Friday, April 25, 2014

Discussion on Actualism, PCE, Anatta, etc

My Experiments in Actualism
Somewhere in early 2009 or so some dharma friends of mine got very interested in the teachings of a guy named Richard and his teachings of Acutalism, by which he had claimed to have eliminated all emotional affect and was living in a fairy-tale-like world of perfect benevolence. The basic message wa...
Like · · Share · September 20, 2013 at 8:22pm

    Brian Adler, Szymon Wójcik, Tan Jui Horng and 13 others like this.
    Daniel Lambert I have actually been waiting to hear this. Daniel's writing is what initially brought me to Ruthless Truth and LU. Actualism sounds very much like what my practice has evolved in to...constant mindfulness of reality with high levels of attention on the sensate experience. The DhO board is not nice to actualism, and the AF website is a bit overwhelming so I only gave it so much attention, assuming what was on the board was the general consensus. This confirms several insights I've had on this topic. Again, thanks!
    September 20, 2013 at 9:28pm · Unlike · 1
    Anthony Goh hey Soh, are you AEN on DhO?
    September 21, 2013 at 1:52am · Like
    Soh Yes, whats your name in DhO?
    September 21, 2013 at 2:05am · Like
    Tommy McNally The DhO is "not nice" to Actualism is rather far from the truth, the reason most people even know about AF in dharma circles is due to the DhO. You missed "The Great DhO Schism" when Tarin first introduced AF to the forum! I have more to add to this as I also claimed AF at one time but I'm replying on my phone. It's a complicated topic for loads of reasons but there are a few of us in this group with extensive experience of Actualism.
    September 21, 2013 at 2:07am · Unlike · 7
    Daniel Lambert Tommy, I for one would be interested in your take on it.
    September 21, 2013 at 2:12am · Unlike · 3
    Tommy McNally I just finished reading Dan's piece about Actualism and it's probably the best, most honest and clearly written breakdown of the way things have gone for almost all of us who claimed "Actual Freedom" at one time or another. I haven't spoken to him for a while and haven't gone on the DhO for quite a while due to being busy with other projects, but his descriptions really hit the nail on the head in a lot of ways. There are slight differences in how it's played out so far for me, but his overview and his comments on the emotional aspects are spot on. A really well written piece on a subject that caused a lot of us so-called "hardcore dharma" practitioners to question what we were doing and then go deeper again. If anyone's interested in going down the same developmental axis, I think Soh and Thusness' blog is one of best resources available right now, outside of looking deeper into specific systems and specializing to a certain extent. I'll post more, gotta go out just now...
    September 21, 2013 at 4:26am · Unlike · 10
    Anthony Goh sadalsuud ! cheers for all the help so far! anthony
    September 21, 2013 at 4:37am · Unlike · 2
    Tommy McNally If you break Actualism down to a basic set of techniques and cut away all the verbiage of the website, you’re left with bare attentiveness to immediate sensate experience. At its most fundamental level, and regardless of what the self-proclaimed progenitor says, the entire practice leading to “an actual freedom from the human condition” is based on paying attention to what’s happening in the sensate field right now, but with a focus on the aggregate of feeling.

    Through the application of the method which, to give credit where credit is due, Richard Parker developed - of asking “How Am I Experiencing This Moment Of Being Alive”, generally referred to as HAIETMOBA – the mind is inclined in a very specific way towards the way the body feels and how we, as an individual physical body, are experiencing the world at this very moment. It’s a powerful method when used correctly and the acronym makes it easy to remember, but it’s basically just a way of turning attention towards the sense doors.

    Another aspect of AF practice is the dismantling of belief systems and what’s referred to as the “social identity”. By exploring how certain sensate experiences give rise to certain emotional states, one begins to see how deeply held beliefs and assumptions about the nature of reality are often false and lead to negative emotional states. Through taking all emotional experiences to bits, you can see how each has the same basic ‘flavour’ and how certain perceptual processes ‘colour’ them to be pleasant, unpleasant or neutral. It’s almost a sort of self-psychotherapy and can be very intense, but ultimately worthwhile.

    Something almost Tantric about AF is the emphasis on experiencing all sensate experience as pleasant, or focusing on the pleasant aspects of it so as to override the natural tendency of feeling to be positive, negative or neutral. Enjoying yourself is a large part of the basic method too and is actually very, very useful regardless of system. There’s also developing what’s referred to as “naivete”, which is basically a childlike wonder and sense of newness which occurs during the PCE and once this is established as the baseline. This is quite unique to AF as far as I know, but is a lot of fun to work with and does incline the mind towards experiencing in that way.

    As I think about this, which I haven’t done for quite some time, I’m laughing at how simple a system of techniques this is for how amazing the outcome is. But at the same time, I’m kinda sad that the refusal of its founder to accept how close his basic model is to the Dharma prevents many from seeing how close they are to discovering something really special. At root, Actualism is just another method of development but its view is wrong on so many levels that I can’t begin to list them. This is simply my opinion on the matter, having practiced it with utter sincerity for quite some time I can speak from experience but, to this day, I still can’t see how people haven’t figured out that Richard is batshit insane and that his entire model collapses under scrutiny. Not only that, if one continues to apply those same techniques once so-called Actual Freedom happens, the entire thread unravels and the very foundation of it is seen to be empty! It becomes impossible to posit the existence of a physical body beyond its imputation, so to continue to think that an “actual world”, existing “out there” and apart from the rest of experience is seen to be complete ballocks.

    There is value in the basic techniques and mental postures, undoubtedly, but the bullshit and general weirdness of its spectacularly bearded founder ruins it. I could go into all the reasons why I consider this to be so, but it serves no practical value and diminishes the positives that could be gained from skilful application of the techniques with Right View.

    I don’t know if there’s anything else I can add here, I’m doing my usual and going off on tangents so I’ll sign off for the moment and add more if I think of anything useful.
    September 21, 2013 at 6:55am · Edited · Unlike · 13
    Lindsay Funk Thanks, Tommy. I found that interesting. I never really looked into AF that much. You talk about the PCE focus being unique to AF. Here I might have imagined it as being similar to rigpa. No? Am I out to lunch?
    September 21, 2013 at 8:20am · Like
    Dhruval Patel For people not familiar with this Soh and Thusness have argued for a long time that AF did not present any additional freedom from suffering compared to Dharmic teachings...
    Awakening to Reality: Actual Freedom - The Third Alternative
    It is very common to mistake actualism for meditative attainments. You seem to b...See More
    September 21, 2013 at 9:30am · Edited · Like · Remove Preview
    John Ahn Yeah, Tommy McNally, I'm also interested in your take on PCE and its relationship to the whole body-sense approach.
    September 21, 2013 at 9:29am · Like
    Daniel Lambert Would you guys say that the end product is any different than any other full non-dual awareness, with ones first PCE being the same as Awakening/Gateless Gate or Stream Entry?
    September 21, 2013 at 1:13pm · Like
    Soh PCE to me is not stream entry. To me, stream entry confers a direct realization into the absence of any self in or apart from the aggregates, thus ending the view of self permanently. PCE is just a temporary peak experience and does not necessitate any insights.
    September 21, 2013 at 1:21pm · Like · 3
    Daniel Lambert Would you equate "ending the view of the self permanently" to AF?
    September 21, 2013 at 1:43pm · Like
    Soh I'm not exactly convinced that AF is talking about the realization of anatta, it isn't described that way. But the 'taste' of anatta is quite similar to AF's description
    September 21, 2013 at 1:46pm · Edited · Like
    Daniel Lambert I have the suspicion that their description is the problem. I don't see how AF is all that much different in process or end product to self-inquiry. I hear very similar things from the Neo-Advaita movement. His emphasis on PCEs in continual doses reminds me of Jeff Foster's The Deepest Acceptance and the teachings of Leonard Jacobson....scrubbed clean of all spiritual/religious language of course.
    September 21, 2013 at 2:14pm · Like
    Soh Self-Inquiry (Who am I?) has a different result - it leads to I AM realization. Jeff Foster is more towards substantial non-dual (one mind) - he proceeded from I AM realization to one mind. AF's emphasis is on no mind, not one mind, in fact the website has a lot of criticisms on I AM and one mind and efforts made to distinguish itself from them, part of the reason why it sets itself up as 'an alternative to spirituality' which it defines as the 'I AM' or 'one mind' sort of understanding/experience. I have not read too much about Leonard Jacobson but the last time I looked into his stuff it sounded like I AM to me and his approach reminded me of Eckhart Tolle.

    If you're unfamiliar with those terms check out my article
    Awakening to Reality: Experience, Realization, View, Practice and Fruition
    It should be noted that this is not the same as anatta realization.
    September 21, 2013 at 2:43pm · Edited · Like · Remove Preview
    Soh Also, a relevant and somewhat shorter article:
    Awakening to Reality: Substantial and Insubstantial Non-duality
    This is one of the most brilliant blogs I´ve ever come across. Especially differ...See More
    September 21, 2013 at 3:02pm · Like · 4 · Remove Preview
    Tommy McNally I think Soh's done a lot more work on analyzing AF in comparison to realization within the Dharma and has put it far more clearly than I can. I always found it funny that Richard claimed that the material of Awakening to Reality wasn't Buddhist and that he refused to say whether or not what Thusness described was what he called AF. I don't believe that AF, or even the PCE itself, is related to recognizing rigpa as the whole of AF's view is that, with the dissolution of subjectivity, one experiences the word from the side of the object; there's still a very obvious reification of the physical form as being independent from consciousness and the other aggregates. If a person didn't have any insight into anatta prior to hitting a PCE, the experience could suggest that one is experiencing things 'as' the object of consciousness which is partly where I think a lot of the confusion comes in. If one has realized Anatta, the PCE has quite a different level of impact in comparison to when it's experienced prior to this. It's still amazing, don't get me wrong, but it's different in lots of very subtle ways which require close scrutiny of the PCE itself to really 'get'. I also don't think that AF or the achievement of it, whatever that actually is, is related to Stream Entry or can really be aligned with any of the Buddhism models due to there being way too many disparities at way too many levels. There are characteristics of it which could feasibly be correlated with certain attainments within Buddhism, but due to the continued belief that there is an objectively existing "actual world" it sort of cancels itself out. As Soh says, there are similarities with the taste of Anatta but, in my experience, it's not the same development trajectory.
    September 21, 2013 at 5:58pm · Unlike · 5
    Tommy McNally To clarify on what Lindsay's referred to as "PCE focus", I think it's worth mentioning that it's not actually the PCE itself which is the focus. It's more about focusing on the characteristics of of the PCE, using previous experiences of it to recognize that those characteristics are always there as an integrated part of the field of experience itself. Using previous experience of the PCE to fuel practice is referred to in Actualism as "pure intent", wherein one continually inclines towards experiencing the world in that way and with the intent to be "happy and harmless". By aiming for PCE's as a conscious goal, it short-circuits the attempt to incline the mind towards apperception by setting up a desire for things to be clearer or better than they are, which one then ends up inclining towards. It's like a loop of desire; you know how amazing the PCE is but your own desire to recreate that experience is just a mental fabrication. It's not possible to "imagine" a PCE because it occurs at a stage in the perceptual process prior to the formation of concepts, so any effort to recreate or fabricate it will ultimately fail. The memory of a PCE is a tool, but to aim for what you think a PCE is will lead in the opposite direction from where you want to be as it inclines the mind more towards the internal experience.
    September 21, 2013 at 6:13pm · Edited · Like · 2
    Daniel Lambert Soh...yes Leonard Jacobson speaks of I Am and of God. This is what I meant by scrubbed clean of spiritual or religious language. Leonard Jacobson, Tolle, Jeff Foster, Scott Kiloby, Robert Wolfe, and several other "enlightenment teachers" teach small moments of awareness/presence/being in the now as a daily practice until it is an abiding and complete transformation of psychology into a nondual awareness. I get that everyone uses different terminology, but I see no difference (other than a conceptual one formed from outside the experience, or personal interpretations) from what AF calls a PCE and what others refer to as the primordial awareness that exists prior to thought. I also think Richard's claim of uniqueness is more part of the problem with AF than anything else. It smacks of big time ego. Ironically.
    September 21, 2013 at 7:11pm · Like · 1
    Daniel Lambert To me this is like describing the difference between Coke and Pepsi.
    September 21, 2013 at 7:13pm · Like · 1
    Soh It is not really just a matter of terminologies. Resting in clarity is not the same as dissolving all traces of subjectivity (including that sense of a Witness, observer, Self [not just self with a small letter s]) completely into the vividness and aliveness of the shapes and sounds and sensations, without any seer behind scenery or hearer behind sound etc - the PCE taught in AF. I have gone through these phases so I know them by experience.

    In the case of I AM, one is resting as the background Self, space, Witness, Ground of Being, etc. It is seen as the formless Self underlying all contents (whereas AF sees just the aliveness of the foreground manifest universe without any background underlying formless Self). The I AM realization is described also in writings by Thusness in and
    Awakening to Reality: Thusness/PasserBy's Seven Stages of Enlightenment
    I understand very little of what Thusness has said. The path that Thusness descr...See More
    September 21, 2013 at 8:04pm · Edited · Like · 1 · Remove Preview
    Soh Wrote this back in early 2011.

    "First of all, the issue of No-Dog which is I AM as defined by Kenneth, and its relation with PCE (Pure Consciousness Experience as termed by Richard). Is I AM/No-Dog the same as PCE? Is it different?

    We have to consider a few issues here: In the I AM realization, is there emotion? Is there feeling? Is there even thought? Is there division? Or is there complete stillness? Perhaps most importantly: is there Being, is there Identity in the 'I AM' realization?

    Now in PCE, in hearing there is just sound, just this complete, direct clarity of sound! So what is "I AM"? It is important to note there that 'I AM' is not simply an experience of being the Witness/Watcher or a state of witnessing. One can also have an experience similar to I AM yet the realization has not occurred. This is being discussed in the article written by Thusness: Realization and Experience and Non-Dual Experience from Different Perspectives. 'I AM' is a profound life changing realization of something undeniable and undoubtable.

    Those who have gone through I AM realization (those following Vipassana paths may not experience it), particularly those following Direct Path (as practiced in Advaita, Zen, etc, as I did and written in my e-book) will know, in the I AM realization there is no emotions, no feelings, not even thought, there is no division, it is complete stillness, and there is complete certainty and doubtlessness about what is being realized.

    And actually, there is no being either! But as this experience and realization is so powerful, it will leave a very lasting life-changing impression on one's mind, even though one is unable to sustain (unless one is so well trained in absorption such as Ramana Maharshi) such an experience for long.

    And because the mind does not have the right view, because the mind is deeply obscured by the view of inherency and duality, it will cling onto that as a Purest Identity. Because the I AM realization appears to be so special... it will be clung to be an ultimate self. The identification actually comes as an 'after-thought' to the actual experience/realization.

    In reality, what is it? It is actually just one aggregate, one dhatu out of the 18! (six sense organs, six sense objects, six sense consciousness) What is that one dhatu? It is simply a non-conceptual thought. There is no 'sense of being/identity' at that moment of realization. It is a PCE in a non-conceptual thought, or rather, a pure conscious experience of thought, just like a pure conscious experience of sound (neither are purer). However, because the realization of Anatta has not arisen, the PCE quickly devolves into an ASC after that moment of realization, it becomes reified into a super-self, an ultimate Being... especially if one's inquiry is structured in such a way which presumes an ultimate identity: 'Who am I?', which will lead to the realization of I AM. Whereas the inquiry/method of HAIETMOBA does not assume such a being.

    What Richard stress however is PCE in all dhatus (all sense experiences) without identity, which can be 'induced' by the practice of HAIETMOBA.

    The I AM realization resulted from the practice of self-inquiry becomes reified into an ultimate Background of all experience... a ground of being which everything manifests out of, subsides to, yet itself remaining unchanged. Is there such a background? The background is actually an illusion, an image of a previous PCE captured by memory and made more ultimate than other experiences, and reified into an ultimate Self... the actual realization and experience is a full foreground dhatu, aggregate, just like any other manifestations in the sensate field. In actuality, that non-conceptual thought is not any more special than a passing sight, a passing scent! Further insights into non-dual and then anatta will reveal that All are equally marvellous, wonderful, intensely luminous. There is no need to make the set of dhatu that relates to mind-consciousness more special or ultimate than any other, and just as we do not make sound any more ultimate than taste, we also do not need to make non-conceptual thought more ultimate than a sight or indeed even a conceptual thought itself... even though each dhatu and manifestation is radically different from another and arises according to different and various conditions."
    September 21, 2013 at 8:00pm · Like · 3
    Daniel Lambert This sounds exactly the same with the exception of a few concepts. Like Tommy said, different description but same flavor. From a conceptual level they are not the same (like the difference between different sects within the same religion), but from an experiential level, the sensed difference is minimal. It is the conceptual overlay to the experience that is different, not the experience itself.
    September 21, 2013 at 8:05pm · Like
    Soh There is also an unmistakeably distinguishable difference in terms of experience. For the I AM, it is resting as a pure formless sense of Being - formless in the sense that it is not a gross conceptual thought or image, it is not seen, heard, smelled, etc - it is beyond gross sensory or mental images. It is just a formless pure sense of Presence or Beingness. And that is seen to be an ultimate identity.

    While AF says that ultimate identity is delusional, and emphasizes the experience in which in which there is just the scenery experienced in its vividness and clarity without any sense of a seer behind the seen, just sound experienced without a hearer, etc. Nothing about resting in a formless being or Presence.

    It is vastly different in terms of experience I would say... even though eventually the one taste of background and foreground can manifest by realizing that the so called background is ever just another foreground luminous taste or manifestation.
    September 21, 2013 at 8:37pm · Edited · Like · 3
    Daniel Lambert Have you experienced both?
    September 21, 2013 at 8:11pm · Like
    Soh Yes.
    September 21, 2013 at 8:11pm · Like
    Daniel Lambert What is the biggest sensate difference in experience?
    September 21, 2013 at 8:19pm · Like
    Soh In I AM, you are resting as the doubtless Existence/Beingness, Aware-Presence that is also seen as a formless space underlying everything, behind everything. This also leads to dissociation - it leads to the sense that I am not my thoughts, I am not the sensations but I am the Presence/Knower Behind them. It literally feels like you are resting in/as the aware-space/intelligence/beingness behind and underlying all thoughts, all forms.

    In non-dual that sort of strong subject-object dichotomy is being seen through and then by anatta you realized there isn't any Knower at all behind knowns - all knowns are just self-knowing knowns, seeing is ever just the seen and hearing just the heard without any seer or hearer. Everything just manifests and is aware where they are without any perceiver, agent, any separation or distance (there is literally no more feeling of being a sense of an observer looking outwards from behind the eyes). The sensate universe becomes delightful, wonderful, rich, intensely alive, magical, luminous brilliance. Everything is experienced intimately or better yet - gaplessly (no separation into a 'you' and an 'it'). AF is somewhere in that territory but may not emphasize the realization of anatta as a form of realization, their emphasis is however on Self-immolation in which all sense of self and Self is being thoroughly dropped/'immolated'.
    September 21, 2013 at 8:36pm · Edited · Like · 3
    Daniel Lambert Not to beat a dead horse, but what you are saying doesn't sound all that much different with the exception of the initial conceptual overlay that one enters in to the experience with. Both are claiming to experience the most bare essence of reality, but as it seems clear from the outside, both are still colored by a preexisting philosophical approach. In this case it seems to be a difference between a Hindu and an Atheistic/materialist exploring the experience of nonduality from within their own root social matrix.

    That being said, I have only experienced that which is akin to a PCE. I don't want to say that it is the same since I've never practiced actual AF. It does seem somewhat similar to my own personal insight prior to awakening that led me to this path. I have begun exploring the Advaita teachings and enjoy them, but can't escape the heavy cultural/religious influences within the practice. Even Maharshi's take, as secular as it is, still contain religious concepts. I liken this to removing the thorn with another thorn...sometimes your removing rose thorns, sometimes its a cactus thorn. Still thorns, and you're still trying to remove them.
    September 21, 2013 at 9:09pm · Like
    Soh How can the experience be similar at all? One is experiencing yourself as something completely dissociated from forms and thoughts, as just a formless Knower behind all things. The other is experiencing as the forms, the sensations, without a Knower, in the absence of all traces of an ultimate Self, Being or Knower. "180 degrees opposite" is in fact true in some sense. I don't know why you can't understand the difference, it is very obvious.
    September 21, 2013 at 9:12pm · Edited · Like · 1
    Daniel Lambert When you say "dissociate" from form and thought I understand that to mean you experience the thoughts and sensations but there is no personal identification, right?
    September 21, 2013 at 9:15pm · Like
    Soh It means the true Self is seen as totally separated from forms and thoughts, they are different things and do not mix, just like oil and water do not mix. Self is Self, thoughts-sensations are thoughts-sensations, thoughts-sensations are not the Self which is Pure Consciousness - which is behind and underlying all forms but not the forms. Consciousness is also seen as the changeless Source, substratum, container from which forms are manifested and then dissolved into.

    Ramana Maharshi:

    1 . Who am I ?

    The gross body which is composed of the seven humours (dhatus), I am not; the five cognitive sense organs, viz. the senses of hearing, touch, sight, taste, and smell, which apprehend their respective objects, viz. sound, touch, colour, taste, and odour, I am not; the five cognitive sense-organs, viz. the organs of speech, locomotion, grasping, excretion, and procreation, which have as their respective functions speaking, moving, grasping, excreting, and enjoying, I am not; the five vital airs, prana, etc., which perform respectively the five functions of in-breathing, etc., I am not; even the mind which thinks, I am not; the nescience too, which is endowed only with the residual impressions of objects, and in which there are no objects and no functioning's, I am not.
    2. If I am none of these, then who am I?

    After negating all of the above-mentioned as 'not this', 'not this', that Awareness which alone remains - that I am.
    3. What is the nature of Awareness?

    The nature of Awareness is existence-consciousness-bliss
    September 21, 2013 at 9:19pm · Edited · Like
    Soh AF is different, AF is described as such: "

    • Thus the search for meaning amidst the debris of the much-vaunted human hopes and dreams and schemes has come to its timely end. With the end of both ‘I’ and ‘me’, the distance or separation between both ‘I’ and ‘me’ and these sense organs – and thus the external world – disappears. To be living as the senses is to live a clear and clean awareness – apperception – a pure consciousness experience of the world as-it-is. Because there is no ‘I’ as a thinker (a little person inside one’s head) or a ‘me’ as a feeler (a little person in one’s heart) – to have sensations happen to them, I am the sensations. The entire affective faculty vanishes ... blind nature’s software package of instinctual passions is deleted. There is nothing except the series of sensations which happen ... not happening to an ‘I’ or a ‘me’ but just happening ... moment by moment ... one after another. To live life as these sensations, as distinct from having them, engenders the most astonishing sense of freedom and magic. Consequently, I am living in peace and tranquillity; a meaningful peace and tranquillity. Life is intrinsically purposeful, the reason for existence lies openly all around. Being in this very air I live in, I am constantly aware of it; I breathe it in and out; I see it, I hear it, I taste it, I smell it, I touch it, all of the time. It never goes away – nor has it ever been away – it was just that ‘I’/‘me’ was standing in the way of the meaning of life being apparent.

    Life is not a vale of tears." --
    A Précis Of Actual Freedom
    An actual freedom from the Human Condition, surpassing Spiritual Enlightenment o...See More
    September 21, 2013 at 9:22pm · Like · 1 · Remove Preview
    Soh In my e-book I wrote down my journey, and even adviced on self-inquiry (an Advaita) method and also how my practice developed or progressed later on into other territories and insights.
    Awakening to Reality: My e-book/e-journal
    Domo arigato! This updated version has twelve more pages than my current copy. S...See More
    September 21, 2013 at 9:24pm · Like · 1 · Remove Preview
    Daniel Lambert minus all the jargon, are you saying.."Resting in presence, there are thoughts and sensations. There is no personal ownership of the experience, that belongs to Awareness/I Am. There is the illusory experience of the sensate world, but it is not personally being done by the small self (which isnt real) but by the big Self. Resting in Awareness is bliss." I'm not trying to give you an exact theological definition of the Advaita nondual experience, but a common mans view of it.
    September 21, 2013 at 9:24pm · Like
    Soh No I'm not talking about personal ownership etc. I'm saying that Presence is seen as something entirely separated from thoughts and sensations in the I AM stage. I am I (Pure Presence), I am not thoughts, I am not sensations. I am the Witness, the Knower behind them.

    Impersonality can be experienced at that phase with further practice and contemplation, but impersonality is not non-duality, and non-duality is not anatta. There are different faces and degrees of self/Self. In Anatta all traces of self/Self are seen through by insight - always already, in seeing just the seen never a seer/witness/observer/etc. In no mind (or PCE), all traces of self/Self dissolve, albeit temporarily. Anatta concerns an insight while PCE concerns a peak experience.
    September 21, 2013 at 9:30pm · Edited · Like · 2
    Daniel Lambert That is exactly what I am saying, we are just using different words. When you are sitting there absorbing the experience of being alive, you are associating all thoughts and feelings not with personal doership but with an I AM. The Witness is doing it, not me.
    September 21, 2013 at 9:30pm · Like
    Daniel Lambert Because there is no "personal me", everything is identified with I Am.
    September 21, 2013 at 9:31pm · Like
    Daniel Lambert Where as with AF or no mind, same experience (as in reality doesnt change, only our perception of it), just minus any association. There is no personal doer and no I Am. Even the bliss is there.
    September 21, 2013 at 9:33pm · Like
    Soh You are misunderstanding what I'm saying. First of all, no personal-doership is not I AM.

    I AM realization is something entirely different. It is the doubtless realization of yourself as pure Sentient Existence, Presence, Consciousness itself. You can have (in fact, you had) experienced the non-doership and impersonality but not necessarily the I AM realization. Most people from LU generally experienced that impersonality and non-doership aspect. Many later progress into other kinds of insights like the I AM (which I do recommend, and self-inquiry would be good)

    Impersonality (it feels like you are being lived almost by a universal higher power) can be experienced before or after I AM realization, for me it was a month after the initial I AM realization and it matured in the following months.

    Secondly, impersonality is not the same as non-duality. Non-duality is the seeing through of any sense of a Witness-witnessed dichotomy. The sense of there being a dualistic Witness behind thoughts and feelings completely dissolve and is seen through.

    Ken Wilber describes it as such:

    (after a long description of the I AM, he starts to talk about non-dual:)

    But why is that only halfway home? Because as you rest in the infinite ease of consciousness, spontaneously aware of all that is arising, there will soon enough come the great catastrophe of Freedom and Fullness: the Witness itself will disappear entirely, and instead of witnessing the sky, you are the sky; instead of touching the earth, you are the earth; instead of hearing the thunder, you are the thunder. You and the entire Kosmos because One Taste – you can drink the Pacific Ocean in a single gulp, hold Mt. Everest in the palm of your hand; supernovas swirl in your heart and the solar system replaces your head…

    You are One Taste, the empty mirror that is one with any and all objects that arise in its embrace, a mindlessly vast translucent expanse: infinite, eternal, radiant beyond release. And you… are… That…

    So the primary Cartesian dualism – which is simply the dualism between… in here and out there, subject and object, the empty Witness and all things witnessed – is finally undone and overcome in nondual One Taste. Once you actually and fully contact the Witness, then – and only then – can it be transcended into radical Nonduality, and halfway home becomes fully home, here in the ever-present wonder of what is…

    And so how do you know that you have finally and really overcome the Cartesian dualism? Very simple: if you really overcome the Cartesian dualism, then you no longer feel that you are on this side of your face looking at the world out there. There is only the world, and you are all of that; you actually feel that you are one with everything that is arising moment to moment. You are not merely on this side of your face looking out there. “In here” and “out there” have become One Taste with a shuddering obviousness and certainty so profound it feels like a five-ton rock just dropped on your head. It is, shall we say, a feeling hard to miss.

    At that point, which is actually your ever-present condition, there is no exclusive identity with this particular organism, no constriction of consciousness to the head, a constriction that makes it seem that “you” are in the head looking at the rest of the world out there; there is no binding of attention to the personal bodymind: instead, consciousness is one with all that is arising – a vast, open, transparent, radiant, infinitely Free and infinitely Full expanse that embraces the entire Kosmos, so that every single subject and every single object are erotically united in the Great Embrace of One Taste. You disappear from merely being behind your eyes, and you become the All, you directly and actually feel that your basic identity is everything that is arising moment to moment (just as previously you felt that your identity was with this finite, partial, separate, mortal coil of flesh you call a body). Inside and outside have become One Taste. I tell you, it can happen just like that!
    Awakening to Reality: Some Writings on Non-duality by Ken Wilber
    And so the typical structure of experience is like a punch in the face. The ordi...See More
    September 21, 2013 at 9:48pm · Edited · Like · 1 · Remove Preview
    Soh And Anatta is also not just non-dual as described above... but suffice for now.
    September 21, 2013 at 9:37pm · Like
    Soh "Where as with AF or no mind, same experience (as in reality doesnt change, only our perception of it), just minus any association. There is no personal doer and no I Am. Even the bliss is there."

    Yes in AF there is no personal doer and no background I Am, but more than that there is the direct experience of the radiance, the luminosity, the aliveness AS all the sensations in its directness, immediacy, clarity, gaplessness (no separation whatsoever), no sense of a seer behind the scenery. Not just 'things happening without doership' but no sense of a observer apart from what's observed, everything is felt as clarity without distance and without a center.

    Reality is always already empty of any self/Self but it is tinted by our views and tendencies. Imagine wearing a purple tinted sunglass, you'll see the world as purple. That is how our view actually manifest or shape as our experience and clinging. It is not just a matter of concepts - even in non-conceptual state, that latent view, tendencies, and ignorance continue to veil and mould and shape our experience. It is like a powerful magical spell hypnotizing us into seeing reality in a certain manner. It can only be penetrated via deep wisdom and insights.
    September 21, 2013 at 9:50pm · Edited · Like · 1
    Daniel Lambert "no sense of a observer apart from what's observed, everything is felt in clarity without distance and without a center." This is probably what is confusing me. Most of the modern teachers of Advaita (maybe this is a major differentiation between old and new) express a very similar position but with an addendum..."no sense of a observer apart from what's observed, everything is felt in clarity without distance and without a the Absolute which is and permeates everything." As I understand it, while the Advaita teachings talk of an Absolute or an I Am in somewhat the pantheistic sense of it being the totality of reality and not something separate yet not the same all at once. Again...this to me seems like religious language to describe the insight of the unknown and not necessarily in contradiction with AF. This is exactly the reason why AF got their pantys in a wad when everyone said there wasn't that much of a difference between AF and Dharmic practices. To me the only difference is that one is displacing personal doership to the I Am and the other is saying there is no doer. Both are experiencing the same reality, just with different conceptual overlays.

    In the I Am experience, one does not experience the bliss of sensations (regardless of who owns the experience) as in AF?
    September 21, 2013 at 9:57pm · Like
    Daniel Lambert Btw...isn't it great that we can seemingly disagree yet learn so much from one another? Discussions like this usually turn into verbal flame wars on most other parts of the Internet.
    September 21, 2013 at 10:06pm · Unlike · 2
    Soh "Again...this to me seems like religious language to describe the insight of the unknown and not necessarily in contradiction with AF. "

    No not exactly, in my experience, there is a difference in insight that led to the difference between substantial and insubstantial non-dualism as described in my article which I posted there

    It is not a matter of language. For example at the substantial non-dual phase you really see Consciousness as the changeless and independent Subject which is nonetheless inseparable from everything due to the non-division of the perceiver/perceiving/perceived (but not the same as seeing there is really no perceiver or perceiving besides perception). However in anatta, that very non-dual consciousness or Subject is itself deconstructed into mere manifestation, the instances of consciousness that is manifesting with the sense doors. There is no changeless, independent consciousness, only everchanging manifestation. The very framework of an 'Absolute and Relative' is also seen through when there is no consciousness besides the sound, sight/scenery, sensation, etc. This leads to the dissolving of all traces of Self and clinging to a non-dual awareness as some ultimate ground. Hereafter there is no tracing back to or resting in a Source, there is only being authenticated in total exertion as pure manifestation and activity.

    "This is exactly the reason why AF got their pantys in a wad when everyone said there wasn't that much of a difference between AF and Dharmic practices."

    First of all there are many differences between AF and Buddhadharma itself, albeit some similarities. Secondly, 'Dharma' is any systems that seek to alleviate suffering and afflictions, seek freedom by realizing the nature of things - and that includes non-Buddhist systems like Vedanta and Samkhya, etc, including AF itself - however 'Buddhadharma' is a particular system of Dharma that has a specific view of what the nature of things is, and what that freedom and liberation entails, in accord with the Buddha's teachings.

    AF made many right notes about how it differs from the non-Buddhist dharma systems (e.g. Vedanta) in its thorough refutation of a formless transcendent Self or Being. However, the progenitor of AF, Richard Parker, consistently fails to understand what the Buddhadharma is about due to his warped and distorted mis-interpretation of the Buddhadharma (which he rely on very skewed and biased books as references to support his distorted misunderstandings of the Buddhadharma) which I have refuted in my article 'Actual Freedom and Buddhism' but I digress.

    p.s. something Malcolm wrote recently:

    "What you are suggesting is already found in Samkhya system. I.e. the twenty four tattvas are not the self aka purusha. Since this system was well known to the Buddha, if that's all his insight was, then his insight is pretty trivial. But Buddha's teachings were novel. Why where they novel? They were novel in the fifth century BCE because of his teaching of dependent origination and emptiness. The refutation of an ultimate self is just collateral damage."


    You are a perennialist. This is fine, but you do realize that your views are a severely minority opinion in Buddhadharma.

    It is not a question of higher or lower realization. The fact is that the liberation to which you aspire is not one I share. It does not mean I am going to deny you the right to call yourself a Buddhist because you happen to hold views that I consider to be out of step with the primary trends of the evolution of Buddhist teachings. The fact is that the liberation to which Batchelor aspires is not one I share. The fact is that the liberation to which the Pure Land people aspire is not one I share. The fact is that the liberation to which the Theravadins aspire is not one I share. The fact is that the liberation to which Zen practitioners aspire is not one I share. But they are all Buddhists and the all aspire to freedom.

    Beyond that, the fact is that the liberation to which Samkhya, Vedanta, Yoga, Vaiśeṣika, Nyaya and Mimamsa aspire is not one I share. But they are also seeking freedom, so I consider them Dharma, albeit, not Buddhadharma. The same goes with all other spiritual paths.

    We are all alike in that we are seeking truth and freedom that truth brings. But I do not think for an instant that we all seeking the same truth or the same freedom.

    The strength of Buddha's patched robe is that it is able to accommodate such disagreement and so many different point of view of about what Buddha himself meant when he discoursed about truth and freedom.

    When it comes to tenets, I think Madhyamaka is the most definitive teaching, when it comes to sūtras, think the Prajñāpāramitā sūtras are the most definitive, and I when it comes to vajrayāna, I think Dzogchen is the most definitive teaching. But that is just my perspective."
    Awakening to Reality: Substantial and Insubstantial Non-duality
    This is one of the most brilliant blogs I´ve ever come across. Especially differ...See More
    September 22, 2013 at 1:35pm · Edited · Like · 4 · Remove Preview
    Soh "In the I Am experience, one does not experience the bliss of sensations (regardless of who owns the experience) as in AF?"

    In I AM, one experiences the bliss of formless Being. Not the bliss of sensory experience, the forms and textures of experience.
    September 21, 2013 at 11:14pm · Like
    Daniel Lambert We may not be seeking the same truth or freedom, but that doesn't mean we are not all finding the same truth and freedom expressed individually through each of us.
    September 21, 2013 at 11:20pm · Like
    Soh Well in my experience, truth is very subtle and there are many types and depths of insight into various aspects of truth. There is not just 'one and only final state of enlightenment' but in my experience it has been a journey or refining one's view and insights. Freedom also has different depths and aspects and is related to the different bonds and constructs that are released with various specific insights
    September 21, 2013 at 11:23pm · Edited · Like · 1
    Daniel Lambert Something that has rung true to me is something Byron Katie says...."The Truth is truth to all people, in all places, at all times." This is why we are on our individual paths. This is the purpose of the Seeker. To better see this truth in its fullness. This is my experience. This is why I first started my meditation practice. This is why I continue on the journey.
    September 21, 2013 at 11:43pm · Like
    Albert Hong I used to believe that as well. But then I realized its the same emphasis us americans believe deep down inside. Everything should be american because america is the best.

    When it comes to true i personally believing saying all truth to be the same or lead to the same or has to be truth all the time is superficial and the essential problem of inherency or substantiality that most peope cannot see.

    But its interesting how one arcing intention plays out via the convos we have.

    As a lurker its very fun to see.
    September 22, 2013 at 12:07am · Like · 2
    Robert Dominik All traditions point to the same and it's all just different sets of concepts? People with this kind of attitude are usually not very consistent. They for example suggest that AF, Advaita and Buddhism point to the same. Ok. So let's say that also Sufism and Kabala point to same. Why not Christiniaty? Why not Islam? Why not say that blowing yourself up in the name of Allah or sacrificing humans for Quetzalcoalt has the same outcome as approaches like Buddhism and Advaita? Afterall we are all talking about the same, not? Generally the attitude of "this is all just talking about the same" should result in acknowledging that a person saying "I'm this limited body and result of a mechanical brain that creates consciousness. I experience objects that are external to me in the form of sensations etc." is saying the same thing as any master from Advaita and Buddhism. Just different terminology, not?

    But people with the said attitude are not consistent. On one hand when they hear someone saying: "I'm this limited body and result of a mechanical brain that creates consciousness. I experience objects that are external to me in the form of sensations etc.", they get all wise and try to explain to that person why this approach is not the same thing as their experience and their insight (for example "you are not separate, everything is one" - but many other spiritual concepts are also used). They talk a lot about such concepts and experiences as if they were talking about something else than your regular everyman, your neighbour or whatever. On the other hand when they talk about a certain set of meditative/contemplative traditions they get all "but this is all talking about the same etc."

    Now where is the dividing line between the ideas that are goofy/ignorant and the ideas that really point to this reality that we are talking about? How do we decide that Advaita, AF and Buddhism talk about the same but let's say an attitude of thinking "I'm this limited body and result of a mechanical brain that creates consciousness. I experience objects that are external to me in the form of sensations etc." is ignorant (instead of just being different set of words explaining the same). IMO many people with attitude "this is all just talking about the same thing" decide on this just out of their whim, just based on their egoic tendencies and beliefs about supposed reality. For some reason it is convenient to their projections to think that Advaita and Buddhism are talking about the same but let's say "I'm this limited body and result of a mechanical brain that creates consciousness. I experience objects that are external to me in the form of sensations etc." is not talking about the same.
    September 22, 2013 at 8:49pm · Like
    Robert Dominik The post above is not definitive. In the end I do not want to suggest that the said attitude is wrong/bad. It is just good to explore some avenues and look more closely at such tendencies. This is a hard subject so I don't know if was able to convey it in words.
    September 22, 2013 at 8:53pm · Edited · Like
    Daniel Lambert You should read Ken Wilber.
    September 22, 2013 at 8:54pm · Like
    Robert Dominik How so?
    September 22, 2013 at 8:58pm · Like
    Piotr Ludwiński "You should read Ken Wilber" ...
    Elias Caprilles interviewed by Vladimir Maykov on Ken Wilber's distortion of Buddhism and Dzogchen
    Vladimir Maykov, President of the Russian Transpersonal Association and Board Me...See More
    September 22, 2013 at 8:58pm · Like · Remove Preview
    Daniel Lambert He (and others) have spent years researching all of the worlds mystical/spiritual/shamanic traditions. I won't go so far as to say that he says they say the same thing but that they are different movements coming from the same's desire to know himself. We are our own common denominator.
    September 22, 2013 at 9:02pm · Like
    Daniel Lambert I am not speaking in any way about his personal interpretation of individual spiritual traditions, but his overarching knowledge of spirituality in general. I would be content in not using him (there are plenty of others who have made this same connection), he was just the most recognizable name and Soh used him as a source earlier in this thread.
    September 22, 2013 at 9:06pm · Like · 1
    Daniel Lambert Robert, maybe it isn't that we are trying to say the same thing, but that we are trying to understand the same When we look at it that way we can see how the "answers" are projections of the corresponding root social matrix.
    September 22, 2013 at 9:18pm · Like · 1
    Soh I like some of integral theory stuff that Ken wrote. Also he is able to distinguish four types of mysticism: gross (nature), subtle (deity), causal (I AM/Witness), and nondual mysticisms. However beyond that he still has not described anatta and emptiness. Seraph Tai has written a very nice article expanding upon Ken's model, hopefully he will post it up for us.
    September 22, 2013 at 9:20pm · Like · 2
    Soh Heading to Byron Bay tomorrow. Must be near where Richard Parker lives. lol
    September 22, 2013 at 10:42pm · Like · 4
    Soh Note: the article above is updated. Scroll to the bottom for Q&A

    Essay: My Experiments in Actualism
    9/25/13 4:09 AM

    Reply Reply
    Reply with Quote Reply with Quote

    As I get asked about this so often, I finally wrote down a summary of the thing and then answered some questions about it afterwards based on two emails I received.

    Perhaps something in this will help clarify something for someone.

    My Experiments in Actualism and Responses to Questions - Essay: My Experiments in Actualism - Discussion
    Essay: My Experiments in Actualism
    September 25, 2013 at 8:01pm · Like · 4 · Remove Preview
    Soh Im going to post the piece by daniel into my blog. Tommy McNally can I post your comments too?
    September 27, 2013 at 6:44pm · Like · 1
    Soh Posted:
    Awakening to Reality: Daniel M. Ingram's Essay: My Experiments in Actualism
    September 28, 2013 at 3:28am · Like · Remove Preview
    Barry Ryder Love this thread and especially the original post (OP).Being a slow reader I have read about a third of the first posts in the thread
    I'm am moved as the jargon is simplified clearly explaining the shortened (PCE) and whatnot.
    It is enlightening how various individuals are willing to detail states of being in the Now and as they evolved over time, thank you.
    Did the slow read on the (OP) and it has carried me along.
    October 1, 2013 at 3:30am · Like · 1
    Barry Ryder Actualisation catches my eye, as in self-actualisation.
    Blessed through developmentally speaking in that thought peak experiences have occurred and even when mundane an actualisation is known.
    The term pure consciousness experience (PCE) is a cut into the core.
    When tying that with sensual enhancement it keeps one in the flow.
    Like that journey steaming down, from puddle to river aware of space and enjoying the moment.
    Eventually the big lake or bigger ocean is known the mind is big indeed.
    Some say we merge with the mix, as if all of a sudden we are everywhere.
    That is a sensation of another sort, good to be ready.
    Some say a memory in our brain is in all cells, at least neuronally speaking.
    Yes specialised too yet also dispersed, I suppose holographically it is a way to understand.
    In the big lake in the sky how can we hold intact.
    In the depth of the ocean there is little chance to be played upon by the sun.
    With evaporation what goes up are we all part of that moisture.
    That whole cloud formation with it's interdependence of ocean and air and heat of the sun.
    With rain it starts again - the puddle.
    To have another shot that sensory ride streaming down.
    Some say life everlasting - makes you think every chance we get we encapsulate the water and go all earthbound.
    How fortunate for those of us that have been able to actualise what we know as self.
    Even if it is temporary.
    October 1, 2013 at 3:53am · Like
    Soh In Actualism, what is important is Self-Immolation... a complete ending of any delusions of a self and Self, both the thinker and feeler behind sensations is seen through and ends... and instead of having sensations happening to 'you', one is living AS the sensations without a sensor.

    Without an identity, a Self, there is no one to 'merge with' or 'become everywhere'. Yet at the same time as Richard says,

    "When ‘I’ disappear in all ‘my’ entirety, then being here – as this body only – is to experience now as being everywhere all at once ... but not omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent and all that. That is the delusory ‘I’ born out of the illusory ‘I’. To contemplate being here in space and now in time as being everywhere all at once is where conceptual thinking breaks down. But it is useful inasmuch as one can disabuse oneself of the notion that there is a centre. Then, when the centre is seen for what it is – an illusion or a delusion – it vanishes. Then one understands infinity and eternity ... the infinitude of time and space. Understanding the infinity of space helps the understanding of the eternity of time."
    October 14, 2013 at 10:52am · Edited · Like · 1
    Soh I just noticed today one similarity between Richard's descriptions and Buddha's instructions.

    What Richard said here:


    "There is no fear here in this actual world ... there is no fear in a flower, a rock or in this computer monitor, for example. Only sentient beings have fear (plus the other instinctual passions such as aggression and nurture and desire).

    There is a way to ascertain the validity of my report for oneself: when one first becomes aware of something there is a fleeting instant of pure perception of sensum, just before one affectively identifies with all the feeling memories associated with its qualia (the qualities pertaining to the properties of the form) and also before one cognitively recognises the percept (the mental product or result of perception), and this ‘raw sense-datum’ stage of sensational perception is a direct experience of the actual.

    Pure perception is at that instant where one converges one’s eyes or ears or nose or tongue or skin on the thing. It is that moment just before one focuses one’s feeling-memory on the object. It is the split-second just as one hedonically subjectifies it ... which is just prior to clamping down on it viscerally and segregating it from pure, conscious existence.

    Pure perception takes place sensitively just before one starts feeling the percept – and thus thinking about it affectively – which takes place just before one’s feeling-fed mind says: ‘It’s a man’ or: ‘It’s a woman’ or: ‘It’s a steak-burger’ or: ‘It’s a tofu-burger’ ... with all that is implied in this identification and the ramifications that stem from that.

    This fluid, soft-focused moment of bare awareness, which is not learned, has never been learned, and never will be learned, could be called an aesthetically sensual regardfulness or a consummate sensorial discernibleness or an exquisitely sensuous distinguishment ... in a word: apperceptiveness.

    Then there is no need to ‘dissociate’ ... ‘I’/‘me’ has never existed (in this actual world)."

    reminds me of what buddha said here :

    "What do you think, Malunkyaputta: the forms cognizable via the eye that are unseen by you — that you have never before seen, that you don't see, and that are not to be seen by you: Do you have any desire or passion or love there?"

    "No, lord."[1]

    "The sounds cognizable via the ear...

    "The aromas cognizable via the nose...

    "The flavors cognizable via the tongue...

    "The tactile sensations cognizable via the body...

    "The ideas cognizable via the intellect that are uncognized by you — that you have never before cognized, that you don't cognize, and that are not to be cognized by you: Do you have any desire or passion or love there?"

    "No, lord."

    "Then, Malunkyaputta, with regard to phenomena to be seen, heard, sensed, or cognized: In reference to the seen, there will be only the seen. In reference to the heard, only the heard. In reference to the sensed, only the sensed. In reference to the cognized, only the cognized. That is how you should train yourself. When for you there will be only the seen in reference to the seen, only the heard in reference to the heard, only the sensed in reference to the sensed, only the cognized in reference to the cognized, then, Malunkyaputta, there is no you in connection with that. When there is no you in connection with that, there is no you there. When there is no you there, you are neither here nor yonder nor between the two. This, just this, is the end of stress."[2]

    "I understand in detail, lord, the meaning of what the Blessed One has said in brief: Seeing a form — mindfulness lapsed — attending to the theme of 'endearing,' impassioned in mind, one feels and remains fastened there. One's feelings, born of the form, grow numerous, Greed & annoyance injure one's mind. Thus amassing stress, one is said to be far from Unbinding."



    specifically the buddha talked about 'in the seen just the seen' by relating it to the absence of memory and desires/fears/annoyance... and relating it with the self...

    not exactly memory but associations based on memories leading to desires
    Selected Correspondence: Sensation
    28], Sure ... for a person living in this actual world (using the word ?actual? ...See More
    October 14, 2013 at 3:07am · Edited · Like · 3 · Remove Preview
    Tan Jui Horng So in theory, if actualism is practiced to perfection you'll kind of be like an arahat without right view?
    October 14, 2013 at 9:17am · Like
    John Ahn AFIK, Actualism doesn't consider any of the benchmarks to arhathood.
    October 14, 2013 at 9:18am · Like · 1
    Tan Jui Horng Yes, but as far as functioning in daily life, what's lacking in someone who's "perfected" actualism compared to someone who practiced the buddha's teaching (especially theravada) perfectly? Would it just be right view?
    October 14, 2013 at 9:27am · Like
    John Ahn Dunno...
    October 14, 2013 at 9:28am · Like · 1
    John Ahn Not an arhat or actualist..
    October 14, 2013 at 9:28am · Like
    Albert Hong Sounds like af
    Is all about cling to experience rather than relying on insight.

    But alas i am just a parrot.
    October 14, 2013 at 9:38am · Like · 1
    Soh I don't think Actualism leads to Buddhist goals despite its similarities.
    October 14, 2013 at 10:22am · Like
    Kyle Dixon Still surprising that actualism reifies an objective world.
    October 14, 2013 at 10:50am · Like
    Soh Yes Albert, I haven't seen any clear description of anatta insight to convince me that AF is talking about realisation/insight. (and of course we do not need to speak about emptiness since there is nothing relating to emptiness in AF)

    The only mention of insight/realisation that seems closest so far:

    "Q(1): Well, I’ve been trained in spatial thinking because of my profession. What I am starting to understand is this thing about ‘outside’. There is no outside to the universe. The whole thinking process is based on there being an ‘outside’. I am starting to use it almost like a mantra: ‘There is no outside’.

    R: If you do keep that going – as a mantra-type phrase – constantly realising that there is no edges, no boundaries, no ‘outside’, you will come to realise there is no middle, no centre. This is what ‘you’ are ... as a ‘self’.

    Q(1): Yes, I can see the ... that’s what it gets back to. If I am thinking in terms of my ‘self’ then I have to be the centre.

    R: Yes. ‘You’ are the centre of your world ... project that and ‘you’ are the centre of the universe ... translated into ‘I am the Centre of all Existence’ ... which is but one step away from ‘realising’ that ‘I’ am ‘The Creative Source’ – as in: ‘I am God’.

    When ‘I’ disappear in all ‘my’ entirety, then being here – as this body only – is to experience now as being everywhere all at once ... but not omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent and all that. That is the delusory ‘I’ born out of the illusory ‘I’. To contemplate being here in space and now in time as being everywhere all at once is where conceptual thinking breaks down. But it is useful inasmuch as one can disabuse oneself of the notion that there is a centre. Then, when the centre is seen for what it is – an illusion or a delusion – it vanishes. Then one understands infinity and eternity ... the infinitude of time and space. Understanding the infinity of space helps the understanding of the eternity of time."
    Infinitude Is The Boundlessness Of Space And Time
    I say yes as it is the obvious answer ... and I can stand fully behind my ?yes? ...See More
    October 14, 2013 at 10:55am · Edited · Like · 1 · Remove Preview
    Actual Freedom and Buddhism.docx - File Shared from Box - Free Online File Storage
    October 14, 2013 at 11:59am · Like · 1 · Remove Preview
    Craig Nichols Soh, AF is not anything to do with anatta insight in my experience thus far. I describe it as a totally different axis of development. We should meet up some time to compare notes since we are both in Brisbane.
    October 14, 2013 at 1:26pm · Like
    Soh Sure.. maybe next month after my exams (13 nov).

    But we can still discuss here. What do you see as 'anatta insight' and what do you see as the AF axis of development?

    Are you currently actively pursuing the AF axis of development to its conclusions?
    October 14, 2013 at 1:44pm · Edited · Like
    Soh Something in my experience came to my attention just now so I'm just writing a note down.

    After realization of anatta, that insight must be thoroughly actualized in every moment until the subtlest trace of self is completely dissolved. The element where everything turns 'magical, actual, alive as the concreteness of forms' that is so emphasized in AF is very important. And need not turn into a materialist view of inherent existence as long as there is right view of dependent origination (and neither can there be any solipsism or the view that everything only exists as subjective consciousness, once the trace of self/Self is eliminated, plus solipsism is in total disaccord with the principle of Dependent Origination). Even if one realizes emptiness, it does not and cannot negate this experience, otherwise it could not be "Emptiness is Form".

    Everything is wondrously actual*, alive and marvellous. Sights, colours, forms, sounds, shimmers in vibrancy and brilliance. The suchness of everything, the wondrous brilliant universe stands out completely with absolutely nothing else (no self/Self whatsoever behind). If this is not apparent then it means there are still some subtle trace of self-sense

    *Just a way of describing that experience, not implying a substantial view of the universe
    October 14, 2013 at 5:38pm · Edited · Like · 3
    Daniel Lambert Is it possible that it is not the passions that are not functioning but the associated thought structures instinctually associated with them? It would seem those thought structures would be equally as entrenched if not more so than the sense of self, which arguably may have come later. The study of Epigenetics might also shed some light on this. It contends that switches for our genetic markers (the store banks for instinctual passions) can be turned on and off, rendering certain traits dormant.
    October 14, 2013 at 11:03pm · Like
    Daniel Lambert These epigenes can be turned on and off by environmental in rats who are denied physical comfort as a newborn showed changes to genetics that led to aggressive behaviour and vice versa for rats who had physical stimulation as children, they showed genetic markers for a docile nature. It wouldn't be too far fetched to say that these changes in daily practice couldn't change ones biological instincts.
    October 14, 2013 at 11:08pm · Like
    Daniel Lambert personal practice seems to be very similar to what OP describes, but I frame it slightly differently. I would say that my instinctual passions are very much still there, but they are no more prevalent than any other phenomena or sensation. There is a joy in them so to speak.
    October 14, 2013 at 11:25pm · Like · 1
    Robert Dominik <- A relevant thread on DhO. It's worth refreshing. Apart from Actualism the discussion revolves around neuroscience, Buddhism, other traditions and western philosophy, linguistics, academic writing, scientific methodology, quantum mechanics and pretty much everything (mostly in its later stages). Some of the posts are quite HQ (one could judge from the above descriptions that it will be some really bad mixture but it is actually quite an interesting thread worth reading). Also I would like to recommend the posts of the user Omega Point. They're very long but quite nice and bring up vary many issues worth discussing. Anyway I recommend this thread to the newcommers in this group who aren't familiar with DhO - RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho - Discussion
    RE: my thoughts on actual freedom and the dho
    October 22, 2013 at 6:53am · Edited · Like · 1 · Remove Preview
    Robert Dominik Hahaha look who's in the pic
    October 22, 2013 at 8:26am · Like
    Soh Hi [name redacted], the part you quoted (on Ken Wilber) is One Mind, not anatta. There is not yet the complete deconstruction and elimination of all traces of Subjectivity, or the realization of anatta. This is why I said I have gone through those stages, and also *gone beyond* or realized more than that.

    Please understand that when I quote people, it need not be reflective of my current understanding and experience but may be a stage I have been through. I posted something by Jackson Peterson in my blog recently but his understanding is also not anatta, but one mind~no mind

    I quoted it because it is a refinement of view from the dualistic I AM. Still, it is not anatta, the unity or inseparability of a Subject with object is not anatta. In anatta there is no subject/object unity, there is no Self being inseparable from its manifestation, there is just manifestation without self/Self
    October 22, 2013 at 11:47am · Edited · Like
    Soh "[message redacted]"

    Buddhism does not advocate a Subject in any way. Awareness or what Richard calls "consciousness" is not denied but not in any way subjectified. Consciousness manifests according to sense organs and sense objects. i.e. eye + visual object is necessary for visual consciousness, ear and sound for auditory consciousness etc
    October 22, 2013 at 11:39am · Edited · Like
    Craig Nichols The 180 degrees different thing is an interesting one. I resented the notion for years haha, but recently I've grasped the difference (during my back and forth view swapping exercise) and now I will happy agree that actualism is indeed 180 degrees different ... markedly different from everything else out there that I've otherwise come across.
    October 22, 2013 at 11:43am · Like · 1
    Soh "[redacted message]"

    There is absolutely no feeling Being in Nirvana. Nirvana is stated by Buddha to be the "cessation of being" (Buddha: "With the cessation of my clinging comes cessation of being"). Also, Nirvana is defined as "bliss" but it is not at all a "bliss" that people usually understand it. Bliss of nirvana in Buddhism is defined as simply the ease and freedom from having released all burdens, clinging, suffering, afflictions (passion, aggression, delusion).

    "In AN 9.34, the venerable Sariputta exclaims: "Nibbana is happiness, friend; Nibbana is happiness, indeed!" The monk Udayi then asked: "How can there be happiness when there is no feeling?" The venerable Sariputta replied: "Just this is happiness, friend, that therein there is no feeling.""
    October 22, 2013 at 11:46am · Edited · Like · 2
    Soh In Buddhism, there is no "I am the All" or "I become the All". There is no "I am" (other than a deluded imputation and conceit that is eradicated upon liberation). All is just an abstraction, a conventional label. What is the basis of what is conventionally imputed as "all"?

    ""Monks, I will teach you the All. Listen & pay close attention. I will speak."

    "As you say, lord," the monks responded.

    The Blessed One said, "What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. [1] Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range.""
    October 22, 2013 at 12:39pm · Edited · Like · 1
    Soh Ken Wilber's understanding of "one taste" that I quoted is reflective of Advaita Vedanta, not the Buddhadharma.
    October 22, 2013 at 11:53am · Like · 1
    Soh Richard's understanding of the Buddhadharma is absolutely distorted. He is confusing the Advaita sort of understanding with Buddhadharma by equating them. He is misunderstanding what "Nirvana" in Buddhism means by conflating Nirvana with some sort of deathless Self, a concept totally foreign to the Buddha's teaching.

    One should rely on the Buddha's words and not Richard's distorted opinions when trying to understand what the Buddhadharma is about.
    October 22, 2013 at 12:04pm · Like
    Soh This is part of the reason why I wrote a document "Actual Freedom and Buddhism" to refute these distortions by Richard:
    Actual Freedom and Buddhism.docx - File Shared from Box - Free Online File Storage
    October 22, 2013 at 12:05pm · Like · Remove Preview
    Soh Take care and be well!
    October 22, 2013 at 12:09pm · Like · 3
    Robert Dominik "[redacted message]" <- You think so? People are entitled to their opinions. Richard might be to his and it could a waste of Soh's time. But who knows. Obviously even Buddha Shakyamuni himself couldn't prevent all the people he met from having a distorted or limited view of his teachings.
    October 29, 2013 at 8:46am · Edited · Like
    Soh [redacted name] I have already produced many scriptural quotes in my backing that refutes the misconception that buddhism teaches the existence of a disembodied soul that reincarnates. Rebirth does not require a soul, self or Self and is a purely causal process. Read my document its all already there.
    October 29, 2013 at 2:20pm · Like
    Soh If Richard would be able to refute what I wrote easily he would have done so on his own accord. I find no need to engage him
    October 29, 2013 at 2:23pm · Like
    John Ahn I really really don't understand this exchange. Richard doesn't teach Buddhism, he teaches what he calls Actual Freedom. Soh shares his understanding of Buddhism and is a Buddhist. Richard and Soh have different interpretations of Buddhism. Are we debating whether Actualism is more true than Buddhism? Or that the results of Actualism is better than Buddhism? Is this a debate about whether Richard is MORE enlightened than the Buddha?
    October 29, 2013 at 2:47pm · Like
    John Ahn Should Soh go on every spiritual forum and proselytize? I mean, some Christians think people who do yoga worship the devil.
    October 29, 2013 at 2:50pm · Like
    John Ahn And what makes you so certain that your current scope of perception has the ability to know the "facts?"
    October 29, 2013 at 2:53pm · Like
    John Ahn No but you said you are looking for facts. If one is not certain whether or not their current mode of perception is capable enough to discern what is true or not, how can this person go and look for "facts" in the first place?
    October 29, 2013 at 2:59pm · Like
    John Ahn This is like someone who is deaf trying to listen to a harmony without considering how to hear sound.
    October 29, 2013 at 3:00pm · Like
    John Ahn I think you mean the intellect.
    October 29, 2013 at 3:00pm · Like
    John Ahn You mean you are writing and reading all this language without using your "head"?
    October 29, 2013 at 3:01pm · Like
    John Ahn You don't use intelligence but only the senses???
    October 29, 2013 at 3:02pm · Like
    John Ahn The mode of perception you are using to sort out whats fact and whats not fact is basically your intelligence, which is basically memory + analytic ability. It means you have enough confidence in your current level of intelligence to determine whether Richard is correct, Buddhism is correct, Soh is correct, etc.
    October 29, 2013 at 3:11pm · Like
    John Ahn And what if you determined Richard is more correct than Buddhism, or whether Soh is more correct than Richard. Would it indicate in any way that you have understood (if we take the case with Soh) everything at the level of Soh's current state of being? Probably not, just as determining Richard is more correct does not in anyway put you in Richard's state of AF.
    October 29, 2013 at 3:14pm · Like
    John Ahn I'm saying you have really insufficient means in this inquiry to determine whether Richard is right, or Soh is right, or the Buddha is right. And coming to a conclusion in this way to determine "facts," in order to decide which to practice or follow is detrimental to what you've been saying about not wanting to believe in things anymore.
    October 29, 2013 at 3:22pm · Like · 1
    Soh "[redacted message]"

    I distinguish "personal self" from the "transpersonal Self" that is seen as the "ground of being" or "source of everything". I also pointed out that all these identifications of self/Self have no place at all in Buddhism, Buddhadharma aims to realize, deconstruct, and eliminate all such identifications. To start off we realize anatta and see that there is absolutely no self whatsoever (not just personality), no hearer, seer, smeller, taster, thinker, feeler, apart from felt sensations, sights, sounds and so forth.

    Latent tendencies towards afflictions/emotions, as I stated, are eliminated when all traces of self/Self in all its faces are seen through, deconstructed, and eliminated via wisdom-insight.

    Secondly there is a reason why I do not call it "feeling I". As I stated in my document:

    When feelings arise, so do 'I'

    Even though Richard clearly sees anatta, there are subtle differences. While actual freedom says that the 'I' inevitably arises with feelings, in Buddhism we stress on the insight and realization of anatta. Which is that there never was an 'I' to begin with. Be it scenery, thoughts or feelings - whatever arise arises without an agent or feeler. Whereas the cause of 'I' in actualism is feelings, in buddhism we see that the cause of 'I' lies in ignorance and false views. Therefore in Buddhism the emphasis is on realizing anatta and developing the view and experience of dependent origination. That is, things exist (are defined) not by their essence but by their "interconnectedness". While we see an end to afflictions we do not see any ultimate states... From feelings to sound etc, all are anatta and arise without an agent, being, feeler, thinker, hearer, etc. Though it should be noted that an initial insight of anatta does not mean end of afflictions and emotions (initial insight = Buddha's Sotapanna, though commonly equated to be MTCB's fourth-path). That is a 'further step' from the initial realization, as indicated in my document.
    October 29, 2013 at 3:35pm · Edited · Like
    John Ahn I missed this edit: "we're looking for the sincere reasons for why we say what we say and do (or don't do) what we do for the benefit of "this body, that body and everybody." This is like saying you are looking for omniscient knowledge of the Universe! Wow! Like tomorrow suddenly with a handful of data you can all at once know the reasons and workings of life! And not just that, it has to be beneficial for everyone! And what exactly is the available support for this journey? Elementary research papers in neuroscience? A field of vast contradictions and so rudimentary knowledge that we do not even know how memory works? The ability of someone like Richard to eliminate feeling and sense of self?? Does one man's capability to do that suddenly qualify him as someone with knowing the "reasons" of humanity and the nature of our very aliveness? I really really don't think so.
    October 29, 2013 at 3:38pm · Like
    Soh "[redacted message]"

    That's like some kids asking you to fight them and when you refuse, they say "you're just chicken". Actually you just can't be bothered to fight them, even when you know you're going to win. Just like I can't be bothered to engage with Richard, at this moment, though he is welcome to read and comment on my document on his site and if he does, I will also read and comment... etc etc.

    "your texts come from Sanskrit terms that have too many possible interpretations. too nebulous. not definitive enough. no one's proved Richard wrong because they can't and you knew it even when you had the opportuntity Lol!."

    No they come from Pali terms. The texts are clear cut and does not require interpretation. Any extra interpretations, like what Richard is doing, is bound to lead to misunderstandings. This however does not prevent many people with agendas (like Dark Zen) that purposely falsely translate the scriptures to suit their agenda. Of course, this is the minority and the mainstream Buddhist community do not recognise such translations. Unfortunately I have seen in some instances, Richard using completely unreliable sources of texts that has agendas.

    It is best to rely on the reliable, accurate, trustworthy and well known translations like those of Bhikkhu Bodhi. I love those translations, like those two books I posted on Majjhima Nikaya and Samyutta Nikaya - those are by Bhikkhu Bodhi.
    October 29, 2013 at 3:44pm · Edited · Like · 1
    Soh "[redacted message]"

    From "Actual Freedom and Buddhism":

    "In hearing there is always only interdependently originated (along with the ear, stick, bell, hitting, air, ears, etc, i.e. the entire universe coming together as this very manifestation) sound which is of itself vividly present and clear, without a hearer/feeler – hence there is no denial of sound, only that the “I hear sound” is an illusion. Similarly, there is no denial of the process/phenomena of rebirth in Buddhism, but the notion that a self/Self/soul is being reborn is an illusion. Rebirth is simply any kind other kind of phenomena, like sound, sight, thoughts, etc. All are happening according to Dependent Origination without a need for a Soul.

    Hence, the issue of ‘soul’ and the issue of ‘rebirth’ are two separate things: you can believe in Soul + Reincarnation (Hinduism), you can believe in Rebirth BUT No Soul (the insight and experience of Buddha/Buddhism), you can believe that there is No Rebirth and No Soul (Richard/Actual Freedom).

    Any of these combinations can take place. However, Buddha’s experience with remembering past lives and his insight of Anatta allowed him to conclude that there is indeed rebirth, but no soul. Richard’s error is not simply that he did not remember his past lives and therefore did not believe in rebirth, but it is that he is completely mixing up two separate issues: rebirth, and soul – he thinks that rebirth automatically implies the necessity of soul, but this is *Not Necessarily The Case* (at least not in Buddhism).

    Due to his error, he wrongly accused Buddhism of believing that Buddhism teaches that a soul reincarnates, which is totally false, against the countless articles by many Buddhist masters explaining how the “soulless rebirth” of Buddhism is totally different from Hinduism’s “soul-reincarnation”. He then criticizes that although Buddhism does not believe in an unchanging or substantial soul, they believed that karma survives and therefore karma is the soul. First of all we must define what “karma” is. Buddha defines karma as volitional actions performed by intentions, and there are mental, speech and bodily actions/karmas. How can karma/action be a soul or fixed self or identity when karma is simply a stream of insubstantial volitional phenomena rolling on in the very same way as thoughts and sounds and sights are a stream of insubstantial and impermanent sensations rolling on according to dependent origination without a doer/recipient/feeler and does not even stay the same for even a moment? Just because you can remember an event yesterday, does that imply that there is a soul? No! Just because you have a habit to smoke and this habit continues day by day, does that mean that there is a continuous soul? The fact that you can remember yesterday means there are some imprints and tendencies and these karmic tendencies and propensities continue to play and affect our lives moment to moment, but none of them implies a soul or a self!

    In Buddhism, you cannot say that you are the same person/soul you are one hour ago, one day ago, or one year ago, and neither can you say that you are a different person. Both ‘same’ and ‘different’ implies that there is an entity: a self/Self/soul that can remain the same or different. In Buddhism, there is no eternality, only timeless continuity (timeless as in vividness in present moment but change and continue like a wave pattern). There is no changing thing, only change. In actuality, there is simply an ever-changing stream of ever-fresh (Heraclitus: you cannot step into the same river twice, for fresh waters are ever flowing in upon you.) action and sensation showing up moment by moment without a doer nor a soul/feeler. That there are seemingly predictable patterns that keep showing up simply means (karmic) tendencies and nothing else.

    In short: Rebirth is simply a stream of arisings (the meaning of ‘re-birth’) that is the continuity of a process but not the continuity or passing on of a self-entity – in the same way that the fact that when I wake up today I still remember what ‘I’ did yesterday is a testimony to a continuity of a selfless process, and not the passing on of a self-entity or soul."

    (Note: karma/karmic simply means: volitional action)
    October 29, 2013 at 4:11pm · Edited · Like · 1

    You have talked a lot about rebirth but is there any proof that we are reborn when we die?

    Not only is there scientific evidence to support the Buddhist belief in rebirth, it is the only after-life theory that has any evidence to support it. There is not a scrap of evidence to prove the existence of heaven and of course evidence of annihilation at death must be lacking. But during the last 30 years parapsychologists have been studying reports that some people have vivid memories of their former lives. For example, in England, a 5 year-old girl said she could remember her "other mother and father" and she talked vividly about what sounded like the events in the life of another person. Parapsychologists were called in and they asked her hundreds of questions to which she gave answers. She spoke of living in a particular village in what appeared to be Spain, she gave the name of the village, the name of the street she lived in, her neighbors' names and details about her everyday life there. She also fearfully spoke of how she had been struck by a car and died of her injuries two days later. When these details were checked, they were found to be accurate. There was a village in Spain with the name the five-year-old girl had given. There was a house of the type she had described in the street she had named. What is more, it was found that a 23-year-old woman living in the house had been killed in a car accident five years before. Now how is it possible for a five year- old girl living in England and who had never been to Spain to know all these details? And of course, this is not the only case of this type. Professor Ian Stevenson of the University of Virginia's Department of Psychology has described dozens of cases of this type in his books. He is an accredited scientist whose 25 year study of people who remember former lives is very strong evidence for the Buddhist teaching of rebirth.

    Some people might say that the supposed ability to remember former lives is the work of devils.

    You simply cannot dismiss everything that doesn't fit into your belief as being the work of devils. When cold, hard facts are produced to support an idea, you must use rational and logical arguments if you wish to counter them -not irrational and superstitious talk about devils.

    You say that talk about devils is superstition but isn't talk about rebirth a bit superstitious also?

    The dictionary defines 'superstition' as 'a belief which is not based on reason or fact but on an association of ideas, as in magic'. If you can show me a careful study of the existence of devils written by a scientist I will concede that belief in devils is not superstition. But I have never heard of any research into devils; scientists simply wouldn't bother to study such things, so I say there is no evidence for the existence of devils. But as we have just seen, there is evidence which seems to suggest that rebirth does take place. So if belief in rebirth is based on at least some facts, it cannot be a superstition.
    A Basic Buddhism Guide: Rebirth
    There are three possible answers to this question. Those who believe in a god or...See More
    October 29, 2013 at 3:55pm · Like · 1 · Remove Preview
    Soh Question:
    Well, have there been any scientists who believe in rebirth?

    Yes. Thomas Huxley, who was responsible for having science introduced into the 19th century British school system and who was the first scientist to defend Darwin's theories, believed that reincarnation was a very plausible idea. In his famous book 'Evolution and Ethics and other Essays', he says:

    In the doctrine of transmigration, whatever its origin, Brahmanical and Buddhist speculation found, ready to hand, the means of constructing a plausible vindication of the ways of the Cosmos to man... Yet this plea of justification is not less plausible than others; and none but very hasty thinkers will reject it on the ground of inherent absurdity. Like the doctrine of evolution itself, that of transmigration has its roots in the world of reality; and it may claim such support as the great argument from analogy is capable of supplying.

    Then, Professor Gustaf Stromberg, the famous Swedish astronomer, physicist and friend of Einstein also found the idea of rebirth appealing. Opinions differ whether human souls can be reincarnated on the earth or not. In 1936 a very interesting case was thoroughly investigated and reported by the government authorities in India. A girl (Shanti Devi from Delhi) could accurately describe her previous life (at Muttra, five hundred miles from Delhi) which ended about a year before her "second birth." She gave the name of her husband and child and described her home and life history. The investigating commission brought her to her former relatives, who verified all her statements. Among the people of India reincarnations are regarded as commonplace; the astonishing thing for them in this case was the great number of facts the girl remembered. This and similar cases can be regarded as additional evidence for the theory of the indestructibility of memory. Professor Julian Huxley, the distinguished British scientist who was Director General of UNESCO believed that rebirth was quite in harmony with scientific thinking. There is nothing against a permanently surviving spirit-individuality being in some way given off at death, as a definite wireless message is given off by a sending apparatus working in a particular way. But it must be remembered that the wireless message only becomes a message again when it comes in contact with a new, material structure - the receiver. So with our possible spirit-emanation. It... would never think or feel unless again 'embodied' in some way. Our per venalities are so based on body that it is really impossible to think of survival which would be in any true sense personal without a body of sorts... I can think of something being given off which would bear the same relation to men and women as a wireless message to the transmitting apparatus; but in that case 'the dead' would, so far as one can see, be nothing but disturbances of different patterns wandering through the universe until... they... came back to actuality of consciousness by making contact with something which could work as a receiving apparatus for mind. Even very practical and down-to-earth people like the American industrialist Henry Ford found the idea or rebirth acceptable. Ford was attracted to the idea of rebirth because, unlike the theistic idea or the materialistic idea, rebirth gives you a second chance to develop yourself. Henry Ford says: I adopted the theory of Reincarnation when I was twenty-six. Religion offered nothing to the point.. Even work could not give me complete satisfaction. Work is fume if we cannot utilize the experience we collect in one life in the next. When I discovered Reincarnation it was as if I had found a universal plan. I realized that there was a chance to work out my ideas. Time was no longer limited. I was no longer a slave to the hands of the clock... Genius is experience. Some seem to think that it is a gift or talent, but it is the fruit of long experience in many lives. Some are older souls than others, and so they know more... The discovery of Reincarnation put my mind at ease... If you preserve a record of this conversation, write it so that it puts men's minds at ease. I would like to communicate to others the calmness that the long view of life gives to us.

    So the Buddhist teachings of rebirth does have some scientific evidence to support it. It is logically consistent and it goes a long way to answering questions that theistic and the materialistic theories fail to do. But it is also very comforting. What can be worse than a theory of life that gives you no second chance, no opportunity to amend the mistakes you have made in this life and no time to further develop the skills and abilities you have nurtured in this life. But according to the Buddha, if you fail to attain Nirvana in this life, you will have the opportunity to try again next time. If you have made mistakes in this life, you will be able to correct yourself in the next life. You will truly be able to learn from your mistakes. Things you were unable to do or achieve in this life may well become possible in the next life. What a wonderful teaching!
    October 29, 2013 at 3:55pm · Like
    Soh Other than science, many people I know, not just Thusness, have vivid recollection of their previous life through their practice. But I feel I do not need to mention any details of them since you probably prefer empirical scientific studies - like those of Dr Ian Stevensons.
    October 29, 2013 at 3:58pm · Edited · Like