Actual Freedom – The Actual Freedom Mailing List Correspondence

Richard’s Correspondence

On The Actual Freedom Mailing List

with Correspondent No. 27

January 15 2002

RESPONDENT: I am growing weary of the research involved to continue U.G. discussion – so I would just like to summarize my conclusions. I don’t think U.G. can be easily assumed to be ‘spiritual.’ On the issue of the existence of a ‘thought sphere’ and ‘space,’ ‘time,’ and ‘matter,’ he is either contradictory, ambiguous, nonsensical, or plain wrong. Richard’s experience seems to contradict U.G.’s central thesis that ‘direct sense experience’ is impossible. This stipulation by U.G. that all ‘experience’ involves thought and knowledge seems untenable. There are many other indicators that other than the disappearance of the psyche, Richard’s and U.G.’s state may be worlds apart.

RICHARD: Yes, 180 degrees in the opposite direction in fact ... Mr. Uppaluri Krishnamurti has it that nothing exists outside of his mind (consciousness gives rise to the universe) whereas the on-going experiencing for this flesh and blood body is that the mind does not exist outside of time and space and matter (the universe gives rise to consciousness).

The actualism method (‘how am I experiencing this moment of being alive’) is a method specifically designed to bring about a direct experience of the actual ... the question is asked, each moment again, until it becomes an automatic approach to life or a wordless attitude to living. Initially it will be seen that how one is experiencing this moment is usually via a feeling or a belief (sometimes cunningly disguised as a ‘truth’) – and a belief is an emotion-backed thought anyway – thus effectively blocking the ‘direct sense experience’ . And for as long as one is experiencing this moment through a feeling – no matter how deep or profound the feeling may be – one is cutting oneself off from the splendour of the actual.

There is an unimaginable and inconceivable purity right here at this place in infinite space just now at this moment in eternal time which far exceeds the most deepest, the most profound feeling of beauty (or love) – the actual is magnificent beyond ‘my’ wildest dreams and schemes – and this moment and this place is an ever-present ‘jumping-in’ point, as it were ... however it does mean the end of ‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being (which is ‘being’ itself).

This is because ‘I’ am ‘my’ feelings and ‘my’ feelings’ are ‘me’.

January 24 2002

RESPONDENT: There’s a lot said about ‘nurture’ on this website. I have a 3 year old son and a baby on the way. I’m curious, must I ‘nurture’ my children to take care of their ‘needs’?

RICHARD: Given that the ‘nurture’ described on The Actual Freedom Website is the genetically-inherited instinctual passion of nurture one will of course be driven by blind nature to take care of one’s children instinctually ... the elimination of this blind passion is one of the things that an actual freedom from the human condition is on about.

The recognition and the acknowledgement that one is thus driven (as is everyone) is the first step.

RESPONDENT: I don’t see it anywhere acknowledged that AF can seem to some to discourage us from caring for our children.

RICHARD: There is a vast difference betwixt being driven to care (the feeling of caring) and actually caring.

RESPONDENT: Enhance ‘relationship’ with a sexual partner – yes, I see that. But can it free us to care more effectively for our kids?

RICHARD: Of course ... and not only caring effectively for one’s children: one actually cares, for the first time in one’s life, for this body and that body and every body.

RESPONDENT: I get the sense sometimes that kids might just ‘get in the way’ for someone exploring AF.

RICHARD: On the contrary ... children provide a vital opportunity to find out for oneself just what is going on vis-à-vis the human condition. Speaking personally, I learnt so much from my intimate interactions with children that I doubt that I would be where I am today without that valuable experience.

RESPONDENT: My assumption is that ‘nurture’ can be replaced by benevolence.

RICHARD: Provided that it is understood the ‘benevolence’ referred to on The Actual Freedom Website is the root meaning of the word (‘well-wishing’).

RESPONDENT: That is, I take care of my kids simply because they are there and they are fellow human beings – so I don’t suffer along with them, but I take care of their needs when those needs arise.

RICHARD: Exactly ... and it is vital to realise that children are indeed ‘fellow human beings’ as it is the first step towards an actual intimacy.

RESPONDENT: In some sense, they are my ‘responsibility’. Probably in a very similar sense that if I am to hold a job – I have a ‘responsibility’ to my clients. I assume it’s very much like taking care of a pet or a plant.

RICHARD: Yes, it could be said that it is somewhat similar to a contract that you enter into until they can fend for themselves ... they then leave the nest and fly away to live their own lives free of your influence.

RESPONDENT: You can very well do without your kids, but it is in their best interest to stay with you and to be cared for.

RICHARD: It is the job, as it were, of a parent to prepare the child for adult life (to the best of one’s ability at the time).

RESPONDENT: I’d like to hear what others who have or who are raising kids experience. I know that Richard was a single father for a while and now has grandkids, and Peter has at least one child. Would one in actual freedom or virtual freedom still be able to care for their children effectively?

RICHARD: I will leave it to Peter to respond in regards to virtual freedom as he knows far more about it than I do ... as for being actually free: the last thing I would want to be encumbered by, if I were to be a parent again today, is the instinctual passion of nurture (along with fear and aggression and desire of course). Put simply: being happy and harmless – free of malice and sorrow – is the best thing that one can do for anyone (including oneself).

A feeling intimacy is a far cry from an actual intimacy.

January 24 2002

RESPONDENT: Richard, could you tell me in your own words just exactly what you mean by not ‘expressing emotion’?

RICHARD: Sure ... an emotion arises because of a situation or circumstance (which can include merely thinking about something whilst on one’s own) and it wants to express, communicate or convey itself either verbally (which may be merely tone of voice), physically (which may be merely facial expression or bodily stance) or as a ‘vibe’ – to use a ‘60’s term – which can be picked-up psychically (and is arguably the most pernicious of all expression).

RESPONDENT: Are you talking about not ‘taking out’ our emotions on others?

RICHARD: Yes, but not only on ‘others’ ... taking it out upon oneself happens all too often (children are taught to castigate and/or commiserate themselves so as to inculcate a conscience).

RESPONDENT: Not releasing emotion through the body somehow?

RICHARD: Yes ... not having it pump chemicals through the body irregardless whether someone else is present or not.

RESPONDENT: Also specifically which emotions are advantageous to ‘not express’?

RICHARD: All and any emotion ... I oft-times would say to people twenty one years ago when I first put this into practice was that emotions are life’s way of reminding oneself that one has gone astray (that one has wandered off the wide and wondrous path to an actual freedom from the human condition).

An emotion is like a warning buzzer ... or a flashing red light.

RESPONDENT: Can this be done in one fell swoop – or would it be done by ‘whittling’ away emotion?

RICHARD: Whittling. It took me about six weeks, as far as I can remember, to whittle away the obvious or major emotions ... the less obvious or minor ones took far longer.

RESPONDENT: I have reached a certain level of ‘detachment’ over the years – I can’t remember the last time I’ve exploded in anger at anyone – I’m not a person that indulges in the expression of emotion.

RICHARD: Okay ... I was raised in the archetypical ‘British’ way of the stiff upper lip (which may or may not be what you mean by ‘detachment’ ) and it was what was happening behind the scenes that caught my attention when I first started.

RESPONDENT: But as I realize that ‘emotion’ and who I am as ‘self’ permeates my entire ‘being’ – I find it impossible not to express emotion – or even to completely sort out all the fine differences between what is and is not an emotion.

RICHARD: It all comes with the exhilarating practice born of the pure intent to be happy and harmless each moment again ... once one gets the knack of it there is a thrill to realising that one has a handle on it all at long last and it becomes easier and quicker.

The awareness that peace-on-earth, in this lifetime as this flesh and blood body, is just round the corner, as it were, peps things up considerably!

RESPONDENT: Just what do you have in mind with ‘not suppressing or expressing’?

RICHARD: Ahh ... here is where the magic can happen because by neither expressing or suppressing an emotion it gets put into a bind and, as it does not know what to do, the third alternative can hove into view.

RESPONDENT: Do you intend simply to take the more salient ‘stronger’ emotions and start whittling away at them first by ‘not suppressing or expressing’?

RICHARD: One starts where one is at: whatever emotion is occurring at the moment is the one to attend to ... but obviously the ‘stronger’ emotions are more apparent in the beginning.

RESPONDENT: If I try to take things like cynicism, edginess, melancholy and the like – I find it difficult not to interrupt the normal flow of conversation and attention if I try to go into everything immediately as it comes up.

RICHARD: Okay ... it is probably best not to try to do everything at once, then.

RESPONDENT: It becomes more of a harassment than a method of being happy and harmless.

RICHARD: Whatever you do please do not harass yourself ever again ... the whole point at this stage is to be as happy and harmless as is humanly possible.

RESPONDENT: And are you talking about merely not ‘taking out malice and sorrow’ on someone else?

RICHARD: No ... equally upon oneself as well (which is a very important point to remember).

RESPONDENT: Or is it helpful to ‘block’ that energy from being released through my body somehow?

RICHARD: I read the word ‘block’ as suppressing ... but maybe that is not what you mean by it?

RESPONDENT: If I experience the loss or death of a friend for example, are you suggesting releasing that emotion in whatever form (like crying or running or whatever) ...


RESPONDENT: ... or are you saying that it’s helpful to block the release of the emotion so that it can be observed and attended to?

RICHARD: Again there is this word ‘block’ ... if an emotion slips out inadvertently then so be it. The important thing is to not castigate and/or commiserate oneself for the slip ... one is only human, at this stage, so it is bound to happen from time-to-time.

RESPONDENT: I find that I cannot always identify an ‘emotion’.

RICHARD: It will all become easier to identify the more it happens ... after a while it becomes fun to trip over an emotion that one did not know existed (and I kid you not by the use of the word ‘fun’).

RESPONDENT: If I help my child when he gets a cut or gets hurt somehow, it seems that I am being benevolent in the AF sense to help (from my experience) – but I’m sure that I feel empathy as well.

RICHARD: Yes ‘empathy’ is particularly insidious ... it is natural to feel empathetic.

RESPONDENT: Are you talking of ‘not expressing’ such subtle and difficult to discern emotions like ‘empathy’?

RICHARD: Eventually, yes (and neither suppressing it either).

RESPONDENT: It seems I would ‘suffer’ more to NOT help my child in a case like that in an attempt to ‘not express’ empathy.

RICHARD: Okay ... whatever you do it is important not to make yourself suffer over any of this.

RESPONDENT: Much of the time, my motivations seem to be mixed benevolence, pleasure, empathy, fear, melancholy, uncertainty, etc.

RICHARD: That would seem to be about normal.

RESPONDENT: It’s not always easy to pin down my motivations for a particular action.

RICHARD: True ... but what a challenge to take on, eh? It beats climbing Mount Everest or discovering the source of the Nile (or whatever form challenges usually take) ... to live in peace and harmony is the greatest challenge facing any human being.

RESPONDENT: And it’s not easy to determine exactly how I am expressing those emotions.

RICHARD: Again, it will all become easier with practice ... and again pure intent is essential.

RESPONDENT: I have a sense that I may be completely overanalysing this business.

RICHARD: Maybe ... or maybe you are keen to have things happen sooner rather than later (your e-mail reads just fine to me).

RESPONDENT: In my experience – what works best is to apply the method of ‘how am I experiencing this moment’ then apply the ‘not suppressing or expressing’ emotion to particularly ‘clear-cut’ emotions.

RICHARD: Good ... if one starts with the obvious the rest will become apparent upon their absence.

RESPONDENT: If I have to apply too much analysis to figure out the ultimate motivations of a particular action – then I’m no longer in the moment – and that’s when I feel somewhat ‘locked up’ emotionally.

RICHARD: The only reason for ‘analysis’ is to find out what is preventing one from being happy and harmless right now ... the whole point of being on the wide and wondrous path is to feel good (to be feeling well) each moment again.

RESPONDENT: So maybe the best approach is to ‘not express’ an emotion that I would be glad to get rid of – and when the opportunity presents itself to do so without compromising my attention to the moment and the accompanying happiness.

RICHARD: Exactly ... and once one is back to feeling good again one can analyse at one’s leisure (and much more clearly and cleanly than before when one was stuck).

RESPONDENT: P.S. I appreciate your response to my last post – ‘Nurture’. I don’t have anything else to add now to that discussion.

RICHARD: You are very welcome ... if you have the time and/or wish to browse some relevant passages regarding children and parenting, on my portion of The Actual Freedom Website, you could access the following link.

I am slowly (and spasmodically) cataloguing what I have written in response to various peoples over the last four or five years so as to put some order into the vast amount of writing ... any link with a ‘C’ in a little yellow rectangle will take you to the catalogued entries.

January 30 2002

RESPONDENT: I’d be interested in hearing whether Richard and the others here in virtual freedom still experience rushes of adrenaline.

RICHARD: I do not experience rushes of adrenaline.

RESPONDENT: The question comes from the realization that one is ridding oneself from ‘aggression’ in any form.

RICHARD: Yes ... there is a difference, however, between the violence born of the instinctual passion of aggression and the judicious use of physical force/restraint when the situation and circumstance leaves no other option.

RESPONDENT: Now, the aggression found in sport and exercise and much play is many times malicious. It doesn’t seem to me that it must be malicious though. Wrestling with my kid or throwing a football around and running around the backyard is great fun. But I still wonder whether the adrenaline rush is affective. It certainly feels delightful, and much ‘purer’ than emotion. Also related to this curiosity is ‘excitement’ and ‘enthusiasm’. Though an adrenaline rush, excitement, enthusiasm, etc. are certainly often based upon the passions and emotions – must they always be?

RICHARD: I am no expert on the properties of adrenaline – and it being so long ago I can barely remember its effects anyway – so suffice is it to say that the magical perfection of the purity of the actual leaves all other forms of pseudo-aliveness for dead.

In the infinitude of this fairy-tale-like actual world, with its sensuous quality of magical perfection and purity, everything and everyone has a lustre, a brilliance, a vividness, an intensity and a marvellous, wondrous, scintillating vitality that makes everything alive and sparkling ... even the very earth beneath one’s feet. The rocks, the concrete buildings, a piece of paper ... literally everything is as if it were alive (a rock is not, of course, alive as humans are, or as animals are, or as trees are). This ‘aliveness’ is the very actuality of all existence ... the actualness of everything and everyone.

We do not live in an inert universe.

RESPONDENT: Both Peter and Richard have said they could still defend themselves quite easily if attacked on the street. Where does that ‘force’ or ‘power’ required come from since it’s not ‘aggression’?

RICHARD: The straightforward necessity of acting appropriate to the situation and the circumstance ... if someone attacks somebody they are knowingly initiating a course of action contrary to the legal laws and the social protocol and can rightfully expect whatever consequences which may ensue as a result of their actions.

RESPONDENT: I guess I’m searching for some distinction between the feeling of aggression and forcefulness. Also between passionate excitement and enthusiasm and actual being fully engaged.

RICHARD: Perhaps a personal anecdote will throw some light upon the subject of being fully engaged: some years ago whilst in a supermarket my wife and I had a pack stolen from the shopping trolley we were using when our backs were turned; I saw a young man disappearing along the aisle with our pack and on out through the turnstile; I went off after him at a brisk pace, negotiated the turnstile easily, and moved out through the self-opening doors; there was an ornamental garden between me and the car-park wherein off in the distance the young man could be seen heading away; I cleared the garden in one leap – seeing each and every plant and flower in detail as I sailed over it – and soon caught up to him as, glancing over his shoulder and seeing me coming, he headed for a crowded mall to the left ... and eventually regained the pack without a fight or even any display of intimidation. Upon returning to the supermarket I passed by the garden, through the pathway provided, and noticed by its width that I would not ordinarily be able to leap over it ... necessity provides all the calorific energy required.

He was a big, muscular young man such that I would not wish to enter into a ring with as I would be bound to come off second-best in any such organised sport. He knew that he had crossed the line in regards to the legal laws and social protocol and fully expected to pay the price for his actions ... his bluff and bluster collapsed like a leaky balloon when confronted in the mall with the straightforward request for the return of property not belonging to him.

Interestingly enough I was not even breathing heavily.

January 31 2002

RESPONDENT: Richard, I’ve recently been thinking about imagination. It seems to me that what I’ve learned on the AF site is that there may be 2 major types of imagination. There is ‘holding an image in the mind’s’ eye – which is gone for you. Then there is a kind of conceptual network that can be used for planning one’s day, drawing a picture, etc. without anything affective at all. Now you might not call the latter ‘imagination’.

RICHARD: No, I would not call a non-affective conceptualising imagination ... although there are many who do confuse conceptualising with imagining.

RESPONDENT: But, I don’t know what else to call it. I think that’s because we humans just haven’t come up with a term for what is beyond imagination – unless you have one.

RICHARD: How about considering, planning and proposing?

RESPONDENT: Anyway, it seems to me that I use imagination virtually all the time.

RICHARD: Most people do.

RESPONDENT: When I consider ‘possibilities’. When I go to the fridge for food, I’m considering what is possibly there. If I rearrange the furniture in my room – I’m ‘imagining’ what things would be like in new locations. I shudder to think what my life would be like if I tried to curb creative problem solving, ingenuity, etc. that imagination (in some form) brings.

RICHARD: I do not ‘shudder’ about my life at all – it is magnificent beyond any imagining – and ingenuity operates better than ever now that it is no longer side-tracked by imagination.

RESPONDENT: Now, I don’t think there is anyway for me to know definitively how much ‘imagining’ that I do comes from ‘holding an image in my mind’s eye’ or from pure conceptual thought (if any).

RICHARD: Basically imagining means forming mental pictures of objects that are not present or situations that are not happening ... whereas the actual is marvellous beyond one’s wildest dreams and schemes.

RESPONDENT: I had to wonder if you can say, play a game of charades, a game of chess, pretend with your grandchild that they are serving you tea, animate a cartoon, etc.

RICHARD: I could but I rarely, if ever, play games – life itself is far more engaging – other than the occasional game of ‘FreeCell’ that comes with the computer.

RESPONDENT: Then I realized that you must be saying that none of those abilities are gone – just HOW it works – nothing in the mind’s eye – just that it’s all done conceptually with no affective component.

RICHARD: Yes, though I would rather say ‘thoughtfully’ than ‘conceptually’ so as to be unambiguous as for many people the words ‘conceptually’ and ‘imaginatively’ are synonymous.

RESPONDENT: Then I ran across something you said archived on this site – ‘No, I always advise against using imagination ... and idealising, visualising, believing, trusting, hoping and having faith and so on’. I must say that one hit me pretty hard. After considering this for a while, I concluded what you must mean here is that ridding oneself of ‘imagination’ is the goal which happens in Actual Freedom, and not the method to get there.

RICHARD: No, it is part of the method to desist from imagining, idealising, believing, trusting, hoping having faith and so on ... the actual is already always just here right now for each and every person.

RESPONDENT: Otherwise, it would seems that you are discouraging ... 1) kids & adults from using their imagination for creative problem solving.

RICHARD: Yes ... pragmatism is far more practical.

RESPONDENT: 2) animators from doing animated movies.

RICHARD: No ... but the content would change.

RESPONDENT: 3) playing games that involve any ‘pretending’ – like charades, chess, or whatever.

RICHARD: No ... but the ‘game of life’ is far more engaging.

RESPONDENT: 4) using imagination to draw ‘blue-prints’ and build a house.

RICHARD: Yes (the initial schemata for the Sydney Opera House is a good example of imagination versus practicality).

RESPONDENT: 5) a graphic designer from doing their job.

RICHARD: No ... graphic design is oft-times quite straightforward.

RESPONDENT: 6) most (if not all) of the activities humankind is involved in.

RICHARD: This is too general to answer specifically so I will take this opportunity to point out that imagination has created in excess of 1200 gods and an unknown amount of ideologies and philosophies and so on over which many wars have been fought, much suffering has been caused and immense devastation to civilisation and the environment has ensued ... imagination is not as innocuous as the impression you convey with your somewhat capricious points numbered 1-5 (above).

A child is lied to almost from birth onward – in the west with Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny – and stuffed full of fables from the ancient past masquerading as wisdom ... their imagination runs riot with all kinds of nonsense about metaphysical super-heroes (gods or god-men) who are going to save the world.

Even though they do not, never have done and never will do does not seem to affect the hope that such imagination produces.

RESPONDENT: So, I take you as saying that we can transform what we currently use our imagination to do by removing the affective, leaving what is pure and pristine. Is that correct?

RICHARD: Sort of ... basically I am saying that using imagination keeps one away from, or oblivious to, the actual. To a person in the real world, the actual world is unimaginable, inconceivable, unbelievable and incomprehensible ... it has to be experienced in a pure consciousness experience (PCE) to be known in all its purity and perfection.

Or, to put it another way, the already existing peace-on-earth is always right here just now for the living of it.

RESPONDENT: Or are you really recommending ‘turning off’ or ‘not expressing’ our imagination somehow?

RICHARD: Primarily I am recommending ‘self’-immolation – the irrevocable extinction of the imaginer (both ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul) – then imagination disappears of its own accord.. Until that occurs I recommend the minimisation of the imaginer until it is virtually non-existent ... then imagination virtually disappears of its own accord.

RESPONDENT: I just don’t see that as being possible or even desirable to attempt. It seems that one must get at imagination indirectly, not by shutting off or not expressing imagination somehow, but that the method of ‘how am I experiencing this moment of living?’ eventually whittles away the imaging/affective component until one is left with all the same abilities intact (and the same fun), without the functioning of the imagination.

RICHARD: Yes ... although the main aim with all this is to whittle away at the identity via whittling away at its attributes.

RESPONDENT: Is it possible for you to ‘have a tune’ in your head or a melody?


RESPONDENT: Can you ‘imagine’ anything at all?


RESPONDENT: Can you imagine what an orange tastes like?


RESPONDENT: A cool breeze?


RESPONDENT: The smell of a rose?


RESPONDENT: Also, when I think – it’s as if I can hear myself talking in my head. Can you ‘hear’ your ‘talking’ in your head when you think?


RESPONDENT: Also, do you have the ability to compose a tune in your head?


RESPONDENT: Or would you have ‘compose’ it out loud?


RESPONDENT: I’m beginning to think that the distinction I was looking for earlier between the affective ‘imagination’ and the purely conceptual ‘imagination’ may be one of internal vs. external. You say you can draw a picture – but you don’t know how it will turn out until you’ve done it. I would guess the same holds true with a melody. Or even building a shelf or a house or planning your day. Imagination becomes externalised. The appropriate conceptualisation is done without images, then ‘creativity’ is done in action only, not image. No longer is there a screen in the mind that images are projected on to, rather the ‘screen’ for possibilities to play themselves out is the actual, sensory world.

RICHARD: Yes, although it is then no longer imagination but actuality. For example, last year I built a wooden decking at the rear of the house and, knowing its finished dimensions by having measured the area, I ordered the appropriate lengths of wood and laid them out on the ground in their appropriate places and started fastening them together ... no imagination or visualisation was required at all.

There was considering and planning as to the lengths and numbers required of course.

RESPONDENT: Take planning a picnic trip for example. You have conceptual information about what the weather will be like, what foods you have and want to take, who is coming with you, etc. which gives you the information about how to appropriately prepare. All done without imagining.

RICHARD: Yes (provided that by the use of the word ‘conceptual’ you do not mean any form of imagining) ... I would say that I simply have information about the weather, the food and so on.

RESPONDENT: I wonder though about a game like chess or checkers. It’s hard for me to see how you could play one of these games without picturing the various scenarios that open up at least 3 or 4 moves ahead – in your imagination. Can that all be done easily and better just with concepts alone?

RICHARD: Yes, but one does not need concepts ... it just requires considering the next possible moves (I do not play chess or checkers but my experience of ‘FreeCell’ shows that I can successfully plan ahead).

RESPONDENT: Or are you one of those annoying chess players who needs to move the piece and keep his hand on it for a while to see the various ‘possibilities?’ LOL.

RICHARD: Hmm ... people who do that are just making sure that they have not made a mistake, are they not (as in a trial run)? Although you make it into a joke do you really get annoyed by another’s method when it is not in accord with your own?

RESPONDENT: I’ve wondered about what appreciating a story would be like without imagination.

RICHARD: A lot better than with imagination ... the author’s expertise has to stand or fall on its own accord without any propping-up from me.

RESPONDENT: I’ve read that you watch television.

RICHARD: I mainly watch documentaries and comedies and travelogues and biographies and histories and some gardening and cooking programmes ... I tune into the news every now and then and some current affairs programs if there is something in the news that is of interest enough to cause me to hear what various commentators are making of it.

I discovered long ago that the human world gets along as it always does even when I do not keep abreast of current affairs!

RESPONDENT: I assume you read, listen to music, and possibly even watch movies occasionally.

RICHARD: I currently read computer magazines, so as to keep abreast of the latest technologies, and the occasional book; I rarely listen to music; I sometimes hire a video or watch a movie on TV (I have not been to the cinema in years).

RESPONDENT: What I’m curious about is whether these are enjoyed just on a sensate level and as merely a cultural artefact.

RICHARD: On the sensate level primarily (black and white TV held no interest for me all those years ago) and secondly for informational and recreational purposes.

RESPONDENT: Take two recent movies for example, ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘Harry Potter’. Do you think the author’s sole interest in those stories were to create a ‘fantasy world’?

RICHARD: I would presume so ... I have seen the promos of both those movies you mention and have no interest in watching them.

RESPONDENT: Now it’s obvious to me that fantasy can be an escape from the actual ...

RICHARD: An escape from the real ... the actual is magnificent beyond any fantasy.

RESPONDENT: ... but isn’t there also an element of just pure enjoyment of the story, visual display and audio involved?

RICHARD: I have watched some movies just for the graphic effects but, generally speaking, I am somewhat surprised at the paucity of imagination when it comes to the story-line.

RESPONDENT: I’m wondering how you experience that sort of thing.

RICHARD: Usually it reminds me of how pathetic life in the real world is such that it requires fantasy to make life bearable.

RESPONDENT: Also, take video games. There’s the element of visual delight as well as strategy.

RICHARD: I have toyed with several video games (like ‘Tomb Raider’ and ‘Indiana Jones’) and appreciate the 3D possibilities for artistic effect (the strategy part is rather tame). Games like ‘Quake’ and ‘Unreal Tournament’ hold no interest whatsoever (other than the rich rendering of the graphics).

RESPONDENT: On the other hand, there’s the tendency to escape the actual into a virtual world.

RICHARD: I take it that you mean escape from reality (the ‘real world’) ... and I can understand why: the real world’s reality is the pits.

RESPONDENT: Could video games even be created and enjoyed if everyone were enjoying actual freedom?

RICHARD: Sure. I installed some 3D editing software some time ago and toyed with creating some very, very basic 3D scenes and consider that the medium would be excellent for some sort of actualism presentation ... the learning curve required and the expense involved is another story, however.

RESPONDENT: Lastly, I wonder for various reasons whether your taste in TV, movies, entertainment in general may be for comedy, documentary, and biographies – since they are more directly related to the actual (happy and harmless) world. Is that accurate?

RICHARD: Yes ... presuming you mean ‘directly related to the physical world’.

RESPONDENT: Obviously, much of one’s ‘personal taste’ is made up of unique experiences and one’s own interests ...

RICHARD: Oh yes ... there is an element which is idiosyncratic.

RESPONDENT: ... but it also seems that there might be a way of determining just how the loss of imagination has affected your tastes.

RICHARD: I have oft-times said that I would be delighted to meet or hear about or read of somebody else in actual freedom ... so as to compare notes, as it were, and tease out what is idiosyncratic from what is generic.

Until then there is only this one example to go by.

February 03 2002

RESPONDENT: Richard, is it possible for you to ‘have a tune’ in your head or a melody?


RESPONDENT: What happens if you try to ‘think how a song goes’?

RICHARD: If it has words I can recall the way they go up and down the scale so as to provide a reasonable facsimile ... this is nothing like how there used to be the capacity to ‘have a tune’ in the head all those years ago (whereupon a snippet of a melody would often lodge and rerun itself over and again).

These days consciousness is epitomised as a vast silence and/or stillness.

RESPONDENT: Do you have to hum or sing it to remember?

RICHARD: Yes, though I rarely sing as I have a flat singing voice (music has never been my forté).

RESPONDENT: Is there no ‘rehearsing’ in your head first?

RICHARD: No ... I can ‘hum it under my breath’, as the saying goes, or go dum-de-dah-de-dum (or whatever) in a rather atonal manner.


RESPONDENT: Also, when I think – it’s as if I can hear myself talking in my head. Can you ‘hear’ your ‘talking’ in your head when you think?


RESPONDENT: So, it would seem that even my very own thinking process involves imagination? (If I pronounce each word in my head).

RICHARD: If so then it is not only imagination as there is a thinker (‘I’ as ego) who has taken up residence and is chattering and listening ... I can recall it having an on-going dialogue with itself, all those years ago, and other peoples’ comments on the subject reflect this tendency.

RESPONDENT: You talk about thoughts you have, are they ever ‘said’ or ‘pronounced’ in your head?

RICHARD: I can think of a particular word or a series of words – if memorising a phrase or verse – as in a silent pronouncing (if that is what you mean).

RESPONDENT: When you read text on the screen, are you scanning without ‘pronouncing the words in your head’ in any way?

RICHARD: There is a scanning of the words – chunks of words or sentences – such as to gain an overall impression.

RESPONDENT: Normally, I automatically say each word as I type it. If I understand correctly – that is not happening for you. Right?

RICHARD: When I start a sentence I have no means of knowing in advance what will transpire, let alone how it will end. All I need to know is the topic and the subject matter unfolds of its own accord. I do have a reliable and repeatable format and style, which has developed over the years, so it is not an ad hoc or chaotic meandering.

It is all very easy.

RESPONDENT: Also, in your Journal you give fairly vivid descriptions of what the sky looked like on a particular day, what the breeze was like. It’s amazing to me that can be done without imagination. It seems like I have to pull up a visual image of a memory to describe it ‘properly’.

RICHARD: Apparently most people do.

RESPONDENT: But you seem to have no problem with that. Truly amazing.

RICHARD: Ahh... what is even more ‘truly amazing’ is an actual freedom from the human condition itself (neither a ‘thinker’ in the head nor a ‘feeler’ in the heart).

It means peace-on-earth, in this life time, as this flesh and blood body.

April 30 2002

RESPONDENT: Richard, my wife and I recently had a baby, and this has given me all the more reason to contemplate ‘human’ life and my desire to be happy and harmless. I notice that I am of two attitudes regarding my life and this newborn baby’s life. On the one hand, I am thrilled and excited by the wonder of birth and the entrance of this new baby in the world. Same with this amazing body that ‘I’ live in. On the other, I am overwhelmed if not often depressed by the thought that pretty much every person must go through the ‘human reality’ – stumbling along until they have enough guts and intelligence to extricate themselves either wholly or only partially. And most of them don’t seem to get very far. Reading through your journal – I often get the sense that there is the ‘human’ on the one side, typified by joy and pain – where the net result is a life of suffering. On the other side, there is the actual, which is sterling, pristine, and ambrosial. And somewhere in between there is the ‘virtual freedom’. This is more than just a twinge of the absurd for me – more like a sick cosmic joke – that everyone coming into this world should have to find their way out of misery – which very few apparently have been successful. Let me get to my question for you, Richard. How do you view ‘human’ life?

RICHARD: To be ‘human’ (to be normal) is to be living an illusion.

RESPONDENT: Can it be wonderful too, at times?

RICHARD: Sure ... as an affective experience.

RESPONDENT: You state that a mature adult is actually ‘a lost, lonely, confused and cunning entity’ (my paraphrase). Now I don’t disagree with you on this, but I wonder whether being lost and lonely necessarily precludes being ‘reasonably happy’.


RESPONDENT: I experience a natural buoyancy in life when my concepts of what it should be aren’t there – both in me and in others. So I normally experience life as having a sort of beneficence that is always on the brink of breaking through, but that most of us just haven’t figured out how to keep around all the time, like apparently you have. I guess here is the bottom line, how can I maintain that buoyancy I sense in the universe when everyone else around me is still ‘stuck in the ‘human’ world?’

RICHARD: By not settling for second best?

RESPONDENT: Do you see the ‘human’ as ‘perfect’ in it’s own way, even though there is much suffering?

RICHARD: No, the only good thing about suffering is when it ends ... permanently.

RESPONDENT: If so, how?

RICHARD: The only way to see normal human life as being ‘‘perfect’ in its own way’ would be as a sop to mediocrity.

RESPONDENT: How can I see each individual ‘human’ life as beneficence of the universe when we are ‘tainted’ with sorrow and malice?

RICHARD: By detecting the underlying perfection?

RESPONDENT: Seems to be a real balancing act to me, if it’s possible.

RICHARD: I do recollect that when I was a normal human being I would oft-times repeat the phrase ‘there must be more to life than this’ and when I had a four-hour pure consciousness experience (PCE) in 1980 I finally understood the origin of that optimism: throughout my life I had had numerous PCE’s (more so in childhood) that I had not consciously remembered ... and everybody that I have spoken to at length eventually recalls moments of such perfection throughout their life.

It is the amorphous memory of perfection lying somewhere or somewhen that keeps one going.

RESPONDENT: Now, this sort of question of how to view ‘human’ life is a bit strange I must admit, since I can only experience my life directly – yet, I do get a strong sense of how others experience themselves and in general it seems that life’s own ‘buoyancy’ does a good job of carrying us along and keeping us at least ‘semi-content’, yet there is that ‘constant craving’ for more, better, and perfection.

RICHARD: Aye ... that drive for the best provides what you are calling ‘buoyancy’.

May 18 2002

RESPONDENT No. 33: I have seen somewhere Richard saying that ‘the questioning eventually turns into a non-verbal attitude towards life’; so the initial verbal questioning is only an intermediate step – IMHO. To get oneself into the process; I bet Richard doesn’t use those words anymore – or does he?. And probably acts as a good mnemonic in the initial process, like you use the words of the song to remember the tune.

RESPONDENT: If one is purely experiencing the present moment already (as Richard claims), what need is there to ask the question at all? The question is a means to an end – there is no use for it once it’s finished.

RESPONDENT No. 33: My understanding is that too.

RESPONDENT: Also, it looks like you are construing the ‘non-verbal’ attitude towards life as a ‘purer’ form of ‘asking the question.’ In fact, you use the term ‘intermediate step.’ This would be to cater towards a ‘J Krishnamurtian’ point of view – stretching the facts to try and find a commonality that is simply not there. It looks to me like this is merely your imposition. Nowhere have I read Richard say that having nothing verbal running through your head is somehow better or more actual than having something verbal there. In fact, he is constantly saying quite the opposite – that thought functions just fine in a PCE and in the actual world. So, if you are seeing the ‘verbal’ form of the question as somehow inferior to the ‘non-verbal’ form, then you are misconstruing the point of the question in my judgement and experience. I suppose you can get a straight answer though by just asking Richard directly.

RESPONDENT No. 33: Please refer to Richard’s comments at (richard/selectedcorrespondence/sc-aft.htm) [quote]: ‘To clarify (...): The only method offered is to run the question ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ until it becomes a non-verbal attitude or approach each moment again’ [endquote] and (richard/listafcorrespondence/listaf30.htm): ‘[Respondent]: Or is it by paying attention with the intention of the question, not necessarily in the words ‘how am I experiencing this moment of being alive’, but looking with/without above said words, to find out what is going on ...? [Richard]: Eventually it becomes a non-verbal attitude towards life ... a wordless approach each moment again’ [endquotes]. I was merely referring to this. All I said was it was an ‘intermediate step’ as it seems to be (keywords: until, eventually) and ‘better’ and ensuing comments were _your_ inference. As for as getting a straight answer from Richard: it is up to him to find it worthwhile to respond.

RESPONDENT: Any response on this Richard?

RICHARD: There are two issues being discussed in this thread: 1. asking the question ‘how am I experiencing this moment of being alive’ verbally or non-verbally ... and 2. answering the question ‘how am I experiencing this moment of being alive’ verbally or non-verbally. If you follow the sequence of posts you will see that the initial issue was about point number two. Here is the first portion of that original post:

• [Gary]: ‘In a previous post, you asked me to stick to the article you provided. This seems to be a fair request. There are a number of things in the talk which I take exception to, and I shall try to point out what those are. The first thing is the whole business of labelling and verbalizing. In the article, Krishnamurti states [quote]: ‘Look, I want to learn about myself because I see how extraordinarily important it is if I am at all to understand the world, action and a new way of living altogether. I have to understand myself – not according to some philosopher, psychologist however learned. I want to learn about myself as actually what I am, without any distortion, without suppressing anything, what I am both consciously as well as unconsciously. I want to know myself completely. Now how shall I learn? How shall I learn about what I am? To learn there must be a certain passion, a great deal of curiosity, without any assumption, taking things for granted, to look at myself without any formula. Can one do that? Otherwise you can’t learn about yourself, obviously. If I say, ‘I am jealous’, the very verbalization of that fact, or of that feeling, has already conditioned it. Right? Therefore I cannot see anything further in it. So there must be a learning about the usage of words, not to be caught in words, and the realization that the word, the description, is not the described or the thing’. [endquote]. One of the things I found extremely tedious and eventually completely non-productive about Krishnamurtiism was the assumption that the very verbalization of something conditions it and is therefore invalid. In this passage, the verbalizing of a feeling, the fact of having a certain feeling, according to K. conditions it, and so therefore one ‘cannot see anything further in it’. I have found this not to be so. This is quite different from Actualism, where there is not only the labelling of one’s experiencing of the present moment, but the verbalizing of it and the active investigation into it further. As the investigation proceeds, eventually one runs up against the instinctual passions. If you ask yourself the seminal question for an Actualist ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’, how else are you going to answer that question without verbalizing it? How do you answer that question without using words? If you follow Krishnamurtian ‘choiceless awareness’, I posit that you will end up Enlightened as Krishnamurti was, but you will never free yourself from the malice and sorrow that exemplifies the Human Condition. Labelling a feeling, any feeling, is the start of your investigation into human conditioning, not the end of it. When I practiced Krishnamurti’s choiceless awareness I found myself stymied in my investigations and not changing. Krishnamurtiism also, as Peter has deftly pointed out in another post, attracts intellectually inclined people. He focuses on thought almost exclusively and this can be extremely appealing to people who live in their heads all the time. Part of Actualism is getting down out of your head and into your feelings. I both label and verbalize my feelings to myself and once I do that, the investigation leads further afield and one can trace a particular feeling to the triggering event. By verbalizing the feeling or emotion and investigating it, I have found that the feeling or emotion readily dissolves away. But, as has been pointed out in the writings on Actual Freedom, it is important not to lay exclusive claim to a particular feeling or emotion but to recognize that it is part and parcel of the Human Condition itself. Thus, instead of saying ‘I am jealous’, one might say ‘This is human jealousy’. Because the feelings are not ‘mine’ or ‘yours’ in a possessive sense, they are universal in their occurrence. This takes the investigation to a different level entirely’.

You will see that the point being discussed here was whether the answer to the question ‘how am I experiencing this moment of being alive’ was to be answered either verbally or non-verbally ... the issue about asking the question ‘how am I experiencing this moment of being alive’ either verbally or non-verbally has been a both a divergence and a distraction from this initial and vital point.

If one is old enough to be reading these words then one is old enough to already comprehend what jealousy is – even a child of ten has already discovered what jealousy is – so to pretend that one does not know what jealousy is, by not labelling it as such, is nothing but a sleight of hand (or should I say a sleight of mind).

Also, it is pertinent to point out that Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti would have his listeners feel what is commonly called the ‘good’ feelings – affection, love, compassion, beauty and so on – as he often extolled their virtues ... for example he refers encouragingly to both ‘affection’ and ‘love’ twice in the link provided which started this thread (First Public Talk, Brockwood Park, England, September 5, 1970) . Vis.:

• [Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti]: ‘We are made up of many fragments, each contradicting the other. Both linguistically, factually and theoretically. Contradictory desires, contradictory pursuits, ambitions *that deny affection, love* and so on’. [emphasis added].


• [Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti]: ‘If you see this thing [dependence], actually see it non-verbally, the fact, because the moment you depend you are afraid, you are jealous, you become aggressive, *you lose all sense of affection, love*’. [emphasis added].

If one is incapable of discerning the distinction between the feelings of love and hate or the feelings of affection and revulsion, for example, his advice above becomes even more meaningless than it already is.

RESPONDENT: Or would you prefer a nice chuckle at seeing two people debate about your ‘views?’ LOL.

RICHARD: No, I am chuffed to be able to read other people discussing what they make of what is on offer on The Actual Freedom Web Page. It pleases me immensely that actualism can be conveyed by the written word only ... as is evidenced by you being able to experience what you are calling a ‘mini-PCE’ in other posts.

It demonstrates that the physical presence of the flesh and blood body called Richard is not necessary for the process at all ... as such actualism will live on and flourish long after my physical demise.

Thus there will be, eventually, a global outbreak of peace-on-earth.


P.S.: It matters not whether the question ‘how am I experiencing this moment of being alive’ is asked either verbally or non-verbally as all I meant by the [quote] ‘keywords: until, eventually’ [endquote] was that it is inevitable that it becomes automatic – as in a non-verbal attitude towards life or a wordless approach each moment again – just as riding a bicycle or driving a car inevitably becomes automatic ... or when looking at something familiar (a tree for example) there is just the seeing of the tree without the words ‘this is a tree’ running through the brain (yet all the while comprehending that it is, in fact, a tree and not a wheelbarrow).

But when it come to answering the question ‘how am I experiencing this moment of being alive’ it is vital to find out precisely just what one is experiencing. If one is experiencing life via a feeling, for example, one needs to understand whether it is what is called a ‘good’ feeling – the affectionate and desirable emotions and passions (those that are loving and trusting) – or what is called a ‘bad’ feeling – the hostile and invidious emotions and passions (those that are hateful and fearful) – so that one is freed-up to felicitously feel good, felicitously feel happy and felicitously feel excellent for 99% of the time.

When one minimises the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ feelings (through running the question ‘how am I experiencing this moment of being alive’) the affective energy is thus freed-up to power the felicitous/ innocuous feelings (happiness, delight, joie de vivre/ bonhomie, friendliness, amiability and so on) which, in conjunction with sensuousness (delectation, enjoyment, appreciation, relish, zest, gusto and so on), can ensue as a sense of amazement, marvel and wonder ... which can, in turn, result in apperceptiveness.


CORRESPONDENT No. 27 (Part Three)




The Third Alternative

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

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

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