On The Actual Freedom Mailing List
with Correspondent No. 27
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:
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.
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:
In the following e-mail I expanded upon this ‘being true to their feelings/ truth is insincere’ comment:
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.:
So I questioned him in this regard:
This was the reply:
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.
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.
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:
Only a week or so ago I wrote it thus:
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:
I know I have written this to you before ... its import may be even more obvious if repeated in this context:
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:
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.
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):
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:
RESPONDENT: What, precisely, do you mean by that?
RICHARD: Here are three dictionary definitions:
Here is the relevant part of the quote with the first dictionary meaning in lieu of the word:
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:
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:
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:
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?
RESPONDENT: But that’s a no-brainer since every living being dies.
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:
And here is another version:
RESPONDENT: Please explain.
RICHARD: Sure ... here is the dictionary definition of a fool:
Here is the relevant part of the first quote with the meaning in lieu of the word:
Here is the relevant part of the second quote with the meaning in lieu of the word:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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):
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.
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.