Actual Freedom – Mailing List ‘D’ Correspondence

Richard’s Correspondence On Mailing List ‘D’

with Correspondent No. 48


Jul 17 2015

Subject: Re: Enlightenment As An Aid To Enjoyment

RESPONDENT: [...]. I was just trying to make a point to everyone else that that doesn’t mean I neatly fit into the category of dogmatic spirituality that Richard’s schematic points to. [...].

RICHARD: G’day No. 48,

Just a simple query if you will: given the identity inhabiting this flesh-and-blood body all those years ago lived that/ was that which “Richard’s schematic points to”, night and day for eleven years (1981-1992), it would be appreciated were you to provide a report/ a description/ an explanation as to what a ...um... a non-dogmatic spirituality is.

Specifically, of course, a non-dogmatic spiritual awakenment/ mystical enlightenment.

The reason I ask is because more than just a few of those persons of a ‘Pragmatic Dharma’ persuasion, in general, and those of a ‘DhO/ KFD’ persuasion, in particular, make a really big thing about how that which I thereby have an intimate acquaintance with – an experiential knowledge, a ‘hands-on’ comprehension, a lived understanding – is either dogma, doctrine, or (shudder) a view and, by doing so, seek to dismiss what is on offer on The Actual Freedom Trust website in a quite non-pragmatic manner.

I look forward to your considered response.

Regards,
Richard.

Jul 17 2015

Subject: Re: Enlightenment As An Aid To Enjoyment

RESPONDENT: (...). I was just trying to make a point to everyone else that that doesn’t mean I neatly fit into the category of dogmatic spirituality that Richard’s schematic points to.

RICHARD: Just a simple query if you will: given the identity inhabiting this flesh-and-blood body all those years ago lived that/ was that which “Richard’s schematic points to”, night and day for eleven years (1981-1992), it would be appreciated were you to provide a report/ a description/ an explanation as to what a ...um... a non-dogmatic spirituality is. Specifically, of course, a non-dogmatic spiritual awakenment/ mystical enlightenment. The reason I ask is because more than just a few of those persons of a ‘Pragmatic Dharma’ persuasion, in general, and those of a ‘DhO/ KFD’ persuasion, in particular, make a really big thing about how that which I thereby have an intimate acquaintance with – an experiential knowledge, a ‘hands-on’ comprehension, a lived understanding – is either dogma, doctrine, or (shudder) a view and, by doing so, seek to dismiss what is on offer on The Actual Freedom Trust website in a quite non-pragmatic manner. I look forward to your considered response.

RESPONDENT: Hi Richard, good to hear from you! I read what you posted carefully once and will do so several more times. For now, these are my thoughts (to the extent I am capable of understanding your words). I would say there is no completely non-dogmatic spirituality, but there are degrees. While it is true that my practice of vipassana, and the ensuing permanent changes, did involve some initial research, some assumptions about the 3 characteristics of perception, and some faith in the existence of nanas, cycles and paths, I would say that the actual practice was nonconceptual. All I did was ...

RICHARD: G’day No. 48,

I will interrupt the flow of your self-report here because you do seem to be missing the point: you publicly accused me of espousing dogma and I am calling you out on it, asking you to put your money where your mouth is, so to speak.

(Ha ... if this were a couple of centuries ago, back when men were quite prickly about such matters, it would be a case of pistols at dawn and all that).

I have made it abundantly clear, on my portion of The Actual Freedom Trust web site, how all of what I have to report/ describe/ explain cannot possibly be dogma and/or doctrine and/or a corpus of principles and/or a code of beliefs/ and etcetera.

For instance:

October 01 2003
RESPONDENT:
Richard, I think you had the bad luck, while you were looking for enlightenment ...
RICHARD: If I may interject? Where have I ever said I was “looking for enlightenment”? And I ask this because, to the contrary of what you may think, I have always made it perfectly clear that it was a four-hour pure consciousness experience (PCE) which set the process in motion and not an altered state of consciousness (ASC).
That I became enlightened along the way to an actual freedom from the human condition does not mean I was “looking for enlightenment” ... indeed I did not even know such a thing existed before it happened. Vis.:

• [Co-Respondent]: “Richard, I’ve been following this discussion with interest and have a couple of questions for you: Which of the 3 ways [Jnani, Bhakti, Yoga] did you use to achieve spiritual enlightenment in 1981”?
• [Richard]: “Well, none of those 3 ways, actually ... I inadvertently ‘discovered’ another way: ignorance. I was aiming for the pure consciousness experience (PCE) and landed short of my goal ... and it took another 11 years to get here.
“To explain: I have never followed anyone; I have never been part of any religious, spiritual, mystical or metaphysical group; I have never done any disciplines, practices or exercises at all; I have never done any meditation, any yoga, any chanting of mantras, any tai chi, any breathing exercises, any praying, any fasting, any flagellations, any ... any of those ‘Tried and True’ inanities; nor did I endlessly analyse my childhood for ever and a day; nor did I do never-ending therapies wherein one expresses oneself again and again ... and again and again. By being born and raised in the West I was not steeped in the mystical religious tradition of the East and was thus able to escape the trap of centuries of eastern spiritual conditioning.
“I had never heard the words ‘Enlightenment’ or ‘Nirvāṇa’ and so on until 1982 when talking to a man about my breakthrough, into what I called an ‘Absolute Freedom’ via the death of ‘myself’, in September 1981. He listened – he questioned me rigorously until well after midnight – and then declared me to be ‘Enlightened’. I had to ask him what that was, such was my ignorance of all things spiritual. He – being a nine-year spiritual seeker fresh from his latest trip to India – gave me a book to read by someone called Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti. That was to be the beginning of what was to become a long learning curve of all things religious, spiritual, mystical and metaphysical for me. I studied all this because I sought to understand what other peoples had made of such spontaneous experiences and to find out where human endeavour had been going wrong.
“I found out where I had been going wrong for eleven years ... self-aggrandisement is so seductive”. (Richard, Actual Freedom Mailing list, No. 16, 8 January 2001).

I was not even religious before it all started – I did not even know that there was a difference between a Christian monk and a Buddhist monk, for example, other than that one wore brown robes and the other saffron robes – as I had lumped all religion under the category of superstitious clap-trap way back in childhood and lived a totally secular life.
RESPONDENT: [I think you had the bad luck, while you were looking for enlightenment], to meet blind teachers and vagabonds, like Peter and Vineeto, like Osho with his Rolls Royce’s and his orgies.
RICHARD: No, I never met any “teachers” (aka seers, sages, masters, gurus, and so on) at all before I became enlightened – I was entirely ignorant of the whole milieu of spirituality/ mysticism and its attendant master/ disciple phenomenon – and only came across the writings of Mr. Mohan ‘Rajneesh’ Jain 5 years later when I met the woman who was to become my second wife and who was what was called a ‘Rajneeshee’ at the time. As she rapidly became an ex-Rajneeshee, when we started to live together, I learnt a lot from her about what he had to say ... plus I also read many of his books (about 90 all told), watched several videos, and listened to numerous tape recordings, so as to get it straight from the horse’s mouth.
Why do you say he was a “blind” teacher? (Richard, Actual Freedom Mailing list, No. 44d, 1 October 2003).

In other words, what I have to report/ describe/ explain is the fully-lived experience, night and day for eleven years, of spiritual enlightenment/ mystical awakenment *as-it-is in reality* – as in, an autochthonic awakenment/ enlightenment; an indigenous awakening/ enlightening, that is – and not an adopted and/or absorbed dogma/ doctrine/ corpus of principles/ code of beliefs/ and etcetera which, having been internalised, is regurgitated on demand as if original.

Which is why I speak of having an intimate acquaintance – an experiential knowledge, a ‘hands-on’ comprehension, a lived understanding – of that which you dismissively characterised as [quote] “the category of dogmatic spirituality that Richard’s schematic points to” [endquote].

Given that your considered-for-thirty-two-minutes response was to tell me that [quote] “there is no completely non-dogmatic spirituality” [endquote] then, for the sake of emphasis, what follows is the essence of the above passage.

Viz.:

March 30 2000
RESPONDENT:
If I might ask, were you following this teacher at the time, were you part of a group?
RICHARD: You may have missed my answer to your question about having “a teacher or guru” in a previous post wherein I explained how I came to be here where I am today. Just so there is no further misunderstanding I will make my experience crystal clear:

• I have never followed anyone; I have never been part of any religious, spiritual, mystical or metaphysical group; I have never done any disciplines, practices or exercises at all; I have never done any meditation, any yoga, any chanting of mantras, any tai chi, any breathing exercises, any praying, any fasting, any flagellations, any ... any of those ‘Tried and True’ inanities; nor did I endlessly analyse my childhood for ever and a day; nor did I do never-ending therapies wherein one expresses oneself again and again ... and again and again. (Richard, Actual List C, No. 3a, 30 March 2000).

I have also made all of that abundantly clear on this ‘Yahoo Groups’ forum as well: on Nov 22, 2009 (in Message № 7712) and on Jan 10 2013 (in Message № 12828) for instance.

Moreover, I particularly drew attention to that well-known distinction between an Avatar/ a Buddha and all other spiritually awakened /mystically enlightened beings – i.e., of not having been a follower of any dogma/ doctrine/ corpus of principles/ code of beliefs/ and etcetera – in Message № 12928.

Viz.:

RICHARD to No 4: Moreover, because the third alternative to either spiritualism or materialism is literally inconceivable and/or unimaginable and incomprehensible and/or unbelievable – as well as actually non-imputable (i.e. automorphically) in any way other than some variant of the many and various sinner/saint ascriptions – it is not at all surprising how all of the pragmatic/hardcore dharma leaders/ practitioners, for example, spuriously demoted my eleven years intimate experience, night and day, of fully-fledged spiritual enlightenment/ mystical awakenment in order to posit actualism/ actual freedom as being ... um ... ‘ten-fetter’ arahantship.

(Otherwise they would be face-to-face with the (metaphysical) fact that the long-awaited ‘Maitreya’/ ‘Mettaya’/ ‘Jampa’ has been and gone[1] and they all missed-out on that event of the millennia).

Furthermore, because this third alternative to either spiritualism or materialism is literally inconceivable and/or unimaginable and incomprehensible and/or unbelievable – as well as actually non-imputable (i.e. automorphically) in any way other than some variant of the many and various sinner/ saint ascriptions – it is not at all surprising how all but a few of the sane peoples (inclusive of, and particularly so, counsellors, therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists) have no choice but to diagnose both my eleven years of full enlightenment/ awakenment and my twenty-plus years of an actual freedom from the human condition as insanity.

(Hence their demotion of that enlightened/ awakened experiencing of being the ‘Parousia’, the ‘Maitreya’, the ‘Messiah’, etcetera, to that of a patient in a psychiatric ward thinking they be Mr. Napoleon Bonaparte or Ms. Marie Antoinette, or whoever, else they all missed-out on that event of the millennia as well). (Message 12928, Richard, List D, No. 4, 16 January 2013)

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

[1]the long-awaited “Maitreya”/ “Mettaya”/ “Jampa” has been and gone:

See either Message № 12828, at the section containing the following snippet, or the original text online at The Actual Freedom Trust website. Vis.:

• [Richard]: “I have never followed anyone; I have never been part of any religious, spiritual, mystical or metaphysical group; I have never done any disciplines, practices or exercises at all; I have never done any meditation, any yoga, any chanting of mantras, any tai chi, any breathing exercises, any praying, any fasting, any flagellations, any ... any of those “Tried and True” inanities ...”. (Richard, Actual Freedom Mailing list, No. 16, 8 January 2001).

Perhaps, upon a candid reappraisal, you might be inclined to reconsider your [quote] “there is no completely non-dogmatic spirituality” [endquote] asseveration and address my original question as asked?

Namely: given the identity inhabiting this flesh-and-blood body all those years ago lived that/ was that which “Richard’s schematic points to”, night and day for eleven years (1981-1992), it would be appreciated were you to provide a report/ a description/ an explanation as to what non-dogmatic spirituality is.

Specifically, of course, a non-dogmatic spiritual awakenment/ mystical enlightenment.

And, again I will stress the reason why I ask: it is because more than just a few of those persons of a ‘Pragmatic Dharma’ persuasion, in general, and those of a ‘DhO/ KFD’ persuasion, in particular, make a really big thing about how that which I thereby have an intimate acquaintance with – an experiential knowledge, a ‘hands-on’ comprehension, a lived understanding – is either dogma, doctrine, or a view (i.e., Pāli ‘diṭṭhi’/ Sanskrit ‘dṛṣṭi’) and, by doing so, seek to dismiss what is on offer on The Actual Freedom Trust website in *a quite non-pragmatic manner*.

Again, I look forward to your considered response.

Regards,
Richard.

Jul 18 2015

Re: Enlightenment As An Aid To Enjoyment

RICHARD: (...). Perhaps, upon a candid reappraisal, you might be inclined to reconsider your [quote] “there is no completely non-dogmatic spirituality” [endquote] asseveration and address my original question as asked?

Namely: given the identity inhabiting this flesh-and-blood body all those years ago lived that/ was that which “Richard’s schematic points to”, night and day for eleven years (1981-1992), it would be appreciated were you to provide a report/ a description/ an explanation as to what non-dogmatic spirituality is.

Specifically, of course, a non-dogmatic spiritual awakenment/ mystical enlightenment.

And, again I will stress the reason why I ask: it is because more than just a few of those persons of a ‘Pragmatic Dharma’ persuasion, in general, and those of a ‘DhO/ KFD’ persuasion, in particular, make a really big thing about how that which I thereby have an intimate acquaintance with – an experiential knowledge, a ‘hands-on’ comprehension, a lived understanding – is either dogma, doctrine, or a view (i.e., Pāli ‘diṭṭhi’/ Sanskrit ‘dṛṣṭi’) and, by doing so, seek to dismiss what is on offer on The Actual Freedom Trust website in *a quite non-pragmatic manner*.

Again, I look forward to your considered response.

RESPONDENT: Hi Richard, I don't really know if I am capable of answering the question of what a non-dogmatic spirituality might be other than in the descriptions I have already given.

RICHARD: G’day No. 48,

Given how you do not really know if you are capable of providing a description of a non-dogmatic spiritual awakenment/ mystical enlightenment (so as to contrast it with what “Richard’s schematic points to” for the sake of elucidation) then your observation that you do expect certain things out of your vipassanā practice – namely [quote] “a level of mind that can be penetrated” such as to “cause permanent, irreversible change” [endquote] – is kinda left floating nebulously in a vacuum, is it not?

Viz.:

• [Respondent]: “[...], I don’t personally relate to the flowchart you posted [i.e., the 180 degree schematic]. My vipassana practice truly doesn’t necessitate the adoption of any beliefs (such as ontological or ethical assumptions) beforehand other than a basic trust that there is a level of mind that can be penetrated. [...]. Also, I don’t practice vipassana for temporary positive change that requires further meditation to maintain, but rather to cause permanent, irreversible change ...”. ~ (Message № 201xx).

Furthermore, you are quite explicit that the aforementioned permanent, irreversible change is a change to your psyche (and not the extirpation thereof).

Viz.:

• [Respondent]: “The bottom line is that I am trying to change my psyche as opposed to dropping it or escaping it or ending it entirely”. ~ (Message № 201xx).

If I might ask? In what way is that endeavour essentially different to what the flowchart/ the schematic points to (namely, to that which is reported/ described/ explained in the buddhavacana – i.e., the words/ the teachings of the sammāsambuddha, when he was the living embodiment of dhamma/ brahma, and therefore faithfully preserved memoriter, duly certified as being “Thus have I heard” (“evaṃ me sutaṃ”), in sacrosanct scriptures known in Pāli as ‘suttanta’ and in Sanskrit as ‘sūtrānta’ – and reverentially preserved through two and a half millennia or so down unto the present generation)?

Regards,
Richard.


CORRESPONDENT NO. 48 (Part Two)

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