Saturday, August 9, 2014

PCE and Insight of Anatta

Anthony Goh
May 31 · London, United Kingdom

a quick Q on the PCE and the anatta insight. Soh (or anyone else e.g. Tommy?) I have heard you mention in the past that after the anatta insight, PCE mode is effortless, could you clarify what you mean by this?

In my experience, what I would call a full blown PCE is thoroughly non-subjective, just sights, sounds, sensations, all totally perfect. There is not a trace of anyone to have any kind of problem or opinion on reality. In my more usual experience I would say there are subtle moods and subtle thought patterns which cause the vague sense of someone, what I would call the scent or conceit of "I". As I notice and turn attention to them, they are seen through quite quickly, normally a few seconds, and it is normally easy to relax into a PCE-like-mode, of sights sounds, but not always easy to return to the full blown PCE experience...

After one has had what you call the anatta insight, is the conceit/scent of I totally gone? Thanks
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    Damian Hopewell likes this.
    Tommy McNally Just back in from work so I'll respond more soon. PCE's appears to be more greyscale than black and white, if that makes sense. Even ongoing PCE's, whether permanent or even if they just last a few days, have many layers of subtlety and the label covers a field far more diverse than AF'ers would have you believe.
    May 31 at 4:19am · Like · 2
    Justin Chapweske Can you see that non-PCE mode is already self luminous and effortlessly non-arising?
    May 31 at 4:27am · Like · 3
    Tommy McNally Back again. Firstly, it’s important to define the term “PCE” and I think that you’ve done so quite well in your post. Secondly, I would avoid making a connection between realization of anatta and the PCE as, particularly if you’re using the term within the AF model, they’re not really related at all. I suppose we could say that the PCE could be considered as more of a side-effect of the realization of anatta, but on closer inspection you’ll find that PCE’s are commonly encountered post-realization, as well as in the split-seconds following fruition. In fact, what we’re calling a PCE is actually quite common, but most lack the ability to use it effectively to lead to deeper realization. Given that most PCE’s last a matter of minutes, maybe hours at most for the majority of people, it can be very, very difficult to investigate it as the state remains very fragile until stabilized through repeat experience and confidence in it. There is also (without appropriate mental training once again) the tendency to really cling/grasp to/for PCE’s as being this once-in-a-lifetime thing that means you’re special…it’s not. It’s a state and it’s transient as a motherfucker. Also, the “Wow” factor becomes less important as you experience it more and more; it’s still there, that, as Richard called it, “naivete” and the sheer wonderousness of it all, but if you were to just sit and enjoy that aspect of it the whole time, you’d get nothing done!

    Once some level of stability is attained, it becomes possible to look more closely at the sensate information apperceived, so basically you can tune in to a far greater amount of information on a second-by-second basis. This isn’t the easiest of things to do as it can be so much fun just go into the scenery, but it becomes apparent that there’s still this subtle level of some sort of, for example, visual consciousness, rather than simply a stream of pure consciousness. I don’t know if that makes much sense, but that’s the way it seems to me. There is still a subtle duality happening which is nothing to do with any sense of self, this is getting into another level of fabrication which goes beyond the identity.

    Anyway, back to the question: What you’re describing as being a “vague sense of someone” is, in my experience, gone once anatta is realized. Something is gone in the way that the sensefield is experienced, attention only moves when you want it to, so there’s no longer that ‘bouncing’ of attention which was supporting that “vague sense” in the first place. That in itself immediately renders the visual field far, far clearer and with more ability to see the detail in things without the imposition of certain perceptual patterns. That same centerlessness is there too, the same non-local consciousness but with anatta there no sense of actuality being some solid, objective and pre-existing “now”. We could say that things do become very “PCE-like”, but in my opinion it creates a goal where none exists; by implying that things can be this particular way, people tend to strive for their idea of what that must be like, while the experience itself is actually occurring prior to conceptualization and so literally unimaginable!

    Whether that’s the ending of the “scent/conceit of I”, I would say that it is, but would reiterate that to make a connection between this and the PCE would be incorrect. What needs to be remembered though, and where I think a lot of the AF’ers went wrong (in part at least, but don’t get me started…), is that although there’s no longer any sense of there being an “I” there are still tendencies which will be replayed with the appropriate stimuli by the nervous system until the system gets completely cleared out through further practices.

    Hope that helps
    May 31 at 9:18am · Unlike · 8
    Albert Hong If you're going to try to sleep. Work on understanding the causes and conditions that go into sleep.

    Comfortable position, relaxation, turning off lights, ear buds, etc.

    Then the wait.

    But most people just expect to fall asleep through will. Which causes more strain, and the mind just stays awake haha.

    It would seem the metaphor for this is exactly the issue with pce verse anatta.

    Anatta isn't an experience per-say. Anatta is an insight into something you thought was there but isn't. Very much like seeing a figure underneath your bed and freaking out about it. Then you turn on the lights and you see nothing was there all along. And yet you turn the lights back off and you freak out some more.

    So what is required is a throughout seeing and also an understanding of the momentum that the body, mind, subtle body has been conditioned to believe that there is a boogieman called the independent self.

    This insight makes pce the natural state of affairs.

    The issue with focusing on experience and negating insight is that you create a kind of closed loop system of views. You use experience as a basis to create a view, such as no self. But that view in an experiential sense is just impersonality. Not only that you focus completely on the clarity and that is stressful. Even bliss is stressful.

    The other issue is that you lose it. And you spend your whole time playing this game of trying to get it, fail miserably and then get it, and then through your momentum of solidification miss it again.

    So lots of suffering there.

    Or maybe you create non-conceptual conceptual theories on the premise of your experience, which in turn creates a reality tunnel. This can lead to Sophism, Nihilism, etc.

    Which basically closes you off. It ends your journey from a buddhism perspective.

    What is needed is a throughout understanding of causality. After anatta, phenomena must be deconstructed and seen through. Then there is no basis for the conceit of I AM.

    Just some noodles.
    May 31 at 9:32am · Unlike · 11
    Soh Well said by Tommy McNally
    May 31 at 1:59pm · Like
    Soh As I mentioned before, there may be no detectable trace of self or afflictive patterns in waking in normal circumstances, however the wisdom has to go through the three states. This implies that latent dispositions still persists and the 'job is not done', although it may be tempting to think it is
    May 31 at 2:02pm · Edited · Like · 2
    Soh After Piotr's initial realization of anatta last year, Thusness said:

    "tell piotr don't chase after experience, don't chase after clarity and luminosity, don't try to attempt to feel more...rather sever the center, experience wholely via losing center, not by intensifying experience."

    This is important. Talks of PCE can lead someone down the wrong path of chasing experiences.

    ...

    26/4/13 6:10:52 PM: John Tan: That is due to under-estimating and not fully appreciating the general principle of DO (Not specific DO). It is always due to the need to remain as a center. The general DO as a perfect raft to sever the center, the now, the here, the self...fully and completely unestablished

    26/4/13 6:13:08 PM: John Tan: That is after anatta, apply this general principle of DO. It is a near perfect raft...lol

    ...

    John TanSunday, April 28, 2013 at 3:10am UTC+10

    anyway don't chase after experiences...sever the center. The purpose is to tell J it is a refinement of his view so that he can perfect his non-dual state.

    ...

    John TanFriday, May 31, 2013 at 5:59pm UTC+10

    when subject and object framework dissolve, it does not subsumed into Awareness
    John TanFriday, May 31, 2013 at 5:59pm UTC+10

    it is merely seen and understood as like the h2o
    John TanFriday, May 31, 2013 at 5:59pm UTC+10

    until the center is completely severed...then arising is self aware free of affiction in total exertion
    May 31 at 2:36pm · Edited · Like · 2
    Anthony Goh Hi thanks guys. I have been sitting and walking in the park for the last few hours and realise now that the subtle sense someone being here is due to resisting current experience (obviously!).

    There is an overtone of fear to my current experience over the last couple of days as I am trying to let go some addictive patterns, maybe end a relationship. I have been subtly trying to escape this fear, by imagining there is some more enlightened state in which fear doesn't occur. This imagined state being the permenant-feel-good-PCE, or some kind of magic atamayatta or teflon bhumi.

    Also I was confusing the bliss I associated with previous big PCEs with the no-one being there part. As I drop into the raw sensate stuff of the fear I am experiencing and feel it fully, there is joy, laughter and evidently no-one here at all, despite the tension around the chest.

    Tommy thanks for that it was really helpful. Could you clarifly "attention only moves when you want it to"? Do you mean something like, previously, as the vision settled on things, the mind would object-ize them, causing thought-energy to consolidate around them, causing further narrowing, then the vision would go to another thing, repeat, in a way that feels like a bounce? Now the vision field is smoother as there is much less tendency for this pouring of mental energy into solidifying certain parts of it? EDIT - or also the bouncing between the illusory thought object and illusory visual object creating a sense of a central something thinking about what it sees?

    also Albert thank you I also discovered today that I do have, as you said some other time, an aversion to thoughts about certain things, which causes more thoughts to gather to investigate those "bad" thoughts - "why did those thoughts appear? is there a problem with my insights... etc"...
    May 31 at 9:11pm · Edited · Like · 1
    Anthony Goh Soh maybe silly question what are the 3 states? dreaming? waking?...?

    Also maybe another basic question, but I don't get what is meant by sever the centre. Or the principle of general DO vs specific DO....

    much gratitude to the members of this group for your sharings _/\_
    May 31 at 9:16pm · Like
    Soh Dreaming waking and deep sleep. Specific D.O. includes the afflictive twelve links of dependent origination starting with ignorance, etc. Also the transcendental links of dependent origination which leads to liberation It is important to have insight into this area of D.O. into afflicted D.O., which is why Thusness said afflicted D.O. is enlightened view. However D.O. is not limited to the afflicted links.. General D.O. a.k.a principle of dependent origination is this:

    When there is this, that is.
    With the arising of this, that arises.
    When this is not, neither is that.
    With the cessation of this, that ceases.
    May 31 at 10:27pm · Edited · Like · 3
    Soh Sever the center means letting go, releasing all sense of a self, observer, holding, contraction, etc by fearlessly and completely opening up until the 'place of no cold and heat' (https://www.facebook.com/notes/soh-wei-yu/the-place-where-there-is-no-cold-or-heat/10151925766315226). This is different from say grounding into here/now or being non-conceptual or focusing on the intensity of luminosity. Luminosity manifest naturally when free from the obscuring sense of self but not by focusing or trying to intensify it.
    The place where there is no cold or heat
    A monk asked Tozan, “When cold and heat come, how can we avoid them?” Tozan said... See More
    By: Soh
    May 31 at 9:48pm · Edited · Like · 3 · Remove Preview
    Tommy McNally Thank you, I’m glad it was of use to you and my apologies for the delay in replying!

    When I say that attention only moves when you want it to, I mean that you’ve brought attention under control to the point where it no longer just darts around the field of perception. It’s not that bringing attention under control will necessarily put an end to subtle objectification, but it makes it a hell of a lot easier as distraction is no longer an issue. Training of attention, in vipassana terms, cultivates concentration through khanika Samadhi, so you’ll still pass through the same states as those encountered by jhana practitioners but with a different focus which will not result in full absorption. Through this, you learn to first follow the attention as sensation is observed, then keep pace with it before learning to begin to take reflexive control over it so that you can penetrate whatever you choose at will. This takes a lot of time and a lot of practice, some seem more naturally inclined towards it while other, like me, need to work long and hard at it to train the monkey mind to sit at peace.

    From your post above, you’re maybe overcomplicating it for yourself. Your edit at the end is the most accurate description, in my experience, of what you’re looking at if you’re aiming to eliminate any sense of centrality. The other suggestions aren’t incorrect, but they’re looking at it in a more complicated way than is strictly necessary to put an end to it.
    June 3 at 6:43am · Like · 3
    Goose Saver Hey Anthony, what kind of post is this--for the bachelor club only?? LOL
    June 3 at 6:50am · Like
    Tommy McNally Excuse me?
    June 3 at 6:59am · Like
    Anthony Goh Tommy thanks for this, it is clear what you mean now. It seems like a long and hard task to train the attention to this level. I guess my meditation history so far has been that I was bitten by the insight bug, so then used insight meditation to gain enough clarity over experience to make some basic insights in the emptiness of self. I am familiar with the samatha jhanas 1-6 but tbh concentration is not a strong point, and after having some insights over these last few months, my interest in concentration practice plummeted. Now as I am finding more subtle self remaining in experience, it feels necessary to train the attention in the way you describe. Any advice on making this less boring? I guess really suffering will drive the process along and there is little I can do about it...! cheers for the advice.
    June 3 at 7:33am · Like
    Justin Chapweske You may want to really examine this assumption:

    "Now as I am finding more subtle self remaining in experience, it feels necessary to train the attention in the way you describe."

    If you have a deep desire to become a super-yogi, then by all means go for it. But what if you didn't have to become a super-yogi? What if you could be free in heaven and hell? Would you still seek to eradicate this "subtle self"?
    June 3 at 8:07am · Like
    Anthony Goh Justin that's a great question. Maybe I should have said:

    "Now as I am finding more subtle self remaining in experience, it seems somewhat unbelievably like I have nothing really better to do other than train the attention in the way you describe to try and become some sort of super-yogi, for no particularly good reason."

    thanks for making me think about this, I will continue to ponder
    June 3 at 8:28am · Like · 1
    Justin Chapweske
    June 3 at 8:38am · Like
    Yor Sunyata Could someone explain to me what PCE stands for?
    June 4 at 3:40am · Like
    Albert Hong Pure consciousness experience.

    The direct, immediate perception of consciousness as the very appearance.
    June 4 at 3:43am · Like
    Albert Hong Oh add non conceptual to that as well.
    June 4 at 3:46am · Like
    Yor Sunyata Ok, thank you.
    June 4 at 3:48am · Like

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