Actual Freedom – Mailing List ‘D’ Correspondence

Richard’s Correspondence On Mailing List ‘D’

with Jonathan


VINEETO: I would like to check with you, if you still want your name on the website instead of Respondent No. 39 (as we had verbally agreed on the last day of your visit). If yes, can you please confirm this in writing so I can put it at the top of your correspondence page with Richard (for everyone to see that we only use people’s names with their permission).

JONATHAN: That’s fine. I’d prefer if [you] use my full first name which is Jonathan. Jonathan to Vineeto 13.8.2013


May 4 2013

Re: meeting Richard in person

JONATHAN: I live in America and am ready and able to buy a plane ticket to meet you, Richard, in your domain. I hope you are still taking visitors. I have been practicing for two years.

PM me if you wish, or reply publicly.

thanks, Jon

RICHARD: G’day Jon, Yes, indeed so.

Having read more than a few of your posts on the ‘Dharma Overground’ forum, from time-to-time over the past couple of years, I appreciate your abiding interest in actualism/ actual freedom.

In regards to your above email: the following post of yours, written twelve days later, was the genesis of a notion to provide an opportunity for some fellow-travellers to get together as well as meet actually free people. Vis.:

#13323
From: [Jonathan]
Date: Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:01 pm
Subject: friends?

I want to hang out with other actualists. Specifically, i want to hang out with people who’s only desire is to be a human being; to stop habitually pretending to be something they aren’t. I reside in [...], Fl, USA.
I am going up north in June to [...], PA, USA.
I am extremely mobile, in general. I play poker for a living though these days I have no goals other than to want to be conscious of my actual destiny rather than to rebel against it.
[...]. I don’t want to hang out with beginning actualist, logicicans, philosophers or anyone who doesn’t want to be merely this body living on this planet at this time.

If you have already read my previous email to Srid you will now be aware that No. 25 has arranged to spend the month of July in Australia. As such it makes for an extended basis upon which to co-ordinate the timing of your anticipated visit so that it can overlap, by a few days or so, with whatever time-period Srid can arrange.

As I wrote about the ‘ambience-atmosphere-milieu’ effect, in that previous email of mine, I need not repeat it here but will encourage you to follow-up the URLs, and their associated posts before and after, so as to better comprehend what it is I have in mind as an experiment.

In short, by virtue of that effect there is a possibility that pure intent, nowadays personified as both a male and a female, may become more readily apparent.

At the very least it will be a lot of fun.

Regards, Richard.

May 16 2013

Re: meeting Richard in person

JONATHAN: I live in America and am ready and able to buy a plane ticket to meet you, Richard, in your domain. I hope you are still taking visitors. [...snip...].

RICHARD: Yes, indeed so. [...snip...].

If you have already read my previous email to Srid you will now be aware that No. 25 has arranged to spend the month of July in Australia. As such it makes for an extended basis upon which to co-ordinate the timing of your anticipated visit so that it can overlap, by a few days or so, with whatever time-period Srid can arrange.

As I wrote about the ‘ambience-atmosphere-milieu’ effect, in that previous email of mine, I need not repeat it here but will encourage you to follow-up the URLs, and their associated posts before and after, so as to better comprehend what it is I have in mind as an experiment.

In short, by virtue of that effect there is a possibility that pure intent, nowadays personified as both a male and a female, may become more readily apparent.

At the very least it will be a lot of fun.

JONATHAN: Thanks Richard.

I’m down. I do need more info on room and board, airport, rendezvous point, duration of stay, etc. And July is fine for me. I appreciate the encouragement.

RICHARD: G’day Jon, As the nearest township to where I am currently residing is Ballina – a seaside town located in the Northern Rivers area, of the state of New South Wales, at the mouth of the Richmond River – the most suitable international flight destination is the Sydney International Airport (Airport code: SYD) followed by a domestic flight transfer to Ballina Airport (Airport code: BNK).

(The alternative is to land at the Brisbane International Airport (Airport code: BNE), in the state of Queensland, and then transfer onto an Airport Shuttle Coach to Ballina CBD. As this necessitates over 3 hours of stop-start road travel from Brisbane, as compared to a 50-minute domestic flight from Sydney, the first option is probably the most preferable).

So far, most of the people travelling here have elected to stay at the Ballina Travellers Lodge.

It is a nice place to stay; well laid-out with its rooms and units arranged around a central courtyard (with an in-ground swimming pool), rather than the typical all-in-a-line motel-type layout, and is but a short stroll from the Ballina CBD. The accommodation options range from back-packer style to ensuite luxury rooms; there is a fully-equipped kitchen/ dining area (for those who prefer to cook their own rather than eat out) and in-house laundry facilities; internet connection, being in-room Wi-Fi enabled, is a little slow.

As for a rendezvous point: if you like we can meet at the Ballina Airport (once you know a definite arrival time and flight number) and thence conduct you to your accommodation.

The duration of stay is up to you: essentially you will be having a vacation, in Australia, during which we can meet-up from time-to-time on an ad-hoc basis, for a few hours here and there, as is mutually suitable. Some people have stayed 5-6 days; others 7-8; some 3-4 weeks.

July is mid-winter here; the Northern Rivers area is classified subtropical (meaning summer is the rainy period and winter the dry); the winter days tend to be blue skies, with some cloud, where it is warm enough out in the sun but cool in the shade; the winter nights tend to be cold enough to require long trousers and a warm jacket.

However, a cold southerly wind can set-in, on occasion, which necessitates a protective jacket by day.

Regards, Richard.

June 23 2013

Re: Upcoming visit

JONATHAN: I live in America and am ready and able to buy a plane ticket to meet you, Richard, in your domain. I hope you are still taking visitors. I have been practicing for two years.

RICHARD: Yes, indeed so. Having read more than a few of your posts on the ‘Dharma Overground’ forum, from time-to-time over the past couple of years, I appreciate your abiding interest in actualism/ actual freedom.

In regards to your above email: the following post of yours, written twelve days later, was the genesis of a notion to provide an opportunity for some fellow-travellers to get together as well as meet actually free people. Vis.:

#13323
From: Jonathan
Date: Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:01 pm
Subject: friends?

I want to hang out with other actualists.
Specifically, i want to hang out with people who’s only desire is to be a human being; to stop habitually pretending to be something they aren’t. I reside in Tampa bay, Fl, USA.
I am going up north in June to Pittsburgh, PA, USA. I am extremely mobile, in general. I play poker for a living though these days I have no goals other than to want to be conscious of my actual destiny rather than to rebel against it.
[...]. I don’t want to hang out with beginning actualist, logicicans, philosophers or anyone who doesn’t want to be merely this body living on this planet at this time. [endquote].

If you have already read my previous email to Srid you will now be aware that No. 25 has arranged to spend the month of July in Australia. As such it makes for an extended basis upon which to co-ordinate the timing of your anticipated visit so that it can overlap, by a few days or so, with whatever time-period Srid can arrange.

As I wrote about the ‘ambience-atmosphere-milieu’ effect, in that previous email (#13324) of mine, I need not repeat it here but will encourage you to follow-up the URLs, and their associated posts before and after, so as to better comprehend what it is I have in mind as an experiment.

In short, by virtue of that effect there is a possibility that pure intent, nowadays personified as both a male and a female, may become more readily apparent.

At the very least it will be a lot of fun.

JONATHAN: Thanks Richard. I’m down. I do need more info on room and board, air-port, rendezvous point, duration of stay, etc. And July is fine for me. I appreciate the encouragement.

RICHARD: As the nearest township to where I am currently residing is Ballina [...details in #13508...]. The duration of stay is up to you: essentially you will be having a vacation, in Australia, during which we can meet-up from time-to-time on an ad-hoc basis, for a few hours here and there, as is mutually suitable. Some people have stayed 5-6 days; others 7-8; some 3-4 weeks. [...].

JONATHAN: Hi Richard, I now have the balls to join ya down there in lovely australia it took me a while to make the commitment. Two thousand dollars is nothing to sneeze at.

I only need confirmation that you’ll be able meet me for lunch and such. Perhaps we’ll have some surf and turf. And speaking of surf. Maybe we can promenade the beach, where the tide and land make their meet. Interfere the seagulls hunt as they skitter and sail before our sapiens saunter: Alliteration is ever so smarter than a simple email to a friendly other. At any rate, i’m sure we’ll have a good time. As long as you have in mind many a chance to meet-up and play. I am thinking 14-21 days. July is still good if it’s still good with you.

RICHARD: G’day Jon, Yes, the month of July is still good with me ... and 14-21 days will be ample time for you to not only ‘hang out with other actualists’, as per your April post (#13323), but to meet some actually free people as well, from time-to-time on an ad-hoc basis, for a few hours here and there, as is mutually suitable, be it either over breakfast, lunch or dinner, at a cafe, bar or restaurant, or out on a picnic in the nearest to a wilderness area as can be expected in this day and age (dependent upon benevolent weather).

Thank you for advising me of your approximate travel plans; as soon as you have a definite arrival date, and time, arrangements can be made to meet you, when you arrive in Ballina, and convey you to whichever accommodation option it is you have booked into.

Regards, Richard.

June 30 2013

Re: Upcoming visit Posted

JONATHAN: Hi Richard, I now have the balls to join ya; down there in lovely australia it took me a while to make the commitment. Two thousand dollars is nothing to sneeze at. I only need confirmation that you’ll be able meet me for lunch and such. Perhaps we’ll have some surf and turf. And speaking of surf. Maybe we can promenade the beach, where the tide and land make their meet.

Interfere the seagulls hunt as they skitter and sail before our sapiens saunter: Alliteration is ever so smarter than a simple email to a friendly other. At any rate, i’m sure we’ll have a good time. As long as you have in mind many a chance to meet-up and play. I am thinking 14-21 days. July is still good if it’s still good with you. (Message 14323)

RICHARD: Yes, the month of July is still good with me ... and 14-21 days will be ample time for you to not only ‘hang out with other actualists’, as per your April post  (#13323), but to meet some actually free people as well, from time-to-time on an ad-hoc basis, for a few hours here and there, as is mutually suitable, be it either over breakfast, lunch or dinner, at a cafe, bar or restaurant, or out on a picnic in the nearest to a wilderness area as can be expected in this day and age (dependent upon benevolent weather).

Thank you for advising me of your approximate travel plans; as soon as you have a definite arrival date, and time, arrangements can be made to meet you, when you arrive in Ballina, and convey you to whichever accommodation option it is you have booked into.

JONATHAN: Hello Richard, I am now thinking August 7 to 21. It’s much cheaper. I’ll buy the ticket as soon as I get further confirmation that you and vineeto will be in town and free during those days. (Message 14566)

RICHARD: G’day Jon, Why are air-tickets ‘much cheaper’ in August (rather than July)? Is it an off-season, in USA, then?

Be that as it may, I am somewhat nonplussed as 8 weeks ago, in your May 5, 2013 reply (in #13328) you said ‘I’m down’ ... meaning that, had you purchased your ticket then, it would have been much cheaper by virtue of being an advance purchase (given that you said, in your initial Apr 17 email (#13276), that you were ‘ready and able to buy a plane ticket’ then).

The reason I am enquiring into these (ostensible) monetary reasons for not being here in Australia in July is because the whole point of designating this month was because of your Apr 29 email (#13323) wherein you expressed how you ‘want to hang out with other actualists’ (but stressed they not be ‘beginning actualist, logicicans, philosophers’) because you ‘have no goals other than to want to be conscious of my actual destiny’.

Further to this very point, I wrote about the ‘ambience-atmosphere-milieu’ effect in a previous email (#13324) of mine, wherein I encouraged you to follow-up the URLs, and their associated posts before and after, so as to better comprehend what it is I have in mind as an experiment ... to wit: by virtue of that effect there is a possibility that pure intent (i.e. your ‘actual destiny’), nowadays personified as both a male and a female, may become more readily apparent.

To state the obvious: it takes more than just one feeling-being present for there to be such an effect.

Vis.:

• [Respondent No. 12]: The addition of [No. 4] meeting two people in the ‘deep waters’/ end of the pool of a virtual freedom from the human condition is about the best bonus I could imagine. Beats going snorkelling hands down! :)

• [Richard]: Yes, the best bonus made all the more bester due to Vineeto being out-from-control/in a different-way-of-being such as to affectively/ psychically generate a felicitous and innocuous atmosphere – begotten in an ever-fresh affectless/ self-less ambience – which fostered a milieu where happiness and harmlessness could be the norm rather than the exception. Vis.:

• [Richard]: ‘As to my intention in regards not only facilitating direct access to me but also enabling an informal interaction with some other actualists as well: being sans identity in toto/ the entire affective faculty (plus its epiphenomenal psychic facility) any residence or venue of mine is marked by an absence of both affective vibes and psychic currents ... a pristine ambience made all the more marked, for many a person, upon returning from the ‘real-world’ environs after a previous visit.
‘(For instance, my second wife would say, upon her return after an outing on her own into town, that it was like coming back in to a sanctuary. Even a stranger, a real-estate agent (known as a realtor in some places), after showing some potential clients around the duplex I was at the time renting, took me aside and told me how fresh and clean the ambience was; I said it must be because of no children, no cats or dogs, no wild parties, etc., but she looked straight into my eyes and said, ‘no, it’s you; it’s you who makes the ambience clean and fresh’).
‘Now, this pristine ambience is conducive to a sincere actualist activating their potential – albeit temporarily – as in some form of an out-from-control/ different-way-of-being (to whatever degree of intimacy they be comfortable with at the time). Furthermore, experience has shown that these intimacy experiences can be contagious, so to speak, for other sincere actualists also present as the atmosphere generated affectively/ psychically by the first to be out-from-control/in a different-way-of-being can propagate a flow-on effect, on occasion.
‘In short: a felicitous and innocuous atmosphere, begotten in an ever-fresh affectless/ selfless ambience, fosters a milieu where happiness and harmlessness can be the norm rather than the exception’. (List D, No. 14a, 4 December 2009).

This fostering was convincingly made apparent when the well-known correspondent gratuitously (unsolicited) reported how the intimacy of the first meeting – due to being the nearest a ‘self’ can get to innocence whilst remaining a ‘self’ – was the prevailing atmosphere for him with both Vineeto and Peter as well (...). (List D, No. 12, 9 December 2009).

Before replying I recommend re-reading what Srid posted 3 weeks ago (Jun 9, 2013) taking specific note of what he has to say about the ‘ambience-atmosphere-milieu’ effect.

Incidentally, I was very pleased to read how he had [quote] ‘currently been reading to learn all i can about what had been publicly written about the ‘ambience-atmosphere-milieu’ effect ...’. [endquote].

It bodes well for July being a particularly auspicious month.

Regards, Richard.

July 1 2013

Re: Upcoming visit Posted

JONATHAN: Hi Richard, I have just booked my flight. I will be in Australia from July 18 to the 3’rd of August. Hopefully, Srid and mine arrivals will be close to each others. I expect to arrive there at 3:30 PM your time.

RICHARD: G’day Jon, Thank you for advising me of your arrival time, date and duration of your visit.

Arrangements will be made to meet you at your arrival time of 3.30 PM AEST on the 18th of July – at the Ballina Airport presumably – and convey you to the accommodation option you have booked into.

JONATHAN: I have 21 hours from this email to cancel my flight without any penalty so please let me know if I should do this.

RICHARD: Ha ... good one, Jon.

No, you are cool in that regard ... having read more than a few of your posts on the ‘Dharma Overground’ forum, from time-to-time over the past couple of years, your droll, self-deprecating humour – especially in all your earlier posts there – occasioned me many a hearty chuckle.

JONATHAN: And if not, I am definitely looking forward to it. Should be a lot of fun, Oh, yes indeed ... a great time will be had by all.

RICHARD: ‘Tis such a hoot being alive, in the first place, let alone being able to do all manner of things (by virtue of arms and legs and all the rest) whilst being here.

Regards, Richard.

Aug 4, 2013

Re: important correction

JONATHAN: On the last day, we talked a about pride.

RICHARD: G’day Jon, On the last day we talked about pride in the context of your [quote] ‘... pride (at progressing nicely) ...’ [endquote] words from your Day 15 post (on Aug 2, 2013, in #15023) to this forum.

I suggested it would be far more fruitful to be pleased, about ‘progressing nicely’, than proud as the obverse of pride is being humble (i.e., humility is but pride standing on its head).

Words such as humiliate, humiliative, and so on, are derived from the same etymological roots as the words humble, humility, and so forth, stem from.

Vis.:

• humble (adj.): 1. marked by meekness or modesty in behaviour, attitude, or spirit; not arrogant or prideful; 2. showing deferential or submissive respect; 3. low in rank, quality, or station; unpretentious or lowly;
(tr.v.): humbled, humbling, humbles: 1. to curtail or destroy the pride of; humiliate; 2. to cause to be meek or modest in spirit; 3. to give a lower condition or station to; abase;
(adj.): humbled, humbler, humblest, humbling; (n.): humbleness, humbler; (adv.): humbly, humblingly;
synonyms: degrade, abase, debase, demean, humiliate; demote, break, bust, downgrade, reduce. [Middle English, fr. Old French, from Latin humilis, ‘low, lowly’, fr. humus, ‘ground’; Indo-European roots: dhghem-]. (American Heritage Dictionary).

• humility (n.): the quality or condition of being humble. [Middle English humilite, from Old French, from Late Latin humilitâs, fr. humilis, ‘low, lowly’, fr. humus, ‘ground’]. (American Heritage Dictionary).

• humiliate, humiliates, humiliated, humiliating (tr. v.): to lower the pride, dignity, or self-respect of; (adj.): humiliative, humiliatory; (adv.): humiliatingly; (n.): humiliation, humiliator. [fr. Late Latin humiliâre, humiliât-, ‘to humble’, fr. humilis, ‘humble’, fr. humus, ‘ground’]. (American Heritage Dictionary).

JONATHAN: We had a useful theological and semantic discussion ...

RICHARD: The semantic part of the discussion pertained to you saying the opposite of pride was embarrassment – whereupon I pointed out that being humble (aka humility) is the more usual antonym – but given that humiliation and embarrassment are more or less synonymous it required what you characterise as a theological discussion to tease out differing connotations ... to wit: the difference betwixt shame and guilt.

As a broad generalisation the feeling of shame (as in ignominy, disgrace, mortification, &c.) is more a public affair than private – whereas the feeling of guilt is more a private matter than public – and features mostly in eastern cultures (quite prominently, for instance, in China and Japan) rather than in western cultures where the feeling of guilt, being private, is conducive to the west’s emphasis on individuality over familiality (i.e., ‘the quality of being familial’ where familial means ‘of or relating to family’) ... which is particularly obvious in Christian-based societies such as inhabit what is known as the Anglosphere.

JONATHAN: ... but it his [Richard’s] point about patting yourself on the back which is most pertinent here.

RICHARD: The following is a quote which will serve to illustrate just what it is you are referring to.

Vis.:

• [Co-Respondent]: I can’t thank you enough for reiterating how to use HAIETMOBA?. I have read it fifty times, but this time it clicked. There is something to watch out for, which is the feeling of upset. I am just used to living with my upsetting feelings by ignoring them or repressing them, because I shouldn’t get upset ... you know? ... it’s not right to be upset, etc. So to go looking for the incident like you suggest wasn’t working because ... I’m always upset! due to repressing or analysing why I shouldn’t have the bad feeling. I mean, where would I start? When I saw this about myself I was happy and from there I was able to locate an upsetting incident that day.
• [Richard]: Good ... and once one gets the knack of it (it does take diligence and application and patience and perseverance in the beginning) it all becomes such fun to find out, each moment again, how one ticks.
One thing I did, way back when I started doing that method, was to make sure I would never, ever, tell myself off for slipping back into the old ways – after all ‘I am only human’ and it is bound to happen from time-to-time – and instead I would pat myself on the back for being astute enough to notice that I had slipped back and thus get on with the business of being happy and harmless again ... and feeling good about myself for being able to do so.
It is important to be friends with oneself – only I get to live with myself twenty four hours of the day (other people can and do move away) – and if I am at war with myself, disciplining myself, telling myself off, I am alienating the only person who can truly help me in all this.
In short: be nice to yourself, not nasty ... there are already enough people doing that anyway. (Actual Freedom Mailing List, No. 50, 11 October 2003).

JONATHAN: He [Richard] said that feeling beings inner dialogue is quite self-critical.

RICHARD: The following is a quote which will serve to illustrate just what it is you are referring to.

Vis.:

• [Rick]: I feel more at ease with life, yes.
• [Richard]: I have just now re-read our only other exchange (five months ago) wherein, regarding the application of the actualism method, you reported [quote] ‘it’s having some success in that it’s helping me cope’ [endquote] and what immediately springs to mind is that [quote] ‘feeling more at ease with life’ [endquote] is streets ahead of merely being helped to cope.
And I am not just ‘talking you up’ as experience has shown that, while peoples are quite ready to self-criticise and bemoan their fate, they are less likely to as readily self-congratulate and applaud their progression out of same.
Try patting yourself on the back for each and every success ... as a boost to confidence a well-deserved accolade is a tonic like no other. (Actual Freedom Mailing List, Rick, 30 September 2005).

The following (quite lengthy) quote is particularly informative vis-a-vis both this and related issues.

Vis.:

R: Do you see that you do not need to [mentally go back over an item again and again]? Catch yourself doing it: ‘Why am I going through it again. I already know this.’ This is also fun. To watch how your thought process works.

Q: And notice how often you put yourself down.

R: Tell yourself off.

Q(1): For thinking it!

R: One discovers that the way one tells oneself off; if one were to talk to another person like that – a friend – one would not have any friends left. You have to live with yourself twenty four hours a day; if you are talking to yourself in such a way that you are not a good friend to yourself, then what are you doing? If I were to talk like that to you, be sharp with you, you would have nothing to do with me. Are you not sharp upon yourself?

Q(1): I am very sharp upon myself.

R: It is a good thing to become friends with yourself, to decide not to tell yourself off any more: ‘Okay, I will make mistakes from time to time, because I am still human, but if I ‘goof-up’ I will not exacerbate the situation by imposing a condemnation upon myself.’ One always has another chance, another moment in which to do better, to make it work this time. It is always a quick thought, a swift reproach: ‘Oh, you fool!’ or ‘You shouldn’t do that!’ or ‘How stupid!’

Q: Or you’re not good enough: ‘You should know better than that!’

R: It is good to cease doing that because only you live with yourself for the twenty four hours of the day. Everybody else comes and goes, but you remain, ever constant ... for the rest of your life. I can not stress enough how important it is for you to be your own best friend. For then you get to know yourself – you are no longer against yourself. You can discover things about your own make-up: ‘Oh, isn’t that interesting’ or ‘I like that one’ or ‘I didn’t know I was carrying that’ or ‘I’m glad that one is out of the way’. Sometimes, of course, something can come back, three days, three weeks or three months later: ‘Goodness me, I thought I had eliminated that one’. See how vital it is that you are your own best ‘buddy’? You say: ‘Well, I thought I had dealt with that but never mind, I have another moment here, another chance’. This way you work with yourself, instead of in opposition. It is very important.

And it is such good fun! Then, everything you do in your daily life, moment to moment, is taking advantage of multiple opportunities. Every moment again is an occasion to improve your lot ... when you are interacting with someone, either face to face or on the telephone ... or a back-ache: ‘Oh god, how terrible!’ ... another opportunity. It is bad enough to feel pain, why make it worse by adding an emotional suffering like ‘I feel terrible’? To feel terrible, emotionally, on top of the physical pain is simply silly when it is possible to disentagle oneself, emotionally, and still feel good about being alive, about being here. This is being sensible, is it not? To feel good, if not happy, all the time?

Q: And top of that: ‘I deserve it, too’. You know, god punishes immediately! ‘It’s my own fault’ or ‘I shouldn’t have done that’.

Q(2): Or conformity: ‘If everyone else suffers, why shouldn’t I too?’

R: This is a lot easier than that new-age one about not being judgemental. ‘I shouldn’t be judgemental!’ or ‘I’m always evaluating, judging everything and everyone’. This is a much more gentle way of being with oneself. Be kind to yourself – one needs all the help one can get and who is the best person to help you if not you yourself? Who else is going to do it? Only you can live your life, nobody else can do the living of it for you. It is really good to become friendly with yourself, to get to know yourself, to enjoy yourself ... and for goodness sake, stop berating yourself!

About being judgemental: It is only a belief – a New-age belief resurrected from the old scriptural injunction: ‘Judge not that ye be judged thyself’. What is wrong with appraising a situation or person or an event? One can not live without evaluating, so the injunction merely makes one feel guilty. Nobody lives according to it anyway – it is an unliveable bit of nonsensical doctrine that frankly does not make sense.

Q(1): It’s funny about how I handle this judging business ... what follows is that I can’t do it in any practical way.

R: It is a re-run of that hoary one of being tolerant ... another New-age belief is: ‘Be accepting’. What balderdash! Does anyone accept a murderer? A rapist? A pederast? A traitor? A thief? Nobody does these things, they simply mouth regurgitated pap and fondly think themselves to be wise and righteous people. These commandments just have not worked – they have had thousands of years to demonstrate their efficacy at producing peace on earth and they have failed miserably. Most of the New-age stuff is a re-hash of the old ‘tried and true’, which is, actually, ‘the tried and failed’.

Q: When someone tells you not to be judgemental, they actually mean: ‘Your opinion doesn’t count’. Their own opinion is, of course, valid – but you are not to question it. It is a clever way of gagging you.

R: One woman accused me, years ago, of being judgemental. I said: ‘Of course I am, I do not hold that belief.’ I am neither a New-age aficionado nor a Christian so I can be as judgemental as all get-out ... not that I use the word, personally. Try ‘appraisal’; that will get you away from the moralistic overtones. One does an appraisal of a person, a thing or an event: ‘That’s useful; that’s not. That is silly; that is sensible’. Of course one does this. How on earth can one conduct one’s affairs without appraising, without reviewing, in some way?

It is helpful to rid oneself of the concept of ‘Right’ and ‘Wrong’ and utilise ‘silly’ and ‘sensible’. You will be a lot better off. For example: It is silly to be unhappy, it is sensible to be happy.

Q(1): It’s using the same word for ‘Good and Bad’ and ‘Right and Wrong’.

R: Not at all. It is not moralistic; it is about the workability of something, the usefulness of whatever it is. I am talking about a very practical thing: It is sensible to be happy; it is silly to be unhappy. It is silly to feel rotten; it is sensible to feel well. You see, it is not self-righteous at all – it is a matter-of fact appraisal.

Q(1): No, I wouldn’t use moralistic for that – about being happy.

R: Nor for anything. Please, do not use ‘silly’ and ‘sensible’ as a substitute for moralistic values ... that would defeat the purpose. It is a practical, everyday, common-sense thing: ‘How am I feeling at this moment?’ or ‘Am I feeling good?’ or ‘Am I feeling bad?’ ... ‘Oh that’s silly, I’ll do something about myself until I feel good’. Simply, it is sensible to feel good. This is my moment of being alive – I am not alive five minutes ago, nor am I alive five minutes ahead. This is my only moment of being here. How am I experiencing this moment? If I am not experiencing it well now, when will I? It will be a ‘now’ moment when I do, so why not make this ‘now’ moment ... this one that is happening right now. Why waste it by feeling rotten? Why not enjoy it?

It works! I am not merely talking theory, this is what I did back in ‘81. I have not missed a moment for sixteen years ... it is always this moment. What a misspent life, to waste each moment waiting for a future happiness ... to sit around feeling rotten, berating oneself, feeling guilty, and so on. (Audiotaped Dialogues, Silly or Sensible)

JONATHAN: So it is a very good idea to pat yourself on the back whenever it will promote felicity or get you feeling excellent so you can move on to wide eyed wonder.

RICHARD: No, what is a very good idea (to use your phrasing) is to pat yourself on the back whenever you succeed in finding out just what it is which is preventing this moment of being alive – the only moment you are ever actually alive – from being lived at its optimum.

In doing so you get to find out how you operate and function (just what it is that makes you ‘tick’ as it were) each moment again.

JONATHAN: So if you are a salesman and just made a big sale, pat yourself on the back with the aim of increasing your current happiness so you can on move to feeling excellent and then to wide eyed wonder.

RICHARD: No, I neither said that nor anything of that nature (I am clearly talking of success, no matter how slight it may be, regarding consciousness and not in regards to materialistic success).

JONATHAN: That is what I took from his comments though I have a history of not understanding his words all that well.

RICHARD: This is as good an opportunity as any to drive home the point I made to [No. 25], on May 25th (in #13582), inasmuch the words I spoke to you were, essentially, a verbal reiteration of what is already freely available on The Actual Freedom Trust website.

Vis.:

#13582
From: richard.actualfreedom
Date: Sat May 25, 2013 11:51 am
Subject: Re: Is Actualism Safe?

• [Respondent No. 25]: Due to my last visit with you and Vineeto, many confusions have been cleared up ...
• [Richard]: The way in which those ‘many confusions’ were cleared up was, essentially, by verbal reiteration of what is already freely available on The Actual Freedom Trust website. [...].

One of the advantages the printed or digitalised word has over the spoken word is that it can be revisited again and again until comprehension is complete ... something not understood, or misconstrued, the first time around can always be examined and re-examined at a later convenience.

JONATHAN: In trying to research the site, I find that Peter has a chapter on pride in which he admonishes the feeling.

RICHARD: Maybe, just maybe, feeling-being ‘Peter’ took note of what Richard had to say about pride and examined it for ‘himself’ so as to ascertain whether it be true or not, eh?

JONATHAN: Yet Richard highly recommends ‘patting yourself on the back.’

RICHARD: What Richard highly recommends is being pleased (aka ‘patting oneself on the back’) whenever you succeed in finding out just what it is which is preventing this moment of being alive – the only moment you are ever actually alive – from being lived at its optimum.

JONATHAN: This isn’t a contradiction.

RICHARD: Oh, yes it is.

JONATHAN: They both agree.

RICHARD: They both agree about being pleased (aka ‘patting oneself on the back’) – not about feeling proud – at success, no matter how slight it may be, regarding consciousness.

JONATHAN: In fact, Peter’s last words to me were ‘pat yourself on the back once in a while.’

RICHARD: Aye, but those last words of his were not in regards to feeling proud.

JONATHAN: So ferreting out how the two ideas do not contradict each other is an excellent spot to learn more about the site.

RICHARD: In which case I will leave you with the following quote to mull over as it is but one example of what I have to say about pride (and its companion-in-arms humility).

Vis.:

• [Richard]: (...). Personally I have no humility whatsoever and, of course, neither am I proud. In order to be free of the Human Condition one needs to see the place pride and humility plays in one’s life. ‘I’ am proud of ‘my’ major achievement – which is maintaining ‘myself’ as an identity – and ‘I’ will do anything but relinquish ‘my’ grip on this flesh-and-blood body ... including humbling ‘myself’ before some God in order to ameliorate the pernicious effects of pride. However, humility is merely the antidote to pride ... and they feed off each other, continuously.
For example, one cannot but feel proud of one’s accomplishment of self-abasing humility ... it is in the nature of the entity to do so. A humbled self is still a self, nonetheless, leaving one proud of one’s performance. When one realises how silly all this is; when one sees that pride and humility are standing in the way of freedom from all self-centred activity, something astounding occurs. The opposites vanish. I am simply here where I have always been ... and pride, with its companion in arms, humility, has disappeared along with all the other feelings.
I am free to be here now in the world as-it-is. Unadorned and unencumbered, I can stand on my own two feet, owing allegiance to no-one. (Actual Freedom Mailing List, No. 4, 9 January 1999).

Regards, Richard.

January 25 2014

Re: Emptiness

JONATHAN: From what I can recall, Richard’s view of the buddha is not in the mainstream. As I understand it, the view that Gautama believed in a universal self is held by a significant minority of scholars. But the mainstream believes that Gautama and the bhagavad gita were on to two different points of views. Because Richard is with the minority, he doesn’t speak of emptiness ever. ( I found a definition of it in the AFT and I found a page referencing Zen but I haven’t found anything on emptiness as the pragmatic dharma crowd speaks of it.) My question is. Is emptiness as the dho and kfd folks talk of it a feeling? When those folks speak of emptiness and r. speaks of Being with a captial B, are they talking of the same thing? (Message 162xx , 19 Jan 2014, Subject: Emptiness)

RICHARD: G’day Jon,

First and foremost, it is not [quote] ‘Richard’s *view* of the buddha’ [emphasis added] which you recall reading, on my portion of The Actual Freedom Trust website, as I make it unambiguously clear that I lived that/was that, night and day for eleven years, which Mr. Gotama the Sakyan rediscovered whilst sitting under an assattha/ pippal tree (‘Ficus religiosa’) around two and a half millennia ago.

Second, and also because Mr. Gotama the Sakyan lived that/was that which he rediscovered, albeit night and day for 45 years, neither is it recorded anywhere canonical that [quote] ‘Gautama *believed* in a universal self’ [emphasis added] either.

Third, what you are comparing his experiential state to, by referencing [quote] ‘the bhagavad gita’ [endquote], stems from the sublative ‘no-genesis’ vedantic doctrine (i.e., ajativada) which Mr. Gauda the anchorite recovered, at Gowda Desha circa the 6th century CE, from the Upanisads – principally the Mandukya, Brhadaranyaka and Chandogya Upanisads – which was subsequently consolidated by Mr. Adi Sankara of Kaladi (nowadays called Kerala) and which serves to epitomise what is more generally referred to as Hinduism.

Fourth, what you twice characterise as [quote] ‘the mainstream’ [endquote] is, given the context, presumably the *sectarian* Theravadin lineage, of a broader religio-spiritual/ mystico-metaphysical tradition generally referred to as Buddhism (as contrasted to what is generally referred to as Hinduism), and, as such, is comprised of the many and various practitioners, commentators, translators, scholars/ pundits, and so on, who have successively contributed to and/or perpetuated the prevailing ‘ditthi’/ ‘drsti’ (i.e., ‘wrong view; theory, doctrine, system’) about what anatta/ anatma refers to – especially obvious as it is the word niratta/ niratma which means soulless (‘soullessness or unsubstantiality’) – for at least the last two millennia.

(And I say ‘for at least the last two millennia’ advisedly because it is duly recorded, in Pali text in the Mahavamsa (abbrev. Mhv. or Mhvs.), that the last Sinhalese Arahant, Maliya Deva Thero, lived during the time of King Dutugamunu (101-77 BCE), a period which is something like 500 or so years before the reformist pundit Mr. Budhaghosa penned his highly influential ‘Visuddhimagga’ and commentaries).

*

Now, I mention these four points because where you then say [quote] ‘Because Richard is with the minority’ [endquote] – after having just designated that ‘minority’ as being [quote] ‘a significant minority of *scholars*’ [emphasis added] – your conclusion that this is why [quote] ‘he doesn’t speak of emptiness ever’ [endquote] is thus a non sequitur ... and actually erroneous as well.

For example (regarding ‘erroneous’) from the year 2000:

• [Richard]: (...) when you use such a phrase as ‘the empty nature of ...’ it invokes the Buddhist understanding that the physical world, as seen through their ‘sense-doors’, is impermanent, lacking in substance, having no inherent existence ... whereas this actual world of direct sensate experiencing – this infinite and eternal and perpetual universe – is already always here being substantial, enduring, and having nothing but inherent existence.
• [Co-Respondent]:  That simply means that for you, the state of emptiness is just an idea.
• [Richard]: No, *I lived that ‘state of emptiness’ night and day for eleven years* ... I am well aware of what the physical world is seen as when seen through their ‘sense-doors’ (it is seen as impermanent, lacking in substance, having no inherent existence and so on). [emphasis added]. (List B, 12i, 27 December 2000).

Moreover, a computer search through all my publicly-available correspondence – freely available on-line 24/7 for anyone with internet access – for the word emptiness returned 118 hits.

Similarly, the Sanskrit word sunyata (=the Pali sunnata, abstracted from sunna, and said to mean ‘emptiness, void, unsubstantiality’ and so on) returned 42 hits.

For instance (from 1999):

• [Co-Respondent]:  Dualistic approach is effort to bring about a desired result of freedom for me. It starts with belief that I know what is and I know what I want, what should be, so I will work to get there. But that is like a fish trying to become water. Fish or form is the time aspect and water or emptiness is the timeless aspect.
• [Richard]: (...). The word ‘emptiness’ as you use it is the Buddhist ‘Sunyata’ ... which is a ‘timeless and spaceless and formless absolute’. (List B, 12d, 1July 1999).

More specifically, though, I explain that the word empty usually means ‘without self’.

Vis. (from 2001):

• [Richard]: This is an intriguing translation ... usually ‘empty’ means without self (the self is not to be found in the material world) ... (List B, 12o, 14 November 2001).

And again (also from 2001):

• [Richard]: The religio-spiritual meaning of the word ‘emptiness’ is that the material world is empty of ‘self’. (List B, 12o, 21 November 2001).

*

Fifth, the reason why you did not find anything in my portion of The Actual Freedom Trust website on [quote] ‘emptiness as the pragmatic dharma crowd speaks of it’ [endquote] is because what they speak of is the result of the presently-popular but controversial sukkhavipassaka practice (what is known colloquially as the ‘Dry Burmese Vipassana’, as in ‘Noting/ Mahasi Style’ and ‘Goenka Vipassana’, for instance) and which is more akin to the much-diluted modern-day ‘Neo-Advaita’ form of secularised/ westernised nondualism than anything else.

I have written about my degree of interest in that practice on this very forum.

Vis. (emphasis in the original):

#12054
Date: Fri, 21 Dec 2012 10:47:49 -0000
From: Richard
Subject: Re: it is impossible to marry Actualism and Buddhism

• [Richard]: [...snip...].
• [Respondent No. 32]:  This is why I wish there can be a direct dialogue between you and some of the accomplished Buddhist teachers..
• [Richard]: I have no interest whatsoever in a dialogue with accomplished *sectarian* Buddhist teachers – and especially not any such teachers of sukkhavipassaka – as the buddhaghosavacana [‘the word/ teaching of Buddhaghosa’] is too far removed from the buddhavacana [‘the word/ teaching of Buddha’] for any meaningful discussion. [...].

To explain: that sectarian ‘ditthi’/ ‘drsti’ (i.e., ‘wrong view; theory, doctrine, system’) already mentioned – institutionalised by all those unawakened/ unenlightened practitioners, commentators, translators, scholars/ pundits, and so on, as the anatta/ anatma doctrine – has reified (reify = ‘to consider an abstract concept to be real’) and/or hypostatised (hypostatise = ‘to construe as a real existence, of a conceptual entity’) an otherwise simple expression which essentially means what the English word devoid conveys (devoid = without, sans, free from, completely lacking or wanting in, bereft of, empty of, deficient in, denuded of, barren of; destitute or void of) into being an (affectively) subjective ‘thing-in-itself’, so to speak, as in some kind of a metaphysical ‘emptiness’ and/or a timeless-spaceless-formless ‘void’ beyond all reckoning.

*

Having attended to all the points in your preamble your question can now be addressed as-is.

Vis.:

• [Jonathan]: ‘My question is. Is emptiness as the dho and kfd folks talk of it a feeling?’ [endquote].

As all subjective experiences within the human condition – taking place as they do in the human psyche – are essentially affective/ pathematic in nature (including any psychic noumena) it is all-too-easy to just say their emptiness is ‘a feeling’.

(Generally speaking, ‘a feeling’ is an emotion or a passion – love/ hate, anger/ amity, sadness/ gladness, and so on, for instance – whereas a reified/ hypostatised entity such as an ‘emptiness’ and/or a ‘void’ is more a product of the affective faculty’s imaginative/ hallucinatory facility).

Besides which, even a genuine awakenment/ full enlightenment is essentially affective in nature.

*

Lastly, your query as to whether that ‘emptiness’ the pragmatic/ hardcore dharma folk speak of is the same thing as what I refer to when speaking of [quote] ‘Being with a captial B’ [endquote] can be answered quite simply:

Nothing they speak of is the same thing as what I have to report/ describe/ explain, about those eleven years (1981-1992) of awakenment/ enlightenment, as none of them experientially know what it is to be awakened/ enlightened.

(See my Footnote No. 2, for example, where I have deliberately gone into a particularly pertinent aspect of what constitutes awakenment/ enlightenment, in some detail, for this very purpose).

This is all such fun!

Regards,
Richard.

February 16 2014

Subject: Re: Practice log

JONATHAN: Intent is your own drive and purity is the state of the universe. The two can form an actual connection, which is palpable.

thus the energy of infinitude referred to is a physical energy ... specifically the calorific energy of an apperceptive consciousness.

• [Richard]: thus the energy of infinitude referred to is a physical energy ... specifically the calorific energy of an apperceptive consciousness. (Richard, Selected Correspondence, Pure Intent)

After actual freedom, one’s intent is unchangeable. When a newly free person is distracted by social identity concerns, he is effortlessly brought back to the purity of the universe.

• [Richard]: ‘...there needs to be a tidying-up of social mores and habitual patterns ‘after the event’ anyway ... an actual freedom does not miraculously remove every little detail. It does make the fine-tuning a breeze, though.’ Richard, The Actual Freedom Trust mailing list, No. 12b, 16.2.1999. (http://actualfreedom.com.au/directroute/14.htm)

That is because his intent has never wavered. Because there is no agent that can interfere with the physical energy of apperception, it can’t waver. The sweetness has washed away any other agenda leaving only the body and pure intent. Those concerns are just minor considerations which might give pause but aren’t felt as problems. That’s what I think happens, anyway. But when a virtually free person is distracted by an obstacle, he may feel malice or fear and still has a choice to forget the whole thing.

• [Richard]: I kid you not ... even a virtual freedom does not provide an absolute immunity from recidivation. (Richard, Selected Correspondence, Pure Intent)

Intent is different from desire. This may have been a big misunderstanding for myself. In my online dictionary, the two aren’t even synonyms. Intent is a conscious choice to get a thing done. It produces it’s own energy. This energy is the same energy as what makes rocks, stars and humans. Contrast that energy to a sorrowful yearning energy or the malicious prideful energy of desire: One is affective and the other is actual, calorific energy.

Another thing that messed me is that I didn’t notice pure intent in my PCE’s. I expected to see it or something. But without intent, there is only purity/perfection. But that’s just half the equation. It’s only after you get out of the PCE (or perhaps during if one’s mind is up for it) that the intent is formed. That intent to experience that perfection over and over again makes the connection. One can’t just think, ‘Wow, that was awesome! gee, i sure wish i could experience that all the time’

• [Richard Peter]: Pure intent is the unequivocal intention to devote one’s life to being the best one can be – to completely and actually eradicate malice and sorrow from one’s life. (A Précis of the Method of Actualism)

• [Richard]: I will do whatever (whilst observing the legal laws and social protocol) to become free of whatever it is that is preventing the living of that pure perfection. (Richard, Selected Correspondence, Pure Intent)

A technical question might be: Since the intent part of pure intent requires volition, without human beings is there pure intent? I don’t know what richard would say, but I don’t think there is a universe without humans. Not saying that humans created the universe. I’m saying 1) humans exist in the universe right now and now is the only time there actually is and 2) the nature of infinity makes it impossible to ever have a universe without human beings.

And finally, here is a quote that tells you what pure intent feels like.

• [Richard]: there is the impelling movement of actualising perfection – being pulled from ahead – which is what comes from the pure intent that ensues with being activated by the consummate purity as evidenced in the PCE. (Richard, Selected Correspondence, Pure Intent)

And that is accompanied by sweetness and an altruistic impulse.

• [Peter]: Wondering about the nature of his experiencing, I suddenly became aware of a quite extraordinary sweetness – a sweetness that was palpable rather than feeling based. I heard the words ‘This is not only for me, this is for everybody’ as I was literally being bathed in this sweetness. (Peter, In the End)

And both Peter and Vineeto write that an intent to experience actual intimacy with another human being is needed to take the final plunge.

• [Vineeto]: What it needs is the unwavering and undiminished intent (100%) to bridge the separation that stands in the way of an actual intimacy with another human being – any human being and secondly the awareness and intent that what one is doing is not for oneself but for everybody in order for the self-less purity to unfold its magic. (Vineeto, The Fat Lady Has finally Sung)

RICHARD: G’day Jon,

Just a quick note to say that, whilst the bulk of this email of yours essentially hits the mark, it is the very first sentence above which addles an otherwise excellent post ... namely, the word ‘drive’ (as in an instinctive, and therefore affective, urge or propulsion).

Interestingly enough, further on you provide a quote from my 1999 writings about the ‘impelling’ aspect of pure intent (being drawn ineluctably to one’s destiny) – as contrasted to the ‘propelling’ nature of affective urges/drives (being driven deeper into one’s fate) – yet leave off the sentence immediately following which explicates that very distinction.

Vis.:

• [Richard]: (...) there is the impelling movement of actualising perfection – being pulled from ahead – which is what comes from the pure intent that ensues with being activated by the consummate purity as evidenced in the PCE. This is qualitatively different from a propelling movement – being pushed from behind – which is what comes from the disciplined action that eventuates with being motivated by certitude (derived second-hand via trusting, believing, hoping and having faith).
This impelling momentum – being drawn ineluctably to one’s destiny – is the thrilling part of it. (List B, No.39, 16 November 1999).

(Incidentally, that latter reference to it being thrilling – i.e., ‘the thrilling part of it’ wording just above – is a referral back to the ‘an oft-times alarming but always thrilling momentum’ section in the first paragraph of the original November 16th, 1999, email exchange on Mailing List ‘B’ from whence the ‘Selected Correspondence’ part-quote was drawn).

Thus if you were to rephrase your [quote] ‘Intent is your own drive ...’ [endquote] wording accordingly your entire email will hang together admirably.

*

Also, here is a hint for future reading: the word pure, in the phrase pure intent, indicates to a puzzling-it-out-reader that whatever it is which the word intent refers to one thing is for sure: it cannot be affective (else it be not pure).

And that is where affers ‘gang agley’ big-time.

Regards,
Richard.


JONATHAN (Part Two)

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