Actual Freedom – The Actual Freedom Mailing List Correspondence

Richard’s Correspondence

On The Actual Freedom Mailing List

With Correspondent No. 103


October 22 2005

RICHARD: (...) there is more to identity than just the ego-self ... much, much more.

RESPONDENT: Okay ... then I want to find out what it is that’s more to it.

RICHARD: As simply as possible: it is who you feel yourself to be at the very core of your being (‘I’ am ‘my’ feelings and ‘my’ feelings are ‘me’).

(...)

RICHARD: ... All animals are at least once-removed from actuality ...

RESPONDENT: All animals? Insects and arachnids, too?

RICHARD: I see that, in the third and only part of my reply you responded to, I inadvertently left off the [quote] ‘in general’ [endquote] qualifier which appears in the first two parts ... for example:

• [example only]: ‘All animals, in general, are at least once-removed from actuality’. [end example].

I am an actualist, not a biologist, and I am not about to become side-tracked into a discussion about whether or not animals of the phylum Arthropoda (such as insects, arachnids, and crustaceans, for instance) are instinctually driven by fear, aggression, nurture, desire, and so forth (and thus whether or not they are once-removed from actuality in the perceptive process) as the identity in residence all those years ago did not find it at all necessary to get into that sort of minute detail so as to be able to altruistically ‘self’-immolate, in toto, for the benefit of this body and that body and every body. Indeed ‘he’ did not know anywhere near what I know (through having to look things up as a result of going public with what ‘he’ did) nowadays.

In a nutshell: ‘he’ understood what the expression ‘fiddling whilst Rome burns’ really meant.

RESPONDENT: Well, now that Rome is not burning anymore ...

RICHARD: There are 32 ‘major’ wars (armed conflicts with more than 1,000 casualties) currently occurring around the globe – wherein people are killing and wounding and maiming/being killed and wounded and maimed – and 18 ‘minor’ wars (armed conflicts with less than 1,000 casualties) as you read this ... and 19 wars have only recently been either concluded or suspended.

Given that in the last century an estimated 160,000,000 sane people were killed by their sane fellow human beings, during wars alone, there is the distinct possibility that the same or similar will happen in this century ... that is, some peoples now living and some peoples not yet even born, are going to kill and/or be killed in some battle, some conflict, some hostilities, at some place on this otherwise fair planet we all live on.

In monetary terms, world-wide military spending for the year 2003 was $997.2 billion.

Furthermore, all the murders and rapes and tortures and domestic violence and child abuse and sadness and loneliness and grief and depression and suicides (in the last century an estimated 40,000,000 people killed themselves) will continue on unabated unless radical change occurs: someone, somewhere is being murdered and someone, somewhere is murdering as these words are being written; someone, somewhere is being tortured and someone, somewhere is torturing as these words scroll past you; someone, somewhere is being raped and someone, somewhere is raping right now; someone, somewhere is being beaten up and someone, somewhere is doing the beating, in yet another case of domestic violence, at this very instant; somewhere some child is being brutalised, frightened out of their wits in yet another case of child abuse, at this very moment ... and such suffering, as sadness, loneliness, grief, depression, and so on, is going on in uncountable numbers of utterly miserable lives all around the world.

It could be said, metaphorically, that the entire world is still ablaze.

RESPONDENT: ... at least in one person, one might ask who exactly laid the fire (...).

RICHARD: The root cause of all those wars and murders and rapes and tortures and domestic violence and child abuse and sadness and loneliness and grief and depression and suicides, and so forth, is blind nature’s genetically-endowed instinctual survival passions/the rudimentary animal ‘self’ automatically formed thereof.

RESPONDENT: What I wanted to know was: when was it that animals became inhabited by the ‘alien identity’, a rudimentary sense of self?

RICHARD: As I am an actualist, and not a palaeobiologist, here is how I have put it on the home page of my portion of The Actual Freedom Trust web site:

• [Richard]: ‘Being a ‘self’ is because the only way into this world of people, things and events is via the human spermatozoa fertilising the human ova ... thus every human being is endowed, by blind nature, with the basic instinctual passions of fear and aggression and nurture and desire. Thus ‘I’ am the end-point of myriads of survivors passing on their genes. ‘I’ am the product of the ‘success story’ of blind nature’s fear and aggression and nurture and desire. Being born of the biologically inherited instincts genetically encoded in the germ cells of the spermatozoa and the ova, ‘I’ am – genetically – umpteen tens 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 and hereditably transmissible future.
In other words: ‘I’ am fear and fear is ‘me’ and ‘I’ am aggression and aggression is ‘me’ and ‘I’ am nurture and nurture is ‘me’ and ‘I’ am desire and desire is ‘me’.
The instinctual passions are the very energy source of the rudimentary animal self (...)’. [emphasises added].

RESPONDENT: And, to pick up on what No. 97 asked, where does that identity live, neuronwise?

RICHARD: You may find the following to be of interest:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘Richard, we can take for granted that the temporal amygdalae are essential to feel fear in front of a frightening face. According to what I believe to understand, the sight of a frightening face or another thing, has not frightened you any more for several years. How do you explain this phenomenon?
• [Richard]: ‘For the first thirty-four years of my life there was a parasite living inside this body (an identity). This ‘walk-in’ dominated so much that I could hardly get a word in edgeways. Then one day ‘he’ had a pure consciousness experience (PCE) and saw ‘himself’ for the very first time ... a lost, lonely, frightened and very, very cunning entity. Furthermore, ‘he’ saw that ‘he’ was standing in the way of the already always existing peace-on-earth becoming apparent. To cut a long story short ‘he’ psychologically and psychically (ontologically and autologically) ‘self’-immolated in ‘his’ totality (both ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul) for the benefit of this body and that body and every body.
This altruistic action, set in motion with knowledge aforethought, precipitated much sensational activity at the top of the brain-stem/base of the brain (popularly known as the ‘lizard brain’/‘reptilian brain’). However, the amygdalae are located further up into the skull (just in from behind each ear) and there was no activity happening there. As the reflex function still operates (if a hot stove is inadvertently touched the hand jerks away automatically) it is obvious to me that that the ‘seat of consciousness’ is located in the brain-stem. I would suggest the ‘Substantia Nigra’ in or near the top two thirds of the ‘Reticular Activating System’ (sometimes known as the ‘Reticular System’) as being the source of the instinctual self/the instinctual passions.
To put it simply: as ‘I’ am fear and fear is ‘me’, the extinction of ‘I’/‘me’ is simultaneously the extinction of fear’.

And:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘Did you have a tomodensitometry of the brain (PET-scan)?
• [Richard]: ‘No ... this is a matter I discussed in depth with both the accredited psychiatrist and the psychologist who both examined me over a three-year period (the first year on a weekly basis then on a three weekly basis). This is how I understand the situation: as no scientist has yet been able to locate ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul (the identity by whatever name) despite all their RI scans (Radio Isotope), CAT scans (Computerised Axial Tomography), CT scans (Computed Tomography), NMR scans (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance), PET scans (Positron Emission Tomography), MRA scans (Magnetic Resonance Angiography), MRI scans (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), and fMRI scans (functioning Magnetic Resonance Imaging) in any normal identity-bound flesh and blood body it would be pointless to scan for the absence of identity in this flesh and blood body.
• [Co-Respondent]: ‘You know as me that the neurons of the Substantia Nigra are destroyed during the Parkinson’s disease what causes stereotyped neurological disorders. Which arguments make you think that Substantia Nigra could be the source of the instinctual self and/or of the instinctual passions?
• [Richard]: ‘What caught my interest was the encephalitis that numerous people contracted as a result of the outbreak of what is popularly known as the ‘Spanish Flu’ epidemic that spread world-wide towards the end of World War I. In their case the Substantia Nigra was affected (which could be described as being ‘eaten away’ by the encephalitis), leaving them in what is popularly known as a ‘vegetative’ state ... yet large amounts of L-Dopa administered temporarily brought them out of their state into varying degrees of normality (there was a movie made about this phenomenon) complete with an intact identity.
This gave rise to speculation amongst various professionals in the field that the Substantia Nigra was the ‘seat of consciousness’ (the location of identity) and, as there was much sensational activity at the top of the brain-stem/base of the brain during the extinction of identity in this flesh and blood body, it makes sense to me to suggest that this speculation could very well be the case. Plus, as reptiles (and birds and fishes) do not have a ‘mammalian’ brain and/or a ‘cortical’ brain it seems obvious that the ‘seat of consciousness’ be located in what is popularly known as the ‘lizard brain’/‘reptilian brain’.
An instinctual self, in other words, is the root of the problem’.

RESPONDENT: How can we see that it [identity] has gone away in a flesh and blood body other than our own?

RICHARD: In the same way you can see it has not gone away in a flesh and blood body other than your own ... feeling for it affectively/psychically (intuitively).

My previous companion, for instance, would oft-times say ‘there is no-one in there’ or ‘there is no-one home’ when feeling me out whilst looking at me quizzically ... she also would explain to others that, contrary to expectation, it was sometimes difficult to live with Richard (it could be said that living with some body that is not self-centred would always be easy) as it was impossible for her to have a relationship because there was no-one to make a connection with, or form a bond with/be tied to, or unite with/be in union with, or in any other way be at one with (oneness).

She would also say that Richard does nor support her, as an identity that is, at all ... which lack of (affective) caring was disconcerting for her, to say the least, and my current companion has also reported this absence of (affective) consideration.

RESPONDENT: You know, I’m asking for something like a message such as ‘Goodbye, and thanks for all the fish’, or ‘Sorry for the inconvenience’, just in neurological terms.

RICHARD: If you would explain what those two messages refer to I may be able to respond meaningfully.

October 24 2005

RICHARD: (...) there is more to identity than just the ego-self ... much, much more.

RESPONDENT: Okay ... then I want to find out what it is that’s more to it.

RICHARD: As simply as possible: it is who you feel yourself to be at the very core of your being (‘I’ am ‘my’ feelings and ‘my’ feelings are ‘me’).

(...)

RESPONDENT: ... where does that identity live, neuronwise?

RICHARD: You may find the following to be of interest:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘Richard, we can take for granted that the temporal amygdalae are essential to feel fear in front of a frightening face. According to what I believe to understand, the sight of a frightening face or another thing, has not frightened you any more for several years. How do you explain this phenomenon?
• [Richard]: ‘For the first thirty-four years of my life there was a parasite living inside this body (an identity). This ‘walk-in’ dominated so much that I could hardly get a word in edgeways. Then one day ‘he’ had a pure consciousness experience (PCE) and saw ‘himself’ for the very first time ... a lost, lonely, frightened and very, very cunning entity. Furthermore, ‘he’ saw that ‘he’ was standing in the way of the already always existing peace-on-earth becoming apparent. To cut a long story short ‘he’ psychologically and psychically (ontologically and autologically) ‘self’-immolated in ‘his’ totality (both ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul) for the benefit of this body and that body and every body.
This altruistic action, set in motion with knowledge aforethought, precipitated much sensational activity at the top of the brain-stem/base of the brain (popularly known as the ‘lizard brain’/‘reptilian brain’). However, the amygdalae are located further up into the skull (just in from behind each ear) and there was no activity happening there. As the reflex function still operates (if a hot stove is inadvertently touched the hand jerks away automatically) it is obvious to me that that the ‘seat of consciousness’ is located in the brain-stem. I would suggest the ‘Substantia Nigra’ in or near the top two thirds of the ‘Reticular Activating System’ (sometimes known as the ‘Reticular System’) as being the source of the instinctual self/the instinctual passions.
To put it simply: as ‘I’ am fear and fear is ‘me’, the extinction of ‘I’/‘me’ is simultaneously the extinction of fear’.

And:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘Did you have a tomodensitometry of the brain (PET-scan)?
• [Richard]: ‘No ... this is a matter I discussed in depth with both the accredited psychiatrist and the psychologist who both examined me over a three-year period (the first year on a weekly basis then on a three weekly basis). This is how I understand the situation: as no scientist has yet been able to locate ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul (the identity by whatever name) despite all their RI scans (Radio Isotope), CAT scans (Computerised Axial Tomography), CT scans (Computed Tomography), NMR scans (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance), PET scans (Positron Emission Tomography), MRA scans (Magnetic Resonance Angiography), MRI scans (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), and fMRI scans (functioning Magnetic Resonance Imaging) in any normal identity-bound flesh and blood body it would be pointless to scan for the absence of identity in this flesh and blood body.
• [Co-Respondent]: ‘You know as me that the neurons of the Substantia Nigra are destroyed during the Parkinson’s disease what causes stereotyped neurological disorders. Which arguments make you think that Substantia Nigra could be the source of the instinctual self and/or of the instinctual passions?
• [Richard]: ‘What caught my interest was the encephalitis that numerous people contracted as a result of the outbreak of what is popularly known as the ‘Spanish Flu’ epidemic that spread world-wide towards the end of World War I. In their case the Substantia Nigra was affected (which could be described as being ‘eaten away’ by the encephalitis), leaving them in what is popularly known as a ‘vegetative’ state ... yet large amounts of L-Dopa administered temporarily brought them out of their state into varying degrees of normality (there was a movie made about this phenomenon) complete with an intact identity.
This gave rise to speculation amongst various professionals in the field that the Substantia Nigra was the ‘seat of consciousness’ (the location of identity) and, as there was much sensational activity at the top of the brain-stem/base of the brain during the extinction of identity in this flesh and blood body, it makes sense to me to suggest that this speculation could very well be the case. Plus, as reptiles (and birds and fishes) do not have a ‘mammalian’ brain and/or a ‘cortical’ brain it seems obvious that the ‘seat of consciousness’ be located in what is popularly known as the ‘lizard brain’/‘reptilian brain’.
An instinctual self, in other words, is the root of the problem’.

RESPONDENT: So self-immolation, to speculate wildly, implies some restructuring in/bypassing of/deletion of/change in the firing pattern of neurons in the substantia nigra?

RICHARD: Given that you start your query with [quote] ‘so ...’ [endquote] it is pertinent to note that nowhere do I mention neurons/neurones (aka nerve cells) – let alone an implication in regards any restructuring/ bypassing/ deletion/ change thereof – in the above text?

Indeed, I specifically say ‘psychologically and psychically (ontologically and autologically) ‘self’-immolated’ – and not neuronally (by a neurone or neurones) and neurologically (as regards neurology) ‘self’-immolated – and especially mention that identity has not been located in such a manner ... in accordance to the neurone theory. Vis.:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘Did you have a tomodensitometry of the brain (PET-scan)?
• [Richard]: ‘No ... this is a matter I discussed in depth with both the accredited psychiatrist and the psychologist who both examined me over a three-year period (the first year on a weekly basis then on a three weekly basis). This is how I understand the situation: as *no scientist has yet been able to locate ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul (the identity by whatever name)* despite all their RI scans (Radio Isotope), CAT scans (Computerised Axial Tomography), CT scans (Computed Tomography), NMR scans (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance), PET scans (Positron Emission Tomography), MRA scans (Magnetic Resonance Angiography), MRI scans (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), and fMRI scans (functioning Magnetic Resonance Imaging) in any normal identity-bound flesh and blood body it would be pointless to scan for the absence of identity in this flesh and blood body’. [emphasis added].

October 24 2005

RICHARD: (...) there is more to identity than just the ego-self ... much, much more.

RESPONDENT: Okay ... then I want to find out what it is that’s more to it.

RICHARD: As simply as possible: it is who you feel yourself to be at the very core of your being (‘I’ am ‘my’ feelings and ‘my’ feelings are ‘me’).

(...)

RESPONDENT: How can we see that it [identity] has gone away in a flesh and blood body other than our own?

RICHARD: In the same way you can see it has not gone away in a flesh and blood body other than your own ... feeling for it affectively/ psychically (intuitively).

RESPONDENT: It appears, then, that some people on this mailing list do not use their affective/psychical faculties sufficiently or correctly, for they presume that there is still an ego present in you, in other words, that you are deceiving yourself.

RICHARD: Someone – anyone – who presumes there is still [quote] ‘an ego’ [endquote] present in the flesh and blood body writing these words is simply displaying their ignorance in public as there is more to identity than just the ego-self ... much, much more.

I am, of course, referring to ‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being – which is ‘being’ itself – or the rudimentary animal ‘self’ (an inchoate affective presence, an embryonic feeler, an incipient intuiter) which all sentient beings, in general, are per favour blind nature’s rough and ready survival software hereditarily endowed at conception.

*

RICHARD: My previous companion, for instance, would oft-times say ‘there is no-one in there’ or ‘there is no-one home’ when feeling me out whilst looking at me quizzically ... she also would explain to others that, contrary to expectation, it was sometimes difficult to live with Richard (it could be said that living with some body that is not self-centred would always be easy) as it was impossible for her to have a relationship because there was no-one to make a connection with, or form a bond with/be tied to, or unite with/be in union with, or in any other way be at one with (oneness).

RESPONDENT: Let’s assume that by correct use of my intuition and in the right circumstances, as your current companion has the occasion to experience, for example, that one can feel the absence of a self in an actually free person.

RICHARD: I see that it would be handy to add a proviso to the above because (and for whatever it is worth) there has never been an instance yet, in the last thirteen years, of a person who is not already cognisant of my condition (through either the verbal or written word) accosting me either in public or in private so as to inform me that they intuitively/ psychically know I am bereft of the entire affective faculty/ identity in toto.

For instance:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘As for ‘ASC-PCE?’, the state I’ve experienced back then [an ASC] had had in my view the same properties as the PCE, the same fairy-tale magic, things being covered with sparkling silver, continuously living in the split-of-a-second, etc. But I guess you’re more entitled to speak about it as 3 hours can hardly be compared with 11 years.
• [Richard]: ‘(...) Also, [as well as no Love Agapé] there is no Divine Compassion in a PCE either (hence no magnetic properties to draw people to one) thus *one can pass unnoticed in the world – a definite plus if there ever was* – and judgement operates very well indeed as whatever qualities are apparent are easily recognised for what they are (arising out of properties) so that actual values easily ensue’. [emphasis added].

RESPONDENT: So one needs to have a psyche to do that. O.k.

RICHARD: Or, rather, one needs to *be* a psyche (in order to intuitively/ psychically feel the presence, or the lack thereof, of another psyche).

RESPONDENT: Now, how would an actually free person do that, given absence of the affective/intuitive capacity?

RICHARD: A person actually free from the human condition does not/can not detect something which has no existence in actuality. Vis.:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘Richard ... the problem is not the ‘self’ (in regard to war, rape, murder, heartache, sorrow, malice, tooth decay, etc., etc.), the problem is always ‘the other’. And we cannot ‘get rid of’ the other.
• [Richard]: ‘Au contraire ... when ‘the ‘self’’ in its entirety (both ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul), who was parasitically inhabiting this flesh and blood body, psychologically and psychically (ontologically and autologically) self-immolated ... ‘the other’ (all six billion ‘others’ plus all past and future ‘others’) vanished.
I only get to meet flesh and blood bodies here in this actual world’.

RESPONDENT: In which way would two actually free people recognize one another?

RICHARD: As I only get to meet flesh and blood bodies here in this actual world I can only take another’s word for it that they experience themself to be an identity ... albeit usually in a dissociated way (by saying they have one).

*

RICHARD: She [my previous companion] would also say that Richard does nor support her, as an identity that is, at all ... which lack of (affective) caring was disconcerting for her, to say the least, and my current companion has also reported this absence of (affective) consideration.

RESPONDENT: I presume there is purely ‘rational’ consideration as a fellow human being, then?

RICHARD: You presume incorrectly ... just copy-paste the following, as-is, into the search-engine box at Google:

fellowship regard site:www.actualfreedom.com.au

Then left-click ‘search’ (or tap ‘enter’) ... in the meanwhile you may find the following to be of related interest:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘I think you have feelings. What made you put your so called discovery on the web?
• [Richard]: ‘You have asked a similar question before: [Respondent]: ‘You speak about peace on earth, is this not a feeling toward humanity? [Richard]: ‘No, it is actually caring about my fellow human beings and not merely feeling that one cares’. [endquote].
• [Co-Respondent]: ‘Why you want as you say to help your human fellows?
• [Richard]: ‘Because of fellowship regard ... like species recognises like species throughout the animal kingdom.
• [Co-Respondent]: ‘What motivated you for that?
• [Richard]: ‘Have you never heard of what is sometimes called ‘Theory Of Mind’?
The ‘theory of mind’ is a term which basically denotes that human communal interaction, as contrasted to animals’ communal interaction, depends primarily upon one’s knowledge about other people’s consciousness (the recognition of a mind in other people similar to one’s own). There is more to it than just this, though: normal adult humans have a ‘theory of mind’ in that they understand that (a) other humans have wants, ideas and intentions that may differ from one’s own; (b) that desires and ideals are different from plans and actions; (c) that concepts may or may not correspond with what is actually occurring in the world. To put it simply, for an example, because one has a ‘theory of mind’ one understands that one can simultaneously (1) know that Santa Claus does not exist and (2) know that for a child the child knows that Santa Claus exists and (3) know that the child’s ‘knowing’ is actually believing.
Experiments have been done in order to determine when the ‘theory of mind’ develops in children (which research is important to take personally because all adults were children before they were adults); typically, by age four to four and a half, children can basically (a) distinguish between physical and mental objects (an orange is different from the thought of an orange), (b) reason about ideas, (c) ascribe false knowing (beliefs) in others, (d) engage in pretence (deceive and cheat).
Interestingly enough, it is this last point (deceit) which most of all signals the ‘theory of mind’ as having become established. Primatologists have determined that while monkeys do not have a ‘theory of mind’, chimpanzees may very well have a rudimentary ‘theory of mind’ in that they can deliberately deceive other chimpanzees (pretence) by hiding food so as to be able eat it all on their own. The term ‘theory of mind’ was coined by Mr. David Premack and Mr. Guy Woodruff (1978) in a paper investigating a chimpanzee’s ability to predict the behaviour of another by means of mental state attribution. In short, they sought to show that their chimp, Sarah, inferred the ‘intentions’ and ‘motivations’ of a man to predict his actions. Primatologists and other investigators of animal behaviour use a variety of substitutes for the term ‘theory of mind’ including ‘metarepresentation’, ‘metacognition’, ‘mind reading’, ‘mental state attribution’ and ‘pan- or pongo-morphism’.
To comprehend the importance of ‘theory of mind’, one only has to consider the task the ‘artificial intelligence’ theorists face in building a computerised model that would communicate like a human: they have to consider what kind of thoughts such a machine would have to be capable of to interact meaningfully with humans and how these kinds of thoughts could be modelled ... let alone inputting feelings.
Incidentally, it is considered that autism (and/or Asperger’s Syndrome) is best characterised as ‘mind-blindness’; in other words, autistic individuals generally lack a ‘theory of mind’.

October 24 2005

RICHARD: (...) there is more to identity than just the ego-self ... much, much more.

RESPONDENT: Okay ... then I want to find out what it is that’s more to it.

RICHARD: As simply as possible: it is who you feel yourself to be at the very core of your being (‘I’ am ‘my’ feelings and ‘my’ feelings are ‘me’).

(...)

RESPONDENT: You know, I’m asking for something like a message such as ‘Goodbye, and thanks for all the fish’, or ‘Sorry for the inconvenience’, just in neurological terms.

RICHARD: If you would explain what those two messages refer to I may be able to respond meaningfully.

RESPONDENT: Just a joking metaphor – a reference to Douglas Adams. In one of his books the dolphins, before collectively leaving earth because they were informed of its imminent destruction (it must give way to an intergalactic superhighway), leave the message: ‘Goodbye, and thanks for all the fish’.

RICHARD: Given that you asked me for such a metaphorical message in the context of having just enquired as to whether or not some of the members of the phylum Arthropoda are once-removed from actuality in the perceptive process and, or, when it was historically that all species of animals became inhabited by a rudimentary ‘self’, if you would explain who it is that the metaphor refers to (who is being thanked) I may be able to respond meaningfully.

RESPONDENT: ‘Sorry for the inconvenience’, on the other hand and in another Douglas Adams book, is good’s final message to Creation.

RICHARD: Again, given that you asked me for such a metaphorical message in the context of having just enquired as to whether or not some of the members of the phylum Arthropoda are once-removed from actuality in the perceptive process and, or, when it was historically that all species of animals became inhabited by a rudimentary ‘self’, if you would explain who it is that the metaphor refers to (who is apologising) I may be able to respond meaningfully.

RESPONDENT: To translate into the neurological terms which you have given above ...

RICHARD: If I might interject? I gave no neurological terms in the text you are referring to ... indeed I specifically mentioned that identity cannot be located neuronally/ neurologically. Vis.:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘Did you have a tomodensitometry of the brain (PET-scan)?
• [Richard]: ‘No ... this is a matter I discussed in depth with both the accredited psychiatrist and the psychologist who both examined me over a three-year period (the first year on a weekly basis then on a three weekly basis). This is how I understand the situation: as *no scientist has yet been able to locate ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul (the identity by whatever name)* despite all their RI scans (Radio Isotope), CAT scans (Computerised Axial Tomography), CT scans (Computed Tomography), NMR scans (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance), PET scans (Positron Emission Tomography), MRA scans (Magnetic Resonance Angiography), MRI scans (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), and fMRI scans (functioning Magnetic Resonance Imaging) in any normal identity-bound flesh and blood body it would be pointless to scan for the absence of identity in this flesh and blood body’. [emphasis added].

RESPONDENT: ... ‘twas but another metaphorical inquiry about neurological remainders of the ‘self’.

RICHARD: As it is you who posits that identity has a neuronal/ neurological existence, and not me, I will pass without further comment.

RESPONDENT: In your answer to No. 97 for the same question you used a computer analogy (deletion of a software program from a chip without a trace).

RICHARD: Were you to be inclined to ponder the distinction between ‘... without a trace’ and ‘remainders of ...’ it might save a lot of to-ing and fro-ing of e-mails regarding Mr. Douglas Adams’ thinly disguised religio-spiritual/ mystico-metaphysical messages.

RESPONDENT: In light of your response here I would ask: what happened to your substantia nigra?

RICHARD: Put simply: ‘my’ demise was as fictitious as ‘my’ apparent presence.

RESPONDENT: Given the magnitude of the problems you detailed above [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 so on], and thus a certain urgency or at least importance which you convey to exist for application of actualism ...

RICHARD: If I may interject? The application of the actualism method is neither urgent nor important (as humankind has not only survived and multiplied but has become the dominant species worldwide over millennia without it there is no historical/ foreseeable reason to presume humankind will not continue to prevail) ... 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).

And it goes without saying, surely, what the identity in residence all those years ago preferred?

RESPONDENT: ... a closer (neuro-scientifical) investigation of these aspects ...

RICHARD: If I may again interject? Just what [quote] ‘aspects’ [endquote] are you referring to?

RESPONDENT: ... [a closer (neuro-scientifical) investigation of these aspects] might, if it serves to convince some actual sceptics, be of use for this world.

RICHARD: I am not in the business of convincing anyone of matters experiential ... I unambiguously make it clear that experiential proof is the only proof worthy of the name in regards to consciousness studies. For example (from the home page of my portion of The Actual Freedom Trust web site):

• [Richard]: ‘I invite anyone to make a critical examination of all the words I advance so as to ascertain if they be intrinsically self-explanatory ... and if they are all seen to be inherently consistent with what is being spoken about, then the facts speak for themselves. Then one will have reason to remember a pure conscious experience (PCE), which all peoples I have spoken to at length have had, and thus verify by direct experience the facticity of what is written (*which personal experiencing is the only proof worthy of the name*). The PCE occurs globally ... across cultures and down through the ages irregardless of gender, race or age. However, it is usually interpreted according to cultural beliefs – created and reinforced by the persistence of identity – and devolves into an ASC. Then ‘I’ as ego – sublimated and transcended as ‘me’ as soul – manifest as a god or a goddess (‘The Truth’ by any name) and preach unliveable doctrines based upon their belief that they are ‘not the body’. [emphasis added].

RESPONDENT: ‘Tis but a suggestion, mind you.

RICHARD: Perhaps, just perhaps, were you to read what I have to say with both eyes open there would be no need to make any such suggestion?

October 24 2005

RICHARD: (...) A psychiatrist (who, unlike a psychologist, has a medical degree) once explained to me that my on-going day-to-day experience is because of an excess of dopamine in the post-synaptic receptors – similar to the effect cocaine or amphetamine or lysergic acid diethylamide produce – hence my understanding is that to ingest caffeine on top of this moment-to-moment experiencing is somewhat similar to overdosing on those substances ... primarily the main symptom is a saturated sensuosity of such brilliance and vividity (as in psychedelic), which satiation can be likened to a television set receiving 4 or 5 channels all at once (inasmuch thought, and thus speech, is unable to keep up with the resultant cacophonic ‘white noise’), that the brain cells themselves undergo a non-volitional (chemical) excitation of such a magnitude as to be almost impossible for awareness to sustain itself (as in too much to bear). (...)

RESPONDENT: It appears that Actual Freedom is akin to the effects of psychotropic drugs when not overdosed ...

RICHARD: That is how my condition appeared to the psychiatrist mentioned above ... when he was not likening it to Mr. Gotama the Sakyan’s experience that is. Vis.:

• [Richard]: ‘... I am yet to meet an atheist who does not ponder, when questioned deeply, whether there may be something substantive post-mortem after all. For example, many years ago I went to see an accredited psychiatrist and established right from the beginning that he be an atheistic materialist – he said emphatically upon being questioned rather rigorously in this regard that everything was molecular (material) and modifications of same including consciousness itself – because another psychiatrist I had previously seen was exigently talking about guardian angels looking after me within the first five minutes of our discussion ... yet when regaling this second psychiatrist of my on-going experiencing of life in this actual world his eyes opened in awe as the full import (of what he heard) struck home and he said ‘you may very well be the next Buddha we have all been waiting for’.

RESPONDENT: ... and when one does not loose oneself in the imagination, but stays in the here & now ...

RICHARD: As the term [quote] ‘here & now’ [endquote] is extensively used in religio-spiritual/mystic-metaphysical texts to refer to a metaphysical dimension (a spaceless and timeless realm) the utilisation of that spatial and temporal terminology is disingenuous to say the least. For example:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘When I was in ASC under the influence of Ecstasy, I was confused trying to sort out what had been going on. Then my friend said ‘BE HERE’ and hit the floor just in front of me.
• [Richard]: ‘Then your friend has hopelessly misunderstood what the sages having been saying for millennia ... the ‘be here’ of the god-men and gurus (and their ‘now’) is a metaphysical ‘here and now’ (a timeless and spaceless void) that has nothing to do with literally being here – now – in actual space and time. Indeed, Mr. Mohan ‘Rajneesh’ Jain oft-times used the metaphysical word ‘herenow’ to distinguish it from the (physical) spatial and temporal location ... and it is anywhere but here at this place in infinite space and anywhen but now at this moment in eternal time. When the mystics say: ‘I am Timeless and Spaceless; Unborn and Undying; Birthless and Deathless’ and so on, what do you take it that they mean? Because, as this physical body has a limited life-span, they can only be referring to themselves as being a psychic entity receiving its post-mortem reward of immortality. Thus the reality of their psychic ‘being here’ is vastly different to the actuality of sensately being here’.

RESPONDENT: ... and without addicting qualities ...

RICHARD: As I understand it lysergic acid diethylamide is not addictive.

RESPONDENT: ... on the one hand because of the absence of a pleasure/ pain centre ...

RICHARD: The absence, that is, of the affective pleasure/pain centre (as in the pleasure/pain principle which spiritualism makes quite an issue out of yet never does eliminate) ... which means that, as it is impossible to be hedonic, addiction does not happen.

RESPONDENT: ... on the other hand because the effect is permanent. Is that correct?

RICHARD: As you have included so many features into your query as to make an unqualified answer impossible it cannot be answered as-is. Suffice is it to say that while the ingestion of psychotropic substances can, on occasion, induce a pure consciousness experience (PCE) it is not something I either advise or encourage. For instance:

• [Richard]: ‘... I never advise or encourage anyone to use psychotropic substances (for obvious reasons). If, however, someone already has done so, and intends to do so again of their own accord and volition anyway, then I would counsel their very careful and considered use as it is all-too-easy for an altered state of consciousness (ASC) to emerge rather than a pure consciousness experience (PCE) ... there are many accounts available on the internet and 4 or 5 years ago I browsed through several web pages and never found any description that resembled a PCE’.

RESPONDENT: Another trivial question: what happens when someone pinches you very hard?

RICHARD: As nobody has ever pinched me very hard, over the thirteen years of being apparent 24/7, I cannot answer your query.

RESPONDENT: Is my guess wrong that you would say: ‘it hurts, but I feel no pain’ ...

RICHARD: Perhaps this may be of assistance:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘Pain and anguish are part of life.
• [Richard]: ‘Hmm ... it is helpful to draw a distinction betwixt physical pain and emotional and mental pain. Physical pain is essential, else one could be sitting on a hot-plate and not know that one’s bum was on fire until one saw the smoke rising. Emotional and mental pain (which is what I indicated by using ‘animosity and anguish’) are totally unnecessary’.

And even more explicitly:

• [Richard]: ‘There is physical pleasure and pain (bodily pain is essential else one could be sitting on a hot-plate, for example, and not know that one’s bum was on fire until one saw the smoke rising) ... it is the affective pleasure and pain which has no existence here in this actual world’.

RESPONDENT: ... and that you would defend yourself, if the pinch does not stop, thanks to the uninhibited functioning of the ratiocinative process?

RICHARD: It is a freed intelligence, and not just uninhibited ratiocination (the action or process of reasoning), which ensures an appropriate-to-the-situation-and-circumstances defence when attacked.

October 25 2005

RESPONDENT: How can we see that it [identity] has gone away in a flesh and blood body other than our own?

RICHARD: In the same way you can see it has not gone away in a flesh and blood body other than your own ... feeling for it affectively/ psychically (intuitively).

(...)

RESPONDENT: In which way would two actually free people recognize one another?

RICHARD: As I only get to meet flesh and blood bodies here in this actual world I can only take another’s word for it that they experience themself to be an identity ... albeit usually in a dissociated way (by saying they have one).

RESPONDENT: So there would be no way for you to directly recognize, in their presence, the absence or presence of an identity in another person?

RICHARD: I do not/can not recognise something which has no existence in actuality. Vis.:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘Richard ... the problem is not the ‘self’ (in regard to war, rape, murder, heartache, sorrow, malice, tooth decay, etc., etc.), the problem is always ‘the other’. And we cannot ‘get rid of’ the other.
• [Richard]: ‘Au contraire ... when ‘the ‘self’’ in its entirety (both ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul), who was parasitically inhabiting this flesh and blood body, psychologically and psychically (ontologically and autologically) self-immolated ... ‘the other’ (all six billion ‘others’ plus all past and future ‘others’) vanished.
I only get to meet flesh and blood bodies here in this actual world’.

My previous companion (for example) often found that total lack of recognition disconcerting, to say the least, as ‘her’ experience of it then was that it were *as if* I would not recognise ‘her’ (as in either a refusal to do so or an inability to do so) ... for that is how real ‘her’ existence was (to ‘her’ that is).

Perhaps if I were to put it this way: just as there are no affective feelings in a stone/a brick (for instance), and just as there is no ‘being’ in a river/a mountain (for example), there are no affective feelings/is no ‘being’, in any flesh and blood body whatsoever, in actuality (here in this actual world).

Here in this actual world (the sensate world which ‘you’ are totally oblivious to and forever locked out of by the very nature of ‘being’ in the first place) every body and every thing and every event is already free (if that be the right word) ... and always has been and always will be.

‘Tis not for nothing I am wont to say that I have been here all along (since 1947) .. simply having a ball.

RESPONDENT: In other words, you would not be able to recognize another actually free person if you saw and interacted with them, were they not to explicitly tell you that they are a flesh and blood body only?

RICHARD: Oh, it soon becomes obvious, and quite often with even the briefest of conversation, through both tone of voice and content (if not by behaviour, facial expression, and bodily posture, alone), whether or not there is an affective ‘being’ in residence both hijacking my words and imputing all manner of real-to-‘them’ things into me (or, rather, into the ‘me’ which that very ‘being’ as a matter-of-course simultaneously projects into me).

It is always a delight to be with another when they are having a pure consciousness experience (PCE) for it soon becomes obvious that there is no affective ‘being’ in residence. For instance:

• [Richard]: ‘... I have been able to ascertain that anybody that I have been with whilst they were having a PCE is indubitably experiencing the same-same experience as is my on-going experiencing ... plus they have tended to say things such as they now see what I have been saying all along for themselves; that everything I have ever said is accurate; that they understand what I have been getting at; that they know why it is difficult for others to comprehend; that they can now talk on an equal footing with me; that life is indeed grand ... amazing, marvellous, and truly wondrous.
I usually ask pertinent questions: for example very early in the piece I asked my current companion, once the PCE was definitely happening, what she had to say now about love (always a hot topic):
‘Love?’ she said, ‘Why there is no room for love here!’
She went on to expand, saying there was no need for love as everything was already perfect, and there was no separation, and so on ... but she had said enough in her initial response to both satisfy and delight me’.

Now, I have never used such an expression – ‘there is no room for love here’ – yet I knew perfectly well what was being conveyed.

October 28 2005

RICHARD: (...) there is more to identity than just the ego-self ... much, much more.

RESPONDENT: Okay ... then I want to find out what it is that’s more to it.

RICHARD: As simply as possible: it is who you feel yourself to be at the very core of your being (‘I’ am ‘my’ feelings and ‘my’ feelings are ‘me’).

(...)

RESPONDENT: You know, I’m asking for something like a message such as ‘Goodbye, and thanks for all the fish’, or ‘Sorry for the inconvenience’, just in neurological terms.

RICHARD: If you would explain what those two messages refer to I may be able to respond meaningfully.

RESPONDENT: Just a joking metaphor – a reference to Douglas Adams. In one of his books the dolphins, before collectively leaving earth because they were informed of its imminent destruction (it must give way to an intergalactic superhighway), leave the message: ‘Goodbye, and thanks for all the fish’.

RICHARD: Given that you asked me for such a metaphorical message in the context of having just enquired as to whether or not some of the members of the phylum Arthropoda are once-removed from actuality in the perceptive process and, or, when it was historically that all species of animals became inhabited by a rudimentary ‘self’, if you would explain who it is that the metaphor refers to (who is being thanked) I may be able to respond meaningfully.

RESPONDENT: In the book, the human race is being thanked by the dolphins, in its metaphorical use, it would be the flesh & blood body being thanked by the psyche before leaving forever.

RICHARD: In which case ... the identity inhabiting this flesh and blood body all those years ago left no grateful message at all (albeit in neurological terms) before altruistically ‘self’-immolating, in toto, for the benefit of this body and that body and every body – least of all in the form of neurological remainders of ‘self’ (as per your explication further below) – as ‘he’ had no neuronal/ neuronic existence in the first place.

*

RESPONDENT: ‘Sorry for the inconvenience’, on the other hand and in another Douglas Adams book, is good’s final message to Creation.

RICHARD: Again, given that you asked me for such a metaphorical message in the context of having just enquired as to whether or not some of the members of the phylum Arthropoda are once-removed from actuality in the perceptive process and, or, when it was historically that all species of animals became inhabited by a rudimentary ‘self’, if you would explain who it is that the metaphor refers to (who is apologising) I may be able to respond meaningfully.

RESPONDENT: The above will enable you to answer that question yourself.

RICHARD: In which case ... the identity inhabiting this flesh and blood body all those years ago left no apologetic message at all (albeit in neurological terms) before altruistically ‘self’-immolating, in toto, for the benefit of this body and that body and every body – least of all in the form of neurological remainders of ‘self’ (as per your explication further below) – as ‘he’ had no neuronal/ neuronic existence in the first place.

*

RESPONDENT: To translate into the neurological terms which you have given above ...

RICHARD: If I might interject? I gave no neurological terms in the text you are referring to ... indeed I specifically mentioned that identity cannot be located neuronally/ neurologically. Vis.:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘Did you have a tomodensitometry of the brain (PET-scan)?
• [Richard]: ‘No ... this is a matter I discussed in depth with both the accredited psychiatrist and the psychologist who both examined me over a three-year period (the first year on a weekly basis then on a three weekly basis). This is how I understand the situation: as *no scientist has yet been able to locate ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul (the identity by whatever name)* despite all their RI scans (Radio Isotope), CAT scans (Computerised Axial Tomography), CT scans (Computed Tomography), NMR scans (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance), PET scans (Positron Emission Tomography), MRA scans (Magnetic Resonance Angiography), MRI scans (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), and fMRI scans (functioning Magnetic Resonance Imaging) in any normal identity-bound flesh and blood body it would be pointless to scan for the absence of identity in this flesh and blood body’. [emphasis added].

RESPONDENT: ... ‘twas but another metaphorical inquiry about neurological remainders of the ‘self’.

RICHARD: As it is you who posits that identity has a neuronal/ neurological existence, and not me, I will pass without further comment.

RESPONDENT: Brilliant. The reason I posited that is that I assume that nothing exists in the brain which has no neuronal existence.

RICHARD: If you were to scroll to the top of this page you would see that this discussion is, at your request, about finding out what it is which is more to identity than just the ego-self ... and nowhere either before or since has it ever been either stated or implied that ‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being – which is ‘being’ itself – exists in the brain.

Indeed, I have consistently referred to the brainstem ... to the point of specifically suggesting the ‘Substantia Nigra’, in or near the top two thirds of the ‘Reticular Activating System’ (sometimes known as the ‘Reticular System’), as being the source of the instinctual self/ the instinctual passions.

Therefore, your [quote] ‘brilliant’ [endquote] response would be more in keeping with what is being discussed were it to look something like this:

• [Respondent]: ‘... ‘twas but another metaphorical inquiry about neurological remainders of the ‘self’.
• [Richard]: ‘As it is you who posits that identity has a neuronal/ neurological existence, and not me, I will pass without further comment.
• [example only]: ‘Brilliant. The reason I posited that is that I assume that nothing exists in the brainstem which has no neuronal existence’ [endquote].

Now, whilst a case can be made that the instinctual passions have a neuronal existence the instinctual self they automatically form themselves into, by the very movement or motion of those affections, which blind nature genetically endows as a rough and ready survival programme, being extant/ being in situ (in a process similar to an eddy in currents of air/a whirlpool in currents of water), does not.

Put somewhat simplistically: an emotional/ passional identity is phantom ‘being’ in the affective faculty, an affective ‘ghost in the machine’ (in the survival software), as it were.

RESPONDENT: It either happens in the neurons and as the neurons, or it doesn’t happen.

RICHARD: If I might point out? An instinctual ‘self’ happens in the instinctual passions, as the instinctual passions, and not in the neurones as the neurones.

RESPONDENT: You, on the contrary, seem to assume that hallucinations exist without a correlating neuronal activity. Is that correct?

RICHARD: Presuming that you meant to write ‘illusions’ (given that the subject under discussion is the soul-self as the seat of the emotions or sentiments and not that seat of the emotions or sentiments imaginatively felt/ instinctively intuited to be an immortal self/ the supreme being) I do not assume that the illusion of existing as a feeling ‘being’ (as a ‘feeler’) exists without that illusion’s concomitant feelings. For instance:

• [Richard to Respondent]: ‘... the genetically-inherited instinctual passions do not so much create you but, rather, automatically form themselves *as* you by the very movement or motion of being extant/ being in situ (in a process similar to an eddy in currents of air/a whirlpool in currents of water). (...) The feeling of ‘being’ does not so much arise from the genetically-inherited instinctual passions but, rather, forms itself (in a process similar to an eddy forming itself in currents of air/a whirlpool forming itself in currents of water) *as* the very movement or motion of same being extant/ being in situ’. [emphasises added].

*

RESPONDENT: In your answer to No 97 for the same question you used a computer analogy (deletion of a software program from a chip without a trace).

RICHARD: Were you to be inclined to ponder the distinction between ‘... without a trace’ and ‘remainders of ...’ it might save a lot of to-ing and fro-ing of e-mails regarding Mr. Douglas Adams’ thinly disguised religio-spiritual/ mystico-metaphysical messages.

RESPONDENT: In light of your response here I would ask: what happened to your substantia nigra?

RICHARD: Put simply: ‘my’ demise was as fictitious as ‘my’ apparent presence.

RESPONDENT: O.k.. So nothing happened in your brain at all?

RICHARD: If I may again point out? The substantia nigra is located in the brainstem – not the brain – in or near the top two thirds of the ‘Reticular Activating System’ (sometimes known as the ‘Reticular System’) and something quite sensational happened thereabouts. Vis.:

• [Richard]: ‘(...) To cut a long story short ‘he’ psychologically and psychically (ontologically and autologically) ‘self’-immolated in ‘his’ totality (both ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul) for the benefit of this body and that body and every body. This altruistic action, set in motion with knowledge aforethought, precipitated *much sensational activity* at the top of the brain-stem/ base of the brain (popularly known as the ‘lizard brain’/ ‘reptilian brain’). (...) as there was *much sensational activity* at the top of the brain-stem/ base of the brain during the extinction of identity in this flesh and blood body, it makes sense to me to suggest that this speculation [amongst various professionals in the field that the Substantia Nigra was the seat of consciousness/ the location of identity] could very well be the case. Plus, as reptiles (and birds and fishes) do not have a ‘mammalian’ brain and/or a ‘cortical’ brain it seems obvious that the ‘seat of consciousness’ be located in what is popularly known as the ‘lizard brain’/ ‘reptilian brain’. An instinctual self, in other words, is the root of the problem’. [emphasises added].

*

RESPONDENT: Given the magnitude of the problems [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 so on] you detailed above ( ...) a closer (neuro-scientifical) investigation of these aspects ...

RICHARD: If I may again interject? Just what [quote] ‘aspects’ [endquote] are you referring to?

RESPONDENT: The aspects grounded in the theory that there is nothing happening in the brain which does not translate into neuronal activity and changing of neuronal patterns.

RICHARD: In order for an hypothesis to qualify as a theory there does have to be (repeatable) experimental evidence and, as I understand it, no scientist has yet been able to locate either ‘I’ as ego or ‘me’ as soul (the identity by whatever name) despite all their RI scans (Radio Isotope), CAT scans (Computerised Axial Tomography), CT scans (Computed Tomography), NMR scans (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance), PET scans (Positron Emission Tomography), MRA scans (Magnetic Resonance Angiography), MRI scans (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), and fMRI scans (functioning Magnetic Resonance Imaging) in any normal identity-bound flesh and blood body ... what such scans indicate (by mapping, for instance, increased blood-flow) is neuronal activity which correlates to the emotional/ passional feelings being felt.

RESPONDENT: Apparently you do not share that (materialist) assumption?

RICHARD: Presuming by that you mean a material – as opposed to a spiritual – assumption I am not suggesting for a moment that ‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being (which is ‘being’ itself) is a metaphysical entity ... just as I would never suggest that an eddy in currents of air/a whirlpool in currents of water is a supernatural vortex.

*

RESPONDENT: ... [a closer (neuro-scientifical) investigation of these aspects] might, if it serves to convince some actual sceptics, be of use for this world.

RICHARD: I am not in the business of convincing anyone of matters experiential ... I unambiguously make it clear that experiential proof is the only proof worthy of the name in regards to consciousness studies. For example (from the home page of my portion of The Actual Freedom Trust web site): [Richard]: ‘I invite anyone to make a critical examination of all the words I advance so as to ascertain if they be intrinsically self-explanatory ... and if they are all seen to be inherently consistent with what is being spoken about, then the facts speak for themselves. Then one will have reason to remember a pure conscious experience (PCE), which all peoples I have spoken to at length have had, and thus verify by direct experience the facticity of what is written (*which personal experiencing is the only proof worthy of the name*). The PCE occurs globally ... across cultures and down through the ages irregardless of gender, race or age. However, it is usually interpreted according to cultural beliefs – created and reinforced by the persistence of identity – and devolves into an ASC. Then ‘I’ as ego – sublimated and transcended as ‘me’ as soul – manifest as a god or a goddess (‘The Truth’ by any name) and preach unliveable doctrines based upon their belief that they are ‘not the body’. [emphasis added].

RESPONDENT: ‘Tis but a suggestion, mind you.

RICHARD: Perhaps, just perhaps, were you to read what I have to say with both eyes open there would be no need to make any such suggestion?

RESPONDENT: I’ll open the other one and read again.

RICHARD: Whilst you are doing that it may be handy to bear in mind that, analogous to an eddy formed by currents of air/a whirlpool formed by currents of water only existing provided there be currents of air/ currents of water, an instinctual self only exists provided there be currents of instinctual passions.

The affective feelings are not colloquially known as ‘vibes’ (an abbreviation of ‘vibrations’) for nothing.

October 30 2005

RICHARD: (...) there is more to identity than just the ego-self ... much, much more.

RESPONDENT: Okay ... then I want to find out what it is that’s more to it.

RICHARD: As simply as possible: it is who you feel yourself to be at the very core of your being (‘I’ am ‘my’ feelings and ‘my’ feelings are ‘me’).

(...)

RESPONDENT: ... [asking for something like a message such as ‘Goodbye, and thanks for all the fish’, or ‘Sorry for the inconvenience’, just in neurological terms], ‘twas but another metaphorical inquiry about neurological remainders of the ‘self’. In your answer to No. 97 for the same question you used a computer analogy (deletion of a software program from a chip without a trace). In light of your response here I would ask: what happened to your substantia nigra? Given the magnitude of the problems (...) a closer (neuro-scientifical) investigation of these aspects ...

RICHARD: If I may again interject? Just what [quote] ‘aspects’ [endquote] are you referring to?

RESPONDENT: The aspects grounded in the theory that there is nothing happening in the brain which does not translate into neuronal activity and changing of neuronal patterns.

RICHARD: In order for an hypothesis to qualify as a theory there does have to be (repeatable) experimental evidence and, as I understand it, no scientist has yet been able to locate either ‘I’ as ego or ‘me’ as soul (the identity by whatever name) despite all their RI scans (Radio Isotope), CAT scans (Computerised Axial Tomography), CT scans (Computed Tomography), NMR scans (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance), PET scans (Positron Emission Tomography), MRA scans (Magnetic Resonance Angiography), MRI scans (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), and fMRI scans (functioning Magnetic Resonance Imaging) in any normal identity-bound flesh and blood body ... what such scans indicate (by mapping, for instance, increased blood-flow) is neuronal activity which correlates to the emotional/ passional feelings being felt.

RESPONDENT: O.k.. There are things which observably happen and are related to the feelings/ passions. These passions, you say, form themselves into an identity. May I inquire more about this (natural as opposed to supernatural) vortex and the currents it forms itself out of? On the one hand the passions have observable effects, so one might say that their consequences (the identity) should also have observable effects, if not be observable itself. On the other hand the identity they allegedly form themselves into has not been observed and probably is unobservable (‘fictitious’). So something observable from the outside forms itself, via unobservable (‘fictitious’?) currents, into an equally unobservable (‘fictitious’?) vortex, which (‘fictitiously’?) ‘is’ (the fictitious) ‘being itself’ aka ‘the Self’.

RICHARD: As the only instance provided so far was an increased blood-flow, in any normal identity-bound flesh and blood body, just what is that [quote] ‘something’ [endquote] you are referring to, as being observable from the outside, which persuades you to come to such conclusions?

Just in case that is not clear: it is not an increased blood-flow which forms itself into a rudimentary animal ‘self’.

*

RICHARD: ... it may be handy to bear in mind that, analogous to an eddy formed by currents of air/a whirlpool formed by currents of water only existing provided there be currents of air/ currents of water, an instinctual self only exists provided there be currents of instinctual passions. [definition]: I am using the word ‘current’ (from the Latin currere ‘to run’) in its ‘something which flows’ Oxford Dictionary meaning purely as a matter of convenience and am in no way suggesting thereby that emotions/ passions are necessarily electrical in nature.

RESPONDENT: The question is: what else, then, if not electrical, is it that emotions/ passions are in nature? Given that the electricity related to them is observable, but an ‘alien identity’ which they form themselves into (the self) is not it seems indeed that you are assuming that those currents exist in a medium different from electricity, else the self would have been observed already. Which, then, is that medium? Put succinctly: What medium do fictions exist in (as in ‘Put simply: ‘my’ demise was as fictitious as ‘my’ apparent presence’) if not in (electrical) neuronal activity? Are there un-electrical types of neuronal activity? Or are there activities in the brain-stem (substantia nigra) which are either non-electrical or non-neuronal or both?

RICHARD: Golly, all I said – and only as a caveat – was that my as-a-matter-of-convenience usage of the word ‘current’ was in no way to be taken as suggesting that emotions/ passions are thereby *necessarily* electrical in nature.

As I understand it, and I am not a neurobiologist, the neuronal process at the synapses is an electrochemical process ... as is the entire central nervous system.


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