Author Topic: Actualism / actual freedom, direct pointing and other new methods  (Read 15221 times)

Masauwu

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I noticed two of our members have become interested in what is called "direct pointing" recently and i was wondering if we can look into this new wave of methods for the sake of curiosity. Looking into as a means to understand what they are about and how they work, because at least for me they are not clearly explained at this point.

Direct pointing Link 1 Link 2 Link 3
My little understanding of it (which could be totally wrong) is a mix of guided journaling and meditation. Basically meditation but with someone in a teacher role that will guide the focus of your insight towards your particular needs and eventually leading to (mostly intelectual, for someone with no prior meditation training?) insight. The way some topics are presented on the DhO boards sounds a bit commercial ("40 years of Vipassana. 3 days of direct looking. Breaking Free.") in a spiritual supermarket way. Can this method take me, an everyday Joe - which barely if at all scratched the surface of meditation - off the street and guide him to liberation? Or maybe the level of skill in concentration and insight gained in the previous years of meditation (in the cases of the success stories) are still the key?

Actual freedom / actualism Link 1 Link 2 Link 3
My little understanding of it (which could be totally wrong) is a mix of mindfulness and advaita vedanta self-inquiry; from the DhO faq: "The recommended way to conduct this practice is to ask oneself, each moment again, 'how am i experiencing this moment of being alive?' with the utmost sincerity and dedication". This seems like a powerful method but nothing new about it, not sure why it needed a new name. I have to confess i didn`t have the patience to understand it better from their official site, i found it very confusing to navigate and with too many words per idea.

There we go, my confusion in all its splendor... Feeling a bit like the stereotypical old man asking himself "what will they come up with next?". :D
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Andrew

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Re: Actualism / actual freedom, direct pointing and other new methods
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2011, 12:11:38 AM »
No idea about the second one, but I'm trying out the first one because it has worked for me before to see past my habitual thinking, I didn't cal it direct pointing, that is indeed a new name, but it worked the same.


The two times i can remeber thsi working,

1) Leaving christianity. A mate of mine simply contradicted me continuously for days as we worked together, I argued for the personality of god, while he argued a neale donald walsh new age point of view. Snapped me right out of thinking I knew what was going on. This all lead to what I call 'The eight seconds' where I no longer felt any stress and floated in blue splender for a brief moment.

2) Authority drama. Matthew patiently put together an extensive reply to my abusive PM which point by point broke the' I know what is going on' Leading to a Tat Tvam Asi moment in meditation.

These two instances are direct pointing, and I think it comes under the heading of 'Right View'. We need to let go of our 'I know what is going on' to see what is going on!

there will be a report on how 'I' went! It could be minutes, it could be weeks, it depends on how many things 'I call me' perhaps.  :D

This forum is a version of pointing out over and over again to each other things we regard as hinderances to realising truth.
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Matthew

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Re: Actualism / actual freedom, direct pointing and other new methods
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2011, 09:16:41 AM »
Most of the postings attributed to this tangle of habit and gimpses of awakening, called "Matthew", amount to direct pointing.
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Jeeprs

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Re: Actualism / actual freedom, direct pointing and other new methods
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2011, 10:43:46 PM »
I must confess, I am perplexed by all of the perplexity in those posts in the top section. I don't quite understand where all the drama is coming from, or why people put themselves through all this, and what they hope to get out of it. I think if you try too hard to 'do' this stuff, you forget the point and just get caught up in your own imaginings again. Happens every day. It is a mistake to think that we're going to get anything from spiritual awareness. I think people seem to imagine themselves being angelic, or something.

My vipassana retreat, I didn't bother getting up for any of the morning sessions, I couldn't maintain the posture for a continuous session more than once for the entire time. I wanted to leave from day 4, and spent most of the last 3 days imagining a crime thriller that in the end I never got around to writing (and watching lizards.) But it didn't really matter. There is nothing to attain, nothing to get, and nobody to get it. Once you get that, then it doesn't really matter. And if you don't get it, that also doesn't matter. This doesn't mean becoming nihilistic or callous, however. We all just have to do what life puts in front of us, to the best of our ability, and learn to practice for the sake of practice, with no expectations. That is my view.

//PS// Actually after I came back from the Goenka retreat, I found a critical essay by a guy who had been right into Goenka and then turned against it. He too pointed to that 'Actual Freedom' site. I spent a couple of hours looking at it, but I thought it was basically a cult. 'Richard' or whoever it was that started it, is pitching himself as a non-affiliated enlightened sage. Maybe he is, I don't know for sure. But - I guess these are the kinds of things everyone has to decide for themselves. Over the years, we build up our own reference points, books, teachers, and if we keep meditating on it, and keep doing what's in front of us, with dedication and devotion, things begin to fall into place.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2011, 10:51:53 PM by Jeeprs »

Matthew

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Re: Actualism / actual freedom, direct pointing and other new methods
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2011, 10:58:10 PM »
The drama comes from the conditioning of our societies/upbringing to get it right, waste no time, succeed, progress, move forwards, build castles in the sky .... good things to let go of early on when walking the path. That is not to say there is no place for hard work or discipline and morality .... just a need to learn to relax properly first so your hard work, discipline and morality are not the usual self-flagelation of day to day life ...
« Last Edit: September 01, 2011, 11:00:21 PM by Matthew »
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Andrew

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Re: Actualism / actual freedom, direct pointing and other new methods
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2011, 06:47:50 AM »
Actual Freedom is a good name for a process. It describes the goal without another layer of interpretation. From reading about it a bit, it sounds like mindfulness practice; just staying with what is going on. The 'happy and harmless' motto is cool. The meek will inherit the earth.
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Stefan

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Re: Actualism / actual freedom, direct pointing and other new methods
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2011, 01:05:53 PM »


... if you try too hard to 'do' this stuff, you forget the point and just get caught up in your own imaginings again.


*sign*
anicca

Masauwu

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Re: Actualism / actual freedom, direct pointing and other new methods
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2011, 02:11:16 AM »
Finding this topic on the direct pointing official forum and watching the video linked in the first post, my curiosity just left to find greener pastures. I think i`ll give her the week off. :)
The summer river:
although there is a bridge, my horse
goes through the water.

Andrew

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Re: Actualism / actual freedom, direct pointing and other new methods
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2011, 04:52:25 AM »
I thought it was well done, though I disagree that the 'self' is a 'lie' or 'parasite' or most of the other descriptions. If it is a lie, then who is lying? If it is a parasite then from who is it taking?


The fact remains though, if you saw 100 bucks  buried under a pile of shit you would get a stick pick it up and wash it off. the RT forum is designed to cut the crap and get to that 100 bucks, what people spend it on has always been up to them.

I would not disagree that it seems alot of the freedom is being spent on being bad ass 'liberators' rather than enjoying 'liberating'. But it remains that it get the attention, engages the mind and pursues the answer. Plenty of people are benefiting and more than likely moving on to green pastures.

Give it a go...

A
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Masauwu

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Re: Actualism / actual freedom, direct pointing and other new methods
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2011, 05:13:50 AM »
They seem to go to war to spread an idea and the way of communicating the message is not very welcoming; never seen so much "friking" and "shit" used in a promo or on a forum. And the forum... i wouldn`t know where to begin. Liberators, liberated people, duels "until one of you is humiliated and destroyed"...

Looks like an interesting experiment, but if they think what they are doing is true liberation as in awakening - then they are wasting theirs and everyone else`s time. My opinion.
The summer river:
although there is a bridge, my horse
goes through the water.

Andrew

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Re: Actualism / actual freedom, direct pointing and other new methods
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2011, 05:40:43 AM »
Without a doubt, the whole going to war thing is over the top, but it gets attention of people who wouldn't be bothered to sit and find out (like you or me).

You obviously haven't found the thread full of naked chicks yet  :D

What they are on about is foundational Right Thinking. It possibly fails the Right Speech and Right Morality no doubt, but it does present the environment to just 'have it out' about the issue of no-self, which is the the root of suffering "Desire for Existence".

Understanding the question and instruction there is liberation, scripting and playing word games there is entertainment! Either way it makes me laugh!
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Andrew

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Re: Actualism / actual freedom, direct pointing and other new methods
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2011, 06:33:14 AM »
When i say bothered to sit, I meant we actually have been bothered.
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Masauwu

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Re: Actualism / actual freedom, direct pointing and other new methods
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2011, 06:45:18 AM »
Tracked down your thread on their forum, i see now that you are liberated according to their color coding. If you got something real out of it then it`s a good thing. :)
The summer river:
although there is a bridge, my horse
goes through the water.

Andrew

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Re: Actualism / actual freedom, direct pointing and other new methods
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2011, 08:09:13 AM »
Wasn't hard to pass the test once I understood the question and instruction. Got a cool dude (dudette?) called Nomad, and I just kept investigating the present moment until I could see the point being made. I ended up doing alot of it while they were off line. It really is quite useful to train the mind into the present, like a 2 person noting session that goes for a couple of days!.

I'm finding sitting a whole lot easier as there is not emphasis on 'I' getting anywhere, there is no I!. That's why I want to share the whole thing with you as we are at a similar place in the whole 'meditation' path.

The language / word play is probably the thing I find the hardest to see beyond, words are indeed limiting.
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Matthew

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Re: Actualism / actual freedom, direct pointing and other new methods
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2011, 08:42:29 AM »
The intellectual understanding of no self is not hard to fathom. The direct pointing to the level Andrew has followed is not hard to attain. It was not the video or their manner that makes me question this group so much as their blog and the first post on it at www.ruthlesstruthdotcom.blogspot.com

The rant therein is very questionable. The writer and leader of this group claims to be enlightened yet admits he is not perfect. The writing in the blog shows admirably that there is a highly egotistic agenda behind the front. A few examples, but it's worth reading if you want to get a grip on this group:

Quote
I'm not the first person who ever got enlightened, but I do reckon I am the first to map the gate - or at least the first I know of.

Quote
We shouldn't cut all attempts to build a credible commercial framework that supports us.

Quote
On an ongoing basis, from this second until the second the world is free, we all each of us need to work to that ethos. And shit - we're not perfect. Sometimes we will, because we're dealing with some pretty trippy shit, get sucked along by this or that.

Quote
I think...

Ok. I don't know how you all feel about this. It's quite a big decision to make. But...

I think it might be wise, at this point, if the Vanguard voted on the adoption of a non-profit ethos, such that EVERY company or commercial structure, or personal income of any kind that any of us generate from this in any way, runs through a non-profit framework.

What I mean by that is this - we set up some kind of foundation. We don't need to do this immediately, just when it gets practical. That foundation is a legal entity that is the recipient of all the profits any and all Vanguard members ever generate from this, and we each take a set salary from it.

I think that salary should be something normal, something that will allow us to live with real financial stability - I think that £20k a year is a good idea.

I also think there might be mileage in adding the caveat that any dependent person (a child, or elderly parent) who is relying on the Vanguard member for support gets some kind of grant, which might max out at something like 5k a year.

All this gets scaled up with inflation so we're not eating out of bean cans in a decade's time.

Enlightened people don't live in time the way the rest of us do. There is only the present moment. They don't plan their pension schemes or non profit commercial organisations "so (they're) not eating out of bean cans in a decade's time".

Enlightened people deal with now. They don't get "sucked along by this or that".
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Andrew

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Re: Actualism / actual freedom, direct pointing and other new methods
« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2011, 09:18:30 AM »
The intellectual understanding of no self is not hard to fathom. The direct pointing to the level Andrew has followed is not hard to attain.

Exactly, it is very easy, but had I had completely missed the point until this rag tag bunch set up there dubious site and made a game out of it.  :D

I would describe the effect as intellectual, but that is semantics, for me it is a new thought than when applied to a situation defuses it.

I'm interested in the process outside of the hype. What I do know is that is is very one dimensional. They have no forum attached, and you are not expected to do anything, buy anything later, there hasn't been any spam from them, so I'm not sure what they are going to make money out of.

For some it is probably dangerous, and destabilising. But so is most of what young men get up to, at least this one has a truth mixed in to it.
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Andrew

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Re: Actualism / actual freedom, direct pointing and other new methods
« Reply #16 on: September 06, 2011, 03:06:14 AM »
Actually, it is significant that you brought up both of these 'methods' in the one thread. After reading through the actualism stuff, I've been able to apply some of it, especially the sensuosness aspect; being there right with the experience in the moment Even now being aware of the feeling of each key stroke, or mouse click, seeing enjoyment in the little things, as most of the time there is a naive mystery in all these things going on.

the concept of a PCE (pure consciousness experience) is also valuable. That there is a way ofexperiencing the day beyond the Self reference. Infact the boredom I experience happens after the series of I thoughts have arisen. I'm not getting bored when i realise that there is no 'I' to get bored! The "I'm bored' isn't actually referring to a real something being anything, it is a sensation that arises for a time then goes away. If i follow the 'I' thoughts, they trigger memories of yesterday (or the last time 'I' was bored) and the whole self referential feedback loop of 'I' spins suffering.

It is like a computer program (like you pointed out) in the way it 'hangs', one thought leads to another then a feeling and a thought, all centred around a mysterious 'I'. When that 'I' is seen as an imaginary addition to the experience, the experience is what it is, and passes without additional pain.

good thread my friend.

A
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Masauwu

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Re: Actualism / actual freedom, direct pointing and other new methods
« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2011, 04:58:50 AM »
being there right with the experience in the moment
Mindfulness. Indeed it`s of major importance. Might have something to do  with every individual`s affinity for the specific form in which knowledge is communicated, but i`ve already found out about mindfulness from the Satipatthana Sutta. Just like many meditation teachers have their own specific variations in practice, the actualism folk also are using their variations but chose to rebrand them for some reason.
Quote
The Buddha advocated that one should establish mindfulness (satipatthana) in one's day-to-day life maintaining as much as possible a calm awareness of one's bodily functions, sensations (feelings), objects of consciousness (thoughts and perceptions), and consciousness itself.
(source)
The summer river:
although there is a bridge, my horse
goes through the water.

Andrew

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Re: Actualism / actual freedom, direct pointing and other new methods
« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2011, 06:36:53 AM »
'Ruthless Satipatthana Sutta' just isn't as sexy.


This reminds me of the movie 'A few Good Men'.

Kaffee: "Grave danger?"

Jessup "Is there another kind!?"

 ;)

 
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Andrew

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Re: Actualism / actual freedom, direct pointing and other new methods
« Reply #20 on: September 06, 2011, 11:38:29 PM »
hehehehehe  :D
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Stefan

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Re: Actualism / actual freedom, direct pointing and other new methods
« Reply #21 on: September 07, 2011, 03:01:20 PM »

I don't like the gothic athmosphere. I don't like the title of the forum. I don't like this straight-into-the-face mentality. But well, I used to be a hippie, give me some flowers and a little sunshine and I am with you ...  ;)

... but there are some interesting ideas to be read on rt, while there are some real stupid ideas I heard from hippies. so I wouldn't want to judge. and it is to be said that there have been highly egotistic discussions on our forum as well. any of us had his little moments in one way or another ... personally I prefer to have my little moments rather here than on rt, but that's a personal thing.

like Andrew hinted somewhere else ... we are not feeling superior are we?  :angel:
anicca

Masauwu

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Re: Actualism / actual freedom, direct pointing and other new methods
« Reply #22 on: September 07, 2011, 03:20:48 PM »
Quote
I'd just set up the Arena, and freed the first wave of people.  It was like playing space invaders, but with liberation.  Exhilarating, intense, cool.  I was having a whale of a time.

I never imagined it would be this easy.  People were popping like overripe melons and covering my arena in their sticky freedom pips.  Fantastic.  Fantastic stuff.
(source)
Saner maybe? :)

If i knew about the blog sooner i wouldn`t have started the thread in the first place.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2011, 03:23:51 PM by Masauwu »
The summer river:
although there is a bridge, my horse
goes through the water.

Stefan

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Re: Actualism / actual freedom, direct pointing and other new methods
« Reply #23 on: September 07, 2011, 06:00:28 PM »

Well, I didn't quite get it in the first place what this thread was up to.

To give it a try, I started to read through that blog you cited, but it goes on and on and on, endlessly, it seems ... I don't want to say anything about the writer and his theories. Because I will never have the patience to read through his ideas. In a certain way he reminds me of our former member Pamojjam, who used to write endless posts ...

anicca

Matthew

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Re: Actualism / actual freedom, direct pointing and other new methods
« Reply #24 on: September 07, 2011, 08:11:13 PM »
Quote
Facebook, baby, Add me so I can have a big friends list to feed an ego I claim to have transcended.

hahahaha

Not feeling superior. I know I have not transcended my ego. Have recently come face to face with my greatest obstacle and am staring it in the face, and holding it in my mind.

It is also in my second Dhamma name: "Great Ocean Beyond Fear".
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