Actual Freedom – The Actual Freedom Mailing List Correspondence

Richard’s Correspondence

On The Actual Freedom Mailing List

with Correspondent No. 66


Continued from AF Mailing List, No 30

Apr 03 2004

RESPONDENT: 1 – The ‘something turning over the nape’ was when you were enlightened in 1981 or so, correct?

RICHARD: Correct ... and it was of the nature that it would never, ever, turn back again.

RESPONDENT: When you ended the second self (or when it ended), was there any physical brain sensation?

RICHARD: Yes ... an intense pressure-pain in the base of the brain/nape of the neck which continued, with varying intensities, for 30+ months.

*

RESPONDENT: 2 – You have mentioned that you took DSM-IV or a psychiatric appraisal; were you ever interested in a MRI or relevant brain scans …

RICHARD: One of the professionals in the field that I consulted was initially keen to have an fMRI scan done but when I rigorously enquired as to why – as in what purpose it would serve – they could come up with no satisfactory answer.

RESPONDENT: And if done, though they haven’t located the self, would you think you will be aiding the research?

RICHARD: In what way would a brain scan be an aid ... and an aid to what? For example: what do you mean by ‘relevant’ and what do you mean by ‘the research’ (as in relevant to what specific research)?

I only ask because, as far as I have been able to ascertain, nobody has ever contemplated – let alone conducted research – on there even being a possibility of becoming actually free from the human condition ... it is a blank area in human consideration (let alone in human experience/ human history).

RESPONDENT: Do you think comparing scans of normal being like myself with yours reveal useful information?

RICHARD: Again ... in what way would such a comparison reveal useful information? Or, to put that another way, what is it that you know about ‘MRI or relevant brain scans’ which prompts you to ask these questions?

What I have found, when people ask this question/suggest this course of action (including the professional already mentioned), is that they know very little about what brain scans can or cannot reveal ... if anything at all.

*

RESPONDENT: 3 – As a person who ended all beliefs and look at the world clearly ...

RICHARD: If I may interject? It was the believer, so to speak, who came to an end (hence the ability/capacity to believe is null and void) and thus there is the direct experience of the world ... a clean, clear, and pure experiencing.

RESPONDENT: ... you don’t see any possibility of some God running the show?

RICHARD: When the believer – ‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being (which is ‘being’ itself) – ended so too did any and all supreme beings become similarly extinct ... thus it has nothing to do with ending all beliefs that no possibility is seen of some god/goddess running the show.

There is no god/goddess in this actual world: here all is pristine, pure ... nothing ‘dirty’, as it were, can get in.

RESPONDENT: Or even some greater meaning or a purpose towards which the evolution is moving?

RICHARD: Hmm ... some ‘greater meaning or a purpose’ than what? Where one is the flesh and blood body only (sans identity in toto) one is this infinite and eternal and perpetual universe experiencing itself apperceptively ... as such it is stunningly aware of its own infinitude.

And this is truly wonderful ... what, just what, could have ‘greater meaning or a purpose’ than that?

*

RESPONDENT: 4 – Somewhere you mentioned that ‘Presumably another is also free’ – who would that be?

RICHARD: I copy-pasted <presumably another is also free> into this computer’s search-engine and sent it through everything I have ever written only to return nil hits; a search for <another is also free> similarly returned nil hits; a search for <is also free> returned nothing like you mention; a search for <also free> similarly returned nothing like you mention ... and after a modified search for <also actually free> returned nil hits I abandoned the search.

If you could provide the passage you refer to it would be most appreciated.

Apr 03 2004

RESPONDENT: Thanks for your immediate attention.

RICHARD: You are very welcome ... incidentally, the e-mail address for this mailing list is: actualfreedom@topica.com

*

RESPONDENT: When you ended the second self (or when it ended), was there any physical brain sensation?

RICHARD: Yes ... an intense pressure-pain in the base of the brain/nape of the neck which continued, with varying intensities, for 30+ months.

RESPONDENT: What was the nature of your life during this 30+ months?

RICHARD: It was of the nature of an actual freedom from the human condition ... put briefly: as a flesh and blood body only (sans identity in toto) it was epitomised by apperception.

RESPONDENT: Would you have claimed to be free during this period?

RICHARD: I spoke to nobody about it in those terms during that period (other than my then companion, of course, as she was witness to all that occurred) as it took some time for all the implications and ramifications of what had happened to sort themselves out.

I had, and have, no interest in leading my fellow human being astray with hasty appraisals and/or ill-founded diagnoses.

RESPONDENT: Free from concepts, illusions and delusions?

RICHARD: Free from illusion and delusion ... yes; concepts are another matter, however, as many of them were fed in from an early age (the sun, for instance, being a giant ball of nuclear fusion ... or, for another example, tobacco use being the cause of various illnesses).

RESPONDENT: Do you think if anybody were to become free from the condition through the bypass (via virtual freedom shortcutting the enlightenment), can you hazard a guess on the nature of the process?

RICHARD: It would be both a lot easier and a lot less traumatic (if at all) – it is incredibly difficult to escape from the massive delusion that spiritual enlightenment is – as there is now both a precedent and a detailed report/description/explanation available of both a virtual freedom and an actual freedom.

*

RESPONDENT: And if done, though they [MRI or relevant brain scans] haven’t located the self, would you think you will be aiding the research?

RICHARD: In what way would a brain scan be an aid ... and an aid to what? For example: what do you mean by ‘relevant’ and what do you mean by ‘the research’ (as in relevant to what specific research)? I only ask because, as far as I have been able to ascertain, nobody has ever contemplated – let alone conducted research – on there even being a possibility of becoming actually free from the human condition ... it is a blank area in human consideration (let alone in human experience/human history).

RESPONDENT: Maybe measure the amygdala activity?

RICHARD: Presuming there is any such activity to measure ... in what way would that be an aid (and an aid to what research)?

RESPONDENT: I don’t know much about the scans, but I thought since you are a singular case, some such measurements can provide some pointers to those (just like the brain circuitry examples in the writings).

RICHARD: Presuming there is any such measurement-pointers to those (presumed) activities ... in what way would that be an aid (and an aid to what research)?

*

RESPONDENT: Do you think comparing scans of normal being like myself with yours reveal useful information?

RICHARD: Again ... in what way would such a comparison reveal useful information? Or, to put that another way, what is it that you know about ‘MRI or relevant brain scans’ which prompts you to ask these questions? What I have found, when people ask this question/suggest this course of action (including the professional already mentioned), is that they know very little about what brain scans can or cannot reveal ... if anything at all.

RESPONDENT: I am not sure of what use they might be ... just thought that as a supplement to the DSM IV, maybe.

RICHARD: The DSM-IV (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders – fourth edition – the diagnostic criteria used by all psychiatrists and psychologists around the world for diagnosing mental disorders) is only about illness, not wellness.

RESPONDENT: Just to take a snapshot with all those parameters alpha, beta etc. Maybe in the future there might be enough understanding to make sense of the data.

RICHARD: Make some sense of the (presumed) data for what purpose, though?

*

RESPONDENT: ... you don’t see any possibility of some God running the show?

RICHARD: When the believer – ‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being (which is ‘being’ itself) – ended so too did any and all supreme beings become similarly extinct ... thus it has nothing to do with ending all beliefs that no possibility is seen of some god/goddess running the show. There is no god/goddess in this actual world: here all is pristine, pure ... nothing ‘dirty’, as it were, can get in.

RESPONDENT: Since you don’t claim to be omniscient, and haven’t searched through the galaxies, how can you rule out superior intelligence somewhere?

RICHARD: Are you are now asking about extra-terrestrial intelligence (such as the SETI people are looking out for)?

If so, I do not rule out some life-form, or life-forms, with a superior faculty of understanding and comprehending (as in intellect and sagacity) to the human faculty – which means with a superior ability to sensibly and thus judiciously think, reflect, appraise, plan, and implement considered activity for beneficial reasons (and to be able to rationally convey reasoned information to other similar life-forms so that coherent knowledge can accumulate throughout that species and to the next generations) – existing somewhere and somewhen other than the life-form on planet earth.

RESPONDENT: The Santa Claus example is clearly a belief.

RICHARD: If I may point out? I clearly said it has nothing to do with ending all beliefs that no possibility is seen of some god/goddess running the show ... when the believer – ‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being (which is ‘being’ itself) – ended so too did any and all supreme beings become similarly extinct.

RESPONDENT: But even after you grow out of the belief of the God, it still makes sense to ask: Is there something out there? No?

RICHARD: I will say it again for emphasis: there is no god/goddess in this actual world: here all is pristine, pure ... nothing ‘dirty’, as it were, can get in.

*

RESPONDENT: Or even some greater meaning or a purpose towards which the evolution is moving?

RICHARD: Hmm ... some ‘greater meaning or a purpose’ than what? Where one is the flesh and blood body only (sans identity in toto) one is this infinite and eternal and perpetual universe experiencing itself apperceptively ... as such it is stunningly aware of its own infinitude. And this is truly wonderful ... what, just what, could have ‘greater meaning or a purpose’ than that?

RESPONDENT: For the species to be able to go out in the space ...

RICHARD: If space-travel constitutes a ‘greater meaning or a purpose’ to you than this universe experiencing its own infinitude as an apperceptive sentient being then all I need to point to is the result that space-travel has so far produced ... to wit: astronauts on the earth’s moon extolling the virtues of the Judaic/Christian god.

RESPONDENT: ... evolve more faculties that are superior to one’s we have.

RICHARD: What kind of faculties do you have in mind ... and in what way would they be able to operate and function cleanly, clearly, and purely (given that whilst the affective faculty, and its epiphenomenal imaginative/psychic facility, are still in situ those faculties would also be crippled)?

RESPONDENT: I don’t know. Can we not ask whether such possibilities exist?

RICHARD: Sure you can ... when you ask them of me, however, you will be asked in return to think them through.

*

RESPONDENT: 4 – Somewhere you mentioned that ‘Presumably another is also free’ – who would that be?

RICHARD: ... If you could provide the passage you refer to it would be most appreciated.

RESPONDENT: Where you say: [quote] ‘I did say ‘presumably’ ... when there is more than at present virtually free, or even another actually free from the human condition, that presumption is no longer valid, of course’ [endquote]. I took it to mean that somebody other than you is free.

RICHARD: I see ... if you were to temporarily remove the reference to virtual freedom it may become more clear:

• [example only]: I did say ‘presumably’ ... when there is another actually free from the human condition, that presumption is no longer valid, of course. [end example].

The operative word is ‘when’ ... I was responding to a hypothetical question with a hypothetical answer.

April 13 2004

RESPONDENT: [Would you have claimed to be] free from concepts, illusions and delusions [during this 30+ months]?

RICHARD: Free from illusion and delusion ... yes; concepts are another matter, however, as many of them were fed in from an early age (the sun, for instance, being a giant ball of nuclear fusion ... or, for another example, tobacco use being the cause of various illnesses).

RESPONDENT: You took time to evaluate these concepts in that duration then?

RICHARD: No ... it did not occur to me it was a concept, and not a fact, that the sun was a giant ball of nuclear fusion until about five years ago; it did not occur to me it was a concept, and not a fact, that tobacco use was the cause of various illnesses until about two years ago (which is why I said that concepts are another matter).

Incidentally, there are many other factoids masquerading as facts ... those two are but examples.

*

RESPONDENT: And if done, though they [MRI or relevant brain scans] haven’t located the self, would you think you will be aiding the research?

RICHARD: In what way would a brain scan be an aid ... and an aid to what? For example: what do you mean by ‘relevant’ and what do you mean by ‘the research’ (as in relevant to what specific research)? I only ask because, as far as I have been able to ascertain, nobody has ever contemplated – let alone conducted research – on there even being a possibility of becoming actually free from the human condition ... it is a blank area in human consideration (let alone in human experience/human history).

RESPONDENT: Maybe measure the amygdala activity?

RICHARD: Presuming there is any such activity to measure ... in what way would that be an aid (and an aid to what research)?

RESPONDENT: As a supplement to the conjecture that the amygdala (the reptilian brain or the limbic system) is the source of the psychic self?

RICHARD: As no researchers, for all of their RI scans (Radio Isotope), CAT scans (Computerised Axial Tomography), CT scans (Computed Tomography), NMR scans (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance), PET scans (Positron Emission Tomography), MRA scans (Magnetic Resonance Angiography), MRI scans (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), and fMRI scans (functioning Magnetic Resonance Imaging), have been able to locate either ‘I’ as ego (the psychological self) or ‘me’ as soul (the psychic self) in what way will any such scans of the amygdalae in a person sans both the psychological self and the psychic self be a supplement to any such conjecture?

In other words: as no self has been located with such scans how will those same scans determine the absence of a self?

RESPONDENT: And an actual freedom from the human condition results in a reduced amygdala activity or even ends it?

RICHARD: If I may ask? Why the focus upon the amygdalae (two almond-shaped organs in from and just to the back of and below the ears) when I specifically report that the pressure-pain happened in the base of the brain/nape of the neck?

*

RESPONDENT: I don’t know much about the scans, but I thought since you are a singular case, some such measurements can provide some pointers to those (just like the brain circuitry examples in the writings).

RICHARD: Presuming there is any such measurement-pointers to those (presumed) activities ... in what way would that be an aid (and an aid to what research)?

RESPONDENT: Furthering the neuroscientific basis for the actual freedom and the diagnosis of the ills of the humankind?

RICHARD: Presuming there is any such measurement-pointers to those (presumed) activities of the amygdala: in what way would that (a) further what neuro-scientific basis for an actual freedom from the human condition ... and (b) further the diagnosis of the ills of the humankind?

I only ask because, as far as I have been able to ascertain, nobody has ever contemplated – let alone conducted neuro-scientific research – on there even being a possibility of becoming actually free from the human condition ... it is a blank area in human consideration (let alone in human experience/human history).

*

RESPONDENT: Do you think comparing scans of normal being like myself with yours reveal useful information?

RICHARD: Again ... in what way would such a comparison reveal useful information? Or, to put that another way, what is it that you know about ‘MRI or relevant brain scans’ which prompts you to ask these questions? What I have found, when people ask this question/ suggest this course of action (including the professional already mentioned), is that they know very little about what brain scans can or cannot reveal ... if anything at all.

RESPONDENT: I am not sure of what use they might be ... just thought that as a supplement to the DSM IV, maybe.

RICHARD: The DSM-IV (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders – fourth edition – the diagnostic criteria used by all psychiatrists and psychologists around the world for diagnosing mental disorders) is only about illness, not wellness.

RESPONDENT: Yes, viewed from the normalcy, it appears to be an illness; but the scans are objective data which can show an objective difference between a ‘normal’ brain and a brain that has transformed itself radically.

RICHARD: And just what ‘objective difference’ would that be you are referring to? Or, to put that another way, what is it that you know about brain scans which prompts you to make such a statement?

What I have found, when people make these statements/suggest these courses of action (including the professional already mentioned), is that they know very little about what brain scans can or cannot reveal ... if anything at all.

*

RESPONDENT: Just to take a snapshot with all those parameters alpha, beta etc. Maybe in the future there might be enough understanding to make sense of the data.

RICHARD: Make some sense of the (presumed) data for what purpose, though?

RESPONDENT: At this stage, it is simply curiosity.

RICHARD: I see ... I am to have all manner of brain scans so as to satisfy the curiosity of someone writing to me on the internet, eh?

RESPONDENT: The purpose to make sense of the data is what exactly has happened to Richard’s brain using the neuroscientific knowledge we have now.

RICHARD: I will ask it again for emphasis: as no self has been located with any brain scan how will such brain scans determine the absence of a self?

RESPONDENT: As such, only your subjective experience of the pain which tells you that something happened in the brain.

RICHARD: Not in the brain ... in the brain-stem (situated at the base of the brain/nape of the neck).

RESPONDENT: What exactly has happened will only be revealed by measurement, no?

RICHARD: What exactly has happened is that both an illusion (the psychological self) and a delusion (the psychic self) no longer hold sway in this flesh and blood body ... in what way can objective brain scans reveal the absence of a subjective illusion/delusion?

RESPONDENT: What has changed subjectively since then, we have your report.

RICHARD: Aye ... and a very detailed report it is: it is so detailed that anybody actively recalling a pure consciousness experience (PCE) knows ... um ... exactly what it is that I am reporting.

RESPONDENT: Just probing ... with curiosity.

RICHARD: Let me sketch out a scenario for you: I make an appointment with a local doctor (called a GP in Australia) in this seaside village I currently reside in and when the GP asks how they can help me I explain that someone writing to me on the internet wants me to have various brain scans done, which they neither not know much about nor are sure what use they will be, so as to satisfy their curiosity ... and when the GP asks me what the person writing to me on the internet is curious about, and I say that person wants objective proof of my report that both the illusory psychological self and the delusory psychic self no longer hold sway in this flesh and blood body, do you really think the GP is going to refer me to a specialist so that all manner of expensive brain scans can be made for you to look at and somehow (as yet unexplained) make sense of all the (supposed) data?

*

RESPONDENT: ... you don’t see any possibility of some God running the show?

RICHARD: When the believer – ‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being (which is ‘being’ itself) – ended so too did any and all supreme beings become similarly extinct ... thus it has nothing to do with ending all beliefs that no possibility is seen of some god/goddess running the show. There is no god/goddess in this actual world: here all is pristine, pure ... nothing ‘dirty’, as it were, can get in.

RESPONDENT: The Santa Claus example is clearly a belief.

RICHARD: If I may point out? I clearly said it has nothing to do with ending all beliefs that no possibility is seen of some god/goddess running the show ... when the believer – ‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being (which is ‘being’ itself) – ended so too did any and all supreme beings become similarly extinct.

RESPONDENT: The imaginary supreme being comes to an end when one ends the ‘being’ ... how is this a proof that after the ending of ‘being’, there isn’t a supreme being?

RICHARD: As you are presumably referring to an objective supreme being it may be pertinent to point out that the only proof of the very existence of such an entity, over millennia, has been subjective proof (if ‘proof’ is the right word) such as is being/has been provided by the reports/testimony of the many and varied saints, sages and seers and so on.

Do you not find it cute that you want objective proof of the absence of both a subjective being and a subjective supreme being?

*

RESPONDENT: But even after you grow out of the belief of the God, it still makes sense to ask: Is there something out there? No?

RICHARD: I will say it again for emphasis: there is no god/goddess in this actual world: here all is pristine, pure ... nothing ‘dirty’, as it were, can get in.

RESPONDENT: I don’t imagine a god presently ...

RICHARD: If I may interject? Where you recently wrote, in another e-mail, that ‘all knowledge is of the past’ and that ‘to have names of the states of mind is to live in the past’ and that ‘the word becomes the thing’ and that ‘once one shakes off himself off all the labels, all the knowledge that is of the past, then one is ever fresh’ and that ‘then there is stillness, the quietness of the mind, that allows the now without distorting it’ it did seem that such phrasing was reminiscent of the words of Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti.

Have you ever read about/listened to his teachings?

RESPONDENT: ... but I would like to find out if there is a god. I guess I need some time to evaluate the humanity’s case of god :). Some more time!

RICHARD: Each and every person is but a missed heart-beat or two away from death at any given moment.

RESPONDENT: I presume that you speak with such certainty out of your experience; having ended your illusions and delusions, and having spoken to people of all kinds, you have the conviction that all gods and demons are the likes of your own imagination, and as such all the humanity’s projections. Hence there is none, not needing you to speak to every one.

RICHARD: I see now that when you said ‘free from concepts, illusions and delusions’ (at the top of this page) you may very well have meant the many and varied concepts of god/goddess/truth/supreme being and so on ... if so it may be pertinent to point out that, having lived that/been that, night and day for eleven years, god/goddess/truth/supreme being and so on were not concepts for me but a lived reality (then).

As is evident in an altered state of consciousness (ASC).

RESPONDENT: So I have to go through that exercise myself.

RICHARD: One direct experience – as in a pure consciousness experience (PCE) – is worth a life-time of evaluating humanity’s case for god/goddess.

*

RESPONDENT: Or even some greater meaning or a purpose towards which the evolution is moving?

RICHARD: Hmm ... some ‘greater meaning or a purpose’ than what? Where one is the flesh and blood body only (sans identity in toto) one is this infinite and eternal and perpetual universe experiencing itself apperceptively ... as such it is stunningly aware of its own infinitude. And this is truly wonderful ... what, just what, could have ‘greater meaning or a purpose’ than that?

RESPONDENT: Just as you don’t rule out SETI type higher intelligence, it maybe possible that there is a plan of evolution or some other ‘thing’ (god or extra-terrestrial intelligence) though there is no evidence of any such thing ... that we move to the next stage of intelligence.

RICHARD: If I may point out? There is a vast difference between the possibility of the existence of a life-form, or life-forms, other than the human life-form having a superior intelligence to human intelligence and the possibility of a plan of evolution that was hatched by a non-existent god/goddess ... so much so that the comparison (as in your ‘just as you don’t rule out SETI type higher intelligence’ phrasing) simply does not even get off the ground.

RESPONDENT: Just speculating ... nothing wrong with speculation, no?

RICHARD: No ... when you send your speculations to me, however, you will be asked in return to think them through.

*

RESPONDENT: I don’t know [what could have some greater meaning or a purpose than what]. Can we not ask whether such possibilities exist?

RICHARD: Sure you can ... when you ask them of me, however, you will be asked in return to think them through.

RESPONDENT: Fair enough ... I enjoy this discussion ... I guess I should think a little more.

RICHARD: As there is no evidence in this e-mail that you have thought your possibilities/speculations through even ‘a little more’ maybe it needs more than just a guess that you should?

RESPONDENT: Sometime thinking alone gets tiring for me :).

RICHARD: Going by what you have written so far I can get an inkling as to why.

RESPONDENT: But this is fun :).

RICHARD: If I may suggest? It would be even more fun if you actually thought them through (rather than just guessing that you should) before you reach for your keyboard again.

It would also have the added advantage of saving a lot of to-ing and fro-ing of e-mails.

May 01 2004

RICHARD: Make some sense of the (presumed) data from brain scans for what purpose, though?

RESPONDENT: At this stage, it is simply curiosity.

RICHARD: I see ... I am to have all manner of brain scans so as to satisfy the curiosity of someone writing to me on the internet, eh?

RESPONDENT: No no, just trying to arouse your curiosity :) so as to derive some [unknown to me] benefits from [unknown to me] results one might find. I was thinking along these lines: Richard’s brain underwent some change ...

RICHARD: If I may interject? It was in the brain-stem (situated at the base of the brain/nape of the neck) ... in what is popularly known as the ‘reptilian brain’.

RESPONDENT: ... so there has to be a fundamental difference in the way it functions which might be revealed in these scans.

RICHARD: The fundamental difference is that both an illusion (the psychological self) and a delusion (the psychic self) are no longer extant in this flesh and blood body.

RESPONDENT: It would take a neuroscientist who takes your words and curious to find out what that fundamental difference is (with your co-operation).

RICHARD: In what way can (objective) brain scans reveal the absence of a (subjective) illusion/delusion when such scans have been unable to reveal the presence of such a self?

RESPONDENT: You are perfectly right in wanting a convincing reason (which I am not able to provide) to undergo all this stuff. I was asking you these questions just as my curiosity was aroused when I learnt that you underwent DSM IV – in the same spirit.

RICHARD: As the spirit in which I sought psychiatric/ psychological assessment was to ascertain what psychiatry/psychology made of being able to directly experience the pristine perfection of this actual world permanently, and not just temporarily in a pure consciousness experience (PCE), in what way does neuroscience – ‘a branch (as neurophysiology) of the life sciences that deals with the anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, or molecular biology of nerves and nervous tissue and especially with their relation to behaviour and learning’ (Merriam Webster Dictionary) – differ inasmuch it could come up with some other finding?

RESPONDENT: I think I am beating around the bush a lot here :). Thanks for answering.

RICHARD: Here is what that phrase can mean:

• ‘beat about the bush (fig.): approach a subject indirectly, not come to the point’. (Oxford Dictionary).

What I have found, when people ask me about brain scans, is that what they really want is proof that my report/description/explanation is true ... when the only proof worthy of the name is the experiential proof which is startlingly evident in a PCE.

Then one intimately knows what I am talking about ... and why I am sharing it with my fellow human being.

*

RESPONDENT: I don’t imagine a god presently ...

RICHARD: If I may interject? Where you recently wrote, in another e-mail, that ‘all knowledge is of the past’ and that ‘to have names of the states of mind is to live in the past’ and that ‘the word becomes the thing’ and that ‘once one shakes off himself off all the labels, all the knowledge that is of the past, then one is ever fresh’ and that ‘then there is stillness, the quietness of the mind, that allows the now without distorting it’ it did seem that such phrasing was reminiscent of the words of Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti. Have you ever read about/listened to his teachings?

RESPONDENT: Yes I have read Krishnamurti.

RICHARD: Okay ... you would be aware that he was a god, then? For example:

• [Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti]: ‘I am God’. (page 65, Krishnamurti, ‘The Path’, 3rd Edition, Star Publishing Trust: Ommen 1930).

And:

• [Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti]: ‘... to discover God or truth – and I say such a thing does exist, I have realised it – to recognise that, to realise that, mind must be free of all the hindrances which have been created throughout the ages’. (‘The Book Of Life: Daily Meditations With J. Krishnamurti’, December Chapter. Published by Harper, San Francisco ; ©1995 KFA).

RESPONDENT: But I wrote it out of my experience. I think the knowledge that comes out of the thinker – conceptual and belief based – distorts the observation of the feelings. When one is free of the conceptual non-sense, one is free to look into the feelings and how it operates. Then there is different kind of knowledge, factual – based on observation. But again it can get recorded in a generalized form which one has to counter in the future observations. There seems to be an inherent difficulty in self-observation.

RICHARD: As the self which Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti observed, for 60+ years, was the self he variously called god, or truth, or that which is sacred, holy, and so on, you ain’t just whistlin’ Dixie there.

Obviously a different approach is called for, eh?

*

RESPONDENT: Just speculating [that it maybe possible that there is a plan of evolution or some other ‘thing’ (god or extra-terrestrial intelligence)] ... nothing wrong with speculation, no?

RICHARD: No ... when you send your speculations to me, however, you will be asked in return to think them through.

RESPONDENT: I don’t know [what could have some greater meaning or a purpose than what]. Can we not ask whether such possibilities exist?

RICHARD: Sure you can ... when you ask them of me, however, you will be asked in return to think them through.

RESPONDENT: Fair enough ... I enjoy this discussion ... I guess I should think a little more.

RICHARD: As there is no evidence in this e-mail that you have thought your possibilities/speculations through even ‘a little more’ maybe it needs more than just a guess that you should?

RESPONDENT: I should I should I should :).

RICHARD: Hmm ... and have you?

*

RESPONDENT: Sometime thinking alone gets tiring for me :).

RICHARD: Going by what you have written so far I can get an inkling as to why.

RESPONDENT: Why? Too much speculation?

RICHARD: No ... too little thinking your possibilities/speculations through.

*

RESPONDENT: But this is fun :).

RICHARD: If I may suggest? It would be even more fun if you actually thought them through (rather than just guessing that you should) before you reach for your keyboard again. It would also have the added advantage of saving a lot of to-ing and fro-ing of e-mails.

RESPONDENT: Fair enough. Shall do some thinking.

RICHARD: What I actually suggested was to think your possibilities/speculations through ... not just do some thinking.

Continued on AF Mailing List, No 71

Continued from AF Mailing List, No 71

December 11 2004

RESPONDENT: Richard claims that all the people he spoke to had PCE’s ...

RICHARD: Not so ... I report that all the people I have spoken to *at length* on this topic can *recall* having had a pure consciousness experience (PCE). For example:

• [Richard]: ‘... all the people I have spoken to at length could recall having had a PCE – as distinct from an altered state of consciousness (ASC) – although it sometimes took a quite a while for them to remember. Once it took over three hours of intensive description/discussion – as being sans any affective content whatsoever the PCE cannot be stored in the affective memory banks (which is where the ASC is primarily located) – plus they are much more common in childhood and require further reach.
Also ‘I’ have a vested interest in not remembering such an experience of pristine perfection as it would mean the beginning of the end of, not only ‘me’, but the extinction of ‘being’ itself (‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being is ‘being’ itself) ... which is quite often capitalised as ‘Being’ (aka ‘Truth’, ‘God’, ‘Isness’, ‘All That Is’, ‘That’, and so on) upon self-realisation. (...)’.

Has it never occurred to you that were peoples everywhere able to readily recall such moments of perfection then an actual freedom from the human condition would probably have been discovered ages ago?

RESPONDENT: ... some of them could only remember after repeated prodding?

RICHARD: I copy-pasted the words <repeated prodding> into a search engine and sent it through everything I have ever written, only to have it return nil hits, and a similar search for the word <prodding> also found nothing: if you could provide the text wherein you read those words it would be most appreciated.

RESPONDENT: What is the credibility of such a report as the prodding can bias the subject?

RICHARD: You may find the following informative (from the same e-mail as above):

• [Richard]: ‘... I have read descriptions of such experiences [PCE’s] at random over the years – and seen/heard descriptions on television/radio – *thus it is not a matter of my prompts implanting such a notion or even me putting words in their mouth* ... and a good example of this happened only recently when a co-respondent referred me to books written by some ‘positive psychologists’, whilst discussing the subject of happiness in normal people, one of which books I found on-line in its totality. Here is an excerpt from the first chapter which immediately caught my eye:

• [quote] ‘One summer day, 40 years ago or so, I was walking along a residential street when an rich, earthy scent wafted my way and triggered, as smells are wont to do, a vivid recollection. Like Dorothy, stepping out of her front door into the Technicolor Land of Oz, I remembered another summer’s day when I was 4 years old, playing in a bank of warm, black dirt in the back yard of my home. I had a little red toy car for which I’d made a road slanting up the face of the dirt bank and, in my recollection, I was ‘driving’ the car up this mountain road while making motor noises. That’s all there was, no real action, yet the memory, in the few seconds before it faded away, was redolent with the smell and feel of the warm dirt, the bright colour of the toy, the hot sun – with simple but intensely pleasurable sensory experience. When I read Aldous Huxley’s account of his mescaline experience, of his feeling that the colours, shapes, and textures of his books on the shelves across the room were as intense an experience as he could bear and that he dared not look outside at the flowers in the garden, I thought of my brief revisitation of my childhood’. (www.psych.umn.edu/psyfac/emeritus_sr/Lykken/HapChap%201.htm#_edn3  David Lykken, Chapter 1, ‘Happiness: The Nature and Nurture of Joy and Contentment’).

The various people I have discussed these matters with have invariably recalled similar ‘Technicolor Land’ experiences in childhood ... sometimes referred to as a ‘nature experience’, a ‘peak experience’, a ‘jamais vu experience’, or even an ‘aesthetic experience’. And not only have I witnessed children having such an experience, and spoken with them about while it is happening, but recall having the same myself on many an occasion: often in early childhood there would be a ‘slippage’ of the brain, somewhat analogous to an automatic transmission changing into a higher gear too soon, and the magical world where time had no workaday meaning would emerge in all its sparkling wonder ... where I could wander for hours at a time in gay abandon with whatever was happening.
They were the pre-school years: soon such experiences would occur of a weekend (at school I became known as ‘the dreamer’ and had many a rude awakening to everyday reality by various teachers) ... so much so that I would later on call them ‘Saturday Morning’ experiences where, contrary to having to be dragged out of bed during the week, I would be up and about at first light, traipsing through the fields and the forests with the early morning rays of sunshine dancing their magic on the glistening dew-drops suspended from the greenery everywhere; where kookaburras are echoing their laughing-like calls to one another and magpies are warbling their liquid sounds; where an abundance of aromas and scents are drifting fragrantly all about; where every pore of the skin is being caressed by the friendly ambience of the balmy air; where benevolence and benignity streams endlessly bathing all in its impeccable integrity. (...)’. [emphasis added].

This magical world is what occasions me to write like this:

• [Richard]: ‘When one walks naked (sans ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul) in the infinitude of this actual universe there is the direct experiencing that there is something precious in living itself. Something beyond compare. Something more valuable than any ‘King’s Ransom’. It is not rare gemstones; it is not singular works of art; it is not the much-prized bags of money; it is not the treasured loving relationships; it is not the highly esteemed blissful and rapturous ‘States Of Being’ ... it is not any of these things usually considered precious. There is something ultimately precious that makes the ‘sacred’ a mere bauble.
It is the essential character of the infinitude of the universe – which is the life-giving foundation of all that is apparent – as a physical actuality. The limpid and lucid purity and perfection of actually being just here at this place in infinite space right now at this moment in eternal time is akin to the crystalline perfection and purity seen in a dew-drop hanging from the tip of a leaf in the early-morning sunshine; the sunrise strikes the transparent bead of moisture with its warming rays, highlighting the flawless correctness of the tear-drop shape with its bellied form. One is left almost breathless with wonder at the immaculate simplicity so exemplified ... and everyone I have spoken with at length has experienced this impeccable integrity and excellence in some way or another at varying stages in their life.
This preciosity is what one is as-one-is – me as I am in actuality as distinct from ‘me’ as ‘I’ am in reality – for one is the universe’s experience of itself. Is it not impossible to conceive – and just too difficult to imagine – that this is one’s essential character? One has to be daring enough to live it – for it is both one’s audacious birth-right and one’s adventurous destiny – thus the pure consciousness experience (PCE) is but the harbinger of the potential made actual.
Put succinctly: there is an unimaginable purity which is born out of the stillness of the infinitude as manifest at this moment in time and this place in space ... but one will not come upon it by thinking about or feeling out its character. It is most definitely not a matter to be pursued in the rarefied atmosphere of the most refined mind or the evocative milieu of the most impassioned heart.
One must come to one’s senses ... both literally and metaphorically.

It is not for nothing that I say actualism is experiential ... armchair philosophising will get one nowhere fast.

RESPONDENT: Because a lot depends on this claim ... in fact the method rests on this claim ... if this isn’t true for everyone, then the method can be applied only to a select few.

RICHARD: I have addressed such a conclusion before ... for instance:

• [Richard]: ‘As everybody I spoke to at length – everybody – could recall at least one PCE, and usually more, it would be a very strange situation indeed that it be not an experience common to all people but only to those whom I engaged with on an ad hoc basis for two decades or more’.

As actualism, which the very term itself expresses admirably, is all about what is actual there are no select few and/or chosen ones in regards peace-on-earth, in this lifetime, for a flesh and blood body.

RESPONDENT: How many of the list members have had PCE’s?

RICHARD: If I may point out? As it is not a question of having had a PCE but, rather, recalling having had one your query is a red-herring (more on this further below).

RESPONDENT: I for one cannot remember any ...

RICHARD: As a suggestion only: as you can remember having experienced altered states of consciousness (ASC’s) there may very well be a vested interest in not recalling a PCE. Vis.:

• [Richard]: ‘Where you recently wrote, in another e-mail, that ‘all knowledge is of the past’ and that ‘to have names of the states of mind is to live in the past’ and that ‘the word becomes the thing’ and that ‘once one shakes off himself off all the labels, all the knowledge that is of the past, then one is ever fresh’ and that ‘then there is stillness, the quietness of the mind, that allows the now without distorting it’ it did seem that such phrasing was reminiscent of the words of Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti. Have you ever read about/listened to his teachings?
• [Respondent]: ‘Yes I have read Krishnamurti. But *I wrote it out of my experience*. (...)’. [emphasis added]. (Re: Questions To Richard; Friday 16/04/2004 AEST).

RESPONDENT: ... there are around 70 subscribers to the list ... it will be useful to have the data as to how many have had PCE’s and how many haven’t.

RICHARD: As your posts have not demonstrated much familiarity with what are called ‘red-herrings’ and ‘straw man arguments’ this may be an apt place to point out that conclusions drawn from invalid premises almost invariably lead to vapid speculation.

December 11 2004

RESPONDENT: How can one be friendly with oneself if the identity is seen as a parasite inside the body?

RICHARD: Where it is no longer a case of ‘if’ it is dead easy.

April 27 2005

RESPONDENT: Richard, you say [quote] ‘If it were not for physical death one could not be happy ... let alone harmless’ [endquote]. How is that possible?

RICHARD: I have sometimes asked peoples of a ‘Jehovah’s Witness’ persuasion, when they come knocking on my door and showing me paintings of their imaginary paradise on earth after their god has annihilated 5,993,000,000 of the 6,000,000,000 human beings currently alive by treading them in a winepress, whether they have ever considered what it would be like in fact, rather than fancy, to be the flesh and blood body they are for ever and a day (locked into being a specific body-type, a female, for instance, endlessly giving birth to baby after baby for all eternity).

Which means for billions upon billions of years ... and still more billions to come.

RESPONDENT: You haven’t experienced physical death.

RICHARD: As the word ‘experience’ refers to a sentient creature participating personally in events or activities then nobody experiences physical death – physical death means the cessation of sentience (aka consciousness) – thus all that can be experienced is what immediately precedes that instant of cessation.

I had a general anaesthesia once (at age nineteen) for the surgical removal of a thyroid gland: I was wheeled into an operating theatre mid-afternoon and prepared; the anaesthetist asked me to count backwards from ten; obligingly I said ‘ten’, ‘nine’, ‘eight’, ‘se ...’ (literally cut off mid-word); upon coming-to I was lying in my allocated bed in the ward; the lights were on/it was dark outside the windows; there was a throbbing pain in the left front-side of the neck; there was no remembrance whatsoever of what had transpired after the truncated count-down; there was no awareness even of the passage of time (as is the case upon waking from sleep); there was nothing at all, not even a blankness or a nothingness, to re-call.

To this day it is as if 4-5 hours have been excised from my life.

RESPONDENT: How does it have anything to do with being happy and harmless?

RICHARD: It basically has to do with endurance and, therefore, seriousness. As no body endures it means that nothing really matters in the long-term and, as nothing actually is of enduring importance (in this ultimate sense), it is simply not possible to take life seriously ... sincerely, yes, but seriously?

No way ... life is much too much fun to be serious!

April 27 2005

RESPONDENT: Richard, you have written that it took three weeks for you to rid yourself of anger.

RICHARD: You are, presumably, referring to the following text:

• [Richard]: ‘Speaking personally, the first thing I did in 1981 was to put an end to anger once and for all ... then I was freed enough to live in virtual freedom. It took me about three weeks and I have never experienced anger since then. The first step was to say ‘YES’ to being here on earth, for I located and identified that basic resentment that all people that I have spoken to have. To wit: ‘I didn’t ask to be born!’ This is why remembering a PCE is so important for success for it shows one, first hand, that freedom is already always here ... now. With the memory of that crystal-clear perfection held firmly in mind ... that basic resentment goes. Then it is a relatively easy task to eliminate anger forever. One does this by neither expressing or repressing anger when an event happens that would previously trigger an outbreak.
Anger is thus put into a bind ... and the third alternative hoves into view’.

RESPONDENT: Can you please sketch what you did in that time?

RICHARD: Sure ... as I was able to locate and identify that basic resentment which all people I had spoken to have – to wit: ‘I didn’t ask to be born!’ – the first thing I did was to unconditionally say !YES! to being here on earth. Remembering the pure consciousness experiences (PCE’s) I had experienced was vitally important for success because they showed me, first hand, that an actual freedom from the human condition is already always just here ... right now. With the memory of that crystal-clear perfection held firmly in mind that basic resentment went, of course, never to return again. Then it was a relatively easy task to eliminate anger forever. I did this by neither expressing or repressing anger whenever an event happened that would previously trigger an outbreak.
Anger was thus put into a bind ... and the third alternative would hove into view.

RESPONDENT: Were you analysing, reflecting on all possible situations in which anger arises?

RICHARD: No ... it was an at-the-moment riddance.

RESPONDENT: Or were you angry at something and tried to observe it deeply?

RICHARD: No ... the instant the anger would have otherwise arisen there was the delicious experience of it being stillborn.

RESPONDENT: Were you making yourself mad by thinking about various situations and through self-observation and reasoning and attentiveness eradicated it?

RICHARD: No ... as there were more than enough situations anyway there was no need to fabricate any.

RESPONDENT: Were you isolated at this point or did this exercise with your partner?

RICHARD: Even though I was married at the time – I was a normal family man, with a wife and four children to support and a house to pay off and a car on hire-purchase, running my own business and working twelve-fourteen hour days six-seven days a week – I was essentially on my own in the whole enterprise ... my then wife, although initially intrigued and interested for herself in what I was engaged in, lapsed back into normalcy within a few months.

As a matter of related interest ... one of the most persistent forms of anger is indignation (or righteous anger/justifiable anger): it can be eradicated rather simply by the realisation that its raison d’être – a guardian against injustice, unjustness, unfairness, inequality (partiality, discrimination, and so on) – is as much a human invention as those concepts it defends ... justice, justness, fairness, equality (impartiality, indiscrimination, and so on).

I have touched upon this elsewhere:

• [Richard]: ‘There is no ‘chaos’ and ‘order’ as a ‘sub-stratum of the universe’ ... they are but human inventions and do not exist in actuality. The same applies to fairness/unfairness, justice/injustice and any other human concepts that, whilst being useful for human-to-human interaction, are futility in action when applied to the universe. Male logic is as useless as female intuition when it comes to being free: the everyday reality of the ‘real-world’ is a veneer ‘I’ paste over the top of the pristine actual world by ‘my’ very being ... and ‘being’ is the savage/tender instinctual passions (giving rise to feelings of malice/love and sorrow/compassion etc., with the resultant concepts of bad/good and evil/god and so on) which cripples intelligence by invariably producing dualistic concepts.
‘Tis all a fantasy ... feelings rule in the human world’.

April 27 2005

RESPONDENT: Richard, have you encountered a situation where people want to test your ‘harmlessness’ by poking, trying to be mean etc. in real lives?

RICHARD: Aye, on many an occasion ... both in face-face situations and on this mailing list (where it happens more often due to lack of physical restraint).

By the very nature of the human condition human beings, through no fault of their own, are self-centred and some are more so than others – some to the point of feeling, and thus thinking, that the world revolves around them – and it never occurs to those, who do just that, that they are simply wasting both their time and a vital opportunity by manifesting the same-same behaviour (and using the same-same techniques) as the many who have done so before them have done ... being so self-centred as to be fondly imagining that their own fundamental sphincter-muscle, which they are wearing around their neck, is a dainty little necklet they are unable to realise that they, and therefore their behaviour and techniques, are in no way unique.

In short: trying to get me riled is as futile as shaking a fist at the firmament, and fulminating against the universe, is ... it has no effect whatsoever.

Furthermore, those who do it frequently on this discussion list are, by mistaking freedom from moderation as a licence for anarchy, openly demonstrating to all and sundry (other than to themselves, though, or they would cease forthwith) why the very rules, regulations, protocols, etiquettes, and so on, they are rebelling against in general have been needed, are needed, and will remain needed.

‘Tis a weird way to try to convince those, in a position of governance, to cease governing as the only effect is to emphasise why the need is there in the first place, eh?

Oh, well ... c’est la vie, I guess.

May 19 2005

RICHARD: (...) It is the very fact of physical death – everybody alive today on this planet will eventually be dead – which ensures happiness and harmlessness ... if everything alive today were to all-of-a-sudden endure forever then everything would matter in the long-term (everything would be of enduring importance (in this ultimate sense) and, therefore, life would be a serious business.

RESPONDENT: I understood that if there were to be [physical] immortality, the equation changes quite a bit ... life would be a serious business.

RICHARD: Exactly.

RESPONDENT: Death would be a very unfortunate event ...

RICHARD: If everything alive today were to all-of-a-sudden endure forever there would be no death to be an event (be it very unfortunate or otherwise).

RESPONDENT: ... any mistake has eternal consequence. Death indeed relieves one from the burden of such a long term existential dilemmas.

RICHARD: Indeed.

RESPONDENT: [Addendum]: Just to add the note: the original question regarding ‘if it were not for physical death one could not be happy ... let alone harmless’ is clear to me now – as to what you mean by it.

RICHARD: Okay.

RESPONDENT: But does this mean that the desire for longevity and immortality (probably sourced in identity’s desire) will fail?

RICHARD: There is no necessity whatsoever for (eternal) longevity in actuality as the very stuff of flesh and blood bodies, being the same-same stuff as the stuff of the universe, is already always existent.

And the persistent (apperceptive) experiencing of this perpetuity is truly wonderful.

RESPONDENT: Does it rule out the possibility of man one day finding the elixir of life?

RICHARD: There is no need to even search for an elixir vitae – the very stuff each and every body is comprised of (and each and every thing for that matter) is already always existent – let alone find one.

If you were to hold a hand up before the eyes, palm towards the face, and rotate it slowly through space – all the while considering that the very stuff the hand is comprised of is as old as the universe – whilst looking from the front of the eyes, as it were (and not through the eyes), what is being discussed may very well become apparent as an experiential understanding.

One experience is worth a thousand words.

May 25 2005

RICHARD: (...) as I was able to locate and identify that basic resentment which all people I had spoken to have – to wit: ‘I didn’t ask to be born!’ – the first thing I did was to unconditionally say !YES! to being here on earth. Remembering the pure consciousness experiences (PCE’s) I had experienced was vitally important for success because they showed me, first hand, that an actual freedom from the human condition is already always just here ... right now. With the memory of that crystal-clear perfection held firmly in mind that basic resentment went, of course, never to return again.

RESPONDENT: Is this basic resentment the source of all depression and sorrow?

RICHARD: No, that basic resentment is what hampers sincere investigation and hinders genuine progress ... the source of sorrow itself, and thus depression and all the rest, is not being what one actually is. For instance:

• [Richard]: ‘There is only one person in this whole wide world that one can change ... myself. This is the most important point to understand thoroughly, otherwise one endlessly tries to change the other ... and as there are billions of ‘others’ it would be a life-time task with still no success at the end. If one grasps that the way to peace-on-earth is by changing oneself – and oneself only – then all of one’s interactions with others will undergo a radical transformation. You set them free of your graceless demands ... your endless neediness born out of being alone in the world. The cause of sadness and loneliness [aka sorrow] is not, as is commonly believed, alienation from others. The single reason for being alone and lonely is from not being what-I-am. By not being this flesh and blood body just brimming with sensory organs, but being, instead, an identity within ‘I’ am doomed to perpetual loneliness and aloneness. ‘I’ am fated to ever pursue an elusive ‘Someone’ or ‘Something’ that will fill that aching void.
When I am what-I-am, there is no void. By being what I actually am – this body only – I have no need for others; hence I also have no need to place the burden upon them to fulfil that what was lacking. Not only do I free myself from that perpetual pursuit, but I also free others in my company from the task ‘I’ impose upon them. Being this sensual body is actual fulfilment, each moment again. Nevermore will I be needy, greedy and grasping. Nevermore will I plot and plan and manipulate others. Nevermore will I have to prostitute myself to others to assuage those main attributes of the identity within: being lost, lonely, frightened and cunning. Being what-I-am is to be free-flowing, spontaneous, delightful ... and it is fun, for one can never be hurt again’.

May 26 2005

RESPONDENT No. 71: Richard, actualism is experiencing that matter is not merely passive ... what does it mean?

RICHARD: Another way of saying it is that actualism is the direct experience that matter is not inert.

RESPONDENT No. 71: If you have a stone in your hand (matter), it is passive right?

RICHARD: Only in the real-world.

RESPONDENT: [Merriam-Webster Dictionary]: passive: not acting or operating; inert’. [endquote]. The stone in the hand does not act or operate (at the moment you are holding in the hand), right?

RICHARD: In the real-world ... yes; in actuality ... no.

RESPONDENT: How is it not passive?

RICHARD: In actuality matter is vibrant, potent ... literally everything material is intrinsically active, vigorous. This fundamental dynamism, this elemental efficacy, is the very actuality of all existence – the actualness of everything – as matter itself, being of infinite perpetuance/ eternal perdurability, is anything but inoperative (passive) or inactive (inert).

And wherever/whenever this perennial matter is sentient the potential exists for it to be conscious of its own essential nature.

May 06 2005

RESPONDENT: Richard, you say [quote] ‘If it were not for physical death one could not be happy ... let alone harmless’ [endquote]. How is that possible?

RICHARD: I have sometimes asked peoples of a ‘Jehovah’s Witness’ persuasion, when they come knocking on my door and showing me paintings of their imaginary paradise on earth after their god has annihilated 5,993,000,000 of the 6,000,000,000 human beings currently alive by treading them in a winepress, whether they have ever considered what it would be like in fact, rather than fancy, to be the flesh and blood body they are for ever and a day (locked into being a specific body-type, a female, for instance, endlessly giving birth to baby after baby for all eternity). Which means for billions upon billions of years ... and still more billions to come.

RESPONDENT: I can understand that being locked as ‘identity’ (with all the sorrow and malice implied) for eternity as not desirable ... but I don’t quite understand that the scenario to be the same for a person who is actually free from the human condition.

RICHARD: Only an identity, being forever locked-out of actuality, desires immortality ... the very stuff of a flesh and blood body, being the same-same stuff as the stuff of the universe, is as old as the universe (which is eternal).

RESPONDENT: If he were (!) to exist for eternity, doesn’t the life hold endless variety to be fun for eternity?

RICHARD: There is nothing endlessly variable about giving birth to baby after baby for billions upon billions of years ... and still more billions to come.

RESPONDENT: I can’t quite comprehend it ...

RICHARD: Neither can the peoples of a ‘Jehovah’s Witness’ persuasion, when they come knocking on my door and showing me paintings of their imaginary paradise on earth, either ... for such is the grip imagination has that actuality is nowhere to be seen.

RESPONDENT: ... but maybe you can answer that one.

RICHARD: That which an identity is seeking – that which is permanent (as in unborn and undying) – is what its host (the flesh and blood body) is comprised of.

*

RESPONDENT: You haven’t experienced physical death.

RICHARD: As the word ‘experience’ refers to a sentient creature participating personally in events or activities then nobody experiences physical death – physical death means the cessation of sentience (aka consciousness) – thus all that can be experienced is what immediately precedes that instant of cessation. I had a general anaesthesia once (at age nineteen) for the surgical removal of a thyroid gland: I was wheeled into an operating theatre mid-afternoon and prepared; the anaesthetist asked me to count backwards from ten; obligingly I said ‘ten’, ‘nine’, ‘eight’, ‘se ...’ (literally cut off mid-word); upon coming-to I was lying in my allocated bed in the ward; the lights were on/it was dark outside the windows; there was a throbbing pain in the left front-side of the neck; there was no remembrance whatsoever of what had transpired after the truncated count-down; there was no awareness even of the passage of time (as is the case upon waking from sleep); there was nothing at all, not even a blankness or a nothingness, to re-call. To this day it is as if 4-5 hours have been excised from my life.

RESPONDENT: I understand what you are saying. But I still fail to grasp why (and how you can say) that ‘physical death’ is essential for being happy and harmless (as you haven’t died but still are happy and harmless).

RICHARD: It is the very fact of physical death – everybody alive today on this planet will eventually be dead – which ensures happiness and harmlessness ... if everything alive today were to all-of-a-sudden endure forever then everything would matter in the long-term (everything would  be of enduring importance (in this ultimate sense) and, therefore, life would  be a serious business.

*

RESPONDENT: How does it have anything to do with being happy and harmless?

RICHARD: It basically has to do with endurance and, therefore, seriousness.

RESPONDENT: Can you please elaborate on this point?

RICHARD: Sure ... this planet, indeed the entire solar system, is going to cease to exist in its current form about 4.5 billion years from now (or some-such figure). All these words – yours, mine, and others (all the dictionaries, encyclopaedias, scholarly tomes and so on) – will perish and all the monuments, all the statues, all the tombstones, all the sacred sites, all the carefully conserved/carefully restored memorabilia, will vanish as if they had never existed ... nothing will remain of any human endeavour (including yours truly).

Nothing at all ... nil, zero, zilch.

Which means that nothing really matters in the long-term and, as nothing actually is of enduring importance (in this ultimate sense), it means that life can in no way be a serious business.

*

RICHARD: As no body endures ...

RESPONDENT: What do you mean by ‘no body endures’?

RICHARD: I mean it in this sense:

• ‘endure: remain in existence, last, persist; (synonyms) live on, continue, remain, stay, survive; (antonyms) die, fade’. (Oxford Dictionary).

RESPONDENT: Endures what?

RICHARD: Endures forever.

As no body is perdurable – ‘enduring continuously, permanent; everlasting, eternal’ (Oxford Dictionary) – no body endures forever ... the very stuff bodies are comprised of, however, being the same-same stuff as the stuff of the universe, does endure, is perdurable.

Put simply: this infinite and eternal and perdurable universe is a veritable mobilis perpetuum.

*

RICHARD: [As no body endures] it means that nothing really matters in the long-term and, as nothing actually is of enduring importance (in this ultimate sense), it is simply not possible to take life seriously ... sincerely, yes, but seriously? No way ... life is much too much fun to be serious!

RESPONDENT: Wouldn’t that be so for eternity if that were possible (by say, medical advancements?).

RICHARD: Again, only an identity, being forever locked-out of actuality, desires immortality – the very stuff of a flesh and blood body, being the same-same stuff as the stuff of the universe, is already always existent – and, as this flesh and blood body only (sans identity in toto), one is that eternal stuff ... directly (apperceptively) experiencing its own perpetuity.

And this is truly wonderful.

Continued on AF Mailing List, No 30


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