Actual Freedom – General Correspondence

General Correspondence

Page Number 9 (Part Two)

Respondent No. 1

May 21 2000:

RESPONDENT: I’m just here more or less alone, I guess.

RICHARD: Each and every human being is on their own as a flesh and blood body ... dependent upon no one; autonomous. Being ‘alone’ or lonely is a feature of being a self: ‘I’, the identity, am inside the body looking out through ‘my’ eyes as if looking out through a window, listening through ‘my’ ears as if they were microphones, tasting through ‘my’ tongue, touching through ‘my’ skin, smelling through ‘my’ nose, and thinking through ‘my’ brain. Of course ‘I’ must feel isolated, alienated, alone and lonely, for ‘I’ am cut off from the magnificence of the actual world ... the world as-it-is.

RESPONDENT: I didn’t mean lonely by alone.

RICHARD: One of the hallmarks of self-realisation is to no longer feel the common or garden variety of loneliness but to experience the utter aloneness of being ‘The One With No Other’; the mystical literature abounds with descriptions of the master being alone ... in its root meaning of ‘all+one’ (ME ‘al one’ from ‘al ane’ from OE ‘al ana’ from ‘al an’ where ‘al’=‘all’ and ‘ana’/‘an’=‘one’). And I am not necessarily being pedagogic by digging around in the dictionaries ... for example:

• [Spiritual Seeker]: ‘Contrary to what you have said, Krishnamurti never says that he has a Soul, a Self.
• [Richard]: ‘I beg to differ: [quote]: ‘I maintain that the only spirituality is the incorruptibility of the self which is eternal ... this is the absolute, unconditioned Truth which is Life itself’. [end quote].
• [Spiritual Seeker]: ‘His use of ‘sacred’ and ‘holy’ do not make him so, though you use the dictionary to establish your point. Krishnamurti often departed from the dictionary meaning and substituted another meaning. For example, ‘alone’ he made to mean ‘all one’.
• [Richard]: ‘Once again, I beg to differ: he did not make ‘alone’ mean ‘all one’ at all ... etymologically it already means ‘all one’.

The mystical quality applied to ‘alone’ has popularly come to mean ‘we are all one’ ... but the master is indeed alone in the sense of being solitary. In solipsism only oneself exists – there is no ‘others’ – and in some of the more archaic religions this gives rise to speculation that their god or goddess dreams universes peopled with beings for amusement or sport ... out of loneliness and/or boredom. Speaking personally, I was alone for eleven years – but never lonely – and one of the first things I noticed, upon breaking free of the massive delusion of godliness, was the ending of aloneness ... and I am still never, ever lonely. As a discrete flesh and blood body I am physically on my own and autonomous, but with no separative entity to feel either lonely or alone – cut off from the magnificence of the actual – the entire feeling of being solitary has ceased to exist.

RESPONDENT: Simply, here I am, without a whole cast of characters ‘inside’ of me.

RICHARD: Okay ... although thus far you have acknowledged a two-part character inside of you: ‘a way of seeing’ ... ‘ego I’ (or a ‘being aware’ ... ‘ego I’ ) which presumably is a mental or cognitive character and ‘a feeling ‘self’’ which is obviously an affective character. There are other, more superficial aspects to the identity but, going by what you describe in your next E-Mail that I am yet to respond to, you are already cognisant of these. However, given your previous description of your primal response to your children’s actions it would appear that being cognisant of the role of ‘mother’ does not necessarily free you from being a mother. Vis.:

• [Respondent]: ‘I experience the most primitive feelings towards my children. My teenage daughter goes out at night, and is later than she is supposed to be, and I panic. It is so chemical it is almost comical. I can laugh about it and I do, but the reaction is instantaneous. In my guts, I’m driven to keep both my kids alive’.

Finding out about what makes one tick is such fun, is it not?


RICHARD: This universe can experience itself as a sensate and reflective human being: as such the universe can know itself apperceptively. What one does is acquiesce to life by embracing death ... one wholeheartedly dedicates oneself to being here as the universe’s experience of itself right now: it is the unreserved !YES! to being alive as this flesh and blood body.

RESPONDENT: Yes, I had that understanding some time ago. At that time I phrased it, ‘We are how god knows itself’. I was not implying some God-guy or God entity. God to me was both the universal substance, as well as the cohesive and organizing principle, but not a person or a prior consciousness or even the ground of being. The universe did not somehow emanate from god. If one’s mindset is that there is God and the universe, then if one takes God out of the picture, the universe is dead matter – the materialists’ view.

RICHARD: May I ask? What did/does the word ‘god’ signify to you, then? Did/does what you call ‘universal substance’ and ‘the cohesive and organising principle’ provide meaning and/or purpose for you?

RESPONDENT: On the other hand, as I understand it, from your point of view, God and the universe is the misapplication of the rightful attributes of the universe to an imaginary God. But, if god is subsumed into the universe, because the universe right here, now, exactly as it is accounts for all the attributes that we formerly attributed to some god, who was immanent, but other even if only to an infinitesimal degree, then you have a pretty happy state of affairs.

RICHARD: Given that ‘subsumed’ means included into or under another larger or more expansive category, then what I see happening here is but a reversal of roles: previously the universe was subsumed into or under god ... now you are subsuming god into or under the universe.


RESPONDENT: Subsumed might not be the correct word. Maybe God is just dropped when no longer needed!

RICHARD: Indeed ... in my experience I did not ‘drop’ god myself ... when ‘I’ and ‘me’ became extinct, god vanished. From this I can draw the only obvious conclusion. To wit: god (or goddess) was but an autological projection of ‘my’ own identity ... ‘me’ as animal self.


RICHARD: If it were not for physical death one could not be happy ... let alone harmless.

RESPONDENT: I don’t disagree, but would like you to flesh that out a little.

RICHARD: The absolutely undeniable fact of physical death means that, in an ultimate sense, nothing really matters: as nothing lasts forever (matter arranges and rearranges itself endlessly totally wiping out whatever came before) there is nothing worth dying for. Hence playfulness ... I could not be solemn if my life depended upon it.

Sincere ... yes; serious ... no way.


RICHARD: Is it not marvellous that we are able to be discussing matters of significance ... and of consequence not only the individual, but for all of the humans that are living on this verdant planet because of this? One does not have to rely only upon one’s own findings; it is possible, as one man famous in history put it, to reach beyond the current knowledge by standing upon the shoulders of those that went before.

RESPONDENT: Yes, makes me think of the previous alone statement. How odd. We are discrete and autonomous, yet even our conception required the cooperation of two other people. We are born helpless and would die without the caring of other humans for a number of years.

RICHARD: Yes ... I recall talking, some years ago, with an immigrant to this country from what was then Yugoslavia: he told of arriving in a strange country; with little English; only one suitcase of possessions and ten dollars to his name and so on. I responded – half-jokingly – with my story: I arrived in this strange country stark naked; no language whatsoever; no money; no means of making a living; unable to even look after myself ... and two well-meaning people took me and cared for me for fifteen years. During this time they stuffed me full of all their social mores and psittacisms (those mechanical repetitions of previously received ideas or images, reflecting neither apperception nor autonomous reasoning) and all their beliefs, ideas, values, theories, truths, customs, traditions, ideals, superstitions ... and all their other schemes and dreams. They socialised me; they conditioned me; they programmed me; they brainwashed me with all the methods and techniques that are used to produce what one thinks and feels oneself to be ... a wayward social identity careering around in confusion and illusion (a ‘mature adult’ is actually a lost, lonely, frightened and very cunning entity).

If I had arrived in another country I would have received but a differently flavoured package ... a variation on the theme. This has been going on for thousands and thousands of years: all the different types of enculturation (peer-group conditioning, parental programming and societal brainwashing in general) are well-meant endeavours by countless peoples over innumerable aeons to seek to curb the instinctual animal passions.

RESPONDENT: Have you heard of ‘feral’ children – children lost in infancy and adopted by wolves or other animals? Not a modern day occurrence, the last incident being around the turn of the twentieth century.

RICHARD: Do you have a valid source? I have always understood this to be an urban myth?

RESPONDENT: Anyhow, the very interesting thing is that even though humans have the innate capacity for language, no feral children were found who had developed language. We are dependent on the presence of others for that most human of capabilities.

RICHARD: I recently watched a program on TV where some enterprising researcher is examining babies/infants from around the world: it appears that they all come out with what was described as ‘baby babble’ and which is globally identical irregardless of the cultural language. Once they were taught/encouraged to speak what would become their native tongue, the differences appeared. There is much scientific discussion vis a vis the language ability being innate ... hence the difficulty in getting apes to ‘speak’ meaningfully (I say ‘speak’ parenthetically because their vocal chords do not allow regular speech). Of course it is not only the ability to speak – to communicate meaningfully and incrementally advance human knowledge – it is the ability to think, to remember, to compare, to reason, to foresee, to plan and to implement considered action for beneficial reasons that sets the human animal superior to all others.

The ability to think in words is what intelligence is.

RESPONDENT: And further, is it not ironic that the more advanced we become technologically, the more interdependent we become?

RICHARD: I was born in the nineteen forties and raised on a farm carved out of the forest by hand: I personally used axes and hand saws to cut down the trees to make pasture land; there was no plumbing; no sewage, no telephone; no electricity ... I went to bed with a candle and to the outdoor latrine with a kerosene lamp. No computer; no television; no videos; no record players; no freezer; no electric kitchen gadgets ... and so on and so on. Yet the small farming/forestry community was inextricably entwined and interdependent ... arguably more so than today in regards duty, obligation and responsibility. Any reading of history that I have done shows me that the further one goes back the more interdependent people were. The ‘break-down of the extended family’ and the ‘dehumanisation’ of society that so many lament (but which inextricably ties) is such an amazing step forward in that it played a large part in enabling me to abandon ‘humanity’ and become free of the human condition.

Familial and societal ostracism used to mean death in days not long past ... the Australian Aboriginal is a much-studied example.

RESPONDENT: Our technology is so complex that even a sheer genius could never master all of it.

RICHARD: I read recently that 100,000 scientific journals alone are published each year ... no one single person can read – let alone absorb – that much.

RESPONDENT: We grow both remarkably more autonomous and remarkably more entwine d.

RICHARD: I obviously see this differently: autonomy is only possible through disentwining totally.

RESPONDENT: I think it’s great that no one of us has to think everything, know everything. Only the extremely enlightened fall into the trap of thinking they are all things to all men.

RICHARD: Ah, yes. I oft-times say that I am not an expert on everything – only on a freedom from the human condition – and any other knowledge that I have is what I call ‘encyclopaedic’ ... whatever is just enough information gleaned from other people’s explorations for me to get by on.


RICHARD: Now that a thinking and reflective neo-cortex has developed over the instinctual lizard brain the instinctual passions can be deleted. With an unprecedented 6.0 billion chemically-driven malicious and sorrowful peoples (and 6.0 billion chemically-driven antidotally loving and compassionate peoples) populating the planet it is high time that we humans ceased looking to the past and reapplying failed solutions ... and got on with the business of living in deliciously sensible manner. The twentieth century was the bloodiest century in human history.

RESPONDENT: The twentieth century was the bloodiest century in human history because with our ever advancing technology, we have the capacity to do so much more harm with less effort.

RICHARD: Yes ... for the western world, WWI was a turning-point: the machine gun altered the course of warfare forever. From then on maiming and killing one’s fellow human being became progressively more mechanised.

RESPONDENT: However, I am always surprised when someone says humankind has not changed much at all over the centuries. Yes, from your point of view, the changes have to do with controlling, managing the instinctual passions, not extinguishing them.

RICHARD: Yea verily; apart from superficial changes the modern human is no different from, say, Cro-Magnon human ... which is not to decry all the civilising facets of modern times. The banishment of forced slavery; the prohibition on cannibalism, head-hunting; the on-going attempts to outlaw torture and unlawful imprisonment and the death penalty, to name but a few, are decided improvements over the ‘good old days’. Yet all these ‘rights’ are gained, upheld and enforced at the point of a gun ... when push comes to shove the instinctual passions leap into action and savagery reigns supreme. The human world is ruled by terror (what the Christians call ‘The Devil’).

Fundamentally, nothing – absolutely nothing – has changed one jot.

RESPONDENT: Not having extinguished mine, I will simply take you at your word that you have done so.

RICHARD: Good, I want no one to merely believe me. I simply suggest that I am proffering sufficient validated information, in combination with a personal report, such as to generate a prima facie case that is worthy of further investigation – self-investigation – rather than capricious dismissal.

RESPONDENT: However, do you think the realization of both self and Self as nothing more than physical instinct, and then finding the means to extinguish said physical extinct could have been done at any point in history?

RICHARD: Possibly – freedom is potentially feasible at any time and any place and at any age in any era – but as I have found no reference anywhere whatsoever to anything such as this before then obviously ... no.

RESPONDENT: Do you think that if you, Richard, had been born 1500 year ago when the moon was seen as a goddess, and there was no knowledge or technology to prove otherwise, do you think you would have discovered what you have discovered in the twentieth/ twenty first centuries with the benefit of all the scientific knowledge that has de-mythologized so much of our worldview? To my way of thinking, much has changed that makes possible some very fundamental changes. It’s not only the shoulders of giants that we stand on, but the shoulders of everyone who came before us.

RICHARD: Definitely ... I scoured the books for years seeking to understand what was happening for me. I generally say as an example that a Christian, when having a vision of their God, typically sees a pale-skinned Mr. Yeshua the Nazarene hanging on a cross whilst a Hindu having a vision of their God typically sees a blue-skinned Mr. Krishna playing on a flute ... and not vice versa. This and many, many other examples of comparative religious studies shows that what a believer sees (as being real) in visions is culturally determined. Before modern technology provided a world-wide communication network of newspapers, magazines, books, libraries, telegraph, radio, telephone, television and now the internet, such visions had an imperative force because isolation beggars comparison. Thus modern scholarly research has thoroughly scotched the ‘wisdom’ myth of the revered fables and legends of yore.

We all benefit ... despite peoples’ initial discomfort.


RICHARD: A feeling is not a fact; it is an identity’s interpretation of the actual and to be standing back and expressing a feeling – to feel an emotion or be passionate about life – is nowhere near the same as being here now as an actuality. In actually being just here – right now – one is completely involved, utterly concerned; being here now is total inclusion. One demonstrates one’s appreciation of life by partaking fully in existence ... by letting this moment live one (rather than ‘living in the present’) so that one is the doing of what is happening. One dedicates oneself to the challenge of being here now as the universe’s experience of itself.

RESPONDENT: Not to nitpick, but the challenge isn’t to be here now as the universe’s experience of itself, but to come to a full understanding of that. Whether I know it or not, I am the universe’s experience of itself.

RICHARD: Hmm ... this is what comes of me writing ‘shorthand’. I meant it as it was written (further above) and virtually everywhere else:

• [Richard]: ‘This universe can experience itself as a sensate and reflective human being: as such the universe can know itself apperceptively’.

Of course, whether people ‘know it or not’ they are indeed currently ‘the universe’s experience of itself’ ... but it is experiencing itself as malicious and sorrowful and antidotally loving and compassionate human beings. The challenge is to do something entirely new to human experience on this otherwise fair planet: be happy and harmless through the elimination of malice and sorrow. This challenge requires far, far more than to ‘come to a full understanding of that’ ... this requires hands-on actualisation.

There are no spiritual-style ‘realisation’ short-cuts to the actual world; nothing dirty can get in. For example, I started to empirically encounter that sorrow is essential for compassion to flourish and that love is the antidote for malice towards the end of 1987 (without compassion, love has no genesis and without malice, love has no raison d’être). By about mid 1988 the unfolding of experience came to its inevitable realisation ... but my investigation into compassion had begun in India in 1984 with the Buddhist ‘metta’ (loving-kindness) and ‘karuna’ (pity-compassion). Strangely enough, it was the disclosure of the intrinsically manipulative nature of love in 1987 – and ‘unconditional love’ at that – that triggered the expansion of comprehension and experiential understanding of the composition of the affective faculty ... with the concomitant growth of awareness. It was with Love Agapé being such a ‘sacred cow’ that there had initially been considerable uneasiness about a direct investigation ... hence there was a three year-long gestation period before the fact could be faced squarely.

Nevertheless, it was not until 1992 that it all came to fruition ... there is a vast difference between ‘realisation’ and ‘actualisation’.


RESPONDENT: What do you say to your grandchildren when they are hurt, desolate, crying?

RICHARD: I say the same to my grandchildren when they are hurt, desolate or crying as I say to any body and every body – no body is special – which is: all mental-emotional-psychic suffering is an unnecessary and self-inflicted wound. Any mental-emotional-psychic viciousness on the part of another, first and foremost, lies in the heart of the ‘giver’ and inevitably turns in on itself as existential sorrow. Thus, in the final analysis, it is the ‘giver’ who suffers the most intimately. As for the ‘receiver’ of any nastiness, it is entirely up to them what they do with it ... apart from physical brutality, no-one can force their cruelty on another without the other’s acquiescence and compliance.

RESPONDENT: Yes, but at what age can you say that to a child? I saw some neat drawings on the companion web site re: amygdala and neocortex that were pretty age specific. What about infants? Toddlers?

RICHARD: At whatever age they are capable of being emotionally and psychically ‘hurt, desolate, crying’ they are also capable of having that said to them – in their lingo – which age generally includes ‘infants and toddlers’ (I was a parent of four children myself).

Physical hurt, of course, requires physical treatment, reassurance and comfort.

RESPONDENT: By the way, have you read LeDoux’s book ‘The Emotional Brain?’ I’m thinking of buying it.

RICHARD: No ... I have read all I need to know from his web-site (plus seeing him in a programme on fear on the ‘Discovery Channel’). It is his detailing of the process of what he calls the ‘quick and dirty’ passionate instinctual reaction milliseconds before the sensory data reaches the thinking cortex which I find important. His speculations (such as the instinctual passions being hard-wired and therefore irremovable) are of no interest to me. He personally acknowledges a dread fear of snakes and, despite all his practical studies, is not going to do anything about it. I have read parts of another book inspired by his discoveries (by Mr. Daniel Goleman) who wrote:

• [quote]: ‘A view of human nature that ignores the power of emotions is sadly short-sighted. The very name ‘Homo Sapiens’, the thinking species, is misleading in light of the new appreciation and vision of the place of emotion in our lives that science now offers. As we all know from experience, when it comes to shaping our decisions and our actions, feeling counts every bit as much – and often more – than thought. We have gone too far in emphasising the value and import of the purely rational – of what IQ measures – in human life. Intelligence can come to nothing when the emotions hold sway’. [endquote]. (‘Emotional Intelligence’ Copyright © 1995 by Daniel Goleman; Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, 2 Soho Square, London W1V 6HB; ISBN 0 7475 2803 6).

Despite his clear statement of fact: ‘intelligence can come to nothing when the emotions hold sway’ , and an entire introduction describing Mr. Joseph LeDoux’s finding in detail, the remainder of the book extols the virtues of emotions ... indeed the very name of his book ‘Emotional Intelligence’ is the giveaway. Another correspondent on the actual freedom mailing list (Alan from the UK) wrote to Mr. Joseph LeDoux about a year ago ... but with no response at all.

C’est la vie, I guess.


RESPONDENT: For some time I’ve simply accepted the occasional appearance of suffering as a part of being alive.

RICHARD: Ahh ... ‘accepted’ , eh? Thereby hangs a tale: the word ‘acceptance’ has a lot of currency these days and popular usage has given it somewhat the same meaning as ‘allow’ or ‘permit’ or ‘tolerate’ ... as I have remarked in an earlier E-Mail, nineteen years ago ‘I’, the persona that I was, looked at the physical world and just knew that this enormous construct called the universe was not ‘set up’ for us humans to be forever forlorn in with only scant moments of reprieve. ‘I’ the persona realised there and then that it was not and could not ever be some ‘sick cosmic joke’ that humans all had to endure and ‘make the best of’. ‘I’ the persona felt foolish that ‘I’ had believed for thirty two years that the wisdom of the ‘real-world’ that ‘I’ had inherited – the world that ‘I’ was born into – was set in stone. I ceased accepting, allowing, permitting or tolerating suffering there and then. Which is why I say to people to ‘embrace death’ (as in unreservedly saying !YES! to being alive as this flesh and blood body) as a full-blooded approval and endorsement. Those peoples who say that they ‘accept’ ... um ... a rapist, for just one example, never for one moment are approving and endorsing ... let alone unreservedly saying !YES! to the rapist. So much for ‘acceptance’ as a viable modus operandi.

RESPONDENT: Yes, I think you are right. I think I have been resigned to what I thought was the best I could manage.

RICHARD: Ooh ... good (I had overlooked the word ‘resigned’ in my list of words synonymic to ‘acceptance’). Indeed, even the most optimistic people do resign themselves to making ‘the best of a bad situation’ and so on.


RESPONDENT: It has never occurred to me that being perfectly undisturbed was a prerequisite for being perfectly content with being alive.

RICHARD: Only if one wants it ... the universe does not force anyone to be happy and harmless, to live in peace and ease, to be free of sorrow and malice. It is a matter of personal choice as to which way one will travel.

RESPONDENT: The above statement really struck me. Can’t say anything more than that yet.

RICHARD: Okay ... it is a stunning realisation that no one and no thing is stopping ‘me’ but ‘myself’, though (and that there is no one to do it for ‘me’).


RICHARD: I am so glad to be able to be alive and living in this era wherein all kinds of discoveries have been made which threw off the stranglehold religion had upon the Western mind for centuries (people used to be burnt at the stake for much less heretical writing than what I do).

RESPONDENT: I daresay that there are still places in the world today (fundamentalist Islamic countries come to mind) where something bad would happen to you.

RICHARD: Ah, yes ... which is why I wrote ‘Western’. It is undeniable that it is the western world that is leading the way out of squalor, ignorance, superstition and tyranny ... despite what the luddites protest.


RICHARD: This emerging clarity of Western thought has been swamped recently by the insidious doctrines of the Eastern mind creeping into scientific research ... it is sobering to realise that the intelligentsia of the West are eagerly following the pundits of the East down the slippery slope of ‘spiritual science’ and ‘mystical philosophy’ ... thinking that it has nothing to do with religiosity. But I am confident that this is but a passing phase.

RESPONDENT: Being residents of affluent, western societies we may be a little unrealistic about how ‘passing’ these phases really are. Westerners have the leisure to recognize their dissociation, but it isn’t eased by the findings of science, as long as the dissociation is seen as a lack or sickness of spirit or soul.

RICHARD: True ... I am confident because of the human will or determination to know, to understand, to apply and to enjoy the benefits of ingenuity and inventiveness. The evidence of the success of human creativity and resourcefulness abounds all about ... I do consider that ‘progress’ is on an inexorable roll and it can only get better and better.

I am simply speeding up the process in the human consciousness area.

RESPONDENT: I don’t know if you’ve checked out the illusion of enlightenment forum I mentioned to you. Obviously, the disillusionment with eastern spiritual systems is there. But, what isn’t there is the disillusionment with the idea of spirit itself. The tried and true may have been proven to be the tried and failed, but the belief in something ‘more than’ this present flesh and blood experience hasn’t been dismantled.

RICHARD: Yet the dropping of the atomic bombs in 1945 brought home to all but the most recalcitrant the shocking fact that people are their own worst enemy. Here are a few impelling factors that may bring sufficient people to their senses to precipitate a critical mass (when given a viable third alternative):

• Technological expertise has multiplied exponentially in the last 100 years in a manner unprecedented in human history enabling 160,000,000 sane people to be killed by their sane fellow human beings in wars alone in the same 100 years with ‘conventional’ weapons.
• Three weapons with an unprecedented mass destruction capacity – chemical, biological and nuclear – were developed in the last 100 years making everyone sit up and realise that war is no longer a viable means of settling disputes.
• 40,000,000 people committed suicide in the last 100 years despite unprecedented and rapid advances in living standards.
• The population has reached an unprecedented and staggering 6,000,000,000 instinctually driven human beings.
• The same technological expertise that is used to maim and kill one another has produced an unprecedented and amazing ability to investigate biology, sociology, palaeontology, anthropology, archaeology, cosmology, physics, politics, philosophy and so on.
• Technological expertise has created the world-wide mass media and communication networks which provides unprecedented access to information never before available to the average person.
• An unprecedented opportunity to carry out scholarly comparative religious studies has scotched the ‘wisdom’ myth ascribed to all the world’s scriptures.
• The Gurus and the God-Men, the Masters and the Messiahs, the Avatars and the Saviours and the Saints and the Sages have had at least 3,000 to 5,000 years to demonstrate the efficacy of their solution to all the ills of humankind ... and are being called to account in an unprecedented manner via the technological expertise that provides the recording equipment – both audio and video – which is hanging them by their own words.

Lastly, the internet has the capability of bypassing both official censorship and the self-censorship of commercial publishers and reaching instantaneously into savvy individual’s homes via the rapid copying and distribution capacity of mailing lists with their multiple feed-back facility ... which is why it is my chosen means of dissemination.

RESPONDENT: I guess what has been hammered home to me in reading your writings is that it’s not just the methods that are faulty, but the premises on which the whole shebang rests.

RICHARD: Yes ... it is as simple as this: the wrong premise gives a faulty conclusion every time

RESPONDENT: It’s pretty shocking for someone like me, who has been heading in that direction, but hadn’t quite thrown out the baby and the bathwater.

RICHARD: It is indeed staggering to realise that the baby is rotten to the core.


RICHARD: Freedom then unfolds its inevitable destiny.

RESPONDENT: You talk about the difference between fate and our birthright as humans. What do you mean by birthright?

RICHARD: The same as my use of ‘destiny’. One’s birthright and/or destiny is to experientially know, each moment again, what life is all about: I am this infinite and eternal universe experiencing itself as an apperceptive human being; as such the universe is aware of its own infinitude.

One’s birthright and/or destiny is to be living the utter peace of the perfection of the purity welling endlessly as the infinitude this eternal and infinite universe actually is.


RESPONDENT: By the way, I really like how you deal with gender. What a relief!

RICHARD: Aye, we are all fellow human beings irregardless of gender, race, age, era or culture ... as an actuality.

RESPONDENT: Very unlike your countryman, Barry Long. Of course, Tantra is all the rage now. I find the idea that reality is fundamentally divided into the masculine and feminine principles totally ludicrous. Talk about never the twain shall meet!

RICHARD: Yes, Taoism is the most widely known proponent of this puerile belief system that is not worth studying – except as a curiosity piece or to become free of it – yet this masculine/feminine dichotomy is global in its spread. Vis.:

• Old myths and archetypes are full of examples of such opposites: whilst the Chinese had their ‘Yang’ and ‘Yin’, the Tibetans their ‘Yab’ and ‘Yum’. The Tantras refer to the union of ‘Shiva’ (a Hindu god) and ‘Shakti’ (Shiva’s consort) in one’s own body and consciousness and provide appropriate practices to this end. Buddhism has its ‘Samsara’ and ‘Nirvana’ as aspects of the Same. The Zoroastrian tradition has ‘Ormazd’ (the Good Lord) and ‘Ahriman’ (the Lie); the Gnostic myth speaks of ‘Christ’ and ‘Satan’ as brothers; and the same idea is found in the Vedas, where the ‘Suras’ (‘good spirits’) and ‘Asuras’ (‘bad spirits’) are shown to be cousins. In Prajnaparamita, a Mahayana (northern Buddhist) text, the Illumined Ones are supposed to engage in a laughter in which all distinctions cease to exist. In a different context there is the androgyne (‘man-woman’), the ardhanarishvara in Indian myth. As for the Hindu jivanmukta, the liberated individual is liberated from duality. This is also part of what the Lord Krsna (Krishna) said, when he asked the hero Arjuna to rise above the three gunas (‘modes’). The medieval Christian scholar Nicholas of Cusa put it as ‘coincidentia oppositorum’ (‘union of opposites’). Since the opposites coincide without ceasing to be themselves, this also becomes an acceptable definition of God, or the nature of the Ground. God, said Heracleitus, is day and night, summer and winter, war and peace, and satiety and hunger – all opposites. A 5th- to 6th-century-AD Christian mystical writer called Dionysius the Areopagite advised people to strip off all questions in order that we may attain a naked knowledge of that Unknowing and that we may begin to see the superessential Darkness which is hidden by the light that is in existent things. (Copyright 1994-1984 Encyclopaedia Brittanica).

RESPONDENT: I think an awful lot of inequities have stemmed from the masculine/feminine principles belief (masculine being consciousness, feminine being nature). It bothers me a lot that westerners embrace these philosophies blithely without taking a good look at the way males and females relate today in the countries these beliefs originate from.

RICHARD: This blind acceptance of eastern wisdom is, in part, what inspires me to write so prodigiously instead of retiring to some idyllic isle and watching the fish leap in the lagoon.

RESPONDENT: When I read that 3000 females a year are killed in India by their in-laws because their dowries are too small, then I find the idea that heaven is masculine and earth is feminine a little less fetching – especially when all spiritualities are trying to make us think their heaven is much more important than earth. If I get going on this one ... .

RICHARD: By all means do get going ... it will save me doing same!

RESPONDENT: By the way, I know you get a lot of criticism for being wordy. I personally appreciate your efforts to explain your experience fully.

RICHARD: Apart from an idiosyncratic delight with words anyway, I sometimes choose little-used words deliberately: if anyone is at all genuine they will reach for a dictionary to find the meaning (too many popularly-used words have such an accepted meaning they have little impact anymore). It weeds out the ‘wannabes’ straight away. If these certain people cannot be bothered to improve their vocabulary, and thus their understanding, then they do not wish to be free of the human condition anyway. Thus I do not waste their time ... they can indulge to their heart’s content in the multifarious populist writing styles as epitomised by ‘The Celestin Prophesises’, for example.

RESPONDENT: The spirituality game is so full of ideas that are ‘beyond what anyone can say’, or ‘you can’t judge an awakened being unless you are awakened yourself’.

RICHARD: I find that it is not ‘beyond words’ or ‘ineffable’ or ‘unspeakable’ for I am not awe-struck ... thus it can be described adequately: the English language has some 650,000 words to choose from.

RESPONDENT: Actually, I think one of the most beneficial developments is that more and more people have had awakenings or have the opportunity to be around people who have. There’s a lot more exposure and some of the mystique is wearing off.

RICHARD: Yes ... the more that westerners become awakened and publish their wisdom the better it is for an actual freedom to be contrasted against.

May 23 2000:

RESPONDENT: Richard, I haven’t heard from you in some time. I have a couple questions and a few things I want to relate, so I’ll just go ahead and do it now rather than waiting for a response to my last letter.

RICHARD: I took a break from writing anything at all to anyone at all for about two weeks ... I mostly write only when the fingertips dance on the keyboard. I have been engaged in researching various topics that inevitably come up in my correspondence ... most of my reading over the last twenty years has been an ad hoc and unrecorded scanning of all media of which I kept no record. Quite rightly I need to validate anything definitive I present with annotated references ... such as I never kept in all my reading.

It had never occurred to me back then to keep a record.

RESPONDENT: In regard to the term universe in your glossary: ‘The universe, all existing matter, space, and other phenomena regarded collectively and especially as constituting a systematic or ordered whole’.

RICHARD: In the glossary on the Actual Freedom Web Page, each article is headed with a selected dictionary definition as an established starting point – this sentence you have quoted is word for word from the Oxford Dictionary – and the text following it, written by Peter, expands upon the standard meaning insofar as it relates to actualism.

RESPONDENT: 1) In your previous writings you state that the universe is both infinite and eternal. On what do you base that? 2) In one of your definitions of universe (sorry I can’t find the exact source) you include time as another component of the universe. If the universe has no beginning or end, how does the time element fit in? Is it the objects that are ‘timed’, you mention an endless recombining or recycling or reworking of matter? The universe seems to produce increasingly complex and conscious entities, at least on our planet. What accounts for this seeming evolution? 3) What is space? If the universe is material is space a form of matter?

RICHARD: First of all, it is physically impossible to empirically establish the extended attributes of space, time and form ... one cannot, ever, hop into some ultra high speed spacecraft and travel to some ‘where’ or ‘when’ or ‘that’ and show or demonstrate or exhibit the universe’s ultimate properties. For those who propose a caused universe: no one has journeyed to where they can witness such a creation of material ex nihilo. For those who propose a temporary universe: no one has travelled to when that limited time began. For those who propose a finite universe: no one has voyaged to the edge of that bounded universe. Similarly, if one could roam forever throughout the physical infinitude of immeasurable matter perpetually arranging and rearranging itself in endless varieties of form all over the boundless reaches of infinite space throughout the limitless extent of eternal time ... one would never ‘prove’ anything.

Apart from the current passionate preoccupation by academia with Quantum Theory (which gets ever more frantic due to the mathematicians who, having taken over physics in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, are bemiring themselves more and more in their futile efforts to prove their god to be a mathematician) modern astronomy is showing the universe to be immensely vast. For example, in 1986 a huge conglomeration of galaxies that are 1,000,000,000 light years long, 300,000,000 light years wide and 100,000,000 light years thick were found (which finding was confirmed in 1990). This ‘wall of galaxies’, as it became known, would have taken 100,000,000,000 years to form under the workings of the ‘Big Bang’ theory ... which makes the mathematically estimated ‘age’ of the universe – 12 to 14 billion years – simply look sillier than it already did. Obviously then, the entire question revolves around sensible subjective experience ... and I always plunk for a rational or reasonable – the judicious – approach from the word go.

I tend to define ‘the universe’ (actuality) as time and space and form mainly because the mystics define ‘The Unknowable’ (Reality) as Timeless and Spaceless and Formless. I say unambiguously and definitively that time is actual, that space is actual, and that form is actual; the mystics state that time is a dream, an illusion or only apparently so, that space is a dream, an illusion or only apparently so, and that form is a dream, an illusion or only apparently so. I say unambiguously and definitively that the Timeless is an illusion, a delusion, or an hallucination, that the Spaceless is an illusion, a delusion, or an hallucination, and that the Formless is an illusion, a delusion, or an hallucination; the mystics state that the Timeless is the only Reality, the Truth, or God, that the Spaceless is the only Reality, the Truth, or God, and the Formless is the only Reality, the Truth, or God. Thus actualism is diametrically opposite or 180 degrees in the other direction to mysticism.


• Time: time is eternal – as in beginningless and endless time – which means only now is actual.
• Space: space is infinite – as in limitless and boundless space – which means only here is actual.
• Form: form is perpetual – as in continuously rearranging itself – which means only this is actual.


• Timeless: time-less equals no time – as in time does not exist – which means time’s eternity is not actual.
• Spaceless: space-less equals no space – as in space does not exist – which means space’s infinity is not actual.
• Formless: form-less equals no form – as in form does not exist – which means form’s perpetuity is not actual.

1. The third question first: All time and space and form are physical as opposed to the Timeless and Spaceless and Formless being metaphysical. That is, time and space and form are material inasmuch as material means physical (corporeal), or substance (existing), or concrete (tangible), or objective (perceptible), or substantial (palpable) ... in a word: actual. Therefore the words material and form are interchangeable words given that I am mainly directing my discussions in relation to the claims of religiosity, spirituality, mysticality and metaphysicality wherein time and space and form have no inherent existence. The properties of time and space are that they are material (actually existing) and the property of form is that it is material (matter) in its specific meaning as actual things (solid stuff) or active force (energetic stuff).

Which means that time is the measure of the movement of form through space and the periodicity of its rearrangement; space is an arena in which form can exist, move and rearrange itself endlessly; form is matter (either in its solid aspect or energetic phase) occupying space and taking time to reconfigure itself perpetually. The properties of time and space designate a vast and utter stillness and the properties of form specify liveliness; a scintillating, sparkling vitality. Needless to say, time and space and form are seamless in that they do not and cannot operate as separate or disparate units.

2. In regard to the first question: I primarily base the infinity, eternity and perpetuity (collectively known as infinitude) of the universe on my direct experience of the actual, of course, but that is of little use to another person who is not living in this actual world or not currently having a pure consciousness experience (PCE). Therefore, one initially needs to approach the question rationally – through inductive and/or deductive reasoning – so as to dispel the oh-so-persistent feeling of finiteness, temporariness and transitoriness which the psychological and psychic entity manifests over the actual (the centre in consciousness creates the boundary in awareness) thus producing everyday reality’s spatial, temporal and material finiteness.

Intellectual rationale:

• Space: as a normal person I could not directly experience the actuality of the infinitude ... at age eight or nine I was first made aware of the infinity of space by my father one night whilst gazing at the stars: I could not grasp the concept but could comprehend the existence of infinity when he gave me his version of the Ancient Greek ‘throwing a spear into what’ question regarding the supposed boundary to space (he asked me what lay at the end of the universe ... a brick wall/wire fence/whatever ... if one leans on the brick wall and looks over what would one be looking at or into). The actual knowing of this infinity (as opposed to intellectually knowing) lodged itself there and then in me as a demand to be met one day.

• Time: I first became aware of the issue of the eternity of time at about age six or seven via a brief and abortive essay into ‘Sunday School’ Christianity (the nonsensical notion their god started time by creating the universe ex nihilo) which did nothing but shift the question of time’s beginnings onto a timeless deity’s caprice. By age thirteen or fourteen, in high school physics, the notion of the universe arising out of a nothingness (the ‘Big Bang’ theory) that existed before time began did nothing but shift the question of time’s beginnings into a timelessness without properties. Both the spiritualist and materialist ‘answers’ begged of an agnosticism (not knowable) elevated to a high art form of disingenuousness. Time, perforce, had to be eternal.

• Form: the notion of ‘perpetuus mobilis’ (a perpetual motion machine) around about the same time intrigued me enough to turn to astronomical science ... telescopic observation provided the clue in regards to matter and energy being interchangeable and evident in the transformation of nebulae generating stars and stars exploding/imploding into energy as whirling clouds of gas and dust which in turn coalesced into nebulae and so on. The universe was the ultimate ‘perpetual motion machine’!

Experiential disorientation:

• This intellectual knowing provided the basis for experiments in experiential knowing: in my formal study of art at college in my twenties and with the daily practise of art thereafter as a living I experientially became aware of the human tendency toward ... um ... ‘frontal-ness’ (the face, the eyes, the nostrils, the mouth, faces forwards) which defines the typical human viewpoint and determines the classic world-view (forward/backward; up/down; left/right; in/out; top/bottom; front/back). By physically lying on one’s back one is no longer looking ‘up’ into space but ‘out’ into space ... all the while intellectually knowing that people on the opposite point on the globe are looking ‘down’ into space whilst standing and ‘out’ into space whilst laying. Thus ‘out’ into space becomes as nonsensical as ‘up’ or ‘down’ ... and this disorientating of the habitual mindset can be extended to other physical experiments: paying attention – exclusive attention – to this moment in time and this place in space as this form. This experiential attention becomes fascination ... and fascination leads to reflective contemplation. Then – and only then – apperception can occur.

Apperceptive awareness:

• Apperception can be evoked by paying exclusive attention to being fully alive just here right now as this form. This moment is one’s only moment of being alive ... one is never alive at any other time than now. And, wherever one is, one is always here ... even if one starts walking over to ‘there’, along the way to ‘there’ one is always here ... and when one arrives ‘there’, it too is here. All the while and wherever one is it always is this form and one always is this form. Thus attention becomes a fascination with the fact that one is always here and it is already now ... and one already is this form experiencing this that always is. Fascination leads to reflective contemplation. As one is already here, and it is always now, and one is always this form already throughout whatever ... then one has arrived before one starts. The potent combination of attention, fascination, reflection and contemplation produces apperception, which happens when the mind becomes aware of itself. Apperception is an awareness of consciousness. It is not ‘I’ being aware of ‘me’ being conscious; it is the mind’s awareness of itself.

Apperception – a way of seeing that is arrived at by reflective and fascinating contemplative thought – is when ‘I’ cease thinking and thinking takes place of its own accord ... and ‘me’ disappears along with all the feelings. Such a mind, being free of the thinker and the feeler – ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul – is capable of immense clarity and purity ... and one is this infinite and eternal and perpetual universe experiencing itself as an apperceptive human being; as such the universe is aware of its own infinitude. One is living the utter peace of the perfection of the purity welling endlessly as the infinitude this universe actually is.

And at 33 years of age I had a four hour PCE wherein the direct experience of infinitude provided the actual knowing I had desired from childhood ... and I wanted this actuality twenty four hours of the day. Consequently – after an eleven year interlude in an altered state of consciousness wherein God aka Truth arrogated the universe’s infinitude – I entered into the actual world at age 45 and have directly known ever since, each moment again, infinitude as an actuality. It is ‘I’ and/or ‘me’ who creates the impression of ‘finite’, ‘duration’ and ‘transience’ ... and then challenges others to prove them wrong. There is no such thing as a physically finite, timed and depletable universe; it is ‘I’ and/or ‘me’ who creates this impression with ‘my’ instinct-driven feelings which cripple an otherwise intelligent mind ... ‘I’ and/or ‘me’ can only think in terms of duality. To think logically is to think in terms of opposites ... and logic is limited inasmuch as it cannot encompass infinitude (infinitude has no duality).

When a person says that all of time, all of space and all of form are relative, then any absolute posited must needs be not only ‘no time’, ‘no space’ and ‘no form’ (the unknown negative of the known positive) but also include or enclose all of time, all of space and all of form ‘within it’, so to speak, in order to be the ‘Absolute’ (thus more than a mere negative). Therefore, starting from the known, through some sleight of hand (sleight of mind) the unknown assumes greater importance and, for some people at least, the known is diminished to the point of being seen as an illusion (a spurning not unlike the ‘biting the hand that feeds you’ exercise). Is it that if one can somehow comprehend how a negative can come to both include and surpass the positive that spawns it (perhaps with the logical copula breathlessly gripping the steering wheel) then one is a pundit! When it comes to comprehending infinitude, logic falls flat on its face ... as infinitude has no opposite there is no comparison to enable logic’s seductive ways. Thus, logically, the known is relegated to being the negative (by categorising it as ‘relative’) and the unknown is boosted to being the positive (by categorising it as ‘absolute’) in a process of narcissistic self-aggrandisement (identifying as being the ‘Absolute’).

It is the instinctual desire for immortality that fuels punditry.

Therefore, it is up to those who propose an edge, a boundary, a beginning, a duration, an ending, a depletion to demonstrate the veracity of their belief. Until then, the universe will go on being what it is: a boundless, limitless, immeasurable infinitude. For those people who attempt to disallow this actual knowing on the grounds of subjectivity I can only say that their knowing is not only subjective as well but a self-centred subjectivity into the bargain. Furthermore, they need to satisfactorily explain why they are unnecessarily complicating what is actually a simple issue: they need to satisfactorily explain why they are positing a finite space ... and where it came from and out of what and how and why; they need to satisfactorily explain why they are positing a limited time ... and when it came and from what and how and why; they need to satisfactorily explain why they are positing depletable form ... and where it came from and out of what and how and why. They also need to satisfactorily explain how they can posit a timeless and empty nothingness ... because one cannot conceive of a ‘nothing’ unless one acknowledges the actuality of a ‘something’ first to contrast it against (and they say that the ‘something’ – time and space and form – are a dream, an illusion or only apparently so).

3. The second question: the universe per se, being infinite, eternal and perpetual is not evolving (infinitude, having no opposite, is perfect). But this particular aspect called the solar system (which is but a current phase in a cycle of perpetual cycles) is evolving carbon-based life-forms. As matter perpetually arranges and rearranges itself (through all eternity and throughout infinity) there are innumerable cycles with countless variety of existence. This current configuration of matter known as planet earth is the first and last time that this particular arrangement will happen (nothing is ever the same twice). Whatever has happened prior to this solar system and this planet becoming habitable to carbon-based life-forms known as human beings, being no longer existent, is simply extinct. Oblivion. When this solar system’s specific composition ends then everything experienced and known to human beings so far will be obliterated as before.

Needless to say, the passage of time (past, present, future) is a localised phenomenon: only this moment in eternal time actually exists ... just as only this configuration in perpetuity actually exists here at this place in infinite space. Time has no duration when the immediate is the ultimate and when the relative is the absolute. This moment takes no interval at all to be here: as this form this happening is already always occurring now. Thus it is as if nothing has occurred – nor will occur – for not only is the future not here, but the past does not exist either. If there is no beginning and no end there is no middle: there are things happening, but nothing may well have happened or will happen ... in actuality. Only this moment and this place and this form actually exists right here just now.

To summarise:

• Space: given space’s boundlessness, this actual universe has no ‘inside’ as there is no ‘outside’ to infinity. Therefore there is no centre (no middle) and thus, with infinity, somewhere as a place is no ‘where’ (nowhere) in particular. There is no measurement possible with infinite space, for there is no reference point (an edge) to compare against. Living on planet earth, humans measure space in comparison to the localised distance between here and there. It is this measurement that is relative, not the universe. ‘Here’ is, as a fact, anywhere in infinity.

• Time: as with space so too is it with time. Given time’s limitlessness (there is no beginning and end to time) there is no middle. ‘Now’ as a fixed point has no ‘when’ (nowhen) in particular (it is whenever we humans agree to make it). There is no measurement possible in eternity, for there is no reference point (before a beginning) to compare against. Living on the planet earth in localised daylight and darkness, humans measure time in comparison to the period between now and then. It is this measurement that is relative, not time. Just as ‘here’ is anywhere in infinity, so too is ‘now’ anywhen in eternity.

• Form: given form’s perpetuity (as imperishable matter), none of us are coming from somewhere or going someplace for we are already here as this form and it is always now as this form. Just as we are never not here and it is never not now it is never not this form. Where else could we be but right here, just now exactly as this form is? When we move from here to ‘there’ to ‘that’ ... as we are moving we are always here – now – as this; and when we arrive ‘there’ we are here – now – as this. Similarly when else could form be? As we wait for ‘then’ to become now and ‘that’ to become this ... while we are waiting it is always now – as this – and when ‘then’ arrives – with ‘that’ – it is now as this.

Thus, just as we humans living on this planet are moving from nowhere to anywhere in infinite space as this form, so too are we coming from nowhen and proceeding to anywhen in time as this form. As it is any measurement that is relative and not the substance of space and time and form, consequently, when ‘I’ and/or ‘me’, the psychological and/or psychic entity called the ‘self’ or the ontological and/or autological ‘Self’, disappears as a measurer (a reference point), measurement ceases to be a reality and the actual becomes apparent. Then, and only then, is one being alive here as an actuality at this place in infinite space and living now as an actuality at this moment in eternal time as an actuality as this particular arrangement of the perpetuity of form.

Then one directly ascertains the properties of infinitude: infinite and eternal and perpetual ... and the qualities of infinitude (derived from the properties): pristine and consummate and impeccable ... and the values of infinitude (derived from the qualities): benevolent and benign and blithe.

Being alive is ambrosial, to say the least.

May 24 2000:

RESPONDENT: [Quote from The Actual Freedom Glossary]: ‘Altered State of Consciousness –The ASC is, in fact, a dire and narcissistic corruption of the Pure consciousness Experience whereby the self, in a desperate attempt to ‘remain’ in existence, totally identified with and selfishly personalize the pure and sensate rich experience of the PCE. One then Becomes the experience. One gleefully and instinctually seizes it with both hands. At last one’s divinity and Immortality has been rightfully granted!’ [endquote]. I find this interesting. I have had a number of ‘classical’ enlightenment or awakening experiences, the majority have involved intense fear of extinction or, in one case, intense physical pain. I will relate the first, because it was after this one that I crossed over into the mystical reality. This was in 1985. I was attending a 10 day spiritual workshop with an American spiritual teacher (independent, non-aligned to any particular spirituality). I’ll call him R. The workshop consisted of periods of meditation, as well as exercises borrowed from many spiritual modalities that would help one loosen the grasp of the individuated, separative consciousness, and at least glimpse the unitive consciousness. About half way through this 10 day period we did a day long exercise that had been borrowed from ‘Rajneesh’ Jain. It was called ‘Who are you?’ Participants seated them selves on the floor in two circles , the inner circle faced the outer circle, creating a series of partners. One partner asked the question, ‘Who are you?’, the other partner would reply with the first thing to come into consciousness. The first partner would say, ‘Thank you, but who are you?’ Each pair would continue on this way for say 10 to 15 minutes, then a gong would ring, and the outer circle would move one person to the right. After each person had the opportunity to be the questioner, then the roles would reverse, so that in the end, each person had asked and answered the question with each person in the room.

RICHARD: My second wife – my companion of eleven years – was a sannyasin of Mr. Mohan ‘Rajneesh’ Jain when first I met her and had participated in many of his group meditation techniques ... including this one you describe. So I am more than a little familiar with what is involved – going by what she described in detail to me – plus I read maybe ninety of his books during the time we were together. This intense ‘Who Are You’ questioning focuses attention upon that which the ‘Who Am I’ question (made popular by Mr. Ventkataraman Aiyer aka Ramana) points to, of course. And who it points to is: ‘I Am That’ ... and ‘That’ is Brahman, the Hindu God-Head or ‘Ground Of Being’ (what Mr. Mohan ‘Rajneesh’ Jain calls ‘Godliness’ as distinct from ‘God’). The whole point of doing these meditations is to precipitate the mystical experience ... and as ‘I Am That’ has echoes in the Judaic/Christian ‘I Am That I Am’ it has a prior legitimacy for the westerner who feels deprived of direct access to the god/goddess feeling by religion’s religiosity (as distinct from spirituality’s mysticism). Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti often emphasised that he was not talking of ‘the god of the temples, the churches, the synagogues, the mosques’. One feels privileged, honoured, to be privy to the secret that the priests have apparently been keeping from the public.

It is all very tempting, seductive, to be finally recognised for Who You Really Are.

RESPONDENT: There were probably 30 people participating. From the outset I loved this exercise. When I was the questioner, each answer the person spoke fell out of his body and into mine. It was quite ecstatic. When I was being questioned, each of my answers arose out of my body without effort, and was given to the questioner as though my answer was a gift or a blessing. After a couple hours we took a lunch break, which was in silence, and then resumed with the exercise after lunch. At this point I was the one giving the answers. It started out well at first, but then a feeling of unease came over me. A while later I saw a black field in my mind’s eye. Each of the things I answered, ‘I am a mother. I am a person. I am a woman. I am life itself’ etc. were little points of life on this black field and every time I spoke one of these ‘I ams’ that point of light extinguished itself. It wasn’t long before there were not many of these points of light remaining and the inevitability of the black field loomed large. I began to panic. I feared that when I said the last I am, whatever it might be, ‘I’ would be extinguished.

RICHARD: Yes, the only way to freedom is the complete, total and utter extirpation of ‘I’ and/or ‘me’ in any way, shape or form: extinction.

RESPONDENT: I became increasingly anxious. I was sure I was going mad.

RICHARD: The doorway to an actual freedom has the words ‘warning: do not open ... insanity lies ahead’ written on it. I opened the door and walked through. Once on the other side – where thousands upon thousands of atavistic voices were insistently whispering ‘fool-fool-fool’ – I turned to ascertain the way back to normal. The door had vanished – and the wall it was set in – and I just knew that I would never, ever be able to find my way back to the real-world ... it had been nothing but an illusion all along. I walked tall and free as the perfection of this material universe personified ... I can never not be just here right now.

Sometimes people who have a peak experience – which in contrast to normal sanity is an actual sanity – make the error of looking for a door marked ‘sanity’, upon falling back into the ‘real world’, as being the way to freedom.

RESPONDENT: I thought perhaps I should stop the exercise, perhaps get someone to take me to a hospital. I started to sweat. The terror kept mounting. I knew I could get help from someone, but something kept me pushing through, kept me answering the question. Finally, I silently cried out, ‘Please help me!’


RESPONDENT: At that instant the words came to me, ‘The only thing you are going to lose is your separation’. Instantly I was infinitely blissful. I recognized everything I thought ‘I am’ as what ‘I do’. And what I was ultimately doing was the whole thing. I had seen the secret of life. I was That. The bell rang and I moved on to the next person. She asked me, ‘Who are you?’ I just smiled. She asked me again and again. I just shook my head no. I told her there was no way I could answer any more. It would be a lie. I knew I wasn’t any of thing things I thought I was. A short time later the exercise was over. R. put very loud music on. We all laid on the floor. The music literally played through my body. I was unbelievably ecstatic. At some point I jumped up and ran over to R. and jumped in his lap and hugged him, then returned to the floor. I didn’t tell anyone what happened until our meeting that night. I told the whole story. R. said some nice things, many that I don’t remember but one thing was that what had I had required an exceptionally flexible consciousness. For the next day I was definitely in an altered state. From that activity we went into silence and fasting. I was perfect and whole (and a little hungry!). Then the evening of the fasting day I got physically very ill. Terrible cramps. I felt very sick. I didn’t want to disturb anyone but I was frightened. So, I went to R’s house and just laid on the floor in the kitchen, waiting to see if I needed to get some help. The illness passed and I finally went to sleep. When I told R. about this the next day he said that the expansion of consciousness I went through was more than my body could handle, and so it contracted back down to a more familiar space. At the end of the retreat each of us had a private interview with R. He told me that when I told my story of the who are you experience, he thought, ‘Far out’. He said the same thing had happened to him years before at the ‘Rajneesh’ Jain Ashram in India where he had visited. (He was never a devotee of ‘Rajneesh’ Jain.) He said his break through had happened fairly quickly and during the rest of the exercise he sang to the other participants. He said it was written down in the log they kept at the ashram about the person who sang all day. I considered that experience my awakening.

RICHARD: Yes ... and I appreciate you taking the time to write of your experience in detail. A point occurs to me apropos to current events: would you say that there is a qualitative difference between ‘Awakening’ and ‘Enlightenment’? I only ask because ‘Awakenings’ are happening all over the internet (Vineeto came across a web page that lists and provides links to 502 ‘Awakened Beings’ complete with the author’s grading system) and whenever I read what an ‘Awakened’ person has to say there does seem to be a lack of parity with what an ‘Enlightened’ person has to say. It is more in the way in which it is said than in what is said ... the rash of ‘Advaitists’ emanating from Mr. H.W.L. Poonja’s lineage is a particular case in point.

Your words ‘the only thing you are going to lose is your separation’ is indicative of the distinction between spiritual freedom and an actual freedom. In an actual freedom one loses the separative identity in toto ... not separation. When ‘I’ and/or ‘me’ ceases to exist there is no identity (who is forever separate) for there to be separation in the first place.

RESPONDENT: There were many more deepenings that came over the years, including another extinction type event where ‘I’ merged into the immense brightness and there was consciousness but no self, consciousness but of no thing.

RICHARD: Have you heard of or read Mr. Franklin Merrell Wolff’s book ‘Consciousness Without An Object’? When I initially came across it I was somewhat puzzled: why not ‘consciousness without a subject’?

RESPONDENT: It was later on as I read traditional eastern material that I discovered that the first experience was similar to Ramana Maharshi’s ‘death’ experience, and that the pure consciousness without content was sabikalpa samadhi.

RICHARD: Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti repeatedly said (referring to normal consciousness): ‘consciousness is the content’ ... which has led to more than a few Krishnamurtiites being convinced they have to eliminate all thought and all memory.

RESPONDENT: There were many more experiences that were, in a way, punctuation marks in a basically mystical existence. I’m sure you can imagine the kind of mischief I got myself into with all this.

RICHARD: Ah, yes ... I can indeed (given that I was the latest saviour of humankind once upon a time).

RESPONDENT: Seemingly I bridged separation, but there I was on the other side of a divide called awakening, which no one who hadn’t had a similar experience could cross.

RICHARD: Mystical literature is replete with descriptions of crossing to the ‘other shore’ ... for Buddhists Mr. Gotama the Sakyan is ‘the raft to the other side’, for example. Generally speaking, love (Love Agapé), which emanates from those who have ‘leapt into the Unknown’ or ‘jumped into the Chasm’, is ostensibly the bridge for others to cross over on ... and compassion (Divine Compassion) is the genesis of that ‘Unconditional Love’. Needless to say, there is quite a list of conditions which have to be met before the ‘Unconditional Love’ can be received.

It is a thoroughly fascinating business, is it not, being a human being? This is all such a grand adventure!

RESPONDENT: I found a world of oneness, beingness, and divine love that was as competitive and cutthroat, as SELF-centred as anything I ever experienced before my awakening. Actually probably the same but magnified to unbelievable proportions. These liabilities, to some extent, were evident to me from the beginning.

RICHARD: I do like these sentences ... if you are inclined to expand upon it please do so.

RESPONDENT: I never ‘taught’ because I never felt finished.

RICHARD: I went through what I call my ‘puritan period’ for five years (1981 to 1986) because I figured I had ‘gone wrong’ somewhere in that my experience did not exactly tally with what was written or talked of in all the spiritual/mystical literature. For example: despite an all-embracing love for everyone and everything and a deep and abiding compassion for all the sentient beings who had lived, were living and would ever live (the ‘stream of consciousness’ one supposedly steps out of), thought was still operating and there were brief flashes of fear, irritation, anguish, desire and so on. These failings were what led me to examine further into what was going on ... and here I am today. These days, of course, I know that those things are all commonplace in the altered state of consciousness known as ‘Spiritual Enlightenment’.

I never experienced hate, however ... that vanished forever in 1981.

RESPONDENT: Also, I saw that those who took on the mantle of ‘teacher’ were much more prone to being stuck in a particular mythos or structure. However, it took me years to work my way out of it all, to come to what I call the ‘end of experience’, which was the end of inner, mystical experience.

RICHARD: I am interested in this ... what happened/is happening after the ‘end of experience’? Is this what happened about a year ago? Vis: [Respondent]: ‘the sentiments expressed by the moderator are very similar to where I found myself until about a year ago’.

RESPONDENT: I freely admit that as glorious as the first and subsequent ASC’s were, and the rich and fertile inner world that ensued, what was created as a very inflated sense of self.

RICHARD: Yea verily ... and I am amazed, each time again, when conversing with spiritual seekers why this oh-so-blatant fact is not evident to them. They praise their hero’s humbleness and accuse me of arrogance ... all the while oblivious to the fact that their saviour is declaring himself or herself to be the epitome of arrogance (the manifestation of god or goddess). Obviously, a ‘teaching’ which points to a ‘contracted self’ being the problem can only indicate an ‘expanded self’ as being the solution ... yet I am repeatedly told: ‘you don’t understand, Richard’.

RESPONDENT: Well, would enjoy hearing from you again. I’m sure you’ve been enjoying yourself, whatever you’ve been up to.

RICHARD: I am having so much fun ... the internet has multiplied exponentially in the three years since I first ventured into cyber-space. There is so much more information available now than then ... more than I could ever need to access. The search function of computers is such a boon ... what would have taken days – if not weeks – of painstaking research can be accomplished in an extremely short time. In my life I have made full use of the extensive public library system in this country – making full use of their microfiche system – yet this leaves that dead in the water. I would like to think that the day will come when all the copyright stuff gets sorted out and books currently occupying library shelves can accessed electronically ... whether authors like it or not people do photocopy paragraphs and chapters anyway (all the libraries here have photocopy machines installed).

I do enjoy your interest, your frankness and your readiness to discuss.

July 05 2000:

RESPONDENT: Richard, would like to relate a quite remarkable experience from this morning. I woke up a little earlier than I wanted to let my little dog outside. Deciding I wasn’t ready to be up yet, went back to bed. As I often do first thing in the morning, I was lying in bed just allowing whatever comes up to come up. At some point I noticed that I was experiencing in an unusual way. How can I put this? My awareness was crystal clear, very direct, present. There was nothing mediating between experience and the awareness of experience. I noticed that this immediacy was very different from how ‘I’ normally experience. There was no overlay of feeling filtering experience. It was just very direct with nothing in between. The absence of feeling was not in any way a dullness. In fact the absence of the feeling layer seemed to be directly responsible for the sparkling directness of what I was experiencing. I started noticing the sound of the morning birds. Again, not quite sure how to say it, but it was though I was hearing with my ears most directly, without any interpretive faculty in between the sound and my hearing of it. The absence of the feeling layer or filter was the most remarkable thing. Again, my experience was direct, so much more direct than my usual experience. I felt amazingly free, but there was no feeling of joyousness or exultation, not gratitude or bliss. In fact, I didn’t feel free. I simply was free. You’ve said something like nothing ‘dirty’ can enter into apperceptiveness. Clean was the word that kept coming to mind. This was a clean, direct experience. At one point, though I was never asleep, I had a momentary dream image of a van speeding towards me. Instantly my body reacted with an adrenaline rush, which immediately subsided when the ‘danger’ had passed. This seemed like a natural occurrence that ‘I’ was never caught up in. It was like a demonstration of the body’s capacity to respond to danger when necessary and then release the response when the danger had passed. There was an aliveness that not only wasn’t dependent on the feeling filter, but was infinitely more apparent without it. I remember thinking that this way of experiencing really was the best. I thought this must be what Richard is talking about. I want to add that I know what it is to be emotionally neutral. This was not neutrality. This was simply what’s there when the whole affective layer is peeled away. The whole interval lasted more than an hour. Afterwards I could recall moments in the past when I had had similar experiences, but nowhere near the duration, and certainly not with the same clarity. Well, what can I say but wow! I’m assuming this is what you mean by a pure consciousness experience.

RICHARD: Yes ... wow! indeed, eh? Of course I have no way of ascertaining the intrinsic quality of what any body experiences other than what they describe – and I have no intention of setting myself up to be to arbiter of another’s experience anyway – so I cannot adjudge the exact nature of what you experienced. The rule of thumb is to ask oneself: is this it; is this the ultimate; is this the utter fulfilment and total contentment; is this my destiny; is this how I would want to live for the remainder of my life ... and so on. It is up to each and every person to decide for themselves what it is that they want ... as I oft-times say: it is your life you are living and only you get to reap the rewards and pay the consequences for any action or inaction you may or may not do.

I am simply reporting my experience and it is entirely up to the other to do with it what they will ... and I stress that it is the pure consciousness experience (PCE) that is one’s guiding light – one’s teacher – and not me. I cannot save anybody at all.

Having said that, it may be relevant to report that my companion, who is exacting when it comes to grading herself/her experiences, has classifications ranging from good, very good, very, very good, excellent ... and PCE. She is most particular to not confuse an excellence experience with a perfection experience ... and the most outstanding distinction in the excellence experience is the marked absence of what I call the ‘magical’ element. What I describe as ‘magical’ she prefers to call ‘entering into the fourth dimension’ (not to be confused with the Hindu fourth state known as ‘Turiya’). This is where time has no duration as the normal ‘now’ and ‘then’ and space has no distance as the normal ‘here’ and ‘there’ and form has no distinction as the normal ‘was’ and ‘will be’ ... there is only this moment in eternal time at this place in infinite space as this flesh and blood body being apperceptively aware (a three hundred and sixty degree awareness, as it were). Everything and everyone is transparently and sparklingly obvious, up-front and out-in-the open ... there is nowhere to hide and no reason to hide as there is no ‘me’ to hide. One is totally exposed and open to the universe: already always just here right now ... actually in time and actually in space as actual form. This apperception (selfless awareness) is an unmediated perspicacity wherein one is this universe experiencing itself as a sensate and reflective human being; as such the universe is stunningly aware of its own infinitude.

In a PCE one is fully immersed in the infinitude of this fairy-tale-like actual world with its sensuous quality of magical perfection and purity where everything and everyone has a lustre, a brilliance, a vividness, an intensity and a marvellous, wondrous, scintillating vitality that makes everything alive and sparkling ... even the very earth beneath one’s feet. The rocks, the concrete buildings, a piece of paper ... literally everything is as if it were alive (a rock is not, of course, alive as humans are, or as animals are, or as trees are). This ‘aliveness’ is the very actuality of all existence – the actualness of everything and everyone – for one is not living in an inert universe.

It is one’s destiny to be living the utter peace of the perfection of the purity welling endlessly as the infinitude this eternal, infinite and perpetual universe actually is.

Continued on in Actual Freedom Mailing (with Vineeto): No. 18




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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