Actual Freedom – A Request from Konrad Swart

Page Ten Of A Continuing Dialogue With

Konrad Swart


October 08 1998:

KONRAD: I assert that ... no ‘I’ separate from thought exists ... the reason why I make such a big fuss of exactly this point [is] as long as you talk in terms of the ‘I’ must be eliminated, you must free yourself from the ‘self’, or, as you do, stating that: [Richard] ‘What is central to my approach is the elimination of an identity in any way, shape or form’, it just betrays, that you are unable to see, that there is no identity to eliminate.

RICHARD: Oh, I get this ploy from many long-time spiritual seekers ... they get to a point where they fondly imagine that there is no problem. The ‘I’ is an illusion, they say, so nothing has to be done once this is realised. This is nothing but spiritual masturbation. And thus all the wars and murders and rapes and tortures and domestic violence and child abuse and sadness and loneliness and grief and depression and suicides go on ad infinitum.

KONRAD: You are right, when you say that this insight does not end all murders, rapes, tortures, domestic violence and child abuses. Something else is required for that.

RICHARD: Aye ... and that something else is that the ‘I’ must be eliminated and not merely realised to be an illusion. This illusory ‘I’ must undergo an illusory death. This death, when it happens, is indistinguishable from physical death ... it is that startling in its intensity. This is a far cry from you ‘realising that this ‘I’, this identity, IS an illusion’ that you referred to in your previous post. Becoming free from this – at times very real – identity requires far more than the illusory nature of ‘I’ being merely ‘totally realized, in the sense that it is observed to be true’ ... as you so accurately described in your reporting of your own personal experience.

KONRAD: Still, this only shows that the pretences some people make about this transformation is wrong. Not the insight itself.

RICHARD: If you take the insight to be sufficient to release you from all human suffering, forever, then you are fooling yourself in a most particularly treacherous way.

KONRAD: But ... you show that you are incapable of seeing that this insight, this understanding is correct.

RICHARD: The insight that any ‘I’ is an illusion is correct ... but the insight requires action to actualise the understanding. This ‘I’ must die a psychological death ... its ending is commensurate to its pernicious existence.

KONRAD: Action is purposeful behaviour. Purposeful behaviour is ALWAYS done by a thought, controlling the body. As I have repeatedly said, a thought controlling the body is by definition an ‘I’.

RICHARD: Yet your definition is specious ... and your logical deductions lack intellectual rigour. Vis.:

Konrad’s Initial Surmise: ‘An ‘I’ is a controlling thought’.
1. ‘[Because] a thought is needed [for a body] to act’.
2. ‘This thought is, by definition, an ‘I’’.
3. ‘Because it [this thought] controls the body’.
Konrad’s Conclusion: ‘[Therefore] an ‘I’ is necessary to control a body’.

Now, I do not profess to be a logician ... but even with my limited training I find this to be a spurious deduction. If you wish to convince me with the logic of your argument you are going to have to insert one or more sentences between Nos. (2) and (3) ... because there is an implausible leap happening there where an other-wise identity-free thought mysteriously becomes an ‘I’-thought. It is perhaps somewhat like that infamous theorem ‘I think, therefore I am’: it being predicated upon the initial surmise – ‘I think’ – being a fact in order to produce the conclusion ... ‘I am’. The initial surmise is faulty ... it should read only the fact that ‘there is thinking happening’. Thus the rewritten axiom now looks like this: ‘There is thinking happening, therefore I am’ ... which is – like your deduction above – nothing but twaddle dressed up as sagacity.

KONRAD: Therefore what you say is contradictory, for what you say here sounds in my ears like: an ‘I’ is required to eliminate an ‘I’. Therefore, what you write here is unintelligible to me, for you violate a principle of communication. If a statement contains a contradiction, it excludes everything, and therefore says nothing. Sorry, if I am this hard. But you bring it on yourself. You probably are trying to say something, but the above statement is simply not clear enough.

RICHARD: Oh, there is no need to be sorry because you are not being hard at all ... just ignorant. I did not ‘bring it upon myself’ ... you did. I have written about this very matter before but ... you have probably been ‘sloppy’ about reading my explanation of this. So, by all means ... please let me clarify by copying and pasting. Vis:

• [Richard]: ‘I’ cannot eliminate ‘myself’ for an ‘I’ cannot do the deed upon itself. But what ‘I’ can do is that ‘I’ deliberately and consciously and with knowledge aforethought set in motion a ‘process’ that will ensure ‘my’ demise. What ‘I’ do, voluntarily and intentionally, is to press the button which precipitates an – oft-times alarming but always thrilling – momentum that will result in ‘my’ inevitable self-immolation. What one does is that one dedicates oneself to the challenge of being here as the universe’s experience of itself. When ‘I’ freely and cheerfully sacrifice ‘myself’ – the psychological and psychic entities residing inside this body – ‘I’ am gladly making ‘my’ most supreme donation, for ‘I’ am what ‘I’ hold most dear.

But you do have to let the ‘process’ do its job.

*

RICHARD: This ‘I’ must die a psychological death ... its ending is commensurate to its pernicious existence. If you cannot see this very important fact, then this correspondence is just a complete waste of time for you ... have you changed your mind?

KONRAD: Let me ask you a question in response to this. Is ‘falling asleep’ something you DO, or is it something that HAPPENS TO YOU? In the same way, is dying something you do, or is it something that happens to you? You are NOT making sense.

RICHARD: You are displaying your remarkable penchant for side-stepping the question once more. I will ask it again: You said that an insight that the ‘I’ was an illusion was all that is necessary. I said the ‘I’ must die an illusory death commensurate to its pernicious existence. I posted a description of this very thing happening by ‘me’ and to ‘me’ in 1981 ... and after reading my description you all of a sudden said that the same thing happened to you back when you were 22 or 23 and that you had ‘overlooked it’. I said that as an ego-death was such an earth-shattering occurrence that nobody could possibly ‘overlook’ it. Now you are throwing up a smoke-screen to avoid answering this very important question by telling me that I do not make sense. If you had indeed had your ego die an ego-death, as you were so rash as to claim, you would know that at the point of death ‘you’ can no longer distinguish between ‘you’ doing ‘it’ and ‘it’ happening to you. The normal course of events wherein one does this thing here and that event happens there – cause and effect – ceases to operate. Enlightenment is not called ‘non-duality’ for nothing, you know. You are displaying a remarkable dearth of experiential knowledge, Konrad, as well as a paucity of book-learnt information into the bargain ... and yet you insist upon making a fool of yourself again and again by claiming to be enlightened. You will not even answer such a simple question as this one you have just side-stepped.

You are way out of your depth here ... just look at your immature response to the very next paragraph.

*

RICHARD: The day finally dawns where the definitive moment of being here, right now, conclusively arrives; something irrevocable takes place and every thing and every body and every event is different, somehow, although the same physically; something immutable occurs and every thing and every body and every event is all-of-a-sudden undeniably actual, in and of itself, as a fact; something irreversible happens and an immaculate perfection and a pristine purity permeates every thing and every body and every event; something has changed forever, although it is as if nothing has happened, except that the entire world is a magical fairytale-like playground full of incredible gladness and a delight which is never-ending.

KONRAD: I recognize all this now. I had this very same peak experience when I went through a Gestalt session, where ‘I’ tried to get rid of my nervousness for an exam that ‘I’ had the next day.

RICHARD: Whoa up there, Konrad ... this paragraph is not a description of a peak experience at all. This is a description of the elimination of the ‘I’ ... which you said in your last post was not necessary at all. So, what are you recognising? In fact, you also told me that because I said that the elimination of this ‘I’ was essential, that I thus showed that I did not understand what was implied in the insight that the ‘I’ was an illusion ... because the realisation that the ‘I’ was an illusion is enough, you said. So, what are you recognising? And I had said to you that I get this ploy from many long-time spiritual seekers ... that they get to a point where they fondly imagine that there is no problem. I wrote that they say that the ‘I’ is an illusion so nothing has to be done once this is realised ... and I observed that this is nothing but spiritual masturbation. Then you told me that this ‘only shows that the pretences some people make about this transformation is wrong and not the insight itself’ ... remember? If you cannot see this very important fact, then this correspondence is just a complete waste of time for you.

KONRAD: Again, in my eyes there is no essential difference between ‘I’ and ‘self’. There is only a difference in scope. An ‘I’ is a controlling thought that tries to apply principles that are only connected to the individual life. A ‘self’ or ‘soul’ is the application of principles that apply not only to yourself, but also to others. And these others might very well include all other people, the animals, and even the entire cosmos.

RICHARD: Well, this is indeed an answer ... but to what question? Certainly not the one directly above your response, eh? Okay ... let us go with your side-stepping ploy for now ... you say that there are ‘principles’ that an ego-bound, soul-ridden entity ‘tries to apply’ to oneself, others, animals and the entire cosmos ... to what end? Peace on earth? Where has it happened? Principles have been around for thousands of years ... this is just more of the ‘Tried and True’. What is the track record of this wisdom that you are promulgating ... is it not the ‘Tried and Failed’? You are mouthing nothing but what the status-quo already is ... and what a load of codswallop all this dissimulating is, Konrad.

You do not have a clue what you are talking about, do you?

*

RICHARD: I then said that ‘the ‘I’ must be eliminated and not merely realised to be an illusion’. I said that ‘this illusory ‘I’ must undergo an illusory death and that this death, when it happens, is indistinguishable from physical death ... it is that startling in its intensity’. I went on to say that becoming free from this – at times very real – identity requires far more than the illusory nature of ‘I’ being merely ‘totally realized in the sense that it is observed to be true’ ... as you so accurately described in your reporting of your own personal experience. In fact, I said that if ‘you take the insight to be sufficient to release you from all human suffering, forever, then you are fooling yourself in a most particularly treacherous way’. If you cannot see this very important fact, then this correspondence is just a complete waste of time for you. So, what are you recognising?

KONRAD: Eliminated? By what?

RICHARD: By the ‘process’. As I have already explained many times over the past months, you are taking the ‘process’ to be an end in itself. It is not. It is a means to the end. You must allow the ‘process’ to do its job, Konrad, instead of holding onto it and the psychic powers over other people that it bestows.

KONRAD: Elimination is an action. I still see the possibility, that you consider yourself to be identical with your body. To be precise, you say you ‘understand’ that you are your body. But ANY understanding is a response of thinking to a realization in the form of a thought.

RICHARD: Round and round we go again ... however, I can say it again: I say that thought can operate cleanly and clearly when there is no ‘I’ as ego or ‘me’ as soul extant in the body. Thinking may or may not occur ... but feelings have disappeared entirely. If purposeful action is required by the circumstances, thought swings into action. All the while there is an apperceptive awareness going on. This apperceptive awareness enables thought to observe that there is no ‘I’ extant in this body. Therefore, the first person pronoun refers only to this flesh and blood body being conscious and awake. If you had actually died an ego-death and a soul-extinction then you would know all this and stop raising such juvenile objections.

KONRAD: This thought THEN is the controller of the body. So in your case I am still inclined to say, that you experience this ‘elimination’ to be something that ‘the body’ in one way or another has done.

RICHARD: There is no controller inside this body in any way, shape or form. Goodness me ... do you not know anything? You keep saying that your background is Zen ... just what have you learned?

KONRAD: You are your body. That is a fact. But this UNDERSTANDING that you are your body is a thought. A thought that might very well be a subtle form of ‘self’, that is doing all of this ‘apperceptive observing’ you are talking about.

RICHARD: You just do not get it, do you?

KONRAD: If that is the case, you still have not realized every form the ‘I’ can assume. As a matter of fact, you still have not convinced me that you have seen through this last ‘trap’. Maybe you have, but I do not see any evidence of this.

RICHARD: Thus spake Konrad ... what ‘last trap’ is it that you are aware of? You have yet to negotiate your way to the starting line ... if you can find it.

*

RICHARD: About six weeks prior to the sixth of September 1981 I had a revelation that I was going to really die this time, not become catatonic again, and that I was to prepare myself for it. I mustered all of my faith and resolution, renewed all of my trust and dedication, and awaited the day. The night before I could hardly maintain myself as a thinking, functioning human being as a blistering hot and cold burning sensation crept up the back of my spine and entered into the base of my neck just under the brain itself. I went to bed in desperation and frustration at my apparent inability to be good enough to carry this ‘process’ through to its supreme conclusion. The next morning I awoke and all was calm and quiet. Expressing relief at the cessation of the intensifying ‘process’ that had reached an unbearable level the night before, I lay back on my pillows to watch the rising sun (my bedroom faced east) through the large bedroom windows. All of a sudden I was gripped with the realisation that this was the moment! I was going to die! An intense fear raced throughout my body, rising in crescendo until I could scarcely take any more. As it reached a peak of stark terror, I realised that I had nothing to worry about and that I was to go with the ‘process’. In an instant all fear left me and I travelled deep into the depths of my very being. All of a sudden I was sitting bolt upright, laughing, as I realised that this that was IT! was such a simple thing ... all I had to do was die ... and that was the easiest thing in the world to do. Then the thought of leaving my family and friends overwhelmed me and I was thrust back on the bed sobbing. Then I was bolt upright once more laughing my head off ... then I was back on the pillows sobbing my heart out ... upright, laughing ... pillows sobbing ... upright laughing ... pillows sobbing. At the fifth or sixth time something turned over in the base of my brain – in the top of the brain-stem. I likened it to turning over a L.P. record in order to play the other side ... with the vital exception that it would never, ever turn back again. It was all over. I had arrived’.

KONRAD: This is a part I consider indeed to be interesting. It shows clearly, that ‘the organ’ I am now aware of, became into command. The organ, that has taken no less than one million years to develop. The organ, that is the container of both thought and feeling. Now that I write this, I become aware of what this organ is. It is the UPPER HALF OF THE BRAINS!!! Of course! In everybody else the lower brains are dominant! Let me explain. The brains are divided into several parts. There is the brainstem. This brainstem is dominated by, what some call, the ‘lymphatic system’. It is the ‘reptilian brains’. Next to this we have the cerebellum. This cerebellum is the servant of this reptilian brains, because it contains all of the habitual movements. The skill to perform the piano is situated there. Yes, yes! THAT IS IT! In most people the reptilian brains are the brains that are in command. The upper part of the brains are just the servant of this reptilian brains. That is why emotions are dominant in almost everybody. You can also say, that the upper part of the brains are in a certain ‘slumbering state’, at least what the possibility of action is concerned. You say it yourself: ‘I also saw that ‘I’ was a lost, lonely, frightened – and a very, very cunning – entity. Just as those Christians who are said to be possessed by an evil entity and need to be exorcised, I saw that every human being had been endowed with a social entity ... and it was called being normal. To say that I was amazed rather fails to adequately describe the feeling of relief that after all there was a solution to the human situation here on earth’. It might not be a social entity per se. It might be far more primitive than that, if it is an entity of reptilian origins, that is. But, then again, maybe our ancestors were a certain reptilian life-form that lived in groups. This might explain the strong group tendencies that are still present in everybody we see around us. But no matter what, the dominance of this entity has to end. In that sense you are correct if you say, that this entity has to be ‘wiped out’. Well, if that is the case, you have convinced me. The upper hemisphere has to become dominant. But does this mean that emotions have to be eliminated? And then I mean EVERY emotion? You seem to say that ANY emotion gives this ‘entity’ an opportunity to strike back, and regain control. And these not only include the so-called negative emotions, but also the so-called positive emotions. Especially love is suspect, because it is a manifestation of the group instinct of our ancestor reptilians.

RICHARD: I would strongly suggest that you copy and paste this paragraph of yours into a page all of its own and print it out and PIN IT UP SOMEWHERE PROMINENT where you can read and re-read it whenever you start becoming crafty again. This is the best realisation you have had so far in all of the correspondence we have had over the last few months.

This is good, Konrad ... this is good indeed.

*

RICHARD: Surely you are not telling me – by saying that you recognise all this that I wrote – that you underwent an ego-death some considerable time before the ‘process’ started? Just what actually happened when you went through a Gestalt session feeling nervous about the examination the next day? Because you wrote, long ago, describing how and when you realised that the ‘I’ was an illusion some two years or so after this Gestalt Session ... and your ‘I’ as ego is clearly still intact that description. If you cannot see this very important fact, then this correspondence is just a complete waste of time for you’.

KONRAD: Yes, I did tell you this. But I can say now that I was wrong, and misunderstood. The ignition of ‘the process’ was for me the beginning of the dominance of the upper hemispheres over the lower brains.

RICHARD: Okay ... and note well that you said ‘beginning’. The ‘process’ has yet to finish its task.

*

RICHARD: I must ask, at this point: Do you ever read what I write and send to you?

KONRAD: To be honest, sometimes I am sloppy about this.

RICHARD: Golly, Konrad ... I am not sure how to proceed now ... because I write to you with the full knowledge of what I have already written to you ... mistakenly assuming that you are following all this and engaging in a two-way dialogue with me. This explains why you do not understand what is being talked about ... and here was I being under the impression that you were either not good with words or were undiscerning ... even just plain stupid. I even failed to see how you could possibly be teaching logic as a profession ... that is how inadequate I found you to be in your replies. So ... now we know why this correspondence flounders and I find myself endlessly repeating ground already covered. But ... I have to ask just what game you are playing with me? Because ... how do I know whether you are going to read all that which I have just written above? If you do not read that, then you are just going to go on accusing me of not understanding you ... these things I write are essential to a mutual understanding. Speaking personally, I read everything you write because I need to know where you are coming from in order to respond accurately. No wonder there has been so much misunderstanding on your part.

KONRAD: Yes, Richard, I have noticed that you really take the trouble to read everything I write. And I am grateful for that. But realize, that you are more concerned with finding differences than in finding things that correspond.

RICHARD: Not so ... I would be immensely pleased if I could find something in your writing that corresponds. Unfortunately, you come out with – rather garbled – re-hashes of the ‘Tried and True’.

Try being original and see how I respond to that.

KONRAD: Besides, you are totally closed for the possibility that it might be the case that what you have gone through is something Buddha has gone through, and J. Krishnamurti has gone through and I have gone through.

RICHARD: I am not ‘totally closed’ to having gone through what Mr. Gotama the Sakyan and Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti went through ... I have and I declare it loud and clear. I have said that I lived in an altered state of consciousness known in the East as Spiritual Enlightenment for eleven years. Surely you must have at least read that bit? As for the ‘and I have gone through’ bit which you claim ... has it not become clear to you that you are yet to experience this identity-death yourself?

KONRAD: Just because we do not agree with your metaphysics, and you insist on your transformation to be uniquely yours.

RICHARD: This is fascinating how you use the word ‘we’ ... and I do not have a ‘metaphysics’, anyway. This what I talk about is very physical indeed ... there is no trace of metaphysicality in me whatsoever.

The word ‘metaphysics’ is derived from the works of Aristotle as in ‘after the physics’, meaning: the branch of philosophy that deals with the first principles of things; theoretical philosophy as the ultimate science of being and knowing; the theoretical principles or higher philosophical rationale of a particular branch of knowledge; the philosophy of mind; abstract or subtle talk; mere theory. The word ‘metaphysical’ is derived from the word ‘metaphysics’ meaning: excessively subtle or abstract; not empirically verifiable; immaterial, incorporeal, suprasensible; supernatural; that which transcends matter or the physical; based on abstract general reasoning or a priori principles; fanciful, imaginary; metaphysicality (noun); metaphysically (adverb); in a metaphysical manner or sense; according to the principles of metaphysics; from a metaphysical point of view; supernaturally; preternaturally (examples: ‘A. Koestler: ‘Traversed the frontier between metaphysical speculation and empirical science’. D. Rowe: ‘As metaphysically believing that death is a doorway to another life’. A. J. Ayer: ‘The metaphysical thesis that philosophy affords us knowledge of a reality transcending the world of science’. Sir W. Scott: ‘Wars have been waged for points of metaphysical right’).

KONRAD: In our eyes this is interpreted, maybe too hastily, as a desire from your part to be ‘the most special individual in the world’. In other words, you put yourself too much on a pedestal, without really investigating whether your interpretation of, for example, the teachings of Buddha, are right or wrong. They are clearly wrong, you know.

RICHARD: Thus spake Konrad again ... who has displayed an amazing propensity for not understanding some of the very basics of Eastern Enlightenment in general, let alone the specifics.

KONRAD: But your insistence of presenting yourself to be the discoverer of something unique, just because your background, and the way you express yourself are uniquely yours is experienced by all of us as an attempt from your side to put yourself above all of us.

RICHARD: It is not an attempt at all ... I have as a fact gone into a condition that lies beyond enlightenment ... it is you who calls it ‘above’. There is no hierarchy here.

KONRAD: And that is something we simply do not accept, simply because we see the things, as you do, exactly as they are.

RICHARD: Again this possessive use of ‘we’ ... and you do not see things ‘exactly as they are’ at all ... you have been at great pains to tell me that reality cannot be seen directly.

Make up your mind, Konrad, you cannot have it both ways.

KONRAD: This attitude of putting yourself above all of us is also betrayed in not accepting anything of us. You very seldom, no, worse, you NEVER admit that something has become clear to you by the explanations we give. You are so totally focused at the way you express yourself, that you only look at how your statements differ from that of us, and not at how they coincide. And, because you have put yourself above us, you do not even consider the possibility that you learn from us. I know for a fact that you learn from me. Especially my remark that you should put something forward that others can use is something you have picked up, and have since then introduced. For I observe that since I have suggested this to you, you indeed have put something forward others can use, something you did not do before I made this suggestion.

RICHARD: I having been doing nothing else but ‘putting forward something that others can use’ ever since I came onto the Internet. My whole Web Page is full of it. But you can claim credit for making me see the need to do this if that pleases you.

KONRAD: And I can also see, that from that moment on your success by others increased. But you are NOT somebody, who will acknowledge that somebody else, in this case, me, has contributed to your acceptance. And this blindness (and that is exactly what it is) is annoying.

RICHARD: And this annoyance is why you must have principles ... do you not see this?

KONRAD: For it betrays a certain arrogance. So why should I bother to take you seriously? Still, I do. For, no matter what form you come forward, I DO observe, or rather ‘sense’ that there is real authenticity in what you put forward, despite the fact that the language you use is totally different from that I use. My ‘sense’ tells me, that what you are talking about is in essence identical with ‘the process’. Only your denials block you from even considering this possibility.

RICHARD: No ... the ‘process’ can result in you being here now as a flesh and blood body ... if only you will allow it to do its job. Then what you are living will be identical.

KONRAD: For you are far to eager to disprove what Buddha and others have seen, just on the flimsy grounds that they formulate themselves not in the way you formulate what you see.

RICHARD: Not so ... it is not a matter of formulation at all. It is about going beyond the state of enlightenment into a condition of actual freedom from the human condition. It is you who ‘solves’ problems by re-formulating and re-defining them, not me. I live what I say ... because what I say comes out of my living experience.

KONRAD: In other words, you are observed by me to be the victim of the products of your increased capability to be free from your thoughts and emotions. These products are your formulations of what it means to YOU. You are not unique in this position. Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti succeeded in playing a very important role in making the upper brains of Mr. U.G. Krishnamurti to be dominant, too. But because Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti was totally fascinated with his own formulations, he failed to recognize this fact, causing a split that was totally unnecessary. Besides, as a side effect, it caused Mr. U.G. Krishnamurti to be stuck on that point, so that he did not move on in his development, so that he became almost a complete moron.

RICHARD: There is a vast difference between Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti’s and Mr. Uppaluri Krishnamurti’s experience for a start ... let alone between that and how I am experiencing life. However, as you do not read everything, I guess the distinctions have passed you by.

KONRAD: So I have seen this blindness before. And it is stupid. It takes a lot more to go through the transformation whereby the upper brains become dominant, and then NOT to stop there, but to go on with developing. For only then you do not become trapped in the metaphysics of your background.

RICHARD: But ... Konrad ... you only had the realisation about this ‘upper brain’ thing half-an-hour ago! What on earth are you doing philosophising about it here as if it is an already examined fact tested personally over time? You are just making this up as you write.

*

KONRAD: This [not reading what Richard writes] is because you deny that what is obvious to me.

RICHARD: No, it is just that it is not at all necessary that I agree with every one of your conclusions ... we are having a dialogue. We have been sharing experience and I have been understanding what you have realised ... and I have been suggesting that there is more to explore born out of my own experience. If you cannot see this very important fact, then this correspondence is just a complete waste of time for you. We are communicating as fellow human beings enquiring into life, the universe and what it is to be a human being ... or so I assumed.

KONRAD: Well, you constantly failed to understand that my equating ‘I’ with the thought controlling the body, and therefore it is a ‘what’, and therefore I agree with you, that there is no ‘I’ necessary was indeed an agreement. Just because I formulate these matters differently, you thought that I was saying something else than you did. And are you still making this mistake? For that is definitely what it is. Therefore you may SAY that you understand me, but you definitely did not. For you failed, and as far as I can see, still fail to see the relevance of this important distinction.

RICHARD: Good grief ... this is just silly.

*

RICHARD: But if you do not read all that I write then how can you ever hope to see that I do understand what you say? I send back detailed accounts of my experiences and understandings to show that I can relate to where you are at’.

KONRAD: Yes, that is what you think. But from what I read I can see that you definitely do not understand me, for you are ignoring very important statements of fact from me. For instance, you say that there is an emotional component present in ‘the process’, and if I look very closely, and I do not see that that is not vindicated, you simply say that I have not looked close enough.

RICHARD: No, no, no ... I said the ‘process’ is affective at root ... even though its effect is emotionless. And this root is fear ... existential angst.

KONRAD: When have I looked close enough? What do you think I was doing when it started, and I meditated for 8 hours a day, during the first year, and 5 hours a day, during the year following it? This statement is completely ignored. The fact is simple. There is no emotional component in ‘the process’.

RICHARD: Okay ... have it your way then ... and carry on feeling insulted and getting infuriated and having to control yourself with emotion-backed principles. It is your life that you are living, after all.

KONRAD: Since you are comparing it with something you have gone through, which HAD an emotional component, you are comparing it with something else, plain and simple. And from me seeing that you do this, I can conclude that you do NOT understand. I do not read THAT sloppy, you know. To your statements a converse of Occam’s razor applies. Anything can be upheld, if enough facts are denied. I think I call this principle the principle of bluntness.

RICHARD: No, not ‘bluntness’ ... the word you are looking for is ‘blindness’. It would then read: ‘the principle of blindness’ ... as is experienced in cognitive dissonance, Konrad.

*

KONRAD: If you want to be taken seriously, you must not just state that the other is wrong. No, you must first show to him that you understand exactly what he says, and only THEN show him that that what he observes is, as far as observation goes, undeniable, and therefore indeed his observation. But that he still does not understand, because there are things that he overlooks, or has not considered, that might throw a totally different light on his observation.

RICHARD: Yet this is what I have been doing with you over and over again. In fact I have most recently done this with the exchange at the top of this very page ... where you blatantly show that you cannot recognise the difference between a peak experience insight and the death of the ego experience. Indeed, you rush in to claim that you had this ‘very same peak experience when I went through a Gestalt session, where ‘I’ tried to get rid of my nervousness for an exam that ‘I’ had the next day’. As you are so totally wrong in this claim, perhaps you might consider looking back through what I have written to you and you will see that I do understand where you are in your experiences and understanding ... and why I can. There has been so much in your E-Mails to me where you show that you ‘still do not understand because there are things that you overlook’ ... things which would indeed ‘throw a totally different light upon your observation’ ... as you so trenchantly remarked just above.

KONRAD: I admit that I was wrong there. But I STILL deny that you understand where I am. For although it is definitely true that I ignore certain facts you write about your condition, you do the same with me. Especially your statement that there is an emotional component in ‘the process’ is wrong.

RICHARD: Not so. This is but another example of where you have not noticed what I wrote about it.

KONRAD: And another one of your wrong statements is that there is no such thing as sensate beauty. I think that I understand where you go wrong. The metaphysics you talk from is not recognized as such. The result is, that you are stuck in it, despite the fact that you have gone through a major transformation. Your denial of the existence of sensate beauty shows me that.

RICHARD: Oh, we have covered this ground before ... in fact we have covered all the ground in this E-mail before.

KONRAD: And there are more contradictions in your formulation. For example you assert, that you are totally a ‘what’, and therefore an actuality, and therefore a facticity. But on the other hand you formulate your condition as ‘freedom’. This is a logical error. For the most important characteristic of freedom is the ABSENCE of something, not its PRESENCE. Or, to say it in physics language, only entities and causal processes are candidates for facticity, and therefore total facticity. And these are, by their very nature, the exact opposite of freedom.

RICHARD: Only ‘entities’ and ‘processes’ are candidates for facticity? Really? Do you seriously mean to say that nothing material – like a coffee-cup – is factual? That this entire physical world of people, things and events has no facticity whatsoever? Can you deny the empirical so much in your abstract thinking?

KONRAD: I understand that you mean with freedom ‘freedom FROM the human condition’. And therefore there is some justification for your use of this term. Still, if your metaphysics describes the end result as total facticity, the term ‘freedom’ is simply misplaced. Therefore I understand, that you are so caught up in your metaphysics, that you do not even understand yourself the condition you are in. And that is why it is high time that you really converse with others like you.

RICHARD: There are no others like me ... and I do not have a metaphysics. I experience this material world factually ... it is you who denies the facticity of the physical, not me.

KONRAD: For in our dialogues we all can understand better the implication of the transformation we all have gone through. So you rob yourself from a very important opportunity by your insistence that you have gone ‘beyond enlightenment’, and therefore that you have ‘gone further’. For you have not, you know.

RICHARD: And what ‘very important opportunity’ would that be that I am ‘robbing myself’ of? To rub shoulders with you and your ilk and learn how to apply emotion-backed principles in order to maintain a denial of the facticity of physical existence?

*

KONRAD: But all this [not just stating that the other is wrong but first showing that you understand and only THEN show him that there are things that he overlooks] can only be done if you accept that nobody is totally blind, and that there are always reasons behind the things he says. Reasons, that make the things he says, for him at least, to be true statements of fact. If you do not do this, you are running the risk of not being taken seriously.

RICHARD: Oh no ... I am not going to buy this one, Konrad. A fact is an indisputable actuality ... there can never be a ‘true statement of fact’ for person ‘A’ and an entirely different ‘true statement of fact’ for person ‘B’ and so on. You are now talking about beliefs ... what some people call ‘truths’. A fact is self-evident and obvious to anyone who cares to look. A coffee-cup, for example, cannot be a piece of chewing gum – as a statement of fact – for person ‘A’ and a wheelbarrow – as a statement of fact – for person ‘B’. And you have written about this kind of thing before, months ago when you first came onto the Mailing List ... unless you were thinking of people holding a belief in common when you wrote this. Vis.: [Konrad]: ‘There is only understanding. Not your understanding, or my understanding. Either understanding is present or not. If complete understanding is simultaneously present in two persons, there is no conflict between them possible. This is only possible if the understanding in both of them is completely identical. This is what understanding has in common with intelligence’. Now, you may have been talking about something else there ... but, speaking personally, I call what you wrote the ability to see facts and actuality.

KONRAD: You reinterpret my words in your metaphysics here. I have also said that there is a difference between an understanding and seeing a fact. We both are able to understand what a unicorn is, and therefore to agree on this. But neither of us are able to see for a fact that there is such a beast. Therefore it is wrong to equate understanding with seeing facts. Let me give another example. If somebody is not trained in physics, and he looks at a bubble bath, (a contraption that uses water under high pressure that enables us to see cosmic rays), the only thing he sees are little stripes of bubbles. But if somebody is trained in high energy physics, he does not see bubbles at all. He sees positrons, electrons, and other elementary particles. The identification of these bubbles with these particles is so total, that his brains make an immediate translation of that what he sees and these particles. And these things are then observed by him to be FACTS. In the same manner, if a biologist is in a field, he is able to spot rabbits much faster than an untrained individual. This means, that he EXPERIENCES the field differently than others. The point is, that the recognition of everything around you, and the operation of thought and thinking on the information of the senses is so fast, that you are not aware of it. You cannot possibly know this, for you deny that there is truth in the theories of Einstein, and even that of Newton. You condemn them, because they contradict your ‘fact’ versus ‘real’ metaphysics. That is why you do not give them a chance to operate on your sensual information. But I can tell you, that if you DID study them, you would discover that the world will become different. You would ACTUALLY experience the world different. You deny this. Logical, for it denies your metaphysics. For your metaphysics even denies that it IS a metaphysics. Your metaphysics of fact versus truth is seen to be itself factual. And since metaphysics is a term that belongs to the ‘truth’ context, your metaphysics has put itself erroneously outside of the metaphysical domain.

RICHARD: This is a great dissertation, Konrad, it is such a shame that it did not answer the question at all. Is all this empirical stuff too simplistic for you? The question is: Is a coffee-cup a coffee-cup for person ‘A’ as well as for person ‘B’ or not? There are – apparently – different ‘truths’ for different people ... but are there different facts for different people?

Does a coffee cup for person ‘A’ become a piece of chewing-gum for person ‘B’?

*

KONRAD: You misunderstand me. You read my explanations backwards. You think, that because I define the ‘I’ as a thought that controls the body I am defending this as a necessity.

RICHARD: I do not ‘think’ this ... you repeatedly tell me so. Are you going to change your mind again?

KONRAD: I do not have to. For you are either unwilling or unable to see that this is NOT what I am saying.

RICHARD: You clearly wrote: ‘a certain thought ... controls the body ... your ‘will’ produces a conclusion and this conclusion is then allowed to control your body ... I assert that this conclusion is a form of ‘I’’.

KONRAD: Yes, it is. But it is an I in the form of a ‘what’, to use your language, and not in the form of a ‘who’.

RICHARD: Whether you call it a ‘what’ or a ‘who’ is beside the point. My point is that you have been saying that an ‘I’ is necessary to control the body ... and you have been saying I am wrong in saying this. Please stop this puerile dissembling.

KONRAD: Let me nuance this a little bit more, now that I understand that it is a matter of the upper brains being dominant versus the lower brains. Even with somebody, within whom the lower reptilian brains is dominant, it is still so that it is the upper brains that is performing the actual movement. I can point at laboratory proofs that prove this. I refer to the laboratory result, that when you put electrodes into a chicken, you are unable to move just the leg, one eye, or a wing. You can only cause so-called ‘total behaviours’ in the following sense. If you poke in the brains, you can ignite a ‘pick’ behaviour, needed to pick up food. You can even ignite a ‘defence against low sneaking furry animals’ behaviour. But never totally unintelligible behaviour. With monkeys this is different. When you stimulate a certain part of the upper brains, you can make an eye close itself, or make the thumb move. So the way a monkey is able to move is different from that of a chicken. It probably occurs like this: There is some desire in the reptilian brains. This induces some picture to appear in the upper brains. This picture is then disassembled, and united again into one behaviour that is present in the memory of the upper brains. So the actual impulse for the movement stems from the reptilian brains, but the actual moving is done by the upper brains. Now the difference between the ape brains and our brains is, among other things, that the upper brains of the monkey stops developing after about 5 years, while our brains have the ability to continue to develop. And they can continue in this development, until the dominance of the reptilian brains are set aside, and it takes over completely, with the result that no emotion can become dominant.

RICHARD: Well, the last sentence sounds good enough for a working model – I will not comment on the rest of the paragraph as you have just formulated this as you go along – but let us stay with this model and see where it goes, eh?

KONRAD: Therefore you can say, that the difference between an ‘I’ as a ‘who’ and an ‘I’ as a ‘what’ is, that as long as the reptilian brains is dominant, an individual is a ‘person’. The ‘I’, the controller of the body, the ‘picture’, is the SLAVE of the reptilian brains. And when you have gone through the transformation you and I have gone through, this ‘I’ is the way the upper brains controls the body at its own initiative. You and I just differ in formulating. You say, that if the upper brains has become dominant, whenever a certain movement, a certain purposeful behaviour is required, ‘a thought jumps at its place’ that makes the body act, behave purposefully. And I say, that a thought that is able to control the body emerges, and it makes the body act, behave purposefully. The only difference is, that I call this thought an ‘I’ by definition, while you deny that it is an ‘I’. But this is just a difference in formulation, not an essential difference in understanding. Still, we agree on the point, that we both say that this thought is produced by ‘intelligence’, which is just another name for the domination and the functioning of the upper brains over the reptilian brains.

RICHARD: Please, Konrad, do not intellectualise your realisation (further above) away so easily and so soon. I would strongly suggest that you copy and paste that paragraph of yours into a page all of its own and print it out and PIN IT UP SOMEWHERE PROMINENT where you can read and re-read it whenever you start becoming crafty again ... like you just have here.

*

RICHARD: I only go on what you say, Konrad ... and you clearly say that without an ‘I’ that all action is impossible.

KONRAD: Yes, an ‘I’ in the form of a ‘what’, namely a thought that controls the body. Not an ‘I’ in the form of a ‘who’, for that is an illusion.

RICHARD: This is so silly what you do here, Konrad, by side-stepping the issue ... this is not being intelligent at all. You were saying that I was wrong when I said that you maintained that an ‘I’ is necessary (see above). Now you say that it is indeed necessary just like I said you have been saying ... only it is a ‘what’, for goodness sake! What kind of craziness is this to have been accusing me of being wrong about your position vis a vis the necessity of ‘I’ all this while? Can we have a genuine conversation?

KONRAD: Your so-called ‘capability to see the world directly’ distorts it in such a way that you do not see that this is not at all what I am saying.

RICHARD: This is such a cheap shot that it is unbecoming of a person who teaches logic to other people as a profession ... and is patently untrue anyway. My reading of what you write has nothing to do with my condition. I have shown these words of yours to other people – who are not able to see the world directly – and they all tell me that you are clearly saying that without an ‘I’ you cannot operate in the world’.

KONRAD: Yes, Richard. But, again, an ‘I’ in the form of a ‘what’, and not an ‘I’ in the form of a ‘who’, for that is an illusion.

RICHARD: You are talking about an ‘I’ that is a product of thought ... just like the Krishnamurtiites. As such, it is an identity ... as in the ‘who am I?’ question. This is because a ‘what am I?’ question can only refer to something material ... namely this flesh and blood body. If I were to ask you: ‘what are you?’ ... you cannot say: ‘what I am is a thought’ because what you are is the body. Even if you try to ungrammatically say: ‘what I am is a thought’ ... then this ridiculous phraseology is still indicating an identity. This is not only bad grammar, this is being silly twice over.

KONRAD: Oh, really? May I remind you of the fact, that Krishnamurti indeed has stated, that thoughts are material in origin? And, then again, have you ever asked yourself seriously the question what it is what makes matter to be matter? Have you ever thought about how the shapes of atoms emerge? How come that the angle between the oxygen atom and the two hydrogen atoms in the water molecule is 104 degrees? If you really go deep into it, you will see that matter is a very complex phenomenon. Matter is ‘structured energy’. The structuring is the result of energy on the one hand, and laws of nature on the other hand that put restrictions on how this energy energizes. These two things together result in the structure of matter, and is that what is referred to when you use the word ‘entity’. In the above metaphysics you talk from the position, that the structure of matter is basic, and that processes must be understood as derivatives of it. I have explained these matters almost ad nauseam to you. Re-read them. Maybe NOW you are able to understand ... do that now ... okay ... I assume that you did. Since any structure is the result of restricted energy, of process, everything that is a manifestation of restricted energy can be said to be an ‘entity’. This includes thoughts. Therefore it is completely legitimate to say that ‘I am a thought’, no matter how awkward it may sound in grammatical terms.

RICHARD: Aye ... it is indeed legitimate to say ‘who I am is a thought’, but it is not possible to say ‘what I am is a thought’. You can talk about molecules and atoms until you are blue in the face ... and at the end of that you will still be identifying as the psychological entity that inhabits your psyche. You may justify calling yourself a ‘who’ or a ‘what’ or a ‘when’... but you will still be ‘I’ by whatever name. There will still be sorrow and malice ... and the need for emotion-backed principles to control the instinctual urges. So be it.

KONRAD: I can even say what thought it is. It is the thought about you. The thought I ended my last letter with. Whether the picture is right is besides the point. The point is that SOME picture is always required to make the body act, move purposefully. I just scanned to the end of the letter, and see that you describe this as just a ‘fantasy’. Since you do not denote any real significance to such a picture, may I conclude that you are unable to see such a picture in operation in yourself?

RICHARD: I have no image-making faculty at all. I cannot see anything in my ‘mind’s eye’ for that faculty disappeared when the identity disappeared. I have written about this to you before.

KONRAD: Since I assume that you have succeeded in making your upper brains dominant, I suggest that you start meditating. Yes, that neglected art you deny is needed. Maybe then you can see, that in your case there is such a picture, too. For, I repeat, WITHOUT such a picture NO purposeful behaviour is possible. If you are not able to become aware of this picture, then you either lack training, or your ‘actualism’ is NOT equal to ‘enlightenment’. I added this last part to give you an opportunity to correct this picture. You did not pick this up. Is there anything that is wrong with this picture? If so, tell me so.

RICHARD: Yes indeed there is, there is nothing factual about the ‘person’ who you saw in your ‘mind’s eye’ ... it is an imagined person. You take such imaginings to be facticity and I do not ... whereas for you the coffee cup has no facticity and for me it has.

KONRAD: I go on ... or better, I leave it at this ... for I am wasting my time ... I have again investigated your assertion, that it is possible to observe the world directly, and, again, I come to the conclusion that it is bogus. This is because of a very simple fact. If you look at the world with two eyes, you do not see two pictures. No, you see one 3-dimensional image. This image is the result of the recognition by thought of an invariant in these two pictures that absorbs the information from two perspectives. The invariance is then transformed by thought in the observation of ONE three-dimensional world. Since everybody who observes the world with two eyes experiences it as ONE three dimensional world, it has become completely obvious that the observance of the world without thought recognizing it is just plain and simply impossible. Anybody who asserts otherwise is either confused or insane.

RICHARD: We have covered this ground before ... ‘seeing’ the world directly does not refer to visual seeing, you see?

There, I have just used another meaning to the word ‘seeing’ ... remember it all now?

KONRAD: I stop my conversation with you, for it has now become obvious that you are so deeply trapped in your metaphysics, that is mistaken for direct observation, that it is hopeless to get you out of it. And there is another reason. I have found somebody here in Holland, who lives according to your metaphysics, and he is making a complete mess of his life. His name is: [name withheld for obvious legal reasons] It can clearly be observed, that this mess is the direct result of him putting himself above his feelings. This man is observed to be completely insane, not only by me, but by everybody else.

RICHARD: Whoa up there Konrad ... you are going way, way out here! What on earth has someone on the other side of the globe, whom I have never heard of and who has never contacted me, indicate that what I live and talk about does not work? You have been silly before, but this silliness takes the cake. It would be like me finding a logician here who is obviously clinically insane and using it as an example why your life does not work.

KONRAD: I do not doubt, that this same insanity can be observed in your life when I look at it. But you do not give ANY information about this. And now I see why, for this information would probably make your own insanity completely clear. Goodbye, and good luck.

RICHARD: And thus you neatly avoid having to answer all the remaining observations that constitute the bulk of this E-Mail.


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