Actual Freedom – Selected Correspondence by Topic

Richard’s Selected Correspondence

On Beliefs and Psittacisms


RICHARD: Please, whatever you do with me, throw faith, belief, trust and hope right out of the window ... along with doubt, disbelief, distrust and despair.

Besides, I am a certified madman!


RESPONDENT: You know there are gullible people, and most certain you don’t want them in your flanks.

RICHARD: The very nature of actualism – that it is actual – ensures that a gullible person will look elsewhere for what they feel they need.


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: I’m only guessing, hopefully God will forgive those of you who not only don’t believe in him, but cannot believe in him.

RICHARD: Why do you hope your god will forgive? When do you anticipate this event will take place? What will happen if your god does not forgive? What will happen if your god does forgive? Why does your god need other human beings to believe in him? Whys does your god get offended – thus necessitating forgiveness – in the first place? What about all the other gods and goddesses (the last time I looked up the subject there were about 1200 of them) do you believe in them as well? If not, what is going to happen to you for not believing in them ... and when? If so, what is going to happen to you for believing in them ... and when?

Has it ever occurred to you that all gods/goddesses were immortal (until their believers died out)?

*

RESPONDENT: (...) I’m only guessing, hopefully God will forgive those of you who not only don’t believe in him, but cannot believe in him.

RICHARD: (...) Has it ever occurred to you that all gods/goddesses were immortal (until their believers died out)?

RESPONDENT: Richard, if a fellow human being threatened to kill you, how would you respond to that?

RICHARD: In accord with the legal laws of the country, of course.

RESPONDENT: If they succeeded, and got away with that would it be justifiable that they receive some kind of penalty for it?

RICHARD: How would such a person have ‘got away with that’ when, in accord with the legal laws of the country, such a threat was duly reported to the police and thus recorded on file for later reference?

RESPONDENT: What if that person was above the law?

RICHARD: Ha ... as your god has no existence in actuality you would be well-advised to not act upon his commands.

*

RICHARD: Why does your god get offended – thus necessitating forgiveness – in the first place?

RESPONDENT: Because God has chosen a path for us and we are to follow it with the guidance he lends us from above.

RICHARD: If you were to re-read my question in the context of your expressed hope you will see that I am asking why your god gets offended when other human beings [quote] ‘not only don’t believe in him, but cannot believe in him’ [endquote] ... if you could address the question as asked it would be most appreciated.

RESPONDENT: We CANNOT go astray.

RICHARD: Ha ... if other human beings really ‘CANNOT’ go astray there is no need for penalty and reward, eh?

RESPONDENT: Under the Universal code of right and wrong, good and bad, there will be penalty and reward for good and bad deeds.

RICHARD: Do you see that you are really saying that other human beings *can* go astray (hence your ineffectual god’s necessity to resort to penalty and reward)?

RESPONDENT: You are nothing but a human being, you have chosen to be something else, and that something is nothing but a flesh and blood body.

RICHARD: I have not ‘chosen to be’ anything ... I am, as I have been all along in actuality, a flesh and blood body only.

RESPONDENT: Therefore you have died and gone lord knows where.

RICHARD: I have not died ... ‘twas the parasitical identity within who altruistically ‘self’-immolated in toto so that, not only the already always existing peace-on-earth could become apparent, but in order for the meaning of life to be evident each moment again as a lived experiencing.

I would suggest reading what is on offer with both eyes open before mounting a critique ... it would save a lot of to-ing and fro-ing of e-mails.

*

RICHARD: What about all the other gods and goddesses (the last time I looked up the subject there were about 1200 of them) do you believe in them as well?

RESPONDENT: Why should I?

RICHARD: Indeed ... yet you arbitrarily choose one god out of 1200 or so gods and goddesses (which may very well be the god of your progenitors) and dismiss the rest as being generational mistakes.

RESPONDENT: Generations are allowed to make mistakes just as you are.

RICHARD: If getting penalised by being [quote] ‘fried’ [endquote] is your definition of being ‘allowed to make mistakes’ (as in not believing in your offendable god) then it is no wonder most of your e-mails do not make any sense.

RESPONDENT: Perhaps they knew that there was a God but they did not know what or how he wanted them to be.

RICHARD: Any time I have looked into what some of those 1200 or so gods and goddesses have purportedly had to reveal it was made quite clear what they wanted their believers to know and be.

It does pay to research your subject before making such surmises.

RESPONDENT: Perhaps there came a point on earth where God saw fit for us to be guided and to really know about him.

RICHARD: There came a ‘point on earth’ where a refurbished god (rooted in the Sumerian-Babylonian-Israelite lineage) emerged in the human psyche as being the only god to be worshipped because of a supposed blood-sacrifice to end all blood-sacrifices ... how that ghoulish fantasy is supposed to make that god supplant all the other 1199 or so gods and goddesses is the stuff of nightmares and had nowt to do with everyday life.

RESPONDENT: How can you explain my psychic friend?

RICHARD: As I do not know your psychic friend I unable to explain her/him for you.

*

RICHARD: [What about all the other gods and goddesses (the last time I looked up the subject there were about 1200 of them) do you believe in them as well?] If not, what is going to happen to you for not believing in them ... and when?

RESPONDENT: Those other gods have nothing to do with God.

RICHARD: Presuming that your response signifies nothing is going to happen to you, for not believing in all the other gods and goddesses, then you might just begin to comprehend why I do not believe in your god as well ... the main difference between you and me in this matter is that, whilst you are atheistic about 1199 or so gods and goddesses, I am atheistic about all 1200 or so of them.

*

RICHARD: Has it ever occurred to you that all gods/goddesses were immortal (until their believers died out)?

RESPONDENT: Why should it?

RICHARD: I did not say it ‘should’ occur to you ... I asked has it ever occurred to you (that all gods/goddesses were immortal until their believers died out).

Has it?

RESPONDENT: Has it ever occurred to you that I exist before you started believing in me?

RICHARD: As I do not believe in you your query is baseless.


RESPONDENT: What do you call the psychological principle that causes us to just stop believing in our beliefs, morals, values, & principles?

RICHARD: Quite possibly it could fit into the category known as ‘the will to freedom’ ... but by and large psychology/psychiatry aims at producing what is often called ‘a well-adjusted ego’ wherein the conflicting demands of self and society are balanced.

Incidentally, one cannot safely ‘stop believing in our beliefs, morals, values, & principles’ without coincidentally being happy and harmless as social conditioning is inculcated from a very early age for a very good reason – to control the wayward self born of the instinctual passions – and is more or less successful ... only a small percentage of a population wind up being behind bars.

However, it does not and will not produce peace-on-earth ... at best an uneasy truce.

RESPONDENT: I haven’t identified what makes the investigative process work, yet.

RICHARD: Put briefly: the pure intent to enable peace-on-earth sooner rather than later.

RESPONDENT: My mind is very stubborn.

RICHARD: Good ... stubbornness, when redirected into being a determination to succeed, is essential if one is not to settle for second best.

RESPONDENT: No matter how much logic I use, it still hangs on.

RICHARD: The most effective way to investigate 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 schemes and dreams and mores which constitute social conditioning is the hands-on moment-to-moment approach – the on-the-job real-time experiencing where all the real-life people, things and events are currently occurring in a real-world context – rather than armchair philosophising.

If one asks oneself, each moment again, how one is experiencing this moment of being alive (which is the only moment one is ever alive) all will be revealed in due course, in the bright light of awareness, as one goes about one’s normal life. Moreover, all the instinctive drives, urges, impulses, compulsions, demands, pressures, cravings, yearnings, longings – all the instinctual passions which necessitate social conditioning in the first place – will be laid bare with the perspicacity born of pure intent and thus open for examination.

The human mind cops a lot of bad press ... but only because its native intelligence is crippled.


RESPONDENT: All I’ve even seen in Richards writings is ...... an absolute belief that there is no such happening as God or other dimension besides the human body which he is.

RICHARD: May I demonstrate something basic about egocentric interaction masquerading as mutual understanding and reciprocal communication? Vis.:

Version 1:

• [Person No. 1]: ‘I believe in Santa Claus and that he lives at the North Pole’.
• [Person No. 2]: ‘There is no such entity as ‘Santa Claus’ outside of passionate imagination let alone a ‘North Pole’ home where such a phantasm lives’.
• [Person No. 1]: ‘All I’ve even seen in Person No. 2’s writings is an absolute belief that there is no such happening as Santa Claus nor that Santa’s home at the North Pole’.

Version 2:

• [Person No. 1]: ‘I believe in Santa Claus and that he lives at the North Pole’.
• [Person No. 2]: ‘There is no such entity as ‘Santa Claus’ outside of passionate imagination let alone a ‘North Pole’ home where such a phantasm lives’.
• [Person No. 1]: ‘All I’ve even seen in Person No. 2’s writings is that he does not believe in such a happening as Santa Claus or that his home at the North Pole’.

It is not possible to proceed very deeply at all in a sensible discussion about human suffering with the person in version No. 1 (which is what this Mailing List is purportedly set up for) ... whereas it is possible with person No. 2 (who understands the basic principles operating in regards belief in the metaphysical and the faith required to maintain trust in that which is not physical) and is prepared to investigate. Many, many years ago, when I was but a tyro, a fledgling beginner in talking with my fellow human beings about being happy and harmless through the elimination of malice and sorrow, I was accosted by a self-professed ‘Born-Again Christian’ in a small town main street:

• [Born-Again Christian]: ‘Jesus Loves you’.
• [Richard]: ‘Thank you, but I do not believe in Mr. Yeshua the Nazarene’.
• [Born-Again Christian]: ‘Do you believe in God, then?’
• [Richard]: ‘No ... I have no beliefs whatsoever’.
• [Born-Again Christian]: ‘So, you believe that God does not exist?’
• [Richard]: ‘Yes, there are no gods or goddesses outside of passionate imagination’ (this is a tyro’s basic error No. 1a; subsection: b.).
• [Born-Again Christian]: ‘Ah hah! So you do have beliefs after all!’
• [Richard]: ‘No, I have no beliefs whatsoever ... there are no gods or goddesses outside of passionate imagination’.
• [Born-Again Christian]: ‘But you just agreed you believe that there are no gods or goddesses outside of passionate imagination’.
• [Richard]: (shocked into silence as the enormity of why mayhem and misery abounds in the religious/spiritual world started to sink home).

I have been talking about these matters for twenty-odd years now, and I have had to hone my skills as a wordsmith so as to pre-empt such sophistry, to such a degree that I am nowadays accused of ... um ... using an Oxford Dictionary for a pillow at night while I sleep, for example (or even that I absorb all the words and meanings which I then altruistically use to razzle-dazzle spiritualists into understanding me).

Golly, someone even said recently, because they think I delight in being the only one of my kind in the world and of all time, that if another person was to understand me then I could no longer be the undisputed ruler and sole owner of all that I know and understand ... or some-such egocentric explanation to a fellow human being expressing an inability to comprehend what I am saying. However, these days I am not at all shocked into silence at the enormity of why mayhem and misery abounds in the religious/spiritual world.

The enormity of why sunk home long ago ... which is why I write as I do.

*

RESPONDENT: Have it your way, Richard. Either way it still boils down to a belief, absolute or not.

RICHARD: I was not endeavouring to have you remove the ‘absolute’ part of the ‘absolute belief’ phrase ... rather I was paving the way to pointing out the distinction between believing and knowing by using the Santa Claus example of an egocentric viewpoint (Version No. 1) blocking a sensible discussion.

Because no mature adult believes that Santa Claus does not exist ... they know such a phantasm does not exist as a fact.

RESPONDENT: As I’ve stated before, you have no proof that your brand of actuality is really all there is to life.

RICHARD: I find variations of this line of debate on the Christian versus Rationalist discussion boards (where the Christians challenge the Rationalists to prove that their god does not exist). It is futile to take up a challenge wherein the challenger first proposes something (such as a god or a goddess or an other dimension) and then says: ‘prove me wrong’.

Needless to say, I do know for myself that there are no gods or goddesses or an after-life outside of passionate imagination.

RESPONDENT: You may be willing to accept your belief of atheism and actuality, but I’m not.

RICHARD: If I may point out? You are doing it again here ... you persist in a turn of phrase (‘your belief’) that leads nowhere fruitful ... unless you find to-ing and fro-ing satisfying enough.

RESPONDENT: I’m the one who truly has no beliefs, for I state that I just don’t know.

RICHARD: This position is called ‘agnostic’ ... given that the definition of the word ‘agnostic’ is that such a person maintains that the subject under discussion can not be known one way or another (‘agnostic’ can also mean ‘undecided’). The people I have met personally, over many years that I have discussed these matters, who embrace this position have invariably been firmly convinced that this course of inaction is the intelligent approach. Mostly they have been academics or mystics ... maybe it is a variation on that hoary adage: ‘he who says he does not know really knows’. I guess it makes them feel intellectually comfortable.

For something like twenty five years I was agnostic and it is an apparently satisfying position to be in ... until one day I realised just what I was doing to myself. I was cleverly shuffling all the ‘hard questions’ under the rug and going around deftly cutting the ‘believers’ down to size (which is all so easy to do). But I had nothing to offer in its place – other than ‘it is unknowable’ – and I puzzled as to why this was so. Finally, I ceased procrastinating and equivocating. I wanted to know. I wanted to find out – for myself – all about life, the universe and what it is to be a human being.

I now know.

RESPONDENT: I do know this flesh and blood body from moment to moment and all the pleasures of thereof. It is indeed spectacular in all that it can sense and enjoy ...

RICHARD: So far so good ... there is a ‘but’ coming, however.

RESPONDENT: ... but that is such just a small part of the infinite.

RICHARD: ... and here you betray your own avowed ‘I just don’t know’ position by implying there is indeed something beyond the physical.

RESPONDENT: You may be willing to accept ‘second best’, but I’m not.

RICHARD: Again you betray your own avowed ‘I just don’t know’ position by categorising the physical as ‘second best’. It is extremely difficult to maintain an ‘I just don’t know’ stance consistently ... you would make yourself look very silly in your own eyes to maintain an ‘I’m the one who truly has no beliefs, for I state that I just don’t know if Santa Claus exists or not’ stance, eh?


RICHARD: The way of becoming actually free is both simple and practical. One starts by dismantling the sense of social identity that has been overlaid, from birth onward, over the innate self until one is virtually free from all the social mores and psittacisms ... those mechanical repetitions of previously received ideas or images, reflecting neither apperception nor autonomous reasoning. One can be virtually free from all the beliefs, ideas, values, theories, truths, customs, traditions, ideals, superstitions ... and all the other schemes and dreams. One can become aware of all the socialisation, of all the conditioning, of all the programming, of all the methods and techniques that were used to produce what one thinks and feels oneself to be ... a wayward social identity careering around in confusion and illusion. A ‘mature adult’ is actually a lost, lonely, frightened and very cunning entity. However, it is never too late to start in on uncovering and discovering what one actually is.


RICHARD: Speaking personally, I cannot believe anything. The ability to believe – believing in itself – has vanished out of me.

RESPONDENT: Does this qualify as a belief?

RICHARD: No, not at all. If one examines that question – if one observes the thought process involved in the examination – one will see the inherent contradiction in asking: ‘does this qualify as a belief?’ For it is being suggested that someone is saying: ‘I believe that I cannot believe’.

I would just ask how someone – anyone – could successfully achieve what amounts to a monumental exercise in futility. Does not the mind boggle when it regards the ramifications of someone being able to do this impossible feat of believing that they do not believe, twenty four hours a day, year after year? Does one stop to consider, before one taps out those six short words and clicks ‘send’, precisely what is entailed in someone – anyone – believing that they do not believe? Does one not ask themselves: ‘Now, why would some unknown person subscribe to a mailing list and say that the ability to believe has vanished?’

I would look at the sentence: ‘The ability to believe – believing in itself – has vanished out of me’. I would ask myself just what this means. I would wonder whether this is possible ... whether this faculty that is common to all humans can indeed vanish. I would look into myself to observe and examine my own believing faculty ... I would watch it in action. I would do this because this person could be saying something that might – just might – break through the stranglehold that the ‘I’ has on me.

For is it not a fact that ‘I’ am nothing but a belief? Do ‘I’ not arise out of the act of believing in itself? The action of believing is to emotionally imagine something to be real that is not actual. When one observes oneself in action, ‘I’ seem to be real – very real at times – but am ‘I’ actual? Am ‘I’ actual, as in tangible, corporeal, material, substantial, palpable? No?

Then does it not behove one to look at the very activity of believing?


RESPONDENT: In our own hope to remove our responsibility for our actions, we are all too eager to accept the pitifully untrue belief system that it was the ‘will’ of Jim Jones, Jesus Christ, Satan, Halley-Bop comet, K, Buddha, that hypnotised the hapless disciples into following.

RICHARD: All belief systems are ‘pitifully untrue’. What belief system can be true – true as in factual – when the very nature of belief is explicated in the very meaning of the word itself: ‘Fervently wish to be true’? One can be as fervent and as fanatical about any half-baked inanity as one can possibly be ... but it does not make it a fact.

As for being ‘hypnotised’ ... some people are so mesmerised by their own effulgence that they turn narcissism into a divine virtue and try to tell me that they are ‘it’. Now, I know that by ‘it’ one means God – by whatever name – so such a person is saying: ‘I am God’. Such delusions of grandeur are known as megalomania. I have noticed, in all your posts to this list, that you are urging us to join you in your delusion and realise that we too are ... ‘it’. In Hinduism this is known as ‘You are That’; in Judaism something similar to this is known as ‘I am That I am’; in Buddhism it is more generalised as ‘You are all Buddhas’; in Christianity, such a delusion is permitted for one person only: ‘I and The Father are One’ ... I guess that you do not hold much truck with Christianity.

There is nothing new in this what you have discovered ... it is more of the ‘Tried and True’ that has endured down through the centuries. As there is still as much suffering now as then, it is obvious that it is the ‘Tried and Failed’. A salubrious approach would be to discard all this twaddle dressed up as sagacity so as to be receptive to something totally different ... something that has never been done before.


RESPONDENT No. 20: Would you say that belief systems are always muddled?

RESPONDENT: This would be rather self-defeating would it not? If all belief systems are muddled, then of course the belief system claiming this would be muddled and therefore of limited value in determining the ‘muddledness’ of every belief system.

RICHARD: This paragraph evinced two replies, viz.:

• [Respondent No. 31]: ‘Good point, No. 14. Even the ‘muddledness’ may be a belief’.
• [Respondent No. 20]: ‘Yes, quite so’.

Are you so sure, No. 31, that this is a ‘good point’? No. 20, is this actually ‘quite so’? No. 14 has been getting away this ploy in many posts ... when pressed to justify his belief about something he counters with the presumption that the other person’s question – be it factual or not – is nothing but their belief. This is so similar to that clever under-graduate sophistry so prevalent in Universities when students start ‘thinking for themselves’ that I am astounded that someone would contemplate using it on this List (where the participants are purportedly conducting an honest and genuine discussion about an investigation into life, the universe and what it is to be a human being living in this world as it is with people as they are). To wit:

• Student No. 1. ‘There is no absolute truth’.
• Student No. 2. ‘But that statement is an absolute truth’.

So, perhaps it is worthwhile pursuing the question: ‘are all belief systems muddled?’ after all. For No. 14’s position vis a vis the Human Condition reminds of a discussion I once had with a man who made a living running one of those New-Age ‘Avatar’ courses for gullible sophisticates whose current belief system is not working for them and are desirous of substituting another which might work better. When I asked him the value of swapping one belief for another – and would people not be better served by seeing through any belief for the delusion that it was and being here in actuality – he replied that everything was a belief. So I pointed out the sun in the sky ... he said he believed it was there. When I indicated a tree ... one could only believe it existed. And when I referred to the grass of the lawn we were standing on he forestalled my further questioning ... all is believed to be existing. When I asked him about himself as a flesh and blood male standing talking with me – as another flesh and blood male – this he also dismissed as ‘I believe I am a man’. When I invited him to drop his trousers and examine some irrefutable evidence of maleness he declined ... the conversation deteriorated somewhat about here. Especially when I managed to stop rolling around on the imputed grass and gathered the strength to ask him to redefine the words ‘Factual’ and ‘Actual’ ... along with ‘Tangible’, ‘Sensible’, ‘Palpable’, ‘Obvious’, Apparent, ‘Manifest’, ‘Unmistakable’, ‘Tactile’, ‘Sensual’, ‘Sensation’ and a few dozen others of a like nature.

Now, No. 14 is a self-confessed solipsist and therefore everything he says about anything at all is intrinsically consistent with whatever there is ... within his ‘I Am It’ philosophy. (Mr. Leo Tolstoy went through a period of solipsism and wrote at length about his experience which I personally found edifying when I experienced a period of extreme subjectivity whilst living in the Himalayas in 1984).Thus, one wonders who it is that he thinks that he writes to on this List ... because the recipients do not actually exist in solipsism. This post you are now reading has no facticity and No. 31 and No. 20 and Richard are nothing but fragments of his imagination ... we have no inherent existence. Therefore, what is he doing by – in effect – talking to himself (and this he is, be there no doubt about that, because he often says that he is ‘glad to be around as you’ )? The faintest of clues may very well be emerging in that he has just recently allowed that schizophrenia is actual ... although ‘possibly not internally consistent’ .

I guess we will never know and I have communicated in the past and whenever the going gets rigorous he answers with either a ‘Be well Richard’ or a ‘I love you dearly Richard’ and packs up his notebooks and goes home. A pity in a way ... maybe he could have helped by explaining away those (shudder) sensate words.

Etymologically, belief means: ‘fervently wish to be true’, and actual means: ‘already occurring; existing as factually true’.


RICHARD: No. 14 and I have communicated in the past and whenever the going gets rigorous he answers with either a ‘Be well Richard’ or a ‘I love you dearly Richard’ and packs up his notebooks and goes home. A pity in a way ... maybe he could have helped by explaining away those (shudder) sensate words. Etymologically, belief means: ‘fervently wish to be true’, and actual means: ‘already occurring; existing as factually true’.

RESPONDENT: So then, believing that this word means this word, which in turn must needs mean some other word is supposed to establish something other than the utter futility of believing that any-thing can be established as fact?

RICHARD: Really ... it is such a waste of time trying this ploy on me again and again.

RESPONDENT: OH! It does seem, Richard, that such an arrangement establishes the actuality of beliefs, in so much that a belief must needs be already occurring in order for this arrangement to be considered factually true.

RICHARD: Not so ... a fact is obvious and stands on its own merit. It does not require any belief to compare it against so as to know it to be a fact. Allow me to demonstrate, using the phrase ‘fervently wish to be true’ as an example:

1. There is an agreement that the word ‘fervent’ indicates the feeling-reality that every human experiences as an passionate-type emotion.
• Now the word ‘chewing-gum’ could as easily be used instead ... provided every single English-speaking person agreed to this usage.

2. Then the word ‘wish’ indicates a feeling-reality that every human experiences as a longing-type emotion.
• Now the word ‘wheelbarrow’ could be used instead ... provided every single English-speaking person agreed to this usage.

3. Then the words ‘to be’ are agreed upon to be connecting words to bring the reader/ listener to the final word ‘true’ ... which indicates the experience that every human has of something already occurring.
• Now the words ‘scotch-mist’ could be used instead ... provided every single English-speaking person agreed to this usage.

Thus words are a convention that all and sundry form an agreement about so as to refer to common human experience. Nowhere in all this does belief have to come into play ... only the honest acknowledgment of the obvious objective verification provided by other flesh and blood people’s actual existence. Plus acknowledging that this physical world is actually here and not the figment of some god’s imagination ... Brahma dreaming worlds and all that Eastern mystical stuff.

But, of course, you have not fallen for that puerile fairy-story now have you?


RESPONDENT: You believe the infinite, eternal universe is your real God.

RICHARD: Even though I state there is no religiosity, spirituality, mysticism or metaphysicality in me whatsoever? Even though I state that I am a thorough-going atheist through and through? Well done, Sherlock.

RESPONDENT: This includes all energy, detectable and as yet undetectable.

RICHARD: Yes ... I call it by its proper name: the physical universe. Why add an unnecessary metaphysical concept to what is actually physical? Self-aggrandisement? Immortality?

Is this not being self-centred?

RESPONDENT: For you there is nothing beyond the 5 senses.

RICHARD: What is actual is all there is ... and, being infinite and eternal, what an all-there-is this universe is!

RESPONDENT: You are trapped in a universe of your own belief.

RICHARD: Since when has seeing the actual – observing the obvious – become a belief? This physical universe exists in its own right and does not require belief from me to bring it into being or sustain its existence. It was here before I was born and will be here after I die. Just how does that constitute it being a product of my – or anyone’s – belief system?

Besides, experiencing infinitude hardly qualifies for entrapment.


RESPONDENT: Hmmm, now there is a belief: Richard = right direction Everyone else = wrong direction.

RICHARD: One way of disposing of a fact that is staring everyone in the face is to deny that it exists (by calling all the misery and mayhem ‘Maya’ or ‘Lela’).

Another way is to dismiss it as being ‘a belief’ ... which is what you have done. Because, as misery and mayhem have at least a 3,000 to 5,000 year recorded history – and as peoples everywhere are relying upon an ‘Ancient Wisdom’ that is 3,000 to 5,000 years old – all it takes is a simple observation to see that everybody is going in the wrong direction. Because, if I am wrong and you are right (right in that everyone is already going in the right direction), how come it has taken 3,000 to 5,000 years ... and peace on earth is nowhere to be found?

May I ask? What do you pin-point as the source of 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? Or is it all ‘Maya’ and/or ‘Lela’ for you, too?

Which god are you?


RICHARD: When I invited him to drop his trousers and examine some irrefutable evidence of maleness he declined ... the conversation deteriorated somewhat about here. Especially when I managed to stop rolling around on the imputed grass and gathered the strength to ask him to redefine the words ‘Factual’ and ‘Actual’ ... along with ‘Tangible’, ‘Sensible’, ‘Palpable’, ‘Obvious’, ‘Apparent’, ‘Manifest’, ‘Unmistakable’, ‘Tactile’, ‘Sensual’, ‘Sensation’ and a few dozen others of a like nature.

RESPONDENT: Yes, the discussion does lead to definitions, and I suggest that you are using ‘belief’ differently. There is a broad sense of belief that covers all attributes of factuality.

RICHARD: Yes ... I had a discussion on this very subject last year with someone who said:

‘Epistemologists sketch out various theoretical frameworks to account for all the various elements that relate to knowledge. Almost every epistemological framework attempts to deal with the nature of belief as it relates to knowledge. A definition of knowledge that has become popular in many circles is that knowledge is justified, true belief. However, ‘belief’, as epistemologists use it, often means something very different from what other people intend by it when they use the term non-technically. That is why I like to distinguish between belief in its narrow epistemological sense – which usually means something like ‘cognitive assent to the truth or falsity of a proposition’ (e.g., based on a judgement of probability) – and belief generally, which can have quite a broad range of meanings, from ‘trust’, to ‘opine’, to ‘hope’, to ‘think’, to ‘be-almost-sure-but-not-quite’.’

To which I responded:

• ‘So under the ‘various theoretical frameworks’ I gather that the word ‘knowledge’ has now come to mean ‘justified, true belief’ . I wonder just what, to these theorists, constitutes an unjustified, false belief. As a belief is not a factual observation in the first place, it must drive them crazy trying to decide which belief is true and which belief is false ... and which one to justify’.

I am glad that I stick to facts and actuality ... it is so much easier.

RESPONDENT: You on the other hand are distinguishing fact and belief.

RICHARD: Yes, indeed I am, for it is high time that someone did. Common usage has blurred the distinction betwixt fact and belief so much so that anyone using sufficient sophistry can get away with anything at all and still be considered wise these days.

*

RICHARD: Etymologically, belief means: ‘fervently wish to be true’, and actual means: ‘already occurring; existing as factually true’.

RESPONDENT: Your definition of belief is too narrow, and therefore there is confusion that arises between the claim that ‘there are no beliefs here’ and ‘that statement is already a belief’.

RICHARD: My definition of belief is not ‘too narrow’ at all ... I merely take the etymological roots of the words from the ‘Oxford Concise Dictionary of English Etymology’ so as to remind people of how words have had their meaning gradually changed over time until they no longer refer to anything definitive at all. Perhaps it is your definition that is too broad?

I suggest this because it was you, when all is said and done, that asked No. 14 if all belief systems were muddled ... were you seeking some clarification as to where reality stops and fantasy begins?

It is a topic well worth pursuing.


RESPONDENT: Although there appears to be many arising forms, feelings, thoughts and sensations, do you believe there is some real thinker or me to experience them?

RICHARD: Speaking personally, I can not believe anything. The ability to believe – believing in itself – has vanished out of me. Which brings this discussion back to the believing activity of thought and feelings. You are asking, in effect: Is there some real ‘me’ to experience? Am ‘I’ real?

When one observes oneself in action, ‘I’ seem to be real – very real at times – but am ‘I’ actual? No? Then why do ‘I’ appear to be real? Is it the activity of believing? The action of believing is to emotionally imagine something to be real that is not actual.

Shall we examine the subject of believing?

*

RESPONDENT: The notion that there is some real ‘I’, or thinker or feeler seems like a belief and if the body/mind is observed carefully cannot be found.

RICHARD: Years ago, as an aid in understanding myself, I would look very carefully at little things I said or wrote – like that ‘slip of the tongue’ phrase – because little things could be very revealing to me of something I was overlooking. What I see above is that where you say ‘[the] thinker or feeler seems like a belief’ , you follow it with ‘body/mind’ and not ‘heart/mind’. If, as you say, the ‘I’ ‘seems like a belief’ to you, then the heart must come into the picture. This is because a belief is an emotion-backed thought. Believing itself – the very action of believing – is passionate imagination.

Maybe – just maybe – if you look into your heart you may find ‘me’ lurking there.


RICHARD: I wish to be personal here, in order to elucidate this extremely pertinent point. Do you ever get sad? Do you ever get lonely? Do you ever get sorrowful? Do you ever get depressed? Do you ever get angry? Do you ever get spiteful? Do you ever get envious? Do you ever get hateful? Do you ever get bored? Do you ever get peeved? Do you ever get irritable? Do you ever get anxious? Do you ever get afraid? Do you ever get guilty? Do you ever get resentful? Do you ever get ashamed? Do you ever get apprehensive? Do you ever get embarrassed? Do you ever get distressed? Do you ever get jealous? Do you ever get self-conscious? Do you ever get fearful? Do you ever get aggressive? Do you ever get ... I could go on and on, but do you get the point?

RESPONDENT: The point seems to be that life is viewed through a belief in a ‘you’ that can get angry etc.

RICHARD: No, the point is not that it ‘seems’ (there is that word again) that life is viewed through a belief ... you are that belief. That belief is you. You are not separate from that belief. To paraphrase or plagiarise: ‘The believer is the believed’ ... that is the problem.

*

RICHARD: Unfortunately it is not such a simple matter as merely exposing and dropping beliefs and misconceptions. I would suggest asking who is doing the exposing and dropping. I would enquire into just who is holding the beliefs and misconceptions concerning an on-going self. ‘I’ cannot drop the belief that ‘I’ exist because ‘I’, the would-be ‘dropper’, am what is to be dropped. Like-wise, ‘I’ the would-be ‘exposer’, am what is to be exposed. Only apperceptive awareness will do the trick.

RESPONDENT: I did not say dropping was the simple matter that you suggest. I did not suggest an ‘I’ that can hold or drop beliefs. Exposing is giving attention to the concepts as they occur. For example we can give attention to the notion of a ‘you’ that can be angry, an ‘I’ that can drop or hold beliefs. Awareness of those concepts as they arise, clarifies their conceptual nature and allows them to drop on their own.

RICHARD: But would you not wish to live a life wherein these concepts never arise? Therefore you never have to go about ‘clarifying their conceptual nature’ all the time? A life where all these things do not have to be constantly observed and clarified? And when they drop, they only drop until next time, anyway. What a laborious task it is to have to be ever-vigilant.

And all this while the perfect purity of being alive at this moment in time and this place in space is just sitting here – right under your nose – freely available for anyone with the gumption to proceed on into their destiny.


RICHARD: The point is not that it ‘seems’ (there is that word again) that life is viewed through a belief ... you are that belief. That belief is you. You are not separate from that belief. To paraphrase or plagiarise: ‘The believer is the believed’ ... that is the problem.

RESPONDENT: A belief is just a belief. A belief doesn’t get angry. Anger arises out of a conflict in beliefs, not ‘you’ that is angry .

RICHARD: Okay, let us say that I will buy the explanation that ‘anger arises out of a conflict in beliefs’ for now. My immediate question is: Who is getting angry?

*

RICHARD: To make it absolutely clear, I will stress just what the point is: that unless all these effects – and many more – have vanished out of your life forever, then knowing that the self is a belief, an assumption, a misconception has done nothing to dislodge this product of belief, assumption and misconception called a self.

RESPONDENT: Again this seems to point to a belief in a ‘you’ to which those are occurring. From the first there is no self to get angry or to have anger vanish. The assumption or misconception is that there is such a one. Until that misconception is observed as it occurs in daily life, not just thought about or described, the appearance of egocentric activities goes on.

RICHARD: No, the point is that do you, No. 22, ever experience any of the above list of feelings, emotions and passions? (And the list is by no means exhaustive). Because if you do not, and you can unequivocally declare that you will never, ever experience them again ... then you are free from the Human Condition. But if you do, and you cannot unequivocally declare that you will never, ever experience them again ... then all your prose is intellectual masturbation.

RESPONDENT: Your belief that there is someone that experiences feelings is a misconception. You have already agreed that such an experiencer is imaginary. The issue is not the scenery, but the context in which it is viewed. If there is a projection of a ‘you’ that is angry as you suggest above, that is a belief in a ‘you’ that can be angry that is being expressed this moment.

RICHARD: Do you ever get angry?

RESPONDENT: Exposing is giving attention to the concepts as they occur. For example we can give attention to the notion of a ‘you’ that can be angry, an ‘I’ that can drop or hold beliefs. Awareness of those concepts as they arise, clarifies their conceptual nature and allows them to drop on their own.

RICHARD: Would you not wish to live a life wherein these concepts never arise? Therefore you never have to go about ‘clarifying their conceptual nature’ all the time? A life where all these things do not have to be constantly observed and clarified? And when they drop, they only drop until next time, anyway. What a laborious task it is to have to be ever-vigilant. And all this while the perfect purity of being alive at this moment in time and this place in space is just sitting here – right under your nose – freely available for anyone with the gumption to proceed on into their destiny.

RESPONDENT: There is no thought of a wish or all the time or next time or laborious task or of a someone that can proceed anywhere. It is just observing what comes up. It is not a goal, path or method. It is just what occurs naturally.

RICHARD: Okay, I give up. It is your life, after all is said and done. May I propose something before I go? It is only a suggestion?

Look up the word ‘alexithymia’.


RESPONDENT: Maybe the non-factually-based conclusion which was arrived at in your example is an example of creating an example to prove one’s bias as well?

RICHARD: I unabashedly acknowledge my bias towards facts and actuality ... I am so hooked on facts and actuality that I can no longer see the truth. Nevertheless, will you demonstrate where the point I am making is a ‘non-factually-based conclusion’? Will you demonstrate where the facts I present are me ‘creating an example’ ?

RESPONDENT: What I am asking (I am not saying it is or is not the case) is whether you might hold the preconception that a connected consciousness paradigm is not worthy of consideration?

RICHARD: I can assure you that I do not hold either ‘the preconception that a connected consciousness paradigm is not worthy of consideration’ nor even the concept that ‘a connected consciousness paradigm is not worthy of consideration’ because I know for a fact that it is not worthy of consideration.

RESPONDENT: Therefore you insist on proof rather than entertain it as a possibility to be looked at.

RICHARD: I do not have to ‘entertain it as a possibility to be looked at’ because I did that very thing for eleven years, night and day, as a lived reality. Thus I know that it is a fallacy and thus I do not require proof that it is a not worthy of consideration. Can I put it this way? Would you ‘entertain it as a possibility to be looked at’ that the facticity of ‘Santa Claus’ or the ‘Tooth Fairy’ or the ‘Easter Bunny’ is worthy of consideration? Because once one ceases believing in and having faith about a fantasy it vanishes forever ... one does not have to endlessly ‘entertain it as a possibility to be looked at’ just so as not to be accused of being ‘closed’ or whatever.

I am asking you for your proof that ‘connected consciousness’ is a fact ... it is you who proposes the facticity of it, not me.


RICHARD: I have repeatedly asked you to illustrate where it is a belief system and you steadfastly decline to answer.

RESPONDENT: What I feel is that you have a belief system sort of based on ego death (enlightenment) and soul death (actualism).

RICHARD: Indeed there is no ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul extant in this flesh and blood body ... but where is the ‘belief system’ that you say is ‘sort of based’ upon this? As ‘belief’ etymologically means ‘fervently wish to be true’, what is it that I write about that is wished to be true – according to you – be it fervently or otherwise?

Are you saying that you know that I wish it to be true that an individual peace-on-earth is already always here now ... even though it is factual?

Are you saying that you know that I wish it to be true that this verdant earth is a paradisaical play-ground when there is no ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul ... even though it is factual?

Are you saying that you know that I wish it to be true that there is no ‘good or ‘evil’ here in this actual world even though it is factual ... and so on and so on?

Therefore, I ask you again: can you illustrate where it is a ‘belief system’ that Richard is propagating?


RESPONDENT: Extinguish the arising mind, but don’t extinguish the shining mind.

RICHARD: Both the ‘arising mind’ and the ‘shining mind’ are not extant ... the free mind is already here.

RESPONDENT: Free mind and shining mind are the same.

RICHARD: Only in your (borrowed) dreams and schemes.

RESPONDENT: It is so and has been found to be so by many others.

RICHARD: May I ask? Have you nothing of substance to contribute to this discussion? For there was an era when someone said ‘it is so that the earth is flat ... and has been found to be so by many others’. Yet when cosmonauts and astronauts took photographs from their orbiting modules !Hey Presto! it had miraculously transformed itself into a globular form. And there was an era when someone said ‘it is so that the sun revolves around the earth ... and has been found to be so by many others’. Yet when the space-craft ‘Voyager’ had its cameras pointed back to planet earth on its long journey out through the solar system !Kazam! the earth had miraculously swapped roles with the sun and was busily orbiting it rather than the reverse. And there was an era when someone said ‘it is so that the moon is a goddess ... and has been found to be so by many others’. Yet when astronauts landed there !Abra-Cad-Abra! it had miraculously transformed itself into a rock.

I am reminded of that scene in Mr Rudyard Kipling’s ‘Jungle Book’ where the assembled monkeys chorus: ‘It is so because we all say that it is so’.

RESPONDENT: It is your claim to a special status that is suspect.

RICHARD: On the contrary ... it is your claim to the efficacy of the ‘Tried and True’ in regards bringing about peace on earth which is suss. All of the Gurus and the God-Men, the Masters and the Messiahs, the Avatars and the Saviours and the Saints and the Sages have convincingly demonstrated, over 3,000 to 5,000 years of recorded history, the abject failure of the capacity of ‘Love and Truth’ to eradicate suffering off the face of the earth.

Why perpetuate the ‘Tried and Failed’ just because many others say it is so despite the evidence to the contrary?


RESPONDENT: You were for 11 years in one enlightened state. For sure then you had eliminated already the ego, the self, but not the me, the soul, as you defining it. Was only the absolute, God, Soul, truth, whatever name. Now 10 years ago you made a shift to AF.

RICHARD: If by ‘you made a shift to AF’ you mean that the identity within – ‘the me, the soul’/‘the absolute, God, Soul, truth, whatever name’ – altruistically ‘self’-immolated for the benefit of this body and that body and every body then you are correct ... though going by what you have to say below it would appear that this is not what you mean.

RESPONDENT: I think the only difference is that you eliminated the me, as being, as soul.

RICHARD: As ‘the me, as being, as soul’ was ‘the absolute, God, Soul, truth, whatever name’ I do look askance at your ‘the only difference is’ phrasing ... it is an enormous difference with far-reaching implications and ramifications.

RESPONDENT: But from the other hand seems to me that now the absolute is the universe.

RICHARD: No, the universe has always been absolute ... what happened was that the identity within, who had arrogated this property for its own devices (narcissistic ‘self’-aggrandisement and a spurious immortality), ceased to exist and that which is actual became apparent.

RESPONDENT: What difference does it make to say God was existing always and created the universe, or if we go one step further and say the universe was existing since ever?

RICHARD: Try putting it the other way around: why go one step further, than the universe being always existent, and propose an always existent god/ goddess creating/ destroying the universe?

I suggest this because what cosmogony does (not to be confused with what cosmology does) is shift the issue of infinitude into the realm of creation/ discreation fantasies ... such as believing in a ‘Creation’ ex nihilo/‘Destruction’ ad nihil, if one is a religious cosmogonist, or believing in a ‘Big Bang’ ex nihilo/‘Big Crunch’ ad nihil, if one is a scientific cosmogonist, for example.

In other words (‘ex nihilo’ is Latin for ‘out of nothing’ and ‘ad nihil’ is Latin for ‘to nothing’) the issue of infinitude has been shifted onto a non-temporal (timeless) and non-spatial (spaceless) and non-material (formless) and therefore non-existent, and thus metaphysical, nothing or nothingness ... which posited nothingness, or non-existing void, is further proposed as being both the source, or origin, of all things physical (all time, all space, all form) and the eventual destiny for all its (supposed) manifestations.

In short: it bespeaks of credulity stretched to the max.

RESPONDENT: Is god any obstacle to AF?

RICHARD: As there are no gods or goddesses here in this actual world then any god you may instinctually know, feel, and thus think yourself to be is but an obstacle to your freedom and your freedom alone ... I only get to meet flesh and blood bodies here.

RESPONDENT: AF is a method to live in peace, harmless, etc., so if god was existing should it be any difference?

RICHARD: As an actual freedom from the human condition is not ‘a method’ to live peacefully and harmoniously, but actually being peaceful and harmonious in this actual world of sensate delight where there is nary a god or goddess to be found, then any god you may instinctually know, feel, and thus think to be ‘existing’ will only make a difference to your life ... and, of course, to any gullible peoples you come into contact with.

Such as impressionable children, for example.

RESPONDENT: Somebody could blame god then, for everything wrong, but even now somebody can blame the universe and blind nature.

RICHARD: Sure, but as it is an exercise in futility to blame blind nature, for continuing to provide the instinctual survival passions which were necessary all those thousands of years ago, what is the point in doing so?

Now that intelligence, which is the ability to think, reflect, compare, evaluate and implement considered action for beneficial reasons, has developed in the human animal those blind survival passions are no longer necessary – in fact they have become a hindrance in today’s world – and it is only by virtue of this intelligence that blind nature’s default software package can be safely deleted (via altruistic ‘self’-immolation in toto).

No other animal can do this.

RESPONDENT: What exist exists independently of our belief in it.

RICHARD: The pristine purity of this actual world is beyond belief ... it is unimaginable, inconceivable, and incomprehensible, to a normal person, that such peerless perfection could exist.

I walk around in constant amazement and wonder that it does.

RESPONDENT: The universe is or finite or infinite, independently of what I think.

RICHARD: Not when the infinitude, which this universe indubitably is, is apparent in all its wondrous amazement – as in a pure consciousness experience (PCE) – for then this infinite, eternal, and perpetual universe is stunningly aware of its infinitude ... and thus thinking, on occasion, how enormous infinitude is.

Because nothing comes bigger than that.

RESPONDENT: What good is for me, if is infinite or finite?

RICHARD: When its space is (experientially) known to be infinite, its time (experientially) known to be eternal, and its matter (experientially) known to be perpetual, the ‘good’ for you is blessed oblivion ... and the benefit for the body you are inhabiting is, not only peace-on-earth in this life-time, but to be living the meaning of life as an on-going experiencing (plus making it more likely for other people to emulate).

A win-win situation, in other words.

RESPONDENT: The agnostic is in better position, because he does not loose energy for things that will not make him better.

RICHARD: As a person who is agnostic is still experiencing self-induced suffering, just as anyone else trapped in the human condition is, the question of anyone being in a better position or not is moot.

RESPONDENT: Now to eliminate the self the ego, is not so difficult I think. Is a matter of logic. Nobody is inside my skull to see through the eyes that I call my eyes. I think the self is only a matter of language. I eat, you eat, he eats, etc. And a matter of identification, with whatever I call mine. My house, my wife, etc.

RICHARD: Thus in one fell swoop you have (logically) solved the problem of why 99.99999% of the population never become enlightened, eh?

RESPONDENT: The problem is with the feelings. The me as soul. Not all the so called enlightened people are teaching necessarily with the concept of higher self, or atman, etc.

RICHARD: As none of them deny an after-death state of being it is just a matter of disagreement amongst them as to what name-description that after-death being should go by ... none of them speak of physical death as being the end, finish, oblivion.

RESPONDENT: The thing that bothers me is the oblivion.

RICHARD: Why does it bother you if, as you say, not all enlightened people teach necessarily with the concept of a higher self (by whatever name) ... for surely, if what you are implying were to be true, then their higher self (by whatever name) has gone into oblivion too?

RESPONDENT: As I see AF is a mix of materialism, spirituality (in a good way, no nonsense), atheism, and nihilism.

RICHARD: Hmm ... materialism, as a generalisation, typically holds that life is a chance, random event in an otherwise empty (meaningless) universe; spirituality, as a generalisation, typically holds that life is a purposeful manifestation by or of the supreme being who created or creates the universe; atheism, as a generalisation, typically holds that, as there is no such supreme being, ethical considerations and human love and/or compassion – instead of moral dictates and divine love and/or compassion – are the way to live (somewhat) peacefully and harmoniously; and nihilism, as a generalisation, typically holds that life is whatever one makes of it and, as it is all pointless anyway, the only true philosophical question is whether to commit suicide, or not, and if so, then whether now or later.

As actualism is none of the above (bearing in mind that they are all generalisations) then whatever ‘mix’ it is that you are seeing it has nothing to do with what is on offer on The Actual Freedom Trust web site.

RESPONDENT: Atheists are of two types, the one that care about humanity and the others that are caring only about their selves.

RICHARD: Yet whatever caring they do it is still an affective caring ... and a feeling of caring is not actually caring.

RESPONDENT: I am beginning to see the whole universe like one atom. Scientists does not know what is happening in this atom, but the atom knows.

RICHARD: So as to keep with this analogy I will put it like this: when this infinite, eternal, and perpetual universe is stunningly aware of its own infinitude, as a flesh and blood body only being apperceptively aware, it can experientially know what is happening ... as distinct from an atom which, not being either sensate or reflective, can never know what is happening.

RESPONDENT: I don’t want to continue like this persona I have now ...

RICHARD: If I may interject? Try saying it this way:

• [example only]: ‘I don’t want to continue as this persona I am now ...’.

Those two little words – as/like and am/have – make a world of difference.

RESPONDENT: ... but I cannot intuitively accept oblivion.

RICHARD: Ahh ... back to the topic of the higher self (god by whatever name) even if obliquely, eh?

RESPONDENT: I think there is only one consciousness, only one being.

RICHARD: As in the god you instinctually know, feel, and thus think yourself to be, by another name, perchance? This intuitive ‘only one being’ thought is why I oft-times say that ‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being is ‘being’ itself (quite often capitalised as ‘Being’ upon self-realisation) ... as in ‘I’ am ‘my’ feelings and ‘my’ feelings are ‘me’.

For to intuitively know something is to instinctually know it ... all gods/ goddesses are affective by their very nature.

RESPONDENT: And this consciousness seems to me impossible to go to oblivion. Is rather pessimistic to think so.

RICHARD: Why? When god/ goddess ceases meddling in human affairs (via altruistic ‘self’-immolation in toto) peace and harmony prevails and the meaning of life becomes apparent as an on-going actuality.

RESPONDENT: You say that in the moment the self does not exist any more, and the soul, the being, does not exist any more, then there is nothing to survive physical death.

RICHARD: Yes, indeed I do ... and that includes any consciousness, being, presence, mind, god, goddess, truth, ground of being, implicate order, and so on, by whatever name.

RESPONDENT: May be there are other phenomena unknown, the science is still primitive with comparison with what will be in a 100 years for example.

RICHARD: As you have already indicated being 50+ years old that would make you 150+ years old ... and suffering all the while, whilst waiting for some people in white coats in a laboratory somewhere to come to your aid, into the bargain.

RESPONDENT: May be the mind is different from the brain, or outside the brain.

RICHARD: Hmm ... and next you might very well be saying something like this:

• [example only]: And this mind seems to me impossible to go to oblivion.

RESPONDENT: Somewhere, I don’t remember where, I read in your scripts that mind is the brain in operation.

RICHARD: Yes, and to project the brain in operation onto the universe at large and/or beyond it is, just as the same-same projection of intelligence is, anthropomorphism writ large ... this universe is much more than merely a mind.

Much, much more.


RESPONDENT: Goodness gracious ... I’m having trouble discerning anything of value arriving from the AF list. We have the believers, who recite the same old litanies, and the snipers, who have nothing other than criticisms to offer. Is this genuine or generic viagra, ummm, I mean actualism? I guess that’s the way it’s set up, because, really, there’s no room for true dialogue in AF, only repetition of the dogma, and correction of the acolyte’s interpretation. Rinse and repeat. It must be wonderful for everyone to be so sure of things ... no need for that nasty ambiguity in your life. Reminds me a bit of the xtian fundamentalists, but that would imply AF is a cult. Ooops, did I say that? Seems like there’s actualism (a beneficial system imo, but not unique) and then there’s Actual Freedom, Inc. Hmmm. While typing, I received 2 new emails... one from Respondent No. 44, and one for new super viagra. Must be synchronicity.

RICHARD: You say you are having trouble in discerning anything of value on this mailing list ... and yet then go on to explain just why not: you see the e-mail exchanges in terms of ‘believers’ and ‘snipers’.

Furthermore you compare actualism, the direct experience that matter is not merely passive, with a medication designed to enhance blood-flow to the genitals, a medication which has occasioned all manner of jokes (mostly of the uneasy/ sniggering variety) since its release, as if there really is a relationship between the two (an illusion of virility vis-à-vis an illusion of being actual).

Moreover you refer to a rinse-and-repeat acolytes’-interpretation/dogma-repetition type of set-up which reminds you of religious fundamentalists (aka ‘cultic’) – and, yes, you did say that because you could have back-spaced it out before clicking ‘send’ – as being the reason there is not [quote] ‘true dialogue’ [endquote].

Lastly you say that actualism, whilst being a beneficial system, is not unique (which lack of originality you went into in some detail in an earlier thread a week or so ago) ... meaning that, by likening it to spiritual-mystical experiences/ events, it is not new to human experience to be actually free from the human condition.

All of which goes some way towards illustrating why, when you did engage in ‘true dialogue’ in earlier days on this mailing list, you invariably brought them to an inconclusive end with a wishy-washy ‘never say never’ cop-out ... as expressed so eloquently (above), in regards to being actual, as being to have no need for that ‘nasty’ ambiguity in one’s life.

What I find odd is that you cannot see for yourself that you have already made up your mind (in regards actualism) anyway.


RESPONDENT: When an actualist finds a belief is that ‘enough’ or does one benefit by ‘replacing’ the belief ‘I’m a loser because I fail at blank’ with a sensible cognition like ‘failing at a task doesn’t make one a loser. Thinking about oneself like that is only going to cause pain, so I’m not going to feed that thought. I can be happy w/o blank ... .’

RICHARD: If failing at a task does not make one a loser then what does succeeding at a task not make one?

RESPONDENT: Are you saying that if you tried something and could not do it that you would be stupid, and pathetic (which is what the label ‘loser’; means from my part of earth)?

RICHARD: I am only too happy to rephrase my query: if failing at a task does not make one stupid and pathetic then what does succeeding at a task not make one?

RESPONDENT: I’ll admit it here flatly. Sometimes, I just don’t get what your trying to get me to understand.

RICHARD: I am asking a very simple question ... perhaps an analogy will demonstrate: two people are playing chess; the person playing white succeeds in the task of checkmating the person playing black/ the person playing black fails in the task of checkmating the person playing white; the person playing white, who succeeded in the task, is said to have won the game/ the person playing black, who failed in the task, is said to have lost the game; the person having won is said to be the winner/ the person having lost is said to be the loser. Now, and in my initial understanding of the word ‘loser’, if failing at that task does not make the person playing black a loser then what does succeeding at that task not make the person playing white (if not the antonym of that word)?

RESPONDENT: One could say he is the winner and the other chap the loser, yes.

RICHARD: As that is not what I am asking I will put it this way: as you say it is a sensible cognition, that failing at a task does not make one a loser, then is it also a sensible cognition that succeeding at a task does not make one a winner?

There is nothing mysterious about what I am getting at ... all I want to know is whether, according to cognitive therapists/ cognitive psychology, the obverse also holds true and, if so, is thinking about oneself like that only going to cause pleasure (inasmuch one will not keep feeding that thought but instead be happy without what one succeeded at). For example:

• [example only]: ‘When an actualist finds a belief is that ‘enough’ or does one benefit by ‘replacing’ the belief ‘I’m a winner because I succeed at blank’ with a sensible cognition like ‘succeeding at a task doesn’t make one a winner. Thinking about oneself like that is only going to cause pleasure, so I’m not going to feed that thought. I can be happy w/o blank ... .’ [end example].

*

RICHARD: What is the point of replacing a belief with another belief (albeit disguised as a sensible cognition)?

RESPONDENT: Ah ... they are both beliefs?

RICHARD: First of all, it was you who said that being a loser because of failing at a task is a belief, was it not? Vis.:

• [Respondent]: ‘(...) does one benefit by ‘replacing’ *the belief* ‘I’m a loser because I fail at blank’ with a sensible cognition like ‘failing at a task doesn’t make one a loser’. [emphasis added].

All that remains to be seen now is whether [quote] ‘failing at a task doesn’t make one a loser’ [endquote] is a belief cunningly disguised as a truth (by renaming it a sensible cognition) so as to render invisible the very facticity of being a loser by craftily seeing it to be a truth that [quote] ‘I’m a loser because I fail at blank’ [endquote] is a belief and not a fact.

Were this to be seen, for yourself and by yourself, then it will be patently obvious that the belief being replaced by a belief is the belief about the truth of there being no facticity to being a loser and the belief which is replacing that belief is the belief that the truth about failure not begetting a loser being a sensible cognition (rather than a belief cunningly disguised as a truth).

This may be an apt place to point out something I have oft-times observed: peoples who have clued themselves up about the many and various psycho-therapies (be they either spiritualists or materialists has made little difference) invariably doubly-complicate matters by layering a second layer of deceit over the normal human deceit yet all the while considering themselves to be a cut above the average.

To put it in the jargon: they become far too clever by half for their own good.

*

RESPONDENT: I would figure a body sans identity as you would never, ever think ‘I’m pathetic, I’m a loser, I can’t believe how stupid I am ... etc’.

RICHARD: A flesh and blood body sans the entire affective faculty/ identity in toto cannot believe, period.

RESPONDENT: Ok, yes. No *feeling backed* thoughts for you. Got it, but how for me to get there in the mean time without treating myself harshly is what I’m wondering about.

RICHARD: Simple: take the affective component (stupid and pathetic) back out of the word loser so as to restore it to its original meaning. Vis.:

• ‘loser: a person who loses or suffers loss; esp. a person, horse, etc., that loses a race etc., an unsuccessful competitor’. (Oxford Dictionary).

Both winning and losing are a fact of life ... nobody, but nobody, can be a winner all of the time, at all things, on all occasions, without exception.


RESPONDENT: When a feeling changes within a person, something supplants the feeling/ belief. Feelings and beliefs don’t just disappear. What is the thought, memory, or whatever that is able to permanently eliminate a feeling/ belief?

RICHARD: Seeing the fact will set you free of the belief.

RESPONDENT: What is the fact?

RICHARD: What is the belief?

RESPONDENT: Let’s use the example ‘No one really likes me’.

RICHARD: Okay ... here is the way the actualism method works in practice:

1. Was that – your ‘no one really likes me’ example – the feeling which changed within you?
2. If so, what was it that triggered off that feeling (the feeling which changed within you)?
3. What did that feeling which changed within you change into?
4. What was it that triggered off that change?
5. Was it silly to have both event No. 2 and event No. 4 take away your enjoyment and appreciation of being alive at this particular moment (the only moment you are ever alive)?

Or:

1. Was that – your ‘no one really likes me’ example – the feeling/belief which supplanted another feeling/ belief?
2. If so, what was it that triggered off that feeling/ belief (the feeling/belief which supplanted another feeling/ belief)?
3. What did that feeling/belief supplant?
4. What was it that triggered off the feeling/belief which was supplanted?
5. Was it silly to have both event No. 2 and event No. 4 take away your enjoyment and appreciation of being alive at this particular moment (the only moment you are ever alive)?

Provided your answer to No. 5, in either instance, is in the affirmative you will now be back to enjoying and appreciating this moment of being alive (the only moment you are ever alive) and thus the prospect of seeing the fact which will set you free of the belief will be facilitated by being able to come upon it experientially ... it is your active participation/ presence which vitalises/ invigorates the investigation/ exploration.

In short: armchair philosophising/psychologising will get you nowhere ... and fast.

RESPONDENT: I think I get it now. I will have to see if I can get it to work, and I’m not sure if I will be able to a lot of the time.

RICHARD: The degree to which one applies oneself to enjoying and appreciating this moment of being alive (the only moment one is ever alive), each moment again, is the degree to which one achieves success ... your freedom, or lack thereof, is in your hands and your hands alone.

RESPONDENT: It seems as though one has to be very hard headed and ignore the meanings of events, and instead simply focus on feeling good and the precise moment feeling good disappears.

RICHARD: I have located the following text:

• [Richard to Respondent]: ‘(...) any analysing and/or psychologising and/or philosophising whilst one is in the grip of debilitating feelings usually does not achieve much (other than spiralling around and around in varying degrees of despair and despondency or whatever) anyway’. (December 14 2004).

And this:

• [Richard]: ‘What the identity inhabiting this flesh and blood body all those years ago would do is first get back to feeling good and then, and only then, suss out where, when, how, why – and what for – feeling bad happened as experience had shown ‘him’ that it was counter-productive to do otherwise.
What ‘he’ always did however, as it was often tempting to just get on with life then, was to examine what it was all about within half-an-hour of getting back to feeling good (while the memory was still fresh) even if it meant sometimes falling back into feeling bad by doing so ... else it would crop up again sooner or later.
Nothing, but nothing, can be swept under the carpet’. (May 31 2005).

RESPONDENT: As far as I can tell, Peter and Vineeto are/were more into investigating i.e. armchair philosophising/ psychologising. I haven’t found much in your writing to suggest that you did much active investigating, but other actualists seem very much into it. This has been a source of my confusion.

RICHARD: Hmm ... I would suggest copy-pasting the following into the search-engine box at ‘Google’:

• armchair site:www.actualfreedom.com.au

There are at least 75 hits to peruse ... then you might be inclined to copy-paste the following:

• hands-on site:www.actualfreedom.com.au

There are at least 189 hits to peruse ... then you might be inclined to copy-paste the following:

• experiential site:www.actualfreedom.com.au

There are at least 617 hits to peruse.


VINEETO: I know for a fact that there is no God because I know for a fact that God is a construct of ‘my’ fear and hope, of ‘my’ passionate imagination. No imagination – no God, no passion – no God. It is essential to go this far in order to become free of the human condition in toto.

RESPONDENT No. 89: The only thing you know for fact is that ‘your’ version of ‘God’ doesn’t exist because that God was a construct of ‘your’ fear and hope, of ‘your’ passionate imagination. And now that construct is gone. If there is God s/he is certainly beyond of ‘our’ fears, hopes and passionate imaginations. So the question whether there is God or is not God and what kind of God etc can never be known for fact. You believed in an idol [’your’ version of God] and realized that this ideal doesn’t exist and now you conclude ‘God’ [the real one so to speak] doesn’t exist.

VINEETO: You must be talking about *your* version of God then, the Principle or Godhead or Atma or whatever name you want to call it. There are no gods of any kind in the actual world.

RESPONDENT No. 89: That doesn’t make any sense whatsoever to me.

VINEETO: Of course not – your God is preventing you from using common sense.

RESPONDENT: (...) Hope/ fear can lead to belief, but absence of hope/ fear does not mean the absence of the thing believed in, it just means an absence of belief (at best).

RICHARD: As what you are saying, in effect, is that the absence of what can lead to belief in a timeless, spaceless, formless – and thus odourless, tasteless, soundless, untouchable and unseeable – creative source, or creator ex nihilo, of all time and space and form (aka the universe) is not evidence of the absence of any such a creative source/ creator ex nihilo but only, at best, an absence of belief in same would it not be apposite to enquire just what it is that would constitute the requisite evidence?

In other words: what is the evidence, which gives credence to such a belief being valid, which has to be satisfactorily invalidated, so as to provide 100% certainty, if it be not the many and various testimonies (experiential reports), often codified in scriptures, from the many and various Masters and Messiahs, God-Men and Gurus, Sages and Seers, Avatars and Arahants, Saviours and Saints, and so on and so forth, over many aeons, plus the many and various affirmations from temporary experiences of same or similar, either induced or spontaneous, by countless numbers of peoples from all walks of life throughout the same period?

Otherwise what you put forward is but a variation on that agnostic ‘absence of evidence is not evidence of absence’ (abstract) intellectualisation which invariably results in discussions, such as the above, devolving into futile arguments about unicorns, phlogiston, or any other such phantasms which feature on more than a few other mailing lists.

RESPONDENT: Existence of something is independent of whether it is believed in or not.

RICHARD: As the non-existence of any such a creative source/ creator ex nihilo is also independent of disbelieving or not you may find the following, which is of related interest, to be food for thought:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘The universe is finite or infinite, independently of what I think.
• [Richard]: ‘Not when the infinitude, which this universe indubitably is, is apparent in all its wondrous amazement – as in a pure consciousness experience (PCE) – for then this infinite, eternal, and perpetual universe is stunningly aware of its infinitude ... and thus thinking, on occasion, how enormous infinitude is.
Because nothing comes bigger than that’.

Further to the point, as the direct experience that this infinite and eternal and perdurable universe is a veritable perpetuus mobilis no thought of any creator/ sustainer/ destroyer can ever even begin to get up and running ... let alone any possibility of such a notion being converted into a belief.

Put simply: where there is direct experience neither absence of belief nor disbelief has any part to play.


RESPONDENT: I don’t really understand what motivates you to sit at the computer constructing the website and corresponding with people like me.

RICHARD: Put succinctly it is benevolence (a munificent well-wishing) …

(snip)

RESPONDENT: Your response is not surprising; it’s somehow reassuring. I’m sure you understand the frustration of investigating so many claims to an eyes-fully-open way of living. My favourite test is to try to expose some hypocrisy or contradiction, and if my instigating fails, then I feel the idea merits further investigation. I guess I’m holding out on too-good-to-be-true reservations. A few years ago I entered into a painful time of questioning my deeply held theistic beliefs and came out of it a convinced and intellectually contented atheist. Now, it seems, is a time to question beliefs even deeper and much more close to home. Maybe to question beliefs altogether, eh?

RICHARD: Better still ... the very action of believing itself – etymologically the word ‘believe’ is derived from the Old English ‘geliefa’ (belief, faith) from the West Saxon ‘geliefan’/ ‘beliefan’ (to believe, trust) from the Germanic ‘galaubjan’ (to hold dear, esteem, trust) – as beliefs are emotion-backed thoughts.

You may find the following exchange illustrative (abridged for the sake of brevity):

• [Richard]: ‘It is of no avail to quote Mr. Gotama the Sakyan’s revered wisdom, because he knew naught of these matters that I write of (…)
The same applies for the cherished teachings of Mr. Yeshua the Nazarene (…)
Just out of curiosity: You are the same person who edits/ edited the Atheist Society newsletter, are you not? (…)
• [Co-Respondent]: ‘Yes, I am that person. I don’t believe in the God or gods of modern day Christianity. However, if God is used as another name for Truth or the Infinite, then I believe in God, because I believe in Truth.
• [Richard]: ‘How unfortunate it is that you so easily write the words ‘I believe in Truth’. The subject of beliefs and believing is one of my favourite topics as beliefs are the bane of humankind. A person who is free has no beliefs whatsoever, so one who is endeavouring to become free will view them all with deep suspicion. Beliefs have been so instrumental in killing, maiming, torturing and otherwise causing such pain and suffering since the dawn of human history, that one wonders that they are given any credence at all these days. It behoves one to examine each and every belief – especially those that pass for ‘truths’ or ‘The Truth’ – and watch them disappear out of one’s life forever. It is so liberating to be free of beliefs – of believing itself – that I cannot recommend their elimination highly enough.
(…)
• [Co-Respondent]: ‘To be more clear I could have said ‘I know Truth, and I have faith in it because of the extent and depth to which I know it’. The ‘I believe’ bit was just a shorthand way of saying the same thing.
• [Richard]: ‘Wriggling again? ‘I believe’ and ‘I know’ are such vastly disparate words that I can not buy your lame excuse of ‘just a shorthand way of saying the same thing’. And, in case you think I am being picky, you compound your error by going on with ‘I have faith in it’. Faith, belief, trust and hope are all part of the same package ... a person who actually knows would have a solid confidence and certainty born out of that knowing. And, please, do not tell me that ‘faith’ is shorthand for ‘certainty’ ... your equivocations are starting to wear thin.
*
• [Richard]: ‘A person who is free has no beliefs.
• [Co-Respondent]: ‘They know things rather than believe them I presume. But in the case of empirical knowledge they would still have to hold beliefs of a sort because of the inherent uncertainty of empirical knowledge. For example such a person might say ‘I currently believe in such-and-such a theory because, at the moment it has the most evidence to support it’.
• [Richard]: ‘No. A free person would not say ‘I currently believe in such-and-such a theory because ...’. As any belief is an emotion-backed thought and a free person has no feelings at all – no emotions or passions whatsoever – there is no possibility of an emotional investment at all in theories which can – and do – change according to the circumstances. The etymology of the word ‘believe’ indicates that it is derived from ‘hold dear, love’ ... or thus, ‘fervently wish to be true’.
Quite a passionate word I would say.
(…)
• [Richard]: ‘Any belief is an emotion-backed thought.
• [Co-Respondent]: ‘I believe that 1 + 1 = 2 (based on the definitions of ‘1’ and ‘2’), and that is not an emotion-backed thought. (…)
• [Richard]: ‘One and one always do equal two ... this is a fact. Why the need to believe something obvious? (…)
• [Co-Respondent]: ‘Belief is higher than knowledge because it is possible to know something but not have the courage to believe it.
• [Richard]: ‘Thus far we have established that: 1. You are an atheist who believes in God. 2. You are a wise person who, however, has to avoid involvement with over half the population on this planet. 3. You admire Mr. Gotama the Sakyan without acknowledging the central tenets of his teaching ... and now: 4. You are a logician who values belief higher than reason!
I, for one, do not see that anything fruitful will be obtained by continuing this futile dialogue … this approximation of a genuine discussion.


RICHARD: By its very nature a belief is not factually true ... otherwise it would not need to be believed to be true. A fact is obvious; it is out in the open.

RESPONDENT: If you define ‘belief’ as being concerned with something that is not factually true, then what do you call it when people don’t believe the facts because the facts are too scary to believe?

RICHARD: As a belief is not factually true by its very nature, then a fact, which by its very nature is obvious, can not be believed or disbelieved. Therefore your question: ‘what do you call it when people don’t believe the facts’, does not follow, logically. (However a person can ignore a fact by pretending that it is not there. Such a person is called a fool.).


RESPONDENT: 3 – As a person who ended all beliefs and look at the world clearly ...

RICHARD: If I may interject? It was the believer, so to speak, who came to an end (hence the ability/ capacity to believe is null and void) and thus there is the direct experience of the world ... a clean, clear, and pure experiencing.

RESPONDENT: ... you don’t see any possibility of some God running the show?

RICHARD: When the believer – ‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being (which is ‘being’ itself) – ended so too did any and all supreme beings become similarly extinct ... thus it has nothing to do with ending all beliefs that no possibility is seen of some god/ goddess running the show. There is no god/ goddess in this actual world: here all is pristine, pure ... nothing ‘dirty’, as it were, can get in.

RESPONDENT: Since you don’t claim to be omniscient, and haven’t searched through the galaxies, how can you rule out superior intelligence somewhere?

RICHARD: Are you are now asking about extra-terrestrial intelligence (such as the SETI people are looking out for)?

If so, I do not rule out some life-form, or life-forms, with a superior faculty of understanding and comprehending (as in intellect and sagacity) to the human faculty – which means with a superior ability to sensibly and thus judiciously think, reflect, appraise, plan, and implement considered activity for beneficial reasons (and to be able to rationally convey reasoned information to other similar life-forms so that coherent knowledge can accumulate throughout that species and to the next generations) – existing somewhere and somewhen other than the life-form on planet earth.

RESPONDENT: The Santa Claus example is clearly a belief.

RICHARD: If I may point out? I clearly said it has nothing to do with ending all beliefs that no possibility is seen of some god/ goddess running the show ... when the believer – ‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being (which is ‘being’ itself) – ended so too did any and all supreme beings become similarly extinct.

RESPONDENT: But even after you grow out of the belief of the God, it still makes sense to ask: Is there something out there? No?

RICHARD: I will say it again for emphasis: there is no god/ goddess in this actual world: here all is pristine, pure ... nothing ‘dirty’, as it were, can get in.

*

RESPONDENT: Or even some greater meaning or a purpose towards which the evolution is moving?

RICHARD: Hmm ... some ‘greater meaning or a purpose’ than what? Where one is the flesh and blood body only (sans identity in toto) one is this infinite and eternal and perpetual universe experiencing itself apperceptively ... as such it is stunningly aware of its own infinitude. And this is truly wonderful ... what, just what, could have ‘greater meaning or a purpose’ than that?

RESPONDENT: For the species to be able to go out in the space ...

RICHARD: If space-travel constitutes a ‘greater meaning or a purpose’ to you than this universe experiencing its own infinitude as an apperceptive sentient being then all I need to point to is the result that space-travel has so far produced ... to wit: astronauts on the earth’s moon extolling the virtues of the Judaic/ Christian god.

RESPONDENT: ... evolve more faculties that are superior to one’s we have.

RICHARD: What kind of faculties do you have in mind ... and in what way would they be able to operate and function cleanly, clearly, and purely (given that whilst the affective faculty, and its epiphenomenal imaginative/ psychic facility, are still in situ those faculties would also be crippled)?

RESPONDENT: I don’t know. Can we not ask whether such possibilities exist?

RICHARD: Sure you can ... when you ask them of me, however, you will be asked in return to think them through.


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