Actual Freedom – The Actual Freedom Mailing List Correspondence

Richard’s Correspondence

On The Actual Freedom Mailing List

With Correspondent No. 97


August 26 2005

RESPONDENT: Richard, my patience has an end.

RICHARD: Did you know your patience has an end before reaching for the keyboard to inform me that you would like to remind me who the phrase [quote] ‘the unexamined life is not worth living for man’ [endquote] is by? Furthermore, did you know it had an end before asserting that such an all-dismissive phrase it is a quote which I fondly and regularly use? Moreover, did you know it had an end before claiming you have not anywhere seen me giving credit to the author of such an all-dismissive quote? Even more to the point, did you know it had an end before alleging that what Mr. Plato has Mr. Socrates say is [quote] ‘the original’ [endquote] of some, as yet unprovided, texts of mine wherein you averred I too had seen fit to use such all-dismissive terminology (as in ‘the unexamined life is not worth living for man’) with ‘for man’ replaced with ‘second-rate living’?

RESPONDENT: The structure of the necessary word-by-word operation in order to transform Plato’s phrase into yours is by now (for the first time, I admit) correctly explained.

RICHARD: May I ask? What occurs when you read the following: [Richard]: ‘Having never studied philosophy, *and being thus unfamiliar with the quote*, I wanted to ascertain if the crux of the phrase – the blanket assertion that such a life is [quote] ‘not worth living’ [endquote] – was consistent throughout various renditions or but a vagary of the translation process ... because nowhere have I ever said that the unexamined life/life without enquiry (aka a normal life) is any such thing for any person irregardless of gender’. [emphasis added].

(...)

RESPONDENT: Now then, to cut this long story a little shorter (...) The sentence ‘the unexamined life is second-rate living’, which you used in some documents 8 years ago ...

RICHARD: Here is the first instance (transcribed from a tape-recording):

R: When one starts examining things that one has taken for granted, life becomes infinitely more interesting.
Q(1): I can see now how it was before I started on all this.
R: It is fascinating that none of this kind of personal inquiry came up in your spiritual years.
Q(1): I wonder why we didn’t. I wonder why all this ‘digging in’ didn’t happen.
Q(2): I’ll tell you what we did. We tried and we tried and we tried and we never got it right. We gave up. We never found somebody whom we could be with harmoniously to work it all out ... with the clear intent to work it out. In all those years.
Q: You need time to work it out ... you can not do it in a three-day workshop. You can play around with it there in personal encounter groups, but unless you do it in your daily life, nothing substantial happens. The people you interact with in the groups are fine, there, but the next time you see them, in town or socially, it’s all gone. What a shame.
R: What is necessary to observe is all the little points. I used to have a young person come to see me, years ago, and she would listen to what I had to say, discuss things with me. Then she would come with a particular situation in her life – with her lover or the people she was sharing a house with – and tell me about that. Then she would ask me: ‘What do you think about that?’ Then I would obligingly consider the matter and say something relevant. Then she would go away and put it into practice ... and it would very rarely work! What I had said to her made sense in the spirit of what was discussed at the time, so what was going wrong? This went on for about six months or so until she come to live with us for a while.
By living together one can not help but notice behaviour traits and I observed her in her daily life with her lover, with the other members of the household and with people who came to visit. Sure enough, we would end up sitting out on the veranda and having a chat about life, the universe and everything, as we were wont to do. She would eventually start in on telling me about a particular situation that happened, for example, that morning ... and what did I think about that? I would listen to her telling me about a situation I had observed myself and I saw where I had been going wrong over the last six months. I would only get to hear her version of the story. I would then be able to say: ‘What about such-and-such, though?’ or ‘I heard you say something different to him than what you are telling me’. Or ‘You had a particular tone of voice when you said that to him’. Or ‘You had a certain attitude, a distinct stance, when you interacted there’. This is what is causing your problems; please, observe these important manners of interacting and reciprocating.
She eventually packed her bags and left, saying: ‘I’m being watched all the time! You are spying upon me!’ It was all rather lovely for she was following a certain spiritual teacher who made a big thing out of awareness ... she would often want me to instruct her into the finer points of becoming aware – in the spiritual sense of the word, that is. It is one thing to discuss it, philosophically, and another to put it into practice in one’s daily life. One starts in on developing awareness by becoming conscious of the little tricks one gets up to ... even with the shopkeeper, for instance. ‘Oh’, she would say, ‘is that awareness?’ Of course it is not, yet one starts where one can. The little points, each moment again. An unexamined life is second-rate living’.

As can be seen the transcript begins with me saying ‘when one starts examining things that one has taken for granted, life becomes infinitely more interesting’ and after some conversation – including a detailed example of what I mean by examining things – that section concludes with me saying that ‘an unexamined life is second-rate living’.

RESPONDENT: (...) reminds one at first glance of Plato’s phrase ‘the unexamined life is not worth living for man’.

RICHARD: By virtue of now being cognisant of Mr. Plato having Mr. Socrates say that in ‘Apology’ I can see why it could to a person familiar with philosophical works ... provided, that is, they had not read another rendering (such as ‘life without enquiry is not worth living for a man’ for instance).

RESPONDENT: While a first association could lead to the conclusion that you allude to this sentence without giving reference to Plato, proper investigation has shown that you had no idea who it was from ...

RICHARD: No, what I had no idea about was that Mr. Plato had ever written any such thing as ‘the unexamined life is not worth living for man/life without enquiry is not worth living for a man’.

RESPONDENT: ... and formulated it either inspired by general culture or by yourself.

RICHARD: It was not something I formulated ... it was simply an obvious comment to make following on from first saying that when one starts examining things that one has taken for granted – by becoming conscious of the little tricks one gets up to, the little points, each moment again – life becomes infinitely more interesting.

RESPONDENT: Proper investigation has also shown that in no way would you like to be associated with a quote which is all-dismissive regarding the worth of an unexamined life ...

RICHARD: No, what there is no way about is me [quote] ‘giving credit to the author of this quote which you fondly and regularly use’ [endquote].

RESPONDENT: ... but insist on the more balanced qualification of such a life as second-rate.

RICHARD: It has nothing to do with [quote] ‘a more balanced qualification [endquote] than what Mr. Plato wrote ... that concluding comment of mine stands on its own.

RESPONDENT: Other matters are waiting.

RICHARD: I am well aware that the other questions you put to me are awaiting my attention ... there was just no point in discussing matters experiential whilst you could not grasp such a simple thing as me having never read, let alone studied, any philosophical works whatsoever.

Nor any theologian’s/metaphysician’s works for that matter ... the books I scoured over the years were, of course, first-hand accounts. Vis.:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘Did you find similar quotes like the one above [while you were doing your research] ...
• [Richard]: ‘I was not at all interested in second-hand analyses, from pundits and reviewers like those you provided, as it was first-hand accounts of the experiencing itself which was of vital importance to me at the time’.

Incidentally, it bodes well for any further discussion to see that what you previously portrayed as [quote] ‘going through endless email exchanges again and again picking at minutiae’ [endquote] is now described as ‘proper investigation’.

Ain’t life grand!

August 31 2005

RESPONDENT: For reasons unbeknownst to me, since my last message I am no longer receiving any messages and have also lost the ability to post messages to actualfreedom@topica.com :-).

RICHARD: The reason why you are no longer receiving any messages/are unable to post messages to actualfreedom@topica.com is because your subscription has been automatically disabled (twice now) due to your designated e-mail address being unreachable by Topica’s mail delivery system. This is what Topica has to ‘say’:

• ‘Topica disables subscribers who soft bounce for five consecutive mailings sent to them or who hard bounce a single time. Hard bounces usually mean that the address is permanently unreachable (i.e. ‘User Unknown’). Soft bounces usually mean that the address is temporarily unreachable (i.e. ‘Mailbox Full’). ‘Times Disabled’ tells you how many times this address has been disabled due to either hard or soft bouncing.
The following subscribers are no longer receiving messages because their email addresses are unreachable due to a hard or soft bounce:
[xxx]@gmx.de (‘Respondent’).
Reason for Last Bounce: Blocked bounced message.
Times Disabled: 2.

[xxx]@linknet.com.au (‘mark’).
Reason for Last Bounce: Blocked bounced message.
Times Disabled: 1.

[xxx]@bredband.net (‘None’)
Reason for Last Bounce: Blocked bounced message.
Times Disabled: 3. [endquote].

Your subscription has just now been re-enabled (for the second time) ... if the problem persists then it would be advisable to consider re-subscribing with a different e-mail address.

*

RESPONDENT: I am not certain whether you, Vineeto or Peter have anything to do with it, and, giving you the benefit of the doubt, will not think of such a thing.

RICHARD: Given that, despite your declaration to the contrary, you do indeed think of such a thing (else why write that and its follow-up sentences) it may be apposite to point out that Topica’s system has to handle literally millions of e-mails each day ... it is amazing there are not more problems than there are. The last time I checked the figures (in 2002) the fee-based Topica service was home to over 1,200 mailing lists with nearly 13 million subscribers whilst the free Topica service hosted over 130,000 newsletter and discussion lists with more than 14 million subscribers.

For what it is worth ... my e-mail address has been disabled on several occasions over the years.

RESPONDENT: I suppose it has nothing to do with trouble or anger my commentaries might have caused ...

RICHARD: What you choose to call your [quote] ‘commentaries’ [endquote] have not caused, are not causing, and will not cause, any trouble or anger whatsoever here in this actual world.

RESPONDENT: ...as such things can by definition not be known in AF-land.

RICHARD: Not by definition, no ... by virtue of the fact that trouble-makers and anger-invokers (aka identities) have no existence in actuality.

RESPONDENT: Although, having thrown trust, faith, hope and belief right out of the window as you advised, I might reconsider it sometime.

RICHARD: You are, of course, free to both suppose and re-consider your suppositions as much as you will ... either way it makes no difference at all to the fact that no identity whatsoever has any existence outside of the human psyche.

*

RESPONDENT: I have nothing against being unsubscribed and will look up the Topica website from time to time to see whether I can find any answers from you there, Richard.

RICHARD: Okay ... I have entitled this e-mail [quote] ‘For Respondent’ [endquote] so that it cannot be overlooked.

RESPONDENT: However, if there is a way to inform me directly when such an answer is given (which I doubt will be anytime soon, but who knows), it would be welcome, in order to continue the discussion in a timely manner.

RICHARD: As a generalisation I do respond chronologically (aka in a timely manner) to the e-mails coming into my mail-box from Topica; as a particularisation I do, on occasion, put aside such timeliness so as to persist with a particular issue where such pursuance is conducive to further comprehension ... such as this e-mail of yours, for example, wherein you are still speculating, in absentia, about something that does not exist/ never happened.

RESPONDENT: Maybe someone from the list would be willing to pass them on, or the administrators could re-suscribe me then.

RICHARD: Experience has shown that the most advisable option is to re-subscribe with a different e-mail address ... perhaps even a web-based one.

September 04 2005

RESPONDENT: Richard, got a new email-address, apparently works better with Topica. I am pleased to see that you are working through the backlog of questions and have just reached No. 32’s on partners. Do you consider our discussions on my hasty statements satisfactorily settled so that you can move on to writing on the topics I inquired about?

RICHARD: In regards to the topics you inquired about:

1. What I call my puritan period (1982-1986) had nothing to do with the event in the abandoned cow-paddock (1992).
2. This flesh and blood body’s caffeine hypersensitivity is most probably idiosyncratic.
3. I read an article about an awakened/enlightened female who experienced The Absolute as masculine.
4. The first occasion wherein ‘I’ got out of the way and the painting painted itself, so to speak, was in 1958.

Incidentally, what Mr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls the ‘Flow’ is not a pure consciousness experience (PCE) ... and neither is what martial arts practitioners refer to, either.

September 04 2005

(...)

RICHARD: In regards to the topics you inquired about: 1. What I call my puritan period (1982-1986) had nothing to do with the event in the abandoned cow-paddock (1992). 2. This flesh and blood body’s caffeine hypersensitivity is most probably idiosyncratic. 3. I read an article about an awakened/enlightened female who experienced The Absolute as masculine.

RESPONDENT: Do you still remember where you read that article?

RICHARD: It was an article in the ‘What Is Enlightenment?’ magazine circa 1996 ... as a furtherance to this topic you may find the following to be of interest:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘The radiant feminine being you’ve experienced when the Absolute changed its face so-to-speak, was the Self of an actual flesh-and-blood human being or not?
• [Richard]: ‘No, it was not the Self of anyone in particular – it was Love itself personified as a (metaphysical) feminine form – and, as I said earlier, its femininity I would nowadays consider to be a product of me being of masculine gender ... if I were to have been of feminine gender then Love itself may very well have been personified as a (metaphysical) masculine form.
It really makes no difference ... behind all manifestations The Absolute was genderless’.

September 06 2005

CO-RESPONDENT: What is TLE?

RESPONDENT: No. 25’s proposal for explaining Richard’s state: Temporal Lobe Epilepsy. For such inquiries, the best thing is to look for it in google the following way: TLE site:www.actualfreedom.com.au. It gives you all the background you want in no time at all – if the background has found its way from the mailing list onto the AF website, that is. Which in some cases happens only selectively – if it gets too close, I guess (for example, the piece about animals staying away from Richard has remained only on topica AFAIK).

RICHARD: You guess wrong: nothing, repeat nothing, ever [quote] ‘gets too close’ [endquote] here in this actual world ... furthermore, all of my correspondence, without exception, is archived as-is on The Actual Freedom Trust web site.

September 06 2005

RESPONDENT: While not subscribed to the list, I have browsed the records on Topica. These are my favourites: [snip links]. At some point of my reading, I wondered whether it would not be possible to create an actualism algorithm, ELIZA-style. It would be fed the contents of the AF website for referencing purposes. It would inform people that there is no room for feeling in this flesh & blood body sans identity whenever the program recognizes a word of emotional content. A random function would occasionally report a vast stillness and/or abundant yet unmoving vitality all around. A little more programming would have do be done in order to achieve a proper deconstruction of the correspondent’s position. This distortion loop would end if and only if the correspondent’s answer can be found in the AF database. Insiders would call this the PARARE – ‘PArroting Recognition And Rewarding Engine’. After a particularly successful operation, it would state, instead of ‘q.e.d.’: Ain’t life grand.

(...)

RESPONDENT No. 60: No, no really an Eliza. Just a quick python script that generates random actualistic whimsy. Very crude and rudimentary, but she does unwittingly come out with the occasional beauty. [snip script].

RESPONDENT: Brilliant! (...) I just copy-pasted the script from ‘import random’ to the last line and have no clue about programming. Any ideas about what went wrong or hints how to run it from IDLE?

RESPONDENT No. 60: Hardly worth it mate, she only generates nonsense ... but what you could do is copy/paste the text from ‘import random’ down to the last line into a *new* idle buffer, then select ‘run’ from the menu. It’ll prompt you to save the file, then it’ll take you to the interactive Python interpreter prompt (...).

RESPONDENT: It worked! But the interactive version seemed even cooler. Can you put it on the list + describe how it must be handled?

RESPONDENT No. 60: Sure. Just copy the code into an IDLE buffer as before, select ‘run’ from the menu (which will prompt you to save, as before). This time you shouldn’t need to type anything at the prompt – you should be put straight into an endless dialogue that continues until you enter a blank line. If it doesn’t start automatically, just type: run() <Enter> at the prompt. It *will* be fun to give her some ears and some ‘intelligence’ eventually, but for now she’ll just talk right through you!

RESPONDENT: Couldn’t resist playing with it. This is what I got: [snip].

RESPONDENT No. 60: Her next trick will be to try to make some inferences about your intentions. Then for an added touch of realism, she will completely ignore them, and give you a piece of her mind instead. Or maybe on second thoughts she should pick a keyword and veer off obliquely but persistently, so you feel like the conversation’s kinda like bouncing off walls.

RESPONDENT: You programmers just amaze me. Cool! What a simple exasperated remark (Richard, are you a Robot?) can lead to.

RICHARD: The programmers you find amazing could have saved themselves a lot of trouble were they to have read what I wrote over four years ago (just as you could have yourself of course). Vis.:

• [Richard]: ‘Again I sincerely recommend that peoples actually read what is on offer on The Actual Freedom Trust web site before shooting from the hip.

It is quite possible that there really is no need for a mailing list as the questions and/or objections have already been answered again and again.

Speaking personally, I am retired and on a pension and I am simply having a lot of fun here at the keyboard copy-pasting the same-same explanations to the same-same questions and/or objections until the questioner and/or objector either wakes up to what is going on and starts reading for themselves ... or goes away to more gullible pastures (there are those that do).

However, the mailing list can serve as a useful venue to share experience ... to compare notes, as it were.

September 06 2005

RESPONDENT: Whenever you listen to a CD or your computer, think of old Max Planck ...

RICHARD: Or, and more usefully in regards reconsidering what Richard says about quantum mechanics, you could think of what Mr. Jules-Henri Poincaré has to say about mathematical models (google it yourself).

RESPONDENT: I will reconsider what Richard says about quantum mechanics when he can explain to me how a CD/DVD player (laser) works without using concepts derived from quantum mechanics.

RICHARD: In what way would another mathematical model of how a laser works such as, for instance, the principle behind the laser (stimulated emission) being understood in terms of a classical field – motivate you to reconsider what Richard says about quantum mechanics?

More to the point: just what is it that Richard says about quantum mechanics (and, for that matter, any other mathematical model), anyway?

RESPONDENT: Take this nonsense from Richard (google it yourself): ‘And quantum theory, for an instance of this, is most definitely based on a mathematical device (Mr. Max Planck’s ‘quanta’) initially designed to solve the hypothetical problem of infinite ultra-violet radiation from a non-existent perfect ‘black-box’ radiator and never intended to be taken as being real (...)’ [endquote].

RICHARD: Why is it [quote] ‘nonsense’ [endquote] to cite quantum theory as being an instance of physics having departed from being a study of the natural world (the physical world) and having entered into the realm of the mathematical world – an abstract world which does not exist in nature – when, for example, peoples far more knowledgeable on the topic than this layperson have described it as being [quote] ‘strictly phenomenological’ [endquote]? Vis.:

• ‘History [of Quantum mechanics]: In 1900, Max Planck introduced the idea that energy is quantized, in order to derive a formula for the observed frequency dependence of the energy emitted by a black body. In 1905, Einstein explained the photoelectric effect by postulating that light energy comes in quanta called photons. In 1913, Bohr explained the spectral lines of the hydrogen atom, again by using quantization. In 1924, Louis de Broglie put forward his theory of matter waves.
These theories, though successful, were strictly phenomenological: there was no rigorous justification for quantization’. (www.sciencedaily.com/encyclopedia/quantum_mechanics_1).

RESPONDENT: The way in which there is no ‘perfect black-box radiator’ is the same way there is no ‘perfect circle’ ...

RICHARD: Here are what some encyclopaedia articles have to say:

• ‘black body: in physics, an *ideal* black substance that absorbs all and reflects none of the radiant energy falling on it. Lampblack, or powdered carbon, which reflects less than 2% of the radiation falling on it, approximates an *ideal* black body’. [emphasis added]. (©Columbia Encyclopaedia).

And:

• ‘A blackbody is a *hypothetical ideal* body or surface that absorbs and reemits all radiant energy falling on it’. [emphasis added]. (©Encyclopaedia Britannica).

RESPONDENT: ... mathematics has this inconvenience if you start using it for describing things.

RICHARD: But I am not using mathematics for describing things ... on the contrary I (repeatedly) say that mathematics do not describe the universe/have no existence outside of the ratiocinative process. For just one instance:

• [Richard]: ‘I do understand the value of pure science (theoretical science), as contrasted to applied science (practical science), in the area of research and development – just as I understand the value of pure mathematics as opposed to applied mathematics – as evidenced by the technological revolution and the main point I am emphasising is the dangers of taking the latest (supposedly) scientific discovery to be fact, as propagated by the popular press for instance, because theoretical science does not describe the universe ... mathematical equations have no existence outside of the ratiocinative process.
Perhaps this might go some way towards explaining what I mean:
• ‘... the world of experience and observation is not the world of electrons and nuclei. The world of experience is in terms of visible objects, occupying definite positions at definite instants of time – in a word, the world of classical mechanics. When the atom is pictured as a nucleus surrounded by electrons ... there is no sense in which one can say that, if only a good enough microscope were available, this picture would be revealed as genuine reality. It is not that such a microscope has not been made; it is actually impossible to make one that will reveal this detail. (...) Whether electrons and nuclei have an objective existence in reality is a metaphysical question to which no definite answer can be given’. (Sir A. Brian Pippard. Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of Cambridge; Cavendish Professor, 1971-82: ©1994-1998 Encyclopaedia Britannica).
Once the not-observable-as-objects-in-space-and-time basis of sub-atomic particles is established the mathematical processes involved unfold further mysteries accordingly. Vis.:
• ‘The process of transformation from a classical description to an equation of quantum mechanics, and from the solution of this equation to the probability that a specified experiment will yield a specified observation, is not to be thought of as a temporary expedient pending the development of a better theory. It is better to accept this process as a technique for predicting the observations that are likely to follow from an earlier set of observations. There is, however, no doubt that to postulate their [electrons and nuclei] existence is, in the present state of physics, an inescapable necessity if a consistent theory is to be constructed to describe economically and exactly the enormous variety of observations on the behaviour of matter’. (Sir A. Brian Pippard. Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of Cambridge; Cavendish Professor, 1971-82: ©1994-1998 Encyclopaedia Britannica).
Needless to say, once this postulation is accepted – and as ‘an inescapable necessity’ at that – then there is no prize for guessing what will happen. Vis.:
• ‘The habitual use of the language of particles by physicists induces and reflects the conviction that, even if the particles elude direct observation, they are as real as any everyday object’. (Sir A. Brian Pippard. Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of Cambridge; Cavendish Professor, 1971-82: ©1994-1998 Encyclopaedia Britannica).
Thus the sub-atomic postulates (aka particles) have become ‘as real as any everyday object’ and thus assume the status of being factual via a sleight of hand (or should I say sleight of mind) that would be the envy of many a confidence trickster.
I will repeat what I said earlier for emphasis: in any area of research I have ever looked into I have, more often than not, found that not only are facts rather thin on the ground but that it is mainly the hypothesis/theory which gets most of the attention.
Which is possibly why many of the ‘facts’ later turn out not to be facts at all’.

RESPONDENT: It was not at all a ‘hypothetical problem’ that the quanta solved ...

RICHARD: All that is required is to type ‘ultraviolet catastrophe’ into an internet search-engine ... for example:

• ‘This *theoretical* problem [the ultraviolet catastrophe] was solved by Max Planck, who had to assume that electromagnetic radiation could propagate only in discrete packets, or quanta. This idea was later used by Einstein to explain the photoelectric effect. These theoretical advances eventually resulted in the replacement of classical electromagnetism by quantum mechanics. Today, the quanta are called photons’. [emphasis added]. (www.answers.com/topic/black-body).

RESPONDENT: ... but very actual measurements which contradicted the existing theory and which were perfectly explained by introducing the ‘quanta’. The OBSERVED spectrum of black body radiation could NOT be explained with Classical electromagnetism and statistical mechanics. The first sentence of Planck’s 1901 paper, which got quantum physics started, makes this abundantly clear: ‘The recent spectral measurements made by O. Lummer and E. Pringsheim1, and even more notable those by H. Rubens and F. Kurlbaum2, which together confirmed an earlier result obtained by H. Beckmann,3 show that the law of energy distribution in the normal spectrum, first derived by W. Wien from molecular-kinetic considerations and later by me from the theory of electromagnetic radiation, is not valid generally.’ (http://dbhs.wvusd.k12.ca.us/webdocs/Chem-History/Planck-1901/Planck-1901.html).

RICHARD: Just for starters ... according to Mr. Max Planck, in his ‘Nobel Lecture’, of June 2, 1920, the measurements of Mr. Heinrich Rubens and Mr. Ferdinand Kurlbaum, which he refers to in the above quote, were of the [quote] ‘infrared residual rays of *fluorite and rock salt*’ [endquote].

Needless is it to add that, whilst fluorite and rock salt may be a quite lot of things, perfect blackbody radiators they are not?

September 07 2005

(...)

RICHARD: ... I (repeatedly) say that mathematics do not describe the universe/have no existence outside of the ratiocinative process.

RESPONDENT: I’m completely with you here ...

RICHARD: Good ... because that, in a nutshell, is [quote] ‘what Richard says about quantum mechanics’ [endquote] – and any other mathematical model of course – and nothing else.

September 07 2005

CO-RESPONDENT: What is TLE?

RESPONDENT: No. 25’s proposal for explaining Richard’s state: Temporal Lobe Epilepsy. For such inquiries, the best thing is to look for it in google the following way: TLE site:www.actualfreedom.com.au. It gives you all the background you want in no time at all – if the background has found its way from the mailing list onto the AF website, that is. Which in some cases happens only selectively – if it gets too close, I guess (for example, the piece about animals staying away from Richard has remained only on topica AFAIK).

RICHARD: You guess wrong: nothing, repeat nothing, ever [quote] ‘gets too close’ [endquote] here in this actual world ...

RESPONDENT: Certainly, certainly.

RICHARD: Good ... yet another speculation, in absentia, about something that does not exist/never happened cleared up, eh?

*

RICHARD: ... furthermore, all of my correspondence, without exception, is archived as-is on The Actual Freedom Trust web site.

RESPONDENT: All of what YOU write, yes ...

RICHARD: No, all of what I write *as well as* what my co-respondent wrote such as to occasion me to respond.

September 07 2005

RESPONDENT: While not subscribed to the list, I have browsed the records on Topica. These are my favourites: [snip links]. At some point of my reading, I wondered whether it would not be possible to create an actualism algorithm, ELIZA-style. It would be fed the contents of the AF website for referencing purposes. It would inform people that there is no room for feeling in this flesh & blood body sans identity whenever the program recognizes a word of emotional content. A random function would occasionally report a vast stillness and/or abundant yet unmoving vitality all around. A little more programming would have do be done in order to achieve a proper deconstruction of the correspondent’s position. This distortion loop would end if and only if the correspondent’s answer can be found in the AF database. Insiders would call this the PARARE – ‘PArroting Recognition And Rewarding Engine’. After a particularly successful operation, it would state, instead of ‘q.e.d.’: Ain’t life grand.

(...)

RESPONDENT No. 60: No, no really an Eliza. Just a quick python script that generates random actualistic whimsy. Very crude and rudimentary, but she does unwittingly come out with the occasional beauty. [snip script].

RESPONDENT: Brilliant! (...) I just copy-pasted the script from ‘import random’ to the last line and have no clue about programming. Any ideas about what went wrong or hints how to run it from IDLE?

RESPONDENT No. 60: Hardly worth it mate, she only generates nonsense ... but what you could do is copy/paste the text from ‘import random’ down to the last line into a *new* idle buffer, then select ‘run’ from the menu. It’ll prompt you to save the file, then it’ll take you to the interactive Python interpreter prompt (...).

RESPONDENT: It worked! But the interactive version seemed even cooler. Can you put it on the list + describe how it must be handled?

RESPONDENT No. 60: Sure. Just copy the code into an IDLE buffer as before, select ‘run’ from the menu (which will prompt you to save, as before). This time you shouldn’t need to type anything at the prompt – you should be put straight into an endless dialogue that continues until you enter a blank line. If it doesn’t start automatically, just type: run() <Enter> at the prompt. It *will* be fun to give her some ears and some ‘intelligence’ eventually, but for now she’ll just talk right through you!

RESPONDENT: Couldn’t resist playing with it. This is what I got: [snip].

RESPONDENT No. 60: Her next trick will be to try to make some inferences about your intentions. Then for an added touch of realism, she will completely ignore them, and give you a piece of her mind instead. Or maybe on second thoughts she should pick a keyword and veer off obliquely but persistently, so you feel like the conversation’s kinda like bouncing off walls.

RESPONDENT: You programmers just amaze me. Cool! What a simple exasperated remark (Richard, are you a Robot?) can lead to.

RICHARD: The programmers you find amazing could have saved themselves a lot of trouble were they to have read what I wrote over four years ago (just as you could have yourself of course). Vis.:

• [Richard]: ‘Again I sincerely recommend that peoples actually read what is on offer on The Actual Freedom Trust web site before shooting from the hip. It is quite possible that there really is no need for a mailing list as the questions and/or objections have already been answered again and again. Speaking personally, I am retired and on a pension and I am simply having a lot of fun here at the keyboard copy-pasting the same-same explanations to the same-same questions and/or objections until the questioner and/or objector either wakes up to what is going on and starts reading for themselves ... or goes away to more gullible pastures (there are those that do). However, the mailing list can serve as a useful venue to share experience ... to compare notes, as it were.

RESPONDENT: I did indeed not get around to reading this, as I was struck by a certain redundancy of the website.

RICHARD: You may find the following quite illuminative in regards what you describe as a certain redundancy, then:

• [Richard]: ‘How you conduct your correspondence is entirely up to you, of course, and all I can do is point out that what you choose to write is what determines the response you receive (...)’.

(...)

RESPONDENT: And the programmer you are sneering at ...

RICHARD: Woof, woof.

September 08 2005

RESPONDENT: Unfortunately it’s a little difficult in Topica to get to a certain period in the history of a mailing list fast, so it’s probable people will only see the mutilated exchanges on the AF website, with all of the protagonist’s writings but not all of the correspondent’s.

RICHARD: So that there is no misunderstanding ... is what you mean by [quote] ‘mutilated exchanges’ [endquote] such as to be found at the following URL (towards the end of the page)? Vis.:

(6): http://lists.topica.com/lists/actualfreedom/read/message.html?mid=912400349

And, just for the record, here are the URL’s for what that e-mail (numbered as being No. 6 for convenience) was in response too:

(5): http://lists.topica.com/lists/actualfreedom/read/message.html?mid=912397105

Plus:

(4): http://lists.topica.com/lists/actualfreedom/read/message.html?mid=912397145

Also, here is the URL for the e-mail which those two e-mails (numbered as being No’s 5 and 4) are in response to:

(3): http://lists.topica.com/lists/actualfreedom/read/message.html?mid=912381339

Here is a question for you: which one of the two correspondents answered each and every point which their co-respondent raised, in detail and leaving out nothing but the preliminary salutations, that their co-respondent wrote – the one who posted No. 6 above or the one that posted No’s 5 and 4 above (in response to No. 3) – and which one responded to truncated versions of only some parts of what their co-respondent wrote?

And here is a supplementary question: which one of the two correspondents thus set the pace for the ensuing exchanges?

September 08 2005

RESPONDENT: I just discovered No 89’s messages. I agree with him in what he writes about eastern mysticism – having done more or less the same reading circuit – but not on his scientific opinions on evolution apparently close to ‘intelligent design’ should I not have misunderstood something there, which is quite possible. I didn’t look into it closely. No 89 gives a short resumé of the essentials at: http://lists.topica.com/lists/actualfreedom/read/message.html?mid=911984875

RICHARD: Did you notice that the e-mail at that URL has, towards the beginning, the question about what is so different between Mr. Gotama the Sakyan’s mindfulness method and the actualism method – after stating that an actual freedom from the human condition is not at all beyond what the different traditions teach – yet finishes with references to [quote] ‘the Principle or Self. Itself is undying and never born but it brings everything into existence’ [endquote] by any chance?

RESPONDENT: And at: http://lists.topica.com/lists/actualfreedom/read/message.html?mid=911934389

RICHARD: What part of my response to those assertions about amorality, altruism, others, and self, is it that is not clear to you? Vis.:

http://lists.topica.com/lists/actualfreedom/read/message.html?mid=912031823

Here it is for your convenience:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘... based on my theoretical understanding I have just found myriads of quotes which indicate that they clearly taught the overcoming of the affective faculty.
• [Richard]: ‘Hmm ... eradicating is vastly different to overcoming, non?
• [Co-Respondent]: ‘First quote: [Un]-self-ishness, from the Indian point of view is an amoral state, in which no question of ‘Altruism’ can present itself, liberation being as much from the notion of ‘others’ as it is form the notion of ‘self’, and not in any sense a psychological state, but a liberation from all that is implied by the ‘psyche’ in the word ‘psychology’. [Ananda Coomaraswamy, Hinduism and Buddhism].
• [Richard]: ‘The experiential state which lies behind those words is (initially) one of union – a state of oneness as expressed in ‘We are all One’ for instance – and (ultimately) one of solipsism – a state of aloneness as expressed in ‘There is only That’ for example – so of course there is liberation from the notion of ‘others’ as well as ‘self’.
Whereas in actuality there is no separation in the first place such as to necessitate such self-absorbed narcissism ... there is an actual intimacy with every body, every thing, and every event, here.
In regards to altruism: the word altruism can be used in two distinctly different ways – in a virtuous sense (as in being unselfish), such as the author you quoted is using it, or in a zoological/biological sense (as in being diametrically opposite to selfism) – and it is the latter which is of particular interest to a person wanting to enable the already always existing peace-on-earth to being apparent, in this lifetime as this flesh and blood body, as it takes a powerful instinctive impulse (altruism) to overcome a powerful instinctive impulse (selfism) ... blind nature endows each and every human being with the selfish instinct for individual survival and the clannish instinct for group survival (be it the familial group, the tribal group, or the national group).
By and large the instinct for survival of the group is the more powerful – as is epitomised in the honey-bee (when it stings to protect/defend the hive it dies) – and it is the utilisation of this once-in-a-lifetime gregarian action which is referred to in my oft-repeated ‘an altruistic ‘self’-sacrifice/‘self’-immolation, in toto, for the benefit of this body and that body and every body’.
As for amorality ... the following links may throw some light upon that:
www.actualfreedom.com.au/richard/listccorrespondence/listc01.htm#06Mar00
www.actualfreedom.com.au/richard/listccorrespondence/listc02.htm#07Mar00
www.actualfreedom.com.au/richard/listccorrespondence/listc03.htm#08Mar00

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘[Mr. Ananda Coomaraswamy]: ‘I call him a Brahman indeed’, the Buddha says, ‘who has passed beyond attachment both to good and evil; one who is clean, to whom no dust attaches, a-pathetic’. [endquote]. Not: ‘apathetic’, i.e. ‘not pathological’, as are those who are subject to their on passions or sym-pathise with those of others.
• [Richard]: ‘Being utterly apathetic myself I do understand that word (from the Greek ‘apethēs’ which literally means ‘without feeling’) properly refers to a passionless existence/not feeling emotion – and not just to the popular usage (as in stolid indifference/stoic disinterest) – yet what must be comprehended, when speaking of the buddhistic goal, is that the ultimate state (‘jhana’) is one in which not only does the affectional ability cease but also the sensorial, the cognitional and the motorial functions as well ... plus consciousness itself (more on this further below).
Incidentally, I would be quite suss of someone translating Mr. Gotama the Sakyan’s (Pali) title for such a person – an Arahant – into him really meaning a ‘Brahman’ [the Pali word ‘brahmana’ refers to that which is; which is not what the Sankrit word ‘Brahman’ refers to].

To save you searching through Topica for my co-respondent’s reply to the above detailed response of mine ... there was none.

RESPONDENT: Discussion No. 66-No. 89: http://lists.topica.com/lists/actualfreedom/read/message.html?mid=911935055

RICHARD: Here are the key words at that URL:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘I am not realised so I cannot be experientially sure, but my intellectual understanding shows me that ...’. [endquote].

Speaking of intellectual understanding ... do you comprehend the difference between the Paraclete and the Parousia? If so, what do you make of the following? Vis.:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘... Richard himself destroyed all his writings during his enlightenment time, that is, when he thought to be the Paraclete (an appellation of the Holy Ghost)’. (http://lists.topica.com/lists/actualfreedom/read/message.html?mid=911985582).

‘Nuff said?

September 08 2005

RESPONDENT: I myself am off the list, for the reason No. 68 just pondered – better off practicing than reading and discussing all the time, though occasionally laughing my ass off.

RICHARD: If I may ask? Better off practicing ... what? And the reason I ask is because of what you say five sentences later (in the same paragraph):

• [Respondent]: ‘I might chat with her [a quick python script that generates random mutilations] from time to time *if I miss actualism*. Well, that’s a big if’. [emphasis added].

RESPONDENT: No. 53, No. 87 & the Nos.60+98, if you stay and inform the occasional newbie what this is about fast – maybe pointing to some of the earlier correspondence – you would certainly do some people a great service in saving them a lot of what is most precious in their lives – their time.

RICHARD: As your [quote] ‘this’ [endquote] refers back to what an intellectualist wrote at the three URL’s you provided – and given that your e-mail title refers to their [quote] ‘legacy’ [endquote] – then what you are exhorting four co-respondents to do (as in your ‘you would certainly do some people a great service’ phrasing) fast is to inform peoples writing to this mailing list for the first time about intellectualism, and maybe pointing to some of the earlier correspondence, so as to save them wasting their time on experientialism ... ‘the theory or doctrine that all knowledge is based on experience’ (Oxford Dictionary).

RESPONDENT: It’s very easy to get lost on the website.

RICHARD: Possible translation: it is very easy to get sucked into giving experientialism a try.

RESPONDENT: It was great fun to read your contributions – well, the longer ones. I had a lot of fun especially with RIPEETO and Jackboot [python scripts that generate random mutilations]. I might chat with her from time to time if I miss actualism. Well, that’s a big if.

RICHARD: Just by way of contrast here are the very first words you wrote to this list:

• [Respondent]: ‘Thanks, Vineeto, Peter, Richard, for writing so nicely about actual freedom’. (Sunday 14/08/2005 1:41 AM AEST).

O how the turn has wormed, eh?

RESPONDENT: Keep up the common sense ...

RICHARD: You have to be kidding, right?

RESPONDENT: ... sense even if you’re sneered at by the RIPEETO-clones of this world.

RICHARD: As this is the second occasion you have used that word here are some synonyms:

• ‘sneer: scoff at, scorn, be contemptuous of, hold in contempt, disdain, mock, jeer at, gibe at, ridicule, deride, taunt, insult, slight’. (Oxford Dictionary).

RESPONDENT: – No. 60, I don’t know if anybody else shared our kind of nonsensical humour, but I had some great fun with you.

RICHARD: Ha ... what is the difference between [quote] ‘our kind of nonsensical humour’ [endquote] and ... um ... and scoffing at, scorning, being contemptuous of, holding in contempt, disdaining, mocking, jeering at, gibing at, ridiculing, deriding, taunting, insulting, and slighting?

Just curious.

September 08 2005

RESPONDENT: No. 98, keep up the concerns for the just causes; they might yet get you and/or the world somewhere ...

RICHARD: As [quote] ‘just causes’ [endquote] have not got anyone and/or the (human) world anywhere remotely looking like peace on earth (let alone to the meaning to life), despite at least 3,000-5,000 years of dutiful endeavour by myriads of well-meaning peoples doing their best, then what you are advising a fellow human being to do is yet more of the same ... in a word: Sisyphism.

RESPONDENT: – but don’t let them spoil your day, it’s the only one you have, and nobody will profit from your day spoilt. To the contrary. No 25, this (http://lists.topica.com/lists/actualfreedom/read/message.html?mid=911967383) gave me some doubt about the purity of your own snow. Well, keep on wu-weiying on, but don’t let yourself get caught by Richard.

RICHARD: Possible translation: do not let yourself get sucked into experientialism.

RESPONDENT: No. 68, may your patience last ten years (http://lists.topica.com/lists/actualfreedom/read/message.html?mid=911938135).

RICHARD: As you presumably missed the import of what is at the bottom of that page (else why bless your fellow human being with a decade of patience) I will re-quote it here:

• ‘It’s like Richard sez: each moment you have the choice of being happy or not, although most people would fail to recognize this point or appreciate it’. [endquote].

RESPONDENT: No. 74, No. 78, No. 90 and all other kind people around here who have still not lost patience and/or faith completely, be happy and may the answers you receive be useful to your life or may they at least entertain you, as long as there are still questions. Just keep diggin’!

RICHARD: Somehow I am reminded of the ‘do as I say; not what I do’ cliché.

RESPONDENT: I myself have nothing more to say (and I’m saying it).

RICHARD: And I am responding to it – with each and every word you wrote intact – so that an unexpurgated version of your concluding summary, of what you have made of actualism and actualists during your 25-day perusal, can be found in the correspondence archives of The Actual Freedom Trust web site (thus saving anyone having to look for it in the Topica archives).

RESPONDENT: Everything, it appears to me, has been written about more than twice on this list, every confession made, so many cards have been laid on so many tables to no avail, and although I agree with those who think that many answers from Richard are far from satisfactory, I doubt there will ever be better ones.

RICHARD: As vague generalisations are meaningless without substance your fellow human beings would have been better served had you actually provided those instances where you allege my answers are far from satisfactory ... even one example would have sufficed.

RESPONDENT: To HIM, everything is crystal-clear.

RICHARD: Indeed so ... it is a trifle strange, is it not, that you do not ask for some clarification from that crystal-clear clarity but choose instead to merely cast aspersions?

RESPONDENT: In my conversations with Richard, I was sometimes reminded of a Star Trek episode where some form of intelligence goes up in smoke when the emotional, crazy humans show it to have committed a logical error. I somehow, subconsciously, probably expected something similar to happen to Richard ...

RICHARD: Now here is a radical notion for you: why not provide the text wherein you imply Richard has committed what you classify as a [quote] ‘logical error’ [endquote] as a re-read of all of our correspondence, just now, has shown nothing of the kind coming from this keyboard.

RESPONDENT: – but it will never, ever. He will keep the copy & pasted arguments flowing as long as this mailing list exists.

RICHARD: No ... only for as long as corespondents continue to mount ill-informed critiques. For just one example:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘I find myself at a time in my life when I am much more interested in my own writing than anyone else’s.
• [Richard]: ‘Okay ... this goes some way towards explaining why you have hobbled yourself before you even start.
• [Co-Respondent]: ‘That is why I just scanned your millions of words.
• [Richard]: ‘Yet the computer counts 3,934 words on that page I provided a link to ... not millions.
• [Co-Respondent]: ‘I admit; I did not even read the bit where your correspondent refuted somewhat his previous claim.
• [Richard]: ‘Okay ... I have taken note of just how well researched your entire case against me is.
• [Co-Respondent]: ‘I am inclined to agree with your correspondent’s initial judgement about how you express your worldview in writing.
• [Richard]: ‘First, just so that there is no misunderstanding: are you saying that you are ‘inclined to agree’ that Richard presents a worldview that is beleaguered, spiteful, presumptuous, condescending, reductive, etc.? Second, I also ask because initially you ‘certainly would be inclined to agree’ that Richard presents a worldview that is beleaguered, spiteful, presumptuous, condescending, reductive, etc. Third, I am wondering if the dropping of the ‘certainly’ indicates that you are being faithful to your avowed stance that, although you hold that your viewpoint is correct and true, you also allow that it may not be?
Or is the dropping of your certainty, about what the words of Richard indicate, merely an oversight?
• [Co-Respondent]: ‘The important thing is that it is a judgment of the correspondent at a certain time and a judgment of mine.
• [Richard]: ‘Indeed it is. And the respondent gave a conditional retraction giving reasons why their ‘General Semantics’ judgement had been faulty (disbelief in freedom per se) ... and it also turns out that that respondent had not actually read any of my writings anyway before mounting their ‘General Semantics’ case against me. And this is an oversight that kind of crippled them from the start.
Would you say that it pays to be well-informed before commencing a critique?
• [Co-Respondent]: ‘There is no factuality in judgements.
• [Richard]: ‘Indeed not – there is factuality only in facts – this is very perspicacious of you.
• [Co-Respondent]: ‘I have read quite some of your words; but certainly not a majority. At the moment it does not interest me to read more.
• [Richard]: ‘May I ask? Why do you handicap yourself this way whilst conducting your case against me?’

RESPONDENT: Infinite ‘benevolence’ forever.

RICHARD: As I have more than a few times delineated what I mean by the word ‘benevolence’ (a munificent well-wishing) – the etymological root of the word benevolent is the Latin ‘benne velle’ (meaning ‘wish well’), and well-wishing stems from fellowship regard (like species recognise like species throughout the animal world), for we are all fellow human beings and have the capacity for what is called ‘theory of mind’ – there is indeed an infinite benevolence irregardless how ill-informed a co-respondent’s critique may be ... but only for, at most, the remainder of my life (and not forever).

RESPONDENT: Maybe somebody will still look into his obsessive distinction between dirt and purity ...

RICHARD: As it is all-too-easy to say ‘obsessive’ – without any attempt to substantiate same – your baseless assertion will be treated with the ignore it deserves.

RESPONDENT: – some nasty things might turn up.

RICHARD: As your usage of the auxiliary verb ‘might’, in a context such as this, also includes its opposite then what you are saying there looks something like this:

• [example only]: ‘Maybe somebody will still look into Richard’s distinction between dirt and purity – some nasty things might, or might not, turn up’. [end example].

Just as a matter of interest ... what does the word ‘nasty’ mean to you, then, if not the same as what the colloquial usage of ‘dirty’ does?

RESPONDENT: I might be oversensitive here; but the fact that Vineeto, being of German origin, is so responsive to it, makes me suspect otherwise.

RICHARD: So as to have something on the table to look at here is how I have typically used the word ‘dirty’:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘Richard, from your conversation with [name deleted] I noticed that you discussed three realities: [snip 1 and 2]. 3. Actuality. Where the sense of ‘I’ is gone and there is no witness, no centre in awareness.
• [Richard]: ‘There is no identity whatsoever here in this actual world ... *it is pristine here and nothing ‘dirty’ can get in. No ego or Soul (self or Self) will ever be able live in actuality* ... and a ‘centreless awareness’ in the spiritual jargon means an impersonal identity that has expanded like all get out until it has become ‘All That Is’ or ‘That’ or ‘Suchness’ or ‘Isness’ or whatever. Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti, for example, stopped saying ‘I am God’ by the late twenties and started to say ‘There is only That’. This may very well have been an attempt to counter the ‘I am That’ which Hinduism promotes so as to be more aligned to the Buddhist denial of both Self and No-Self. Exploring the shrewd twists and turns of arcane thought is a fascinating preparation for freedom from the human condition ... humble grandiosity is rife in the esoteric world and runs riot when unchecked. To have as one’s goal the exposure of the already always existing peace-on-earth through psychological and psychic self-immolation is essential to persuade the pious egoist from arrogating responsibility for bringing a metaphysical ‘Peace That Passeth All Understanding’ (Love and Truth) to earth’. [emphasis added].

For your information: at root an identity born and raised in Germany is essentially no different to an identity born and raised anywhere else.

RESPONDENT: To put is most neutrally: this distinction, which I took seriously in the beginning, appears to me closest to his ‘blind spot’ aka cognitive dissonance.

RICHARD: I am only too happy to couch the above in your terminology by way of illustrating something of import:

• [example only]: ‘There is no identity whatsoever here in this actual world ... *it is pristine here and nothing ‘nasty’ can get in. No ego or Soul (self or Self) will ever be able live in actuality* ... and a ‘centreless awareness’ in the spiritual jargon means an impersonal identity that has expanded like all get out until it has become ‘All That Is’ or ‘That’ or ‘Suchness’ or ‘Isness’ or whatever’. [end example].

What now of that ‘blind spot’ (aka cognitive dissonance) you doubt you are being oversensitive about, eh?

Speaking of which ... I will leave you with the following description (deliberately left un-attributed and un-referenced for reasons which may become obvious upon a search for the original):

• ‘There is an increase in sensory clarity, especially visual acuity. Along with this increase in clarity there is a ‘purity’ in everything one perceives. The words ‘immaculate’, ‘perfect’, ‘pure’ capture it quite well; everything is wonderful. Strangely, though, the word ‘beautiful’ does not apply. There is no (felt) affect whatsoever. The purity of perception (and the marvellousness of what is perceived) goes beyond affect, leaving only pure, calm wonder. It’s sensory delight without any emotional resonance at all. The sensory delight I’m talking about is not the usual kind of sensuousness/ sensuality that one enjoys in an ordinary state. Rather than being ‘pleasurable’, it is appreciation of the perfection that seems to be inherent in what one is perceiving, which leads to enjoyment of a very different kind.
This is quite extraordinary. There is a sensation of softness in the air, which has a pellucid, jelly-like quality (metaphorically speaking). I’m reminded of something you [Richard] once wrote about the eyes ‘lightly caressing’, as if one is seeing from the front of the eyeball. I also remember you [Richard] saying ‘nothing dirty can get in’, and that’s exactly the way it is. Objects that would seem drab, dirty, sullied, soiled in ‘reality’ are immaculate in themselves; any ‘dirtiness’ is overlaid by ‘me’. (This is not an intellectual realisation but a direct perception of the fact)’. [endquote].


CORRESPONDENT No. 97 (Part Four)

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