The Best of the Old Forum

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7 Responses

  1. Vysotsky says:

    My favourite posts are these (plus the Overexertions): (the answers)

  2. This is a brave post and a big step forward IMO. With that said I always looked at you as more of a pioneer in mind science/experimenter. I think thats a much healthier alternative then omnipotent cult leader. I know in my case I underestimated the pressure that giving advice online would put on me in terms of practicing what I preach. Its good to hold yourself to a high standard and I felt like I’ve stretched to accomodate it, but on the other hand I think guys respect you more when you’re fallible and accessible. If guys wanted and infallible fraud promoting generic, over priced advice they could read a Tony Robbins book.

  3. dark_knight_hurrah says:

    The brain being what it is, this reward state cannot be maintained for too long. Eventually your mood starts to dip, and your results are affected, which you perceive as the method not working any more. Suddenly, usually unconsciously, your visualizations of the future are all focusing on what could possibly go wrong. Your results now begin to meet that expectation instead. After a glorious crash, you find yourself in the bottom of the trough again, ready to repeat the process with the next magic bullet.

    – it seems to what you are describing here is how the dark night works – you think you are enlightened (a&p), and get all excited, then after a while you realise it isn’t all it has cracked up to be and your mood crashes. But the with the path model, it sets you up with a variation of the same magic bullet (i.e. becoming more enlightened/next path).. Agree/disagree?

    • Illuminatus says:

      It’s how A&P –> Dark Night works. It’s also how bipolar cycling works. So, someone who’s manic feels he has the answer to everything and starts projecting wonderful futures consistent with that notion (grandiosity). There’s also a lot of scope for magical thinking, here, since everything takes on a supernatural flavour, things appearing like reality is directly alterable through the mind. There is some truth in both of these ideas, IMO, but in both A&P and mania they are taken too far. The projection mechanism is too immature, and it doesn’t have all the information. Both Dark Night and depression phase of bipolar are more like the opposite scripts.

      “But the with the path model, it sets you up with a variation of the same magic bullet (i.e. becoming more enlightened/next path).. Agree/disagree?”

      Well, I can only go with my own experiences here. If we assume that what I did in my “How I Beat Depression — Forever” post was a skilful treatment of the Misery phase (I am unsure about this myself), then learning that territory via insight meditation (if that’s what I did) was one of the best things I ever did for myself. I can’t really compare that to a magic bullet, because it did not entail the cycling described in the above post. 6 months on, and I still have the skill. It has literally changed my life. I have also begun to have had profound change by applying the exact same method to Fear.

      So, Path of Insight, if my experiences really are that, could represent permanent shifts in the way one relates to aspects of experience. Conversely, magic bullets never really made permanent shifts. I might have learned something interesting about the world via the experience, but generally my skills would reset back to approximately where they were before the magic bullet. Magic bullets all seem to be about avoiding the territory, rather than learning to navigate it.

      One more thing. You drew the comparison of parts of the Path of Insight to magic bullet cycling. I then did the same for bipolar. I believe the Path of Insight is fractal to all of human experience. You could put any aspect of your experience in Path terms. This is actually extremely valuable, since you can use the Path as a map to figure out what happens next in any situation. The downside is that via that same mechanism you could end up scripting the situation so it matches the Path.

      You never get all your ducks lined up in a row — with ANY method or map. However, the Path seems to be more universal and more applicable than anything else I have come across so far — and, for me, it has had more successes as a map than it has had drawbacks as a “script”, so far.

      Ultimately, everything is a script. And that sentence is perhaps the ultimate map. 🙂

  4. Vysotsky says:

    I noticed you deleted (or I can’t find) your “Presence: The Real Story” article. Does it mean that you now disagree with the content of the post?

    • Illuminatus says:

      It wasn’t deleted and I found it with a simple search:

      Skimming it, it looks like I got disillusioned with him and took a contrarian stance. The post is quite antagonistic.
      I would say now that the solution to presence is two steps: 1) Learning to do it, 2) Knowing WHEN to do it.

      For #1, first off learn jhana and do it every morning so you feel good all day; so you have those good neurotransmitters and energies in circulation. This makes the present moment far more pleasant and something you would actually want to engage with (and this is probably the key reason depressed or anxious people can’t really run with the advice “be in the present moment” — because the present moment SUCKS for them).

      For #2, just realize that different tasks require different modes of attention. When doing your taxes you are necessarily NOT going to be present. You are going to be in your head doing calculations. If anyone says anything like, “You should be present WITH your taxes!” then, frankly, they are an idealistic idiot and lack real-world pragmatism. There used to be a lot of those types on Steve Pavlina’s forum, and getting a reasonable conversation going about presence over there would quickly turn into meaningless garbage and platitudes.

      There is also a spectrum of present-moment-awareness in various tasks. E.g. we might think of socializing as being a very “present” task but if you consider that we have to filter ourselves, work out what to say next etc. then you will see much of socializing is not that “present” at all and is in fact quite calculated. The best way to make socializing more present is therefore to increase #1 above, feeling good. Feeling good already means your intentions and energy will be better in the interaction and you will have to filter yourself less because you will not have as many mean thoughts, and will have less to prove since you already got your “feel good” emotions and don’t need to “get” them off someone else.

      • Illuminatus says:

        P.S. I haven’t checked the old forum in years and have no idea what’s on there, and if the stuff is any good or all crap etc.

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