Actual Freedom – The Actual Freedom Mailing List Correspondence

Richard’s Correspondence

On The Actual Freedom Mailing List

With Correspondent No. 123


August 24 2006

RESPONDENT: I read this last night and thought to post it here as it might sound vaguely familiar: [quote] ‘It is the immediate experience of seeing essential nature [the actual universe, the universe as it actually is] right now: it is the time when you let go of your self and give up compulsion’. [endquote]. I understand self, in this context, as any notion of an entity (or identity). Since it is a ‘notion’ and has no ‘actual’ (public or shared) existence, as one ceases to believe it has ‘actual’ existence and sees it, as it is, as a notion, the notion either dissipates like a fog in the morning sun or remains like an empty ghost that cannot interfere with life. This is letting go of your self.

RICHARD: It is not at all familiar – not even vaguely so – as the immediate experience of seeing the actual universe, the universe as it actually is, is not the time when [quote] ‘you let go of your self and give up compulsion’ [endquote] but, rather, can only occur where identity in toto is either in abeyance, as in a pure consciousness experience (PCE), or extinct (as in an actual freedom from the human condition).

Furthermore, self is not understood, in this context (the immediate experience of seeing the actual universe/the universe as it actually is), as a notion of an entity or identity.

Moreover, the cessation of identity in toto does not eventuate by it ceasing to believe it has public/shared existence.

More to the point: the phrase ‘letting go of your self’ has no application whatsoever in actualism.

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P.S.: As the (generally buddhistic) term ‘essential nature’ usually has metaphysical connotations then any attempt to translate passages containing same using the particular physical meaning ascribed by actualists to the terms ‘actual universe’ and ‘the universe as it actually is’ is both a waste of the time taken to type it out and the bandwidth used to send it.

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

August 24 2006

RESPONDENT: Here is how Vineeto described freedom (not ‘virtual freedom’, not ‘actual freedom’, but freedom): [quote] ‘Freedom is living each moment as it happens, without any objection. It is not the end-product of years of building up a structured belief-system; it is the opposite – destruction of everything that lies between me and the experience of the actual world’. [endquote].

RICHARD: Those are two sentences in ‘A Bit of Vineeto’, a 100-paragraph appendix to ‘Peter’s Journal’, and part-describe/explain a memorable pure consciousness experience (PCE) she had circa 1997 ... here is the paragraph, in full, which you extracted them from (with those few words you chose highlighted for convenience):

• [Vineeto]: ‘The pure and immediate adventure of experiencing this moment of being alive was so utterly superior to everything I had come across in the name of meditation, bliss or ‘satori’ that it spoke for itself. Being in the actual world, everything is simply obvious, needs no explanation or theory, and contains no emotional memories of any past struggle or fear. There is nothing that blurs or edits the experience of the world around me, which is both wondrous and delightful. *Freedom is living each moment as it happens, without any objection. It is not the end-product of years of building up a structured belief-system; it is the opposite – destruction of everything that lies between me and the experience of the actual world*. Freedom is simply what is left after I rid myself of every layer of the emotional and instinctual ‘self’, which is the only obstruction to my direct experience of the universe. (actualfreedom.com.au/actualism/vineeto.htm).

As it is part of a description/explanation of a PCE it cannot, obviously, be classified as ‘virtual freedom’; similarly, as a PCE is a temporary experience (whereby identity in toto is in abeyance and not extinct), it cannot be classified as ‘actual freedom’ either.

RESPONDENT: Remember?

RICHARD: Yep ... I remember it well (at the time I encouraged Vineeto, for obvious reasons, to write an appendix).

August 26 2006

RESPONDENT: I read this last night and thought to post it here as it might sound vaguely familiar: [quote] ‘It is the immediate experience of seeing essential nature [the actual universe, the universe as it actually is] right now: it is the time when you let go of your self and give up compulsion’. [endquote]. I understand self, in this context, as any notion of an entity (or identity). Since it is a ‘notion’ and has no ‘actual’ (public or shared) existence, as one ceases to believe it has ‘actual’ existence and sees it, as it is, as a notion, the notion either dissipates like a fog in the morning sun or remains like an empty ghost that cannot interfere with life. This is letting go of your self.

RICHARD: It is not at all familiar – not even vaguely so – as the immediate experience of seeing the actual universe, the universe as it actually is, is not the time when [quote] ‘you let go of your self and give up compulsion’ [endquote] but, rather, can only occur where identity in toto is either in abeyance, as in a pure consciousness experience (PCE), or extinct (as in an actual freedom from the human condition).

RESPONDENT: I offered my understanding of the phrase, ‘letting go of your self’ as ceasing to believe in ‘self’, which I defined as ‘any notion of an entity (or identity)’.

RICHARD: Aye, and you also offered your understanding of the buddhistic term ‘essential nature’ as well – albeit as an insertion in squared brackets – in the quote you thought might sound vaguely familiar ... here are some (edited for convenience) highlights of the passage where that sentence came from:

• ‘You should simply see your essential nature to attain Buddhahood. (...) you realize your own essential nature by means of your own mind and understand your own life by means of your own insight. If right mindfulness is not continuous and concentration is not pure and single minded, your efforts will be in vain. This right mindfulness means not having any thoughts; concentration means not conceiving any mental images. (...) you see the original state as it was before space and time. ‘Before space and time’ does not mean something remote in space and time; don’t think of it as something ancient. It is the immediate experience of seeing essential nature right now: it is the time when you let go of your self and give up compulsion’. (from pages 83-84, ‘Minding Mind: A Course in Basic Meditation’ by Thomas Cleary; published by Shambhala, 1995)

As your essential nature (aka the original state) is not in space and time there is no way it can be equated to the actual universe/the universe as it actually is.

Incidentally, you are not the first to try to marry actualism and spiritualism ... and you will probably not be the last.

August 26 2006

RESPONDENT: When a person is not experiencing either ASC or PCE, what is one experiencing?

RICHARD: Put simply: the normal, everyday reality that 6.0+ billion identities are pasting as a veneer over actuality.

RESPONDENT: Is the ‘actual’ person NOT seeing the ‘actual’ world? NOT hearing the ‘actual’ world? NOT smelling, tasting, and touching the ‘actual’ world?

RICHARD: The flesh and blood bodies – all 6.0+ billion of them – are seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching (and proprioceptively sensing) the actual world.

RESPONDENT: I haven’t noticed people walking into walls or failing to respond when called. What’s happening?

RICHARD: The facsimile walls and calls (the veneered reality) are sufficient for the purpose thereof.

August 27 2006

CO-RESPONDENT: Why should the thought of the number 42 be considered actual, while the feeling of hunger is not?

RICHARD: For no other reason than because the thought of the number 42 operates here in this actual world – as evidenced in a PCE – whereas the feeling of hunger does not.

CO-RESPONDENT: In both cases, the only actuality is the human brain in operation.

RICHARD: Nope ... in the latter case the affective faculty in its entirety/the identity in toto is also in operation.

CO-RESPONDENT: I did say ‘the only actuality’ so I question your answer here. Whatever thinking and feeling is going on, the only actuality (in your terms) is the neuro-chemical activity in the brain (etc). In other words, an actual brain in the process of thinking has the same ontological status as an actual brain in the process of feeling ... does it not?

RESPONDENT No. 108: But an actual brain doesn’t feel, it’s the identity/ resident entity that feels.

RESPONDENT: I experience thought. I experience pain. I experience hunger. What is the fundamental difference between these? Are they not all neuro-chemical events?

RESPONDENT No. 108: When there is no ‘I’ there (identity/ resident entity), thought and pain occur but hunger doesn’t because hunger (as different from the physical sensations that make ‘me’ hungry) only happens to ‘I’ – whereas thought and pain can happen without the resident entity. I’ve verified this myself.

RESPONDENT: And where is (or what has) the ‘identity/resident entity’? Is it not also a neuro-chemical event of the body?

RESPONDENT No. 108: The flesh and blood body has actual neuro-chemical events but the identity/ resident entity isn’t actual – and neither is feeling, because an actual brain doesn’t feel, only an identity feels. whatever the actual brain is doing while an identity feels isn’t itself feeling.

RESPONDENT: Richard; you wrote above that there are ‘the physical sensations that make ‘me’ hungry’.

RICHARD: If you were to access the following link you will see that it was your co-respondent who wrote that text you part-quoted:

http://lists.topica.com/lists/actualfreedom/read/message.html?mid=913278905

RESPONDENT: Since there are identifiable physical sensations (associated with hunger) which we may label as hunger, isn’t hunger ‘actual’?

RICHARD: If you were to look at the top of this page you will see that it is the feeling of hunger (as opposed to the thought of a number) which is being discussed.

Therefore, the text your co-respondent wrote, which you have part-quoted from, would look like this when spelled-out in full (with the section you quoted highlighted for convenience):

• [example only]: ‘When there is no ‘I’ there (identity/resident entity), thought and pain occur but the feeling of hunger doesn’t because the feeling of hunger (as different from *the physical sensations that make ‘me’ feel hungry*) only happens to ‘I’ – whereas thought and pain can happen without the resident entity. I’ve verified this myself.’ [end example].

Hence your query looks something like this:

• [example only]: ‘Since there are identifiable physical sensations (associated with the feeling of hunger) which we may label as hunger, isn’t hunger ‘actual’? [end example].

As all you are doing, in effect, is giving the identifiable physical sensations which are associated with the feeling of hunger another name then your query effectively looks like this:

• [example only]: ‘Are the identifiable physical sensations associated with the feeling of hunger actual? [end example].

Even though I do not know just what identifiable physical sensations in particular you are referring to – the physical sensation of an emptied stomach (as contrasted to the physical sensation of a filled stomach) does spring to mind – it does not really matter as what you are asking, essentially, is this:

• [example only]: ‘Are physical sensations actual? [end example].

Yes.

August 30 2006

RESPONDENT: I read this last night and thought to post it here as it might sound vaguely familiar: [quote] ‘It is the immediate experience of seeing essential nature [the actual universe, the universe as it actually is] right now: it is the time when you let go of your self and give up compulsion’. [endquote]. I understand self, in this context, as any notion of an entity (or identity). Since it is a ‘notion’ and has no ‘actual’ (public or shared) existence, as one ceases to believe it has ‘actual’ existence and sees it, as it is, as a notion, the notion either dissipates like a fog in the morning sun or remains like an empty ghost that cannot interfere with life. This is letting go of your self.

RICHARD: It is not at all familiar – not even vaguely so – as the immediate experience of seeing the actual universe, the universe as it actually is, is not the time when [quote] ‘you let go of your self and give up compulsion’ [endquote] but, rather, can only occur where identity in toto is either in abeyance, as in a pure consciousness experience (PCE), or extinct (as in an actual freedom from the human condition).

RESPONDENT:  I offered my understanding of the phrase, ‘letting go of your self’ as ceasing to believe in ‘self’, which I defined as ‘any notion of an entity (or identity)’.

RICHARD: Aye, and you also offered your understanding of the buddhistic term ‘essential nature’ as well – albeit as an insertion in squared brackets – in the quote you thought might sound vaguely familiar ... here are some (edited for convenience) highlights of the passage where that sentence came from: [quote] ‘You should simply see your essential nature to attain Buddhahood. (...) you realize your own essential nature by means of your own mind and understand your own life by means of your own insight. If right mindfulness is not continuous and concentration is not pure and single minded, your efforts will be in vain. This right mindfulness means not having any thoughts; concentration means not conceiving any mental images. (...) you see the original state as it was before space and time. ‘Before space and time’ does not mean something remote in space and time; don’t think of it as something ancient. It is the immediate experience of seeing essential nature right now: it is the time when you let go of your self and give up compulsion’. [endquote]. As your essential nature (aka the original state) is not in space and time there is no way it can be equated to the actual universe/ the universe as it actually is. Incidentally, you are not the first to try to marry actualism and spiritualism ... and you will probably not be the last.

RESPONDENT: Yes, as I noted, I (‘actually’) read those pages the other evening.

RICHARD: In which case you would have read the author saying that when you see your essential nature/ the original state you see it as it was before space and time (and that ‘before space and time’ does not mean something remote in space and time/ something ancient).

RESPONDENT: I am not trying ‘to marry actualism and spiritualism’, as I do not consider myself a spiritualist and do not believe in a soul (an eternal, independent entity).

RICHARD: My observation about trying to marry actualism and spiritualism has nothing to do with what you do or do not consider yourself to be and what you do or do not believe in ... I was simply going by the words you wrote in the squared brackets in the quote above.

Howsoever, and for the sake of honesty in communication, I will draw your attention to the following extract from your third post to this mailing list:

• [Respondent]: ‘... I see the world as *divine and sacred*. Not because it’s perfect and pure, which it ultimately is, but because it exists, it must be divine, it must be sacred. And it doesn’t matter whether what appears to exist is ultimately real or not, it is not apart from *the divine and sacred*’. [emphasises added]. (Friday, 11/08/2006 7:44 AM AEST).

RESPONDENT: The meaning you presented of ‘essential nature (aka the original state)’ may well be the generally accepted Buddhist meaning ...

RICHARD: All I did was copy-paste the words ‘your essential nature’ and ‘the original state’ from the quoted text above ... and make the observation that, as it is not in space and time, there is no way it can be equated to the actual universe/ the universe as it actually is.

RESPONDENT: ...but it is not mine and I presented mine to you.

RICHARD: And what you presented was that the spiritualists’ term ‘essential nature’ (aka ‘original state’) equated to the actualists’ term ‘actual universe’ (aka ‘universe as it actually is’) ... yet as your essential nature/ the original state is not in space and time there is no way it can be equated to the actual universe/ the universe as it actually is.

I will rephrase my previous observation accordingly: you are not the first to try to equate actualism to spiritualism ... and you will probably not be the last.

August 30 2006

RESPONDENT: I read these words tonight: [quote] ‘Whatever you are doing, concentrate wholeheartedly on questioning the inner master that perceives, cognizes, and emotes’ [endquote] and thought the practice sounded vaguely familiar: With pure intent: ‘The question to ask yourself, each moment again, is ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’

RICHARD: It is not at all familiar ... not even vaguely so.

RESPONDENT: I also thought to share this – A friend suggested that when one reads an ancient text, one should not impart a silly or superficial meaning, but one should see the profoundest meaning. I suggest we do that with all writings, modern and contemporary. Richard’s. Yours. Even this.

RICHARD: It makes no difference whether or not you see the profoundest meaning in a spiritualist’s text – be it ancient, modern or contemporary – as there is no way that actualism can be equated to spiritualism.

August 30 2006

RESPONDENT: I read these words and thought the practice sounded vaguely familiar: [quote] ‘If you want to quickly attain mastery of all truths and be independent in all events, there is nothing better than concentration in activity. That is why it is said that students of mysticism working on the Way should sit in the midst of the material world.’ – from ‘An Elementary Talk on Zen’ page 86 in Minding Mind, translated by Thomas Cleary.

RICHARD: It is not at all familiar – not even vaguely so – as there is no way that actualism can be equated to spiritualism.

August 30 2006

RESPONDENT: I read this last night and thought to post it here as it might sound vaguely familiar: [quote] ‘It is the immediate experience of seeing essential nature [the actual universe, the universe as it actually is] right now: it is the time when you let go of your self and give up compulsion’. [endquote]. I understand self, in this context, as any notion of an entity (or identity). Since it is a ‘notion’ and has no ‘actual’ (public or shared) existence, as one ceases to believe it has ‘actual’ existence and sees it, as it is, as a notion, the notion either dissipates like a fog in the morning sun or remains like an empty ghost that cannot interfere with life. This is letting go of your self.

RICHARD: It is not at all familiar – not even vaguely so – as the immediate experience of seeing the actual universe, the universe as it actually is, is not the time when [quote] ‘you let go of your self and give up compulsion’ [endquote] but, rather, can only occur where identity in toto is either in abeyance, as in a pure consciousness experience (PCE), or extinct (as in an actual freedom from the human condition).

RESPONDENT: I offered my understanding of the phrase, ‘letting go of your self’ as ceasing to believe in ‘self’, which I defined as ‘any notion of an entity (or identity)’.

RICHARD: Aye, and you also offered your understanding of the buddhistic term ‘essential nature’ as well – albeit as an insertion in squared brackets – in the quote you thought might sound vaguely familiar ... here are some (edited for convenience) highlights of the passage where that sentence came from: [quote] ‘You should simply see your essential nature to attain Buddhahood. (...) you realize your own essential nature by means of your own mind and understand your own life by means of your own insight. If right mindfulness is not continuous and concentration is not pure and single minded, your efforts will be in vain. This right mindfulness means not having any thoughts; concentration means not conceiving any mental images. (...) you see the original state as it was before space and time. ‘Before space and time’ does not mean something remote in space and time; don’t think of it as something ancient. It is the immediate experience of seeing essential nature right now: it is the time when you let go of your self and give up compulsion’. [endquote]. As your essential nature (aka the original state) is not in space and time there is no way it can be equated to the actual universe/ the universe as it actually is. Incidentally, you are not the first to try to marry actualism and spiritualism ... and you will probably not be the last.

RESPONDENT: Yes, as I noted, I (‘actually’) read those pages the other evening.

RICHARD: In which case you would have read the author saying that when you see your essential nature/ the original state you see it as it was before space and time (and that ‘before space and time’ does not mean something remote in space and time/ something ancient).

RESPONDENT: I am not trying ‘to marry actualism and spiritualism’, as I do not consider myself a spiritualist and do not believe in a soul (an eternal, independent entity).

RICHARD: My observation about trying to marry actualism and spiritualism has nothing to do with what you do or do not consider yourself to be and what you do or do not believe in ... I was simply going by the words you wrote in the squared brackets in the quote above. Howsoever, and for the sake of honesty in communication, I will draw your attention to the following extract from your third post to this mailing list:

• [Respondent]: ‘... I see the world as *divine and sacred*. Not because it’s perfect and pure, which it ultimately is, but because it exists, it must be divine, it must be sacred. And it doesn’t matter whether what appears to exist is ultimately real or not, it is not apart from *the divine and sacred*’. [emphasises added].

RESPONDENT: Yes, I wrote the following: ‘And I see the world as divine and sacred. Not because it’s perfect and pure, which it ultimately is, but because it exists, it must be divine, it must be sacred. And it doesn’t matter whether what appears to exist is ultimately real or not, it is not apart from the divine and sacred’. The world, the ‘actual’ world, is perfect and pure and because it’s perfect and pure I call it ‘divine and sacred’.

RICHARD: As you equate [quote] ‘the ‘actual’ world’ [endquote] with the buddhistic essential nature (aka the original state) which is not in space and time it is no wonder that you call it divine and sacred.

Moreover,  I see you wrote the following only recently:

• [Respondent]: ‘I acknowledge that I am a non-dualist ...’. (Wednesday, 30/08/2006 1:45 AM AEST).

Yet this is what you unequivocally stated in your previous e-mail to me (from further above):

• [Respondent]: ‘I am not trying ‘to marry actualism and spiritualism’, as I do not consider myself a spiritualist ...’. [endquote].

Be all that as it may ... I am only too happy to rephrase my observation: you are not the first to try to marry actualism and non-dualism and you will probably not be the last.

August 30 2006

RESPONDENT: When a person is not experiencing either ASC or PCE, what is one experiencing?

RICHARD: Put simply: the normal, everyday reality that 6.0+ billion identities are pasting as a veneer over actuality.

RESPONDENT: Is the ‘actual’ person NOT seeing the ‘actual’ world? NOT hearing the ‘actual’ world? NOT smelling, tasting, and touching the ‘actual’ world?

RICHARD: The flesh and blood bodies – all 6.0+ billion of them – are seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching (and proprioceptively sensing) the actual world.

RESPONDENT: I haven’t noticed people walking into walls or failing to respond when called. What’s happening?

RICHARD: The facsimile walls and calls (the veneered reality) are sufficient for the purpose thereof.

RESPONDENT: I won’t presume that my understanding based on my experience matches yours, but I find it intriguing that you used the phrase ‘pasting as a veneer over actuality’. I understand that all 6B+ persons are experiencing the ‘actual’ world ...

RICHARD: All 6.0+ billion *flesh and blood bodies* are experiencing the actual world ... the entity, or being, residing in the body can only experience their ‘outer world’ reality. Here (from the footnote in this e-mail you are responding to):

• [Richard]: ‘(...) ‘I’/’me’, a psychological/ psychic entity, am busily creating an inner world and an outer world and looking out through ‘my’ eyes upon ‘my’ outer world as if looking out through a window, listening to ‘my’ outer world through ‘my’ ears as if they were microphones, tasting ‘my’ outer world through ‘my’ tongue, touching ‘my’ outer world through ‘my’ skin and smelling ‘my’ outer world through ‘my’ nose. This entity, or being, residing in the body is forever cut-off from the actual – from the world as-it-is – because its inner world reality is pasted as a veneer over the actual world, thus creating the outer world reality known as the real world ...’. [endquote].

RESPONDENT: ... but in addition to that, like a veneer, imagine and project concepts such as social relationships.

RICHARD: The identity residing in a body does much, much more than merely imagine and project concepts (such as social relationships): the entire outer world which the identity experiences – the normal, everyday reality that 6.0+ billion identities experience – is that veneer.

RESPONDENT: These concepts are experienced as ‘real’, but are experienced only as long as we believe in the concept.

RICHARD: The normal, everyday reality that 6.0+ billion identities experience – their outer world – will be experienced for as long as identity remains in situ ... only altruistic ‘self’-immolation, in toto, will bring that outer world reality to an end.

RESPONDENT: In this way, ‘PCE’ is always available, in fact occurring now, and is experienced when we cease believing in concepts and/or free our attention from them.

RICHARD: Whilst a pure consciousness experience (PCE) is indeed always available it will only occur, and therefore be such an experience, when the identity in toto goes into abeyance.

RESPONDENT: But, damn, they [concepts such as social relationships] are enticing.

RICHARD: What is fundamentally enticing is, of course, the very instinctual passions the identity is (‘I’ am ‘my’ feelings and ‘my’ feelings are ‘me’).

RESPONDENT: And that too is part of the world, not ‘actual’, not ‘virtual’, not ‘real’ – the world.

RICHARD: The world of the instinctual passions/ the identity formed thereof is the world of the psyche.

RESPONDENT: The universe is one stuff.

RICHARD: The universe which the identity experiences, being but a veneer pasted over the actual universe, has no existence in actuality. Here (from the top of this page):

• [Respondent]: ‘When a person is not experiencing either ASC or PCE, what is one experiencing?
• [Richard]: ‘Put simply: the normal, everyday reality that 6.0+ billion identities are pasting as a veneer over actuality’. [endquote].

August 30 2006

CO-RESPONDENT: Richard reckons feeling beings ‘can’ sense each other’s feelings ‘psychically’ (I don’t) so what’s happening there? (...)

RESPONDENT: (...) I did not know that Richard/ Actualists believe(?!) that feelings can be transmitted ‘psychically’!!

RICHARD: Your co-respondent clearly said [quote] ‘Richard reckons’ [endquote] and yet you say [quote] ‘Richard/ Actualists believe(?!)’ [endquote] ... as such it is a fascinating insight into how a factoid grows as it spreads.

Speaking of which: Richard neither reckons nor believes that [quote] ‘feeling beings can sense each other’s feelings psychically’ [endquote] ... Richard *recalls* that the identity in residence all those years ago could *feel* other feeling beings’ feelings *affectively*.

Moreover, it is quite a well-known phenomenon ... for example:

•  [Richard]: ‘The colloquialism ‘vibes’ does not refer to body-language but to the affective feelings and gained currency in the ‘sixties (as in ‘I can feel your pain’ or ‘I can feel your anger’ and so on) – even the military are well aware of this as I had it impressed upon me, prior to going to war in my youth, that fear is contagious and can spread like wildfire if unchecked – and another example is being in the presence of an enlightened being (known as ‘Darshan’ in the Indian tradition) so as to be bathed in the overwhelming love and compassion such a being radiates.
Yet behind the feelings lie the psychic energies/ currents which emanate from being itself’.

For more information on this topic copy-paste the following, as-is, into the search-engine box at ‘Google’: vibes site:www.actualfreedom.com.au/richard/

Then tap ‘enter’ (or left-click ‘send’) ... you should get about 44 hits.

August 30 2006

CO-RESPONDENT: One thing about actualism that has never been explained to my satisfaction is why thought is classified as actual, whereas feeling is not.

RICHARD: Put succinctly: thought operates here in this actual world – as evidenced in a pure consciousness experience (PCE) – whereas feelings do not.

(...)

CO-RESPONDENT: Whatever thinking and feeling is going on, the only actuality (in your terms) is the neuro-chemical activity in the brain (etc.). In other words, an actual brain in the process of thinking has the same ontological status as an actual brain in the process of feeling ... does it not?

RICHARD: As I am not an ontologist I am unable to answer meaningfully in either the affirmative or the negative ... what I can do, however, is point out that by only ascribing actuality to neuro-chemical activity in the brain (and not to thought, thoughts and thinking as well) you are effectively ignoring my succinct response at the top of this page.

CO-RESPONDENT: I am not at all ignoring your succinct response that actualism is experiential. Saying ‘I do not experience X’ or ‘In a PCE, no X is experienced’ is experiential reporting. Saying ‘X has no actual existence whatsoever’ is not [just!] experiential reporting; it goes beyond that. Do you understand what I’m getting at? If you choose to follow this up, would you do me the favour of paraphrasing what you think I’m saying?

RESPONDENT: I understand and agree with your point ...

RICHARD: As it is my succinct response at the top of this page which sparked off your co-respondent’s latest slide down the slippery-slope into solipsism you do realise, do you not, that what he was on about is that for me to say that feelings do not operate here in this actual world is to be expressing a boneheaded absolutist view?

More to the point, however, is that as you understand and agree with your co-respondent’s solipsistic point then you, too, are according no independent existence to anything/ anybody (in that all you can know is your experience of everything/ everybody).

As I have no interest whatsoever in corresponding with a fellow human being who treats me as a metaphysical entity (as in having no independent existence) then that is the end of any further discussion.

It is your call.

August 31 2006

CO-RESPONDENT: One thing about actualism that has never been explained to my satisfaction is why thought is classified as actual, whereas feeling is not.

RICHARD: Put succinctly: thought operates here in this actual world – as evidenced in a pure consciousness experience (PCE) – whereas feelings do not.

(...)

CO-RESPONDENT: Whatever thinking and feeling is going on, the only actuality (in your terms) is the neuro-chemical activity in the brain (etc.). In other words, an actual brain in the process of thinking has the same ontological status as an actual brain in the process of feeling ... does it not?

RICHARD: As I am not an ontologist I am unable to answer meaningfully in either the affirmative or the negative ... what I can do, however, is point out that by only ascribing actuality to neuro-chemical activity in the brain (and not to thought, thoughts and thinking as well) you are effectively ignoring my succinct response at the top of this page.

CO-RESPONDENT: I am not at all ignoring your succinct response that actualism is experiential. Saying ‘I do not experience X’ or ‘In a PCE, no X is experienced’ is experiential reporting. Saying ‘X has no actual existence whatsoever’ is not [just!] experiential reporting; it goes beyond that. Do you understand what I’m getting at? If you choose to follow this up, would you do me the favour of paraphrasing what you think I’m saying?

RESPONDENT: I understand and agree with your point ...

RICHARD: As it is my succinct response at the top of this page which sparked off your co-respondent’s latest slide down the slippery-slope into solipsism you do realise, do you not, that what he was on about is that for me to say that feelings do not operate here in this actual world is to be expressing a boneheaded absolutist view? More to the point, however, is that as you understand and agree with your co-respondent’s solipsistic point then you, too, are according no independent existence to anything/ anybody (in that all you can know is your experience of everything/ everybody). As I have no interest whatsoever in corresponding with a fellow human being who treats me as a metaphysical entity (as in having no independent existence) then that is the end of any further discussion. It is your call.

RESPONDENT: Richard; I am not a solipsist, certainly not as defined, and I did not understand No. 60’s statement with which I agreed in that way. I would respond by saying that I do not treat my fellow human beings as ‘metaphysical entities’, but you have defined the term in such a way that I am not able. The body/ brain has no ‘independent existence’ as I understand the term; i.e., this body/ brain’s existence is dependent on a set of conditions without which this body/ brain would not exist, simple things like air and water, the earth with gravity, etc. I can say that I treat my fellow human beings as . . . well, as human beings. Whether you chose to continue corresponding with me is your choice.

RICHARD: Having read through your (dualistic) words above I can only suggest that, as a starter, you try reading the parenthesised words at the end of the second sentence of my response with both eyes open. By doing so your replies would stand a good chance of bearing at least some relationship (possibly for the first time since subscribing) to what you are responding to.

Incidentally, I did not define the terms ... ‘twas your co-respondent who did that (in e-mail after e-mail).

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

P.S.: As you have now declared yourself to be a non-solipsistic non-dualist, on top of recently declaring yourself to be a non-spiritual non-dualist, then here is a useful word-of-the-day:

• ‘wankasaurus (slang): ... a wanker who is worse than most wankers’. (Macquarie Dictionary).

And just so there is no misconstrual:

•‘wank’: to maintain an illusion: deceive oneself; behaviour which is self-indulgent ...’. (Macquarie Dictionary).

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• 

August 31 2006

RESPONDENT: Richard; I am not a solipsist, certainly not as defined, and I did not understand No. 60’s statement with which I agreed in that way. I would respond by saying that I do not treat my fellow human beings as ‘metaphysical entities’, but you have defined the term in such a way that I am not able. The body/ brain has no ‘independent existence’ as I understand the term; i.e., this body/ brain’s existence is dependent on a set of conditions without which this body/ brain would not exist, simple things like air and water, the earth with gravity, etc. I can say that I treat my fellow human beings as . . . well, as human beings. Whether you chose to continue corresponding with me is your choice.

RICHARD: Having read through your (dualistic) words above I can only suggest that, as a starter, you try reading the parenthesised words at the end of the second sentence of my response with both eyes open. By doing so your replies would stand a good chance of bearing at least some relationship (possibly for the first time since subscribing) to what you are responding to. Incidentally, I did not define the terms ... ‘twas your co-respondent who did that (in e-mail after e-mail).

P.S.: As you have now declared yourself to be a non-solipsistic non-dualist, on top of recently declaring yourself to be a non-spiritual non-dualist, then here is a useful word-of-the-day:

• ‘wankasaurus (slang): ... a wanker who is worse than most wankers’. (Macquarie Dictionary).

And just so there is no misconstrual:

•‘wank’: to maintain an illusion: deceive oneself; behaviour which is self-indulgent ...’. (Macquarie Dictionary).

RESPONDENT: There is not much I have to offer, expect for one minor note. You wrote,  ‘As I have no interest whatsoever in corresponding with a fellow human being who treats me as a metaphysical entity (as in having no independent existence) then that is the end of any further discussion.’ I took the words in parenthesis as your definition of  ‘metaphysical entity’, as you offered no attribution.

RICHARD: I see ... yet those parenthesised words, of course, referred back to the parenthesised description, of what the term ‘independent existence’ meant, at the end of the second sentence (in that all one can know is one’s experience of everything/ everybody).

The attribution ‘metaphysical’ came from your co-respondent assigning that classification to anything other than an experiential report ... despite the fact that everything I do have to report can be, and has been, validated (corroborated) by peoples from many and varied walks of life in numerous pure consciousness experiences (PCE’s).

There is no way I would have gone public with my experience had I been not able to first verify, over several years of discussions prior to then (1997), the commonality of pure consciousness experiencing.

To not put too fine a point on it: as ‘boneheaded absolutism’ exists only in your co-respondent’s imagination you were sucked-in by a seemingly persuasive argument.

Needless is it to add just how important it is to think for yourself?

September 03 2006

RESPONDENT: I reflected on the nature of emotions, feelings, sensations, thoughts, and even consciousness attempting to clearly define what set of events or experiences were which. But as I did so, and continued to examine and analyse my definitions and experiences, it became clear that I could not, that such definitions are always fuzzy, the clear bright line moving and wavering upon examination. It seems that all such terms are convenient categories, but are not ‘actual’, while each experience is ‘actual’.

RICHARD: First of all, as you include your affective experiences (as per your ‘emotions, feelings’ phraseology) in amongst those experiences, upon which you are reflecting on the nature of, it is reasonable to assume that you are neither having a pure consciousness experience (PCE) nor actually free from the human condition ... therefore, it is further reasonable to assume that, by putting the word actual in scare quotes, you mean the same thing as what the word real means when it is used in a specific way on The Actual Freedom Trust web site, and its associated forum The Actual Freedom Trust mailing list, so as to draw a sharp distinction between the experiencing of 6.0+ billion peoples and the experiencing of persons either currently having a PCE or actually free from the human condition.

Thus what you are most likely wanting to convey is, in effect, that whilst each experience is real all such terms referring to them are not.

If so, then essentially what you are saying is that the word bread, for example, and any definition of that word is not real but that the very object which both the word and its definitions refer to is.

In other words, all the above is but a variation on that hoary adage ‘the word is not the thing’ (or ‘the map is not the territory’).

Having said that, one can now turn to the experiences themselves, bearing in mind that it is demonstrable both experientially and scientifically that, in the perceptive process, sensory perception is primary; affective perception is secondary; cognitive perception is tertiary.

It is all quite simple: if you were to reach a finger forward and rest its tip against the glass/ plastic which is a scant millimetre or so in front of these pixels that you are reading the very first experience is (cutaneous) sensation ... pure and simple.

That sensation will probably be a sensation of smoothness (as contrasted to touching emery cloth for instance) ... even so it is still sensation.

Furthermore, it may be a warm sensation or it may be a cool one ... even so it is still sensation.

Now, as touching the screen of a computer monitor is not likely to noticeably stir the affections (aka the affective feelings) a more dramatic example, such as touching a hot-plate, would show that there is quite a range of emotional/ passional feelings to be evoked in the secondary part of the perceptive process ... and that, because of the dominance of those affective reactions to cutaneous pain, the primary experience (sensory perception) will probably not have been as dispassionately noticed as when touching the screen.

In either example (touching the screen/ touching a hot-plate) cognition may or may not occur ... there might be thought as recognition in the former (that it is glass/ plastic for instance) or there may be thought as remonstration in the latter (that it is silly thing to do for instance) and so on and so forth.

Lastly, regarding consciousness: the suffix ‘-ness’ forms a noun expressing a state or condition – as in the smoothness already mentioned above (where the sensation of the smooth glass/ plastic is expressed as a state or condition) – and thus the word consciousness properly refers to the state or condition of a flesh and blood body being conscious ... as in alive, not dead; awake, not asleep; and sensible, not insensible (comatose).

Howsoever, there are more than a few peoples who use that word to refer to identity (the ego-self and/or the soul/spirit-self) – as in the expression ‘consciousness has left the body’ at physical death – and that is possibly what is complicating the matter for you.

Otherwise, it is all quite simple.


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