Actual Freedom – Mailing List ‘D’ Correspondence

Richard’s Correspondence On Mailing List ‘D’

with Correspondent No. 16


Continued from Mailing List ‘AF’ 108:

November 22 2009

Re: Debunking Buddhism and Neo-Buddhism

RESPONDENT No. 37 The type of experience you get with meditation has a purpose and that is to get back to feeling felicitous after a hurricane has struck which you were unable to tackle in the moment of everyday life. It is to get to the eye of the hurricane and beyond that so that it settles down.

RICHARD: Whereas the purpose of buddhistic meditation practice is outright dissociation (vippayutta) from form, feeling, perception, fabrications and consciousness.

RESPONDENT No. 37: There are examples of people doing samadhi suicide. You also mentioned earlier about withering away. Samadhi suicide would be an example of it. There are specific instructions to not let that happen but they can be overlooked by some because of the blissfulness of the experience.

RICHARD: Thank you for confirming that not only do you not know what a PCE is (in actualism terminology) you do not know what the summum bonum of the buddhistic meditation practice is either.

RESPONDENT No. 37: [...] I guess this is what happened with you also.

RICHARD: No, what happened on quite a few occasions during the eleven years of spiritual enlightenment/ mystical awakenment was the very same summum bonum of the buddhistic meditation practice ... to wit: a motorless (no motoric function), senseless (no sensation, insensate), thoughtless (no cognition at all), affectless (no emotion/ passion), unconscious (devoid of consciousness) state best described as cataleptic in western terms.

The first time such catalepsy occurred my then-wife panicked and called an ambulance to take me to an intensive care unit at the nearest hospital; after being examined by the resident doctor for all vital signs then all the whilst that state persisted a duty nurse would test for consciousness (holding open eyelids and shining an intense light for signs of pupil contraction, pinching an earlobe as tightly as possible for any sign of sensation, and so on) every 15 minutes to no avail. (Upon eventually coming out of that state so much bliss was radiating, spilling over into the ICU, that she became over-whelmed, in awe, with ruddy features and shining eyes testifying to her absorption into such an awesomely manifest presence).

One other instance (too many to relate) occurred when sitting cross-legged upon a hillside overlooking the valley below and across to the mountain range opposite; there was incredible blissfulness just prior to that ultimate state roiling waves of almost indescribable bliss – and ecstatic bliss immediately after yet for the event itself there was nothing, zero, zilch (hence ‘ineffable’, ‘unspeakable’, and so on) as the ultimate, the supreme by whatever name, is truly void.

RESPONDENT: [...] for people who didn’t pick up this part, what Richard just described was two experiences of cessation (nibbana), not samatha-jhana (like the 4th jhana, or 5th jhana, etc). That is to say, he was not, as [No. 5] insinuates, being a bliss-junkie. This man hit nibbana, the real deal.

RICHARD: G’day No. 16, A technical point, just in case you were to ever refer to this elsewhere, for the sake of consistency in terminology: as nibbana was the ongoing state night and day for eleven years then, on quite a few occasions, what this man hit (to use your phraseology) was nirodh ... the real deal beyond nibbana.

(The nomenclature depends, of course, upon which form of Buddhism it is and whatever word is apt, other than nibbana/ nirvana, is fine).

RESPONDENT: He writes that there was: ‘... ecstatic bliss immediately after yet for the event itself there was nothing, zero, zilch (hence ‘ineffable’, ‘unspeakable’, and so on) as the ultimate, the supreme by whatever name, is truly void.’ which lines up perfectly with my own experience with the same. theravadan buddhists hold that the peace known in cessation – nibbana in its utter totality in (living, everyday) life, and that a person, any person, even a person who is attained in all four paths (the paths of the stream-winner, once-returner, non-returner, and arahat), must still wait for the break-up of all mind and form at physical death in order to for the peace of what was experienced during cessation (nibbana, or nirodha) to become permanent and final – a condition known as parinibbana.

As I know for myself that the peace of a pure consciousness experience – of a fully living, everyday experience, is not one iota short of that of cessation – that is, of utter oblivion, then it is clear to me that to hold as theravadan buddhists report that the buddha did (that such totally and utterly unfettered peace cannot be lived, here and now, as this very body) is to simply hold to nonsense. Death is reputed to be the only thing that can release the arahat completely... yet, such release is impossible in a PCE as there is just seriously nothing to be released from (nor anyone to experience such release). Perhaps it is all this oblivion which makes buddhists oblivious… to the obvious?

RICHARD: What you say about parinibbana – physical death – is right on the ball. (I also appreciate your confirmation that a PCE is not one iota short of that of cessation).

The main point of this particular email exchange of mine was to explicate how meditative practices do not result in a state sans the affections which can be lived in everyday life (as in living/ breathing, eating/ drinking, urinating/ defecating, walking/ talking, typing emails, and so on and so forth) as the affective faculty remains in situ – albeit somewhat rarefied – in nibbana.

As a means of obtaining peace on earth a never-ending nirodh is entirely useless as it would also result in the body wasting away until its inevitable physical death.

It would mean species extinction were all 6.5 billion peoples alive today ever to do what these bronze-age/ iron-age scriptures exhort them to do.

(Which is the whole point of Buddhism, of course, as Buddhists do not want to be here:

1. Life sucks big-time;

2. Being born is the pits;

3. Escapism is cool;

4. The eight-step programme is tops).

And dilettantes – flush with scraps of very superficial book-learnt misrepresentations – who know not what it is they are promoting are the metaphysical equivalents of what Mr. Joseph Stalin called ‘useful idiots’ (in regards the spread of communism via a transitional socialism) as the western world embraces more and more of what is spreading out from the eastern world all the way around the globe.

Regards, Richard.

November 23 2009

Re: Debunking Buddhism and Neo-Buddhism

RESPONDENT: For people who didn’t pick up this part, what Richard just describedwas two experiences of cessation (nibbana), not samatha-jhana (like the 4th jhana, or 5th jhana, etc). That is to say, he was not, as [No. 5] insinuates, being a bliss-junkie... this man hit nibbana, the real deal.

RICHARD: A technical point, just in case you were to ever refer to this elsewhere, for the sake of consistency in terminology: as nibbana was the ongoing state night and day for eleven years then, on quite a few occasions, what this man hit (to use your phraseology) was nirodh ... the real deal beyond nibbana. (The nomenclature depends, of course, upon which form of Buddhism it is and whatever word is apt, other than nibbana/ nirvana, is fine).

RESPONDENT: Hi Richard, The word ‘nibbana’ is also sometimes used in Buddhism to denote the kind of cessation to which you refer earlier in the same email:

[Richard]: ‘The first time such catalepsy occurred my then-wife panicked and called an ambulance to take me to an intensive care unit at the nearest hospital; after being examined by the resident doctor for all vital signs then all the whilst that state persisted a duty nurse would test for consciousness (holding open eyelids and shining an intense light for signs of pupil contraction, pinching an earlobe as tightly as possible for any sign of sensation, and so on) every 15 minutes to no avail. (Upon eventually coming out of that state so much bliss was radiating, spilling over into the ICU...)’.

Which event (including unconsciousness non-event), to the best of my understanding, happened at the very beginning of the on-going state that you lived day and night for 11 years, and was the first time you had experienced going beyond name-and-form. Is this correct?

If so, then a usage of the term ‘nibbana’ seen frequently (and the way in which I used it earlier) would also cover that experience. An explanation of such usage:

‘Some have objected to the equation of this [consciousness-without-surface] with nibbana, on the grounds that nibbana is no where else in the Canon described as a form of consciousness ... There are passages in the Canon (such as AN 9.36) that describe meditators experiencing nibbana as a dhamma, but these passages seem to indicate that this description applies up through the level of non-returning.

Other passages, however, describe nibbana as the ending of all dhammas.’ [emphasis added] accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.049.than.html#n-9 For further technical clarification: were you then experiencing (during that first catalepsy) a kind of consciousness-without-object, or was it ‘nothing, zero, zilch’ – as you describe about your 1985 hillside experience?

RICHARD: G’day No. 16, First of all, and regarding your quoted gloss about such usage, in a footnote to the translated ‘Kevatta (Kevaddha) Sutta’, (ww.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.11.0.than.html#t-1), the same translator, Mr. Geoffrey DeGraff, when referring to consciousness-without-surface (viññanam anidassanam) quite clearly states that [quote] ‘This term is nowhere explained in the Canon’ [endquote].

Thus it is a scholarly gloss – as in ‘a comment, an explanation, an interpretation, a paraphrase’ (Oxford Dictionary) – and, as such, is open to scholarly critique (indeed, it begins with the words ‘Some have objected to the equation of this ...’).

Then, after some speculation about it differing from the consciousness factor in dependent co-arising by virtue of it lying outside of time and space, and how it raises the question as to whether consciousness-without-feature is not covered by all what is sensed growing cold after physical death, he then goes on to say how the Kotthita Sutta warns that [quote] ‘any speculation as to whether anything does or doesn’t remain after the remainderless stopping of the six sense media is to complicate non-complication, which gets in the way of attaining the non-complicated. Thus this is a question that is best put aside’. [endquote].

An extract from an online interview (circa 2004) shows why he would say it is best put aside:

[Mr. Rich Orloff]: Are there aspects of Buddhism that are still mysteries to you?

[Mr. Geoffrey DeGraff]: I’d like to know what full enlightenment is like. (oberlin.edu/alummag/spring2004/feat_monk_04.html)

As I have recently provided quotes from Mr. Alan Hefner, who says that ‘beyond the nirvana is the nirodh’, and Mr. Charles Tart, who says that nirodh is ‘higher than the eighth jhana’, I will not re-quote them here but will, instead, quote Mr. Ken Wilber so as to demonstrate a very valid point.

(Scholarly differences of opinion can be very useful at times). Vis.:

[Mr. Ken Wilber]: ‘... as Forman points out, it is always a temporary state, it cannot become a permanent structure (if it did, it would become a type of irreversible nirodh, or permanent formless cessation)’. (http://wilber.shambhala.com/html/books/ psych_model/psych_model6.cfm/xid,4301884/yid,2377916)

Now, unless Mr. Geoffrey DeGraff is saying that nibbana is a temporary state (which would imply that the ongoing state of awakenment for Mr. Gotama the Sakyan was not nibbana), is it not conducive to clarity in communication to refer to a motorless, senseless, thoughtless, affectless and unconscious state by some other nomenclature?

(Going by the time-span of the Pali Canon, and the numerous locations therein, Mr. Gotama the Sakyan was clearly walking/ talking, drinking/ eating, urinating/ defecating, waking/ sleeping, and so on).

It is of no concern to me what name is applied; what is critical for the sake of clarity in communication is that there be a clear differentiation between an operative state (mobile, sensate, thoughtful, affective, conscious) and an inoperative (immobile, senseless, thoughtless, affectless, unconscious) one as the former is liveable (and communicable) whereas the latter is both an unliveable (wasting away) and incommunicado state.

*

To answer your specific questions: as the first-time event occurred in April, 1981, it was five months prior to the start of the eleven year period of spiritual enlightenment/ mystical awakenment; it was the turning-point, as far as PCE’s and ASC’s were concerned, as increasingly thereafter ASC’s took centre stage and PCE’s were shunted to the background (there being no precedent); the event itself was not identical with the 1985 hillside event as it fluctuated between a consciousness-without-an-object and a quite detached consciousness of some particular incidents.

(For instance, as the ambulance was out on a call the resident doctor came to my farmhouse in his own car; as he and another person man-handled my dead-weight body into the back seat they accidentally hit my head quite forcibly against the upper door-frame; there is a memory of this totally painless incident along with the notion ‘that’s no way to treat a dying person’ (which is what he and my then-wife were of the opinion was happening); another memory is of being carefully carried into the hospital along with the notion ‘now, that’s much better’; another time was on the second-last occasion the duty nurse tested for sensation/ consciousness and the notion ‘it’s about time to come out of this’; fifteen minutes later consciousness properly returned, upon the intense light being shone in my eye, along with mobility, sensation, thought and, most obviously of all, the affections).

A computer-search through all my writings showed how I have previously characterised this event as being catatonic (rather than cataleptic) in nature.

*

RICHARD: [...] What you say about parinibbana – physical death – is right on the ball. (I also appreciate your confirmation that a PCE is not one iota short of that of cessation).

The main point of this particular email exchange of mine was to explicate how meditative practices do not result in a state sans the affections which can be lived in everyday life (as in living/ breathing, eating/ drinking, urinating/ defecating, walking/ talking, typing emails, and so on and so forth) as the affective faculty remains in situ – albeit somewhat rarefied – in nibbana.

RESPONDENT: You’re welcome, and I will go one further and confirm that it is also the case that in nibbana (your usage to mean the enlightened state of consciousness), the affective faculty remains in situ, albeit in a somewhat rarefied form ... that is, until something or someone pushes ‘my’ buttons.

RICHARD: Thank you for your confirmation.

A couple of years ago I wrote to the author of an online article, entitled ‘Forgetting About Enlightenment’ (www.shaktitechnology.com/enlightenment.htm), which stated as a bald assertion that some arahants live in perfect, unending bliss and others are beyond all emotions even the positive ones. Vis.:

• [Richard]: ‘Could you please advise just which ‘Arahants’ you are referring to, in regards to Hindu and Buddhist tales of enlightenment in your ‘Forgetting About Enlightenment’ article, where you state without citation that, whilst some live in perfect unending bliss, others are beyond all emotions, even the positive ones? [snip quote]. As Buddhism in general places an extremely high value on both ‘metta’ (aka loving-kindness) and ‘karuna’ (aka pity-compassion), as evidenced in the four apramanas and the ten paramitas, and as The Buddha in particular is otherwise known as ‘The Compassionate One’ – the name Maitreya or Metteyya is derived from the Sanskrit word maitri or metta – the bald assertion that some ‘Arahants’ are beyond all emotions, even the positive ones, seems at first glance to be as far-fetched as that incredulous ‘water-into-wine’ claim which precedes it’. (31/10/2007 8:42 AM)

I received this incongruous reply:

• [quote] ‘The enlightened ones who claim to be beyond all emotions are in the Hindu traditions, where this specific nuance of enlightenment is called ‘Turiya’ – meaning ‘The Fourth’ state. The tradition that enlightenment involves unending bliss is Buddhist. The word Arahant should be changed, as it is unique to Buddhism and Jainism’. (31/10/2007 8:54 AM)

I replied by saying [quote]

• [Richard]: ‘It would appear, then, that you might possibly be referring to the motorless, senseless, thoughtless, affectless, unconscious and occasional state which may otherwise be described, in western terms, as a cataleptic trance (...)’. (31/10/2007 10:43 AM)

but never received a reply ... and the wording of that online article remains unchanged to this very day.

*

RICHARD: As a means of obtaining peace on earth a never-ending nirodh is entirely useless as it would also result in the body wasting away until its inevitable physical death.

It would mean species extinction were all 6.5 billion peoples alive today ever to do what these bronze-age/ iron-age scriptures exhort them to do. (Which is the whole point of Buddhism, of course, as Buddhists do not want to be here: 1. Life sucks big-time; 2. Being born is the pits; 3. Escapism is cool; 4. The eight-step programme is tops).

And dilettantes – flush with scraps of very superficial book-learnt misrepresentations who know not what it is they are promoting are the metaphysical equivalents of what Mr. Joseph Stalin called ‘useful idiots’ (in regards the spread of communism via a transitional socialism) as the western world embraces more and more of what is spreading out from the eastern world all the way around the globe.

RESPONDENT: It is true that vast majority of modern-day Buddhists do not seem to realise (or even want to know) that a never-ending nirodh(a) (as in a parinibbana) is what the Buddha’s definition of total and utter peace was. When confronted with this, a good number I have encountered either deny it or profess agnosticism (along the lines of ‘I don’t know about that, I’ll know when I get there’) ... it would just be too blatantly life-denying to accept, I guess.

RICHARD: Aye, yet the textual evidence is there, all throughout those voluminous scriptures, for anybody to read for themselves.

Another example of ignoration is the portrayal of Mr. Gotama the Sakyan as not being an earthly manifestation of ‘The Supreme One’ (Maha-Pradhana) but, rather, as ‘The Awakened One’ (The Buddha) despite textual evidence to the contrary.

For instance, several years ago I came across a scholarly article in a 1914 edition of ‘The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland’ by Mr. Lawrence Waddell (ex-professor of Tibetan, London University) in which he provided a compelling account of the divestiture of such supreme divinity prior to the Pali Canon being composed by monks who lived several centuries after Mr. Gotama the Sakyan’s death.

The text of that article, first published nearly a hundred years ago, has been digitalised and is available online in Taiwan at this URL: http://ccbs.ntu.edu.tw/FULLTEXT/JR-ENG/wadd.htm Although scholarly it is quite readable.

Regards, Richard.

December 10 2009

Re: Begginer’s Question

RICHARD: [...] Oops ... both a typo and a mis-spelling in one post: [...] Ha ... perhaps it signals a retirement from writing as being in order.

RESPONDENT: Don’t retire too soon, I’m gearing up to reply to your email from the 23rd of November (Debunking Buddhism and Neo-Buddhism – (#7755) to start an on-record conversation with you here about the nature of nibbana, nirodha, jhana, fruition (phala), etc, as well as more specifics about what happened during the 11 years you spent enlightened.

RICHARD: Okay ... and you can take your time gearing up as I am having too much fun, back here at the keyboard again, to be retiring from writing just yet – it was but a light-hearted throwaway comment – and especially so as I am now being given opportunities to talk about one of my favourite subjects (sexuality and intimacy).

Incidentally, as you specifically refer to Message No. 7755, have you read that 1914 scholarly article by Mr. Lawrence Waddell (ex-professor of Tibetan, London University) yet?

And the reason why I ask is because, as your sphere of interest lies in the Pali Canon (composed by monks who lived several centuries after the death of Mr. Gotama the Sakyan), my responses will make a lot more sense when it is comprehended how their divestiture of his divinity – the title ‘Maha-Padhana’ (or ‘Maha-Pradhana’ in Sanskrit) translates as ‘The Supreme One’ (as in ‘The Supreme God’) – has had an effect not too dissimilar to the modern day example provided by Mr. Uppaluri Krishnamurti.

RESPONDENT: It’s high time someone asked you detailed questions about your experience in this territory as it would be valuable to have in the public domain, and it might as well be me asking since I have experience in these matters and a vested interest in knowing more about yours.

RICHARD: There actually already is a lot of detail about my experience in the public domain – on my portion of The Actual Freedom Trust web site – and the essence of it all is best summed up by the following:

• [Richard]: You may find the following informative in this regard:

• [Respondent]: ‘What do You understand by being enlightenment?

• [Richard]: ‘There is nothing other than The Absolute’.

And this:

• [Respondent]: ‘I invite all of you who have had a Self experience to try describing it.

• [Richard]: ‘Sure ... there was only The Absolute (the Self by whatever name) and nothing else existed’.

And this:

• [Respondent]: ‘As an example (of a description of ‘Self’), is the description ‘a very old child’ valid in your case?

• [Richard]: ‘No, the description ‘there is nothing other than The Absolute’ is what is valid in my case (...).

• [Respondent]: ‘If you can provide a brief description for your particular Self image, so as to compare notes, I would be pleased to read it.

• [Richard]: ‘Sure ... there was only The Absolute (the Self by whatever name) and nothing else existed.

• [Respondent]: ‘Or is it indescribable?

• [Richard]: ‘No, it is easily described: there was nothing other than The Absolute’.

In other words, in full-blown spiritual enlightenment/ mystical awakenment, there is only ‘That’ (the unmanifest by whatever name) and the manifest – all time and all space and all form – is but a dream/ an illusion/ an appearance ... meaning that in reality there is neither creation nor destruction, and thus, neither bondage nor liberation/ neither a seeker after liberation nor the liberated’. (Richard, The Actual Freedom Trust mailing list, 89b., 13 May 2005).

The reason why I draw this to your attention, up-front whilst you are still gearing-up, is because you specifically say that your on-record conversation with me will be about the nature of nibbana, nirodha, jhana, phala and etcetera.

RESPONDENT: Perhaps just use your processor’s spell-checker?

RICHARD: Ha ... you mean the spell in chequer witch strait a weigh marques, four yore revue, miss steaks yew kin knot sea?

Shore.

Regards, Richard.


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