there is no feeler / open thread

I guess I’ll try and do one of these every week. the last one filled up pretty good.

I’m settling into my new condition, whatever that may end up being. Some kind of fundamental suffering seems to be radically reduced. The thing way down the perceptual stack that drives suffering seems to now be largely absent, right in the center of the field. the habit patterns keep spinning, but now all I have to do is look, and they unwind themselves in a way that seems completely obvious and progressive in a way it didn’t used to be. Kind of like pedaling downhill instead of uphill.  I think the thing that gets overlooked a lot in insight practice is that there are usually two interconnected reference points; the ‘watcher’ and the ‘feeler’. most aspiring arahats manage to see through the watcher, and hence take a big bite out of ignorance, but the feeler is often neglected, which explains how you end up with hardcore arahats having emotional flame-outs with surprising regularity. feelings always arise and always will, but when those feelings become the property of some delusional ‘feeler’ then you get the phenomena of conditioned emotions, much the same way as when visual /auditory experience becomes the perspective of a ‘watcher’, you get pathologies associated to the witness and the separation sense and whatnot. if you have no self and no feeler, then there are no such things as emotions, either, as long as we define carefully the difference between feelings and emotions: emotions are feelings that become tied into conditioned relationships with concepts, the self and the external world.  In that light, the whole controversy of limited emotional range models and ‘affect-less’ pseudo-arahats playing with their own brainstems and amygdalae becomes a moot point: there never were any emotions to argue about in the first place. just feelings that a false self tried to make the property of a false feeler. let them rise and fall.

it really is completely obvious. all you have to do is quit distracting yourself with things that aren’t there.

The Eternal Mountain / Open Thread


Well, the baptists are closing up their forum for good, and I’ve invited the gaggle of enlightened satanists to hang out here while Alan and Duncan prepare to set up a new forum ( under a new remit) elsewhere. They may or may not deign to squat here, but in any event, it can’t hurt to get some people talking again, so I figure I’ll drop an open thread to see who’s still hanging around. I’ve never actually done a roll call of my audience, so by all means just give a small peep if that’s all you’re inclined to do, but feel free to talk rubbish to your heart’s content.

Just to kick off, my insight practice seems to have reached something resembling a conclusion today. perhaps it was all the debate and contemplation of complex issues over on open enlightenment and the ‘head, or maybe it was the philosophy of mind and logic classes, or maybe it was just good karma and sheer stubbornness. In any case, it’s all done, or very close to it. as long as I stay fairly relaxed and don’t chase after it too hard, I have this perfect centerless awareness thing going on, which is pretty cool. Once I burn off some residual habit patterns of dualistic perception, the thing should settle in for good, and not a moment too soon. the bliss of selfless fundamental unity is kind of like that old joke about hitting yourself in the head with a hammer. it feels so good when you stop being ignorant.

It’s too bad my own lineage takes a slightly harder line on what constitutes enlightenment than Dharma Dan Ingram. By his standard, I would probably be an arahat now, or again, very close to it. But by the old theravada, pali canon, 10 hindrances way of thinking, I am merely a wretched once-returner until I fully extinguish lust, aversion, conceit, ignorance, restlessness and worry and attachment to the worlds of form and formlessness. But I have never complained over having further mountains to climb. That is what makes us human. To me full enlightenment has always been a three legged stool of insight, concentration and conduct. It would be opportunistic of me to throw that standard away at such a convenient moment.