Actual Freedom – The Actual Freedom Mailing List Correspondence

Richard’s Correspondence

On The Actual Freedom Mailing List

With Correspondent No. 101


September 02 2005

RESPONDENT: Hello!

RICHARD: Welcome to The Actual Freedom Trust mailing list.

RESPONDENT: I have two questions: Firstly, Why is the universe here? Why do I exist? Is there a reason?

RICHARD: If what you are referring to is that which has been called ‘the meaning of life’ (or ‘the riddle of existence’ or ‘the purpose of the universe’ and so on) then, yes, there is indeed an actual meaning to life ... the latest exchange on this subject occurred only a few weeks ago:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘What you are in effect saying is that the Bible, Koran, Gita, Jesus, are all wrong and you are right and that this physical world is just an accident with no meaning.
• [Richard]: ‘Where have I ever said, in effect or otherwise, that this physical world is just an accident with no meaning? And before you respond I would suggest copy-pasting the following, as-is, into the search-engine box at Google:
meaning of life site:www.actualfreedom.com.au
Then left-click ‘search’ ... you should get about 4,310 hits’.

RESPONDENT: Secondly, What difference does it make whether Richard is the first to find actual freedom ...

RICHARD: It makes no difference whatsoever who was the first to find an actual freedom from the human condition as it is what is found that makes a difference ... as expressed thisaway (also only a few weeks ago):

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘Questioning your ‘priority’ of discovery is tantamount to rejecting ‘peace on earth’.
• [Richard]: ‘It matters not one jot who discovered an actual freedom from the human condition – somebody has to be the first to discover something new in any area of human endeavour as a matter of course – as what does matter is the discovery that, in order for the already always existing peace-on-earth to be apparent, identity in toto becomes extinct’.

RESPONDENT: ... and why do people spend so much time debating it?

RICHARD: It has got me beat ... ... it is simply a fact that somebody has to be the first to discover something new in any field of human endeavour (such as discovering the cure for cancer for instance) and why there is so much brouhaha about being able to live in this actual world 24/7, for the remainder of one’s life, now being possible for the first time in human history defies sensibility.

Perhaps an analogy might go some way towards throwing some light on this peculiar how-can-you-know-you-are-the-first-to-discover-it phenomenon which pops up every now and again ... for example: suppose you were to announce that you had finally found the cure for cancer by discovering the root cause of the disease – hence by eliminating the cause then the effect, the cancer, is no more able to arise/exist and health abounds – and if, upon going public with this discovery, you were to get repeatedly told that you cannot possibly know you were the one who finally made this discovery which many, many people have sought, would you not have to wonder if they were all stark staring mad?

Yet, of course, you would not have to ... and why not? Because virtually everybody will readily acknowledge there has been no cure for cancer thus far in human history – excepting snake-oil ‘cures’ that is – and it is the discovery which would be examined for validity and not (in lieu of actually examining the discovery itself for validity) the validity of any how-can-you-know-you-are-the-first-to-discover-it explanation ... such as which announcing the long-awaited discovery of peace-on-earth appears to almost mandatorily require the provision of.

Is it an addled addiction to the snake-oil ‘cures’, a strait-jacketed fixation on logical impossibilities, an entrenched credulity that life is the pits and the universe sucks, which gives rise to this peculiar question or something else ... something else like, for instance, an ingrained dubiety (just-who-does-this-man-think-he-is-anyway), or even invidia, perchance?

Or is it, and maybe even more likely, nothing other than a knee-jerk reaction to the price of admission?

RESPONDENT: Why make the statement about the pristine newness in the first place?

RICHARD: The following perspicacious observation from an earlier co-respondent brought forth as good an answer as any:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘Do I understand correctly from your mail, that your being unique in this is not what is important: that you merely wanted to stress with it that you bring something that is entirely new?
• [Richard]: ‘Yes. The on-going experiencing of the already always existing peace-on-earth is entirely new to human experience ... everybody I have spoken to at length has temporarily experienced such perfection, in what is called a pure consciousness experience (PCE), but nobody has been able to provide a clear, clean and pure report as an on-going actuality. Usually the PCE is interpreted and/or translated according to selfish personal desires, and by corresponding cultural conditioning, as a variation of the many types of an Altered State Of Consciousness (ASC) which perpetuates the ‘self’ as the ‘Self’ (by whatever name) in some spurious after-life ‘Peace That Passeth All Understanding’. And thus all the wars and murders and rapes and tortures and domestic violence and child abuse and sadness and loneliness and grief and depression and suicides have gone on forever and a day.
Now the opportunity exists for an eventual global peace-on-earth: with 6.0 billion outbreaks of individual peace-on-earth no police force would be needed anywhere on earth; no locks on the doors, no bars on the windows. Gaols, judges and juries would become a thing of the dreadful past ... terror would stalk its prey no more. People would live together in peace and harmony, happiness and delight.
But do not hold your breath waiting’.

RESPONDENT: Yes, that’s literally more than two questions, but the ‘spirit’ of the questions are singular.

RICHARD: As far as can be ascertained the singular spirit of your queries appears to revolve around whether there is a meaning of life to be found and if so why inform one’s fellow human beings upon making that discovery.

RESPONDENT: There are two gaps. Can they be filled please.

RICHARD: Sure ... (1) there is indeed a meaning of life to be found ... and (2) it is fellowship regard which occasions public disclosure of same.

RESPONDENT: Thanks.

RICHARD: You are very welcome.

RESPONDENT: God is a word, a label, just like the word spirit.

RICHARD: Aye ... yet what the word, the label, god (or goddess), just like the word spirit (or soul), refers to – which is that very presence or being itself – is not a word, a label.

September 02 2005

(...)

RICHARD: (...) I would suggest copy-pasting the following, as-is, into the search-engine box at Google: (meaning of life site:www.actualfreedom.com.au). Then left-click ‘search’ ... you should get about 4,310 hits.

RESPONDENT: Right. Searched read a few of the above hits. Not sure if I understood exactly the meaning you ascribe to life as, in the statements I read, you referred only obliquely to this purpose. Am I right in saying that you state that the meaning of life is the glorious awareness of its wonder and beauty and the joy in actually being alive and transmitting this to others?

RICHARD: No, what one is, as a flesh and blood body only (sans the entire affective faculty/ identity in toto), is this infinite and eternal and perpetual universe experiencing itself as an apperceptive human being ... as such it is stunningly aware of its own infinitude.

And this is truly wonderful.

*

RESPONDENT: I wonder what it means to be the first to find something when there is no identity to do the finding.

RICHARD: I have been asked a similar query before:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘You have qualities. In the main page of the actualfreedom website, is written: ‘in this area are miscellaneous corespondents with the DISCOVERER of the method’ so you are something.
• [Richard]: ‘You can only be referring to the following (copy-pasted from the main page): ‘This website [‘The Third Alternative’] encompasses selections from the writings of the ‘discoverer’ of actual freedom and includes a substantial, wide-ranging correspondence. The journey into the institutionalised insanity of Spiritual Enlightenment and the emergence of actual freedom is clearly described in unambiguous terms’. [endquote].
• [Co-Respondent]: ‘You are a discoverer ...
• [Richard]: ‘The word ‘discoverer’ is put in scare-quotes because I never discovered anything – it was the identity within that did all the work – as well you already know. Vis.: [Co-Respondent]: ‘Richard, one sentence attracted my attention in your email. [quote]: ‘I never discovered anything ... the ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul discovered both the actualism method and the wide and wondrous path’. [endquote]. So it follows logically that ...’. (October 11 2003). Apart from that ... are you really suggesting that discovering something – anything – proves that a flesh and blood body is not ‘self’-less (aka sans ‘self’ in toto)?’

RESPONDENT: And if you have no identity what replaces it?

RICHARD: Nothing ... all that is inside this flesh and blood body is heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, and so on, and so forth.

RESPONDENT: After all you still have memories of what your flesh and blood body has done, do you not?

RICHARD: No, it is this flesh and blood body which has memories of what this flesh and blood body has done.

RESPONDENT: Is this not in itself a form of identity?

RICHARD: No, this is simply what this flesh and blood body has memories of.

RESPONDENT: Is this newness not simply the newness of experiencing life as-it-is?

RICHARD: No, the newness being referred to is that an actual freedom from the human condition is now available for the first time in human history/ human experience.

*

RESPONDENT: How would I know whether I had this freedom you speak of?

RICHARD: The peerless purity and pristine perfection of this actual world is tangibly obvious.

RESPONDENT: How would I know I wasn’t fooling myself?

RICHARD: Such peerless purity and pristine perfection cannot be fabricated.

RESPONDENT: How have the ‘others’ that claim this freedom not seen they are fooling themselves? I speak of Barry Long, Krishnamurti, Tolle, Jesus and so on and so forth.

RICHARD: The freedom that those others claim – a religio-spiritual/ mystico-metaphysical freedom – is not this freedom being discussed (an actual freedom).

*

RESPONDENT: God is a word, a label, just like the word spirit.

RICHARD: Aye ... yet what the word, the label, god (or goddess), just like the word spirit (or soul), refers to – which is that very presence or being itself – is not a word, a label.

RESPONDENT: What is God then or Spirit that these words refer to?

RICHARD: Put simply: it is ‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being ... which is ‘being’ itself (usually capitalised as ‘Being’ upon self-realisation).

October 03 2005

CO-RESPONDENT: Richard, the ‘pure consciousness experience’ as you describe it sounds like it bears an uncanny idea to Ian Goddard’s ‘cosmic consciousness experience’. www.iangoddard.net/CCE.htm.

RICHARD: Here is what Mr. Ian Goddard specifically has to say, on that web page, regarding that experience:

• [quote]: ‘Cosmic Consciousness Experience (CCE) ... is an experience wherein the observer’s identity exceeds normal limits. Normally the observer’s experiential field is broken into self, a sense of identity limited to the observer’s body, and not-self, which is outside the observer’s body. During CCE the division of self and not-self is seen as an unreal mental fabrication, the dissolution of which causes self to occupy both the inside, or the body, and the outside. [quote] ‘The yogi endowed with complete enlightenment sees ... the entire universe in his own Self and regards everything as the Self and nothing else. ... I fill all the inside and the outside ... the same in all’. [pages 32, 58, ‘Thus Spake Sri Sankara’; by S. Sankara (circa 788-810); 1969, Sri Ramakrishna Math, Madras India]. (...) A major feature of CCE is the perception of identity with others. During CCE an observer may perceive that his holistic self is equivalent to the holistic self of another and of all others. This may be expressed as ‘I am you’ or ‘We are all one’. [endquote].

The way I describe a pure consciousness experience (PCE) is not at all like that (let alone uncannily so).

RESPONDENT: Richard would you so kind as to explain what the difference is between what is written above and how you would describe a PCE?

RICHARD: First of all: here is the way those three words, in the term ‘pure consciousness experience’ (PCE), are used:

1. The word ‘pure’ is synonymic with ‘unadulterated’, ‘uncontaminated’, ‘unpolluted’, and so on.
2. The word ‘consciousness’ describes the condition of a body being conscious (the suffix ‘-ness’ forms a noun expressing a state or condition).
3. The word ‘experience’ refers to a sentient creature participating personally in events or activities.

Thus a PCE is the condition of a flesh and blood body being conscious sans an adulterant, a contaminant, a pollutant, and so on – specifically the identity in toto (both ‘I’ as ego/self and ‘me’ as soul/spirit) – whereas in an altered state of consciousness (ASC), such as the ‘Cosmic Consciousness Experience’ (CCE) portrayed in that quote above is, it is only the ego/self aspect of identity which dies or dissolves and the soul/spirit (aka ‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being ... which is ‘being’ itself ) expands, inflates, or in any other way aggrandises itself, so as to be all-encompassing.

RESPONDENT: To me the difference seems to be in language only, rather than in kind. But I am ready to be convinced otherwise.

RICHARD: The simplest way to comprehend it all is that, just as the ego-self (aka ‘the thinker’) has to die, so as to become spiritually enlightened/mystically awakened, so too does the spirit-self (aka ‘the feeler’) in order for the flesh and blood body to be actually free from the human condition.

In other words, an ASC is still within the human condition.

October 04 2005

CO-RESPONDENT: Richard, the ‘pure consciousness experience’ as you describe it sounds like it bears an uncanny idea to Ian Goddard’s ‘cosmic consciousness experience’. www.iangoddard.net/CCE.htm.

RICHARD: Here is what Mr. Ian Goddard specifically has to say, on that web page, regarding that experience: • [qote]: ‘Cosmic Consciousness Experience (CCE) ... is an experience wherein the observer’s identity exceeds normal limits. Normally the observer’s experiential field is broken into self, a sense of identity limited to the observer’s body, and not-self, which is outside the observer’s body. During CCE the division of self and not-self is seen as an unreal mental fabrication, the dissolution of which causes self to occupy both the inside, or the body, and the outside. [quote] ‘The yogi endowed with complete enlightenment sees ... the entire universe in his own Self and regards everything as the Self and nothing else. ... I fill all the inside and the outside ... the same in all’. [pages 32, 58, ‘Thus Spake Sri Sankara’; by S. Sankara (circa 788-810); 1969, Sri Ramakrishna Math, Madras India]. (...) A major feature of CCE is the perception of identity with others. During CCE an observer may perceive that his holistic self is equivalent to the holistic self of another and of all others. This may be expressed as ‘I am you’ or ‘We are all one’. [endquote]. The way I describe a pure consciousness experience (PCE) is not at all like that (let alone uncannily so).

RESPONDENT: Richard would you so kind as to explain what the difference is between what is written above and how you would describe a PCE?

RICHARD: First of all: here is the way those three words, in the term ‘pure consciousness experience’ (PCE), are used: 1. The word ‘pure’ is synonymic with ‘unadulterated’, ‘uncontaminated’, ‘unpolluted’, and so on. 2. The word ‘consciousness’ describes the condition of a body being conscious (the suffix ‘-ness’ forms a noun expressing a state or condition). 3. The word ‘experience’ refers to a sentient creature participating personally in events or activities. Thus a PCE is the condition of a flesh and blood body being conscious sans an adulterant, a contaminant, a pollutant, and so on – specifically the identity in toto (both ‘I’ as ego/self and ‘me’ as soul/spirit) – whereas in an altered state of consciousness (ASC), such as the ‘Cosmic Consciousness Experience’ (CCE) portrayed in that quote above is, it is only the ego/self aspect of identity which dies or dissolves and the soul/spirit (aka ‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being ... which is ‘being’ itself ) expands, inflates, or in any other way aggrandises itself, so as to be all-encompassing.

RESPONDENT: To me the difference seems to be in language only, rather than in kind. But I am ready to be convinced otherwise.

RICHARD: The simplest way to comprehend it all is that, just as the ego-self (aka ‘the thinker’) has to die, so as to become spiritually enlightened/mystically awakened, so too does the spirit-self (aka ‘the feeler’) in order for the flesh and blood body to be actually free from the human condition. In other words, an ASC is still within the human condition.

RESPONDENT: Thanks for the reply Richard. I still wonder what the problem is with this human condition thing.

RICHARD: The problem is, essentially, the utter absence of ultimate meaning in life (not to mention all the misery and mayhem, all the animosity and anguish, which epitomises it).

RESPONDENT: I think its important to be free of malice and quite possible while still remaining irrevocably human, but I’m not sure why we need to free of sorrow.

RICHARD: You do not need to be free of sorrow (or malice) ... it is your choice, and your choice alone, each moment again as to how you prefer to experience this moment of being alive (the only moment you are ever alive).

Incidentally, it is not possible to free of malice whilst still remaining irrevocably human (to be ‘human’ is to be, fundamentally, a feeling ‘being’).

RESPONDENT: I have another question which may explain why one should be free of sorrow. If you take away feeling and thought what is left?

RICHARD: Presuming you mean by that extirpating both the affective faculty and the cognitive faculty, in their entirety, then what would remain is an unintelligent (thoughtless) flesh and blood body only ... either inexorably wasting away to an early demise or extemporarily feeding the hungry.

RESPONDENT: Presumably pure perception of now. I have no idea what that means though. Perhaps you could explain it to me?

RICHARD: As briefly as possible: bare sensation.

*

RESPONDENT: Is there still beauty without feeling?

RICHARD: No ... what there is, however, is what beauty is but a pathetic imitation of: an ubiquitous and pristine purity of such peerless perfection as to be inconceivable/incomprehensible and unimaginable/unbelievable (to a beauty-addict).

And I ought to know as I made my living as a practising artist (as well as being a duly qualified art-teacher in the fine arts) for a period in my working life and which is, primarily, to be a purveyor of beauty ... a beauty-pusher, so to speak.

RESPONDENT: (...) Is there joy without feeling?

RICHARD: There is joy in the sense of sensitive enjoyment – pleasure, gratification, delight, gladness, rejoicement, happiness, glee/gaiety (mirth/merriment), and so on – but not, of course, joy in the affective meaning of the word (elation, exultation, ecstasy, euphoria, rhapsody, rapture, ravishment, transport, bliss, and so forth).

RESPONDENT: If not, I’d rather have my sorrow and my joy.

RICHARD: Again, it is your choice, and your choice alone, each moment again as to how you prefer to experience this moment of being alive (the only moment you are ever alive).

*

RESPONDENT: One more question: if one’s being inflates to encompass everything how is there a being left?

RICHARD: By virtue of there being nothing other than that very presence (‘There is only That’) ... in a word: solipsism.

RESPONDENT: I would have thought that being relies on its opposite not being to exist.

RICHARD: Not when one has experientially gone all the way (become totally solipsistic) ... otherwise it be, instead, nihilism.

RESPONDENT: Any inflation of one or the other to encompass everything surely would annihilate the very being/not being dichotomy.

RICHARD: The solipsistic/nihilistic dilemma of yore has brought many a logician to their knees ... thence a profound silence (wherein/whereupon the revelation of Who You Really Are transpires).

RESPONDENT: But again, perhaps I misunderstand.

RICHARD: Hence the ultimate cop-out ... as in ineffable (aka ‘unknowable’).


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