Reply To: [Pe II-I] What is your experience like?

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Umbilical Sphere
Participant
  • Type: NeTi
  • Development: ll-l
  • Attitude: Adaptive

1. What are you interested in…? (name as many things as you’d like, and how you came across these interests )

My primary interest is psychoanalysis and spirituality – fundamentally, understanding the dynamics of the mind, of being a human in a social context, how that shapes us, the living forces and interactions that occur within us – how we are imprisoned by ourselves, and how we can free ourselves. My interest in this is not primarily abstract, its very concrete, in the sense that I seek to preserve a positive reciprocal relationship between understanding my mind and breaking through its limits, progressively expanding both understanding and freedom, as they aid each other in their expansion. My secondary interest (at least intellectually) could be broadly captured under ‘Philosophy’, which is, understanding the nature of reality – I know, very broad xD I don’t really see clear distinctions between the various disciplines that are attempting to understand reality because ultimately I’m a monist, I deeply believe that all the diverse phenomena of reality are derived from (even as they feedback into and reshape), something that is relatively simple, that the core of everything is ontologically identical, and every phenomena has some precise relationship to this ontological identity. Any dataset/ideas can be considered from this lens, so I sometimes include ideas from biology, cognitive neuroscience, physics etc, as well as buddhist philosophy, different spiritual thinkers etc. in my musings. I suppose my view of reality is holographic in this way, because I think that to deeply understand anything must necessarily fit with understanding other seemingly unrelated phenomena, because to understand the surface of things we must understand the essence, and the essence of all things is ontologically identical. Though I don’t spend too much time on this secondary pursuit these days, my efforts seem more automatically focused on understanding the mind in the context of increasing freedom and the enjoyment of connecting patterns in my lived experience.

I just read the second question and realised that in this first question I somewhat misinterpreted ‘interests’ for ‘intellectual interests’ xD I spend a lot of time meditating (at least 3 hours a day, often more), because I’m trying to dig through all the layers of my mind and free myself more and more, as I mentioned before. I enjoy the revelations of unconscious structuring patterns within me and the deeply satisfying states of mind that come with this practice, I enjoy feeling the life-force course more and more through me, it feels like the most natural thing in the world to work with this flow of energy and aid it in its expansion within me. I enjoy improvising on guitar, and listening to certain artists that aid me to get in touch with my emotional side in a deeper way than my normal state of mind allows. I enjoy reading, mostly at the intersection of psychoanalysis and spirituality. And of course, I enjoy just making jokes and having fun with people 😀

 

2. What are you knowledgeable in? What have you studied and why did you choose to study that?

I accidentally basically answered this question in the last one xD

 

3. What’s your preferred way of answering questions? (i.e. epistemology)

I think on something, focus on it, turn it around a bit in my mind, then pretty soon a rush of ideas starts pinging back from my subconscious. And I follow chains of ideas as they associate with and generate other ideas. If I ask questions/focus in, this chain becomes more networked around a specific point, like its circulating a hidden node and my mind is generating conceptual impressions of that node. If I dont have a more specific question, my mind seems to just often generate conceptual impressions of what im perceiving spontaneously, like ill be reading a book and my mind will be creating patterns in parallel, often not exactly related to the book content (but related in some way for sure) yet can be insightful/interesting. Or ill be talking to someone and my mind will be spontaneously generating associational chains off of what they said. So id say my preferred epistemology is not really asking questions at all, that is secondary, its more like a parallel internal world of evolving associations and ideas that occurs in tandem with perceptions. I prefer to let it run free than to try to push it in certain directions, but when I do try to prompt it in certain directions, it generates different patterns that can be interesting in different ways.

 

4. What do you think of knowledge structures? Science? Academia? Philosophy?

I think its awesome that many humans are banding together or toiling alone in the united attempt to figure out reality. They may have different methodologies and axioms with which they approach truth, but that seems like a positive to me, since I think all these different approaches can synergise and feed into each other, as long as they are properly contextualised. Its true that rigidity tends to set in within institutionalised knowledge structures, and that is regrettable, but it doesn’t invalidate the whole enterprise, it just means that the evolution of the knowledge structures is slowed somewhat. Some ideas can be wrong in certain ways and right in other ways, or there can be data which is accurate, but is inadequately interpreted due to inadequeate paradigms. Yet one doesn’t require 100% accuracy in ideas to gain use from them, as long as one knows what the specific biases at play are and can correct for them. The work of intellectual knowledge is a fragmentary stumbling towards the light of a holistic and clear understanding. As long as the surface is not reified as the essence, or the part confused for the totality, then it can aid in leading towards the essence. Knowledge structures in science may often reify the empirically observed surface as the ontological essence (which is their strength as well as their limit), but that doesn’t undermine the fact that certain correlations in data have been measured, and this can be used for more flexible and unbounded thought.

 

5. How would you describe your inner experience? Is it cohesive or do you have many ‘sides’ to you? What are your ‘sides’?

My inner experience has two primary modes, head-based and energetically embodied. In the head-based mode, I feel my awareness is spacious, centred in the head area, detached, perceptive, thoughtful, observing self and world from an impersonal vantage point. From that space everything seems like just patterns, its not focused on ‘me’, other people, what I want, what they want etc, its just a kind of observer. Its primary affective states seem to be about levels of interest, if we could call that affective (feels different from the affects of the body).

The other primary mode, energetic embodiment, feels very good, if sometimes somewhat manic (over time its getting less and less frenetically manic, and more of a smooth sustainable energy). It normally occurs if I get into a flow of interacting with another person on a bantery playful level, its a quite creative space, I feel the energy coursing through my body and mind, become very disinhibited, in a kind of flow state. In this state I would say I can also be a bit egotistical (playfully of course, he rationalises to himself) xD perhaps riding this energy from the unconscious gives me a bit of ego inflation. I noticed this in the past and again as the energy is smoothing out over time, my self-consciousness and balance in this state increases (which negatively correlates with ego inflation). What else gets me in this mode, basically just intense energetic music that ripples through my body.

Over time these two primary sides, detached and energised, seem to be coming into more and more of a relationship to each other, and I can switch between them more readily. Ultimately perhaps they will become one, as my default state. I can say I enjoy the energetic mode a lot more, it feels extremely alive, if a little bit unhinged. But I cant get into it at will, my default station is the detached mode. So I often seek out stimuli and people with which I can get into the energised mode, which can play into addictive behaviours and such.

I would say there is a third mode, which occurs less often than these other two (but is becoming gradually more prominent lately), and is subtler in my awareness. This mode is kind of like an emotional sensitivity, the way my heart feels about things. It can feel compassion, gentleness, a deep connection with the moment, even with the wider universe itself. Instead of the intense vibrating waves of the energised state, or the no-waves of the detached state, it has subtler, qualitatively richer and more complex waves that shift in relation to my real-time experience. This part of me feels the most connected to myself and others and the world, it is calm and happy and alive in a gentle way (rather than the sometimes violent aliveness of the energised state, or the relative flatness of the detached state).

 

6. What do you worry most about, at the social level? Do you have concerns about humanity?

I don’t really worry. Not because things are going swimmingly, but I guess I’m just not too prone to worry. I could rationalise it and say that because its beyond my sphere of control, I have the wisdom to not worry about it, because that would be fruitless. But perhaps closer to the truth is that I’m simply somewhat apathetic (perhaps that’s my detached mode default again). I would say I have a strange mixture of apathy and peace about things (society and things in general).

 

7. In what areas of life does accuracy matter most?

Understanding yourself and others. Perceiving your lived reality clearly. We are clothed in so many egoic delusions about ourselves and others and our life situation. This fucks up peoples happiness and functionality more than anything else as far as I can tell. We often trade truth for comfort, and in so doing, acquire neither.

 

8. What is your relationship to age and ‘time’? Would you consider yourself child like? Or more old-man/woman-like?

To myself I don’t seem like either. I just see it like I have modes, and those modes can be more energised and disinhibited (which is how many children are) or more detached and contemplative (which can be associated with the archetype of the ‘wise old man’, if you are trying to make that connection :P). I think we have to keep our inner child alive otherwise, what are we even doing here, just going through the motions. I guess my child-side predominates in the sense that, this is the part of me that has the most libidnal charge (in the jungian sense of general psychological energy), the way of being that makes me feel most alive. While some people seem to get more libidnal charge out of more regulated and externally productive activities. But at the same time I have a strong interest in getting to the truth of myself, which is decidedly not based on following the ‘line of maximum libido’ but often severely disrupts that line as I dig into painful subconscious energies that require healing.

 

9. Anything else you’d like to share?

Probably yes, I enjoyed these questions a lot, but this question is too broad xD Thanks for asking great questions! And I hope you find this helpful for your purposes.

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