First of all, I really am appreciative of all your quick and well stated responses, both on my posts and nearly all posts I've taken a look at, that is actually really impressive I'd say.
That said, do you agree with everything Tom wrote in MBT and elsewhere? I don't think I've ever seen a response that wasn't exactly in the same line as everything I've red in MBT, which by now I've went through 3 times, and many of the interviews/talks on youtube. You can take that as a compliment, but it also might be something to consider that Tom has made some mistakes here and there or left out certain things for instance. As I red MBT I've always felt like he was not telling everything even though all of his writings seem really carefully thought out. He would do this obviously to limit the already great 800 pages readers would have to plough through, or maybe to make it more accessible to a greater audience by leaving out certain things that might've been too difficult or perhaps repellent in ways. Of course I'm being purely speculative here, but I don't find the idea that he had to consider these things too far out there.
For instance, he very obviously intentionally left out examples of his many adventures in NPMR apart from a few in the beginning of the book and maybe once or twice later. Also these don't really give you a good image of what NPMR would look like. I think he wrote that the reason for leaving that out is that he wants to avoid people just reading it like a fun novel, but actually go out there to gather experience by themselves. Perhaps he also wants people to do this with a mostly clean slate regarding NPMR interpretation systems as to creating a more interesting world of very diverse NPMR travelers, instead of a very homogeneous one.
This might also be why, aside from the first part of his book, I don't think he ever mentioned Robert Monroe again, or maybe very briefly. He also never hinted to looking into his books which are all very beautiful well documented collections of his NPMR adventures. It could also be because there are some seemingly meaningful differences in how they both conceptualize the larger reality.
Another thing I can think of is him cleverly calling our free will unconditional
, and not unrestricted or something of the likes. Unconditional merely means that it will always be available to exercise free will, and not to what degree. Exercising free will happens by altering the probability distributions that hold meaning to any certain decision to be made. These distributions can be altered by all involved actors in every certain decision to be made, which always includes the LCS. This means that also the LCS has the ability to alter all these distributions which very much can be seen as manipulation if the intent behind these alterations is to nudge us in a certain direction other than the ones we might've preferred more. This should in theory always be in the most profitable direction for all involved entities regarding lowering entropy, according to it's best calculations that is. (which means that a single person (in theory) might get severely manipulated if it's implications might severely hurt a great deal of other people, by not only changing the probability distribution of the choice at hand, but also perhaps that of people around this person to steer them into trying to change their mind a certain way. I'm just letting my fantasy run wild here :d)
Now a little bit on why I started using my free will in the way I do and talked about earlier. Before 2.5 years ago I certainly was much more decisive than I have been since then. This was also when I first came into contact with MBT. My reasoning by that time was that I should approach such a big change in paradigm with insanely many implications to everything I once thought with great caution. With my old paradigm I thought it was best to try to gain experience data while interfering as little as possible with everything that might have implications for making my own Big TOE, as Tom suggests everyone to do. This has led to many weird yet also very interesting observations that I never could've been able to make if I were to constantly meddle with what I was dealing with. This turned quickly into a habit and spread into a very annoying (yet also strangely relaxing) apathy. I knew this was not good for me, and would hinder my growth in nearly every way, but it is really hard to continuously make decisions to break the habit of not making any decisions it seemed haha. Luckily by now I am doing pretty well in breaking the pattern and getting back at exercising my free will more frequently and forcefully.
This doesn't take away from me having some very interesting data acquired in this period that I cannot just ignore in making my own Bit TOE.
Don't fall into a trap where you try and figure out every little thing in your life and how it fits in with the LCS, NPMR, PMR, etc. Learn to live gracefully with uncertainty. Trying to categorize everything just comes from your ego.
It very well might be true that my drive to do this originates from my ego. Then again, I was 21 when I first started with reading MBT which radically differed from how I viewed reality. It's no wonder then that ego, which tries to hold onto the old, would come up with ways to slow down and maybe even hold back this change. In this case that might've happend by making me use my intellect on everything I came in contact with. On the other hand it is not crazy to be cautious when first coming across MBT.
Also, trying to categorize everything you come across is not necessarily a bad thing as long as it is done with great attention to nuance and always be aware of what kind of new data might make your categorizations useless or otherwise bad. This doesn't exclude living at grace with uncertainty, I just try to limit the uncertainty regarding my intellect to my best ability. Actually in nearly all facets of my life I have no problem with uncertainty whatsoever, it's just that I do like have a certain control over my intellect. I do realize that this very well might be holding back me growing at the being level and raising my QoC. However, it also has it's advantages. Right now I cannot say from my own experiences how these weigh against each other so I will need to find ways to get more useful data regarding this choice.
For now that just means getting back at meditating and shutting down my inner voice as much as possible I suppose.