Actual Freedom – The Actual Freedom Mailing List Correspondence

Richard’s Correspondence

On The Actual Freedom Mailing List

with Correspondent No. 28


January 09 2002

RESPONDENT No. 27: Richard, I want to pose a specific question for your response (...) In the forefront of my investigations right now is ‘beauty’ versus what you are calling ‘sensate delight.’ At first, upon reading the material at the AF website, I was stricken with a fear of what my life would be like if I gave up my experience of beauty – thinking that to be inhuman.

RICHARD: Yes ... when I was first catapulted into an actual freedom from the human condition I was astonished to discover that beauty had disappeared (I had trained as an art teacher and had made a living as a practising artist). Howsoever I was to discover that beauty is but a pale imitation of the purity of the actual. Even so, it was initially disconcerting (to say the least).

RESPONDENT: Is this a common thread amongst those new to AF?

RICHARD: No ... the most common thread is likening an actual freedom to spiritual enlightenment.

RESPONDENT: I was planning on putting together a post very much like this today. I too am a musician, which gives me great pleasure and pain, and to a lesser extent, I appreciate most forms of art. I understand that both pleasure and pain come as a package deal, and I have great trepidation about losing Beauty, but I’m close to willing to make the deal. One aspect of this that didn’t come up in the post specifically is that part of the attraction of art/music (or engineering for that matter – my trade), is the creative process. Does that disappear along with Beauty?

RICHARD: Yes ... but an actual creativity is available twenty-four hours of the day.

RESPONDENT: Can you be an AF artist?

RICHARD: Yes.

RESPONDENT: Or engineer?

RICHARD: Yes.

RESPONDENT: I know that we can go about our jobs, day to day, but does that great, inspirational, inner oomph go away?

RICHARD: Yes ... the ‘inner’ oomph is but a pale imitation of the actual (there is no inner and outer in actuality).

RESPONDENT: Personally, I’m kind of oomph-ed out, but many of the things that make the planet great were created as a direct result of that ‘spirit’.

RICHARD: As were many of the less than great things (nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, for example).

RESPONDENT: Life would go on without computers, planes, roofs, but they do add to the general quality.

RICHARD: Yes ... yet nuclear, biological and chemical weapons detract from the general quality.

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

P.S.: You may find this link relevant to your query

January 25 2002

RESPONDENT No. 27: Enhance ‘relationship’ with a sexual partner – yes, I see that. But can it free us to care more effectively for our kids?

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

RESPONDENT: I’m having trouble distinguishing between ‘actually’ caring for others, and running the genetically and/or culturally derived programs (instinctual) that drive us to reproduce and protect our offspring. It seems arbitrary where one ends and the other begins.

RICHARD: It is only where the one (feeling caring) in fact ends that the other (actually caring) in fact begins. In other words, when a person is free of the instinctual passions that person actually cares, for the first time in their life, for this body and that body and every body ... and there is nowt that is ‘arbitrary’ about that process.

It is the same as the difference between a feeling intimacy and an actual intimacy.

*

RESPONDENT No. 27: I’d like to hear what others who have or who are raising kids experience. I know that Richard was a single father for a while and now has grandkids, and Peter has at least one child. Would one in actual freedom or virtual freedom still be able to care for their children effectively?

RICHARD: I will leave it to Peter to respond in regards to virtual freedom as he knows far more about it than I do ... as for being actually free: the last thing I would want to be encumbered by, if I were to be a parent again today, is the instinctual passion of nurture (along with fear and aggression and desire of course).

RESPONDENT: I’ve read the descriptions of virtual and actual freedom but don’t understand their relationship. Maybe this is something that needs to be experienced to be understood?

RICHARD: Yes, actualism is all about experiencing for oneself, of course, yet maybe if I put it this way for now: it is humanly possible to be virtually free of the malice and sorrow that epitomises the human condition – to be as happy and harmless as is humanly possible is way beyond normal expectations – and such a condition I call a virtual freedom (not to be confused with the ‘virtual reality’ of the computer world).

• [Dictionary Definition]: ‘virtual’: That is so in essence or effect, although not recognised formally, actually, or by strict definition as such; almost absolute. Possessed of certain physical virtues or powers; effective in respect of inherent qualities. Capable of producing a certain effect or result’.

Whereas an actual freedom is where you step out of the ‘real’ world into this actual world and leave your ‘self’ behind where ‘you’ belong.

*

RESPONDENT: I’d appreciate any reference links for these areas of vagueness (to me). I can’t see the forest for the trees sometimes.

RICHARD: Maybe this link will be of assistance to start the ball rolling.

January 26 2002

RESPONDENT: I did some more reading and may have answered my own questions ... how’s this – if I lived in a state of actual or virtual freedom, I would be living in ‘this luscious actual world’ and would care deeply for it.

RICHARD: The difference between feeling that one cares and actually caring is as marked a distinction as the difference betwixt living in the ‘real world’ and living in the actual world.

Your phrase ‘care deeply’ reads as if it is a feeling caring that you are referring to ... as in the deeper feelings (in contrast to the surface emotions).

RESPONDENT: As all other beings are part of this world, I would care for them too.

RICHARD: To actually care happens only when there is no separation – when the separative identity is no longer extant – and it is what happens automatically in an actual intimacy (as distinct from a feeling intimacy).

In a virtual freedom separation is minimised to the point of being virtually non-existent (hence the appropriate nomenclature).

RESPONDENT: Per Vineeto’s post to me, your amygdala doesn’t produce chemicals any more. Is that actual freedom, whereas virtual freedom is happening more at the synaptic end of the brain? In the case of VF, the amygdala is still pumping away, but the VFer isn’t responding in the same way.

RICHARD: As nobody has had any scientific tests done I would not be so bold as to make any definitive claims as to what the amygdala and the synapses are or are not doing in anybody ... it could only be a reasoned hypothesis. What I can do is provide a factual report of what is bodily experienced each moment again in an actual freedom: something inside the skull is not producing chemicals anymore ... and there is no experience of any identity whatsoever.

The event that occurred which precipitated this radical change happened at the base of the skull ... in the top of the brain-stem.

A person experiencing a virtual freedom has minimised the chemical production to the point of being relatively non-existent through the diligent application of the actualism method ‘how am I experiencing this moment of being alive’. Therefore something inside the skull is not still ‘pumping away’ (except occasionally) ... a virtual freedom is not an intellectual or philosophical approach.

It is a ‘hands on’ moment-to-moment attentiveness to whatever is preventing actuality being apparent.

October 25 2002

RESPONDENT No. 37: You say that there is no soul or self but just flesh and bones therefore no life after death. Therefore how do you explain Outer body experiences (OBE’s) and near death experiences where people report seeing events and their own physical bodies in Real Time. It would be impossible for a thought or a feeling (self) to experience an OBE. Happy days.

RICHARD: ... I would explain OBE’s (out of body experiences) and NDE’s (near death experiences), where the identity residing inside the flesh and blood body locates itself outside the flesh and blood body, in the same way I explain altered states of consciousness (ASC’s) and any other paranormal, supernatural or suprasensory experiences ... they are all the product of identity, the psychological and psychic entity (‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul), parasitically inhabiting the flesh and blood body.

RESPONDENT: Are you ambivalent about that statement (use of ‘would’) or firm?

RICHARD: Oops, I see now that the word ‘would’ is misleading ... because I do explain OBE’s and NDE’s in the same way I explain ASC’s and any other paranormal, supernatural or suprasensory experiences.

RESPONDENT: The reason I ask is as an offshoot of a recent thread I (probably shouldn’t have) started re advanced science and technology. Because No. 37 posits a pertinent question, I’m going to throw it out once again.

RICHARD: If you look more closely you will see that it is not a pertinent question but a straw man question ... which is to posit something that somebody did not say, as a premise, and then ask ‘therefore how do you explain ...’. I do not say [quote] ‘that there is no soul or self’ [endquote] ... on the contrary I am most specific that it is that very entity parasitically inhabiting the flesh and blood body who is the root cause of all the misery and mayhem which stuffs up life on this otherwise fair planet we all live on (that it locates itself either in the head, in the heart, in the body, out of the body, in a heaven, in a hell, in between bodies or wherever else it may dream up is of minor concern compared to all the suffering it causes).

Just because there are no identities here in this actual world does not mean there are no identities in the real world – in fact it is those very identities who create the real world – and the latest count estimates the figure to be in excess of 6.0 billion.

RESPONDENT: Is it not possible for such phenomena as OBE’s to be our interpretation of sensory input of a form that is incomprehensible to us, given our present state of understanding of the physical universe?

RICHARD: As all such phenomena abruptly ceased when the identity parasitically inhabiting this flesh and blood body ceased to exist – meaning that if it were sensory it would still be happening – my answer is an unequivocal no.

RESPONDENT: It’s quite possible that some of these matters could be explained by some scientific understanding of the physical universe gleaned in say, the 25th century.

RICHARD: It is equally quite possible that the majority of the humans 500 years from now will be free from the human condition and thus valuable scientific resources will no longer be frittered away on pursuing such will o’ the wisps.

RESPONDENT: I’m not talking about anything remotely spiritual here, but perhaps electromagnetism (e.g.) may some day explain some of these matters.

RICHARD: Whereas I would suggest freeing oneself from the human condition first – for the benefit of this body and that body and every body – and thus find out for oneself that there is nothing to explain.

RESPONDENT: I do agree that likely many of these phenomena are the product of the identity, I’m just inclined to never say never.

RICHARD: For something like twenty five years I would never say never also (which can be called being agnostic) and it is an apparently satisfying position to be in – maybe it makes one feel intellectually comfortable – until one day I realised just what I was doing to myself. I was cleverly shuffling all the ‘hard questions’ about consciousness under the rug and going around deftly cutting other people down to size (which is all so easy to do simply by saying ‘well that is your belief/truth/idea/philosophy/whatever’). But I had nothing to offer in its place – other than a ‘never say never’ agnosticism – and I puzzled as to why this was so. Finally, I ceased procrastinating and equivocating. I wanted to know. I wanted to find out – for myself – about life, the universe and what it is to be a human being living in the world as-it-is with people as-they-are.

I now know.

February 20 2003

RESPONDENT: Richard ... one aspect of your recent post to Respondent No. 42 caught my attention. It’s an item I’ve had on the back burner for a while, and one I was going to delve into in my recent dialog with Gary re imagination.

RICHARD: Okay ... I might just take the opportunity to point out that in this section of that e-mail I was responding to a query about graphic design, rather than fine art, hence my reply was more about how aesthetic appreciation, as in proportion (ratio) and relation (harmony) for example, has its place irregardless of beauty ... such as in posters, billboards, magazine spreads, and so on.

Since we are communicating via the internet a topical example is the design, or layout, of a web page.

*

RESPONDENT No. 42: ... I do visual/graphic design work, and have that training in appreciating ‘fine’ forms, along with going to a school with a core-program that studies the West’s concepts of ‘beauty’ and ‘ideal forms’ and all that. I suppose those lose their significance completely?

RICHARD: Here you are talking more of an aesthetic appreciation – and aesthetics vary from culture to culture – an appreciation which has as much to do with proportion (ratio) as it has to do with beauty per se: the ‘golden mean’, for example, purports to embody the ‘ideal form’ and has more to do with the relation (harmony) of one part to another, and the various parts to the total, than what is nominally beautiful/ugly ... although the word ‘elegant’ can quite often be a non de guerre for beauty. Thus stripped of its cultural impositions – and of the feeling of beauty of course – aesthetic appreciation can have its place ... although personal predilections need to be taken into account (given that aesthetics are, fundamentally, based upon the human body and its relationship with everything else).

RESPONDENT: I’ll throw out my interpretation of your words for comment. Let’s say an actualist is looking at the Mona Lisa. Minimally, the actualist could appreciate the colour selection and textural brush work of da Vinci. Mona Lisa is famous for her enigmatic smile, and much has been read into or projected onto that smile. This sort of response would be absent for the actualist. Also generally appealing is the shape of her face, which would have been considered beautiful in her time. The actualist is not responsive to that ‘cultural imposition’ as beauty, but may appreciate it as a near-perfect example of the ‘ideal form’. A similar example might be music ... the actualist would not have a sad response to a minor key dirge, but might appreciate the harmonic structure and melodic development of the piece, perhaps as a mathematical exercise in form and structure. I am curious as to what ‘personal predilections’ means in this context. Would one actualist’s predilections consider the Mona Lisa’s face shape to be ideal, whereas another’s wouldn’t? How is that distinguishable from a personal definition of beauty?

RICHARD: Over the years since the feeling of beauty vanished forever I have, from time-to-time, looked with interest at photographs of what are generally considered beautiful women/handsome men, so as to better ascertain what is no longer extant, only to find that the more beautiful/handsome they are deemed to be the more bland and/or insipid they are ... one reason for this has to do with the symmetry of the face in what is considered ideal (whereas character comes from asymmetry).

The example you provide is an instance of the geometric ideal (apart from the contrived smile) and reflects more the era in which it was painted – the Renaissance Period – than any genius on the part of the artist ... the ancient Greeks favoured idealised form wherein asymmetry/irregularities were ironed-out so as to better represent the ideal universal form (an abstracted form).

One thing I learned very early in the piece when doing portraiture was that one side of the face differed from the other side – and that capturing a likeness (portraying character) depended upon being true to the model – especially in regards to the eyes ... if both eyes were drawn or painted as being identical the result was characterless (bland and/or insipid). Moreover, character likeness is mostly to be found in the area contained by the corners of the eyes to the tip of the nose – and to a lesser extent from the corners of the mouth to the tip of the chin – and the more this is slavishly stylised (as an equilateral triangle for example) the less integrity the representation has.

In regards taking into account, or making allowance for, ‘personal predilections’ (individual predisposition, idiosyncratic proclivity, or in-built propensity, and thus tendency and/or preference) I was making the point that aesthetics are, fundamentally, based upon the human body and its relationship with the environment and are not necessarily ‘a personal definition of beauty’ per se: this body, for instance, is of the male gender; has a heterosexual orientation; is of Caucasian stock; and is 6’ 2” high and weighs 12.5 stone ... change any one of those bodily characteristics and aesthetic appreciation alters accordingly.

Furthermore, there is the perceptive ability itself to consider as the word ‘aesthetics’ comes from the Greek ‘aisthetikos’, from ‘aistheta’ (meaning ‘things perceptible by the senses’), which comes from ‘aisthesthai’ (meaning ‘perceive’): the quality, quantity and disposition of photosensitive receptors called rods (about 130 million cells which detect size, shape, brightness and movement) and cones (about 7 million cells which detect fine detail and colour) in the retinas varies from body to body and affects visual appreciation ... colour blindness being the most obvious instance.

Similarly for auditory appreciation the range of frequency (hertz), or pitch, and intensity of tone (decibels), or loudness, can vary from person-to-person ... the phrase ‘tone-deaf’ bespeaks of the most extreme example. Also gastronomic appreciation (flavour) depends not only upon the quality, quantity and disposition of the taste buds (papillae) on the tongue, palate and throat/larynx but upon the olfactory and tactile receptors as well – flavour is actually a combination of texture, temperature, taste and smell (the coolness of peppermint, the ‘bite’ of mustard or pepper, the warmth of cloves, and the astringency of spinach are all tactile, or touch, sensations of the lips, tongue and mouth in general) – and a surprisingly large number of people have some degree of ‘taste-blindness’.

Consequently I do not seek to impose my tastes (the aesthetic appreciation of this body) on anybody else ... I have oft-times said that I would be delighted to meet, hear about, or read of somebody else in actual freedom so as to compare notes, as it were, and tease out what is idiosyncratic (bodily specific) from what is generic (species specific).

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

March 15 2003

RICHARD: ... in regards taking into account, or making allowance for, ‘personal predilections’ (individual predisposition, idiosyncratic proclivity, or inbuilt propensity, and thus tendency and/or preference) I was making the point that aesthetics are, fundamentally, based upon the human body and its relationship with the environment and are not necessarily ‘a personal definition of beauty’ per se: this body, for instance, is of the male gender; has a heterosexual orientation; is of Caucasian stock; and is 6’ 2” high and weighs 12.5 stone ... change any one of those bodily characteristics and aesthetic appreciation alters accordingly. Furthermore, there is the perceptive ability itself to consider as the word ‘aesthetics’ comes from the Greek ‘aisthetikos’, from ‘aistheta’ (meaning ‘things perceptible by the senses’), which comes from ‘aisthesthai’ (meaning ‘perceive’): the quality, quantity and disposition of photosensitive receptors called rods (about 130 million cells which detect size, shape, brightness and movement) and cones (about 7 million cells which detect fine detail and colour) in the retinas varies from body to body and affects visual appreciation ... colour blindness being the most obvious instance. Similarly for auditory appreciation the range of frequency (hertz), or pitch, and intensity of tone (decibels), or loudness, can vary from person-to-person ... the phrase ‘tone-deaf’ bespeaks of the most extreme example. Also gastronomic appreciation (flavour) depends not only upon the quality, quantity and disposition of the taste buds (papillae) on the tongue, palate and throat/larynx but upon the olfactory and tactile receptors as well – flavour is actually a combination of texture, temperature, taste and smell (the coolness of peppermint, the ‘bite’ of mustard or pepper, the warmth of cloves, and the astringency of spinach are all tactile, or touch, sensations of the lips, tongue and mouth in general) – and a surprisingly large number of people have some degree of ‘taste-blindness’. Consequently I do not seek to impose my tastes (the aesthetic appreciation of this body) on anybody else ... I have oft-times said that I would be delighted to meet, hear about, or read of somebody else in actual freedom so as to compare notes, as it were, and tease out what is idiosyncratic (bodily specific) from what is generic (species specific). Until then there is only this one example to go by.

RESPONDENT: Thanks for the explanation ... this clarifies the subject greatly, particularly the example of taste. It makes sense that if I can appreciate the various characteristics of mustard, I can also appreciate a particular face, with its unique assemblage of characteristics. It’s probably not worth asking why that is so, just that it is.

RICHARD: The fundamental reason why is that the quality, quantity and disposition of sensory receptors influences each body’s appreciative ability – which arrangement is genetically determined in the rapid shuffling of genes at conception – and many things, such as disease, wear and tear, ageing, and so on, can play a part in determining aesthetic capacity.

The secondary reasons why have more to do with what I wrote about in the initial post than in the quality, quantity and disposition of sensory receptors:

• [Richard]: ‘There is more to it than the above brief résumé: ugliness, for example, has as much to do with repulsion/repugnance/revulsion (disgust) as anything else and thus plays its part in determining what is considered beautiful (alluring/enticing/desirable) ... and taste/distaste has its origins in the biological imperative (attraction/aversion).

‘Tis not for nothing that aesthetic appreciation is commonly referred to as ‘taste’ ... it is an appetitive appreciation at root.

RESPONDENT: I had suspected that the appreciation of something like sharp mustard was a ‘learned’ behaviour, hence conditioned, but it’s merely a complex material for which the appreciation develops over time, as one’s experiential base broadens.

RICHARD: You seem to be now talking more of an acquired taste – and acquired taste can be culturally influenced of course – which need not be any more complex than diversifying ... coming to appreciate variety.

RESPONDENT: A face that might have scared me as a child now just draws my attention or curiosity.

RICHARD: Okay.

RESPONDENT: One last question: You have a background in art, hence have an appreciation for visual aesthetics ... do you draw or paint now?

RICHARD: I have not drawn or painted much since I started writing – the last time was back in 1987-88 – as of all the arts I prefer literature ... the art of letters.

Incidentally, I mainly made a living working in ceramics, in particular hand-thrown pottery, as I had five other people to support.

RESPONDENT: I am a musician, and have wondered if pursuing this path would eliminate all desire to play music.

RICHARD: Yep ... all desire vanishes without a trace.

RESPONDENT: Creativity is a complex urge, with various fundamental and conditioned characteristics.

RICHARD: Yes, about 23-25 years ago, when the ‘I’ who was made a living as an artist, ‘my’ greatest work came when ‘I’ disappeared and the painting painted itself (in what is sometimes known as an ‘aesthetic experience’) or the pottery threw itself. This is the difference between art and craft – and ‘I’ was very good as a craftsman – but craft became art only when ‘I’ was not present.

All art is initially a representation and, as such, is a reflection funnelled by the artist so that he/she can express what they are experiencing in order to see for themselves – and show to others – what is going on ‘behind the scenes’ as it were. However, when one is fully engrossed in the act of creativity – wherein the painting paints itself for example – the art-form takes on a life of its own and ceases to be a representation during the event.

It is its own actuality: one can only stand in amazement and wonder – which is not to negate the very essential patiently acquired skills and expertise – and this marvelling is what was experienced back when I was a normal person. It was this magical way of creativity that led ‘me’ into this whole investigation of life, the universe and what it is to be a human being. ‘I’ wanted to live life like these utter moments of artistic creation ... ‘I’ wanted life to live itself just like the paintings painted themselves.

And thus here I am today as this flesh and blood body only.

RESPONDENT: However, at its most elemental, if I could appreciate another’s music as one of my personal predilections, it would make sense that I could also appreciate that music I generate myself. Just as I could appreciate the mustard I prepared myself.

RICHARD: You have lost me here ... ‘personal predilections’ (individual predisposition, idiosyncratic proclivity, or inbuilt propensity, and thus tendency and/or preference) vary from person to person and not being able to fully appreciate another’s taste does not mean one cannot generate aesthetically pleasing works oneself.

Speaking personally I studied art for three years, copying various master artist’s works slavishly so as to acquire the necessary skills and expertise, and continued to practice daily thereafter for two more years (barely making a living): one fine day there was an abandonment of everything that had gone before – it was a gay abandon which came of its own accord – and unique work manifested itself for the very first time.

Ain’t life grand!

March 28 2003

RESPONDENT: I had suspected that the appreciation of something like sharp mustard was a ‘learned’ behaviour, hence conditioned, but it’s merely a complex material for which the appreciation develops over time, as one’s experiential base broadens.

RICHARD: You seem to be now talking more of an acquired taste – and acquired taste can be culturally influenced of course – which need not be any more complex than diversifying ... coming to appreciate variety.

RESPONDENT: ‘Culturally influenced’ is different from culturally conditioned?

RICHARD: Yes ... for example:

• ‘influence: an action exerted, imperceptibly or by indirect means, by one person or thing on another so as to cause changes in conduct, development, conditions, etc’.
• ‘condition: teach, accustom (a person, animal, etc.) to adopt certain habits, attitudes, etc.; establish a conditioned reflex or response in. (©Oxford Dictionary).

• ‘influence: causing something without any direct or apparent effort; a cognitive factor that tends to have an effect on what you do; the effect of one thing (or person) on another;
• ‘condition: establish a conditioned response; train by instruction and practice; esp. to teach self-control (‘parents must discipline their children’; ‘is this dog trained?’); discipline, train, check. (©WordNet 1.7).

• ‘influence: a power affecting a person, thing, or course of events, especially one that operates without any direct or apparent effort (‘the influence of television on modern life’); power to sway or affect based on prestige, wealth, ability, or position’.
• ‘condition: to cause an organism to respond in a specific manner to a conditioned stimulus in the absence of an unconditioned stimulus. (©The American Heritage® Dictionary).

• ‘influence: the act or power of producing an effect without apparent exertion of force or direct exercise of command; the power or capacity of causing an effect in indirect or intangible ways’.
• ‘condition: to adapt, modify, or mould so as to conform to an environing culture; to modify so that an act or response previously associated with one stimulus becomes associated with another’. (©Merriam-Webster Dictionary).

• ‘influence: to cause (someone) to change their behaviour or the way they think about something, or to cause (something) to be changed; the power to have an effect on people or things, or someone or something having such power.
• ‘condition: to train or influence a person or animal mentally so that they do or expect a particular thing without thinking about it; a conditioned reflex/response’. (©Cambridge Dictionary).

Most, if not all, artists acknowledge the influences on their art ... for instance the Post-Impressionists were influenced by Oriental aesthetics – mainly in regards to the flattening of perspective – and my work was in turn influenced by them. Another instance was, when working in ceramics, being taken with the artistic expression of one Japanese master-artist in particular who, having traced Japanese pottery back to its origins on the Korean peninsular, developed a blend of ancient and modern and thus my artistic appreciation was again doubly influenced – and the aesthetic appreciation of the people who bought my work was similarly affected – yet there is no way it could be said that this acquired aesthetics (a learned taste) was culturally conditioned.

As you had portrayed ‘learned’ behaviour as being conditioned behaviour in your ‘‘learned’ behaviour, hence conditioned’ phrasing (further above) – and as the term ‘an acquired taste’ is more or less interchangeable with ‘learned to appreciate’ and/or ‘learnt to like’ in popular parlance – it was necessary to acknowledge that learned appreciation can be acquired by inspiration (being spontaneously stimulated), as distinct from a learned appreciation instilled by inculcation (being deliberately taught), before commenting that an acquired taste need not be any more complex than coming to an appreciation of variegation or diversification.

RESPONDENT: As in the conditioning that we strive to eliminate?

RICHARD: Where one becomes aware of a culturally conditioned behaviour (an instilled/ inculcated behaviour) the cultural conditioning (the programming) drops away of its own accord ... no striving is required.

It vanishes so completely one wonders what all the fuss was about.

RESPONDENT: Or is this a case of not throwing the baby out with the bath water?

RICHARD: There are no ashes here for a phoenix to arise from ... an actual freedom from the human condition is the genuine article.

*

RESPONDENT: I am a musician, and have wondered if pursuing this path would eliminate all desire to play music.

RICHARD: Yep ... all desire vanishes without a trace.

RESPONDENT: So if it is not desire that draws you to literature, what motivates you to put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard?

RICHARD: What motivates me to write is nothing more mysterious than the fact that I like my fellow human being: I am simply passing on my experience and understanding of life, the universe, and what it is to be a human being living in the world as-it-is with people as-they-are because the other person tells me that they are suffering ... so I report how suffering ended in myself and describe what life is like in this actual world.

The motivation also stems from the period 1981-1992: all I ever wanted was the words and writings of an actual freedom from the human condition to exist in the world as I scoured the books during that eleven years to no avail ... I would rather have it that nobody else need go through what I went through. I am well pleased that the third alternative to materialism and spiritualism is now available throughout the world inasmuch as anyone who finds themselves travelling this path will have the assurance that another has successfully traversed the terrain.

In essence this means these words provide a confirmation that the pure consciousness experience (PCE) is universal and an affirmation that the pristine purity a PCE evidences is possible twenty four hours of the day.

RESPONDENT: The sensory pleasure of producing words or handling a pen, coupled with an aesthetic appreciation for forming pleasing combinations of words?

RICHARD: The reason why, of all the arts, I prefer literature – the art of letters – is that it is the only means of expression (communication) which leaves no room for the ambiguity all other art-forms have ... plus an actual freedom from the human condition cannot be conveyed in any other form than by words anyway.

As for ‘forming pleasing combinations of words’ ... when I start a sentence I have no means of knowing in advance what will transpire, let alone how it will end. All I need to be aware of is the topic and the subject matter unfolds of its own accord. I do have a reliable and repeatable format and style, which has developed over the years, so it is not an ad hoc or chaotic meandering.

It is all very easy ... it is a delight to be these finger-tips dancing over the keys.

It may be useful for me to explain that what I write is expressive prose – it is not a thesis – as I am conveying the lavish exhilaration of life itself. My writing is not intended to stand literary scrutiny for scholarly style and grammatical form and so on – the academics would have a field-day with it – for it is an active catalyst which will catapult the reader, who reads with all their being, into this magical wonder-land that this verdant and azure planet is.

Then actuality speaks for itself.

August 07 2003

RESPONDENT: Uniqueness and Absolutism of Actualism: Richard clearly states that actual freedom is the end of the line, the essential truth. Variations and reinterpretations are not allowed, and there’s no going on from there, because there is nowhere else to go on to. It’s a compelling and valid argument (this is the caveat to my agnosticism), but is he correct? The more I think about Respondent No. 46’s assertion that we need a second instance of someone living in actual freedom to verify the claim, the more I suspect that’s the case. Otherwise, Richard may be just a freak of nature. That notion doesn’t deter me in the least... if he’s not absolutely correct, he’s pretty damn close.

RICHARD: There is no need to have ‘a second instance of someone living in actual freedom’ to verify any such claim I make ... the pure consciousness experience (PCE) is the means whereby such claims are self-evident.

To explain: before I went public with my discovery one of the things I did was to ascertain whether people from all walks of life could recall having had a PCE – as distinct from an altered state of consciousness (ASC) – for obvious reasons ... and without fail they all verified that what I had to report is correct.

Moreover, I have been able to ascertain that anybody who I have been with whilst they were having a PCE is indubitably experiencing the same-same experience as is my on-going experiencing ... plus they have tended to say things such as they now see what I have been saying all along for themselves; that everything I have ever said is accurate; that they understand what I have been getting at; that they know why it is difficult for others to comprehend; that they can now talk on an equal footing with me; that life is indeed grand ... amazing, marvellous, and truly wondrous.

I usually ask pertinent questions: for example very early in the piece I asked my current companion, once the PCE was definitely happening, what she had to say now about love (always a hot topic):

‘Love?’ she said, ‘Why there is no room for love here!’

She went on to expand, saying there was no need for love as everything was already perfect, and there was no separation, and so on ... but she had said enough in her initial response to both satisfy and delight me.

My previous companion took some convincing ... not until she was in her sixth PCE while being with me in person did it dawn upon her what a remarkable coincidence it was that every time she had a PCE Richard had one too!

Ergo: she realised that I must be living it, just as I had always said, all of the time.

As for the ‘freak of nature’ notion: to validate that one would have to satisfactorily explain away all the details of the process I describe which enabled an actual freedom from the human condition to happen ... plus satisfactorily explain why the universe should be so capricious, so to speak, as to have human beings of all ages, all races, and both genders, gain glimpses of actual freedom in PCE’s but only have one human being able to live it twenty four hours of the day.

In brief: I not only know where I am at but how I am here and why.

August 13 2003

RESPONDENT: Is there *any* point to this dialog?

RICHARD: Yes.

RESPONDENT: I use the term very loosely.

RICHARD: Why?

August 18 2003

RESPONDENT: Is there *any* point to this dialog?

RICHARD: Yes.

RESPONDENT: OK. I fail to see it.

RICHARD: If someone is concerned about an issue they see to be happening – such as the issue of the way I conduct my correspondence – and consider it important enough to write (in that particular situation after not having posted anything at all for 17 months) and inform me of their concern then I am only too happy to attend to what they want to convey ... that then was the ‘point to this dialogue’ you were asking about.

Just as it is in this one.

*

RESPONDENT: I use the term very loosely.

RICHARD: Why?

RESPONDENT: Because it seems that there’s not much information flowing – Respondent No. 48 snipes, Richard politely points out all the errata in Respondent No. 48’s post.

RICHARD: Is it a case of how the information flow was presented that prevented you from seeing it?

RESPONDENT: It appears that the bigger picture has gone missing.

RICHARD: Oh? The ‘bigger picture’ is writ large throughout the entire exchange of e-mails ... so much so I wonder how you could have missed it.

RESPONDENT: Of course maybe you’re both just enjoying playing word games, which is fine between consenting adults.

RICHARD: Is the word you chose for the subject matter of your e-mail – ‘pissing’ – a colloquial term for ‘playing word games’ in your neck of the woods, then?

RESPONDENT: I really didn’t have any justification to butt in ... that ole’ identity again.

RICHARD: If the phrase ‘playing word games’ is indeed what the word ‘pissing’ is a colloquial term for then ‘that ole’ identity’ has just butted in again with a qualified re-presentation of the original point made by the retitling of the thread ... complete with a provisional approval for such an otherwise illicit/illegitimate act this time around.

Did my answer (‘yes’) at the top of this page not give you sufficient pause to reconsider?

October 13 2003

RESPONDENT: Goodness gracious ... I’m having trouble discerning anything of value arriving from the AF list. We have the believers, who recite the same old litanies, and the snipers, who have nothing other than criticisms to offer. Is this genuine or generic viagra, ummm, I mean actualism? I guess that’s the way it’s set up, because, really, there’s no room for true dialogue in AF, only repetition of the dogma, and correction of the acolyte’s interpretation. Rinse and repeat. It must be wonderful for everyone to be so sure of things ... no need for that nasty ambiguity in your life. Reminds me a bit of the xtian fundamentalists, but that would imply AF is a cult. Ooops, did I say that? Seems like there’s actualism (a beneficial system imo, but not unique) and then there’s Actual Freedom, Inc. Hmmm. While typing, I received 2 new emails... one from Respondent No. 44, and one for new super viagra. Must be synchronicity.

RICHARD: You say you are having trouble in discerning anything of value on this mailing list ... and yet then go on to explain just why not: you see the e-mail exchanges in terms of ‘believers’ and ‘snipers’.

Furthermore you compare actualism, the direct experience that matter is not merely passive, with a medication designed to enhance blood-flow to the genitals, a medication which has occasioned all manner of jokes (mostly of the uneasy/sniggering variety) since its release, as if there really is a relationship between the two (an illusion of virility vis-à-vis an illusion of being actual).

Moreover you refer to a rinse-and-repeat acolytes’-interpretation/ dogma-repetition type of set-up which reminds you of religious fundamentalists (aka ‘cultic’) – and, yes, you did say that because you could have back-spaced it out before clicking ‘send’ – as being the reason there is not [quote] ‘true dialogue’ [endquote].

Lastly you say that actualism, whilst being a beneficial system, is not unique (which lack of originality you went into in some detail in an earlier thread a week or so ago) ... meaning that, by likening it to spiritual-mystical experiences/ events, it is not new to human experience to be actually free from the human condition.

All of which goes some way towards illustrating why, when you did engage in ‘true dialogue’ in earlier days on this mailing list, you invariably brought them to an inconclusive end with a wishy-washy ‘never say never’ cop-out ... as expressed so eloquently (above), in regards to being actual, as being to have no need for that ‘nasty’ ambiguity in one’s life.

What I find odd is that you cannot see for yourself that you have already made up your mind (in regards actualism) anyway.

October 13 2003

RESPONDENT: Goodness gracious ... I’m having trouble discerning anything of value arriving from the AF list. We have the believers, who recite the same old litanies, and the snipers, who have nothing other than criticisms to offer. Is this genuine or generic viagra, ummm, I mean actualism? I guess that’s the way it’s set up, because, really, there’s no room for true dialogue in AF, only repetition of the dogma, and correction of the acolyte’s interpretation. Rinse and repeat. It must be wonderful for everyone to be so sure of things ... no need for that nasty ambiguity in your life. Reminds me a bit of the xtian fundamentalists, but that would imply AF is a cult. Ooops, did I say that? Seems like there’s actualism (a beneficial system imo, but not unique) and then there’s Actual Freedom, Inc. Hmmm. While typing, I received 2 new emails... one from Respondent No. 44, and one for new super viagra. Must be synchronicity.

RICHARD: You say you are having trouble in discerning anything of value on this mailing list ... and yet then go on to explain just why not: you see the e-mail exchanges in terms of ‘believers’ and ‘snipers’.

RESPONDENT: Well, I have been hanging on in hopes of some reasonable discourse.

RICHARD: Yet how are you going to have ‘some reasonable discourse’ with ‘believers’ and ‘snipers’?

*

RICHARD: Furthermore you compare actualism, the direct experience that matter is not merely passive, with a medication designed to enhance blood-flow to the genitals, a medication which has occasioned all manner of jokes (mostly of the uneasy/sniggering variety) since its release, as if there really is a relationship between the two (an illusion of virility vis-à-vis an illusion of being actual).

RESPONDENT: Read again ... I was comparing the quality of the AF mailings to the quality of the spam mailings ... lately about the same.

RICHARD: I have just now read again in light of your explanation: are you telling me that the quality of my responses is about of the same quality as the quality of the mailings of my co-respondents ... and that, furthermore, that quality is the quality of what a medication designed to enhance blood-flow to the genitals, a medication which has occasioned all manner of jokes (mostly of the uneasy/sniggering variety) since its release, produces?

*

RICHARD: Moreover you refer to a rinse-and-repeat acolytes’-interpretation/dogma-repetition type of set-up which reminds you of religious fundamentalists (aka ‘cultic’) – and, yes, you did say that because you could have back-spaced it out before clicking ‘send’ – as being the reason there is not [quote] ‘true dialogue’ [endquote].

RESPONDENT: I guess you lost the subtlety part of your brain. Not to mention your sense of humour.

RICHARD: Hmm ... as that part of your initial e-mail conveys the impression of the subtlety of a rampaging rhino then, instead of guessing what is or is not lost in this brain, perhaps you could explain the subtlety you intended when you wrote it?

*

RICHARD: Lastly you say that actualism, whilst being a beneficial system, is not unique (which lack of originality you went into in some detail in an earlier thread a week or so ago) ... meaning that, by likening it to spiritual-mystical experiences/events, it is not new to human experience to be actually free from the human condition.

RESPONDENT: It appears there are others that are free from the human condition, a hard-to-verify condition indeed, but, apparently so. Their words sound the same to me as yours.

RICHARD: Okay ... as ‘it appears’ and ‘apparently so’ and ‘sound the same’ are equivocal phrases can you provide instances of these others which you say are free from the human condition (as in referenced quotes and/or URL’s)?

*

RICHARD: All of which goes some way towards illustrating why, when you did engage in ‘true dialogue’ in earlier days on this mailing list, you invariably brought them to an inconclusive end with a wishy-washy ‘never say never’ cop-out ... as expressed so eloquently (above), in regards to being actual, as being to have no need for that ‘nasty’ ambiguity in one’s life.

RESPONDENT: I am content with ambiguity ...

RICHARD: Obviously, but that is besides the point ... the point being the reason why there is not any [quote] ‘true dialogue’ [endquote].

Put succinctly: it is your notion of what a ‘true dialogue’ is, being a dialogue which is always inconclusive, which is the reason why you have been unable to have same on this mailing list.

*

RICHARD: What I find odd is that you cannot see for yourself that you have already made up your mind (in regards actualism) anyway.

RESPONDENT: I think actualism is a wonderful thing and will continue to practice such.

RICHARD: That is not what is under question here (you had already said that actualism was a beneficial system in your initial e-mail): what is under question is, despite reams and reams of examples (mostly from the ‘snipers’ you refer to) that actualism is not at all like the spiritual-mystical experiences/events you liken it to, you have indeed made up your mind it is not [quote] ‘unique’ [endquote].

So much for ‘never say never’, eh?

RESPONDENT: What I find repulsive is Actual Freedom, Inc....

RICHARD: If I may point out? Such a repulsive entity has no existence outside of your imagination.

RESPONDENT: [What I find repulsive is Actual Freedom, Inc.], with it’s rigid dogmatism, and anal obsession to correct spelling and content for cultural differences.

RICHARD: What if (note ‘if’) the rigid dogmatism you see was to turn out to be the actual instead? In other words, were I to say that this glass and plastic object you are reading these words on is a computer monitor, and another were to say it is a wheelbarrow, in what way is it rigid dogmatism to point out, again and again, that it is, in fact, a computer monitor to each and every wheelbarrow-seer who passes by on this mailing list?

As for the trivial issue of spelling: this computer, being set-up for Australian English, automatically re-spells all words when I click the auto-format button in the word-processor I use (and I am yet to come across an anally-obsessed word-processor).

RESPONDENT: Clearly my time here has come to an end.

RICHARD: And has it come to an end for the right reasons (meaning that what you want is not to be found here)?

RESPONDENT: I have learned a lot, for which I am grateful, but you are only offering part of the picture.

RICHARD: Since all I have to go by, in regards comprehending what the main part of the picture you refer to is, is the enormous ambiguity part you are content with then I am indeed unable to offer that.

What I have to offer is an end to ambiguity (which end you call dogmatism).

RESPONDENT: Sincerely (and I do mean that), thank you, and thanks for all the fish.

RICHARD: I usually say ‘you are very welcome’, at such a juncture as this, yet I am unable to this time around as the only fish you are departing with are the ones you arrived with.

Oh well ... c‘est la vie, I guess.

March 05 2004

RESPONDENT: This may be the great flaw with AF ... the premise that the identity (often incorrectly called the Human Condition) can be eliminated. For instance, pain can’t be eliminated, but the attachment to pain (aka suffering) may be.

RICHARD: It is not a ‘premise’ ... it is an experiential report, written as it is happening, that no identity whatsoever has residence in this flesh and blood body (and this has been the case, ever since a seminal event at a particular time and place witnessed by another, for more than a decade now).

It is not ‘often incorrectly called the Human Condition’ ... simultaneous with ‘self’-immolation in toto, more than a decade ago now, the human condition likewise vanished and is nowhere to be found.

Your analogy to physical pain conveys that identity cannot be eliminated but the attachment to identity can ... which, apart from being yet more of the ‘Tried and True’ (attachment-detachment-dissociation-enlightenment), amounts to being a foregone conclusion and effectively shuts the door on that which is actual ever being apparent.

‘Tis not for nothing identity is described as being very, very cunning.

March 05 2004

RESPONDENT: Mother nature has figured out that more complex beings are more likely to breed and bring to viability the young. Which, of course, is the only purpose/ meaning of life. If any find that last statement disturbing, prove to me otherwise pls.

RICHARD: It may very well be the only purpose, if that is the right word, of what you call ‘mother nature’ yet there is more to life than bringing to viability the young (for the young in turn similarly bring to viability another generation of young who in turn do likewise and so on and so on) ... much, much more.

Incidentally, the ‘being’ who possessed this flesh and blood body all those years ago found it quite disturbing when he realised, one fine afternoon after the birth of ‘his’ fourth and last child, that to be born, to learn to walk, talk, and so on, to go to school, to get a job/obtain a career, to get married/be in a relationship, to acquire a home, to have children, to teach them to walk, talk, and so on, to send them to school, to have them get a job/obtain a career, to ensure they get married/have a relationship, to have them acquire a home, to encourage them have children, to see them teach their children to walk, talk, and so on – and so on and so on almost ad infinitum – was nothing other than an instinctual treadmill, an inborn/inherent conveyor belt which carried generation after generation inexorably from birth to death, stretching all the way back from an indeterminate inception and heading towards an open-ended conclusion ... and all for what?

If it were not for that ‘being’ having that realisation then the actual purpose/ meaning of life may quite possibly not be apparent today.

March 05 2004

RESPONDENT: Wherever else I may diverge with AF, I am 100% with the non-spiritual plank.

RICHARD: Oh? How do you classify the following divergence, then? Vis.:

• [Respondent]: ‘When I departed [this list a while back because of frustration with the status quo], I suspected that there was something to this actualism business (or at least my interpretation), and that I needed to learn more. This effort led me to advaita-land, and I read much interesting material by both traditional and modern sages. I’m a logical kind of guy and when presented with the kinds of questions presented by this bunch [the traditional and modern sages], I have a hard time not coming to the same conclusions. I defy anyone to honestly answer ‘show me the doer’ and not realize that the doer is a mere construct or concept, fabricated by several forms of conditioning. I also recognize that words/dialog attempting to describe this are merely concepts themselves, and that we shouldn’t get too hung up on them. In fact, we have to be very careful not to think that the words are any more than that ... a common error in this list. It is after all a very jnana bunch, and I know I have made the mistake of thinking that intellectual reductionism can possibly result in real freedom of any sort.
So, if all this is true, and that the ‘seeker’ is the very thing interfering with the ‘sought’, what do we do (if we ‘choose’ to) in the meantime with all this psychological hoo-ha? Even if one does stumble into awareness, it’s not like the mental claptrap disappears. And, you really can’t do much about it anyways ... the ‘self’ trying to eliminate the ‘self’ ... yeah, right’. (Mon 23/02/04 AEST).

First and foremost, the ‘doer’ is not a ‘mere construct or concept, fabricated by several forms of conditioning’ that spiritualists and their ilk make it out to be as it is writ large all over The Actual Freedom Trust web site that conditioning is but the tip of the iceberg and that the rudimentary animal self the instinctual passions automatically form themselves into is the root cause of all the misery and mayhem ... which self is that which is realised upon self-realisation.

Second, words are not ‘merely concepts themselves’ ... they are referential (as in the words ‘computer monitor’, for example, referring to the actual glass and plastic object you are reading these words on).

Third, getting hung up on thinking words are more than merely concepts themselves is not ‘a common error in this list’ as words are certainly more than merely that ... indeed if it were not for the efficacy of words’ ability to convey information there would be no point in this mailing list existing.

Fourth, actualists are not ‘a jnana bunch’ ... actualism is experiential, not intellectual, and has nowt to do with reductionism whatsoever.

Fifth, ‘the ‘seeker’ is not the very thing interfering with the ‘sought’’ such as spiritualists maintain ... an actualist on the wide and wondrous path to an actual freedom from the human condition is a person no longer seeking – they experientially know where the already always existing peace-on-earth lies – and is actively involved in enabling that to be apparent.

Sixth, it is not just the ‘psychological’ which is attended to ... it is the focus on the psychical/instinctual as well which sets actualism apart from the ‘Tried and True’.

Seventh, one does not ‘stumble into awareness’ ... it is with knowledge aforethought – from a pure consciousness experience (PCE) – that apperceptive awareness is facilitated (and ‘mental clap-trap’ by any description is not a feature of apperception as thought may or may not be operating).

Lastly, as it is made abundantly clear on The Actual Freedom Trust web site that a ‘self’ cannot eliminate itself, but can set a process in motion that will do the trick, your ‘yeah, right’ comment is misplaced to say the least.

It would appear that you have brought the self-same fish back with you that you departed this list with a while back ... which are those very-same fish you brought with you to this list the first time around.

March 05 2004

RESPONDENT: The problem with HAIETMOBA is H.

RICHARD: Spelt out in full what you are saying looks something like this:

• [example only]: ‘The problem with asking oneself, each moment again, how one is experiencing this moment of being alive (the only moment one is ever alive) is ‘how’.

As Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti, for instance, has made a big thing about not asking ‘how’ – and his admonitions not to have passed into modern-day spiritual lore – it may be apposite to point out that ‘how am I experiencing this moment of being alive’ could just as easily be formulated as ‘in what way am I experiencing this moment of being alive’.

RESPONDENT: As soon as one is aware of a feeling or thought manifesting, the questioner kicks in to action.

RICHARD: Hmm ... how about ‘as soon as one is aware that one is no longer happy and harmless that very awareness kicks sensibility into action and one is soon back to being happy and harmless again’?

RESPONDENT: This triggers the whole labelling and subsequent analytical process.

RICHARD: As Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti, for instance, has made a big thing about not labelling – and bags analysis like all get-out – it may very well be worthwhile to trace the source of your (borrowed) wisdom.

RESPONDENT: At that point you’re screwed because you have suckered for the same old trap.

RICHARD: Do you see just how far you have moved away from the actualism method ... and only in three short sentences?

Perhaps the following may be of interest to you:

• [Respondent]: ‘I’ve found that this matter of intent is a deceptively subtle aspect of this process. I’ve spent considerable effort in the ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ mode, with the attendant ‘self’ observation. While this in itself has proven to be very valuable, I realize I’ve been giving short shrift to the ‘clear intent to become more happy and more harmless’. After all, that’s the whole point of this, isn’t it? Not just to unravel the accrued identity, but to be happy and harmless. The method is incredibly simple: I am not happy now; I was happy a minute/ hour/ year ago; Ascertain what caused me to stop being happy; Get back to being happy as quickly as possible. No wonder this is so radical – it has none of the trappings and dogma that humans seem to need to create around such an elemental concept. Of course, sometimes simple things are the hardest to understand. (Tuesday 6/05/2003).

RESPONDENT: What if you were to merely be aware and observe without labelling?

RICHARD: Hmm ... ‘merely be aware’ of what? The way in which this moment of being alive is being experienced, perchance?

RESPONDENT: If fear arises, and you don’t call it ‘fear’, what is it?

RICHARD: It is anything but being happy and harmless (which is the whole point of asking how one is experiencing this moment of being alive), eh?

RESPONDENT: This has proven to be very interesting to me.

RICHARD: But has it enabled happiness and harmlessness at this moment of being alive?

March 05 2004

RESPONDENT: Small observation:

Number of people living in actual freedom = 1.

Number of people arriving at actual freedom by following a process = 0.

RICHARD: If I may interject? The number of people actually free from the human condition ‘by following a process’ is 1 (one) and not 0 (none).

RESPONDENT: It just occurred to me that not one person has arrived by following the official procedure.

RICHARD: As I am the living evidence that the actualism method – what you call ‘the official procedure’ – does deliver the goods then what just occurred to you would have been better off still-born.

RESPONDENT: Not that I want to beat a dead horse ...

RICHARD: Then why beat it?

RESPONDENT: It just may shed light on the nature of processes in general, which have a certain concrete-ish characteristic.

RICHARD: Be that as it may ... what I have to report certainly sheds light on the nature of one process in particular, however, and it has no such characteristic as you (intellectually) propose.

March 05 2004

RESPONDENT: HAIETMOBA is analytical.

RICHARD: Since when?

RESPONDENT: Simple awareness of the arising feeling/emotion is non-analytical. Seriously, when these things arise, go back to what it was before you slapped the label on it.

RICHARD: Too late ... you have already slapped the label ‘the arising feeling/emotion’ on it.

RESPONDENT: It turns out to be nothing like what you ‘thought’ it was.

RICHARD: Oh? Was it not an ‘arising feeling/emotion’ after all?

RESPONDENT: Caveat – HAIETMOBA is useful in learning more about your psychological makeup ...

RICHARD: Hmm ... what about your psychic make-up (which is part-and-parcel of your instinctive make-up)?

RESPONDENT: ... but it is an inadequate tool as the gross layers are removed.

RICHARD: So once the ‘gross layers’ are removed one can cease being attentive to how one is experiencing this moment of being alive, then?

RESPONDENT: Then you need a different swiss army knife.

RICHARD: Ha ... let me guess: it is one that does not have a thingamajig for removing stones from horse’s hooves but would have, instead, a nifty little device for eliminating the attachment to identity?

A device called ‘detachment’, perchance?

March 05 2004

RESPONDENT: I did go off [this mailing list a while back] in a bit of a huff. I was not a little frustrated with the interactions on this list. I have looked at my anger towards R/P/V and re-cognised its elemental roots in the same old same old.

RICHARD: Hmm ... so despite all your (borrowed) advice to others you actually do label the arising feeling/ emotion and analyse it, then?

RESPONDENT: Pretty damned presumptuous of me to expect them to understand what I was talking about.

RICHARD: Why? I, for one, understood what you were talking about ... just because it had nothing to do with the actualism that is on offer on The Actual Freedom Trust web site does not mean I do not understand it.

RESPONDENT: Or thought I was talking about? Of course, this is one of the primary characteristics of my psychological makeup, high expectations of the universe and disappointment when it fails to deliver. Katie says ‘When you argue with reality, you lose. But only always.’ I’m feeling muuuuch better now.

RICHARD: If the ‘Katie’ you refer to is Ms. Byron Katie then the ‘reality’ she is speaking of is none other than God/Truth (and not ‘the universe’ you are, presumably, talking about having high expectations of).

Are you still feeling much better now?

March 05 2004

RESPONDENT: Richard disagrees that smoking as bad for you. He provides a link to this interesting site – www.lcolby.com. I guess that ‘470,000 deaths per year in the US due to smoking-related illness’ statistic is not a fact.

RICHARD: There is no need to guess ... if you had actually read what is on offer on that ‘interesting site’ – and followed-up on the links – you would already be cognisant of the fact that the statistics are generated by computer programmes, such as SAMMEC II, from epidemiological studies fed into them and not by a verified body-count.

The GIGO cliché seems most apposite in this case.

In other words there is no 470,000 (or whatever figure) gravestones upon which one can read words to the effect ‘here lies Jack/Jill; died aged x-years because of tobacco use’ as there is no medical evidence (no conclusive biological cause-effect connection) whatsoever that tobacco causes any of the 101 illnesses attributed to it since the current witch-hunt began in certain neo-puritanical quarters of the USA in the ‘fifties.

There is plenty of literature on the subject – both on the internet and in books – which expose the so-called facts surrounding the issue to be the factoids they are ... as is the situation with many other issues which similarly hold sway in public imagination.

The day may come when this era is more aptly re-named as the ‘Disinformation Age’.

March 19 2004

RESPONDENT: Richard wrote: ... a whole bunch of stuff ...

RICHARD: I responded to 31 of your comments/ avowals/ assertions/ points/ issues/ topics from 8 of the 27 e-mails you had written to this mailing list since you re-subscribed.

RESPONDENT: Thanks for all the feedback. I will decline to respond in general as I know where you stand ...

RICHARD: I see that you say one thing to me and another thing to somebody else ... for example:

• [Respondent to Co-Respondent]: ‘Richard, I haven’t figured out, nor expect to. Best guess is that he’s a closet advaitist sage, but is hung up on the spiritual tag that some associate with it. I don’t know, nor consider it important. (Thursday 18 March 2004 AEST).

This is what the Encyclopaedia Britannica has to say:

• ‘Advaita: (Sanskrit: ‘Nondualism’, or ‘Monism’), most influential of the schools of Vedanta, an orthodox philosophy of India. While its followers find its main tenets already fully expressed in the Upanisads and systematized by the Vedanta-sutras, it has its historical beginning with the 7th-century thinker Gaudapada, author of the Mandukya-karika, a commentary in verse form on the late Mandukya Upanisad.
Gaudapada builds further on the Mahayana Buddhist philosophy of Sunyava-da (‘Emptiness’). He argues that there is no duality; the mind, awake or dreaming, moves through maya (‘illusion’); and only nonduality (advaita) is the final truth. This truth is concealed by the ignorance of illusion. There is no becoming, either of a thing by itself or of a thing out of some other thing. There is ultimately no individual self or soul (jiva), only the atman (all-soul), in which individuals may be temporarily delineated just as the space in a jar delineates a part of main space: when the jar is broken, the individual space becomes once more part of the main space.
The medieval Indian philosopher Sankara, or Sankaracarya (Master Sankara, c. 700–750), builds further on Gaudapada’s foundation, principally in his commentary on the Vedanta-sutras, the Sari-raka-mimamsa-bhasya (‘Commentary on the Study of the Self’). Sankara in his philosophy does not start from the empirical world with logical analysis but, rather, directly from the absolute (Brahman). If interpreted correctly, he argues, the Upanisads teach the nature of Brahman. In making this argument, he develops a complete epistemology to account for the human error in taking the phenomenal world for real. Fundamental for Sankara is the tenet that the Brahman is real and the world is unreal. Any change, duality, or plurality is an illusion. The self is nothing but Brahman. Insight into this identity results in spiritual release. Brahman is outside time, space, and causality, which are simply forms of empirical experience. No distinction in Brahman or from Brahman is possible. (...) (©1994-2002 Encyclopaedia Britannica).

‘Tis no wonder advaita has ‘the spiritual tag’ associated with it ... it *is* spiritual.

RESPONDENT: ... and you say you know where I do.

RICHARD: You must be referring to this:

• [Respondent]: ‘Wherever else I may diverge with AF, I am 100% with the non-spiritual plank.
• [Richard]: ‘(...) It would appear that you have brought the self-same fish back with you that you departed this list with a while back ... which are those very-same fish you brought with you to this list the first time around. Vis.:

[Respondent]: ‘I’ve stumbled across actual freedom in my web meanderings (can’t remember the actual path, might have been via some U.G. gleanings) and it hit a major chord. It was clear that this was the refinement of a very similar process I’ve been following for the last several years. I’d been drawn to Buddhism for its seeming sparseness/ simplicity (...) I do think Gautama got most of it right ...’. (Friday 05 March 2004).

Given that you have just recently written the following it does seem reasonable to assume that your parting comment when you unsubscribed from this list a while back, that some (then unspecified) spiritual-mystical writings sound the same to your ears as my writings do, still holds true:

• [Respondent]: ‘I re-cognised in the AF writing something fundamentally important, and attempted to locate its convergence with what I’d suspected to be true, but that effort failed. I grew quite frustrated with the twisty word play, and the fail-safe device of branding with the big ‘S’ (for spiritual). But hey, it’s their gig (...). Where I am now is kinda stuck in the advaita corner ...’. (Thursday 18 March 2004 AEST).

You are not the first to attempt the impossible – to marry actualism and spiritualism – and you will not be the last.

RESPONDENT: You are entitled to whatever world/universe view you prefer ...

RICHARD: Given all the recent discussion on this very topic – the likening of the direct experience of infinitude (such as in a PCE) to an intellectual cosmology – this is simply silliness in operation.

RESPONDENT: ... [You are entitled to] your own ‘facts’ ...

RICHARD: As this is but a variation on the hoary ‘you are entitled to your own truths’ I will pass without further comment.

RESPONDENT: ... and [you are entitled to] your own ‘common sense’.

RICHARD: And thus does your attempt to dismiss another’s experiential report trail away into the meaninglessness it comes out of.

*

RESPONDENT: I did go off [this mailing list a while back] in a bit of a huff. I was not a little frustrated with the interactions on this list. I have looked at my anger towards R/P/V and re-cognised its elemental roots in the same old same old.

RICHARD: Hmm ... so despite all your (borrowed) advice to others you actually do label the arising feeling/emotion and analyse it, then?

RESPONDENT: Pretty damned presumptuous of me to expect them to understand what I was talking about.

RICHARD: Why? I, for one, understood what you were talking about ... just because it had nothing to do with the actualism that is on offer on The Actual Freedom Trust web site does not mean I do not understand it.

RESPONDENT: I’m not here to talk about actualism per se.

RICHARD: If I may point out? You do not even know what ‘actualism per se’ is.

RESPONDENT: Just having some chat with a few interesting characters.

RICHARD: Possible translation: just having some chat with a few interesting spiritualists.

*

RESPONDENT: Or thought I was talking about? Of course, this is one of the primary characteristics of my psychological makeup, high expectations of the universe and disappointment when it fails to deliver. Katie says ‘When you argue with reality, you lose. But only always.’ I’m feeling muuuuch better now.

RICHARD: If the ‘Katie’ you refer to is Ms. Byron Katie then the ‘reality’ she is speaking of is none other than God/Truth (and not ‘the universe’ you are, presumably, talking about having high expectations of). Are you still feeling much better now?

RESPONDENT: Wonderful. Thanks for asking. Apparently sarcasm is not considered part of the human condition you have eliminated.

RICHARD: You would have to be grasping at straws to read sarcasm into my response ... you had said you had high expectations of the universe (and disappointment when it fails to deliver) in the context of expecting Richard, Peter and Vineeto to understand what you were talking about (that actualism is a refinement of a spiritual process you had been following for the last several years) but that you were feeling much better now that Ms. Byron Katie had said when you argue with reality you always lose.

Given that the ‘reality’ she is speaking of is none other than God/Truth – and not this physical universe you were, presumably, talking about having high expectations of (taking your ‘I am 100% with the non-spiritual plank’ avowal at face value) – it was particularly apposite to enquire as to whether you, an avowed non-spiritualist, were still feeling much better now that you are aware you have been sucked-in by spiritualism in yet another guise.

May I ask? How much longer are you planning on keeping up the façade that you are non-spiritual?


CORRESPONDENT No. 28 (Part Two)

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

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