Actual Freedom – The Actual Freedom Mailing List Correspondence

Richard’s Correspondence

On The Actual Freedom Mailing List

with Correspondent No. 27


January 24 2003

RICHARD: All I am indicating by saying that the truth is insincere is that, as the truth holds the promise of an after-death peace for the feeling being inside the flesh and blood body (as in ‘The Peace That Passeth All Understanding’), the truth is not sincere in regards to bringing about peace on earth ... which peacefulness is what caring is all about.

RESPONDENT: I see that the ‘truth’ is not sincere in regards to bringing about peace on earth – but it is not clear to me that ‘the truth holds the promise of an after-death peace for the feeling being’. I grant that is often the case, but an easily shown exception would be a child being empathetic before having any beliefs about an afterlife. It is also readily apparent that feeling caring is often done for an earthly reward – so am I to assume you were over generalizing here? If not, then I don’t understand.

RICHARD: I am not even generalising – let alone over-generalising – as the truth has not, and will not, bring about peace-on-earth for any flesh and blood body anywhere in its lifetime ... simply because it cannot. Moreover, the truth has not, and will not, bring about peace-on-earth for any entity inside any flesh and blood body either ... what it holds out is the promise of an after-death peace (the feeling of eternity is intrinsic to love). As for a child not knowing about an afterlife: as far as I have been able to ascertain children in all cultures are spoon-fed fantasies about immortality at a very early age ... for example I can recall having a fascinating conversation with a child, not yet four years old, who not only gravely informed me that their newly deceased pet was residing in their particular society’s abode of requiem aeternam, but that they knew the pet’s body was in the ground. And even if a child somehow escaped such cultural conditioning any feeling of empathy they may express – no matter how earnestly felt – is still not going to bring about peace-on-earth anyway ... which peacefulness is what caring is all about.

RESPONDENT: It appears you have misunderstood my comment about over generalizing. If you look back at the text – what I said is that I see that the ‘truth’ is not sincere in regards to bringing about peace on earth.

RICHARD: Aye, I saw that the first time around ... and I also saw that you then followed it with a ‘but ...’ so I attended to that first by clearly saying, immediately up-front, that the truth has not, and will not, bring about peace-on-earth for any flesh and blood body anywhere in its lifetime simply because it cannot (a feeling of caring is not actually caring).

Then I addressed the after-life question (the feeling of eternity is intrinsic to love).

RESPONDENT: My point about over generalizing was intended to refer to the statement of yours that ‘the truth holds the promise of an after-death peace for the feeling being inside the flesh and blood body’.

RICHARD: Yet all I was doing there was demonstrating why feeling caring is not sincere in bringing about peace on earth (despite all the protestations to that effect) ... it is the classic example of the difference between feeling caring and actually caring. Here is what that sentence looks like without the explanatory clause:

• All I am indicating by saying that the truth is insincere is that (...) the truth is not sincere in regards to bringing about peace on earth ... which peacefulness is what caring is all about.

The insertion of the demonstration is to obviate a ‘why is it not sincere ...’ query.

RESPONDENT: I understand and agree that children are spoon-fed fantasies about immortality at a very early age – though my 4 year old has no idea what an ‘afterlife’ could even be.

RICHARD: Then obviously your 4 year old has somehow escaped such cultural conditioning ... so far. The U.S. polls – Gallup, Harris, and other polls, including Kosmin (1990 survey of 113,000 Americans) – consistently indicate that between about 92% and 97% of Americans say they believe in God. (www.adherents.com/adh_faq.html#God).

RESPONDENT: I’m referring to the fact that it is clear that empathy is present even before any beliefs about an ‘afterlife’ could be imbibed.

RICHARD: Are you aware of what is called ‘Theory Of Mind’ wherein, typically, it is not until the age of four to four and a half years that a child can be empathetic?

RESPONDENT: Also clearly, there are plenty of atheists who are quite empathetic – it would seem quite counter-intuitive to argue that in feeling caring they are only caring about their ‘after-life’ destiny, don’t you think?

RICHARD: Yet that is not the point I was making – the point being that feeling caring, no matter how truly felt, is not actually caring – and the after-death-peace example is nothing but a demonstration, as it were, of all it is capable of in regards peace ... a promise.

RESPONDENT: Anyway, you seem to admit at least the possibility that a child could somehow escape cultural conditioning, then state that it is ‘still not going to bring about peace-on-earth anyway’. Granted.

RICHARD: Good ... that is all I am getting at (that feeling caring will not bring about peace-on-earth). Here is the initial exchange which started this section of this thread:

• [Respondent]: ‘I also seem to experience a difference between what I might call ‘contrived’ caring and actually caring. For example, a waiter may completely contrive caring about the service they provide in order to get the largest tip possible – so they pretend to care about me when they actually care about the tip. Then with other waiters, I get the sense that they actually care about giving good service – just because it’s more fun to actually care about the person and engage them as a person – rather than a means to an ends. This is the normal distinction that I make between ‘illusory (contrived) caring’ and ‘actually caring’.
• [Richard]: ‘Okay ... although faking care is not the distinction being referred to as the person feeling caring is being true to their feelings. It is not their fault that the truth is insincere.

In the following e-mail I expanded upon this ‘being true to their feelings/ truth is insincere’ comment:

• [Richard]: ‘In short: feeling caring is incapable of delivering the goods. As being sincere in the context under discussion is to have the pure intent to enable peace-on-earth, in this lifetime as this flesh and blood body, it would therefore take a perspicuous awareness of what is unadulterated, genuine, and correct (seeing the fact) to be sincere ... *rather than an instinctive feeling of what is unadulterated, genuine, and correct (intuiting the truth)*. The feeling of caring (be it a pitying caring, a sympathetic caring, an empathetic caring, a compassionate caring or a loving caring), being primarily the feeling being inside one flesh and blood body caring for the feeling being inside another flesh and blood body (or for an anthropomorphised feeling being called mother earth for instance), *is insincere by its very nature*. [emphasises added].

RESPONDENT: But my comment is important because there are many folks on this planet that are not motivated by a reward or punishment after death.

RICHARD: Whilst not wanting to unnecessarily split hairs, and thus become unduly side-tracked, it would be more accurate to say there are a few folks on this planet who are not thus motivated as the Encyclopaedia Britannica puts the percentage of atheists world-wide as being 3.8% ... and even then some of those are spiritual people (some Buddhists, for example, call themselves atheists).

RESPONDENT: My only conclusion can be that you were generalizing or temporarily neglecting to mention them.

RICHARD: No, not at all ... because even if there be no concern about immortality no matter how earnestly the illusory entity inside a flesh and blood body feels empathy for the illusory entity inside another flesh and blood body it is still not going to bring about peace-on-earth, in this lifetime, for that flesh and blood body – nor any other flesh and blood body – simply because it cannot.

It operates to the contrary, in fact, as feeling caring verifies, endorses, and consolidates ‘me’ ... thus not only am ‘I’ therefore authenticated, sanctioned, and substantiated, ‘my’ presence has meaning.

In other words: feeling caring perpetuates ‘me’ ... and thus perpetuates all the misery and mayhem forever and a day.

RESPONDENT: One other possibility I can see is that you could somehow argue (counter-intuitively) that even those that don’t seem to be motivated by the reward in an afterlife are somehow (unconsciously) still motivated by the afterlife.

RICHARD: No, that was not my intention at all ... even though I am yet to meet an atheist who does not ponder, when questioned deeply, whether there may be something substantive post-mortem after all. For example, many years ago I went to see an accredited psychiatrist and established right from the beginning that he be an atheistic materialist – he said emphatically upon being questioned rather rigorously in this regard that everything was molecular (material) and modifications of same including consciousness itself – because another psychiatrist I had previously seen was exigently talking about guardian angels looking after me within the first five minutes of our discussion ... yet when regaling this second psychiatrist of my on-going experiencing of life in this actual world his eyes opened in awe as the full import (of what he heard) struck home and he said ‘you may very well be the next Buddha we have all been waiting for’.

I kid you not ... another example is when I first came onto the Internet and wrote to a mailing list set-up by the editor of the ‘Australian Atheist Society’ newsletter: in his first e-mail response to my initial post he was mentioning Mr. Gotama the Sakyan en passant and in his second e-mail was quoting both him and Mr. Yeshua the Nazarene to me. Vis.:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘The Buddha (I know you don’t like him but I do) says: ‘So long as the lustful desire of a man for a woman, however small, is not destroyed, so long is that man in bondage, like a calf that drinks milk is to its mother. (The Dhammapada). Buddhism does teach that Nirvana and enlightenment (the extinction of suffering and the delusion of self) are possible in this life – although you would be very lucky to find even a single modern Buddhists who actually wants to attain that condition. And Jesus taught that the Kingdom of Heaven was here and now for those who are able to see it (which would seem to exclude all Christians).

So I questioned him in this regard:

• [Richard]: ‘Just out of curiosity: You are the same person who edits/ edited the Atheist Society newsletter, are you not? The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines an atheist as: ‘A person who denies or disbelieves in the existence of God or gods’. If you are, then why are you quoting long-dead deities? Their wisdom is not worth the paper it was not printed on until so many years after their alleged life/death that there is serious dispute about the authenticity of anything they purportedly said and did. There is also thoughtful scholarly debate as to whether these archetypical religious/spiritual teachers historically existed anyway. Humankind has been held in mythical thralldom for far too long ... it is high time humans all came of age and started thinking and discovering for themselves. And, after all is said and done, if that is not what intelligence is – a person with the ability to think and discover for oneself – then what is? The postings on this list are mainly psittacisms.

This was the reply:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘Yes, I am that person. I don’t believe in the God or gods of modern day Christianity. However, if God is used as another name for Truth or the Infinite, then I believe in God, because I believe in Truth.

The conversation rapidly went even further downhill after that display of genius.

RESPONDENT: What is obvious to me is that feeling-caring is motivated in many people (but not all) by the afterlife – but also that people are also often motivated by ‘earthly’ rewards or punishments.

RICHARD: Yet, as I already remarked, any feeling of empathy anyone may feel – no matter how earnestly felt – is still not going to bring about peace-on-earth anyway ... which peacefulness is what caring is all about. For example whenever I have read-through those rationalists versus theologists debates on the Internet – or looked at any of the many atheistic websites for that matter – invariably the core element of the rationalist/ atheistic solution for all the ills of humankind is none other than love and compassion ... or cultivated derivations thereof.

This ‘tried and true’ solution even permeates group consciousness in popular songs (‘all you need is love ...’ and so on).

RESPONDENT: The only other possibility I can see is that you might just define the ‘truth’ as necessarily including belief in an afterlife reward or punishment ...

RICHARD: Not necessarily, no.

RESPONDENT: ... but I’ve always read your usage of the word ‘truth’ as applying to all people who are still in the human condition.

RICHARD: Yes, the entity within cannot ever experience actuality ... it is forever locked-out of paradise by its very nature (hence sorrow).

RESPONDENT: Can you clarify?

RICHARD: Sure. As I was talking about being true to one’s feelings then the truth I was referring to, in this instance, was the true feeling of caring by the waiters giving you good service ... and truthful caring is still not actually caring.

In short: just because something feels true that truth does not miraculously turn it into being a fact.

April 03 2003

RESPONDENT: I just wanted to jump in and let you all know that I’m still around. I’ve been processing AF almost constantly and realizing just how upside down it looks from a ‘real world’ point of view. Reflecting on the many instances I’ve seen where Richard says that only a handful of the hundreds of visitors to the site actually ‘get it’ – I’m beginning to understand why. It takes persistence and stubborn will not to give up – no matter what. In other words, the 180 degree metaphor is no understatement – and it’s a bit like standing on one’s head until it ‘clicks in’.

RICHARD: Whenever the going gets tough it may be well to remember this what you say here ... many years ago, during my five years of an itinerant lifestyle, I would jot down various things in pencil in a notebook: some time later (maybe six weeks or six months) when looking back through the jottings I would quite often be taken by some of them and would wonder why I was not living them ... why they were not an actuality in my life.

In short: sometimes (or even quite often) it takes a while before a realisation becomes an actualisation.

RESPONDENT: Anyway, I’m currently working especially with fear. Here’s a question for Richard ... you have often stated that fear ‘rules the world’.

RICHARD: Yes ... for example:

• [Richard]: ‘... at root fear is the most basic of all the instinctual survival passions ... hence fear rules the world of sentient beings’.

Only a week or so ago I wrote it thus:

• [Richard]: ‘... the human world, at root, runs on fear and is ruled by physical force/ restraint’.

RESPONDENT: You have also stated that is true of not only the ‘human’ world, but of the animal world as well. Could you explain that in a little more detail?

RICHARD: Sure ... fear is the most basic of all the instinctual survival passions: hence, at root, all sentient beings run on, or are ruled by, fear (as evidenced in the freeze-flee-fight reaction).

Thus, as a bottom line, physical force/restraint underpins the rule of law and the control of order (as expressed by ‘law and order is established and maintained at the point of a gun’).

RESPONDENT: One thing I’m not sure about is the fact that there are many ‘animals’ (non-mammalian) that I’m not sure experience ‘fear’ as we (humans) know it – though the survival instinct is pervasive.

RICHARD: As I not a biologist or zoologist I have no more interest in being drawn into quibbles over whether non-mammalian animals experience the feeling of fear ‘as we (humans) know it’ when they display the freeze-flee-fight reaction than I have about whether they experience the feeling of desire, for example, ‘as we (humans) know it’ when they are eating or mating.

For the sake of simplicity I just call the instinctual passions fear and aggression and nurture and desire and be done with it.

Furthermore, as it is estimated that there is between 2 and 4.5 million species on planet earth, with more being discovered every day, to wait until all the different species have been individually examined to determine the exact nature of their drives, impulses and urges, before committing oneself to the action which will bring about peace-on-earth, in this lifetime as this flesh and blood body, will only bring about more waiting ... until one finds oneself on one’s death-bed surrounded by family and friends, raising oneself up on an elbow and croaking out the words (one’s last words), ‘I’m not sure if ...’ and/or ‘I’m not sure about ...’ and so on.

There were no sureties about these matters for the identity within this flesh and blood body all those years ago: apart from a general or encyclopaedic knowledge, personal observations, and intimate investigation, all ‘he’ knew and needed to know, from numerous PCE’s, was that ‘he’ was standing in the way of the already always existing peace-on-earth being apparent ... and accordingly went blessedly into oblivion. Here is one example of how I have described my modus operandi:

• [Richard]: ‘Speaking personally, I did not know of any research on this subject when I started to actively investigate the human condition in myself 20 or more years ago: as I intimately explored the depths of ‘being’ it became increasingly and transparently obvious that the instinctual passions – the source of ‘self’ – were the root cause of all the ills of humankind. It was the journey of a lifetime! (...) I make no pretensions whatsoever of being a biologist – I am a lay-person dabbling in an ad hoc general reading of the subject – and I have no personal need for an interest in biology at all (since I began reporting my experience to my fellow human beings I have had to find out about all manner of things).

I know I have written this to you before ... its import may be even more obvious if repeated in this context:

• [Richard]: ‘Life is truly this simple: the pure intent to have the already always existing peace-on-earth become apparent, as evidenced in the pure consciousness experience (PCE), is activated with the nourishment of one’s innate naiveté via wonder ... whereupon an intimate connection, a golden thread or clew as it were, is thus established whereby one is sensitive to and receptive of the over-arching benignity and benevolence of the world of the PCE – which is already always just here right now anyway – and one is not on one’s own, in this, the adventure of a lifetime.
And sincerity works to awaken one’s dormant naiveté.

RESPONDENT: I’ve come up with a few possibilities for what you might mean by ‘fear rules the world ...’. 1) What humans and animals ‘feel’ themselves to be is rooted in fear.

RICHARD: I have often put it that ‘I’ am fear and fear is ‘me’ (just as I have also put it that ‘I’ am aggression and aggression is ‘me’ or ‘I’ am nurture and nurture is ‘me’ or ‘I’ am desire and desire is ‘me’).

Mostly I have put it that ‘I’ am ‘my’ feelings and ‘my’ feelings are ‘me’.

RESPONDENT: 2) Humans and animals feel ‘fearful’ virtually all of the time (though to what degree could be up for grabs).

RICHARD: As the human animal ‘self’, like any other animal ‘self’, is fear (and is aggression and is nurture and is desire and so on) ‘I’ am that feeling all the time. At root, ‘I’ am nothing other than ‘my’ feelings ... ‘my’ feelings are ‘me’ (thus ‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being, which is ‘being’ itself, is affective in nature).

The degree to which ‘I’ feel ‘my’ affective nature, and which aspect of it, varies each moment again of course.

RESPONDENT: 3) When the faecal matter contacts the whirling metal blades, then fear takes over.

RICHARD: Well, that is when it is most obvious that ‘I’ am fear and fear is ‘me’ ... if, in the freeze-flee-fight reaction, the instinct to fight takes over then aggression is what ‘I’ most obviously am at that moment (as in ‘I’ am aggression and aggression is ‘me’).

RESPONDENT: 4) All of the above.

RICHARD: In essence what I am saying is that, at root, fear is the most basic of all the instinctual survival passions ... hence fear runs/ rules the world of sentient beings.

RESPONDENT: My perplexity lies in the fact that (as far as I can tell) most people don’t feel ‘fearful’ virtually all of the time in any overt way.

RICHARD: Indeed not ... after all, there is the entire range of feelings to be, each moment again.

RESPONDENT: Yet, there does seem to be underlying fears that may not be extremely bothersome that are present virtually all of the time.

RICHARD: Indeed so ... fear, being the most basic of all the instinctual survival passions, underlies all the other passions (and their cultivated derivations).

RESPONDENT: If fear were constantly experienced – it’s hard to see how ‘feeling good’ would even be possible.

RICHARD: True ... most of the time fear is a background noise, as it were, as there is an entire suite of feelings to be, each moment again.

RESPONDENT: Many animals seem to spend much of their lives virtually free from feeling fearful ...

RICHARD: By being born and raised on a farm being carved out of virgin forest I interacted with other animals – both domesticated and in the wild – from a very early age and have been able to observe again and again that, by and large, animals are not ‘virtually free from feeling fearful’ for ‘much of their lives’ ... they are mostly on the alert, vigilant, scanning for attack, and particularly prone to the freeze-flee-fight reaction all sentient beings genetically inherit (obviously I am not speaking of a pampered and cosseted chihuahua dog, for instance, in some swanky city apartment).

RESPONDENT: ... yet I admit that fear is inherent in the instinct for survival which is always present, though not always operative.

RICHARD: I would rather say ‘not always fully operative’ ... it is only in a PCE that it becomes stunningly apparent how fear (and the other passions of course) has been ever-present, no matter how subtle, crippling one’s every step.

After all, at root, ‘I’ am fear and fear is ‘me’ – and in a PCE ‘I’ am in abeyance – thus ‘I’ can never be, or know, fearlessness.

RESPONDENT: Anyway, could you go into a little more detail as to exactly what you mean when you say ‘fear rules the world’.

RICHARD: Sure ... as, at root, fear is the most basic of all the instinctual survival passions then, at root, ‘I’ am fear and fear is ‘me’: thus what ‘I’ am, at root, is what rules the world (I am talking of the real world, of course, the world of sentient beings which the animal ‘self’ within pastes as a veneer, a reality, over this actual world).

There is no such reality in actuality ... and ‘I’ can never experience actuality (‘I’ am forever locked-out of paradise).

RESPONDENT: Also, you say that fear has both a terrifying aspect and a thrilling aspect. Was that the lower LEFT-hand corner? :)

RICHARD: You must be referring to the following exchange:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘A feeling of fear has emerged now. ‘I’ feel cornered. I don’t want to do it for ‘me’ because ‘me’ is in control now and ‘me’ is not having any of ending ‘me’.
• [Richard]: ‘As the feeling of being cornered is where one is at now then that is where one starts from: as you say that ‘a feeling of fear’ has emerged this is a vital opportunity to look closely at the fear itself (while it is happening) and it will be seen that there are two aspects to fear ... the frightening aspect and the thrilling aspect.
Usually the frightening aspect dominates and obscures the thrilling aspect: shifting one’s attention to the thrilling aspect (I often said jokingly that it is down at the bottom left-hand side) will increase the thrill and decrease the fright as the energy of fear shifts its focus and changes into a higher gear ... and, as courage is sourced in the thrilling part of fear, the daring to proceed will intensify of its own accord.
But stay with the thrill, by being the thrill, else the fright takes over, daring dissipates, and back out of the corner you come.

RESPONDENT: Could you say a little more about the distinction between the two and exactly how to locate the ‘thrilling’ aspect?

RICHARD: First of all, the reason why I often jokingly say that the thrilling aspect is down at ‘the lower LEFT-hand corner’ (or wherever) is because so many people ask me, just as you do here, how to locate the thrilling aspect of fear (as if they had never, ever, felt a thrill in all their life).

Now, I ask you, how can anyone locate the thrilling feeling other than by feeling it for themselves?

As for the distinction between the frightening aspect of fear and the thrilling aspect of fear: generally speaking one is paralysing and the other is galvanising; one is animating and the other is immobilising; one is incapacitating and the other is stimulating; one is vitalising and the other is debilitating; one is disabling and the other is enabling; one is energising and the other is crippling; one is discouraging and the other is encouraging ... and so on.

I will leave it up to you to feel which one is which ... and which one to choose to be.

April 05 2003

RESPONDENT: Richard, it would be nice to better understand a few things that have perplexed me. 1) How is it possible for a ‘normal’ human life to be worthwhile, valuable, and at least somewhat happy (as you have told me in the past) – yet you often call life in the ‘real’ world ‘grim and glum’ and ‘miserable?’

RICHARD: What I wrote to you was this (twice):

• [Richard]: ‘... sustaining oneself (and one’s family if there is one) is certainly not pointless. Furthermore there are many meaningful experiences in everyday life: providing shelter (building, buying or renting a home); being married (aka being in a relationship); raising a family (preparing children for adult life); having a career (job satisfaction); achieving something (successfully pursuing a hobby) and so on. However, to rely upon transient experience to provide an enduring meaning to life is to invite disappointment. and

I could have as easily said that to rely upon transient experience to provide an enduring happiness, for example, is to invite disappointment ... plus real-world happiness is an affective happiness anyway (I have not felt happy for many, many years).

Is life in the real-world worthwhile, valuable, happy (and so on)? The real-world is an illusion, a veneer pasted over this actual world, as a reality, by the animal ‘self’ within ... what worth, what value, what happiness (and so on) inheres in an illusion? The same applies to grimness and glumness and misery (and so on) ... it is all illusory.

Do you still want to ask your question?

RESPONDENT: You also state in your Journal that [quote] ‘It is all so pathetic, actually, to be caught up in the socialised world of ‘human’ one-upmanship. It is an abysmal state of affairs to be ‘me’, living in the real world. Especially when this, the actual world, is right here under one’s nose, as it were, just waiting to be discovered’. (Article 12). Again, how is it that life can be relatively happy, and an abysmal state of affairs all at the same time?

RICHARD: As people have been finding relative happiness in abysmal states of affairs since time immemorial it is a rather odd question to ask of me how they manage to do it ... all I am saying, in the one-upmanship example provided, is that it is a pathetic (as in miserably inadequate, feeble, or useless) happiness to be happy at another’s expense.

Especially so when this, the actual world, is just here right now ... where uncaused happiness (and harmlessness) lies.

RESPONDENT: Do you mean it is ‘abysmal’ only in comparison with innocence?

RICHARD: No, not ‘only in comparison’ ... life in the real-world is quite capable of being abysmal in its own right (as evidenced by real-world sayings such as ‘life’s a bitch and then you die’ for example).

RESPONDENT: You also call ‘my’ life ‘petty’.

RICHARD: Yes ... for example:

• [Richard]: ‘... when ‘I’ willingly self-immolate – psychologically and psychically – then ‘I’ am making the most noble sacrifice that ‘I’ can make for oneself and all humankind ... for ‘I’ am what ‘I’ hold most dear. It is ‘my’ moment of accomplishment. It is ‘my’ crowning achievement ... it makes ‘my’ petty life all worth while. It is not an event to be missed ... ‘I’ go out in a blaze of glory.
• [Co-Respondent]: ‘That which dies is judged and praised as noble?
• [Richard]: ‘If you do not find voluntary ‘self’-sacrifice by ‘I’/‘me’ (who is the root cause of all the wars and murders and rapes and tortures and domestic violence and child abuse and suicides and the such-like) to be noble, to be an altruistic offering, a philanthropic contribution, a generous gift, a charitable donation, a magnanimous present for the human race ... then I guess you would not be willing to cheerfully devote and give over your ‘being’ as a humane gratuity, an open-handed endowment, a munificent bequest or a kind-hearted benefaction for the benefit of each and every body, eh?

RESPONDENT: What, precisely, do you mean by that?

RICHARD: Here are three dictionary definitions:

• ‘petty: marked by or reflective of narrow interests and sympathies; small-minded (having narrow interests, sympathies, or outlook). (Merriam-Webster Dictionary).
• ‘petty: marked by narrowness of mind, ideas, or views; marked by meanness or lack of generosity, especially in trifling matters. (The American Heritage® Dictionary).
• ‘petty-minded: having or characteristic of a mind that dwells on the trivial and ignores what is important. (Oxford Dictionary).

Here is the relevant part of the quote with the first dictionary meaning in lieu of the word:

• [example only]: ‘It is ‘my’ crowning achievement ... it makes ‘my’ small-minded life, a life of narrow interests, sympathies, or outlook, all worth while’.

Is it not obvious that such an altruistic offering (a philanthropic contribution, a generous gift, a charitable donation, a magnanimous present, a humane gratuity, an open-handed endowment, a munificent bequest, a kind-hearted benefaction for this body and that body and every body) as the voluntary ‘self’-sacrifice by ‘I’/‘me’ indubitably is, makes a life of narrow interests, sympathies, or outlook, a life marked by narrowness of mind, ideas, or views, a life marked by meanness or lack of generosity, a life that dwells on the trivial and ignores what is important, all worth while?

*

RESPONDENT: 2) How can being ‘me’ in the real world be automatically an abysmal state of affairs ...

RICHARD: If I may interject? If you do not consider all the wars and murders and rapes and tortures and domestic violence and child abuse and sadness and loneliness and grief and depression and suicides and so on to be an abysmal state of affairs then we may as well stop this discussion right here.

RESPONDENT: ... especially since you have stated that someone in virtual freedom is virtually perfect – even though they are still a self – are they still in an ‘abysmal state of affairs’?

RICHARD: Yes ... else why end it? Although a virtual freedom is remarkably superior to how one used to live, there is no way it can compare as favourably with being actually free of the human condition.

Nothing can ... it is beyond compare, as it were.

RESPONDENT: If so then what did you mean by calling life in the ‘real world’ an abysmal state of affairs?

RICHARD: Fundamentally it is because of the instinctual passions, such as fear and aggression and nurture and desire, still being in situ as a ‘presence’, a ‘being’ (an animal ‘self’) ... although a life of virtual freedom, being epitomised by an absence of malice and sorrow (and their antidotal pacifiers love and compassion), is a life of virtual peace and harmony there is no guarantee that recidivism cannot occur.

Even so, a virtual freedom is way ahead of normal human expectations, and is not to be sneezed at.

*

RESPONDENT: 3) What do you mean when you say that to not have experienced ‘dying’ is such a waste of human life?

RICHARD: I presume you are referring to this:

• [Richard]: ‘Who you think and feel and instinctively ‘know’ yourself to be has a job to do: When ‘I’ willingly self-immolate – psychologically and psychically – then ‘I’ am making the most noble sacrifice that ‘I’ can make for oneself and all humankind ... for ‘I’ am what ‘I’ hold most dear. It is ‘my’ moment of glory. It is ‘my’ crowning achievement ... it makes ‘my’ petty life all worth while. It is not an event to be missed ... to physically die without having experienced what it is like to become dead is such a waste of a life.

To live a life which, at root, is run by/ruled by fear is to stay in the survival mode and thus miss out on living fully – living the meaning of life each moment again – in the already always existing peace-on-earth.

RESPONDENT: You also claim that everyone has had a PCE.

RICHARD: Obviously I have not conducted a door-to-door survey of all 6.0 billion human beings ... one of the many things I did, however, in the years before I went public was to ascertain whether people from all walks of life could recall having had a pure consciousness experience (PCE) – as distinct from an altered state of consciousness (ASC) – for obvious reasons. Sometimes it took a quite a while for them to remember – once it took over three hours of intensive description/discussion – as being sans any affective content whatsoever the PCE cannot be stored in the affective memory banks (which is where the ASC is primarily located) ... plus they are much more common in childhood and require further reach.

As everybody I spoke to at length – everybody – could recall at least one PCE, and usually more, it would be a very strange situation indeed that the PCE be not common to all people but only to those whom I randomly engaged with over the years.

RESPONDENT: At what point is a person’s life no longer a ‘waste’ according to you?

RICHARD: Is that not obvious? I will arrange your two queries sequentially:

1. ‘What do you mean when you say that to not have experienced ‘dying’ is such a waste of human life?
2. ‘At what point is a person’s life no longer a ‘waste’ according to you?

I am retired and on a pension – and instead of pottering around in the garden I am currently pottering around the internet – thus I have plenty of time at my disposal and it does not really matter all that much to me if I spend that time answering queries which would be patently obvious to my co-respondents if they had thought them through themselves before tapping them out on the keyboard and clicking ‘send’.

The question is: does it matter to you that you would have me do your thinking for you?

RESPONDENT: Also, how can a life lived in the real world be a ‘waste’ and also worthwhile (as you have told me it can be)?

RICHARD: As I have the distinct impression you are making a problem out of nothing I have just now asked my companion if what she was doing was worthwhile (she is heating a vacuum flask preparatory to filling it with a hot drink as she is going out for the day) and she said yes ... and, anticipating my follow-up query, she said even if she was not happy it would still be worthwhile but that it would be a waste of a life to be unhappy whilst doing it.

Does this answer your query?

RESPONDENT: You have also stated that the actualist ‘meaning of life’ is the only one worth living – how does that square with one’s ability to find their life ‘meaningful’ in the ‘real’ world?

RICHARD: I wonder if you have not become bemired in words as the ‘meaning of life’ – or the ‘secret to life’ or the ‘riddle of existence’ or the ‘purpose of the universe’ or whatever the goal of one’s quest may be called – is not in the same category as the meaningfulness of sustaining oneself (and one’s family if there is one), for example, or any of the other meaningful experiences in everyday life ... such as providing shelter (building, buying or renting a home), being married (aka being in a relationship), raising a family (preparing children for adult life), having a career (job satisfaction), achieving something (successfully pursuing a hobby), and so on.

To know the ‘meaning of life’ is to be the living of it: as this flesh and blood body only I am this material universe experiencing itself as an apperceptive human being ... as such it is stunningly aware of its own infinitude.

And this is truly wonderful.

*

RESPONDENT: 4) How is it that better than 80% of Americans report positive ‘life satisfaction’ in recent surveys reported by some of the ‘positive psychologists’ (see David Myers ‘The Pursuit of Happiness’, Dr. David Lykken ‘Happiness’ and Martin Seligman ‘Authentic Happiness’) studying things like happiness and life satisfaction – and people all over the world reporting in general relatively positive life satisfaction – yet you still refer to life in the real world as ‘abysmal’ and ‘grim and glum’ and ‘miserable?’

RICHARD: To illustrate what a life of total fulfilment and utter satisfaction looks like I will quote from a book by one of the three ‘positive psychologists’ you refer to:

• ‘One summer day, 40 years ago or so, I was walking along a residential street when an rich, earthy scent wafted my way and triggered, as smells are wont to do, a vivid recollection. Like Dorothy, stepping out of her front door into the Technicolor Land of Oz, I remembered another summer’s day when I was 4 years old, playing in a bank of warm, black dirt in the back yard of my home. I had a little red toy car for which I’d made a road slanting up the face of the dirt bank and, in my recollection, I was ‘driving’ the car up this mountain road while making motor noises. That’s all there was, no real action, yet the memory, in the few seconds before it faded away, was redolent with the smell and feel of the warm dirt, the bright colour of the toy, the hot sun – with simple but intensely pleasurable sensory experience. When I read Aldous Huxley’s account of his mescaline experience, of his feeling that the colours, shapes, and textures of his books on the shelves across the room were as intense an experience as he could bear and that he dared not look outside at the flowers in the garden, I thought of my brief revisitation of my childhood. Presumably this intensity of sensory experience does fade, when it’s work of facilitating perceptual learning is accomplished, because it would be maladaptive in adults. Those ancients who sat around all day entranced by colours, smells, and textures, would have never gotten the venison cooked nor the berries picked; they would have been easy meat for prowling tigers and unlikely to become ancestors’. (Chapter 1, ‘Happiness: The Nature and Nurture of Joy and Contentment’; David Lykken). (www.psych.umn.edu/psyfac/emeritus_sr/Lykken/HapChap%201.htm#_edn3).

In short: life here in this actual world *is* such an intense experience, each moment again, as the intense experience he describes (a PCE lasting a few seconds 40 years ago) yet despite his well-explained (referencing Mr. Aldous Huxley’s account) glimpse of the perfection of the purity of this actual world (as experienced when 4 years old) he opts instead for the ‘life satisfaction’ of positive psychology ... all the while presuming, with spurious justifications, that this life I am living is ‘maladaptive in adults’.

Yet I am neither in gaol nor a psychiatric institution; I can orient myself in space and time and get from point A to point B; I am not easy meat for prowlers; I feed, clothe and house myself, paying all my bills on time; I manage four net-worked computers, an internet domain, a web page, a mail server, and so on, without any prior experience or training; I write millions of words meaningfully strung together in sentences and paragraphs ... all the while ‘entranced by colours, smells, and textures’ to an extent much, much more than a PCE allows (as evidenced by Mr. Aldous Huxley not being able to bear it for example).

Need I say more about what the value of his ‘80% of Americans report ...’ survey is worth?

*

RESPONDENT: 5) You have also made the claim in your Journal that a relationship built on love inevitably ends in separation.

RICHARD: As love is a bridge between two separate ‘selves’, creating a feeling of oneness in lieu of an actual intimacy, it rather begs the question to say that a ‘relationship built on love inevitably ends in separation’ as the separation was there all along.

RESPONDENT: [quote]: ‘My new companion, whilst never being married, has been involved in numerous passionate relationships, which had all come to love’s inevitable end’. (Article 1). What is ‘love’s inevitable end’?

RICHARD: Usually disappointment, dissatisfaction, discontent, or some such thing ... although the feeling of love contains the promise of an actual intimacy it never delivers the goods.

RESPONDENT: Surely you don’t mean that everyone who gets married or ‘loves’ an other gets a divorce?

RICHARD: Of course not.

RESPONDENT: Maybe you are making the claim that all relationships end?

RICHARD: No.

RESPONDENT: But that’s a no-brainer since every living being dies.

RICHARD: Indeed.

RESPONDENT: It’s just not true that all love relationships go their separate ways before death.

RICHARD: As I never said that ‘all love relationships go their separate ways before death’ this is what is known as a ‘straw man’ argument (where you propose something I never said then refute your own invention as if you were having a meaningful conversation with me).

RESPONDENT: I agree that love cools down and CAN become mutual contempt – but there are plenty of exceptions to that.

RICHARD: Who are you agreeing with? I never said that ‘love cools down’ and becomes ‘mutual contempt’ (my search engine returned nil hits) ... you are but speaking of ‘plenty of exceptions’ to your own ‘straw man’ argument.

RESPONDENT: It appears that you are fudging things a bit to make ‘love’ more of a culprit that it really is.

RICHARD: If I may point out? As your argument (above) is your own invention it is you who is ‘fudging things a bit’ and not me ... I was not even there.

RESPONDENT: I’m not trying to ‘rehabilitate’ love – especially since I do acknowledge that it is less than perfect – but it seems that you think that love is completely unworkable, which it is not.

RICHARD: I do not ‘think’ that love does not deliver the goods ... I know it does not as I was the living embodiment of Love Agapé when I met my previous companion (as detailed in Article One of ‘Richard’s Journal’ where you are quoting from) and had been, night and day, for the preceding four years.

If it had delivered the goods I would not be here today writing to you about the actual intimacy of being a flesh and blood body only – being apperceptively aware – which is an immediate intimacy with all people, not just one’s partner, and with all flora and fauna, and with all things (such as a stone, a brick, a glass ashtray, a polystyrene cup and so on).

No separation whatsoever.

*

RESPONDENT: 6) Also, (I don’t have the quote on hand, but I can find it if need be) that you think that if someone doesn’t press the delete button on the ‘self’ then they are a ‘fool’.

RICHARD: Here is the quote in question:

• [Richard]: ‘My questioning of life, the universe and what it is to be a human being all started in a war-torn country in June 1966, whilst dressed in a green uniform and aged nineteen, and a Buddhist monk killed himself in a most ghastly way. There was I, a youth with a loaded rifle in my hand, representing the secular way to peace. (...) There was a fellow human being, dressed in religious robes and with a cigarette lighter in hand, representing the spiritual way to peace. (...) I was aghast ... and I sought to find a third alternative to being either ‘human’ or ‘divine’. Twenty six years later I found the third alternative ... and it is my delight to share this discovery with my fellow human.
• [Co-Respondent]: ‘For all your copious verbiage, it is quite clear that you’ve discovered nothing other than some eccentric nomenclature.
• [Richard]: ‘You have obviously missed most of my posts. I have made it quite clear that none of us are to blame, for we are all victims of blind nature’s rather clumsy software package of instincts. However, once realised where the root cause of all the anguish and animosity lies, one can hit the ‘delete’ button and erase the lot, for it is software and not hardware. If one does not then one is a fool. Of course, both ‘I’ and ‘me’ will be what is deleted ... for ‘I’ am the passions and the passions are ‘me’.

And here is another version:

• [Richard]: ‘When one has experienced the best one would have to be a fool to settle for second-best – or worse – because this moment of being alive is one’s only moment of being alive.
• [Co-Respondent]: ‘When you are focusing on what is not, then and only then does this seem second-best.
• [Richard]: ‘To waste this moment of being alive – the only moment one can actually be here now – by experiencing malice and sorrow (or the antidotal love and compassion) or any derivatives thereof which are generated by the instinctual passions of fear and aggression and nurture and desire that all sentient beings are born with (which instincts are the origin of ‘self’) by stating that it is not second best (or worse) is not only personally insalubrious but socially reprehensible.
• [Co-Respondent]: ‘What is happening right now is second-best as compared to what?
• [Richard]: ‘The pristine perfection of the PCE.

RESPONDENT: Please explain.

RICHARD: Sure ... here is the dictionary definition of a fool:

• ‘fool: a person who behaves or thinks imprudently or unwisely; a silly person. (Oxford Dictionary).

Here is the relevant part of the first quote with the meaning in lieu of the word:

• [example only]: ‘I have made it quite clear that none of us are to blame, for we are all victims of blind nature’s rather clumsy software package of instincts. However, once realised where the root cause of all the anguish and animosity lies, one can hit the ‘delete’ button and erase the lot, for it is software and not hardware. If one does not then one is a person who behaves or thinks imprudently or unwisely, a silly person’.

Here is the relevant part of the second quote with the meaning in lieu of the word:

• [example only]: ‘When one has experienced the best one would have to be a person who behaves or thinks imprudently or unwisely, a silly person, to settle for second-best – or worse – because this moment of being alive is one’s only moment of being alive’.

I may be a lot of things but I am not silly.

RESPONDENT: Given the extraordinary pressure on one to remain part of the ‘real’ world and the fact you have stated that it takes ‘nerves of steel’ to pursue an actual freedom – and the fact that you say that it is ‘not for the weak of knee’ etc, then how is it that one is a ‘fool’ for not pressing the delete button?

RICHARD: Given that 160,000,000 people were killed in wars alone, in the last 100 years, by their fellow human beings – and an estimated 40,000,000 people suicided in the same 100 years – then how is it that to eschew peace-on-earth, because of ‘the extraordinary pressure’ from other peoples to remain part of their world, is not to be a person who behaves or thinks imprudently or unwisely, a silly person?

*

RESPONDENT: 7) Also, I just read recently in a conversation with Konrad where you say that being run by emotion is imbecility in action and being run by the human condition is absurdity in motion.

RICHARD: Here is the passage you are referring to:

• [Konrad]: ‘Have you not constantly said that ALL emotions are bad?
• [Richard]: ‘They are neither just good nor bad in my eyes ... to be run by emotions – either ‘good’ or ‘bad’ emotions – is imbecility in action. And to be run by passion is to be run by the very disease of the Human Condition ... this is absurdity in motion. But to become calenture itself – as a State of Being – is to be that very sickness as narcissistic self-aggrandisement. And to then disseminate it to all and sundry as the cure-all for suffering is to perpetuate all the misery and mayhem for ever and a day.
Calenture is an incredibly useful word as it describes the delirious passion needed to manifest the delusion that:
1: There is a God ... and:
2: I am that God.
Calenture is not just ‘bad’ ... it is sick. It is ‘I’ being rotten to ‘my’ very core.

RESPONDENT: I understand that you regard the human condition as ‘reprehensible’ and ‘silly’. It’s just difficult for me to get a grasp on what you mean here though. Apparently 6.0 billion people are ‘imbeciles’ and ‘absurdity in motion’? Ain’t life grand?

RICHARD: Just for starters I did not say that 6.0 billion peoples are ‘imbeciles’ at all – that is what you make of it – as I clearly said that to be run by emotions (either ‘good’ or ‘bad’ emotions) is imbecility in action. Here is a dictionary definition:

• ‘imbecility: colloq. stupidity, foolishness. (Oxford Dictionary).

In other words: to be run by emotions (either ‘good’ or ‘bad’ emotions) is stupidity, foolishness, in action ... are you claiming that it is not? As for ‘absurdity in motion’ ... here is a dictionary definition:

• ‘absurdity: the state or quality of being absurd (out of harmony with reason or propriety; incongruous; inappropriate; unreasonable; ridiculous, silly); folly. (Oxford Dictionary).

If being run by passion (being run by the very disease of the human condition itself) is not being out of harmony with reason or propriety (as in incongruous, inappropriate, unreasonable, ridiculous, silly) or is not being folly in motion, I would like to know what is as it is passion which fuels war and murder and rape and torture and domestic violence and child abuse and so on.

Lastly, I often use the phrase ‘ain’t life grand!’ (great, pre-eminent, principal; from Latin ‘grandis’: full-grown, abundant) but only where something very significant about life’s beneficence has been demonstrated ... for example:

• [Respondent]: ‘The questions about meaning came from possibly too literal of an interpretation of what you say about meaning both in your journal and your original response with the confusion of ‘meaning’ with ‘meaning of life’, and less reliance on my own experience. I appreciate your pointer back to my own experience.
• [Richard]: ‘You are welcome ... after all it is your own experience which is of vital importance, and not my descriptions and explanations (which can be either inadequate or misconstrued), as you then intimately know for yourself where to go and what to do.
Ain’t life grand!

I was exclaiming that life is grand in that it provided you with your own experience to be guided by rather than just my words ... here is another occasion:

• [Respondent]: ‘I also don’t intend these comments as an attempt to pin you down under self-contradiction – I know there are ‘ways out’ of these quandaries – I’m just curious about your view of these issues. Thanks.
• [Richard]: ‘Sure ... I have always sought for that which is non-contradictory and would always look askance at any attempt to gloss over something contradictory by someone saying that it was a paradox one just had to live with.
I have been unable to find anything paradoxical here in this actual world.
P.S.: I am aware that words like guilty, reprehensible and culpable carry the implication that some person or persons (or peoples collectively) decide or have decided what is right and what is wrong or what is good and what is bad or what is correct and what is incorrect and so on ... a standard to be judged by, in other words. The following exchange should be helpful in this regards (especially so as you say in this e-mail that you have wanted to be a ‘stellar’ person):

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘Who decides what is ‘personally insalubrious’ and ‘socially reprehensible’?
• [Richard]: ‘Not ‘who’ ... peace-on-earth decides, each moment again, and relentlessly brings the wayward ego and compliant soul face-to-face with its own culpability, each moment again, for being the progenitor of all the ills of humankind. (...) The pristine nature of peace-on-earth is impeccable ... nothing dirty can get in.

Ain’t life grand!

Here I was not only praising life, inasmuch as there is nothing paradoxical here in this actual world, but also that no human being sets the criteria for peace-on-earth ... therefore it is faultless.

I have never used the phrase ‘ain’t life grand?’ in the cynical way you make out that I do.

*

RESPONDENT: I’m just wondering if there is something crucial I’m not getting.

RICHARD: It may be of assistance to remind you of something I have written to you before:

• [Richard]: ‘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’.

What you have come up against in this post – as in previous posts you have engaged me in on this relative/ultimate issue – is the limits of armchair philosophising.

RESPONDENT: I find myself on the fence between pursuing an actual freedom – the talk of perfection and peace-on-earth are quite attractive to me. Yet, it’s hard to resist the notion that there is a dark underbelly to actualism ...

RICHARD: Hmm ... as the actualism you have depicted is a ‘straw man’ actualism it is no wonder there is a ‘dark underbelly’ to it (it is probably your own underbelly you are contemplating).

RESPONDENT: ... or at least a grave under-ranking of life in the real world. Yes, war, suicide, depression, etc ARE all abysmal – yet they don’t represent the whole of human life in the ‘real’ world as you sometimes seem to be saying.

RICHARD: Have you noticed by now that there is a vast difference between what I ‘seem to be saying’ and what I am actually saying?

RESPONDENT: Have you nothing good to say about life in the ‘real’ world?

RICHARD: Yes, it is good that it is only an illusion (otherwise this universe would indeed be a sick joke).

RESPONDENT: Is life in the ‘real’ world only a ‘sick joke’ to you?

RICHARD: No ... a sick illusion would be a better description.

RESPONDENT: I find myself in a situation where I am raising two children and I am married.

RICHARD: So? I found myself in a situation where I was married and raising four children.

RESPONDENT: I am doing my best to raise the kids – but how could I possibly be pleased with raising them only to be in ‘abysmal’ situation – only to live in a ‘grim and glum’ reality where the best they can do is live on the better side of misery?

RICHARD: Indeed ... being married and raising four children was one of the many incentives for the ‘me’ who was to get off ‘his’ backside and do something about the whole sorry mess.

And now, as a direct result of that altruistic action, the possibility exists for those five fellow human beings to also live fully (as is anybody else) if they so choose.

RESPONDENT: And your response is ‘Ain’t life grand?’

RICHARD: No, that is not my response at all (as explained further above).

RESPONDENT: I don’t get it.

RICHARD: Do you get it now?

*

RESPONDENT: Why is it that my life was much better before practicing actualism?

RICHARD: Maybe because the ‘actualism’ you are practicing is not the actualism on offer on The Actual Freedom Trust web site?

RESPONDENT: And that actualism has almost eliminated my satisfaction with life rather than increasing it?

RICHARD: If your ‘satisfaction with life’ is of the ‘positive psychology’ variety already briefly discussed (further above) then it strikes me that it is a ‘satisfaction with life’ which is best eliminated anyway ... then the genuine article has a better chance of becoming apparent.

RESPONDENT: I have had some excellent experiences, yet at the same time there is increasing despair for those in the ‘real’ world and confusion as far as which direction to go.

RICHARD: And how will ‘despair for those in the ‘real’ world’ (which must include self-despair) assist you in ending the confusion? Here is how I have described the actualism practice:

• [Richard]: ‘... the wide and wondrous path to an actual freedom from the human condition is marked by enjoyment and appreciation – the sheer delight of being as happy and harmless as is humanly possible whilst remaining a ‘self’ – and the slightest diminishment of such felicity and innocuity is a warning signal (a flashing red light as it were) that one has inadvertently wandered off the way.
One is thus soon back on track ... and all because of everyday events.

It is so much easier, cleaner, purer, and more accurate, to analyse, psychologise, philosophise, and so on, when one is happy and harmless.

RESPONDENT: It’s hard to experience the grandiosity of life you speak of when 6.0 billion peoples lives are so devalued at the same time ...

RICHARD: When I call a spade a spade in what way is the spade being devalued?

RESPONDENT: ... or at least that’s my perception.

RICHARD: Here is a hint: seeing a fact does not devalue anything which is actually of value ... it is the lie of an overvaluation which is being exposed.

RESPONDENT: Here I go – back to being an imbecile – miserable, gross, perverse, petty, abysmal, and absurdity in action. Gee thanks, Richard.

RICHARD: There is always a way out:

• [Gary]: ‘... the description of the PCE fits the bill, with the magical, fairy-tale like quality. (...) there is a clear sense that something of momentous importance is happening (...) words like bounteousness, bursting, pouring forth, vibrant, clear, alive, animate, come to mind. One of the things that was most striking about it was how uncommon everything appeared, how rich and variegated everything was.
• [Richard]: ‘Yes, I took particular note of your depiction of the stone in the gravel pit: sometimes peoples have looked at me in shock when I wax eloquent about actual intimacy with a stone, a brick, a glass ashtray, a polystyrene cup and so on, but I just tell them that *I am officially mad and/or that I am a war veteran and they, presumably, go away content that all has been thus satisfactorily explained.* [emphasis added].

You would not be the first person, or the last for that matter, to choose for life in the real-world after a brief dalliance with what real-world peoples call insanity ... I am officially certified as having a chronic and incurable psychotic mental disorder as per the DSM–IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders) which is the diagnostic criteria used by all psychiatrists and psychologists around the world for diagnosing mental disorders. My condition is well-described by the following four symptoms:

1. Depersonalisation.
2. Derealisation.
3. Alexithymia.
4. Anhedonia.

Depersonalisation is an apt description of being bereft of any identity whatsoever ... there is no one at all to answer back when I ask that time-honoured question: ‘Who am I?’ ... not even a silence that ‘speaks louder than words’. Derealisation is an appropriate term, for the grim and glum ‘normal’ and mundane reality, of the everyday real world as experienced by 6.0 billion people, has vanished forever ... along with the loving and compassionate ‘abnormal’ and heavenly Greater Reality of the metaphysical Mystical World as experienced by .000001 of the population. Alexithymia is the term used to describe the condition of a total absence of feelings – usually exhibited most clearly in lobotomised patients – which has been my on-going condition for many, many years now. It has also come to mean being cut off from one’s feelings – as in dissociation – yet the psychiatrists ascertained that I was not dissociating. Anhedonia literally means unable to feel pleasure – affectively feeling pleasure – as in the feeling of beauty when viewing a sunrise or listening to music and so on.

Plus I have the most classic indication of insanity ... that is: everyone else is mad but me.

*

RESPONDENT: P.S. I realize the tone of this post is somewhat cynical, but I also realize that I must phrase them in a way in which they affect me ...

RICHARD: This is what a dictionary has to say about being thus affected:

• cynical: distrustful or incredulous of human goodness and sincerity; sneering; (synonyms: pessimistic, sceptical, scoffing, doubting, unbelieving, disbelieving, distrustful, suspicious, misanthropic, critical, sardonic).
• cynic: one who sarcastically doubts or despises human sincerity and merit; (synonyms: pessimist, doom merchant, doomster, doom and gloom merchant, sceptic, scoffer, doubter, misanthrope). (Oxford Dictionary).

RESPONDENT: ... it would be nice to get answers to these questions that put these concerns to rest. Thanks.

RICHARD: There is nothing better than a goodly dose of sincerity (and thus naïveté) to flush the cynicism out of one’s system.

RESPONDENT: Recently you suggested to No. 28 that your writing style is ‘expressive’. Could this fact have anything to do with my current perplexity?

RICHARD: Nope ... ‘perplexity’ was an issue for you long before you came to this mailing list (going by what you said in your e-mails to me about Mr. Uppaluri Krishnamurti). Here is a clue for you (as re-quoted further above):

• [Respondent]: ‘I also don’t intend these comments as an attempt to pin you down under self-contradiction – I know there are ‘ways out’ of these quandaries – I’m just curious about your view of these issues.

You are but tilting at windmills as there are no quandaries in actualism to necessitate such weaselling as you are accustomed to coming across ... being actual it is, of course, the genuine article. Yet hundreds of people have been poking away at it, since coming onto the internet, trying to find the flaws they are convinced must be there – which is one of the reasons why all correspondence is archived – and this only goes to show how badly people have been sucked in for millennia by the many and varied snake-oil salesmen.

I am not at all surprised that people be suspicious.


CORRESPONDENT No. 27 (Part Seven)

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