Actual Freedom – The Actual Freedom Mailing List Correspondence

Richard’s Correspondence

On The Actual Freedom Mailing List

With Correspondent No. 12

January 28 1999

RICHARD: Mostly peoples are rightly suspicious of another’s hidden agenda for there is indeed something ‘underneath the surface’ ... even in those who have purportedly gone deep and have attained to a superior virtue that transcends normal morality. I would guess that what is motivating you to ‘chip away’ is in order to see – and thus expose – this ‘being’ that is underneath the surface in 6.0 billion human beings ... plus the 0.0000001 of the population who are ‘Self-Realised’ and have identified as ‘Pure Being’. You will find no ‘being’ here – or ‘Being’ – only a flesh and blood body being apperceptively aware. This body called Richard hosts no identity whatsoever ... I use the first person pronoun for convenience.

RESPONDENT: You claim that ‘this body called Richard hosts no identity whatsoever’. I would like to understand more deeply what it is that the body called Richard does not host. What do you mean by ‘identity’?

RICHARD: I was born in Australia, of an English/Scottish Hong Kong-born father and an English/English Australia-born mother. With this British background, I was enculturated into believing that I was, literally, an Australian citizen ... but with British blood. Now, blood is blood ... there is no such ‘thing’ as an ‘Australian’, an ‘American’, a ‘German’, a ‘Japanese’ and so on. Thus the wars and the suicides – the blood shed and the tears shed – are precipitated because of the absurdity of identification ... is not all this acculturation ridiculous! However, as an infant, a child, a youth and then a man, I was so programmed as to be unable to discriminate fact from fiction. I had no terms of reference that I could use as a standard to determine which was which, as every single human being on this planet was not simply a flesh and blood body ... but similarly conditioned into being an ‘ethnic’ human being.

Thus I bought the whole package. Hook, line and sinker.

As I slowly started to unravel the mess that humankind was deeply mired in by unravelling it in me, I discovered a second layer under ‘my’ acculturated ethnicity ... ‘I’ was brainwashed into being a ‘man’ and not simply a flesh and blood male body. Under the enculturated layers lies a further identity ... the genetically-inherited animal ‘self’. It took me years and years of exploration and discovery to find out that ‘I’ was a ‘me’ – a ‘being’ – and not simply a flesh and blood body. By identification as ‘me’, a psychological/psychic entity was able to ‘possess’ this body. It is not unlike those Christians who are said to be possessed by an evil entity and require exorcism. Only this ‘possession’ was called being normal. Therefore, every human being is thus possessed by an ‘alien entity’ ... I discovered that a ‘walk-in’ was in control of this body and that this ‘walk-in’ was ‘me’.

So, superficially there is a composite conditioned social identity that encompasses:

1. A vocational identity as ‘employee’/‘employer’, ‘worker’/‘pensioner’, ‘junior/‘senior’ and so on.
2. A national identity as ‘English’, ‘American’, ‘Australian’ and etcetera.
3. A racial identity as ‘white’, ‘black’, ‘brown’ or whatever.
4. A religious/spiritual identity as a ‘Hindu’, a ‘Muslim’, a ‘Christian’, a ‘Buddhist’ ad infinitum.
5. A ideological identity as a ‘Capitalist’, a ‘Communist’, a ‘Monarchist’, a ‘Fascist’ and etcetera.
6. A political identity as a ‘Democrat’, a ‘Tory’, a ‘Republican’, a ‘Liberal’ and all the rest.
7. A family identity as ‘son’/‘daughter’, ‘brother’/‘sister’, ‘father’/‘mother’ and the whole raft of relatives.
8. A gender identity as ‘boy’/‘girl’, ‘man’/‘woman’.

These are related to roles, rank, positions, station, status, class, age, gender ... the whole organisation of hierarchical control. But behind all that – underlying all socialised classifications – is the persistent feeling of being an identity inhabiting the body: an affective ‘entity’ as in a deep, abiding and profound feeling of being an occupant, a tenant, a squatter or a phantom hiding behind a façade, a mask, a persona; as a subjective emotional psychological ‘self’ and/or a passionate psychic ‘being’ (‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul) inhabiting the psyche; a deep feeling of being a ‘spirit’; a consciousness of the immanence of ‘presence’ (which exists immortally); an awareness of being an autological ‘being’ ... the realisation of ‘Being’ itself. In other words: everything you think, feel and instinctually know yourself to be.

Your feeling of being – the real ‘me’ – is evidenced when one says: ‘But what about me, nobody loves me for me’. For a woman it may be: ‘You only want me for my body ... and not for me’. For a man it may be: ‘You only want me for my money ... and not for me’. For a child it may be: ‘You only want to be my friend because of my toys (or sweets or whatever)’. That deep feeling of ‘me’ – that ‘being’ itself – is at the core of identity. It arises out of the basic instincts that blind nature endowed all human beings with as a rough and ready ‘soft-ware’ package to make a start in life. These instincts – mainly fear and aggression and nurture and desire – appear as a rudimentary self common to all sentient beings. This is why it is felt to be one’s ‘Original Face’ – to use the Zen terminology – when one accesses it in religious/spiritual/mystical meditation practices and disciplines. This is the source of ‘we are all one’, because ‘we’ are all the same-same blind instinctual self that stretches back beyond the dawn of human memory. It is a very, very ancient genetic memory.

Hoariness does not make it automatically wise, however, despite desperate belief to the contrary.

RESPONDENT: You also claim that there is ‘a flesh and blood body being apperceptively aware’. Is not that bodily apperceptive awareness, your identity?

RICHARD: No. This brain is these sense organs being conscious: these eyes seeing is this brain ‘on stalks’, as it were, being aware. Thus these ears hearing, this tongue tasting, this skin touching, this nose smelling and these thoughts thinking are all the brain being directly aware of being alive and being awake and being here ... now. Whereas ‘I’, the entity, am inside the body: looking out through ‘my’ eyes as if looking out through a window, listening through ‘my’ ears as if they were microphones, tasting through ‘my’ tongue, touching through ‘my’ skin, smelling through ‘my’ nose, and thinking through ‘my’ brain. Of course ‘I’ must feel isolated, alienated, alone and lonely, for ‘I’ am cut off from the magnificence of the actual world ... the world as-it-is.

RESPONDENT: Identity is ‘the state or fact of remaining the same one, as under varying aspects or conditions’, ‘the condition of being oneself or itself, and not another’ (Macquarie, 2nd ed.). Are you claiming that there is nothing that remains the same (in you) as (your) sense and reflective experience changes?

RICHARD: Indeed, I am stating that unequivocally ... there is no subjective psychological ‘entity’ existing in this flesh and blood body to either remain the same or change. There are many words to describe ‘I’ and/or ‘me’ ... shall I just present them here for clarity? I do not have the Macquarie Dictionary but I presume it is somewhat similar as I have the Webster’s Merriam Dictionary to check the Oxford Dictionary against. I also use the Britannica Encyclopaedia as being a generally recognised and acceptable academic standard. Vis.:

• Identity: ‘The condition or fact of a person or thing being that specified unique person or thing, especially as a continuous unchanging property throughout existence; individuality, personality’.
• Personality: ‘The quality or fact of being a person as distinct from a thing or animal; the quality which makes a being a person’.
• Person: ‘The self or being of an individual’.
• Individual: ‘Existing as a separate indivisible identity; one’s individual person, self.
• Individuality: ‘An individual thing or personality’.
• Self: ‘True or intrinsic identity; personal identity, ego; a person as the object of introspection or reflexive action’.
• Ego: ‘Oneself, the conscious thinking subject. That part of the mind which has a sense of individuality and is most conscious of self’.
• Soul: ‘The principle of thought and action in a person, regarded as an entity distinct from the body; a person’s spiritual as opposed to corporeal nature regarded as immortal and as being capable of redemption or damnation in a future state. The disembodied spirit of a dead person, regarded as invested with some degree of personality and form. The seat of the emotions or sentiments; the emotional part of human nature. Intellectual or spiritual power; high development of the mental faculties. Also, deep feeling, sensitivity, zest, spirit. The vital, sensitive, or rational principle in plants, animals, or human beings. A person, an individual’.
• Entity: ‘Existence, being, as opposed to non-existence; the existence of a thing as opposed to its qualities or relations. Essence, essential nature’.
• Identity Crisis: ‘A period of emotional disturbance in which a person has difficulty in determining his or her identity and role in relation to society’. (All definitions from Oxford Dictionary).

And it is so good to be rid of that lot!

RESPONDENT: Surely there are patterns associated with your reflectivity. You tend to reflect on things in a certain way, and I have a different tendency. Does not that tendency define your identity? Or do you have no such tendency?

RICHARD: I certainly have that tendency ... and I revel in it. These are attributes, traits, quirks, idiosyncrasies, features, peculiarities, flavours, mannerisms, gestures and so on. They are not the ‘thing-in-itself’.

RESPONDENT: My ability to understand your claim seems to hinge on my understanding of the word apperception. You claim that the word apperception means ‘seeing the world of people, things and events without the filter of identity’ You wrote about this previously: [Richard]: ‘The word ‘apperception’ (awareness or consciousness of something) means: (1) ‘The mind’s perception of itself’. Apperceptive awareness – as distinct from perceptive awareness – is drawn from meaning (1) which indicates the brain being aware of itself being conscious ... instead of ‘I’ being aware of ‘me’ being conscious. That is, awareness happening of its own accord without a ‘thinker’. Mostly peoples are of the borrowed opinion – a belief – that thought itself must stop for an unmediated awareness to occur. This is because they blame only thought for creating the ‘thinker’ – which is ‘I’ as ego – as per standard Eastern Spiritual Philosophy. Of course, when there is no identity in there messing up the works, there are many periods throughout the day wherein thought does not operate at all ... but there is apperception whether there is thinking or not’. [endquote]. I do not see how you got from the first dictionary meaning ‘The mind’s perception of itself’. to ‘without the filter of identity’.

RICHARD: Fair enough ... for starters I do not subscribe to the theory that ‘mind’ is something other than ‘brain’. The mind is the brain in operation: being conscious as in awake (not asleep) and perceiving and thinking and being aware. This neuronal activity – consciousness – is what ‘mind’ is. So when I read the Oxford Dictionary definition I read ‘the brain’s perception of itself’ or ‘consciousness being aware of being conscious’ ... which is all very impersonal.

Secondly, no one else – that I have been able to ascertain through eighteen years of scouring books and talking with people – has been living what I live for twenty four hours a day. Therefore, I can only presume that whoever wrote that definition for apperception had knowledge of pure consciousness experiences, for it is a very apt description, but no on-going experiencing as such that it has resulted in vast bodies of writing. This is all very new in human experience.

RESPONDENT: It seems to me that your identity is still maintained. You are a body sensing and reflecting, and a mind being aware of itself, even when there is no thinking. That awareness, the experience of sensing particular people, things and events, and the reflection on all that – does not all of it define you as a distinct entity to me, where there is also awareness happening of its own accord, and where there is a different set of sense experiences and reflections?

RICHARD: This flesh and blood body called Richard is a distinct physical organism to the flesh and blood body called No. 12. Each flesh and blood body is its own consciousness (there is no universal consciousness) hence each flesh and blood body is its own awareness, its own sensing, its own reflecting and its own ‘making sense’ of its own experience. None of this needs an identity in order for it to happen ... nor need it produce one. It is the affective faculty – born of the instinctual passions situated in what is popularly known as the ‘Lizard brain’ – that is the genesis of ‘being’ ... and this identity as a rudimentary animal ‘self’, in human beings, produces ‘me’ as ‘soul’ and ‘I’ as ‘ego’.

RESPONDENT: Are we not discrete identities Richard?

RICHARD: We are discrete physical flesh and blood bodies. The feeling of identity has its origins in the common ancestry of the animal instincts and takes on the appearance of being separate because of being manifest in individual flesh and blood bodies ... hence to desire to regain ‘oneness’ with all sentient beings. ‘I’ am alone and lonely and long for the ‘connection’ that is evidenced in a relationship. When ‘I’ and/or ‘me’ become extinct there is no need – and no capacity – for a relationship. Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti was hopelessly wrong in his oft-repeated ‘Teaching’: ‘Life is a movement in relationship’. Only a psychological and/or psychic entity needs the connection of relationship in order to create a synthetic intimacy – usually via the bridge of love and compassion – and manifest the delusion that separation has ended. And if human relationship does not produce the desired result, then ‘I’ will project a god or a goddess – a ‘super-friend’ not dissimilar to the imaginary playmates of childhood – to love and be loved by.

RESPONDENT: Your awareness remains associated with your body whilst mine remains associated with mine. As the circumstances change around you surely there is something that remains the same, that defines you as you, and as separate to me. It is that claim of yours to have no identity I was wanting to chip away at, and am wanting to again.

RICHARD: It is the flesh and blood body that remains the same (with due allowance for the aging process) and defines Richard as Richard and you as you. The flesh and blood body’s characteristics (attributes, traits, quirks, idiosyncrasies, features, peculiarities, flavours, mannerisms, gestures and so on) tend to stay the same ... but characteristics do not necessarily have to define an identity as being a ‘thing-in-itself’.

RESPONDENT: I am not quite sure of some of the things you claim, such as your ego and soul walking out the door, that you are extinct. That’s a bit esoteric for me right now.

RICHARD: Yet if one does not explore the esoteric – all the way – one will never be free from the human conditioning that overlays the human condition. Humanity is steeped into millenniums of esoterica ... it is its very foundation.

RESPONDENT: Yes. I agree. It needs to be explored all the way.

RICHARD: Hokey-dokey. Let go the lines fore and aft, hoist the mains’l – there is a fair wind blowing – and the voyage of exploration and discovery beckons!

February 01 1999

RESPONDENT: Constantly I am filled with the sense that what I am experiencing is enough, so very enough. I don’t need spiritual dimensions to give life meaning.

RICHARD: Excellent. I am reminded that you said that you liked Richard’s challenging of the ‘Tried and True’: [Respondent]: ‘As I read you, you are willing to challenge some VERY sacred cows, and I like that very much’. May I ask – given that you do not need ‘spiritual dimensions’ to give life meaning – just how iconoclastic can you yourself be?

RESPONDENT: You say you are asking me a question. But I think you are in fact making a suggestion. I think you are suggesting that I need a mission. Or that The Mission needs me. Is that so?

RICHARD: Not at all ... there will be no rabble-rousing crusading speeches issuing forth from my pen. The suggestion I was making is that there still is some ‘spiritual dimensions’ to your life – despite your ‘not needing’ them – that remain waiting to be examined. I was curious as to how far you are prepared to go.

RESPONDENT: I rarely or never feel lonely. I enjoy myself. I enjoy this world. I experience so many people. I don’t have a strong need for people to be a certain way with me. I find, like you, that my senses and my ability to reflect, positions me in a world of actual peace. It wasn’t always like this. I got here by continually examining myself.

RICHARD: Seeing that you further commented in a previous post: [Respondent]: ‘I like it that you challenge this teacher to go all the way’, I am interested to see if you are ready to proceed even further into your investigation into life, the universe and what it is to be a human being living in this world as it is with people as they are ... so that actual peace is apparent for the twenty four hours of the day?

RESPONDENT: Clearly you are priming me for the ‘right’ answer. The right answer is ‘yes, I am willing to proceed further’. It is the ‘right’ answer and it is my actual answer.

RICHARD: Such congruence is marvellous ... to become free of the human condition requires the dedication of purpose – a devotion to the task – that leaves previous challenges lying by the wayside for want of impetus. Maybe it is the taste of this that is what gives you pause to consider it to be ‘The Mission’? The intensity of purpose may conjure up images of a holy vocation ... but I mean business. I mean actually changing yourself – fundamentally, radically, completely and utterly.

What other people do is their business.

RESPONDENT: Now that you know my answer, can we keep proceeding together? Perhaps you have proceeded further than I. Is that your perception? Or should I not ask a question whose answer appears very ‘obvious’?

RICHARD: It is not my perception, no ... I only go by what you write. You said so yourself just recently. Vis.: [Respondent]: ‘Unlike you I experience feelings occasionally during each day – today I had a momentary patch of anger directed at my wife, one moment of exasperation with my PC deleting stuff I didn’t want deleted, and one or two of gratefulness and love’.

As for Richard having proceeded further: I am so far out that I am out of sight, man.

RESPONDENT: What is this ‘further’ you are suggesting for me? Perhaps you only mean that I increase the number of hours I experience actual peace. Or that I experience it more deeply? Or do you mean something else again?

RICHARD: Something else. There are three worlds altogether, but only one is actual. There is no good or evil here in this actual world of sensual delight ... one can live freely in this magical paradise which this verdant earth floating in the infinitude of the universe actually is. Being here at this moment in time and this place in space is to be living in a fairy-tale-like ambience that is never-ending.

My previous companion wrote this about her experience of being alive:

• ‘In my first peak experience (PCE), I saw the perfection with my bodily senses, as this body. The cloud of ‘human’ superstition was momentarily lifted; no Authority, no Power, no Love and no Faith was playing a role in this perfection ... for there was no need for them. There was no lack, no want, no desires, no longing whatsoever. I saw that they only belonged inside ‘me’, as a psychological entity, and ‘my’ world-view. Nothing was wrong anywhere in this physical, earthly perfection. All what had ever been thwarting this wondrous purity, were ‘my’ ‘human’ misconceptions and prejudices. I saw instantly that I, as this body, was actually meant to live like this all the time ... like all people could. This perfection of the universe itself has never ordained that human life should be playing an exceptional role of imperfection and ignominy. There is no outside to perfection. This whole planet is perfectly situated in this infinite universe which is characteristically propelled to the best it can grow into. ‘One of my peak experiences happened on the fore-shore. All of a sudden, unpremeditated, ‘I’ and ‘my’ world-view had disappeared and an immediate intimacy became apparent. Although I had lived in this village before and had grown very fond of it and its residents, there had always been a distance between me and other people, which had to be bridged by temporary feelings of love and affection which were never satisfying for long. Now a shift in seeing had occurred, and looking at the people around me, I noticed that the distance between me and others had miraculously vanished. Not only between me and other people but equally between me and the trees, me and the houses on the boulevard, even between me and the ocean. Nowhere was there a boundary. Another dimension had taken its place, which I initially experienced as a closeness closer than my own heartbeat, yet it was certainly not love for all or oneness with everything. It was another paradigm than the one in which the opposites play their major role ... and to depict it I needed another vocabulary than words like distant and close, separation and oneness. Opposites can only be used when there is a stationary benchmark to judge them by. When ‘I’, the standard from which everything was measured, ceased to be, a pure appraisal of the situation could take place. I saw everybody, including me as-this-body, and everything else, in its own proper place ... and nothing was wrong in any way. ‘The atmosphere of the peak experience, which I can best describe as the peace that supports everything from underneath, is the calm that makes undeniably clear that all is well after all. All is still and at rest, but not as the result of sitting in silence or being static. An all pervading and utterly pure atmosphere makes everything at once understood. It differs from intellectual understanding even though this is not precluded from it and can be activated in a crystal clear way, if so chosen. This is seeing the world as-it-is in all its wondrous grandeur. With grandeur I mean the vastness of all diversities happening simultaneously. The most outstanding thing is the ordinariness of it all, normally so easily overlooked and drowned by plans, schemes and dreams usually attracting so much attention. Here is no need for ‘me’ and ‘my’ problems, ‘me’ and ‘my’ solutions. ‘I’ only make that which does not need improvement unnecessarily complicated for oneself and all concerned. Everything is simply correct, perfectly harmonised according to only what is happening; no thing, no sound, no person is out of place. To think otherwise would take time away from here as-it-is. I cannot possibly object to any of what is going on, because I have no reason to do so ... all is achieved already when ‘I’ as a separate on-looker, am no longer keeping myself apart from this actuality. ‘Many people have experienced this peace in moments of exquisitely ordinary perfection; the ‘normal’ and ordinary things – like sitting at the table, walking in the street, doing the dishes – have all of a sudden taken on a glance, a shine of immense purity that surpasses the culturally determined aesthetics and the self’s feeling of beauty. This perfection is completely immune to emotions and thoughts, the ‘normal’ arbiters used for judging the quality of one’s life. This is a pure consciousness experience, which Richard calls apperception. Apperception is when ‘I’ cease perceiving and perception happens of itself ... which the brain with its sense organs is patently capable of doing. And as for the feelings – the emotions and passions – the concept of bonding, belonging and relationship simply cannot be applied, not even with my partner, as there is nobody inside to do the relating. This perfect intimacy is everywhere at once, not generated somewhere specific and then diffused to other locations as is the case with love. (From ‘Richard’s Journal’ © ‘The Actual Freedom Trust’ 1997).

RESPONDENT: Unlike you I experience feelings occasionally during each day – today I had a momentary patch of anger directed at my wife, one moment of exasperation with my PC deleting stuff I didn’t want deleted, and one or two of gratefulness and love. I don’t make those things a problem, and I don’t just ‘watch them’, I put myself into them and at that same time (or at least very soon after) in some way I ask myself how these feelings came to take me. The question how am I experiencing this moment of being alive is a powerful one. It works.

RICHARD: In the magical perfection of the PCE it is experienced that the emotions/passions play no part whatsoever. The reward is immediate; it is all about being here now at this moment in time and this place in space ... one starts to feel ‘alive’ for the first time in one’s life. Being ‘alive’ is to be paying attention – exclusive attention – to this moment in time and this place in space. This attention becomes fascination.

RESPONDENT: Yes, all this is so. I have been having trouble understanding what you and the others who communicate with you, mean by PCE. Now I begin to understand, when you say that in the PCE emotions/passions play no part whatsoever. There is nothing blocking direct experiencing of this moment. I cannot directly perceive what these words mean to you as you write them but I can ‘go ‘Aha!’ This PCE is known to me. Yes, when there is no emotionality present, and I am paying attention to this moment, there is such a quiet joy, a deep sense of peace, a fascination with what is here. there is enough. More than enough.

RICHARD: Yet there is more ... much, much more. I get to comprehend what you mean by ‘actual reality’ each time you write ... it is a good description and I may borrow it, if I may, when writing to others about settling for second-best.

RESPONDENT: But on the whole, life is just me, here, now, seeing, hearing, smelling (not so much, my nose seems a bit weak!), tasting and touching. And thinking. Except that’s possibly the wrong word because it gives the impression of mental effort. Your ‘reflection’ is a better word, or ‘meditate’ in the western sense of considered contemplation.

RICHARD: Yes, considered contemplation combined with fascination leads to reflective contemplation. Then – and only then – apperception can occur. Apperceptive awareness can be evoked by paying exclusive attention to being fully alive right now. This moment is your only moment of being alive ... one is never alive at any other time than now.

RESPONDENT: Yes. What you say makes sense to me. My sense of fascination is growing constantly. I am paying attention to this moment and as I do, the experience of the moment is enough in itself. There is no need for me to process the experience through a thinker or through a feeler.

RICHARD: Good. The essence of success in actualism – the wide and wondrous path to actual freedom – is to fully acknowledge that one is ‘human’ and to imitate the actual as far as is humanly possible. Whilst the ultimate goal is to be actually here – now – for the twenty four hours of a day, the immediate goal is to feel good each moment again. Continuing success then leads to feeling happy each moment again ... and then up-levelling it to feeling perfect for twenty three hours fifty nine minutes (99%) of the day. Thus, although thought and feeling are operating, the ‘thinker’ and ‘feeler’ hardly get a look-in other than this seductive cooperation in their own extinction. Occasionally they rise up and demand recognition ... but the habitual self-gratifying orgies of self-piteous indulgence lose their attraction.

RESPONDENT: Are my concise words enough for you to know there is some commonality here? Or do you think I don’t know that which you are talking about? Do my words convey your meaning?

RICHARD: For now there is sufficient commonality of purpose – questioning the ‘Tried and True’ metaphysical solution so as to uncover the physical solution – to proceed.

RESPONDENT: If someone else were to read my words do you think they would be able then to more fully understand yours, or instead, that my words lead away from what you are saying?

RICHARD: Your words may confirm that their fall-back decision to settle for second-best was correct.

RESPONDENT: In writing this and the other things I wrote this weekend somehow there is no effort involved (perhaps that shows!). My experience is just deep, round, soft, full, still, pleasure of moments of being here, and of understandings building on each other.

RICHARD: Good ... yet one has to reach out – extend oneself – like one has never done before. One has to want peace-on-earth as the number one priority in one’s life. One has to desire freedom from the Human Condition to the point of obsession and beyond ... it is that urgent and essential. And one does it for a two-fold purpose: for the good of oneself in particular and for one’s fellow humans in general.

RESPONDENT: What do you now mean by introducing the concept of reaching out? Extending myself? I do not recall you using these terms before. Reach out to people?

RICHARD: Not to people, no. I am not talking about other people doing anything at all ... I am talking about you. I am talking about your unilateral action irregardless of what anyone else does or does not do. This actual freedom does not require the cooperation of a single person ... let alone 6.0 billion people. This is for you. This is your peace-on-earth. Of course, it is entirely possible that a chain-letter effect may ripple through the denizens of the ‘Land Of Lament’ ... but what they do is their business. As long as they comply with the legal laws and observe the social protocol, they are free to live their lives as wisely or as foolishly as they choose. You do not have to concern yourself about any other person’s modus operandi at all. The best way you can help another is by being free of the Human Condition yourself ... otherwise any help is but the blind leading the blind.

The words ‘reach out’ and ‘extend oneself’ are figures of expression indicating the intensity of purpose requisite for consummation. It is possible to not only seek but to find ... thereby enabling one to live life in full meaning twenty-four-hours-a-day. The problem with the people who embark upon the search for meaning is that they approach it in the incorrect way. One cannot think one’s way into meaning ... nor can one feel one’s way, either. Thinking and feeling – through logical imagination and irrational intuition – are the two tools that everyone has been taught to use to conduct the affairs of their everyday life: they are not at all appropriate for uncovering the perfection that they are searching for. There is an unimaginable purity that is born out of the stillness of the infinitude as manifest at this moment in time and this place in space ... but one will not come upon it by thinking about or feeling out its character. It is most definitely not a matter to be pursued in the rarefied atmosphere of the most refined mind or the evocative milieu of the most impassioned heart. To proceed thus is to become involved in a fruitless endeavour to make life fit into one’s own petty demands and desires.

Life is not like that ... one has only to look into the marvels of nature to see that life-forms have arranged themselves in a myriad of exquisitely delicate shapes, colours, textures, qualities and character. So too has the universe gracefully arranged itself in regards to providing intrinsic meaning. The universe is innately perfect and pure. It is already always immaculate and consummate. Nothing ‘dirty’ can breach the blameless bastions of this unimpeachable purity and perfection ... even the most profound thoughts and the most sublime feelings are self-centred. The self – ‘I’ – is not only defiled, it is corrupt through and through. ‘I’ am perversity itself. No matter how earnestly one tries to purify oneself, one can never succeed completely. The last little bit always eludes perfecting. ‘I’ am rotten at the very core.

There is one thing that ‘I’ can do, however, to remedy the situation. ‘I’ can disappear. Psychological and psychic self-immolation is the only sensible sacrifice that ‘I’ can make in order to reveal perfection. Life is bursting with meaning when ‘I’ am no longer present to mess things up. ‘I’ stand in the way of that purity being apparent. ‘My’ presence prohibits perfection being evident. ‘I’ prevent the very meaning to life, which ‘I’ am searching for, from coming into plain view. The main trouble is that ‘I’ wish to remain in existence to savour the meaning; ‘I’ mistakenly think that meaning is the product of the mind and the heart.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

February 02 1999

RESPONDENT: Richard, I would like to follow up something with you. In the previous series of exchanges between us, I focused on your article about your meeting with a contemporary ‘guru’. I had some issues and I raised them with you. I would like to go now, right back to the beginning. What I would like to know is how much of the article was reporting actual conversation between you and Guru X, and how much was your reflection on that conversation. That distinction is not clear to me. As I read the article it is not clear where actual reality ends and where your reflection begins. As you read the article is it perhaps clear to you what was said and what was thought? One possibility is that all the words in the article were spoken between the two of you. Is that the case? Each and every word? I need to know this so that I can get a handle on the facts. I love facts and in fact you are influencing me greatly to honour the efficacy and joy of living in a factual world. Thankyou for that.

RICHARD: The article is expressive prose designed to convey the silliness of the central point essential to the maintenance of the Enlightened State Of Being: ‘He who says he knows does not know’ ... or as I put it: ‘Ignorance is bliss’. As such, it is in no way a verbatim transcript of the spoken conversation – there are some transcripts of taped conversations on my Web Page – and is not intended to be ... what is verbatim is the five article headings. The vast majority of the article is me pontificating about the hidden under-belly of divinity ... the diabolical.

It would take far too long for me to go through it sentence by sentence and delineate what was actually spoken and what is lyrical prose. I guess that a general rule of thumb would be that wherever there is a ‘He said’ or a ‘I said’ then that would be actual.

I freely acknowledge that my writing is flowery – which is a polite way of saying ‘convoluted and over-ornamental’ as an editor once explained to me – but that is an idiosyncrasy that brings me great delight. I make no apologies for an extravagant exuberance with words ... I am conveying the lavish exhilaration of life itself.

RESPONDENT: Now I understand that it was not intended as a report of actual events and conversations.

RICHARD: Yet it is a report about an actual event ... it definitely happened at the seaside restaurant set amidst trees and bushes as described. The report is not a verbatim transcript, but conveys the flavour and thrust of what I was presenting. The spiritual teacher had read a hand-delivered copy of my ‘A Brief Personal History’ the night before. He had used it as his nightly discourse with his followers and had it read out aloud sentence-by-sentence for all to hear ... and he made a commentary as the reading took place. Thus he was cognisant of the backbone of my experience and the meeting was an elaboration and a fleshing-out of that description ... plus the all-important face-to-face verification that there is an actual flesh and blood body that writes these words. Therefore the article is indeed about the actual words spoken ... but presented as expressive prose instead of in the vernacular. I made a living as a practising artist in my twenties and thirties and I know full well the value of artistic licence ... if somebody spoke to another in the way prose is structured then conversation would become rather academic or scholarly or formal or even sententious. And the obverse, of course.

RESPONDENT: It is a report about your insights.

RICHARD: Not so ... it is a report of what I experience daily – each moment again – and has nothing to do with insights. None of what I am living is applied theory born out of insight ... or intuition. There is this which is actually happening – here and now – and I put together an explanation of it after the event, as it were, to explain it to others.

I stepped into ‘The Unknowable’ and discovered for myself ... all of the things I write are drawn from what I live as an on-going experiencing.

RESPONDENT: As such, perhaps a better title for the article is ‘Reflections on a Conversation With a Spiritual Teacher’. Then the title matches the reality – or actuality, as you prefer.

RICHARD: Hmm ... all art is initially a representation of the actual and, as such, is a reflection funnelled by the artist so that he/she can express what they are experiencing in order to see for themselves – and show to others – what is going on ‘behind the scenes’ as it were. However, when one is fully engrossed in the act of creating art – wherein the painting paints itself – the art-form takes on a life of its own and ceases to be a representation. It is its own actuality. One can only stand in amazement and wonder ... this is what ‘I’ experienced back when I was a normal person. Thus ‘I’ wished to live ‘my’ life this way – where my life lived itself – and consequently here I am ... now.

Nothing I do or say is a reflection ... it is all actual. If someone reads what I write as being a reflection of actuality then their ‘stand-offish’ position will preclude them from ever actually understanding. My writing is not intended to stand literary scrutiny for scholarly style and form and content and so on – the academics would have a field-day with it – it is an active catalyst which will catapult the reader who reads with all their being into this magical wonder-land that this verdant planet is.

RESPONDENT: I am interested in talking with you further at some time about your experience with the editor.

RICHARD: I can include a copy of exchanged mail. Vis.:

• [Richard]: ‘I wrote this book a while ago for some friends and a literary agent came to hear about it and, upon reading a synopsis and a sample chapter, wanted to read it in full prior to taking it to the U.S. to interest a publisher. He then told me that I needed to consult an editor first, as my writing was ‘hard and long’. When I asked what he meant, he explained that his wife had said: ‘It is very literary and thus laboured’. As it was his idea to publish, and not mine, I never pursued the matter. Perhaps, being an editor yourself, you might care to throw some light upon what he meant ... more than the inkling I understand ... for I kind of fancy my writing style, of course!

• [Editor]: ‘Well I’d say your writing style is a little convoluted and over-ornamental, but you clearly intend it to be, so I couldn’t really call it a problem unless you wished to be rid of it. However, this literary agent might also have meant that you write long sentences, which seems to be thought very naughty these days, though it doesn’t bother me at all. I am currently editing a book by someone who writes somewhat similarly to you – his style is entertaining except when he is trying so hard to be clever that the sense of what he’s saying gets buried in a pile of witty verbiage. He can’t help it, though, he went to Oxford, where wit is compulsory’.

You have written that you are presently partaking of a creative writing course ... is your interest more in developing your creativity than in living the actual perchance?


RESPONDENT: I like your writing, but I can understand that many people just can’t be bothered making sense of it. I think that is a pity.

RICHARD: I think not ... it weeds out the ‘wannabes’ straight away. If these ‘many people’ cannot be bothered making sense of it then they do not wish to be free of the human condition anyway. Thus I do not waste their time ... they can indulge to their heart’s content in the multifarious populist writing styles as epitomised by ‘The Celestine Prophecy’, for example.

RESPONDENT: Do you think it would be a good thing for ‘Richard’ to be more widely known?

RICHARD: It is a good thing for actual freedom to be more widely known ... which is why I first put up my Web Page at Peter’s suggestion. I have only ever wanted the words and writings of the third alternative to exist in the world – I scoured the books for eighteen years to no avail – so that anyone who finds themselves travelling this path will have the assurance that another has successfully traversed the terrain. The words and writings now exist in the world – and are taking on a life of their own beyond my direction – and I have no further wishes in the matter. I value my privacy very highly and have no desire for a public profile.

RESPONDENT: Can Richard be simplified without losing his identity?

RICHARD: Ha! Whilst chariness is to be expected, such obduracy is somewhat risible.

CORRESPONDENT No 12 (Part Three)




The Third Alternative

(Peace On Earth In This Life Time As This Flesh And Blood Body)

Here is an actual freedom from the Human Condition, surpassing Spiritual Enlightenment and any other Altered State Of Consciousness, and challenging all philosophy, psychiatry, metaphysics (including quantum physics with its mystic cosmogony), anthropology, sociology ... and any religion along with its paranormal theology. Discarding all of the beliefs that have held humankind in thralldom for aeons, the way has now been discovered that cuts through the ‘Tried and True’ and enables anyone to be, for the first time, a fully free and autonomous individual living in utter peace and tranquillity, beholden to no-one.

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