Saturday, July 30, 2011

Evolution and our level of being

Has evolution really changed who we fundamentally are? Have the core motivating forces changed? Do all our drives still originate from the biological need to procreate and other basic instincts? Do all our fears still stem from the fear of death? Are there differences in our different states of mind or what we keep pushing toward? What are we really progressing towards? Is there a higher metaphorical layer that explains all these patterns?

Peak experience from music

If you want goose bumps euphoria throughout your body, sit in a comfortable position somewhere. Make sure the place is extremely quiet, close all windows/doors. Put on some high quality headphones. Play one of your favorite songs at an EXTREMELY low volume, your breathing should be 10 times louder, it should be THAT LOW. Say in a laptop
(volume setting of 1, VLC player volume setting of 3 - 5). Since decibel level is a logarithmic scale, I would guess the sound level would be 1000's of times softer than your usual volume.

Put a playlist of around 5-6 songs. Initially you would struggle to hear anything but keep concentrating on whatever little you can hear. Eventually it;ll get clearer and clearer and your sensitivity will increase. After a while once you get comfortable, increase the volume rapidly to your normal level or slightly more.

If its a favorite trance track esp, you;ll have a brief moment of euphoria where the music overwhelms you.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Knowledge is that which is behind the words

I have kept reading extensively on psychology, philosophy and self improvement for ages. In the recent years, it has accelerated greatly. I still use the same words, but their meaning has drastically changed and is much deeper and interconnected now. And while talking to people about these topics, I realized they interpret the same words very differently compared to me. This is another indicator that words in a language just point to experiences. Only people similar to you can understand you since they would emote to the same things. Even if you get the right feedback, still you can only assume that his/her experience is the same as yours. However, even if not true in an absolute sense, it perfectly satisfies our need for validation and belonging.

Letting go and trust

I realized that the reason I was not effectively letting go was because I did not completely trust my surroundings/external environment. I was still in some kind of fight or flight feeling. Once I focused on this trust feeling, I was finding it much easier to let go. The main areas to focus on are the eye sockets and the space between eyebrows. I guess the will center is located here and when you completely let go of the will center, you automatically reach a relaxation space where reverie, fantasy and other great feelings start to kick in. Reaching this deep relaxation space while maintaining alertness is the key to observing hypnogogia and deeper dream states.

This state in fact redefined what I thought relaxation was. Previously, I used to associate relaxation strongly with stupor or a mental numbness. Now I can see that it is possible to be fully awake and completely relaxed and its quite a wonderful state to be in.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Concept of the "Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind"

This movie is one of the deepest psychological romantic stories ever. It goes to the very root of what we call romantic love which is actually completely internal/part of our dreams. We build a whole association network with the person loved.

After going through a variety of emotionally charged experiences with that person, the experience itself starts getting linked to the internal impressions of that person.
  • You associate all intense pleasure/pain sensations to the lover and he/she starts becoming indispensable to your life experience itself. 
  • The lover acts as a catalyst in bringing out cherished or emotionally charged states in you and they get intricately woven into the fabric of life experience itself. 
  • Beyond external experiences, we also start attaching this person to our fantasies and this makes this network grow into even your most primal drives in life.
That's why a common feeling after a breakup is that, I cannot/will never feel alive again. It requires a process of disconnecting/detaching the person from your life experiences or replacing them with someone else. For it to be replaced, the new experience should be more intense. More the intensity, more is the strength of the memory and association.

In the last part of the movie, near the seashore, he suddenly comes into the present moment and realizes all that he missed out. Becoming a pure observer, savoring each feeling's intensity and letting go, detaches you from the situation/context/person and gives full freedom to the experience. The experience is no longer locked into the pattern that only a certain person/context/situation can invoke it.

Becoming this observer frees up your mind into the truth and makes it spotless and you become what you always were and will be. Hence "Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind".

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Float On - Float Tank experience 2 - Jul 03

Unlike my previous float tank session, here I had the option of choosing between the ocean tank and the traditional tank. I spoke to the owner 'Christopher' about the issue not having good air circulation in the tank and therefore he recommended that I float in the Traditional one. I spoke to him about lucid dreaming too and he told me that he did it a lot of times and that it might require some practice. It was inside a room that had a shower cell and a towel, robe, earplugs etc. There was a similar earth like smelling soap inside. I quickly showered and got into the tank. I put on earplugs and they were excellent, created a almost custom mold like seal without infringing into the ear canal.

After getting into the tank, I was quickly able to settle down. The air circulation was quite good and the breathing did not trouble much at all unlike last time. The only discomfort I felt was that I was afraid the water was creeping up my forehead and that it might start coming closer to my eyes. I concentrated on my body with the usual Vipassana technique and after a while it started feeling comfortable. The experience was much smoother than last time. There were a lot of sexual content in them. I also imagined VIBGYOR in the reverse order and this time it was far better. I felt each color really well and I could also sense that there was potential for much more. I kept dipping in and out of hypnogogia.  I would suddenly start hearing noises and seeing things, but if I tried to make sense of it it would snap me out of it. This happened many times. The 1st 1 hr went by really fast(felt like 20mins). Maybe it was because of the extra shower time - about 15mins. After that it was a 2hr float which I thought would only be for 1 hr. From the 2nd hr onwards, I let go and it seemed that I could hear and see strange stuff, I had no memory of the events but there was still some awareness retained.

After the almost 3 hour session, I spoke with the owner for another 1 hr and he gave me some very useful insights. That I needed to totally let go of the "need to make sense" and just become a master/ultimate observer of everything. He remarked that it would automatically wake up both the left/right centers and you can remember the events. He told me about his color hive like experience inside the tank and the fact that he could recall it. We had a lot of interesting conversations and his general comment was similar to adyashanti which is "about nothingness, the illusion of control, to let go of concepts and live in the flow/outside you identity trying to establish itself". Another volunteer was listening to us and he gave an interesting analogy "If molecules were to have eyes and see other molecules the empty spaces between them would appear like how we see starts". The owner also gave us a good discount, so it totally cost 80$ for 2. He seemed to be really genuine and having a high degree of experiential knowledge. He also spoke about the dark room retreat in Thailand which he was planning to attend.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Approach to romantic relationships

My approach to romantic relationships is purely like how an artist would look at the world. He sees the pattern of beauty in the spectrum and expresses it in powerful creative ways like poetry, painting, writing, exotic verbal expression and other such forms. These relationships are one of the most interesting/intense experiences life can offer and I'm well aware of their transient nature too. In fact it is this transiency that even creates the significance.

Why cant people live that way? When there is mutual attraction, they can just live in the moment and try to experience positive feelings as deeply as possible and when it starts waning, let go with warm feelings gracefully. This memory imprints of this in both would be powerful and what can be a greater reward than being part of another one's dream. After all we all live in the mental consciousness where memory plays an extremely pivotal role.

Its like, you see qualities in that person you deeply admire and focus on these dream qualities. The other person does the same, tries to find their dream in you. And when you get a match, try to go to the deepest experiences till its comfortable for both. This also means both should have advanced communication skills, high emotional intelligence with diplomacy, similar level of self development and overall intelligence as prerequisites.

Enjoy and savor these experiences, etch them in your memory and radically increase your sense of well-being. Its a pure win-win relationship or rather a 1+1=3 kind of equation.

Getting primed to fantasize or dream

Though all my fantasy and creativity is inside my head, the external situation(physical/emotional influences) seems to play a huge role in my ability to recreate the experience/pulling it out of me. I dream much much stronger when the external situation guides me in that direction. Its like hypnosis, to recover a certain class or memory you need to be in the right room inside your mind.

But I strongly believe, if the concentration/visualization skills are developed very strongly and if you realize experiencially that your imagination can recreate reality itself and that therre is no difference, then it is possible to recreate any fantasy experience. The problem might be firstly I have not developed the required skill in visualization/concentration and secondly somewhere inside me I believe imagination is not real.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Difference between a VR computer game and reality

I think the key differences between a computer game in virtual reality and real reality is fear. For example: Take a computer game vs a real world business environment. The computer game is something you play out of choice. The game too has its rules, constraints etc. just like real life, but there is no fear because you do not believe it to be real. Whereas in a real business situation, the fear is back.

Both the computer game and the real one create meaning. You may be not be optimal at some game in real life (say a typical corporate situation) but have you really explored all the real life games out there? Are you playing the right game for yourself? More options and knowledge give greater choice and freedom. I try to treat real life too like a game and not take it too seriously because that's what it is. Whenever I contemplate/start looking at things metaphorically, this truth always pops up. Once you relate yourself with the observer, it opens up a new dimension.

What is the difference between a kid and an Adult?. The adult has seen many more things in his life so his meaning would be based on all these comparisons.

There was so much of meaning in India

All meaning is created by comparison. So the more the diversity, the more the meaning everything around you has. In India, there's incredible diversity ranging from people to all possible material items.
This diversity provides intense meaning to everything. Its diversity also in the mental space where you meet people who induce different emotional states in you.

However, this meaning can most effectively manipulate you too. Its a stronger illusion to come out of because there is so much around to distract you.

Meaning is the thing that supervenes on all material objects. Life is rich when your sense of meaning is rich.

Feeling of clarity

Today, while working out in the gym, I tried to do a vipassana observation as I was doing the exercise. To my surprise, I intermittently saw things with great clarity. I was still going through
some pain due to the exercise but somehow, I was separate from that and just watching it with clarity.

I thought about how it happened and how can it be maintained in daily life. I think I need to drop all concepts, imaginations etc. and simply concentrate on WHAT IS. It seems to be an elusive tricky thing to do, but that would be the ultimate grounding to reality if I can do it.

Also for improving executive function, I should concentrate on the doer and keep asking the question "what do you want to do and why?" several times during a day.

Possessions and Fear

We keep trying to get something exotic and great in our life, be it an experience or something material. When we actually get it, we admire it intensely but at the same time, I think there is also a deep fear of losing that thing. In fact, greater the value of the thing, more is this fear. It seems to be a mixed emotion. I cannot pin it down as something absolutely positive.

If what we got was an exotic experience, then the memory of that experience becomes a possession you hold on. Your fear that this memory might fade, so you keep re-imagining it many times to maintain its vividness. If its an image a person is holding of you (which we call deep admiration, love etc.), then we keep trying to maintain this image through our actions and even in our memory (by preoccupation) and are fearful about just letting it be without controlling.

What is the way of out this fear? Why do things keep changing in nature? Why is it so difficult to be detached and see with clarity? What do we really want, that we try to obtain in so many ways, even in our everyday actions?

Qualities of a diamond mapped to experience

The ideal +ve experience is where the mind is like an infinitely large diamond that is clear, does not hold anything but yet, reflects/refr...