Actual Freedom – Mailing List ‘B’ Correspondence

Richard’s Correspondence on Mailing List ‘B’

with Respondent No. 39

Some Of The Topics Covered

‘are we born with violence?’ – the instinctual passions – direct observation – exploring the depths of ‘being’ – violence itself (as in physical force/restraint) is essential – life feeds off life – intuition is innate in the instinctual passions – a third factor: recognition (incipient identification) – ‘I’ as ego is a mental-emotional construct – a composite package – in a word: identity – the PCE is the absence of the normal state of consciousness – extinction not transformation – allowing the PCE to happen – cease objecting to being here – it is all already always happening anyway – where there is no fear there is nothing to understand – can I emotionally accept that which is intellectually unacceptable? – the whole point of these discussions is to find out, experientially, what makes one tick – embrace each situation that life provides – being bruised – life as an enjoyable experience – being nice to the people – genuinely liking people – treating people like human beings – facts, factoids, statistics and furphies – sensation: touch is immediate and direct – the thalamus; the amygdala and the cortex – fear is the most basic of all the instinctual survival passions – persistence gains acknowledgement of fact over ideals – the environmental movement – environmental idealism – no longer a latter-day luddite – facts break stranglehold – just who is rotten to the core – a distraction away from the real culprit – social engineering – Mr. B. F. Skinner, the USSR, Mr. Saloth Sar – conditioning versus biology – a fertility goddess – identity is an illusion – super identity is a delusion – what sentient beings genetically inherit – a rudimentary animal ‘self’ – the expansion of the affective ‘self’ – usurping the sensate perception of self  – usurping sensate actuality – an all-pervasive feeling reality – a stripped-down rudimentary animal ‘self’ – ‘I’ am ‘my’ feelings and ‘my’ feelings are ‘me’ – a rather curious decision to be made – choosing to be happy and harmless – beliefs masquerading as truths – the only time one is alive – another way of putting it – the structural mechanics of the affective faculty – eliciting exquisite attention to this moment – whilst hypothetically correct it does not work that way in practice – only altruism will do the trick – a salubrious modus operandi in the meanwhile – what the wide and wondrous path to an actual freedom is on about

May 14 2001:

RESPONDENT: Richard, in a discussion on violence here I stated that we are ‘born with violence’ and that there is scientific evidence to support this. Most of the responses I got did not think that this is true.

RICHARD: I am not surprised ... the ‘Tabula Rasa’ theory of yore is still a truth for many a person (sometimes re-presented nowadays as ‘babies are born little buddhas’ or some-such thing).

RESPONDENT: Do you agree that we are ‘born with violence’ ...

RICHARD: The human animal is certainly born with the instinctual passions of fear, aggression, nurture and desire, genetically encoded for survival purposes, which passions can also be readily ascertained in other animals (especially in what is called the ‘higher order’ animals) with direct observation.

RESPONDENT: ... and if so could you post a few facts on this topic?

RICHARD: There is far, far too much information to put even a précis of it all into one e-mail ... however, I can provide you with a by no means exhaustive list of books relating to the whole subject of human nature/ human biology. For on-line references a useful page of links can be found at this URL: http://evolution.humb.univie.ac.at/jump.html

Also, you could try typing ‘agonistic behaviour’ in a search engine and see what comes up ... there are all manner of studies being done on all manner of creatures.

Speaking personally, I did not know of any research on this subject when I started to actively investigate the human condition in myself 20 or more years ago: as I intimately explored the depths of ‘being’ it became increasingly and transparently obvious that the instinctual passions – the source of ‘self’ – were the root cause of all the ills of humankind.

It was the journey of a lifetime!

May 16 2001:

RICHARD: ‘Tis not human violence per se (as in physical force/restraint) which is the problem: it is the instinctual passion of aggression fuelling the violence, in conjunction with ‘self’-consciousness, that begets all the misery and mayhem. In a word: malice.

RESPONDENT: This is what I was trying to get at. So it is the aggression that we are ‘born with’ in conjunction with ‘self-consciousness’ that begets all the mayhem. In other words the instinctual passion of aggression that we are ‘born with’ fuels the violence.

RICHARD: Yes ... it is obvious to anybody who is at all astute that violence itself (as in physical force/restraint) is essential lest the bully-boys and feisty-femmes would rule the world. And if all 6.0 billion peoples were to become happy and harmless overnight it would still be essential lest the predator animals should have the human animal for its next meal. Yet even if all the predator animals were to cease being predatory (à la the ‘lion shall lay down with child’ ancient wisdom) it would still be essential if the crops in the field be not stripped bare by the insect world. And so on and so on: taking medication – even traditional medicine – does violence to the whole host of microscopic life; a drop of water contains at least 1,000-10,000 tiny shrimp-like and crab-like creatures; a breath of air contains untold numbers of microscopic life-forms; the human body itself has maybe 3.0 kilograms of its weight being bacteria in some form or another ... life feeds off life.

Anyone who objects to death (on some level at least) objects to being alive.

May 23 2001:

RESPONDENT No. 25: It is this imaginary self-image which is the agitator of wars (and no doubt the chimpanzee, with its rudimentary self-image-structure, is able to be xenophobic too – though fortunately not to such a twisted and destructive extent as his fellow primate – the human being).

RICHARD: This ‘imaginary self-image’ arises intuitively in the instinctual passions themselves (intuitive ‘self’-consciousness’) and is the instinctual passions, at base. As such, the instinctual passions, in conjunction with their intuitive ‘self’-consciousness, are the ‘agitator of wars’. That this intuitive ‘feeling-self’ (‘me’ as soul) has given rise to a narcissistic ‘thinking-self’ (‘I’ as ego) in the human animal only serves to make the wars more deviously contrived than the wars of the chimpanzee.

RESPONDENT: Is intuition innate in the instincts?

RICHARD: Intuition is innate in the instinctual passions, yes. It is easily observed that animals not only operate instinctively but suss out other animals, things and situations intuitively ... whereas it is not evident that animals can think (as in observe, reflect, remember, compare, plan and propose considered action).

Otherwise they would not languish and/or die-off in droughts and famines and so on.

RESPONDENT: Could it be said then that ‘me’ as soul is intuition or that ‘me’ as soul has intuition? In other words is the ‘me’ instincts or is the ‘me’ intuition that arises out of the instincts?

RICHARD: The instinctual passions and their ‘sixth sense’ are inseparable: thus it is both the affective feelings and their inherent intuition – both of which animals have – in conjunction with a third factor: recognition (incipient identification). Thus ‘me’ as soul (‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being ... which is ‘being’ itself) arises in the activity of intuitive ‘self’-recognition and/or ‘self’-identification ... which activity, being rooted in the instinctual passions, is affective.

Put simply: it is the feeling of being a ‘self’. There is some evidence to indicate that the chimpanzee intuitively recognises itself as being a separate ‘self’ – albeit rudimentary – whereas the monkey does not (it sees its reflected image as being another monkey). Just recently there were reports that dolphins may be able to recognise themselves in a mirror.

Concomitant with ‘self’-recognition/‘self’-identification comes the capacity to intuit a similar ‘self’ in others ... with all that inheres in that recognition.

RESPONDENT: Does the ‘I’ arise out of intuition also?

RICHARD: Not just out of intuition: out of all of the above ... plus thought. ‘I’ as ego is a mental-emotional construct.

RESPONDENT: What I am trying to ask is: Is the ‘I’ and the ‘me’ intuition?

RICHARD: ‘I’ as ego is mostly experienced as being a thinking-‘self’ (popularly located as being in the head) and is characterised as capable of being insightful; ‘me’ as soul is mostly experienced as being a feeling-‘self’ (popularly located as being in the heart) and is characterised as capable of being intuitive.

But it is all an admixture – none of it is as distinct and compartmentalised as detailed above – as all overlap and interpenetrate each other in a composite package.

In a word: identity.

May 31 2001:

RESPONDENT: I’m thinking that a PCE is an altered state because it is not my normal state. My normal state is what I am right now. I have to do something to change this normal state into a PCE so why is a PCE not an altered state?

RICHARD: Oh, I have never advised changing ‘my normal state’ [of consciousness] into being ‘an altered state’ [of consciousness] by any other name. I have consistently said that the pure consciousness experience (PCE) happens when ‘my normal state’ [of consciousness] is in abeyance (temporarily absent) ... and that for it to become an on-going actuality for the remainder of one’s life ‘my normal state’ [of consciousness] will be extirpated, will cease to exist, will be extinct. I have stressed that ‘my normal state’ [of consciousness] will be as dead as the dodo but with no skeletal remains ... that there is no phoenix to arise from the ashes in an actual freedom from the human condition.

I speak of ‘self’-sacrifice and ‘self’-immolation (as contrasted with ‘self’-surrender and ‘self’-transformation) and make it crystal clear that, not only will ‘I’ as ego cease to exist, but that ‘me’ as soul will likewise be no longer extant ... that the identity in toto vanishes without a trace.

This is because this actual world is so pristine that nothing ‘dirty’ can get in.

June 06 2001:

RESPONDENT: I’m thinking that a PCE is an altered state because it is not my normal state. My normal state is what I am right now. I have to do something to change this normal state into a PCE so why is a PCE not an altered state?

RICHARD: Oh, I have never advised changing ‘my normal state’ [of consciousness] into being ‘an altered state’ [of consciousness] by any other name. I have consistently said that the pure consciousness experience (PCE) happens when ‘my normal state’ [of consciousness] is in abeyance (temporarily absent) ... and that for it to become an on-going actuality for the remainder of one’s life ‘my normal state’ [of consciousness] will be extirpated, will cease to exist, will be extinct. I have stressed that ‘my normal state’ [of consciousness] will be as dead as the dodo but with no skeletal remains ... that there is no phoenix to arise from the ashes in an actual freedom from the human condition. I speak of ‘self’-sacrifice and ‘self’-immolation (as contrasted with ‘self’-surrender and ‘self’-transformation) and make it crystal clear that, not only will ‘I’ as ego cease to exist, but that ‘me’ as soul will likewise be no longer extant ... that the identity in toto vanishes without a trace. This is because this actual world is so pristine that nothing ‘dirty’ can get in.

RESPONDENT: This sounds as if ‘my normal state’ (me) can go into abeyance by simply allowing it to happen as opposed to having to do something to bring it about. I like the sound of it and abeyance seems doable by letting it happen on it’s own. However, extirpation sounds more formidable and I am not sure that this can simply be allowed to happen.

RICHARD: Maybe it is a case of first things first? My experience showed that by allowing the PCE to happen (on a daily basis, sometimes two-three times a day) a momentum built up of its own accord which could not be stopped ... an inevitability came into action.

What ‘I’ did was to give ‘myself’ permission to let go of the controls and allow the moment to live me (rather than ‘me’ trying to live in the present). In short: if one ceases objecting to being here – without swinging to an opposite such as gratitude – then the rest is history.

This is because this moment is where it is all at. This moment is where it is all happening – all of the universe is happening all-at-once – and it is all happening all-at-once just here and it is all happening all-at-once right now.

And it is all already always happening anyway ... irregardless of ‘me’ and ‘my’ objections.

Continued on The Actual Freedom Mailing List: No. 23

Continued from The Actual Freedom Mailing List: No. 23

July 20 2001:

RESPONDENT: If I see that fear is at the base of everything then do I really need to know anything else?

RICHARD: If you see that fear is at the base of everything then that seeing is the ending of fear, period.

RESPONDENT: Don’t I just need to understand the fear?

RICHARD: Where there is no fear there is nothing to understand.

August 18 2001:

RESPONDENT: I have been dealing with taking care of my mother and dealing with nursing homes and insurance companies. The question I am looking at is: Can I accept the unacceptable? The treatment I have gotten from these corporations is totally unacceptable to me and there is nothing that I can do about it. This is like having a gun pointed at me. It looks like I just have to accept the unacceptable. That may be what life is about. If I accept the unacceptable then there is no problem.

(snip)

RESPONDENT: ... as long as we are alive in this world there are going to be things happen that are unacceptable. These are the things we have to learn to accept. The question I am asking is: Can I accept the unacceptable?

(snip)

RESPONDENT: ... if something is unacceptable to me then that’s what I have to deal with. It’s just theory to say that unacceptability is unnecessary.

(snip)

RESPONDENT: ... Are you saying I should just bend over and let the nursing home and insurance company lie and defraud my mother? There is a difference in paying what’s right and being robbed. Have you never had something happen that is unacceptable to you?

(snip)

RESPONDENT: ... I am shocked by the inhumanity of it. I don’t have any choice but to accept the inhumanity. I guess that gradually the shock will wear away until the next one comes along.

(snip)

RESPONDENT: ... My question is: Can I accept the unacceptable?

(snip)

RESPONDENT: ... Nothing can be done. I have already tried. I am up against two crooked corporations and I am powerless.

(snip)

RESPONDENT: ... That doesn’t work for me. I am frozen.

RICHARD: Given that people are as-they-are and that the world is as-it-is there are more than a few things which are ‘unacceptable’ (child abuse, rape, murder, torture and so on). What worked for me twenty-odd years ago, as a preliminary step, was to rephrase the question so that it makes sense (rather than vainly apply any of those unliveable ‘unconditional acceptance’ type injunctions):

• Can I emotionally accept that which is intellectually unacceptable?

This way intelligence need not be compromised ... intelligence will no longer be crippled.

August 20 1001:

RICHARD: I found that to emotionally accept that which is intellectually unacceptable was to enable one’s native intelligence to emerge into full view of its own accord. And thus intelligence was no longer crippled.

RESPONDENT: Yes, I agree with this. My intelligence is clearly crippled now by my emotional unacceptance of what is happening.

RICHARD: And ‘emotional unacceptance’ could, perhaps, be adequately described as emotionally objecting, resisting, rejecting or denying (rather than being emotionally welcoming, consenting, receiving or acknowledging) ... and maybe even being emotionally aloof, indifferent, apathetic or vacillating? I only mention this as the whole point of these discussions is to find out, experientially, what makes one tick ... and the proposal is that ‘I’ am a feeling ‘being’ (‘I’ am ‘my’ feelings and ‘my’ feelings are ‘me’).

Speaking personally, as a preliminary step twenty-odd years ago, I started to embrace each situation that life provided by emotionally welcoming, readily consenting to, receiving fully and unabashedly acknowledging every circumstance so as to find out, once and for all, just what was going on ... and just what intelligence actually was.

Now intelligence operates unimpeded.

RESPONDENT: I’m not sure that emotion is involved anymore. It is just the numbing effect of the chemical surges.

RICHARD: Aye ... to be emotionally shocked (disgusted, revolted, repulsed, indignant or whatever) is to literally be bruised, again and again, until one wakes up to what one is doing to oneself.

Mayhap it be appropriate to remind you of something pertinent you posted some time ago (September 1999)? Vis.:

• [Respondent]: ‘I am not at this time still experiencing a PCE but I am much more aware of my senses and I am enjoying my life more. For example the battery went dead on my truck today and I had to have it replaced. This was actually an enjoyable experience and I was nice to the people at the auto repair. I genuinely liked them even though the battery only lasted one year. I treated them like human beings’.

Strange as it may appear at this moment, or seem so remote as to be absurd, it is entirely possible to also have your current circumstances similarly be ‘an enjoyable experience’ ... plus being able to be ‘nice to the people’ you are presently at odds with.

Not to mention being able to ‘genuinely like them’ ... and to be capable of ‘treating them like human beings’.

August 23 2001:

RESPONDENT: There is something I am curious about Richard. You say that you are a flesh and blood body only which I agree with. I was wondering why you smoke when you know the facts about the harm that smoking does to the flesh and blood body?

RICHARD: And just what are the ‘facts’ that you are referring to? As far as I can ascertain there has never been a scientific study done – random sampling, control group, double-blind testing and so on – and that all the furore (sometimes reminiscent of a witch-hunt) depends upon somewhat skewed statistical evidence. I say ‘skewed’ because if I were to die tomorrow my death would be added to the statistics irregardless of the actual cause (in case you have not noticed that people no longer die of ‘old age’ anymore). Neither am I saying that smoking is good thing ... just that it is not as bad as it is made out to be. Incidentally, when tobacco was first introduced into Europe the Church demonised it (calling it the Devil’s Weed) just as the early coffee-houses were vilified.

I mention this because some 12-13 years ago I availed myself of the statistics published by various anti-smoking groups and did the necessary sums. The result showed that 1.2% of all smokers in any given year (at that time) died of what is called ‘smoking-related diseases’ ... which means that 98.8% did not. There is also some preliminary indications that only certain people are genetically prone to developing carcinomas from smoke inhalation ... rather than it be a blanket death warrant per se. For an example, Mr. Pablo Picasso (who smoked most of his life) died at a similar age to Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti (who did not smoke at all).

I also say ‘witch-hunt’ (as in ‘scape-goat’) because there is some evidence that the internal combustion engine could very well be causing far more illnesses among people – estimates vary between 42-48% of what is called ‘green houses gases’ are coming from exhaust fumes – and yet car ownership is on the increase and I am yet to see obligatory ‘driving kills’ warnings affixed to all vehicles. Curiously enough, in the last hundred years or so the average life expectancy in the West has risen from 50-55 years of age to 75-80 years of age (speaking from memory).

I could go on and bring in examples of factoids masquerading as facts in other areas (the HIV-AIDS controversy, the cholesterol dispute, the monosodium glutamate debacle, the on again off again eggs/butter/sugar/etc. furphies) but maybe it will suffice to say that (a) I do not own or drive a car by choice ... and (b) I live in the country and not the city for obvious health reasons ... and (c) I am a teetotaller in all other respects (not even caffeine these days) ... and (d) I do not experience any stress or tension whatsoever (and I would hazard a guess that the last point is the most relevant point of all when it comes to a resilient immune-system).

Most of what I have written here is opinion-only, of course.

(for more on this subject click this link)

October 25 2001:

RESPONDENT No. 19: Feelings and thinking are inextricably linked where there is re-action.

RICHARD: Not necessarily ... and feelings come first in the reactionary process (albeit a split-second first) anyway. This has been scientifically demonstrated under strict laboratory conditions, again and again, by Mr. Joseph LeDoux, for example. It takes 12-14 milliseconds, from the first sensate contact, for the nerve signal to reach the amygdala (where the passions are triggered) and a further 12-14 milliseconds for the signal to then reach the cerebral cortex (where the thoughts are triggered). By the time thinking begins the ‘lizard brain’ is pumping chemicals which flood not only the body but the cerebral cortex as well. This means that thoughts are saturated with feelings when they commence.

RESPONDENT: In looking at sensation directly, it looks like there is no sensation without thought.

RICHARD: If you reach out your hand you can touch the glass, which is but a few millimetres to the front of these words you are reading, and the fingertips will verify that sensation exists independent of thought ... no thought is required at all as touch is immediate and direct.

The same applies to the sensate awareness of the eyes seeing but it is initially less obvious than touch.

October 25 2001:

RESPONDENT No 19: Feelings and thinking are inextricably linked where there is re-action.

RICHARD: Not necessarily ... and feelings come first in the reactionary process (albeit a split-second first) anyway. This has been scientifically demonstrated under strict laboratory conditions, again and again, by Mr. Joseph LeDoux, for example. It takes 12-14 milliseconds, from the first sensate contact, for the nerve signal to reach the amygdala (where the passions are triggered) and a further 12-14 milliseconds for the signal to then reach the cerebral cortex (where the thoughts are triggered). By the time thinking begins the ‘lizard brain’ is pumping chemicals which flood not only the body but the cerebral cortex as well. This means that thoughts are saturated with feelings when they commence.

RESPONDENT: In looking at sensation directly, it looks like there is no sensation without thought.

RICHARD: If you reach out your hand you can touch the glass, which is but a few millimetres to the front of these words you are reading, and the fingertips will verify that sensation exists independent of thought ... no thought is required at all as touch is immediate and direct. The same applies to the sensate awareness of the eyes seeing but it is initially less obvious than touch.

RESPONDENT No 19: I thought we were talking about the psychological ‘feelings’ of anger, sadness, happiness, fear, etc., and not the physical sensations that are transmitted through the neurological nerve endings.

RESPONDENT: Either way I think it is routed through the amygdala first before going to the cerebral cortex where the thoughts are triggered.

RICHARD: The tracked route is first to the thalamus, whereupon the signal is split into two, with one part going to the amygdala (12-14 milliseconds) and another going to the cortex (25 milliseconds). There is also a broadband connection direct from the amygdala to the cortex and a narrowband connection from the cortex back to the amygdala ... which is why it is difficult for thought to dampen the broadband signal when thought, upon reflection, finds the instinctual reaction of the amygdala to be either inaccurate or too strong.

There is a graphical description of the routing here which may make it more clear.

December 15 2001:

RESPONDENT: Would you say that fear is predominant or underlying the other instincts? That is how I see it but I could be wrong.

RICHARD: Yes, at root fear is the most basic of all the instinctual survival passions ... hence fear rules the world of sentient beings.

Continued on The Actual Freedom Mailing List: No. 23

Continued from The Actual Freedom Mailing List: No. 23

August 25 2002:

RESPONDENT: Richard, would you say that compassion is only an anti-dote and will not eliminate the ‘me’?

RICHARD: I would say, going by your e-mails, that you already see it for yourself (which is what is important) ... for example:

• [Respondent]: ‘I don’t believe in compassion because I see it as feeling sorrow and I don’t see how that is going to help’.

It amounts to the blind leading the blind into the same cul-de-sac they are in ... which is what has been happening for 3,000 to 5,000 years of recorded history with monotonous regularity. Whilst it is so that compassion can either diminish the ego (as in putting the other before oneself) or can dissolve the ego (as in spiritual enlightenment) it cannot eliminate ‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being (which is ‘being’ itself).

On the contrary, as compassion is born out of sorrow, compassion perpetuates ‘me’ (albeit in an aggrandised form).

October 12 2002:

RESPONDENT: Are you an Indian or you just relate to them?

RESPONDENT No. 25: I am 1/16th and I definitely relate to their difficulty with joining the me-versus-you private property based rat race we call ‘development’. I also appreciate their traditional appreciation of the kinship of all life.

RESPONDENT: That sounds good but I am not sure it is entirely true. Didn’t they have territorial wars before the white man ever came?

RESPONDENT No. 25: I am sure they did. But most warfare we know of between the tribes occurred as a result of European settlers ‘crowding’ the lands and seeking to divide tribes against each other. They definitely felt deep ties to their homelands and though they did not believe in exclusive ownership that did not mean it wasn’t expected that traditional territories be respected.

RESPONDENT: Maybe so but I still think that history shows there was plenty of warfare between the tribes before the white men came. I was just making the point that Indians are human too and probably not as peaceful as some have made them out to be.

RESPONDENT No. 25: Ok, but what does that have to do with my relating to their appreciation of the kinship of all life and to their difficulty with the me-versus-you private property based rat race we call ‘development’?

RESPONDENT: I don’t know about the kinship of all life as they took scalps for trophies. Also, didn’t they have private property such as weapons and horses?

RESPONDENT No. 25: Well Europeans also scalped Indians and turned them in for a bounty. At first they turned in skins for money (hence the term ‘redskin’, but that became too cumbersome and scalps became acceptable). Some military personnel would skin ‘savages’ and make boots and gloves out of their victims. The general mindset of settlers was that American Indians were an inferior race of savages in the way of progress. The Puritans thought they were under God’s sanction to set up a new garden of Eden in the ‘New World’ and they saw Indians as godless and subhuman. Some tribes were more warlike than others but even Tecumseh the great Shawnee was not too successful at getting tribes to unite for war against the U.S. Most of the south-eastern tribes adapted a great deal and were doing well when the Indian Removal policy was enacted. The Cherokee went to the Supreme Court and won but President Andrew Jackson said to hell with the Court (basically committing race justified treason) and forced the five ‘civilized’ tribes to Oklahoma on trails of ‘tears’. That was when such removals were justified as best for the Indians and suggested that the land west of the Mississippi river would be Indian Country for perpetuity. The Indians did not have horses until Europeans brought them here – and it was mainly western tribes which developed a particular affinity for them. Of course they had a sense of belongings – personal items might be considered personal property. But they did not believe in exclusive ownership of land. The whole community was considered to ‘own’ the land although it was a ownership different than the kind involved in our capitalistic system. Even things like horses were shared when it was obvious someone had none and you had many. Slowly the pressures of the dominant society worked to undermine such economic practices – and yet it still goes on on many reservations. Practices like giving away all that you own at major junctures in life was common. In this way one learned detachment and faith that the universe provided. of course one also received gifts from others during their give-aways. Common too was ‘giving thanks’ and always giving something when you took something. Such exchanges were done with non-human realms too. Lakota friends have taught me the words ‘mitakuye ouyasin’ (‘we are all related’ or ‘all my relations’) which is their equivalent to ‘amen’. They end all prayers with that affirmation of the kinship of the whole world. Sharing levels the playing field and privatisation of property works to undermine that. One of the frustrations of whites put in charge of the ‘Indian problem’ when trying to assimilate Indians into white culture was the difficulty of getting Indians to buy into the idea of private property.

*

RESPONDENT No. 25: Some tribes were warlike and some were peaceful. Columbus remarked that the natives he encountered were the most Christian people he’d ever met, though they were ignorant of Christ and the Bible. It is well documented that American Indians were generous hosts with the ‘settlers’. Even Tecumseh, Geronimo, Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, etc. only went to war when it was obvious that the US government’s policy was genocidal. At any rate, though of course they were just as potentially violent as any human being – it is their economic practices and relationship to the non-human world that I find admirable for those are in harmony with my natural inclinations.

RESPONDENT: I don’t have anything against Indians as I am fond of the myth but I don’t know how much is fact. I feel sure that they were greedy and exploited and plundered just like the rest of us humans throughout history. Maybe their economic practices and relationship to the non-human world was better, from what we know of at least. P.S.: It is a horrible thing that we did to the Indians but what I am getting at is humans are humans.

RESPONDENT No. 25: I agree. The major difference is the world view to which the respective cultures are conditioned. Native American Indians were traditionally taught that taking more than you need is wrong. That animals and plants are our equals, and that the world is an interconnected whole and so mistreating animals, the Earth, etc., is to mistreat yourself. It isn’t that they didn’t have the same capacity for greed, violence, etc., but that their societies appealed to an inclusive cooperative relationship to the world. The stories they told passed such values down and illustrated why they were worthwhile. Our society appeals more to a lower common denominator – greed, self-interest (exclusive as opposed to inclusive self-interest). And as we can see that lower common denominator is enabling our non-sustainable economic practices to spread across the globe like a plague. It appeals to my and your greed. But we can also learn to express an inclusive relationship to each other and to the nonhuman world. As children we may get programmed one way or the other, but at some point our lives and how we live are our responsibility.

RESPONDENT: Yes, this is an uncomfortable mirror you have put up here of just how brutal we are. Thanks for the informative historical perspective. It is quite sickening. The only thing I know to do is try to live right and not be a part of the brutality that still continues. I am very sorry for what we did to the Indians.

RICHARD: Four times you persisted and four times you gained acknowledgement of fact over ideals ... any particular reason for not persisting a fifth time?

October 13 2002

RICHARD: Four times you persisted and four times you gained acknowledgement of fact over ideals ... any particular reason for not persisting a fifth time?

RESPONDENT: Good to hear from you Richard. Yes, I did not persist because it seemed evident that he would not see the point I was trying to make. Is that what you are asking? I am a little confused by your statement ‘four times you gained acknowledgement of fact over ideals’. Wouldn’t that be: four times he acknowledged ideals over facts? The point I was trying to make is that Indians are rotten to the core just like all other humans as history shows. Would you agree with that? How do you see it?

RICHARD: I have been on this planet long enough to have been around when the environmental movement started to gain increasing popularity ... which movement eventually went on to become, arguably, the dominant western philosophy of the late twentieth century.

An aspect of the environmental movement was an environmental idealism that equated ‘going back to nature’ with salubrious and irreprehensible living and which, at least in part if not in the main, took its inspiration from various indigenous peoples’ lifestyle practices, religio/spiritual beliefs, and tribal philosophy ... indeed I was an active participant myself for a number of years, in my mid-twenties/ early thirties, when I established what is called ‘an alternative lifestyle’ for myself and my then family on a fertile property in a rural area to the south of this country.

Thus I recognise such idealism when I see it in action.

These days of course I am no longer a latter-day luddite and – although my former colleagues may think that Richard has sold his soul to their devil – I am finally able to appreciate all the advances which rational and sensible thought has brought about in the last few hundred years. And, as it was paying attention to facts which eventually broke the stranglehold that the ‘alternative living’ lifestyle/beliefs/philosophy had on me, I was following your discussion with interest ... and I saw that through persistence you gained the following acknowledgements of fact over ideals:

Q: Didn’t they have territorial wars before the white man ever came?
A: I am sure they did ... (reasons as to why they did snipped for brevity).

Q: I don’t know about the kinship of all life as they took scalps for trophies.
A: Well Europeans also scalped Indians and ... (details about what Europeans did snipped for brevity).

Q: Didn’t they have private property such as weapons and horses?
A: Of course they had a sense of belongings – personal items might be considered personal property ... (explanation of how personal belongings might be shared snipped for brevity).

Q: I feel sure that they were greedy and exploited and plundered just like the rest of us humans throughout history (...) what I am getting at is humans are humans.
A: I agree ... (description of world views snipped for brevity).

In regards to your ‘rotten to the core’ observation: it is the identity (‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul) residing parasitically in all human beings who is rotten to the core ... and it is this entity who stuffs up any lifestyle practice and/or political system – be it hunter-gather, agrarian, industrial or socialist, communist, capitalist and so on – no matter what ideals are propagated.

Arguing one culture’s ideals over another culture’s ideals is a distraction away from the real culprit.

October 15 2002:

RICHARD: ... it is the identity (‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul) residing parasitically in all human beings who is rotten to the core ... and it is this entity who stuffs up any lifestyle practice and/or political system – be it hunter-gather, agrarian, industrial or socialist, communist, capitalist and so on – no matter what ideals are propagated. Arguing one culture’s ideals over another culture’s ideals is a distraction away from the real culprit.

RESPONDENT: Yes, I agree. The real culprit is the ‘I’ and the ‘me’ and not the culture or lifestyle.

RICHARD: Undaunted by the fact that indigenous peoples had amply demonstrated that cultural/lifestyle change would not rid human beings of the ‘I’/‘me’ a school of psychology/philosophy arose last century, in the period between the two world wars, which proposed changing the culture/lifestyle so as to bring about a new human being – one of the leading proponents was Mr. B. F. Skinner with his planned utopian society – and the genesis of such an attempt at social engineering could be seen in the then USSR where personal ownership of land had been abolished in favour of communal ownership (collectivisation versus privatisation) and control of the means of production had been transferred from the individual to the community.

Undaunted by the fact that the soviet experiment had failed to bring about a new human being Mr. Saloth Sar went much further and launched a massive cultural/lifestyle change in Cambodia in late 1975 ... not only was private property abolished but money was eradicated as well and the cities were emptied. Furthermore the borders were closed; the media was closed; the schools were closed; the hospitals were closed; the offices were closed; the shops were closed; the markets were closed; the monasteries were closed and everyone wore the same simple clothing and everyone lived directly off the land ... ‘going back to nature’ was the order of the day. However a neighbouring country invaded four years later and not only brought this example of the failure of social engineering to an end but demonstrated that an effective territorial defence is a necessity as well.

All such attempts at cultural/lifestyle change – sometimes known as behaviourism – are based upon the premise that it is the social environment (aka conditioning) which is at fault and not the inherent nature (aka biology) of all human beings ... echoes of which persist today in the nature versus nurture debate (how one is at birth versus how one is conditioned after birth). The premise that conditioning is the root cause of all the ills of humankind has the added attraction that all manner of things can ostensibly be done about it (leading to multitudinous psychological gymnastics and/or philosophical acrobatics) whereas, apart from fanciful notions about genetic engineering, it is generally held that as human nature (biology) cannot be changed therefore biology cannot be the root cause of all the ills of humankind ... or so the rationale goes.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, environmental idealism enlists the help of a fertility goddess.

October 17 2002:

RESPONDENT No. 33: Correctly speaking, though, identity itself is an illusion.

RICHARD: Yes, although the illusion, just like all psychosomatic illnesses, somatises noticeable effects (such as emotional beliefs and passional truths) which in turn affect behaviour ... and which is especially noticeable when the illusion transmogrifies into a delusion (such as ‘Tat Tvam Asi’).

RESPONDENT No. 33: Therefore, there is nothing that is rotten or not-rotten to the core.

RICHARD: I beg to differ: it is a rotten illusion – just as its delusional core is – which rottenness is evidenced by its effects.

RESPONDENT No. 33: There is no core even.

RICHARD: Exactly ... which means that Brahman, for example, has no existence outside of the human psyche.

RESPONDENT: When you said ‘it is a rotten illusion just as its delusional core is’ do you mean that the core/‘me’ itself is an illusion?

RICHARD: Yes, although in this context – aggrandisement into a super ‘Self’ – it has become a delusion (born out of the illusion).

RESPONDENT: Doesn’t the core (‘me’) actually exist since it is genetically inherited?

RICHARD: No, what sentient beings genetically inherit is the instinctual survival passions – such as fear and aggression and nurture and desire – which means that, because the affective impulse for survival is primary, whilst being able to sensately perceive the distinction between this body and that body (which perception is generally called consciousness of self and other) the instinctual feelings have dominance over sentient awareness ... thus the perceptive sense of self and other is usurped by the feeling of ‘self’ and ‘other’ (to the point of intuiting the similarly felt ‘self’ of the ‘other’).

All sentient beings would be subject to this effect to some degree or another – however miniscule the effect may be by human comparison – which effect could be called a rudimentary animal ‘self’ for convenience.

It is this feeling of ‘self’ (and of ‘other’ of course) which is the illusion ... and it is this feeling ‘self’, the feeler (‘me’ as soul), the ‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being (which is ‘being’ itself), who gives rise to the thinking ‘self’, the thinker (‘I’ as ego), which is where cognitive self-consciousness has become cognitive ‘self’-consciousness.

And the rest of the expansion of the affective ‘self’ (the delusional aggrandisement into a super ‘Self’) is a matter of ancient history.

October 19 2002:

RESPONDENT: Ok, I think I understand what you are saying: The instinctual passions are genetically inherited and have a perception of self which becomes the feeling of self.

RICHARD: No, the genetically-inherited instinctual passions do not have a perception of self ... what they do is usurp the sensate perception of self and create the feeling of ‘self’.

RESPONDENT: It is the feeling of self (‘me’/soul/core) which is illusory which gives rise to the ‘I’/ego or thinker. In other words, the instinctual passions are genetically inherited and they give rise to the illusion of the ‘me’ and the ‘I’.

RICHARD: Exactly, and what is vital to comprehend is that the feeler is primary and the thinker is secondary ... and that the thinker is but the tip of the iceberg.

I kid you not ... the feeler automatically creates its own feeling reality, usurping sensate actuality as already explained, which reality is so all-pervasive that it is only in a pure consciousness experience (PCE) that this actual world becomes apparent.

RESPONDENT: Are you saying then that in order to eliminate the ‘I’ and the ‘me’ that the instinctual passions themselves have to be eliminated ...

RICHARD: No ... and the reason why not is this simple: who would be doing the eliminating of the instinctual passions? As ‘I’ am ‘my’ feelings and ‘my’ feelings are ‘me’ it is an impossibility because the result of trying to do so would be a stripped-down rudimentary animal ‘self’ (seemingly) divested of feelings ... somewhat like what is known in psychiatric terminology as a ‘sociopathic personality’ (popularly known as ‘psychopath’).

Such a person still has feelings – ‘cold’, ‘callous’, ‘indifferent’ and so on – and has repressed the others.

RESPONDENT: ... and in order to do that the layers of the ‘I’ and ‘me’ have to be peeled back in order to uncover the raw instinctual passions?

RICHARD: In the end, only altruistic ‘self’-immolation, for the benefit of this body and that body and every body, will release the flesh and blood body from its parasitical resident and, as ‘I’ am ‘my’ feelings and ‘my’ feelings are ‘me’, the end of ‘me’ is the end of ‘my’ feelings (aka the instinctual passions and all their cultivated derivations).

Of course, one does not psychologically and psychically self-immolate just because it seems like a good idea at the time. It requires a rather curious decision to be made – a decision the likes of which has never been made before nor will ever be made again – as it is a once-in-a-lifetime determination and takes some considerable preparation.

So, in the meantime, what one can do is choose to be as happy and harmless as is humanly possible each moment again – the means to the end are not different from the end – and with this pure intent, as one goes about one’s normal everyday life, each moment again provides an opportunity to find out what is preventing one from living in the already always existing peace-on-earth (as evidenced in the PCE).

RESPONDENT: The layers of the ‘I’ and ‘me’ consisting of beliefs and identity.

RICHARD: Well, as the word ‘identity’ is used to delineate the entity in toto (both ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul), it is clearer to say that the layers of identity consist of, not only beliefs, but all the rest of what constitutes identity. Asking oneself, each moment again, how one is experiencing this moment of being alive will incrementally reveal what ‘all the rest’ is made up of ... and of particular importance is the beliefs masquerading as truths.

This moment of being alive is the only time one is alive, of course.

October 22 2002:

RICHARD: No, the genetically-inherited instinctual passions do not have a perception of self ... what they do is usurp the sensate perception of self and create the feeling of ‘self’.

RESPONDENT: Ok then, there is a sensate perception of self (consciousness?) which is usurped (seized/used) by the instinctual passions to create the feeling of ‘self’ and it is this feeling of self which is illusion.

RICHARD: Yes, another way of putting it is to say that the sensate perception of body (and other) – which perception is generally called consciousness of self and other – is appropriated (taken over, commandeered, expropriated, annexed, arrogated) by the affective faculty ... wherein the illusory feeling of ‘self’ (and ‘other’) is created.

The structural mechanics which this process uses is evidenced in the laboratory studies, by people such as Mr. Joseph LeDoux, whereupon it has been empirically demonstrated that the sensory signal gets to the affective faculty twice as fast as it gets to the cognitive faculty (in 12-14 milliseconds as contrasted to 24-26 milliseconds). Furthermore, the affective faculty imbues the cognitive faculty with its affective response, via a broadband shortcut, before the initial signal arrives there ... thus colouring the cognitive response affectively.

‘Tis no wonder that the affective feelings – the emotions and passions and calentures – reign supreme.

*

RICHARD: ... and what is vital to comprehend is that the feeler is primary and the thinker is secondary ... and that the thinker is but the tip of the iceberg.

RESPONDENT: Yes, I can verify that the feeler is primary from my own experience. It seems as if the feeler is controlling the thinker. That is not generally accepted on this list but I do see and experience it that way.

RICHARD: Good ... I am pleased that this is obvious as it makes investigation so much easier and distraction into flights of fancy much less likely.

*

RICHARD: I kid you not ... the feeler automatically creates its own feeling reality, usurping sensate actuality as already explained, which reality is so all-pervasive that it is only in a pure consciousness experience (PCE) that this actual world becomes apparent.

RESPONDENT: Yes, this is understandable.

RICHARD: There is an opportunity, each moment again, to experience pure consciousness – if one misses it this time around there is always another opportunity – and asking oneself how one is experiencing this moment of being alive expedites the possibility by eliciting exquisite attention to this moment.

After all ... this moment of being alive is the only time one is alive.

*

RICHARD: In the end, only altruistic ‘self’-immolation, for the benefit of this body and that body and every body, will release the flesh and blood body from its parasitical resident and, as ‘I’ am ‘my’ feelings and ‘my’ feelings are ‘me’, the end of ‘me’ is the end of ‘my’ feelings (aka the instinctual passions and all their cultivated derivations).

RESPONDENT: Isn’t it the ‘I’ and the ‘me’ investigating itself which brings one to the point of self-immolation and isn’t it the ‘I’/‘me’ that makes the decision to self-immolate?

RICHARD: Yes ... only ‘I’ can do it as it is all in ‘my’ hands and nobody else’s hands (nor is it in the hands of any god or goddess either, of course, despite some popular postulations to the contrary).

RESPONDENT: You said above that the ‘I’/‘me’ cannot eliminate the instinctual passions but then you next said that the body is released from them by self- immolation. I am just trying to get a clear picture of it.

RICHARD: Okay ... I was just making the point that, although it is hypothetically correct that the elimination of the instinctual passions would be the elimination of ‘I’/‘me’, it does not work that way in practice (for reasons such as already explained further above).

Not only is it dangerous it is an impossibility ... only altruistic ‘self’-immolation will do the trick.

Which is why I advise minimising both the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ feelings and maximising the felicitous feelings – as far as humanly possible – as a salubrious modus operandi in the meanwhile rather than trying to eliminate them. Not only does this approach have the immediate benefit of feeling happy and harmless as one goes about one’s normal everyday life but it has the ultimate benefit of assisting in the rewiring of the brain’s habitual circuitry before the once-in-a-lifetime event happens which wipes out the identity in toto.

To be more specific: what the wide and wondrous path to an actual freedom is on about is a virtual freedom wherein the ‘good’ feelings – the affectionate and desirable emotions and passions (those that are loving and trusting) are minimised along with the ‘bad’ feelings – the hostile and invidious emotions and passions (those that are hateful and fearful) – so that one is free to be feeling good, feeling happy and harmless and feeling excellent/perfect for 99% of the time. If one deactivates the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ feelings and activates the felicitous/ innocuous feelings (happiness, delight, joie de vivre/ bonhomie, friendliness, amiability and so on) with this freed-up affective energy, in conjunction with sensuousness (delectation, enjoyment, appreciation, relish, zest, gusto and so on), then the ensuing sense of amazement, marvel and wonder can result in apperceptiveness (unmediated perception).

To be even more specific: delight is what is humanly possibly, given sufficient pure intent obtained from the felicity/ innocuity born of the pure consciousness experience, and from the position of delight, one can vitalise one’s joie de vivre by the amazement at the fun of it all ... and then one can – with sufficient abandon – become over-joyed and move into marvelling at being here and doing this business called being alive now. Then one is no longer intuitively making sense of life ... the delicious wonder of it all drives any such instinctive meaning away. Such luscious wonder fosters the innate condition of naiveté – the nourishing of which is essential if fascination in it all is to occur – and the charm of life itself easily engages dedication to peace-on-earth. Then, as one gazes intently at the world about by glancing lightly with sensuously caressing eyes, out of the corner of one’s eye comes – sweetly – the magical fairy-tale-like paradise that this verdant earth actually is ... and one is the experiencing of what is happening.

But refrain from possessing it and making it your own ... or else ‘twill vanish as softly as it appeared.


CORRESPONDENT No. 39 (Part Three)

RETURN TO CORRESPONDENCE LIST ‘B’ INDEX

RETURN TO RICHARD’S CORRESPONDENCE INDEX

RICHARD’S HOME PAGE

The Third Alternative

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

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

Richard's Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-.  All Rights Reserved.

Disclaimer and Use Restrictions and Guarantee of Authenticity