Actual Freedom – The Actual Freedom Mailing List Correspondence

Richard’s Correspondence

On The Actual Freedom Mailing List

with Correspondent No. 25


June 07 2005

RESPONDENT: Why is it that when the Absolute dissipates (temporary experiences), one is falling back to the real-world and not to the actual world (in all cases)?

RICHARD: As there were many occurrences too numerous to mention, during the years 1985-1992, when the temporary dissolution of ‘The Absolute’ occasioned a falling-back, as it were, into this actual world your ‘in all cases’ codicil makes no sense.

RESPONDENT: So an enlightened man is not that far (‘twice removed’) from the actual world ...

RICHARD: You are obviously referring to this exchange:

• [Respondent]: ‘I have trouble in understanding the difference between the words ‘sense’ and ‘direction’ when comparing the AF method with spiritual ones.
• [Richard]: ‘The oft-repeated ‘180 degrees in the other direction’ phrase simply means coming to one’s senses rather than going further away (withdrawing from the senses) from the world as-it-is than one already is ... everyone is already detached and to practise detachment is to be twice-removed from actuality’.

RESPONDENT: ... [So an enlightened man is not that far (‘twice removed’) from the actual world] and not that delusional as previously considered.

RICHARD: No ... an enlightened person is indeed that far (twice-removed) from actuality and is most certainly that delusional ... all I said was that, as the temporary dissolution of ‘The Absolute’ occasioned a falling-back, as it were, into this actual world on many an occasion too numerous to mention, during the years 1985-1992, your ‘in all cases’ codicil made no sense.

RESPONDENT: I would personally say that he is twice as close to the actual world ...

RICHARD: Well now ... as you are most insistent that intelligence operates [quote] ‘much better/ freed’ [endquote] when enlightened than when normal it is not at all surprising you would say that an enlightened person, a person so deluded as to typically testify to not being the body/to physicality having no substance, would be twice as close to actuality as a normal person.

RESPONDENT: ... being the affective faculty (secondary processor of information) compared to someone in the real-world living primarily in the mind (tertiary processor of information).

RICHARD: Except that, by virtue of the delusion of having become ‘Being’ (born out of the illusion of being nothing other than an affective ‘being’), an enlightened one typically experiences not being the body/ physicality having no substance.

RESPONDENT: Did you fall back into the real-world also?

RICHARD: I see that I provided the following information almost immediately below:

• [Richard]: ‘Incidentally, when those PCE’s would dissipate there was a falling-back into ‘The Absolute’ (once enlightened/ awakened *there is no falling-back to normal*). [emphasis added].

*

RICHARD: It was those numerous direct experiences of the actual which prompted me to oft-times say to my then-companion (and rather clumsily put into 80,000 or so words on an old-fashioned type-writer) that there is an actual world, the world of the senses, of such pristine perfection and peerless purity that so far exceeded one’s wildest dreams as to be unconceivable/ unimaginable, and that spiritual enlightenment/ mystical awakenment was not the summum bonum of human experience ... which, of course, occasioned her to urge me on in the many different ways she had at her disposal (and there is nothing quite like shooting one’s mouth off to others to galvanise having to put one’s money where one’s mouth is).

RESPONDENT: Hmm ... woomen.

RICHARD: As my then-companion may very well have been a male, had my sexual-orientation been homosexual rather than heterosexual, for all the difference gender makes in such a situation and set of circumstances, your (apparently) patronising comment adds nowt to a sensible discussion about why is it not necessarily always the case that, when the Absolute dissipates, there is a falling-back to normal and not to actuality.

*

RICHARD: Incidentally, when those PCE’s would dissipate there was a falling-back into ‘The Absolute’ (once enlightened/ awakened there is no falling-back to normal).

RESPONDENT: I’m the exception to your rule.

RICHARD: It is neither my rule nor is your three-hour, and thus temporary, altered state of consciousness (ASC) an exception to the historical reality that, once enlightened/ awakened 24/7, and thus permanently, there is no falling-back to normal.

*

RESPONDENT: Isn’t it scary in the woods at night?

RICHARD: Ha ... bunyips (aboriginal bogeys), being but fabulous critters, find no habitat in this actual world.

RESPONDENT: I’ve heard that aboriginal people are somehow retarded.

RICHARD: A peoples who invented both the woomera (a short wooden implement by which a spear is thrown in order to increase both its speed and range) and the boomerang (a thin curved hardwood missile that can be thrown so as to return to the thrower upon missing its target), plus a complex duolineal filiation structure (of a complexity which is virtually second-to-none), can hardly be classified as retarded.

RESPONDENT: It is war/competitiveness that allowed us to be where we are today and produced intelligence in the human animal. It is the primary cause/impulse for evolution both in the animal and the human world, look at all the inventions/achievements during WW2 or the Cold War.

RICHARD: If what you are conveying is that all human beings are somehow retarded – because of that which is the root cause of war and or competitiveness – then that would make the person whom you heard it from, that aboriginal people are somehow retarded, somewhat selective in their appraisal of just who is tarred by that brush, eh?

*

RESPONDENT: Does that mean that their cognitive abilities are underdeveloped, but that in every other respect they are identical to the modern human?

RICHARD: You would be better off asking those questions of the person whom you heard it from, that aboriginal people are somehow retarded, as they would surely be better-placed to be able to provide whatever ethnocentric reason they have for saying such a thing. Speaking both from personal experience – for example as a young man I was, for a while, the first mate on the only supply ship ferrying goods and equipment to remote aboriginal communities in a then largely uncharted area of Australia known as Arnhem Land – and from an ad hoc but extensive private reading (I also chose aboriginal studies as an elective whilst at college) I can readily say that aboriginal peoples are anything but retarded. As a youth I was fascinated by their lifestyle (and also of the peoples of the New Guinea highlands) and sought to understand as much as I could for they were a step or two closer to the raw human condition than either agrarian or urbanised peoples were. Some New Guinea highlanders, being but 70-odd years out of isolation, can still clearly remember the first contact (circa 1932-33).

RESPONDENT: The ‘raw human condition’ lurking under the urbane surface ... unmanifested, why can’t it remain in that passive condition, why does it has to manifest?

RICHARD: Because that is the very nature of the instinctual survival passions when push comes to shove ... and the very word ‘survival’ should make clear why.

RESPONDENT: Can’t we grow out of the worst excesses of it with concerted measures, such as a social system, technological advances, education, genetic engineering, space travel, sport?

RICHARD: Because the ‘we’ who would (supposedly) do so are those very instinctual survival passions (‘I’ am ‘my’ feelings and ‘my’ feelings are ‘me’).

RESPONDENT: I guess that even if we can do that, malice and sorrow still remain to wreak their havoc.

RICHARD: Oh? Yet you wrote the following only a scant two weeks later:

• [Respondent]: ‘(...) it’s the contents of the emotional and intellectual brains that are to blame, not the thoughts and emotions per se ...’. (Friday 3/06/2005 7:44 PM AEST).

As the contents of the affective faculty (aka ‘the emotional brain’), such as malice and sorrow and their antidotal pacifiers love and compassion, *are* the emotions per se there is no prize for guessing just what your solution to all the ills of humankind might be as you went on to say (in part):

• [Respondent]: ‘ ... if you remember how you used to experience life (emotions, thoughts, sensations) when you were a child (No. 60 recently described some qualities of it) or in an ASC, things will become much clearer ... I was clear and unperverted and life was a much more meaningful, interesting and engaging experience, a fairytale like experience, but not only sensate. Why has that quality of experiencing life so dramatically changed for the worst when gradually reaching adulthood? (...) in an Altered State of Consciousness one experiences both sensations and emotions/ thoughts (psyche) as being pure and the world as a perfect place’. (Friday 3/06/2005 7:44 PM AEST).

Oh well ... c‘est la vie, I guess.

July 14 2005

RESPONDENT: Richard, are you saying that the ultimate meaning of the universe is to experience itself as a sentient creature? ... and do that by purposely creating reproductive organisms and then sentient creatures out of hard stone and energy? Else why say that life is not a random, chance event in an otherwise empty and meaningless universe?

RICHARD: The reason why I said that is because it is what materialism, as a generalisation, typically holds – that life is a chance, random event in an otherwise empty (meaningless) universe – in contrast to spiritualism (which, as a generalisation, typically holds that life is a purposeful manifestation by or of a supreme being who created or creates the universe) ... and, furthermore, because the extreme version of the materialist position is nihilism where, as a generalisation, it is typically held that life is whatever one makes of it and, as it is all pointless anyway, the only true philosophical question is whether to commit suicide, or not, and if so, then whether now or later.

I am not saying that the ultimate meaning of the universe is to experience itself as a sentient creature by purposely creating reproductive organisms and then sentient creatures out of hard stone and energy – such a teleological matter is something for teleologists to muse over in lieu of actually doing something about the human condition – as I make it abundantly clear on many an occasion elsewhere that it is the answer to the ubiquitous human quest for the meaning of life which is already always out-in-the-open here in this actual world.

And what I mean by the ‘quest for the meaning of life’ might perhaps be best summarised by the title of a large painting (5’ x 12’) Mr. Paul Gauguin executed in Tahiti – after vowing he would commit suicide following its completion – on sized burlap in 1897-98 ... to wit: ‘Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?’ (D’où venons-nous ? Que sommes-nous ? Où allons-nous ?).

For what it is worth ... the blue idol in the centre-left background apparently represents what he described as ‘The Beyond’.

RESPONDENT: What are the differences between ‘universe’ and ‘life’?

RICHARD: Here is what a dictionary has to say about the word ‘life’:

• ‘life: the condition, quality, or fact of being a living organism; the condition that characterises animals and plants (when alive) and distinguishes them from inanimate matter, being marked by a capacity for growth and development and by continued functional activity; the activities and phenomena by which this is manifested’. (Oxford Dictionary).

The word ‘universe’, of course, refers to all time and all space and all matter (aka mass and energy).

August 07 2005

RESPONDENT: Richard, are the terms ‘mahasamadhi’/‘parinirvana’ used in the ancient texts describing a state and/or condition identical to what you’re living now?

RICHARD: As the terms ‘Mahasamadhi’ (Hinduism) and ‘Parinirvana’ (Buddhism) explicitly refer to a bodiless state of being in a timeless, spaceless and formless dimension, only attainable at physical death when an Enlightened Being/Awakened One ‘quits the body’, there is no way it can be identical to what this flesh and blood body is living now.

RESPONDENT: Was the condition described by the terms ‘parinirvana’/‘mahasamadhi’ actually based on the gleamings/ flashes of an enlightened one into the ‘Great Beyond’ or are these terms based on speculation rather than experience?

RICHARD: As the identity inhabiting this flesh and blood body all those years ago was able to have pure consciousness experiences (PCE’s) whilst in the enlightened/awakened state there is no reason to presume that other enlightened/awakened beings could not.

RESPONDENT: They haven’t followed fully on the trail of these flashes because it would have meant physical death (exactly as it seemed to you), maybe that’s why they said it is only attainable at physical death as a permanent state (condition).

RICHARD: The prospect of total oblivion – the existential angst of discovering that one is nothing but a contingent ‘being’ and that one will cease to ‘be’ unless the redemptive straw, of several doomsday straws, be grasped – can be so terrifying/horrifying as to bring about a state of dread of such magnitude as to render intelligent action null and void.

I have written about the dread of oblivion before:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘There is a feeling of dread now. I feel stuck and unable to proceed. There is nothing thrilling about it.
• [Richard]: ‘A deep feeling of dread, the abject intuition of impending doom, is fraught with foreboding, be it a grim, dire, or awful presage, and this intensely apprehensive trepidation is symptomatic of the existential angst (the anguish of the essential insecurity of being a contingent ‘being’) which underpins all suffering. As such an occasion of profound dread is an opportune moment to plumb the depths of ‘being’ itself (‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being) ... rather than avoidance through realisation of the portentous event as all manner of phantasmagoria can be manifested by such evasion. With pure intent one can enable a movement into the existential angst, rather than despairingly grasping at doomsday straws, which movement facilitates the bright light of awareness being shone into the innermost recesses of ‘my’ presence ... which is ‘presence’ itself.
Such an active perspicacity in ‘my’ moment of reckoning will reveal that ‘presence’ itself feeds off ‘my’ fear – it is its very life-blood as it were – and this functional acuity brings an abrupt end to its nourishment. Whereupon all-of-a-sudden one finds oneself on the other side of the wall (to keep with the ‘cornered’ analogy for now) with the hitherto unseeable doorway to freedom closing behind one ... and one is walking freely in this actual world where one has already always been living anyway.
All what happened was that upon ‘my’ exposure dissolution occurred and the Land of Lament sank without a trace’.

RESPONDENT: But that doesn’t necessarily mean that they haven’t lived without the Self (the known unknown) for brief periods, no? Isn’t the resulting state identical to a PCE (the unknowable)?

RICHARD: There is no reason to assume that any enlightened/awakened being could not have a PCE ... acting upon it so as to bring about an absolute end to the highly-prized enlightened/awakened state is, of course, another matter.

RESPONDENT: How can one become free from the insidious grip of the ‘unknown’ if one doesn’t first begin to know himself in ‘his’ totality? But to know oneself in one’s totality is enlightenment, no?

RICHARD: No ... and I draw your attention to the following:

• [Richard]: ‘If I were a gambler, which I am not, I would bet my bottom dollar that this [quote] ‘much better/freed’ [endquote] intelligence, even though like having access to the whole comprised knowledge of Being, did not/could not/can not suss out that Being per se is contingent, eh?
[Respondent]: ‘As I was having a great time, there was no need to suss that out. How can you fight a tornado when you’re in the middle of it?
(...)
• [Richard]: ‘... could/did/can the energy of thought, flowing more freely due to the lesser amount of barriers/blockages existing in that psyche, which in turn was due to the elimination of the ego, suss out that Being Itself is a contingent ‘Being’?
• [Respondent]: ‘No, as I was ‘Being’. The interesting thing is that I don’t know how my Self looks like to this day ...’. (Friday 20/05/2005 1:30AM AEST).

RESPONDENT: You say that there’s a possible route by-passing enlightenment ...

RICHARD: I am none too sure I have ever said there *is* a possible route by-passing enlightenment ... what I have said is that the current situation calls for pioneers. Vis.:

• [Respondent]: ‘There is still evidence to come for a person to safely arrive to ‘actual freedom’ and then to convey how it was ‘via the non-enlightenment route’. I bet it would be a very interesting account.
• [Richard]: ‘The account of the next person to become actually free would indeed be interesting ... maybe this is an apt moment to put this hoary subject to bed, pat it on the head and send it to sleep, until somebody new to this mailing list raises it again as if it has never occurred to Richard that an actual freedom from the human condition has not yet been replicated (even though they may say, in the next breath, that it has been lived before)? Vis.: [Richard]: ‘Let us be realistic, though. When you talk about .00001 percent ... we have not yet demonstrated that anyone can replicate my condition. (...) Can my condition be replicated? Who knows? Only time will tell. (...) So we can say that we can demonstrate that something [virtual freedom] is actually possible, but it has not yet been demonstrated that it is possible to replicate me. I may be a freak’. [endquote]. (... snip five more quotes ...) There are other references but maybe these will do for now ... put succinctly the replication of my condition presently calls for pioneers, people with the necessary derring-do to pilot a one-seater aeroplane by the seat of their pants to this pristine wonderland, and not for those who will follow in their wake in air-conditioned comfort, eating hygienically prepared food and watching an in-flight movie into the bargain.
And nobody knows who that pioneer aviator is until that person actually lands here ... not even me’.

September 03 2005

RESPONDENT: Richard, I’m interested to know how knowing and experiencing your partner changed over the years, as it probably closely mirrors the changes in your condition. I know that love allows one to enter into direct contact with the other’s being and thus experience him/her.

RICHARD: As I have been here all along my experiencing/ knowing has been essentially the same all the while (I only get to meet flesh and blood bodies here in this actual world) ... to wit: an actual intimacy/an apperceptive awareness.

However, as you are obviously enquiring about how the identity inhabiting this flesh and blood body all those years ago experienced/ knew ‘his’ first wife (for 15 years as a normal ‘being’ and for 2 years as an abnormal ‘Being’) and ‘his’ second wife (for 6 years as an abnormal ‘Being’) then the experiencing/ knowing took two main forms ... egoistically (for 15 years) and holistically (for 2 + 6 years).

RESPONDENT: I don’t know how to put it more to the point ... do you now know/ experience your partner’s character (the third I so-to-speak), the actual person?

RICHARD: Aye ... just as I have all along.

RESPONDENT: Is someone’s actual character original (in the sense that it’s an unique combination of elements)?

RICHARD: Yes ... both hereditarily and environmentally.

RESPONDENT: Are your preferences in regards to choosing/ living with a partner mainly influenced by this ...

RICHARD: Indeed so ... my current companion has no equal.

RESPONDENT: ... or simply by your heterosexual orientation (any partner will do, as you experience intimacy with any body)?

RICHARD: This flesh and blood body’s sexual orientation simply determines what gender a potential companion will be; as an actual intimacy is with every body (and every thing/every event) it is that person’s character/ disposition/ constitution/ temperament which appeals.

As does their vital interest in an actual intimacy for themselves, of course.

September 07 2005

RESPONDENT: Richard, I’m interested to know how knowing and experiencing your partner changed over the years, as it probably closely mirrors the changes in your condition. I know that love allows one to enter into direct contact with the other’s being and thus experience him/her.

RICHARD: As I have been here all along my experiencing/ knowing has been essentially the same all the while (I only get to meet flesh and blood bodies here in this actual world) ... to wit: an actual intimacy/an apperceptive awareness. However, as you are obviously enquiring about how the identity inhabiting this flesh and blood body all those years ago experienced/ knew ‘his’ first wife (for 15 years as a normal ‘being’ and for 2 years as an abnormal ‘Being’) and ‘his’ second wife (for 6 years as an abnormal ‘Being’) then the experiencing/ knowing took two main forms ... egoistically (for 15 years) and holistically (for 2 + 6 years).

RESPONDENT: Holistically as in whole or holly? What do you mean by whole?

RICHARD: The word ‘holistically’ comes from the Greek ‘holos’ (whole, entire) meaning ‘complete, whole; completely, wholly’. Vis.:

• ‘holistically (adv.): as a whole [complete, comprising or involving all parts, aspects, etc.]’. (Oxford Dictionary).

However, I am meaning the word ‘holistically’ – essentially as opposed to ‘atomistically’ (to be divided into separate and disparate elements) – in its popular metaphysical sense ... as the following will convey:

• ‘Holistic – as in Holistic Model of Reality or holistic awareness, etc., to refer to any experience or philosophical understanding that is based on Oneness as in One Consciousness as the Source, substratum or foundation of reality. Also, inclusiveness of all dimensions from subtle to dense’. (www.synchronicity.org/Glossaryp.html).

*

RESPONDENT: I don’t know how to put it more to the point ... do you now know/experience your partner’s character (the third I so-to-speak), the actual person?

RICHARD: Aye ... just as I have all along.

RESPONDENT: So, it can be said that you experience the third I (actual character) of any other person you come in contact with ...

RICHARD: I was responding as much to your ‘the actual person’ description as to that way of putting it.

RESPONDENT: ... immediately or only after some time spent with that person?

RICHARD: I experience the actual person immediately ... their actual character, being both hereditarily and environmentally determined, becomes more apparent the more the experiencing continues.

RESPONDENT: Given the fact that every ‘other’ is different, it must be fun meeting people. What I don’t understand is why you say that no body is special ... yet it is clear that your current partner is a special person and maybe not only to you ... different from the rest by some character traits that you prefer/like. Or maybe you meant something else by ‘special’.

RICHARD: Yes ... presumably you are referring to this (re-posted earlier this year):

• [Richard]: ‘It is impossible to not like somebody, whatever the mischief is they get up to, as an actual intimacy does not switch on and off and operates unilaterally in regards every man, woman and child without exception ... nobody is special because everybody is special simply by being alive as a flesh and blood body’.

That was in response to about how I am with children/how I treat children ... I have responded with similar in regards a query about friends:

• [Richard]: ‘(...) it is impossible to not like someone whatever the mischief is they get up to ... an actual intimacy is impossible to switch off. (...) it is impossible to have ‘friends’ as an actual intimacy operates unilaterally in regards every man, woman and child without exception ... no body is special because every body is special’.

The same, or similar, applies to both a choice companion and select associates.

*

RESPONDENT: Is someone’s actual character original (in the sense that it’s an unique combination of elements)?

RICHARD: Yes ... both hereditarily and environmentally.

RESPONDENT: Are your preferences in regards to choosing/living with a partner mainly influenced by this ...

RICHARD: Indeed so ... my current companion has no equal.

RESPONDENT: No equal ... in what area?

RICHARD: In the area your [quote] ‘this’ [endquote] referred to, of course ... to somebody’s actual character being original (in the sense that it is an unique combination of elements both hereditary and environmental).

Even identical twins are not exactly alike in that area.

*

RESPONDENT: ... or simply by your heterosexual orientation (any partner will do, as you experience intimacy with any body)?

RICHARD: This flesh and blood body’s sexual orientation simply determines what gender a potential companion will be; as an actual intimacy is with every body (and every thing/ every event) it is that person’s character/disposition/constitution/temperament which appeals. As does their vital interest in an actual intimacy for themself, of course.

RESPONDENT: I see ... do you find in the actual world human characters/ dispositions/ constitutions/ temperaments that do not appeal to you or even you personally dislike?

RICHARD: Perhaps if I were to rephrase the passage you partly referred to (further above) by way of example? Vis.:

• [example only]: ‘It is impossible to not like somebody, whatever that person’s character/ disposition/ constitution/ temperament may be, as an actual intimacy does not switch on and off and operates unilaterally in regards every man, woman and child without exception ...’. [endquote].

Similarly, it is impossible for anybody, whatever that person’s character/disposition/constitution/temperament may be, to not appeal.

RESPONDENT: A preference is a discriminatory process ...

RICHARD: Here is what that word can mean:

• ‘discriminatory: discriminative [having the quality or character of observing or making distinctions with accuracy; showing discrimination, discerning]; esp. practising or evincing racial, sexual, or similar discrimination (Oxford Dictionary).

Thus I would rather say that a preference is discriminative – in that it is a process which involves observing distinctions accurately – as the word ‘discriminatory’ has popular connotations such as those especially expressed (racism, sexism, ageism, and so on) ... and the example I most often give is that of preferring to sit upon cushion (if available) than directly on the brick pavers of a patio or the such-like.

In other words, a preference sensibly-based upon creature-comforts.

RESPONDENT: ... it means assessing the quality of something over something else ...

RICHARD: Given that the word ‘quality’ (from the Latin ‘qualis’ meaning ‘of what kind’) literally means ‘character, disposition, nature, constitution, make-up’ a preference for a like-minded companion (to use a colloquial phrase to convey congruity) means assessing both their character/ disposition/ constitution/ temperament and where their interests lie – and in what order of priority such interests take – in terms of compatibility.

RESPONDENT: ... does the quality of people’s actual character vary?

RICHARD: No, what does vary is different persons’ actual character/disposition/constitution/temperament (and their vital interest of course).

RESPONDENT: Is this not the recipe for creating a personal hierarchy in terms of taste?

RICHARD: A preference for *a companion*, whose character/disposition/constitution/temperament and vital interest coincides with one’s own (as in having correspondence), is in no way a recipe for creating a personal hierarchy, in terms of taste or otherwise, amongst peoples at large.

Speaking personally ... I take people as they come (as in literally accepting them as-they-are).

RESPONDENT: The current and democratic thoughts (i.e. multiculturalism, relativism) are quite against hierarchies, but for me they are an intrinsic aspect of life and are linked with judgement and quality, not to mention the possibility for evolution ... I don’t mean hierarchy in the sense of a power structure. A western style society is functionally more advanced/beneficial than its Arab/Chinese counterpart.

RICHARD: As you have moved away from what my experiencing/knowing of my companion is, and what my preferences in regards to choosing/living with same are, into the topic of humankind itself, and societies in particular, the following part of a thread may be of interest:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘You say ‘equity and parity is the key to success’.
• [Richard]: ‘Yes, the ‘theory of mind’ signifies both equity and parity to be involuntarily automatic in any social situation. [Dictionary Definition]: equity: even-handed dealing; fairness, impartiality; unbiased. [Dictionary Definition]: parity: on a par; equivalence; similarity; correspondence. The question is: what is preventing this spontaneous recognition of being fellow human beings from flowing-on into all areas in common?
• [Co-Respondent]: ‘The notions of equity and parity are seemingly at the core of democratic institutions, with the idea that ‘all men are created equal’ and that there are certain ‘natural’ rights of human beings, stemming from the thinking of philosophers like John Locke.
• [Richard]: ‘I questioned whether all humans are born equal ... there are talents one has which leads to an ease in the acquisition of skills that another has to struggle to master and vice versa. The rapid shuffling of the DNA at conception (before the doubling takes place) leads to a difference betwixt one foetus and another. The same applies to physical stature (muscularity, stamina and so on) which all combine to produce a staggering array of differences ... and none of this I have detailed so far has anything to do with where one is born (climate) or in what era (progress) let alone social inequality such as what class of society one is born into (educational and career opportunities) and so on. As for ‘natural rights’ ... without question there are none: there is only ‘human rights’. And ‘human rights’ are a human construct – an agreement between human beings to conduct themselves in a certain way in relation to other human beings – and are designed to counter the insalubrious effects of the instinctual passions bestowed upon all sentient beings by blind nature via genetic inheritance. A ‘right’ is a legal entitlement ascribed to a person or persons with a reasonable or just claim to the terms of that agreement. A ‘right’ is therefore something ‘given’ by humans to humans – and to a certain extent to other animals – but what is given can be taken away ... at the point of a gun. There are no ‘rights’, in actuality, other than what human beings agree on ... and ‘rights’ have to be enforced at the point of a gun, anyway.
Any philosophical thinking (such as that of Mr. John Locke) which starts with a false premise is going to produce an elaborately false outcome (the falseness of which is concealed in the mass of concepts required to prop up the entire edifice). That there is some useful notions scattered hither and thither gives the thesis an air of respectability.
• [Co-Respondent]: ‘Equity. Parity. Are these just high-minded ideals, political theories divorced from the reality of everyday life in human societies?
• [Richard]: ‘Yes and no (and I am not being tricky here) in that yes, they are ‘just high-minded ideals’ when applied as a discipline, a practice, a duty ... and no, they are not ‘divorced from the reality of everyday life’ when they come spontaneously, involuntarily, of their own accord.
In a word: artlessly.
• [Co-Respondent]: ‘Naturally, there is a dark side of democratic institutions that is well known: the history of oppression and slavery, actual slavery, political and economic slavery, that democratic ideals, cleverly managed, conceal. And there is the actuality that we are quick to the trigger, to pick up a machine gun or a grenade launcher when the music stops and infringe on the ‘rights’ of others in territorial conquests or economic competition.
• [Richard]: ‘And here you have put your finger on the nub of the issue: the spontaneity of equity and parity that comes with the recognition of being fellow human beings is hijacked, subverted, sabotaged.
And by what?
(...)
• [Co-Respondent]: ‘So, where do equity and parity come into the picture?
• [Richard]: ‘Only unilateral action will do the trick.
• [Co-Respondent]: ‘Are these just hollow ideals?
• [Richard]: ‘No ... or, rather, they were not for me, anyway.
• [Co-Respondent]: ‘Do they have any actual meaning in our lives?
• [Richard]: ‘My experience says: if you want it too it will have meaning in your life ... and bucket-loads of meaning into the bargain.
• [Co-Respondent]: ‘I would appreciate you expanding on these words.
• [Richard]: ‘This was my position all those years ago: just as I cannot change the weather to ensure a sunny day on the beach, how can I live with equity and parity in the world as-it-is with people as-they-are?’
List B, No. 37, 16 March 2000

All-told the thread spans several e-mails ... yet that last sentence is the essence of it.

October 25 2005

RESPONDENT: Richard, I recently saw a film by Ingmar Bergman, Persona. Here’s a short review: [snip URL]. In the film there is a documentary sequence with a Buddhist monk setting himself on fire, which event had a significant impact in your life.

RICHARD: This is the text which describes the significant impact you are referring to:

• [Richard]: ‘My questioning of life, the universe and what it is to be a human being had all started in a war-torn country in June 1966 at age nineteen – when there was an identity inhabiting this body complete with a full suite of feelings – and a Buddhist monk killed himself in a most gruesome way. There was I, a callow youth dressed in a jungle-green uniform and with a loaded rifle in my hand, representing the secular way to peace. There was a fellow human being, dressed in religious robes dowsed with petrol and with a cigarette lighter in hand, representing the spiritual way to peace.
I was aghast at what we were both doing ... and I sought to find a third alternative to being either ‘human’ or ‘divine’.
This was to be the turning point of my life, for up until then, I was a typical western youth, raised to believe in God, Queen and Country. Humanity’s inhumanity to humanity – society’s treatment of its subject citizens – was driven home to me, there and then, in a way that left me appalled, horrified, terrified and repulsed to the core of my being with a sick revulsion. I saw that no one knew what was going on and – most importantly – that no one was ‘in charge’ of the world. There was nobody to ‘save’ the human race ... all gods were but a figment of a feverish imagination. Out of a despairing desperation, which was collectively shared by my fellow humans, I saw and understood that I was as ‘guilty’ as any one else. For in me – as is in everyone – was both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ ... it was that some people were better than others at controlling their ‘dark side’. However, in a war, there is no way anyone can consistently control any longer ... ‘evil’ ran rampant. I saw that fear and aggression and nurture and desire ruled the world ... and that these were instincts one was born with. Thus started my search for freedom from the ‘Human Condition’ ... and my attitude, all those years ago was this:
I was only interested in changing myself fundamentally, radically, completely and utterly’.

The physical self-immolation in the documentary sequence you refer to, reproduced in that movie, was three years earlier (June 1963) and was motivated by that particular monk’s desire to bring attention to the discriminatory treatment experienced by members of the Unified Buddhist Church, at the hands of the (Catholic-dominated) government of the day, in the context of a movement by those practitioners to have Buddhism become the national religion, and thus be a religious-cultural vehicle for a negotiated unification and, arising out of a scriptural background (dating back more than 1,000 years) of similar self-inflicted deaths, the deeply-held belief that he would become a bodhisattva for his actions.

Two months later (August 1963) another monk, and then two nuns, also physically self-immolated (all-in-all over a hundred monks and nuns immolated themselves between 1963-1974).

RESPONDENT: As these images (the movie was produced in 1966) looked to me identical with the event you witnessed in Vietnam and the monk photo on the lite version of the AF website, I wonder if it’s the same event.

RICHARD: The photograph you mention was taken in 1963.

RESPONDENT: There’s 1 out of 12 probability. Do you remember seeing a film-operator at the scene?

RICHARD: The photographer at that 1963 physical self-immolation was Mr. Malcolm Browne.

RESPONDENT: Were you present there from beginning to end?

RICHARD: I was not even in the military in 1963 (I was working on the land, as a farmer’s son, at that time).

RESPONDENT: Why hasn’t anyone tried to contain the fire?

RICHARD: Just for starters: an estimated 300 Buddhist monks and nuns blocked all entrances to the main traffic intersection, in Saigon, where that 1963 physical self-immolation took place.

Also, such physical self-immolation is a feature of Vietnamese Buddhism – both against previous French and Chinese occupations and the current North Vietnamese occupation – and thus has a religio-cultural precedence/acceptance.

Plus, it is not all that dissimilar to, for instance, hunger-strikes-unto-death in other parts of the world for similar reasons (so as to bring about the dominance of the immolator’s own group/ own beliefs over another group/ other’s beliefs).

What price belonging, eh?

October 30 2005

RICHARD: ... physical self-immolation is a feature of Vietnamese Buddhism – both against previous French and Chinese occupations and the current North Vietnamese occupation – and thus has a religio-cultural precedence/ acceptance. Plus, it is not all that dissimilar to, for instance, hunger-strikes-unto-death in other parts of the world for similar reasons (so as to bring about the dominance of the immolator’s own group/ own beliefs over another group/ others’ beliefs).

What price belonging, eh?

RESPONDENT: I intended to say that’s more a case of ‘what price believing’, yet the need to belong sometimes creates the believing (in order to belong to a group one has to share its beliefs). It’s an excellent example of the two halves of the identity, both affective and cognitive, working hand in hand, as one.

RICHARD: Or, rather, a salient example of what dominance the affections really have over intelligence.

January 11 2006

RESPONDENT: Richard, I remember you saying that what the West represents in terms of culture/ civilization (individualism, liberal democracy, market economy, etc.) is threatened/ undermined by Eastern spiritual concepts.

RICHARD: You are obviously referring to this:

• [Richard]: ‘... western civilisation, which has struggled to get out of superstition and medieval ignorance, is in danger of slipping back into the supernatural as the eastern mystical wisdom, that is beginning to have its strangle-hold upon otherwise intelligent people, is becoming more and more widespread.
The ancient wisdom has even infiltrated modern physics’.

Or this (a variation on the theme):

• [Richard]: ‘I do appreciate science and have the highest regard for facts – it is what enabled western civilisation to get out of superstition and medieval ignorance – hence the concern that it not be taken over by the metaphysicists who would have future generations slip back into the supernatural’.

The only occasion I have discussed democracy with you was in regards to Christianity (and not eastern mystical wisdom). Vis.:

• [Respondent]: ‘Capitalism in my view is a more fortunate [than Communism] mixture between Christianity and instinctive drives.
• [Richard]: ‘The primary distinction between capitalism and communism, as currently and previously practised, is the private ownership of property/ means of production (privatisation) versus the public ownership of property/ means of production (nationalisation); the secondary distinction is a representative democracy (regular competitive elections for governance) versus a non-representative autocracy (non-competitive elections or imposition of governance); the other distinctions lie in the areas of accountable jurisprudence versus unaccountable jurisprudence, freedom of speech (uncensored media) versus restricted speech (censored media), freedom of association/ assembly versus restricted association/assembly, freedom of contract versus restriction of contract, and freedom of religion versus restriction of religion (all of which involve issues of public policing versus secret policing) ... apart from the freedom/ restriction of religion issue where is Christianity part of the mixture?
The Christian god not only owns everything, but is totally autocratic, arbitrarily imposes judgement, despotically punishes dissention, condemns proscribed association/ assembly, has an authoritarian insistence on an exclusive contract ... and secretly spies on everyone (all of which makes the most notorious dictator but a rank amateur by comparison).
However if you can somehow manage to love this god you will be loved in return ... but even that is a matter of caprice (grace)’.

RESPONDENT: To me, it seems that the danger is broader and includes, above all, demographics. In a few generations, Europe will not be the place we now know ... and not for the better. I also think that the Western Civilization is helping its own extinction via fancy concepts like multiculturalism ... something akin to a suicidal gesture. There’s no better example than the country/ society you currently live ... and I’m speaking of trends. I can see no solutions though ... except maybe for a ‘white Australia policy’. Values are not actual, okay ... but some are better than others.

What’s your practical take on this?

RICHARD: The following encapsulates my practical take on sociological issues/societal values as well:

• [Richard]: ‘I do not seek to advise anybody on what to do, or not do [in regards to political issues], and I have stated the reason why on many an occasion ... for example: [quote]: ‘I have oft-times said that I have no solutions for life in the real-world ... the only solution is dissolution’. [endquote]. Which means I have no solutions for governments either ...’.

Just so there is no misunderstanding ... when I say I have no solutions for life in the real-world I am referring to systematised solutions like political change, social reform, economic reconstruction, cultural revisionism, and so forth. For instance:

• [Respondent]: ‘I have a first hand experience that this [communism] could only lead to hypocrisy, theft, corruption, greed; even brain-washing won’t work, these instincts have an innate ability to turn almost anything to their own advantage and fulfil their priorities.
• [Richard]: ‘Any system brought about by political change, social reform, economic reconstruction, cultural revisionism, and so on, is bound to fail, no matter how well thought out, because blind nature’s genetically endowed survival passions, and the ‘being’ or ‘presence’ they automatically form themselves into, will stuff it up again and again.
I have seen this repeatedly on the familial level, on the local community level, on the national level, and on the an international level ... plus, more pertinently, on the partnership (marriage/ relationship) level.
Unless one can live with just one other person, in peace and harmony twenty four hours of the day, nothing is ever going to work on any other scale’.

January 22 2006

RESPONDENT: Richard, what would be your preferred method for your body to be dealt with after you die?

RICHARD: As your query is based upon a misapprehension – that I do have a preference as to how the peoples still living will deal with me upon my death and it is only a matter of asking just what that preference would be – I will take this opportunity to re-present the following (from ‘Topica’):

List Name: An Actual Freedom From The Human Condition (Actual Freedom)

Purpose: The Actual Freedom Trust is currently maintaining this world-wide venue so as to facilitate a sharing of experience and understanding and to assist in elucidating just what is entailed in becoming actually free of the human condition ... it is a public forum for discussion about an end to malice and sorrow forever and an actual freedom for all peoples.
The sincerity of your participation will increase the opportunity for an on-going investigation, for both yourself and anyone else who is genuinely concerned about becoming free of the Human Condition, and thus effecting peace-on-earth in this life-time. Those who are discussing these matters have before them a vital opportunity to partake in the precipitation of humankind’s long-awaited emergence from animosity and anguish into benignity and benevolence. We fellow human beings writing here today are actively engaged in ensuring that the current ‘Savage Ages’ will eventually become a thing of the dreadful past ... so that they will pass into the waste-bin of history like the ‘Dark Ages’ have.
It is not a little thing we are doing. (http://lists.topica.com/lists/actualfreedom/).

The way in which someone – anyone – chooses to utilise this vital opportunity is, of course, their business ... when they seek to engage me in matters not pertaining to the above clearly stated/ unambiguously articulated purpose, however, they are endeavouring to make their frittering away of an opportunity of a lifetime my business as well.

Accordingly, I will repost the following:

• [Richard]: ‘I am an actualist, not a biologist, and I am not about to become side-tracked into a discussion about whether or not [... snip recondite biologistic minutiae ...] as the identity in residence all those years ago did not find it at all necessary to get into that sort of minute detail so as to be able to altruistically ‘self’-immolate, in toto, for the benefit of this body and that body and every body. Indeed, ‘he’ did not know anywhere near what I know (through having to look things up as a result of going public with what ‘he’ did) nowadays.
In a nutshell: ‘he’ understood what the expression ‘fiddling whilst Rome burns’ really meant’.

February 09 2006

RESPONDENT: ‘What beneficent creator would permit the sort of suffering so widespread in nature?’ [Charles Darwin]. ‘The God of the Galapagos is careless, wasteful, indifferent, almost diabolical’. [David Hull]. ‘The sheer amount of suffering in the world that is the direct result of natural selection is beyond contemplation’. [Richard Dawkins].

[Respondent]: ‘I have noticed that you apply many of the traditional attributes of spirit to matter: infinite, eternal, benevolent, benign, even, I believe, intelligent in a non-anthropomorphic way’.
[Richard]: ‘Not ‘applying’, no ... these ‘attributes’ are actually properties (infinite and eternal) and qualities (immaculate and consummate) and values (*benevolent and benign*) and are my direct experience, each moment again, and those words are my description of what is actually happening (properties plus qualities equals values). [emphasis added].

The last quote, although coming from direct experience, contradicts obvious facts, like the first three quotes above.

RICHARD: Ha ... since when has any god/ any theology/ any theory been obvious facts?

Here is a more spelled-out way of putting it:

• [Rick]: ‘Richard, could you list as many characteristics as possible that you would ascribe to the universe, please. Such as benign, infinite, wonderful, marvellous, eternal, a veritable perpetuus mobilis etc. As many as possible would be neat to look see. I’m just curious to read what the universe is and therefore what it isn’t from a pure consciousness experiencer.
• [Richard]: ‘The fundamental characteristic, or nature, of the universe is its infinitude – specifically having the properties of being spatially infinite and temporally eternal and materially perdurable – or, to put that another way, its absoluteness ... as such it is a veritable perpetuus mobilis (as in being self-existent/ non-dependent and/or self-reliant/ non-contingent and/or self-sufficient/ unconditional and/or self-generating/ unsupported).
Having no other/ no opposite this infinitude and/or absoluteness has the property of being without compare/incomparable, as in peerless/ matchless, and is thus perfect (complete-in-itself, consummate, ultimate).
And this is truly wonderful to behold.
Being perfect this infinitude and/or absoluteness has the qualities (qualia are intrinsic to properties) of being flawless/faultless, as in impeccable/immaculate, and is thus pure/pristine.
And which is indubitably a marvellous state of affairs.
Inherent to such perfection, such purity, are the values (properties plus qualities equals values) of benignity – ‘of a thing: favourable, propitious, salutary’ (Oxford Dictionary) – and benevolence (as in being well-disposed, beneficent, bounteous, and so on) ... and which are values in the sense of ‘the quality of a thing considered in respect of its ability to serve a specified purpose or cause an effect’ (Oxford Dictionary).
And that, to say the least, is quite amazing.

RESPONDENT: I can’t reconcile these ... has anyone managed to? ... and how?

RICHARD: It is not a matter of reconciliation as there is nothing to reconcile in actuality – there is neither god nor suffering here in this actual world – but rather a matter of coming to one’s senses (both literally and metaphorically) and thus directly experiencing what is actually happening.

Put succinctly: actualism is experiential and not theological/ philosophical or academical/ theoretical.

RESPONDENT: It seems to me that the thin red line between Nature (cruel survival instincts in humans, animals, birds, viruses, other life forms) and Universe (matter) is arbitrarily drawn by actualists, it’s an artificial divide.

RICHARD: Just for starters I use the phrase blind nature – a generic term referring to the fact that no intelligent design/ architecture and/or omniscient designer/ architect underpins and/or created/ creates or manifests/ sustains the universe (hence ‘blind’) – and not [quote] ‘Nature’ [endquote] as that word popularly refers to phenomena in particular/ the universe in general and, when capitalised, to an intelligent design/ architecture and/or omniscient designer/ architect (a creative power or being). For instance:

• ‘nature: the creative and regulative physical power conceived of as operating in the material world and as the immediate cause of all its phenomena (sometimes, esp. N-, personified as a female being); these phenomena collectively; the material world; spec. plants, animals, and other features and products of the earth itself, as opp. to humans or human creations or civilization; Mother Nature: nature as a creative power personified, nature personified as benign and protective; communing with nature: Mother Nature, natural forces, creation, the environment, the earth, mother earth, the world, the universe, the cosmos; landscape, scenery;’. (Oxford Dictionary).

I use the word universe to refer to all time and all space and all matter ... and that usage is not, of course, inclusive of the emotional/ passional imaginings (fantasies, hallucinations, deliriums, and so on) of the psyche. And the reason why I mention this, up-front, is because some form of, or variation on, what can be called malism – ‘the doctrine that this world is an evil one’ (Oxford Dictionary) – is an ubiquitous feature of the world of the human psyche ... as is evidenced, for example, in the ‘existence of evil’ dilemma more than a few theologians/ metaphysicians/ philosophers and/or academics/ intellectuals/ theoreticians wrestle futilely with and which type of quandary might possibly be what you are re-presenting a facsimile of in this e-mail (albeit in the guise of a-cruel/ bloody-nature-versus-a-benevolent/ benign-universe line of thought) just as you did in an earlier post (on Thursday, 10/11/2005, at 10:21 PM AEDST) where you spoke of [quote] ‘the horrors of nature’ [endquote].

There is no line or divide (be it thin, arbitrary, artificial, or otherwise) between blind nature’s very essential survival package and the universe – biological-inheritance is not a miraculous gift bestowed by some inscrutable god/ goddess – as this actual world, the world of the senses, is indeed characterised by benevolence and benignity (there is neither cruelness nor horrors in actuality). However, in the real world, the world of the psyche, any such kindly disposition – as in being well-disposed, bountiful, liberal, bounteous, beneficent (aka benevolent) and being favourable, propitious, salutary (aka benign) – being not readily apparent, as in directly experienceable, requires naiveté for its intellectual ascertainment.

I am, of course, using the word ‘kindly’ in its Oxford Dictionary ‘acceptable, agreeable, pleasant; spec. (of climate, conditions, etc.) benign, favourable to growth’ meaning ... and which I generally express by saying I am swimming in largesse. For example:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘In the PCE, there is a clear sense that something of momentous importance is happening, at least it seemed that way for me. The excellence experience, if not labelled such, might seem to be an experience of exceptional clarity and lucidity. With the PCE, words like bounteousness, bursting, pouring forth, vibrant, clear, alive, animate, come to mind.
• [Richard]: ‘The words ‘exceptional clarity and lucidity’ strikes me as being a very good description of the distinction when compared with ‘bounteousness, bursting, pouring forth’ and so on as I am swimming in largesse’.

Or even more specifically:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘Does this [allowing a PCE to happen] take nerves of steel?
• [Richard]: ‘No, apart from spontaneous PCE’s (most common in childhood) it takes happiness and harmlessness: where one is happy and harmless a benevolence and benignity that is not of ‘my’ doing operates of its own accord ... and it is this beneficence and magnanimity which occasions the PCE.
The largesse of the universe (as in the largesse of life itself), in other words’.

In short: I do not use the words benevolent/ benevolence and benign/ benignity merely as antonyms to the words malevolent/ malevolence and malign/ malignity (such as to require reconciliation) as the latter exists only in the human psyche.

RESPONDENT: I can’t reconcile the statement that the Universe is benevolent with the fact that a life form (even free from instinctual passions) has to feed on other life forms in order to survive. It has to kill.

RICHARD: Oh, there is even more to it than life feeding off life ... and we have touched on it before:

• [Richard]: ‘... the human species has been doing its thing for at least 50,000 years or so – no essential difference has been discerned between the Cro-Magnon human and Modern-Day human – and may very well continue to do its thing for, say, another 50,000 years or so ... it matters not, in what has been described as ‘the vast scheme of things’ or ‘the big picture’, and so on, whether none, one, or many peoples become actually free from the human condition (this planet, indeed the entire solar system, is going to cease to exist in its current form about 4.5 billion years from now). All these words – yours, mine, and others (all the dictionaries, encyclopaedias, scholarly tomes and so on) – will perish and all the monuments, all the statues, all the tombstones, all the sacred sites, all the carefully conserved/ carefully restored memorabilia, will vanish as if they had never existed ... nothing will remain of any human endeavour (including yours truly). Nothing at all ... nil, zero, zilch. Which means that nothing really matters in the long run and, as nothing really does matter (in this ultimate sense) it is simply not possible to take life seriously ... sincerely, yes, but seriously? No way ... life is much too much fun to be serious!
• [Respondent]: ‘Yes, I see your point as I remember instances of original comedy in my life, although in the real-world where I currently reside, it’s a serious and sometimes deadly business, mainly because people take themselves so seriously (survival takes precedent over enjoying).
• [Richard]: ‘And therein lies the nub of the issue (in the real-world life is indeed a serious and sometimes deadly business)’.

Umpteen numbers of stars (and thus solar systems) are constantly exploding/ imploding, and their resultant gaseous nebulae are coalescing/ amalgamating, all throughout the observable universe and yet you focus only upon life feeding off life in order to justify your how-can-it-be-reconciled stance. For example:

• [example only]: ‘I cannot reconcile the statement that the universe is benevolent/ benign with the fact that matter itself is constantly in a state of re-arrangement which, of necessity, involves destruction/ obliteration and construction/ creation’. [end example].

Or even a more simple (if only because it is a more popular or common plaint) example:

• [example only]: ‘I cannot reconcile the statement that the universe is benevolent/benign with the fact that, even if I survive being eaten by other animals, I must eventually die anyway’. [end example].

Objecting to, or being resentful of, being alive in the first place takes many forms.

RESPONDENT: The actualist universe is a benevolent universe.

RICHARD: No, it is the actual universe – as evidenced in a pure consciousness experience (PCE) – which is benevolent (and benign) ... and which actuality includes the very flesh and blood body itself.

RESPONDENT: Towards whom is this benevolence manifested?

RICHARD: As there is no thing (such as the stones, trees, humans, and other animals, you go on to mention) which is not the universe your [quote] ‘towards whom’ [endquote] question makes no sense.

RESPONDENT: Stones, trees, animals or only towards humans?

RICHARD: The benevolence (and benignity) of this actual universe is intrinsic to every thing ... no thing is exempt.

RESPONDENT: ... seems a little awkward/silly to me.

RICHARD: That could quite possibly be because you are considering these matters in a spiritualistic versus materialistic context ... rather than in an actualistic paradigm such as what this mailing list is set-up for.

I mean it when I say actualism is the third alternative to spiritualism and materialism.

*

RESPONDENT: The number of unprecedented advances in the last 200 years, including in the social arena, are due to human effort/ intelligence alone and not some sort of benevolence ... an active force welling endlessly through parsecs of space.

RICHARD: As I have nowhere ever mentioned that the technological/ sociological advances are not due to human effort/ intelligence that is what is known as a straw-man argument (wherein one goes about fabricating something another never said and then sets about refuting their own invention as if they are having an intelligent discussion).

RESPONDENT: Also, the paradigm that you only have to change one person (you) is a bit far-fetched, war takes at least two parties to break out and so does peace.

RICHARD: As I specifically refer to the root cause of war (the elimination of which results in an already always existing peace being apparent) that is another straw-man argument.

RESPONDENT: If there’s no mutual understanding, there’s nothing you can do ...

RICHARD: Only just recently (on Monday, 30/01/2006, at 1:50 AM AEDST) another subscriber to this mailing list characterised your posts as containing [quote] ‘high quality, thoughtful and relevant items’ [endquote] ... do you consider that to be a fair assessment?

RESPONDENT: ... what can I do when a Muslim (someone who ardently believes that Allah is the only and true God) asks me to either agree with that or shut up/die?

RICHARD: Has any person at all ever put you in such a life-threatening situation (as in a zealous apparatchik, for instance, with all the life-and-death power of the communistic state at their disposal)?

RESPONDENT: It touches on what’s called freedom of speech, it’s violence pure and simple, mental rape.

RICHARD: Or, rather, it is the suppression of frank, honest and open communication ... in a word: censorship (be it either overt or covert).

RESPONDENT: If there’s no one to stand up and fight that ‘meme’ (ignorant bastard) ...

RICHARD: Why do you say [quote] ‘fight’ [endquote]? I have personally experienced covert censorship of my writings – no publisher approached in 1996-97 would have anything to do with them – and have made a judicious use of the internet ever since ... all without any fight whatsoever.

RESPONDENT: ... well, we can all live in our own private paradise, heads down, and in a miserable world at that.

RICHARD: As you are obviously not referring to this actual world (which is neither a private paradise nor a miserable world) I will pass without further comment.

RESPONDENT: For evil to triumph, it’s sufficient for good men to do nothing.

RICHARD: If I may take the liberty of re-arranging your (borrowed) wisdom? For example:

• [example only]: ‘For behaviour driven by good and evil to triumph over salubrious action it is sufficient for sensible persons to say nothing’. [end example].

As a matter of interest: would you classify making available the millions of words for free on The Actual Freedom Trust web site – not to forget this directly-into-your-own-home mailing list – to be doing nothing?

RESPONDENT: Is freedom of speech ‘good’?

RICHARD: If by that you mean beneficial then ... yes, it can be.

RESPONDENT: Can the outside ‘bad’ be efficiently tackled by an actualist?

RICHARD: To be tackling either bad or good behaviour (efficiently or otherwise) is to be but rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic.

RESPONDENT: Is the fight between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ a fancy drama, a soap opera, spurred by human imagination?

RICHARD: If you are still referring to a behavioural fight then ... yes (inasmuch it is a physical playing-out of the fight between the good and the bad of the human psyche).

RESPONDENT: Seriously, why don’t you live in North Korea or China?

RICHARD: For much the same reasons I do not live in Rumania (for instance).

RESPONDENT: Ahh, you’re not familiar with the social protocols.

RICHARD: Amongst other things... yes.

RESPONDENT: Yet there’s matter in China and plenty of it ... and where there’s matter there’s happiness ... and freedom.

RICHARD: Aye ... there is plenty of matter on Mars, too (or , more correctly, it is comprised of matter).

*

RESPONDENT: Also, about the imperative that this universe has ... to (constantly?) improve locally, to reach the full of its potential, the best possible outcome .... where is the evidence for this on other planets, stars, comets?

RICHARD: In the same place as the evidence there is life on other planets, stars, comets, perchance?

RESPONDENT: It’s an anthropomorphic view ...

RICHARD: Ha ... when you look about and observe the myriads of life forms do you see them as imperatively having to deteriorate, to reach the least of their potential, their worst possible outcome, then?

RESPONDENT: ... if I can’t see any improvement there in the last 3+ billion years, what makes an actualist (another human) see any?

RICHARD: Oh? You do not call the arising of intelligence in the human animal an improvement, then?

RESPONDENT: Actualism looks in these occasions condimented with the anthropomorphic and anthropocentric views on the universe.

RICHARD: Hmm ... actualism (the direct experience that matter is not merely passive) is anything but an anthropomorphic and anthropocentric view on the universe.

RESPONDENT: Maybe, just maybe, we have a hard time just accepting the evidence: we live in a meaningless, breathtaking universe.

RICHARD: And just what non-anthropomorphic/ non-anthropocentric evidence would that be (that the universe, albeit breathtaking, is meaningless) ... other than the stock-standard materialistic position, that is, as that fancy has already been flogged to death on other forums?

RESPONDENT: Thanks for hearing my thoughts.

RICHARD: You are welcome ... any chance of them being more thoughtful (as in relating to the actualism actually on offer and not a spiritualistic/ materialistic construal of same) the next time around?

April 06 2006

RESPONDENT: Richard, what would be the cause for over-eating and obesity in your experience?

RICHARD: As the cause of obesity is (obviously) over-eating then what you are really asking is why eat so much in the first place, is it not? If so, and as you have specifically asked about my experience, I will first draw your attention to the following word:

• ‘hyperphagia: a condition in which somebody compulsively overeats over a long period’. (Encarta Dictionary).
• ‘hyperphagia: gluttony; overeating’. (Stedman’s Medical Dictionary).
• ‘hyperphagia [also called polyphagia]: excessive eating; gluttony’. (Dorland’s Medical Dictionary).

Then to this:

• [Respondent No. 94]: ‘Do you experience hunger?
• [Richard]: ‘No (all appetitive desires are null and void).
• [Co-Respondent]: ‘If you don’t eat for a day or two, there would be certain sensations in your body which are usually classified as hunger by normal humans.
• [Richard]: ‘The bodily sensation of an empty stomach is not what is usually classified as hunger by normal humans – and it does not take a day or two of not eating anyway but only a few hours – as what is usually classified by normal humans as hunger is a feeling of being hungry which arises from that sensation ... which feeling desists (in normal humans) when replaced by a feeling of satiety which arises from the sensation of a full stomach after having eaten.
• [Co-Respondent]: ‘This is certainly new to me.
• [Richard]: ‘Laboratory tests have shown that stimulation of the lateral nucleus of the hypothalamus (known as the ‘feeding centre’) activates feeding in animals – whereas lesions of the lateral nucleus abolish all desire to eat (aphagia) – and that stimulation of the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus (aka the ‘satiety centre’) inhibits feeding ... whereas lesions of the ventromedial nucleus can lead to compulsive eating (hyperphagia).
Incidentally, it has been found that opiates also stimulate the ventromedial nucleus (hence the use of amphetamine for control of obesity)’.

RESPONDENT: And why this all-mighty trend to tackle the effects and not the causes when dealing with various problems?

RICHARD: To paraphrase my initial response in the original thread: the progenitor of compulsive eating – the glutton – has, of course, a vested interest in deflecting attention away from itself.

RESPONDENT: Is it because it is easier, they are more obvious or maybe because you’re left with no choice when the unpleasant effects arise?

RICHARD: You are indeed left with a choice (and at each moment again as well) ... to wit: not eating so much.

May 07 2006

RESPONDENT No. 115: Why does the PCE happen?

RICHARD: A pure consciousness experience (PCE) happens because the identity, being an illusion/delusion, cannot always sustain its dominance over actuality.

RESPONDENT No. 115: Is it a glitch in the matrix?

RICHARD: Presuming you are referring to an in utero defect – ‘matrix: the uterus, the womb; a place or medium in which something is bred ...’ (Oxford Dictionary) – it is handy to bear in mind that virtually everybody, no matter what age, gender or race, has experienced such moments of perfection at some stage in their life ... usually most often in childhood.

RESPONDENT: And maybe, just maybe, such experience (PCE) is virtually universal as everyone is more than eager/ willing to experience the lost intimacy, perfection and unparalleled security of his mother womb ...

RICHARD: No ... and anyway, as life in the womb is a life awash with chemicals coming, via the placenta, from the mother whenever she feels anxious, afraid, angry, and so on and so forth, it is hardly the paradisaical environment you make it out to be.

RESPONDENT: ... and the early years of life where there is no perceived separation between me and my mother ...

RICHARD: Have you never heard of separation anxiety, then?

RESPONDENT: ... the trauma of gradually becoming aware that I am separate from my toys and surroundings, that I am a separate entity (whatever that entails).

RICHARD: Hmm ... have you been reading some populist psychology books by any chance?

RESPONDENT: Regression is actualism second name ...

RICHARD: It is nothing of the sort.

RESPONDENT: ... and some people don’t like to grow-up, taking decisions on their own.

RICHARD: Those moments of perfection referred to further above are an exception in childhood ... not the norm.

RESPONDENT: I bet that Richard’s mother was a very possessive person, over caring for him.

RICHARD: ‘Tis just as well I am not a betting person (I never gamble) as you could very well end up losing the shirt off your back with such amateur psychologising. For instance:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘Did you come from an unusual family?
• [Richard]: ‘No ... I was born and raised in a normal family; I was educated in a normal state-run school; I took a normal occupation at age fifteen (full-time farming) and joined the military at age seventeen. My parents were farmers ... pioneer settlers carving a farm by hand out of virgin forest (I personally used axes and hand saws to help cut down the trees to make pasture land). I was involved in the fencing and ploughing and sowing and harvesting; I hunted game in the forest and helped raise domesticated animals; I tended the gardens and orchards and crops; I assisted in building sheds (barns) and outhouses from forest timber and learned improvisation from the ingenuity required in ‘making do’ with minimal commercial supplies. There was no plumbing; no sewage, no telephone; no electricity ... I went to bed with a candle and to the outdoor latrine with a kerosene lamp. No computer; no television; no videos; no record players; no freezer; no electric kitchen gadgets ... and so on and so on.
A regular rural childhood ... there was no ‘wounded child’ *nor any ‘dysfunctional family’ background* beyond the norm’. [emphasis added].

RESPONDENT: Btw, nature is a substitute for mother ...

RICHARD: Only for those believing in that whole ‘Mother Nature’ fantasy (conveniently ignoring that nature is truly ‘red in tooth and claw’).

RESPONDENT: ... and Richard had an enduring love affair with mother nature ...

RICHARD: You can only be referring to this:

• [Richard]: ‘... for eleven years I was what is classified a ‘Nature Mystic’ (I am not asking anyone to believe me as I am simply telling my story) so I have intimate experience of having a total love affair with nature ... and being fully absorbed in beauty. After all, I had been a practicing artist – plus being a qualified art teacher for private schools – and thus had made my living out of beauty ... and an admiration of and a love for beauty are the primary requisites of being an independent artist. People bought my work because they loved it – literally they fell in love with its beauty – and not because it was ascetically agreeable or met some scholarly criterion for art (shape, form, texture, hue, proportion, balance and so on).
With the death of ‘I’ as ego, in 1981, I abandoned my flourishing career, my alternate life-style, my self-sufficiency property in the country and commenced a barefooted, itinerant, homeless, celibate lifestyle of aimless wandering in nature: I lived and slept in forests; I lived and slept in the hills; I lived and slept in the valleys; I lived and slept beside streams; I lived and slept on the beaches; I lived and slept on uninhabited islands ... and so on. No woman could entice me as the allure of the love and beauty of nature was unsurpassable ... I had no need for a vow of celibacy. Just being in nature, totally, fully, completely, would transport me into the unknowable ... so I know full well what I talk of via personal experience as well as an, admittedly ad hoc, reading on the subject’.

Nowhere there, or anywhere else for that matter, do I use the term [quote] ‘mother nature’ [endquote] ... the word ‘mother’ is your interpolation.

RESPONDENT: ... not to mention his fascination with the ocean.

RICHARD: Just so as to inject some semblance of commonsense into this epic saga you are spinning ... are you saying that PCE’s were more common in my childhood because the identity in residence back then had a fascination with the ocean (else why bring it up)?

RESPONDENT: It’s a bit surprising that in an infinite universe, we should have the same destiny, no matter how magnificent and perfect.

RICHARD: Why is it a bit surprising that, in an infinite universe, all the human animals coming out of the same verdant and azure planet should have the same destiny?

RESPONDENT: I’ve watched some years ago a TV documentary about someone who suddenly transformed himself from an accounting clerk into a full-blown artist following a physical trauma ...

RICHARD: Whereas I gradually transformed myself from an itinerant worker (I worked at maybe 40-50 different jobs during my peregrinations) into a full-blown artist by enrolling at an art-college, full-time for three years, and practising same 12-14 hours a day 6-7 days a week, in the years after graduating, so as to support and provide for five other peoples as well as myself.

RESPONDENT: ... describing his fascination with nature, how beautiful it all is, painting most of the day, his life being transformed.

RICHARD: And the point you are making with that anecdote is ... what?

May 31 2006

RICHARD: The direct experience of the benignity and benevolence which originates from both those sourced-in-the-properties qualities and those very properties themselves is an apperceptive (unmediated) awareness, and thus comprehension, of the essential character of the infinitude/ absoluteness of the universe.

RESPONDENT: By the essential character, do you mean the essence of matter/ energy (no meta-physical meaning intended) or the essence of infinitude?

RICHARD: Neither ... by that I mean this universe is fundamentally without compare/ incomparable, as in peerless/ matchless – hence perfect (complete-in-itself, consummate, ultimate) – and thus flawless/ faultless, as in impeccable/ immaculate, and thus pure/ pristine. Vis.:

• ‘essential: an indispensable or fundamental characteristic, element, or thing’. (Oxford Dictionary).

RESPONDENT: Going a bit further, I was wondering what is my essential character ...

RICHARD: In a word: affective.

RESPONDENT: ... maybe a useful to go by definition is that if I were stripped of everything non-essential, only the essential traits/ properties will remain, in other words, my integrity would not be affected. Also, what would take for an individual to be subjected to in order for his integrity (intrinsic character) to be damaged (you said you have no trauma)?

RICHARD: By being subscribed to this mailing list since July 2001 and (despite engaging in 72 e-mail exchanges with me) still being engaged only in arm-chair philosophising, perchance?

June 12 2006

RESPONDENT: Richard, you said in a post to No. 74 a while back that you would not cheat on your partner because that would affect her integrity.

RICHARD: I said no such thing.

RESPONDENT: Could you please explain why would sleeping with another woman would affect your partner’s integrity?

RICHARD: As I never said what you say I said there is no such thing to explain.

RESPONDENT: What type of integrity do you have in mind?

RICHARD: The type of integrity I parenthetically delineated in the very exchange you are referring to, of course.

RESPONDENT: I can’t grasp the point you’re making.

RICHARD: The general point I am making is that being sans the entire affective faculty/ identity in toto does not mean I am a robotic/ automated android-like organism speaking in a flat, monotone voice and devoid of both a sense of humour and any fellowship regard (aka caring/ consideration) for other sentient creatures.

The specific point I am making is that for my earlier co-respondent to have asked why not change companions every day, as if by having no affective feelings it makes no difference just who it is, is to have cavalierly disregarded the integrity of, not only my current companion, but each and every one of those (365 per year) fellow human beings – adroitly assuming, of course, as that previous co-respondent presumably had, that a steady stream of females would indeed be knocking on my door each morning wanting admission as soon as the previous day’s female-in-residence had departed for places unknown (an instinctually-driven archetypal male-fantasy if there ever was) – and not to forget, of course, the assumed total lack of integrity on my part ... but, then again, a robotic-like automaton would of course be devoid of same anyway.

Incidentally, it is not case of having another’s integrity affected – it is a case of (presumably) having so little regard/ no regard at all for the integrity of ones companion that they could be changed daily – and it speaks volumes for the parlous state of the human condition that such a scenario would even be entertained for a moment ... let alone typed-out and sent to me.

RESPONDENT: Where I stand, sex is just an experience in which variety plays an important part, like food or changing residence.

RICHARD: Whereas with no separation whatsoever (an actual intimacy) sexual intercourse with a constant companion is a precious experience ... it is both a delight and a privilege that one of the 3.0+ billion females on this planet wants to spend their most irreplaceable asset (their time) living with me/ being with me, twenty four hours a day/ seven days a week, for the remainder of their life.

RESPONDENT: Whether I choose to tell my girlfriend about it or not is a matter of personal choice and above all, freedom.

RICHARD: For an all-too-brief period a number of years ago my living arrangement was of the ménage à trois variety ... the reward for being up-front and out-in-the-open is exquisite, to say the least, as to be with females being so open and honest together is to be with truly marvellous creatures.

August 24 2006

RESPONDENT: Actualism for me is the direct experience of matter by a living organism, a killer whale for instance.

RICHARD: Are you suggesting that animals in general – such as the killer whale (Orcinus Orca), a predatory, toothed marine animal – are void of instinctual passions (such as fear and aggression and nurture and desire) and thus any rudimentary animal ‘self’ (aka ‘being’)?

RESPONDENT: Not the end result of some lunatic that asks himself Haietmoba for the rest of his miserable life.

RICHARD: Yet this living organism – this flesh and blood body – tapping away at this keyboard is only able to report/ describe/ explain the direct experience of matter per favour of the lunatic, who asked himself how he was experiencing this moment of being alive for the rest of his miserable life, in residence at the time.

In other words, this mailing list would not exist for you to send that dour outlook (which promotes instinctually-driven animals over intelligently-guided ones) to were it dependent upon killer whales, for instance, to make apparent the already always existing peace-on-earth.

(...)

RESPONDENT: The truth is that no one here has any idea what they are talking about, with the exception of Richard Maybe. We’re in the DARK ... touching the void ... picking one piece after another of this changing and seemingly never-ending puzzle, trying to find a meaning to it, a way out. There’s no meaning to it, this is the world of the psyche ... but maybe there’s a way out .. it’s up for each man, to let go the thing he most loves.

The only real question then is how to get there. I’m afraid there is no sure way ... and Lao Tzu’s words spring to mind ... <the way that can be shown is not the real way>.

RICHARD: As Mr. Lao Tzu knew nought of what this living organism – this flesh and blood body – tapping away at this keyboard has to report/ describe/ explain then those words ascribed to his brush are not even worth the rice paper they were first set down upon.


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