Apperception Is Bare Awareness
Q(1): I want to talk about what you call apperception.
R: The dictionary definition of apperception is: ‘The mind’s perception of itself’. I have taken that literally and use the word to indicate the condition wherein ‘I’ abdicate the throne, so to speak, and the mind has its own awareness. Not ‘I’ being aware – awareness happening of itself. It is a pure consciousness experience, unmediated by any ‘self’ whatsoever. By pure I mean a bare awareness – but not ‘bare’ as in being barren, stark ... but bare of any ‘me’.
Q(1): I had a flash of ... I had an experience of existence looking at itself ... as if through portholes. It was like a movie camera ... I remember having this image of that ... and everything was there like a cut-out in a black screen. It was like looking through two portholes. It was like my eyes had become two portholes.
Q: And you experienced it as existence looking at itself?
Q(1): Yes ... and just before then everything just looked different; lighter, more alive, more vivid ... intense ... the colours, the activity ... it was like ... it was joyful activity. It was as if I saw everything as a fair-ground. I was looking at the ocean, at the cars, the trees and then the people. It was like a Breughel scene, or something. It was not for long but it was an atmosphere of the fair; an atmosphere of lightness ... I don’t know ...
Q: How people could be?
R: Now when you say a ‘Fair-Ground’, quite presumably as a child – when one is closer to these kinds of experiences – you could have had an experience like that at some fair, one day, which is lodged in your memory with that trigger. When you have a repeat of that type of clear experience of life as-it-is, as an adult, then there is the reason for likening it to a ‘Fair-Ground’.
Q(1): Right. It was somehow like I was seeing more sideways of the view, when I think about it now, because what I ... it was more like an over-view. It wasn’t only that I could feel that there was joy in it – in the scene – but that somehow I had a bird’s-eye view; above it all, or higher, or something ... my vista was widened. It wasn’t for long, yet it seemed that I took in a lot of detail – not that I can remember it now, but it was like I was aware of the trees and nature as well as the people moving as well as the ...
Q: Everything all at once? You see and hear all the sights and sounds ...
Q(1): Yes, but I wasn’t conscious of the sounds so much – it was more a visual thing.
Q: Was there equanimity ... equality? Where it didn’t matter whether you were looking at the trees or ...
Q(1): Yes. Also, it wasn’t as if I was focusing particularly on anything.
Q: Just idly watching with everything equally important – or unimportant. But you are not specifically important at that moment ... which could be why you think it to be a ‘bird’s-eye view’ ... but it’s actually you as a person taking a back step and the body – the senses – are experiencing everything as they can experience it without ‘you’ around. The ‘interpreter’ who normally does the focusing.
Q(1): Yes, the interpreting is done by the interpreter.
Q: Probably, next time that it happens again – because those periods become more often and longer and longer – you will be able to walk around in it ... after a while, for an hour or more.
Q(1): This is what you do?
Q: Yes. I really strengthen – lengthen – them. I call that a ‘peak experience’. Now, where you say wider – a wider view – eventually it’s like you also even know what is at the back of you; it’s like a three hundred and sixty degree awareness. It’s not that you actually see it with physical eyes, but that’s the awareness. It’s a different atmosphere.
Q(1): So you can stay in that state without the interpreter?
Q: Yes. That’s where life becomes really interesting, fascinating. That’s a case of getting more and more time in it, because in the beginning you treat it as fragile – it’s like a moment only, and it’s precious because it’s so magnificent. You see everything and think: ‘How do I hold this? How can I hoard it? How can I keep this?’ But with repeated experiences, as you walk around in it ...
Q(1): How do you fit in it? I mean, how do you walk around in it?
Q: Well, you get more time in it if you don’t treat it as so fragile – you actually get a good taste of living and functioning as that ‘new’ person. That’s what it felt like to me. I was being another person in there.
Q(1): Did you have fear around you?
Q: Oh yes ... well not always ... No! Not in the peak experience itself, but before ... as things move and change – become eerie ...
Q(1): Yes, it’s just that as I am sitting here I am trying o think whether I had any fear in it – or afterwards.
Q: You can feel it as a let-down afterwards – when you fall out of it again. That’s what I would feel, the disappointment that it couldn’t last ... yet. Yes, there can be a let-down ... which makes you want to sometimes give-up because it’s all too elusive ... ‘I can’t do it’.
Q(1): So when you – I’m just getting a flash of something – when you talk to people, Richard, being in this all the time ... it must be incredible!
R: Oh yes, one can read others like a book if one wishes to.
Q(1): To talk out of that – to function like that all the time. Nobody can hide from you.
R: The Human Condition is all out in the open to see ...
Q(1): But your senses are so ...
R: ... alert. Everything is alert because ‘you’ are missing. There is no ‘you’ to either interpret or misinterpret. There is simply a seeing of the fact of a situation – or a person who may be lying through their back teeth, blocking like all get-out and covering-up – they think – their deceit. But they are obviously nervous or anxious or sad or lonely and trying desperately to present an image of being together and not ‘needy’.
Q: Like that woman you talked with recently – where she said: ‘No, I’m already happy’. You saw, clearly, her gaunt face, the sad look in her eyes, and you saw – although she said she had a good relationship – you saw that she didn’t. And it wasn’t all that fantastic, was it? Her relationship? But she wouldn’t acknowledge it to you. People can’t lie ... well they can lie, but they can’t get away with it ... not for long, anyway. They lie because they actually don’t know that life can be perfect – is perfect – all the time.
R: Do you not find it amazing that life can give you these experiences of perfection? And not only that, but the realisation that you can experience that, have that, be that, all of the time – for the rest of your life?
Q: And it’s never boring. I always thought that life without desire, without ambition, without emotions, without tension, would be boring. Being a ‘Goody-Goody’ and all that. Yet it’s never boring.
Q(1): It makes me wonder about the other experience that I had – here in this room. I was sitting overt there and there was a definite sense that I was in a different place, a different world, a different realm. Of course it wasn’t out in nature, so the senses were not all that ... what was it? It was a different experience to this other one – in that a lot of it was the physical world of nature. I was looking at the scene, the vista ... whereas the experience here in this room was more like I was sitting – no, I was ‘hanging’ on the edge of something and there was nothing behind me and the three of us were ... like there was nothing ‘down there’ under the chairs. Although I could physically see that there was – and there was things past the chairs – essentially it was just the three of us sitting in a circle and I was ... and that one lasted a fair amount of time, now that I think of it ... and I was talking about the psychological entity. So somehow I was relating back to how ‘I’ was then. Somehow I had jumped ahead into my potential, or something.
Q: Yes, you actually step out of your old self – as you know yourself, as you think you are, as you feel you are – and in that peak experience all that is ‘you’ temporarily falls away. It’s still there – it’s not gone – but it has taken a second place and something else is stronger and it comes with its own atmosphere. It’s clean ... it has purity. It is unpolluted by ‘you’.
Q(1): So, somehow the other drops away, temporarily. We are talking about the other dropping away ...
Q: ‘You’ as ‘you’ know ‘yourself’ to be takes a back step.
Q(1): Mmm ... it’s only because today – or yesterday – I was thinking that somehow I am like a camera lens that’s changing its focus. Sometimes I’m operating completely unconsciously and sometimes I’m seeing things and sometimes I’ve got a broader view ... and it’s changing all the time. It depends upon my being conscious of what I’m doing.
Q: Normally you have one focus.
Q(1): Yes, you tend to get lost in it – and that’s it, that’s that ‘person’. Sometimes there is flashes of ‘me’ in it and sometimes there is a ‘looking’ that is that ‘over-view’.
Q: I like it that you use the word ‘over-view’ because you convey something with that expression. Although it’s not an over-view because an over-view would be from above like something higher – or even an out-of-body experience. And that’s not it. You are very much the body – for the very first time – and all your senses are experiencing ... you are the senses that are experiencing. Whilst in normal life ‘you’ are running the show, and what I hear from you is that these days ‘you’ are getting a bit ... not so compact anymore ... ‘you’ are not so solid as you used to be. When you would have your ‘going to work’ or ‘being at work’ ‘you’, and you would have your ‘at home’ ‘you’, or your ‘relaxed’ ‘you’ being comfortably numb. You had one or two or three ‘you’s’ that were very consistent and you’re losing that consistency ... which is a good sign, because you are more available when you ... you change more rapidly from moment-to-moment.
Q(1): So that’s the mind’s perception of itself. The second thing I’d like to talk about is: Mental perception – recognition. The dictionary says: ‘The active mental process of assimilating an idea, especially one newly perceived, to a body of ideas already possessed’.
Q: Oh yes, that’s not what I call apperception. That’s where you slot something new into the old. I’d say you have come very close to it – apperception. Once it is ... next time, just have a look at it and stay in it for a little while longer ... allow yourself to stay, because at first it’s a little bit daunting for it’s so crystal clear what you see. There is no shadows init, as it were, it’s all very crisp and bright and ... and after a while you can walk around in it a bit more at ease and you can feel it out – ‘feel’ is not the word – but get used to it and see that you can function in here. That is the delicious part of it all; you can go anywhere, do anything ... driving your car, doing the shopping. Q(2) spent a whole day in it.
Q(1): Wow. So did it take you long to build up to that?
Q(2): No, I just slipped into it.
Q: Yes, you do ‘slip into it’, but you do something, too. You prepare yourself for it: you are willing, you allow it to happen. There is something you do, as well as it happening.
Q(2): In the instant that it happened ... I allow it.
Q: Yes. Before it ... you have to be willing to allow it to happen – that atmosphere – and most of ‘you’ as you normally are is against it. You have to give up the importance of being ‘you’. You know; all your little petty worries, your important ‘things’, your interpretations. And they’re not even your own, actually, you have just made sense of what other people have told you ... there is not much originality. What you saw in your ‘fair-ground’ experience is that you saw with your original eyes ... how you actually look. Then you see life as it actually is.
Q(1): You see other people and the trees as they actually are.
Q: That is the atmosphere, that is apperception. It’s where ‘you’ don’t play a role anymore. It’s where the old doesn’t feature anymore. The old way – the world-view what ‘you’ think the world is, what life is. And it is generally other people’s ideas, anyway. Nobody dares to be original. To dare to be different from other people – that is perhaps one of the biggest fears.
It is certainly a different atmosphere – entirely different. A new paradigm. It feels like extinction ... and the fear is that you can’t survive.
R: And ‘you’ will not – but this body will. And this body has its native intelligence. It can operate and function at the optimum capacity when ‘I’ get out of the way. ‘I’ only think and feel that I am necessary for the body’s survival. ‘I’ am not. In fact, ‘I’ just get in the way; ‘I’ confound this native intelligence.
Q(1): That’s right. The other day I saw the ripples that ‘I’ create.
Q: Ripples – yes. Without ‘me’ there is peace. What else can one contribute that is of any worth in the world? For humanity? Peace. No longer being a burden on other people – psychologically, I mean. That is the very best thing that one can do for another – to look after yourself and get your own act together.
Q(1): It all feels wonderful ... I feel wonderful.
Q: That is good.
Q(1): Yet I have got to admit that I feel that I couldn’t function ... I mean, that was a brief experience then ...
Q: It is a matter of trying it out – see what happens.
Q(2): One lovely thing when I was in that state of freedom for the whole day, was interacting with that man up at the lighthouse. I had to pay the money for parking in the parking area, and I was interacting with a complete stranger ... and I had nothing ... I couldn’t get away from that ... and it was so intimate. It was with a complete stranger – and in a situation like that – yet it was very simple and easy.
Q: Did you have a confidence? Were you confident?
Q(2): Yes, and light, very light. A tender, very easy, light and sweet atmosphere. And it was like ... he received it. He was very good.
Q(1): Oh, he responded?
Q(2): Yes. He became gentle, friendly.
Q: It is always pleasant ... it is nice to be like that. Richard and I always get treated well when we are in town, at a restaurant, a shop, in the street. People are generally nice. I have always wanted it to be like this!
Q(1): Yes, and in normal life such consistency is not possible.
Q: People always spoil it for themselves. The moment it becomes really nice and friendly one usually starts to niggle another and there is a squabble and everybody is agitated again. This is a generalisation, but I have observed that niceness does not last for long, normally. People are so afraid of feeling good, of being nice, all the time.
R: I was watching a television show a couple of years ago on the last day of December and people were being interviewed about different customs from diverse societies and there was one which caught my attention. A young woman was being questioned about her culture’s traditions and apparently on their New Year’s day they have to resolve to be nice to everybody they met for the entire day. She was astounded that she should have to do such a thing! She was indignant! How on earth, she wailed, can I be expected to do that? I had to laugh – although it is very sick, when you think about it – for the look on her face was incredible. Is it not amazing? Just for one day of the year? She just did not know, poor girl, on what she and her ilk are missing out on. I delight in being nice all day and every day of the year. What a joy it is ... what a pleasure. What fun it is to be here – to be alive in this world at this moment in time.
The identity and self will do anything to spoil this moment.
The Third Alternative
(Peace On Earth In This Life Time As This Flesh And Blood Body)
Here is an actual freedom from the Human Condition, surpassing Spiritual Enlightenment and any other Altered State Of Consciousness, and challenging all philosophy, psychiatry, metaphysics (including quantum physics with its mystic cosmogony), anthropology, sociology ... and any religion along with its paranormal theology. Discarding all of the beliefs that have held humankind in thralldom for aeons, the way has now been discovered that cuts through the ‘Tried and True’ and enables anyone to be, for the first time, a fully free and autonomous individual living in utter peace and tranquillity, beholden to no-one.
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