Partially Enlightened AMA 2020-08-16T09:36:58.874Z
grumpyfreyr's Shortform 2020-08-15T20:52:26.733Z


Comment by grumpyfreyr on The Curse Of The Counterfactual · 2020-08-22T08:58:48.349Z · LW · GW

Works for me - thanks to The Work I'm not even vaguely the same person as the one who started with it.

Moreover, in 15 years I have yet to find a single problem that didn't, upon investigation, turn out to be an instance of the counterfactual curse.

Comment by grumpyfreyr on Partially Enlightened AMA · 2020-08-19T08:32:32.671Z · LW · GW

Good advice! Not that it's any business of yours.

Comment by grumpyfreyr on Partially Enlightened AMA · 2020-08-18T22:16:01.687Z · LW · GW

I'm too drunk for this.

Comment by grumpyfreyr on Partially Enlightened AMA · 2020-08-18T17:03:29.242Z · LW · GW

Apparently I have no mind at all.

Comment by grumpyfreyr on Partially Enlightened AMA · 2020-08-18T11:48:14.167Z · LW · GW

the goals you present to have

What goals do you perceive me as having?

Comment by grumpyfreyr on Partially Enlightened AMA · 2020-08-18T08:16:37.713Z · LW · GW

There is no 'better'.

Speaking of enlightenment is the height of vulgarity.

I would rather reveal my own foolishness and be corrected, than hide it and keep it.

Speaking eloquently, I would have nothing to say.

By speaking at all, I reveal nothing but my own unenlightenment.

Leaving shit out in the sun, flies are attracted.

Comment by grumpyfreyr on Partially Enlightened AMA · 2020-08-17T20:30:11.607Z · LW · GW

If I understand your meaning, then yes, that is correct.

Edit: actually no, not quite. Those things happen to be true (I think), but it might not be because I wouldn't trade a minute of my time for them. Might just be a coincidence. I don't know.

Comment by grumpyfreyr on Partially Enlightened AMA · 2020-08-17T14:02:34.617Z · LW · GW

I'm glad you asked this question. I read my post to a friend who sees as I do, and she suggested that people would react very negatively to that part and it might explain the volume of downvotes. She has much greater insight into how normal humans think, and so I'm inclined to defer to her judgement on this.

It's quite an offensive idea isn't it.

I recommend you check out The Curse Of The Counterfactual.

Fear and guilt about suffering (whether perceived in ourself or someone else), do not undo suffering. Nor do they motivate us in a healthy way to act.

Humour liberates.

Comment by grumpyfreyr on Partially Enlightened AMA · 2020-08-17T08:16:28.526Z · LW · GW

That sounds to me like an expression of your own beliefs. You believe that bias and a lack of money/time/attention holds you back from crafting a life where you could put your time and attention in places that you fundamentally enjoy.

It's really the other way around. When you start to put your time and attention in places you fundamentally enjoy, your situation changes to support you in that (though it rarely seems that way at first). No crafting required.

Matter rearranges itself to suit whatever purpose the mind sets. Ultimately there is no matter, because there is no universe, only the mind and its projection. The universe is a bit like a dream. The dream we experience is never more or less than a symbolic representation of the content in the mind of the dreamer.

Comment by grumpyfreyr on Partially Enlightened AMA · 2020-08-17T07:44:34.699Z · LW · GW


Comment by grumpyfreyr on Partially Enlightened AMA · 2020-08-16T22:36:54.320Z · LW · GW

I'm not sure what "an excess of time and attention" would even mean.

Let's say every moment is a unit of time and attention. I get to choose what I spend it on, but I can't choose not to spend it. It will be spent, one way or another. Nor can I spend more than the time and attention of this moment. I can't get into time/attention debt, nor can I accumulate a stockpile of it, to spend later.

I suppose, running out of things on which to spend it - that would constitute "an excess of time and attention". That sounds, absolutely wonderful. Perhaps that's what full enlightenment is. Nothing to do, nothing to attend.

And I know intellectually that that's how it really is, but my remaining misperception (bias) makes it feel otherwise. My process of unlearning is not complete.

As perception is corrected, things I would previously have spent a lot of time and attention on, are either delt with quickly/efficiently, or do not arise at all. But that does not produce an excess of time and attention. All that means is that I spend my time and attention on something else, usually the next learning situation. That's how I ended up signing up for a Less Wrong account and posting here - I ran out of better things to do with my time and attention, and, well, I think Less Wrong is way cool in lots of ways. I haven't gotten over that (biased) impression yet. I often find talking to a community, a great way to learn enough about them to get over them. Then I will get to that point where I realise there's no more need spend any time and attention on Less Wrong, and I'll spend it on something else, and so on until I am fully enlightened or dead.

Basic (body) needs like money, housing, food etc obviously must be taken care of first. I wouldn't be spending any of my time here if I were in a situation that demanded I exchange some of my time for money.

Comment by grumpyfreyr on Partially Enlightened AMA · 2020-08-16T20:34:19.195Z · LW · GW

By rich, I assume you mean "having more money than I need". Thankfully no.

Time and attention, not money, are my most precious resources (I would not sell a minute of my time for all the money in the world). An excess in money would be a responsibility I would need to spend time and attention on, to determine its most helpful disposal. The more the excess, the greater the responsibility. Who wants that? Not me.

Comment by grumpyfreyr on Partially Enlightened AMA · 2020-08-16T12:03:57.773Z · LW · GW

[Epistemic status (am I using this term right?): I am not a scholar, nor well versed in any school of Buddhism. My understanding comes from a combination of personal experience and insight cross-referenced with wikipidea articles]

I see Buddhism as split into two basic schools of thought:

The Sutrayana is the method of perfecting good qualities, where the Vajrayāna is the method of taking the intended outcome of Buddhahood as the path.

I would class that Indian Buddhist as Sutrayana and the Chinese one as Vajrayāna.

In simpler terms, one is getting there by taking 'the correct steps', and the other is getting there by understanding what 'there' is, setting it as the goal and leaving the means up to the unconscious mind.

Each approach has its limitations. Sutrayana is a lot of hard work. Vajrayāna is confounding to anyone who isn't ready for it. Sutrayana is the one that can be expressed in rational terms. Vajrayāna is mysterious.

My way is Vajrayāna, so my attitude is the same as the Chinese Buddist. I'm all like "Why are you working so hard? Just wake up and smell the manure!" But I can appreciate that my way isn't going to suit everyone, and for those who don't get it, learning by rote is better than nothing and will keep them safe until they are ready.

So, back to your question, it generally requires time and analysis, but it doesn't have to. Everyone is in the process of running a meaningless marathon to nowhere. They could just stop, but most will not stop unless you give them lots of bricks to carry.


Shit, I've realised there's more to this story. Even with my path, there is mmmm. Jeez this is a complex topic.

There is no inherent need for time. But, taking a long time over it may be preferred. Faster is not always better. The mind is full of shit. Looking at that shit is not comfortable. It becomes comfortable. The first time you see it you scream. The second time you wimper. The third time maybe you just cry a little. And so on until you're like "this is okay actually, I can live with this". And then when you've made peace with that, something else comes up from the mind. I'm not sure why anyone would want to rush that process. Enlightenment doesn't take the upsetting thing away. Enlightenment is the upsetting thing. Full enlightenment is when there is nothing left in our minds or anywhere that could possibly upset us.

Suffice to say, I'm not fully enlightened, and in no rush to be. Anyone who says they want to be fully enlightened instantly, doesn't know what enlightenment is.

Edit: I realise now, it's unclear whether those Buddhists were talking about full enlightenment, or just the first stage (stream entry). A lot hinges on that question. The Mind Illuminated talks about enlightenment as a sort of accident and the exercises merely a means of making oneself more accident prone. But you know what really makes you 'accident prone'? having someone else to whom that accident has already happened, shoving you when you least expect it.

Edit 2: It's all about trust really. If you don't trust your teacher, then you need to trust your own analysis, and analysis takes time.

Comment by grumpyfreyr on grumpyfreyr's Shortform · 2020-08-16T10:23:35.820Z · LW · GW

Eventually, yes. If you keep removing wrongness, eventually there won't be any left, and you'll be right. But that approach takes a long time.

Imagine you've lost your keys. You know they are in your flat somewhere but they could be anywhere. So after eliminating a few likely places, you systematically go through every object in your flat, checking "are these my keys?"

But imagine another scenario, where you don't know that they are in your flat. And in fact, you believe that they aren't. Will you search as systematically? Probably not.

In this analogy, the keys are rightness, and the flat is our mind. Now I am telling you that I once searched for rightness, and found it. I also tell you that there are many others who have found it, that all minds are capable of rightness. Of course, I cannot prove it because you cannot see inside my mind, and I cannot search through your mind and find your keys- I mean, rightness. But just knowing that rightness can be found, is helpful.

Knowing what right looks like is even more helpful. It's easy to find your keys when someone tells you exactly where they are.

Since my initial comment, I've found a nice, explainy article which puts it this way:

When you have enough data, your mind is able to produce a lens that it strictly less distorting than everything that came before.
Comment by grumpyfreyr on grumpyfreyr's Shortform · 2020-08-16T07:52:53.273Z · LW · GW

That is a question that would only concern someone who has not found it.

"You can't know" - how do you know that? Can you prove that rightness is impossible?

Comment by grumpyfreyr on grumpyfreyr's Shortform · 2020-08-15T13:11:30.617Z · LW · GW

By that logic "all models are wrong" is wrong. "all models are wrong" is a model.

"some models are useful" is also a model, which, according to you, is wrong, because all models are wrong.

Comment by grumpyfreyr on grumpyfreyr's Shortform · 2020-08-15T12:50:03.834Z · LW · GW

Less wrong is still wrong. There is a way of seeing that is not wrong.