Join GitHub today
GitHub is home to over 28 million developers working together to host and review code, manage projects, and build software together.Sign up
Altered States of Consciousness
Altered States of Consciousness
An Altered State of Consciousness (ASC) is when 'I' as feeling-being am still present, yet am altered from the usual experiencing in some way. This is as distinct from a Pure Consciousness Experience (PCE) which is when 'I' am in abeyance.
Perhaps some of the most common ASCs are the hypongogic and hypnopompic states, which occur when falling asleep and coming out of sleep, respectively. One may find oneself experiencing oneself in a different way than normal, with thoughts more freely flowing, perhaps a sudden absence of stress as one is dozing off, and often enough, mild hallucinations.
Other common ASCs occur on mind-altering substances, particularly psychedelic drugs.
A notable ASC is, of course, Enlightenment and the various degrees of realization, wherein one experiences more and more the delusion that the physical world does not really exist or that there is something more important beyond it.
Actuality-Mimicking ASCs (Be Warned!)
Since the advent of actual freedom on October 30th, 1992, a most curious yet ultimately predictable development has occurred - the advent of Altered States of Consciousness specifically imitating/mimicking actual freedom!
These are most insidious states of being as they essentially amounts to 'me' being present, yet deluding 'myself' that 'I' am totally and permanently absent! Such a delusion requires a lot of effort to maintain, and the longer one is in it, most likely the more painful it will be to come out of it.
Vineeto wrote, in an email to Claudiu (reproduced with permission):
CLAUDIU: One question I had: has this sort of thing happened with you or Peter or Grace or Pamela or any of the other actually free people? Namely, thinking you had become (newly) actually free when you weren't? If not then why do you think that might be?
VINEETO: No, not in the same way. I certainly remember that feeling-being ‘Vineeto’ tried to push for ‘self’-immolation, particularly in the first two years and discovered that this was the wrong way of going about the business of becoming actually free. ‘She’ wrote about it in a correspondence with Alan at the time. ‘She’ also wrote about her various altered states of consciousness that occurred as a result of doing what ‘she’ then (mis-)understood to be the actualism method. I remember Peter thinking that he was almost actually free so much so that after becoming free he edited his journal carefully so as to not lead his fellow human beings astray. Grace was very meticulous in labelling her experiences and never fooled herself to be actually free before becoming newly free. Pamela had this 5-months PCE in which she closely examined if she had become actually free and only got a definite answer when an emotion occurred that brought her PCE to an end.
However, I think this particular pattern of illuding oneself to be actually free when in fact a dissociative ‘shift’ is happening is Tarin’s legacy as a natural consequence of the DhO practice of practitioners fooling themselves to have achieved the various ‘paths’ and an imaginary arhantship. It was stunning how much your description of you thinking you were actually free matched Jon’s experience and Respondent C00’s descriptions, not to mention the long-termed illusions Tarin, Trent, Nikolai, Jill, Tommy, [EndInSight] and some others put themselves through. At our meeting today Richard reminded us of the close relationship between dissociation and trauma by reading out his article on this topic. It made me better understand how trying to forcefully bring an end to ‘myself’ can easily lead to a dissociative ‘shift’, creating the illusion that one has achieved one’s goal. It’s really good to understand this pitfall, if you like, as it results in the person being further away from becoming actually free than before in two ways – 1) they think they arrived and stop looking for the genuine article and 2) they have removed themselves from people, things and events into an imaginary world and are thus twice removed from the actual world.
July 29, 2013; E-mail from Vineeto to Claudiu
Reports of Actuality-Mimicking ASCs
What follows are reports of such delusory states of being, as a warning and guide to others of what may happen on the path when sincerity is lacking. Note: no one is to blame, ultimately, for someone having deluded themselves in such a manner - it's Blind Nature that is ultimately at fault, and not anyone in particular.
Claudiu has entered into an ASC three times as a result of well-meant but misguided attempts to become free. The first two he fooled himself into believing he was free - once on his first trip to visit Richard and Vineeto, and once during the "Intimate Ambiance Experiment". Luckily, each lasted less than 24 hours. The third one didn't fool him much at all, as it was essentially a repeat of the second one.
CLAUDIU: [In the context of Jon having just mistakenly believed himself to be actually free] It's really interesting how often this seems to be happening - thinking that one has just done it - and how good Richard, Vineeto, et al are at figuring out that it didn't. e.g. noticing that what you had done was slink away from the group (and you say you were contemplating leaving) instead of become actually free as you thought.
The same happened to me during my visit. I was really really anxious to be actually free before I left. I feared forgetting everything I learned and reverting to my old ways, which had become quite painful by that point. So I wanted to force it. Essentially 'I' tried to force it to happen/to make it happen. This was two or three days before I left.
It happened when I got back to my room after a day of interacting with Richard & Vineeto. I was showering and it struck me how unfair the 'real world' was. People have inconsistent standards. They blame you for things that aren't your fault. (Not to mention making you feel bad for mistakes you did made/could have avoided, which doesn't help anything. Though I wasn't thinking this at the time.) And it feels really bad at times. So 'I' tried to put all of 'me' into allowing it to happen.
I was taking melatonin pills to try to regulate my sleep schedule, so I got into bed and fell into a light sleep, with this on my mind. I awoke a few hours later out of a dream (I forget the contents), and in that hypnopompic state I got the impression that yes, 'I' was 100% ready, and then - a shift happened!
I immediately thought I was actually free. That I had done it! It's funny cause, in hindsight, I was so obviously emotionally excited and anxious, yet I managed to convince myself that it was just physical aftereffects (mimicking what I had read on the AFT) and that there was 'no affect'. I had already gained experiential knowledge of what pure intent was, at that point, and I tried to sense it out, and I noticed that it was somehow blocked. In hindsight this was so obviously fear of going there, but at the time I thought it was just again an adjustment or something and that eventually it would be experienced full time. It's funny cause 'I' even convinced 'myself' that 'my' main goal was to make that purity evident 100% from then on. Whereas in fact it was a turning away. It even seemed obvious that what I actually was was the consciousness this body was generating, which I experienced as a sort of blob moving around my head and body wherever I put my attention, which in hindsight was probably just 'me' making shit up...
That night I had super-intense very vivid dreams involving being shunned by society, by everyone I knew, sort of shamed. It was like a row of 20 people very familiar to me all standing around and looking at me disapprovingly. I also had an image of Richard sitting near a VCR, with the VCR stuck in a loop, and I was trying to press the 'stop' button but couldn't quite do it, while Richard was saying to me "all you have to do is stop", or something like that. Sort of funny in hindsight though I don't know if it "means" anything. (Vineeto said something like, dreams seem to mean whatever you want them to mean, which is probably a good approach to the whole thing.)
Anyway, luckily this happened while still in Australia, so the next morning at breakfast I set about telling Vineeto what had happened. Everything leading up to it was well-received because they were valid insights into 'reality' and the benefits of becoming actually free. But when I said I thought I had done it it wasn't so well-received. She asked me if I felt there was something more, and I said yes - I was referring to that purity thing above - and she said yes there is more (maybe she even said "much more"). I even tried psychically feeling out the waitress and said there was no affect, whereas in hindsight it was so obviously the fear (which I was pretending wasn't there/wasn't affective) which simply wasn't budging so it all felt the same regardless of what 'I' tried to do.
In any case, not sure how I got to the point, but a few minutes after I managed to accept that I wasn't actually free. I immediately lost my appetite and was sort of disappointed. However I quickly became very glad of the fact that I realized this (I said I was glad it happened while I was still in Australia!) and vowed never to try to force myself to become actually free again. Which has served me well.
July 28, 2013; Yahoo! Group, #14945
Well, it served me not too well considering the Second ASC that follows!
CLAUDIU: [In the context of Respondent C00 recently announcing that he had good reason to believe he became actually free] Interesting developments indeed!
Though there is not much to go on yet, the following caught my attention:
Respondent C00: Also given that I've been (mildly) ill for a number of weeks, I'm still curious how much the physical symptoms of a sinus infection, an upper-respiratory infection along with mild upset stomach can be physically similar to feelings and the feeling of being (or not, as the case may be) and can the symptoms of physical unwellness prevent an otherwise easy intimacy. As an example, when someone says something that previously would have triggered an emotive reaction, and you're looking for such an emotive reaction and there's no reactivity but there is a feeling in the heart region, but when you look at it, it's actually an ache that seems to be in amongst the breast bone, and it doesn't shift or change upon looking at it, and it doesn't fade away, but you're not upset or anything... that's an example of why this is not 100% clear to me at present. I have accepted that the only way to find out is to get fully over this illness and then see what's left.
What you wrote here as an example reminds me quite a bit of the ASC I went through during the intimate ambiance experiment. You may be interesting in taking a listen as it may be relevant for your current experience as well: they are the "Claudiu is either newly free or in a bizarro ASC" (HQ, LQ) and "Claudiu realizes he was in an ASC" (HQ, LQ) chats.
Particularly, I noticed that:
- I would often say and write that I am experiencing something that I would have previously called an emotion, but I wouldn't call it that anymore.
- I remember this well, that these things that I would have previously called emotions, seemed to just be there and not change whether I am looking at it (precisely what you wrote where "It doesn't shift or change upon looking at it, and it doesn't fade away").
- I remember particularly that I just wasn't clear on what was going on
I also relate to what you wrote next:
Respondent C00: It has occurred to me in the past day that even if it turns out this isn't actual freedom and identity was just in hiding, the past two weeks have been so staggeringly eye opening at times in terms of the wondrous intimacy I have experienced, the directness and simplicity and utter ordinariness, the peace and ease, the freedom from everyday drama, that it will only have served to motive me to redouble my efforts to proceed into self immolation proper. So either way, it's been a fantastic development. I'm thrilled to have been able to go on this journey.
There were times where I experienced what seemed like startling purity, directness, actuality, etc. But in hindsight there was a 'me' holding it all at bay (if that is what "it" even was), while simultaneously a 'me' that was pretending like there was no 'me' holding it at bay in order to allow the ASC to continue.
In retrospect I was clearly experiencing emotions, albeit in a very different way than usual, hence the ASC. When I came out of it (which is on record during that audio chat) I felt 'me' come back from the edges where I was hiding, back to the center, and all was normal again.
I'd encourage you to write more about your experience, how it started, and what's going on. As you wrote, if this is the beginning of actual freedom, then it'll be helpful to have more information on what that looks like, and on the other hand if it is an ASC, then it will be helpful to have more information on yet another variant of an ASC that mimics actual freedom, particularly reports from it as it is occurring.
For the record, here are the raw notes I took during that time on my phone (Jan 14th, 2016, and on). In between the equal signs is notes from that time, with square-bracketed insertions [in blue] of my comments now.
[... snip notes (click on Yahoo! Group link for full notes) ...]
May 29, 2016; Yahoo! Group, #22592
CLAUDIU: [...] I realized I had the entire day to myself and decided it would be a good day to become free.
Over the past few days I had been focusing on the feeling of separation (cf: [Respondent C00's advice:] "I noticed how that feeling of being that prevents intimacy - I noticed how strong it was - it was really vividly there, and getting in the way of intimacy. So I could really feel that it was what was preventing intimacy with another person."), and gathering up my intent - by feeling strongly that I must overcome this separation (cf: [Respondent C00's advice:] "I had this felt sense that I needed to overcome that feeling of being in order to achieve intimacy with any other person, and every other person. I really focused on feeling that, and really strongly feeling a desire to overcome that sense of separation that I could feel.") - to end this separation.
Each 'session' would get quite intense. I would at first feel fear and it may get to dread. But then I would sit with it and wait and focus on the thrilling aspect of it instead. And I would sit there and go through all my objections that came up and address each one. I would feel a progression of getting closer, and then a new objection. And then I'd look at that.
I felt that it was extremely effective. It was really getting to the nub of the issue. I recognized how I've written so many words about this and spent so much energy participating in this affair, and yet I could keep writing words forever and nothing would change. So it was time to do something more - the time for words was over.
I felt very strongly how 'I' am that feeling of separation, that veil. And how it is indeed exactly that which prevents intimacy. Then 'I' objected in that 'I' shied away from intimacy. At first I started to feel bad about it, about not wanting to continue, but then I recognized that that was the point - 'I' am that which prevents intimacy. So it is only instinctually natural that 'I' would shy away. So I stopped beating myself up over it and thought more about intimacy. I remembered the times I experienced being closer to actual intimacy, and how sweet it was.
So I recognized that I was willing to give up 'myself' - that which 'I' value most - in order to allow that intimacy to happen.
I would have an intense session like this - of working on getting my intent up to 100% - then I would take a break, then I'd come back to it. As the day went on I thought ah, this is my last breakfast as a feeling being, or ah, this is my last shower as a feeling being, etc. Because this was the day I was going to do it.
A friend came over to drop some games off. I thought we would hang out a while, so I wanted to get it done before he got there. This was some nice extra motivation. But I didn't succeed until he got here. However he didn't stay long and I thought great, I have the entire rest of the evening to do this now.
The most intense session was at the kitchen table (well, the table near the kitchen). I had been doing this a while and it felt like a lot of progress, as I said, really getting to it, down to what the point actually is. I was playing with four almonds and two small plates, juggling them between the plates and the into my mouth, and my senses were crisper and more vivid. I kept focusing on feeling that I want to overcome this separation.
I noticed that I would have strong intent for a while, and then it would fade. I thought ah, that's not 100%! So when it started fading, I put more effort into feeling that I want to do this, to allow this to happen. I recognized with some shock and amusement that I had never put 100% into anything before, not like this.
What I expected to happen, from your report, is that I would keep doing this, and then at some point the veil would just disappear - like it did for [Respondent C00].
I was pulling out all the stops. Finally I recognized that when 'I' had another objection - that was because I didn't 100% know for sure what was going to happen. And yet, that was ok. I figured I'd be willing to let it happen and deal with whatever happens later. I knew it was going to be good anyway. I thought back to all the other times in my life where I just did something not knowing what would happen, and how it always worked out - trying a new drug, jumping off a cliff into the water, moving my entire life diagonally across the entire country, etc. There was always uncertainty/unfamiliarity at first, but then it was fine. And even if it wasn't 100% good, it worked out anyway.
So I recognized I was willing to allow that to happen anyway, and that's where the daring aspect was. Now whenever I felt that pulling back, I instead re-emphasized my intent to let it happen anyway, and then kept at it.
I was really enjoying it now. This was super-intense, and very highly charged.
Eventually I got up to go to the bathroom. As I was washing my hands, I looked in the mirror, and had a curious musing about what "actually free Claudiu" would be like... and then there was a shift! Suddenly I felt like I was the senses - I was the sense of the water on my skin. This would be the pivotal moment then. This was a moment of slightly more relaxation which I suppose allowed it to happen (cf. "perhaps there was some kind of subtle relaxing involved").
However, all was not well. Although there was apparent pristineness that I could see, it wasn't everywhere. I didn't feel like the veil had gone. I kept feeling what pretty much was fear on the inside, in the middle. I thought maybe this is an after-effect. When I looked around, everything was much more sensuous and more clear/vivid. When I spoke, it was like my voice was coming from somewhere else. This was definitely not normal consciousness.
However that fear feeling was still on the middle. It wasn't the same as before, it was like I couldn't do anything about it (cf: "[...] you're looking for such an emotive reaction and there's no reactivity but there is a feeling in the heart region [...] and it doesn't shift or change upon looking at it, and it doesn't fade away"). I decided to go lie down and wait for it to pass and see what happens, assuming that I wasn't free. I saw that I could feel it out - it was in my upper throat/middle of head area.
I was feeling that disappointment again. So I went back and re-read my notes on my second ASC (#22592 [see above]) and recognized it was exactly that. Literally the same state of 'being'. Oops. I was in the bathroom and I was like "damnit! I just want this to be over!" I didn't want to keep having to put all this effort into becoming free. I didn't like having to do it. I saw that that could be a good motivation to continue, which cheered me up a bit.
After this, everything calmed down. I felt like the wind had been taken out of my sails - there was no more desire at all to get the intent to 100% to continue, though I recognized I could. However, I noticed I was actually still enjoying myself! This wasn't such a bad way to be. Things were still more pristine. 'I' still felt different. In retrospect, the ASC didn't end as soon as I recognized it was an ASC. The hectic feelings just stopped when I recognized what it was.
So I set about starting to assemble a desk I recently purchased. I thought this was a pretty great way to be actually. I wondered - again exactly the same as after the intimate ambiance experiment - whether I wasn't out-from-control now. This was definitely a different way of being, and I apparently didn't have control in the same way as before. I thought about Richard saying it was nigh-on irreversible and I agreed - wow, it sure is, given I had just spent a while lying down and essentially trying to get back to normal, and I wasn't back to normal yet!
However as the desk assembly went on, I noticed a hint of fear in the background. Then it went away, then it came back. Then it kept coming back. I didn't really like it, but I didn't do anything about it. It kept creeping up. Then as I got tired I started getting annoyed/frustrated, and pretty soon I was back to normal. It was just the ASC wearing off.
In hindsight I was pretty much exactly dissociated - my voice was coming from somewhere 'below' me, meaning 'I' was a bit higher up, so to speak. It was a bit weird.
[...] I can speculate that perhaps it did work, and when 'I' saw it was about to happen 'I' reared back into an ASC, instead. But I doubt it... I don't really get how 'I' can do it, then. I focused on exactly that - overcoming all 'my' objections, and even the apparently quite necessary daring one that even though 'I' don't know exactly what'll happen, 'I' am still willing to do it. I thought I was as sincere in this as I could have been.
I am left feeling frustrated at the yet again apparent unattainability of such a simple and "dead easy" thing (link, though that was in the context of interacting with fully free people, but that didn't work either). I just don't see how to do it. Every time I try I get very afraid, and if I focus on the thrill and the daring to continue anyway for long enough, I just get into ASCs.
June 13, 2016; Yahoo! Group, #22755
Analysis by Claudiu
Where did I go wrong? In hindsight, 'I' was self-centrically trying to end 'me', for the benefit of 'myself' only. There was no actuality in sight, pure intent was being ignored. There was no caring involved. This will never work.
Report of entering the ASC and then fully realizing it was an ASC:
Quote from Part 2 about the dissociative nature of the experience:
JON: Then it was my turn to get in the hot seat. Richard said he found my report very informative. I knew that I was in for it. He said that no where in my report did I mention pure intent. This was the give away. Their theory that I did disassociate was confirmed. [...]
It was very confusing. Because this disassociation was so god-damn pleasant. Shapes, colors and sounds seemed so much sharper and feeling was much less consequential. On top of that, I spent the morning uncovering illusion after illusion in regards to the identity. Their analysis was so very shocking, frustrating and unbelievable. It didn't make any sense. I only know that I had retreated at the pivotal moment but don't have any memory of doing so and (at the time) I still wasn't completely sure that it was a retreat. Tears swelled up and my nose got congested. It was terrible.
I took a walk and began to see that they were right but couldn't quite get myself to believe it. I was feeling both good and lousy. The lousy part didn't seem real. It wasn't until I went back to the lodge and talked it over with Srid that I saw that the primary emotion was embarrassment and the embarrassment was felt on the skin rather than in the heart let alone accepted by the mind. As it weird as it sound, my identity didn't feel embarrassed. I felt good but I recognized an embarrassment. It was like an ugly dog following me that was legally mine though I didn't accept responsibility. I felt the embarrassment on the skin and only occasionally would it roll into my body where I really felt it but even then it would retreat into the background where I could disown it again. By the end of that talk with Srid, I was able to fully claim it. I am embarrassed. I was embarrassed because I was so sure of myself and I didn't want to admit my fall from grace to other people.
On a side note, I can see why a Vipassana practioner could have been very easily fooled into thinking that he/she had attained some lofty goal. With Vipassana practice, I could have moved those feelings farther and farther away from my identity. It would have been second nature to do so and the resultant disassociation would have felt better and better.
July 29, 2016; Yahoo! Group #14947
Further description after-the-fact:
JON: [To Respondent C00, in the context of Respondent C00 recently announcing that he had good reason to believe he became actually free] It sucks but you aren't actually free. [...] You are in an ASC. [...] Getting out of you ASC will suck. For my part, and this particular ASC only lasted a day, I had to gather myself back and place myself back into my heart. In attempting to force myself out of this body, I had scattered 'me' in every direction and I had to consciously pick up the pieces and place them in an area where I could easily feel myself again. BTW, not having easy access to myself allowed the brain to operate more freely or so it seemed. Life was more lucid. Thus I have first hand experience and know why an ASC can be confused for AF. Especially if "I" want to be recognized as AF.
[...] I was in Australia specifically to talk about actualism with [Richard, Peter, and Vineeto] and I had nothing else to do, no where to hide. If I did, I probably would have. And before they exposed my ASC but after they had already expressed their doubts, I remember walking around thinking that I truly was AF but they wouldn't recognize me because I refused to be a clone. So I know very well how tempting it is to stay in that wonderful ASC.
June 4, 2016; Yahoo! Group, #22625
The person anonymized here as Respondent C00 has a lot of history of fooling themselves into believing they were actually free. In their own words:
RESPONDENT C00: Never having known what the mechanism for becoming actually free was [...] I allowed myself to engage in all sorts of wild conjecture such as:
- That actual freedom might come about by entering a PCE and just never leaving it
- That actual freedom might be a decision one makes to simply no longer view oneself as an identity, but to view oneself as the flesh and blood body instead
- That actual freedom might be some kind of stance one takes, staying in the present moment, coming to appreciate time standing still, or giving up fear, and just staying with that stance forevermore
- That any major improvement (especially one that involved long periods of apperception) that lasted a day or more might be actual freedom
- That really wanting to self immolate in a non-specific sense, and thinking about how I wanted to live in the actual world and then having a long running PCE might be actual freedom
I mistakenly thought I was actually free at least once for each of those above scenarios. The second last one happened a number of times haha.
As a result, it ended up being a bit of a running joke when I would tell my wife and my mother in law that I thought I was actually free. I was always sincere, but I also recognised the ridiculousness of the situation and the probability that again I would fall short.
[...] where I've had PCE/ASC things that lasted two and even three weeks, by about [...] 15 days [...] there was always big issues coming up that were getting bigger and eventually sank the whole ship. [...]
May 26, 2016; Yahoo! Groups #22581
TOMMY: I’m writing this post for various reasons, I’ve been away from the site for a while and have had a lot to deal with in my personal life which has taken its toll on me, physically and mentally, but has ultimately led me to where I’m at right now. That statement may seem surprising given my previous claims and talk of attainments, but the testing ground of the everyday – families, relationships, problems in work, financial difficulties and suchlike – has shown me that I’ve severely misjudged ‘my’ meditative accomplishments and so I want to lay my cards on the table:
Contrary to my previous claims, I do indeed still experience affective emotion; in the last four or five weeks, I had been lower than I can recall at any time in my life and actually ended up hospitalized with chest pains brought about by the stress of my current situation. I’ve also acted in less-than-skilful ways and hurt people, deliberately cut off communication with everyone around me and isolated myself...and I haven't even started trying to rebuild some of those bridges. I became bitter, resentful and angry with the world, saddened by the pain around me and within me, wishing I could just shut the whole thing down and start again. This was all exacerbated by an unexpected kicking from the dukkha ñanas, which confirmed for me that cycling is alive and well and that I’m certainly not an Arahat!
[...] As I’ve contemplated what’s gone on over the last four to six months of my life, it’s occurred to me that I used the whole AF/no affective emotion idea as a way to avoid facing up to the stressful and genuinely difficult situation I found myself in. Not that I didn’t pursue that outcome with complete sincerity, but my overwhelming desire to not have to feel the way I did led to me deluding myself and, through strong intent, creating a reality-tunnel for myself where I basically stopped registering emotions…temporarily. The mistake was entirely my own fault, no one else could possibly be blamed and I’ve suffered for it by my own hand, but I’ve also learned a lot and developed a new understanding of karma, compassion, and the interdependence of all things for which I will be eternally grateful.
June 6, 2013; Back From The Black, The Dharma Overground
The term "affers" refers to a group of people, participating mostly on the Dharma Overground forum, who illuded themselves and others that they were actually free. They have all since rescinded their claims of actual freedom - that is, they have each recognized they had not ended 'being' and that they had believed that they had.
JON: An AF'er who claimed to be free for at least 23 months wrote the words "horribly confusing and pain-filled delusion." [...] The AF'er I mentioned, if I understand correctly, had an invitation to meet Richard in Australia. But, I'm told, he explicitly stated that he prefered [sic] to use his vacation time to be with his family. Obviously, one can do what one wants but it was probably an excuse to avoid being exposed. I have also heard that another prominent AF'er actually did meet up with Richard for an afternoon. And this person simply did not want to talk about AF, anything but actuality. He just wanted to hang out.
June 4, 2016; Yahoo! Group, #22625
RICHARD: Here, then, is the 64-dollar question to ponder: did feeling-being ‘Alan’ put ‘his’ body and the body inhabited by feeling-being ‘Joan’ and every other body on the planet before feeling-being ‘Alan’ in that incident whereby ‘he’ placed the affective happiness of feeling-being ‘Joan’ before the actual happiness of flesh-and-blood Alan (otherwise depicted as “giving myself 100% to another” in Message № 23179) by forgoing ‘his’ second attempt at ‘self’-immolation there-and-then?
And as the answer to that question is “no”, I withdraw my claim to be actually free from the human condition.
It is actually a relief to admit it, as it was becoming more and more difficult to sustain – the “clues” that it was not the case were becoming too many to ignore. The biggest one was questioning why I was not experiencing purity and perfection and that it was becoming more and more difficult to fool myself that I was experiencing it. Interestingly, on my dusk walk with the dog last night and after reading Richard’s post three times and admitting I was not actually free, I was again able to experience pure intent, albeit briefly.
The other “biggie” was a fleeting thought about 3-4 days ago “if this is actual freedom it is a bit disappointing” – a sure giveaway! Although the thought was swiftly dismissed, I could feel it burning away in the background and refusing to be ignored. Also the notes I was making (started about a week ago), comparing the difference (a giveaway in itself) between what I was experiencing and what is written on the actual freedom trust website were building up.
So, what was it I was experiencing – and seemingly still am to a large extent – and what went “wrong”? At the moment, I am none too sure. Perhaps some “strange” out from control state? It does not seem to be an in-control virtual freedom as I can trace no “controller”. More reading, investigation and contemplation required. There are certainly a great deal of positive aspects which are well worth continuing:
No identity in evidence and seemingly no “controller” doing any controlling.
Clarity of thought.
A beneficial affect on all (almost without exception) others I come into contact with.
A much increased enjoyment of living and generally having lots of fun – the ‘big kid” out and about.
Much increased sensual enjoyment and a sense of “no separation”.
Possibly misleading others 
Not having the actual happiness of this body, that body and every other body (a “near actual caring”) as a constant and ongoing “modus operandi” (something else I was becoming suspicious of – although not in those words until I read them from Richard).
Where do I go from here:
Number one is to establish pure intent as an ongoing experience as much as possible.
Establish “near actual caring” for others.
Root out the remnants of ‘me’, as a ’being’ must still be in existence.
Continue enjoying and appreciating this only moment of being alive (the actualism method)
Become actually free from the human condition.
These are just my preliminary thoughts and I will be going over my notes and recordings to find out if there is anything else which might be of use. From memory, it does seem as though I came very close to achieving an actual freedom before ‘I’ managed to find a “cop-out” – and an extremely cunning one at that. So, I now have yet another experience of what ‘I’ am capable of and can be “on guard” for it happening again.
Life was meant to be fun
 As pointed out by Richard, Srinath’s post is an example of where the danger of misleading others lies, although I do not think there were many, if any, other instances – I will go over what I have posted to check.
July 29, 2016 Yahoo! Group, #23201 [gently edited]