked lack of precedence and, thus, of any praxeological publications (nowadays made freely available on The Actual Freedom Trust web site) on the distinction betwixt the near-innocent intimacy of naïveté and the affectional intimacy of romance lore and legend. [Selected Correspondence: Naivete]

Now you have the web site so you can read all about this vital distinction here :slight_smile: .

In any case…

Now that you’ve read all that, what I can share from my experience is that the sweet and incredible near-innocent intimacy of naivete, is of a completely different nature and character than the affectionate intimacy of love and romance.

It is completely non-sticky. There is no weight to it. There is no pretense to it. There is a marked simplicity to it. There’s no deception or belief or faith in it. It is not conditional. It doesn’t depend upon the other person at all. It doesn’t depend upon a promise of a forever-together future. It doesn’t involve the future at all. The past also makes no appearance in it.

There are no conditions to it. And there is no pretense of there-are-no-conditions-but-really-there-are. You don’t have your ‘hooks’ in the other person, and they don’t have theirs in you.

There is an intrinsic enjoyment to it. It’s not heady in any way. It is light and carefree. It is rich and vibrant. It is of the very senses. Senses become rich and can sort of “turn in on themselves” to become even richer. There’s a purity and bursts of color you can experience that you didn’t think were possible.

It is magical, yet not sublime. It is of-this-earth. It is an actuality. It needs no striving for it, all you have to do is get out of the way for it to happen.

There is no dissolution into another person, or them into you. You stand on your own, not together, yet you experience the intimacy of two autonomous human beings choosing to spend their time with one another. There are no problems between you two. This is no ‘force that can overcome any problem’ – there simply can’t be any problem, that will spoil it, because it will be unaffected by problems (although ‘my’ relation to and reaction to those problems certainly will!!)

It is not a force at all. There is no power to it. It is not a power that can move mountains or bind nations. Rather, it comes from a relative absence of ‘me’.

When fully out of the way, there is actual intimacy. There is no ‘me’ and no ‘other’ - yet there is no ‘union’ or ‘dissolution’ either. Rather, that which could form a union, is absent in the first place. And as that which can form the union, is what the separation in the first place actually was, there is no need for a union anymore. Love and affection are redundant – there is simply “no room” for them, actually they would even spoil it.

It leads directly to a PCE and to actuality, via less of ‘me’, as opposed to directly towards love and bliss and unity and an ASC, via less of small-me (ego) but more of big-me (soul).

Naive intimacy and affectionate intimacy are impossible to combine. Naive intimacy immediately cuts the feet out of and saps the power source of love, while love instantly covers-over and spoils naive intimacy.

You have to make a choice. What choice will you make?


This helped me see the difference the most clearly of all. Sweetness [the loving and affectionate feeling] has a definite seductive power for me.

This probably explains why going this way has done little to reduce jealousy and in fact has probably heightened it.

There’s an interesting element in this which is that feeling happy and harmless are also on the loving spectrum of feeling, but so light and clear that it allows for the possibility of becoming free. So I think this sweetness has helped me inch somewhat closer. But, I think that ultimately you are right and that this is a very useful distinction to see.

This is interesting, can you say any more about this? I can immediately see that I’ve had trouble separating the two.

I can see that - I was even joking with my partner about this, I’m perfectly happy when I am getting attention in the moment. Well… so long as that lasts, anyway.

I can see that there are tons of aspects of my life that I’m not satisfied with so then I place all ‘my’ weight on relationship. By contacting a much larger naive intimacy (rather than the conditional, emotion-based intimacy you describe here), then it can explode via external vacuum pressure. But that means placing my attention on all those other things. Which, ‘I’ do not want to do… because I am chasing sweetness-as-love.

Thank you for the excellent treatment of this, @claudiu . Much to uncover.


Ahh, not quite. It’s helpful to place feelings into three categories, not two: the ‘good’ feelings (the loving & affectionate ones), the ‘bad’ feelings (the malicious and sorrowful ones), and the ‘felicitous’ feelings - the happy, harmless, naive, general-well-being, joyous feelings.

The felicitous feelings can thus be clearly delineated and maximized, with the loving spectrum being minimized. Otherwise the loving feelings hijack the felicitous ones and take you into a different direction.

Indeed the loving & affectionate feelings got you closer on the loving spectrum of feelings, but it hasn’t gotten you onto the felicitous feelings.

Of course, love & affection are far better than the usual alternative, which is sorrow, misery, loneliness, aggression, etc. Much better to be loving than aggressive! It’s certainly more fun and feels better. But the third alternative, the felicitous ones, are even better than the loving ones.

One thing that may be confusing matters is that both loving and felicitous feelings has a positive hedonic tone - they both feel pleasant, as opposed to unpleasant. But this doesn’t place them in the same category. Aggression can have positive hedonic tone as well, for example in gleefulness or righteous indignation, etc. Hedonic tone isn’t the arbiter - felicity is.

Aye it’s very very hard to separate the two at first.

With regard to intimacy I highly recommend reading this post followed by this post by Richard, most relevant parts here, The “DAO” (Discuss Actualism Online) square brackets are ones I added when quoting, while the rest are in the initial post:

They are so hard to separate, at first, that as one starts going towards that naive intimacy, a bifurcation manifests where the instinct is to veer off towards love, without even realizing this is happening! This happened in feeling-being Richard to the extent that he became fully Enlightened, as opposed to actually free, after he started on the path that his 4-hour PCE had showed him was possible. Luckily ‘he’ was able to rememorate that 4-hour PCE whilst fully Enlightened and find his way out of that altered state of consciousness, that had previously been regarded as the summum bonum of human existence.

But, although at the bifurcation point they appear similar, once you go far enough down both paths, if you compare the experience at the end of the paths - full-blown richness and naive intimacy resplendent on the one hand vs. sublime, elated, blissful swanning in love on the other - they can be clearly distinguished, without any confusion between the two.

Even though they are in fact so different, it’s amazing how easy it can continue to be to mistake loving intimacy for naive intimacy. It simply takes experience to become able to tell the difference, sooner and sooner. And experience is what will also show you the superiority of one over the other. And then the choice will become easier and easier to make, as you choose the one that you personally prefer (as no one can make you ‘be’ one way or another, try as they might).

Now, what I was getting at that “Naive intimacy and affectionate intimacy are impossible to combine” is that, when you are at the end-point of naive intimacy, for example, if you then start going in the loving direction, it immediately ends the naive intimacy. The affectionate intimacy supplants it and takes over the experience, so to speak, and you are left with just affectionate intimacy, not naive intimacy.

And further if you are in the throes of affectionate intimacy, and you then start to go in the naive intimacy direction - this by its very nature saps away the ‘fuel’ that supports the affectionate intimacy, and the affectionate intimacy diminishes until you are left just with naive intimacy.

Aye it is instinctually easier to keep chasing love, than to step back, engage cognition and reflection, sensibly think about your life and what it makes sense to do, etc. But repeated experience will show you that the more sensible approach is actually more sensible and beneficial, etc. Although some people never realize this :smiley: .

A bit tangential, but I think part of it can fall into what people might categorize as “becoming a mature adult”. For kids, sensibility is boring, unexciting, lame, etc. Much more ‘fun’ to self-centrically chase one’s wishes, desires, passions, dreams, without any regard for others. And as a kid you can get away with it because you have parents that actually take care of everything for you. But as you get older you have to sustain yourself and start doing those things - which can feel like a tremendous drag.

“Responsibility” is a moral imposition to get people to do sensible things, but the feeling of responsibility is an awful burden and just really sucks. I never liked and still don’t like the feeling of having to do things. But what I find is that if I am sensible then responsibility becomes redundant. What needs to be done gets done, and what doesn’t, doesn’t, and there is no dragging my feet about it. And this is actually a much more fun and easy way of existing. It is being like a kid, but with adult sensibilities!

Anyway ultimately it seems to just come down with experience, experience of a more sensible way of being, and then it (actualism) gets easier as you go!



Ahhh yes this explains a lot. I found further on the AFT:

the ‘good’ feelings are those that are of a loving (ardent feelings of profound affection and endearment) and a compassionate (empathetic feelings of deep sympathy and commiseration) nature; the ‘bad feelings are those that are of a malicious (spiteful feelings of intense hatred and resentment) and a sorrowful (melancholy feelings of yawning sadness and grief) nature; the felicitous feelings are those that are of a happy and carefree (blithesome feelings of great delight and enjoyment) nature; the innocuous feelings are those that are of a harmless and congenial (gracious feelings of ingenuous tranquillity and affability) nature.

Your post forced me to re-visit the initial ‘sweet’ memory that I was recalling from way back in early 2015 (“in the arms of the other”) and I can see that while it contained happy, it did not contain ‘carefree,’ as I was in that moment invested in continuing existing in-the-arms-of-the-other, and in fact a faint background care-fulness of ‘not putting a foot wrong.’

In the actual there is no carefulness, as one’s foot cannot be put wrong.

Further the sensitive closeness was directed toward her and the time ‘we’ were having together… for example I would have been heartbroken in the face of her unhappiness/sadness (as I was, experientially, quite often during that period…)

All of this makes clear sense with this model.

The happy, harmless, naive, well-being feelings all arise in the absence of the loving/nurturing/fearful-sorrowful/hateful emotions.

Yes, this is my direction now.

I put together last night: ‘jealous’ has power because I find the love desirable.

It’s clear now that the actual is far, far better than any love can be

So ‘jealous’ dies for lack of interest in love. Finito.


Regarding near-actual intimacy, ‘I’ had a glimpse of immanence of the actual last night and could see that it was so big… far bigger than any person. It has the character of ‘everything I have ever known/experienced is with me right now.’ So any intimacy with another being includes that as opposed to the narrow-focused intimacy that love provides. With love agape the view is wider but it’s still narrow-focused in the sense that ‘I’ (the greater ‘I’) has a plan, the plan is the focus.

These aspects are a useful cue for me now regarding which space I am looking for / operating from

I remember telling my current partner several years ago, that the greater intimacy than ‘only sexual’ is in recognizing that the other is not sexually interested in any one moment… this greater awareness-intimacy has this same character… ‘I’ no longer have a plan or an interest in a particular outcome. The interest/attention is entirely on the actual (enjoying & appreciating everything that is actually happening, now), rather than on ‘my’ plan.

It’s becoming increasingly obvious to me why the ‘turn’ to love happens… seeing others with such startling intimacy-clarity is exceptionally seductive to the loving-compassionate ‘being…’ wow, I’m incredibly appreciative that we have history and cognitive capability to get us out of this mess. So many sincere and brilliant seekers of the past have been pulled into that seduction.

Richard: it is the ‘fellow human being’ element which exemplifies the already astounding diminishment of separation which ensues upon the blessed onset of this near-innocent intimacy of naïveté.

This is interesting.

My process for awhile emphasized solitude… I would drive out and then hike to some secluded beach (preferably with no view of any signs of humanity at all) and spend some hours in my own company enjoying everything around.

Something that happened enough times to be identifiable was, I would wish for company… most often female company, to ‘show off’ ‘my’ discovery… to share with them the enjoyment… an obvious segue into love.

Additionally, at some point I was able to stabilize my enjoyment in solitude to the point where I decided to investigate bringing same enjoyment whilst in the company of others… the last year of my investigations have especially emphasized this angle.

It is now clear that I ran smack into love… and in this moment I can observe in me a clear aversion to going out to the beach… the very place I have experienced numerous PCEs and EEs… obviously because there are no people there: ‘I’ am not prioritizing those experiences because ‘I’ do not associate them with romantic love.

This investigation has been of great value and I know the territory far better than I otherwise would have, but it is requiring something of a recalibration of my sincerity & even pure intent.

I am highly motivated by the ruckus that I have obviously been generating in myself and my fellows.

There is a simple fix in dropping love and moving my interest-attention to actual intimacy.

Thanks again for your well-considered responses… I’m excited by what is happening.

Cheers –