Actual Freedom – Mailing List ‘B’ Correspondence

Richard’s Correspondence on Mailing List ‘B’

with Respondent No. 17

Some Of The Topics Covered

Konrad’s story – actual freedom – how am I experiencing this moment of being alive – J. Krishnamurti – identity – pride – infinitude – universe – mathematics – logic – Olbers’ Paradox – dark sucker hypothesis – concepts – emotions – concept of epistemology – actuality

February 19 1998:

KONRAD: I am going to tell you my story (...) And then it happened. I had the attack I formerly had at the moment of falling asleep. But now I was wide awake! A tremendous pressure wave penetrated from below my spine into my skull. It was exactly at the moment whereby I understood (...) It was absolutely nothing! However, this insight had as its side effect this pressure wave, going through my body. And it hurt! It hurt terribly! However, it had solved my problem. After this the ‘process’ that had started never stopped. The first couple of years it remained very painful (...) Receiving attack after attack. My body had to adapt. I had at the beginning many doubts about what was happening to me. Only after I had read a number of books about J. Krishnamurti, and had learnt that he had gone through the same hell, I knew I did not have some mental disorder, but that this process was, in fact, the greatest discovery the East has made.

RICHARD: I read your story with rapidly mounting interest, and only for the sake of brevity have I cut out all but the most important part in order to paste it above. But all of what you wrote has that ring of truth that is impossible to not recognise. And as you have been living with this enlightenment for seventeen years, you have had ample time to live it through and through in all and varied circumstances. That is ample time to discover if enlightenment itself is the genuine article for freeing oneself from the Human Condition ... or a delusion. I would be interested to hear your views.

KONRAD: But I am still working on a synthesis between East and West. I think this is the best place to start. My arrogance comes from the fact, that I am pure Western, but this process is not understood in the West. When I confront people with it, they think that I am imagining things. They do this quite severely. Probably because I look so ordinary. So every time when I talk to others about psychological matters, and I point them out that there is something real to be found in the East, they do not want to hear it. For they think, that I am trying to put myself above them. They try to force me in saying that what I see happening inside of me is a form of self delusion. And if I do not budge, they turn away. Nobody looking that ordinary can contain something out of the ordinary that is worth while. Besides, everybody here thinks that that inner stuff of the East is just crap.

RICHARD: It is simply a case that enlightenment has been the province of the East for so long that it has become an integral part of the culture, but only recently has it gained some credence in the West. Previously, in the West, the most one could aspire to – with society’s support – was to become an illuminated saint ... a situation somewhat similar to the Hare Krishna devotees ... but enlightened? No way!

However, there are more and more Westerners discovering enlightenment these days ... and a lot of material is being generated, both in the printed word and on audio and video tape.

KONRAD: But I do not deny what I do understand and what I know I understand, just because others say it is impossible. Still, I offer what I have to offer. I am prepared to stand corrected by anybody who does this, no matter who this is. For every honest person can contribute to any other honest person.

RICHARD: I like your approach, for the entire subject of enlightenment needs to be brought out into the open and discussed freely and without reservation. Here in the West we have a vital opportunity to put our rational minds to work and iron out all those mystical and other metaphysical aspects of freedom from ‘I’ that permeates Eastern Enlightenment so badly. For example, in the part of your story that I have not included above, you briefly mention how the evolutionary theory appealed to you more than the creationist vision of the Christian Bible. Where do you stand on the whole issue of re-incarnation? What about being ‘Birthless and Deathless’ or ‘Unborn and Undying’? Is there, for you, an Immortality, an Eternity? Is the ‘I’ the ego ... or is it both the ego and the soul?

Is freedom from the Human Condition, in your experience, an end to ‘being’ in its entirety? Or is there a ‘presence’ that pre-dates birth and post-dates death?

KONRAD: The only thing I ask is simply this: Do not ask me to deny myself simply because you dismiss it beforehand. You may correct me, but I allow no one to deny that what I know to be a fact. Maybe you, or anybody else for that matter, can help me by some suggestions, now that you know what the problem is that causes my arrogance.

RICHARD: Well, I do not consider you to be arrogant one little bit. If one knows, one knows ... and that is that. Other people can either like it or lump it ... it is they who are missing out on the ending of animosity and anguish. Humility is the hall-mark of the saints ... and is a pretentious attempt to curry favour for their post-mortem reward. One does not have to appease a vengeful god any more.

KONRAD: The rest of my life up till now is devoted to trying to reconcile this strange process with the Western orientation. My discovery of Objectivism has done much in that direction. But I am still working on a synthesis between East and West, as you can see on my mail.

RICHARD: Do you have some observations about life, the universe and what it is to be a human being? I would like to know much more than what has come through in your E-Mails so far.

KONRAD: I study, I study, I study. I have studied mathematics, physics, biology, philosophy, Law, Economics, Psychology. I also teach some of these subjects. Especially I teach logic and epistemology. I have learnt to program the computer in several languages. I have investigated music, and have composed meditation music. I have written books and articles about physics, relations, economy, logic, quantum mechanics etc. I think about the nature of time, the nature of concepts up to the point whereby I even think I can disprove Kurt Goedel (I am working on this now), the nature of money. The list is endless. In fact, the only thing I have done up till now with all of my free time is study, study, study.

RICHARD: Do you have a Web Page?

February 22 1998:

KONRAD: I want to say goodbye from this list ... for me it was a test, to see how ‘the process’ would react when I put myself into this discussion group ... is it possible to place myself in a vulnerable position, with all of my personal shortcomings, but also with my personal strengths, in such a way that ‘it’ shines through? Could my person become a medium so that others are helped to intensify their consciousness? Can others be of help in making me aware of my own strength and my own shortcomings? I saw, that sometimes ‘it’ had this effect, and sometimes it did not. Although I have been living with enlightenment for 17 years, it is still a complete mystery to me.

RICHARD: It is unfortunate that, for the most, virtually nobody questioned Konrad on this ‘process’ that he is experiencing. What appealed to me in ‘Konrad’s Story’ was: ‘And then it happened. I had the attack I formerly had at the moment of falling asleep. But now I was wide awake! A tremendous pressure wave penetrated from below my spine into my skull. It was exactly at the moment whereby I understood. It was absolutely nothing! However, this insight had as its side effect this pressure wave, going through my body. And it hurt! It hurt terribly! However, it had solved my problem. After this the ‘process’ that had started never stopped. The first couple of years it remained very painful’.

‘It was absolutely nothing!’, he said. This particular experience is of the first priority ... this is an insight ... this is an understanding ... this is actualising a realisation about the nature of ‘I’. Never mind his later theorising and philosophising and enchantment with logic ... this direct experience is what is important.

And this ‘process’ – this ‘it’ – is still happening in him.

I am finding it fascinating trying to get him to talk about it.

July 09 1998:

RESPONDENT No. 20: Where are we going that we do not have time to sit down with some friends and enjoy the afternoon sun and the sweet spring air over a good meal? Are we rushing to convince the world to transform or else face the doom? Are we on a mission? And where are we now? Are we at this very moment open and light, filled with the freshness and vitality of an awake mind and sensitive heart, or is there this heavy load we must carry, our own cross, burdened by the pain of relationship, the frustration in discussions where we cannot convince the other or even get our points across and acknowledged?

RICHARD: It is all so simple, in the actual world; no effort is needed to meet the requisite morality of society. I have no ‘dark nature’, no unconscious impulses to curb, to control, to restrain. It is all so easy, in the actual world; I can take no credit for my apparently virtuous behaviour because actual freedom automatically provides beneficial thoughts and deeds. It is all so spontaneous, in the actual world; I do not do it ... it does itself. Vanity, egoism, selfishness ... all self-centred activity has ceased to operate when ‘I’ ceased to be. And it is all so peaceful, in the actual world; it is only in actualism that human beings can have peace-on-earth without toiling fruitlessly to be ‘good’. The answer to everything that has puzzled humankind for all of human history is readily elucidated when one is actually free. The ‘Mystery of Life’ has been penetrated and laid open for all those with the eyes to see. Life was meant to be easy.

KONRAD: Is there something you advise us to do to reach this marvellous state of pure happiness you are apparently in?

RICHARD: Yes. Ask yourself this, each moment again: How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?

It is essential for success to grasp the fact that this is your only moment of being alive. The past, although it did happen, is not actual now. The future, though it will happen, is not actual now. Only now is actual. Yesterday’s happiness and harmlessness does not mean a thing if one is miserable and malicious now ... and a hoped-for happiness harmlessness tomorrow is to but waste this moment of being alive in waiting. All you get by waiting is more waiting. Thus any ‘change’ can only happen now. The jumping in point is always here ... it is at this moment in time and this place in space. Thus, if you miss it this time around, hey presto ... you have another chance immediately. Life is excellent at providing opportunities like this.

What ‘I’ did, eighteen years ago, was to devise a remarkably effective method of ridding this body of ‘me’. (I know that methods are to be actively discouraged, in some people’s eyes, but this one worked). It takes some doing to start off with, but as success after success starts to multiply exponentially, it becomes automatic to have this question running as an on-going thing ... because it delivers the goods right here and now ... not off into some indeterminate future. Plus the successes are repeatable – almost on demand – and thus satisfies the ‘scientific method’. ‘I’ asked myself, each moment again: ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive’?

As one knows, from the pure consciousness experiences (PCE’s) that everybody has at some stage in their life, that it is possible to experience this moment in time and this place in space as perfection personified, ‘I’ set the minimum standard of experience for myself: feeling good. If ‘I’ am not feeling good then ‘I’ have something to look at to find out why. What has happened, between the last time ‘I’ felt good and now? When did ‘I’ feel good last? Five minutes ago? Five hours ago? What happened to end that good feeling? Ah ... yes ... ‘he said that and ...‘, or ‘she didn’t do this and I ...‘, or ‘what I wanted was ... and I didn’t get it ...‘, and so on. One does not have to trace back into one’s childhood ... usually no more than yesterday afternoon at the most. (‘Feeling good’ is an unambiguous term ... if anyone wants to argue about what feeling good means ... then do not even bother trying to do this at all.)

This way, the reward is immediate; by finding out what triggered off this loss of feeling good, one commences another period of enjoying this moment of being alive. It is all about being here at this moment in time and this place in space ... and if you are not feeling good you have no chance whatsoever of being here in this actual world. (A grumpy person locks themselves out of the perfect purity of this moment and place). Of course, once you get the knack of this, one up-levels ‘feeling good’, as a bottom line each moment again, to feeling happy’. And after that: ‘feeling perfect’. These are all feelings, this is not perfection personified yet ... but then again, feeling perfect for twenty three hours and fifty nine minutes a day is way beyond normal human expectations anyway. Also, it is a very tricky way of both getting men fully into their feelings for the first time in their life and getting women to examine their feelings one by one instead of being run by a basketful of them all at once. One starts to feel ‘alive’ for the first time in one’s life.

Being ‘alive’ is to be paying attention – exclusive attention – to this moment in time and this place in space. This attention becomes fascination ... and fascination leads to reflective contemplation. Then – and only then – apperception can occur.

Apperceptive awareness can be evoked by paying exclusive attention to being fully alive right now. This moment is your only moment of being alive ... one is never alive at any other time than now. And, wherever you are, one is always here ... even if you start walking over to ‘there’, along the way to ‘there’ you are always here ... and when you arrive ‘there’, it too is here. Thus attention becomes a fascination with the fact that one is always here ... and it is already now. Fascination leads to reflective contemplation. As one is already here, and it is always now ... then one has arrived before one starts. The potent combination of attention, fascination, reflection and contemplation produces apperception, which happens when the mind becomes aware of itself. Apperception is an awareness of consciousness. It is not ‘I’ being aware of ‘me’ being conscious; it is the mind’s awareness of itself. Apperception – a way of seeing that is arrived at by reflective and fascinating contemplative thought – is when ‘I’ cease thinking and thinking takes place of its own accord ... and ‘me’ disappears along with all the feelings. Such a mind, being free of the thinker and the feeler – ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul – is capable of immense clarity and purity ... as a sensate body only, one is automatically benevolent and benign.

It is really important to understand about the soul ... getting into feelings like this – ‘perfect’ feelings – leaves one in imminent danger of the seductive snare of Love and Beauty, and, conveniently ignoring their opposites, becoming enlightened, or at least illuminated. ‘Me’ – that intuition of ‘being’ that I call the soul – sugar coats itself with Love and Compassion and Beauty and Truth and swans along in a state of Blissful Euphoria. Thus one then goes off into some mystical State of Being in some metaphysical world and misses out on the clean and clear perfection of this actual world. It is very, very difficult to get out of the enlightened state and go ‘beyond it’ into this actual world of the senses.

Your feeling of being – the real ‘me’ – is what is evidenced when one says: ‘But what about me, nobody loves me for me’! For a woman it is: ‘You only want me for my body ... and not for me’. For a man it is: ‘You only want me for my money ... and not for me’. For a child it is: ‘You only want to be my friend because of my toys (or sweets or whatever)’. This sense of ‘me’ – this being – arises out of the basic instincts that blind nature endowed us all with as a rough and ready ‘soft-ware’ package to make a start in life. These instincts – mainly fear and aggression and nurture and desire – appear as a rudimentary self. This is why it is felt to be one’s ‘Original Face’ – to use the Zen terminology – if one is open to ‘what is’.

You need to have a keen sense of humour. This business of becoming free is not – contrary to popular opinion – a serious business at all. Be totally sincere ... most definitely utterly sincere, as genuineness is essential. But serious ... no way. An actual freedom is all about having fun; about enjoying being here; about delighting in being alive. All that ‘being serious’ stuff actively works against peace-on-earth. One has to want to be here on this planet ... most people resent being here and wish to escape. This method will bring one into being more fully here than anyone has ever been before. If you do not want to be here, then forget it.

So: How am I experiencing this moment of being alive? It beats any pathetic mantra by a country mile ... because it is useful and effective.

KONRAD: Or is it something that emerges spontaneously into being by some fortunate few?

RICHARD: One will never become free by sitting in a deck-chair on the patio waiting for the ‘Grace Of God’ to descend. One has to reach out – extend oneself – like one has never done before. One has to want peace-on-earth as the number one priority in one’s life. One has to desire freedom from the Human Condition to the point of obsession and beyond ... it is that urgent and essential. Treat unhappiness and harmfulness as if it were a terminal illness that one has to rid the body of. And one does it for a two-fold purpose: for the good of oneself in particular and for one’s fellow humans in general. After all, a happy and harmless person is a pleasure to be with ... if you are not good company for yourself, then what are you for others?

KONRAD: Or is it so, as is with the position of the TM people, that just having contact with you will bring this marvellous state about by itself.

RICHARD: Meeting me face-to-face does nothing other than verify that there is indeed a flesh and blood man of fifty-plus years who writes these words. I would have nothing different to say than this kind of thing that I write ... although in speech I am prone to use more colloquialisms than in writing.

Some people report getting a ‘lift’, but that is entirely subjective. Having no feelings – emotions and passions – there is no ‘energy-field’ here. There is the physical assurance that it is indeed possible to be entirely free from the Human Condition.

KONRAD: So that the only thing you have to do is give this kind of descriptions, and the only thing we have to do is opening ourselves for the things you put forward? Or am I missing the point altogether?

RICHARD: It does rather sound like you are missing the point. It has nothing to do whatsoever about being ‘open’. Being ‘open’ is to invite the affective response. It is all about sensibly seeing the facts and actuality of what I write ... the facts speak for themselves to those with the eyes to see.

KONRAD: Just for the record, I am not making fun of you. I am just curious whether you have something else than your description of your condition to offer.

RICHARD: If – as you say – you are not making fun of me, then I am left with some kind of bewilderment. After all, you hit this list with over 500 KB of those E-Mail exchanges between the two of us ... of which my part contained far more than descriptive examples like the above narration. On top of that, you say that you have accessed my Web Page ... which contains over 165,000 words, at the last count, which should be many, many more than enough. In fact, I have just been recently informed that one word is too many.

However, a man who has been in close dialogue with me since February last year has written a book of 50,000 words, in which he describes his experience of putting actualism into action. He has currently been putting the finishing touches to his own Web Page and has it up and running as of this last twenty four hours ... if the small-town server we operate through can keep their equipment from crashing, that is. You can access it, if you wish, by scrolling down my Web Page and click on ‘Peter’s Journal’. It gives a very practical and down-to-earth story of someone actually doing something about the habitual tendency towards running on the malice and sorrow within the human breast in their day-to-day life ... so as to optimise being happy and harmless and virtually free. It is also an excellent example of the workings of actualism in a close and intimate relationship with a fellow human being of the other gender.

All in all, it is a very good read.

July 10 1998:

KONRAD: In a sense you can therefore say, that I am defending J. Krishnamurti, while Richard is attacking him.

RICHARD: Actually, I am not ‘attacking him’ per se ... I am whole-heartedly criticising the altered state of consciousness known as enlightenment. Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti happens to be the person most people on this list are familiar with. If I was subscribed to the Mr. Mohan ‘Rajneesh’ Jain list I would be using quotes of his.

I have read Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti (and many, many other similar people’s writings) with extreme care and remarkable sensitivity ... because I wanted to know, for myself, where he (and they) were coming from. The source of their ‘Teachings’ is of the utmost importance to ascertain, for it has vast ramifications for the course of human history. Consequently, I have read hundreds and hundreds of books ... maybe into the thousands. For example, I have read about 30 of Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti’s books (plus about 10 books by contemporaries); I have watched about 15 video tapes; I have listened to about 20 audio tapes ... and I have discussed these matters before with ‘Krishnamurtiites’ face-to-face. This is no rash – or rushed – thing that I did. I wanted to know.

I fully appreciate what Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti experienced, talked about and wrote of. It is an amazing thing that not only are we humans able to be here experiencing this business of being alive ... on top of that we can think about and reflect upon what is entailed. In addition to this ability, we can communicate our discoveries to one another – comparing notes as it were – and further our understanding with this communal input. One does not have to rely only upon one’s own findings; it is possible, as one man famous in history put it, to reach beyond the current knowledge by standing upon the shoulders of those that went before. It is silly to disregard the results of other person’s enterprising essays into the ‘mystery of life’ – unless it is obviously bombast and blather – for one would have to invent the wheel all over again. However, it is only too possible to accept as set in concrete the accumulated ‘wisdom of the ages’ and remain stultified ... enfeebled by the insufferable psittacisms passed on from one generation to the next. I would not be where I am today if it were not for all those brave people who went before me ... and I am so pleased that they left a record of their ventures. I am saying that enlightenment is a mirage, a chimera, a delusion, a hallucination and so on. This is a very responsible attack indeed.

And long overdue.

July 12 1998:

KONRAD: At least you have showed clearly, that they were discussing the wrong Krishnamurti. The problem with your statement: ‘I am God’ you claim implied by J. Krishnamurti, is that it is very difficult to take it seriously.

RICHARD: I do not ‘claim’ that this statement was ‘implied’ by Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti ... I stated a fact that he clearly said it. And I have direct, transcribed quotes attributed to him to demonstrate this.

KONRAD: This is, because in language, contrary to mathematics, identity statements are not exact. Therefore with a cascade of identities A = B, B = C, C = D, ... Y = Z, ergo A = Z, anything can be proved. For in every step new things can be added, and old things can be omitted. And this can be done so drastically, that you can even end up with A = not A.

RICHARD: Now I am no mathematician ... but if, as you say, mathematics are exact, then how can they sensibly demonstrate that A = not A? That sounds anything but exact, to me. At least, not practical.

KONRAD: Here in Holland this subject is used by many stage entertainers (conferenciers?, I do not know the English word) to trigger jokes. It is quite a popular form of entertainment here. I have seen ‘proved’ in this way that left wing politics is exactly identical with right wing politics, that the statement ‘I am going to the theatre tomorrow’ is identical with ‘Jesus lives’ etc.

RICHARD: I was not being an entertainer ... I am here to talk about the ills of humankind. Abstract logic is fine in its place, but it has never made anyone happy and harmless.

KONRAD: The problem with a serious discussion of such a chain of statements leading to a particular statement is simply, that it is too much work to unravel every step. Especially so, because you never give in to anything. You never admit that you make a mistake, not even on the plain of thought and thinking. And that, while even in your actualism position this is no ‘sin’ (pardon me the expression), because you have distantiate your identity from your thinking. And thinking can always make mistakes, even in you, without it discrediting your position in any way.

RICHARD: I do not ‘distantiate my identity from my thinking’ for there is no identity anywhere at all either inside this body or outside. Thinking happens freely here. It is entirely possible, throughout the vast majority of one’s time, for there to be no thoughts running at all ... none whatsoever. If thought is needed for a particular situation, it swings smoothly into action of its own accord and effortlessly does its thing. All the while there is an apperceptive awareness of being here ... of being alive at this moment in time and this place in space. No words occur in the brain – other than when necessary – for it is a wordless appreciation of being able to be here now. Consequently, one is always blithe and carefree, even if one is doing nothing. Doing something – and that includes thinking – is a bonus of happiness and pleasure on top of this on-going ambrosial experience of being alive and awake and here on this verdant planet now.

KONRAD: You put yourself in the forefront as being unable to make errors on any field. When you do, and it is pointed out to you, you ignore the point, and do not admit it. So you force others who try to talk with you in the position whereby they either listen, and acknowledge everything you say, or they must shut up. There is nothing in between.

RICHARD: If I make an error, I will be only too happy to acknowledge that. I happen to be an expert on an actual freedom because I am living it. Likewise with an altered state of consciousness known as spiritual enlightenment, for I lived that delusion for eleven years. Nothing I write is theory, conjecture or speculation. If I am not sure, I say ‘I guess’ or ‘maybe’ or ‘this is only an opinion’ and so on. I do not claim infallibility.

KONRAD: I do not know whether you have noticed it, but there are a number of people on this list who try to ‘prove’ how superior they are, and not to have dialogues. I must admit to have committed this very same sin in the beginning. However it may be, it is therefore not the perfect audience for your position. Therefore there can be only two outcomes. Either you come to your senses, (no pun on actualism intended,) and give these others at least some room to put forward what they have, or you withdraw in frustration about such an unwilling audience, as you are apparently doing now.

RICHARD: I am not frustrated ... it was that I could not be bothered responding to such nugatory objections like the ‘life was meant to be easy’ remonstration, for example ... or ‘that quote doesn’t sound like the Krishnamurti I know’ or ‘what are the dates of those quotes’ or ‘I am only interested in the mature Krishnamurti’ and so on. This is despite the fact that I had posted: ‘Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti stayed with the same message all his public life, changing only the way he said it: ‘You asked a question: Has there been a fundamental change in K from the 1930’s, 1940’s? I say, no. There has been considerable change in expression’. (‘Krishnamurti – A Biography’; ©1986 Pupul Jayakar. Published by Harper & Row, San Francisco). Ms. Mary Lutyens, in one of her biographies, reported that he had intimated that he might be ‘The Buddha’. Or, as he quite rightly said, a ‘change in expression’ only.

I went out for the day, instead ... to talk with some non-blinkered people that want to actually know for themselves what is going on.

KONRAD: Nobody who thinks that he has accomplished something, whether this is factual or not, is willing to be taught. This is part and parcel of the pride that goes with this. If you want to talk with them, you must at least acknowledge what they have if they have something. But in the next step you must be careful, and prevent them for jumping all over you. For your acknowledging that what they have can be taken as proof that they have found a willing victim who now can become their student, and in this way satisfy their desire to be considered superior.

RICHARD: As there is neither pride nor humility operating inside this body, none of the above affects me in the least. All that is your experience of life, not mine.

KONRAD: I do not agree with you on every point, and I am still thinking about your response on my last question. (You know, what method do you have to offer to others?) I see clearly, that you have a lot to offer, if only because you are authentic, and have quite a broad development and interest. You showing clearly, that this discussion was about the wrong Krishnamurti is just one of these. I therefore consider it a pity if you stop contributing, while the answer to your frustration is so simple. Stop teaching a little, and be prepared to be taught a little. In this way you demonstrate at least that you listen, and talk with us, and not only to us.

RICHARD: If you have something new and original to say that I have not heard about or read about or thought for myself ... then I will listen. So far, all that has been brought to my attention is the ‘Tried and True’ which – as I keep saying – is the ‘Tried and Failed’. I have already written to you before about this when you accused me of not being open. You may remember that I replied that I am most definitely not open to anything religious, spiritual, mystical or metaphysical, for I lived that for eleven years and found them to be wanting ... and all a delusion, anyway. I demonstrated this in an example to you by asking you if you were still open to the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus ... remember? And your erudite answer? ‘We don’t have a ‘Tooth Fairy’ or ‘Santa Claus’ in The Netherlands so your example is not valid’ (not a direct quote).

As The Netherlands have Sinterklaas, it was a rather pathetic response from you, wasn’t it?

July 12 1998:

RICHARD: As The Netherlands have Sinterklaas, it was a rather pathetic response from you, wasn’t it?

KONRAD: Ahh, you know about Sinterklaas. How nice! THAT is a fellow I believe in, although he has been recently wrongly de-sainted. Was I to take that serious, then?

RICHARD: No, not seriously ... sincerely.

*

RICHARD: If you have something new and original to say that I have not heard about or read about or thought for myself ... then I will listen.

KONRAD: How about the infinite always being a finite concept, because it consists in every case of the pointing to a border, and a negation? (Look at your own proof of the infinity of the universe.)

RICHARD: That does not fall into the category of something new ... I was asked last year to prove the infinitude of the universe without resorting to that ancient Greek one of going to the border and throwing a spear into ... into what? You are asking a logical question and insisting on a logical answer. As all logic is based upon opposites, it is a ‘problem’ that logic cannot solve. What it goes to serve is to show that logic is limited.

The universe, being unlimited in both space and time, has no opposite. Thus the mind cannot conceptualise infinitude. It has to be lived to be known. One lives it by being here at this place in space and this moment in time as this flesh and blood body only. This is a direct experience of the actuality of infinity and eternity and beats that specious immortality so beloved by the metaphysicians hands down ... for the immediate is the ultimate and the relative is the absolute.

‘I’ can never know infinitude.

KONRAD: How about Olbers paradox? These two things just for starters.

RICHARD: Also not new. In fact, this ‘paradox’, which was discussed in 1823 by the German astronomer Mr. Heinrich Olbers and its discovery widely attributed to him, can be traced back to Mr. Johannes Kepler. Mr. Johannes Kepler, in 1610, advanced it as an argument against the notion of a limitless universe containing an infinite number of stars. The ‘paradox’ relates to the hypothetical problem of why the sky is dark at night. If the universe is endless and uniformly populated with luminous stars then, the proponents of this theory say, every line of sight must eventually terminate at the surface of a star. Hence this argument implies that, contrary to observation, the night sky should everywhere be bright, with no dark spaces between the stars. Various resolutions have been proposed at different times. If the assumptions are accepted, then the simplest resolution is that the average luminous lifetime of stars is far too short for light to have yet reached the Earth from very distant stars [according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica].

KONRAD: Welcome back, Richard. I was almost afraid, that you would leave us for a long time.

RICHARD: I was not leaving ... I said I would be watching to see which way the wind blows so as to ascertain if anyone wanted to actually investigate into the root cause of animosity and anguish within the human being. In particular, changing the only person one can actually change ... and change radically, fundamentally, totally and completely.

But I am not holding my breath whilst watching.

July 13 1998:

KONRAD: How about the infinite always being a finite concept, because it consists in every case of the pointing to a border, and a negation?

RICHARD: I was asked last year to prove the infinitude of the universe without resorting to that ancient Greek one of going to the border and throwing a spear into ... into what?

KONRAD: And did you? Where is the argument?

RICHARD: I told the person that that example was the same as the one I learned in high school: ‘what is at the edge of the universe ... a long brick wall? And when you lean on the wall and look over ... what are you looking into?’

*

RICHARD: You are asking a logical question and insisting on a logical answer. As all logic is based upon opposites, it is a ‘problem’ that logic cannot solve. What it goes to serve is to show that logic is limited.

KONRAD: From this I infer, that you either did not answer that fellow on the other mailing list, or you gave an illogical answer.

RICHARD: Not so. I pointed out that the spear throwing example and the looking over the wall example were not examples of the use of logic. They are exercises involving the use of the imaginative faculty of visualisation. I went on to explain that – contrary to popular opinion – infinitude does not just mean endless space and endless time. It means that the planet earth is situated nowhere in particular in space ... which means we are anywhere at all. Similarly, this moment is situated nowhere in particular in time and we are also ‘anywhen’ at all. This means that infinitude is everywhere and anywhere all at once. Thus, any place and any time is whatever one arbitrarily chooses to make it be.

An actual freedom is an enormous freedom.

KONRAD: Although thought is limited, logic, being the description of the laws of thought, is not.

RICHARD: Do you really mean that? Consider what you just wrote and see the obvious flaw in your reasoning.

KONRAD: This assertion is somewhat analogous to the statement, that although in every single case language expresses something finite, the totality of things that language can express is not finite.

RICHARD: Not necessarily so. For starters the single word ‘infinite’ does not express something finite.

KONRAD: In logic this is even more precise. There exists axiomatic systems in logic, containing an infinite number of axioms. These axioms are generated by something called: axiom schemes. These axiom schemes contain, as special cases, every tautology. This can be proved. And since every tautology is equivalent to a number of valid logical arguments, and there is no logical valid argument that is not equivalent to a tautology, this axiom scheme contains implicitly all valid logical arguments. So logic is not limited.

RICHARD: I find logic to be very limited. I can give a high school example: An arrow is shot at the target and takes two seconds to reach the bullseye. After it passes the half-way point, logically it starts to halve the remaining time taken ... a half a second to go ... a quarter of a second to go ... an eighth of a second to go ... a sixteenth of a second to go ... and so on and so on indefinitely. This is the classical example given to shown the infinity of fractions. Thus, logically, the arrow never reaches the target.

Now you know, and I know and everybody knows, that it does ... but logically it never does.

*

RICHARD: Infinitude does not just mean endless space and endless time. It means that the planet earth is situated nowhere in particular in space ... which means we are anywhere at all. Similarly, this moment is situated nowhere in particular in time and we are also ‘anywhen’ at all. This means that infinitude is everywhere and anywhere all at once. Thus, any place and any time is whatever one arbitrarily chooses to make it be.

KONRAD: Let me take a look whether I can make sense of this. Do you know what a hologram is? It is a piece of glass, that has recorded the interference patterns of waves from two light sources. The first is the monochromatic light that is coming directly from a laser. The second is the light that is coming from an object, that is hit with the same light. This is achieved by use of a mirror that lets half of the light go through it to the glass plate, and the other half is directed to the object, that is illuminated by it. The interesting thing is, that when this same monochromatic light falls on this glass plate, and you are also looking through this glass plate, you see the original object, even when it is removed. And you even see it in three dimensions. And if that is not enough, if you break the glass plate, and let the monochromatic light fall on just a piece of it, the whole image appears in just this fragment. So every fragment of the piece of glass contains the complete image! But even this is not all. You can move the object while recording the hologram. As long as you take care that the glass plate rotates while recording takes place, you can record even the movements! What you must do to see the movement of the object is letting the monochromatic light fall on the glass plate, and turn it with the exact speed at which it turned when recording took place. When you study this glass plate, containing a recording of the three dimensional image in ordinary light, the only thing visible on it are interference patterns. So you can say, that at every location of the glass plate the complete image is present. And not only that, you can even deduce, that the flow of time is present on this glass plate, but not as a flow of time, but as a moment containing the complete happenings of everything that happened, happens, and will happen. So if I understand you correctly, you say that the world is not the three-dimensional manifold + time we observe, but there is a deeper structure that causes everything we observe. And this deeper structure is analogous to this hologram, containing in every part of it the structure of the world how it was, is, and will be. And you assert, that in your state of actualism, you are able to observe this? This is more than remarkable. This is unbelievable!

RICHARD: It is unbelievable for I never meant all that at all. I simply meant that 1998 is an arbitrary date plucked out of nowhere for convenience. Also, when scientists state that the planet earth is in the bottom left-hand corner of the galaxy which is somewhere to the top left-hand side of the universe (or wherever) I seriously question their intelligence. We are, as I wrote above, nowhere and ‘nowhen’ in particular ... which is to be anywhere or ‘anywhen’ at all. Infinitude is all over the place and nowhere in particular. It defies logic ... and it is an enormous freedom to live this boundless awareness of being the universe experiencing itself as a sensate reflective human being.

KONRAD: Let me go on with my version of small-talk. There is a simple logical definition of the infinite, and it uses very simple finite concepts. Let me give a simple example from the theory of sets. Suppose I consider the set of all integers, all natural numbers. {1, 2, 3, ... }. And I consider the set of all integers dividable by 2. {2, 4, 6, 8, ... } Now I can form a so – called 1 – 1 correspondence, like this. 1 < – > 2 ... 2 < – > 4 ... 3 < – > 6 ... 4 < – > 8 ... Now I can see, that with every even number there corresponds an integer, and vice versa. I can also express this as follows: I am counting the even numbers. The important point is, that I understand, from this correspondence, that every even number corresponds with every natural number. This is the infinite logical way of expressing it. Or, to say it in a logically equivalent way, there is no even number that does not correspond with a natural number. This is the finite, but logically equivalent way of expressing it. Both facts can also be expressed by simply saying, that the set of even numbers has exactly the same size as the set of natural numbers. So we have two facts. Obviously the set of even numbers is a real subset of the set of natural numbers. With this I mean, that every element of the set of even numbers is present in the set of natural numbers. But on the other hand the set of natural numbers contains elements that cannot be found in the set of even numbers. Still, both sets are, in spite of the fact that they are both infinite, seen to be equally large, for they contain exactly the same number of elements. If you were able to count infinitely long, and you were finished, you can say that you have counted every element of the set, without missing one. This is seen to be true, in spite of the fact that you also see, that such an action cannot be performed in practice. The conclusion of equal size follows from the observation, that every even number corresponds with a natural number and vice versa. These last insights have made some mathematicians define infinite sets by this characteristic. Infinite sets distinguish themselves from finite sets because every infinite set and only infinite sets have real subsets that have the same size as the set they are a subset of. So in general an infinite set is defined as a set containing a real subset of the same size as the set it is a subset of.

RICHARD: I do understand basic mathematical logic ... but what has this got to do with the infinitude of the physical universe? Look, you tell me that before the ‘big bang’ there was nothing, and that past the edge of the ‘expanding universe’ there is nothing, right? Now – since you are a self-confessed worshipper of logic – I will posit to you a similar question by rephrasing the one you posed to me: How about this ‘nothing’ always being only a logical concept, because it consists in every case of the pointing to a border, and then a negation? In other words, you cannot say that ‘nothing’ is unless ‘something’ is first.

Therefore, ‘something’ is what is primary, not ‘nothing’ ... as eastern metaphysics would have us believe. Eventually you will abandon logic – and intuition – and actually be here at this moment in eternal time and this place in infinite space for the very first time.

*

RICHARD: The universe, being unlimited in both space and time, has no opposite. Thus the mind cannot conceptualise infinitude. It has to be lived to be known. One lives it by being here at this place in space and this moment in time as this flesh and blood body only. This is a direct experience of the actuality of infinity and eternity and beats that specious immortality so beloved by the metaphysicians hands down ... for the immediate is the ultimate and the relative is the absolute. ‘I’ can never know infinitude.

KONRAD: Well, don’t you think I did a pretty good job in my example of the infinite set of natural and even numbers?

RICHARD: Being honest with you ... no. It was a valiant – but ultimately futile – attempt to contain the physical universe in an abstract equation.

*

KONRAD: How about Olbers paradox?

RICHARD: Also not new. In fact, this ‘paradox’, which was discussed in 1823 by the German astronomer Mr. Heinrich Olbers and its discovery widely attributed to him, can be traced back to Mr. Johannes Kepler. Mr. Johannes Kepler, in 1610, advanced it as an argument against the notion of a limitless universe containing an infinite number of stars. The ‘paradox’ relates to the hypothetical problem of why the sky is dark at night. If the universe is endless and uniformly populated with luminous stars then, the proponents of this theory say, every line of sight must eventually terminate at the surface of a star. Hence this argument implies that, contrary to observation, the night sky should everywhere be bright, with no dark spaces between the stars. Various resolutions have been proposed at different times. If the assumptions are accepted, then the simplest resolution is that the average luminous lifetime of stars is far too short for light to have yet reached the Earth from very distant stars [according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica].

KONRAD: This last thing is in contradiction with the infinite duration of the universe. For no matter how brief the lifespan of the star is, whenever it exists, it radiates light. Suppose, as you say, that the light of the stars that are present far away has not reached us. And suppose the radiation reaches us only when these stars are already long gone. Then there have to have been stars before this period. No matter how far away the space is, we consider, if we go far enough back in time, there have to have been stars then, whose light reaches us now. These stars are gone, but this does not prevent their light to reach us, and to accumulate in the way I have calculated. So if your argument is valid, the universe is not infinite in time. In other words, even if the lifetime of stars is far too short for light to have yet reached the earth for the very distant ones, the space contained stars before that period containing stars that radiate light that DID reach us. Therefore the simple mathematical argument I have put forward is only refuted if you assume that there has been a period in the past wherein there were no stars whatsoever. But this contradicts the homogeneity and isotropy of the universe in time. And therefore its infinity in time. By reformulating my argument into another one supposed to be equivalent, and then refuting that one, you have not refuted the original argument, but only a straw man.

RICHARD: I beg to differ ... I did not reformulate your argument at all. If you look at your question above you will see that you asked: ‘how about the Olbers paradox’? That is all you put forward ... so where do you get off with this ‘straw man’ business?

KONRAD: You have guts, Richard, to have tried this one. That I must say. This is also, why I like you so much, in spite of our differences.

RICHARD: Oh, there is plenty more where that came from ... if there are infinite stars – and therefore infinite light – there is also infinite space – and therefore infinite dark – which means that one argument cancels the other out. Which is probably why the night sky looks as it does – a nice balance – and a rather pretty display at that. But, so much for logic, eh?

All this while that humans having been attempting to understand the universe logically and intuitively, the universe has been doing its own thing, irregardless of what human think or feel. What one can do, though, is be here at this place in space and this moment in time as this flesh and blood body only and then the universe will be experiencing itself as a sensate reflective human being. This is to experience infinitude as an actuality, rather than thinking out its character or feeling out its nature.

*

KONRAD: Welcome back, Richard. I was almost afraid, that you would leave us for a long time.

RICHARD: I was not leaving ... I said I would be watching to see which way the wind blows so as to ascertain if anyone wanted to actually investigate into the root cause of animosity and anguish within the human being. In particular, changing the only person one can actually change ... and change radically, fundamentally, totally and completely. But I am not holding my breath whilst watching.

KONRAD: Okay. If you say so. The mailing list would surely be impoverished if you were not on it.

RICHARD: I get the impression you might be a crowd made up of one person, Konrad.

July 14 1998:

KONRAD: Pure observation of the outside world without thought functioning is impossible. It is, because thought functions automatically by interpreting the sensual data. So if you think that pure observation of the outside world without thought functioning is possible, you are mistaken. Pure observation is possible. But only the contents of consciousness can be observed purely, not the outside world. It is exactly this distinction that makes that there is a distinction between the inside world and the outside world. In other words, the distinction between the inside world and the outside world is something that can be observed purely. The perception of the outside world, at least, cannot be done without thought functioning .

RICHARD: Pure observation of what is commonly called the ‘outside world’ without thought functioning is indeed possible ... it is called apperceptive awareness. Apperception is only possible when ‘I’, in any way, shape or form, cease to exist ... then there is no ‘inner’ or ‘outer’ world. It is ‘I’, believing in ‘my’ reality, that creates an ‘inner’ and an ‘outer’ world. There is only the world as-it-is, here in actuality.

Then it is entirely possible, throughout the vast majority of one’s time, for there to be no thoughts running at all ... none whatsoever. If thought is needed for a particular situation, it swings smoothly into action of its own accord and effortlessly does its thing without creating an identity. All the while there is an apperceptive awareness of being here ... of being alive at this moment in time and this place in space. In apperception, no words need occur in the brain – other than when necessary – for it is a wordless appreciation of being able to be here now. Consequently, one is always blithe and carefree, even if one is doing nothing. Doing something – and that includes thinking – is a bonus of happiness and pleasure on top of this on-going ambrosial experience of being alive and awake and here on this verdant planet now.

Then there is no ‘contents of consciousness’ to observe – either purely or impurely – for such contents were all calenture-based.

July 14 1998:

KONRAD: There are people on this list who claim that they can become aware of their ‘I’ at the moment it is active, without such a process being present. Richard is such a person ... ... who apparently has gone through some kind of transformation, that has made certain things clear to him. But contrary to me, there is not a constant ‘process’ going on within him, that is a left-over from it, and that renews this insight. This makes that if I try to communicate with him, I see from his reaction that there are differences in his understanding of the conditions of becoming aware of the ‘I’-thought and what I myself become aware of. It looks like he is talking from an experience of the past, and conclusions that were once drawn that form his present ‘I’, and not from an actually unfolding awareness of ‘I’ at this very moment. These differences make me conclude that Richard ... does not really know what it means to become aware of the ‘I’-thought at the moment it functions, although apparently he was once aware of it.

RICHARD: You are way, way off the mark ... there is no ‘I’ in any way, shape or form inside this body. This is an egocentric viewpoint (‘egocentric’ as in the way the word ‘ethnocentric’ is used) and shows that your appraisal of others is coloured by your own experience. Having an ‘I’-thought’ is your experience, not mine. Apart from that, you are unwittingly dead right where you say: ‘Richard does not really know what it means to become aware of the ‘I’-thought at the moment it functions, although apparently he was once aware of it’ .

It is so long ago that I cannot remember it at all ... except that it brought untold problems in living life freely.

July 30 1998:

KONRAD: Hi, Richard. Still fooling around with us? Every time when I look at your writings, you remind me of the Borg from Star Trek, but then exactly the other way around. With them it was: ‘Resistance is futile’. And with you it is ‘argument is futile’. You have in common with them to have ended all emotions. But, contrary to them, with you all is just immense pleasure and joy, while with them it was all seriousness. I cannot help it. Every time I see your mailings I enjoy them immensely, just because of this. I have tried to prove to you, that nothing in existence is infinite. However, looking at your mails, I am almost convinced of making an error. At least your guts is infinite.

RICHARD: Actually you have not proved that ‘nothing in existence is infinite’ for you have been hung up on seeing infinity to be just a concept. As a concept, of course, it does not exist as an actuality. This is what logic does to you ... everything becomes conceptual. When you see – one of these days – that infinity and eternity are as actual as your toothache then life will become all of a sudden so much sweeter that you may very well pass out from the shock of so much pleasure rippling throughout this flesh and blood body.

KONRAD: I do not have to say to you: ‘keep up the good work’, for in this sentence there are, of course, two mistakes in your eyes. Firstly, do not need any encouragement, and, secondly, what you are doing is definitely no work in your eyes.

RICHARD: I am pleased to see that you do, in fact, understand me quite well despite our differences regarding infinitude!

KONRAD: I just wanted to let you know that I am still alive and kicking. With best wishes (as if you need them, but you receive them anyways.)

RICHARD: Yeah, thanks anyway ... look, Konrad, I just cannot resist: How are you going with that Olbers Paradox? You know, that refutation I sent that you were remarkably silent about? I am only too happy to re-post it:

• [Richard]: ‘If there are infinite stars – and therefore infinite light – there is also infinite space – and therefore infinite dark – which means that one argument cancels the other out. Which is probably why the night sky looks as it does – a nice balance – and a rather pretty display at that’.

If you contemplate that logical impossibility thoroughly, your analytical mind should give up the ghost ... and then you will be happy and harmless, eh?

August 01 1998:

RICHARD: If there are infinite stars – and therefore infinite light – there is also infinite space – and therefore infinite dark – which means that one argument cancels the other out. Which is probably why the night sky looks as it does – a nice balance – and a rather pretty display at that.

KONRAD: Well, well. Your resources to find new arguments is apparently another infinity in you. Now, what is wrong with this argument? To begin with, darkness is the absence of light. So, again, no matter how diluted the universe is, the old mathematical argument of the intensity diminishing with the square of the distance, and the number of stars increasing with the third power applies here, too. The light cannot be absorbed by the darkness in such a way, that it disappears. This is because of the law of conservation of energy. All energy that is radiated by the stars must remain somewhere. This argument is now refuted. I am very curious about what you will come up with next.

RICHARD: I am not going to have to come up with anything next as the obvious flaw in your logic above lies in your basic premise. To wit: ‘darkness is the absence of light’. Who says so? We could just as easily say that ‘light is the absence of dark’. If you wish to prove something logically you have to posit an initial fact upon which to build your case and I, for one, cannot buy such a spurious assumption that ‘dark is the absence of light’ as being an established absolute.

Have you heard of the ‘Dark Sucker Hypothesis’?

For years the electrical utility companies have led the public to believe they were in business to supply electricity to the consumer, a service for which they charge a substantial rate. The recent accidental acquisition of secret records from a well known power company has led to a massive research campaign which positively explodes several myths and exposes the massive hoax which has been perpetrated upon the public by the power companies.

The most common hoax promoted the false concept that light bulbs emitted light; in actuality, these ‘light’ bulbs actually absorb dark which is then transported back to the power generation stations via wire networks. A more descriptive name has now been coined; the new scientific name for the device is ‘Dark Sucker’.

This is a brief synopsis of the dark sucker theory, which proves the existence of dark and establishes the fact that dark has great mass, and further, that dark particle (the anti-photon) is the fastest known particle in the universe. Apparently, even the celebrated Dr. Albert Einstein did not suspect the truth that just as cold is the absence of heat, then light is actually the absence of dark. Scientists have now proven that light does not really exist.

The basis of the dark sucker theory is that electric light bulbs suck dark. Take for example, the dark suckers in the room where you are right now. There is much less dark right next to the dark suckers than there is elsewhere, demonstrating their limited range. The larger the dark sucker, the greater its capacity to suck dark. Dark suckers in a parking lot or on a football field have a much greater capacity than the ones in used in the home, for example.

It may come as a surprise to learn that dark suckers also operate on a celestial scale; witness the Sun. Our Sun makes use of dense dark, sucking it in from all the planets and intervening dark space. Naturally, the Sun is better able to suck dark from the planets which are situated closer to it, thus explaining why those planets appear brighter than do those which are far distant from the Sun. Occasionally, the Sun actually over-sucks; under those conditions, dark spots appear on the surface of the Sun. Scientists have long studied these ‘spots’ and are only recently beginning to realise that the dark spots represent leaks of high pressure dark because the Sun has over-sucked dark to such an extent that some dark actually leaks back into space. This leakage of high pressure dark frequently causes problems with radio communications here on Earth due to collisions between the dark particles as they stream out into space at high velocity via the black holes in the surface of the Sun.

As with all man-made devices, dark suckers have a finite lifetime caused by the fact that they are not 100% efficient at transmitting collected dark back to the power company via the wires from your home, causing dark to build up slowly within the device. Once they are full of accumulated dark, they can no longer suck. This condition can be observed by looking for the black spot on a full dark sucker when it has reached maximum capacity of un-transmitted dark ... you have surely noticed that dark completely surrounds a full dark sucker because it no longer has the capacity to suck any dark at all.

A candle is a primitive dark sucker. A new candle has a white wick. You will notice that after the first use the wick turns black, representing all the dark which has been sucked into it. If you hold a pencil next to the wick of an operating candle, the tip will turn black because it got in the way of the dark flowing into the candle. And it is of no use to plug a candle into an electrical outlet; it can only collect dark ... being primitive it has no transmission capabilities. Unfortunately, these original dark suckers have a very limited range and are hazardous to operate because of the intense heat produced.

There are also portable dark suckers called flashlights. The bulbs in these devices collect dark which is passed to a dark storage unit called a battery. When the dark storage unit is full, it must be either emptied (a process called ‘recharging’) or replaced before the portable dark sucker can continue to operate. If you break open a battery, you will find dense black dark inside, evidence that it is actually a compact dark storage unit.

Over to you, Konrad.

August 06 1998:

RICHARD: If there are infinite stars – and therefore infinite light – there is also infinite space – and therefore infinite dark – which means that one argument cancels the other out. Which is probably why the night sky looks as it does – a nice balance – and a rather pretty display at that.

KONRAD: Well, well. Your resources to find new arguments is apparently another infinity in you. Now, what is wrong with this argument? To begin with, darkness is the absence of light. So, again, no matter how diluted the universe is, the old mathematical argument of the intensity diminishing with the square of the distance, and the number of stars increasing with the third power applies here, too. The light cannot be absorbed by the darkness in such a way, that it disappears. This is because of the law of conservation of energy. All energy that is radiated by the stars must remain somewhere. This argument is now refuted. I am very curious about what you will come up with next.

RICHARD: I am not going to have to come up with anything next as the obvious flaw in your logic above lies in your basic premise. To wit: ‘darkness is the absence of light’. Who says so? We could just as easily say that ‘light is the absence of dark’. If you wish to prove something logically you have to posit an initial fact upon which to build your case and I, for one, cannot buy such a spurious assumption that ‘dark is the absence of light’ as being an established absolute. < dark sucker hypothesis joke snipped > Over to you, Konrad.

KONRAD: What kind of sucker do you take me for? A dark sucker?

RICHARD: Only if you continue to believe in the ‘Olbers Paradox’ as being proof that this universe is finite. This is what logic does to you ... everything becomes conceptual. I am waiting for your logic to deal with the ‘infinite light’ versus ‘infinite dark’ actuality ... rather than duck-shove it into the ‘too hard’ department. Have we established that dark is something more than the mere ‘absence of light’ or not? Has it an actuality all of its own? For if you see that it has, as I wrote before, when you see that infinity and eternity are as actual as your toothache then life will become all of a sudden so much sweeter that you may very well pass out from the shock of so much pleasure rippling throughout this flesh and blood body.

Over to you, Konrad.

August 12 1998:

RICHARD: I do understand basic mathematical logic ... but what has this got to do with the infinitude of the physical universe? Look, you tell me that before the ‘big bang’ there was nothing, and that past the edge of the ‘expanding universe’ there is nothing, right?

KONRAD: No, I have never said this last thing.

RICHARD: Yes, you did. You said that all definitions of infinity posited a finite and a negation of it, (‘for every use of the concept ‘infinite’ can be reformulated as a statement containing a clear, finite thought and a logical negation that is completely analogous to it’ ) and I gave Zeno’s spear throwing hypothesis as an example of this and referred to being asked to define infinity by not positing finite first.

You also sent me – some time ago – a long exposition on how time began before the ‘Big Bang’. Now the ‘Big Bang’ hypothesis implies an expanding universe ... unless you have an alternate theory about that too, which you have not written yet.

*

RICHARD: Now – since you are a self-confessed worshipper of logic – I will posit to you a similar question by rephrasing the one you posed to me: How about this ‘nothing’ always being only a logical concept, because it consists in every case of the pointing to a border, and then a negation? In other words, you cannot say that ‘nothing is’ unless ‘something’ is first.

KONRAD: This ‘nothing’ you talk about is non-existent. And that is exactly how it should be. For nothing is another word for non-existent.

RICHARD: This is where you completely ignore what I wrote directly above. Your ‘non-existent’ nothing is only able to be talked about by positing a ‘something’ then negating it. Therefore – by your own logic – your ‘non-existent’ nothing is only a concept. You are refusing to be true to your own logic and that smacks of a lack of intellectual rigour.

*

RICHARD: Therefore, ‘something’ is what is primary, not ‘nothing’ ... as eastern metaphysics would have us believe. Eventually you will abandon logic – and intuition – and actually be here at this moment in eternal time and this place in infinite space for the very first time.

KONRAD: I do nothing of the sort. For your logic is, alas, not powerful enough to penetrate my logic.

RICHARD: Yes it is, but you refuse to see it.

KONRAD: Okay, Richard. As you see, I am unbeatable by you in this area. I have studied logic and science constantly since my 11-th birthday. So it is now for 32 years going on.

RICHARD: And it seems to have made you blind to matter-of-fact common-sense ... down-to-earth facts and actuality.

KONRAD: Enlightenment is not a matter of understanding or not understanding, but a matter of realization. Since thoughts can only communicate understanding, it is futile to talk about enlightenment, and then to hope that others will understand. For understanding is a reaction of thought on realization. Not all realizations can be transformed into thought. The converse is also true. If that what is happening with you is understandable, can be understood, it is not enlightenment.

RICHARD: No way is it enlightenment ... I am down-to-earth and matter-of-fact ... and my condition can be both understood by me and communicated to those capable of hearing.

KONRAD: Contradictory notions that are completely accepted can cause this realization to happen. For they make you go beyond understanding. When I look at your assertions about space and time, and about actualism versus realism, while No. 00 has made clear that there is no difference in meaning, only in perspective, I wonder.

RICHARD: Nobody made anything clear about the difference between actuality and reality ... someone ventured an opinion, that is all.

KONRAD: Is that the way this realization functions in you? Is what you call actualisation not the same thing as what Mr. Rinzai calls realization? Your method of meditation makes me suspect so much.

RICHARD: No, it is not the same ... and I do not mediate. I never have and I never will. Why would I? I am already always here.

KONRAD: So, Richard, the books are not closed on you yet.

RICHARD: That is right ... maybe one day you will come to your senses and find a marvellous infinitude that exists as an actuality simply sitting here right under your nose.

August 15 1998:

KONRAD: If we look at a table, we do not only recognize the table by our senses, but there is always something ‘added’. If the table had, for example, only three legs, but we could not see the missing leg from our perspective, we would experience some surprise when we discover it. Or, in the same sense, we would be surprised when the table turned out to be attached, glued to the ground. These are simple examples that show that the recognition of a table involves an act of thinking. Add to this, that if we walk around the table, we experience the table to be one and the same object, in spite of the fact that the information of the senses continues to change. This ‘space – vision’ picture of the world is situated in the right hemisphere of the brains. Normally only the left hemisphere of the brains is dominant. However, it can happen that a switch occurs, that causes the right hemisphere to be the dominant one, and the left the one being dominated. I think that this is what has happened with Richard. This causes him to see, what takes place inside of him. But it also causes him to experience the world from the Euclidean invariant of the 3-dimensional space. In effect, he IS this 3-dimensional space. And this makes him conclude, that he is able to observe the world ‘directly’, although he errs. It explains also, why he thinks to have gone through a transformation. Richard is most consistent for he clearly realizes that what he is in is not the enlightenment of J. Krishnamurti. But he errs in thinking that it is something beyond enlightenment.

RICHARD: I see that you are still trying – in vain – to explain Richard’s condition away with ever-frantic theories. Fancy having to drag in that hoary ‘Left-Brain/ Right-Brain’ hypothesis in a futile attempt to dismiss one person’s discoveries about freedom from the Human Condition. What about the instinctual fear and aggression and nurture and desire that blind nature endows all sentient beings with at birth? Where do they fit into your borrowed ‘Left-Brain/ Right-Brain’ speculation?

Nowhere in your thesis have you addressed the issue of the total absence of malice and sorrow in Richard ... in fact you have never gone into this issue. You would rather babble on with convoluted quantum-like concepts about time/ space continuums and four-dimensional realities than eliminate the root cause of all human suffering from within yourself. A concept is just that ... a concept. It has nothing to do with actuality.

Meanwhile war, murder, rape, torture, abuse, sadness, loneliness, grief, depression and suicide run rampant in the world. With all this happening, does it matter whether one sees three legs to a table or four? Or whether they are glued to the floor or whatever? What about people blind in one eye ... where is their three-dimensional vision? What has this to do with achieving peace-on-earth, anyway?

KONRAD: In enlightenment there is a balance between the right hemisphere of the brains and the left, and not a total domination of one of the halves. Only when both are in balance, there is a mutual ‘mirroring’, a feedback loop that manifests itself in a clear process. Therefore the absence of this process in him.

RICHARD: ‘Both in balance’ eh? Sounds like a variation on the ‘Tried and True’ wisdom of the centuries ... Yin and Yang harmonised and the inner ‘Male’ and ‘Female’ in conjunction and the ‘Middle Way’ and all that twaddle ad infinitum ad nauseum.

I watched the BBC ‘Hard Talk’ interview with Mr Robert McNamara (US Secretary for Defence during the Vietnam War) a couple of nights ago. He estimated that 160,000,000 people have been killed in wars this century. I have always understood it to be 100,000,000 ... which was bad enough. I wonder how many of them – and their killers – had ever thought about how they visually saw table-legs.

Maybe if they had they would still be alive today.

August 24 1998:

KONRAD: Whenever people believe that they can observe reality directly, they consider themselves to be spokesmen of reality, and therefore cannot be reached by reason. This is because they, by believing to be spokesmen of reality, believe to be special ... Giving up the position that they can become aware of existence directly means for them giving up the belief, or the reality, that they are special beings ... and they are totally inaccessible by any argument whatsoever ... the same can be said of you. To give just a simple example. I have refuted your argument of the infiniteness of reality on several occasions, and with the same line of reasoning. You do not budge one inch.

RICHARD: This is because you have not refuted it at all. You give a conceptual answer – an abstract line of reasoning – that has nothing to do with actuality. Logic makes you blind to the obvious because logic is based in the mathematical model that exists only in the mind of humans and does not exist in actuality. Male logic is as useless as female intuition when it comes to observing the actual world (and I can be reached by reason ... sensible reason ... practical reason ... even abstract reason provided it be useful abstract reason.

Also, I do not ‘believe’ I am special ... I am special. I have yet to meet anyone like me – someone who is happy and harmless – and that is what special means to me.

KONRAD: Not that the thesis whether or not space is infinite is itself worth fighting about.

RICHARD: You see ... you automatically use the word ‘thesis’. However, whilst agreeing with you that it is not worth ‘fighting about’, the realisation and apprehension of the infinitude of this universe is inestimably precious. It means that peace-on-earth is guaranteed ... just for starters.

KONRAD: The point is that you were clearly unable to follow the mathematical argument ... you exhibit the same arrogance. Your belief in being able to observe existence directly makes you just as arrogant as the four people on the J. Krishnamurti list who believe themselves to be in an enlightened state. You are more intelligent then the illustrious four, but you have also a belief in a special state you are in that is supposed to bring world peace. And THAT is what I do not believe anymore. I do not believe that world peace is reached in one swoop by some kind of transformation, whether it is yours or whether it is the one I am in or whoever’s it is. THIS is what all on this list have in common. That there is SOME transformation of Man, that can end what you call ‘the human condition’, and that is capable to bring an end to world misery.

RICHARD: Are you saying that common human suffering – which is born of the survival instincts of fear and aggression and nurture and desire that blind nature endows all sentient beings with at birth and which is inevitable so long as people hug sorrow and malice to their bosom – is here to stay?

*

KONRAD: I find the approach of existential phenomenology far more fruitful. It starts from the position, that Man in general, and therefore everybody in particular is a light to himself. It can be less or more intense. It can be manifest in the form of a ‘process’, or it cannot be. It can be directed by different intentionalities, because people, as this approach says, ‘design themselves differently’ by the different decisions they make. And therefore one individual can see what somebody else cannot see. In this way I have learnt from you. For you have made clear to me, that the solution of J. Krishnamurti is no solution at all, because this ‘tried and true’ is, indeed, as you say, the ‘tried and failed’. But you put something in its place, that is of exactly the same order. It may be a totally different state, but it is based on the assumption, that SOME state must be able to end ‘the human condition’. And THAT approach is something I reject. For I reject that ‘light’ itself can be an answer to the human condition, whatever its source, whatever its form, whatever its manifestation, and whether it is enlightenment, not enlightenment, or beyond it.

RICHARD: For the life of me I cannot recall ever using the word ‘light’ ... in fact it would not occur to me to use it as it is loaded with religious and/or spiritual and/or mystical and/or metaphysical meaning. So just what approach of mine is it that you are so emphatically rejecting?

And these proponents of existential phenomenology ... have they eliminated malice and sorrow? And just how can they ‘design themselves differently’ when they – like everybody else – have the self-same fear and aggression and nurture and desire as all sentient beings?

KONRAD: Only a RESULT of light can bring a solution, not the light itself.

RICHARD: Ah ... so there is a solution after all. But it must be Konrad’s solution and not anybody else’s. What is so different with this solution from that of mine what you dismiss so cavalierly?

KONRAD: However, this does not mean that I do not consider you to be sincere. Therefore I am indeed thinking about you. I think that the statements you make about yourself are observations you perform about yourself, and therefore are statements of fact as you see them. And therefore I continue to try to understand you. For by understanding you I can see what its possibilities AND its limitations are.

RICHARD: Not only are they observations that I perform about myself ... there are other people here who observe me closely – very closely – for all of the waking hours of the day. This kind of scrutiny has been going on for eighteen years now ... and has been fruitless as in regards to finding a fault for the last five years. No-one has been able to observe a discrepancy between what I say about myself and what they see in my behaviour.

*

RICHARD: What about the instinctual fear and aggression and nurture and desire that blind nature endows all sentient beings with at birth? Where do they fit into your borrowed ‘Left-Brain/Right-Brain’ speculation? Nowhere in your thesis have you addressed the issue of the total absence of malice and sorrow in Richard ... in fact you have never gone into this issue.

KONRAD: Indeed, I have not. I understand that the condition you are in makes that emotions have not such a hold on you as they have on other persons.

RICHARD: None whatsoever, in fact.

KONRAD: You not only say this, but you even demonstrate it clearly, by being completely insensitive to personal attacks. You even express this by saying that these emotions have ended in you. I can explain this from this, as you call it ‘Left-Brain/Right-Brain’ speculation. In the normal condition, the left brain is dominant, and the right brain is in a repressed, and therefore slumbering state. The ‘I’ is situated in the left brain, and the ‘Self’ is situated in the right brain. The ‘I’ is the centre of action, and the ‘Self’ is the centre of responses to action, which are the emotions. Since the Self is not in a fully awakened state, but only as awake as the left half permits it, it generates the emotions in an attempt to free itself from the dominance of the left half. The left half can do only two things with these emotions. Either trying to understand them as ‘commentaries’ of the Self. Or repress them, and in this way repress the Self. However, it is always possible that the emotions become of such a violent and intense nature, that repression is not always possible. And therefore the ‘I’ literally loses control over his Self. This is the emotional imbalance you are referring to, and you observe in the persons around you.

RICHARD: I do not observe an ‘emotional imbalance’ at all in persons around me ... I observe common human feelings. All feelings – emotions and passions – are generated by the instincts for blind survival and it matters not whether they are ‘in balance’ or ‘out of balance’. Either way, they are the cause of all human suffering.

KONRAD: Now if the dominance has switched from left to right, as I believe what has happened to you, the thoughts that control the body are still in the left brain (I infer this from your statement, that in order to act, a ‘thought’ has to jump into its place.) But this brain is now no longer the master, but the right half is. This means, that there is no automatic emotional response from the Self anymore, that threatens the ‘I’ to lose control, for IT is the Master. So it is unnecessary for the ‘I’ to control its ‘Self’. For it is the Self that is in total control now.

RICHARD: Whoa ... whoa up now, Konrad. This was a great thesis I know, but it is becoming somewhat frantic now because I have consistently maintained that the ‘Self’ is gone ... and has been for five years. It seems to me that you are describing enlightenment ... with the Self in total control (‘Not my will but Thy Will, Oh Lord’).

KONRAD: Therefore the Self, the right brains, does not have to generate emotions in an attempt to gain control over the left hemisphere. This explains your observation of the emotionless nature of your state. You can say this also differently. You do not HAVE emotions anymore, because you have BECOME your emotions. And thought and thinking is your servant.

RICHARD: I have ‘become my emotions’? But no one has been able to observe any trace of an emotion in me for five years. I have been examined by two accredited psychiatrists (and by one of them every three months for more than three years) and found to have alexithymia – amongst other detailed psychiatric findings – which means no feelings whatsoever. Also, a psychologist has been following my condition at three-weekly intervals since March 1994 ... and he says that I may very well be the evolutionary break-through that humankind has been waiting for, for centuries.

KONRAD: This may look like madness. For if you have become your emotions, why do you not feel them any more? It is the same reason why the thought that controls the body is unable to see itself. For to be able to see itself, this seeing is in the form of a thought. So to see itself it must understand, to think itself. But then a switch from one form of ‘I’ to another has been done. The acting ‘I’ – thought is then changed into an observing ‘I’ thought, which is another form of action. Therefore it is never able to see itself. In the same way, the feeling you are is unable to feel itself, because it IS itself.

RICHARD: I know your theory sounds good to you ... but, as I say, other humans – some who are downright suspicious of me – have been unable to detect anything at all despite the closest observation possible.

KONRAD: Normally this switch causes big trouble. But since you are an artist, probably a graphical one, the way you take care of yourself was already the result of the right hemisphere. Therefore, and fortunately, there is no problem with you.

RICHARD: Oh, then let us all become artists!

(Except that I was not a graphical artist ... funnily enough I painted abstract paintings).

KONRAD: My explanation even explains why there was a ‘process’ going on during some time. For when that happened, you were indeed in the same state as I am in now for 18 years. Temporarily you were in a state of balance.

RICHARD: I had the process for six months in 1981 and thirty months in 1993-1994. Whilst the process was going on I was anything but balanced ... I was as unstable as all get-out as all kinds of things rushed through me. Between September 1981 and October 1993 it could be argued that I was ‘balanced’ – if being enlightened is being balanced – but not whilst the process was occurring.

KONRAD: Still, your state is now one of imbalance.

RICHARD: Not so ... there is no ‘I’ or ‘me’ (I or SELF) to be either balanced or unbalanced.

KONRAD: I can observe this by the way you react to logical explanations from me. By going into the Olbers paradox your responses are, up to a point, rational. But as soon as I have a point that is abstract and mathematically, you demonstrate a total inability to understand it, and to cover it up you either become ‘humorous’, or you completely forget that I have sent you a refutation altogether.

RICHARD: Again, not so. You never refuted it at all. You never addressed yourself to the logical absurdity of the Olbers Paradox that I presented to you. Viz.:

• [Richard]: ‘If there are infinite stars – and therefore infinite light – there is also infinite space – and therefore infinite dark – which means that one argument cancels the other out. Which is probably why the night sky looks as it does – a nice balance – and a rather pretty display at that’.

To which you answered:

• [Konrad]: ‘Now, what is wrong with this argument? To begin with, darkness is the absence of light. So, again, no matter how diluted the universe is, the old mathematical argument of the intensity diminishing with the square of the distance, and the number of stars increasing with the third power applies here, too. The light cannot be absorbed by the darkness in such a way, that it disappears. This is because of the law of conservation of energy. All energy that is radiated by the stars must remain somewhere. This argument is now refuted’.

To which I answered:

• [Richard]: ‘The obvious flaw in your logic above lies in your basic premise. To wit: ‘Darkness is the absence of light’ . Who says so? We could just as easily say that light is the absence of dark. If you wish to prove something logically you have to posit an initial fact upon which to build your case and I, for one, cannot buy such a spurious assumption that ‘dark is the absence of light’ as being an established absolute’.

To which you answered with a long and convoluted E-Mail with tracts taken from an E-Mail to someone else that I just could not be bothered even trying to answer. In essence your premise was something to the effect that light was positive and dark was negative ... or some such arrogated assumption. As it was but a variation on light being the absence of dark premise, I did not respond. I can follow abstract mathematics all right – for as far as my schooling allows me – but you must begin with an established premise or I will not even bother trying to follow.

You see, you wrote in that E-Mail (amongst other things): ‘Have you ever considered that I enjoy it immensely to move within the conceptual domain? Have you ever considered, that it might be the way I am a human being? In comparison I find that what you call actuality, and what I understand from it very, very boring. Your way of being a human is not for me, though. For, as far as I can see, it would limit my existence solely to my senses and to percepts. And that is simply too limited for me. I like it to live in this ‘rubber like’ universe, wherein nothing is what it seems to be, when inspected more closely. Time being transformable into space and vice versa, us being in the middle of thought and non-thought, being sometimes one with creation, and sometimes outside of it. Realizing that structure is based on process etc.’

In other words, a make-believe world ... which you verified by finishing that E-Mail with: ‘I do not think you understand all this, but I just wanted to show you that your questions CAN be answered by modern physics. Only, you have to move deep into the conceptual domain to find the answers’. As I prefer to stay in actuality, wherein I do not have to invent realities to explain process, I considered we had little in common. And furthermore, you rejected being happy and harmless as a result of eliminating malice and sorrow ... so what was there for me to reply to?

Yet we can try again, if you like: ‘If there are infinite stars – and therefore infinite light – there is also infinite space – and therefore infinite dark ... which means that one argument cancels the other out’. I get the impression that your logical mind cannot grasp this description of infinitude.

You may find that my ‘left brain’ is not at all repressed ... and is indeed working at its full potential. In fact it works better now that ‘I’ and ‘me’ (I and SELF) are no longer in there complicating things with their petty demands and pathetic imaginings.

*

RICHARD: Meanwhile war, murder, rape, torture, abuse, sadness, loneliness, grief, depression and suicide run rampant in the world. With all this happening, does it matter whether one sees three legs to a table or four? Or whether they are glued to the floor or whatever? What about people blind in one eye ... where is their three-dimensional vision? What has this to do with achieving peace-on-earth, anyway?

KONRAD: It DOES matter. For the issue is not whether one sees three legs of four, but whether reality can be observed directly or indirectly. If the relation between observation, thought, and awareness is understood very clearly, the concept of epistemology can be understood very clearly. And then MY solution to world peace can be understood very clearly. For this solution depends critically on understanding the concept of epistemology in general. So it matters very much to me.

RICHARD: Okay ... let us go along with your ‘concept of epistemology’ (see how you automatically use the word concept?) How can a concept eliminate the malice and sorrow – which rises out of the instinctual fear and aggression and nurture and desire – that is the cause of all human suffering? How can epistemology bring about peace on earth?

KONRAD: People with one blind eye can see three dimensional by moving their head. It is not necessary for the mind to receive the pictures instantaneously. Pictures taken by a camera that moves are also three dimensional, as can be witnessed by looking at any computer game.

RICHARD: I know that people with one blind eye learn to compensate for the lack of seeing three-dimensionally ... an acquaintance of mine is thus afflicted and he told me twenty years ago what he sees visually for I was intrigued. His ‘I’ and ‘me’ were still intact, so he could not see directly the world as it is. I will put it this way for clarity: What has visual seeing to do with achieving peace on earth?

(Hint: ‘seeing the world directly’ has nothing to do with the physical eyes).

KONRAD: The problem I have with your state therefore is that it contradicts my solution to world peace as much as J. Krishnamurti’s state does this, or anyone else’s, who make it dependent on some transformation. For I see a solution that is totally in the rational domain, and that is a consequence of the concept of epistemology. To see what epistemology is, I include all of the mails I have sent to No, 27. And concerning my real solution, I am now writing a book about it.

RICHARD: Is this the solution that you have come to in just the last few weeks? If so, it has yet to stand the test of time ... and your rather remarkable ability to change your mind about ultimate discoveries. Or is it a re-hash of the one you have had for seventeen years? If so, it is fatally flawed ... for reasons that we have discussed over the past few months.

KONRAD: I know now why I like you so much. Only recently I have understood ... that I consist of two individuals. One is a rational person, thinking a lot, situated in the left side. And the other is an artist, that makes music, situated in the right side. It is this artist in me that responds to you by generating positive feelings. I understand J. Krishnamurti also to consist of such two persons. One he calls ‘the speaker’, and the other he has no name for, but I call it ‘his Silent One’. These are two names of his two halves. In myself it is also the left half who is ‘the Speaker’. And the right one who is not exactly silent, because he makes music. Still, for lack of a better term, I call it ‘the silent one’.

RICHARD: I see that you are still comparing yourself to Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti ... yet you started this E-Mail by rejecting his discovery. Oh well ... c’est la vie, I guess.

I did have an interesting interchange with an advocate of epistemology on another Mailing List last year. I will include a titbit here for your delectation:

• [Respondent]: ‘Epistemologists sketch out various theoretical frameworks to account for all the various elements that relate to knowledge. Almost every epistemological framework attempts to deal with the nature of belief as it relates to knowledge. A definition of knowledge that has become popular in many circles is that knowledge is justified, true belief. However, ‘belief’, as epistemologists use it, often means something very different from what other people intend by it when they use the term non-technically. That is why I like to distinguish between belief in its narrow epistemological sense – which usually means something like ‘cognitive assent to the truth or falsity of a proposition’ (e.g., based on a judgment of probability) – and belief generally, which can have quite a broad range of meanings, from ‘trust’, to ‘opine’, to ‘hope’, to ‘think’, to ‘be-almost-sure-but-not-quite’.
• [Richard]: So under the ‘various theoretical frameworks’ I gather that the word ‘knowledge’ has now come to mean ‘justified, true belief’. I wonder just what, to these theorists, constitutes an unjustified, false belief. As a belief is not a factual observation in the first place, it must drive them crazy trying to decide which belief is true and which belief is false ... and which one to justify. I am glad that I stick to facts and actuality ... it is so much easier.

I wish you the best with your attempt to achieve peace on earth with rational thinking and the concept of epistemology, Konrad. Let me know how you get on with rationalising away those basic instincts now, won’t you ... and conceptualising malice and sorrow!


CORRESPONDENT No. 17 (Part Two)

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