Richard’s Selected Correspondence
On Animism and Environmentalism
RESPONDENT: Do you believe that there is good scientific evidence for global warming?
RICHARD: Presuming that you are referring to anthropogenic global warming (and not geological global warming) you may find the following informative:
What I did find, however, was that in 1900 Mr. Knut Ångström put as much carbon dioxide in total as would be found in a column of air reaching to the top of the atmosphere into a tube and sent infrared radiation through it yet the amount of radiation which got through scarcely changed whether he cut the quantity of gas in half or doubled it.
RICHARD (to Respondent No. 23): As that [sixteen clinically depressed geriatrics undertaking a remedial weight-lifting regimen three times a week for ten weeks] is an example of scientific evidence it is no wonder (modern) science is in the parlous state it is.
RESPONDENT: I have also found no evidence of human causes driving global warming after looking closer at the evidence. Why then do the majority of scientists endorse this view?
RICHARD: As it is questionable both whether there is any global warming and whether a majority of scientists do endorse the view that humans are the effectors it would be better to respond generally ... to wit: more than a little of modern science could be categorised as being opinion-based ‘science’ (rather than evidence-based science).
RESPONDENT: Maybe I am getting way too far outside the scope of this message board but given the discussion about what is real science and what is distortion, do you think there is any validity to the claims that the World Trade Towers including building 7 could not have fallen due to structural fire in such a rapid and neat manner without explosives being used that were already planted in the buildings. Also consider almost everyone interviewed mentions hearing explosions just before the collapse. I guess the whole science, global warming, oil-wars stuff got me on this subject. Just curious what you think.
RICHARD: As I have not looked into that claim (nor am I likely to) I am in no position to comment.
In regards to verification (as in your ‘what is real science and what is distortion’ phrasing): one of the problems with science today is that, as there are over 100,000 scientific journals published each year, containing more than 6,000,000 articles, no single person can ever even read them all ... let alone make sense of them (no single person could possibly have cross-disciplinal expertise in all areas of scientific research as there are over 1,000 areas of specialised study).
RICHARD: Then in the late afternoon of the day before Friday the thirtieth of of October 1992, whilst out in an abandoned cow-paddock planting tree seedlings, I was struck by the curious fact that at the beginning of my life I had been engaged in chopping down trees to turn the land into cow-pasture. Now the needs of the situation were sharply reversed and so I paused in my task and stood erect, looking about me in this little sub-tropical valley that the ex-dairy farm was nestled in. As I looked I idly mused upon the irony that the change in human needs regarding physical survival had wrought such radical transformation in the attitudes toward the environment during the forty five years I had been upon this planet. In a flash of a moment a vast understanding of the enormity of the Human Condition transfigured my comfortable comprehension of what it was to be an Enlightened Master ... a Self-Realised Being. My entire affective and cognitive configuration – my highly prized state of awareness – was seen at a glance to be nothing more than a passionate mental construct. In other words, my world fell apart.
RESPONDENT: I think the confusion stems from the fact that I witness the general helpfulness of human beings – even in contexts where there is no immediate personal gain physically or emotionally – so it seems that altruism is more than just ‘self-sacrificing’ – but more of an instinct towards perpetuating not only the survival, but the flourishing of the species – but not only homo sapiens, but all other things in the universe insofar as one has an effect on them.
RICHARD: Again, what you say here is sourced in blind nature’s nurture – taken to a fantastic extreme when applied to ‘all other things in the universe’ – which instinctual passion is currently the flavour of the month in those ‘save mother earth’ circles.
RICHARD: And just in case the latter [now duplicated immediately above] is not clear enough: if every otherwise intelligent non-dictatorial/ non-bandit/ non-criminal/ non-rapacious/ non-pillaging type of person were to actually put into practice, as a world-wide reality, those unliveable doctrines which bodiless deities prescribe then in a remarkably short period of time all babies will be being born with bully boys and feisty femmes as parents ... and with no alternate care-giver/ role-model anywhere to be found.
RESPONDENT: Have you heard of the dark age prior to the ‘dark age’?
RICHARD: Yes ... essentially there were two ages known as ‘dark’ (ignorant/ unenlightened): the period of European history from the fall of the Roman Empire in the West to the fall of Constantinople [more specifically between the fall of Rome and the appearance of vernacular documents] and the period between the end of the Bronze Age and the beginning of the historical period in Greece (and other Aegean countries).
RESPONDENT: Why do you say that there’s a danger for another dark age (with all this information technology)?
RICHARD: Ha ... the day may come when this era is more aptly re-named the era of misinformation/ disinformation technology.
RESPONDENT: Is there less ‘substance’ conveyed?
RICHARD: No, there is actually more substance than ever being conveyed and yet, as it is generally swamped by a prodigious output of egregious factoids, fantasies and fictions endlessly spawned by neo-puritanical social engineers posing as public-health watchdogs, big-brother behaviourists in the guise of left-wing libertarians, religio-political/ religio-philosophical latter-day luddites (adroitly re-inventing themselves in the form of environmentalists/ conservationists/ preservationists), mystico-spiritual shamans masquerading as psychotherapists under the name ‘parapsychology’, and so on and so forth, dominating virtually all channels of communication, both mainstream and marginalised, it largely goes unnoticed.
RESPONDENT: In my opinion, the primary cause for the emergence of a new dark age is fear and repression.
RICHARD: As a new dark age is mainly coming from the east to the west the primary cause of its emergence is the failure of materialism to provide meaning to life (as epitomised by existentialist thought around the turn of the nineteenth/ twentieth century which, not all that coincidentally, was around about the time when oriental thought began to gain an ever-increasing grip on occidental thought).
RESPONDENT No. 78: It is sensible not to be wasteful, you suggest otherwise Richard?
RICHARD: As to not be wasteful is to be frugal, and as to suggest otherwise is to not advocate frugality, your query might be better addressed to a moralist, an ethicist, or a principlist.
RESPONDENT: I think the question was clear enough.
RICHARD: Aye ... and it can also be put another way, can it not? For an obvious example:
Not that it makes any difference as the end result, no matter which way it is phrased, is that I am being asked to either agree or disagree with an all-embracing/all-encompassing statement/assertion.
RESPONDENT: The reply is evasive.
RICHARD: My response is direct and to the point ... if (note ‘if’) I were to be drawn into turning the silly/ sensible appraisal, of each and every situation or circumstance, each and every moment again, into an all-inclusive/ across-the-board value-laden approach to life – as a matter of principle (or an ethic/a moral) to live life by – I would be doing my fellow human being no favour.
In other words: I clearly and unambiguously decline to be sucked into participating in the corruption of a remarkably simple and effective moment-to moment way of appraising the vagaries of life.
RESPONDENT: I had to read it twice to actually get the grammar straight.
RICHARD: I was given a blanket statement/ assertion and invited to either agree or disagree ... perhaps if I were to use the word ‘since’ and ‘because’ instead of ‘as’ it might be straight for you at first read:
RESPONDENT: The question, as I understand it, was whether being wasteful is a sensible attitude, given the limitations of natural resources etc.
RICHARD: My co-respondent had prefaced their query with two evaluations I was in no position to assess for myself – that they know many [quote] ‘sensible human beings’ [endquote] who would consider themselves environmentalists and whom are [quote] ‘just acting sensibly’ [endquote] about environmental sustainability – and a sweeping statement/ assertion (as in the ‘it is sensible not to be wasteful’ phrasing further above) so I responded to the only reference to sensibility I could meaningfully comment upon.
As for your ‘given the limitations of natural resources’ comment: that is another subject entirely ... and one I was not asked about.
RESPONDENT: He did not ask whether it is ‘ethical’ or ‘good’, etc., just whether it was sensible.
RICHARD: The whole point of the silly/ sensible appraisal of one’s thoughts/actions is to not fall into the trap of living each moment with pre-digested beliefs/ factoids as values – to be open (to put it into the jargon) each moment again to what is actually the case (to what is factual) in each and every situation – yet I was being asked to do just that.
The problem with values – be they morals, ethics, principles (or cultural standards/mores in general) – is that they can, and do on occasion, make one myopic and if one cannot determine fact from fancy in the ‘outer world’ what then of determining same in the ‘inner world’ whilst on the wide and wondrous path to an actual freedom from the human condition?
RESPONDENT: The reply is evasive.
RICHARD: My response is direct and to the point ... if (note ‘if’) I were to be drawn into turning the silly/sensible appraisal, of each and every situation or circumstance, each and every moment again, into an all-inclusive/across-the-board value-laden approach to life – as a matter of principle (or an ethic/a moral) to live life by – I would be doing my fellow human being no favour. In other words: I clearly and unambiguously decline to be sucked into participating in the corruption of a remarkably simple and effective moment-to moment way of appraising the vagaries of life.
RESPONDENT: Simple, or ... simplistic.
RICHARD: Ahh ... I always like it when someone says something like that as it shows that they are beginning to take notice that when I say naiveté I mean naiveté. Maybe its very simplicity is why its import escapes the notice of sophisticates?
RESPONDENT: You have a pension, your needs are taken care of. You don’t NEED to be sucked in.
RICHARD: There are, essentially, five basic needs: air, water, food, shelter and clothing (if the weather be inclement) and I ensured that those needs – and those of five others when I was a husband and father – were met all throughout my working life ... just because I am now retired and on a pension has nothing to do with declining to be sucked into participating in the corruption of a remarkably simple and effective moment-to moment way of appraising the vagaries of life. And I say this because the silly/ sensible appraisal, of each and every situation or circumstance, each and every moment again, was first devised in 1981 when I was a married man, with four children, running my own business, with a house mortgage to pay off and a car on hire purchase, working twelve-fourteen hour days, six-seven days a week, and with a vested interest in no longer maintaining/ perpetuating a social identity (aka a conscience) by living life according to all the beliefs, ideas, theories, concepts, maxims, dictums, truths, factoids, philosophies, values, principles, ideals, standards, credos, doctrines, tenets, canons, morals, ethics, customs, traditions, psittacisms, superstitions, myths, legends, folklores, imaginations, divinations, visions, fantasies, chimeras, illusions, delusions, hallucinations, phantasmagoria and any other of the social schemes and dreams and cultural precepts and mores which constitute the familial/ tribal/ national conditioning process ... the universal brainwashing technique euphemistically known as socialisation/ acculturation.
RESPONDENT: But people whose habitats are being destroyed because the rich need more oak for their bed stands, ...
RICHARD: As the remainder of your sentence was cut off I am unable to discern where you are going with this/what point it is you are making.
RESPONDENT: (...) The ellipsis in the paragraph which you didn’t get, means the following: For people whose comfort is endangered by the wasteful ways of the rich and powerful, ‘getting sucked in’ or not into the debate about whether being wasteful is sensible or not is not a matter of choice, it is a matter of avoiding actual pain and misery, and hence, unavoidable. That was my statement.
RICHARD: Let me see if I understand what you are wanting to communicate: I was asked whether I suggested otherwise to it being sensible not to be wasteful and, because I decline to be sucked into participating in the corruption of a remarkably simple and effective moment-to moment way of appraising the vagaries of life, you state that people whose comfort is endangered by the wasteful ways of the rich and powerful have no choice about [quote] ‘the debate’ [endquote] whether being wasteful is sensible or not as it is unavoidable (due to it being a matter of avoiding actual pain and misery). Whilst I appreciate you informing me of this I must ask what it has to do with me as I am not, repeat not, having a debate about whether being wasteful is sensible or not ... it is a matter of verifiable fact that I suggested such a topic might be better addressed to a moralist, an ethicist, or a principlist.
RESPONDENT: If you see a debate about wastefulness and frugality to be a corruption of your happy state, then your happy state is quite fragile.
RICHARD: I have used the word ‘corruption’ seven times in the three e-mails preceding this one – all in the same or similar sentence – and here is an example (from one of the two instances further above):
How you can even consider for one moment that the corruption of [quote] ‘a way of appraising the vagaries of life’ [endquote] could possibly mean ‘a corruption of your happy state’ has got me beat ... especially as the ‘in other words’ refers that sentence back to my immediately preceding explanation that if (note ‘if’) I were to be drawn into turning the silly/sensible appraisal, of each and every situation or circumstance, each and every moment again, into an all-inclusive/across-the-board value-laden approach to life – as a matter of principle (or an ethic/a moral) to live life by – I would be doing my fellow human being no favour.
Incidentally, the happiness and harmlessness – a freedom from malice and sorrow and, thus, their antidotal pacifiers love and compassion – which ensues upon an actual freedom from the human condition is not a ‘state’ as there are no states here in this actual world ... the (affective) ‘being’ who has/is such states is extinct.
RESPONDENT: Why can’t one talk about some issues that humanity is facing without being so threatened that this might corrupt one’s happiness?
RICHARD: As your premise is invalid then your conclusion – albeit in the form of a question – has no substance ... apart from which that threat/threatened theme of yours has already reached its use-by date. Vis.:
RESPONDENT: You don’t have to take a stand about frugality ...
RICHARD: It is not a case of either not having to, or having to, ‘take a stand’ about frugality (vis-a-vis wastefulness) ... I am clearly and unambiguously declining to be sucked into participating in the corruption of a remarkably simple and effective moment-to moment way of appraising the vagaries of life.
RESPONDENT: ... [You don’t have to take a stand about frugality], but as part of a fellowship, your comments were invited in a rather forthright way.
RICHARD: I was given a blanket statement/assertion and invited to either agree or disagree ... and, as I am not a moralist, an ethicist, or a principlist, I suggested that the query might be better addressed to such a person.
RESPONDENT: Your refusal to take a static stand based on some belief/conditioning is appreciable ...
RICHARD: I have made no refusal to take a stand – be it static or otherwise – based on some belief/conditioning ... I have made it abundantly clear, with detailed explanations as to why, that I will not be a party to turning the silly/sensible appraisal, of each and every situation or circumstance, each and every moment again, into a principled approach to life.
RESPONDENT: ... [Your refusal to take a static stand based on some belief/conditioning is appreciable] but it does zilch to throw some light on the matter at hand.
RICHARD: This is the matter to hand:
This is a mailing list set up to discuss an actual and virtual freedom from the human condition and freeing oneself of the social identity prior to delving deep into the stygian depths of the human psyche is paramount to success: if my response (plus all these detailed explanations) has thrown zilch light, for you, upon the subject then I doubt that anything I say now is going to make much difference ... but I will give it a go, anyway.
Do you understand the difference between a principled approach to life and a pragmatic approach?
RESPONDENT: If anybody asks me what I think of something, I might say I refuse to participate in the discussion because I won’t take a stand based on my conditioning. But isn’t it up to me whether or not I take a stand based on my conditioning or whether I talk about the matter objectively without a pre-judice.
RICHARD: How you conduct your interactions with others is, of course, your business ... my business is to provide a report/description/explanation of what life is like in this actual world (after all that is what I came onto the internet for).
RESPONDENT: One might be harmful as in one’s attitude to others ...
RICHARD: If one is nursing malice (and sorrow) to one’s bosom then ... yes; where there is no malice (and sorrow) then ... no.
RESPONDENT: ... [One might be harmful as in one’s attitude to others], or harmful due to the unintentional or uninformed consequences of one’s actions. If one is informed that some of the things one does, or the wasteful way in one lives, has a verifiable and objectively perceptible detrimental effect on the quality of life of some people, shouldn’t a ‘sensible’ man try to find alternatives?
RICHARD: Perhaps if I were to put it this way? Virtually anything other than going naked in the forest, without so much as a box of matches, a knife, or a packet of salt, and staying alive by gathering berries/fruit by hand and digging for roots/yams with a stick, can be construed as being wasteful of natural resources (even eating meat is considered by most, if not all, vegans/vegetarians to be wasteful of resources as it takes about 10 kilos of vegetation to produce 1 kilo or so of animal protein) ... and if one were to develop appendicitis (for just one instance) one would just have to die of it as modern medical procedures are quite wasteful of natural resources.
I could go on – I have not only lived the counter-culture/ back-to-nature/ alternate lifestyle, in my mid-twenties to early thirties, but have had, as a matter of course, wide-ranging discussions with all manner of people over many years on this very topic – but maybe that brief exposé will do for now?
RESPONDENT: Altruism might be more than being harmless ...
RICHARD: If I may interject? There is no altruism here in this actual world. Vis.:
To explain: the word altruism can be used in two distinctly different ways – in a virtuous sense (as in being an unselfish/selfless self) or in a zoological/biological sense (as in being diametrically opposite to selfism) – and it is the latter which is of particular interest to a person wanting to enable the already always existing peace-on-earth, in this lifetime as this flesh and blood body, into being apparent as it takes a powerful instinctive impulse (altruism) to overcome a powerful instinctive impulse (selfism) ... blind nature endows each and every human being with the selfish instinct for individual survival and the clannish instinct for group survival (be it the familial group, the tribal group, or the national group).
By and large the instinct for survival of the group is the more powerful – as is epitomised in the honey-bee (when it stings to protect/defend the hive it dies) – and it is the utilisation of this once-in-a-lifetime gregarian action which is referred to in my oft-repeated ‘an altruistic ‘self’-sacrifice/‘self’-immolation, in toto, for the benefit of this body and that body and every body’.
RESPONDENT: ... [Altruism might be more than being harmless], it might be actively seeking a way to minimise the misery one inflicts on others by way of being part of a consumerist society, for example.
RICHARD: As this is a mailing list set up to discuss the elimination of misery (and mayhem) – not just the (theoretical) minimisation of it through becoming an advocate of frugality in a knee-jerk reaction to the religio-political ideologies/ religio-philosophical ideals of the latter-day luddites who have re-invented themselves in the form of environmentalists/ conservationists/ preservationists – your popularist concerns might very well be better attended to on an eco-activist forum.
RICHARD: Four times you persisted and four times you gained acknowledgement of fact over ideals ... any particular reason for not persisting a fifth time?
RESPONDENT: Good to hear from you Richard. Yes, I did not persist because it seemed evident that he would not see the point I was trying to make. Is that what you are asking? I am a little confused by your statement ‘four times you gained acknowledgement of fact over ideals’. Wouldn’t that be: four times he acknowledged ideals over facts? The point I was trying to make is that Indians are rotten to the core just like all other humans as history shows.
Would you agree with that? How do you see it?
RICHARD: I have been on this planet long enough to have been around when the environmental movement started to gain increasing popularity ... which movement eventually went on to become, arguably, the dominant western philosophy of the late twentieth century.
An aspect of the environmental movement was an environmental idealism that equated ‘going back to nature’ with salubrious and irreprehensible living and which, at least in part if not in the main, took its inspiration from various indigenous peoples’ lifestyle practices, religio/spiritual beliefs, and tribal philosophy ... indeed I was an active participant myself for a number of years, in my mid-twenties/early thirties, when I established what is called ‘an alternative lifestyle’ for myself and my then family on a fertile property in a rural area to the south of this country.
Thus I recognise such idealism when I see it in action.
These days of course I am no longer a latter-day luddite and – although my former colleagues may think that Richard has sold his soul to their devil – I am finally able to appreciate all the advances which rational and sensible thought has brought about in the last few hundred years. And, as it was paying attention to facts which eventually broke the stranglehold that the ‘alternative living’ lifestyle/beliefs/philosophy had on me, I was following your discussion with interest ... and I saw that through persistence you gained the following acknowledgements of fact over ideals:
In regards to your ‘rotten to the core’ observation: it is the identity (‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul) residing parasitically in all human beings who is rotten to the core ... and it is this entity who stuffs up any lifestyle practice and/or political system – be it hunter-gather, agrarian, industrial or socialist, communist, capitalist and so on – no matter what ideals are propagated.
RICHARD: ... it is the identity (‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul) residing parasitically in all human beings who is rotten to the core ... and it is this entity who stuffs up any lifestyle practice and/or political system – be it hunter-gather, agrarian, industrial or socialist, communist, capitalist and so on – no matter what ideals are propagated. Arguing one culture’s ideals over another culture’s ideals is a distraction away from the real culprit.
RESPONDENT: Yes, I agree. The real culprit is the ‘I’ and the ‘me’ and not the culture or lifestyle.
RICHARD: Undaunted by the fact that indigenous peoples had amply demonstrated that cultural/lifestyle change would not rid human beings of the ‘I’/‘me’ a school of psychology/philosophy arose last century, in the period between the two world wars, which proposed changing the culture/lifestyle so as to bring about a new human being – one of the leading proponents was Mr. B. F. Skinner with his planned utopian society – and the genesis of such an attempt at social engineering could be seen in the then USSR where personal ownership of land had been abolished in favour of communal ownership (collectivisation versus privatisation) and control of the means of production had been transferred from the individual to the community.
Undaunted by the fact that the soviet experiment had failed to bring about a new human being Mr. Saloth Sar went much further and launched a massive cultural/lifestyle change in Cambodia in late 1975 ... not only was private property abolished but money was eradicated as well and the cities were emptied. Furthermore the borders were closed; the media was closed; the schools were closed; the hospitals were closed; the offices were closed; the shops were closed; the markets were closed; the monasteries were closed and everyone wore the same simple clothing and everyone lived directly off the land ... ‘going back to nature’ was the order of the day. However a neighbouring country invaded four years later and not only brought this example of the failure of social engineering to an end but demonstrated that an effective territorial defence is a necessity as well.
All such attempts at cultural/lifestyle change – sometimes known as behaviourism – are based upon the premise that it is the social environment (aka conditioning) which is at fault and not the inherent nature (aka biology) of all human beings ... echoes of which persist today in the nature versus nurture debate (how one is at birth versus how one is conditioned after birth). The premise that conditioning is the root cause of all the ills of humankind has the added attraction that all manner of things can ostensibly be done about it (leading to multitudinous psychological gymnastics and/or philosophical acrobatics) whereas, apart from fanciful notions about genetic engineering, it is generally held that as human nature (biology) cannot be changed therefore biology cannot be the root cause of all the ills of humankind ... or so the rationale goes.
RICHARD: A mature-age woman, who is famous throughout the district for her passionate championing of causes, has come to visit me again. She has talked with me before and is puzzled about what she perceives to be my ambiguous attitude towards life. She is a veritable fire-brand when it comes to opposing anyone who despoils Nature – she makes no secret of her dislike of developers – and is vitriolic about the apathy of the average taxpayer where it concerns the saving of the environment. She starts off by asking me what I think about pollution and – upon hearing my answer – is perplexed as to why I am not going to do anything about it. Don’t I care? This latter question is a fairly common accusation these days, as my position in relation to taking part in public protests – street marches, sit-ins and so on – is well known and attracts some acerbic comments from time to time. I have more than once incurred the indignation of concerned activists, who are often at the forefront of the latest calamity they consider to be a threat to the communal well-being. I have occasionally been subject to that hoary adage: ‘If you’re not part of The Solution, then you’re part of The Problem’ ... which most accurately translates into: ‘If you’re not part of my solution, then you’re part of my problem’. As this is a crafty variation upon a scriptural admonition: ‘If you’re not with Me, you’re against Me’ ... then their allegation seems to carry some sort of semi-divine Authority ... to an undiscriminating mind. With this background awareness as to where the person is coming from, when they ask a leading question, I am more than ready to thoroughly discuss the implications of any issue that has caught the attention of the troubled citizen. On other occasions I have come to appreciate this woman’s willingness to open her mind to an alternate view and so I welcome being able to participate in clarifying the misgivings she has about me that cause her disquiet. The subjects that I speak of are not matters that can be readily grasped and made actual overnight.
The bottom line of any social problem is the Human Condition itself. The particular pollution being referred to is of a local river – the issue being the subject of a recent media beat-up with the usual allegations and counter-allegations. The actual facts are difficult to ascertain – as is generally the case – as the opposing parties both interpret and exaggerate the statistics to score points and gain publicity for their position. Of course the river contains contaminants – the population has grown to such an extent that it would be impossible for it to be otherwise – but as to whether it is polluted to the magnitude that some would have the public believe it to be, remains contentious. Without access to the actual facts of the situation, I am loathe to debate a dubious topic on this lovely sunny morning. What I am happy to consider is the root cause to all the ills that assail humankind; using the river issue as a point of reference I can talk about avarice, cupidity, duplicity, corruption and so on. I see that each human being is doing whatever they are capable of to seek a better life ... and for some this means being involved in disputations on the ground ... it is what they are good at. I consider that there are enough people already doing this and my absence from a protest will not be detrimental to their cause. As for my involvement in social issues: my expertise lies in speaking of the underlying motivations that precipitate the problems in the first place. If one can completely eradicate avarice, cupidity, duplicity, corruption and so on from within oneself and then facilitate the self-same removal in others, then none of these problems would arise in the first place. Not only would there be no further pollution ... there would be peace-on-earth.
Yet, whilst my immediate aim in discussing these matters with her is peace-on-earth, my ultimate aim is for something far more grand. Peace-on-earth, although eminently desirable and highly over-due, is not the summum bonum of human existence. There exists another world to the ‘real world’ that peoples currently inhabit. I call it the actual world. The actual world antedates the reality that humankind lives in and is characterised by perfection and purity. When this moment lives one – instead of ‘me’, as an identity and self, living in the present – only the actual world exists. The ‘real world’ has no substance; it exists only in ‘my’ imagination. ‘I’ am a psychological interloper, and ‘I’ am the sole cause of all the ills of humankind. Without ‘me’ – and billions of other ‘me’s – war would take place no more. Avarice, cupidity, duplicity, corruption and so on would have no place whatsoever. Nothing would be deliberately polluted for gain any more and in the event of an accidental contamination, no bitter acrimony about it would arise, as people would willingly co-operate to clean up the mishap. This is the inevitable outcome of peace-on-earth and is highly desirable. Nevertheless, there is much more to being alive. Peace-on-earth is not the be all and end all of life.
So I am sitting here, bathing in the perfection of this purity, knowing by direct experience this stillness that is precious ... and a fellow human being is asking me about the disputed pollution of a local river. What am I to answer? Am I to acquiesce to what she desires – which is to carry a placard at the river-mouth rally next Saturday morning? For if I were to do so, I would be pandering to her resentment and rage, rewarding her for holding such animosity against her contemporaries. If I counsel against such a performance, I stand accused of ‘not caring for the environment’ ... and of course I do care. But for me to attend any rage-driven rally is to kow-tow to the mob anger which perpetuates savagery. Peace on earth is the furthermost thing from their minds at those moments; the confrontation is the highlight of their day. Although demonstrations can get things changed, the cost in terms of the loss of human togetherness is high. The so-called ‘peaceful rallies’ are not an exception; the participants are fuming with frustration and self-righteous indignation, against all who oppose. There must be a better way to get things changed.
There is a better way. It may not be so physically appealing as the apparent ‘cure’ of a protest, but it has the immense benefit of being permanent. Protest demonstrations are never ending – there is always another cause lurking just around the corner. Some people have become professional protesters; it is their life’s work, their raison d’être. Strangely enough, they are often people engaged in the ‘Human Potential Movement’ or the ‘Spiritual Quest’; firm adherents to the concepts of ‘Personal Growth’ and ‘Spiritual Enlightenment’. Such people profess to be peace-loving activists, although their actions more than often belie their words. They are usually simmering with barely suppressed hostility, eagerly awaiting the next cause they can become involved in. Some of them have attached themselves to a self-declared ‘Saviour of Mankind’ that they believe in; a ‘Saviour’ who comes out with their Divine brand of protest against life as-it-is, here on earth as an actuality. Such is not my way of doing things; I am incapable of manifesting the requisite rage. I have achieved my personal peace-on-earth and I am unable to generate ill will any longer.
Of course I could go with her to the protest rally for it is not against any principle that I hold. I readily concede that demonstrations can ‘get things done’. That is not my point ... my point is the unwholesome atmosphere inhering at these rallies that reinforce the identity and self. The insalubrious ambience is always thick with ‘vibes’ that are palpable and factually unpleasant; be they going under the name of hate or love. Apparently she gets a ‘high’ from this, as further discussion with her elucidates the actual reason for her attraction to these events. She admits, rather shame-facedly, that the ‘high’ makes her feel ‘alive’; by which she indicates that her daily life is dull, boring. She finds it thrilling to be at a confrontation; the adrenaline ‘buzz’ of a perceived imminent danger is irresistible to an addict. She does not appreciate the implied suggestion that she might very well be a ‘junkie’ herself, however.
Yet it is not only hate that can induce the body to manufacture a chemical which can create dependence, causing substance abuse. Love can similarly prompt the body to produce an addictive chemical – and habituation to love’s drug is well-known enough to require no further amplification. It is the snake-oil unvaryingly peddled by the Enlightened Ones. Nobody seems to question the validity of allowing feelings – emotions and passions – to be both the arbiter of and the solution to, all of life’s problems. Feelings have created far more problems than they have ever solved, anywhere and at anytime. The question to ask oneself is: why does one require any nervous stimuli at all? Why does one endlessly seek excitement?
I see the first glimmer of understanding break through in her eyes. I have removed her last doubt about me, which was the complacency she perceived me to have, because I do not attend demonstrations. She is seeing for herself this basic fact. If humans are not polluted to start off with, they will never pollute a river – or anything else – and therefore never have to attend any rallies to force a band-aid solution to each and every crisis. There never will be any crises again. The best thing I can personally do to ‘save’ this polluted river is to do what I am doing: facilitate the process whereby a fellow human being can become original. I do not seek to solve the problem – nor do I seek to dissolve the problem. I remove the condition that causes the problem to arise in the first place. This condition is well-known; it is called the ‘Human Condition’. ‘I’ am the Human Condition personified. ‘My’ extirpation is the vital ingredient that will ensure the extinction of the Human Condition in other human beings. However, one does not psychologically self-immolate just to ‘save the planet’. Peace-on-earth is a blessed by-product of actual freedom. One does it because one is a fellow human being.
There is no need for any other reason to do what I do when I discuss these matters. I am living in actual freedom – it is the human birthright and destiny – and I know that it is possible for any other person to live in freedom, also. To facilitate another person’s achievement of their destiny is my primary reason for talking about my life and the discoveries I have made ... all other reasons are secondary and a bonus. Nevertheless, the dividends for achieving one’s ultimate goal are many and numerous. One of these returns is the end of pollution. One can not achieve peace by war; the best one can hope for is a truce. The same logic applies to the cleaning up of the river. Eternal vigilance is required to prevent the re-pollution of it after it has been decontaminated as a result of a successful rally. My way of ‘getting things done’ is enduring. No further vigilance is required when humankind is free. It may take some time, but it is well worthwhile.
Becoming free is the most worthy enterprise one can undertake. Richard’s Journal 1997, Article Twenty-Five
RICHARD: Most people are not genuinely concerned with the turmoil and the muddle that the human world is in at the moment. They are busying themself with overt things like pollution, conservation, degradation of the environment and so on ... which begs the question: What is everyone doing? Fiddling with the superficial levers and controls while a wild-fire is raging unchecked? The real pollution lies nestled within one’s bosom. Peoples everywhere are not at all deeply concerned with examining the human heart – instead it is venerated and revered as being the source of all ‘right action’. ‘I’ – the psychological entity within – am located in the heart; it is both ‘my’ birth-place and ‘my’ temporary residence. ‘I’ believe that ‘I’ am going to a better place than this after the body dies, so ‘I’ am none at all concerned about what actual degradation to humanity ‘my’ very presence causes. It requires a willing naiveté to set about undoing oneself in such a way that ‘my’ extirpation is a assured event. With a cheerful application and a blithe diligence, one can proceed merrily upon one’s way to purity and perfection – provided one is actually impressed with the need for action. Richard’s Journal, 1997, Article Thirty-Five
RESPONDENT: That which is alive can hardly breath without bringing harm or destruction to some aspect of the environment, yes? The whole exercise of personal existence must be a heavy measure on the side of silliness when a larger view is taken toward its effect. Does it not seem silly that this body should eat while another starves?
RICHARD: The very fact that one is alive means consuming nutrients ... and staying alive means that something, somewhere, must die in order to supply these nutrients. This is a fact of life ... and the marvellous thing about a fact is that one can not argue with it. One can argue about a belief, an opinion, a theory, an ideal and so on ... but a fact: never. One can deny a fact – pretend that it is not there – but once seen, a fact brings freedom from choice and decision. Most people think and feel that choice implies freedom – having the freedom to choose – but this is not the case. Freedom lies in seeing the obvious, and in seeing the obvious there is no choice, no deliberation, no agonising over the ‘Right’ and ‘Wrong’ judgement. In the freedom of seeing the fact there is only action.
When it comes to the consumption of nutrients there are many and various beliefs one can hold dearly to. There are people who will not eat red meat at all ... only white meat and fish. Then there are people who will not eat any flesh of warm-blooded animals at all ... only fish and reptiles. Then there are people (vegetarians) who will not eat any meat at all, but will consume eggs and dairy products. Then there are people (vegans) who will eat only vegetables, grain and seed. Then there are people (fruitarians) who will only eat fruit. Then – as we go into myth and fantasy – there are those who live on water and air ... and finally those who live on air only.
Some vegetarians maintain that as a carrot (for example) does not scream audibly when it is pulled from the ground there is no distress caused by the consumption of vegetables. Yet the carrot indubitably dies slowly by being extracted from its life-support system – the ground is its home – and is this not distressing on some level of a living, growing organism? It all depends upon the level, or degree, of ‘aliveness’ that one ascribes to things. Vegans, for instance, will not consume eggs as this prevents an incipient life from being born. Fruitarians go one step further and say that, as the consumption of carrots prevents them from going to seed and sprouting new life, vegetables are to be eschewed entirely. Then, as the eating of grain and seeds also prevent potential life-forms from growing, they will eat only the flesh of the fruit that surrounds the kernel and plant out the embryo plant-form. (I have been a fruitarian so I know full well what I am speaking of.)
The obvious fact is clearly demonstrated by taking all this to its ultimate consideration. What will one do – as a fruitarian causing no pain or the taking of life of anyone or anything – about those pesky things like mosquitoes, sand-flies, cockroaches, rats, mice and other ‘vermin’ that invade my house? Put up screens? What about outside? Will I slap them dead ... or just shoo them away? What will one do if attacked by a snake, a crocodile, a shark, a lion and so on? Do as the Revered Scriptures say and turn the other cheek? Will I humbly submit to my fate and be mauled severely myself – or even killed – simply because of a religious injunction, a moral scruple, a noble ideal, a virtuous belief, a passionate opinion, a deeply held ethical theory? In other words, have animals and insects been given the right, by some inscrutable god, to do with me whatsoever they wish? Is my survival dependent upon the non-existent benevolence of all those sentient beings that I am not going to cause distress to?
What then about germs, bacteria, bacillus, microbes, pathogens, phages, viruses and so on? Are they not entitled to remain alive and pain free? If one takes medication for disease, one is – possibly painfully – killing off the microscopic creatures that one’s body is the host too. Some religions – the Jain religion in India, for example – has its devout members wearing gauze over their nose and mouths to prevent insects from flying in and they even carry small brooms to sweep the path as they walk so that they will not accidentally step on some creature. It can really get out of hand. For instance, small-pox has been eradicated from the world by scientists as a means of saving countless human lives ... is this somehow ‘Wrong’? What is ‘Right’ in regards to what I do in order to stay alive? If I do none of these things then I will be causing pain and suffering to myself – and I am a sentient being too. It is an impossible scenario, when pursued to its ultimate conclusion.
And then there is the matter of one’s fellow human beings. Some of them – in fact at times a lot of them – are desirous of invading the country that one is living peacefully in, with the avowed intent of killing, torturing, raping, pillaging and subjugating oneself and one’s fellow citizens. If one holds a strong and passionate belief in not causing any pain and suffering to other sentient beings then one must be more than a fruitarian ... one must be a pacifist as well. This amounts to hanging out a sign – if everybody else in the country one lives in adopts this specific belief – which says, in effect: ‘Please feel free to invade us, we will not fight back, for we hold firmly to the principle of not causing pain and suffering to any sentient being whatsoever’ (the Tibetan situation is a particular case in point.) Thus anarchy would rule the world – all because of a belief system handed down by the Saints and the Sages, the Messiahs and the Avatars, the Redeemers and the Saviours, the Prophets and the Priests, century after century.
All this is predicated upon there being an enduring ‘I’ that is going to survive the death of the body and go on into the paradisiacal After-Life that is ‘my’ post-mortem reward for being a ‘good’ person during ‘my’ sojourn on this planet earth. It is ‘I’ who is the ‘believer’, it is ‘I’ who will cause this flesh-and-blood body to go into all manner of contorted and convoluted emotion-backed thoughts as to what is ‘Right’ and what is ‘Wrong’, what is ‘Good’ and what is ‘Bad’. If it were not for the serious consequences of all this passionate dreaming it would be immensely humorous, for ‘I’ am not actual ... ‘I’ am an illusion. And any grand ‘I’ that supposedly survives death by being ‘Timeless and Spaceless’, ‘Unborn and Undying’, ‘Immortal and Eternal’ am but a delusion born out of that illusion. Thus any After-Life is a fantasy spun out of a delusion born out of an illusion ... as I am so fond of saying.
When ‘I’ am no longer extant there is no ‘believer’ inside the mind and heart to have any beliefs or disbeliefs. As there is no ‘believer’, there is no ‘I’ to be harmful ... and one is harmless only when one has eliminated malice – what is commonly called evil – from oneself in its entirety. That is, the ‘dark side’ of human nature which requires the maintenance of a ‘good side’ to eternally combat it. By doing the ‘impossible’ – everybody tells me that you can’t change human nature – then one is automatically harmless ... which does not mean abstaining from killing. It means that no act is malicious, spiteful, hateful, revengeful and so on. It is a most estimable condition to be in. One is then free to kill or not kill something or someone, as the circumstances require. Eating meat, for example, is an act of freedom, based upon purely practical considerations such as the taste bud’s predilection, or the body’s ability to digest the food eaten, or meeting the standards of hygiene necessary for the preservation of decaying flesh, or the availability of sufficient resources on this planet to provide the acreage necessary to support the conversion of vegetation into animal protein. It has nothing whatsoever with sparing sentient beings any distress.
Thus ‘Right and Wrong’ is nothing but a socially-conditioned affective and cognitive conscience instilled by well-meaning adults through reward and punishment (love and hate) in a fatally-flawed attempt to control the wayward self that all sentient beings are born with. The feeling of ‘Right and Wrong’ is born out of holding on to a belief system that is impossible to live ... as all belief systems are. I am not trying to persuade anyone to eat meat or not eat meat ... I leave it entirely up to the individual as to what they do regarding what they eat. It is the belief about being ‘Right or Wrong’ that is insidious, for this is how you are manipulated by those who seek to control you ... they are effectively beating you with a psychological stick. And the particularly crafty way they go about it is that they get you to do the beating to yourself. Such self-abasement is the hall-mark of any religious humility ... a brow-beaten soul earns its way into some god’s good graces by self-castigating acts of redemption. Holding fervently to any belief is a sure sign that there is a wayward ‘I’ that needs to be controlled.
RICHARD: There is more to life than fantasising about being a butterfly.
RESPONDENT: Thank you for mentioning butterflies.
RICHARD: You are very welcome ... except that what I mentioned was fantasising about being a butterfly (or anything else for that matter) and not butterflies per se ... but you do seem to have missed that point.
RESPONDENT: They are a perfect indication that intelligence abounds.
RICHARD: In the ‘metamorphosis’ theory (based upon the caterpillar chrysalis turning into mush and emerging as a butterfly) the alchemical fantasy is that the gross (the caterpillar or the base metal) can transform, transmute or transmogrify into the refined (the butterfly or gold) and become thus pure (like the lotus growing out of the mud).
Whereas ‘I’ cannot ever perfect ‘myself’ because ‘I’ cannot ever be perfection ... I can only die (psychologically and psychically self-immolate). Indeed, that is all ‘I’ need to do so that the already always existing perfection can become apparent ... as evidenced in a PCE. Fantasising about refining the base is to but procrastinate and perpetuate all the wars and murders and rapes and tortures and domestic violence and child abuse and sadness and loneliness and grief and depression and suicides for ever and a day.
RESPONDENT: Funny of ‘blind’ Nature to have ‘put’ such a fragile creature here, no?
RICHARD: Hmm ... ‘blind nature’ does not ‘put’ anything anywhere because ‘blind nature’ is not a ‘being’. The phrase ‘blind nature’ is but a description of a process ... a process of development over time wherein the organism most fitted to the environment survives and passes its genes onto the next generation. Thus, having made a description of a process into an anthropomorphic entity by capitalising it (as in ‘‘blind’ Nature’ above) you impose an egocentric view upon a natural process and read all kinds of fantasies into it ... like it (‘Nature’) being intelligent, and so on.
RESPONDENT: We are a ‘subset’ of Nature – are we not?
RICHARD: The human animal is nature in action ... and nature is nothing more or less than carbon-based life-forms. The process of evolution is such that the species most fitted to their environment prosper and those no longer fitted languish. This process of nature is such that if the human animal does not mutate – which mutation is a process of nature – there is a fair chance that the human species will kill itself off after many more abysmal trials and tribulations.
The future is yours for the choosing.
RESPONDENT: I would not underestimate the intelligence of Nature by imagining ‘it’ in an anthropomorphic sense.
RICHARD: The carbon-based life-form called human beings are the only aspect of nature to so far evolve intelligence ... and if the intelligence thus bestowed is not used appropriately then all the long evolutionary process will have come to naught. Not that this is of any concern to nature ... another carbon-based life-form will eventually evolve intelligence in the fullness of time and maybe that carbon-based life-form will not be so stupefied as the carbon-based life-form as epitomised by yourself. Nature has all the time in the universe to manifest perfection ... and that is infinite time.
Whereas you have perhaps eighty or so years.
Blind nature is only concerned with the survival of the species – and any species will do as far as blind nature is concerned – blind nature does not care two-hoots about you or me or humankind ... but I do. I like people – I am a people myself – and many, many years ago it saddened me to see everybody – without exception – at some time or another quibbling, bickering, quarrelling, arguing and fighting ... and I saw that I was driven to do the same. It sickened me, many, many years ago, to be involved in a war wherein human beings wanted to seriously maim and kill their fellow human being ... and I saw that I was driven to do the same. Thus started my search for freedom from the ‘Human Condition’ ... and my attitude, all those years ago was this: I was only interested in changing myself fundamentally, radically, completely and utterly. I found the third alternative ... but only when ‘I’ ceased to exist in ‘my’ entirety. There was no change or transformation big enough or grandiose enough to cure ‘me’ ... only extirpation – annihilation, expunction, extinction – ensures peace-on-earth.
RESPONDENT No. 18: Too many people and too much greed may cause earth to give one last sigh and rid itself of these nobodies. Peace.
RESPONDENT: All nature has to do is give one good ‘burp’ and we could all disappear. My dad used to say, ‘no telling how many times we’ve come this far before and wiped ourselves out’. I remember Carl Sagan’s ‘time line’ in which his graph showed man’s numbers from his appearance on Earth to the late 19th century as almost a flat line, and then we had a population explosion that caused the line to go straight up. War was given as one of the most common devices of population control of ancient. So if we do not thin ourselves out, Mother Nature may have to do it for us.
RICHARD: Whilst not wishing to be overly optimistic, I find that peoples around the world are beginning to wake up to this recent exponential population growth and are gradually putting practices into place to slow the rise until it reaches some kind of equilibrium. I freely acknowledge that this is being done mostly out of desperation – as in China and increasingly in India – but it is happening anyway, for whatever reason. A glimmer of light is that a few Western countries are even dipping below Z. P. G. already.
War was but one of many factors controlling the population growth of old. One could add rampant disease, poor hygiene, insoluble famine, childbirth mortality ... not to mention infanticide, patricide, fratricide and cannibalism. I consider that the human race has come a long way with improving on blind nature in the area of technology, animal husbandry and plant cultivation. I have the utmost confidence that the human race will solve this problem too.
But because of the momentum of generational growth, global Z. P. G. may not be reached in my lifetime.
RESPONDENT: Nevertheless, Mother Nature has been around too long to let a few billion ‘mealy mouth’ human beings come along and destroy her. The Earth has become nothing but a garbage dump anyway, and a good house cleaning is in order. So for those who have no plans to leave on a space ship, it might be wise to work harder at uncovering the root of all problems – the self.
RICHARD: The earth has not ‘become’ a garbage dump, as you so quaintly put it; it always has been so. Every human that has ever lived has discarded their refuse onto the earth – there just were not so many people back then to have enough waste material accumulate to call it pollution. Pollution has everything to do with massive population ... and a good start has already been made on becoming aware of the issue. It only was talked about in the fifties – now something is being done ... a good start has been made.
‘Mother Nature’ is a concept that has no bearing on facts and actuality. Nature is not caring or nurturing – which is what the concept so fondly conveys – it has not the slightest consideration for you or me or any other individual. Blind nature is only intent on the survival of the most fitted to survive ... and as the human being has a thinking, reflective brain, we will improve on nature even more than we have already done ... and are doing. And we do this because we humans alone care about ourselves.
And yes, by all means let us uncover the self ... so as to put an end to the wars, the murders, the tortures, the rapes, the domestic violence, the corruptions, the sadness, the loneliness, the sorrows, the depressions and the suicides. Then we can truly work together to turn this earth into a paradise garden. Yet there is a lot we have done, are doing and will do, whilst we are busy doing the uncovering.
The Third Alternative
(Peace On Earth In This Life Time As This Flesh And Blood Body)
Here is an actual freedom from the Human Condition, surpassing Spiritual Enlightenment and any other Altered State Of Consciousness, and challenging all philosophy, psychiatry, metaphysics (including quantum physics with its mystic cosmogony), anthropology, sociology ... and any religion along with its paranormal theology. Discarding all of the beliefs that have held humankind in thralldom for aeons, the way has now been discovered that cuts through the ‘Tried and True’ and enables anyone to be, for the first time, a fully free and autonomous individual living in utter peace and tranquillity, beholden to no-one.
Richard’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.