Mailbag: What is the correct order of Circuits VI and VII in the Eight-Circuit Model?

Today’s question won’t make much sense unless you are acquainted with the Eight-Circuit Model of Consciousness. Here are two summaries, both of which are worth a read:

The following question concerns a point which is actually highlighted in the Wikipedia article:

6. The neuroelectric or metaprogramming circuit

Note: Timothy Leary lists this circuit as the sixth, and the neurogenetic circuit as the seventh. in “Prometheus Rising”, Robert Anton Wilson reversed the order of these two circuits, describing the neurogenetic circuit as the sixth circuit, and the metaprogramming circuit as the seventh. In the subsequently published “Quantum Psychology”, he reverted this back to the order proposed by Leary.

Edenist Whackjob wrote:

Illuminatus, what is the correct order of the sixth and seventh circuits? Excuse if this sounds aspergery, but in some cases third circuit nitpicks like this ARE actually valid. Antero Alli says that the lower circuits are the bases for the higher ones, so it’s kind of relevant to know whether Neuro-Electric is based off of Territorial or Symbolic. (Or is it?)

Cheers!

No, it’s a good question.

Excuse if this sounds aspergery, but in some cases third circuit nitpicks like this ARE actually valid.

They’re valid… to a third-circuit nitpicker. 🙂

One of the major points of Prometheus Rising is that reality is always modelled. Circuit III is the conceptual circuit, the one that models reality using concepts like the Eight-Circuit Model.

Models are always necessarily reductive (else it wouldn’t be a model). The Eight-Circuit Model is not excepted from its own rules. Each person who describes the 8CM adds his or her own biases to it — included its creator, Leary himself.

My point here is that there is no one “true” 8CM. Wilson had his reasons for swapping those circuits, and reasons again for swapping them back. All I can talk about now is my opinion, drawn from my own experience — a.k.a. “my Eight-Circuit Model”.

Antero Alli says that the lower circuits are the bases for the higher ones, so it’s kind of relevant to know whether Neuro-Electric is based off of Territorial or Symbolic.

Antero Alli likes symmetry, so he says they have to match up. That might just be one reason for why he said that.

I have Angel Tech here under my bed, but only read it once, years ago. However I’ve read Robert Anton Wilson’s Prometheus Rising and Quantum Psychology many times each. That in itself says something — that maybe I think Antero Alli is a bit of a hack. However I should probably give him another read before making a judgment. My recollection is that he was over-reliant on things like tarot and astrology, and ritual generally. It didn’t seem much to me like he had the relevant experience in the higher circuits to be writing about them. In short, I don’t really see him as being in the same league as Wilson or Leary, so wouldn’t actually put his opinion side by side with theirs.

So, now, we just have Leary and Wilson, with them in agreement about the order of the circuits except for Wilson’s departure in Prometheus Rising and with him then changing back to the original order in subsequent works.

Straight from my personal experience, I can say that I believe Leary’s original order is correct:

  • Circuit VI is the Neuroelectric/Metaprogramming Circuit
  • Circuit VII is the Neurogenetic/Morphogenetic Circuit

In my ancient forum writings, I discussed a concept which I called “the kinaesthetic” — generating and shifting the sensation of movement within my body — which I had found could be used to manipulate my own experience of reality in real-time. This is now more clearly understood as nerve current flows (a.k.a. kundalini) and therefore falls under the Circuit VI: Neuroelectric/Metaprogramming Circuit. I turned this on with concentration meditation (which followed just a few months after turning on Circuit V using MDMA). This era also coincided with the sudden appearance of telepathic abilities and the other psychic phenomena covered under both Leary’s and Wilson’s descriptions of Circuit VI.

Ability to manipulate nerve current flows eventually, after several years, culminated in a full kundalini awakening which I described here: Mailbag: Should you trust my advice?  One thing I did not talk about much in that post is that, during that kundalini awakening, and subsequent intense kundalini experiences, I also experienced past lives, the perception of standing as an observer to key events in history, elaborate DNA and fractal imagery, and a deep terrifying connection to the brutality of Nature here on Earth. This is all classic Circuit VII: Neurogenetic/Morphogenetic Circuit stuff.

So, my experience is that Circuits V, VI and VII proceeded from each other linearly as described by Leary. Additionally, another reason I think Circuit VI is the metaprogramming circuit is that you can do metaprogramming without needing neurogenetic experiences (of the collective unconsious etc.), suggesting to me that those are part of a higher circuit that reveals itself through metaprogramming.

My drug experiences differ a little to Wilson’s descriptions in Cosmic Trigger: I found that LSD is extremely Circuit VI (with not many Circuit VII characteristics), and that Circuit VII was bizarrely triggered by the dissociative Methoxphenidine, which gave me past-life flashbacks as an African tribesman and led to me developing my own sort of yoga based on animal forms. The books are correct however that ketamine is the trigger for Circuit VIII (as is the near-death experiences brought on brutally by kundalini awakening).

Concentration meditation and kundalini can activate all circuits without the need for drugs, with kundalini working the quickest but being far more terrifying.

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76 Responses

  1. dominicj says:

    I need to read this book again now that I have a bit of experience with concentration meditation some more of it and what you’re talking about might make more sense. One thing that stuck with me was something like “Nothing quite accelerates a person’s evolution through the circuits quite like pranayama.” Is pranayama something you have tried much Iluminatus? Or do you think pranayama works by activating the nerve flow current (which I may have read) and therefore you’ve got the same results through concentration meditation?

    • Illuminatus says:

      After I got my Circuit V turned on via MDMA I found I could recreate some of the factors of the mental state using pranayama. My driving instructor was an Indian yogi and he used to do pranayama during lessons, especially kapalbhati. I asked him what he was doing so he taught me. Pranayama can definitely turn on Circuit V. I used kapalbhati a LOT around this time to destroy anxiety before approaching women.

      Pranayama can create the mental conditions required for concentration meditation. It can also turn on strong kundalini flows. This can in rare cases result in a “freak-out” with hallucinations and other symptoms of kundalini awakening. It is especially the long breath-holding which does this. I have had an email from a guy who got a full-blown kundalini awakening from doing high-level pranayama (perhaps before he was ready). Just be careful.

      • Chrome says:

        https://www.doyogawithme.com/yoga_breathing

        Are excercises like these precursors to activating the kundalini prematurely? Or might it be safer to continue with concentration meditation and allow it to arise naturally? I’ve read it can be impossible for sleep to occur in same cases of accidental awakenings, along with sounds and smells from miles away interrupting regular routines.

        Looking forward to your Jhana guides.

      • Chrome says:

        https://www.doyogawithme.com/yoga_breathing

        Are exercises like this precursors to a full-blow kundalini awakening? Or might it be better to continue with stable concentration meditation and allow for the kundalini to arise naturally? I’ve read of erratic instabilities occurring, along with lack of sleep from the energy being too intense and sounds and smells from miles away being discernible

        • Illuminatus says:

          @Chrome: Your comment didn’t show up right away because it was awaiting moderation (I get a lot of spam). Your comments now will show up immediately since I have verified you once. I also recommend you install the Lazarus Form Recovery extension in Chrome as this saves your forms so you don’t have to type them twice. 🙂

          As for your question, well those exercises look pretty standard to me. However, it is the TIMING of the breaths that induce the massive state-changes that can be problematic for the unprepared. So, when you are a beginner they have you exhale for, what, 5 seconds? Then 5 seconds pause, then 5 seconds inhale. Or something like that. They advise you of not going beyond this “until you’re ready”. Then you move up to longer and longer holds, like 30 seconds. And they get you to repeat the exercises for longer time periods, too. It is this increase in intensity of pranayama practice that gives sudden large psychological changes which can turn into mania and other things associated with “kundalini awakening”.

          Many of the symptoms of kundalini awakening seem to tie up with the symptoms of adrenaline and post-traumatic stress disorder. So I think a large part of the “kundalini awakening” phenomenon is adrenaline-based. This makes sense regarding pranayama since breath-holding will release adrenaline.

          I am personally glad I had extensive training in insight meditation before I got kundalini awakening — it was this insight training that let me see through the illusion and impermanence of the visions and experiences that presented themselves. Else I could have ended up in a psych ward. Imagine if someone did some kundalini yoga or pranayama exercise and suddenly started having dissociated visions of a hell realm — if they had no training in how to handle such situations, they would almost certainly end up having a stay in a mental hospital.

          So, I advise that people get very acquainted with the teachings of the Buddha and use insight meditation to clearly perceive the Three Characteristics (impermanence, no-self, and unsatisfactoriness) in all things before going straight for kundalini awakening, else they will not be able to handle what they might experience.

          The reality however is that insight training itself induces many such visions and experiences — so it seems there is no truly “safe path” as of yet.

  2. Edenist Whackjob says:

    Thanks much, Illuminatus!

    Not to stroke your ego too much, but I found your writing has an extremely fresh and insightful quality to it. It’s addictive. Get writing on your book!

  3. Rigz says:

    “I also experienced past lives, the perception of standing as an observer to key events in history, elaborate DNA and fractal imagery, and a deep terrifying connection to the brutality of Nature here on Earth”

    I find this stuff incredibly fascinating, can you go into more detail about precisely what you saw in history? Was it as real as normal reality, as if this world had been entirely replaced, or was it just like hypagognic visualizations that are very real, but ultimately still a part of this reality? And what happened to your body while this was happening, did you pass out and collapse, stay standing?

    How did these experiences come to end, if they came upon you spontaneously, I also assume that they just randomly stopped one day too? What changed within you from before the experiences, to after the experiences?

    • James says:

      I think hes writing a book on all of the events around that time, if I remember correctly.

    • Illuminatus says:

      I was completely dissociated from my body at the time. The visions were more real than this reality because they were not filtered through the senses. I don’t know what the scenes were — a battle in one, a cataclysm and people running away in another.

      These experiences are a bit like visiting the ocean but only being able to bring back one cup of water. I can describe a bit more about the experiences but not much. James is right that I will be putting them in a book at some point.

      I will also be writing about “what changed” afterwards. These experiences did have a powerful effect on me.

      • Illuminatus says:

        The experiences took place mainly in the formless realms of Infinite Space and Infinite Consciousness. The main thing that happened was that I got lots of insight — so, seeing sensations at the level of wave/particle (with them flipping from one state to the other) and also them exploding and the universe ending (Fruition). I got another Path from the last big experience. It can be summed up from one perspective as training me to accept death, since getting a Fruition involves letting go of EVERYTHING. But then the universe restarts again. One definition of enlightenment could therefore be an acceptance of the constant cycling through life and death — of all things.

  4. Edenist Whackjob says:

    Illumi, I was reading through some old mASF posts and I came across you talking about “Invincible Mode”, something that happens after a big night of drinking. The way you describe it is that you get very social and cheerful and people start approaching you. You turn into a right-brained person, basically.

    Now, I have the exact same thing – hangovers are great for me. I’m a bit “dumber” but I’m much better with social, music, creativity, etc.

    This is kind of a weird phenomenon, though. I don’t know anyone else who gets the same thing.

    Any thoughts as to what could be behind it?

    Here’s a few other people experiencing the same thing:

    http://www.longecity.org/forum/topic/64835-chronic-dopamine-deficiency-consistently-disappearing-during-alcohol-hangovers/

    http://www.longecity.org/forum/topic/82273-a-big-hangover-makes-me-feel-normal-for-the-love-of-god-can-someone-please-tell-me-why/

    http://www.longecity.org/forum/topic/19072-hangovers-as-a-nootropic/

    http://www.longecity.org/forum/topic/13203-why-do-i-feel-great-after-night-of-drinking-gaba/

    https://www.reddit.com/r/Drugs/comments/3pv2xm/my_mind_opens_up_13_days_after_i_drink_alcohol_i/

    https://www.reddit.com/r/Neuropsychology/comments/3nft27/a_big_hangover_improves_my_verbal_fluency_and/

    Theories:

    – testosterone (goes up after drinking due to some enzyme thing)
    – something to do with methylation
    – vagus nerve modulation

    • Illuminatus says:

      “Illumi, I was reading through some old mASF posts and I came across you talking about “Invincible Mode”, something that happens after a big night of drinking. The way you describe it is that you get very social and cheerful and people start approaching you. You turn into a right-brained person, basically.”

      What the fuck? Didn’t we already discuss (and discredit) your left-brain/right-brain nonsense in the other comments thread? I put way too much time into these replies for you to just ignore them. It is actually the left brain that is more sociable but honestly this is not a hemisphere thing.

      As for the hangover good mood, this is caused by inflammation in response to the poisoning. Sleep deprivation due to alcohol’s disruption on normal neuron function also plays a part.

      Once I fixed my “normal” daily mood through meditation, I have now come to find that “hangover mode” nauseating and idiotic. It was somewhat useful at the time, though. I believe people who experience those hangover days as a “plus” are actually ordinarily operating on a low mood anyway so the neurotransmitter fuck-up effect actually puts them closer to how a normal person might feel, temporarily.

      • Edenist Whackjob says:

        Got it, thanks.

        • Illuminatus says:

          By the way, that “hangover mode” has the same presentation as hypomania. This leads me to believe that the “poison response” is also behind bipolar — meaning that bipolar is a response to a toxin: “mania” of the poison response followed by “depression” of the recovery phase. Under this theory, bipolar could have many, many different external causes all manifesting with the same symptoms.

          And, yes, methylation will play a part, though I need to research that more.

          LSD and other drugs also induce elements of the “poison response”. I don’t think you can separate out the inflammation/poison response from the overall effect of any drug. So, you can’t just isolate the effects of, say, LSD, as being something separate from the poison response, because the poison response is part of the drug’s effects “package”.

          • James says:

            I think you’re 100% correct about mania being related to poison response. I’d often have manic fits after having lots of sugar. When I switched to a low inflammation diet my manic episodes stopped.

            • Illuminatus says:

              Can you post your diet please?

              My inflammation triggers:

              – Sugar
              – Alcohol
              – Wheat or corn crisps (which you guys probably call “chips”)
              – Nicotine
              – Caffeine, beyond 1-2 coffees

              I still indulge in these regularly — except nicotine, which is perhaps the strongest of all these triggers for me, and I am talking specifically about NICOTINE GUM which I used to chew for the buzz (I haven’t smoked since New Year).

              If I have any of those things then my concentration meditation is fucked the next day. It becomes very difficult to reach jhana (and in fact impossible depending on the amount of toxins consumed). If I cut them out for a couple of days however the jhana comes back at full strength. I have begun documenting the signs of inflammation too. I’m going to put all of this in the new jhana guide.

              I still indulge in some of these things because I really like them. Further down the line however I will be looking to cut them out entirely.

              • James says:

                I only eat 1 – 2 times a day. I snack on almonds and walnuts. I take fish oil, zinc, magnesium, turmeric. I try to go light on refined sugar, wheat, and dairy.

                I have coffee with butter every morning, if I’m still feeling slow after that I drink a soda (I assume I’m just having low blood sugar, but im no doctor, there are obviously healthier alternatives to that).

                Pretty much everyday I only have coffee with butter until noon. (again, I’ll snack on walnutes/almonds) and after that I’ll eat 1-2 meals of pretty clean food until about 6pm.

                Lets say I’m working hard and want a healthy meal, it would look like:

                4 cooked eggs, with salsa and sour cream, broccoli and a avacado.

                Rice with red kidney beans and ground beef for dinner.

                From everything I read going light on meat is suppose be good for you, but for me I find I don’t eat meat I don’t function well.

                When you eat food your body has to process it, if its processing good food then its sending good nutrition to all parts of you.

                If you eating bad food, its having to fight that, bad food doesn’t just dissapear in your gut, your body has to deal with it.

                If you go get a glass of water and drink it, its easy. Now go get a glass of water and put sand and mud in it and try to drink that, you’ll have to filter it all out and it’ll be a giant pain in the ass, wasting time and energy.

                That’s what bad food is.

                I do find eating clean can give me an annoying amount of energy though, so like yesterday I ate a giant burger king meal with fries and a soda just to bring my energy levels down… HOWEVER, it was my second meal (first meal was super light with lots of spinach) and I found I didn’t have any negative effects from it save for slightly lower energy levels.

  5. Mayath says:

    Hey Illuminatus, have you ever heard about Upasaka Culadasa’s ten stages of Concentration meditation? I wonder how they map onto the eight circuit model and what stage the tenth stage would fit on the circuit system or if the models can even fit together?

    Culadasa’s got an excellent book called The Mind Illuminated and I think it’s even better than Mastering the core of the Buddha. Where Ingram focuses mainly on Insight practice, Culadasa focuses on a combination of Samatha/ Vipassana to build concentration and to eventually reach stage ten which is Samadhi. These ten stages don’t originally come from Culadasa but rather from Tibetan Buddhism and Theravadan Buddhism.

    What he has to say about the Jhanas cleared up a lot of confusion for me. He talks about three types of Jhanas, which vary in their depth of absorption and which are accessible from different stages.

    Whole body Jhanas are the first to be accessible, and these can happen in stage six, where an individual has eradicated gross distractions, subtle distractions and gross and subtle dullness from their current meditation. These Jhanas aren’t necessary to reach and there very unstable. There really only useful in strengthening concentration and absorption, so one can develop one pointedness. Siddhis and the like aren’t going to happen here and neither are the Formless Jhanas(5-8).

    The Soft/lite/pleasure Jhanas which Culadasa categorises as the same as Leigh Brasington’s Sutta Jhanas, are accessible from stage Seven and Eight. An individual at this stage has developed one pointedness and are beginning to pacify their mind and body. Piti and Sukha is starting to develop.

    The final Jhanas, the Light/Hard/Luminous Jhanas, the ones people are told are impossible to hit, are accessible from stage Nine and Ten and are the type of Jhanas talked about in the Visuidhigmma.

    I think the Hard Jhanas in Culadasa’s system can only be reached by some people if they reach Stream Entry, which he mentions in one of his articles and not in the book. I don’t know if he’s strict about that. His system is Samatha-Vipassana so your bound to have some Insight along the way. These things are all connected anyway.

    I’m not really interested in Enlightenment myself or ‘No-Self’ like the Buddhists talk about. The Dark Night frightens me and I like my sense of self.I just want access to the Jhanas and the cognitive enhancements like Absolutus mentioned in his Ama.

    The book is very long and he doesn’t spend as much time on the Jhanas as I would like but he has a lot of additional material online about them. It takes a bit of searching to find it all. He has a website and a yahoo group called Jhana/Insight. Anybody interested in concentration meditation has to read him.

    He’s a former neuroscientist and he brings a lot of that into his work. He talks about developing mindfulness, attention and awareness in terms such as Introspective awareness and metacognitive awareness. Terms I find very helpful in discussing what’s actually going on in someone’s meditation.

    Right now I’m somewhere between stage six and stage seven which means I’m trying to eradicate subtle distractions and pacify the mind. Basically my mind is 80 percent on the breath and 20 percent random images or thought that are a little distracting. I’m trying to develop one pointedness by using the Whole Body Jhanas.

    Being at these stages( or at least I think I’m at them) I’m also starting to develop Piti, which Culadasa translates as ‘Meditative Joy’. He says there is five grades of Piti and that’s there’s an ‘energy’ to it. I’ve certainly started to feel some sort of energy in my body lately but I’m beginning to wonder if masturbating, sex and orgasming is having an effect of the development of this energy.

    What do you think Illuminatus? I know Absolutus told people that there meditations would improve if they gave up wanking and that if effected the release of Dopamine or something.

    I find his system really helpful because it’s about building skills and not just “focus on the breath, hit Jhana”. He’s about developing Joy and happiness which Ingram doesn’t really focus on at all. Culadasa believes that if someone’s Samatha is strong enough, they can bypass the Dark night or at least lessen its pain.

    Though there is some hardship in Culadasa’s system. Stage Four and Stage Seven have a purification aspect to them. Traumas and other bits of your shit that you haven’t dealt with or weren’t aware were there, start to arise and bubble up into your conscious mind. This can take the form of mild depression, anxiety, flashbacks and other stuff. But this is a good thing because you have to deal with it. Culadasa advocates sitting it with in a manner similiar to the method you mention in your ‘beating depression forever’ post.

    I’m undergoing a bit of the purification process myself right now and I have some free-floating anxiety that doesn’t have a cause and some social anxiety which I thought I beat years ago. I know how to deal with these problems though and I actually feel better when it comes up, because I just treat it with mindfulness and it goes away after a while, it’s just irritating because I’m starting a Postgrad and it’s distracting.

    He doesn’t really mention the Siddhis in the book but in one of his podcasts he mentions having some form of telepathy and future predicting power which is unreliable, so he’s not against that stuff. He also talks about astral projection and shamanism in a really old retreat transcript. He obviously doesn’t mention this ‘woo’ stuff too publicly because of his status as a neuroscientist. He’s also firmly Western Buddhist in his reality tunnel and mastering all ten stages is just about becoming ready to practice Vipassana and striving to reach Stream Entry and Vipassana.

    He doesn’t talk about cognitive boosts or creative enhancements like Absolutus does which is a pity. Absolutus is the only one who seems to mention these things. In your Jhana article will you be talking about how to enchanted cognition and creativity with the Jhanas? I’ve definitely experienced some form of cognitive boost by meditating regularly but I’m not a super genius like Absolutus claims people can become like.

    The nearest Culadasa gets to it, is in the chapter about Stage Eight, the compliant mind, where he says something like ” I promise you will go places and do things with your mind which is pointless to describe or discuss with someone who hasn’t made this journey for themselves”.

    Anyway I’ve rambled way too fucking long. Heres links to some of Culadasa’s articles and PDFs. Maybe you alreaydy know this stuff but someone might find it useful:

    http://www.consciouslifestylemag.com/ten-stages-of-meditation-complete-guide/
    http://dharmatreasure.org/wp-content/uploads/LightOnMeditationHandout.pdf
    http://dharmatreasure.org/wp-content/uploads/jhanas-and-mindfulness-handout.pdf

    His book is the best resource though. His other articles are older than the book and the book is a refinement of his ideas.

    • Bishop says:

      Don’t believe everything you read that makes you feel good. I have found someone under different user names that match Absolutus’s claims word for word sometimes… before he made those AMAs. I do share in the belief that the mind has potential beyond our imagination though. Anyway its kind of a coincidence I was also going to ask a question about vipasana and absolutus and his seeming negativity towards it. I also happen to have just started Culadasa’s book and have similar concerns about the concepts like no-self and the like. My belief is the danger is in integrating the concepts instead of actually experiencing the insight. If my understanding is correct no-self just means our sense of self is just as transient and changing as anything else and never really constant or permanent. Example would be the difference between who you are now and you ten years ago. Im still learning though I just recently got into this stuff. I wish you luck and maybe someone else can better answer your question soon.

      • Illuminatus says:

        Hi both!

        @Mayath: I may do a longer reply to you tomorrow once I’ve re-read it.

        @Bishop:

        ” If my understanding is correct no-self just means our sense of self is just as transient and changing as anything else and never really constant or permanent. Example would be the difference between who you are now and you ten years ago.”

        Well that is a very basic conceptual understanding.

        The actual experience is rather different. In my experience, no-self is a phenomenon that progresses in distinct leaps (known as “Paths” in Theravada). So, there are certain moments when, via diligent meditation, the sense of self spontaneously diminishes. This is not conceptual but very tangibly perceptual. It looks something like this: Currently you have a “you” on “this side” that experiences “events” on “that side”. How I experience reality now however (having gone through at least two Paths) looks more like this: There is a “volume” of awareness. Events arise in that volume. That is it. There is no observer on “this side”; in fact, the impression of an observer is just another event arising in the volume. Realistically, though, for me currently there is some stubborn residue of an observer which mainly appears under certain circumstances (probably my “stuff”). But, for the most part, stuff just happens and it seems a completely natural way that reality manifests. I make very few stories about “things happening to ME”. Things just arise, including my own impression of having a body.

        Hope that clears it up somewhat. I am no means a master, but these stages we pass through really do have transformative effects on our experience of existence.

        • Illuminatus says:

          I forgot to say, to you both: I also had the trepidation of losing my sense of self — that is kind of the point of the Dark Night stages, and I do not think they can be avoided with our current tech. However, I MUCH prefer the “no-self” state. It is far less clingy, to both failure and success. It’s a bit like being a non-stick pan to reality’s events.

          • Bishop says:

            Probably went over my head but from your current perspective is self mastery even realistic goal or just a trap? Where I have my reservation towards the stages of insight is that I have this idea that its about realizing we dont have freewill and basically nihilism.

            • Illuminatus says:

              I think that’s a symptom of rookie thinking. If you got some insight your perspective would probably change. Neither nihilism nor “some master plan” fit within no-self/non-dualism. Those things are just events arising within the volume.

              • Illuminatus says:

                So self-mastery is something you choose to undertake (or not) once you clearly see “the volume”. Self-mastery is essentially a creative act, as are all things. Creativity is not bound by human limitations.

        • Edenist Whackjob says:

          “But, for the most part, stuff just happens and it seems a completely natural way that reality manifests. I make very few stories about “things happening to ME”. Things just arise, including my own impression of having a body”

          How do you reconcile this with eg believing in right-wing reality-tunnels? Are we still allowed to “make stories” (about races, women, leftists, etc) in some sense?

          Don’t mean to sound snarky. It’s a problem I’m pondering a lot…

          • Illuminatus says:

            Those belief systems arise as events within the “volume”.

            I think the thing that trips most people up when approaching no-self is the level to which EVERYTHING is just events “in this volume”. Identity is attached to all…

            But the volume doesn’t care. Stuff just arises. Including right-wing beliefs, or anything else.

            • Edenist Whackjob says:

              What’s your “official take” on right-wing reality-tunnels these days?

              I spend a lot of time reading right-wing stuff online, but it somehow feels “fake”, like I can’t give my full allegiance to that sort of thing. If I had to pinpoint, it’s something to do with E-Prime and how political ideologies assign “is” properties to labels. So, women are inferior, whites are good, that sort of thing.

              So, the right-wing thing seems to stem from some sort of inborn red-pill / heresy predilection, where curiosity is piqued by signals that go against orthodoxy.

              Of course, it’s easy to pick up a bunch of hate and fear from those signals as well, which doesn’t seem to lead to anything good, just low-consciousness.

              On the other hand, doesn’t seem to be useful to become a peace-loving hippie who is blind to eg race differences either, or to ignore ethnic solidarity as a valid part of human life.

              Thoughts on how to integrate?

              • Illuminatus says:

                I indulge this reality tunnel as I enjoy it. I have three links loaded in my favourites which I click into every morning:

                https://www.youtube.com/user/TheAlexJonesChannel/videos
                https://www.youtube.com/user/stefbot/videos
                https://www.youtube.com/user/PrisonPlanetLive/videos

                Some of the Alex Jones stuff is hilarious. Check out this pro-Trump, anti-Hillary propaganda video his team made: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3X1jqxhkus

                That video is both hilarious and gets me all fired up. There is something addictive about feeling this much hate for Muslims, liberals and Hillary Clinton.

                “So, the right-wing thing seems to stem from some sort of inborn red-pill / heresy predilection, where curiosity is piqued by signals that go against orthodoxy.”

                Well you’ve just nailed it. I’ve always gone against the grain, and felt that the herd is almost always wrong.

                “Of course, it’s easy to pick up a bunch of hate and fear from those signals as well, which doesn’t seem to lead to anything good, just low-consciousness.”

                At some point during my kundalini awakening I had the sudden, jarring realization that I am incarnate as a human: and that, furthermore, there is not necessarily a plan for humans to at some point overcome their sorry condition. At that moment I chose to revel in being human, “negative” emotions and all. We’re meant to be tribal. We’re meant to hate the enemy. And, realistically, we are ALL being completely irrational, all the time. There is not necessarily a light at the end of this tunnel for humanity. I think liberals in particular think we’re headed for a Star Trek: The Next Generation -style universe where we’re all running around in pyjamas, holding hands in some united Federation where humans get along even with ultra-savage species intent on destroying everything including themselves, like the Klingons (who are blatantly modelled on blacks). Ferengi: Arabs. Vulcans: High-IQ East Asians with a Buddhist knock-off religion. Star Trek is chock-full of racial stereotypes despite it being the most SJW show ever made.

                The universe has incarnated you as human to experience being human, in this time, in this place. This situation is a one-off. Death will be a transition to an entirely new experience. I decided that, since the point of this experience is to experience this experience, I may as well do it exactly how it presents itself. Thus, my resistance to life to has gone right down; I’ve become that non-stick pan. That means embracing my incarnation as a xenophobic elitist. Humans feel and function best when they stick closely to the parameters of their programmed experience. That means liberals are going to feel right at home being liberals, and there’s nothing I can do about that, except embrace my own programming and enjoy the tribal warfare that humans have waged upon each other mercilessly since this species began.

                • Pat says:

                  That video was fucking cool, I kinda wanna try those supplements they were selling at the end there.

                  • Edenist Whackjob says:

                    This video seems to be some kind of occult watershed: http://www.informationliberation.com/?id=55512

                    Now they are openly promoting colonization. I showed this to my gf, and she was shocked. “There is no way back” at the beginning is just eerie, it’s like the movie “They live”.

                    There’s something totally “off” and occult about that video…

                    • Illuminatus says:

                      And a similar advert, created by the UN, now appearing on German television, encouraging white German women to where the Muslim hijab.

                      A few things to make you feel less crazy by all of this:

                      1) Sooner or later, the K-response will get triggered, and when it does, you will not be surprised to see civil war erupting practically overnight in these countries. It is only the idea of an escape route that keeps people docile — once that has been evidently removed, and they feel their backs are against a wall, that’s when a sudden awe-inspiring tribal hatred towards the invaders will erupt.

                      2) What the media outputs in those countries is not necessarily what the people are thinking. Plenty of Germans already hate the Muslim invaders. My brother’s household was a typical Berlin lefty paradise, until the refugees arrived. Within 1 year they have all been victims of organized crime by the refugees, multiple times, mainly thefts on the subway. People tend to change their mind about their ideals when things start going on in their backyard.

                      I would not even be surprised to see show trials where people like Angela Merkel who organized the invasion are hanged publicly.

                    • Edenist Whackjob says:

                      It feels so terribly… un-enlightened to be swept up by those K shifts. But I can’t deny the temptation is there.

                • Bishop says:

                  Do we even have a choice in changing our programming then? Why should we just accept limiting programs placed on us if we have a choice? It just seems like a waste to do so much meditation just to end up a more content passenger in the universe’s game. Or is this just my ignorance? I respect how you write on here and appreciate your no bullshit attitude.. But Im having a hard time reconciling this with my ideal of going beyond our programing. To become more individual.

                  • Illuminatus says:

                    Yes you can change programming. Then the questions are:

                    “Which parts of my programming can I change?”
                    “How long does it take to learn to change each piece of programming?”
                    “Given my limited lifespan, is it worth the time to learn to change a specific part of my programming, vs. learning to accept it and enjoying life in spite of it?”

                    So you can start to work out a cost-benefit analysis for each aspect of yourself you wish to change.

                    But seeing meditation as just a tool to change some specific thing you don’t like about yourself is rather naive and shortsighted. And you are also under-appreciating how nice it actually is to let go of attachment and be a “passenger”.

                    • Edenist Whackjob says:

                      Maybe a good analogy is imagining one is a time-traveller visiting different periods using a time-machine. Then one isn’t so attached anymore, it’s just an experience to be had (presumably there is some “home” timespace when/where things do matter).

                    • Illuminatus says:

                      @Edenist Whackjob: No, it’s a REALLY good analogy. In fact, after First Path, I was in a supermarket reading the national news on the front pages of the papers. On that day, there was the hilarious news that Prime Minister David Cameron had been photographed in his youth having sex with a pig. I remember seeing myself multi-panoramically and having the clear perception that, “I am a visitor in my own time.”

                      No. You are right with the time traveller analogy. You are NOT right however that this time traveller somehow needs a “home” or “year of origin”. You are a time traveller of ALL TIMES. You are dipping in and out of every experience, ever.

                      Why is there “some ‘home’ timespace when/where things do matter”? WHY? When did this become a necessity for this experience? Look, this need to round things down to some initial purpose is the very human problem I’ve tried to illuminate in this thread. You’re mapping human nesting protocol to the whole universe. Stop that! If you ever come across a human need, scratch it off the list because it’s probably not required.

                      You end with: Experience because experience.

                    • Edenist whackjob says:

                      It was just one of my tangents. I agree that there is no first cause needed. Human nesting protocol – great way to put it.

                    • Bishop says:

                      “But seeing meditation as just a tool to change some specific thing you don’t like about yourself is rather naive and shortsighted. And you are also under-appreciating how nice it actually is to let go of attachment and be a “passenger”.”

                      That is a fair assumption and I shouldn’t have used such a broad term like meditation in such narrow context. My concern wasn’t really with changing some personality trait but losing options somehow post non-dual/no-self insights. I have somehow got the idea that these insights lead to some regressive state. Likely from first reading about it through some neo advaita forum…Confused the shit out of me.

                      What I was hoping to achieve through meditation was more freedom and control over myself and to also explore what other potentials could be possible. Considering my lack of experience I’m sure my goals do seem naive and shortsighted from your position. I’m still learning.

                      I should have really just asked your views on freewill and to what capacity you believe we can influence ourselves through meditation? And how much your views have changed from before insights? Also if you could may I ask a more realistic approach I should take towards meditation and what is accomplishable going forward?

                    • Illuminatus says:

                      @Bishop:

                      “My concern wasn’t really with changing some personality trait but losing options somehow post non-dual/no-self insights. ”

                      Not true. Options INCREASE under no-self — because it is actually the limitations that create the sense of self. One thing you might not realize at this stage of your development however is that this also includes the OPTION TO STAY HOW YOU ARE. When people aren’t happy with themselves all they can think about is how to change. However, when you actually have the option to change, the corollary option that presents itself is the option to stay the same. When that is a conscious choice, it feels really good.

                      Think about if you were an omnipotent being. You set up a game for yourself to play in which you have limitations. The limitations are there on purpose — e.g. having a body, which is a limitation in a great number of ways. These limitations form the “rules of the game”. So, in Monopoly, you are forced to keep moving your pieces around a board and collecting money under very specific rules. You can’t just grab all the money out of the bank (omnipotence). Without those rules, there is no game. Recognizing that, the only question then becomes: “Do I like this game enough to keep playing it?”

                      “I should have really just asked your views on freewill and to what capacity you believe we can influence ourselves through meditation?”

                      Freewill and determinism are both true. They are enfolded. The property that emerges is the one that is assumed at the time. So, if you assume you have freewill, at that moment you will act from freewill. If you assume it’s already decided for you, in that moment you will act from determinism.

                      In a more everyday sense, freewill and determinism imply each other: if you know the past (determinism) you can make an informed decision based on that knowledge (freewill). It is still determinism since the past causes your choice, but it is simultaneously freewill as you have made a creative choice in how you interpreted the past and chose to act upon it.

                      Humans are always trying to say something is one thing or another; few people allow the possibility that everything can be true at once.

                      “And how much your views have changed from before insights?”

                      Everything I’m writing in this thread came directly from insight meditation.

                      “Also if you could may I ask a more realistic approach I should take towards meditation and what is accomplishable going forward?”

                      Begin indulging in jhana literally every day. Insight and self-reprogramming then tend to arise quite naturally from that altered state.

                    • James says:

                      I had come to the same conclusion regarding determinism and freewill.

                • Vysotsky says:

                  “… embrace my own programming and enjoy the tribal warfare …”

                  My programming is the uncertainty, the general agnosticism and, in some cases, paranoia.
                  Plus, I have a constant urge to ruminate (about ideologies for example).
                  Do you have any idea how can I enjoy this?

                  • Illuminatus says:

                    That’s K-selected programming. It’s epigenetic, and will likely never go away.

                    The real reason this programming causes you pain is that you have simultaneously been loaded up with brainwashing telling you that the K-selected programming is wrong. This creates massive internal resistance and is probably responsible for much of the mental illness we see in Ks.

                    To embrace that programming, you need to begin redefining it as, at the very least, natural and “okay”. Better yet, you ought to find all the good in it.

                    Looking towards history is a good start. The Ancient Greek word “paranoia” is typically translated these days using “irregular” as the translation for para- (and noia meaning “mind”) — so, madness or derangement. However, “para” has many translations. In The Master and His Emissary, McGilchrist has found evidence that the original translation would actually have been para = “besides, by”. So the word would originally have meant “other knowledge” — or extra information passed to you by processes operating separately from the main mental stream. It was not seen negatively but venerated as a helpful intuitive knowledge.

                    In my model, the locus of awareness for K-selecteds — the brain area their thinking is most identified with — is the right amygdala, the source of paranoia. r-selecteds’ thinking however is mostly identified with the left frontal lobe, or conceptual ideals (e.g. equality) which do not exist in nature, but only in the human left frontal lobe. When you help connect a liberal left brain’s ideals to their actual counterpart in reality — using FACTS — they get “triggered”: they go crazy, enter full denial/cover-up mode, and usually end up doubling down on their crazy ideal rather than making a course-correction. Hence socialism happening again and again throughout history despite it always resulting in a huge pile of dead bodies.

                    The right amygdala however is perpetually grounded in dark Earthly reality and its dominant emotion is FEAR (as opposed to lefties’ feel-good conceptual projection and “blue sky thinking”, which is exemplified by the song Imagine). The right amygdala’s locus in the holistic right side of the brain also gives it a sense of connection to something bigger yet just out of sight, hence the K-selecteds’ tendency toward religion and superstition.

                    The trick to enjoying this is to accept the possibility that humans won’t ever reach that Star Trek-style left-wing future paradise but rather REALITY RIGHT NOW IS WHAT THERE IS AND WHAT MUST BE LOOKED AT. Then join other K-selecteds and revel in the Doomsday projections, and notice that they come true time and time again, literally in the order they were predicted — and that paranoia, which is the basic intuitive recognition that all humans are inherently psychotic and irrational, turns out to be true more often than it’s not.

                    Good for humanity? Not really. But what the other team has planned for us is a LOT worse.

                    • Illuminatus says:

                      And Conservatism has always been about recognizing that “the devil you know is better than the one you don’t” — recognizing human nature for what it is, and creating rules and practices to try to keep it in check. The alternative is the leftist delusion that all that bad stuff will one day just magically disappear and everyone will like each other, if we just will it and keep ignoring facts.

                    • Edenist Whackjob says:

                      Well put!

                      I think I’ve been trapped somewhere in between K and r for the past decade or so. Maybe that’s why I’ve felt so dissociated from reality during that period. My amygdala is telling me something is wrong, yet I am not allowed to think it. The feeling of not knowing whether one is insane, or the only sane one, is… well, maddening.

                      The Star Trek thing is spot on. I’ve often said that the only way multiculti can work is if we unite against aliens or something like that. But would dismantling ALL tribal/religious bonds and uniting around some new unifying meme.

                    • Edenist Whackjob says:

                      “The alternative is the leftist delusion that all that bad stuff will one day just magically disappear and everyone will like each other, if we just will it and keep ignoring facts.”

                      I guess I’m a strange mix. I can definitely relate to liberal blue-sky future idealism (although their version of utopia is far too bland and I envision some kind of mil-SF bad ass version instead). On the other hand, I’m paranoid as fuck in real life, and see evil lurking everywhere. I read people’s faces and get an instant feel for who they are.

                      My main internal struggle comes down to “is my hunch right or should I think this through objectively?” I waste a lot of time bouncing ideas between my gut and my logic. A lot of it comes from reading sites like Less Wrong and being influenced by books like “Thinking fast and slow”. Can’t deny that the gut just… knows things, though. So it’s tricky.

                      At my last work place, there was a new guy who really woved the boss and had everyone’s hopes up. People thought he was the bee’s knees. I (and one other guy who Koanic would probably label TT) did not think that much of him, though – in fact, it was clear to me from day 1 that he was incompetent. He talked a good game but it was blindingly obvious to me that he didn’t really know how to code.

                      When I heard a few months later that I had been right all along, I had an intense surge of pleasure in my gut. Maybe it was telling me to listen more?

                    • Edenist Whackjob says:

                      “And Conservatism has always been about recognizing that “the devil you know is better than the one you don’t” — recognizing human nature for what it is, and creating rules and practices to try to keep it in check. ”

                      I think I’m more of a natural fascist, to be honest. As in, I want to take the good aspects of conservatism and put them on steroids to make them even better.

                      Conservatives promote limited immigration, but they don’t go so far as to promote eugenics. Just one example of what I mean.

                      Conservatives are basically satisficers, whereas I’m an optimizer. I guess this makes me similar to a liberal in some ways.

                      As a kid I was really into Robinson Crusoe and I used to draw pictures of tanks and bunkers. I knew from an early age that I didn’t want to pay taxes, and I was always fascinated by isolationist countries like Switzerland. Definitely amygdala things. But I was also really into sci fi, which is more of a left frontal lobe thing I guess.

                    • Edenist Whackjob says:

                      “The alternative is the leftist delusion that all that bad stuff will one day just magically disappear and everyone will like each other, if we just will it and keep ignoring facts.”

                      They really do think that things will sort themselves out in the future. Even as Sweden is getting more and more hit and the economy, police, health care, schools, pensions, crime is all going to shit, there still seems to be this presupposition behind it all that if we just wait, things will be fine.

                      As a highly abstract* person myself, I can kind of relate. I *can* also see ways in which the future works out, it’s just that it’s not likely given how trends have been so far.

                      * Some would call it “clever silly”. I guess what saves me is that I have more amygdala activity than a typical liberal, I guess. Probably meditation is what I need, and then I’ll become more earthy-conservative.

                    • Vysotsky says:

                      Thanks a lot!

                      However, I meant “paranoia” partly as fearing that I’ll never be confident enough in some topics (not necessarily in society), or I’m going to miss something important (e.g. decisions).

                    • Illuminatus says:

                      @Vysotsky:

                      “However, I meant “paranoia” partly as fearing that I’ll never be confident enough in some topics (not necessarily in society), or I’m going to miss something important (e.g. decisions).”

                      The paranoia sounds like it will be right in many of those cases!

                      The question isn’t about what the paranoia says, but what you then do with that information.

                    • Vysotsky says:

                      @Illuminatus:

                      “The paranoia sounds like it will be right in many of those cases!”

                      What do you mean “it will be right”? It will be good or it will be true?

                    • Illuminatus says:

                      @Vysotsky: “True”.

                  • Edenist Whackjob says:

                    Re: gut feelings…

                    http://www.nature.com/articles/srep32986

                    Heh.

        • Mayath says:

          Hey Illuminatus, have you any further thoughts about Culadasa’s stages of concentration or on any of the other questions I asked here, besides the ones on No- Self and wanking, haha. Just wondering. I’m mainly just interested in what you think of his system, his categorisation of Jhana and cognitive boosts and creativity.

          • Illuminatus says:

            I’ve just re-read your post and his book sounds great. Those stages sound pretty spot-on to me. My guide will focus on the stage 7-8 or “soft jhanas” as you called them. There will be plenty about cognitive enhancement — done via formal resolutions a.k.a. intentions.

            I’ve had the “hard jhanas” many times and they are completely insane; they have been so insane I have at times strongly wondered whether to even continue teaching meditation. E.g. imagine the most insane trip on LSD but make it completely real. The hard jhanas are so other-worldly that you would need some insight training just to make sense of them. Every time I hit them, I always have massive leaps in my insight work, too. If there was some way of having a beginner learn that state quickly, I would not give him the method, because he would not be able to handle it. I do not consistently get those kinds of jhanas — they seem to require either lots of time and dedicated focus put into each meditation, or the right situation arising (e.g. some optimum mental state), or a combination of those things. They are also pretty scary, and I think if I just made the decision to get over my fear of them then they would happen far more often. But how often would I want them? They are very “ungrounding”. So an example would be appearing in a beautiful garden with a fountain of symbols springing forth from the centre of the visual — e.g. spinning Buddhas, candy, coins, money symbols, amazing cars, and other signs of great wealth, all while feeling like you’re flying, as high as you’ve ever possibly been. Then, you look through the window of the house and see a vision of someone in there and time means nothing in that state so you are sure you are witnessing some real scene. It is a complete headfuck. Time travel, visions, all that stuff happens, and — bizarrely — some of it actually comes true afterwards. You never know what’s real and what’s not.

            The stage 7-8 jhanas, when done with a kasina (e.g. the flame afterimage) are spectacular without being insane. The jhanas are quite different depending upon the object. I am considering making my guide about kasina or some other visual object, because that is where I made most progress (in fact I just used the stuff behind my eyelids for most of it, fixing it and turning it into a “screen” and letting images appear). I found I had a talent for visual jhanas, and I suspect many people here will, too, and will be able to make more rapid progress than using the breath — which, to be honest, is a bit too abstract for most people to pick up and run with.

            I’ve seen a lot with the jhanas, but have not “mastered” the really hard states. All I have achieved consistently is the ability to feel good every day, have no anxiety, and to not really care about anything. And I can do some magick and other cool things. Also, I know that every time I sit I will learn something new, whether that be about the dharma or everyday life or just how to use the hardware better. It is these things I’m hoping to teach in the new guide.

    • dominicj says:

      I wonder how much of a difference the loss of dopamine from masturbating could really have. I’m no expert having never had jhana but in the book Joy on Demand the author noted some interesting things about jhana studies performed on monks. He claimed here that scans showed that overall brain activity was quite low and not a lot of dopamine was released. He likens it to being able to hear a pin drop in a silent room, whereas jhana/dopamine inducing drugs may be like blaring music in a noisy room/

      In the Mind Illuminated one of the things Culadasa talks about is how the jhanas come a lot from the pacification of the senses as the 5 senses eventually stop trying to project information into awareness, and the unification of mind that results from this. From this I’m gathering that Culadasa doesn’t consider dopamine very important, but he never outright mentions dopamine so I can’t be sure on that.

      Like you’ve pointed out I think that some statements he makes about the mind being completely unified, first and meditation and then in daily life will have a radical effect on intelligence and things like that.

      A user mirrorvoid posted on his subredit /r/streamentry something really interesting about the relationship between TMI and MCTB; and why TMI may possibly lead to less dark night, but the same ‘insight’ or ‘awakening’:

      “In terms of modern brain models that deal with this, of which the most detailed available so far is to be found in Culadasa’s work, the degree of permanent transformation effected by an insight experience is primarily a function of the degree of unification of mind that prevailed when the event occurred, which is roughly a measure of the extent to which different competing subsystems of the mind complex have come into harmony around a single intention, namely the intention to focus on the meditation object. So in this system one first works to achieve a high degree of unification of mind in one’s practice, and then applies the more powerful, refined, and unified mind to processes of investigation that are likely to produce vipassanā events. Typically a large number of minor such events occur over the arc of practice, and a smaller number of major ones known as cessation events. In theory, if the entire mind complex is fully unified in the moment that a cessation event occurs, the result is complete and permanent Awakening of the entire mind-system. More commonly, cessations result in incomplete Awakenings, and so we have things like the Theravada Four-Stage Model that attempt to describe the progression of major shifts.”

      https://www.reddit.com/r/streamentry/comments/51xv7z/theory_on_the_permanency_of_awakening/

      It might also explain why drugs like LSD can seem to give a lot of people huge insights, only to disappear. Because the mind is not unified after the drug wears off, and so the insights gained are not permanent.

      Theres a talk I watched of Ingram recently (or maybe I read it?) and hes talking about how until recently you would have had to rely on your local, possibly biased, meditation temple shrouded in secrecy and possibly never even hear about any of this. This must be the fascinating time to learn meditation ever.

      • Illuminatus says:

        I will reply to this and the other long comment tomorrow.

        For now: Masturbation will indeed negatively affect one’s ability to enter jhana as a beginner. It may even prevent it.

        However, as an adept, masturbation will not particularly affect it.

        • Pat says:

          I can confirm, it was impossible to enter jhana the same day as masturbation for me when I was newer to the practice. I’d still say I’m a beginner, but masturbation no longer stops me from getting jhana for the rest of the day (though it can certainly make it more difficult.)

  6. Edenist Whackjob says:

    Illuminatus, thoughts on the section on Buddhist magick in Ingram’s book? Would you recommend using his spell instructions?

    (It was quite trippy to read that section – did not expect to read about Crowley, pyromancy, telepathy, etc, in a book like that – Buddhists seem to tone down this part of the system).

    • Illuminatus says:

      His magick section is completely valid and is a useful guide for beginners. Also, he is not a “standard Buddhist practitioner” — he is quite wary of the dogma of Buddhism, and expounding on that is a major theme of the book.

      • Edenist Whackjob says:

        Is it necessary to reach fourth jhana to do magick in your experience?

        • Illuminatus says:

          Definitely not. Your intentions are “casting spells” all the time. Depth of jhana is just one way to shore up those intentions and focus them. The determinants of powerful magick are: 1) Ability to imagine the desired outcome/state as vividly as possible (ideally the scene should take on a life of its own and become almost independently real, which is possible with lots of practice), 2) Depth of dissociation from the body (and therefore the “current reality”) — a.k.a. jhana depth, with 4th being high dissociation, and 3) Ability to focus the intent into powerful verbal statements of intent which are felt as powerful forces in there own right.

          If you have 1 and 3, then you will be able to do some magick. A powerful 1 causes some bodily dissociation anyway.

          • James says:

            I had a shaman do some form of energy work on me once, an initiation of sorts (the idea being, that if you were there at that place, you had a certain lineage with a purpose to be their established from a past life). Anyway, lots of bullshit artist out there but I felt chakras and all sorts of shit moving around.

            I found my intent made things happen x10 of what it use to, and that I recognized other people who had a similiar, uhh.. spiritual intensity.

            It faded after a week or so from what I recall.

  7. Mayath says:

    @Illuminatus: No problem. I posted a lot there. Take your time and post whenever suits man.

    @Bishop: Nice piece of synchronicity there. I’ve also been wondering about why Absolutus is so negative towards Vipassana. In one of his AMAs he says he practices it but as you read on he becomes very negative and critical of it, describing it as “nearly useless” and he never explains how he incorporates it into his practice. Or maybe he did and I missed that part.

    I’m not really sure by what you mean “don’t believe everything that makes you feel good”. Are you criticising Absolutus? I share the belief mind is capable of incredible things too but I’m actually quite sceptical of some of Absolutus claims and of him but there is some gold in what he says, even if I don’t agree 100 percent with him. His Ama is worth reading and it’s a good primer of all this stuff.

    I’m really just interested in what’s useful for me and what makes my life as happy and as stree free as possible

    I’ve found other people who say things like him, like Siro on Yoga Forums and ScottV on dharma overground but isn’t everyone just under the impression that these are just different accounts of his? Like I said, there’s aspects of Absolutus perspective I like a lot even if I don’t agree with all of what he says, so if you know people with similiar viewpoints let me know!

    On the no self stuff: I’m fascinated by it and wary of it. I think it’s something very hard to wrap your head around it if you haven’t had an experience of it. Enlightenment is something I might aim for later in my life but from what I’ve read, it’s better to master Samatha and the Jhanas first before jumping into, so I’m focusing on that right now.

    I’ve probably asked way too many questions already Illuminatus, so answer when you like or you can just tell me to shut the fuck up but how do you reconcile No-Self with reincarnation and past lives?

    • Illuminatus says:

      Absolutus is quite blatantly (to me) Siro and ScottV, though he denied it in his chat with me.

      Regarding insight meditation, it is frankly vital to carry a belief system with you (such as insight = Buddha’s teachings) into these meditations else you could end up crazy. It seems like Absolutus has gone somewhat crazy now, based on my chat with him, though I’m uncomfortable going into detail about that as I still have a lot of respect for him. My verdict is that he really could have done with some insight training before going so deep into jhana.

    • Illuminatus says:

      “I’ve probably asked way too many questions already Illuminatus, so answer when you like or you can just tell me to shut the fuck up but how do you reconcile No-Self with reincarnation and past lives?”

      Well, that begs more fundamental questions, such as: “Why is there existence at all?” Why is there a volume (of awareness) at all? All events of existence, including reincarnation, arise in that volume of awareness. So why is there awareness?

      I have no idea. And I do not believe it can be answered by any perspective generated by the awareness (since any perspective is a subset of the whole and therefore cannot represent the whole).

      In short, I think the “why” comes down to human rationality: always needing to posit a “first cause” of the A->B progression. Theists call it God, scientists call it the Big Bang. But these are artefects of human rationality — which itself is just one perspective of infinite arising within the volume of awareness. You just have to be okay with not knowing. Then rationalize that as part of the game. 😛

      • Illuminatus says:

        BTW there are other systems of causality. Most humans are completely, hopelessly entrenched in and addicted to what we might term “linear causality” — the A->B progression that we experience as “time”.

        This is not only NOT the only causality, it’s not even the dominant causality in our experience of reality.

        Fractal causality is far more dominant. So, things repeat. Cycles are evident all around us. There are other aspects to fractal causality; I’ve gone into them elsewhere on this site. But linear (“time”) causality, the one humans think of as “the only causality” (and therefore whence they derive either God or the Big Bang depending on their inclination) is actually subservient to fractal causality — meaning you can derive linear causality easily from fractal causality, but not vice versa.

        Fractal causality gets rid of the need for a “first cause” but is fundamentally unsatisfying to a human’s rational worldview where every effect “must” have a cause.

  8. Mayath says:

    Haha, fair enough. Who the fuck knows is a good as answer as any :P.

  9. Edenist Whackjob says:

    Had a strange experience the other day.

    During periods when my “brain is growing” (eg after quitting alcohol for instance), I experience stuttering and get stuck on certain words. It goes away after a few days, so no big deal.

    Anyway, in a business meeting, I was really worried that I would look like a fool and not be able to get my point across. What happened surprised me: I was fine, but everyone else was now stuttering! These are people who don’t stutter normally. It was trippy to watch them squirm as they couldn’t get their words out. I had actually warned my business partner before that I might stutter during the meeting, and now he seemed to be afflicted with it instead. Again, a guy who never has trouble talking.

    Do you think this was some kind of psychic phenomenon? Or am I just reading too much into it?

    • Illuminatus says:

      Ummm. No idea. I’m still trying to figure out what this means:

      “During periods when my “brain is growing” (eg after quitting alcohol for instance)”

  10. Edenist Whackjob says:

    ‘Nother question for the guru…

    What is your opinion on Depersonalization/Derealization?

    http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/12/enlightenments-evil-twin/383726/

    Basically, what “is” DP/DR? Is it a stage toward greater awareness? Or just a dysfunction of the brain?

    • Illuminatus says:

      Sounds like brain injury to me.

      I stopped reading at this point as the author clearly has no clue what Timothy Leary meant by “ego loss”:

      “What doctors call “depersonalization” is somewhat beyond the power of words to convey, but it corresponds loosely to what Timothy Leary might have been talking about when he came up with ‘ego loss’ in the 1960s”

      DP/DR is not “enlightenment’s evil twin” but rather sounds more like brain injury or some psychological detachment due to trauma.

      People without genuine no-self experience have little business writing about it, let alone comparing psychological disorders to it.

  11. Edenist Whackjob says:

    Illumi, what are your current thoughts on personal productivity / getting shit done / goal-setting / etc?

    If any 🙂

    • Illuminatus says:

      I’ll let you know when I have some thoughts on that.

      • Edenist Whackjob says:

        Do you just generally go with the flow and do what you feel like and/or what inspires you at the moment?

        I feel I should do that, but I’ve become so addicted to the achievement / productivity reality-tunnel. Being a computer programmer doesn’t help either.

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