Hey all, I received lots of form messages, fb messages, and emails. I mean not that many, but give me a couple weeks to get back to you.
[This is a “draft”; it’s provisional, but I’m still asking for real money at the bottom.]
Hello, reader. I claim the attainment of mid-to-late third path, plus psychological, behavioral, and intellectual stuff perhaps not well-characterized by Buddhism.
My, Folding material, as well as some my other writing, were early attempts at a One True Method Transformative Practice. The last major update was years ago, and I’ve more-or-less cracked the enlightenment crank, using a combination of timeless and novel methods. So, imagine what’s possible now.
To that end, I am designing a unified meditation protocol, and I am founding an (ultimately) endowed, perpetual institution.
The meditation protocol will be nearly as elegant as zazen or dry noting, as comprehensive as Shinzen Young’s ever-more-refined systems, and it will be timeless and beautiful. The pith core will be crystal clear. It will stand for millenia. It will be radically new.
The institution will train enlightened-philosopher-epistemologist-healer-teacher-global-strategist-leaders. If you have a One True Method, then that’s a pretty doable thing.
My vision is that the institution will not just fund and train individuals but will also accept “households.” The institution pays you. Just you? Great. Just you and your husband? Great. Polyamorous quad with three kids? Great. Your nuclear family, your parents, and your grandparents? Great. There just needs to be single meditator in the household, but it could be everyone, with funding proportional to the number of people in the household, including babies. And, so, let thousands of new dynasties form. That is the current vision, anyway.
I wish I could post my very early working notes as they take form. But, meditation has at least two failure modes: 1) destruction of health/relationships/finances and 2) charismatic sociopathy. More work needs to be done. Two people, now, receive each update, in case I get hit by a bus. They have distribution instructions in case of said bus, and I will improve the succession plan over time. I hope to add another collaborator maybe every two to eight months. I’m working as fast as I can.
Here is the short-term plan:
Because of the intensity of my research, my finances currently aren’t great. I have sometimes steady, sometimes patchy income. I have a decent emergency fund, which I’ve just started dipping into. And, I have some small savings and investments beyond that. If things don’t even out soon, I intend to source clients through my blog and network, to be a service provider for high-end “subtle healing and facilitation,” for hopefully not-too-many hours per week.
Having basically cracked the enlightenment crank, I’m starting to resurface and I am asking for steady support now. I will use the money for basic stuff as well as legal consultation and travel expenses, for institution-building and interacting with high-net-worth individuals.
Within a couple years, if not much sooner, I hope to raise between $1,000,000 and $10,000,000, to begin bringing in trainees/households, to begin wider distribution, and to start seeding a perpetual endowment.
Enlightened-philosopher-epistemologist-healer-teacher-global-strategist-leaders and their households. And their dynasties. Their Great Houses. A world of Great Houses, taking care of everyone. And epistemological research. And metaphysical research. And neuroscience. And sociology. And computation. And medicine. And wonders. And love.
I want to expand briefly on the healer piece, say, a) leadership plus psychological facilitation, b) psychological healing, and c) physical care. If you’re doing a One True Method, over time, you become really sensitive to subtlety, cause and effect, functional unities, and telos. And that expands your real time, microdynamical affordances. At the epicenter of an expanding wave of deatomization, there’s going to be all these people around you.
Perhaps some of these people will shade more towards peers you coordinate with, and perhaps one or some will shade more towards mutually connective caretakers and intimate knowers. So, for your (a) you’ve got ignorances, inabilities, problems, confusion… For your (b) you’ve got your anguish, terror, disorientation, belligerence, stonewalling, trauma… For your (c) you’ve got your blood, sweat, tears, discharge, piss, shit, vomit, traumatic brain injuries, Alzheimer’s… Humans! How do you deal with the ones you love and the ones they love? Not to mention everyone, everywhere?
Overall, you’ve got your aging, sickness, and death. Maybe we’ll crack open the universe, but, if not, who’s going to take care of you? Who are you going to take care of? How do you want to die? Who do you want to be around you? How do you coordinate around all of this under uncertainty?
Let’s save the world, and let’s have lots of quiet intimacy and joy, too. Let’s be as safe, and good, true, beautiful as we can, for as long as we can, for as many people as we can. Plan for the best, expect the worst. Have a home, save the world:
Oh, so if it is the case that the experience of “I” or self is associated with that which directs attention or the experience of directing (reconfiguring, resaliencing) attention…
Well, for most people attention is subtly “directed” (either truly caused by the phenomenology as such or common caused) by muscles in the back of the neck, the back-base of the skull, the tongue, and the eyes (and I think much more, but that’s the bulk of it)…
And I think maybe what’s going on with the “no self” thing is that the dynamical phenomenological locus causally upstream of the direction of attention starts moving down the body, down the chakras (“yes”) until perhaps it hits the bottom or dissolves completely as something localized or apparent at all.
So as I sort of said in the last post, “you” get to actively and knowingly participate further and further upstream of your thing until perhaps you get to participate in the entire thing all at once.
I think there’s other stuff going on too, in terms of refactoring of phenomenological/representational/planning/computational dynamics, but maybe this is a big part of it.
This post has a dumb name for such an important thing.
So, there’s still reactivity and badness and selfish-asshole-ness, though things are oh so much better on lots of dimensions, and the thing I’m going to describe is partial, but it’s like this:
There’s like the normal “I”, the normal experience of things, thinking, desiring, etc., pretty normal, though somewhat attenuated. And then there’s this deeper “I”, like the place “I’m” actually sitting. And I don’t think I’m at the bottom, yet. But from where I’m sitting-ish, “I’m” knowingly deterministic and continually making one choice after another, and the choices aren’t terrible. And, the normal “I” can in some sense be aware of this process, so the normal “I” in some sense knows that it’s deterministic, more than just intellectually, but because the deeper “I” isn’t making terrible choices, and the normal “I” doesn’t *feel* deterministic, it’s all good. The deeper “I” doesn’t have emotions in the normal sense. (During the lead-up there were times when I felt “creepy-robot,” but it passed. Now I mostly either feel “normal” or “chill-spontaneous.”)
Now, the cool thing is that the normal “I” and the deeper “I” can sort of choose to tag-team and go into “bullet time”, and it takes *so long* for the deeper “I” choices to bubble/stream/make it up to the normal “I”, in some sense. So, in some sense, it’s like both the outside world and the normal “I” have dropped into slow motion. And the consequences of the deeper “I”’s choices can be tweaked/shifted/altered mediately, as they’re on their way up, by additional layers between the currently deepest “I” and the normal “I”. So, if the thing is contingently working well, there’s hugely increased optionality.
So, the system learns to act on itself in an increasingly reflective, increasingly causally upstream, increasingly fine-grain way (temporally and intervention-wise), without freaking out or getting tied in terrible knots.
“I” is just a dynamic fixed point, sort of phenomenologically implemented through saliencing and dimming in awareness; it’s like an nonepiphenomenal, functional cloud, a daemon, a precision-engineered whirling dervish moving and quick-changing through experience, arranging things so itself, this “I” is apparently stable, unchanging, and ever-present. But one can come to safely identify with the whole thing, the whole system, and possibly all of experience, everything in awareness or awareness itself. Eventually the system is sort of laid bare in awareness, it stays mostly still and shimmers, subtle waves move through it, transients and intervals of periodic traveling waves, with subtle and endorsed interference patterns, fine-grain edits, rather than swirling or coiling or tightening or gripping or smashing or crashing, and you are the system, the whole thing, laid bare, all at once. And it’s [functionally-]safe and good.
At some point you come to legitimately and credibly expect good things, in massive part because you legitimately and credibly know that there are truly no more triggerable, fully-engrossing or quasi-overlaid, disregulations, out-of-control-nesses, believed-catastrophic-perseverations-or-vacillations-or-knee-jerk-reactions, nightmares, hellscapes, infinite-losses-or-lonelinesses-or-failures, helplessness-trances, self-crushing, or post-traumatic-stress-disorder-flashbacks left in the system. It’s all just ok and it stays that way, regardless of what’s going on around you.
What’s happening is just what’s happening; and, no matter how constrained that is, that interpretation is held with the lightest provisionality: you have knife-edge-reversible, endlessly-reconfigurable, omnidirectional affordances, right here, right now, and you know it.
Mountains are just mountains, love is love; no gods, no masters, though you might choose to serve.
And you can just do your thing.
This is gonna be wrong. I’m sure there are people out there that have a better dataset and better models here than me. Hopefully someone will show up in the comments or someone will contact me.
- The degenerate state. In this one, the person has managed to practically cut themselves off from something, like e.g. their emotions. There’s always a thin thread back; it’s reversible, though possibly with great difficulty. Very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very tentatively this is more likely to be someone in the Finders Course space. I’m so negative on these guys, and I don’t even know them. Maybe I’m totally mismodeling them from a distance, and if I had more time and was a better person I’d go find out. [Oh yeah, also, memory issues.]
- The phenomenological state. This is like the Daniel Ingram model of enlightenment. I think. All the sense doors integrated, no-self, etc. It is a very stringent, specific something that it is to be like, phenomenologically/experientially speaking. You can complete it, get it flawless. And, everything is just exactly what it is?? And you get to mostly stay a fucked up asshole if you have the right setup going in. Some people will have to work through some percentage of their emotional/behavioral stuff to get all the way. [Edit: And behavioral change here might get filed under “training in morality”][Oh yeah, also, see of course Mahamudra, Dzogchen, I think?]
- Behavioral enlightenment. You arrive at yourself as a baby, go back in time, to your first moments of consciousness, but you’re there as an adult, now. Some Zen traditions and I think Shinzen Young are into this. The A.H. Almaas Diamond Approach people might call this “digesting your history,” IIRC. I think they may get this too. This is Zen Beginner’s Mind, I think–all your crap, all your karma is burned away–everything you experience actually gets registered and used, instead of being thrown away, but it’s not overwhelming. You get massive emotional/behavioral/reactivity changes, all the Theravadin fetters stuff is real along this route or at least highly correlative. And I think this can be completed too.
I think there’s a huge amount of synergy and experientially/methodological overlap between 2 and 3 and presumably if you do things right they’re the same thing. Massive insight into emptiness, etc.
Ok… has someone got a better version of this?
I haven’t worked through this fully, either cognitively or meditatively-experientially, so I may think something different in the future.
A while back, I had at least some (but unmistakable and deep and pervasive and stable) elements of the figure/ground reversal that Shinzen Young talks about, sort of like you no longer identify with experience or the experience of the self, but instead you identify with where experience comes from.
I haven’t deeply and carefully examined this for myself. It might not be homogenous/uniform, and there’s many senses in which I still have a self and am still identified with my self and self sensations and self-concept and beliefs about my self and motivations relative to having a self… But I’ve also lost a fuck-ton of selfing and self-reference and self-significance and self-historical-non-transcedence. So, there’s probably a lot of careful and useful distinctions to be made here.
In any case, when this happened, I sort of gained this deep, refreshing peace, that’s always back there. I can still experience intolerable emotions, and my mouth can taste metallic from stress, and I can’t exactly dip into or reflect on or be as that background as a reliable tool for being in the world.
But something very interesting happened with respect to death. Again, I don’t know if this is flawless, and I haven’t examined my current state very carefully with respect to this. Also, I’m not obviously cycling or intending to rack up lots of fruitions. I currently don’t think it’s necessary for getting all the goodies. So what’s below is provisional.
But, when you blink out or have attended to some relevant aspect of a fruition or have some insight into emptiness and mind, when you’ve tasted true nothingness, or at least have had experience on either side, something becomes ok about death? Some author has probably said this more eloquently—I’d be curious in the comments.
Like, we’re all striving to make everything ok, so there’s somewhere somehow, even in the deepest state of agony and despair, somehow in that is the belief that it’s going to be all right in the end. Even in totally giving up, implicitly that giving up is to get something. (Some philosopher’s have made this point concisely, I think. Analytically (see analytic/synthetic distinction) all (true? representation-based? handwavehandwave) goal-oriented systems are acting on the basis of the goal being fulfilled, even if part of the plan involves figuring out the goal or replanning. Somethingsomething.
Anyway, the nothingness happened. Inside of itself it did not carry knowledge or expectation of there being a world on the other side. There was no experience, no time, no consciousness, nothing. Perfect experiential annihilation.
I was originally going to write that so then that nothingness has to be ok? Has to be completion? Even perfect goodness? Perfect satisfaction?
But, that’s not quite right. My goals, what I want, contains experience, is experiential. I’m surely so dumb about much of what I want. But right now I want profound intimacy, profound goodness for other people, etc.
So what’s so good about the perfect annihilation thing, if it’s not good in and of itself?
Well you sort of learn that the nothingness is pregnant, potent. It itself is not experience, but just on the edge of it, spatiotemporally, is this like limbing of pregnant potency. Like, the void is alive.
And you sort of learn that nothingness gives rise to you in each moment. (I haven’t currently trained up my perceptions to actually be aware of this in any contiguous succession of moments.)
And so, like, permanent annihilation is still like critically bad.
But, you lose your fear of the instant before any potential instance of experiential annihilation. And, I’m leaving so many reasoning steps out, maybe the logic won’t hold, but you sort of have to believe you’re going to come back anyway. You sort of have to believe that there’s continuity. Like, we die in each moment between moments of consciousness anyway (which can be detected with training) and come back as something different.
So like if you get hit by a train and die, is that any different than the blinking out every few X milliseconds?
I mean it’s really fucking different in lots of ways, but something has changed. I don’t know what it’s like for other people who’ve tasted nothingness, emptiness, fruitions, etc.
I want to qualify not being afraid of death. I don’t want to die, but some deep, really significant existential horror has blinked out. (I still experience other horror if I go looking for it or am unlucky, though, less and less and less and much of it is empty in the technical sense.)
And, that horror blinking out makes it possible to turn a really important crank: being able to really, truly look at one’s goals. I think that being able to really truly looking at one’s goals may necessitate solving lots and lots and lots and lots of puzzles. And/but one of the critical puzzles is this death piece thing.
It becomes ok to look, all things being equal, and in potential.
So, I still have to work through all sorts of reactivity. I think, like, I’ll still contort and torment myself and experience sick, hollow, hopeless, time-stopping dread if someone e.g. pulls a gun on me. But now there’s a sense of optionality around that? Of the possibility for mere correct action (up to the training or preparation one has had for potentially life-threatening event X)?
I think it won’t be safe to not be “reactively” “reflexively” scared/terrified/tormented of/by death-in-the-moment or specter-of-death-in-the-future until one has concrete and fully general strategies for not dying that are strictly and universally better than being scared/terrified/etc by death. So like being scared of dying is useful until the mind has something better. Being scared of dying is really inefficient. Instead why not just take skillful actions? etc.
I’m sort of hinting at like a belief now in reincarnation and maybe the above could still be interpreted as me being fractionally less likely to preserve my life in all the situations where one might endorse preserving it. (Would I sacrifice myself for a kid? A life partner? I dunno.) Did I break my brain? I don’t think so, though maybe of course I’d say that.
It’s more just, like, there’s this extraordinary new fractional spaciousness now around death, I can defer thinking about a bunch of stuff because they’re not necessary for doing the best thing now, and there’s this huge weight off my shoulders, the possibility of looking directly at many things that I couldn’t look at before. Perhaps I’m one step closely to just being able to live fully, which includes viciously but ever-yet-more-non-self-torturously strategizing around having a rich, full, good, healthy, safe life. Lots of other moral/experiential/strategic/intimate puzzles to solve, and lots more to think about re metaphysics, death, quantum field theory, consciousness, physicalism, reincarnation, many worlds, healthy eating, exercise, life extension, etc. But now there’s more optionality and my life and my expectations for my life are better. So much better. And it’s been rock solid for many months, now.