What’s the best you can ever feel?

Imagine sitting on your chair comfortably. Notice that the objects in your visual field make no difference. Even if I replace the visual field with scenery from Hawaii, it would not change your mood much. If this is difficult to imagine, imagine there is a room where the whole room is a screen including the floor and ceiling. Suppose you are in the middle of this screen room, sitting in a chair. No matter what image the screen shows – a simple room, Hawaii, grand canyon etc. your basic mood would hardly change. Similarly all sound, music that you hear does not change your basic mood much. Sound and vision affect you only when you project emotions to the visual, auditory objects apprehended. So withdraw your attention and projection away from sounds and vision. Imagine your visual field gets completely black and there is absolute silence. What remains? The feeling. The other factors like vision or sound are almost irrelevant compared to feeling. Feeling/Sensation. When you FEEL good, even your thoughts will be different, your motivations everything. I got the first brush with this concept in a vipassana meditation retreat. Feeling sets the baseline for how everything else will affect you – vision, thoughts, sound etc.

So in our 5 senses – seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touch – Everything can be collapsed into touch or feeling. What you see touches your experience. Similarly what you hear touches you. Smell and taste are even closer to touch/feeling. It seems like all our thoughts are directed to get us to feel in a certain way. Are all our goals, motivations ultimately targeted towards achieving a certain feeling?

This explains why drugs like cocaine, meth, heroin make people lose interest in everything else. Its because what they were seeking all along was the feeling and when that is directly given to them, they lose interest in all the convoluted ways we use in society to attain those feelings. It creates a disillusionment and removes the interest and belief to participate in usual activities. Because these drugs give such high amounts of pleasure, its impossible to get even 1/10th of that no matter how hard you try in common life. So what’s the point? would be the first question that would pop up. But however the drugs are temporary in their effect and also exhibit diminishing returns. But the craving for that experience keeps going up proportionally the farther you get away from the high state. So after a while you are stuck with a massive desire for that high, but the drug no longer gives you that. This takes you to depression – “Depression – getting what you want seems impossible or extremely difficult, much beyond your current state of mind or motivation’. A similar state could be very easily reached even in daily life. If your desires are too out of line with what is possible from where you stand, you would burn yourself out and then get depressed.

If I cut through all the illusions, I see all our activity is directed towards balancing certain feelings. If we have been unhappy for long, we seek something that would take us to the opposite side, thereby cancelling out the unhappy feelings. Seeking is the movement towards balancing dualities. Enlightenment would probably be seeing these master rules or patterns itself from a dimension beyond duality.

Now comes the interesting question. Taking all of the above points into consideration, what’s the best feeling you could possibly have? If its all about balancing dualities, what is desired is not a attainment of a certain feeling, but freedom/transcendence/higher understanding. If you get too deep into a pit, all you desire is to get out of it. However if you are already on the surface, then you long for an adventure.

Drug highs are unsustainable because of the body’s tendency towards homeostasis. But what if we alter the homeostatic set-point itself? This is what is aimed for in wire-head-ism. The idea is that we can alter the brain’s set-point to a higher level of bliss. Maybe when we plug into it for the first time, there would be a fantastic jump of well being. But once we get used to that, it would once again become ordinary/normal and we would want to move again. It seems like the ideal life consists of continuous rapid free movement which is coherent, controllable and in harmony, which is what we term ecstasy.

So complete freedom in the experience space and transcendence from it what is truly desired. The separate self dreams of its total fulfillment and disappearance thereby (the separate self cannot be completed since it is the very lack seeking to complete itself, when completed, it vanishes).

So the next question is, where do you want to be in this experience space? The answer would be the opposite of your initial conditions of lack. You want to be in a place that fully completes, fulfills you. When this happen, you would not exist. It can be said, you long to experience the objects that would cause you (separate self – lack) to disappear. When it disappears, we create a new self and once again seek to complete it.

Now, that makes me wonder, are all starting conditions equivalent? Are everyone’s lives equivalent? Because ultimately its a play of yin-yang and there are infinite elements in experience to play this game. It seems like the elements could be different but the essential principle of this game (what we call life, duality) is the same. Could this also mean that the potential for each person to live in ultimate glory, effortlessness and completeness the same?

Does time really matter, when time itself is part of experience? Time, free-will etc. intermittently appear and disappear. They are not as enduring, solid and essential as we believe them to be. Everything is just happening just by itself and I am simply a formless, timeless, space-less, dimensionless witness.

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