Actual Freedom Revisited and More Things

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Just some notes to bring people up to speed. 

I’ve revisited the whole Actual Freedom site and the whole concept with a “fresh” eye, as it were. I’m not entirely sure why I returned there, but it was perhaps maybe to face the fear that I felt with regard to the whole thing and the sense of “extreme” materialism I found there.

HOWEVER…

I will say that at this age, I can look at things with a more critical eye and can make my own decisions for myself. What I can also say is that I’m working on a kind of overall articulation of the problems I find with how the system is presented and the grandiose claims that Richard makes as being the absolute, 100% first person to come upon what he terms “actual freedom.”

Okay. So I don’t buy that claim, but whatever- whether or not he’s the first person is entirely beside the point

Here is a point that is undeniable and evident and highly important- Richard is the first and only person according to what I know to advocate that the path itself to liberation from suffering is feeling good itself. 

Stated another way, most religions, spiritualities, traditions, and so on advocate instead for other methods, including various kinds of suffering, but none that I know of advocate that you should start off by doing things you like and trying to get into a good mood and trying to make sure you stay in a mood for most (and eventually, in theory, all) of the time. 

This brings me to one part of my “overall criticism” of the AF website- I don’t know if it’s a fault in my own reading comprehension or the fault of other people or actually a poor organization of the AFT, but it definitely took me a while to figure out that the path IS feeling good, followed by careful consideration of one’s social identity that works against feeling good and so on.

For a long time, I had this weird impression that Actual Freedom was about drowning out the emotions with the senses- which seemed stupid. Well, no; it is IS stupid. And I also had the impression that it was about trying to get people not to feel anything- about eliminating those dog-goned “passions” that were the source of the “emotions” that cause ALL the ills of humanity and so on.

But it’s also not about that. 

Instead, and Richard clarifies this in places, he advocates the elimination of Being- the sense of self and so on- which is the source of the feelings and such, and he clarifies elsewhere that a person who tries to “not feel” will go psychotic, end of story.

Final note before I go: last night, I had an experience of Jesus. He was physically larger than I, and we were standing on the beach. (I should note my family and I were out at the beach yesterday.) I didn’t feel immense waves of love or compassion or anything, only infinity there with Jesus- and He said nothing, just stared over the ocean.

I take that experience to mean something mystically and so on instead of just chalking it up to a “dream” or “delusion” or whatever other label the Actual Freedom Trust might throw on it. More later.

Steve

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Sudden Certainty

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I’m not entirely sure what just caused this, but I thought documenting in the moment to be a good idea.

Out of nowhere, while reading some sites about Actual Freedom and Dharma Overground and the like, a sense of certainty that I will “make it” in terms of attaining Nirvana or whatever one might call it came about.

To describe the feeling: it’s located in the lower stomach, a kind of white-hot burning sensation, and there’s a definite sense of “feeling good/good mood” in the upper torso and head. 

Yes, yes. I’m glad for this.

Differentiated Archetypes

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Today, after having odd dreams of looking for porn, I experienced a level of the “masculine” archetype in which it expressed itself as several and not one. This was curious to me because I don’t recall having a real-time experience of an archetype as “many.”

Being in the grip of a particular archetype is definitely akin to being at the altar of a god demanding worship. The archetype will get what it wants, one way or the other- either you will consciously comply or you will unconsciously submit to whatever the archetypes wants.

At this point, I’m almost convinced that all gods, all spirits, all entities are in fact archetypal or “inner-world” forces; that is to say, I’m not sure they exist outside of us, but I won’t tread terribly into that territory because it becomes confusing to try to explain it. 

I will say this: the archetypal realm at least manifests strongly within people’s minds; it’s independence from the human mind is something that may also be real, but I’d rather not speculate too heavily on that and get lost on that route.

I’ve visited the Actual Freedom Trust again, surprise, surprise…again, I’m not thoroughly impressed. A good idea there, yes; and I’m glad that people have achieved liberation. However, 1) I reserve the right to use whatever terminology I damned well please, including but not limited to “enlightenment” and so on, however I damned well please, and 2) in ten years time, the AFT has not once shown that what they’re talking about is a completely different phenomenon than what’s been mentioned in other religions and traditions.

I guess things boil down to the fact that I can’t become a hardcore materialist, not now, and not in the future, and not in the past. “Actually free from the human condition,” yes, I can do that. (Or technically “I” can’t.) 

But beyond that, I reflected earlier today on the fact that the whole “I am my feelings and my feelings are me” bit just isn’t my world view; “I” am my consciousness, and “my” consciousness is “me.”

How to explain?

I guess that I don’t see my emotions and feelings as the ultimate level of being or “selfhood” or whatnot. Yes, my “existence” is ultimately an independent “consciousness,” which indeed different from “mental cognition” as my friend Michael so cleverly pointed out in a long debate we had. 

But I also don’t “believe” that we must die in order to finally have peace. No, I think the ultimate can be had here. 

But what’s wrong with thinking that we can have the ultimate both here and after death? Hmm. Food for thought.

You know, another point to criticize is the huge issue with meditation. Well, frankly, for someone as high-strung as I, meditation is what allows my body to relax enough to get to feeling good in the first place. I’m just saying, small technicalities such as these are never taken into consideration. 

Another point: my mood, my general level of feeling good, as it were, is always much, MUCH higher when I have meditated within the last 24 hours. So let’s focus on the benefits of things instead of making sweeping generalizations about how everything is so much more ineffective, thaaaanks.

Stevo