The first thing I would like to say: this book is a practical guidance. Despite numerous generalizations, including the ones which are not really obvious and even arguable, the main accent underlined the practical aspect: this book will help you make your life more pleasant, rich, brighter, more comfortable and happier.
Everything described in this book is invented and experienced by me and experienced by other people who were and are interested in Selection, and I believe the methods I offer are effective for achieving the stated goal despite many of those who tried to apply Selection have found it too complicated or even incompatible with their philosophy. The key qualities necessary to ensure that Selection proves to be an effective tool for you are: а) striving for sincerity and b) desire and readiness to change your life in the area you have recognized after observation as a source of your suffering.
When I started writing this book in 1999, I hoped it wasn’t in vain and it would draw a response, appreciation and an urge to make use of it for some people. Fifteen years went by and I have revised and remade it getting rid of plain rubbish, imposed by my own beliefs (especially in the beginning when my mind was significantly blurred by esoterism and sense of self-importance), of the mistakes so inevitable in the search process, of incorrectly highlighted key points, excessive rigidity, unnecessary detailing, desire to provoke and many other flaws. Nowadays in 2014 I am editing it just another time which will probably be the last one, as I will hardly want to make any more refinements, additions or simplifications. This version will be a base for the translations into other languages since I hope that maybe not today, but at least in 20 or 50 or 100 years Selection will find its broad auditory in different countries.
Brief summary of Selection.
The main thing contained in this book can be stated in just a few pages, and it might seem so simple and obvious to many people that they would have a question whether it was really necessary to produce hundreds of pages in case of such a simplicity. However, the things which seem so simple from its superficial and general description might seem extremely difficult while trying to put them into practice in your life and apply those simple and obvious principles to your life activity.
1. Your inner mental world is a world of perceptions and the states composed of them. Whatever you feel, it is always possible to distinguish isolated perceptions (with a due training). Those perceptions can be either pleasant or unpleasant for you or even neutral for the moment. They are divided into several types, which are: emotions, thoughts, desires, sensations and certainties. The division of perceptions into these classes is not a result of purely intellectual exercises in the classification. It is just a result of persistent distinguishing of own perceptions, so they delaminate into such classes naturally. Why haven’t it been done before? Why do we still find the most fanciful ways of perceptions dichotomy? This question is difficult for me to answer. Apparently, the psychologists pay too much attention to theorizing and trying to impress themselves and the neophytes, and too little attention to a real, practical observation of own perceptions. Unfortunately, official psychology appears to be caste-ridden, craft discipline with people concerned with maintaining their own psychologist status rather than looking for the verity. In the meantime no science which is not based on an accurate distinguishing of human perceptions can be considered psychology. I can say otherwise. No variation of “psychology” which is not based on Selection of states described in this book does not have a right to be called psychology. I can imagine the resentment of those who consider themselves to be psychologists, but I will not abandon my belief. However, the experience says it makes no difference for them as they live in their own closed world of diplomas and “schools”, flying in the clouds of esoterical conceptions and diffuse concepts without any slightest signs of clarity. In such way they try to reach some absurd disciplines such as philosophy and theology making their occupation similarly senseless and useless.
2. No law of nature exists which could oblige you to experience some unpleasant perceptions and states. It sounds simple but in reality even a plain realization of this fact can change your life. You do not have to experience unpleasant states. First of all, it refers to negative emotions (NE) and the negative states consisting of them: anger, hatred, self-pity, boredom, superciliousness, offence, jealousy, despondency, irritation, depression and many others. It is worth to be read once again: there is no law of nature, which obliges you to experience all of the above or its part.Perhaps it would seem unusual and even astonishing, but nevertheless this is a fact: we can manage our perceptions and states, we can select them, we can practice the perceptions engineering. It is not really hard to learn how to experience less and less negative emotions by eliminating them. This requires some clarifications. There is no point to suppress NE, namely to pretend not to experience them, but in reality to seethe with anger from inside. The suppression does not lead to freedom from NE or to eventful life. There is no sense to justify NEs, “accept them as they are” or “experience but not get involved into” and perform other verbiage, continuing to experience them.
The goal lies in the step-by-step eliminating NEs, which means stopping experience them. Experiencing NEs is simply a bad, deconstructive, suicidal habit, which you can get rid of as well as you can get rid of any other unpleasant habit, namely eliminating NEs step-by-step and brick by brick. You have to understand it clearly what NEs eliminating means: at the moment of the NE’s rising you simply draw your attention from NE and shift it to something pleasant like a good feeling to a dog, tenderness to a girl, anticipation of something interesting and pleasant. It seems extremely hard in the beginning, but only in the beginning. A new habit will form gradually, this is a habit to draw attention from NE and to shift it to a pleasant state. Eliminating NE does not eliminate the problems, which caused those NEs. That’s obviously. But dealing with a problem without NE is much easier, more pleasant and more effective as your common sense is not blurred with the hatred and depression, and you are not poisoned by it.
People call NEs “emotions”, but I find it inconvenient. I would call them “cancer of emotions”.
3. There are perceptions I used to call “enlightened perceptions” (EPs), which are the ones in my understanding I can call true emotions. People often call them “positive emotions”, but I like calling them enlightened perceptions. Some of them I have already listed, such as liking, sense of beauty, anticipation, tenderness, but there is also a sense of mystery, expectancy, gravitation, aspiration, perseverance, gratitude, earnestness, joy and a lot of other enlightened perceptions and enlightened states. One of generalizations made by me is an assertion that there is a law of nature, which says: if you do not experience NEs at any moment, you start experiencing EPs at the same moment. The opposite is also true: exact after you experience EP, you do not experience NE anymore. Knowing this law will let you easily understand if you experience NE or EP right now if it seems hard to distinguish at the moment. You can use one more rule: if you experience EP at the moment, you will know it for sure, with no doubt.
A habit to experience EPs is getting cultivated the same way we cultivate any other skill: by frequent repetitions, repetitive running through.
It’s easy to tell from experience which the huge difference between experiencing NEs and EPs is. In fact, they are placed like at different poles of mental life, they are opposed to each other, they are fundamentally incompatible. And it becomes more obvious that it is senseless to relate them to the same type of perceptions, to emotions. It is as senseless as to call both delicious cake and rat poison as “the food”, and to call both health and dying from cancer as “the health”.
4. People almost never think. It can be surprising, but that is true. All people do is thoughtlessly (often without even using elementary logic and common sense) grinding and chewing thought or parts of thought which they have heard somewhere before. Their opinions and points of view usually and categorically contradict to each other, but they try (!) to take no notice of it, to force it out of their mind, to forget about it, finding some sort of comfort in that. We finally have to learn how to think. Why? Just because it gives a lot of pleasure. And also because common sense and ability to make reasonable assumptions and logical deductions help make our lives more pleasant, comfortable and interesting.
It’s really hard to learn how to think. It is hard not because it is difficult for us to give logic, this part doesn’t usually bring too many difficulties, and each of us is able to construct more or less reasonable conclusions, for example, in our professional activity. The main difficulty of applying logic and common sense to our own lives is the following: if we start reasoning honestly and logically, based on our experience, authentic facts and grounded assumptions, using logic and common sense, the results of these reasonings will bring to the obvious and irreconcilable contradiction with the dogmas, conceptions and certainties carried by us and people around. This will inevitably create both intrapersonal strain and strain in relations with other people which we usually tend to remove by means of simple stopping to reason and getting back to previous usual thoughtless way of living. It is not easy to change one’s life by changing over or even breaking everything based previously on false grounds. And many people refuse to do the changeover and they come back to the life full of morbid and destructive warps, contradictions, stupidities, sufferings, internal and external conflicts which become fundamentally impossible to solve from here to eternity.
5. There are two types of wishes that are as diametrically opposite and incompatible to each other as NEs and EPs. They are joyful wishes (JW) and mechanical wishes (MW). As much as it is incorrect to refer NEs to emotions, it is incorrect to refer MW to wishes. I would rather call them responsibilities taken by oneself against his/her free will, despite the aspiration for a pleasant and rich life, despite his/her JW as a result of physical or mental pressure, stupidity or dogmatism.
JW are the wishes accompanied by anticipation, joy and interest. Experiencing and especially realizing them is very pleasant, one is itching to do it. But it is not only realizing, but the experiencing JW is pleasant and easily resonating with EP. One is never lazy to realize a JW. You may want to postpone realizing JWs if there is a stronger JW right now, but you will never say that you are lazy to realize them. Experiencing JW, thinking of them, talking about them, realizing them separately or together with someone are always really pleasant, it enlivens you and makes your life richer, more interesting and happier even if you can not realize these wishes for some objective reasons.
MW are brought to life only by out dogmas and blind certainties how we should act. That is their huge and fundamental difference from JWs, so calling them as wishes is very relative because when a person realizes MWs, he/she says “I want to do this” despite the fact that in reality… he/she does not want to do that, which means he/she does not feel any joy, anticipation, enthusiasm, but only experiences slackness, stupidity, irritation, sadness, feeling of wasted life and time because of the fact that he/she has to want to do that and do that. At the same time, JWs are not taken into consideration, they are being suppressed and forced out. For example, if I am sure that it is inappropriate to stay in bed in the morning, I will want to get up despite anticipation to enjoy staying in bed longer. If I am sure that I have to study foreign language, I will want this despite I wish to do something completely different. These wishes have a well distinguishable feature which we call self-forcing, self-compulsion.
It is exactly the MW which brings the healthy (!) laziness into effect. Just imagine: laziness is a perfectly healthy state, some sort of display of psychological immunity against self-compulsion by MWs. Laziness is a sign that we do something destructive instead of something pleasant, fun and developing. In spite of the established dogmas, realization of MWs always (!) leads to reduced enjoyment of life. Momentary benefits from forcing yourself do something which you should do or refused to do something which you should not do will eventually lead to a deepest crisis of personality, even up to the state we call depression or vice versa aggressiveness, the full loss of life richness, its sense, a loss of ability to have pleasure.
Saying “should” or “shouldn’t” I mean the moral categories, namely blind, groundless certainties, but not the result of grounded suggestions. For example, if I make a grounded conclusion that it is deadly dangerous to jump from the roof, I will not realize my JW to acquire an experience of free fall by jumping from the roof. And this is not a destructive moral ban, it will not reduce the richness of my life.
The difference in experiencing and consequences of JWs and MWs is huge and easy to notice. Following MWs is so destructive, it pretty decreases our ability to experience JWs, so I do not find it exaggeration to call them “cancer of wishes”.
6. There are two types of sensations: pleasant and unpleasant. It seems there are neutral sensations, but it turns to be wrong at closer examination: they can seem neutral only if a body is too poisoned by sickness or unpleasant states so it has lost its natural sensitivity. The pleasant sensations are sexual arousal, pleasant taste, auditory, visual, tactile sensations as well as different states of pleasant physical activity, alertness, liveliness, freshness etc. In fact, we know too little of both EPs and JWs as our lives are so poisoned that spectrum of the pleasant sensations available for an average person is too narrow. The more you stop experiencing negative sensations and other negative states, the wider your spectrum of pleasant sensations is.
Managing the sensations is harder than managing the emotions, but this is still possible at least thanks for a close connection (resonance) between pleasant sensations, JWs and EPs. The more you feel JWs and EPs, the less you feel sick, apathy, slackness etc., so the more you experience pleasant sensations. The opposite is also true: the more you experience pleasant sensations, the more you experience JWs and EPs. It is a law of nature.
7. The perceptions I call certainties are much more difficult to notice, but they play a huge role in our lives. For example, you can be sure that a girl does not have to be topless in public, that it is indecent and immoral. At the same time, being a sensible person, you can agree with every argument for the senselessness of that ban and even admit its discrimination of sexual character, but it will not change your certainty in the incorrectness of this action. Nevertheless, if a person does not hold himself from reasoning honestly, he/she can develop unhealthy contradictions between the reasonable statements and certainties which were blindly adopted voluntarily or forcefully (so called cognitive dissonance). And it is still possible to get rid of blind, mechanically adopted assurances and exchange them to the ones confidence and complying to common sense and experience. It is possible to do by the straight effort of sincerity and encouragement of rational thinking.
A person has a very mysterious ability – to distinguish his/her own perceptions. Everybody can discern what he/she experiences right now. I can say that certainty is a distinguishing fixated in a specific way. For example, after seeing a naked girl one person will be sure he/she has seen something inappropriate. Another person will say he/she has seen something beautiful and turning on. The words of both of them are the expressions of a specifically fixated distinguishing of visual perceptions and the following emotional and mental perceptions. Both of them will be sure they have seen exactly what they had said, inappropriate or beautiful, even though they have seen the same thing. The interpretations work in different ways, and it forms according to the certainties of every person.
Research of the word of one’s own certainties is an extremely fascinating process which resonates highly (!) with the ability to experience EPs and JWs.
Certainty can be mechanical namely formed under the influence of NE, dullness, conscious and unconscious violence, but it can also be pleasant and formed in a result of observations, reflections and sincerity efforts. We have ability to distinguishe our perceptions and this is an astonishing capability entailing grandiose consequences, as while distinguishing perceptions we gain a possibility to research and manage them to make our lives more pleasant, interesting and rich. Let me note once again that the distinguishing of perceptions itself resonates with enlightened perception and states.
If everything you have read here is enough for you to start living a happier life, then do not need to read further as there will only be detailed descriptions which can be interesting purely academically or practically, if you face the difficulties with your perceptions engineering.
It is astounding that one can be a very sick person full of hatred, jealousy, envy, wish to die, be very intolerant, greedy, dull, stupid and depressed, suffer from diseases, without any idea what he/she want. One can be anything at all. And still there is a way out if there is a wish to experience pleasant and attractive states and a wish to make particular practical steps. If you found yourself in such a condition, in such position of not very healthy person, be constructive about it. It does not really matter why it happened. What matters is if you start to change your habits step by step or you don’t.
Modern man is already a devotee, he is willing to mortgage his life and suppress all joyful wishes for the sake of the goals imposed upon him in order to have an apartment, a car and to be like all other respectable people. For decades one can be stuck in an exhausting marriage to observe decencies, for many years one can go to the office without having any respite in order to have a modern a car and apartment. This kind of self-compulsion is called ability to overcome difficulties. Of course, modern man can overcome, but often this overcoming comes only to successful suppression of joyful wishes and self-destruction as a result. People like that do not overcome the obstacles on the way to experiencing enlightened perceptions, but on the contrary – they overcome their joyful wishes. Such overcoming, in other words rather self-compulsion, is absurd, implied from the outside and are supported by stupidity, insincerity and leads to suffering, flat and colorless, boring life, which should be rather called gradual dying than life…
Sometimes there comes a special feeling of recognition, when it is like touching something that you have been willing to say to yourself for a long time and that you have been willing to believe in, where you feel a tense fundamental truth, and then you find enough power and confident to start changing your life abruptly or gradually. Pressure of own blind certainties, unpleasant states, opinions of people around get too high sometimes and you may stop believing that you can live differently and feel in other way, that life can be different: real, rich, happy. I have written this book for somebody to read and understand that there is a chance of such life, and it is accomplishable. This is how this person – the author of this book lives being an ordinary person in the past, having two arms and two legs and one head. This is also how other people live and seek to live using to some extent the selection of perceptions, and it means it is possible for everybody – it means it is also possible for me. This book is written to explain and demonstrate an example of how you can live. I am not shy about pointing a finger at myself and say: look, my life is different, this is my way of living and you can live this way, all doors are open for you, spit on everything you were filled with that you are weak, silly, dirty and sinful, tiny, that you must do this and that just because you must and that’s it, and that you must not do something just because you meaninglessly must not. Realize that you are capable of changing your life step by step and make it richer, more interesting and more intense.
My book is for those who agree with me in substance: no matter what life you have chosen, it will be more pleasant to live with less negative emotions, negative sensations, mechanical wishes, dogmas and stupidities. It will be more pleasant to live with more enlightened perceptions, joyful wishes, interesting thoughts, pleasant sensations. If you agree with this, this book is for you.
I make all my efforts to increase the amount of people who know about the theoretical and practical part of managing perceptions. People who experience enlightened perceptions, who can enjoy assisting others as experts, consulting the beginners. Such people appear slowly but they are, and they call themselves using paradoxical word “refugees” because this word symbolizes their wish to leave a destructive, deadened inner world to a life full of emotional experience and interesting activity.
Those people who are engaged in selection of perceptions being no longer amateurs, but as professionals, and found their interest in it call themselves snouts. First of all because this word resonates with liking and tenderness towards the animals, secondly, because this word sounds a little rude in a certain context and contradicts to the word “face” but there is an element of naive, but sympathetic protest against unhealthy mental deadness and destructiveness.
I also like stating my ideas and describing my feelings in fiction form. Therefore, my six (for the moment) volumes of the book “Maya”.
I examine particular aspects of Selection in separate articles.
And of course, writing books is not the only activity for me. I establish and develop businesses to be able to assist people I like, those who are carried away by something in their lives and who use Selection, make steps towards more rich life and more intense and frequent enlightened perceptions, joyful wishes, away from negative emotions and stupidity. I communicate with people who are carried away by Selection of their perception as much as I am. I explore the world of enlightened perceptions. In fact, I create a new culture – culture based on freedom from NEs, dogmas, every single thing which stops you from being happy.
And of course, I create myself by this. After all, what brings the greatest pleasure in life? Sex? Food? Traveling?? Fame? Money?
Definitely not. At least because sex will not bring you pleasure the moment you do not want to have sex:)
Hence the simple understanding: the greatest pleasure is brought with realization of joyful wishes, including wish to eat, fuck, travel, explore, build something external, create your own self, etc.
For me personally the greatest pleasure is usually creating my own self. Step by step, without any rush. As much as I want to train my muscles, increase my endurance, with no self-constraint. To create my own intellect. As much as I want to practice sciences, learn languages, read books. To create my own emotional world, as much as I want to eliminate NEs and cultivate EPs. As much as I want to create comfortable environment, make steps towards earning money, creating business, mastering new skills. And so on. With pleasure, without any rush.
The most destructive thing is blind assurance of having nothing ahead besides difficulties, illnesses, dullness, old age, poverty and decrepitude. Even 25 years old people, let alone those of 30, 40 or 70 years old often have such assurance.
Other pleasurable states are experienced much brighter against the background of unswerving creating yourself.
It is absolutely necessary to start creating your own self and the life will start gaining intenseness and richness. And that’s exactly what I have been doing since I discovered Selection.
Fifteen years ago I took nickname “Bodhi” in the Internet being sure it was very unique:) and feeling drawn to Buddhism. Eventually, it was the total disappointment and even despair from the psychology and Buddhism ineffectiveness, along with other “-isms” that stimulated my own pursuit. I did not want colorful esoterism in my ears, I wanted something particular, to find practical, easy and understandable way to make my life happier and help others do the same.
Since then I have stopped having every relation to Buddhisma and esoterism, while developing Selection, but I still use the nickname, along with the shorter ones: Bodh and Bo :)