Actual Freedom – The Actual Freedom Mailing List Correspondence

Richard’s Correspondence

On The Actual Freedom Mailing List

with Correspondent No. 32


April 24 2002

RESPONDENT: Would you clarify something for me in this arena? On Aug. 14, 2001 Richard responds to Correspondent 19, ‘and away you went on a nonsensical discussion about the word uttered as ‘Richard’’. When you call something nonsensical ‘who’ is assessing whether something makes sense or not. Doesn’t that imply some identity whether you want to label it as one or not?

RICHARD: Where there is an actual freedom from the human condition there is neither a ‘who’ to assess whether something makes sense or not nor is there a ‘who’ that wants to label or not ... it is the flesh and blood body being apperceptively aware that makes assessments and applies labels.

RESPONDENT: When you say life is ‘perfect’ that also is an assessment of a situation. ‘Who’ is assessing that life is perfect?

RICHARD: When I say that life is perfect it is a question of what is assessing rather than ‘who’ is assessing ... specifically the apperceptive brain is doing the assessing.

RESPONDENT: This is not meant in an argumentative fashion. From my level of understanding for someone to do this it means some identity is in place whether the party chooses to acknowledge it or not!

RICHARD: That is the normal state of affairs for maybe 6.0 billion peoples, yes. However, where there is an actual freedom from the human condition it is not a case of lack of acknowledgement of some identity in place – of being in a state of denial about it – as it is simply an experiential fact that there is no identity in any way, shape or form.

Put simply: there is no director whatsoever in charge of this body.

April 25 2002

RESPONDENT: Thanks for your response. Since writing this I’ve had a prolonged PCE and it corroborated your written response!! So many things have been clearing up easily and naturally and that has been even before I got the book. From continuous use of the question, intent and extensive readings posted on the web a lot has fallen by the wayside. Most of the time I stop putting on ‘Respondent’ and I understand. I am so grateful for your work! Thanks to Peter, Vineeto, Gary, Mark and anyone connected with the invaluable info on the Web site.

RICHARD: I am pleased to read that you had a PCE – one experience is worth thousands of the words explaining actualism – as all that has been written is then self-evidently factual and plain to view.

If you could provide a written description of what occurred whilst it is still fresh it would be appreciated as we are gradually building up a data-base of various people’s descriptions of their PCE’s so that someone new to the website can gain an understanding about what is being referred to when that phrase is used.

This is because the PCE is central to comprehending what an actual freedom from the human condition is.

April 27 2002

RICHARD: I am pleased to read that you had a PCE – one experience is worth thousands of the words explaining actualism – as all that has been written is then self-evidently factual and plain to view. If you could provide a written description of what occurred whilst it is still fresh it would be appreciated as we are gradually building up a data-base of various people’s descriptions of their PCE’s so that someone new to the website can gain an understanding about what is being referred to when that phrase is used. This is because the PCE is central to comprehending what an actual freedom from the human condition is.

RESPONDENT: I actually had two! On (PCE1) I started off furious! I was tired of the way this guy was acting at work and fed up that my bosses weren’t doing anything about it. When I asked how I was experiencing this moment, my answer was that I was enraged! I went on with my soap opera, recycling it in my head for a few minutes, and then decided to get off the train I had been riding. I was committed to one thing! Peace! My intention was that I would sit down and not resume my commute to work until I was truly at peace! I know you and others have talked of this being possible regardless of external circumstances, or illness, whether your alone, unloved etc. Pretty much everything that society gives you the allowance to walk around being pissed at! ‘I’m going to sit on this bench till I’m fine!’ It was to be a small step towards the larger goal of a lifetime of living happily and at peace. Next I began to look around at various objects in the environment. I just looked without any labelling that something was a bench, or a woman, or a bird. Next I heard sounds without identifying what they were. I felt body sensations with the only commentary being a subtle noticing of pressures, of heat and cold. I smelled the air and felt that bench against my ‘tushy ‘(just having some fun with my PCE). I left my mind and came back to my senses!!! I stopped ‘putting on Respondent’, and I giggled and giggled some more, and I smirked and I knew. In a most grounded delight, I realized everything was fine! Actually everything was just dandy!! You could have called me any name in the book! You could have thrown me in jail. You could have done anything you wanted. Everything was all right, and yet nothing was any different in the world. ‘I never arrived at work that day’. I realized on this journey ‘I’ was never going to arrive! Thankfully.

The second one was during a lightning storm. I walked along and just looked at the sky while of course taking the necessary safety precautions. I became enthralled at the majesty of nature. I was very quiet inside. There was a pervasive stillness. There was certainly no efforts on my part to effect any change or have some phenomenon occur. This allowing of life and sensory awareness with no editorial comment seemed what elicited ‘my disappearance’. There would ensue certain thought streams after awhile, yet I know what you mean by perfection. Things just are. If ‘I’ don’t editorialise how things ought to be, they are perfect.

RICHARD: Thank you for your descriptions ... all of the above has been placed in the data-base at the following link:

If upon re-reading it you wish to add to it please go ahead ... for example, more about what happened during the PCE (the various qualities of the experience such as clarity of perception ... vision, sound, touch and so on). Plus from my recollection, which entails going back twenty-one years, each PCE was as if one was entering into another dimension – a magical world – which was already always right under one’s nose, as it were ... does this relate to your experience?

Also, seeing that the non-labelling of ‘a bench, or a woman, or a bird’ was part of the process which precipitated your first PCE, am I to take it that there was then the ability to appraise and label without hindrance whilst the PCE was occurring? Vis.:

• [Respondent]: ‘When you say life is ‘perfect’ that also is an assessment of a situation. ‘Who’ is assessing that life is perfect?
• [Richard]: ‘When I say that life is perfect it is a question of what is assessing rather than ‘who’ is assessing ... specifically the apperceptive brain is doing the assessing.
• [Respondent]: ‘... From my level of understanding for someone to do this it means some identity is in place whether the party chooses to acknowledge it or not!
• [Richard]: ‘That is the normal state of affairs for maybe 6.0 billion peoples, yes. However, where there is an actual freedom from the human condition it is not a case of lack of acknowledgement of some identity in place – of being in a state of denial about it – as it is simply an experiential fact that there is no identity in any way, shape or form. Put simply: there is no director whatsoever in charge of this body.
• [Respondent]: ‘Thanks for your response. Since writing this I’ve had a prolonged PCE and it corroborated your written response!!

Lastly, I notice that in your second PCE you say ‘there would ensue certain thought streams after awhile’ ... does this mean that thinking was able to happen during the experience without it diminishing the perfection being experienced?

RESPONDENT: Where did I get the idea I knew how things ought to be?

RICHARD: The ‘self’ arrogates responsibility for all and everything – ‘tis quite a remarkable sleight of hand when one thinks about it – and I have oft-times said that if one allows this moment to live one (rather than trying to live in the moment) one’s journey will be over sooner rather than later.

RESPONDENT: All of this in Brooklyn New York folks.

RICHARD: Yes, perfection knows no boundaries nor brooks no favourites (a city is as much in nature as a forest is).

*

RESPONDENT: One more note that might be of interest. I was there at ‘Ground Zero’ Sept. 11. I was one block away when the towers came down. I use to work in One World Trade Centre ,102nd floor. I knew 7 people personally who died. No theories in what I’m saying! When those towers were coming down we were sure we were going to die! This avalanche of debris was coming toward us. The images you saw of people running were those who were far enough away to run. Where I was was wall-to-wall people and there was nowhere to go. I dove behind this marble bench and covered my head with my portfolio. I thought I had bought the farm! I really thought I was dead! This is where the ‘rubber meets the road’. You get to really see what you truly believe. I thought I had died because everything was completely black, there was no sounds and I felt no body awareness. I was in effect waiting for the mythical ‘Golden Tunnel of Light’, with some dead relative to appear, and scoot me to some celestial Shangri-la. I saw that I had adopted a lot of the ‘New Age’ belief structure on the afterlife. Well all that showed up was a whole lot of black. There was NOTHING FOLKS! NADA! No God had anything to do with who died, who survived or any other events that transpired!

RICHARD: Sometimes it takes an outrageous event to wake one up to the fact that all gods and goddesses are a figment of passionate human imagination ... I had to go to war in a foreign country in my teens to come upon this salient fact.

RESPONDENT: I never prayed for deliverance either. The most interesting I found was that somehow we survived, despite being engulfed in that huge black cloud of smoke for better than 10 minutes. I know it was that long because of numerous testimonies of people who observed the whole incident and it was also confirmed by reports in the media. When I asked how we survived breathing in all that smoke, it seems a certain useful survival mechanism took over analogous to an animal going into hibernation. It was almost the opposite of the fight or flight syndrome. It was an anti-adrenal reaction that took place and calmness ensued. What saved a lot of New Yorkers, was the absence of emotion, and the marvellous mechanism of the body’s wisdom to adapt, without any ‘identity’ getting in the way. It’s much faster like that and the results speak for themselves!

RICHARD: Aye, the flesh and blood body manages quite well without an ‘I’ and/or ‘me’ – much, much better in fact – and yet the identity normally arrogates responsibility with a tenacity that has to be seen to be believed ... which is why altruism (voluntary ‘self’-immolation) is its saving grace.

Ain’t life grand!

May 04 2002

RESPONDENT: I have now read most things on the site, Peter’s Journal and about 100 pages of Richard’s journal. I was still wondering when an incident happens, of a ‘volatile nature’, how it registers on what remains of ‘Richard or Vineeto’. They say they feel intimacy as opposed to love; sensate bodily feelings as opposed affectations. I just was wondering if any blow-by-blow description existed in either journals or on the site as to what its like when a ‘close’ friend or relative dies; or something of some similar emotive intensity. Since there is no feeling anymore, what is it like?

RICHARD: The following link may throw some light upon the matter:

*

RESPONDENT: Maybe what I’m terming a PCE is still filled with a delightful emotive pleasure.

RICHARD: That may very well be the case ... there are two possibilities:

1. That what you are calling a PCE is not a PCE (which is why I asked some clarifying questions in my last e-mail to you in response to your descriptions).
2. That you have already forgotten the purity of the PCE now that it is not happening (you have written recently in another post that [quote] ‘I was noticing what had transpired between my last PCE and a rather downtrodden way I was feeling. Well ‘I’ that being my walking identity came roaring back with a vengeance. Thoughts like, ‘of course ‘I’ am in place. I’m not like an appendix!’ This continued to how there is useful anger and fear, as opposed to overreacting and histrionics’).

The PCE is the litmus test ... not any claims I make (my words are designed to precipitate a PCE in the reader so that they can experience perfection for themselves and thus not have to believe me or be convinced by the sensibility of any description I offer).

RESPONDENT: If self-immolation is successful do you become like Spock?

RICHARD: No. I have not watched Star Trek but I have been made aware of the various personalities by some peoples likening me to this ‘Spock’ character. I have noticed that people, who do not read what I have to say with both eyes open, gain the impression that I am suggesting that people are to stop feeling ... which I am not. My whole point is to cease ‘being’ – psychologically and psychically self-immolate – which means that the entire psyche itself is extirpated. That is, the biological instinctual package handed out by blind nature is deleted like a computer software programme (but with no ‘Recycle Bin’ to retrieve it from) so that the affective faculty is no more. Then – and only then – are there no feelings ... as in a pure consciousness experience (PCE) where, with the self in abeyance, the feelings play no part at all. However, in a PCE the feelings – passion and calenture – can come rushing in, if one is not alert, resulting in the PCE devolving into an altered state of consciousness (ASC) ... complete with a super-self. Indeed, this demonstrates that it is impossible for there to be no feelings whilst there is a self – in this case a Self – thus it is the ‘being’ that has to go first ... not the feelings.

It is impossible to be a ‘stripped-down’ self – divested of feelings – for ‘I’ am ‘my’ feelings and ‘my’ feelings are ‘me’. Anyone who attempts this absurdity would wind up being somewhat like what is known in psychiatric terminology as a ‘sociopathic personality’ (popularly know as ‘psychopath’). Such a person still has feelings – ‘cold’, ‘callous’, ‘indifferent’ – and has repressed the others. What the wide and wondrous path to an actual freedom is on about is a virtual freedom wherein the ‘good’ feelings – the affectionate and desirable emotions and passions (those that are loving and trusting) are minimised along with the ‘bad’ feelings – the hostile and invidious emotions and passions (those that are hateful and fearful) – so that one is free to be feeling good, feeling happy and harmless and feeling excellent/perfect for 99% of the time. If one deactivates the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ feelings and activates the felicitous/ innocuous feelings (happiness, delight, joie de vivre/ bonhomie, friendliness, amiability and so on) with this freed-up affective energy, in conjunction with sensuousness (delectation, enjoyment, appreciation, relish, zest, gusto and so on), then the ensuing sense of amazement, marvel and wonder can result in apperceptiveness (unmediated perception).

Then everything I write about is self-evident.

*

RESPONDENT: When I read Richard’s Journal about the descriptions of the beach, sky, water, coffee they seem filled with a ‘being’ that has definitive tastes, desires whether he chooses to acknowledge them or not!

RICHARD: This sounds similar to what you queried me about previously ... vis.:

• [Respondent]: ‘When you say life is ‘perfect’ that also is an assessment of a situation. ‘Who’ is assessing that life is perfect?
• [Richard]: ‘When I say that life is perfect it is a question of what is assessing rather than ‘who’ is assessing ... specifically the apperceptive brain is doing the assessing.
• [Respondent]: ‘... From my level of understanding for someone to do this it means some identity is in place *whether the party chooses to acknowledge it or not!* [emphasis added].
• [Richard]: ‘That is the normal state of affairs for maybe 6.0 billion peoples, yes. However, where there is an actual freedom from the human condition it is not a case of lack of acknowledgement of some identity in place – of being in a state of denial about it – as it is simply an experiential fact that there is no identity in any way, shape or form. Put simply: there is no director whatsoever in charge of this body.
• [Respondent]: ‘Thanks for your response. Since writing this I’ve had a prolonged PCE and it corroborated your written response!!

Which is why I had written that the PCE is essential to understanding what I write about. Vis.:

• [Richard to Respondent]: ‘I am pleased to read that you had a PCE – one experience is worth thousands of the words explaining actualism – as all that has been written is then self-evidently factual and plain to view (...) the PCE is central to comprehending what an actual freedom from the human condition is’.

RESPONDENT: It reminds me of a quote attributed to Lincoln. If you call a tail a leg how many legs does a horse have? Four. You can call something whatever you like. It doesn’t make it so.

RICHARD: Again I would say that my words are designed to precipitate a PCE in the reader so that they can experience perfection for themselves and thus not have to believe me or be convinced by the sensibility of any description I offer.

*

RESPONDENT: I don’t know Richard or any Actualists personally. When the Advaita Vedantists use to say that they weren’t the body I would say, ‘how about we don’t let you go to the bathroom for a day, and you let me know what your not ; or how about we take an ice pick up your frontal lobes, and we show in effect how there is no demarcation between you and your brain. No takers! End of the debate!!

RICHARD: I agree completely (I have often said similar things to the people who tell me that they are not the body) ... however your example has no application in my case as I am clearly and definitively stating that I am this flesh and blood body only.

RESPONDENT: If something similar happened to Richard such as being kicked in the nuts, or similar potential dangers I would bet the farm that a definitive identity was in place, and very concerned with its protection and well being.

RICHARD: You would lose your bet ... this flesh and blood body is entirely capable of looking after itself without the need of any identity whatsoever.

RESPONDENT: Since he is claiming something that here-to-fore has never existed I trust that nobody has a problem with wanting more detail.

RICHARD: Speaking personally I am only too happy to supply detail – the millions of words available for free on The Actual Freedom Website already show this – as I have always had the intent to provide anything that may be of assistance (which includes, for just one example, my ex-wife’s critique of me).

*

RESPONDENT: A person can claim to be Christ, Napoleon or be devoid of any feeling. It doesn’t make it so!

RICHARD: As I am not claiming to be anything other than this flesh and blood body called Richard I rather fail to see the value of lumping the absence of the affective faculty into the same sentence as some people’s delusions of grandeur ... in other words this is not an aid to a sensible discussion.

RESPONDENT: There are people who don’t feel pain.

RICHARD: This flesh and blood body does experience physical pain. Vis.:

• [Respondent]: ‘Pain and anguish are part of life.
• [Richard]: ‘Hmm ... it is helpful to draw a distinction betwixt physical pain and emotional and mental pain. Physical pain is essential, else one could be sitting on a hot-plate and not know that one’s bum was on fire until one saw the smoke rising. Emotional and mental pain (which is what I indicated by using ‘animosity and anguish’) are totally unnecessary.

RESPONDENT: It is a very dangerous condition because they are oblivious of a bursting appendix, or being on fire, and similar potential dangers.

RICHARD: Of course ... however your example has no application in my case as I am clearly and definitively stating that this flesh and blood body experiences physical pain.

RESPONDENT: There is a world of difference between appropriate emotive response, that lets the individual know that something is amiss, and taking offence at sleights to ones perceived identity.

RICHARD: Yet there is no need for the ‘appropriate emotive response’ at all ... the physical pain elicits the requisite action of its own accord.

RESPONDENT: There is a world of difference between not being part of the usual insanities of the world and being devoid of emotionality.

RICHARD: But the main thing I stress is being devoid of identity ... not just being ‘devoid of emotionality’ (the absence of emotions is a side-effect and not the main event).

*

RESPONDENT: I read these postings and still see a semblance of an identity.

RICHARD: Okay ... I can only advise ‘self’-investigation so as to ascertain whether your seeing of a ‘semblance of an identity’ is correct or not.

RESPONDENT: Isn’t it an identity that is making the decision that it wants to go all the way to self-immolation.

RICHARD: Yes ... it is an altruistic decision. It may help in your understanding to mention that I did nothing at all in order to be just here right now as it was the identity inhabiting this body that did the necessary work all those years ago.

I have been here all along, for 55 years, having a ball.

RESPONDENT: There is an account in a book by Susan Segal where she reports of a similar condition to Richards. The New Age community then did its various interpretations on what was transpiring for her. She died at a really early age oblivious to the raging cancer in her system.

RICHARD: I had a medical check-up about six weeks ago ... I can assure you that I have no cancer (about two years ago I had a small and benign skin cancer surgically removed from my back).

RESPONDENT: Catatonics have no emotive responses either . Highly undesirable state-of-affairs.

RICHARD: I am not catatonic ... although I am familiar with that state having had an experience of catatonia back in 1981 wherein I was rushed to hospital and held in intensive care for four or five hours until I came out of it.

*

RESPONDENT: Isn’t there shades of grey as opposed to black and white?

RICHARD: If you wish to settle for a life of mediocrity then that is your business, of course.

RESPONDENT: The proposition of Actualism is that the earth is perfect; despite tornadoes, draughts, the various whims of nature; animals starving, people starving. Its perfect.

RICHARD: No, the ‘proposition’ is, rather, that it is possible to experience perfection despite all the wars and murders and rapes and tortures and domestic violence and child abuse and suicides and so on.

RESPONDENT: Yet in terms of humans a grave mistake was made and we were given emotions.

RICHARD: ‘Twas not a ‘grave mistake’ at all ... it is blind nature’s instinctual survival program that is under investigation (a survival mechanism that was once essential for life in the wild but is now redundant and working against both personal and communal salubrity).

RESPONDENT: The whole area of the brain was thereby imperfect and flawed. It needs to be destroyed. Not perfect according to the tenets of Actualism . Am I mistaken?

RICHARD: Yes, you are mistaken in your appraisal of what actualism is on about.

RESPONDENT: Please correct me if I am. Perhaps I have the meaning of the word perfect wrong?

RICHARD: It would appear so.

RESPONDENT: You guys are proposing that there is a major imperfection built into the blueprint of humanity!

RICHARD: Not at all ... that is what you have made of it.

RESPONDENT: I myself use the word perfection very judiciously. Could you please comment on these things?

RICHARD: Certainly ... I am speaking of the experience of the perfection of being alive as a flesh and blood body, as evidenced in a PCE, whereas you are speaking of a perfect physical world (a world without ‘tornadoes, draughts, the various whims of nature; animals starving, people starving’ ).

*

RESPONDENT: Since I don’t know any of you personally I have to rely on assessing things from readings, sites and my own explorations. I will continue. After 25 years of involvement in various spiritual movements, practices, growth groups I’m not aligned with any as I’ve never found the stuff worked or people walked their talk. I ‘m not disputing your claims. Not that any of you would care if I did.

RICHARD: But I do care (otherwise I would not be going public with my discovery when I would rather remain anonymous).

RESPONDENT: Outside of my continually asking myself the question and intention, & continual reading there seems no definitive way that I can assess that what your saying is a desirous state of affairs.

RICHARD: Yes there is a definitive way ... the PCE. For the sake of emphasis I will repeat again what I said previously:

• [Richard to Respondent]: ‘I am pleased to read that you had a PCE – one experience is worth thousands of the words explaining actualism – as all that has been written is then self-evidently factual and plain to view (...) the PCE is central to comprehending what an actual freedom from the human condition is’.

RESPONDENT: I think you are telling the truth but as to whether to strive to the described condition is an ongoing story. Its like the problem with any descriptions from ‘anyone’ or in your case ‘no one’. Richards words mean little if you are not living at that address.

RICHARD: Hmm ... I can suggest, offer tips, hints, clues, anecdotes, insider information and so on. Essentially my words can act as confirmation for another in that their own experience in a PCE is common to humankind ... and act as an affirmation in that a fellow human being has safely walked the wide and wondrous path to an actual freedom from the human condition.

RESPONDENT: Its akin as to why Christ or Buddha’s words never had any real effect.

RICHARD: I demur ... Mr. Yeshua the Nazarene and Mr. Gotama the Sakyan were living in a delusional state whereas what I live is an actual condition one experiences where one is sans identity in toto.

RESPONDENT: To just parrot the words while not experientially living them is ludicrous.

RICHARD: Of course.

RESPONDENT: I will keep at it, although I question the concepts regarding ‘no identity’ as being extant or whether it is even possible.

RICHARD: Never mind ‘the concepts’ ... what about the self-evident factuality as experienced in your PCE (if that is what it was)?

RESPONDENT: Irregardless the question (how am I experiencing this moment), in and of itself is invaluable and ridding oneself of a lot of histrionics and emotional baggage is highly desirous.

RICHARD: True. Yet there is something which is much, much better than merely being rid of ‘histrionics and emotional baggage’ ... which is to be living in the already always existing peace-on-earth.

It is all so easy here.

May 05 2002

RESPONDENT: There is an interchange between Richard and a respondent in Emotions, Passions, and Calentures where Richard says ‘You are not Jewish, by any chance are you, answering a question with a question?’ Is that an example of someone ‘devoid of feelings who has the freedom to appraise without prejudice’ from Richard’s own words several paragraphs later. He goes on with ‘if there is insufficient information I can certainly form an opinion, or make an interpretation but then I will clearly state this is only an opinion or an interpretation when I speak about it’. Is this an example of someone devoid of an identity? Is this a benign non-malicious form of humour as what Richard claims in his own right?

RICHARD: Here is the interchange in question:

• [Respondent]: ‘It takes a lot of patience; a lot of love and care; and an absence of judgement to live through the feelings. I don’t mean living ‘through’ feelings, but without attachment to the feelings.
• [Richard]: ‘Who is the person that is ‘without attachment to the feelings’ ? [And even if that were possible, which it is not as feelings are the core of ‘my’ being, would it not be easier to dispense with them altogether]?
• [Respondent]: ‘And who would be the one to dispense with them?
• [Richard]: ‘You are not Jewish, by any chance, are you ... answering a question with a counter-question? Yet I find it easy to answer, nevertheless: The ego ‘I’ can self-immolate psychologically. The soul ‘me’ can self-immolate psychically. Psychological and psychic self-immolation is the only sensible sacrifice that ‘I’ and ‘me’ can make in order to reveal perfection. Life is bursting with meaning when ‘I’ and ‘me’ are no longer present to mess things up. ‘I’ and ‘me’ stand in the way of that purity being apparent. ‘My’ presence prohibits perfection being evident. ‘I’ and ‘me’ prevent the very meaning to life, which ‘I’ and ‘me’ are searching for, from coming into plain view. The main trouble is that ‘I’ and ‘me’ wish to remain in existence to savour the meaning; ‘I’ and ‘me’ mistakenly think that meaning is the product of the mind and the heart. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Apperceptive awareness makes self-immolation possible.
Then the search for meaning amidst the debris of the much-vaunted human hopes and dreams and schemes has come to its timely end. With the end of ‘I’ and ‘me’, the distance or separation between ‘I’ and ‘me’ and ‘my’ senses – and thus the external world – disappears. To be the senses as a bare awareness is apperception, a pure consciousness experience (PCE) of the world as-it-is. Because there is no ‘I’ as an observer – a little person inside one’s head – or ‘me’ as a feeler – a little person inside one’s heart – to have sensations, I am the sensations. There is nothing except the series of sensations which happen ... not to ‘I’ or ‘me’ but just happening ... moment by moment ... one after another. To be these sensations, as distinct from having them, engenders the most astonishing sense of freedom and release. Consequently, I am living in peace and tranquillity; a meaningful peace and tranquillity. Life is intrinsically purposeful, the reason for existence lies openly all around. Being in this very air I live in, I am constantly aware of it; I breathe it in and out; I see it, I hear it, I taste it, I smell it, I touch it, all of the time. It never goes away ... nor has it ever been away. ‘I’ and ‘me’ were standing in the way of meaning.
So, again: ‘Who is the person that is ‘without attachment to the feelings’?

It will be seen that it was a rhetorical question – when faced with an often used debating technique – designed to draw attention to the fact that my co-respondent had not answered my entirely sensible query regarding the typical spiritual practice of detachment. I had some time previously watched a television documentary of religious students in a Jewish Yeshiva (an orthodox Jewish college or seminary; a Talmudic academy) who were trained to debate their religious scriptures, and the commentaries on their scriptures, in this very manner – a manner which, if my memory serves me correctly, is also used by the Tibetan Monks in their seminaries – and also discovered that it was a time-honoured technique.

I have had literally thousands of exchanges with many, many people on the subject of life, the universe and what it is to be a human being and quite often it becomes apparent that the other person would rather debate than discuss. If you read through all my e-mail exchanges you will find more than a few examples of me endeavouring to shift the exchange from argumentation to dialogue.

As for ‘the freedom to appraise without prejudice’ ... I am quite ecumenical in my endeavours because at other times I have pointed out to peoples that I discuss these issues with that they are quibbling over trivialities like an Hindu Pundit or hypocritically disputing the issue like a Born-Again Christian and so on.

Lastly, it is certainly not funny so any attempt to ascertain whether it be ‘a benign non-malicious form of humour’ or not is besides the point.

*

RESPONDENT: I wonder if the readers of this site realize that when Richard glowingly puts up his diagnosis by psychiatrists of psychosis and depersonalisation that this is not a light fickle assessment.

RICHARD: I was not aware that I was ‘glowingly’ putting up the psychiatrist’s diagnosis ... are you sure you are not reading something into it here that simply does not exist outside of your imagination?

RESPONDENT: This is a very serious affliction which is encompassed by delusions of thinking oneself to ‘not exist or to be perfect’.

RICHARD: You apparently know more about the matter of depersonalisation than the psychiatrists I consulted as neither of them ever said to me that I had delusions of thinking myself to ‘not exist or to be perfect’ ... can you provide the source from which you obtained this quote?

RESPONDENT: Does anyone see how analogous this is to thinking oneself is Christ or Napoleon?

RICHARD: No ... such delusions of grandeur as you refer to here are in a different category entirely to depersonalisation.

*

RESPONDENT: If the individual alone can claim they have no identity, and uses whatever ‘pretzel logic’ to refute any evidence to the contrary ...

RICHARD: I am not familiar with the term ‘pretzel logic’ so I will assume it means ‘twisted logic’ (and please correct me if I am in error) and thus ask you to provide some substance to your allegation. I will proffer the following exchange for your consideration:

• [Respondent]: ‘When you say life is ‘perfect’ that also is an assessment of a situation. ‘Who’ is assessing that life is perfect?
• [Richard]: ‘When I say that life is perfect it is a question of what is assessing rather than ‘who’ is assessing ... specifically the apperceptive brain is doing the assessing.
• [Respondent]: ‘... From my level of understanding for someone to do this it means some identity is in place whether the party chooses to acknowledge it or not!
• [Richard]: ‘That is the normal state of affairs for maybe 6.0 billion peoples, yes. However, where there is an actual freedom from the human condition it is not a case of lack of acknowledgement of some identity in place – of being in a state of denial about it – as it is simply an experiential fact that there is no identity in any way, shape or form. Put simply: there is no director whatsoever in charge of this body.
• [Respondent]: ‘Thanks for your response. Since writing this I’ve had a prolonged PCE and it corroborated your written response!!

Now I ask you ... where is the ‘pretzel logic’ in this exchange?

RESPONDENT: ... even though in their writings it is evident that they have particular tastes, preferences, & judgements and assess situations all unique to a ‘person’ with an identity!!

RICHARD: Indeed I have ‘particular tastes, preferences, & judgements and assess situations’ ... how does that demonstrate that there is an identity inhabiting this body? You may be interested to read the following:

• [Respondent]: ‘Surely there are patterns associated with your reflectivity. You tend to reflect on things in a certain way, and I have a different tendency. Does not that tendency define your identity? Or do you have no such tendency?
• [Richard]: ‘I certainly have that tendency ... and I revel in it. These are attributes, traits, quirks, idiosyncrasies, features, peculiarities, flavours, mannerisms, gestures and so on. They are not the ‘thing-in-itself’.
• [Respondent]: ‘It seems to me that your identity is still maintained. You are a body sensing and reflecting, and a mind being aware of itself, even when there is no thinking. That awareness, the experience of sensing particular people, things and events, and the reflection on all that – does not all of it define you as a distinct entity to me, where there is also awareness happening of its own accord, and where there is a different set of sense experiences and reflections?
• [Richard]: ‘This flesh and blood body called Richard is a distinct physical organism to the flesh and blood body called No. 12. Each flesh and blood body is its own consciousness (there is no universal consciousness) hence each flesh and blood body is its own awareness, its own sensing, its own reflecting and its own ‘making sense’ of its own experience. None of this needs an identity in order for it to happen ... nor need it produce one. It is the affective faculty – born of the instinctual passions situated in what is popularly known as the ‘Lizard brain’ – that is the genesis of ‘being’ ... and this identity as a rudimentary animal ‘self’, in human beings, produces ‘me’ as ‘soul’ and ‘I’ as ‘ego’.
• [Respondent]: ‘Are we not discrete identities Richard?
• [Richard]: ‘We are discrete physical flesh and blood bodies. The feeling of identity has its origins in the common ancestry of the animal instincts and takes on the appearance of being separate because of being manifest in individual flesh and blood bodies ... hence to desire to regain ‘oneness’ with all sentient beings. ‘I’ am alone and lonely and long for the ‘connection’ that is evidenced in a relationship. When ‘I’ and/or ‘me’ become extinct there is no need – and no capacity – for a relationship. Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti was hopelessly wrong in his oft-repeated ‘Teaching’: ‘Life is a movement in relationship’. Only a psychological and/or psychic entity needs the connection of relationship in order to create a synthetic intimacy – usually via the bridge of love and compassion – and manifest the delusion that separation has ended. And if human relationship does not produce the desired result, then ‘I’ will project a god or a goddess – a ‘super-friend’ not dissimilar to the imaginary playmates of childhood – to love and be loved by.
• [Respondent]: ‘Your awareness remains associated with your body whilst mine remains associated with mine. As the circumstances change around you surely there is something that remains the same, that defines you as you, and as separate to me. It is that claim of yours to have no identity I was wanting to chip away at, and am wanting to again.
• [Richard]: ‘It is the flesh and blood body that remains the same (with due allowance for the aging process) and defines Richard as Richard and you as you. The flesh and blood body’s characteristics (attributes, traits, quirks, idiosyncrasies, features, peculiarities, flavours, mannerisms, gestures and so on) tend to stay the same ... but characteristics do not necessarily have to define an identity as being a ‘thing-in-itself’.

*

RESPONDENT: I wouldn’t make an assessment regarding one’s religion based on criteria that one ‘answered a question with a question’. Is that an example of utilizing facts?

RICHARD: I was not making an assessment of my co-respondent’s religion – I already knew from previous e-mails that the person in question was raised as a Christian – it was, as I have already explained, a rhetorical question ... and my records show that we had exchanged 26 e-mails before this one in question and my co-respondent’s equivocation on such hoary spiritual issues had already been well established.

If I may point out? You are building up a case which amounts to nothing ... it is built upon a non-event.

*

RESPONDENT: Richard has talked of he alone being in this state or non-state devoid of ego or soul. Now since he is supposedly doesn’t want followers or financial support I guess the whole matter is more or less benign. Yet that shouldn’t preclude the ability to question him even when you show evidence to the contrary.

RICHARD: Indeed not ... when you get around to providing the ‘evidence to the contrary’ I will be very interested to read it.

RESPONDENT: A person can clearly choose to ignore whatever they don’t care to address, even when it is evident in their own verbiage.

RICHARD: If you will provide the evidence I will be only too happy to address your concerns.

RESPONDENT: If Richard chooses to ignore or be oblivious to the fact that he has an identity, does that mean that everyone should also pretend that they don’t see, that the ‘Emperor has no clothes’.

RICHARD: Yet I am not choosing to ignore anything of the sort – nor am I oblivious to it – as this is an experiential matter ... again I will draw your attention to the following exchange:

• [Richard]: ‘... where there is an actual freedom from the human condition it is not a case of lack of acknowledgement of some identity in place – of being in a state of denial about it – as it is simply an experiential fact that there is no identity in any way, shape or form. Put simply: there is no director whatsoever in charge of this body.
• [Respondent]: ‘Thanks for your response. Since writing this I’ve had a prolonged PCE and it corroborated your written response!!

RESPONDENT: If you read the writings you can clearly see evidence where he calls things nonsensical ...

RICHARD: Aye, if something someone states is nonsense then I will say so ... I make no claims of being politically correct.

RESPONDENT: ... dismisses things that don’t align with his worldview ...

RICHARD: Where it is a matter of an actual freedom from the human condition I do not have a ‘worldview’ ... I simply provide a report from direct experience.

RESPONDENT: ... and clearly has less than benign or delicate commentary on anything that is in contrast to his pronouncements.

RICHARD: It would appear that you are confusing superficial politeness with genuine benignity ... you may find the following link edifying:

*

RESPONDENT: I had a friend who constantly use to tell me rather argumentatively that she also had ‘no identity’. I would query, ‘then who is arguing so adamantly for their particular point of view’. She was oblivious to the fact that she was a definitive person, who was born at a specific time, had a particular life history, and occupied a particular physical space. She would continually pronounce that she didn’t exist.

RICHARD: Unlike your friend I am a definitive flesh and blood body, that was born at a specific time, that has a particular life history and occupies a particular physical space ... I most certainly exist as a flesh and blood body.

RESPONDENT: She had been sexually abused at an early age and certain boundaries were beyond her perceptive abilities.

RICHARD: I was not sexually abused at an earlier age – nor at any age – and I am well aware of all the normal human boundaries ... plus I rather fail to see why you would want to be likening me to someone you know personally who is oblivious to bodily existence.

*

RESPONDENT: Do any of you realize the magnitude of what it is when someone is called psychotic.

RICHARD: Well, I certainly do (as I have personal experience of being diagnosed thus).

RESPONDENT: It is not a haphazard, cutesy, light state of affairs.

RICHARD: I have never said that it is a ‘haphazard, cutesy, light state of affairs’ ... what I have repeatedly said is that I find it cute that an actual freedom from the human condition – meaning peace-on-earth in this lifetime – should be classified as a psychotic illness ... it speaks volumes about the lack of salubrity in what is called sanity.

I am using the word cute in its ‘quaint, fascinating’ meaning. (Oxford Dictionary).

RESPONDENT: Its a serious disturbance in ones ability to perceive reality on Planet Earth!

RICHARD: You are now speaking about derealisation – losing contact with reality – and I make no secret of the fact that I am living in the actuality of the world as-it-is ... and not in the reality that the identity imposes over it as a veneer.

Your appeal to the status-quo does not cut ice with me.

RESPONDENT: If you still have feelings extant and this person through accident, breakdown or some unknown explanation doesn’t, it seems a little foolhardy follow their blueprint as to how to navigate your life to optimal existence.

RICHARD: In my case it was no ‘accident, breakdown or some unknown explanation’ ... I clearly delineate how, when and where I came to be in this condition.

RESPONDENT: I’ve been wanting to stay on board in this enterprise but the more I’m reading the more disturbing it seems.

RICHARD: You are not the first person to be initially pleased to discover actualism only to later on find it disturbing ... and I dare say you will not be the last.

RESPONDENT: My brother a bona fide born-again Christian reports that his life is wonderful. He weighs in at 300lbs, his wife 400lbs as well as the accompanying health, wealth and relationship problems.

RICHARD: Whereas I am the normal weight for my height and age and have no health, wealth or relationship problems.

RESPONDENT: I’m not going to argue with him. I’m not starting a group. Moonies and Daidists, as well as people connected with Osho all report feeling wonderful at various times along a continuum. I don’t think that life’s answers lie there.

RICHARD: I agree completely ... I lived that/was that enlightenment experience, night and day, for eleven years and thus have intimate knowledge that it is not the answer.

RESPONDENT: I don’t know what happened to Richard.

RICHARD: I give clear and articulate descriptions of what happened – they are plastered all over the website and in my journal – and you say, in another e-mail, you have read [quote] most things on the site, Peter’s Journal and about 100 pages of Richard’s journal [endquote] ... so I fail to see why you are still claiming ignorance of what happened.

RESPONDENT: If he feels happy, harmless and is self-sustaining, more power to him.

RICHARD: But I do not ‘feel’ happy and harmless ... the affective faculty is no more.

RESPONDENT: There are plenty of people in institutions and out and about who are in their own ‘private Idaho’.

RICHARD: Sure ... but I am not one of them.

RESPONDENT: Much like U.G. Krishnamurti or Da Free John something has happened that changed or short circuited the wiring.

RICHARD: I am not at all like Mr. Uppaluri Krishnamurti or Mr. Franklin Jones.

RESPONDENT: I’ve read similar accounts before!!

RICHARD: Oh? I have travelled the country – and overseas – talking with many and varied peoples from all walks of life; I have been watching TV, videos, films, whatever media is available; I have been reading about other people’s experiences in books, journals, magazines, newspapers (and latterly on the internet) for twenty one years now, for information on an actual freedom from the human condition, but to no avail. I would be delighted to hear about/meet such a person or such peoples ... so as to compare notes, as it were.

If you could provide names and addresses or book titles or URL’s ... or refer me to the relevant magazine articles, newspaper reports, manuscripts, pamphlets, brochures or whatever it is that you are cognisant of I would be most pleased.

*

RESPONDENT: I’m not about to debate someone so convinced they don’t exist.

RICHARD: Then why are you writing this e-mail – and your previous ones – to this mailing list? The Actual Freedom Mailing List was set-up to discuss these very matters. Vis.:

• ‘The Actual Freedom Trust is currently maintaining a Mailing-List so that a lively and in-depth series of dialogues can be promoted. This is a public forum for discussion about an end to malice and sorrow forever and an actual freedom for all peoples. Click to subscribe to the list and/or to view the archives’.

RESPONDENT: I remember when Richard Bandler from NLP and several other therapists hit a guy who thought he was invisible. He wasn’t!

RICHARD: As I am not invisible this is a pointless comment.

RESPONDENT: There is benefits to this work. But for chrissake you guys exist. You all have identities and tastes as unique as a snowflake.

RICHARD: If you say then it is so ... for you, that is. I will keep my own counsel on the matter, however, as the examples and analogies and so on that you provide have nothing to do with what I experience.

RESPONDENT: If the circumstances were right we could all prove that very easily!

RICHARD: What circumstances do you require?

RESPONDENT: You all know it too!

RICHARD: I beg to differ ... I do not have a clue as to how you can prove it.

RESPONDENT: There’s some great stuff on this site but cut the silliness, and pretence.

RICHARD: And just what ‘silliness, and pretence’ is it that you would like me to cut?

RESPONDENT: Just cause someone doesn’t have feelings or ‘an identity’ that they are unaware of doesn’t make them the third coming!

RICHARD: Yet I make no claims of being ‘the third coming’ (whatever that is).

RESPONDENT: I was born at night but not last night.

RICHARD: Perhaps this may be an apposite moment to refer you to your own writing:

• [Respondent] ‘I was noticing what had transpired between my last PCE and a rather downtrodden way I was feeling. Well ‘I’ that being my walking identity came roaring back with a vengeance’.

It may very well be that this e-mail is the product of that vengeance, eh?

May 10 2002

RESPONDENT: Thanks for taking the time to respond!! Sorry for the malicious nature. You cleared up a lot of things and I will need some time to experientially validate the others. I have felt very jaded and disillusioned by 30 yrs. at my search. After my initial excitement I would find very disturbing elements under the banner that I just didn’t understand at my level.

RICHARD: It is all par for the course ... an actual freedom from the human condition is entirely new in human experience and of course it will elicit all types of responses/reactions.

RESPONDENT: Could you clear something up for me? This is something I don’t understand. When you talk of being sensate based I start judging, specifically then how can he possibly smoke cigarettes or drink coffee. Please, these are not moral pronouncements as I do the same on occasion. I start thinking that this is evidence that you have an identity because if you just lived by the sensate based needs of the body there is no way the body would want those substances.

RICHARD: Well I only drink decaffeinated coffee so the question is basically about smoking tobacco (I am a complete teetotaller in all other respects as I take no mood-enhancing or mind-altering substances whatsoever ... not even chocolate). I have been asked this question before and will refer you to the following link:

Suffice is it to say here that I drink coffee and smoke tobacco because I find them both to be a delightful pastime ... I thoroughly enjoy the entire ritual: the grinding of the beans with its accompanying aroma; the measuring of the grounds into the filter-holder of the espresso machine; the watching of the crema form in the cup as it fills; the adding of just the requisite quantity of thickened cream (yes I also take in cream); the supping of that first exquisite sip with the appropriate sigh of approval; the opening of the tobacco pouch and the inhaling of its aroma; the extracting of a paper and the placing it upon the lip; the sorting out of the strings of tobacco; the rolling of the perfectly shaped cigarette; the tucking-in of the ends and the striking of the match with its accompanying splutter of ignition; the inhaling of that first puff; the taking of the second sip of coffee ... and so on and so on.

Incidentally, I also eat meat (mainly seafood and fowl but occasionally pork, lamb and beef); I do not cook (I either eat out or order in); I have an active sex-life and enjoy female company; I lead an indolent life-style (which is way past a sedentary life-style); I live in suburbia with all the mod cons that a consumer society provides; I only have one meal a day (plus a few water-crackers with cheese for supper); I sleep three maybe four hours a night and cat-nap during the day; I watch a lot of television and spend considerable time in front of the computer; I do not go to parties, bars, dances and so on or belong to any public organisation or club; I do not play sport or watch any sporting events ... to cut a long story short I live a certain life-style and do certain things that various other people may find unhealthy for whatever reason.

RESPONDENT: One thing I have to note is that something that I find unique to Actualism is that there has never been a financial basis to it.

RICHARD: It pleases me greatly that the writings about actual freedom (upwards of 4,000,000 words at the latest estimate) are available for free on-line ... such is the power of the internet. The only articles for sale are the journals ... and there may be a CD for sale in the far distant future (it will possibly be a DVD by the time we get around to producing it).

Basically we are having a lot of fun.

RESPONDENT: This is totally unlike anything I’ve ever encountered and lends an innocence and credibility to it. You have never asked for our financial support or set yourself up as a leader.

RICHARD: I have no ambitions whatsoever to be anything other than what I am now; I thoroughly enjoy my current lifestyle, as it is, totally, completely, utterly. I fully enjoy my own company; I fully enjoy the company of a choice companion; I fully enjoy the company of select associates ... this is the lifestyle I have chosen; this is the lifestyle I wish to live; this is the lifestyle I am living.

I enjoy normal things: I live in a normal suburban duplex; I eat at normal restaurants; I meet normal people at cafés; I chat about normal things; I have normal pastimes ... to be able to freely live this normal lifestyle in a seaside village is why I set out to become free of the human condition all those years ago. I never intended – and I do not intend – to become some sort of latter-day atheistic-saviour of humankind wherein I cannot live a normal lifestyle.

Which is why Peter suggested the relative anonymity of the internet to make my discovery public.

RESPONDENT: You have also answered my questions and not been defensive.

RICHARD: Okay ... though I am entirely capable of defending myself when/if someone persists in attacking me instead of reading what is on offer with both eyes open.

There are many example of this in the archives.


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The Third Alternative

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

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

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