02-01-01 Concepts and their role in triggering NEs
When you start eradicating NEs you notice that they appear mostly when events take detours, are not as expected or wanted. NEs come with ideas: “this is wrong”, “this is bad”, “this should be contrary”, which means that your understanding of “it must be this way” is in confrontation with reality. These are the moments when the patterns of NEs work effectively. While perfecting your efforts of NEs eradication and confirming the clarity that you want to eliminate the pattern of NEs that you are so weary of, while strengthening your joyful wish for EPs and enjoying the rational clarity, you arrive at a very important and interesting study of concepts.
The word “concept” is used in science to designate a reasonably consistent system of hypothesizes and interpretations of experimental data. In the context of this book the word “concept” is used according to the meaning it acquired in our everyday spoken language, which is a “mechanically accepted system of opinions.”
“Mechanically” means imitating blindly, thoughtlessly, being affected by NEs (e.g. a feeling of inferiority, embarrassment, a fear of a negative attitude, a fear of being isolated, etc.), without your own analysis and a search of reasons on the basis of experimental data. A person accepts a statement as correct without any proof and lives with it as if it is unconditionally true.
“System of opinions” is a consistent set of ideas that have a pattern of germinating in definite circumstances.
For example if a child is hurt and crying the first usual set of thoughts is: “my child is crying – he is hurt – he needs comforting”, and this is the reason to say that there is a concept of a “crying child that needs comforting”. But with time you will discover that there are more and more tears and more demands, comforting is needed over and over and that is when you doubt the concept and start analysing it. As a result of your observations, analysis and consequent assumptions and on the basis of your new experience you can see that “comforting” means you teach your child self-pity. The outcome will change your behaviour. You not only cease comforting your child but instead you will deprive your child of your attention every time that he is encapsulated by NEs such as self-pity, and if there is a pause in crying he will receive your attention and affection. Therefore the child will understand his heart-breaking sobbing and self-pity will cease to have any effect and thus he will receive an incentive to stop the habit of cultivating this NE in a particular situation. As a result you will eliminate the concept, experience the clarity of perception and all that remains for you to do is eradicate the pattern of NE appearing when your child tries to get your attention by crying.
02-01-02 Sources and causes of concepts
You can acquire concepts from various sources. For example if your mother sees a cockroach when you are having a meal, she will grimace with disgust, scream hysterically and with fear and revulsion she will flush it down the toilet. As a little child who is in the process of absorbing all the knowledge from the surroundings, you will accept this perception of the cockroaches and will easily make the concept “cockroaches are nasty creatures” as a true fact. This is an “emotional” way of transmitting the concepts, the first way.
The way number 2 is authoritarian. If a very “respectable” or “senior” or “clever” person with status advises you that you should not do this or do that you can believe this person without proof because such a “clever” and “respectable” person just does not say anything stupid.
The way number three is mimicry. If you join a community you start accepting the concepts from the members of the community as you do not want to be rejected.
The way number four. I particularly want to attract attention to pain and related to it the fear as a way of accepting the concepts. If a child falls down and is hurt and frightened, due to the compassionate grandmother he will easily remember the concept, that “running very fast is bad and hurtful, but sitting quiet is good and safe”.
Way number five is based on an error, when a certain set of facts is considered complete and final. When you say that there is “no life on Mars”, at first you mean this assumption is based on the facts known at the moment and in future there may be incredible, unpredictable discoveries. But with time you are sure, that there is no life on Mars.
Way number six is a purely logical error or a lack of data or inaccurate information or just dullness, which is a specific inertia for thinking caused by strong NEs.
Way number seven is based on the feeling of your self-importance. Saying something with importance and competence means raising yourself in the eyes of your spouse, friend or colleague. But after this all that remains is you prove your opinion is right to the end, no matter how absurd it is, trying to pressurise psychologically (well, can’t you understand, or what?), intentionally confusing and complicating the issue, which is a deliberate cultivating of ambiguity.
Way number eight is other concepts that produce fixed ideas and wishes. If your father thinks that his daughter “is obliged” to tell him where she is going to spend the night, who she is going to have sex with and so on then when you leave and do not give him any information he feels strong anxiety and aggression. He wants to make you follow his demands, starts imagining the different horrors and the more stupid his reasoning the better chances that it will affect you. Thus he takes all possible steps to generate new concepts for himself to transmit them to you so he can hold a tight rein on you and keep you on a chain.
Way number nine is insincerity in discussions and is the most widespread. You can displace arguments not complete them, as you anticipate that they will contradict your views or you just did not bother to study thoroughly the weak points of your concept. Such discussions usually have common elements like “it is obviously that…”, “everybody knows, that…”, “scientists have long ago discovered, that…” (although they do not give any references of what exactly scientists’ works or comparisons with any other opinions) and so on.
02-01-03 Explicit and implicit concepts
People do not often think as they do not understand the word “think” as a process of contemplating, comparing and analysing, but as a juggling of concepts.
All concepts can be divided into two big categories. The first category includes explicit concepts, i.e. when a person independently forms the concepts and actively promotes them. After reading books about cabbage and how useful it is, you can be inspired by what you have read and start telling your family about the benefits of cabbage.
Let’s imagine another situation: ask a person if it’s possible to stop NEs and be sure he will say “no”, but it doesn’t mean he ever thought about it or analysed somebody’s arguments and experiences or tried to do so. These ideas never came into his head and previous to being asked this question he would not even know that he would answer this way. Moreover if this person was asked to list his opinions of the world this particular view would not even appear in the list of his concepts. The concepts of this category I call implicit concepts. Although they are implicit, they still regulate a person’s behaviour as strictly as explicit. If a person who believes in the concept that it is “impossible to cease experiencing NEs”, is persuaded to contemplate this he can come to a few different conclusions. For example, “it is impossible to stop”, “maybe it is possible”, “I do not know as I never tried it”, “I have to think about it”, “why not” and so on, but nevertheless he will behave as if he fully and unconditionally accepts the concept of impossibility to get rid of NEs.
If somebody breaks a law due to his ignorance, this person is still bearing a responsibility. The same with concepts, people can experience the consequences of their concepts, although sometimes they do not even suspect the concepts exist.
One more example of an implicit concept: “I will not be able to achieve enlightenment until the end of my life”. Practically it is not possible to refute this statement. It also does not seem to cause any concerns as it implies something far too distant – the end of life, and something far too indefinite – enlightenment. It will not cause any significant inner dialogue as more urgent and vital issues prevail. If this idea is discussed, you even may not agree with it (depending on your disposition) or stay neutral, but still this concept will exist and suppress your aspiration. You can realise this concept is there in the spur of the moment as a result of your efforts to eliminate NEs and generate PEs or to control your chaotic inner dialogue or as an outcome of your conversation with a practitioner, etc. Only then will you be aware of the pressure of this concept and will be able to start making efforts to release yourself from the burden.
Explicit concept is instantly available for investigating, as for an implicit concept you have to discover it first, which is not easy, and then you have to work to make it a subject of your analysis.
I suggest that you record and analyse your inner dialogue in writing at the moment of experiencing NEs or when NB or NES are dragging on. Any concept, whether it is explicit or implicit, is a bit of your inner dialogue (ID), i.e. quickly passing through chain of thoughts. Inner dialogue has a few layers (see next chapters for details). Loud inner dialogue consists of silent spoken completed words in your mind and the thought may last a millisecond or longer. A blind inner dialogue includes some parts of the words and of images, lasting 1/30 of a second, and a chain of such fragments form a very short thought lasting one third of a second. “Catching” and recording in your mind these thoughts requires full attention and high speed for NEs eradication. I call this practice “real-time work with implicit concepts”.
Another technique is to search for resonating thoughts. When I experience NB or NES, I do not eradicate them immediately, but take my time to ask myself questions, like: “what worries and depresses me? Is it an iron I have forgotten to turn off? No, it is not. Is my child hungry? No… Are there problems at work? No…”. I search through my thoughts and examine which one will activate the strongest NE. When I find it, I know that it’s the one I’m looking for to find a hidden concept (the one I cannot find just thinking about it). My next step is to sort out my thoughts in this area until again I feel resonating that narrows down my search. The more precisely I identify the circle of thoughts, the better chances of clarity and the more often I do this practice, the better my skills become.
Technique number three of revealing implicit concepts is “resonating simulation”. Change a situation in your mind and keep monitoring to see if the intensity of your NB increases or decreases or stays them same. For example, imagine that you get a pay rise and then imagine a wage reduction. Then think of your child and how he excelled in his studies and then he took a turn for the worse. And so on. With every image in your mind your NB will get either stronger or weaker, but some issue will bring especially intense resonating thought, and it means that this is where the problem lies.
Very often tracing the concepts will reveal a whole cluster of them. Example: you have a cup of tea with your visitors and there comes a feeling of discomfort. Upon investigating the various parts of your inner dialogue you understand that you worry your child can start slurping at a table. Hence the first concept: “slurping is bad and ill-mannered”. You go on digging: “but why am I so afraid, it’s not me that is doing that… because this is my child”. Hence the second concept: “I am responsible for my child’s manners”. And so on. It becomes clear that concepts are revealed as conglomerates and give support to each other. To achieve clarity you must differentiate between them and sort out with each of them separately.
02-01-04 “Obviously empty” and “working” concepts
Let us examine two types of implicit concepts. The first type of concepts is revealed as obviously unreasonable. Let’s call them “obviously false”. A closer examination of concepts of the second type will require analysing to considering all arguments, counter-arguments and counter-counter-arguments, etc. Let’s call them “working concepts”.
It only seems to be easy to get rid of an obviously false concept, but it is not. Even though you see the concept is unreasonable it still exists and it means something has caused it. The reason may be one of those nine various sources which have been listed above besides it may be inertia and habit. Eradication of the mildest habit requires consecutive and joyful efforts, especially if this habit is supported by others like a pattern of NEs in a given situation. For example, in childhood you thought you were not graced with beauty. When you understood that was wrong and for some people you are very beautiful while others do not care how you look, still due to the inertia you still experience NEs when you meet boys and the concept shifted from the category of explicit into implicit, thus continued serving as a trigger for NEs appearing.
02-01-05 Practice of contraposition and mechanical replacement
I recommend that a technique of contraposition is used to overpower the inertia of the obviously false concepts (or the concepts, close to obviously false due to their analysis). I form an idea that contradicts a given concept, i.e. I form an anti-concept, and then I perform a formal practice (see practice description in a corresponding chapter), asking myself hundred times per day: what do I find true: concept or anti-concept? The thought “I am not beautiful” or the thought “Some people like me, some people do not”? As a result of this practice and the perfect NEs eradication I can achieve my goal, the obviously false concept affects my behaviour less and less until it stops affecting me completely.
Another approach is called mechanical replacement (MR). It is good for use when dealing with obviously false concepts forced into your mind by rough psychological pressure. Like your mother is leaning over you and shouting: “WILL YOU SIT STILL???!!!”, or vice versa she is piteously looking at you nearly crying: “why do you discredit me…” You cringe like a tiny ball and “understand” that sitting still is good and misbehaving is bad.
The practice of mechanical replacement consists of saying an anti-concept over and over, e.g. for one hour every day, it diminishes the concept, it is like a wedge that pushes out another.
This practice also enables you to complete eradication of working concepts, when they are reduced to the level of obviously false or close to that.
The concept “I must help people” has an anti-concept “I want to help those people I like and I have a wish to help”. Some anti-concepts can be formulated by adding simple negation like in the following: “if he has sex with another lady, it means he does not feel affectionate towards me” – “if he has sex with another lady, it does NOT mean he does not feel affectionate towards me”.
This practice can also be combined with other activities if it is not very effective.
We repeated a concept hundreds of times during our life, either aloud or silently, but the intensity of such a blind impact is much weaker than the intensity of an impact produced by a joyful wish. This is why if you repeat the anti-concept only a few thousand times, it will mechanically replace an obviously false concept. An anti-concept does not take over the concept as an obstruction, because you do not use it blindly, but with a very clear purpose to eradicate an alien mechanism.
You can also exercise this practice together with other practitioners, when the anti-concept is said by everybody one after another, and it does not require high concentration.
02-01-06 Anti-concepts. Classification of anti-concepts. Example concept of “future”
Let us give a definition of an “anti-concept”. It is a statement that:
а) contradicts the meaning of the concept under examination,
b) brings resonation with enlightened perceptions (EPs),
c) at a given moment seems to be the most reasonable and true compared with the concept.
Anti-concepts versus abstract concepts (see a definition below) can lack the quality because it’s impossible to either justify nor to deny them. For example, I can formulate the following anti-concept: “there is no future, there is only the here-and-now”. I cannot prove it as the word “future” does not identify any exact set of perceptions, hence I cannot say whether “there is” or “there is not”, it is not clear what I am talking about. But as long as this statement brings an outburst of anticipation, joyful wishes and liberation from the pressure of various troubles related to the thoughts of the “future”, there appears a desire to cultivate this anti-concept.
Applying the technique of using the anti-concepts is not a form of self-cheating and I will prove it. The original concept, saying that “there is future” is nothing else but a bunch of words as you have thoughts including the word “future” and you have emotions related to the “future”. You have wishes, accompanying the word “future” but you have no independent perception that you call the “future”. Any perception exists here-and-now. Thus you have a choice to support either the thoughts triggering NEs or the thoughts disproving previous ones and have no NEs as a result. Both thoughts are abstract concepts, i.e. they are statements that actually mean nothing. Certainly there appears a wish to support the second thought and after it eliminate the negative impact of the first thought, I will easily refuse the both of them as I realise that the word “future” has no precise perception. I do not “believe” the anti-concept I just use it as a good tool. When you generate a pair of concept / anti-concept, you will eradicate a forced automatic mechanism. In the case of mundane concepts you can also receive some true experience and after that have a reason to lean to this or that point of view or deny both of them.
If one side of the scales contains a concept I placed mindlessly (accepted mechanically) then I want to balance it with an anti-concept and my next step will be to investigate both of them when I am free from NEs and prejudices.
Some phrases that include words without any precise meaning for me resonate with enlightened perceptions (i.e. there appears an outburst of enlightened perceptions), this is why for tactical reasons I keep them in my vocabulary for some time.
Even a gust of light wind can break a giant tree. For years a concept contradicts common sense but at a certain moment it crashes on its own accord. For 30 years you can live and communicate with relatives because it “must be” and it is “accepted” but do not communicate with those you want to. For 30 years you can greet your neighbours and politely talk to them about the weather and work because it is “embarrassing not to”. But at a certain moment the poisoning from this pretence and everlasting fear of negative attitude will become so evident the crisis will culminate in an explosion of clarity. There will be enough just to hear an anti-concept and the bubble will burst with the thought: “It is possible to live otherwise!” and an avalanche of clarity will start.
You will have to work hard with other concepts before they stop but this work will result not in some phantom benefits as the outcome will be immediate as soon as you achieve some clarity. Each series of mechanical replacements and examinations of arguments “for” and “against” is completed with an influx of clarity. It resonates with other enlightened perceptions and step by step you will advance in the realisation of your joyful wishes, in liberation from NEs and dullness, to cultivation and development of enlightened perceptions.
02-01-07 List of concepts
The awareness of the existence of a concept can disappear very quickly and the concept will become implicit again and you can forget about your discovery. It is easy to realize it if at this moment you try to list all your concepts that you have discovered, in the best case scenario you will remember only a small number of them. It means all the concepts that you could not remember are beyond your control and observation and right now they affect you with accumulated strength.
The state of achieved clarity is not your usual state, you are not used to it and this is why you quickly return (sometimes it takes only a few seconds) to your previous condition of lacking clarity. Often you make one and the same discovery for a few times until the clarity becomes steady. This is why I recommend that you list your concepts and add new ones as you track them. It will ease both the analysis of your concepts and the process of searching for a resonating concept that is responsible for the current NB – you take the list and examine each item.
If you just experience mechanical mental activity clarity of EPs doesn’t appear. That’s why in this case you arrive to some conclusion and the next time if you arrive at the same one, you will not experience it as something new. And the EPs clarity is always feel like something new, even if you use the phrase you already know to “jump” into it.
Ordinary people never try to achieve clarity they just replace one concept with another, believing first in one, then in another. It is very hard to find a person who would strive for clarity and not just make conclusions according to laws of logics. It is just as hard to find someone with the experience of NEs eradication, who would not just replace one emotion with another.
02-01-08 Concepts classification by content
Now let us class the concepts by their content. Different classes of concepts have different intensity, stability, degree and quality of integration into a general conceptual group. Often it is efficient to use different approaches to different classes, this is why the task of dividing concepts by meaning is interesting and effective.
Two big classes are “abstract” and “mixed” concepts.
“Abstract” concepts are the statements consisting of words which do not identify precise perceptions, i.e. their meaning is not clear at all. For example: “The Universe is infinite”. You have no idea what is “infinite” and what is “Universe”, you have no exact perceptions to determine these words. Likewise the concept “I am a human”. It is not clear what is “I” and what is a “human”, but all people are sure that they are people. Other examples: there is variable and constant, there is a beginning and an end, there is an enlightenment and distress, there is a subject and an object, there is life and death, there is one and another, there is an existence and non-existence, there is conscious and subconscious, there is active and passive, you and I, whole and a part, past, present, future.
Mixed concepts are statements where these meaningless words like “eternity”, “decency”, “universe order”, “justice”, “god” are mixed with words that determine precise perceptions, taboos, incentives, like “shame”, “not allowed”, “do”, “must”, etc. For example: “Justice required me to do this”. What is “justice” – nobody knows, but to “do this” – is clear. Or: “it is a shame to be bad”. What is “bad” – we do not know but we know what is “shame”. People literally sour themselves with large numbers of mixed concepts. Mixed concepts kill the capability to experience EPs (including the joyful wishes), because they regulate your life but the meaning of these regulations is not clear. Imagine an article of a Criminal Code that stipulates punishment for a “bad temper” without any explanations or an article for “violation of God’s providence”. If legislative authorities administered justice according to these articles and executive authorities rigorously complied what chaos would it bring? This is what happens in your everyday life. The legislator (concept) says: “it is a shame to be naked”, executor (mechanical wish) gives you a command: “put on clothes immediately”, guards (emotions of shame, fear of disapproval and so on) watch that you comply with the command unquestionably. As a result it would lead to a terrible chaos, a mass of NEs, an absence of joyful wishes and as a consequence changes that would bring the welcome conditions.
The further classification of concepts depends on your imagination. For example, mixed concepts can be grouped as following:
*) Mundane concepts
*) Concepts about practice
*) Social concepts
*) Fundamental concepts
*) Mechanical preferences
*) Mechanical goals
*) Mechanical judgments
*) Mechanical interpretations
Mundane concepts are the statements that regulate your home life. “Sheets in the linen closet should be clean”, “you are not allowed to eat off the floor”, “you must rise early in the morning, you cannot sleep until late”, “you must work hard to earn more money”, “you must respect elderly people”, “you must save money”, “you must be careful with your possessions”, “you must have a clear goal in your life and aspire to it” and so on. All mundane concepts operate with the words like “must”, “not allowed”, “it’s not good”, etc. either openly or unrevealed. What is “must”, “not needed”, “good”, “not good” and why this is allowed and that is not, nobody knows and nobody thinks about it very much.
Similarly to mundane concepts it is possible to formulate concepts even on the basis of my practice: “NEs should be eradicated”, “it’s not good to be conceptual” and so on. The SAS is making every effort to realise JOYFUL wishes accompanied with enthusiasm, anticipation and other EPs providing these wishes belong to one of the following: (1) eradication of distresses (NEs, concepts, mechanical, i.e. lacking happy wishes, unpleasant feelings, mechanical distinguishing conscience), (2) generation of EPs (see a list in the chapter “Strategy of efficient practice”). In any case I recommend that you follow your happy wishes but if they do not classify according to the two items above then they are not a part of the practice of SAS and it is worthwhile to give them another name, like “preliminary steps”.
Social concepts regulate a person’s behaviour within the community regarding their relationship with other people and social establishments, registry offices, shops, police, colleagues at work, etc.
To work effectively with concepts it is good to make a list of especially hard conceptual problems which are so deeply rooted in a person that only mentioning, speaking nothing of unbiased examination and eradication, presents itself as an extremely complicated task due to immediate appearing of a whole spectrum of radiant, emerging and pressurising NEs. These concepts I call “fundamental”. Due to a great number of NEs related to fundamental problems a practitioner may not even discover them. It is good in this case to ask other practitioners to “go through” the list of fundamental concepts known to them and do it with you while watching your reactions. What makes this task easier is that every culture and every time period are characterised with traditionally typical fundamental concepts.
The class of mechanical preferences is a group of thoughts like: “it would be good if it was like this”. As a rule you do not bother to think why it would be “good”, but act by the pattern you are used to without analysing what has happened previously. Non-mechanical preferences are assumptions based on estimation, like: “due to certain circumstances and laws that I am aware of I expect that such and such events will lead to a desirable outcome”.
Concerns are a particular case of mechanical preferences – a set of ideas of the kind: “it will be terrible, if this happens…”, “God save me from this…”. They are accompanied by a like-named NE. Concurrently you do not analyse changes that took place after an event that scared you. But if you make a list of similar situations you can easily discover that often as a result of those changes you thought “it’s so good it has happened”.
Judgments describe perceptions against a certain scale. Mechanical judgments are when you evaluate against a scale that is absurd because they are not based on the analysis of your experience but accepted mechanically or are absent and assessed due to the habit or with an aim to support NEs. If the judgment is the result of clear thinking it does not become a rigid label tied to the group of perceptions, then at any moment you can take it away and it’ll make the group flexible, giving you a freedom of overpowering the mechanical process of distinguishing inner feelings.
Mechanical goals are a group of thoughts of the following type: “I must achieve”, “it is necessary to achieve it”. With this you do not analyse changes that happened to you as a result of realising the previous mechanical goals. But if you do analyse you will discover very often you were disappointed at the outcome of your expectations. Non-mechanical goals are the thoughts like: “I want to realise some happy wish”. Do not confuse thoughts and wishes! There is a thought “I want to go for a walk” and there is a desire to go for a walk. In the process of the realisation of a happy wish I am aware if I have a resonance between the happy wish and the desire, which are represented as “tools of a wish realisation”.
The same class of goals includes thoughts called “intermediate tasks”, corresponding to the desires called “tools”. If there is a wish to have fried eggs for a meal then there is a thought-goal “I want to cook eggs” and an intermediate thought-task “[due to some circumstances (including a happy wish and availability of a stove, etc.) and some laws known to me] I must switch the stove on”. This confusion results from using the word “goal” to denote both thoughts and wishes. If you eliminate this confusion, it is easy to achieve clarity.
Mechanical judgments are a set of ideas, like “he was not supposed to do that”, “good person”. Non-mechanical judgments are for example “due to such and such facts I have reasons to believe that he experienced this and that”, “because he behaves that way, I can qualify his actions as such and such”.
Mechanical interpretations are based on a random choice or a mechanical pattern or caused by NEs but they are not supported by arguments. For example, if you came in and yelled, I can feel hurt, the supporting interpretation will be: “He is just an impudent rascal”. But if I am clear-minded, I will assume that there is a number of possible interpretations: you are experimenting or this is such a joke or you are yelling not at me and so on. I will see what assumption is more reasonable depending on the circumstances and the known laws. Then I can ask you questions, watch your behaviour and correct my interpretation if I have reasons for that.
02-01-09 Profound and shallow goals
Let us introduce the concept “profound goals”, their achievement will make you happier as you expect. These are goals like: to graduate from an institute, to marry, to make a career, to learn Japanese, to build your muscles, etc. Non-achievement of these goals causes self-pity and regrets: “if I did that, what a life I would have…” But of course achieving these goals did not make anybody happier, and it is easy to see that, if you look at those who have accomplished them. Or you can look at yourself, when you spasmodically formulate new goals and they do not make you happy again you find excuses and explanations, set new goals and it continues until your happy wishes vanish and you die together with them of dementia and old age.
As a rule people set these profound goals due to the herd instinct or guided by concepts or NEs or the wish of possessing or to experience FSI, to produce impression on others, to experience satisfaction, not bothering to investigate the life of those who have already achieved this goal and to think how exactly this accomplished goal will make them happier. While achieving the profound goals people experience as a rule a whole range of known NEs.
If your goals are reasoned by FSI, a wish to produce an impression, then you learn languages with enthusiasm, read different books, start understanding various subjects, learn reciting, inspiring, telling stories, become encyclopaedia expert, you can teach others, be marvelled at by others due to your knowledge and capabilities, write books… and at the same time experience a large number of NEs and finish your life with dementia and emptiness, with your mind stuffed full of figures, facts and hypothesizes and with a heart turning into a simple muscle according to the laws of anatomy, as well as your brain. A person guided with a happy wish also sets a goal, but he experiences joy every moment through the process of achievement, this is the quality of happy wishes and he enjoys his life no matter whether the goal is achieved or not.
Goals that people set with the aim to fulfil their dullness and boredom I call shallow. They are like pegs to mark the distance in the emptiness so people can feel that they advance somewhere. There is a vacuum in front of them, but who is strong and honest enough to admit that? They throw a peg into this emptiness, it sticks somewhere and they jog to it, thus receiving some anaesthetic, some mind-numbing relief in the process of the movement, taking turns with torturous tides of depression from life’s meaninglessness. When in the end they achieve their goal, they receive their brief deadly comfort and so they wander in circles within this hole without boundaries or an end. You look through a TV guide and see that tonight there will be a soccer match on, you feel comfortable that this evening is fulfilled, you have a goal. Then you call your friend, together with your wife you visit him, have a beer and chat with him about this and that, next morning you go to work, so there is nothing to think about, this is a clear goal, it will lullaby you from Monday until Friday and on Sunday we will go to the movies and now I am busy for the next hour or so as I am going to have a meal. These are all “shallow” goals, but it’s not easy to break away from their captivity. I called them “shallow”, because they do not reveal like a radiant and lasting outburst, they envelop like fog, but this fog is holding with a death grip. The mundane life of an ordinary person cannot be without shallow goals. He is always busy, because if he has spare time he is immediately bored, worried and if he doesn’t know what to do with his time, NEs grow to an intolerable intensity. When was it last that you were just sitting, enjoying your time without any aim at all? Looking at the sky, wandering in the woods, free from any thoughts? A constant mass of shallow goals turns your life into a deadly tasteless mash.
Try to be idle among people. The reaction will be instant and aggressive, they will do their best to launch you into orbit for doing at least something, trying any tactics, like mockery, judgment, persuasion, NA or violence. No one must be idle and never allowed to stop. Everybody must rush around like a mouse in a wheel, everybody must have problems. This is an unwritten law of the society we live in. Nobody is allowed outside of the barbed wire fence for any reason, moreover the main guards are your own concepts and fears because it is so scary to admit that all your goals are empty, all your ways are within a closed circle, all your accumulations and achievements change nothing in the way you live at this moment – experiencing NEs or PEs. The practice of eliminating shallow goals is followed by a shock at first and a powerful outburst of NEs and spasmodic wishes, similar to a shock of an addict who did not get his dose, but after overpowering the “withdrawals” there appears an amazing EP of integrity and fullness. Happy wishes, anticipation and other EPs will revive while shallow goals vanish.
Mechanical activity makes your life full, dull and senseless, breaking this vicious circle is hard but not impossible, it all depends on your happy efforts. Recall your life for the last hour and realise: were you busy? Did your thoughts wriggle from one issue to another? How many minutes a day did you suffer from not being free of concepts, NEs, mechanical wishes? How many minutes a day do you spend striving to experience EPs? How many minutes a day are you seized with the thirst for EPs? Considering all above do you still have any hopes? Are you still talking about a quest, of truth, of love? This is an obvious stupidity. Even learning another language requires time and serious attitude. Then why do people believe that getting free from distresses and learning to experience EPs requires only a mug of beer and some time chatting about it? You will not change anything in yourself, if you are not dedicated to your quest and practice, minute after minute, hour after hour, day after day. Does it need explaining? Repeatedly you watch TV, have sex, mop the floors, cook your meals, dream of higher wages, better car and clothes, overeat, build up your muscles, exercise your intellect, continuously experiencing NEs or PEs. In all these activities where do you see an aspiration towards freedom from distresses and experiencing EPs? You work ten hours a day to earn your piece of bread, but is it really a piece of bread? Is it not crystal glasses, furniture, car, country house, wife’s whims, your friends’ envy? And then the same person, looking pathetically, is telling everybody how hard it is to catch the truth .
Times change, year after year people change plans no matter if they are achieving them or not. This never-ending circus does not stop. You always have this indefinite hope “that later you may live for yourself” but this will not happen on its own and the mechanical wishes without happiness will never bring you this life for yourself. First of all, you will continue being busy. Secondly, when a person realises the emptiness of all their goals he is terrified and tries feverishly to find another one. Thirdly, when at last there is a chance to “live for yourself” for some short time people suddenly discover they have no idea what “living for yourself” is as they do not have any happy wishes! Then they find “hobbies”, allowing them to experience satisfaction of possessing or of producing an impression on others and then it brings them again to new mechanical goals and new NEs. I offer a way out of this never ending cycle, to eradicate conceptual obstructions, following your happy wishes that are accompanied with EPs, i.e. affection, anticipation, sense of beauty and mystery, aspiration and so on. Any goal that is not supported with happy wishes and that does not resonate, will only bring NEs. Become a hunter, sniff around and track any weakest and smallest happy wishes, realise them and then they will intensify, deepen, expand, force out distressing concepts and attract enlightened perceptions. The criteria of freedom from conceptual goals is anticipation, delight of inward grace and mystery of every life moment.
No matter what time or place, all people follow one and the same path: birth – accumulation – possessing – death. Free time becomes a burden, because you face a problem of “how to make yourself busy”, this is why everybody spasmodically tries to fill in his time with whatever. If for some period a person remains inactive, he perceives the surrounding world as racing somewhere ahead, feels like he is on the platform and tries get on the very first available train and continues rushing. Thus they continue racing, only dust is either rising or settling behind them.
02-01-10 Classification of interpretations. Relatives. Concept of “connection”
Interpretations can be classified as interpretations of meaning, connection, mission, etc., and as interpretations of circumstances. Interpretations of circumstances can be subdivided as qualifying behaviour of other people, “behaviour of things”, “your own behaviour and so on.
It makes it a lot easier to eradicate mechanical interpretations if you realise that a phenomenon is just a phenomenon, it does not exist “because” or “with some purpose”. Some people seriously believe that if there are stars it is because somebody wants them, if the plants have leaves it is for producing chlorophyll. This is an extreme form of mechanical interpretations but it affects many people. Groups of such perceptions we call “phenomena of the surrounding world” and they just exist,. There is no “moral” to it, no “justice”, no “meaning”, because if we initiate “meaning”, it means we will have to bring in a “purpose” or a “mission” and this is a pure fiction as nobody has such a perception as a “mission”. This is easy for your mind to grasp but hard to get rid of this habit to search in everything for a “meaning”, a “mission”, a “mystical connection”, a “punishment” and other demons. It is thought that our age is the time of atheism but this is obviously wrong as nearly everybody is sick with primitive superstition, guessing “meanings”, “connections” and “signs”. Let us examine, for example the “connection”.
If you press a key on a keyboard a letter will be displayed on the screen. That’s what reasonable people mean when they say there is a “connection” between pushing a key and a displaying a letter. But in our everyday home life the word “connection” also means something material, like a rope, a chain, and it results in confusing the meanings (this is why I believe it’s not proper to use “connection” in this context and suggest that it’s better to replace it with another word). In the end people do believe that there is a certain connection between pushing a key and a displaying the letter, which appears to be something material, a definite set of perceptions. Meanwhile there are no such perceptions and the word “connection” means only that after the perception “pushing a key” there is a perception a “symbol displays on the screen”. When you lack such an understanding (actually all people without exception do not have it), an abundant variety of other concepts start growing: about karma, retribution and so on.
Arguments of this kind may seem to be extremely complicated but under close examination you will not find anything too difficult, it is hard only in the beginning and the matter is in overpowering the inertia of adding concepts that are actually absent and overcoming your fear of losing your illusions. When clarity appears it covers all other similar situations and you discover that it is delightful to have this clarity.
Here is an example of a typical dialogue:
– There is a link between a mother and a child.
– How do you perceive it?
– He was not well yesterday and neither was I.
– It means there is a perception of his words that he was not well, a perception of his behaviour which you interpreted as “he is not well” and your perceptions, which you call “I am not well”. But what is “not well”? Are you sure you both have the same meaning for the same words? What do you think, maybe your “not well” was caused by the pattern to feel “not well” when he is “not well”? As soon as you see that he is sad you feel pity for him and you are both “not well”. Where is the perception of “connection” here?
– Well, this is the connection between us – he is not well, I am not well.
– This is not a “connection”, this is just a pattern of experiencing certain perceptions in certain circumstances.
– No, this is the connection, because he was not well and I was not well.
This repeats itself over and over again. It is impossible to explain if there are no sincere efforts to gain clarity.
It is the same picture regarding people’s behaviour. People and their behaviour for you it is just a specific group of YOUR perceptions and there is nothing else to be said except that they exist. A sparrow flew up, will it cause your NEs? No, it will not as you think of it as of “natural phenomenon” (which is an abstract concept by the way). A passer-by swore using obscenities. Will this cause NEs? Of course it will because another pattern will work here. You do not think of a passer-by as a “natural phenomenon”, you qualify him as having “a conscience”, “a will” (which is an abstract concept, by the way) and correspondingly other behavioural stereotypes are working, i.e. NEs appear.
If you understand that the perception of the swearing person is just a set of YOUR concepts, which you call the “phenomenon of the surrounding world” (abstract concept as well), then the stereotype of your reaction may not cause NEs. When a big wave crashes over you, you form the foetal position to resist the sea forces, but do you hate it? No, you do not. You can even feel happy, delighted, though you understand that the wave can hit you very powerfully and sometimes the waves can kill. When a drunk attacks you, you do the same thing, fight back, but by the pattern you interpret his actions not as a result of a mechanical combination of wishes in that spot. You imagine him as “somebody” and as there is an existing concept “he must conform” you experience NEs.
You believe that your relatives have special qualities that distinguish them from other people and these qualities make them even “closer” to you. But there is no such a perception as a “kin connection”, you imagine it and then follow those stereotypes that are built on this illusion. A woman gave birth to a child and then mysteriously and gradually there was a person formed from this child that you call “yourself”, so what are the consequences? Does it mean that you will have common interests and you will like to live and communicate with her? As well as with her husband, father, brother, sister, brother’s wife, their children, grandmother, grandfather, their friends… isn’t it stupid?? What are the consequences for you that you gave a birth to a child? Does it mean that this absolutely unknown person to you, that happened to be in your womb, has to be close to you and interesting to you? As well as his future wife, children, the brother of his wife, the children of the brother’s wife… This concept of kinship “closeness” has two unique qualities: (a) this is the holy of all holies in our society, (b) it is impossible not to see how senseless and groundless the concept is because it contradicts all life experiences. But any attempt to think sincerely about this topic and to start acting according to your happy wishes that are contrary to this concept is doomed due to an extreme hatred or aggression from your relatives. You will endanger yourself if you underestimate this. By the way, a few words about “closeness”. As soon as a son or a daughter realise that their parents are not interesting for them, as soon as they start to follow their happy wishes, the “closeness” of the parents takes a strange turn immediately, namely the form of hatred. The book of articles will contain stories of practitioners on this topic and not every second or third, but nine out of ten practitioners faced the fact that the parents declare a real war on their “beloved” and “close” child when they stopped pretending that it was interesting for them to be with their parents and started eradicating NEs, travelling, following their happy wishes. They kidnap him, lock the doors, tie him up and try to imprison him in a mental institution (this is still possible in our time. Psychiatry continues to be a weapon in the hands of the aggressors. Mutual criminal agreement of the relatives can lead to the imprisonment in a mental establishment where you will become an obedient and silent log thanks injections of medicines you will receive there. Now the relatives can be happy! They can even try to kill him!
They also apply to police to solve their problems and police religiously perform: shout aloud at the disobedient adult or child, intimidate and threaten them with imprisonment! Loving parents write their letters to different authorities blaming me that I have organised a sect, rape girls, sell them into brothels and brainwash them! They write to me, as to the author of this book, their letters contain threats to kill me, they even seriously consider and announce their intention to murder me as I am a devil incarnate. Hence a recommendation that if you want your relatives to have a chance to know about the SAS, give my book to them among other books of Osho, Castaneda, Gurdjieff and so on. Let them make their own choice, you decide for yourself what path you follow, do not engage yourself with “enlightenment”, it gives no future. Otherwise be ready for the war of life and death that your “close relatives” will declare on you.
To understand that a “relative bond” is an imagined phantom, it is not enough to overpower this phantom, which is represented in different “I musts”. To actually overcome the effect of these mechanisms, I recommend that you conduct a full scale investigation of your relatives. Find out what they are, how close and interesting they are to you. Make a list of hundreds of questions that have meaning to you, ask these questions and explain your request to them that you want to know them better. These questions will include topics that you are interested in and really concerned about, like sex, NEs. Read the answers being unbiased, then make your opinion.
Now let us examine interpretations of circumstances. When you trip over a rock and hurt yourself, a thought will emerge: “you dirty pig, why you are here…” When you open a book and it falls out of your hands for the third time, you’ll think: “what’s up” and feel irritated. There are a lot of such occurrences that reveal your mechanical interpretations.
As soon as you pay more attention to them, you will see all your life is literally penetrated with them, every minute of your life is crammed full of them. You “know” that the book “should” open from the first time; you “do not expect” a rock to be in the road; you are sure the neighbour boy “must” greet you first, and your son “must” study harder, the government “must” execute a more efficient monetary policy and a new fridge “must not” break down so soon. Mechanical interpretations of circumstances are everywhere and life is entangled with them.
When you start eliminating mechanical interpretations a special freshness emerges with EPs. Long ago in your childhood you were free from the burden of interpretations and you were looking at the world with your eyes wide open. While you are getting rid of these interpretations you start feeling how the freshness of childhood impressions returns. The world expands and gets more profound, powerful and transparent, rich with new dimensions of your perceptions that before were instantly eradicated.
Interpretations are an accumulation of thoughts that group into rigorous conceptual structures. It is easy to see that. When you go along a street, you know it is “winter” now. When you come home, you know what is out your window. When you go to work, you know exactly that this is where you are going to arrive and what usually happens is going to happen again. I know my name. I know what country I live in and what people surround me. All this is a rigidly fixed set of interpretations that does not permit me to see what is usually missed. If I see a “tree” I “know”, that a “tree” is a trunk, branches and leaves and I will not pay much attention to the clearings between the leaves, I will miss the dancing shadows and mysteriously resonating feelings of beauty and anticipation. I will not notice a sparkle from a happy wish and I will not change my route because I “know” that I am going to the shop.
I like travelling, wandering around an unknown town, gazing at the most ordinary things and experiencing amazing feelings of detachment and freshness only due to not being there before and thus not recognising anything in this place and not knowing what is around a corner. No one knows me here, I am aware of it and feel free. I have no idea what I am going to experience in a minute or two, nothing is programmed, there are no patterns. What keeps you from feeling this way right here and now, at home, at work, on transport? Only the way you perceive yourself “at home”, and this is also a pattern of feeling dull, emotionless, tired, expecting nothing, not to be attentive with your desires and EPs. When I imagine myself living in another town where nobody knows me, where I am some other person, the life awakens and my happy wishes are refined. But of course a thought emerges instantly: “these are all games, actually I know where I am” and everything disappears and the usual dullness takes over again. A clear, lucid mind does not contradict EPs but this practice of “forgetting” can revive EPs that have no mechanical pattern of emerging at any given circumstance. It’s good to remember them and exercise regardless of interpretations. New EPs reveal and it means, that “I”, as I have been earlier, am not the same “I” now, because “I” only represents a set of perceptions, revealed at that moment.
Every second and every minute we delude ourselves saying we know this, we know that, we know what is now, what is going to be, where I will be in a minute and so on. The computer in your head never ceases working and while it does not stop its activity, be sure that you miss 99% of what is interesting to you and what you could experience right now. A pattern of descriptions cover your world and it prevents you from breaking through the borders.
I wake up in the morning. I say to myself – I am at home, this is my home, my apartment, my city, I will do this and that, I have such and such plans and it’s raining outside, nasty, gloomy, unpromising… and a whole number of associations and patterns related to this description, emerge, and I become a dull and empty creature.
I wake up in the morning. I know I am going to make my efforts to eradicate distresses, this is why anything may happen. Regardless of where I am at and who I am, something new can be discovered, life can change at any moment and this is a bit scary, but very intriguing. Especially my life can change if I deal with stereotypes of the attitudes and perceptions and start acting to break through their chains. I touch and feel the pulse of Life and immediately miraculous things happen to me – interesting, new thoughts emerge, fresh emotions, sparkles of new and old EPs, I act differently and the Way reveals in me.
Earlier I had a very strong need to love somebody, but the computer in my head dictated: you want to love, but there is no one to love! There is no one next to me that I would marvel at, that I could love. It caused me to feel dull, nasty and disgusting. Life without love, because there was no object to love, could drag on for months. Then the time came when I asked myself: well, actually, what’s the difference? I want to feel in love now. Is it a problem there is no one to love? What if I imagine such a person, because it does not matter who I am in love with, as long as I just want to feel in love. I tried to imagine a girl, formed some image and understood that an abstract image is not what I can fall in love with. Then I took a look from another angle: maybe I will be able to love if I accept a hypothesis that somewhere there is a girl I could fall in love with, if I meet her. My eyes do not see her, I do not know anything about her, but the fact that I have a desire to love means that I do feel her and love her. Why do I have to kill my desire and capability to love with those contemplations? It is as if to say – this is the night, sweetheart, it’s dark and I do not see you, so how can I love you? Is it nonsense? Yes, it is. But these situations are similar, I do not see, I do not hear, I do not know about her existence but my need to be in love is the straightforward awareness of her. When I accepted this hypothesis for examination I discovered my capability to love! At that moment I felt a bit crazy, a tightness in my chest, because my intellect was whispering: “well, stupid… how can you love somebody you do not know? This is ridiculous…” Ridiculous or not, but the choice is very simple – either I feel it or do not. I have chosen to feel it, this generated an EP and eradicated the dullness that was supported by the concepts of non-existence of my beloved girl.
If somebody calls my experience nonsense or illusion or craziness I do not care because I LIKE what I am experiencing and how my life changes as a result of this experience.
Afterwards I experienced love that was not directed to a particular person, as much, as I could endure. Our relationship was not affected because our personalities did not intersect and my NEs of that period did not cause any obstructions. This love had unique qualities: it was not directed to anybody and I was not the source of love! As if I was in the stream of love that was penetrating me and this stream had no beginning and no end. Later this experience helped me to love a particular person, my feeling was free from NE of possessing, jealousy and so on. Love became a Feeling, not a wild mixture of NEs and PEs.
Nothing limits your life more than false “understanding” that life is restricted. My experiments led me to the conclusion: emotions are not an integral part of “me”, I can choose them as I wish. When I contemplated on what I wished for I realised that NEs are the baggage I am carrying due to inertia and I want to get rid of them. This is how I came to the task of eradicating NEs and the solution turned out to be a very interesting process, but not at all simple.
02-01-11 Choice of interpretations. Examples
Changes in a person’s life become his new prison, because they are caused by mechanical wishes, reasoned by NEs, concepts and fears and not by the efforts to realise the happy wishes. For example, you are getting married for various reasons like: you “should”, “it is time to”, “it feels comfortable”, “it is profitable”, “your friends advise”, “this is legal permission to have sex”, “time to have children, it is a woman’s mission…”, “this person is kind of good”, and so on but not because you love this person and have a happy wish to live with this person. You change from one prison cell to another but same source of suffering remains in your life regardless of your acts. “Whatever you make, you will feel pity in any case” is entirely and fully applicable to people.
A mechanical choice of interpretations is one of the ways to keep yourself incarcerated, a choice is made not due to contemplating and resonating with EPs but is made automatically under the impact of patterns and concepts of NEs. Once you’ve chosen the interpretation, it becomes tightly attached to the occurrence and you don’t feel it like just one of interpretations, but like a “true point”. The concepts, surrounded by automatic interpretations, gain a specific strength and become a “support” for a person regardless of what sufferings this “support” leads to, and fears do not permit his intellect into this area. For example, if you have a concept, that a “child should do his home work” and another concept you have is “this is my child”, then nothing will save this poor child and he will have to study until he gets blue in his face no matter what his own happy wishes are. But if you investigate the concept of “my child” and replace it with the following: “an independent person with his own happy wishes, who is choosing his life course and will study on his own, including the consequences that resulted from his choices”, then your concept “child must” will be revealed for examination. It will lose its power over you, cease causing an incredible number of different NEs and your child will have a chance to avoid the pitiless violence, realise and experience his own happy wishes and start living.
When looking at a piece of meat an ordinary person sees in it an appetising meal while a vegetarian sees a chopped off part of an animal body. In both cases the piece of meat is the same, but interpretations are very different and in both cases people believe that it is their interpretation that is the true one. EVERY phenomenon and every event is interpreted, even the most insignificant.
The choice of interpretation is guided by a set of concepts and habits but it is possible to live differently. For example, you get fired from your job. If you do not experience EPs, you will have a usual interpretation of this event as a reason for NEs. But if I practice I will have different interpretations:
a) I will have a chance to exercise eradicating strong NEs and if I overpower them my skills will improve and EPs will get more active,
b) I am out of the work environment where I formed a lot of mechanical patterns that I did not succeed to overcome, but in this new environment I can form new patterns,
c) It is unknown what changes will come into my life and what new opportunities I will have.”
There is one more example – some NE emerged. One interpretation: “this is an obstruction for my practice”, another: “it intensifies my practice as I received one more experience of NE eradication; I have revealed a situation causing NEs and generated once again an aspiration towards EP.”
I choose those interpretations of occurrence that don’t contradict with the intellectual clarity or those that resound with EPs, because I understand that there’s not such thing as “in truth” or “really”. It is not a rule that there is only one interpretation, there can be a few of them and they do not interfere with one another. So if there emerged an NE, what is it “indeed”? Is it an obstruction or a springboard? And what is a tree “indeed”? Is it leaves or the clearings between the leaves? Or is it both? Or is it a sense of beauty that ALWAYS reveals unfailingly in this place together with visual, tactile and acoustic perceptions, if you are not behind a curtain of NEs.
When you mechanically choose only one interpretation and believe only this one is true you become lifeless. You become a fool who “knows” everything. Anticipation, aspiration and the corresponding EPs will disappear, as well as a clear mind and happy wishes. You will not find your new discoveries, NEs will have unchallenged power over you and put a mask on your face and put a rapidly ageing painful abscess in your body. Have a look around and you will see people always know everything. When was the last time you had a reply to your question like: “I do not have clarity to answer this question” or “I do not have good enough reasons to make a judgment about it” or “I thought about it, but did not reach a certain opinion” or “at this given moment my point of view is such and such, it is based on such and such observations, assumptions or this and that information, and so far I do not have arguments to change my opinion”? I will tell you – you have never heard such a reply and you will not hear it from anybody with the exception of those who are engaged in my practice.
A freedom from concepts makes a clear path to experience EPs. For example, if you want to feel affection, fondness, admiration and a sense of beauty but there is no object for these EPs, you do not experience them. Thus you become a victim of the concept that states you can have these feelings only with a particular person who you know, you touch and see. You think: “there is nobody to love…” and it all finishes at this point, while in reality there are no obstructions for experiencing EPs.
Clarity emerges as a result of sincere examination of interpretations that there is no “in reality”, there are only conceptions and their interpretations. They can be logically contradictive or not, resonate with EPs or not, conform to your observations or not, be constructed with consideration for other people’s evidences or not. This clarity, like any other, is experienced as something amazing, like unlimited freedom and space.
Clarity that emerges as a result of freedom from the dominant influence of mechanical interpretations is an independent enlightened perception. When we describe this concept we use images and words but clarity is not the images and words. There are a few differences:
а) When clarity emerges that resonates with the words “all people around are continually sleeping or are already dead”, then in a minute this clarity can disappear while intellectual understanding does not change regardless how many times you repeat it. You will be able to generate new clarity only in the result of new efforts and new inspiration.
b) Clarity has a large number of nuances, layers, while the level of intellectual understanding is only one – you either understand arguments or do not.
c) Clarity resonates with other EPs while intellectual understanding remains an isolated perception and this is exactly why often well educated and intellectually developed people remain dull and absolutely submerged in NEs.
In everyday communication the word “clarity” is used in both meanings, that’s why it leads to some confusion.
One more example: a habit to interpret certain conditions as “not favourable” for practicing and as far as the conditions are “not favourable” it remains only either to wait for when they improve or to start “improving” them. That can take as long as you live but the outcome will be the new “unfavourable” conditions. A sphere of conditions under the category of “unfavourable” can expand so much that it will cover all your life and become an excuse for not practicing. This mistake is avoidable if you determine the exact meaning of the word “unfavourable” and follow your happy wishes, including wishes to change conditions or to stop changing them, or wishes to concentrate on practicing in any conditions and with any wishes. Sometimes practice becomes effective especially in unfavourable conditions if your determination and persistence are at a proper level, then you can even have a wish especially to create those conditions that earlier you interpreted as unfavourable (see below the chapter about stalking and ascetism). The practitioner has the following position: whatever the circumstances, the conditions are good for practicing, a challenge that you accept happily and with anticipation. Are you attacked by aggressive relatives? These are wonderful conditions to eradicate NE from aggression and self-pity you responded with. Nobody bothers you, you have everything you need and even more? These are wonderful conditions to eradicate satisfaction, boredom, dullness and mechanical wishes. Nevertheless, the desire to change conditions can also appear along with other wishes. The task is only that it is joyful and is accompanied with anticipation, but not reasoned by self-pity and other NEs.
As Castaneda wrote, a warrior takes his destiny regardless of anything that happens, and accepts it as it is with absolute humility not as a reason for pride or regret but as a true challenge. Replace the word “destiny” with “concepts that you call “existing circumstances” and with concepts that you call “yourself”, the word “humility” replace with “absence of NEs and PEs”, words “true challenge” replace with what resonates anticipation, aspiration and the meaning of Castaneda’s phrase becomes thoroughly clear.
These examples are more or less easy to comprehend, but now here is an unusual example and it will require an effort to understand. Do you consider leaves, branches and a trunk to be the parts of a tree? Yes, you do. Why? Why is a leaf a part of a tree, but a car under the tree is not a part of a tree? Is it because a leaf is gradually growing from a tree? The car also comes to the tree slowly and gradually. Why then does the gradual growing of the leaf differ from the gradual approach of the car? Is it because you can track with your eyes the route from the leaf to the trunk? But you can also track with a glance the route from the car to the ground and then to the tree, what’s more the car can also touch the tree? Is it due to the sap flowing through the branch to the leaf? But there is a stream flowing from the car tyres to the tree. In the end it becomes clear that this issue, what is the part of the tree and what is not, is solved by a certain agreement and the outline criteria is easily identified. The leaf, when fallen from the tree, quickly changes and becomes dry, while nothing will happen to the car if it drives a meter away. There are always leaves on the trees in accordance with a known periodicity, while billions of trees in the woods never have been in contact with cars. Now let us ask: the sense of beauty that I experience when I am looking at the tree – is it a part of a tree? Any person will consider the question idiotic because the reply is totally clear: no, the sense of beauty is not a part of a tree. This is what is called a roughly fixed interpretation. The following is an approximate dialogue demonstrating that another interpretation is possible:
– When I am looking at the tree and see the trunk, I have a visual perception. This is precisely my perception but I call it the “perception of a part of a tree” and if I experience the feeling of beauty then why don’t I also call it the perception of a part of a tree?
– Because when you are looking at a tree, every time you experience the perception “I see the trunk”.
– Every time I also have this feeling of beauty when I look at the tree.
– Is it every time?? Any tree?
– Yes, every time if I not affected by NEs.
– Aha, but if you have NEs then you do not experience the feeling of beauty?
– Of course, but if you close your eyes then you will not have the perception of the trunk either.
– But all leaves on the tree are so different and their variety is unlimited while the feeling of beauty is one and the same which means it is not a part of a tree but a peculiarity of your perception. If you wear pink glasses will it mean that the world is pink?
– The feeling of beauty is not one and the same. It is also boundless and versatile, but you spend all your life in NEs and EPs are so rare that you cannot see the undertones of this feeling of beauty.
This is an unusual outcome which opens a path to numerous investigations and discoveries. The source of the false interpretation in this example is caused not only by the ambiguity of the word “part”, but also by the lack of experiencing EPs. All leaves will be similar for somebody who have not had training to distinguish the colours and forms, but all children have to learn to differentiate colours because if a mother says “please bring me a light blue cup” and yet you bring her a dark blue one, you will get a dose of NEs and motivation to see difference between these two colours.
One more simple, but a very illustrative example: you are sitting in an office and you “know” that behind a wall there are dull and bad-tempered people, outside the window there is a noisy and dusty town. But there is something else outside, something different – ocean, forests, mountains and animals, you just cannot see this from your window but you know of them as you have travelled and seen them. Why don’t you choose to think about those views resonating EPs? Because of your patterns. Both interpretations do not contradict your perceptions of the world, this is why a practitioner chooses to know that behind the walls of the office there are oceans, mountain peaks, meadows and forests.
Below is one more example with lasting consequences. Regardless of what philosophers say, all people (including those philosophers as well) believe intensely in the existence of an object and a subject. Yet this is only an interpretation of our perceptions. The explanation is obvious; you do not even need any deep analysis. Think for yourself: what else can you say about all the perceptions except that they exist? The following: you can indicate their differences and describe them and this is what we do so often: we identify what is different, name the categories, use them in our everyday life and practice and receive the results we choose. Of course, we will never be able to find the so called “border”, e.g.: “a chair” is something having legs that support a seat and a backrest is adjoined. You can find another “chair” in a furniture shop, but it won’t resemble our description above, e.g. it will be an “ottoman”: no legs, no backrest, and a seat having nothing in common with the seat above. It can be successfully related to the “cushions” department. This is clear to everybody and such ambiguity does not interfere with fulfilling our wishes in our everyday life, this is why continue successfully to use this technique, we group our perceptions and agree on their names.
Let’s go further. What do I call “my hand”? This is a group of precise visual, sensitive and tactual perceptions. What do I call “his hand”? This is a little bit of another group of perceptions. But these are only names, so why do we add “my” and “his” if there is no perception of “he” and “I”? What is a “tree?” This is also a certain group of perceptions. So what is the reason to say that “a tree” is “an object”? There is no such a perception as “an object”, there are only precise perceptions named “a tree”, but these are “my” perceptions – sensation of bark, taste of a leaf, I sense them, these senses are in me, then what is “the tree”? This is not clear. Thus it is obvious that “I”, “you”, “object” are just the names of perceptions. Similarly I can play chess with myself, classifying conditionally my thoughts as “I” after a move of the black party and as “my opponent” after a move of the white party.
What do we receive as a result? Something that is so far outside of the square of our vision of the world that we simply force it out, we do not accept it, we reject it, thus cultivating insincerity, cowardice and dullness. Please remember that idea and clarity are totally different perceptions. Intellectual formulation and understanding of the argumentation is easy, while you will need special efforts to obtain clarity and these are efforts to eradicate dullness and to strive for sincerity. If somebody was a very sincere person and pursued clarity as much as a drowning man clutches at a straw it would be enough for him to read these phrases and instantly gain all the explicitness, thus obtaining the “comprehension of clarity”. But there are no such people and I have to use transitional practices, that is creating intermediate pockets of clarity.
If somebody says that he has “achieved clarity” it means he never experiences NEs, not even for a minute, and continually experiences the most radiant EPs. It is elementary to expose a lie if not to support the extreme dullness and accept the liar regardless of common sense.
02-01-12 Investigation of concepts, arguments and counter-arguments
Please phrase a concept, for example: “my husband is suffering because I have had sex with my friend, it means I am guilty in his sufferings”. Now analyse it: “is it me who is the source of his suffering? I only follow my happy wishes and I explained that to him. Isn’t he the reason of his agony because he interprets my behaviour as an insult and indifference to him?” This also can have a counter-argument: “yes, this is how he interprets my behaviour, but it is his imperfection, why shall I make him suffer?” An objection to it: lots of people want something from me, and I continually can “cause” distresses to somebody by my actions, there is simply no way I can relieve him of his suffering, he must do it himself with his own efforts. Your husband demands that you observe 10 rules but your happy wishes can start fading and the joy of life will fade with them. Soon he will create new rules and your nonconformity again will “cause” offence, irritation, concerns and so on. It proves he does not want to live differently. One more counter-argument: if he is suffering but doesn’t want to suffer, let him tell you what exactly he did to change.
This chain of arguments and counter-arguments is very long and I recommend that this is what you do, create the most possible complete list of arguments, counter-arguments and counter-counter-arguments, nothing should be hidden in a shadow, every known argument must be investigated. Talk with people and be sure they will find more arguments “for” and “against” that you will have missed.
As a result it will become clear that it is not possible to prove anything, the chain of arguments and counter-arguments has no end, but there is something that remains unchanged. This is your sense of guilt and you will have to live with it as if your guilt is proven. Brainstorm the concept and return to it time after time, look though the arguments you have recorded and come to the realisation that you have no reasons to blame yourself for your husband’s sufferings. Argue with yourself that there are no grounds to consider that you are guilty and know that this feeling of guilt will still emerge in any case. Repeat this exercise hundreds or thousands times, fix your mind on the idea that there no grounds to feel guilty but you will anyway, until as a result you will get a new quality of clarity accompanied with a new degree of liberation from this feeling.
Of course, it is not possible to prove if this is right or wrong as it operates with general words lacking precise meaning: “guilty”, “fair”, “must”. By the way, the word “love” has a free optional group of perceptions that quite often includes such destructive NEs, like jealousy, aggression, self-pity. Nobody bothers to give it a thought what a set of perceptions he has under this word “love”. But it does not prevent people to talk about “love”, argue, “understand” each other, though it is absolutely clear there will be a total misunderstanding if the discussion does not identify what the root of the argument is about.
Clarity can be achieved providing you replace all similar words-parasites with the words of a definite meaning. Nevertheless even without this work, it is possible to achieve freedom from the power of concepts by applying the technique described above. At a certain stage of your investigation of arguments and counter-arguments you will discover that the concept is obviously unreasonable.
Consecutive analysis of abstract concepts will also demonstrate their absurdity very rapidly. Let us ask the question: “When a person changes does he become different or remains the same?” This is a simple question, isn’t it? Somebody will confidently say: “This is the same person, only changed”. Another person will be equally confident: “This is another person, because he has changed”. On the basis of this confidence everyone will build his own derivatives. Let us investigate.
It is quite obvious that if the thoughts, emotions, wishes and senses (if the body changes a position, it means the senses change, and even the chemical composition, as some molecules disappear, some emerge) have changed, then there is another set of perceptions – that is another person, and this difference can be huge, an approval turns to hatred within a second, from a wish to hug to a wish to hit. Everything changes continually. But if a person changes, then it turns out that one person was making an effort at achieving, but another will have it achieved? I take a spoon to my mouth, but will it get into the mouth of another person? Success or failure will belong to another person, “I” will never obtain it, moreover the one who gains achievement will not use it, as already another person will use it… Nobody will agree with this conclusion and even if somebody will, ask them why does he still pursue his goals if another person will have the results? If he says “I do not care” – take his belongings and you will see that he does care if somebody uses the results of his work. To summarise – there is nothing clear about it.
Now let us assume the person remains the same. Here there is an immediate contradiction, if he is the same then what changes are we discussing? As a result neither of the options are possible. May be the person remains as he is but unaltered? Then what exactly remains unaltered? “I”? But there is no such a perception of “I” and those perceptions that exist are all changeable.
So we have come to a dead end and all abstract concepts like “a person changes” and “a person remains the same” lose any significance, gradually falling out of intellectual thinking and out of inner dialogue.
Let us investigate the concept of “the past and the future”. When we say “there is an orange”, we mean it’s not just a thought or an image of “an orange”, there is also a huge variety of senses ,“taste of the orange”, “a sense of an orange skin” and so on. If the past exists then there are other perceptions from the past in addition to the thought “this is the past”. If I experienced that in the past and experience this now, it means a change has taken place. This means the concept “a change” is based on the abstract concept of the past, present and future. To make the comparison I will have to re-experience “I from yesterday” and match it with “current I”. But how can this be done? Remember what I have experienced yesterday? But this is not the past, these are my thoughts that exist now, in the present. I can say that I was happy yesterday, but it is wrong to say “I am happy yesterday” – it is either the thought existing now or the feeling of happiness I experience now, at this very moment. Any perceptions happen right now or what is happening, because the word “now” is also based on the concept of “earlier” or “later”.
We come to a simple conclusion, the words “present”, “past”, and “future” only denote the groups of perceptions that exist “now” and do not identify anything what is happening “not now”. What we call “past” is, for example, only an emotion accompanied with a thought “it happened yesterday” and an image accompanied with the same thought. What we call “a change” is just an image accompanied with a thought “it has been that, now it is this”.
02-01-13 Practical test of concepts
One of the easiest ways to eradicate concepts is the practical test. But this seemingly elementary technique is actually never applied as people prefer to play around with the facts to support the concept instead of investigating their experiences. If you have a concept “having sex with a beautiful girl is very pleasant”, then it is a source of a mechanical wish to have sex with a girl you find beautiful. (MW) But every time when the girl happens to be jealous, dull and negative to sex, you shift the reason into the “differences of characters” and continue with your thoughts about her, what you do not receive and push out what you receive. Insincerity and the lack of consecutive analysis are reasons that you do not get the experience and face the reality, you meet an imagined phantom and you separate with the imagined phantom. As a result your concept remains unchanged and everything repeats in cycles.
If you believe that the majority of physicists are clever investigate them, ask them questions and analyse their answers. If you think that the philosophers are wise, and the writers are mysterious investigate them sincerely, do not be afraid to see the reality no matter what you find.
We never communicate with people as they are in reality. We fantasise all people, imagining this or that in a person and then we communicate with, this assumed image. It concerns above all those people we have “known” for a long time. The most different distresses happen around these phantoms, including being attached and jealous. They are the centre of huge clouds of inner dialogues, it can happen that you go on to justify your actions and excuse yourself in your inner dialogues with your parents and friends for many years even without appearing to do so. But because this “communication”, both in actual conversations and in your inner dialogues, happens to be with the phantoms, then naturally no agreement will be achieved. The phantom will continue to exist as before and to be the source of NEs.
A very effective way of revealing and eradicating fantasies consists in the constructive approach to another person, when you make his image on every level and identify your attitude. Like in the Internet, for example, in the beginning you form an opinion by the first email, then the second email, then by his picture, then you judge by further correspondence, then telephone conversation, then a personal meeting and so on. A list of a person’s qualities also makes it easier; you look through them and make your judgments. At first the intermediate results will differ significantly, but while you get your experience of eradicating the fantasised images, your initial relationship to the person will more and more often comply with the final relationship.
The stronger the NEs you experience, the more mechanical your behaviour will be and the more complicated it will be for you to recognise the perceptions and analyse them consecutively.
02-01-14 Recurring replacement of interpretations
Let us investigate the example of interpretation of “solitude” or “being among people”. One interpretation is easy to replace with another depending on the meaning you enclose with the word “solitude. You can feel lonely whilst being among people and have a like-named NE, on the other hand you can be in an empty room and feel part of a certain group of people and experience either NEs or EPs as per your choice.
Using the same technique as we do with cycle sensing of NE (when we jump into NE and then eradicate it and repeat it again and again), we can use the same technics with the interpretation. The result will be reducing the mechanical the pattern of interpretations and a chance to achieve intellectual clarity and experience the moments of this clarity.
02-01-15 Abstract concept “I”. Awareness of absence practice
Is there any precise perception you can identify by the word “I”? Emotions, thoughts, senses and wishes are attributed to a certain “I” which has no perception, as well as there is no perception of a wish or a thought “belonging” to anybody. The precise description of this situation is the following. The whole set of perceptions among all others includes thoughts involving the word “I” which does not identify anything concise, i.e. these thoughts are concepts. Let us avoid this ambiguity and give a definition to the word. “I” is a symbol denoting a set of 5 known perceptions that do not in any way intersect with each other in their definition. We cannot give definitions to these perceptions because it’s impossible (like impossible to explain to a congenitally blind person what it is to “see”, regardless how much you try). We can only list them. Only these five perceptions and nothing else are included in “I”: senses, emotions, thoughts, wishes, and differentiation.
Physical senses (further “senses”) include all perceptions unified under the notion “a physical body”. The idea of “a physical body” is a concept, because if we are sincere in our evidence of our own perceptions then all we can say is there are a few types of perceptions associated and united in our minds with the notion “physical body” – visual, hearing, taste senses, tactual, sexual, etc. To see “a body” is to have certain visual perceptions. To touch “a body” is to have certain tactual perceptions. Similar to how we identify our perceptions with the term “physical body”, all our emotions can be denoted as an “emotional body” and our thoughts as a “mental body”. We do not do it because of our habit, hence the wrong opposition of senses to emotions and thoughts, and as a result “body” is considered as something real, as the main attribute of “I” and emotions, thoughts and wishes as something existing but insignificant, a kind of secondary attribute of “I”. The perception “I am undressing” is often followed by the perception “I see breasts” which supports the idea that “breasts” are part of the body. But sometimes these perceptions do not follow each other, for example the perception “I see a bra” can follow but it does not change anything, because the whole picture in your mind is not contradictive. Analogically the perception “I hear the word “idiot” is often followed with the “emotion of anger”, sometimes not if there is another perception of the thought “I am indeed an idiot”. I want to demonstrate that there are no reasons of common sense to call a set of senses “body of senses” and not to call a set of emotions “a body of emotions”, it is just a matter of habit.
Differentiating conscience is too subtle for those who have NEs and do not experience EPs, this is why we will disregard it for now in our practice of eradicating NEs, concepts and mechanical wishes and achieving EPs.
Now, let us investigate the example of a group of trees and other plants that make a forest. The perception of a forest for any ordinary person is not something separate from what this forest consists of. The word forest is only a name. Same with “I”, it is only a name for a forest consisting of 5 “plants”. This statement is a path to freedom. Through all your life you thought that there is some underlying “I”, some mysterious hiding places of “I”, “sub consciousness”, “super consciousness” and other over intelluctual things impossible to comprehend. You thought that it is extremely complicated, beyond understanding, intricate, and the path to freedom can be found only by a genius or some monstrously advanced “spiritually” developed person. Suddenly it turns out “I” is only 4 types of perceptions and nothing else! There is nobody to be distressed, there are just distresses. There is nobody to aspire to EPs, there is just a happy wish to experience EPs. “Nobody” is dull, there is just a perception of dullness, which can be eradicated providing there is a wish to eradicate dullness. There is nobody tied, there is nobody to be liberated. It’s like telling the incarcerated who is imagining endless rows of cells and walls: there is a wall in front, a wall behind, above and beneath, to the left, to the right, but no more! Above the ceiling there is no “above conscious”, when you break a hole in the floor, there is no “subconscious”, there is freedom there, a boundless world of EPs. Can you imagine how happy, confident and determined the incarcerated will be with the news! You are the incarcerated and I advise you of the happy news: I broke a hole in the wall and discovered freedom there, now I am writing this simple instruction and anybody can use it if he wishes. Enjoy the news, comprehend it, nurse it and be aware of the freedom that is so close, you can have it with your bare hands providing you are persistent, determined and attentive with anticipation for freedom.
The techniques described above can be applied to investigate the concept of “I”, but in addition to them I offer you one more method, this is the practice of “awareness of absence”. It can effectively assist to disperse concepts that have the same attribute as “I”. Imagine that I have an overwhelming concept of a hippopotamus living in my guts. I attentively examine, listen and smell, then sooner or later come to the conclusion there is no hippopotamus, at least I have no signs of its existence, this is why until I have any evidence I will live as if the hippopotamus does not exist. It is very simple, but by some reason we all persistently believe that there is such a beast “I” among the perceptions.
As a whole my practice is very simple. You do not have to do anything incomprehensible for the sake of future phantom “benefits” and believe that you will receive these odd “benefits” if you refuse from something that you want now. The path of sincerity is different: if you notice that something is an illusion, there is no return ticket and you cannot believe it blindly. The results of your efforts are evident instantly, you can enjoy them now: if you eradicated a NE, you will experience a splash of EP immediately. The straight path has no leaders or followers. Everybody follows his own happy wishes and when you experience an EP, you will feel like a pioneer and you are the pioneer.
The word “I” is only a symbol of perceptions and to be aware of it continuously you have to make continuous efforts, as strong as the efforts of your total control over NEs eradication. You must break this pattern of imagining a peculiar beast. For me it was easier to do when I was going through my perceptions – I have this, and this, and this, nothing else is revealed.
One of the obstacles to achieve the awareness of absence is in the fact that the word “I” is very steadfast in our language. We can use it hundreds of times thus supporting the related concepts. This is why it is very effective to avoid using the words “I”, “you”, “she”, use them only in communication with those, whose predictable reaction you are interested in (at work, for example). I like to replace the word “I” with “this spot”, instead of “I want” I prefer to say “there is a wish”, “I think” – “there is a thought”.
The practice of awareness of “you” and “she” absence is analogical. You realise that there is no perception of “she”, there are perceptions “the view of a little nice bum”, “sound of voice”, “taste of nipples”, “a touch of a tongue on a “pussy”, affection, fondness and so on.
As a result of such clarity an unusual perception emerges. You can mechanically interpret this as “solitude”, but it is not because “solitude” is when there is an “I” and an inaccessible “you” which cause NEs. But this new perception resonates the words “boundless” and “open”. You experience a penetrating and extreme feeling of freedom from the everlasting fear of loneliness that is nothing else but an illusion. You discover that your life, goals and values were based on the belief in the “audience”, in “somebody else”. People play this mindless and never ending game of life from birth until death. Now this illusion is unveiled, so what? In your future your happy wishes await you, like playful tiger cubs, attracting you to EPs not “for somebody” and not “because of”, but due to your own aspiration. Through your life you have been playing a game of chess with yourself: you have imagined an opponent, you were winning and losing, frustrated or satisfied, irritated or subservient. Now you suddenly lifted your eyes… and there is nobody! There is a choice – either decomposition in distresses or a journey through the boundless and amazing world of EPs. It is either one or the other, there is no other option.
The pattern of fantasising “subjects” and “objects” is extremely strong. Continuous efforts of sincerity are necessary (i.e. recording in your mind perceptions as they are, free from adding anything imagined or purging images, from censors and distorting mirrors) to create and strengthen a new pattern to experience clarity of what perceptions do exist and of what do not. Different situations have various levels of complication. One thing to realise that while you are sitting on a sofa and another when you are talking or when there is a perception of angry screaming or loving hugs. False interpretations appear, for example “why feel affection if there is nobody with you?” The issue is pointless as the word “why” implies the existence of a certain subject taking the decision and also implies there is no wish to feel affectionate. But all is very simple. There is a wish to feel affection, there is enjoyment from this feeling, there is a wish to intensify the wish to experience affection and the intensity of these wishes overpowers the intensity of wishes to leave everything as it is and to return to the darkness of NEs and dullness.
It is impossible to figure out what conditions are better to strengthen this clarity, whether when you are sitting in the isolation of a cave or when you are dancing in the rustle and bustle of a crowd. It does not depend on the conditions, it depends on following your happy wishes.
You are double-cheating yourself with an illusion of “I”, on one hand you believe that there is an “I” in you and in other people, on the other hand you believe there is no “I” in a rock, a tree, a plant and this is wrong as there is no such a perception as “not I”, speaking nothing of the fact that it is not clear what is absent. If a word does not identify any exact set of perceptions, we cannot say anything about it whether it exists or not. We have an emotion, a thought, a sense, but there is no a perception of “not I”. It is not difficult to comprehend. Thus one more aspect for the practice of awareness of absence consists in realising that there is no perception “not I”, it does not exist. The natural development of this technique is the practice “not-river”, “not-mountains”, which is described in the chapter dedicated to the enlightened differentiating conscience.
If you apply this technique consecutively, you will achieve clarity regarding abstract concepts that are based on mechanical differentiation. We are looking at a rock lying in the sea and make the conclusion that the rock is one thing and the sea is another. The conclusion is based on the fact that we can see a border between the rock and seawater. But if we look at the mist, it will be harder to say that the mist is one thing and the air is another, because mist is subtly dispersed in the air. We also know very well that the rock will dissolve in the water in a million years or so and our conclusion is relative. How would a creature judge this world if it lived for only one day? It would create such perceptions of the world that we would find absurd.
Let us have a look at the issue from another point of view: we make a conclusion of two different objects existing because there is a clear border in between them. But there is a border between an eye and an eyelid and it is the same distinct border like between the rock and the seawater, so is it a reason to think of a person as consisting of different objects? Formally we can do it and we do it in our subjective activity, but along with it we remember that a person is not just a set of different objects, but a very complicated organism, something that exists as unity. So why do we call a rock and the sea two different objects? According to the pattern. This example illustrates a double pattern of our conceptual thinking.