Actual Freedom – The Actual Freedom Mailing List Correspondence

Richard’s Correspondence

On The Actual Freedom Mailing List

With Correspondent No. 7


January 16 1999

RESPONDENT: Richard, you have said somewhere in your Web Page: [quote] ‘... and anyone else who is vitally interested in life, the universe and what it is to be a human being. Such people are pretty thin on the ground though’. [endquote]. I am one of these people.

RICHARD: I am pleased to read this ... mayhap a genuine conversation will ensue. You will have noticed, in browsing my Web Pages, that for the most people would rather trot out psittacisms by the bucket-load – even though they are unliveable – than dare to hold an original thought in place for very long ... if at all.

Oh well ... c’est la vie, I guess.

RESPONDENT: I have enjoyed reading your posts. They make a lot of sense.

RICHARD: Good ... would you care to discuss just what, specifically, made a ‘lot of sense’ to you? I am only too happy to explore these issues more deeply so as to ascertain the implications and ramifications of an actual freedom from the Human Condition.

RESPONDENT: I have been meditating, reading and investigating for about 10 years.

RICHARD: Okay ... do you mean ‘meditating’ as in the inapt translation of the Eastern Spiritual practice (as epitomised by the word ‘dhyana’) or as in the Western meaning: ‘think upon; consider’? There is a vast difference. In the West to meditate means to be thoughtful; to engage in contemplation about, to exercise the mental faculties, contemplate, think about, think over, muse upon, ponder upon, reflect on, deliberate about, mull over, have in mind, plan by turning over in the mind, fix one’s attention on, observe intently or with interest, concentrate on, consider, ruminate, study, intend, project, design, devise, scheme or plot. And meditation is continuous thought on one subject; a period of serious and sustained reflection or mental contemplation, consideration, reflection, deliberation, rumination, mulling over or being in reverie, musing, pondering or brooding. Some examples of this use of the word are given by ‘The Oxford Dictionary’:

[Mr. J. R. Ackerly]: ‘My study was understood to be private ground where the great mind could meditate undisturbed’.

[Mr. A. Bell]: ‘He frequently meditated on the moral qualities of sound diet’.

[Mr. G. Sarton]: ‘We ought to meditate the immortal words of Pericles’.

[Mr. K. J. Dover]: ‘Philosophy was not the product of solitary meditation, to be communicated by a spell-binding orator’.

Whereas in the East to meditate means to be thoughtless; meditation is the action or practice of a profound spiritual or religious state of consciousness for whose description words are considered to be totally inadequate. It is the highest state of consciousness, associated with direct mystic experience of reality and cannot be experienced until a condition of mindlessness has been created through the deliberate elimination of the objects of thought from consciousness. The organs of sense perception are so controlled that they no longer pass to the mind their reactions to what is perceived. The mind loses its identity by absorption into a higher state which precludes any awareness of duality, although a form of unitary awareness of the conventional world is retained. Entering into Eastern meditation, one experiences the heart as being wider than the universe and experiences infinite bliss and immeasurable power exceeding any occult power. It is a yogic state of formless ecstasy when there is absorption in divine reality and a loss of body sense ... and the ego has been transcended. In this state one rests in highest consciousness ... one has become lord and master of reality. Very few spiritual seekers have reached this level for one is manifesting God in every second, both consciously and perfectly. There is identification with the transcendent, radiant being in which all phenomena are seen as temporary, non-binding modifications of this all-inclusive divine being. The divine self is realised beyond the view point of the physical body, or the mind or the independent personal consciousness. When phenomena arise to notice from this formless and unqualified presence or love-bliss there is ecstasy of perfect spontaneity. Some examples of this use of the word are given by ‘The Oxford Dictionary’:

[Mr. J. Diski]: ‘I imagine myself walking silent cloisters, my head bent in meditation’.

[Mr. R. K. Narayan]: ‘He has renounced the world; he does nothing but meditate’.

[Mr. J. Hewitt]: ‘Buddhist meditation utilises Yoga which lays emphasis on the trance state’.

I would be interested to hear what meditating you have been doing.

RESPONDENT: Many have glorified living here-and-now but probably few implemented it into their everyday lives.

RICHARD: Some enterprising person did a head-count of the peoples who succeeded in living the metaphysical ‘here and now’ – the ‘Timeless and Spaceless’ void – and came up with the figure of 0.0000001 of the population ... and given that this solution has been around for more than three thousand years it is hardly a recipe for success. Peace-on-earth remains as remote as it was when the first narcissist transmogrified their ego into that massive delusion of grandeur called god (by whatever name ... ‘Higher Self’, ‘True Self’, ‘Real Self’, ‘The All’, ‘Existence Itself’, ‘Consciousness’, ‘The Void’, ‘Suchness’, ‘Isness’ and so on).

RESPONDENT: To investigate critically every day ‘What’s going on? Am I happy? Why not?’ is helpful to bring one back to one’s senses, literally. To live in this sensual existence.

RICHARD: Aye ... an actual freedom is refreshingly simple. For then one is the universe’s experience of itself as a sensate and reflective human being. Then one is not ‘Spaceless’, I am perennially here; this moment is not ‘Timeless’, it is perpetually now. One has no need for such a paltry surrogate as Immortality ... Immortality pales into insignificance compared to the magnitude of experiencing myself being here now, each moment again, fresh and new and pristine. Nothing that ‘I’ experienced many years ago when ‘I’ explored the Divine Realm can equal the magnificence of being here now in this actual world. An actual freedom far exceeds any Religious Illumination, Spiritual Enlightenment, Mystical Union or any other Metaphysical Altered State Of Consciousness. One does not identify as being God On Earth, or any of that deluded nonsense ... I have no identity whatsoever. One is free to be me; me as I actually am. One is free to be practical, straight-forward and down-to-earth ... one is free of any guile, any hypocrisy, any duplicity, any cupidity or any corruption at all. One is free to live in this magical wonderland that is the actual world. Innocence prevails only where time has no duration and space has no locality ... and as this moment and place has no actual measure, it is ever-new. Likewise, one is ever-new, therefore I can never be tainted; ‘Good’ and ‘Evil’ can find no foothold in me. Consequently, one is benign in character and I cannot maliciously harm anyone or anything. Also, one can never be harmed psychologically or psychically, hence one never takes umbrage. As one is unable to be affronted, one is incapable of holding a grudge ... leaving me free from the horror of revenge. By not taking offence in the first place, one has no need to forgive ... which is an ego-enhancing and soul-boosting act of condescension, anyway. Forgiveness is a meagre imitation of magnanimity, which is one of the many charming characteristics of actual freedom.

Only out of innocence, which is an ever-fresh condition, can one be magnanimous ... otherwise magnanimity becomes tainted and is a devolution into disdain. One is devoid of any measure of dominion ... I have no sovereignty whatsoever. Accordingly, one is not an ‘Authority’ and I have no omniscient puissance ... meaning I have no power over anyone. All in all, I have no ‘being’, ‘presence’ or ‘spirit’ ... or ‘Being’, ‘Presence’ or ‘Spirit’.

And suffering is simply impossible in actual freedom ... I never know sorrow or malice at all.

RESPONDENT: You experience helped me to see through my spiritual ‘baggage’. Thanks!

RICHARD: Excellent ... could you perhaps detail just what ‘spiritual baggage’ you have seen through so far?

January 24 1999

RESPONDENT: I have enjoyed reading your posts. They make a lot of sense.

RICHARD: Good ... would you care to discuss just what, specifically, made a ‘lot of sense’ to you? I am only too happy to explore these issues more deeply so as to ascertain the implications and ramifications of an actual freedom from the Human Condition.

RESPONDENT: What makes sense is that I should question and investigate my belief system.

RICHARD: Good ... would you care to discuss just what, specifically, your ‘belief system’ is made up of? I am only too happy to explore these issues more deeply so as to ascertain the implications and ramifications of an actual freedom from the Human Condition.

RESPONDENT: And it is useful to check if a problem is actual or imaginary.

RICHARD: As all problems exist only in the psyche they are all imaginary. However, they appear to be real – very real at times – which is why I draw a sharp distinction between ‘real’ and ‘actual’ even though dictionaries give the same meaning. There are no problems here in the actual world ... there are certainly events to deal with but such interaction is fun.

RESPONDENT: For example, it is even a bit funny, but some time ago I became fascinated with some elusive bluish ‘aura’ about my hands. (I always wanted to see my aura because it was a measure of spiritual development, I thought. As is to develop strong, mesmerising ‘energy’). I felt very special until, after some time, I discovered that it is simply an optical illusion due to the fact that my skin is yellowish and the opposite colour of yellow in the spectrum is blue. An eye gets tired staring at an object and creates the illusion of the opposite colour just around any yellowish object! So much for my high spiritual advancement and aura seeing!

RICHARD: Any spiritual advancement – with its associated manifestations of eldritch phenomenon – are also a product of the psyche. But not all uncanny materialisations necessarily produces a change in consciousness but does indicate that something is happening, something is stirring, deep down in one’s psyche. I had many bizarre things happen – electrical bolts of lightning dazzling on my eyeballs; pressure-pains in the base of my neck; surges of power travelling up my spine and up over the back and the top of my head down to the forehead; exalted states of consciousness; convulsive twitching of limbs; energy surges from the pit of my stomach up through my diaphragm into the chest cavity through to the throat producing intense nausea ... many, many weird things. None of them are important in themselves (some people get caught up in them and manifest psychic powers, thus never proceeding to the final goal), what is important that one takes them as a sign that a process is underway ... and to rev up the process with one’s active consent. The mark of success is to be willing to do whatever it takes, to proceed with all dispatch, employing much vim and vigour ... and have a lot of fun along the way.

RESPONDENT: I have been meditating, reading and investigating for about 10 years.

RICHARD: Okay ... do you mean ‘meditating’ as in the inapt translation of the Eastern Spiritual practice (as epitomised by the word ‘dhyana’) or as in the Western meaning: ‘think upon; consider’? There is a vast difference. I would be interested to hear what meditating you have been doing.

RESPONDENT: I have been doing some dynamic meditative techniques designed by Osho (Rajneesh).

RICHARD: Did they lead to anything like what I described in my previous E-Mail detailing what transpires in Eastern meditation?

RESPONDENT: And I also practiced mindfulness as follows: I would maintain a diffused attention upon bodily sensations as well as on the sounds and visual stimuli from my surroundings. This could take form of a restful appreciation of a beautiful place, like for example, sunlight playing on the leaves of pot-plants in my apartment, or appreciation of a song. After a while, my thought processes became quite ‘transparent’ in the sense that thoughts often were given (by my brain) ‘same priority’ as other perceived objects and bodily sensations.

RICHARD: You may be aware by now that I lay emphasis upon examining the feelings – affective feelings – that causes thought to dominate awareness the way it does. Thought – the only tool that can bring about peace-on-earth in this life – is denigrated so much ... and the feelings that infiltrate thought get off scot-free. I would suggest re-examining the whole concept of ‘mindfulness’ to see whether it is, in fact, a valid exercise.

RESPONDENT: Occasionally, I would identify myself as a watcher detached from everything.

RICHARD: Oh, dear ... as a psychological and psyche entity ‘you’ are already detached – that is the very problem – and to practice detachment is to be twice-removed from actuality.

RESPONDENT: At times, I would lose myself spontaneously in the beauty, it the sense of wonderment. For example, driving to work, I would feel really relaxed – just driving, breathing, viewing. In this type of activity there are no problems; if some emotions arise they become part of this experience; my brain gives the same level of priority to them as to other things. Experiences like these are probably close to what you call a PCE (??)

RICHARD: I do not gain that impression from your description ... unless the driving happened of itself. For example, I can recall 20 years ago, when I made a living as a practising artist, that ‘my’ greatest work came when ‘I’ disappeared and the painting painted itself. This exemplified the difference between art and craft – and ‘I’ was very good as a craftsman – but craft became art only when ‘I’ was not. It was this magical way of ‘creativity’ that led ‘me’ into this whole investigation of life, the universe and what it is to be a human being, by the way. ‘I’ desired to live my whole life like these utter moments of artistic creation ... ‘I’ wanted my life to live itself just like my paintings painted themselves. Consequently, here I am today ... and what an adventure it has been.

RESPONDENT: I think that normally, emotions get priority no 1 in ones brain and they determine your behaviour.

RICHARD: Yes indeed ... the entire affective faculty – which is identity itself – is the root cause of all the wars and rapes and murders and tortures and domestic violence and child abuse and sadness and loneliness and grief and depression and suicide that blights this otherwise fair earth we all live on.

RESPONDENT: If my awareness is diffused over several objects simultaneously, there is a lesser chance that I will be compelled to react emotionally, explode with rage, anger, lust and hurt someone. I still have emotional impulses and sometimes I act upon them ... I know you don’t experience them at all.

RICHARD: No, I certainly do not ... when ‘I’ was busy with all this seeking business eighteen years ago, ‘I’ did not diffuse ‘my’ awareness over ‘several objects simultaneously’ as there is a multiplicity of objects in the world of people, things and events. Instead ‘I’ developed awareness of existing only at this moment in time ... and the objects took care of themselves.

RESPONDENT: You experience helped me to see through my spiritual ‘baggage’. Thanks!

RICHARD: Excellent ... could you perhaps detail just what ‘spiritual baggage’ you have seen through so far?

RESPONDENT: I am able to question my spiritual beliefs. For example, I am open to discuss any gurus.

RICHARD: Good ... that is right up my alley. Of course, for all my exposé of the Gurus and God-men, I am very appreciative of all those brave peoples who dared to enter into ‘The Unknown’ ... if it were not for them leaving their written words behind I could not be where I am today. 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. I would not be where I am today if it were not for all those brave people who went before me ... and I am so pleased that they left a record of their ventures.

RESPONDENT: I stopped expecting any divine intervention to save me.

RICHARD: There has been no need for a Supernatural Agency all along. The ‘Human Condition’ is such that it can readily respond to the do-it-yourself method; the ability is within the human character to fix things up for itself. The intervention of some Divine miracle-worker is never going to happen anyway, for there is no such creature. Human beings are on their own, free to manage their own affairs as they see fit. Whenever one thinks about it, would one have it any other way? If that fictitious Almighty Being were to come sweeping in on a cloud, waving a wonder-wand and putting everything to rights, would not one feel cheated? Would not one question why human beings had to wait so long upon the capricious whim of some self-righteous God who could have acted long ago? It is all nonsense, upon sober reflection!

RESPONDENT: I became more sceptical as far as what other people say about these spiritual matters.

RICHARD: Humanity has been living-out a gigantic mass-hallucination for aeons ... all the Gods and Goddesses, Devils and Demons, all the battles that have raged throughout the ages are but a nightmare of passionate ‘human’ fantasy.

RESPONDENT: I like to delight in observing nature, doing simple things at home (take shower, eat). I think that checking frequently ‘how am I doing, am I happy’ helps me focus on being happy now.

RICHARD: Excellent ... I presume that you have accessed ‘This Moment of Being Alive’ on my Web Page?

RESPONDENT: I am still often confused about feelings and sensations in my body. I can even create them, for example, when I turn lights off and it is dark in the room I feel some childhood fears still lurking inside my mind. A fear of a ‘boogie man, an alien visitor, death etc’ revisits my mind and ... makes me feel uncomfortable. It is nothing overwhelming – but these old feelings from the past are simply still there inside of me.

RICHARD: All sentient beings are endowed by blind nature with instincts ... mainly fear and aggression and nurture and desire. The dominant one is fear ... at base fear is both the barrier and the gateway to the actual world. There is nothing so thrilling as a trip through fear ... and then one comes out the other side. There is no fear here, in this actual world where I live. Not even disquietude, uneasiness, nervousness or apprehension ... let alone anxiety, angst, fear, terror, horror or dread.

It is not a case of ‘facing fear’ ... one can use it to swing through to this actual world ... leaving one’s ‘self’ behind, where it belongs, in the ‘real-world’.

RESPONDENT: Or, sometimes I feel like crying when I watch a movie, occasionally I get angry with a car driver, etc. It is interesting sometimes to just stop and experience my emotions, with curiosity.

RICHARD: Hmm ... ‘you’ are ‘your’ emotions and ‘your’ emotions are ‘you’. They are not a ‘clip-on’ that ‘you’ can shuck off and get on with your life.

RESPONDENT: Anyways, emotions are there in my body – unlike in yours who have no emotions. This is puzzling me a bit. How is it that the old fears and strong sensations do not arise in your body ... I thought that there is an emotional memory ... like, when you feel a scent of a woman’s perfume you might remember your first lover who used to wear it dating you.

RICHARD: I have no emotional memory whatsoever ... there are no child-hood hurts or loves extant anywhere in this body. The affective memory disappeared when the ‘walk-in’ that inhabited this body for all those years vanished ... they were ‘his’ memories. Even so, when I tell stories out of my past it is somewhat akin to reading another person’s story from a book ... without the passion. I could not be nostalgic or indulge in reverie if my life depended upon it.

RESPONDENT: Do you joke, laugh, flirt, act silly for the fun of it? (Please be prepared to receive a joke from me every now and then). Or have you become a serious man? Pleasure talking to you.

RICHARD: I like to joke, yes and I laugh a lot ... there is so much that is irrepressibly funny about life itself. I have no ability to flirt, however, as my libido is nil and void ... yet I have an active sexual life. I do not ‘act silly for the fun of it’ as I have no repressions to seek relief from. Strangely enough I find that I enjoy black humour; whereas the ‘I’ that I was could not ... ‘he’ found it repulsive and sickening. Nevertheless, the humour I enjoy most is that which lampoons puffed-up power and its authority. For example:

• A journalist had done a story on gender roles in Kuwait several years before the Gulf War, and she noted then that women customarily walked about 10 feet behind their husbands. She returned to Kuwait recently and observed that the men now walked several yards behind their wives. She approached one of the women for an explanation.
‘This is marvellous’, said the journalist. ‘What enabled women here to achieve this reversal of roles?’
Replied the Kuwaiti woman: ‘Land mines’.

Although it looks superficially to be a sexist joke it is not ... the reverse would hold true for a matriarchal society. Human frailty exposes the lie of power.

As for ‘serious’ ... the utter reliability of being always happy and harmless replaces the galling burden of being serious ... actuality’s blithe sincerity dispenses with the onerous responsibility that epitomises adulthood. What I do find funny – in a peculiar way – is that I often gain the impression when I speak to others, that I am spoiling their game-plan. It seems as if they wish to search forever ... some people consider arriving to be boring. How can unconditional peace and happiness, twenty-four-hours-a-day, possibly be boring? Is a carefree life all that difficult to comprehend? Why persist in a sick game ... and defend one’s right to do so? Why insist on suffering when blitheness is freely available here and now? Is a life of perennial gaiety something to be scorned? I have even had people say, accusingly, that I could not possibly be happy when there is so much suffering going on in the world. The logic of this defies credibility: Am I to wait until everybody else is happy before I am? If I was to wait, I would be waiting forever ... for under this twisted rationale, no one would dare to be the first to be happy. Their peculiar reasoning allows only for a mass happiness to occur globally; overnight success, as it were. Someone has to be intrepid enough to be first, to show what is possible to a benighted humanity ... one has to face the opprobrium of one’s ill-informed peers.

Thus one needs to have a keen sense of humour ... all that ‘being serious’ stuff actively works against peace-on-earth. Be totally sincere ... most definitely utterly sincere, as genuineness is essential. But serious ... no way. An actual freedom is all about having fun; about enjoying being here; about delighting in being alive. One has to want to be here on this planet ... most people resent being here and wish to escape.

This business of becoming free is not – contrary to popular opinion – a serious business at all.

January 27 1999

RESPONDENT: Before I respond to the whole message I would like to ask you about your PCE experience (I assume it is a constant experience for you).

RICHARD: Yes, twenty four hours a day, three hundred and sixty five days of the year ... and has been thus since 1992. From 1981 to 1992, I lived in an Altered State Of Consciousness for the twenty four hours of the day. It is an irrevocable and thus permanent condition ... I could not reverse it if my life depended upon it.

RESPONDENT: If there is no psychic entity in your body than you don’t know and don’t care what will happen next moment.

RICHARD: There is no next moment ... there is only this moment in eternal time and this place in infinite space. I can intellectually know that there possibly will be a now that is presumably going to happen (and that there was a series of past now-moments that did happen) and can plan according to the probability that certain events are likely to occur (that the banks will be open tomorrow at 9.30 AM, for example) based upon those past experiences. But there actually is no future (or past) whatsoever as I sit here now.

Living here, there is only now ... and it is always now. I care for the next moment inasmuch as sensible planning can ensure the optimum creature comforts and ease of life-style ... I purchased a carton of cream yesterday afternoon so that I can have some in this cup of coffee I am sipping now (3.36 AM) when all the shops are closed. Other than sensible planning it is simply silly to ‘care what will happen in the next moment’ (substitute ‘worry’ for ‘care’ ) as it is unknown in that it does not exist. The future is not ‘out there’ somewhere already formed and just waiting to happen ... it has no existence whatsoever until it happens. When the future happens it is called now ... hence there is no future at all.

RESPONDENT: So, your experience is always fresh and no boredom or fear is possible.

RICHARD: No boredom or fear whatsoever. This moment has never happened before and never will happen again ... thus life is always ever-fresh, novel, original, unique, peerless, matchless and impeccable.

RESPONDENT: And because there is no ‘I’ in you, there is nobody to worry about anything or correct, improve anything?

RICHARD: There is no worry, no, but I am not too sure that this is because there is no ‘I’ ... it is simply silly to worry as worrying does nothing whatsoever to get an event changed. I correct – and thus improve – what can be corrected ... according to a preference for creature comforts and ease of life-style. For example: if I can sit upon a cushion instead of the brick pavers of the patio I will ... that is a preference. But if a cushion is not available it does not matter ... I thoroughly enjoy being alive at this moment in eternal time and this place in infinite space irregardless of what is happening. I could be just as happy and harmless on bread and water in solitary confinement in some insalubrious penitentiary ... but I would be pretty silly to act or behave in such a way as to occasion that outcome! The ‘I’ that used to inhabit this body did everything possible that ‘I’ could do to blatantly imitate the actual in that ‘I’ endeavoured to be happy and harmless for as much as is humanly possible. This was achieved by putting everything on a ‘it doesn’t really matter’ basis. That is, ‘I’ would prefer people, things and events to be a particular way, but if it did not turn out like that ... it did not really matter for it was only a preference. ‘I’ chose to no longer give other people – or the weather – the power to make ‘me’ angry ... or irritated ... or even peeved, if that was possible. It was great fun and very, very rewarding along the way. ‘My’ life became cleaner and clearer and more and more pure as each habitual way of living life was consciously eliminated through constant exposure. Finally ‘I’ invited the actual by letting go of the controls and letting this moment live ‘me’. ‘I’ became the experience of the doing of this business of being alive ... no longer the ‘do-er’. Thus ‘my’ days were numbered ... ‘I’ could hardly maintain ‘myself’ ... soon ‘my’ time would come to an end. An inevitability set in and a thrilling momentum took over ... ‘my’ demise became imminent.

The moment of the death of ‘me’ was so real that it was experienced as being that one was going into the grave physically ... that is how real ‘I’ am.

RESPONDENT: So, the world is perfect.

RICHARD: The clean and clear and pure perfection of peace-on-earth never goes away despite all the wars and rapes and murders and tortures and domestic violence and child abuse and suicide. There is the preference for the creature-comforts and ease of life-style, of course, but one takes the world of people, things and events as it is. Even if every single human being was happy and harmless, there would still be cyclones and earthquakes and tidal waves and fires and crocodiles and sharks and mosquitoes and so forth. Life is an adventure, after all.

The physical world cannot ever be perfect, in the sense that nothing uncomfortable would happen, due to the finite nature of spatial/temporal things – animal, vegetable and mineral – and events happen which some people welcome but others not (a farmer may want rain to germinate the crop whilst a builder may want clear skies to get the roof on). I cannot consider for a moment that people would want a nearby volcano to explode and engulf their village or town or city ... yet it happens. And there are the trivial matters of daily life – I spilt hot coffee only a couple of days ago – yet in the final analysis none of these events matter. Ultimately nothing is of utter importance because we are all going to die, some day. Things are only as important as one makes them be.

RESPONDENT: I am wondering what is your experience of your thoughts. Do they appear to be localised in your head?

RICHARD: Oh yes ... towards the front of the skull, generally. If there is a situation that calls for a considered response there is an active thinking of possibilities and probabilities – an exploring of feasible courses of action – based upon past experience and knowledge. Then the issue is ‘banished’ to the back of the skull where it all gets sorted out of its own accord. Sometimes the outcome is very surprising. For the most of the day there is either few or no thoughts running at all ... none whatsoever. If thought is needed for a particular situation, it swings smoothly into action and effortlessly does its thing. All the while, there is this apperceptive awareness of being here ... of being alive in the infinitude of this universe. No words occur ... it is a wordless appreciation of being able to be here, now. Doing something – and that includes thinking – is a bonus of pleasure and delight on top of this on-going ambrosial experience of being alive and awake and here ... now. Consequently, my life is always blithe and carefree, even if I am doing nothing.

February 01 1999

RICHARD: When ‘I’ willingly and voluntarily sacrifice ‘myself’ – the psychological or psychic identity residing inside this body – ‘I’ am gladly making ‘my’ most supreme donation, for ‘I’ am what one holds most dear.

RESPONDENT: Is it not what a true surrender is (or should be)? We can ‘laundry’ this old dirty word.

RICHARD: Yet ‘surrender’ means the giving up of oneself into the possession or power of another who has or asserts a claim to it; to yield on demand or compulsion to a person or a god ... as in submission to an enemy in resignation as a prisoner. It basically means to give in, to relinquish possession of, give up, deliver up, part with, let go of, yield, submit, capitulate, lay down one’s arms, throw in the towel, throw in the sponge, succumb ... and lose. It smacks of compliance, acquiescence, passivity, docility, meekness, sufferance ... a seeking of clemency. Speaking personally, I have never, ever given in. I do not know how to – thus it has never been an option – and never will know how to.

Whereas ‘sacrifice’ means to die as an altruistic offering, a philanthropic contribution, a generous gift, a charitable donation, a magnanimous present; to devote and give over one’s life as a humane gratuity, an open-handed endowment, a munificent bequest, a kind-hearted benefaction. A sacrifice is the relinquishment of something valued or desired, especially one’s life, for the sake of something regarded as more important or worthy ... it is the deliberate destruction, abandonment, relinquishment, forfeiture or loss for the sake of something illustrious, brilliant, extraordinary and excellent. It means to forgo, depart from, leave, quit, vacate, discontinue, stop, cease or immolate so that one’s guerdon is to be able to be unrepressed, unconstrained, unselfconscious, spontaneous, free and easy, relaxed, informal, open, candid, outspoken, uninhibited, unrestrained, unrestricted, uncontrolled, uncurbed, unchecked, unbridled ... none of which is implied with ‘surrender’.

As I have remarked before, ‘I’ went out in a blaze of glory.

RESPONDENT: To become one’s senses and bodily functions. It is the right way to live, you implied, and it sounds true to me. It sounds difficult to live it all the time but many times I have had at least partial experience of it.

RICHARD: Good. Experience is essential if perfection is to be revealed to be actual. Otherwise one goes off into self-enhancing visionary states produced from utopian ideals that manifest themselves as hallucinatory chimeras. The mind, held hostage by humanity’s ‘wisdom’, is a fertile breeding-ground for fanciful flights of imagination, giving rise to the fantasies and phantasms so loved and revered – and feared – by humankind. They never completely satisfy for they never last; they have no substance or intrinsic viability and doubt is never far away. In a valiant attempt to remove doubt, passion can be brought into the search. Passion can produce love. When ‘I’ experience love ‘I’ feel, that with the feelings that love induces like self-acceptance, self-worth, self-esteem and the feeling of being needed, that life has meaning after all. Yet all these feelings serve to prop up an ailing self and because love, however lofty, is fickle and manipulative ‘I’ must be ever vigilant. ‘I’ consist of a kaleidoscope of emotions and passions and therefore doubt is still not far away. This can hardly be called a satisfactory destination for the quest into finding the meaning of life.

From the vantage point of freedom from ‘I’ – which can be accomplished by a peak experience – a miraculous shift is seen to have occurred. It is a mutation from the self-centred personality to a condition of self-less anonymity ... which is a blessed release from the onerous responsibility of being ‘someone’. The perfection and purity that is already here, where it has always been, is now available to be fully appreciated. That ‘I’, which was always perverting and spoiling every endeavour, is no longer present. ‘I’ was only an illusion, whereas as this flesh and blood body I am independent and free ... and actual. I am unable to be swayed by feelings; be they love or hate, hope or despair, despondency or enthusiasm and so on. Nor do I need to be needed by others, so compassion plays no part in my life. The dubious Authority and Power of the noble feelings of Love Agapé, Divine Compassion and rapturous bliss, euphoria and ecstasy are revealed to be pathetic boastings ... and a meagre surrogate for the tranquil intimacy, benevolence and blitheness of the beneficence that is the actual character of this human experience of this wondrous universe.

RESPONDENT: I would like to know, how useful for the goal of living it permanently, from your perspective, are exercises where you relax different parts of your body and focus your attention on various physical sensations (without preference for what sensation you focus on, tune-in or ‘become’).

RICHARD: Speaking personally, I have never done any disciplines, practices or exercises at all ... I have never done any meditation, any yoga, any chanting of mantras, any tai chi, any breathing exercises, any praying, any surrendering, any trusting, any fasting, any flagellations, any ... any of those ‘Tried and True’ inanities. Nor does one have to endlessly analyse one’s childhood for ever and a day. Nor does one have to do endless therapies wherein one expresses oneself again and again ... likewise relaxation exercises will never set you free. Coming to one’s senses does not mean merely relaxing one’s toes, for example. As I have previously written, in order to facilitate a peak experience of perfection, one needs to have a keen sense of humour ... all that ‘being serious’ stuff actively works against peace-on-earth. Be totally sincere – most definitely utterly sincere, as genuineness is essential – and come to your senses as efficaciously as possible. If you ‘focus your attention on various physical sensations’ , then look to becoming the experience of these sensations happening ... rather than having them happen to you.

And remember that an actual freedom is all about having fun; about enjoying being here; about delighting in being alive. One has to want to be here on this planet ... most people resent being here and wish to escape. And then the condition is ripe for a PCE to occur ... and although each pure consciousness experience brings a fresh beginning, an absolute newness, the condition of freedom from ‘I’ has indubitable character traits ... each time discovered anew with the same delight as if it were the first time. With each experience one finds oneself here in this ever-fresh, never contaminated moment. Here is an atmosphere free from ‘human’ feelings, from ‘humanity’s truisms, from religion’s morals and from civilisation’s mores ... all of which are humanistic and cultural coping-mechanisms and agreements. There is a delicious surprise to be found in actualism: it is so liveable. It is living, here on earth, as this actual body, simply brimming with sensory organs ... yet completely devoid of emotions and passions manifesting as hallucinatory thoughts and utopian idealism. It is indeed possible to live peacefully, at ease and undisturbed by these futile feelings and delusive thoughts. It is an entirely different ball-game with different rationale which, from the ‘human’ view-point, lies diametrically opposed to the orthodox rules and regulations based on those venerated thoughts and feelings ... the more ancient the better.

Yet it is all so patently obvious.

February 18 1999

RESPONDENT: Richard, from your conversation with No. 12 I noticed that you discussed three realities: 1. Real life: as most people perceive it. We are totally identified with our feelings, emotions, thoughts and moods. Also, with wealth, love, etc.

RICHARD: Yes, ‘real life’ (or the ‘real world’) is that normal-world reality or every-day reality that 6.0 billion people live in. One is totally identified as self – an ‘I’ and/or ‘me’ – experiencing a sufficient variety of fluctuating moods at random – gladness/sadness, happiness/unhappiness, kindness/unkindness, gentleness/offensiveness and so on – to convince all but the naïve questionist that life is a bitch and that one can be but as ‘good’ as possible so as to reap one’s post-mortem reward ... or just get on with living without thinking about it too much. Whereas 0.0000001 of the population have attempted to ameliorate their lot and have gone for the big prize: the ‘true life’ or that ‘other-world’ is the abnormal-world Reality or Timeless Reality so beloved of the mystics. One is totally identified as The Self – Me – experiencing Love Agapé, Divine Compassion, Rapturous Bliss, Ecstasy, Euphoria and so on. Whereas this actual world is here under people’s noses all the while ... there are three worlds altogether, but only one is actual.

RESPONDENT: 2. Actual reality (second best as you call it). We are identified as a witness to the world of thoughts, emotions, feelings, instincts, etc. We can be ruthless and loving without feeling identified with either action. We experience bliss whenever we become a witness. Everything is happening to us. We are being pulled and pushed around by our heart.

RICHARD: Yes, well said. The term ‘actual reality’ is No. 12’s phrase by which I understand was meant what is really going on ‘within’ as compared with the facade or image one socially presents to others ... and fools oneself into believing. Such observation is useful as a preliminary step in one’s journey into one’s psyche – which is the human psyche – but to remain ‘being authentic’ is to remain a ‘sannyasin’ forever. Unless this inner reality is expunged, all the wars and rapes and murders and tortures and domestic violence and child abuse and sadness and loneliness and grief and depression and suicide will continue for ever and a day.

To become the spiritual ‘witness’ is to have arbitrarily selected a certain bundle of tender feelings, chopped them off from the rest of the surging flow of savage feelings and – by calling this bundle ‘Intelligence’ – to eventually realise oneself to be the unitive and centreless ontological entity (called ‘God’ by any other name) swimming in the ‘Ocean Of Oneness’ ... unborn and undying; birthless and deathless; timeless and spaceless; formless and ceaseless; immortal and immutable. Yet, unbeknown to those who perform this prestidigitation, to be divinity is to be cacodemonic ... diabolical in the sense that the savage feelings are kept subliminally alive.

RESPONDENT: 3. Actuality. Where the sense of ‘I’ is gone and there is no witness, no centre in awareness.

RICHARD: There is no identity whatsoever here in this actual world ... it is pristine here and nothing ‘dirty’ can get in. No ego or Soul (self or Self) will ever be able live in actuality ... and a ‘centreless awareness’ in the spiritual jargon means an impersonal identity that has expanded like all get out until it has become ‘All That Is’ or ‘That’ or ‘Suchness’ or ‘Isness’ or whatever. Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti, for example, stopped saying ‘I am God’ by the late twenties and started to say ‘There is only That’. This may very well have been an attempt to counter the ‘I am That’ which Hinduism promotes so as to be more aligned to the Buddhist denial of both Self and No-Self. Exploring the shrewd twists and turns of arcane thought is a fascinating preparation for freedom from the human condition ... humble grandiosity is rife in the esoteric world and runs riot when unchecked. To have as one’s goal the exposure of the already always existing peace-on-earth through psychological and psychic self-immolation is essential to persuade the pious egoist from arrogating responsibility for bringing a metaphysical ‘Peace That Passeth All Understanding’ (Love and Truth) to earth.

[Editorial note: there is no such thing as ‘actual reality’ in the sensate world].

RESPONDENT: In view of this definition, do you think it might be useful to inquire ‘how is this moment being experienced ...’ versus ‘how am I experiencing this moment ...’? Or it does not matter?

RICHARD: It does not matter ... what is vital is to get an on-going enquiry going each moment again. Such a ‘hands-on’ approach – an ‘on the job’ examination instead of ‘armchair philosophising’ – has such potent efficacy that rapid results are the order of the day.

RESPONDENT: In my case, this me, this ‘I’ is very skilful of somehow sneaking in through ‘a back door’.

RICHARD: It is important not to view ‘I’ and/or ‘me’ as an enemy – blind nature is the culprit – and to be friends with yourself ... only you live with yourself twenty four hours a day. Coopt any aspect of yourself as an ally in this investigation into the human psyche ... eventually ‘I’ come to realise that the very best thing that ‘I’ can do is altruistically ‘self’-immolate for the benefit of this body and all bodies. Peace-on-earth is the inevitable result when ‘I’ go out in a blaze of glory ... unless ‘I’ am seduced by the Glamour and the Glory and the Glitz into becoming the Saviour Of Humankind. It is a risk well worth taking, however.

RESPONDENT: Any activity I might become attracted to seems to define the ‘I’ – as a ‘doer’, but most of all, especially as the watcher.

RICHARD: Becoming free of the human condition is a result of making a curious decision to ‘do it’ – whatever it takes – and once one sets it all in motion a momentum takes over where one realises one has embarked already ... and once one has that impetus going one cannot ‘un-set’ the pace. An alacrity takes over and one finds that one has already been doing it and one has no choice in the matter (fascination is almost like ‘I am not doing this – this is happening to me’). This means one is already committed to finding out – it is not that one makes a commitment as one can always break a commitment after a lot of soul-searching – and this commitment one cannot break. There is no pulling back – which is why most people do not want to start – because once one has started one cannot stop. It is a one-way trip ... that is the thrilling part of it. With application and diligence, born out of pure intent, it will happen ... one cannot help but become fascinated, for this is the predicament that humankind has been agonising over for aeons. Any reluctance to become fascinated is because of the ‘no turning back’ aspect. After fascination comes obsession wherein you cannot leave it alone any more – or rather it does not leave you alone – and that is when that tempo picks you up – an eagerness grips you – and you feel alive, vital, dynamic. Things happen of a serendipitous nature. One can no longer distinguish between me doing it and it happening to me. They happen simultaneously – cause and effect are left behind in the Land of Lament – and it is absolutely thrilling. Then one is fully doing this business of being alive – doing it here on this earth in this lifetime as this body – and it is all happening now. This moment is happening and I am doing it and the doing is happening of itself and I am the experiencing of the happening. Then one is in this propitious state of being able to say: ‘I am the doing of what is happening’.

And this is wonderful.

August 21 1999

ALAN: If ‘I’ actually exist, ‘I’ did not suddenly spring into existence – ‘I’ must have a deep rooted conviction that ‘I’ existed before birth, in some form or another, and ‘I’ will continue to exist, in some form or another, after the demise of this body.

RICHARD: Okay ... let us pursue this to see where it takes us. Being born of the biologically inherited instincts genetically encoded in the germ cells of the spermatozoa and the ova, ‘I’ am – genetically – umpteen hundreds of thousands of years old ... ‘my’ origins are lost in the mists of pre-history. ‘I’ am so anciently old that ‘I’ may well have always existed ... carried along on the reproductive cell-line, over countless millennia, from generation to generation.

And ‘I’ am thus passed on into an inconceivably open-ended hereditably transmissible future.

RESPONDENT: Is your point then that ‘my ego’ and anybody else’s ego are virtually identical (with only technical differences that are manifested as individual personalities of people).

RICHARD: Not specifically the ego but the identity as a whole ... ‘me’ at the core of one’s ‘being’ is the rudimentary animal self common to all sentient beings. That is, ‘being’ itself is the ancient-most of the ancient-most ... which is why it is said by some (Zen Buddhists) upon rediscovering it to be one’s ‘original face’. It gives rise to the cherished feeling of ‘oneness’ with all of life.

There is that truism that states: ‘We are all unique’. I say ‘truism’ deliberately, for I am immediately reminded of that scene in ‘The Life Of Brian’ where Brian addresses the crowd saying: ‘You are all individuals’. The crowd roars back in unison: ‘We are all individuals’. Down the back a lone voice cries out: ‘I’m not!’

Of course, the Monty Python crew were making a social comment, when they wrote that scene, about the conditioned identity of the average citizen when it comes to following a spiritual leader, but one can consider whether it holds well for humankind at large. Human beings are all born with the same basic instincts and, no matter which culture one was socialised into being a member of, all peoples throughout the world have the same emotions and passions. Anger and forbearance, for instance, is anger and forbearance wherever it lives. There is no difference at root between English anger and forbearance and American anger and forbearance and African anger and forbearance and so on. Or love and hatred, enmity and alliance, jealousy and acceptance ... whatever the emotion or passion may be, they all have a global incidence.

RESPONDENT: If my ‘I’ and another person’s ‘I’ are basically identical then ‘I’ am not much different from any man who has lived in the past or will live in the future.

RICHARD: Yes, what is so different about each and everybody’s cerebral energisation ... like imagination, conceptualisation, hypothesising, believing and so forth? Once again, ubiquitous in its occurrence. And psychic phenomena, like intuition, prescience, clairvoyance, telepathy, divination, has a world-wide correspondence that is almost uncanny in its similitude. So, apart from cosmetic cultural variations upon the theme, where in all this is one’s cherished uniqueness? It would appear that there is indeed no substantial difference between one person and the next. The Human Condition is universal in its spread.

Can one conclude that there is no actual difference – other than superficialities – between one person and another?

RESPONDENT: If this is right then death has lost most of its bite.

RICHARD: Ahh ... physical death is but the ending of this particular flesh and blood body – which began x-number of years ago – and this universe, of course, will go right on doing what it was doing before one was born.

Which is what it is doing right here and now.

RESPONDENT: After ‘I’, (No. 7), am dead, with all my individual experiences and memories disappearing, my individual sense of time will also stop.

RICHARD: Your individual sense of everything (not only time) will cease absolutely ... death is the end. Finish. Oblivion.

RESPONDENT: What will follow is some other ‘I’ being born and experiencing life, starting from scratch its individual existence (no past life memories or reincarnation). It leads to the conclusion that death is not that bad. It is an end of one life which marks a beginning of another life.

RICHARD: The awareness that is this flesh and blood body called Richard started right along with this body over half a century ago and – barring war, accidents and disease – will cease somewhere around 2030 because they are one and the same thing. Then, when this body ceases being animated its constituent particles will re-combine with other particles of matter into other forms – some of which will be carbon-based life-forms and therefore animate – but only if that life-form is another human being will there be an ‘I’ ... and another opportunity for the universe to experience itself as a sensate and reflective human being.

RESPONDENT: But, on the other hand, THIS life is all I have because there is only THIS life for all of us. In addition, since our psyches are virtually based on the same structure, every time I look into another person’s eyes I can see myself. This causes me to appreciate other people more and understand them more (we are all the same).

RICHARD: Blind nature is profligate, to say the least ... you will find 6.0 billion ‘I’s in 6.0 billion eyes.

RESPONDENT: In addition, it does matter what we leave for the future generations because we are doing it for our own future ‘selves’.

RICHARD: Yes, whatever gets one of one’s backside is worthy of contemplation ... ‘I’ need all the inspiration ‘I’ can muster to enter into what is, after all is said and done, ‘The Voyage of a Life-Time’.

RESPONDENT: So we should be careful what mess we might be creating during this particular life.

RICHARD: Hmm ... I prefer ‘perpetuating’ rather than ‘creating’ (you are not responsible for the cause of all the anguish and animosity). May I suggest? Whenever you write – or think or talk – substitute ‘I’ or ‘me’ or ‘my’ or ‘mine’ in place of ‘we’ or ‘us’ or ‘our’ or ‘ours’ in any sentence that has the context wherein you may very well be duck-shoving the personal onto the collective (even if it be true that all humans are identically stupefied). Thus your sentence now reads: ‘So I should be careful what mess I might be perpetuating during this particular life’.

This personalisation is called ‘taking responsibility’ for the continuation of all the anguish and animosity ... nobody – but nobody – can set you free but yourself.

RESPONDENT: I don’t know why, but this issue has been on my mind for some time. It might look like some spiritual doctrine but is it really?

RICHARD: Not really, no ... spirituality does not have to have the corner on profundity. And I would have thought it to be on virtually everybody’s mind ... ‘who are we?’ ... ‘where do we come from?’ ... ‘where are we going?’ ... ‘what are we here for?’ (the infamous artist Mr Paul Gauguin even painted a large canvas on the subject just prior to one of his failed suicide attempts). Yet there are those who seem to live their lives unconscious of any deeper meaning ... I have never been able to comprehend such superficiality.

What does ‘having this issue on my mind for some time’ do to you?

August 22 1999

RICHARD: Being born of the biologically inherited instincts genetically encoded in the germ cells of the spermatozoa and the ova, ‘I’ am – genetically – umpteen hundreds of thousands of years old ... ‘my’ origins are lost in the mists of pre-history. ‘I’ am so anciently old that ‘I’ may well have always existed ... carried along on the reproductive cell-line, over countless millennia, from generation to generation. And ‘I’ am thus passed on into an inconceivably open-ended hereditably transmissible future.

RESPONDENT: Is your point then that ‘my ego’ and anybody else’s ego are virtually identical (with only technical differences that are manifested as individual personalities of people).

RICHARD: Not specifically the ego but the identity as a whole ... ‘me’ at the core of one’s ‘being’ is the rudimentary animal self common to all sentient beings. That is, ‘being’ itself is the ancient-most of the ancient-most ... which is why it is said by some (Zen Buddhists) upon rediscovering it to be one’s ‘original face’. It gives rise to the cherished feeling of ‘oneness’ with all of life.

RESPONDENT: Are we talking about the ‘deep’ psychological being which is experienced as ‘me’, bare awareness of both the external and internal worlds (the internal psychological world of my emotions and thoughts, etc ...).

RICHARD: Yes.

RESPONDENT: The ‘me’ which, as you once said, upon discovery of its existence in all conscious beings, might dissociate itself into the feeling of an immortal, sublime and universal ‘Me’?

RICHARD: Yes.

RESPONDENT: This ‘me’ seems sometimes very simple, undemanding and peaceful. But often this ‘me’ is very complex, dynamic and associated with emotions and attachments.

RICHARD: The root cause of the contradictory nature (a polite word for ‘perverse nature’) of human beings lies in the basic instinctual emotions: fear and aggression (savage) and nurture and desire (tender). The inherent perversity of all ‘being’ can be easily seen by examining the way that some noteworthy human beings have arbitrarily selected a certain bundle of tender feelings, chopped them off from the rest of the surging flow of savage feelings and then realised themselves as unitive and enduring entities swimming in the ‘Ocean Of Oneness’ (by whatever name) for all ‘Eternity’ (by whatever name). They have failed to face up to the facts and actuality of hereditary instincts squarely ... which comes out of a failure to understand human nature (which is quite understandable as all the ‘Great Beings’ throughout history have remained stuck in the Human Condition and seek to resolve problems instead of dissolving the cause of them). They merely add to the confusion ... and suck otherwise intelligent people into following them blindly into heroic self-sacrifice. All the while they weep crocodile tears at the abominable slaughter and misery that they actively promote and perpetuate out of their abject ignorance.

All religious and spiritual thought – being mystical in origin – is nothing but an extremely complex and complicated metaphysics that does nothing to eliminate the self – the ego and soul – in its entirety. In fact, when one applies these eastern-derived religious and spiritual systems, one’s primal self is endorsed, enhanced, glorified and rewarded for staying in existence. And this is a monumental blunder. All the wars, murders, tortures, rapes and destruction that have eventually followed the emergence of any specially hallowed religiosity or spirituality attests to this. Also, all the sadness, loneliness, grief, depression and suicide that has ensued as a result of following any specifically revered religious or spiritual teaching renders its mute testimony to anyone with the eyes to see.

Culpability for the continuation of animosity and anguish lies squarely at the feet of the Master and the Messiahs; the Saints and the Sages; the Avatars and the Saviours; the Gurus and the God-men. And their feet – upon close inspection – are feet of clay. They lacked the necessary intestinal fortitude to go all the way ... they stopped at the ‘Unknown’ by surrendering to the ‘Unmanifest Power’ that lies lurking behind the throne. To stop at ‘dissolving the ego’ and becoming enlightened is to stop half-way. One needs to end the soul as well, then any identity whatsoever becomes extirpated, extinguished, eliminated, annihilated ... in other words: extinct. To be as dead as the dodo but with no skeletal remains. To vanish without a trace ... there will be no phoenix to rise from the ashes. Finished. Kaput.

Then there is peace-on-earth.

Thus this self – ‘me’ – is not only ‘simple, undemanding and peaceful’ yet ‘very complex, dynamic and associated with emotions and attachments’ in some unknowable and paradoxical way at all; by ‘my’ very nature ‘I’ am defiled; by ‘my’ very nature ‘I’ am corrupt through and through; by ‘my’ very nature ‘I’ am perversity itself. No matter how earnestly one tries to purify oneself, one can never succeed completely. The last little bit always eludes perfecting.

By ‘my’ very nature ‘I’ am rotten at the innermost core.

RESPONDENT: It appears that ‘me’ simplifies as I pay close attention, with interest, to what’s occurring within and without myself at this very moment.

RICHARD: Are you ‘paying close attention’ so as to ascertain the basic nature of ‘me’ with the pure intent to enable the already always existing peace-on-earth to become apparent? If so, then when ‘that ‘me’ simplifies’ one will see that there is only one thing that ‘I’ can do to remedy the situation. ‘I’ can disappear. Psychological and psychic self-immolation is the only sensible sacrifice that ‘I’ can make in order to reveal perfection. Life is bursting with meaning when ‘I’ am no longer present to mess things up. ‘I’ stand in the way of that purity ascertained in the PCE being apparent. ‘My’ presence prohibits perfection being evident. ‘I’ prevent the very meaning to life, which ‘I’ am searching for, from coming into plain view.

By ‘my’ very nature ‘I’ am forever locked-out of being just here in infinite space right now in eternal time.

*

RICHARD: There is that truism that states: ‘We are all unique’. I say ‘truism’ deliberately, for I am immediately reminded of that scene in ‘The Life Of Brian’ where Brian addresses the crowd saying: ‘You are all individuals’. The crowd roars back in unison: ‘We are all individuals’. Down the back a lone voice cries out: ‘I’m not!’ Of course, the Monty Python crew were making a social comment, when they wrote that scene, about the conditioned identity of the average citizen when it comes to following a spiritual leader, but one can consider whether it holds well for humankind at large. Human beings are all born with the same basic instincts and, no matter which culture one was socialised into being a member of, all peoples throughout the world have the same emotions and passions. Anger and forbearance, for instance, is anger and forbearance wherever it lives. There is no difference at root between English anger and forbearance and American anger and forbearance and African anger and forbearance and so on. Or love and hatred, enmity and alliance, jealousy and acceptance ... whatever the emotion or passion may be, they all have a global incidence.

RESPONDENT: Basic emotions seem to be universal indeed.

RICHARD: The ‘basic emotions’ not only ‘seem to be universal’, they are unambiguously universal ... and have been demonstrated to be so in many studies around the world. These ‘basic emotions’ (like fear and aggression and nurture and desire) are the hallmark of virtually any sentient being ... they are blind nature’s instinctual software package genetically encoded into the germ-cells of the spermatozoa and the ova. And these survival instincts are what has enabled us to be born at all; they are what has enabled us to be here today after multiple generations of the development of the evolutionary ‘weeding out’ process of the ‘survival of the most fitted to the environment’ natural selection hypothesis first publicly proposed by Mr. Charles Darwin and Mr. A. R. Wallace in 1858. Their simultaneous publishing of their account of evolution was, says the Oxford Dictionary somewhat dryly, ‘to the consternation of theologians’ ... the same-same response that Mr. Galileo Galilei faced in 1610.

Yet peoples today – 141 years later – are still in massive denial of this oh-so-obvious common animal ancestry. Many is the person who has protested to me that ‘I am not an animal’ ... thus shutting the door on their investigation into what it is to be a human being living in the world as it is with people as they are. What a shame, what a pity ... no, what a sin it is to persist so tenaciously in holding on to ‘being’ – which is but the end-product of all animosity and anguish through the aeons – when this actual world, which is so perfectly pure, is right under one’s nose.

To be here now, intimately here at this very moment, is a satisfaction and fulfilment unparalleled in the annals of history.

August 23 1999

RESPONDENT: It appears that ‘me’ simplifies as I pay close attention, with interest, to what’s occurring within and without myself at this very moment.

RICHARD: Are you ‘paying close attention’ so as to ascertain the basic nature of ‘me’ with the pure intent to enable the already always existing peace-on-earth to become apparent? If so, then when ‘that ‘me’ simplifies’ one will see that there is only one thing that ‘I’ can do to remedy the situation. ‘I’ can disappear. Psychological and psychic self-immolation is the only sensible sacrifice that ‘I’ can make in order to reveal perfection. Life is bursting with meaning when ‘I’ am no longer present to mess things up. ‘I’ stand in the way of that purity ascertained in the PCE being apparent. ‘My’ presence prohibits perfection being evident. ‘I’ prevent the very meaning to life, which ‘I’ am searching for, from coming into plain view. By ‘my’ very nature ‘I’ am forever locked-out of being just here in infinite space right now in eternal time.

RESPONDENT: I am somewhat confused as far as the details of this self analysis go. There are several ways I have been approaching self analysis: 1. By paying attention to what happens inside me and outside me in ‘real time’ all the time. This stems from my former Vipassana meditations, I think. This state of alertness goes on sometimes for prolonged periods of time. It is difficult then to answer a question ‘what do I really want’ because the watching ‘I’ is satisfied by this watching activity. Everything happens in front of ‘me’. I am happy the way I am. Am I then in a dissociated state?

RICHARD: Quite possibly ... but only you can know that for sure as I will only ever have your description to go by and would not presume to know your moment-to-moment experience. However, in view of your involvement with the Buddhist ‘Vipassana Bhavana’, if you had been successful in cultivating ‘Mindfulness’ properly, you would have been regularly attaining to the dissociated state ... else you have been wasting your time, effort and (maybe) fees.

It is this simple: the word ‘mindfulness’ (which means more or less the same as ‘watchfulness’, ‘heedfulness’, ‘regardfulness’, ‘attentiveness’) has taken-on the Buddhist meaning of the word for most seekers (just like the word ‘meditation’ which used to mean ‘think over; ponder’), and no longer has the every-day meaning as per the dictionary. The Buddhist connotations come from the Pali ‘Bhavana’ (the English translation of the Pali ‘Vipassana Bhavana’ is ‘Insight Meditation’). ‘Bhavana’ means ‘to cultivate’, and, as the word is always used in reference to the mind, ‘Bhavana’ means ‘mental cultivation’. ‘Vipassana’ means ‘seeing’ or ‘perceiving’ something with meticulousness discernment, seeing each component as distinct and separate, and piercing all the way through so as to perceive the most fundamental reality of that thing and which leads to intuition into the basic reality of whatever is being inspected. Thus ‘Vipassana Bhavana’ means the cultivation of the mind, aimed at seeing in a special way that leads to intuitive discernment and to full understanding of Mr. Gotama the Sakyan’s basic precepts. In ‘Vipassana Bhavana’, Buddhists cultivate this special way of seeing life. They train themselves to see reality exactly as it is described by Mr. Gotama the Sakyan, and in the English-speaking world they call this special mode of perception: ‘mindfulness’.

Consequently, when the Buddhist practitioner carefully cultivates ‘mindfulness’, it is a further withdrawal from this actual world than what ‘normal’ people currently experience in the illusionary ‘reality’ of their ‘real world’. All Buddhists (just like Mr. Gotama the Sakyan) do not want to be here at this place in space – now at this moment in time – as this flesh and blood form, walking and talking and eating and drinking and urinating and defecating and being the universes’ experience of its own infinitude as a reflective and sensate human being. They put immense effort into bringing ‘samsara’ (the Hindu endless round of birth and death and rebirth) to an end ... if they liked being here now they would welcome their rebirth and delight in being able to be here now again and again as a human being. They just don’t wanna be here (not only not being here now but never, ever again). Is it not so blatantly obvious that Mr. Gotama the Sakyan just did not like being here? Does one wonder why one never saw his anti-life stance before? How on earth can someone who dislikes being here so much ever be interested in bringing about peace-on-earth? In this respect he was just like all the Gurus and God-Men down through the ages ... the whole lot of them were/are anti-life to the core. For example:

• [Mr. Gotama the Sakyan]: ‘If there is someone who is unaware of the Tathagata’s most profound viewpoint of the eternally abiding, unchanging, fine and mysterious essential body (dharmakaya), that it is said that the body that eats is not the essential body, and who is unaware of the Tathagata’s path to the power of virtue and majesty; then, this is called suffering. (...) you should know that this person necessarily shall fall into the evil destinies and his circulation through birth and death (samsara) will increase greatly, the bonds becoming numerous, and he will undergo afflictions. If there is someone who is able to know that the Tathagata is eternally abiding without any change, or hears that he is eternally abiding, or if [this] Sutra meets his ear, then he shall be born into the Heavens above. And after his liberation, he will be able to realize and know that the Tathagata eternally abides without any change. Once he has realized this, he then says, ‘Formerly, I had heard this truth, but now I have attained liberation through realizing and knowing it. Because I have been entirely unaware of this since the beginning, I have cycled through birth and death, going round and round endlessly. Now on this day I have for the first time arrived at the true knowledge’. [endquote]. (Chapter 10: The Four Truths; [647b]; ‘The Great Parinirvana Sutra’; (T375.12.647a-c); Redacted from the Chinese of Dharmakshema by Huiyan, Huiguan, and Xie Lingyun (T375); Translated into English by Charles Patton) .

It can be seen that he clearly and unambiguously states that he (Mr. Gotama the Sakyan) is ‘the eternally abiding, unchanging, fine and mysterious essential body’ even to the point of repeating it twice (‘the Tathagata is eternally abiding without any change’ ) and (‘the Tathagata eternally abides without any change’ ) so as to emphasise that ‘someone who is able to know that the Tathagata is eternally abiding without any change ... shall be born into the Heavens above’ . And to drive the point home as to just what he means he emphasises that ‘the body that eats is not the essential body’ ... which ‘essential body’ can only be a dissociated state by any description and by any definition. Whereas I am this body that eats ... and nothing other than this.

You also wrote (above) ‘it is difficult then to answer a question ‘what do I really want’ because the watching ‘I’ is satisfied by this watching activity’. This does read very much like ‘detachment’ (dissociation from the world of people, things and events) and, combined with your ‘I don’t even care what will happen next’ experience (further below): fatalism. As for not knowing ‘what I really want’ ... speaking personally, ‘I’ only ever wanted two things:

1. An individual peace-on-earth (which was integral to achieving my destiny) ... and:
2. To pave the way for a global peace-on-earth (for my fellow human to achieve their destiny ... if they so desire).

In both (1) and (2) there is total success. I can now die, at any time whatsoever, happy and content ... completely fulfilled and experiencing absolute satisfaction each moment again.

RESPONDENT: 2. At other times the feelings and emotions are so strong that they become a part of my core ‘I’ (I think) and they become very precious to me, hard to analyse or look at.

RICHARD: Yes, ‘very precious to me, hard to analyse or look at’ is well said (except that they do not ‘become a part of my core ‘I’’ as they already are) and it is excellent to be so honest with oneself (that these ‘feelings and emotions’ are ‘very precious’ ). This is what ‘I’ am at the core of ‘me’ ... and this what you are describing is an experiential ascertaining of the basic nature of ‘me’. Which leads back to the initial question: are you ‘paying close attention’ so as to ascertain the basic nature of ‘me’ with the pure intent to enable the already always existing peace-on-earth to become apparent?

RESPONDENT: 3. I can analyse my past and other peoples’ experiences. This is a scientific approach to analysing myself, or my life (not a ‘real time’ analysis).

RICHARD: Being aware of ‘other people’s experience’ is very helpful ... the point of this Mailing List is to discuss together each others’ experience so as to clarify what oneself understands, or is yet to understand. This is the value of communication: to share experience so that another does not necessarily have to travel down the same-same path and find out for themselves, through repeated trial and error, what others have already discovered.

RESPONDENT: It happens sometimes that the mode (1) and (3) occur simultaneously, as a combination of both my real time alertness and my effort to learn about myself. The analysis happens by itself and I am not the one who is doing it. Then I don’t know what will happen next.

RICHARD: The best ‘discoveries’ are those that happen of their own accord (serendipity) ... virtually anything of merit that happens along the wide and wondrous path to freedom happens of its own accord irregardless of ‘my’ doing. That being said, however, unless one has the pure intent to enable the already always existing perfection (as ascertained in the PCE) from becoming apparent, then these ‘best discoveries’ will never, ever ‘happen of their own accord’.

Or as I oft-times put it: one will never become free of the human condition by sitting in a deck-chair on the patio waiting for the ‘grace of god’ (by whatever name) to descend.

RESPONDENT: Not only that, I don’t even care what will happen next; I enjoy the sequence of unpredictable events, thoughts, emotions and their analysis as long as it lasts.

RICHARD: Hmm ... the ‘I’ that was inside this flesh and blood body most definitely ‘cared what would happen next’ . If it were not for ‘him’ and his utter caring, I would not be able to be freely here today typing these words. Which leads back to the initial question: are you ‘paying close attention’ so as to ascertain the basic nature of ‘me’ with the pure intent to enable the already always existing peace-on-earth to become apparent?

If so, then when ‘that ‘me’ simplifies’ one will see that there is only one thing that ‘I’ can do to remedy the situation. ‘I’ can disappear. Psychological and psychic self-immolation is the only sensible sacrifice that ‘I’ can make in order to reveal perfection. Life is bursting with meaning when ‘I’ am no longer present to mess things up. ‘I’ stand in the way of that purity ascertained in the PCE being apparent. ‘My’ presence prohibits perfection being evident. ‘I’ prevent the very meaning to life, which ‘I’ am searching for, from coming into plain view. By ‘my’ very nature ‘I’ am forever locked-out of being just here in infinite space right now in eternal time.

August 25 1999

RESPONDENT: If my ‘I’ and another person’s ‘I’ are basically identical then ‘I’ am not much different from any man who has lived in the past or will live in the future. If this is right then death has lost most of its bite.

RICHARD: Ahh ... physical death is but the ending of this particular flesh and blood body – which began x-number of years ago – and this universe, of course, will go right on doing what it was doing before one was born. Which is what it is doing right here and now.

RESPONDENT: This is a very powerful statement. It has stimulated my mind and my whole being. I am wondering why this perspective on life and death is not widely publicized and discussed (?!). Its very logical and powerful as far as its implications. It is about facing our physical death without an overwhelming and paralysing fear.

RICHARD: It is a fact that I, as this body, am mortal. As such, I will die in due course ... this heart will stop beating, these lungs will cease breathing, this brain will quit thinking. The flesh will decompose, if buried, or will be dispersed, if burnt, as smoke and ash. There could be nothing more final, more conclusive, more complete, of an ending to me than this.

Human beings have various attitudes towards death. As far as it has been able to be ascertained, humans are the only creatures that are aware of their own demise. The ability to reflect upon one’s own death has been a source of inspiration to philosophers, theologians and their ilk down through the ages. To other people, death is a subject to be avoided, to be not thought about; it is a taboo topic for dinner-table conversation. It is not until a close friend or relative dies that they are brought face-to-face with their own mortality ... and they usually endeavour to ‘get over it’ as soon as possible. A sure way to be told that one is morbid is to talk about death: to invoke an uneasy reaction, one needs only to ask if they have ever considered the ramifications of death; of no longer being alive; of not being a ‘human’; of not ‘being’ at all. Nevertheless, why avoid the subject? Surely it is of the utmost importance to explore all the unknown aspects of being a ‘human’ – especially those that bring trepidation – for therein lie the causes for not only one’s uneasiness about life, but all the problems that beset ‘humanity’. Anything that remains hidden will continue to influence one’s life in an unconscious way, continuously plaguing one’s every moment of being alive and affecting one’s state of well-being.

Death is viewed by most as a calamity, a tragedy. ‘I’, being non-material, cannot accept, let alone embrace, that which is physical, that which is actual. Mortality is a physical phenomenon; it is a fact to be met and understood. To act otherwise is a denial of the actual. This universe was amazingly able to give birth to me, it is marvellously capable of bearing me and will, eventually, wondrously manage to end me. This is the physical ‘scheme of things’ in this, the only universe there is ... and this universe is so enormous in its scope, so grand in its order, so exquisite in its form, that it is sheer vanity and utter insolence to presume that birth and death is somehow ‘wrong’. With an attitude like that, no wonder people hate having to be here on earth. It is no wonder that they feel that they have to ‘get on with life’ and ‘make the best of things’ whilst waiting for death to release them. It is such a shame that billions of human beings are missing out on the unadulterated perfection of being fully alive; missing out on rejoicing in being here now; missing out on deriving immense pleasure at living this moment, here on earth.

There seems to be a general consensus among human beings that death is a mystery that one cannot penetrate, and that the ‘Mystery of Life’ will be revealed only after death. There, most say, lies ‘Peace and Ultimate Fulfilment’ ... yet there is nowhere else but here and there is no time but now. Anything else than here at this place in infinite space – now at this moment in eternal time – exists only in an enthusiastic imagination ... enthused by ‘me’, by ‘being’ itself. Any fear of the death of ‘me’ is an irrational reaction to the demise of an apparently enduring psychological and/or psychic entity. The ending of ‘me’ (the ‘death’ of ‘me’) is an autological non-event; ‘I’ do not actually exist in the first place. There is no actual ‘me’ to either ‘die’ or to have ‘Eternal Life’.

It all appears to be an exercise in futility to think about and feel into what is entailed in physical death (which is the guaranteed end of ‘being’) because the end of ‘being’, at physical death, can only ever be a speculation; it has to be experienced to know it. Just like one cannot know the taste of something until one eats it ... so too is it with death as the end of ‘being’. Yet to wait for death will be leaving it too late to find out what it is to not ‘be’ ... as death is oblivion of consciousness there will be no awareness of not ‘being’. The question is: can one experience the end of ‘being’ before this body dies and therefore penetrate into the ‘Mystery of Life’, in full awareness, and find that Ultimate Fulfilment ... here on earth?

RESPONDENT: It is just one step away from the false conclusion (1) ‘I am the immortal Universe’. Or even more tempting is: (2) ‘I am the immortal consciousness, an eternal ‘flame’ or ‘light’ of consciousness generated by the infinite sequence of human bodies; like light created in a lamp’ The first conclusion is false because I am the product of some natural perpetual life processes but I have not got much control over them, and my individual ‘I’ will not survive my physical death. I am a bit puzzled by my own second proposition. (2) in this paragraph. What is your thought about it? I think the explanation would be that I am not consciousness because any ‘I’ requires some mental effort to create and justify and thus is imaginary? Suddenly I feel peaceful now ...

RICHARD: Conclusion No. 1 (‘I am the immortal Universe’) is only ‘I’ typically arrogating identity because of the instinctual drive to survive at any cost ... whereas the phrase ‘I am the infinite and eternal (which is what ‘immortal’ means) universe experiencing itself as a sensate and reflective human being’ puts it all in perspective. And, as a human being, the universe has intelligence ... there is no ‘Intelligence’ running the universe (the universe is much, much more than merely intelligent).

Conclusion No. 2 (‘I am the immortal consciousness, an eternal ‘flame’ or ‘light’ of consciousness generated by the infinite sequence of human bodies; like light created in a lamp’) is but ‘I’ similarly expropriating something that does not exist anyway! It has taken countless aeons for carbon-based life-forms to evolve through to being conscious (as all sentient beings are) and as being consciousness in one species alone: the human animal. Of course the human animal values consciousness highly – it is what separates humans from other animals – and allows the ability to consciously reflect, consider and appreciate being here now (which other animals cannot do). But to take this faculty which humans value highly and seek to impose it upon this marvellous, amazing, wondrous and magical universe is to commit the vulgar error of anthropocentricism.

Be that as it may, because of this evolved consciousness the human animal can ask: why are we here?

*

RESPONDENT: After ‘I’, (No. 7), am dead, with all my individual experiences and memories disappearing, my individual sense of time will also stop.

RICHARD: Your individual sense of everything (not only time) will cease absolutely ... death is the end. Finish. Oblivion.

RESPONDENT: It is wonderful that death is the end. The universe physical forces will create a new conscious ‘I’ to enjoy this life. There is responsibility for the coming ‘I’s, our future ‘myselves’.

RICHARD: Maybe an exchange I had with another some time back may be of interest? Vis:

• [Respondent]: ‘The species goes on unconsciously, there is no need for ‘apperception’ as you call it. Nature takes care of it through the reproduction instinct, the auto-preservation instinct, hunger for food, drink ... the species goes on like any other animal species. For man who live by these instincts alone, meaning must be searched ‘outside’, there is need to become, to achieve, to win, to have more etc. I will find out that meaning is ‘this’, I don’t need the ‘more’. The more is for the one’s living from that centre. Now, the meaning is being lived, and I don’t participate in the current that takes care of the preservation of the species. The species will continue through the ‘crowds’. I will now participate in something totally different. The species will eventually make it, or not’.

• [Richard]: Just look at the tone you wrote with. Vis.: ‘Now, the meaning is being lived, and I don’t participate in the current that takes care of the preservation of the species. The species will continue through the ‘crowds’. I will now participate in something totally different. The species will eventually make it, or not’. There is no such thing as ‘the species’ ... there is only flesh and blood human beings ... my fellow human being ... and I wish for each and everyone of us to ‘make it’ ... and then ‘the species’ will continue through happy and harmless human beings on the verdant paradise this planet earth is. Whereas ‘the species’ that you refer to that will continue through ‘the crowds’ is a malicious and sorrowful species ... is this what you wish for your future fellow human beings? Another 160,000,000 killed in wars this coming century?

It is for such self-centred, uncaring and inconsiderate attitudes like this that I have only ever wished, in these latter years, for the words and writings of an actual freedom and a virtual freedom to exist in the world so that they are available long after I am dead – and after those peoples writing here today are no longer – so that a third alternative is available for anyone who comes across them in any indeterminate future to draw affirmation and confirmation from.

*

RESPONDENT: What will follow is some other ‘I’ being born and experiencing life, starting from scratch its individual existence (no past life memories or reincarnation). It leads to the conclusion that death is not that bad. It is an end of one life which marks a beginning of another life.

RICHARD: The awareness that is this flesh and blood body called Richard started right along with this body over half a century ago and – barring war, accidents and disease – will cease somewhere around 2030 because they are one and the same thing. Then, when this body ceases being animated its constituent particles will re-combine with other particles of matter into other forms – some of which will be carbon-based life-forms and therefore animate – but only if that life-form is another human being will there be an ‘I’ ... and another opportunity for the universe to experience itself as a sensate and reflective human being.

RESPONDENT: I think there is a slim chance that all my atoms will build another single life form. But I don’t think this is an important point what percentage of my molecules will build a future human being after my death. The atoms belong to nobody. What matters, I think, is that human being with its reflective capabilities will enjoy life again.

RICHARD: Aye ... it immediately matters inasmuch as we are here anyway doing this business called being alive. If peoples were not killing. maiming, torturing and otherwise harming each other it would not be so urgent, perhaps ... but, then again, there is always this opportunity to ask:

Why am I (No. 7) here?

*

RESPONDENT: It does matter what we leave for the future generations because we are doing it for our own future ‘selves’.

RICHARD: Yes, whatever gets one of one’s backside is worthy of contemplation ... ‘I’ need all the inspiration ‘I’ can muster to enter into what is, after all is said and done, ‘The Voyage of a Life-Time’.

RESPONDENT: By ‘The Voyage of a Life-Time’ do you mean enjoying this life as it is here and now as nobody in particular?

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!

*

RESPONDENT: I don’t know why, but this issue has been on my mind for some time.

RICHARD: What does ‘having this issue on my mind for some time’ do to you?

RESPONDENT: It brings about intensity in the process of ‘getting to the bottom of things’. It gives courage to see things honestly, as they are without the fear of finding something which ruins my previous set of points of views and opinions about life. It gives me strength to take responsibility. It makes me feel happy. This has been a good conversation for me!

RICHARD: I am well pleased.

May 25 2000

RESPONDENT: Richard, you said: ‘An aesthetic experience is somewhat akin to a pure consciousness experience (PCE)’. What is exactly the difference between these two experience kinds?

RICHARD: The primary difference is that an aesthetic experience is in relation to art – and art is but a representation of life – whereas a pure consciousness experience is a direct experience of the actual. When I wrote ‘somewhat akin’ , at the end of the explanatory paragraphs about the act of painting, I was referring more to the process or action of how the experience occurred – rather than the quality of the experience itself – and that ‘I’ would temporarily disappear and the painting would paint itself.

Which is somewhat akin to letting this moment live you ... so that you become the doing of what is happening rather than the ‘do-er’.

RESPONDENT: Have you ever had a brain scan done? A nuclear magnetic resonance scan, electric or an infrared scan to determine the active versus inactive areas of your brain?

RICHARD: No ... I rather fail to see what such scans would achieve in terms of assisting someone to free themselves of the human condition. Even if it provided some sort of a map, as it were, one cannot reach inside one’s brain with a screwdriver or pincers or whatever and do a nip here, a tuck there, a tweak at this place, a twitch at that spot and so on.

Technological progress may prove me wrong, of course.

June 11 2000

RESPONDENT: Richard, I have been reading your correspondence on your website. The actual freedom issue has been on my mind. Sometimes on the back burner, sometimes on the front burner – but it has been there. I am investigating my life vigorously as some major changes seem to be lurking around the corner. I think that, amazing as it is (quite against the odds?), a feeling-less life could be actually perfect!

RICHARD: Excellent. It is initially difficult to comprehend living life sans feelings ... as a child, a youth and as a young man I was particularly sensitive in comparison with my then peers – I felt everything keenly, acutely – and always preferred the company of females to males anytime. I was easily hurt by others and had difficulty hurting anyone or anything – boys pulling wings off flies at grade school sickened me to the stomach – and all the killing I did as a farmer’s son was quick and efficient in that I ensured it was as painless as is possible (I have no objection to killing per se). The rough and tumble of typical manly pursuits such as competitive sports did not interest me at all ... and I felt like a fish out of water during my six years in the military. I felt life deeply, passionately and it is no wonder I fell for the summon bonum of human feelings: the altered state of consciousness known as ‘Spiritual Enlightenment’. After my break-through into actual freedom I went through thirty months of mental anguish thinking that I had lost the plot completely (although physically everything was perfect).

No one could help me as nobody had traversed this territory before.

RESPONDENT: It is a shame that we so often equal lack of feelings with depression, escapism, apathy, lack of: intensity of expression, vital energy and the zest for life. We fail to recognize these chronic, low-level negative states as feelings stemming from our identification as ‘miserable person’. During the time of high intensity when my life is happy (due to a breakthrough in the understanding of life) often a temptation arises to identify the smooth functioning of the system with being a happy being. I think it is important to remember it.

RICHARD: Yes ... it is ‘being’ itself that is the problem irregardless whether one is a happy being or an unhappy being. Of course, whilst one is still a ‘being’ it is preferable to be a happy being any day of the week ... it is simply silly to be unhappy. Also a glum and/or grumpy person locks themselves out of any chance of a pure consciousness experience (PCE) ... and a PCE is one’s best teacher by far. The PCE is indispensable in fully understanding an actual freedom from the human condition ... one needs to experientially know what one’s goal is.

It is a valuable point you note here.

RESPONDENT: Thanks for your cutting and pasting style of correspondence. It has been helpful in the process of recovery from a guru-disciple complex.

RICHARD: This is good to hear. I am sometimes criticised for copying and pasting ... yet all that is going on is that if I have previously written comprehensively and completely on that particular topic I have nothing further to add. I can only re-phrase the same thing in but a few ways. Also, sometimes some people ask a rearranged version of the same question ... which tells me that that they did not read the original answer with both eyes. So I deliberately resend it. Also I have no idea whether what I wrote to person ‘A’ was read by person ‘B’ or how much someone has read of the Actual Freedom Web Site ... or understood. Sometimes something sinks in only upon the umpteenth reading anyway. It certainly is not laziness on my part ... I like words and thoroughly enjoy talking and writing.

The study of the ‘Guru/Disciple’ complex is a fascinating exploration into the nature of love and its power to override reason, basically.

June 14 2000

RESPONDENT: Richard, it is always good to find your email in my hotmail mailbox. There is one important point that hit me in your response: [Richard]: ‘After my break-through into actual freedom I went through thirty months of mental anguish thinking that I had lost the plot completely (although physically everything was perfect). No one could help me as nobody had traversed this territory before’ [endquote]. How did you experience the mental anguish from the perspective of actual freedom?

RICHARD: As a severe cerebral agitation ... it all happened only in the brain cells. There was perfect sensate experiencing: the direct, startlingly intimate sensuousness of the eyes seeing, the ears hearing, the skin feeling, the nose smelling and the tongue tasting all of their own accord (deliciously unfettered by a ‘me’ or an ‘I’) yet the cognitive faculty was face-to-face with the stark fact that it had been living a deluded dissociative state for eleven years ... and that religion – fuelled by its spirituality and mysticism – was nothing short of institutionalised insanity. That this disconcerting perplexity was only cerebral was evidenced by no sweaty palms, no increased heartbeat, no rapid breathing, no palpations in the solar plexus ... none of those things connected with the existential angst of being a contingent ‘being’. If I were to look in a mirror during that period and ask ‘who am I’ there was no answer – not even ‘the silence that speaks louder than words’ that had been experienced for eleven years – yet the answer to ‘what am I’ was patently obvious and undeniable ... I am this flesh and blood body.

In psychiatric terms the neurons were agitated: energised and excited with an excess of dopamine in the post-synaptic receptors, described as being similar to the effect of amphetamines, cocaine or LSD ... yet nothing could be done about it with psychiatry’s extensive arsenal of anti-psychotic drugs. Initially I had no alternative but to seek resolution in terms of either ‘the known’ (psychiatry) and/or ‘the unknown’ (mysticism) ... and I knew from eleven years experience that no mystic could be of any assistance whatsoever. I was truly on my own. The mental anguish was in determining the validity of uncharted territory – 5,000 years of recorded history and perhaps 50,000 years of oral tradition made no mention of this dimension of human experience – for I was irreversibly plunked fair-square in the midst of either ‘insanity’ (the psychiatric model) or ‘the unknowable’ (the metaphysical model) ... which is something else entirely. In the context of metaphysical human experience this condition is only achievable after physical death: the Buddhists call it ‘Parinirvana’ and the Hindus call it ‘Mahasamadhi’.

This was no ‘dark night of the soul’ – which I knew from 1981 – nor ‘real-world’ insanity ... this was something beyond either psychiatric or mystic human experience. It was pretty freaky stuff for a mere boy from the farm: who was he to set himself up to be the final arbiter of human experience ... and what was I doing in this territory anyway? What had I become? There was neither self (psychiatric diagnosis: Depersonalisation) nor any Self (metaphysical analysis: Atheistic Materialism); there was neither reality (psychiatric diagnosis: Derealisation) nor any Reality (metaphysical analysis: Atheistic Materialism); there was no affective feelings (psychiatric diagnosis: Alexithymia) nor any ‘State Of Being’ (metaphysical analysis: Atheistic Materialism); there was neither a pleasure centre for beauty (psychiatric diagnosis: Anhedonia) nor a centre for ‘Truth’ (metaphysical analysis: Atheistic Materialism). In the context of known human experience this was a severe mental disorder ... a psychotic condition according to the DSM-IV (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders – fourth edition – which is the diagnostic criteria used by all psychiatrists and psychologists around the world for diagnosing mental disorders). On top of that was the obvious fact that everybody else other than me – especially the revered and respected ‘Great Teachers’ of antiquity – were all quite seriously mad ... which is a classic indication of insanity in itself.

I do consider it so cute that freedom from the human condition is considered a mental disorder.

RESPONDENT: It must have been quite interesting since the mental anguish happened in the perfection of this moment back then ... to nobody in particular and thus the situation must have, as paradoxical as it might sound, been quite pleasurable.

RICHARD: Hmm ... ‘interesting’, yes; ‘pleasurable’, no. It was extremely uncomfortable and very disconcerting, perplexing and bewildering. It was also distressing for my companion and caused considerable disturbance in her ... she was a constant witness to my endeavour to come to grips with what had happened and what was going on. Despite the fact she was a qualified nursing sister this was beyond her ken and altogether too much to handle in the first few months. I must emphasise the immediacy and urgency of the dilemma: how could I be right and 5.8 billion peoples then currently alive (and maybe 4.0 billion once living) be wrong? This was an outrageous supposition to contemplate – as I remarked in my previous E-Mail I thought that I had lost the plot – yet all about people were hurting and being hurt: bickering, quarrelling, arguing, fighting and then applying band-aid solutions such as the cycle of guilt, remorse, repentance, forgiveness, empathy, trust, compassion through to love ... until next time.

There were 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 and the such-like to account for ... and all the Gurus and the God-Men, the Masters and the Messiahs, the Avatars and the Saviours, and the Saints and the Sages and the Seers, did not have peace-on-earth on their agenda. Obviously someone had to be the first ... and this fact was thrilling to the nth degree. It meant that an actual freedom from the human condition, here on earth in this lifetime, as this flesh and blood body had been discovered and could be demonstrated and described ... no one else need ever take that route again (and I would not wish upon anyone to have to follow in my footsteps and run that full gamut of existential angst to break through to what lay beyond). I always liken it to the physical adventure that Mr. James Cook undertook to journey to Australia two hundred plus years ago. It took him over a year in a leaky wooden boat with hard tack for food and immense dangers along the way. Nowadays, one can fly to Australia in twenty-seven hours in air-conditioned comfort, eating hygienically prepared food and watching an in-flight movie into the bargain.

No one has to go the path of the trail-blazer and forge along in another leaky wooden boat.

July 05 2000

RESPONDENT: Richard, it is a warm, peaceful morning in New Jersey even though occasional anxiety and strong emotions suddenly appear in my mind. These mental constructs come and go at variable, unpredictable pace. My attention is automatically drawn to inspect and clearly see these mental constructs in the sharpest, most honest and sincere way. Because of this mind’s habit and desire to see things clearly now, it has become quite rare to ‘desire’ other things. For example, I have lost 50% of my stock portfolio in the recent stock market crash and I did not identify or feel myself as miserable at all.

RICHARD: Excellent ... I am always delighted whenever someone has gained benefit in their daily life from having read actual freedom writings and, as a consequence, can experience changes (‘I did not identify or feel myself as miserable at all’ ) in the way they themselves are living life. Because it is what actually happens in one’s life as a result of the reading that is important ... not how well someone can remember what the words look like. To me, upon having read something all those years ago, the question always was: Does it work? Does it produce the goods? Is my life better for having read this? How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?

After all, it is all about enjoying oneself moment-to-moment and appreciating each moment again and again ... for this moment is one’s only moment of being alive.

RESPONDENT: My friends at my new workplace has commented several times that they have never see me angry yet. This habit of the mind to observe has changed my interactions with people because I tend to be less and less manipulative, argumentative, critical, cynical and complaining, and if I do become like that, I automatically bring my attention to it rather then follow these emotions blindly.

RICHARD: Yes, the crux of the matter is not only how one treats one’s fellow human being but also how one thus treats oneself in the interactions you describe.

RESPONDENT: It has been quite wild. For example, I have found myself in the process of breaking up with my wife and actually I am not quite sure why as the things just happen at their own pace.

RICHARD: There are, of course, many reasons. My first marriage ended when the person who got married was no more ... it was ‘his’ marriage, wife, children, house, business, car and so on. It was quite bizarre situation to find oneself in.

RESPONDENT: I have to say that I thought initially that the path to actual freedom had to do a lot with logic and difficult vocabulary but I see it is much more than that.

RICHARD: Yes ... much, much more. Logic has very little work to do on the wide and wondrous path ... rational, sensible, down-to-earth thinking wins hands-down any day.

Thank you for this note ... I enjoy reading your posts, your successes, your humour. Even though I do not write often to the Actual Freedom Mailing List I read everything with close interest. Also, it has taken me a while to respond as I am actively subscribed to three lists altogether and am currently swamped with a back-log of posts waiting to be answered. I am endeavouring to catch up ... yet a computer technician assessed my set-up yesterday with the result that entire system is going to be stripped down and revamped in a few days time (I am getting Windows 2000 Server installed to replace the ailing NT Server 4.0 that requires too much attention to keep the Actual Freedom Web Page on-line and the Mail Server operating). Which means I will be head down and tail up formatting and re-loading all my hard-drives from scratch with all the many and varied programmes ... maybe twelve to twenty fours hours off-line. I do enjoy fiddling with computers as much as I enjoy writing ... they are amazing instruments.

Maybe I will never catch up ... the bottom line is, of course, that I only write when the whim takes me.

December 02 2000

RESPONDENT: The question ‘How am I experiencing this moment’ seems to be a very pleasurable activity. I like its simplicity. In my previous ‘spiritual’ era I would obsess and hope to become an influential enlightened master with a following of devotees. I would indulge in spiritual literature because it would promise wonders ... I don’t read spiritual books anymore. I think my life now is about getting from ‘there’ to ‘here’ as fully as I can, and it is very enjoyable. As I am asking myself now ‘How am I experiencing this moment’ I am happy, relaxed and somewhat over-eaten.

RICHARD: These words of yours (‘in my previous ‘spiritual’ era I would obsess and hope to become an influential enlightened master with a following of devotees ...’ ) are music to my ears.

I appreciate your honesty.


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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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