Personas Journal

01 December 2017

– 13:36 –

Diffractor - Today at 12:16 AM does anyone else get heavy sensory blunting from mindfulness? Directing your attention fully towards exactly what you are feeling was supposed to make sexy stuff better, but it just turned everything into ordinary boring sensations (oh I'm getting touch sensations from my dick, whatever) and whenever I try to fully feel an emotion, it evaporates. Emotions only seem to exist in a sort of indirect-perception sense. In fact, I actually used "feel the emotion as fully as you can" to defuse a panic attack while tripping, it significantly ramped down as soon as I started directing my full attention towards it.

It feels the same as the mental move where you go from being invested in a movie to seeing it as moving shapes projected on a wall.

Am I just doing it wrong? Because it seems actively harmful to sufficiently nice feelings. olivia :3 - Today at 12:17 AM tweak where your meaning-making comes from? thats not an easy suggestion.... Diffractor - Today at 12:17 AM I'm unsure what concept you're referring to with the label "meaning-making" olivia :3 - Today at 12:19 AM uhh what goes away when a movie turns into splotches Diffractor - Today at 12:27 AM Do other people get this effect? (almost certainly there exists a person besides me, I'm just wondering how common it is) olivia :3 - Today at 12:27 AM i can make it happen but i dont get it when meditating when i meditate and finish that and open my eyes, the world around me feels quite meaningful. my thoughts while i do it keep their meaning. when i do the same thing during sexthings, the meaning tends to increase, not decrease, since there's more... space for it to expand into? like, the way that something being more conscious seems to sort of have more value, the value expands to fulfill the space given to it Diffractor - Today at 12:29 AM Huh, when I've meditated for a while, my mind is just blank for several minutes. It's very peaceful. ... I think this might be related to an issue of IRL sex. The meaningfulness/sexy aura/into-it-ness feels really fragile, and very often shuts off partway through.

"huh, there's a naked person" (no emotional reaction)(edited) And why I like microdosing so much. Everything feels more meaningful.

And why I don't really feel like I have any sort of character arc, I just sort of exist and occasionally do stuff. olivia :3 - Today at 12:39 AM not meditate like that what what what Diffractor - Today at 12:41 AM I focus on a thing, like my breath. And maintain focus. And every time my mind strays even a bit, I bring all attention back to the thing. And my mind quiets down and eventually stops straying, and the quietness persists for a bit afterwards. I thought it was standard samatha/focus meditation? olivia :3 - Today at 12:41 AM lighter touch "even a bit" do it slower Diffractor - Today at 12:43 AM How do you slow down [shift in attention->shift back]? Do you just not notice attention shifts until several seconds later? olivia :3 - Today at 12:44 AM no, you notice it the whole time um attentionswitching is not instant Diffractor - Today at 12:46 AM It feels, if not instant, at least pretty close to it. Definitely under a quarter-second. olivia :3 - Today at 12:46 AM the process is but like how long does it take for a thought to emerge Diffractor - Today at 12:47 AM A steadily increasing amount of time the longer I've been sitting. Attempt 1 right now, timing:... about 12 seconds to the first attention shift. olivia :3 - Today at 12:48 AM no not attention shift uh you can do more stuff than whatever is in your primary attentional gaze you can experience things that are not that ...right? Diffractor - Today at 12:49 AM It requires active effort to do so, but it is doable. olivia :3 - Today at 12:49 AM aaaaaaaaaaa ok Diffractor - Today at 12:49 AM Takes some work. olivia :3 - Today at 12:49 AM thats the thing train train that train that really hard you are not attempting to add more attentional foci you are attempting to add an attentional space in addition to your primary focus i want to check which thing you meant Diffractor - Today at 12:54 AM god this feels weird it's kind of like... incrementally softening up the spotlight of attention, and making it more and more diffuse. it snaps closed as soon as I stop trying to expand it, but it's like... panorama vision. I saw a whole building, not just part of it, and it was big. olivia :3 - Today at 12:54 AM yes that make that effortless. that will fix the major detractor to your progress in stuff like this. that will fix your hyperfocus problems and make things work how they're supposed to you are right about softening it up um you can have both things at once the background is always there, but you can pull... i'm going to call it attentional energy, from the main spotlight and put it into the background, diffusely and move them independently Diffractor - Today at 12:57 AM Wait a minute.... is vipassana supposed to be this thing, or just watching the attentional spotlight flicker around to a bunch of sense data one at a time? olivia :3 - Today at 12:57 AM i think this thing meditation is hard yo :p i have an exercise for you if you want to try it Diffractor - Today at 1:00 AM (sorry, library is closed, must leave immediately. Post, I'll do it tomorrow) olivia :3 - Today at 1:01 AM look at an object, and maintain your eyes looking at one point. then scan your attention over the things in your peripheral vision. you'll have to keep enough attention on the primary focus to not move your eyes, and this will help you split your attention. your primary attentional focus tracks your actual eye focus pretty well when you're doing vision-things but you can do this internally as well Diffractor - Today at 1:23 AM Actually, it's kind of weird. It doesn't feel like I'm splitting my attention, it feels like I'm moving my attention independently of where my eyes are pointed. I don't have to keep that much attention on the primary focus to o it. olivia :3 - Today at 1:23 AM yep you can do this with multiple secondary attention targets do that Diffractor - Today at 1:24 AM ... so the first secondary attention target is the thing my eyes are pointed at Is it just trying to percieve objects at opposite ends of the visual field? olivia :3 - Today at 1:25 AM uh there are two different types of attention here i think primary attention has a different type than secondary i think Diffractor - Today at 1:26 AM I can kind of do it, but there's this weird panning effect, where I notice stuff about one object, and then realize that I'm not thinking of the other object so I notice stuff about it, and it repeats. olivia :3 - Today at 1:27 AM oh, uh you don thave to notice stuff, youre just looking for now hmmm hm ok try looking at two different things in your peripheral vision at once Diffractor - Today at 1:28 AM ok I got it once I stopped trying olivia :3 - Today at 1:28 AM im looking at a pillar in primary, and a fridge, rice cooker, and my laptop in secondary rn touchtyping Diffractor - Today at 1:29 AM a smoke detector, popcorn ceiling, door, lamp. I think there's this overcorrection effect where "returning my attention to a thing" means I stop percieving other stuff olivia :3 - Today at 1:29 AM do you have a feel for the realm of practice now like can you try this internally as well with breath as primary and whatever else as secondary Diffractor - Today at 1:32 AM it's more like barely inching my awareness onto something, or letting the thing sneak back in to diffuse attention did the feeling in my arms. This actually feels more effective at clearing my mind of thought. olivia :3 - Today at 1:32 AM mew well im going to get off here now you have a pointer now yay Diffractor - Today at 1:33 AM yay hugs olivia :3 - Today at 1:33 AM hugs Diffractor - Today at 1:33 AM it's more like barely inching my awareness onto something, or letting the thing sneak back in to diffuse attention Kay/Ki ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ ᶰᵒᵗ ᵃᶰ ᵃᶜᶜᵒᵘᶰᵗ - Today at 3:01 AM @Ms. Eldritch :3 wow that bit of fic was hot :heart: also hmm maybe I should try that sort of meditation, it sounds way less like a total pain in the ass to do also POLL: do you like non-human dick? pls select the appropriate react. Nyx - Today at 8:47 AM This reminds me of some Evo psych I read once. It was eyebrow raising at the time... Sounded like it could be motivated thinking. It was in a body language book if I recall correctly. It noted that women are better at searching. Like... Through cabinets, because men are more optimized for zooming in on the horizon. For like elk or whatever. I filed it as maybe true at the time.

In any case, that focus dichotomy sounds similar to this focus dichotomy. So now I'm curious whether estrogen helps this focus dichotomy. Ow. Uh. I'm trying out this focus excercize. Tried it on our bookshelf and... Ow. I dunno. Maybe just placebo pain. Or maybe cognitive overload. That shelf has a loot of books. Ronit Yocheved - Today at 8:52 AM i got a headache too i thought i was doing it wrong, but... Nyx - Today at 8:52 AM I wonder if this is how Val always feels. Anyway. @olivia :3 we doing it wrong?

Even if this is right. No pain no gain. Maybe start with fewer objects in FOV... Like weight lifting. Don't put 200 kilos on the press straight away... Kay/Ki ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ ᶰᵒᵗ ᵃᶰ ᵃᶜᶜᵒᵘᶰᵗ - Today at 9:11 AM I felt physical discomfort after doing it too IIRC rose - Today at 10:20 AM @Diffractor were you the one who aaaages ago was talking about the thing where you're outside and you feel your whole environment? you can do that internally too, or like... it's not [external vs internal] it's a mental skill(?) you can use on diff things idk if that's the thing you're talking about but theres a more general form of the [outside everything listening big open] thing and applying it to emotions or a diff kind of experience does make it more meaningful though if it doesn't come naturally, you have to leave the experience first to remember you can do it, probably

25 November 2017

– 20:52 –

Amateur Physicalist - Today at 3:10 PM @[itchyjunk], I don't tend to think of the point of learning besides enjoying myself (and guaranteeing I'll have a satisfactory life until the distant end). — On a related note, you may find interesting the way I curtail my youthful impatience to learn everything. I've got a tiered way of learning things.

 - (A) I have one domain of research in which I am reasonably (and growingly) specialized (epistemology); this guarantees (i) I'll be able to make a livelihood in the academia and (ii) that I'll be able to fully master a topic and contribute something to it. Both i and ii are very satisfactory.

- (B) Every semester, I take courses and dedicate myself to them. So every semester I'm learning 2-3 distinct subjects besides my "main subject" to some considerable depth. This is very enjoyable, and it gets me good grades too. — Items 'A' and 'B' occupy the bulk of my time. - (C) Every month, I dedicate a roughly 90-minute chunk almost every day (3-4x/week) to studying something I've been wanting to learn. I change subjects every month. This is extra-curricular. This assures that I can learn some random, far-flung thing from my specialty, such as Lagrangians or structural anthropology or Roman history or whatever, to a non-trivial depth. - Finally, (D) I read random things in the internet and have random discussions unpretentiously developing stray ideas and connections in my free time.(edited) This assures me that I cover a wide range of topics without losing depth. Depth, commitment to one subject, is very important so that you can actually do something with what you're learning. It provides meaning, just like commitment to one relationship can.(edited)

Amateur Physicalist - Today at 3:53 PM You have one month to pick a subject to specialize on. Pick something of the generality of "abstract algebra," "metaphysics," "cultural history." Start reading stuff on that, keeping an eye on something to specialize further.(edited) Commit yourself to studying something on that general subject most days of the week. Do not leave until you have gone far enough into it, and grown wiser enough, to pick a different subject, as when people change from A to a more-or-less unrelated B when going from their Master's to the Doctorate. The smaller structures are something you'll build over time. But it seems that now you need a direction. The rest can remain chaotic until you've got that core settled.