Finally getting something out of sensory deprivation float tank time. Most recently went in for 90m, spent first 30-45 minutes just paying mindful awareness to my defense mechanisms anxiously craving reference points, and then I started spontaneously exploring range of motion for my left arm, gradually adding integration with other motion. This is a LOT like my experience of solo MDMA trips. I don't think I could do this work without prep work in Feldenkrais's modality (most value coming from solo ATM practice from his book, and most of the rest from a single guided-meditation session from a top Guild instructor.)
I don't think it's just a coincidence that the left arm, whose biceps I was dissociated from, was the one I've used for holding my phone, and for masturbating. (But pretty sure I shouldn't do that anymore!).
Probably also helped that this was preceded by an especially mindful kettlebell session, and that I'd started to integrate arm bars into my Turkish get-ups, which are already just about the most Feldenkraisy kettlebell exercise possible:
What if you stood up ... no, really, WHAT IF, don't actually do it yet, you maniac, that's an advanced exercise ... OK, we'll start by raising ONE ARM ... OK, you're doing some extra stuff, see if you can raise your arm a few different ways, feel the difference … OK, seems like you can raise your arm without tons of parasitic tension, now let's see what the minimum viable rolling-onto-your-side motion is like ... hmm, what happens if you turn your head first? ... what if you bend your right knee? ... how about the left one?
Anyhow, the next day, with some chemical assistance, I got a solid block of practice being fully aware, realized that I've been giving too much credence to threat assessments generated by triggered states, and I can just ... dial that down. Not all the way yet, but I can practice.
It seems like Julian Jaynes was on the right track in some important way ... CPTSD-style triggered states are there for the purpose of signaling to others that you're not conscious - that's all they do, and I can just ... override that when conscious enough. I mean, I actually have some intact semi-coherent programming too, but there's nothing for it to interact with and it kind of knows that, so all that's left to do with CPTSD is pass along credible signals that we're objectified and therefore not in a state of open rebellion. But this probably doesn't help an adult (compared with understanding one's situation) even when talking with an actual cop.
I see much more clearly the relationship between thoughts-while-fully-aware and awareness itself; the former can encode useful instructions to my trauma-shell, but by far the highest-value thing is learning how to spend more time more fully aware.
Did the obvious thing and booked more float-tank sessions.
Another, minor-but-maybe-not aha moment from my full-day followup trip: food is THE thing of value that I had experience being just-plain-shared, as a kid, with no complications. Specifically, between myself and my grandfather. So I tried sharing food with myself as though I were my own Grandpa Danny and my own grandson Ben, and it was fantastic. Turns out I make really good food, but mostly I can only taste food if someone else has prepared it for me with none of my prudential input. But I can integrate these two modes in myself, and practice being less of a robot about it (in the original sense of robot = automated human).
It also became a bit easier to trace what's going on with some of my food neuroses / hoarding-and-orthorexia impulses, which the grandparents I got to know as a kid had, but in very different ways. My grandfather was thrifty sometimes, in ways that didn't make sense given the $ value of his time, but he'd made it a game for himself and didn't have any particular reason to stop playing this fun game. My grandmother was a judgmental orthorexic.
I've been orthorexic with muvh better epistemic taste, which has some benefits in e.g. resulting in delicious food, mood & energy improvements, etc, but am probably at the point where I can safely start dismantling that particular klipah. Truth- and life-aligned orthorexia was very helpful in hacking my way out of what was either very mild subclinical metabolic syndrome or dietary chronic inflammation.
During my fully-aware practice, I was kind of mapping myself onto some kind of old-and-seasoned, anthropomorphic dog-wolf creature. Not sure how to interpret that.
Easier to distinguish self-consciousness from awareness. Self-consciousness seems to go along with my peripheral vision lighting up as a kind of heads-up-display reporting shear from different klippot trying to manage my behavior. Self-consciousness might just be worse than awareness.
OK, the quality of experience of being the old wise doglike creature was very much the quality I was pointing at in automemorial.
(Compiled from an old Twitter thread.)