with Konrad Swart
VINEETO: Hi Konrad,
KONRAD: I know now that there are no less than four forms of intelligences possible in us, one of which usually is dominant.
VINEETO: My first question is, how do you ascertain that those ‘four forms of intelligence’ and your ‘view on total capacity of Man’ is more than a theory and not yet another of your many varying ideological concepts? There are hundreds of concepts about ‘Man’ floating around in spiritual and scientific circles and they all have more to do with imagination than with tangible verifiable facts. The exact functioning of the human brain is still in its early stages of mapping and any concept so far can only be guestimation and speculation, unless it is based solely on the empirical facts known to date.
KONRAD: It is based on my recent study of the Information theory of Shannon. This vision has already proved its worth in many, many fields.
VINEETO: Claude Shannon’s innovation, as described in his ‘Mathematical Theory of Communication’ (1949), was to discover that ‘information’ could be treated as a quantifiable value in communications. His theory assumes that the ‘basic case’ where the units of communication (for example, words or phrases) are independent of each other. I fail to see how that relates to ‘four forms of intelligences’ and moreover, how his theory turns your theory into a fact.
KONRAD: Any theory, from anybody, is of the ‘varying ideological concept’ kind. For a full explanation of this, see Popper’s brilliant book, Conjectures and Refutations.
VINEETO: Carl Popper was a philosopher, not an empirical scientist. When he proposed his concept of ‘truthlikeness’, he was not concerned with ascertaining facts but was rather interested in what is the least false. ‘You may be right and I may be wrong, and by an effort, we may get nearer to the truth’, he said (‘The Open Society and Its Enemies’, Golden Jubilee Edition, London 1995). For him, truth was the best compromise between people’s differing opinions, not a tangible, verifiable piece of information. And Hans-Joachim Niemann describes Mr. Popper’s ‘critical rationalism’ as ‘not limited to criticism’ but concerned with ‘the discovery and development of new problems’ – indeed an apt portrayal for a philosophy indulging in Grübelsucht. (http://home.t-online.de/home/Hans-Joachim.Niemann/Popper/popper02_e.htm)
I also wonder why you re-instated Carl Popper again as a ‘brilliant’ writer after you ostensibly turned your back on him in your conversation with Richard some 4 years ago. Are you now again convinced that Carl Popper is not wrong after all? Vis:
KONRAD: And for an introduction to this kind of thinking, see David Deutsch brilliant book: ‘The Fabric of Reality’. Consider, both men are outstanding geniuses. Popper has solved the ‘induction problem’ of Science. (How, exactly, do we move from the particular to the general? He has shown that this question has been wrongly put. He showed what the question should have been, and then he solved it. In this way, he has given, single-handedly, a complete epistemology of Science. (Giving it its basis.) David Deutsch is the father of the model of the Universal Quantum Computer. His achievement is comparable to that of Alan Turing, who has made the first model of the Universal Computer.)
VINEETO: What you consider a ‘brilliant book: ‘The Fabric of Reality’ from David Deutsch is under-titled ‘The Science of Parallel Universes – And Its Implications’ and introduced as pure science fiction –
Given that you consider both the philosopher Mr. Popper and the fantasist Mr. Deutsch as geniuses and regard their works as serious science, it becomes all too clear why your concepts of reality as the ‘four forms of intelligences’ never match what is in fact happening. You may be fond of theories ‘of the ‘varying ideological concept’ kind’, following Carl Popper’s ever shifting ‘truthlikeness’ and David Deutsch’s fantastical ‘Fabric of Reality’ – as an actualist, I am only concerned with tangible verifiable facts, empirical science and observable, repeatable experience. And neither ‘truthlikeness’ nor ‘a new view of the multiverse’ is a fact.
VINEETO: Given that you are proposing ‘four forms of intelligence’, here is the dictionary definition of intelligence –
KONRAD: 1: You have the intelligence of the body, represented by the lymph glands. It is a form of intelligence that is spread out all over the body. Its main purpose is to keep the body into existence, and coherent, i.e., to defend it against microbes and viruses. I call this ‘existence-intelligence’.
VINEETO: ‘Existence-intelligence’ is a spiritual description for what is commonly known as the immune system. Vis:
To claim that these micro-organisms have the faculty of ‘understanding, intellect’ or ‘comprehension’ is to make the word intelligence mean something it clearly does not.
KONRAD: For this I refer to the work of the Nobel prize winner Gerald M. Edelman. His work began with the immune system. From its working he derived a model of intelligence, which he succeeded to implement in robots. These were the first robots who did not have to be pre-programmed.
VINEETO: I don’t follow your logic. In what way do ‘robots who did not have to be pre-programmed’ prove that the immune system is intelligent? And how do machines built by humans become intelligent in their own right?
In order to keep things simple, I prefer to stick to the dictionary definition of the word. I neither regard immune systems of sentient beings nor man-made robots as ‘an intelligent or rational being’.
KONRAD: It is a form of intelligence that does not only exist in our body, but is present in existence itself. It is based on the 92 elements.
VINEETO: If this functioning were intelligent, then every grain of sand, blade of grass, every worm, every mouse and every pig needs to be called intelligent. Your assigning intelligence to ‘existence itself’, however, is a well-known belief in spiritual circles where the word intelligence – or ‘Intelligence’ – is synonymous for God. Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti considered himself the living embodiment of that ‘supreme intelligence’ (otherwise known as ‘that which is sacred, holy’). Surely you are not trying to tell me that our corporal immune system is the work of God?
KONRAD: Again, I refer to the Information theory of Shannon, and to Cybernetics.
VINEETO: Shannon’s ‘Information Theory’ is the mathematical foundation for all digital communications systems.
Intelligence is not only the faculty of the brain thinking with all its understanding (intellect) but the comprehension of itself in the world of people, things and events ... and the quickness or superiority (sagacity) of such comprehension is the measure of intelligence. Therefore neither machines nor animals other than humans are capable of intelligence. By redefining intelligence as mere ‘cybernetics’ you have overlooked the essential ingredient for intelligence – to be able to reflect upon itself, to be aware of one’s sensual perception, one’s thoughts and feelings and to be aware of awareness itself.
KONRAD: The problem is, that ‘intelligence’ is, for many, a prerogative term, designating something of the highest calibre, even more valuable than gold. What I asked myself is: what is intelligence? And then it seems to be equivalent to a cybernetic process equipped with some random generator, that is able to produce random structures, that are weeded out by the feedback that is part of the cybernetic process. Such a cybernetic process is the essence of every form of intelligence. It can be recognized everywhere. E.g. every law of nature can be recast in a variational calculus form. Add to this the fact, that nature is fundamentally random, that is the message of quantum mechanics, and you see all of the parts of anything consistent with the above definition of intelligence.
VINEETO: Also, intelligence is not ‘a prerogative term’ despite what many people, including you, make it out to be. It is neither ‘the special right or privilege exercised by a monarch or head of State over all other people, which overrides the law and is in theory subject to no restriction’, nor is it ‘a special right or privilege possessed by a person, class, or body’, Oxford Dictionary. Neither definition makes sense in regards to intelligence. When one becomes attentive to one’s beliefs, emotions and passions, one can easily observe human intelligence in operation and the need to attribute obscure and wide-ranging concepts to the word intelligence seems rather obfuscating and silly.
KONRAD: Stating ‘the corporal immune system is the work of God’ is confusing two kinds of intelligences with each other. In terms of ‘Gods’, identifying Him with intelligence, you can better say, that there is a ‘God of the Dead’, embodied in the Laws of Nature in the form of variational principles, and quantum randomness. This ‘God’ has created ‘Dead Existence’, including the fact of the existence of existence itself. Existence from nothing does not need an explanation when there is ‘random fluctuation’ on a fundamental scale. ‘Something from nothing’ is creation. Mathematically speaking, from group theory, ‘nothing’ is ‘perfect symmetry’. The more symmetry, the more ‘parts are alike’, the more redundancy of information, and the less distinctness. If distinctness is the feature that makes existence to be existence, then this means that random breaking of symmetry is creation. That this is not hypothetical can be seen from quantum mechanics. Electrons are ‘things’ when you consider them to be able to generate localized effects. But they are not ‘things’ when compared to each other. The Quantum Statistics of Fermi-Dirac clearly shows, that electrons are not distinct. This is a beautiful example of existents, that do not have the same characteristics as existents in the macro world. How very drastic this difference is can be seen by the fact, that the behavior of many electrons together are in violation of the laws of arithmetic. In ordinary arithmetic, if you have 20 objects, you can group them in 5 rows of four, in four rows of 5, or in 10 groups of two. This is impossible to do with electrons, because they are not distinct! As such they violate the laws of division, for surely, if 20 things cannot be grouped because they are not distinct, the ordinary rules of arithmetic do not apply. So from a macro-perspective, electrons are less real, because of the very fact that they are not distinct, and more symmetric. So the strange fact becomes apparent, that electrons are consistent with the arithmetic laws of addition, for you can talk about a total number of electrons. But they are in violation with the laws of multiplication. This, by the way, shows that the laws of arithmetic are not purely ‘in the mind’ as many believe, but are just as much descriptions of certain existents as for example the natural laws are.
VINEETO: The corporal immune system is not the work of god, but it is itself a form of God, being itself intelligent. The intelligence is just directed at upholding the bodily integrity by using purely chemical processes. You can therefore say that it is the highest form of the God of the Dead. You can say, that the laws of nature are the modern form of Brahma, Tao, Nirvana, ‘Buddha Nature’ etc. The God of The Bible, the Koran, the Greek etc. is a God of the living in the sense, that it is the ‘creator of life’. It is a different form of intelligence. It is more intelligent than the God of the Dead, because it can work with symbols on DNA-chains, while the God of the Dead can only work with chemicals. In the ‘holy scriptures’. It is modelled after Man itself. But this is just one of its form. As a famous Dutch writer expressed it: ‘If we had been evolved from donkeys, and not from apes, we would imagine God to be an old donkey, and not a bearded old man. If you generalize this, you can say that the DNA-molecule has made life possible. If I apply the same definition of Intelligence to the DNA-molecule, then the system consists of the DNA-molecule, ‘describing’ all possible life-forms, (including Man and Donkey) with a random process of ‘reshuffling’ by sexual reproduction that makes use of the enormous arsenal of information on the DNA-molecule. Added to this is also the changing of this information by high-energy radiation. These are two random processes. The feedback mechanism is then evolution itself, which makes in an essential way use of the fact, that most life forms reproduce sexual. I mean to say, that you can derive from Information Theory the reasons why complex life-forms are of necessity life forms that reproduce through sex. It explains why the sexual reproduction is so ubiquitous.
So now ‘the corporal immune system’ is not only one of the ‘four forms of intelligence’ but also ‘a form of God’ – and not just God but the ‘God of the Dead’ as well as ‘a God of the living’. Did you ever consider that God being ‘modelled after Man himself’ is simply another way of admitting that man has invented God in his own image and that therefore God does not exist in fact separate from Man’s own imagination? The God you are talking about is nothing but your own passionate imagination, justified by the belief of millions of others who also believe in the God of their own passionate imagination.
Given that you have introduced God as part of the ‘four forms of intelligence’, I am not surprised that this spiritual hotchpotch of a concept is leaving the designated meaning of the word ‘intelligence’ far behind. Spiritualists have never been very concerned with the exact meaning of words as it suits their iridescent ideologies far better to keep the communication vague, multi-facetted and in the affective-imaginative realms. You are no exception.
KONRAD: 2: You have the intelligence of the brain stem and nervous system. I call this ‘biological intelligence’, which takes too long to explain here.
VINEETO: The function of the nervous system is to respond to stimuli in an electrochemical process, a process that works independently of intelligence. There are many examples of humans who have had brain damage such that intelligence – ‘quickness or superiority of understanding, sagacity’ – does not operate and yet the nervous system remains functioning. The brain-stem, which connects the brain to the spinal cord, plays a special role in controlling reflexes, conducting impulses to the viscera (internal organs), regulating the internal environment of the body, and maintaining an ideal state of activity within the nervous system itself. To call an electrochemical response ‘intelligence’ as in ‘quickness or superiority of understanding, sagacity’ is to yet again assign divine qualities of ‘Intelligence’ to something that has nothing to do with sagacity.
KONRAD: This is confusing a representation of something with that what it consists of. To give a simple example: a television screen can represent an image, say of the Taj Mahal, but consists of phosphorous illuminating dots. If I apply your argument to that example, I could say that ‘the function of the phosphorous dot of a television screen is to respond to electrons hitting it, making it to glow. To call a phosphorous response an image as in ‘representing the Tay Mahal’ is to assign ‘Taj Mahal’ qualities to something that has nothing to do with the Taj Mahal at all. So the organization of something is more than just the elements the organization consists of. To take your example to the extreme, we are all composed of chemicals. Stones are also composed of chemicals. Stones are also ‘electrochemical responses’, for it are electrochemical quantum mechanical processes that ‘take care of it’ that stones keep their structural integrity of stones. But I do not think that you could conclude from this, that we ‘cannot be humans, because we are ‘really stones’ because same ‘primitive forces’ that hold stones together, are holding us together. (See for an explanation of this: Gribbin: In Search of the Double Helix.) The term science uses for this is ‘emergent phenomenon’. Whenever certain elements of a certain nature come together in such a way, that the organization of these elements give rise to something of a totally different order, they say that the complexity of the interaction of the elements forms the basis of a certain organisation of these elements, that cannot be described in terms of the functioning of the elements alone. You cannot deduce the fact, that phosphorous dots light up in a pattern of the Taj Mahal from the way the electrons hit the phosphorous dots of the television screen. In the same manner, you cannot deduce from the fact that the nervous system responds to stimuli in an electrochemical process is no basis for understanding intelligence to assert, that intelligence is independent of those processes. It may very well be, that intelligence is an emergent phenomenon that is based on these processes.
VINEETO: I was talking about the function of the nervous system, the term ‘representation’ is introduced by you to obfuscate the issue. Your example of the Taj Mahal on your computer screen is yet another example how spiritualists are prone to dodging the question by changing the subject from the practical functions of the nervous system to ‘we are all composed of chemicals’.
KONRAD: Besides, I do not consider ‘Intelligence’ as divine. Now that I know what intelligence is, and how it arises, I can recognize its presence in many things, and in many forms. Intelligence can have many kinds of material carriers, but this does not mean, that intelligence is totally independent of these carriers. As no thing can exist without having some form, although it can have (m)any form(s), so intelligence can emerge from any carrier that is complex enough, but it can have (m)any carrier(s).
What I assert, is that the height the intelligence can reach depends on the properties of the carriers. Intelligence, based on laws of nature, can go only so far. Intelligence, based on the DNA-molecule can go further. Intelligence, based on the properties of the reptilian limbic system, can create societies, but stops there, and is thus incapable of ending social problems. And the intelligence, based on the neocortex, can go so far that it ends wars, and can deal with any of the social problems.
VINEETO: Given that you said above that ‘the corporal immune system is not the work of god, but it is itself a form of God, being itself intelligent’, you do indeed ‘consider ‘Intelligence’ as divine’ – there is no difference between God being intelligent and Intelligence being divine. As long as you stretch the word intelligence to mean anything from the immune system to an imaginary ‘God of the Dead’ and ‘God of the living’, any sensible communication about facts is rendered impossible. Is intelligence by chance also ‘a form of’ the God of the Living Dead?
KONRAD: 3: You have the intelligence of the limbic system. I call it ‘social intelligence’. It is a form of intelligence composed mainly of emotions. It subsumes all of our symbolic thinking, all of the social processes, all of science, in short everything that can be called ‘information’.
VINEETO: The limbic system including the amygdala is known to be concerned with basic emotions and with autonomic and olfactory functions. To call a system for basic human emotions ‘social intelligence’ is to make mockery of the word intelligence.
KONRAD: ‘Mockery’ is an emotional term. Normally I would not see anything wrong in somebody using such an argument, but you, being an actualist, should not use such terms. You should be ‘free from emotions’.
VINEETO: Mockery means an ‘absurdly inadequate representation’, Oxford Dictionary, which is an entirely un-emotional term. Further, actualism is not about being ‘free from emotions’ but about investigating one’s beliefs and emotions as they interfere with being happy and harmless. I do find it, however, amusing that you regress to discussing my possible emotions instead of replying to the content of what I am saying.
VINEETO: A clear-eyed observation of the human condition reveals that none of the human behaviour resulting from emotions is intelligent, i.e. ‘the action or fact of understanding something; knowledge, comprehension (of something)’. Particularly when people have acted emotional they later confess that they don’t know what they were doing and they don’t understand what came over them.
KONRAD: I disagree. When Palestinians commit suicide actions to kill Israelis, they understand that they do not have the heavy weapons at their disposal the Israelis have. They understand that they, nevertheless, are able to strike back in a major way, just by making the step so drastic as being prepared to kill themselves in the process. (Inspired by 11 September they see, how much can be reached by limited means in this way.) That somebody, in hindsight, can disagree with the action at the moment he is making it, does not make the act less intelligent, even taking your definition of intelligence as a point of departure.
VINEETO: To label the act of killing oneself and/or other human beings as intelligent is deeply cynical and yet again an ‘absurdly inadequate representation’ of the word intelligence, to say the least.
KONRAD: You can always disagree with somebody, even when it is yourself.
VINEETO: You must be talking spiritual dissociation because this sentence does not make any sense whatsoever.
KONRAD: I could say much, much more on this subject. I keep it brief, though. For example, what you are you cannot see. That does not only apply to emotions, but to any action. The eye, for example, is able to see everything except itself. That is because, in order to see, it needs the ability to focus. Therefore there has to be a distance. Seen in this way, we can look back at our past, and see what we have done. But we are not able to ‘know’ what we are doing at this very moment, because there is no distance between that what we are and that what we do. Nevertheless, we call most actions of ourselves intelligent. The only difference is that if we look back at our present actions later, we agree with them. We cannot understand any action when we are performing it. To become aware of what we are doing, we always have to stop doing it. This is, in fact, a major problem in music making. When you try to become aware of what you are doing when you play the piano, you cannot continue to play unhampered. So ‘doing’ and ‘being conscious of what you are doing’ are contradictory.
VINEETO: You can act intelligently, though. How? By first thinking, which implies not doing. Then you decide, after which action follows. But the moment you enter the action, you are not conscious of what you are doing, although you can think that you know. This is because, while in action you remember that you have decided. The ‘certainty’ arising from the decision is then felt, and thus gives the experience that you know what you are doing. But you are not conscious of what you are doing the moment you are acting.
Fortunately it is only a concept and not a fact that ‘‘doing’ and ‘being conscious of what you are doing’ are contradictory’. What you are describing is an emotional ‘doing’, as in ‘the ‘certainty’ arising from the decision is then felt’. When one focuses one’s awareness and emphasis on being an emotional ‘being’ then one is fully identified with the emotion and the emotional action as it is happening.
In actualism, however, I focus my attention on observing how I am experiencing this moment of being alive, whatever it is that is happening – be it thoughts, emotions or sensations. Admittedly, in the beginning it takes a bit of attentiveness and persistent training in self-observation but ‘‘doing’ and ‘being conscious of what you are doing’’ now happens with me quite naturally all the time. It is called ongoing ‘self’-awareness.
VINEETO: Mr. LeDoux has done some fascinating empirical research into the pivotal role that the amygdala plays as the alarm system for the sensory input that comes to the brain. He called it the ‘quick and dirty processing pathway’ which is responsible for our fundamental experience of instinctually-based fear, for instance when encountering real or imaginary danger. He has empirically proven that sensory input is transported to the primitive emotional brain far quicker (12msec as opposed to 25msec) than to the cognitive awareness seated in the neo-cortex. As such, an emotional-instinctual response is faster and cruder, i.e. quicker and dirtier, than any possible cognitive intelligent response to a given situation. (see http://www.cns.nyu.edu/home/ledoux/) If the emotions that arise from this quick and dirty instinctual passionate response were intelligent, then we wouldn’t live in a world ravaged by wars, rapes, murders, terrorism, famines, overpopulation, corruption and poverty.
KONRAD: There are so many confusions in this statement, that I do not even know where to begin. Let me try. To begin with, there is the same mistake of confusing a system with what it does, as mentioned above in the television screen example. I make music. I know that it is impossible to play a fugue of Bach without extensive studying of it. It took me no less than 10 years to arrive at a level of skill whereby I could play the first fugue of the Well-Tempered Klavier from memory, without making mistakes. And then I could move on to other pieces. Almost every part of the movements of a play you have studied is subconscious. The movements are not made by the Neocortex, but by the Cerebellum. It has the ability to make movements with 1 ms accuracy! Nevertheless, the construction of the fugue is done by the Cerebrum. Slowly, step by step, it is constructed in the Cerebrum. And then it is eliminated from the cerebrum, and built up in the Cerebellum. In other words, it is displaced from consciousness in the motor centre. If that can be done with ‘raw movements’, then it is certainly possible to construct understanding in the Neocortex, which then is eliminated from it, and constructed in the reptilian limbic system.
VINEETO: What you are describing above is the process of memorizing a sequence to the point that is becomes automatic. The same happens with many repetitive processes, for instance when driving a car. The building of an automatic memory for movements and repetitive processes is, however, a procedure that is completely separate from the instinctual response in the amygdala due to our animal instinctual programming.
Further, the reptilian brain and the limbic system are two different areas with different tasks. The reptilian brain, the first highly complex neural bundle to appear in evolutionary history, supports the basic physiological functions; circulation, respiration, digestion, elimination. It is also involved in mating and territorial behaviour; pecking order, defence, aggression and the emotions of anger and fear. The emotions of love, sadness, jealousy, hope are modified from the raw instinctual passions and are processed in the limbic brain. They can, apart from humans, also be observed in ‘higher’ species such as cats, dogs, horses and other warm-blooded animals.
If you want your theories to be taken seriously, then you should at least get the facts right about the basic functional areas of the brain before you go public.
KONRAD: So it is moved from consciousness in the emotional centre. So it is very plausible from modern brain research, that with virtually everybody the person is not in the Neocortex, but in the limbic system.
VINEETO: Your idea of brain activity resembles strongly what spiritual teachers have us believe, that ‘understanding’ ‘is moved from consciousness in the emotional centre’, i.e. consciousness is channelled from above down into the emotions. Further, the issue under investigation is not ‘the person’ ‘in the Neocortex’, but the alleged intelligence of the limbic system.
However, empirical science has demonstrated the fact that sensory input is channelled through the amygdala, i.e. along the instinctual pathway, from where the ‘quick and dirty’ response arises. A smaller part of the sensory information is then, 13 msec. later, directed to the cognitive awareness seated in neo-cortex. In other words, human beings are born with a programming of instinctual passions that trigger a reaction before the neo-cortex is even informed about what is happening. Only when one recognizes this fact and begins to become aware of the automatic instinctual-emotional response, has clear understanding – intelligence – a chance of coming into view.
While you compare one theory against another in the attempt to figure out what is ‘plausible’ according to Mr. Popper’s ‘truthlikeness’, I decided to find out the facts for myself. You see, Konrad, when I began to observe my own emotional and instinctual programming in action and thus began to slowly become aware of how the brain works and how ‘I’ tick, then the facts of what is actually happening became quite obvious. And not only became the facts obvious, I also found out that it is possible to change the programming of the brain to the point that I am gradually becoming free from the Human Condition.
If you conducted such a ‘self’-observation yourself and began a hands-on inquiry into your psyche, you would not need to rely on theories of philosophers and fantasists, on spiritual teachers and Eastern mysticism, but you could know the facts for yourself, indubitably.
VINEETO: Since this is the only form of intelligence, there is no need to call it ‘inner intelligence’ – there is no such thing as a dichotomy between an inner and outer intelligence in the human brain. To propose that the ‘Social Intelligence’ – along with whatever spiritual self-inflating beliefs that have been taken on board as ‘truths’ – takes over the ‘inner intelligence’ is just another description of the spiritual process of self-aggrandizement.
However, intelligence can only operate freely when it is not ‘subsumed’ by instinctual passions and its resulting emotions. As Mr. LeDoux has pointed out in his book ‘The Emotional Brain’, there is a distinct asymmetry in the way sensory information is passed on by the thalamus into two streams – one to the amygdala and one to the neo-cortex. Therefore the limbic brain has a far greater influence upon the neo-cortical brain than vice versa – which is precisely why the instinctual passion for narcissism has had such a stranglehold on the human search for freedom and happiness.
So in order to free one’s intelligence from the influence of the amygdala and the instinctual passions, one begins to pay attention to and becomes increasingly aware of one’s constantly running social and instinctual programming, seated in the reptilian and limbic part of the brain. One becomes thus able to observe and dismantle one’s own psyche in operation. The method of actualism is designed to de-program the brain so that both one’s intelligence and one’s sensate experiencing can operate freely without the interference of the animal-instinctual parts of the brain. Then, and only then, the actual world becomes apparent in its purity, magic and magnificence.
KONRAD: Yes, Richard has taught you well. This is Richard speaking, in you. Part of this is based on obsolete information on how the brain functions. It is based on confusing functioning with representation.
VINEETO: It is you who is ‘confusing functioning with representation’. I am not talking about ‘representation’ but about my own observation and experience of how my brain functions, and about Mr. LeDoux empirical discoveries how certain parts of the brain interact with each other. Why you consider this information as ‘obsolete’ eludes me. I found it one of the most intriguing things to read and think about and then find out for myself, how my brain and the human brain functions – after all, to observe one’s brain in action is one of the most delicious experiences there is.
KONRAD: Still, it contains one core of truth. Attention is indeed the way to reprogram the limbic system. Attention, i.e. the functioning of consciousness is the functioning of the Neocortex over the reptilian, limbic system. What then happens is that the structures in the limbic system are copied in the Neocortex. When this is successful, the emotion in the limbic system is ‘sucked up’ by the reconstructed structure in the Neocortex, thus making the emotions, indeed disappear. But only if the understanding of where the emotion comes from is complete.
VINEETO: However, this can only be done on a ‘case by case’ basis. You cannot develop this so far, that every emotion is automatically and immediately eliminated, as Richard asserts. Not without a major impairment of your nervous system. (Which I suspect is the case with Richard.) That is an unwarranted generalization of a process that can occur as you describe it.
When I trace an emotion to its core – the core being the part of one’s identity that is connected to that emotion – then the emotion disappears and with it dies the particular part of my identity. Therefore, when investigating my beliefs and emotions ‘case by case’, great lumps of my identity have completely disappeared from my life. Richard did this process of ‘self’-observation to the point where the whole of his identity was understood in its totality and extinguished. Therefore your concept ‘that every emotion is automatically and immediately eliminated’ by Richard is incorrect – for him emotions, which are part and parcel of the identity, never ever occur.
KONRAD: The functioning you describe, e.g. paying very close attention to the emotions in order to end them, is correct. However, what then happens is something different than your explanation. What happens is that that what wants to survive becomes clear. That what is ‘at stake’ becomes clear. Dependent on your level of development, this can be called ‘the I’, or it can be called ‘the Self’. It is the ‘I’ when only the rationale of the emotion applying to your own life becomes clear. But when you recognize it as something you share with others, and what people can have in common who are parts of the same culture, you recognize it as an ideology. And then the term ‘Self’ is better. So the difference between ‘I’ and ‘Self’ is one of development. The deeper you are able to see within your emotions in the way you describe, the deeper your understanding.
VINEETO: This can go so far, that you understand that emotions are the problem, as Richard has concluded correctly. He stops there, but there is an even deeper understanding possible.
Given that you have yet to understand the process of ‘self’-immolation that happened to Richard, your assessment of ‘an even deeper understanding’ is irrelevant. ‘Self’-immolation extinguishes the whole of one’s psyche/identity, the ‘I’ as well as the ‘Self’ – there is no ‘deeper understanding’ than that.
KONRAD: If you were really able to take the next step, you would also recognize, that your ‘reptilian brain’ contains all of your skills, all of your understandings, all of your language, every action you make comes from it. This makes the ‘reptilian brain’ to be the centre of understanding. Since it contains everything you accept as true, the best way to describe ‘it’ would be: ‘the world’.
VINEETO: Given that you don’t distinguish between the reptilian brain and the limbic system, your information about how the brain works are non-factual.
KONRAD: So I do not subscribe to the difference between ‘reality’ and ‘actuality’ Richard makes.
VINEETO: Of course, you don’t. In order to know ‘the difference between ‘reality’ and ‘actuality’ Richard makes’ one needs to have experienced actuality, which only becomes apparent when both ‘‘I’ and ‘Self’’ are absent.
KONRAD: Whenever you ‘are seeing something as it actually is’, it is part of ‘your world’, and therefore it is part of your understanding. Now our language system is such, that anything we understand is also something we can express verbally. This verbal expression of ‘a fact we are aware of’ is nothing else than ‘a truth’. So the difference between ‘actual’ and ‘real’ is just a difference of perspective. When we become totally aware, totally conscious of some actual fact, we can express it in language. This expression of language is then a representation of the actual fact. And that is, logically speaking, exactly the same as a truth. To think that they are of an essentially different order, as Richard asserts, is, again, the fallacy of representation, as I have explained above.
VINEETO: Now if you go ‘all the way, you then come to the understanding of J. Krishnamurti, namely that that what you see in other bodies as their ‘person’ is what they experience as ‘the world’. You then begin to see, that there is no difference between ‘I’ and ‘world’ other than a difference in perspective.
Your definition of ‘something as it actually is’ is J. Krishnamurti’s personal definition of the term ‘actual’. J. Krishnamurti makes it perfectly clear that for him ‘what actually is’ is one’s affective perception of the world, one’s feelings, beliefs and passions. Vis:
J. Krishnamurti, like all spiritual teachers, never questioned his own special affective perception of the world – otherwise he would have been in for a surprise, the surprise that there is a pure and perfect actual world hidden beneath one’s emotional-spiritual perception. Richard’s description of actuality, however, is the description of his ongoing experience of the world as it is, when the flesh-and-blood body is devoid of any ‘self’ or ‘Self’ whatsoever. Actuality is what becomes apparent when ‘my’ perception of ‘the world’ has ceased.
KONRAD: But such an understanding is only possible, if ‘the process’ is active. So when the Neocortex is no longer ‘silent’, but becomes dominant. Seen in this way, Richard’s vision is somewhere between that of most people and that of people like J. Krishnamurti, or me. He has moved out of ideology, but he has not yet seen the roots of ideology itself, and sees that it is based on the concept of ‘understanding’. A concept, and therefore an understanding, and therefore a part of the reptilian limbic system.
VINEETO: Given that you have yet to understand the process of ‘self’-immolation that happened to Richard, your assessment of ‘Richard’s vision’ is irrelevant. As for ‘the concept of ‘understanding’’ – there is a vast difference between a concept and clear understanding. To have a belief or a concept obstructs the clear understanding of what is actual. Such clear understanding is certainly not part of the ‘reptilian limbic system’ because, as I said above, the reptilian and the limbic system are two different areas of the human brain and intelligent understanding happens in neither of them.
KONRAD: This is the Self Richard has talked about.
VINEETO: The fact is that the ‘self’ Richard refers to is the entity inside this flesh-and-blood body that is programmed both genetically with the instinctual passions and socially by one’s cultural upbringing. When the ‘self’ identifies as its Higher Self or ‘Supreme Intelligence’ as in Enlightenment, it is commonly described as the capital S ‘Self’. To call the institutionalized delusion of grandeur aka enlightenment ‘Social Intelligence’ is to yet again make mockery of the word intelligence.
KONRAD: Again, this is an emotional statement. You are speculating on that I do not have a clear understanding of intelligence.
VINEETO: The emotion that you read into the word mockery is your imagination. But I am happy to reformulate the sentence for you – to call the institutionalized delusion of grandeur aka enlightenment ‘Social Intelligence’ is to yet again make an ‘absurdly inadequate representation’ of the word intelligence.
Further, it is not speculation – it is glaringly obvious that you ‘do not have a clear understanding of intelligence’. Not only do you call the functions of the immune system as well as emotional and instinctual reactions intelligence, but you also refer to intelligence is mere cybernetics, you purport that robots are intelligent and that God is intelligence himself. Your concept is a clear demonstration that your ‘understanding of intelligence’ is a hotchpotch of philosophy, science fiction and religion.
KONRAD: When this system has become completely consistent, and has reached a certain complexity, it begins to have the property of ‘self-duplication’, and ‘it’ then wants to spread over as many individuals as it can, creating, in the process a new social order. This is the process whereby all social orders come into existence. This is the most advanced form the social intelligence can assume. It then becomes an intense source of emotions, up to sacrificing every individual that is infested by it, just by its desire to spread. It is the main source of all wars, and much violence. Whenever such a Self has been formed, the limbic system has reached complete command over the body, the actions, and the thinking mechanism. Indeed, it has reduced the thinking part of us into a ‘mechanism’. This is what Richard has correctly identified as the meaning of the word ‘enlightenment’.
VINEETO: What you describe here has nothing to do with what Richard experienced in his enlightenment years and what is commonly described as enlightenment. Enlightenment is neither ‘the most advanced form of social intelligence’ nor the ‘main source of all wars’. But enlightenment is certainly emotions writ very large and sensible thinking writ off altogether, which in itself proves that enlightenment is neither socially nor intelligently ‘advanced’. Enlightenment, Self-realization, a state of Higher Intelligence or whatever is not the ‘main source of all wars’ – the main source of all wars are the animal instinctual passions of fear and aggression as well as nurture and desire that are deeply rooted in every single human being and can erupt whenever the normal structure of social morals and ethics fail to curb them. Your latest theories of ‘four forms of intelligence’ yet again blatantly deny this fact.
KONRAD: Yes, I know that your understanding goes no further than that of Richard, and not further. May I make a suggestion? Isn’t it time to move on? This e-mail gives you a first step beyond Richard.
VINEETO: Given that you have not even begun to understand the process of ‘self’-immolation, your assessment of ‘a first step beyond Richard’ is beside the point.
KONRAD: Now the point is this: Richard has thus observed, correctly, that Man is mainly a social being, whether the ‘I’ only controls the body, or there is some higher form of ‘I’, that has taken over the lower ‘I’. Both the ‘I’ and the ‘Self’ are social in essence. The social intelligence, the intelligence of the emotions, is thus (rampantly) dominant in Man. He has also observed, correctly, that this type of intelligence, no matter how far developed, is unable to cope with aggression, war, and, in general is even the very source of them all, including the misery he calls ‘the human condition’.
VINEETO: Can you see now why it is inappropriate to call ‘the intelligence of the emotions’ intelligence? As you state yourself, ‘this type of intelligence’ is not only unable to ‘cope with aggression, war’ but is the very reason for it, whereas intelligence means understanding, comprehending and acting with sagacity.
KONRAD: I think my understanding of intelligence is less mystical than that of yours. I have a clear definition of intelligence. I have shown you the way to understand that definition yourself, although it takes a lot of studying in Cybernetics and Information theory.
VINEETO: What makes your ‘understanding of intelligence’ ‘mystical’ is your statement that ‘the corporal immune system is not the work of god, but it is itself a form of God, being itself intelligent’. Further, you consider intelligence ‘equivalent to a cybernetic process equipped with some random generator’ and thus you omit the capacity of the human brain to reflect upon itself as being intelligence. Your understanding of intelligence is therefore technical-mystical and has nothing to do with facts.
KONRAD: [Richard] makes the error, though, to equate the social intelligence with the biological intelligence. An understandable mistake, though, because the source of this form of intelligence is identified correctly by him as being situated in the limbic system. And since this is misidentified by our culture as some animal part, he has taken this over.
VINEETO: Since Richard never uses the expressions ‘social intelligence’ and ‘biological intelligence’ your statement is nonsensical. However, what Richard makes clear is that to experience an ongoing actual freedom from malice and sorrow it is not enough to slip out of one’s social identity (one’s cultural-spiritual set of morals and ethics) but that one needs to eliminate one’s very ‘being’ –
KONRAD: Yes, and that is exactly why I am against his vision. What he fails to see, is that you then throw away all of your skills, all of your knowledge, all of the very things that make you human. As such this is not bad, if that what you become is better, but I seriously doubt that. I can predict what then happens. I can make certain definite statement about actualism. There are no mathematicians among you, actualists. There are no physics professionals among you, actualists. Both together meaning, that every tool of civilization cannot be improved on by any of you. Therefore the things our present civilization offers us, individuals are not present in a possible society based on actualism.
VINEETO: That is not all. There are no practicing musicians under you, who are capable of playing Bach at level 7 or 8 from memory. Maybe there are painters, but they are preoccupied with the least interesting part of painting, namely the ‘down to earth’ concrete. A photograph then is a better form of art than any of the paintings actualists make. Why? Because to represent reality, you need perspective, and that implies abstract thinking. So the paintings are probably of objects on a flat surface. Realism with no perspective. And that applies to actualism itself. Does this make you angry? Or does it provoke an emotion of ‘I am holier than thou, and do not need to take you serious’ reaction? Then that is the reptilian limbic system generating an emotion from actualism itself!
Indeed, if you would take up the practice of actualism, you would probably be the first actualist who is ‘capable of playing Bach at level 7 or 8 from memory’. So far there are only a handful of people who have dared to question the tried and failed solutions of materialism and spiritualism and who actively inquire into the possibility of becoming happy and harmless. But contrary to your picture of doom and gloom, a world where people are happy and harmless would be paradise on earth.
There would be no wars, genocides, murders, suicides, domestic violence, rapes, robberies, police, jails, and locks on our doors. Hunger, poverty and injustice would disappear from the news reports, as would protests, demonstrations, corruption, overpopulation and desolation in the face of natural disasters. Countries, with their artificial borders would vanish along with the need for the military. As nationalism would expire, so too would patriotism with all its heroic evils. People would live together in peace and harmony, happiness and delight. Pollution and its cause – over-population – would be set to rights without effort, as competition would be replaced by cooperation. There would be no hackers on the Internet, no need for security and anti-virus software and probably most of the sex-sites would also disappear for lack of customers. Ingenuity and technology would make this earth a lush, safe and sustainable paradise for everybody.
Your objections to actualism are exactly the same as four years ago – they have not changed a bit. With your projections about actualism you can join the queue of the many other objectors to Actual Freedom who also choose to hold on to their religion, their affective art, their particular conceptual view of the world, their precious emotions and their pet beliefs. Objections to actualism don’t make me angry at all, after all it is you who misses out on being happy and harmless. To question one’s dearly held beliefs and one’s precious identity is observably not everyone’s cup of tea. I am, however, astounded at how many people are content with second-rate solutions to the human condition of malice and sorrow when they could have perfection and purity 24 hours a day.
KONRAD: Nevertheless, it makes him think that the aggression that is inherent in the social intelligence, and, indeed, in every ideology, in every form of truth, is both social and biological. He does not make a clear distinction between biological intelligence and social intelligence. He thinks they are one and the same. In this his diagnosis is incomplete. Nevertheless, he has seen much more than I have given him credit for.
VINEETO: Before you draw logical conclusions you first have to check your initial premise for veracity. Your premise about Richard is entirely your own fantasy and your understanding is seriously hampered as you attempt to fit Richard’s ongoing actual experience into your theoretical concept of ‘four forms of intelligence’, three of which have nothing to do with intelligence at all. Also your whole argument is predicated on denying the fact that human beings are animal and, like all animals, have a genetically encoded survival program.
KONRAD: That is your opinion. A badly founded one, if I may add. Does this provoke an emotion?
VINEETO: Your continuous attempts to provoke emotions are not only unsuccessful and childish but also reveal that you are at the end of your tether and running out of reasonable arguments.
VINEETO: Richard does not talk about transformation, but about ‘self’-immolation, which is 180 degrees in the opposite direction to spiritual gobbledegook. If you would read a bit more carefully how Richard described what happened to him first in 19981 when he became enlightened and then in 1992 when his psyche disintegrated and he became actually free, you would see that what happened was something entirely different to ‘the intelligence of the brain-stem and the nervous system take over’. Here is the description in his own words –
KONRAD: Indeed. No misunderstanding from my part. This is the passage I drew the above conclusions from, next to his statement that ‘something at the base of the brain-stem moved’, you have omitted. ‘Transformation’ is by definition: ‘a becomes b’. That can be, because something is added. That can be, because something is eliminated. It can also be because something becomes something else.
VINEETO: Your sloppy reading of Richard’s posts to you becomes apparent and there is complete ‘misunderstanding from [your] part’. Transformation is ‘the action of changing in form, shape, or appearance; metamorphosis’ (Oxford Dictionary) and enlightenment is such a metamorphosis in which the ‘self’ becomes the ‘Self’ or the ‘ego’ becomes the ‘soul’. You are confusing Richard’s description of becoming enlightened in 1981, where ‘something at the base of the brain-stem moved’ with his ‘self’-immolation in 1992 where his psyche became extinct. The above quote was his description of experiencing actuality after his whole psyche became extinct. For comparison, here is his description of becoming enlightened –
KONRAD: In Richard’s case he became something else by eliminating something. What Richard says is that he has become identical with his body.
VINEETO: Richard’s ‘self’-immolation eliminated his identity in toto. One cannot understand what this implies unless one has had a glimpse of actual freedom oneself in a pure consciousness experience. He has not, as you suggest ‘become identical with his body’ but the alien entity within the flesh-and-blood body that is responsible for one’s feeling of separation has been eliminated. One could compare being an identity with being stuck wearing a dark veil that darkens one’s general outlook on to the world. In enlightenment this veil is being ‘transformed’ into a golden veil and then the world looks all golden.
In a pure consciousness experience, however, this veil, one’s identity, is temporarily removed completely and rather that ‘becom[ing] identical’ with the world, one experiences the world as it actually is in its purity, perfection and utter splendour. ‘Self’-immolation removes the separating veil forever.
VINEETO: It seems that not many people are able to understand the state of an actual freedom from the human condition unless they themselves have had a glimpse of it in a pure consciousness experience. The pure consciousness experience is where ‘I’, the social identity and ‘me’ the instinctual passions are temporarily in abeyance and it is not to be confused with what you describe further below as ‘‘consciousness’ has taken over completely’ because that only means that the identity now identifies as ‘Consciousness’, ‘Higher Self’, Higher Intelligence or whatever other name ‘I’ chose to call myself.
KONRAD: This is a mistake the other way. It is the reptilian limbic system trying to understand what it means when the Neocortex takes over. What happens then is not within the realm of understanding. The Neocortex is not an organ of understanding, but of (re)construction.
VINEETO: Given that you don’t distinguish between the reptilian brain and the limbic system, your statements about how the brain works are rather fanciful imagination. You have been reading the wrong textbooks as in David Deutsch’s ‘The Fabric of Reality, The Science of Parallel Universes – And Its Implications’.
VINEETO: A pure consciousness experience (PCE) is a short ...
KONRAD: Just as I thought. It is a ‘case to case’ something. Not a permanent process.
VINEETO: Your speculation is just that – speculation. The actualism practice of ‘self’-observation is permanent, once one is hooked on becoming happy and harmless.
VINEETO: ... glimpse of consciousness being completely devoid of any social and instinctual programming. ‘I am these sense organs in operation’, as Richard describes it. In a PCE, it becomes glaringly obvious that usually one’s ‘self’, the social and instinctual programming – that which you erroneously call social and biological intelligence – is interfering with the clean sensate and apperceptive experience of this actual world. Unless one develops a keen sense of ‘self’-observation and attentiveness to one’s own automatic programming, this social-instinctual automatic ‘self’-centredness is almost impossible to penetrate and one’s perception is thus limited to the views, beliefs and ‘symbolic’ concepts rooted in this programming.
KONRAD: The ‘self-observation’ part is something I agree with, though. But it is just a step to ‘igniting the process’.
VINEETO: A spiritual process may be only ‘ignited’ and then one relies on divine help or higher forces. Actualism, however, is a do-it-yourself method of ‘self’-observation and ‘self’-elimination, which I not only ignite but that I practice to the very end of ‘me’.
KONRAD: Seen in this way Richard has only walked part of the way, and is now standing still, because he thinks he has arrived.
VINEETO: Given that you have yet to understand ‘the difference between ‘reality’ and ‘actuality’ Richard makes’ as well as the process of ‘self’-immolation, your assessment of ‘Richard has only walked part of the way, and is now standing still’ is beside the point.
KONRAD: Now the difference between him and me is huge.
VINEETO: Indeed. You say below that ‘‘I’ and ‘Self’ are very much alive’ whereas Richard has freed himself from the entire psychic and psychological entity, something unprecedented in human history.
KONRAD: I agree that much. But is he able to perform mathematics?
VINEETO: What has mathematics to do with freedom from malice and sorrow? Your sidestepping into mathematics is yet another example of conveniently dodging the subject of ‘self’-immolation.
KONRAD: I have seen him making one attempt, and it was horrendous! And if I think back about the only numerical argument he makes for his case it was completely inadequate. It went something like this (shortened version)
To that he never responded. Of course not. How could he? This is an abstract argument. He has, apparently, lost the capacity to understand numbers. I do not call that an improvement, since all of our major accomplishments are based on mathematics and physics, which are in their turn based on understanding numbers. Make no mistake, without abstract thinking civilization, the very computer you use to communicate with me, is impossible!
VINEETO: May I assist your memory and post the actual conversation that took place? Vis:
Your objections to becoming happy and harmless are wearing thin and you even have to revert to presenting lies. As you can see, your lies have short legs, and it was not Richard who had a problem with numbers.
KONRAD: For my solution to ‘the human condition’ is completely different. My nervous system also went through some form of transformation. It has in common with his transformation, that the ‘social intelligence’, the ‘intelligence of the emotional part of us’ is also no longer dominant. Only with me it is not taken over by the intelligence of the brain stem, but it is taken over by the intelligence of the neocortex. This does not mean an ‘undercutting’ of emotions, as is the case with Richard, but a ‘domination of emotions’ by that part of the brain, that is fully programmable, and that is the seat of consciousness itself. If I would describe it, I would say that in me ‘consciousness itself became conscious’. And, since consciousness is a process, it manifests itself to the other intelligences, especially the social intelligence, into the form of a ‘process’.
VINEETO: So Richard has ‘misdiagnosed’ me completely, because he compares that what has happened to him to that what has happened to me. In him the ‘I’ and ‘Self’ have been ‘eliminated’ as dominant entities, and are ‘dead’. In me, both the ‘I’ and ‘Self’ are very much alive, but are no longer the ‘masters’ of the body. In short, he experiences that ‘existence itself’ has taken over. And I experience, that ‘consciousness’ has taken over completely. This results that in him the emotions are undercut, and thus eliminated, while in me they are ‘overruled’ and thus dominated.
Your concept that Richard has ‘undercut’ his emotions is entirely your interpretation of Richard’s description of actual freedom
KONRAD: Agreed. And it seems to be better than yours.
VINEETO: It is not only your interpretation but also pure invention. Given that you have yet to understand the process of ‘self’-immolation, your assessment of ‘that in him the emotions are undercut’ is utter fantasy. Contrary to you I do not wildly fantasize about actual freedom – I know actuality by my own experience of the temporary absence of ‘self’ and ‘Self’.
VINEETO: Your description that ‘consciousness itself became conscious’ and ‘‘consciousness’ has taken over completely’ is a common and garden description for the Eastern mystical altered state of consciousness aka enlightenment. Given your statement that ‘‘I’ and ‘Self’ are very much alive’, your entity is indeed very much alive and kicking, now identifying as ‘me’ being ‘consciousness’, which is exactly what Richard described having lived between 1981 and 1992. A diagram on the Actual Freedom website quite accurately illustrates this process of blowing the ‘self’ into huge proportions via the process of spiritual transformation. You may notice in the illustration that in the state of enlightenment Evil (the bad emotions) is still present only sublimated beneath the Good (the good emotions) – and plenty of genuine reports from enlightened people have confirmed this to be factual. Your description that the undesirable emotions are ‘‘overruled’ and thus dominated’ is quite accurate – they are definitely not eliminated.
KONRAD: This exhibits a misunderstanding of Buddhism. Within Buddhism the concept of ‘evil’ does not have meaning as a force in its own. ‘Darkness’ is, according to Buddha, absence of light. In the same manner: ‘evil’ is ‘absence of knowledge’. You give a typical western interpretation of Buddhism, and thus miss the very things they actually have discovered.
VINEETO: I have studied and practiced Eastern mysticism for seventeen years and I know what ‘they actually have discovered’. I have swanned around for three days in an altered state of consciousness with all the hallmarks of enlightenment and therefore I know by my own experience that in enlightenment Evil still underpins the Good. Evil is not a concept or the ‘absence of knowledge’, as Buddhists and Advaita-ists fondly believe, but the animal instinctual passions of fear and aggression that are only sublimated, not extinguished, in favour of the aggrandized passions of nurture and desire. What you like to call a ‘typical western interpretation of Buddhism’ is in fact the understanding that one gains from a pure consciousness experience when both the impassioned morals and ethics of the real world and the impassioned beliefs of the spiritual world are seen for what they are – illusions and delusions.
KONRAD: It is a wonder, that we corresponded as long as we did, considering the huge difference that exists between us, and the total lack of understanding of what was happening that was present in the both of us.
VINEETO: Since your description of your process mirrors the descriptions of enlightenment, I don’t think Richard did ever misunderstand you – after all, he has lived enlightenment for eleven years.
KONRAD: I don’t think so. The only thing what happened, was that his ‘I’ became more abstract, more universal. He understood that he, as a person, had emotions of ‘wanting to create a new world-order’. In other words, his individual ‘I’ was pushed aside by a more universal ‘Self’.
VINEETO: Your assessment of ‘his individual ‘I’ was pushed aside by a more universal ‘Self’’ fits the description of Richard’s enlightenment in 1981. Maybe it is time for you to sit down and contemplate about the word ‘self’-immolation in order to grasp the meaning of the sentence ‘My psyche disintegrated and the second ‘I’ died ... ‘I’ became extinct’ ( Richard’s Journal, Appendix Three), which was the crucial event that eventuated his actual freedom.
KONRAD: What he failed to see, and what is characteristic of the kind of enlightenment of J. Krishnamurti and me, is that the ‘Self’ is identical with ‘The world’. He interprets it as a form of ‘magnanimous self-glorification’. But that is not what this statement means. When J. Krishnamurti says: ‘you are the world, that is a fact’, he means to say, that ‘that what you consider to be ‘the world’ is in reality nothing else than your person. It is the total of all of your understandings from which your actions arise. What you experience as ‘the world’ is what somebody else would designate as ‘your person’.
VINEETO: As for ‘the kind of enlightenment of J. Krishnamurti and me’ – J. Krishnamurti at least was genuinely deluded while it would be more honest for you to admit that you are busily pretending to be something that is yet to happen.
KONRAD: Nowhere have I seen anything of Richard showing that he understood this, or even that he understands this now. This is why I say, that he has not really been enlightened in the sense Buddha, or J. Krishnamurti was. In other words, he does not know from his own experience what he is talking about.
VINEETO: That you have not ‘seen anything of Richard showing that he understood this’ is due to the fact that you never really read what Richard wrote to you. You said so yourself. Vis:
Richard has had extensive correspondence with you over several years, explaining in meticulous detail the difference between actual freedom and enlightenment. If someone has to show ‘that he understands this now’ then it is you. But given that you consider yourself as enlightened as Jiddu Krishnamurti, i.e. you consider enlightenment the be all and end all of human achievement, it is no wonder that you have difficulty comprehending that there is indeed an actuality beyond your perception of ‘you are the world, that is a fact’.
That Richard was not really enlightened is objection number 27 that has been hurled at him many times and he has refuted it just as many times. This objection is the cheap way out for those who refuse to question their own vacuous pursuit of the glamour, glory and glitz of spiritual enlightenment.
KONRAD: However, he did take the following step. Seeing ‘emotions’ as the culprit.
VINEETO: Which is more than Jiddu Krishnamurti ever understood, not to mention your own confusion of emotions with intelligence.
KONRAD: But he did not move further. Instead of seeing how emotions arise from the picture of the world, and seeing its identity with the ‘Self’ as in the statement of J. Krishnamurti: ‘you are the world, that is a fact’, he paused at emotions, and tried to develop a system whereby you can eliminate emotions.
VINEETO: ‘The statement of J. Krishnamurti: ‘you are the world, that is a fact’’ is J. Krishnamurti’s limitation to venture beyond his grand personal affective perception of the world – the typical limitation of Eastern mysticism. Given that you have put yourself on the same pedestal as Jiddu Krishnamurti, as in ‘the kind of enlightenment of J. Krishnamurti and me’, you also still have to venture beyond your grand personal affective perception of the world and investigate and experientially understand your own emotions ‘as the culprit’.
KONRAD: His system does this in two ways, one legitimate, the other destructive. The legitimate part is trying to become totally aware of your emotions. The illegitimate part is trying to confine the mind to the concrete.
VINEETO: It is your conceptual invention that actualism is a system. It is you who keeps trying to make assorted systems out of how Richard experiences the actual world – a flesh-and-blood body without identity. If you want to consider actuality ‘illegitimate’ then that is your limited personal viewpoint. The division of your world into abstract / concrete and legitimate / illegitimate is mere ethical conceptualization and has nothing to do with actuality and facts.
Personally, I questioned my own affective perception of the world about abstract and concrete and replaced them with facts and I questioned my moral and ethical values and replaced them with common sense. This way it is very easy – if one is so inclined – to move beyond one’s ‘picture of the world’ and the well-trodden spiritual path of ‘you are the world, that is a fact’.
KONRAD: This attempt will fail, because it is a variation of the ‘choosing paradox’. You can choose for A, B, C etc. You can even choose not to choose for any of the alternatives. But that is still a choice. You can choose not to choose, but you cannot not choose.
VINEETO: The attempt that you think ‘will fail’ is already history – actual freedom has happened to one man and the method is applied by a handful of people with great success. Your theory about ‘the ‘choosing paradox’’ has been proven wrong. It is another one of your unfounded principles about an actual freedom from the human condition, the understanding of which will elude you as long as you continue to see yourself and the world through the concept of Eastern mysticism and Western science-fiction.
KONRAD: In the same way: ‘limiting yourself to the concrete facts’ is as such an abstract principle. So you cannot avoid the abstract and limit yourself to the concrete.
VINEETO: Actualism is about becoming happy and harmless, free from the human condition of malice and sorrow. In actualism you investigate your beliefs, feelings, emotions and passions, not ‘limit yourself to the concrete’. I do find it quite amusing how many smoke screens of principles you invent so that you can then dismiss the possibility of ever becoming free from your instinctual malice and sorrow.
VINEETO: In actualism there is no such thing as a battle between a so-called higher and a so-called lower intelligence. When I investigated the facts about the human condition, it became blatantly obvious that human beings are genetically programmed with instinctual passions, which are overlaid by spiritual beliefs and moral-ethical values. Additionally humans have the capacity to think and reflect and the combination of attention, fascination, reflection and contemplation is capable of producing apperception, which happens when the mind becomes aware of itself. Apperception happens when ‘I’ cease thinking and thinking takes place of its own accord ... and ‘me’ disappears along with all the feelings.
When something is thoroughly understood, free of ‘I’ the thinker and ‘me’ the feeler, then any emotional battle for domination or submission ends and all emotional objections disappear in the bright light of awareness. Whenever I ‘get’ something, i.e. when I understand something experientially and in its totality, there is no resistance from my emotions (your ‘intelligence’ No 3), let alone from my nervous system (your ‘intelligence’ No 2) or my immune system (your ‘intelligence’ No 1). A fact recognized as a fact is simply that. What takes courage, though, is to search for a complete understanding of one’s psyche in action because each process of understanding is another little death of a part of my identity.
KONRAD: I agree that the act of attention does all the things you say. But it is only part of what is possible. Let me try to show you. Whenever you pay attention to your emotions, and total understanding arises, this understanding does not remain in the neocortex. What happens is that this new understanding is then reconstructed in the reptilian limbic system. As such it becomes a new centre of emotions.
VINEETO: Wherever you got this theory from – it is the wrong textbook. First, as I explained above, there is no such thing as the ‘reptilian limbic system’. Second, when an emotion or belief is understood in its totality together with its associated part of the identity, then that part of ‘me’ dies – being an illusion ‘I’ cannot exist in the bright light of awareness. ‘I’ do not move to anywhere unless one fools oneself. For instance, would you say that your childhood belief in Sinterclaas – the equivalent of the English Santa Claus – has now moved to the reptilian system and formed ‘a new centre of emotions’, causing you to yet again eagerly await Sinterclass to bring you lollies? No, once a belief or an emotions is understood in its entirety, it disappears without a trace.
Your proposition proves yet again that you have experientially no idea what it means to investigate one’s beliefs and emotions to the point of disappearance. Therefore your agreeing with me ‘that the act of attention does all the things you say’ is purely rhetorical.
KONRAD: Let me demonstrate. Richard’s actualism is just one big confused mix-up of a babbling idiot, which is the result of his paranoia arising from his Vietnam experience. Anyone ‘buying that crap’ is stupid beyond belief.
VINEETO: Did this trigger an emotion? Of course, I did not mean any of it.
What is your attempt to stir up emotions supposed to demonstrate? Are you at a loss of reasonable arguments that you have to regress to emotions now? This kind of second-grade schoolyard ploy does not strike me as intelligent, not even as ‘the kind of enlightenment of J. Krishnamurti and me’.
KONRAD: What I really think of Richard is that he is a genius. The point is this: any understanding, including what you understand of Richard, becomes a new emotional centre. It displaces from the Neocortex to the limbic system in a way analogous as described in ‘A User’s guide to the Brain’ of John Ratey. I even dare to say, that if I would be confronted with Richard personally, I would be able to make him angry beyond belief. How come? Because I know that his ‘understanding’ can only be situated in the limbic system. That is the centre of understanding. The neocortex is not the centre of understanding. It is the centre of (re)construction.
VINEETO: As I said, you are reading the wrong textbooks. In order to understand what Richard has discovered, you will need to read what Richard writes because his discovery of actual freedom is utterly new to human history. And if you look through the extensive correspondence Richard has had over the past years you will see that many, many people have tried to make him angry – they abused him, scorned him, ridiculed him and tried to tear him down. Nobody has succeeded in evoking any kind of emotion in him because when one is free from one’s identity, emotions do not occur. The existence of emotions is dependant on being fed by the social/instinctual identity – no identity, no cry.
I know, it is hard to acknowledge that one man can be free not only from his beliefs and emotions but also from his identity in toto, because acknowledging this means to acknowledge that your whole elaborate concept of emotions is factually wrong and an impassioned concept is always a dearly-held part of one’s identity. For me freedom from malice and sorrow was simply too good an opportunity to let go by, so I disregarded my pride and threw my false concepts out the window, one by one. Life is so much easier when you don’t have concepts to prove and beliefs to defend.
KONRAD: Since in me the neocortex is dominant, I am able to trigger an emotion in anybody who has an understanding he bases his life on. It is easy.
VINEETO: Although you have tried really hard several times in this post, you have not been able to trigger an emotion even in me and I am not yet free from the human condition. I don’t base my life on a concept – as you believe I do – but on experiential understanding, sensory perception and facts. It is plain silly – from a practical and intelligent point of view – to hang on to one’s emotions and passions when one can be free of them.
VINEETO: Richard is very much alive and enjoys himself immensely. He has stopped responding to objections on Mailing List B a while ago, but writes occasionally on the Actual Freedom mailing list.
KONRAD: That is worrisome. For it means that he is now a full-fledged Guru! This is the mark of a true Guru. The only thing I had still respect for him, was that he did go into objections. Now that he does not any longer, he truly has ‘killed himself’.
VINEETO: You are, of course, free to worry but it is completely unnecessary. Richard has answered many times over all objections anyone could conjure up. You could try to give him a new challenge and find a new objection that has not yet been proposed. But make sure it is new and not just a repetition from what someone else has said before. Your objections so far have been dull old re-hashes of your own objections from 4 years ago. You have not even come up with a single new argument. So, oil your brain, inform yourself about actual freedom and its objections and find a truly new objection!
KONRAD: Not really. But thanks anyways.
VINEETO: Ah, I see, here goes the chance for finding a new objection.
KONRAD: Thanks for communicating with me. There is a lot of emotion in you. Maybe emotions are not so bad after all? Bye Konrad.
VINEETO: I have enjoyed making sense of and answering your theories, concept, principles and objections and it was easy to compare them with facts and actuality. But seeing that your communication has now deteriorated into the worst kind of emotional argument – unfounded projection and deliberate provocation – I see no point in continuing our interchange. Further, you admitted that you have no interest in reading about actual freedom, which renders your arguments uninformed, fictitious and presumptuous based only on your own affective worldview.
I prefer to talk to people who set their aim a little higher than that.
Vineeto’s & Richard’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.