On Mailing List ‘A’ with Respondent No. 22
RICHARD: Reality is the world perceived through the senses by the self within the body. This self – ‘I’ – is a psychological entity which, whilst being very real, has no actual existence. Hence ‘I’ create reality by my apparent existence. As ‘I’ am an illusion, any reality ‘I’ create is also an illusion. Some people, realising this, attempt to rid themselves of this ‘I’ by ‘dissolving the ego’. The resultant Altered State Of Consciousness is called Enlightenment (Nirvana, Samadhi, Satori and so on). They then live in what is generally known as the ‘Greater Reality’, or some such other name. They have realised themselves as being the ‘Immortal Soul’ existing for all ‘Eternity’ ... they have merged with the ‘Ocean Of Oneness’. This ego-less self is now known as the ‘Self’ (with a Capital ‘S’ to denote Divinity). But the soul is still a psychological entity nevertheless. This entity – the second ‘I’ of Mr. Venkataraman Aiyer (aka Ramana) fame – is a delusion, therefore any ‘Greater Reality’ this ‘I’ creates is also a delusion. To rid oneself of the delusion one must dissolve the second ‘I’ – the soul – in the same way that one dissolved the ego. Then the ‘self’ and the ‘Self’ no longer exist as an identity to wreak its mischief. One then lives in the actual world as this flesh and blood body.
Then one is the sense organs: this seeing is me, this hearing is me, this tasting is me, this touching is me, this smelling is me, and this thinking is me. Whereas ‘I’, the entity, 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.
All this is just happening of its own accord. Everything I experience is actual to this moment. And this moment is occurring now. This particular moment of being here has never happened before ... and it will never happen again. This moment is ever-fresh, perennially new. It is consistently so; dependable in its originality and reliable in its uniqueness. For twenty-four-hours-a-day it is like this, day-in-day-out ... therefore it is impossible for it to ever become boring. This moment does not exist in the ‘real world’, it exists in the actual world. Only the present can exist in reality.
Reality is not actuality. Reality is the world that is perceived through the senses by ‘me’, the psychological entity that resides inside the body. Actuality is the world that is apperceived at the senses by me as this body-consciousness. Reality is objectively reinforced as being ‘real’ by other entity-encumbered bodies that ‘I’ speak to. They endorse ‘my’ perception of the ‘real world’ as being the genuine, authentic world. It is not. Only the actual world is genuine and authentic. It is primary and pre-eminent ... and it is perfect. The ‘real world’ is superimposed over the actual world by the entity that inhabits the bodies of billions of human beings. The actual world, this magical world as-it-is, is converted into an imperfect world by the alien entity within. This entity, gathering information via the senses, translates these data with an already distorted mind-set, into what it calls reality. By identifying as ‘me’, the entity, ‘I’ can never experience the purity of the actual world.
It is possible to be actually free, here on earth, as this body, in this life-time.
RESPONDENT: Thank you! This is the best thing I’ve read on this list for weeks! Thank you again! There’s a great storm going on here right now.
RICHARD: Thank you for your kind response. Do you mean a physical storm – rain, hail, thunder, lightning and so on – or are you speaking metaphorically?
RESPONDENT: I meant a literal storm – it was beautiful – but I can see why it wasn’t quite clear!
RESPONDENT: I have a feeling of futility with what I am going to write because you seem so attached to your belief that your philosophy is unique that I don’t expect you to believe me.
RICHARD: I appreciate the fact that you have a feeling of futility, for it is well-founded. Nevertheless, I consider it well worthwhile to conduct a well-grounded discussion about Spiritual Enlightenment and an actual freedom. I would like to point out that it is not ‘my belief’ nor is it ‘my philosophy’ ... it is my actual, ongoing experience. It is not a question of me believing or disbelieving you, either ... I can ascertain the facts of what you write for myself without recourse to belief.
RESPONDENT: What you describe above is almost exactly the same as descriptions of realisation (i.e. enlightenment, i.e. the E-word) from the point of view of Dzogchen in Tibetan Buddhism. Just direct experience of Reality, unimpeded by a self, an observer, an ‘I’ with an eye. As you said, the universe experiencing itself as a human being.
RICHARD: It is impossible to have a ‘direct experience of Reality’ (with a capital ‘R’) because ‘Reality’ is a delusion born out of an illusion and is not accessible as a sensual experience. It is, however, only far too possible to imagine this fantasy called ‘Reality’ and yearn to ‘live’ in it ... many people have done so and are still doing so. A few – a rare few – succeed in manifesting this fantasy, in their hearts and minds, and report that they have arrived back whence they came ... some far-out, supernatural dimension, that is anywhere but here on earth as an actuality and now in time as a fact.
RESPONDENT: Dzogchen is the ‘path of no path’, the path of self-liberation which doesn’t mean that the self is liberated but rather that whatever arises spontaneously self-liberates, i.e. it is what it is and nothing else. Cho = dharma = ‘as it is’. That is the base, that is the path, that is the fruit. There is nothing but this, and there is not ‘this’ either because it is not any kind of ‘thing’ that can be grasped at.
RICHARD: I am not being difficult here for the sake being difficult yet this double-talk – popularly known as paradox – is specifically designed to stop thought. ‘Path of no path’ and ‘self-liberation which doesn’t mean that the self is liberated’ sounds kind of silly when one considers it sensibly, does it not? It is not thought that is the problem, it is the ‘thinker’ that needs to stop. When thought itself stops, one enters into a trance state, wherein all sorts of phantasmagoria have their play. This has been the sorry lot of well-meaning humans for millennia ... and I know it well as I have travelled that path. I lived in the ‘Divine Realm’ for eleven years, thus having ample time to experience it from the inside and find out, for myself, just what it is made up of. The ‘Supernatural World’ is nothing but an affective and mental ‘State of Being’; whereas the actual world – the world as-it-is in a material sense – is a sensual world, verifiable by anyone with the necessary sense organs, minus ‘I’. Or to put it another way: actuality is objective experiential phenomenon whereas Reality is a subjective state of being. It is ‘being’ itself that is false, not the corporeal world of the senses.
The same applies for: ‘There is nothing but this and there is not ‘this’ either’ – more of that enigmatic double-talk – and ‘it is not any kind of ‘thing’ that can be grasped at’ focuses, once again, upon the ‘thing’ as being the problem and not upon the ‘grasper’. The ‘I’ will do literally anything to survive ... by ignoring the ‘grasper’ and even denying that a ‘thing’ exists. Taken to its extreme, as Hindu and Buddhist philosophy does, one denies that this planet earth and the space that it hangs in – and the universe itself – are actual. To them it is all an illusion, a dream. For them, the ‘Dreamer’ – their god – is who ‘I’ really am and all their effort is predicated upon realising that this is who one really is. Westerners have foolishly allowed themselves to be taken in by the apparent wisdom coming from the eastern mystical states of being because of the paucity of experiential wisdom in their own culture. It all started growing exponentially after the sixties generation trekked to the Himalayas, and to other exotic places, to find the permanent drug experience ... and found cultures who had been practicing same for centuries, which (with the benefit of hindsight) has had predictably the self-same results.
So when you ask: ‘Have you heard of this before and already dismissed it? Or is it new information?’ ... not only have I heard it before ... I have lived it. I did not ‘dismiss it’ , I went beyond it into this actual world of the senses. The real world, which ‘I’ had created out of imagination, is but a veneer pasted over the actual, and to go in search of a ‘Greater Reality’ is to go in the wrong direction. One arrives in the actual by becoming involved, totally involved in being here ... not by practicing detachment. Being here is to put your money where your mouth is, as it were. All other actions are methods, devices, techniques ... in other words: delaying tactics. In being here one is completely immersed. Being here is total inclusion. One demonstrates one’s appreciation of life by partaking fully in existence ... by letting this moment live one. One dedicates oneself to the challenge of being here as the universe’s experience of itself. When ‘I’ willingly and voluntarily sacrifice ‘myself’ – the psychological entity residing inside this body – ‘I’ am gladly making ‘my’ most supreme donation, for ‘I’ am what one holds most dear.
To be here is to be committed. The potential for this commitment is conceived at the moment of experiencing the perfection of life in a peak experience. This potential can lie dormant for years unless reactivated. Once the veil behind which humanity skulks has been lifted – even momentarily – one has seen for oneself that a place beyond human belief actually exists. Because one has visited the actual world and walked around in it, it would be thought that one could nevermore deny it. But such denial is endemic among humans. The reason for this odd denial is fairly obvious: once the person has reverted to ‘normal’ – to being human again – perfection here-on-earth becomes merely a concept ... and a concept is not the actuality. The grip of reality is so strong that perfection simply does not exist ‘here’, it is in another dimension. It is but a faded dream. The potential can lie dormant forever.
Meanwhile people thoughtlessly pursue the elusive chimera of Eastern Enlightenment.
RESPONDENT: What I mean by ‘Reality’ is just: as-it-is. Nothing more, or less, or different than that. It is accessible as a sensual experience – in fact the Dzogchen view is that direct perception (i.e. through the senses, without the intervention of an ego) is in fact the only way to access it.
RICHARD: You definitely have my interest ... I am always on the look-out for someone, somewhere, who espouses something similar to what I experience. My immediate question would be: Does the Dzogchen view emphatically state that this world as-it-is is the only ‘Reality’?
RESPONDENT: I was talking specifically about Dzogchen, or Ati Yoga, the innermost of the six Tantric vehicles. (I don’t expect you to be interested in these petty distinctions, but I just wanted to be clear, in case anyone else was.) Dzogchen is sometimes called the ‘end stage’ of Buddhism. It is concerned with the situation after one has realised ‘as-it-is’.
RICHARD: No, it is okay, I am very interested in distinctions ... if Dzogchen, or Ati Yoga, is what you say it is I would like to know more.
RICHARD: The real world, which ‘I’ had created out of imagination, is but a veneer pasted over the actual, and to go in search of a ‘Greater Reality’ is to go in the wrong direction. One arrives in the actual by becoming involved, totally involved in being here ... not by practicing detachment. Being here is to put your money where your mouth is, as it were.
RESPONDENT: Yes. That is what is meant by Dzogchen, which means ‘Great Perfection’ or ‘Great Completeness’. Dzogchen has nothing to do with detachment. At that point there is nothing that can form attachments.
RICHARD: Thank you for taking the time and trouble to explain about Dzogchen, or Ati Yoga. I had never heard of it in all my reading and travelling and talking with people. There is an esoteric book-store in the village I live in which, whilst they do not have any books in stock about Dzogchen, say that they can order them in for me from the U.S. ... it would take about six weeks. Could I trouble you for some particular information, please. They need to know the title, the author and the publisher.
Also, can you recommend any particular title you consider would be relevant for me to read.
RICHARD: Why do you not give in now and admit to what is widely known amongst Buddhists ... to wit: that it is not possible to be utterly free while this body is still alive and breathing? They all acknowledge that the ‘Ultimate State’ – Parinirvana – lies on the other side of physical death.
RESPONDENT: Actually they don’t. As I told you in another post, there are many different kinds of Buddhism and your experience has clearly not been exhaustive. You share with your debating partner (No. 12) a propensity to make false generalisations based on your limited knowledge, so it’s not surprising that you don’t agree with each other. I would like to tell you that the Buddhist teachings of Dzogchen begin with the realisation of non-duality and concern themselves with ‘seeing with naked awareness’, i.e. experiencing everything as-it-is (as-it-is = dharma). There is no superior or more advanced state than this that occurs after death. There couldn’t be – could there?
RICHARD: I do wonder whether I was displaying ‘a propensity to make false generalisations based on [my] limited knowledge’ because the debate started by me saying that it is well known that central figure of Buddhism would not take ‘The Final Step’ whilst there was still a single suffering sentient being. Vis.: [Richard]: ‘It is of no avail to quote Mr. Gotama the Sakyan’s revered wisdom, because he knew naught of these matters that I write of ... it is a well known fact that, out of compassion, he would not take the ‘final step’ while a single sentient being was still suffering. Which is why, for Buddhists, their Ultimate State – ‘Parinirvana’ – lies on the other side of physical death. Thus his identity indubitably remained intact ... for compassion rises out of sorrow. In actuality the opposites are eliminated, not merely transcended’.
Where is this a generalisation? Where is this false? Is this not a central tenet of Buddhism? My ‘limited knowledge’ informs me that this is designated as ‘The Bodhisattva Principle’ – meaning that a Bodhisattva is an individual who has attained Enlightenment but delays entry into ‘Final Nirvana’ in order to make possible the salvation of all other sentient beings. Is it not also well known that the ‘Ultimate Nature of the Buddha’ is beyond form ... that is: this body and the physical world? Is it not well known that this ‘Ultimate Nature of the Buddha’ is the ‘Unchanging Absolute’ or ‘The Void’? Is not ‘The Void’ designated as being ‘Beyond Time and Space’ ... that is: not this body and the physical world? For while this body is alive and breathing it is a fact that time and space are an actuality ... which clearly means that the ‘Ultimate State’ can only be after physical death.
You have the advantage of me in that I had not even heard of: [quote] ‘the Buddhist teachings of Dzogchen’ [unquote] ... until you informed me of their existence, let alone read them. My question would be: Does Dzogchen specifically deny these tenets? Does Dzogchen clearly state that there is no ‘Life after Death’? Does Dzogchen unequivocally say that there is no ‘something’, by whatever name, to go on after death? Does Dzogchen unreservedly state that this phenomenal world, this corporeal world, this physical world, is all that there is? Does Dzogchen refute Mr. Gotama the Sakyan’s tenet of ‘Skandhas’ that re-incarnate? Does Dzogchen unambiguously state that life as this human being is the Summum Bonum ... and that there is nothing more superior than this anywhere? Because if he does, then why is it still called: [quote] ‘the Buddhist teachings of Dzogchen’ [unquote]? ... for it can not be Buddhism without these (and others not yet mentioned) central tenets. Please correct me if I have got it wrong, for what I hear from you is that Dzogchen is saying that Mr. Gotama the Sakyan did not know what he was talking about.
The reason I am asking these questions is because you say: ‘There is no superior or more advanced state than this that occurs after death’ as a definitive statement ... and then follow it with a query: ‘There couldn’t be – could there?’ Why ask me? It is you who have his writings. What does he say?
RICHARD: Physical death is the end. Finish. There is not a ‘different phase of existence’ after physical death.
RESPONDENT: It’s a credible theory, but you don’t actually know this, do you?
RICHARD: You see, where you say ‘It’s a credible theory’, you cause me to question your definitive statement outlined above: ‘There is no superior or more advanced state than this that occurs after death’. If you are so sure, then why call it ‘a credible theory’? What does your man say? Is it a fact or not?
And, yes, I do actually know this. I have written elsewhere: ‘A fair enough question ... but easy to understand with a little reflection. It is the psychological entity within the body – the ‘I’ – that projects a perpetuation of itself even unto an ‘After-life’. Just like all Gods and Goddesses are but a projection of ‘self’, so to is ‘Immortality’. This is what is a belief, not the statement: ‘Physical death is the end. Finish’. As there is no ‘I’ anywhere whatsoever inside this body, I can experience – and thus know as a fact – that there is no actual ‘Immortality’ in some ‘After-life’ because there is no one here to have it (Immortality) or go into it (an After-life). It is all but a fantasy spun out of a delusion born out of an illusion. ‘I’ think and feel that ‘I’ am so important that ‘I’ must live forever. It is a pernicious belief with its roots buried deep in self-importance and self-aggrandisement. It is where conceit meets arrogance and become meekness and humility ... and seeks its post-mortem reward. ‘I’ will do anything to survive’.
RICHARD: Okay ... I will endeavour to improve upon my communication skills by restraining my eloquence (what a pity, for I kind of fancied it).
RESPONDENT: Who kind of fancied it?
RICHARD: To ask who fancied it is to ask the wrong question. What (not ‘who’) fancied it. I use the first person pronoun for convenience ... but it refers to this flesh-and-blood body as being these sense organs seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, touching and thinking ... minus the ‘I’. Whenever I refer to the psychological entity within the body, I usually use small quotes ... thus: ‘I’. Otherwise I would have to write the above paragraph like this: ‘Okay ... this flesh-and-blood body will endeavour to improve upon this flesh-and-blood body’s communication skills by restraining this flesh-and-blood body’s eloquence (what a pity, for this flesh-and-blood body kind of fancied it)’.
A trifle laboured do you not think? And did I detect a tendentious note to your query? For I have written elsewhere: ‘I am these sense organs: this seeing is me, this hearing is me, this tasting is me, this touching is me, this smelling is me, and this thinking is me. Whereas ‘I’, the entity, 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’.
RICHARD: To ask who fancied it is to ask the wrong question. What (not ‘who’) fancied it.
RESPONDENT: Okay. What fancied it? Could you explain how a flesh-and-blood body can fancy eloquence? Mine just fancies stuff like cheesecake.
RICHARD: Strange as it may initially seem, it is not unlike fancying stuff like cheesecake. Just as the taste-buds on the tongue delight in the explosion of sensation (sometimes akin to an orgasm) produced by a fresh, juicy, sweet and succulent peach in season ... then just as similar it is that the brain delights in thinking thoughts. After all, it is what the brain is good at (thinking thoughts) and it revels in doing its thing. In the same way as the eyes wallow in the visual splendour of a sunset, so too does the brain frolic in delight of an aesthetic elegance. ‘I’ am not needed at all in these very physical processes ... in fact ‘I’ get in the way of the free flowing fun of sensual experience with ‘my’ worries, ‘my’ demands, ‘my’ expectations, ‘my’ fears and ‘my’ loves ... and so on.
RESPONDENT: Sounds like that flesh-and-blood body could use a flesh-and-blood editor, which this flesh-and-blood body happens to be. How about: ‘This flesh-and-blood body will endeavour to improve upon its communication skills by restraining its eloquence (what a pity, for it kind of fancied it)’.
RICHARD: Okay ... it is now correct, grammatically speaking ... but it takes all the fun out of it, does it not?
I wrote a book of some 95,000 words a while ago for some friends and a literary agent came to hear about it and, upon reading a synopsis and a sample chapter, wanted to read it in full prior to taking it to the U. S. to interest a publisher. He then told me that I needed to consult an editor first, as my writing was ‘Hard and Long’. When I asked what he meant, he explained: ‘It is very literary and thus laboured’. As it was his idea to publish, and not mine, I never pursued the matter. Perhaps, being an editor yourself, you might care to throw some light upon what he meant ... more than the inkling I understand ... for I kind of fancy my writing style, of course!
RESPONDENT: Well I’d say your writing style is a little convoluted and over-ornamental, but you clearly intend it to be, so I couldn’t really call it a problem unless you wished to be rid of it. However, this literary agent might also have meant that you write long sentences, which seems to be thought very naughty these days, though it doesn’t bother me at all. I am currently editing a book by someone who writes somewhat similarly to you – his style is entertaining except when he is trying so hard to be clever that the sense of what he’s saying gets buried in a pile of witty verbiage. He can’t help it, though, he went to Oxford, where wit is compulsory.
By the way I will get to recommending specific books on Dzogchen in a few days. I haven’t had time to look into it yet.
RICHARD: Thank you.
RESPONDENT: Excuse me for having this crazy thought but it seemed to me in your reply to No. 24 that you sounded just the teensy-weeniest bit ... annoyed.
RICHARD: I must acknowledge that when I read your post I was puzzled enough by your observation to re-read what I had written to No. 24 to see just what would make you think that it showed annoyance. For the life of me, I can not see where it does. What had happened was that I simply saw no point in discussing the subject of believing and beliefs with a person whose avowed intent was to not do anything at all with what was being written about. I am not interested in being involved in what amounts to being nothing but an academic polemic about such an important matter as peace on earth. I enjoy a discussion with people who sincerely want to do something about ensuing such a prospect coming into being ... and I can freely engage in a most robust and vigorous discussion if warranted. But I can not countenance the notion that specious argumentation and disputation are going to be the means whereby peace can be achieved.
No. 24’s latest post demonstrates the validity of my point entirely:
• ‘I don’t have much of a problem with my ego: Because I don’t pay it any mind. I am concerned with other things’ .
And to cap it all off, where I attempted to penetrate through the layers of belief to the wide-eyed naiveté that lies buried under that cultured sophisticate that has taken possession of No. 24’s body by writing: ‘If one diligently pursues the wide and wondrous path of an actual freedom all the way, one will find oneself here for the very first time as this body only, minus any argumentative and lugubrious ‘I’, No. 24 was inspired to buy into No. 4’s attempt to ridicule the content of what I write by comparing me to a cow by writing to me: ‘Cows are neither argumentative nor lugubrious’.
All of which causes me to ponder upon what I wrote elsewhere:
RICHARD: She was inspired to buy into No. 4’s pathetic attempt to ridicule the content of what I write by comparing me to a cow.
RESPONDENT: It sounds as though your feeling of being offended at the analogy is causing you to miss the point of the argument. I don’t think it was said to ‘ridicule’ you but to call your attention to the fact that what you were describing had certain qualities in common with animal existence.
RICHARD: I am not offended by anything, let alone the analogy ... and where you say: ‘I don’t think it was said to ‘ridicule’ you’ , you seem to ignore the actual words ‘to ridicule the content of what I write’ . Please note ‘content’ , not as you have shifted it too ... ‘you’ . The content of what I write about does not have the slightest ‘quality in common with animal existence’ whatsoever. This particular thread has devolved into utter nonsense by people not reading what is written but by reading what they think – or want to think – is being written.
RESPONDENT: I don’t know many people who are inspired to ponder their own words. It’s interesting that although you say you have no ego, you quote yourself more than anyone else on this list does. It’s also interesting that you only seem to comment on this one thread, which originated with yourself and which is mostly about your own experience. Is that all that interests you?
RICHARD: I quote myself because there is no need for me to gain validity by quoting other people’s opinions. I generate all my own knowledge out of my own direct experience of actuality ... and no one I have ever met can remotely experience life like this.
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.
Richard’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.