Richard’s Selected Correspondence
On Body and Health
RESPONDENT: Is it good for the body to engage in regular exercise?
RESPONDENT: A few more questions: 1. Richard, what is the physiological nature of the ‘process’ that you (and J Krishnamurti, Konrad Swart and numerous others) underwent during ego dissolution?
RICHARD: In a word: electrochemical (the spinal cord, through which all the main nerve fibres go, transmits all kinds of electrochemical signals ... which can result in all manner of psychic manifestations on occasion).
RESPONDENT: When you say that the (apparent) identity disappears, does the personality/characteristics of the f&b body change at all?
RICHARD: The following exchange may be helpful in this regard:
RESPONDENT: That is, if the f&b b (can I refer to this as a person for now?) liked telling jokes, would the person still like this after the identity has died?
RICHARD: I like to joke and I laugh a lot – there is so much that is irrepressibly humorous about life itself – and what has changed is that the joking and laughing is not malicious (as in spiteful, for instance) and/or sorrowful (as in lugubrious, for example).
CO-RESPONDENT: Richard, lets say hypothetically a stranger had a gun aimed at your face, what sort of thoughts might occur in your mind?
RICHARD: Having been rigorously trained in the military, until the appropriate reflex responses became second-nature, for multiple variations of such contingencies – plus having gone to war as a youth – it can be said with a high degree of confidence that there would be no thoughts occurring at the moment ... there would only be action. The whole point of such intensive drilling is that (to use a cliché) there is the quick ... and there is the dead.
RESPONDENT: Hey Richard! What a gem this is! :-)
RICHARD: The same, or similar, intensive training of reflex responses applies in many fields ... driving a vehicle, for example, where events can occur faster than thought is initially capable of dealing with them.
RESPONDENT: And I got to laugh, a few years back I was over this house with about a dozen or so folks all standing around in the living room. And this lamp across the room started to fall off this table, and I hurled myself across the room and caught the damn thing in mid-air. And everyone’s going whooaaaa, how’d you do that? :-) And I joked and said, I’m trained for this kind of stuff, I raised 4 kids. :-)
RICHARD: Ha ... as I also raised four children, back when I was a parent, I can certainly relate to that.
RESPONDENT: Well that explains it! :-)
RICHARD: I did not become a father until after I came back from war (and the rigorous military training, for multiple variations of such contingencies whereupon the appropriate reflex responses having become second-nature could mean the difference between life and death, was prior to that) ... besides which I was driving vehicles, for example, long before even that (being born and raised on a farm I was in control of machinery from a very early age).
RESPONDENT No. 51: If you are no ‘being’ what are you?
RICHARD: What I am is this infinite and eternal and perpetual universe experiencing itself as an apperceptive human being ... as such the universe is stunningly aware of its own infinitude. And this is truly wonderful.
RESPONDENT: Pure identification then with the universe. For eleven years, you were identified with the absolute. Now you say ‘I am ...’, you made a shift to the universe, only the subject of identification changed.
RICHARD: Did you not read the question I was responding to? Perhaps if I were to put it this way then: for eleven years, night and day, it was the ‘being’ within the body who identified with ‘The Absolute’ ... whereas what I am, as this flesh and blood body only (sans ‘being’ itself), is this universe experiencing itself as an apperceptive human being.
As the universe also experiences itself as a cat, a dog, and so on, and so on, what you are saying, in effect, is that every body is identifying themselves with the universe ... which is patently silly (if only because no body needs to identify with what they actually are).
It is this simple: the very stuff of this body (and all bodies) is the very same-same stuff as the stuff of the universe in that it comes out of the ground in the form of the carrots and lettuce and milk and cheese, and whatever else is consumed, in conjunction with the air breathed and the water drunk and the sunlight absorbed.
I am nothing other than that ... that is what I am, literally.
RESPONDENT: Now by adding the word experience, the question that arises is who has the experience? The body?
RICHARD: The body is not ‘who’ has the experience... the body is *what* has the experience (of being unadulteratedly conscious) as the condition of being conscious is a bodily condition.
RESPONDENT: The body works with the senses.
RICHARD: That is one way of putting it but as sentience means being sensorial it would be more helpful for comprehension of what experiencing means to say that the body works as the senses: for instance, of all the senses – cutaneous, ocular, aural, olfactory, gustatory, and proprioceptive – the cutaneal sense, being by far the largest of all senses (the skin covers the entire body) is what defines/delineates where the body stops and the rest of the world begins/where the rest of the world stops and the body begins ... the skin is the main demarcation line, so to speak, thus cutaneous experiencing is major experiencing by any definition.
RESPONDENT: If we must attach to the body even the consciousness, then we can go very far.
RICHARD: That just does not make sense: consciousness – the condition of a body being conscious – is indistinguishable from what a body is (when it is alive, awake, and sensible) ... to say that consciousness is something attached to the body is to imply that consciousness (the condition of being conscious) is a clip-on, a removable accessory, as it were.
RESPONDENT: We may have any illusion and blame the body for that.
RESPONDENT: So first prove to me that you was enlightened ... and then we can speak about actuality, because if enlightened was in your imagination, so can be actual freedom as well.
RICHARD: This body has no imagination ... the imaginative/intuitive faculty vanished when the affections ceased to exist (and thus their epiphenomenal psychic facility). I literally cannot imagine, visualise, envisage, envision, picture, intuit, see in the mind’s eye, feel-out, dream up, fall into a reverie, or in any other way, shape or manner imaginatively conceptualise anything whatsoever.
I could not form a mental picture of something if my life depended upon it ... whereas in earlier years ‘I’ could get a picture in ‘my’ mind’s eye of ‘my’ absent father, mother, wife, children and so on ... or the painting ‘I’ was going to paint, or the coffee-table ‘I’ was going to build, or the route ‘I’ was going to take by car or whatever.
If I were to close my eyes now, and try to visualise, all what happens is the same velvety-smooth darkness – as looking into the infinite and eternal and perpetual universe at night – which has been the case for all these years now. I simply cannot have images ... when I recall childhood, adolescence, early adulthood, being middle-aged or yesterday it is as if it were a documentary on television but with the picture turned off (words only) or like reading a book of somebody’s life.
RESPONDENT: Thanks for taking the time to respond!! Sorry for the malicious nature. You cleared up a lot of things and I will need some time to experientially validate the others. I have felt very jaded and disillusioned by 30 yrs. at my search. After my initial excitement I would find very disturbing elements under the banner that I just didn’t understand at my level.
RICHARD: It is all par for the course ... an actual freedom from the human condition is entirely new in human experience and of course it will elicit all types of responses/ reactions.
RESPONDENT: Could you clear something up for me? This is something I don’t understand. When you talk of being sensate based I start judging, specifically then how can he possibly smoke cigarettes or drink coffee. Please, these are not moral pronouncements as I do the same on occasion. I start thinking that this is evidence that you have an identity because if you just lived by the sensate based needs of the body there is no way the body would want those substances.
RICHARD: Well I only drink decaffeinated coffee so the question is basically about smoking tobacco (I am a complete teetotaller in all other respects as I take no mood-enhancing or mind-altering substances whatsoever ... not even chocolate). I have been asked this question before and will refer you to the following link: .
Suffice is it to say here that I drink coffee and smoke tobacco because I find them both to be a delightful pastime ... I thoroughly enjoy the entire ritual: the grinding of the beans with its accompanying aroma; the measuring of the grounds into the filter-holder of the espresso machine; the watching of the crema form in the cup as it fills; the adding of just the requisite quantity of thickened cream (yes I also take in cream); the supping of that first exquisite sip with the appropriate sigh of approval; the opening of the tobacco pouch and the inhaling of its aroma; the extracting of a paper and the placing it upon the lip; the sorting out of the strings of tobacco; the rolling of the perfectly shaped cigarette; the tucking-in of the ends and the striking of the match with its accompanying splutter of ignition; the inhaling of that first puff; the taking of the second sip of coffee ... and so on and so on.
Incidentally, I also eat meat (mainly seafood and fowl but occasionally pork, lamb and beef); I do not cook (I either eat out or order in); I have an active sex-life and enjoy female company; I lead an indolent life-style (which is way past a sedentary life-style); I live in suburbia with all the mod cons that a consumer society provides; I only have one meal a day (plus a few water-crackers with cheese for supper); I sleep three maybe four hours a night and cat-nap during the day; I watch a lot of television and spend considerable time in front of the computer; I do not go to parties, bars, dances and so on or belong to any public organisation or club; I do not play sport or watch any sporting events ... to cut a long story short I live a certain life-style and do certain things that various other people may find unhealthy for whatever reason.
RESPONDENT: Richard once mentioned that less than 2% smokers die of smoking related ailments. Let’s seek his input also in this matter.
RICHARD: The latest figures I have are for Australia: the percentage of tobacco users alleged to die, per annum, from smoking-related diseases is 0.47% ... or, to put that another way, 99.53% of the tobacco users do not die (of smoking-related diseases).
I say ‘alleged’ because, as far as I have been able to ascertain, figures such as these are derived from death certificates wherein the cause of death has been written in by the attending physician which, to say the least, is a questionable method of accurately determining causes. For example:
Just to stir the possum a little more: in mid-2001 the ‘New Scientist’ magazine reported that the burning of incense ‘exposed people to dangerous levels of smoke laden with cancer-causing chemicals’. The article says that a team of investigators, led by Ta Chang Lin of the National Cheng Kung University in Tainan, Taiwan, collected air samples from the inside and the outside of a temple in Tainan City and compared them to samples at a traffic intersection. The article goes on to say that ‘the total levels of PAH’s (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) inside the temple were 19 times higher than outside and slightly higher than at the intersection’. The article also says that ‘benzopyrene, which is thought to cause lung cancer in smokers’, was monitored in the temple at levels which were ‘up to 45 times higher than in homes where residents smoked tobacco’.
Thus it would appear that the burning of incense and the burning of petroleum are potentially much more dangerous activities than the burning of tobacco – if it were ever conclusively evidenced that polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (such as benzopyrene) do cause lung cancer – especially for people who are genetically pre-disposed to developing lung cancer.
Interestingly enough, while tobacco use is on the decrease (in Australia down from 37% of adults twenty years ago to 25% today), motor vehicle use is on the increase (there are twice as many registered motor vehicles in Australia today than twenty years ago). To put that information in some form of perspective the raw data shows that there are currently 12,500,000 registered motor vehicles, as contrasted to 4,000,000 estimated tobacco users, in a total population of 19,500,000. Furthermore, the latest government census shows that 400,000 workers went to work by bicycle or walking, 260,000 workers went to work by train, 200,000 workers went to work by bus ... and 5,500,000 workers went to work by car (these figures are rounded figures).
I would hazard a guess that weaning people off the habit of burning petroleum will be far more difficult than weaning people off the habit of burning tobacco.
Yet it may all turn out to be a storm in a tea-cup: if burning tobacco did cause lung cancer some demonstration of that would show up in a decline in lung cancer deaths corresponding to a decline in tobacco use – whether through quitting or by not starting in the first place – whereas in the USA, for example, whilst tobacco use has drastically decreased over the last 40 years (down by nearly 50% between 1961 and 1986-88) there has not been a comparable decrease in lung cancer deaths ... if anything lung cancer deaths have increased (possibly due to the population aging).
RESPONDENT: [quoting from a World Health Organisation article]: The truth is that one out of every two long-term smokers will ultimately be killed by tobacco.
RICHARD: I too have read similar claims – a quit-smoking pamphlet I have to hand, printed by an official cancer fund, states that ‘one in two lifetime smokers will die from their habit’ – yet when I looked at the official statistics for Australia, so as to find out what is actually happening (aka the fact) as contrasted to what they say will happen (aka the truth), I see that not even one out of one hundred tobacco users are dying of [alleged] smoking-related diseases.
RESPONDENT: Is there really a discrepancy between Richard’s number and that 50% number being used by the WHO? As far as I understand, Richard’s number of .47% is based on total smokers and not life time smokers. Life time smokers are only a part of the set of all smokers. We will call this quantity LTSM. If LTSM is 1/2 of all smokers, then .47% multiplied by 2 will yield .94%. This number of .94% will then represent the percentage of life time smokers that die per annum due to smoking. In order to then derive the percentage of deaths due to smoking for a life time smoker over the course of a lifetime, we will have to multiply .94% by an average number of years that life time smokers smoke. Given life expectancies of smokers, and discounting childhood non smoking years, we can assume that the number is around 50 years. And when we multiply 50 by that factor of .94% we have a figure that comes close to what the WHO is claiming, that of 50%. And it may very well be that LTSM is far less than 1/2 of all smokers, making the percentage of deaths due to a life time of smoking that much higher.
RICHARD: Thank you for explaining this ... as I am a practical person it has always puzzled me how it could be said that one out of two tobacco users will die (aka the truth) of alleged smoking-related diseases when less than one out of one hundred tobacco users were dying (aka the fact) of alleged smoking-related diseases. And you are correct where you say that my figures are based on the total number of tobacco users (the figures are 19,000 alleged smoking-related deaths out of 4,000,000 current tobacco users).
I was then interested to apply the formula you devised to statistics from another country: the figures supplied for the USA by the American Cancer Society are an alleged 430,700 smoking-related deaths per year out of 47,000,000 current tobacco users ... which means that the percentage is 0.91% per annum. Using the formula you devised then 0.91% multiplied by 2 will yield 1.82%. Upon multiplying 1.82% by 50 the result – as contrasted to the figure of 47% for Australia you arrived at – is 91% ... which is well above the 50% claimed by the World Health Organisation article and the quit-smoking pamphlet I have to hand.
Now I could be facetious and suggest that tobacco users in the USA move to Australia for health reasons – a close to 1 out of 2 possibility of dying of alleged smoking-related causes is significantly less than an almost 1 out of 1 possibility of dying of alleged smoking-related causes – but instead I am left with a demonstration that the method of determining smoking-related causes of death (physicians filling in death certificates) is indeed questionable.
RESPONDENT: The World Health Organization figures are based on ‘the largest study ever done on smoking deaths’. [quote]: ‘Researchers from China and the U.K., led by Professor Liu Boqi of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, investigated the smoking habits of one million Chinese people in 99 rural and urban areas who died between 1986 and 1988. Results from this and from studies led by Professor Niu Shiru and Dr Yang Gonghuan, both of the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine, show that there are already about three-quarters of a million deaths a year in China from smoking and most of these are men’. [endquote]. (www.who.int/archives/inf-pr-1997/en/pr97-61.html). Please read carefully without attempting to disfigure the facts.
RICHARD: I appreciate your advice to read something carefully and without attempting to disfigure ‘the facts’ ... so much so that I must ask just what the facts are which you are referring me to in this instance?
As far as I have been able to ascertain the (possibly SAMMEC-generated) figures relating to alleged smoking-related deaths contained in the article you posted – and the other article you posted less than an hour later – are based upon epidemiological correlations interpreted as being indicative of a causative association between tobacco use and various cancers and cardiovascular diseases ... yet any epidemiologist worthy of their salt knows that correlation does not equal causation.
Which is why I remarked in my initial post that the method of determining smoking-related causes of death (physicians filling in death certificates) is a questionable practice.
Furthermore the assumptions and speculations regarding the correlations are predicated upon the theory that there is a chemical cause – such as the human body being susceptible to certain carcinogenic substances – to the cancers and cardiovascular diseases in question and not a microbial cause ... and I say ‘theory’ because even after 50-odd years of multibillion-dollar research into locating the precise biological cause-effect evidence in regards tobacco smoke no conclusive evidence has been found to date.
Meanwhile, under-funded research into a microbial cause has already produced some startling results, with promising avenues for similarly fruitful research in the pipeline, such as stomach cancer, for instance, no longer being regarded as a smoking-related (chemically-caused) disease but bacterially-caused ... specifically by a bacterium named Helicobacter Pylori. And instead of providing some other examples of a microbial cause, such as for liver cancer and cervical cancer, I would rather suggest that you first peruse the pages at the following URL’s so as to gain a taste of what biological cause-effect evidence looks like:
If you access the following US Government URL you will see that stomach cancer is no longer listed as being a smoking-related disease (look under the heading ‘Malignant Neoplasms’): http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/sammec/help/icd_codes_hp.asp
Whereas the quit-smoking pamphlet published by a cancer fund I have to hand has this to say about stomach cancer:
What is now needed of course is some of those billions of research dollars, currently being spent on turning tobacco users into social pariahs, being shifted to the areas of fruitful research – after all these diseases affect all peoples and not just those that entertain certain habits considered by some as being bad habits – so that everybody can benefit from practical scientific research.
However, human nature being as it is, I will not be holding my breath whilst waiting for that to happen.
(for more on this subject there is a book available for free at the following URL): http://www.lcolby.com/
RESPONDENT: I don’t understand why you claim there is only a flesh and blood body.
RICHARD: Because ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul have become extinct, that is why. All that is left is what is actual ... this flesh and blood body being apperceptively aware. As time is eternal – just as space is infinite – to be here now as this flesh and blood body only is to be living an ongoing experiencing of this infinitude of this very material universe (I am using the word ‘infinitude in its ‘a boundless expanse and an unlimited time’ meaning). Therefore, infinitude – having no opposite and thus being perfection itself – is personified as me ... a flesh and blood body only. Hence my oft-repeated refrain: ‘I am the material universe experiencing itself as a sensate and reflective human being’. As me, the universe can be intelligent and observe and reflect upon itself. There is no ‘intelligence’ that is the source of this universe ... that is to commit the vulgar error of anthropomorphism.
RESPONDENT: You talk about your day but say there is no feeling of being. How then can you write about your experience?
RICHARD: As is evidenced in a pure consciousness experience (PCE), the flesh and blood body is entirely capable of thinking, reflecting, appraising and implementing considered action for benevolent reasons of its own accord. In fact it is remarkably simple: it is surprisingly easy to live and function without any ‘I’ and/or ‘Me’ or any ‘self’ and/or ‘Self’ whatsoever ... it is such a vast improvement upon ‘me’ doing all the daily tasks that it is a delight to just contemplate the difference. ‘I’ unnecessarily complicate this otherwise simple living with ‘my’ needs, ‘my’ demands, ‘my’ wants, ‘my’ shoulds, ‘my’ musts, ‘my’ beliefs, ‘my’ morals, ‘my’ values, ‘my’ principles, ‘my’ ideals, and so on. Not to mention ‘my’ sadness and ‘my’ empathy, ‘my’ likes and ‘my’ dislikes, ‘my’ loves and ‘my’ hates, ‘my’ fears and ‘my’ trusts, ‘my’ revenges and ‘my’ pardons, ‘my’ jealousies and ‘my’ faithfulness, ‘my’ blamings and ‘my’ forgiveness, ‘my’ loneliness and ‘my’ belonging ... the list goes on and on.
This body is eminently competent in functioning autonomously: the stomach tells the brain (wherein lies the will which, with its data-correlating ability, is nothing more grand than the nerve-organising organ of the body) when it is empty. The stomach secretes a chemical when unoccupied which triggers a receptor in the brain that gives rise to a sensation humans ignorantly call ‘I am hungry’. Indeed, tests have been done by people who delight in doing these things, wherein the chemical was injected into volunteers who had just eaten a full meal: the chemical caused them to feel hungry despite their distended stomachs. Thus ‘I’, thinking and feeling that ‘I’ am an important part of the process, step in and incorrectly say: ‘‘I’ am hungry’. ‘I’ am not hungry at all (how can a psychological or psychic entity need corporeal food) ... it is that the stomach is simply signalling its emptiness to the brain via the autonomic nervous system.
Likewise the bladder tells the brain when it is full, and so on. When ‘I’ says ‘I want to got to the toilet’, ‘I’ am not busting for a pee at all ... the bladder is merely indicating its fullness. Once again, a psychological and psychic entity cannot manufacture physical urine ... it is absurd. Furthermore, the empty stomach instructs the legs, via the will function of the physical brain, to walk to the cupboard for food. The eyes, seeing an empty cupboard and thus triggering remembered experience, will advise the legs, via the brain’s organising capability, to walk the body to a shop. An empty wallet will tell the legs to take the body to a bank ... and an empty bank account will demonstrate that it is time to get a job (or go on a pension or whatever). I am neither being pedantic nor facetious here ... it is actually this simple. Without an ‘I’ and/or ‘me’, one is this very sensuous flesh and blood body being apperceptively aware, living in the actual world of people, things and events ... not an ‘I’ and/or ‘me’ living in the grim and glum real world, forever cut off from the magnificence of this luscious actual world by ‘my’ unreal existence, thinking and feeling that ‘I’ have to make responsible and onerous decisions.
‘I’ and/or ‘me’ can never be here in this magical fairy-tale-like actual world for ‘I’ and/or ‘me’ am an interloper, an alien in psychological and psychic possession of the body: ‘I’ and/or ‘me’ do not belong here. All this is impossible to conceive, believe, imagine or in any other way visualise ... which is why it is essential to be confident that the actual world does exist. In order to mutate from a self-centred licentiousness to a self-less sensualism, one must have confidence in the ultimate beneficence of the universe. This confidence is born out of knowing that the grim and glum ‘real world’ is pasted as a veneer over the top of actual world that underlies everyday reality. This knowing is a solid and irrefutable knowing which is derived from the PCE and is an essential ingredient to ensure success. In such a peak experience everything is seen, with unparalleled clarity and purity, to be already perfect – that humans are all living in perfection – if only one would act upon one’s seeing. Because in a PCE, wherein apperception is operating unimpeded, it is irrefutably experienced that thought, thoughts and thinking happen of their own accord as is necessary ... for it is the function of the brain to do so.
RICHARD: The identity in toto (both ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul) is extinct ... annihilated, expunged, liquidated, extirpated. As dead as the dodo but with no skeletal remains. There is no phoenix to arise from the ashes ... there are no ashes. This is final, complete and total.
RESPONDENT: You claim that your soul is annihilated and expunged.
RICHARD: Not ‘my soul’ ... ‘me’ as soul.
RESPONDENT: What is it that is writing to me on this list? I guess you would have to say it was your body.
RICHARD: It is not ‘my body’ ... this is me as-this-body that is writing these words.
RESPONDENT: So you think you are pure body then?
RICHARD: I do not ‘think’ I am this flesh and blood body ... it is a fact I am this flesh and blood body. And ‘pure body’ means, in the context I am using it, that this flesh and blood body is undefiled by the presence of any pernicious ontological entity ... the ‘being’ that arrogates ownership and causes all the misery and mayhem that epitomises human life on this otherwise fair planet we all live on.
RESPONDENT: What is it that is in your body that is directing it to write your words?
RICHARD: There is nothing ‘in’ this flesh and blood body except heart and lungs and liver and kidneys and so on. This brain is perfectly capable of thinking thoughts of its own accord ... without any ‘I’/‘me’ in there stuffing things up.
RESPONDENT: Why would the brain alone, a physical organ, have any motive to communicate to others what it has experienced?
RICHARD: It is simply a matter of species acknowledgement (like recognises like) ... we are fellow human beings. As human suffering is global, anyone who finds a way that even eases suffering – let alone eliminates it – would involuntarily (as in not of volition or will) share this information with one’s fellow human beings ... it is an ‘of course’ that one does this.
RESPONDENT: Since the true nature of this body and anything physical is timeless and impermanent and boundless and without separation, we cannot say any separate thing truly exists, as if it had some independent existence.
RICHARD: No, the true nature of this flesh and blood body is not timeless ... it is in time. Yes, the true nature of this flesh and blood body is impermanence ... it was born and will die. No, the true nature of this body is not boundlessness ... its apperceptive awareness is boundless. Yes, the true nature of this flesh and blood body is separation ... if by ‘separation’ you meant physically distinct from other bodies and the environment at large. You are mixing terminology there in a way that must be confusing for you.
RESPONDENT: We can say that it exists in an apparent way, but it does not truly exist.
RICHARD: There is a generally accepted convention around the world that, when referring to the psychological or psychic entity within the body, small quotes are used. To wit: ‘I’, ‘me’, ‘my’. When wishing to refer to this flesh and blood body bereft of this entity, it is convenient to revert to the first person pronoun: I, me, my ... or even more impersonally ... one.
RESPONDENT: I really can’t make sense of this. A psychic being in the body. Can you be clearer about this? Is it like an organ or a cell or a virus?
RICHARD: There are two entities who have taken up residence in each human being: a psychological entity and a psychic entity. Just as there are those Christians who are said to be ‘possessed’ by an entity that requires exorcism, so too is every human being ‘possessed’ ... except that it is called being normal. These entities go by many names, according to the culture, but it is generally accepted in English speaking countries that each individual has both an ego and a soul. The ego is the psychological entity and the soul is the psychic entity.
And, no, an entity is not like an organ, a cell or a virus. These entities are not actual, they exist in the psyche as emotional-mental constructs and are not at all substantive. They are born out of the instinctual fear and aggression that blind nature endows all sentient beings with at birth to aid the survival of the species. There are those peoples of scientific bent who have tentatively located these basic emotions in what is known as the ‘Lizard brain’ or ‘Reptilian Brain’ situated at the top of the brain-stem. Of course, there is contention about this primitive brain, just as there is contention about all matters scientific ... I mention it as an illustration only and not as a statement of fact.
RESPONDENT: So you are saying that ‘one’ refers to ‘the flesh and blood body’?
RICHARD: In the context that I was using it – yes. It saved me writing in this manner: ‘This flesh-and-blood body is then spontaneously happy and harmless; this flesh-and-blood body is automatically blithe and benevolent; this flesh-and-blood body is candidly carefree and considerate. Thus, for this flesh-and-blood body, which dares to go all the way, individual peace on earth for the remainder of this flesh-and-blood body’s life is immediate and actual’.
RESPONDENT: I don’t know about your body, but this body is always spontaneous, but what does it mean, to say that it is benevolent or carefree? The mind is benevolent, and what is flesh and blood about the mind?
RICHARD: If by the ‘mind’ you mean ‘consciousness’ – as in being awake and conscious as compared with being asleep or unconscious – then it is very much a product of flesh and blood. When the body dies, consciousness dies. Death is the end. Finish.
But if by ‘mind’ you mean ‘Consciousness’ (with a capital ‘C’) to denote an ‘Immortal Intelligence’ that is ‘Timeless and Spaceless’, ‘Unborn and Undying’, ‘Beginingless and Endless’ then no, it is not flesh and blood. It is a delusion born out of an illusion ... and not at all substantial.
When this flesh and blood body is rid of the psychological and psychic entities that live a parasitical existence in their unwitting host, one is able to appreciate that what I am (‘what’ not ‘who’) is this body. Then I am automatically benevolent and carefree ... and happy and harmless, for one has eradicated malice and sorrow with the demise of the ego and the soul.
RESPONDENT: Yes there are many subtle misconceptions concerning the concept of ‘me’, one of them is that we can get away with all the problems by calling ourselves a ‘flesh and blood body’.
RICHARD: No, not at all. One can not ‘get away with all the problems by calling ourselves a ‘flesh and blood body’. This physical universe, being perfect and pristine, has so arranged itself that nobody can get away with anything. If one is at all dishonest – as in intellectually unscrupulous – about ferreting out anything detrimental to one’s salubrity, that aspect of one’s personality that one has conveniently overlooked has the charming habit of sneaking up behind one and tapping one firmly behind the knees. If one is at all desirous of living a blameless and carefree life, one cannot fudge a single issue.
Thus, to merely call oneself a ‘flesh and blood body’ achieves nothing – unless one is so stupefied as to be so easily fooled by one’s own mendacity. Only when both the ego and the soul are extinct is this appellation veritable ... and the results of doing so are deliciously lived out in one’s daily life.
RESPONDENT: What is flesh and blood about the mind?
RICHARD: If by the ‘mind’ you mean ‘consciousness’ – as in being awake and conscious as compared with being asleep or unconscious – then it is very much a product of flesh and blood. When the body dies, consciousness dies. Death is the end. Finish.
RESPONDENT: Are you a materialist? Certainly all evidence points to the dependence of mind on body, but that does not mean that the one is the other. I am dependent on eating food, but I am not the food.
RICHARD: Well, speaking personally, I am indeed the food. I come out of the ground in the form of carrots, lettuce, celery, and etcetera. When I eat cheese, it is made from milk which the cow produces by eating grass – which comes out of the ground. The same goes for eggs and meat ... everything edible. This body is, literally, of the ground. Along with water, sunlight and air, everything comes out of the ground – from this very earth under my feet. As this earth is hanging in space, then it is clear that I am made of the very stuff of the physical universe. I was not created ‘outside’ of this universe by some mysterious god and planted ‘in’ here for some inscrutable reason. I am the universe experiencing itself as a sensate, reflective human being. I am this body only ... and this body is of this physical universe.
If that makes me a ‘materialist’ then so be it ... I am certainly not a ‘spiritualist’. However, I find the word ‘materialist’ too restrictive, for it implies deadness, inertness. I would rather call myself an ‘actualist’. An actualist is a person who sees that matter is not merely passive.
RICHARD: When this flesh and blood body is rid of the psychological and psychic entities that live a parasitical existence in their unwitting host, one is able to appreciate that what I am (‘what’ not ‘who’) is this body. Then I am automatically benevolent and carefree ... and happy and harmless, for one has eradicated malice and sorrow with the demise of the ego and the soul.
RESPONDENT: Does not the body suffer? Feel pain?
RICHARD: No, there is no suffering at all. There is physical pain, but no suffering. Physical pain is essential ... if it did not exist, one could be sitting on a hot stove and not know that one’s bum was burning until one noticed the smoke rising!
Suffering is psychological ... only the entities suffer. Thus they forever seek consolation, commiseration and solace. Hence the neediness for the whole gamut of pity, sympathy, empathy, compassion and love. When one is actually free, none of these products of pathos are necessary ... in fact, with the ego and soul’s demise, they cease to exist. They, too, are bogus.
RESPONDENT: Would the actual be things that are impermanent, permanent or neither?
RICHARD: The form ‘things’ take is impermanent ... the matter they are made of is permanent. Things are material ... matter itself arranges and re-arranges itself endlessly into differing forms. This planet we all live on is matter that had a beginning as this particular form called ‘The Earth’; this form grows; this form ages and this form ends ... but only as this particular form. (Somewhat like this physical body). This planet’s matter re-arranges itself into another form when this solar system, as its particular form, implodes or explodes or whatever it does. This goes on for galaxy after uncountable galaxy ... this material universe’s space is infinite and its time is eternal. This physical universe endlessly re-arranges itself into multitudinous different forms ... just like the particular physical matter of the body does after physical death and did before physical birth. Because the universe is eternal – the universe is here now and it always has been and it always will be – it is therefore permanent. This universe never began and will never finish. It is truly the ‘Unborn and Undying’ ... I see no need to invent a metaphysical god to have these characteristics.
Except, of course, that ‘I’ wish to be Immortal.
Why do ‘I’ wish immortality? ‘I’ am a product of blind nature’s ‘software’ (not ‘hardware’) package of instinctual survival passions ... like fear and aggression and nurture and desire. These passions fashion an affective self that has been charged by blind nature with a survival instinct. Out of this an ‘I’ is formed ... sentient beings are not born with an ‘I’ ... they are born with a rudimentary self. (Which is a non-verbal awareness of bodily self as distinct from other bodies and the environment at large ... this can be observed in animals). Blind nature equips sentient beings with those instinctual passions as basic survival instincts. These passions can be observed in animal infants ... and in human babies before they can think and talk. Thus malice and sorrow are intrinsic and are not dependent upon conditioning as the ‘Wise Ones’ would have us believe. (These kind of things can be seen in the comfort of one’s own living-room via those fascinating National Geographic videos of the apes. These animals display passions and behaviour that is almost uncanny in their – albeit very basic – similarity to the human species.)
But as this is a ‘software’ package it can be deleted. This ‘deletion’ – psychological and psychic self-immolation – reveals the pristine actuality that has always been here all along ... it was overlaid with a ‘reality’ created by ‘I’ as ego. (And the ‘Greater Reality’ was created by ‘me’ as soul). Without the ‘I’ as ego and the ‘me’ as soul there is apperceptive awareness. As this apperceptive flesh and blood body, which is made of the same ‘stuff’ as the universe, I am this material universe being able to consciously experience itself as a sensate and reflective human being. Thus infinitude experiences itself as me here and now.
RICHARD: ... [Mr. Mukunda Lal Gosh’s (aka Paramhansa) experience] shows him that ‘the physical form is discarded’ at death by the ‘astral/subtle and mental/ causal body’ which then continues to incarnate and ‘reincarnate again and again’ in the ‘mental/ causal realm’. Neither the ‘astral/ subtle and mental/ causal body’ nor the ‘mental/ causal realm’ exist in this physical actuality ... they exist in a metaphysical reality.
RESPONDENT: It depends on what you term physical.
RICHARD: I term ‘physical’ that which is material, corporeal, substantial, concrete, tangible and palpable as ascertained sensately (or by extension to the senses such as telescopes, microscopes, x-rays and so on).
RESPONDENT: Perhaps the more subtle realms are indeed just as real as this one, only at a more subtle rate of vibration.
RICHARD: Have you never noticed that a Christian, when having a vision of God, typically sees a pale-skinned Mr. Yeshua the Nazarene hanging on a cross ... whilst a Hindu having a vision of God typically sees a blue-skinned Mr. Krishna playing on a flute ... and not vice versa? This and many, many other examples of comparative religious studies shows that what a believer sees (as being real) in visions is culturally determined. Before modern technology provided a world-wide communication network of newspapers, magazines, books, libraries, telegraph, radio, telephone, television and now the internet, such visions had an imperative force because isolation beggars comparison. Thus modern scholarly research has thoroughly scotched the ‘wisdom’ myth of the revered fables and legends of yore.
Although, speaking of ‘subtle realms’, I notice that Mr. Aristotle’s ‘aether’ is under-going a revival as Quantum Theory gets ever more frantic due to the mathematicians who, having taken over physics in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, are bemiring themselves more and more in their futile efforts to prove their god to be a mathematician.
RESPONDENT: In the book ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’, in the chapter ‘Resurrection of Yukteswar’, Yukteswar has died recently and appears to the author, Yogananda, and explains to him in telepathic mental pictures ‘and’ words, what the actual condition of life beyond the material world is like. He explains that once the physical form is discarded, then one lives in the astral/subtle and mental/causal bodies. He lives on the astral realm and says that what happens there is that we reincarnate there again and again just like we do on earth, then transcend to the mental/causal realm and do the same there. How does that explanation coincide or differ from your understanding?
RICHARD: First, as Mr. Yukteswar Giri is dead then any ‘appearance’ of his for Mr. Mukunda Lal Gosh is ascertained in Mr. Mukunda Lal Gosh’s psyche (the imaginative/intuitive psychic facility) and not in the physical world actuality (which is ascertained sensately). Which means that ‘life beyond the material world’ is not actual (existing in fact) and is accurately described as being ascertained by ‘telepathic mental pictures ‘and’ words’ (which is the clue that his vision is not a sensorial actuality but a prescient reality). Thus the entire explanation does not coincide with my experience at all: my actual experience (factual) clearly shows me that death is the end, finish; extinction (no reincarnation or after-life).
RESPONDENT: This is an assumption, one that I agree with you does not match the rest of your realization, but this doesn’t mean that it is not actual.
RICHARD: I am somewhat at a loss as to how you can be so certain that it is ‘an assumption’ of mine that ‘death is the end, finish; extinction’. As there is no identity (neither ‘I’ as ego nor ‘me’ as soul) there is no ‘being’ whatsoever extant in this flesh and blood body to survive the physical decomposition or combustion of this body upon death.
RESPONDENT: Goddamn it Richard you’re really starting to piss me off! Just kidding. Ok, forget about I or Richard but there is something inside of you right now reading this message that is sitting inside the location coordinates formerly known as Richard, right?
RICHARD: Not so ... there is only heart and lungs and liver and kidneys and so on ‘in’ this flesh and blood body. I explained this in my initial response to your query ‘Tell Us About Yourself Richard’ Vis.:
So as to read it in context you will find it towards the end of the article. I have also explained it towards the end of another post:
Where I say ‘I am the sensations’ and ‘I am these sense organs in operation’, I mean what I write ... because I write what I mean. As sensations cannot occur without senses, and as senses cannot exist without a flesh and blood body, then when this flesh and blood body physically decomposes or is burnt upon death so too do the senses, sensations ... and me.
RESPONDENT: There is an awareness there and this is what will go on.
RICHARD: Not so ... apperception (which is what awareness is sans identity) only occurs when this flesh and blood body is alive (not dead), awake (not asleep), conscious (not unconscious). The oblivion of concussion, anaesthesia and night-time sleep demonstrate this fact admirably.
RESPONDENT: That unique awareness that is what we think of as ourselves.
RICHARD: Ahh ... therein lies the rub: who ‘I’ think ‘I’ am, who ‘I’ feel ‘I’ am and who ‘I’ instinctively know ‘I’ am (the identity ‘in’ the flesh and blood body) mistakenly seeks immortality because of the self-aggrandising tendency of the narcissism born of the survival instincts.
RESPONDENT: Enlightenment has nothing to do with disassociation ...
RICHARD: If I may interject? What does the phrase ‘you are not the body’ indicate if not a total disassociation from the world of people, things and events?
RESPONDENT: You are nothing and you are everything. Both at the same time.
RICHARD: Speaking personally, I am this flesh and blood body – which is ‘something’ not ‘nothing’ – and there are 6.0 billion flesh and blood human bodies currently walking and talking; eating and drinking; urinating and defecating; waking and sleeping ... and this flesh and blood body called ‘Richard’ as this particular configuration of matter at this particular moment is clearly not them as being their particular configuration of matter at this particular moment. Then there is the mountains and the streams, the trees and the flowers, the clouds in the sky by day and the stars in the firmament by night and so on and so on ad infinitum ... and this flesh and blood body called ‘Richard’ as this particular configuration of matter at this particular moment is obviously not them as being their particular configuration of matter at this particular moment. So, it is patently evident that I am not ‘nothing’ and nor am I ‘everything’ ... let alone ‘both at the same time’ at this particular moment as this particular configuration of matter.
Would you care to try again?
RESPONDENT: There is no separation from anything.
RICHARD: True. As I am the air breathed, the water drunk, the food eaten and the sunlight absorbed there is no actual separation whatsoever betwixt this body and that body and anything else. Just because each flesh and blood body being consciously aware is being aware as a private domain, as it were, (as opposed to the public domain) and that this body is discrete (physically distinct) to that body, it does not imply separation ... unless there is an ‘I’ as ego and/or a ‘me’ as soul in residence inside the body asserting property rights. A hill or mountain is the same stuff as the very earth it seemingly sits upon, for example. Everything and everyone is the very self-same stuff that this planet earth – and this infinite and eternal and perpetual universe – already always is ... hence no separation whatsoever. I did not come from outside this universe – there being no outside to infinity – nor was I put here by some metaphysical god and/or goddess for some inscrutable reason.
RESPONDENT: You are the Source of it all, whether it appears as illusion or not. Who You Really Are/Universal Consciousness is making all the decisions and as such you can not be separate from any of them. That which you choose to call ‘evil’ – it is You/Universal Consciousness that does those ‘terrible’ things.
RICHARD: And, as ‘Universal Consciousness’ is ‘The Truth’ aka God and/or Goddess (or any of those other words towards the top of this page), this is because the diabolical underpins the divine ... the polar opposites are complementary poles, as the mystics often point out.
RESPONDENT: It is you/the ego called Richard that chooses to disassociate yourself from those actions.
RICHARD: There is no ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul extant in this flesh and blood body called ‘Richard’.
RESPONDENT: An enlightened being sees that they are all of those actions and that none of them have the slightest importance.
RICHARD: Hence all the wars and murders and rapes and tortures and domestic violence and child abuse and suicides and the such-like are perpetuated by Gurus and the God-Men, the Masters and the Messiahs, the Avatars and the Saviours and the Saints and the Sages forever and a day.
RESPONDENT: They are the perpetrator and the victim, and both are merely holographic images in this play called manifested reality.
RICHARD: Yep ... no wonder there is no global peace-on-earth, eh?
RESPONDENT: You are the play, all of it.
RICHARD: If I may make a suggestion? You may be better off speaking for yourself instead of second-guessing how I experience life and what I do or do not do.
RESPONDENT: When we go to the theatre the action we see is actually taking place, but its not Real. The actors are not really angry at each other, its just a big pretence, an act. The same goes for this manifested reality, it’s actually happening but its not Real.
RICHARD: Try telling that to someone who has just been raped; try telling that to someone who is in a trench on the front-line; try telling that to someone being tortured; try telling that to the person on the receiving end of domestic violence; try telling that to the recipient of child abuse; try telling that to someone sliding down the slippery-slope of sadness to loneliness to melancholy to depression and then suicide. More specifically, try saying that to the Buddhist woman who is being raped by a Hindu soldier; try saying that to the Hindu mother whose son has been brutally tortured by Muslim terrorists; try saying that to a Jewish grandmother whose entire family has been wiped out by zealous Christians; try saying that to a Taoist girl whose life has been violated and ruined by Buddhist/Shinto soldiers; try saying that a Zen monk whose whole city has been razed by an atomic explosion.
If your wife and/or daughter and/or mother and/or grandmother and/or sister was being brutally raped by an angry, resentful and bitter man, would you really stand by saying to her: ‘you are the play ... the actors are not really angry at each other ... its just a big pretence, an act’?
RESPONDENT: The phrase ‘you are not the body’ is inaccurate. It should be rephrased ‘you are not only the body’. ‘The body’ is the tinniest, insignificant part of what you are.
RICHARD: Hmm ... are you re-inventing the ancient wisdom? The ancient wisdom has it unambiguously that material reality is illusion through and through (the word ‘maya’ translates as ‘illusion’ or ‘only apparently real’).
RESPONDENT (2): What about acupuncture? That’s to do with chi energies, isn’t it?
RICHARD: Personally I do not use acupuncture, homeopathy, flower remedies ... for me it is a waste of time.
RESPONDENT (1): What about herbs?
RICHARD: I am more happy to go direct to the chemist. Researchers have sorted them all out and synthesised what is in the herbs. Live herbs – or dried herbs – are imprecise. It depends upon the growing season, climatic conditions, environmental factors and so forth, for the strength of the herb. There are many incidences of people taking herbs and finding them too strong – or too weak – for their illness ... with deleterious effects. Chemists are precise and one can be assured of the correct dosage. I have nothing against herbs per se, of course they have medicinal properties; it is just that the whole business is imprecise and it is easy to over-dose or under-dose.
Western medicine is not perfect, but it is not as bad as those people who object to it make it out to be. What I find interesting is that those rich people who live in countries like China or India who get some particular disease have this remarkable habit of flying to the US or the UK to get the best medicine, the best surgery that Western medicine can provide. They know that that is where they can find a cure. I find that quite indicative. They do not rely upon the traditional healing of their own country – that ‘healing’ that is so revered by those reactionary and disgruntled persons brought up in this land of plenty.
RESPONDENT: The entire ‘healing’ business is the opium of the middle class. It is a luxury that they can get into ... until they are seriously ill. Then they take antibiotics or modern surgery with alacrity.
RICHARD: It is all to do with being an identity. An identity will ‘heal’ anything in order to take attention away from itself. An identity lives in mortal fear of being found out for the usurper it is ... not to mention the ‘self’. An identity will talk about ‘dropping the ego’, for example; yet if successful in this enterprise, it will identify as being ‘The Self’ ... or ‘The Absolute’, or ‘I am That’, or ‘I am God’ ... or ‘Whatever’. The identity is still flourishing and the wars, the rapes, the murders, the tortures and the corruption still goes on as it has been for thousands and thousands of years. To go into ‘healing energies’ and ‘personal growth’ and ‘spiritual paths’ is to fiddle with the levers and controls within the human condition.
It requires a radical departure from the norm, from the orthodox. There can be peace on earth – and one can live in universal peace now – by attending to the root cause of all the ills that have beset humankind since time immemorial. Apart from a genuine medical complaint, ‘I’ am the sole cause of all the ills – and I do not just mean petty psychosomatic maladies – I mean the basic, the fundamental originator of all the inequities and infirmities and decrepitudes that have plagued all human beings for aeons ... and still continue to do so. Instead of worrying about things like all of these natural remedies being better than the synthesised medicines or vice versa, let us uncover and uproot the parasite within.
Then intelligence can operate unimpeded, allowing one to make up one’s own mind about the optimum course to take in one’s daily life. I would not want to set down rules about medicines, remedies – or whatever – for all and sundry. Some things are a matter of personal taste.
RESPONDENT: Also, what ‘process’ was going on for six months in 1981 and thirty months in 1993-4 when you were ‘unstable as all get out’?
RICHARD: The medical diagnosis was that there was an excess of dopamine in the post-synaptic receptors ... an excitation of the brain cells, which was happening of its own accord irregardless of events, and thus not under voluntary control.
These days I am in agreement with that determination as some considerable light was thrown upon it all a few years ago when I drank three cups of strong coffee (I only drink decaffeinated coffee nowadays) in a two-hour period and it set-off a psychotropic episode lasting 5-6 hours ... an episode indistinguishable from what was occurring in 1981 and 1993-1994.
I have since found out that caffeine is a chemical cousin to cocaine (chemical not biological) ... and, as a similar episode occurred a couple of years ago as a result of having a dental injection to anaesthetise the jaw, I now make sure the dentist uses a procaine mixture which does not contain adrenaline, which most such mixtures do, because its effect is also psychotropic.
RESPONDENT: It’s interesting that in practicing Actualism, we need to be in touch with our emotions enough to not be detached, but not so much in touch with them that we get dissociated as in enlightenment.
RICHARD: For the sake of clarity in communication I would stress that the actualism method sits firmly upon the minimisation of both the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ feelings and the optimisation of the felicitous/ innocuous feelings ... and merely being in touch with felicity will not do the trick.
RESPONDENT: I looked up the word ‘dissociation’ and the first definition included the breaking up of chemical combinations into their simpler constituents. So is enlightenment singular attention being paid to only one chemical effect (emotion) happening (out of all of them ) or it is one chemical effect (emotion) drowning out the rest due to the sheer amount of it?
RICHARD: As I use the word ‘dissociation’ in the psychiatric sense I am somewhat reluctant to extend its usage into the area you propose ... to break everything down into chemical effects (whilst not dismissing such effects of course) would be to rightly earn the label ‘reductionism’.
In other words there is more to understanding the workings of the psyche than understanding chemistry.
RESPONDENT: Is it physically draining to be enlightened?
RICHARD: It can be ... especially when interacting with others as the transmission of love, and the intensity of compassion, consumes an inordinate amount of psychic energy. Roaming alone in nature was not as draining, however, as it was mostly affective energy ... although it must be said that there was 7-8 hours of sleep and three meals a day back then (as contrasted to 3-4 or 4-5 hours of sleep and one meal a day plus a snack now).
RESPONDENT: Was there a change in your general or subtle state of health after AF?
RICHARD: I have had what is called a healthy constitution all my life – I very rarely had the need of doctors – so I cannot readily point to any specific change other than the marked absence of any psychosomatic ailments.
I can still come down with colds and flu’s, for example, although nowhere as near as often or as severe.
RESPONDENT: It seems like a load is taken off my nervous system or something in a PCE.
RICHARD: Indeed ... the entire load, in fact, which absence of stress can only have the effect of ensuring a more healthy immune system.
RESPONDENT: Also, I am wondering if the psychic circuit operates at a particular frequency and could be eliminated by introducing a duplicate counter-frequency.
RICHARD: The only way of becoming virtually free/actually free which has been demonstrated to work is the one on offer on The Actual Freedom Trust web site ... there may be other ways yet to be discovered but this is the only one so far with a successful track record.
RESPONDENT: Maybe this is what happens when ‘I’ sees it is nothing but an emotional action/fabrication?
RICHARD: Oh? Is it your experience that when ‘you’ see that ‘you’ are nothing but an emotional action/fabrication the psychic circuit is eliminated ... or is this an hypothesis based upon a speculation?
RESPONDENT: The exactly accurate thought/realization of what ‘I’ am blows that circuit.
RICHARD: Rather than going around calibrating thoughts/realisations to a particular counter-frequency why not give the actualism method a go?
RESPONDENT: It is a circuit that is gone now (for you) isn’t it?
RICHARD: The entire psyche is no more (aka both the affective faculty and its epiphenomenal psychic ability).
RESPONDENT: The circuit to the amygdale?
RICHARD: What I can say is that the startle responses (otherwise known as reflex actions) still operates – and much better than ever now that there is no affective reaction – and that the radical change happened in the brain-stem/base of the brain at the top of the spinal cord ... arguably in the Reticular Activating System in general, and the Substantia Nigra in particular, where some researchers have posited the seat of consciousness to lie.
In other words, with no identity extant the limbic system (which includes the amygdalae) is free to operate at its optimum.
RESPONDENT: Are there doctors that are interested in keeping track of you besides psychiatrists?
RICHARD: Nobody from the medical profession is keeping track of me these days (the psychiatric tracking you refer to was only for three years in the early-to-mid ‘nineties).
RESPONDENT: Thanks for your reply. I hate to be nit-picky but I feel compelled to clear up a few points. Here are some quotes from your writings: [Richard]: ‘Actual freedom: Actual freedom is consistent: it is neither contradictory nor hypocritical; Spiritual freedom: Inconsistency, contradiction and hypocrisy are central to spiritual freedom’. [Richard]: ‘I decide to move on to my appointment ... which is actually with a cup of specially blended and drip-filtered coffee ... plus a well earned cigarette in the quietude and cosiness of my own living room’. [Richard]: ‘For just one instance this flesh and blood body has zero tolerance to caffeine, alcohol, and (presumably) any other stimulant and/or mood-enhancing/mind-altering substance, and there is no way of knowing definitively whether that is peculiar to this flesh and blood body or a characteristic of being sans the affective faculty (and thus its epiphenomenal psychic facility) in general. Thus, with no identity in situ, intelligence is free to operate sensibly, practically ...’. [endquotes]. Is it intelligent to smoke and drink coffee if the body doesn’t really like it? Have I missed something or are these quotes inconsistent?
RICHARD: I only ever use decaffeinated coffee as it is the caffeine (a chemical cousin to cocaine) which is the substance that triggers off a psychotropic episode if I were to have any ... consequently I do not consume tea, cola, chocolate, sports drinks, or anything else with caffeine in it. Also, as a similar episode occurred a couple of years ago as a result of having a dental injection to anaesthetise the jaw, I now make sure the dentist uses a procaine mixture which does not contain adrenaline, which most such mixtures do, because its effect is also psychotropic.
RESPONDENT: Another issue comes to mind. Its the old ‘I am the body’ antidotal (if that’s actually a word) argument: If ‘you’ are the body and not the entire universe then if your arm is cut off, are ‘you’ the cut off arm as well as the living body? Then there would be 2 yous? If you answer by saying there is no identity then the next quote from the actual freedom site cannot be allowed either: [Richard]: ‘Actual freedom: One is this flesh and blood body only; Spiritual freedom: One is not the physical body. [endquote].
RICHARD: What I am is this living flesh and blood body, of course, and a severed limb is as much a dead body part as is any other body part which can be removed without causing death (a kidney for example). Furthermore this body, like any body, is shedding parts of itself continuously each and every day.
And, yes, antidotal is indeed a word:
RESPONDENT: Reading the link you gave me, I still think that you are mixing dodgy Spiritual claims with descriptions of freedom (or actual freedom if you prefer) into one category and dismissing them all. Throwing the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak.
RICHARD: If I were to use your analogy then this is the ‘baby’ that got thrown out:
In other words all spiritual claims are ‘dodgy’ as there is no ‘spirit’ or ‘presence’ or ‘being’ (‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being is ‘being’ itself) in actuality ... there are no gods or goddesses of any description in this actual world.
It is all so peaceful here.
RESPONDENT: One more point, this time not based in mistrust: [Respondent]: ‘For some reason, I do believe you are telling the truth, and I find it fascinating that the universe is not allowing you to become aware of others who have made the same discovery (you’d probably say because no-one has)’. [Richard]: ‘Yep ... and, just in case there has been a misunderstanding, the universe is not god/goddess and thus neither allows nor prevents such an awareness you refer to’. [endquotes]. I understand that I am placing human qualities on this thing called the universe (everything) but I don’t fully understand your reply. Could you expand on this please.
RICHARD: Sure ... as the awareness you refer to is a psychic awareness it has no existence outside of the human psyche – there is no ‘spirit’ or ‘presence’ or ‘being’ in actuality – and there is no such facility operating in this flesh and blood body (when the affective faculty vanished so too did its epiphenomenal psychic facility).
RESPONDENT: Richard, I feel like I’m reaching for a sticky bun as I do this, but I can’t resist: [Richard]: ‘What I am is this living flesh and blood body, of course, and a severed limb is as much a dead body part as is any other body part which can be removed without causing death (a kidney for example). Furthermore this body, like any body, is shedding parts of itself continuously each and every day’. [endquote]. What about nails?
RICHARD: Just like when I trim the beard/get a haircut they are body parts which can be removed without causing death.
RESPONDENT: They are dead but attached onto the body.
RICHARD: Not ‘attached onto’ – they are part and parcel of what a body is – and a body has quite a few dead parts, that are yet to be shed, at any given moment ... dead skin, for instance, or a dried-up scab on a nearly-healed wound which is about to fall off, or a drop of sweat about to drip off the nose, and so on.
RESPONDENT: Are you saying that you are this living f&bb except for the nails?
RICHARD: If I understand it correctly – as I am not a biologist I may be in error – where the nail is growing from the cuticle, thus pushing the dead portion forward and hence off the end of the finger/toe, it is not dead ... just as the hair follicle is a growing filament but the keratinised hair itself, that which can be cut off, is dead filament.
Perhaps if I were to put it this way? I do not go around gathering up flakes of skin, finger/toe nail clippings, trimmed hair/cut hair/shed hair (pubes in the drain hole), dried-up scabs, sweat, blood, pus, exhaled air, aromas, and so on and bury them reverently in a marked grave-site each and every day which says, in effect, something like this:
RESPONDENT: Are you saying that you are the head but not the kidneys or arms, but you are also the heart?
RICHARD: No, while a kidney (with both kidneys removed a body is a dead body), and an arm/arms, are part and parcel of what a living body is, that is as much what I am as any other part/parts.
RESPONDENT: You are a head and a heart etc.
RICHARD: Obviously I cannot comment on the etcetera but, yes, what I am is this living (air-breathing, blood-coursing, nerve-stimulating, cell-pulsing) body currently comprising all limbs, both kidneys, heart, lungs, liver, stomach, head, neck, shoulders, torso, abdomen ... and any other piece of living tissue, that would probably require several pages to delineate, that are all part and parcel of what I am.
RESPONDENT: Also, at what point does the food you eat, which by your definition, is not you, suddenly become you, the physical body?
RICHARD: If I understand the digestive process correctly – as I am not a biologist I may be in error – it is when the nutrients are absorbed into the blood-stream in the small intestines (and maybe, to some extent, in the stomach itself due to enzyme action).
RESPONDENT: If we are defining what ‘I am’ in these terms, then we have an equation: I = Something.
RICHARD: Easy on the ‘we’ – I am not necessarily defining what I am just in those terms – I am merely responding to your queries as they unfold.
RESPONDENT: If the ‘Something’ is constantly changing, and without any particular core or static essence, or intrinsic identity, as in the living flesh and blood body ...
RICHARD: If I may interject? Where I say I am this living flesh and blood body I am not identifying with this flesh and blood body – identifying with this flesh and blood body as an identity be it intrinsic or not – as what I am describing is what I am (what, not ‘who’) ... only an identity would translate my descriptions as describing a particular core/a static essence/an intrinsic identity (or a true identity/a real identity or whatever).
RESPONDENT: ... [If the ‘Something’ is constantly changing, and without any particular core or static essence, or intrinsic identity, as in the living flesh and blood body] then the equation should really read: I = a group of molecules within a certain proximity ... but then if we get the old microscope out we see that the molecules themselves have particular core or static essence, or intrinsic identity etc. (I’m trusting what modern science appears to be discovering, admittedly). So the new equation reads: I = something with no particular core or static essence , or intrinsic quality. Then saying I = a ‘thing’ seems to be very imprecise. The whole statement, starts to look very ambiguous.
RICHARD: Again I see in that passage (I did not want to interject again) that you are looking for/seeking to locate an intrinsic identity/ particular core/ static essence/ intrinsic quality ... even to the point of relying upon modern science (which shows that the nucleus of a cell, and not the surrounding cytoplasm, is what holds the deoxyribonucleic acid, or self-replicating material, and which is the determiner of protein synthesis).
Perhaps if I were to put it this way: being alive, being a living body, is to be a process of constant change – birthing, growing, ageing, dying – on all levels (microscopic and macroscopic and anywhere in between). Furthermore, nothing is ever static – everything, literally everything, is in constant motion, constant change; nothing, literally nothing, is ever stagnant, ever stays the same – thus all is novel, never boring, all is new, never old, all is fresh, never stale.
In short: the entire universe is a perpetuus mobilis.
RESPONDENT: Although on reflection all the above is too vague really. Surely saying there are senses in operation is more accurate than all the other stuff. I actually know that there is seeing, hearing, tasting, feeling (as in sensations reported by the skin) etc. No-one can argue with that.
RICHARD: True. I have also, on many an occasion, described what I am as being these eyes seeing, these ears hearing, these nostrils smelling, this tongue tasting, this skin feeling, and these proprioceptors sensing ... whilst all the while there is an apperceptive awareness of all this happening.
Which brings in the subject of consciousness: I have also said that consciousness – the condition of a body being being conscious – is what happens when this body is alive, not dead, awake, not asleep, sensible, not insensible (comatose) and that all experiencing is awareness of what is happening whilst it is happening ... in that the mind, which is the human brain in action in the human skull, has this amazing capacity to be, not only aware, but aware of being aware at the same time (a simultaneity which is truly wondrous in itself).
RESPONDENT: Richard – I see a few flaws in your description of a lack of adrenaline (now called epinephrine).
RICHARD: Here is the essence of that description:
And here is the essence of the earlier description:
If you can point out the ‘few flaws’ you see in either of those descriptions I will be most interested.
RESPONDENT: First of all, can you detect exactly the forms of the molecules that flow through your body?
RICHARD: No ... and, given that ‘molecules’ (just like ‘atoms’) are mathematical models of the universe, neither can anybody else. Moreover, as I am an actualist, and not a scientist, my reports/ descriptions/ explanations are experiential, not scientifical, and any reference I may make to matters scientific on occasion are secondary.
Did you not take in the import of what [quote] ‘via self-observation’ [endquote] conveys in my further above explanation? Vis.:
RESPONDENT: Also, I am not sure what scientific claims you are consulting ...
RICHARD: I am not consulting any scientific claim in either the later or the earlier description ... they are, quite clearly, self-reports. Vis.:
I was sailing over a supermarket garden-bed/strolling along a country lane ... I was *not* in a laboratory somewhere, wired to some machine, on either occasion.
RESPONDENT: ... [I am not sure what scientific claims you are consulting] but studies done by Schacter provide strong evidence for the conclusion that epinephrine is NOT linked to specific emotions.
RICHARD: You may have missed what I wrote in my initial response in this thread:
In essence what you are doing is singling out one person, with training/ expertise in some ‘-ology’ or another, among many such persons ... only to have me research what that person has to say (in lieu of you conducting a ‘self’-investigation).
RESPONDENT: I suggest you research the studies of this man.
RICHARD: I have had all manner of peoples advise me to research all manner of things since I first went public on the internet in 1997 ... each and every one of them conveniently overlooking the fact that, being already actually free of the human condition, I have no personal interest whatsoever in doing anything of the sort.
RESPONDENT: One of the most important conclusions he made is that if a person could be persuaded that the arousal they received (from ep. injections) was not due to an emotional factor, they would not experience it as emotional.
RICHARD: To use a modern colloquialism: that would have to be a no-brainer if there ever was.
RESPONDENT: Furthermore, epinephrine signals cells to increase cAMP levels, Triacyglcerol mobilization, and glyconeogenesis, all needed for increased energy availability. This IS the signal for more energy: you still insist that ‘necessity’ gave you the energy you needed?
RICHARD: I never insisted upon it in the first place – I provided a report/a description/an explanation out of my direct experience – and, not only did I experience no feelings/ emotions/ passions whatsoever, neither was there any receival of an adrenaline arousal at all (as expressed in, for example, phrasing such as ‘rushes of adrenaline’ or ‘an adrenaline hit’ and ‘an adrenaline junkie’ and so on).
Neither was there any cortisol-induced heightened awareness either – each and every thing specifically looked at, here in this actual world, is already seen in detail – and, as time does not move in actuality, neither did time all-of-a-sudden stand still either.
Incidentally (in regards adrenaline injections): whenever I have a dental injection to anaesthetise the jaw, these days, I make sure the dentist uses a procaine mixture which does not contain adrenaline, which most such mixtures do, because its effect is to set-off a psychotropic episode (lasting up to 5-6 hours).
RESPONDENT: You have still not addressed the silliness of this claim: [Richard] ‘This is what I do know via self-observation: as there is no identity (no psyche) whatsoever in this flesh and blood body there are no instinctual passions (no fear, no aggression, no nurture, no desire) either – ‘I’ am ‘my’ feelings and ‘my’ feelings are ‘me’ – thus no such hormones as cortisol and adrenaline are being produced’. [endquote].
RICHARD: As you have not established that there is, in fact, any ‘silliness’ to my (reposted just above) report/ description/ explanation I would suggest you refrain from adding such commentitious nouns to your assertions as they have the effect of turning them into loaded assertions.
RESPONDENT: I can certainly point out the silliness in a few of your claims.
RICHARD: Au contraire ... all you can do is point out what occurs in a normal human being.
Perhaps if I were to put it this way: I provide a report/ description/ explanation of what I know *via self-observation* and yet, completely ignoring such direct experience that there was no heavy breathing/ no perturbation whatsoever – no wide-eyed staring, no increase in heart-beat, no rapid breathing, no adrenaline-tensed muscle tone, no sweaty palms, no blood draining from the face, no dry mouth, no cortisol-induced heightened awareness, and so on, (such as, for instance, no hair standing on end) – you assert that this flesh and blood body is still producing adrenaline anyway because that is what you know, *via text-book learning*, about normal human beings.
Not that this kind of reaction is something novel to me ... I have had people assert that my report/ description/ explanation about how the entire affective faculty – all the feelings, emotions, passions, calentures – vanished completely, in 1992, cannot possibly be true for the self-same reason.
Furthermore, I have had people say that my report/ description/ explanation about how identity in toto – both ‘I’ as ego *and* ‘me’ as soul – simultaneously vanished, in 1992, also cannot possibly be true for a similar reason (it is not to be found in spiritual/ mystical text-books).
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.