On The Actual Freedom Mailing List
With Correspondent No. 16
CO-RESPONDENT: [quote]: ‘In 1985 I had the first of many experiences of going beyond spiritual enlightenment (as described in ‘A Brief Personal History’ on my part of The Actual Freedom Trust web site) and it had the character of the ‘Great Beyond’ – which I deliberately put in capitals because that is how it was experienced at the time – and it was of the nature of being ‘That’ which is attained to at physical death when an Enlightened One ‘quits the body’ ... which attainment is known as ‘Mahasamadhi’ (Hinduism) or ‘Parinirvana’ (Buddhism). Thus I knew even before becoming actually free that this condition was entirely new to human experience while still alive ...’. [endquote]. It is your ‘thus’ which I do not grasp.
RICHARD: It is my [quote] ‘while still alive’ [endquote] words which are the key ... I will draw your attention to the following:
For another example (from Mr. Satya Goenka’s accredited master):
Or, in Mr. Gotama the Sakyan’s own words, even:
Do you see ‘the end of suffering’ (editorial note) was indeed previously considered to be only possible after physical death ... in a realm that had nothing to do with the physical whatsoever: ‘neither earth, nor water, nor fire, nor wind’ (no physical world); ‘neither this world nor the next world’ (no more rebirth); ‘neither earth, nor moon, nor sun’ (no solar system)?
CO-RESPONDENT: How does entering the Great Beyond equal knowing that nobody has ever been there before?
RICHARD: Because physical death is the end, finish ... kaput (there is no after-life in actuality). Vis.:
CO-RESPONDENT: This doesn’t answer my question I don’t think. How does entering the Great Beyond equal knowing that nobody has ever been there before?
RICHARD: Because there is no after-life (physical death is the end, finish ... kaput).
CO-RESPONDENT: What you say above is that ‘death is the end’ ...
RICHARD: What I say above is that *physical* death is the end.
CO-RESPONDENT: ... and that your condition was that.
RICHARD: No, I did not say that (this flesh and blood body is quite obviously still alive).
CO-RESPONDENT: As you haven’t died yet I can’t see how you can be sure that this was so ...
RICHARD: That which was previously considered to survive physical death has no existence in actuality.
CO-RESPONDENT: ...but that aside, you don’t explain how this condition revealed the fact that nobody had ever been there before.
RICHARD: If identity in toto does not become extinct before physical death it will at physical death.
CO-RESPONDENT: Hm. Still doesn’t answer my question, at least to my (quite possibly imperfect and misguided) satisfaction. Far too cryptic.
RICHARD: If you cannot comprehend my response to your very first question – a response which is pivotal to the entire issue – there is no point in proceeding further.
CO-RESPONDENT: Indeed. A shame though.
RICHARD: You give up far too easily ... why not have another go at comprehending my response to your very first question instead?
CO-RESPONDENT: In fact I do comprehend the answer to my question. There is no afterlife. It all ends with the body.
RICHARD: Good ... now, with that bit of comprehension held firmly in mind, try re-reading the sequence further above until you come to the question mark I placed at the end of my sentence starting with ‘Do you see ...’. If your answer is in the affirmative then there is every possibility it will all fall into place.
CO-RESPONDENT: What I don’t comprehend is how entering the great beyond informs you of whether anyone, alive or dead, having left a record or not, has ever been actually free from the human condition.
RICHARD: Because no-one has been able to enter into the ‘Great Beyond’ before – into ‘That’ which was previously considered to be only attainable at physical death when an Enlightened One ‘quits the body’ (which attainment is known as ‘Mahasamadhi’ in Hinduism or ‘Parinirvana’ in Buddhism and so on) – as physical death is the end, finish ... kaput. Which is why I said it is my [quote] ‘while still alive’ [endquote] words which are the key to grasping my ‘thus’ in the quote you provided as being an answer in particular which you would have me clarify.
CO-RESPONDENT: This seems to me to be this; Me: How does entering the great beyond equal knowing that nobody had been there before. Richard; Entering into the great beyond equals knowing that nobody had been there before because nobody had been there before.
RESPONDENT: I am interested in the answer to the gist of what I think No. 90 is asking.
RICHARD: Sure ... here is the answer to the gist – ‘the substance, essence, or main part of a matter’ (Oxford Dictionary) – of what my co-respondent is asking when put sequentially: 1. In order for that which had previously been considered as unattainable before death (a dimension, by whatever name, where there is no suffering) to become apparent, whilst the flesh and blood body is still alive, ‘Being’ itself ceases. 2. That ‘Being’ is what was previously considered to be that which ‘quits the body’, at the physical death of an Enlightened Being/Awakened One, and which attains to that dimension, by whatever name, where there is no suffering. 3. As there is no such ‘Being’ in actuality it is patently obvious that physical death is the end, finish. Kaput. 4. Thus no Enlightened Being/ Awakened One has ever ‘quit the body’ at physical death and attained to that dimension, by whatever name, where there is no suffering – indeed there is no after-life – as all what has ever happened is that they were interred/ were cremated just like anybody else. 5. Ergo, an actual freedom from the human condition is entirely new to human experience/human history.
RESPONDENT (to Vineeto): If you look at the wording of what Richard is saying through each of these sequential points, [quote] ‘In order for that which had previously been considered as unattainable before death <snip>‘ [endquote]. Who previously considered it unattainable?
RICHARD: The enlightened beings/awakened ones who (supposedly) ‘quit the body’ at physical death, of course. Here (from the top of this page)
RESPONDENT: It is no fact to say that everyone considered it unattainable.
RICHARD: I am none too sure I said that [quote] ‘everyone’ [endquote] considered it unattainable ... I am, quite obviously, speaking of the experience of being enlightened/awakened and what that experience informs is that the solution to all the ills of humankind (aka the human condition) lies in a timeless and spaceless and formless realm (a non-material dimension by whatever name).
RESPONDENT: Richard is not everyone, he does not know the mind of anyone except himself.
RICHARD: I am not saying I am everyone – that is what the enlightened/awakened identity parasitically inhabiting this body all those years ago experienced – nor am I saying I know the mind of anyone else.
RESPONDENT: All he can say factually is that he previously considered it unattainable.
RICHARD: Not at all ... it is the enlightened/awakened experience which informs that it (the end of suffering) is not of this world. For just one (modern-day) example:
RESPONDENT: So given that he previously considered it unattainable, how does this relate to No. 90’s question:- [quote] ‘How does that reveal that nobody had been there before?’ [endquote].
RICHARD: Given that it is really the enlightened/ awakened experience which informs that the end of suffering is unattainable before physical death it relates inasmuch that no enlightened being/awakened one has, in fact, ended suffering before physical death ... indeed the enlightened/ awakened state itself is, in its entirety, nothing other than an affective state of being (which, by the way, is something my co-respondent has allowed on more than one occasion).
RESPONDENT: The short answer (which I am providing) is, it does not.
RICHARD: It is this simple: it is not possible to be actually free from the human condition whilst there be an enlightened/ awakened identity still in residence (still parasitically inhabiting the body).
RESPONDENT: For me, as a practicing actualist, I have to wonder if Richard is wrong about this, what else is he wrong about?
RICHARD: Ha ... and does the obverse (if Richard is not wrong about this then what else is he not wrong about) also apply?
RESPONDENT: The end result is that it discourages faith in any cosmology whilst on the path to an actual freedom.
RICHARD: As cosmology is about the structure of the universe – as distinct from cosmogony which is about the (supposed) origins of the universe – the fact that peace-on-earth is not on the enlightened beings’/ awakened ones’ agenda hardly falls under that category.
Perhaps a word like ‘mythology’ (for example) might be a more suitable classification?
PETER: Previously to meeting Richard I had spent 17 years on the spiritual path and was no novice to the spiritual world. My experience wasn’t merely intellectual – my experience was lived experience – I had after all turned my back on the real world and had fully immersed myself in the spiritual world, even to the point of wearing the robes and living in spiritual communes. The experience of meeting and talking with Richard was 180 degrees opposite to the meetings and discussions I had with any of the spiritual teachers or revered masters I had met in my spiritual years – no psychic power plays, no pompous air of superiority and/or feigned humility, on the contrary, a genuine willingness and an ability to provide clear and consistent answers to any questions I raised and above all, an utter down-to-earthness that was refreshing to say the least.
RESPONDENT: Yes I agree those attributes are great, and while I would agree that his answers are always consistent, I would not say that his answers are always clear.
PETER: I was reminded the other day that I read Richard’s Journal (the only written information available at the time) from front to back seven times – not to mention numerous going-overs of particular passages each time – before what he was saying became clear to me. Only when I had a general grasp of what he was saying was I then able to ask specific questions about aspects of the human condition that were of particular interest to me and if the answer was not clear then I was able to ask further until the answer became clear to me. It makes sense to me that if I am trying to understand anything new the best approach is to first get a broad understanding of the topic and then to hone my understanding by focussing in on the details.
RESPONDENT: I don’t think that is what I was getting at, but I have experienced what you have described too. But sometimes I find that Richard does not seem to be able to read between the lines in the way that I and others on the list can. I have considered that to be evidence of his having lost an affective faculty – but it makes communication with him painfully difficult for me.
RICHARD: As the reason you give for saying [quote] ‘I would not say that his answers are always clear’ [endquote] is you finding that [quote] ‘Richard does not seem to be able to read between the lines’ [endquote] I have just now re-read the exchanges we have recently had ... if you could type in just what it is that you wanted me to guess at, in the following text where I have double-spaced the lines for your convenience, by way of example as to how a (presumably) painlessly easy clarity in communication looks like in action it would be most appreciated. Vis.:
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.