On The Actual Freedom Mailing List
With Correspondent No. 6
RESPONDENT: I was a spiritual-holic.
RICHARD: Welcome to the Actual Freedom Mailing List. I am glad that you have joined for I am sure that the sincerity of your participation will bestow immense benefit to both yourself and anyone else who is genuinely concerned about becoming free of the Human Condition and thus effecting peace-on-earth. Those who are discussing these matters have before them a vital opportunity to partake in precipitating humankind’s long-awaited emergence from animosity and anguish into benignity and benevolence. We fellow human beings writing here today are actively engaged in ensuring that the current ‘Savage Ages’ will eventually become a thing of the dreadful past ... so that they will pass into the waste-bin of history like the ‘Dark Ages’ have.
It is not a little thing we are doing.
RESPONDENT: I followed the Buddhist religion up until a few weeks back when I decided to try something different – hopefully with results. What really pointed out to me that Buddhism (and any religion for that matter) is not good at living up to the peace-on-earth ideal is when I saw on the news a few weeks back two rival factions of Buddhist monks in S.E. Asia fighting over a temple! Hah! And I believed that monks were somehow better people because they had ‘renounced’ the ways of the world!!
RICHARD: It is not just the actions of a few monks that puts lie to the ideal – for that could be but an idiosyncratic aberration – but it is because, contrary to popular belief, Buddhists are not actively pursuing peace-on-earth per se.
According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica ‘Ultimate Reality’ in Buddhism is called ‘Parinirvana’ (Complete Nirvana) or the freedom of spirit brought about by release from the body. In the Buddhist analysis of the human situation, delusions of egocentricity and their resultant desires bind humans to a continuous round of rebirths and its consequent ‘dukkha’. It is release from these bonds that constitutes Nirvana, or the experience of Enlightenment. ‘Nirvana’ – in Buddhist religious thought and spiritual philosophy – is but the initial goal of the meditation disciplines and practice in that it signifies the transcendent state of freedom achieved by the extinction of desire and of individual consciousness. That this is only the inaugural objective is very clear to the discerning eye because – while liberation from rebirth does not imply immediate death and thus release into the Ultimate Reality – the physical death of a perfected person (an Arhat or a Buddha) does. Thus while the immediate aim of the Buddhist path is release from the round of phenomenal existence with its inherent dukkha by attaining Nirvana (the enlightened state in which the fires of greed, hatred, and ignorance have been quenched), Nirvana is not to be confused with total annihilation because, after attaining Nirvana, the enlightened individual will continue to live, burning off any remaining karma until the state of Final Nirvana (Parinirvana) is attained at the moment of physical death. It may be noted that, during the early centuries of Buddhist history, not only were there the three major pilgrimage centres – the place of Mr. Gotama the Sakyan’s birth at Lumbini, the place of his Enlightenment at Bodh Gaya, the Deer Park in Varanasi where he preached his first sermon – but particularly the village of Kusinara, (or Kushinagara) located in the eastern district of Deoria, which is the place of his Parinirvana.
Quite obviously, this is a very self-seeking approach to life on earth ... something that all metaphysical peoples are guilty of. The quest to secure one’s Immortality in some spurious After-Life is unambiguously selfish ... peace-on-earth is readily sacrificed for the supposed continuation of the imagined spirit after physical death. So much for their humanitarian ideals of peace, goodness, altruism, philanthropy and humaneness. All Religious and Spiritual and Mystical Quests amount to nothing more than a self-centred urge to perpetuate oneself for ever and a day. All metaphysicists fall foul of this existential dilemma. They pay lip-service to the notion of self-sacrifice – weeping crocodile tears at noble martyrdom – whilst selfishly pursuing the Timeless State of Being ... the ‘Deathless State’. The root cause of all the ills of humankind can be sheeted home to this single, basic fact: the overriding importance of the survival of ‘self’ by whatever name.
RESPONDENT: Oh well, I am psyching myself up to try what has been suggested on the web site (I intend to purchase Richard’s Journal as soon as I get the money together) – I got everything to lose and the success stories speak for themselves!!
RICHARD: It is the most stimulating adventure of a lifetime to embark upon a voyage into one’s own psyche. Discovering the source of the Nile or climbing Mount Everest – or whatever physical venture – pales into insignificance when compared to the thrill of finding out about life, the universe, and what it is to be a human being. I am having so much fun ... those middle-aged or elderly people who bemoan their ‘lost youth’ leave me astonished. Back then I was – basically – lost, lonely, frightened and confused. Accordingly, I set out on what was to become the most marvellous escapade possible. As soon as I understood that there was nobody stopping me but myself, I had the autonomy to inquire, to seek, to investigate and to explore. As soon as I realised nobody was standing in the way but myself, that realisation became an actualisation and I was free to encounter, to uncover, to discover and to find the ‘secret to life’ or the ‘meaning of life’ or the ‘riddle of existence’, or the ‘purpose of the universe’ or whatever one’s quest may be called. To dare to be me – to be what-I-am as an actuality – rather than the who ‘I’ was or the who ‘I’ am or the who ‘I’ will be, calls for an audacity unparalleled in the annals of history ... or one’s personal history, at least.
To seek and to find; to explore and uncover; to investigate and discover ... these actions are the very stuff of life!
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.