Actual Freedom – The Actual Freedom Mailing List Correspondence

Richard’s Correspondence

On The Actual Freedom Mailing List

With Correspondent No. 104


December 22 2005

RESPONDENT: Hello, I have a few questions regarding: ‘the ancient, hoary and persistent belief that you can’t change human nature.’ (www.actualfreedom.com.au/introduction/actualfreedom1.htm) How do you define human nature?

RICHARD:

• ‘human nature: the general characteristics and feelings attributed to human beings’. (Oxford Dictionary).

• ‘human nature: the nature of humans; especially the fundamental dispositions and traits of humans’. (Merriam-Webster's Dictionary).

• ‘human nature: character of human beings; the typical character that all human beings share, often seen as being imperfect’. (Encarta Dictionary).

• ‘human nature: the sum of qualities and traits shared by all humans’. (American Heritage Dictionary).

• ‘human nature: fundamental dispositions and traits of humans’. (Encyclopædia Britannica).

• ‘human nature: the fundamental nature and substance of humans’. (Wikipedia Encyclopaedia).

• ‘human nature: the psychological and social qualities that characterize humankind, esp. in contrast with other living things’. (Infoplease Dictionary).

• ‘human nature: the nature of man, often with reference to the weaker aspects of character; the qualities that distinguish man from other species’ . (allwords.com).

• ‘human nature: the shared psychological attributes of humankind that are assumed to be shared by all human beings’. (rhymezone.com).

• ‘human nature: mental and emotional characteristics shared generally by all members of humankind’. (Wordsmyth Dictionary).

December 22 2005

RESPONDENT: Hello, I have a few questions regarding: ‘the ancient, hoary and persistent belief that you can’t change human nature.’ (www.actualfreedom.com.au/introduction/actualfreedom1.htm) How do you define human nature?

(...) What do you mean by changing human nature (rearranging, less/more, alteration of form, appearance etc.)? (...)

RICHARD: Copy-paste the following (including the quotation marks) into the search-engine box at Google: ‘you can’t change human nature’

Then left-click ‘search’ (or press ‘enter’) ... you should get about 674 hits.

December 23 2005

RESPONDENT: Hello, I have a few questions regarding: ‘the ancient, hoary and persistent belief that you can’t change human nature.’ (www.actualfreedom.com.au/introduction/actualfreedom1.htm) How do you define human nature?

(...) What do you mean by changing human nature (rearranging, less/more, alteration of form, appearance etc.)? (...)

RICHARD: Copy-paste the following (including the quotation marks) into the search-engine box at Google: ‘you can’t change human nature’

Then left-click ‘search’ (or press ‘enter’) ... you should get about 674 hits.

RESPONDENT: Typing ‘you can’t change human nature’ into Google produces 668 results. Typing ‘you CAN change human nature’ produces 573 results. Typing ‘the moon is made of cheese’ produces 25,900 results. Can I infer that most people believe that the moon is made of cheese?

RICHARD: How many of those 668 results did you read?

December 23 2005

RESPONDENT: It stands to reason that a psychological identity that is malleable to radical change is also susceptible to total elimination.’ (www.actualfreedom.com.au/introduction/actualfreedom1.htm) On what evidence do you make this statement? (...). You’ve made this statement in context of modern scientific empirical discoveries of neuro-biology and genetics’. So can you reconcile this statement in this context? (...)

RICHARD: The ‘evidence’ you are asking for (as in the ‘it stands to reason’ phrasing) is referred to in the context you mention ... as the sentence immediately preceding the sentence you selected makes abundantly clear. Vis.:

• ‘The modern scientific empirical discoveries of neuro-biology and genetics, with regard to the human brain and how it functions, have revealed two very fascinating aspects: 
1. That the brain is programmable in the same way a computer is programmable. The program is formed by physical connections or pathways between neurons, and this program is mostly formed after birth. These pathways (synapse) are also capable of being changed at any time. The old connection simply ‘dies’ for lack of use and a new one is formed. [... snip aspect No. 2 ...] 
The first discovery accords with the practical experience of being able to radically change one’s social identity – the program instilled since birth that consists of the morals, ethics, values and psittacisms that make up our social identity. It stands to reason that a psychological identity that is malleable to radical change is also susceptible to elimination’. (www.actualfreedom.com.au/introduction/actualfreedom1.htm) 
Put the other way around: the [quote] ‘practical experience of being able to radically change one’s social identity’ [endquote] is in accord with the modern scientific empirical discoveries that the human brain is programmable inasmuch physical connections or pathways are formed between neurons, mostly after birth, and that those connections/pathways are capable of being changed at any time (the old connection simply ‘dies’ for lack of use and a new one is formed).

Here is a question to ponder: what would happen to that social identity if (note ‘if’) no new socialisation/ acculturation connections or pathways are formed when the old ones ‘die’ for lack of use?

As an aid to pondering that question copy-paste the following, as-is, into the search-engine box at Google: whittle site:actualfreedom.com.au. Then left-click ‘search’ (or press ‘enter’) ... you should get about 90 hits. The following will produce something like 52 hits: whittling site:actualfreedom.com.au. And the following around 46 hits: whittled site:actualfreedom.com.au.

December 23 2005

RESPONDENT: ‘Physiological alterations that could eliminate this crude programming, as a biological adaptation to changed circumstances, are well documented within the animal species.’ (www.actualfreedom.com.au/introduction/actualfreedom1.htm). Can you give examples of this? Does this happen within one generation? (...)

RICHARD: http://www.actualfreedom.com.au/actualism/peter/list-af/corr32c.htm#02.5.2004

December 23 2005

RESPONDENT: ‘It stands to reason that a psychological identity that is malleable to radical change is also susceptible to total elimination.’ (www.actualfreedom.com.au/introduction/actualfreedom1.htm) (...) I’m interested in a scientific explanation of the elimination of the ‘psychological identity’ (...)

RICHARD: If you could provide a scientific explanation for the presence of the psychological identity there may very well be a way of explaining the elimination of same in those terms.

December 23 2005

RESPONDENT: ‘It stands to reason that a psychological identity that is malleable to radical change is also susceptible to total elimination.’ (www.actualfreedom.com.au/introduction/actualfreedom1.htm) (...) If one has knowledge of oneself (e.g. ‘I have no social identity’) is that not an identity? (...)

RICHARD: No ... knowledge of oneself, just like knowledge of anything, is just that (knowledge) and that alone.

December 23 2005

RESPONDENT: (...) There are many existing conceptual systems that try to explain a PCE under their own terms (Eckhart Tolle is one that I enjoy). (...)

RICHARD: What Mr. Eckhart Tolle reports/ describes/ explains is what is popularly known as spiritual enlightenment/ mystical awakenment. For instance: http://store.yahoo.com/soundstruestore/interview-tolle.html

December 23 2005

RESPONDENT: ‘This blind and senseless survival program is now well and truly redundant for many human beings’. (www.actualfreedom.com.au/introduction/actualfreedom1.htm) Is it not fear that causes us to desire peace? (...)

RICHARD: No ... it is, of course, suffering which causes the desire for peace.

December 23 2005

RESPONDENT: Hello, I have a few questions regarding: ‘the ancient, hoary and persistent belief that you can’t change human nature.’ (www.actualfreedom.com.au/introduction/actualfreedom1.htm)

(...) I don’t believe that suffering can ever be eliminated (...)

RICHARD: Voilà .

December 24 2005

RICHARD (to No. 36): I am only too happy to re-phrase my sentence so as to be in accord with your phraseology :

• Put succinctly: as the way in which [quote] ‘your experience of God’ [endquote] operates is of no relevance to actualism your blandishments/ admonishments are about as useful as the teats on a bull.

Or:

• Put succinctly: as the way in which [quote] ‘Enlightenment’ [endquote] operates is of no relevance to actualism your blandishments/ admonishments are about as useful as the teats on a bull.

RESPONDENT: Richard, you are using the title ‘Re: Newbie Questions’ that I originally started using, but you’re now corresponding with somebody else. I’d just like to make clear that I’m not the person you are quoting (No. 36 or No. 60?). (...)

RICHARD: I am indeed now corresponding with somebody else ... as is undeniably indicated by the words [quote] ‘[Respondent No. 36] wrote’ [endquote] in the e-mail, now appended below for your convenience, which you are referring to.

The reason why I am using the title ‘Re: Newbie Questions’, which you originally started using, is because my co-respondent wrote to me using that very title ... as is incontrovertibly indicated by the words [quote] ‘From: [Respondent No. 36]’ [endquote] in that appended text, further below, which you are referring to.

Whilst I appreciate you taking time out from theorising with another about ASC’s (albeit using the acronym PCE to do so with), in order to inform me that you are not the person I am quoting, the very fact it is already patently obvious you are not that person being quoted – as is unquestionably indicated by the bracketed word [quote] ‘[Respondent No. 36]’ [endquote] prefacing the quote in question – renders your otherwise informative aside a superfluity bordering upon an immoderacy.

December 28 2005

RESPONDENT: Richard, you are using the title ‘Re: Newbie Questions’ that I originally started using, but you’re now corresponding with somebody else. I’d just like to make clear that I’m not the person you are quoting (No. 36 or No. 60?). (...)

RICHARD: I am indeed now corresponding with somebody else ... as is undeniably indicated by the words [quote] ‘[Respondent No. 36] wrote’ [endquote] in the e-mail, now appended below for your convenience, which you are referring to. The reason why I am using the title ‘Re: Newbie Questions’, which you originally started using, is because my co-respondent wrote to me using that very title ... as is incontrovertibly indicated by the words [quote] ‘From: [Respondent No. 36]’ [endquote] in that appended text, further below, which you are referring to. Whilst I appreciate you taking time out from theorising with another about ASC’s (albeit using the acronym PCE to do so with), in order to inform me that you are not the person I am quoting, the very fact it is already patently obvious you are not that person being quoted – as is unquestionably indicated by the bracketed word [quote] ‘[Respondent No. 36]’ [endquote] prefacing the quote in question – renders your otherwise informative aside a superfluity bordering upon an immoderacy.

RESPONDENT: Richard, you seem to have misinterpreted the intention of my posting.

RICHARD: I neither interpreted nor misinterpreted your intention (not being a mind-reader I cannot possibly know what another intends when they post something) ... I simply took your words at face value and responded accordingly as, as an aside in an e-mail to another entitled ‘Re: PCE’, you informed me that (a) I am using the title you originally started using ... and that (b) I am now corresponding with somebody else ... and that (c) you would just like to make it clear that you are not the person I am quoting.

RESPONDENT: I want to keep the discussion consistent with the title of the posting.

RICHARD: In which case, then, why did you not write to that [quote] ‘somebody else’ [endquote] you referred to further above, who first wrote to me using that very title, rather than me?

RESPONDENT: I wasn’t blaming you ...

RICHARD: If I may interject? I never said you were (indeed I did not even know that your up-until-now-unspoken intention was your want to keep the discussion consistent with the title of the posting).

RESPONDENT: ... [I wasn’t blaming you] just suggesting consistency ...

RICHARD: If I may interject again? Your up-until-now-unspoken intention would carry a lot more conviction were you to not use a title (‘Re: PCE’) which is inconsistent with the discussion you are now conducting, eh?

RESPONDENT: (I didn’t say it outright, doh!).

RICHARD: Not only did you not say it outright you never even alluded to it. Vis.:

• [Respondent]: ‘I’d *just* like to make clear that I’m not the person you are quoting ...’. [emphasis added].

Here is what a dictionary has to say about that word:

• ‘just: no more than; only, merely ...’. (Oxford Dictionary).

RESPONDENT: No doubt No. 36 deserves your response (and you’ve done a astonishing, astounding, awe-inspiring, awesome, awful, bewildering, breathtaking, confounding job in defending yourself).

RICHARD: If I might point out? I was not defending myself ... I was pointing out that the way an identity aggrandises itself (as in an ASC) has no relevance to an identity intent on oblivion (as in a PCE).

RESPONDENT: I’d like to discuss issues, not like in a soap opera, but like in a reasoned discussion.

RICHARD: Hmm ... and when are you planning on doing that?

RESPONDENT: I appreciate that you appreciate me ...

RICHARD: What I said I appreciated was what you did (taking time out from theorising with another about ASC’s ... albeit using the acronym PCE to do so with).

RESPONDENT: (I take it you’re the lord of this philosophy?) ...

RICHARD: I will first remind you of what you wrote a mere 15 words ago:

• [Respondent]: ‘I’d like to discuss issues, *not like in a soap opera*, but like in a reasoned discussion’. [emphasis added].

I will then draw your attention to the following:

• [Co-Respondent to Respondent]: ‘Do remember than as actualism is not a philosophy that one *by definition* cannot understand it intellectually but only experientially. (...) While you’re free to do as you wish, unless you grasp and grasp fully that actualism is not philosophy and is not based on nor does it make use of same, you will be banging your head fruitlessly against a brick wall as you fail and fail again at understanding experientially what actualism is.’ (Thursday 22/12/2005 8:20 AM AEDST).

That was posted five days ago (two days after your first post) ... here is another posted four days ago (three days after your first post):

• [Co-Respondent to Respondent]: ‘There is no actualist philosophy in reality, though one can make up one’s own. If you turn actualism into a philosophy it will not be actualism’. (Fri 23/12/2005 8:30 AM AEDST).

RESPONDENT: ... and I’m deeply, earnestly, frankly, genuinely, sorry if I’ve inconvenienced you by making you read what interests other people on this list and isn’t consistent with your interests/ understanding.

RICHARD: As I am neither inconvenienced nor made to do anything of the sort you can now cease feeling your deep, earnest, frank, genuine remorse.

RESPONDENT: [quote] ‘... renders your otherwise informative aside a superfluity bordering upon an immoderacy’. [endquote]. In future may I suggest that you ignore/ don’t entertain things that are useless for you ...

RICHARD: Or, more to the point, you could, in that same future, refrain from writing clarifications of things which are already patently obvious ... that way you would not have to resist getting sucked into reaching for the keyboard so as to tap out yet another 180-word justification for doing so.

RESPONDENT: ... and don’t waste ego, I mean time ...

RICHARD: There is a handy device on all computer keyboards called the ‘back-space’ key: if, as you say, you did indeed mean to type ‘time’ you could have simply erased the word ‘ego’ with it and got on with your ... um ... your reasoned discussion.

RESPONDENT: ... writing verbose responses?

RICHARD: As I happen to like words, and have always enjoyed the wide range this particular language commands, I have no intention of dumbing-down just because some peoples have an ill-founded objection to such proficiency.

RESPONDENT: Now my better nature (huh?) knows that I should have ignored your posting, but my ego is just so itchy!

RICHARD: Ha ... maybe it is just worms.

January 24 2006

RESPONDENT: There was once a man that had never had a thought about how his diet could relate to his wellbeing. One day a man claiming to be Vegetablinated introduced him to the knowledge that there was a relationship between diet and physical/mental wellbeing. The Vegetablinated man explained it as such: {{He starts to speak}} ‘Humankind has being suffering ...’. {see www.actualfreedom.com.au/introduction/index.htm for the rest of his speech*} *copyright Hindu, Christian, Jew, Buddhist, Schindlers List, MTV etc.

RICHARD: Not wanting to have anything on The Actual Freedom Trust web site infringing copyright regulations I accordingly copy-pasted <Humankind has being suffering> into the search function of this computer and sent it through the entire ‘Introduction To Actual Freedom’ but to no avail ... and a similar search for <Humankind> resulted in only one hit. Vis.:

• ‘A feeling is not a fact. Feelings have led *humankind* astray for millennia, without ever being questioned as to whether they are the correct tools for determining the facts of a matter. Feelings are held to be sacrosanct; they are given a credibility they do not deserve. They are seen to be the final arbiter in any contentious issue: ‘It’s my gut-feeling’, or ‘My intuition is never wrong’, or ‘It feels right’, and so on. Thinking, shackled by belief and feeling cannot operate with the clarity and benignity it is capable of’. [emphasis added].

If you could provide the allegedly copyrighted text beginning with ‘Humankind has being suffering ...’ to which you are referring it would be most appreciated ... especially as you categorise it as being [quote] ‘an emotional speech’ [endquote].

RESPONDENT: {{After an emotional speech}} ‘... When one comes in contact with Nutrients of the Earth, one takes on the vital life force of the Earth and can feel joyful and alive because of the union with the Earth. The Earth is the source of our life and it is the Earth to which we will return. We are the Earth and suffering arises for humankind when they have separated theirselves from the Earth through Thought. Thought that separates us from our Diet desires pleasure. Yet Thought imposed on Diet cannot produce pleasure, only Diet grounded in knowledge of Nutrients can produce pleasure’. My mother always said: ‘Don’t eat junk food, always eat some of what’s good for you’. Besides being grammatically incorrect, is there anything in my mother’s advice that doesn’t contain the essential message (that diet is related to wellbeing)?

RICHARD: In the context of that preamble about [quote] ‘union with the Earth’ [endquote] – presumably via becoming [quote] ‘Vegetablinated’ [endquote] – as being the antidote for any and all ‘selves’ suffering through being separated from said planet through thought, then ... yes.

RESPONDENT: I like my philosophies to be contains in point form so that I can differentiate between elaborations and things that I can relate to. What is Actualism in point form (4, 10, 100 noble truths of Actualism)?

RICHARD: 0.


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