Richard’s Selected Correspondence
On Death: ‘Self’-Immolation versus Immortality
RESPONDENT: Richard, you say [quote] ‘If it were not for physical death one could not be happy ... let alone harmless’ [endquote]. How is that possible?
RICHARD: I have sometimes asked peoples of a ‘Jehovah’s Witness’ persuasion, when they come knocking on my door and showing me paintings of their imaginary paradise on earth after their god has annihilated 5,993,000,000 of the 6,000,000,000 human beings currently alive by treading them in a winepress, whether they have ever considered what it would be like in fact, rather than fancy, to be the flesh and blood body they are for ever and a day (locked into being a specific body-type, a female, for instance, endlessly giving birth to baby after baby for all eternity).
Which means for billions upon billions of years ... and still more billions to come.
RESPONDENT: I can understand that being locked as ‘identity’ (with all the sorrow and malice implied) for eternity as not desirable ... but I don’t quite understand that the scenario to be the same for a person who is actually free from the human condition.
RICHARD: Only an identity, being forever locked-out of actuality, desires immortality ... the very stuff of a flesh and blood body, being the same-same stuff as the stuff of the universe, is as old as the universe (which is eternal).
RESPONDENT: If he were (!) to exist for eternity, doesn’t the life hold endless variety to be fun for eternity?
RICHARD: There is nothing endlessly variable about giving birth to baby after baby for billions upon billions of years ... and still more billions to come.
RESPONDENT: I can’t quite comprehend it ...
RICHARD: Neither can the peoples of a ‘Jehovah’s Witness’ persuasion, when they come knocking on my door and showing me paintings of their imaginary paradise on earth, either ... for such is the grip imagination has that actuality is nowhere to be seen.
RESPONDENT: ... but maybe you can answer that one.
RICHARD: That which an identity is seeking – that which is permanent (as in unborn and undying) – is what its host (the flesh and blood body) is comprised of.
RESPONDENT: You haven’t experienced physical death.
RICHARD: As the word ‘experience’ refers to a sentient creature participating personally in events or activities then nobody experiences physical death – physical death means the cessation of sentience (aka consciousness) – thus all that can be experienced is what immediately precedes that instant of cessation.
I had a general anaesthesia once (at age nineteen) for the surgical removal of a thyroid gland: I was wheeled into an operating theatre mid-afternoon and prepared; the anaesthetist asked me to count backwards from ten; obligingly I said ‘ten’, ‘nine’, ‘eight’, ‘se ...’ (literally cut off mid-word); upon coming-to I was lying in my allocated bed in the ward; the lights were on/it was dark outside the windows; there was a throbbing pain in the left front-side of the neck; there was no remembrance whatsoever of what had transpired after the truncated count-down; there was no awareness even of the passage of time (as is the case upon waking from sleep); there was nothing at all, not even a blankness or a nothingness, to re-call.
To this day it is as if 4-5 hours have been excised from my life.
RESPONDENT: I understand what you are saying. But I still fail to grasp why (and how you can say) that ‘physical death’ is essential for being happy and harmless (as you haven’t died but still are happy and harmless).
RICHARD: It is the very fact of physical death – everybody alive today on this planet will eventually be dead – which ensures happiness and harmlessness ... if everything alive today were to all-of-a-sudden endure forever then everything would matter in the long-term (everything would be of enduring importance (in this ultimate sense) and, therefore, life would be a serious business.
RESPONDENT: How does it have anything to do with being happy and harmless?
RICHARD: It basically has to do with endurance and, therefore, seriousness.
RESPONDENT: Can you please elaborate on this point?
RICHARD: Sure ... this planet, indeed the entire solar system, is going to cease to exist in its current form about 4.5 billion years from now (or some-such figure). All these words – yours, mine, and others (all the dictionaries, encyclopaedias, scholarly tomes and so on) – will perish and all the monuments, all the statues, all the tombstones, all the sacred sites, all the carefully conserved/ carefully restored memorabilia, will vanish as if they had never existed ... nothing will remain of any human endeavour (including yours truly).
Nothing at all ... nil, zero, zilch.
Which means that nothing really matters in the long-term and, as nothing actually is of enduring importance (in this ultimate sense), it means that life can in no way be a serious business.
RICHARD: As no body endures ...
RESPONDENT: What do you mean by ‘no body endures’?
RICHARD: I mean it in this sense:
RESPONDENT: Endures what?
RICHARD: Endures forever.
As no body is perdurable – ‘enduring continuously, permanent; everlasting, eternal’ (Oxford Dictionary) – no body endures forever ... the very stuff bodies are comprised of, however, being the same-same stuff as the stuff of the universe, does endure, is perdurable.
Put simply: this infinite and eternal and perdurable universe is a veritable mobilis perpetuum.
RICHARD: [As no body endures] it means that nothing really matters in the long-term and, as nothing actually is of enduring importance (in this ultimate sense), it is simply not possible to take life seriously ... sincerely, yes, but seriously? No way ... life is much too much fun to be serious!
RESPONDENT: Wouldn’t that be so for eternity if that were possible (by say, medical advancements?).
RICHARD: Again, only an identity, being forever locked-out of actuality, desires immortality – the very stuff of a flesh and blood body, being the same-same stuff as the stuff of the universe, is already always existent – and, as this flesh and blood body only (sans identity in toto), one is that eternal stuff ... directly (apperceptively) experiencing its own perpetuity.
RICHARD: (...) It is the very fact of physical death – everybody alive today on this planet will eventually be dead – which ensures happiness and harmlessness ... if everything alive today were to all-of-a-sudden endure forever then everything would matter in the long-term (everything would be of enduring importance (in this ultimate sense) and, therefore, life would be a serious business.
RESPONDENT: I understood that if there were to be [physical] immortality, the equation changes quite a bit ... life would be a serious business.
RESPONDENT: Death would be a very unfortunate event ...
RICHARD: If everything alive today were to all-of-a-sudden endure forever there would be no death to be an event (be it very unfortunate or otherwise).
RESPONDENT: ... any mistake has eternal consequence. Death indeed relieves one from the burden of such a long term existential dilemmas.
RESPONDENT: [Addendum]: Just to add the note: the original question regarding ‘if it were not for physical death one could not be happy ... let alone harmless’ is clear to me now – as to what you mean by it.
RESPONDENT: But does this mean that the desire for longevity and immortality (probably sourced in identity’s desire) will fail?
RICHARD: There is no necessity whatsoever for (eternal) longevity in actuality as the very stuff of flesh and blood bodies, being the same-same stuff as the stuff of the universe, is already always existent.
And the persistent (apperceptive) experiencing of this perpetuity is truly wonderful.
RESPONDENT: Does it rule out the possibility of man one day finding the elixir of life?
RICHARD: There is no need to even search for an elixir vitae – the very stuff each and every body is comprised of (and each and every thing for that matter) is already always existent – let alone find one.
If you were to hold a hand up before the eyes, palm towards the face, and rotate it slowly through space – all the while considering that the very stuff the hand is comprised of is as old as the universe – whilst looking from the front of the eyes, as it were (and not through the eyes), what is being discussed may very well become apparent as an experiential understanding.
RICHARD: As I finally received a long-expected phone call yesterday advising me of the death of my second wife (de jure), from a terminal illness first diagnosed in February this year, my reports will no longer have to be quite so circumscribed in regards her interactions with me.
RESPONDENT: I much appreciate that you have decided to share this information with us ... personally, it helps shine a different light on ‘my’ sense of importance and continuity. I didn’t expect it. I wish those that were in her life all the best.
RICHARD: G’day No. 7, Although that information was solely in the context of my reports being circumscribed, by the fact that the persons concerned were both readily identifiable and still alive, it did not elude me that the death of the very first practicing actualist was a salutary reminder that everybody is but a missed heat-beat or two away from death each and every day of their life.
(I also expanded upon just why my third wife was currently out of the country for added emphasis).
The very fact of the propinquity of death became a pivotal element in taking the first step on the wide and wondrous path, back in 1981, when a neighbouring farmer’s fourteen-year old son was killed in a car crash. A woman from another farm, whilst telling me all about it, bemoaned the fact that his future as a potential concert-pianist was tragically cut short (quite a normal observation).
What struck me rigid for the nonce was the more valid fact that this boy had virtually missed-out on a normal childhood through being forced, by well-meaning parents of course, into endless hours of piano-practice while his siblings and peers were outside playing games (as children are wont to do). And now he was dead – it had all been for naught – and he would never, ever be able to come out and play.
From that moment on death was my constant companion; an ever- present reminder that to die without having ever lived fully – as in totally fulfilled, completely satisfied, utterly content – was such a waste of a life.
I would say to people, then, that were I to live that which the PCE’s had made apparent – as in an irrevocable permanency – for only five minutes I would then happily die.
RESPONDENT: I think the development of language was indicative of a self-reflexiveness that included the awareness of mortality. As you’ve said, without thought there is no language, and without thought there is no awareness of death as an inevitable factor of life. The knowledge of death is a predicament unique to humans.
RICHARD: Death is generally seen to be ‘a predicament’, yes ... yet experientially understanding death is central to understanding life. Only today I was pleased to receive, out of the blue from someone I conversed with (via the internet) over a year ago, this following observation:
RESPONDENT: I don’t for a second think that the development of the level of consciousness from which language ensues was a ‘fall’ – but our self-reflexive consciousness does create its own set of problems, doesn’t it?
RICHARD: It is all part and parcel of the process whereby this universe can experience itself as a sensate and reflective human being: as such the universe can know itself apperceptively. What one does is acquiesce to life by embracing death ... one wholeheartedly dedicates oneself to being here as the universe’s experience of itself right now: it is the unreserved !YES! to being alive as this flesh and blood body.
If it were not for physical death one could not be happy ... let alone harmless.
RESPONDENT: I don’t disagree, but would like you to flesh that out a little.
RICHARD: The absolutely undeniable fact of physical death means that, in an ultimate sense, nothing really matters: as nothing lasts forever (matter arranges and rearranges itself endlessly totally wiping out whatever came before) there is nothing worth dying for. Hence playfulness ... I could not be solemn if my life depended upon it.
RESPONDENT: When I was wondering what makes it impossible to simply be the moment, it eventually lead to facing the fact that life minus all the self created illusions and problems simply reduces to a mortal earthly life: and I found that I was avoiding this fact (though I don’t believe in immortality or any other religious versions of it; still deep within it seems to be that there is some kind of denial/avoidance that this finite earthly lifetime that will come to an end is all there is). Seeing this fact was liberating. And I wanted to read the discussions about death in the website. I hit upon this where you say: [quote] ‘If it were not for physical death one could not be happy ... let alone harmless’. [endquote]. Did you mean ‘psychological death’ as a ‘physical event’ by the term ‘physical death’ in the above statement?
RICHARD: No ... physical death (into the grave or cremated or buried at sea and so on).
RESPONDENT: Or as it happened in my case of inquiry, did you mean that ‘if one doesn’t see the fact of physical death as an end all, one could not be happy ... let alone harmless’?
RICHARD: Yes, I have sometimes asked peoples of a ‘Jehovah’s Witness’ persuasion, when they come knocking on my door and showing me paintings of their imagined paradise on earth after their god has annihilated 5,993,000,000 of the 6,000,000,000 human beings currently alive by treading them in a winepress, whether they have ever considered what it would be like in fact rather than fancy to be the flesh and blood body they are for ever and a day (locked into being a specific body-type, a female, for instance, endlessly giving birth to baby after baby for all eternity).
RESPONDENT No. 12: The otherness is everything.
RICHARD: Well there you go, you see? What your ‘thou art nothing’ phrase points to is ‘thou art everything’.
RESPONDENT No. 12: It is the claim that ‘the universe is experiencing itself as this flesh and blood body’ that smacks of self-aggrandisement.
RICHARD: In what way? I make no claim to be ‘everything’ (aka ‘the otherness which is sacred, holy’). I am this flesh and blood body; I was born, I live for x-number of years, I die ... and death is the end, finish. Oblivion. I am mortal ... it is this universe which is immortal.
RESPONDENT: There is a spirit that lives on after death that can effect actual events here on Earth.
RICHARD: I have no use for such a hypothesis.
RESPONDENT: Perhaps this spirit that lives on, lives in the cells that are passed from one generation to another and that accumulation of energy can effect events – I don’t know.
RICHARD: What is passed on in the germ cells is deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), a self-replicating material in the chromosomes of living organisms, and is the carrier of genetic information ... this certainly affects events.
RESPONDENT: When the flesh and blood body dies, does not that energy, which is never dying, revert to that from whence it came?
RICHARD: As it is your hypothesis ... I will leave it to you to answer.
RESPONDENT: In that sense, can the atoms and energy that are you now, and the stuff of which the universe is made, ever really be extinct?
RICHARD: What I am is the air breathed, the water drunk, the food eaten and the sunlight absorbed ... thus I am nothing but ‘the stuff of which the universe is made’ (matter). The matter of the universe is both actual things (solid stuff) and active force (energetic stuff). The immeasurable amount of ‘stuff of the universe’ (either in its solid aspect or energetic phase) is perpetually arranging and rearranging itself in endless varieties of myriad form all over the boundless reaches of infinite space throughout the limitless extent of eternal time. This universe, being boundless and limitless (never beginning and never ending) is unborn and undying ... as I remarked (further above): it is this universe which is immortal.
RESPONDENT: But I do think that the ‘glimpse’ which stunned thought has planted a seed.
RICHARD: Are you sure? Is it not the glimpse of the utter fullness which total attention makes apparent that is the trigger for stunning the thinker ... does not thought need to operate episodically as is required by the circumstances? If one thinks ‘upon reflection’ that ‘it seems thought is simply too one-dimensional to touch the multi-faceted fullness of that’ then the thinker concludes that thought must stop for that to happen ... thus precluding a twenty-four-hour-a-day happening.
RESPONDENT: Well, it seems to me that ‘preclusion’ is only occurring for the thinker divided from the fullness of that.
RICHARD: Yes, the thinker is forever divided from ‘the fullness of that’ ... the thinker is false, an illusion. The only constructive thing the thinker can do is allow itself to be disappeared (‘I was taken away by the utter fullness of it!’).
RESPONDENT: Yes, but do you think that such an occurrence is the result of a direct action by thought (‘allowing itself to disappear’), or is it triggered by the proactive perception of that fullness?
RICHARD: It is the result of a ‘direct action by thought’ inasmuch as it is the thinker thinking a seminal thought which is directly inspired by the ‘perception of that fullness’ (and not through reading about it). That inspired thought which the thinker thinks is the very thought that paves the way for such an occurrence. To wit: ‘I’, the thinker, joyfully agree 100% to allowing ‘myself’ to be ‘taken away by the utter fullness of it!’.
It is a conscious decision.
RESPONDENT: In fact, ‘it’ happened again today. But I am not experiencing it with continuity, if that is what you’re getting at.
RICHARD: Nope ... what I am getting at is why praise ‘one-dimensional’ thought for its ability to stun its thinker (as in impressed by its own brilliance in thinking that thought) when it is the glimpse of the utter fullness which total attention makes apparent which is the trigger for the event. May I ask? What was instrumental in evoking ‘it’ again today?
RESPONDENT: I can’t say. It seems like it was the energy/order that happened simply re-aligned. It is almost as if that is calling one, though there is fear to answer that call ... .
RICHARD: Does the fear increase if you allow yourself to consider that the words ‘it is almost as if that is calling one’ are the same-same as saying: this utter fullness is this brain’s destiny; this is what one is here for?
RESPONDENT: No, the fear abates. There is order in the perspective you express. Thanks for putting it like that.
RICHARD: Okay ... this is important, vital, pivotal: ‘I’, the thinker, know that ‘I’ cannot do it ... ‘I’ cannot disappear ‘myself’. Only the ‘utter fullness’ can, and the ‘utter fullness’ is ‘calling one’, each moment again, and it is only when ‘I’ fully comprehend – totally, completely, fundamentally – that to be living this ‘utter fullness’ is to be living ‘my’ destiny will one be able ‘to answer that call’.
This full-blooded endorsement means it then becomes inevitable.
<snip> ... you do realise that if you go all the way into this it will be the end of you, do you not?
RESPONDENT: By the way, it almost feels as if you are trying to pounce upon me like a cat on a mouse.
RICHARD: I am targeting the thinker ... is that you?
RESPONDENT: Yes, of course.
RICHARD: Good ... peace-on-earth is at stake.
RESPONDENT: Are you being predatory?
RICHARD: I do not have that capacity ... only you can allow yourself to be ‘taken away’.
RESPONDENT: As the thinker assuming divided existence through a one-dimensional adulterating of the more than 3-D fullness of that, I doubt ‘I’ am going anywhere.
RICHARD: On the contrary ... ‘you’ are going into oblivion for this is ‘your’ birthright. The doorway to freedom has the word ‘extinction’ written on it. This extinction is an irrevocable event, which eliminates the psyche itself. When this is all over there will be no ‘being’ at all. Thus when ‘I’ willingly self-immolate – psychologically and psychically – then ‘I’ am making the most noble sacrifice that ‘I’ can make for oneself and all humankind ... for ‘I’ am what ‘I’ hold most dear. It is ‘my’ moment of accomplishment. It is ‘my’ crowning achievement ... it makes ‘my’ petty life all worth while.
It is not an event to be missed ... ‘I’ go out in a blaze of glory.
RESPONDENT: Thank you for looking with me at this.
RICHARD: You are very welcome ... you do realise that if you go all the way into this it will be the end of you, do you not?
RESPONDENT: How would I know that? Who is this you? The thinker who is out of order with that? The thinker who will do anything to avoid dissolution? Please elaborate.
RICHARD: Not just ‘the thinker’ ... everything that you think that you are; everything that you feel that you are; everything that you instinctually know that you are will vanish in the twinkling of an eye.
RESPONDENT: If my ‘I’ and another person’s ‘I’ are basically identical then ‘I’ am not much different from any man who has lived in the past or will live in the future. If this is right then death has lost most of its bite.
RICHARD: Ahh ... physical death is but the ending of this particular flesh and blood body – which began x-number of years ago – and this universe, of course, will go right on doing what it was doing before one was born. Which is what it is doing right here and now.
RESPONDENT: This is a very powerful statement. It has stimulated my mind and my whole being. I am wondering why this perspective on life and death is not widely publicized and discussed (?!). Its very logical and powerful as far as its implications. It is about facing our physical death without an overwhelming and paralysing fear.
RICHARD: It is a fact that I, as this body, am mortal. As such, I will die in due course ... this heart will stop beating, these lungs will cease breathing, this brain will quit thinking. The flesh will decompose, if buried, or will be dispersed, if burnt, as smoke and ash. There could be nothing more final, more conclusive, more complete, of an ending to me than this.
Human beings have various attitudes towards death. As far as it has been able to be ascertained, humans are the only creatures that are aware of their own demise. The ability to reflect upon one’s own death has been a source of inspiration to philosophers, theologians and their ilk down through the ages. To other people, death is a subject to be avoided, to be not thought about; it is a taboo topic for dinner-table conversation. It is not until a close friend or relative dies that they are brought face-to-face with their own mortality ... and they usually endeavour to ‘get over it’ as soon as possible. A sure way to be told that one is morbid is to talk about death: to invoke an uneasy reaction, one needs only to ask if they have ever considered the ramifications of death; of no longer being alive; of not being a ‘human’; of not ‘being’ at all. Nevertheless, why avoid the subject? Surely it is of the utmost importance to explore all the unknown aspects of being a ‘human’ – especially those that bring trepidation – for therein lie the causes for not only one’s uneasiness about life, but all the problems that beset ‘humanity’. Anything that remains hidden will continue to influence one’s life in an unconscious way, continuously plaguing one’s every moment of being alive and affecting one’s state of well-being.
Death is viewed by most as a calamity, a tragedy. ‘I’, being non-material, cannot accept, let alone embrace, that which is physical, that which is actual. Mortality is a physical phenomenon; it is a fact to be met and understood. To act otherwise is a denial of the actual. This universe was amazingly able to give birth to me, it is marvellously capable of bearing me and will, eventually, wondrously manage to end me. This is the physical ‘scheme of things’ in this, the only universe there is ... and this universe is so enormous in its scope, so grand in its order, so exquisite in its form, that it is sheer vanity and utter insolence to presume that birth and death is somehow ‘wrong’. With an attitude like that, no wonder people hate having to be here on earth. It is no wonder that they feel that they have to ‘get on with life’ and ‘make the best of things’ whilst waiting for death to release them. It is such a shame that billions of human beings are missing out on the unadulterated perfection of being fully alive; missing out on rejoicing in being here now; missing out on deriving immense pleasure at living this moment, here on earth.
There seems to be a general consensus among human beings that death is a mystery that one cannot penetrate, and that the ‘Mystery of Life’ will be revealed only after death. There, most say, lies ‘Peace and Ultimate Fulfilment’ ... yet there is nowhere else but here and there is no time but now. Anything else than here at this place in infinite space – now at this moment in eternal time – exists only in an enthusiastic imagination ... enthused by ‘me’, by ‘being’ itself. Any fear of the death of ‘me’ is an irrational reaction to the demise of an apparently enduring psychological and/or psychic entity. The ending of ‘me’ (the ‘death’ of ‘me’) is an autological non-event; ‘I’ do not actually exist in the first place. There is no actual ‘me’ to either ‘die’ or to have ‘Eternal Life’.
It all appears to be an exercise in futility to think about and feel into what is entailed in physical death (which is the guaranteed end of ‘being’) because the end of ‘being’, at physical death, can only ever be a speculation; it has to be experienced to know it. Just like one cannot know the taste of something until one eats it ... so too is it with death as the end of ‘being’. Yet to wait for death will be leaving it too late to find out what it is to not ‘be’ ... as death is oblivion of consciousness there will be no awareness of not ‘being’. The question is: can one experience the end of ‘being’ before this body dies and therefore penetrate into the ‘Mystery of Life’, in full awareness, and find that Ultimate Fulfilment ... here on earth?
RESPONDENT: If for some reason you could not write, you could not speak ... perhaps your ‘self’ or even your ‘ego’ may come back into the picture.
RICHARD: No, extinct means what it says. The doorway to an actual freedom has the word ‘extinction’ written on it. This extinction is an irrevocable event that eliminates the psyche itself. I opened the door and walked through. Once on the other side – where thousands upon thousands of atavistic voices were insistently whispering ‘fool – fool – fool’ – I turned to ascertain the way back to normal. The door had vanished – and the wall it was set in – and I just knew that I would never, ever be able to find my way back to the real-world ... it had been nothing but an illusion all along. I walked tall and free as the perfection of this material universe personified. I can never not be here ... now.
RESPONDENT: You may start feeling ... things are not quite right, I need to achieve something.
RICHARD: I have arrived at my destiny and am already always here ... now. So I have nothing to prove and nothing to achieve. I am retired and on a pension and instead of pottering around the garden I am currently pottering around the Internet. I only write as the whim takes me ... and easily sit with my feet up on the coffee table watching television.
RESPONDENT: What am I getting at? The real question in my mind is, could it be that this living in the actual sensate world that you experience is brought about by living a creative life – following your bliss, as they say.
RICHARD: No, to base one’s well-being upon pleasurable activities is to build upon quicksand. The happy and harmless attributes of actual freedom are uncaused ... and therefore free. Also, I do not experience bliss ... it being affective. The purity of the perfection of infinitude is vastly superior to bliss ... and I experienced bliss – and ecstasy and euphoria – for eleven years. There is no comparison, actually.
RESPONDENT: Could it be that your state of benignity has arisen because you dare to create?
RICHARD: No, on the contrary ... through destruction. The basic instinctual passions – like fear and aggression and nurture and desire – that blind nature endows on all sentient beings at conception have been eliminated. Their elimination was the elimination of ‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being ... ‘being’ itself vanished.
ALAN: Along with the realisation that I am (almost) this universe experiencing itself – and only that – came a tinge of fear, with the knowing that when I am actually this universe experiencing itself, ‘I’ will no longer exist.
RICHARD: True ... the apprehension of the end of ‘being’ – which is all ‘I’ know and all ‘I’ have known and all ‘I’ can know – automatically produces fear. This is because ‘I’ am fear and fear is ‘me’ – the instinctual passions are ‘being’ itself – and fear is perhaps the most fundamental of all the instinctual passions. Fear rules the world (both the animal world and the human world) and as terror it stalks its prey maliciously ... only to convulse in upon itself in horror.
Interestingly enough, the Christians have transmogrified this psychic energy into being their devil (they say ‘The Devil’ rules the world) and some of these peoples, meeting me face-to-face, have convinced themselves that I am in league with their institutionalised phantasm.
ALAN: Am ‘I’ really willing to sacrifice ‘my’ self to allow this to happen?
RICHARD: The question that the ‘I’ that was inhabiting this body back in 1981 asked was: ‘what am I saving myself for’?
ALAN: And yet, ‘I’ know it is inevitable, if I am to fulfil my destiny.
RICHARD: Aye, to escape one’s fate and achieve one’s destiny is what one is alive for: being here – now – is the very reason one was born.
ALAN: As you said in one of your posts (approximately), it is an irresistible pull, a momentum and impetus which is not of ‘my’ doing.
RICHARD: Yes, once altruistically set in motion, a momentum happens of its own accord. One knows, from the perfection of freedom from the human condition as evidenced in the PCE, that it is possible to live the actuality that is already always here. What ‘I’ do is unreservedly allow ‘my’ eventual demise to occur ... pure intent, born out of the connection between one’s inherent naiveté and the perfection of the infinitude of this physical universe, will provide one with the necessary intestinal fortitude. And once embarked upon the wide and wondrous path to an actual freedom, you are not on your own: this perfection is with you all the way ... but if you waver, you are indeed doing it on your own. It is a matter of having the courage of your convictions and letting nothing stand in your way; determination and perseverance are the essential prerequisites to ensure success ... coupled with application and diligence. One finds one must – one needs must actually do it – for no one else will do it for you as no one else can do it for you. And although one may think and feel that it would be a lonely journey to take on one’s own it is not ... it is the most joyous escapade one can ever enter into.
It is the jaunt of a lifetime.
ALAN: It is like being on the outer edge of a massive whirlpool, being dragged closer and closer, and faster and faster, to the inevitable moment of entering the vortex – and ‘popping’ out the other side – I see I have not yet quite lost the imaginative faculty!
RICHARD: Yet this is so correct, for I am talking of nothing else but extirpation ... annihilation ... extinction ... the non-existence of any identity whatsoever. All of one’s precious ‘being’ will disappear ... not only the ego but the soul as well. ‘I’ and/or ‘me’ will cease to exist in any way, shape or form.
What you are calling ‘the vortex’ is blessed oblivion ... the same-same as physical death.
ALAN: So, as I sit here watching another sun rise, with the crescent moon and Venus still visible, and the clouds turning a delightful shade of pink, I glory in the opportunity of being able to be the universe experiencing itself. What a gas!
RICHARD: I am constantly amazed at the colour of this world ... and I am particularly struck by the sheer exuberance of it all. To put it in the lingo: this universe surely is flamboyant in its expressiveness!
RICHARD: But then again, ‘I’ am by nature cunning and deceitful. ‘I’ will do anything but face the fact of ‘my’ own demise. With ‘my’ psychological ‘death’, however, comes release from the fears of physical death. All of the unnamed terrors surrounding death arise from apprehension as to what will happen to ‘me’ as a ‘being’. I regard death with equanimity; when it happens I will welcome it as I do the oblivion of deep sleep each night. Like sleep, it is an agreeable actual occurrence.
RESPONDENT: ‘Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage. Rage against the dying of the light’ – so wrote Dylan Thomas. Fear of death is life preserving and is part of our instinct to survive and precedes any ‘apprehension of what will happen to ‘me’ as a ‘being’’. That apprehension is merely a psychological afterglow of the instinctive fear.
RICHARD: This is a bit at odds with your earlier statement: ‘Our human instinctive behaviour is proving ruinous to the planet and so we need to be able to consciously amend our ways or continue ruining things.’
Personally, by the extirpation of the self – and the Self – I have eliminated all of those debilitating instincts which blind nature endowed me with at birth. Consequently I experience that I am more free than a bird on the wing ... being totally without the instinctual fear and aggression, for example, I find that my life is blithesome and gay. Having abolished malice and sorrow forever, I am both happy and harmless ... and will be for the remainder of my days.
RICHARD: At physical death this body dies ... this is no illusion.
RESPONDENT No. 12: If ‘I’ am not, there is death or impermanence in each moment.
RICHARD: We were not talking about ‘each moment’ where there is a body living and breathing at all. Shall we stick with the subject ... which is physical death? When I die – when this body called Richard being apperceptively aware physically dies – this apperceptive awareness dies right along with it ... for they are the one and the same thing.
RESPONDENT: Not really. Call it apperceptive awareness, meditation, energy, intelligence – whatever we like.
RICHARD: You may call it ‘whatever we like’ if you wish to continue to be vague ... but I prefer to be specific. I call it apperceptive awareness because it only occurs when there is no sense of identity whatsoever ... then the mind – this physical brain in action – can perceive itself. Not ‘I’ perceiving ‘me’ being aware, but awareness happening of its own accord ... unimpeded and uncensored by the affective faculties. Thus it is very clearly not ‘meditation’; it is not ‘energy’ ... and it is most certainly not ‘intelligence’ in the sense you use the word because they all are but products of the affective faculties.
RESPONDENT: It is the foundation of all manifestation. Manifestation is the activity of that energy AS the physical universe.
RICHARD: And as this energy is affective it is – in other words – god by any name.
RESPONDENT: Therefore, loss of physical form is not death. It is only the destructuring of manifested energy.
RICHARD: Indeed ... when ‘I am That’ – when one is god by any name – one is ‘Unborn and Undying’. Then at physical death one just loses this physical form and lives forever in some mystical transcendental realm.
RESPONDENT: Take any form and observe its ‘death’ over time. There is only the destructuring of the form into its more subtle aspects of energy: atoms, etc., and beyond.
RICHARD: Physical matter re-arranges itself, yes. Shall we keep to the subject? Which is what happens to a particular awareness at physical death? When I die – when this body called Richard being apperceptively aware physically dies – this apperceptive awareness dies right along with it ... for they are the one and the same thing.
RESPONDENT: The eventual destructuring of Richard’s form is nothing but the ‘de-congealment’ of intelligence.
RICHARD: Aye ... I am aware that for you the word ‘intelligence’ is god by whatever name. In other words, you wish to realise your immortality ... at the expense of peace-on-earth.
RESPONDENT: Awareness is neither created nor destroyed, and neither are its manifestations.
RICHARD: What you call awareness is ‘Unborn and Undying’ and is, of course, neither created nor destroyed, I agree. However, the awareness that is this flesh and blood body called Richard started right along with this body over half a century ago and – barring war, accidents and disease – will cease somewhere around 2030 because they are one and the same thing.
RESPONDENT: Krishnamurti may have been right: There could be nothing but intelligence. Now, it could be mysticism that is saying this.
RICHARD: It is mysticism ... clearly and unequivocally.
RESPONDENT: Just as mysticism may also be saying that the death of the body is the same as the death of apperceptive aware-ness.
RESPONDENT: The results so far however show a large failure on my part.
RICHARD: Well, maybe there is a chance yet for you to go beyond the ‘Tried and True’.
RESPONDENT: As to ‘The Unknowable’ for 18+ years now I have been the unknowable.
RICHARD: Oh dear ... the ‘Unknowable’ is not something that you can ‘be’. Do you not see that ‘being’ is the root cause of all the anguish and animosity that has been the hall-mark of humanity for aeons?
RESPONDENT: And for most I am invisible.
RICHARD: You say ‘for most’ and ‘invisible’? To live the ‘Unknowable’ extinction must occur ... which means total annihilation. Not being ‘invisible’ ... and certainly not ‘for most’.
When there is no ‘new birth’ (which is not possible where there has been a total annihilation) then there is no need for ‘Love’, ‘Compassion’, ‘Truth’ and so on, for then there is peace-on-earth ... here and now.
RESPONDENT: A few questions Richard; was it after that you read Krishnamurti that you went to the island with only a loin cloth (or something of the sort) where you stayed x number of years before you finally experienced the ‘final death of the soul’?
RICHARD: Of all the books I read, the one that was most informative for me was his pencil-written diary spanning six weeks, where profound ‘otherness’ events were happening for him. (‘Krishnamurti’s Journal’; J. Krishnamurti; Published by HarperCollins; ISBN: 0-06-064841-4; 100 pp). It was the only book I initially took with me when I went through a time I call my ‘puritan period’. I eventually whittled my worldly possessions down to three sarongs, three shirts, a cooking pot and bowl, a knife and a spoon, a bank book and a pair of nail scissors ... but for eight months or so that was my only reading material (I then gave the book to a ‘Krishnamurtiite’ I met along the way in the Himalayas).
My experiences on an uninhabited island in the tropics off the north-eastern Australian seaboard came after being in India: there was a group of islands where I stayed for the best part of three months in total silence, on my own, speaking to no one at all and moving from island to island at whim. It was towards the end of the period when I was homeless, itinerant, celibate, vegan, (no spices; not even salt and pepper), no drugs (no tobacco, no alcohol; not even tea or coffee), no hair cut, no shaving, no washing other than a dip in a river or the ocean. I possessed nothing else anywhere in the world and had cut all family ties ... whatever I could eliminate from my life that was an encumbrance and an attachment, I had let go of. In other words: whatever was traditionally seen as an impediment to freedom I discarded. It was there I finally discovered that it was Spiritual Enlightenment that was at fault and that I could ‘purify’ myself via these ‘Tried and True’ means until the moon turned blue ... to no avail.
The first of these experiences occurred at maybe three in the morning (I had no watch) and was accompanied by a sense of dread the likes of which I had never experienced even in a war-zone – made all the more acute because I had not experienced fear for four years (I was living in a state of Divine Compassion and Love Agapé which protected me from malice and the underlying fear). The condition I experienced was of the nature of some ‘Great Beyond’ (I have to put it in capitals because that is how I experienced it at the time) and it was of the nature of which has always been ascribed, in all the spiritual/mystical writings I had read, as being ‘That’ which one merges with at physical death when one ‘quits the body’. Sometimes known as ‘The Ocean of Oneness’ or ‘Mahasamadhi’ or ‘Parinirvana’. It seemed so extreme that the physical body must surely die for the attainment of it.
To put it into a physical analogy, it was as if I were to gather up my meagre belongings, eradicate all marks of my stay on the island, and paddle away over the horizon, all the while not knowing whence I go ... and vanish without a trace, never to be seen again. As no one on the mainland knew where I was, no one would know where I had gone. In fact, I would become as extinct as the dodo and with no skeletal remains. The autological self by whatever name would cease to ‘be’, there would be no ‘spirit’, no ‘presence’, no ‘being’ at all. This was more than death of the ego, which is a major event by any definition; this was total annihilation. No ego, no soul – no self, no Self – no more Heavenly Rapture, Love Agapé, Divine Bliss and so on. Only oblivion. It was not at all attractive, not at all alluring, not at all desirable ... yet I knew I was going to do it, sooner or later, because it was the ultimate condition and herein lay the secret to the ‘Mystery of Life’.
It was to take seven more years to eventuate ... but that is another story.
RESPONDENT: I have distinct memory of a lot Krishnamurti’s general phrases, words, and meaning. One instance of a Krishnamurti statement was that most people just don’t want ‘it’ (freedom) enough ... to do what it takes to know that freedom. Did you ‘want’ that freedom more than anything else in the world; is that why you left civilization behind and went to the island?
RICHARD: Yes, one has to want it like one has never wanted anything else before ... so much so that all the instinctual passionate energy of desire, normally frittered away on petty desires, is fuelling and impelling/propelling one into this thing and this thing only (‘impelling’ as in a pulling from the front and ‘propelling’ as in being pushed from behind). There is a ‘must’ to it (one must do it/it must happen) and a ‘will’ to it (one will do it/it will happen) and one is both driven and drawn until there is an inevitability that sets in. Now it is unstoppable and all the above ceases of its own accord ...one is unable to distinguish between ‘me’ doing it and it happening to ‘me’.
One has escaped one’s fate and achieved one’s destiny.
RESPONDENT: Was it your being alone on the island that lead to the death you experienced and of which you speak?
RICHARD: Yes, I then experientially knew that the ultimate goal both existed here-on-earth and was possible here-on-earth ... as it was indelibly experienced on several occasions.
This knowing works away on one at a non-conscious level.
RESPONDENT: Do you feel that the sort of renouncement you made of the world is necessary to know the veritable paradise of which you also speak?
RICHARD: No. An actual freedom from the human condition, here on earth in this lifetime, as this flesh and blood body has now been discovered, demonstrated and described ... no one else need ever take that route again (and I would not wish upon anyone to have to follow in my footsteps for I had to run the full gamut of existential angst to break through to what lay beyond). I always liken it to the physical adventure that Mr. James Cook undertook to journey to Australia two hundred plus years ago. It took him over a year in a leaky wooden boat with hard tack for food and immense dangers along the way. Nowadays, one can fly to Australia in twenty-seven hours in air-conditioned comfort, eating hygienically prepared food and watching an in-flight movie into the bargain. No one has to go the path of the trail-blazer and forge along in another leaky wooden boat.
As an actual freedom is peace-on-earth as this flesh and blood body it is here in the actual world – it is not an ‘inner freedom’ requiring withdrawal and detachment – and it is to be accessed in the market place, as one goes about one’s normal daily life, in the world of people, things and events.
RESPONDENT: What was it exactly that brought about the death which lead to the ability to live in a veritable garden of eden?
RICHARD: In late September 1992 a woman, who had been coming to see me on and off for some time, earnestly asked that she be taken on as a disciple ... she seriously wished me to be her master. I was astounded, for I had been at pains to explain that I was not interested in being anyone’s master, for I considered the entire system of the master-disciple relationship, with its attendant surrender, trust, worship and obedience, to be not only insidious, but pernicious as in regards to another person’s freedom. I declined, of course, yet I had to question just what I was ‘putting out’ to people to precipitate such a request. What was my part in all this? What was I doing – indeed what was I being – to encourage another to consider taking this step? I had been dismantling various aspects of the make-up of the Altered State Of Consciousness that I was living in – a state of Spiritual Enlightenment that I called Absolute Freedom – and had thought myself to be virtually free of all that hocus-pocus that goes on in the name of freedom. I asked myself what turned out to be a seminal question:
‘What am I in relation to other people?’
I asked the question in such a way so that I would not get a carefully thought-out and reasoned answer. I wanted an experiential result ... and I kept the question burning in the depths of my psyche, discarding any intellectual answers that inevitably popped-up in the course of the next five or six weeks. And then it happened as a direct result of keeping the question open – which is another story – thus these days I empirically know what I am in relation to other people: I am not an ‘Enlightened Master’ sitting in an exalted position ... and what a relief that is. I am a fellow human being, who happens to live in a condition of perfection and purity, offering my experience to whomsoever is interested.
RESPONDENT: Look at the battle that was raging between Richard and myself. He threw some heavy punches and some hurtful insults. You don’t think that hurts? Well it does, but I’ve vowed to not have an ego, to throw it in the fire, so burn baby burn. The way to move on is to jump into the river.
RICHARD: If I may point out? There was not, is not and never will be a ‘battle between Richard and [yourself]’ ... there has been, is now and only ever can be, a battle between you and your identity (identity as ego/soul if there still be ego-self as is suggested in your ‘I’ve vowed to not have an ego, to throw it in the fire, so burn baby burn’ declaration) or with your identity as soul (if/as you are already awakened through ego-dissolution).
If I may make a suggestion? One will never dissolve the problem of oneself as ego/soul identity by viewing yourself as the foe (‘so burn baby burn’) and treating yourself as the enemy to be destroyed (‘to throw it in the fire’) in some mythical clash of the titans (‘look at the battle raging’) as in the days of yore where men were men and boys were boys. Because ‘you’ as ego/soul are your own ally – if and/or when ‘you’ choose for peace-on-earth – and ‘you’ will happily, cheerfully and altruistically co-operate by jumping in boots and all for the good of ‘your’ body and every body ... and thus going out in a ‘self’-sacrificial blaze of glory. This is because such a noble ‘self’-immolation is what makes ‘your’ petty life worthwhile ... such a magnanimous ushering-in of the already always existing peace-on-earth is ‘your’ crowning achievement.
RICHARD: I am mortal in that I was born, I live for a period of years, then I die and death is the end, finish. The material universe is infinite and eternal and was here before I was born and will be here after I die.
RESPONDENT: This I find difficult to understand intellectually. When you die, does that not mean the sensations end?
RICHARD: Not only the sensations ... death is the end, finish. Oblivion.
RESPONDENT: If the sensations end, FOR YOU, is there any difference between your death and the permanent end of the entire universe?
RICHARD: When I am dead, those who are left alive will get on with the business of living. And someone, somewhere, will respond to the challenge of being here now as the universe’s experience of itself. I am not the only fish in the ocean ... this universe has all of time and all of space to manifest itself as the living (carbon-based life-form) perfection that it is.
RICHARD: As ‘I’ am the instinctual passions and the instinctual passions are ‘me’, there is no way that ‘I’ can end ‘me’. What ‘I’ do is that ‘I’ deliberately and consciously and with knowledge aforethought set in motion a ‘process’ that will ensure ‘my’ demise. What ‘I’ do, voluntarily and willingly, is to press the button – which is to acquiesce – which precipitates an oft-times alarming but always thrilling momentum that will result in ‘my’ inevitable self-immolation. The acquiescing is that one thus dedicates oneself to being here as the universe’s experience of itself now ... it is the unreserved !YES! to being alive as this flesh and blood body. Peace-on-earth is the inevitable result of such devotion because it is already here ... it is always here now. ‘I’ and/or ‘me’ was merely standing in the way of the already always existing perfect purity from becoming apparent by sitting back and moaning and groaning about the inequity of it all (as epitomised in ‘I didn’t ask to be born’). How can one be forever sticking one’s toe in and testing out the waters and yet expect to be able to look at oneself in the mirror each morning with dignity. The act of initiating this ‘process’ – acquiescence – is to embrace death.
RESPONDENT: I am curious about what you mean by ‘embracing death’.
RICHARD: In the context where one unreservedly says !YES! to being alive as this flesh and blood body I am referring to physical death. If it were not for physical death one could not be happy ... let alone harmless.
RESPONDENT: So, from what you are saying here, I take it that embracing death and embracing life are part, perhaps I should not say ‘part’, but rather they are the same. It seems there is no difference.
RICHARD: If I may interject ... ‘life’ and ‘death’ are not an opposite (unless a person believes in an after-death realm); there is simply birth and death. Matter arranges and rearranges itself as the infinitude of this material universe and life is what happens in between each arrangement and rearrangement (as animate matter and as sensate animate matter). Before I was born, I was not happening. As I am alive, I am happening. After death, I am not happening ... whereas this universe always was, already is and always will be existing. Thus when I unreservedly say !YES! to being alive as this flesh and blood body I am embracing birth and death, not ‘life and death’ ... if it were not for birth this universe would not be able to experience itself (in this case) as a sensate and reflective human being.
There is an imperative to being born.
RESPONDENT: If one embraces death, I mean accepts it totally, not on a superficial level, but realizes the impermanence of ‘me’ and ‘mine’, then one is free to live totally in the present.
RICHARD: Yes ... if I may explore this word ‘accept’ (and ‘accepting’ and ‘acceptance’) as I see that you qualified it with ‘totally, not on a superficial level’? It has a lot of currency these days and popular usage has given it somewhat the same meaning as ‘allow’ or ‘permit’ or ‘tolerate’ ... which is why I say ‘embrace’ (as in unreservedly saying !YES! to being alive as this flesh and blood body) as a full-blooded approval and endorsement. Those peoples who say that they ‘accept’ ... um ... a rapist, for just one example, never for one moment are approving and endorsing ... let alone unreservedly saying !YES! to the rapist.
RESPONDENT: By refusing to accept the fact of death, the inevitable end of ‘me’, by positing notions of eternal life, reincarnation, etc. one is simply postponing living life fully in the now, one is actually resisting life, clinging to the ‘me’ and one’s survival as a biological or spiritual entity. It actually does not matter – one has a notion of oneself as actually continuing in the future, whether through the Christian notion of the resurrection of the physical body at the Final Judgement, or an imagined continuance of a spiritual entity through reincarnation, etc.
RICHARD: Yes ... one is but a skipped heart-beat or two away from death each moment again. If one does not live in the optimum manner now one may never do so.
RESPONDENT: When one is concerned about one’s survival as a biological or spiritual entity, harm arises as one is clinging to life not surrendering to the inevitable demise of ‘me’.
RICHARD: Yes ... except if I may also explore this word ‘surrender’ as it too has a lot of currency these days. Basically ‘surrender’ means the giving up of oneself into the possession or power of another who has or asserts a claim; to yield on demand or compulsion to a person or a god ... as in submission to an enemy in resignation as a prisoner. It basically means to give in, to relinquish possession of, give up, deliver up, part with, let go of, yield, submit, capitulate, lay down one’s arms, throw in the towel, throw in the sponge, succumb ... and lose. It smacks of passivity, docility, meekness, sufferance ... a seeking of clemency. Speaking personally, I have never, ever given in, in this sense. I do not know how to – thus it has never been an option – and never will know how to.
Whereas the ‘I’ that was sacrificed ‘himself’ ... and ‘sacrifice’ means to die as an altruistic offering, a philanthropic contribution, a generous gift, a charitable donation, a magnanimous present; to devote and give over one’s life as a humane gratuity, an open-handed endowment, a munificent bequest, a kind-hearted benefaction. A sacrifice is the relinquishment of something valued or desired, especially one’s life, for the sake of something regarded as more important or worthy ... it is the deliberate destruction, abandonment, relinquishment, forfeiture or loss for the sake of something illustrious, brilliant, extraordinary and excellent. It means to forgo, depart from, leave, quit, vacate, discontinue, stop, cease or immolate so that one’s guerdon is to be able to be unrepressed, unconstrained, unselfconscious, spontaneous, free and easy, relaxed, informal, open, candid, outspoken, uninhibited, unrestrained, unrestricted, uncontrolled, uncurbed, unchecked, unbridled ... none of which is implied with ‘surrender’.
As I have remarked before, ‘I’ went out in a blaze of glory. I embrace death ... if it were not for physical death one could not be happy ... let alone harmless.
RESPONDENT: And you are saying the demise of ‘me’ (from your perspective) is an accomplished fact?
RICHARD: Yes ... in psychiatric terms it is called ‘depersonalisation’ (as in ‘lost touch with one’s identity’). The question ‘who am I’ has no relevance whatsoever (whereas ‘what am I’ is the obvious question to ask). However, this particular ‘depersonalisation’ goes hand-in-hand with another psychiatric term: ‘derealisation’ (as in ‘lost one’s grip on reality’). Thus psychiatry cannot explain this actual freedom from the human condition accurately as there is no precedence in that both ‘identity’ and ‘reality’ have ceased to exist – as in extinct – whereas, nominally, a depersonalised or a derealised patient can be (somewhat) brought ‘back to reality’ or can ‘regain their identity’ to some degree.
Embracing death is a one-way trip.
RESPONDENT: Krishnamurti talks about a lot about dying to self, dying to your thoughts, your name, etc. It sounds pretty much like a comprehensive dying to everything. But this is not what most of us are doing – quite the opposite, we are cultivating a continuity, craving a permanency. I have found that when I experiment with this death, embrace death as you say, there is a profound disorientation that sets in followed by an exhilarating feeling of freedom. Now, this is not an actual physical death that you are talking about, is it? Elsewhere you talk about one’s demise, one’s self-immolation. So could you say more about what it means to you to embrace death?
RICHARD: Death is a fact to be embraced while alive or it will never be known. To not ‘be’ is inconceivable; it is impossible to imagine not ‘being’ because all one has ever known is ‘being’. What does it mean to not ‘be’? One has always been busy with ‘being’ ... being ‘me’ as ‘being’ itself. What is it to not exist?
RESPONDENT: It is indeed incomprehensible.
RICHARD: Yes ... an actual freedom from the human condition is inconceivable, unimaginable, unbelievable and undreamed of. Actuality is far, far better than anything ‘I’ could want ... ‘I’ did not know that this pristine perfection could possibly exist.
RICHARD: There seems to be a general consensus among human beings that death is a mystery that one cannot penetrate, and that the ‘Mystery of Life’ will be revealed only after death. There, they say, lies Peace and Ultimate Fulfilment. It all appears to be an exercise in futility to think about what is entailed in death (which is the end of ‘being’) ... and it is. The end of ‘being’, at physical death, can only ever be a speculation; it has to be experienced to know it. Just like one cannot know the taste of something until one eats it ... so too is it with death as the end of ‘being’. Yet to wait for death will be leaving it too late to find out what it is to not ‘be’ ... as death is oblivion of consciousness there will be no awareness of not ‘being’. The question is: can one experience the end of ‘being’ before this body dies and therefore penetrate into the ‘Mystery of Life’, in full awareness, and find ultimate fulfilment ... here on earth?
RESPONDENT: And that’s quite a question. Should one ‘self-immolate’ and extinguish the ‘me’, is there consciousness of being? I would think not – then there would be no ‘me’ and hence no consciousness of myself as separate observer.
RICHARD: Precisely ... no ‘observer’ – whether ‘separate’ or ‘whole’ (as in ‘holistic’, unified’, ‘in union’, ‘oneness’ and so on) – means that here consciousness is conscious of being consciousness (not ‘I’ being aware of ‘me’ being conscious) and such perception I call apperceptive awareness (Oxford Dictionary: apperception: the mind’s perception of itself) so as to distinguish it from the ‘Tried and True’ unified awareness known ‘unitary perception’ or ‘choiceless awareness’ and so on.
RICHARD: What I did was embrace mortality. ‘Life’ and ‘Death’ are not an opposite ... there is simply birth and death happening as matter arranges and rearranges itself as the infinitude of this material universe. Life is what happens in between each arrangement and rearrangement as animate matter, and as sensate animate matter. Before I was born, I was not here. Now that I am alive, I am here. After death I will not be here ... just like before birth. Where is the problem? The problem was in the brain-stem, of course. It is the instinct to survive at any cost that was the problem ... backed up by the full gamut of the emotions born out of the basic instinctual passions of fear and aggression and nurture and desire. The rudimentary animal ‘self’, transformed into an identity in the human animal, must be extinguished in order for one to be here, in this actual world of the senses, bereft of this identity. Extinction releases one into actuality ... as this flesh and blood body only one is living in the paradisiacal garden that this verdant planet earth is. We are all simply floating in the infinitude of this perfect and pure universe ... coming from nowhere and having nowhere to go to we find ourselves here at this moment in eternal time and this place in infinite space. I am this very material universe experiencing its own infinitude as a sensate and reflective human.
RESPONDENT: One is reluctant to let go of the basic instinctual passions as they seem, at least in their less violent manifestations, to be the source of earthly and fleshly pleasures, for instance, the pleasure of sex, the pleasure of a good meal ...
RICHARD: Yes ... in psychiatric terms it is called ‘anhedonia’ (as in the inability to affectively feel pleasure). There is bodily sensation, of course, but the ‘pleasure centre’ (located by some neuro-scientists in the amygdala) has ceased to exist along with fear and all the rest. I could not be a hedonist if I wanted to.
RESPONDENT: ... the sense of power and competency one derives through keeping the physical body fit through exercise, etc..
RICHARD: I have no power or powers at all. Competency comes from not being run by the instinctual passions (thus allowing a freed intelligence to act sensibly) and, as I do not own a car, exercise comes mainly from walking. Other than that, my favoured form of exercise is raising the coffee-cup to my lips with my right hand whilst simultaneously exercising the left hand on the TV remote control buttons.
I traverse the world nightly in the comfort and safety of my own sitting room.
RESPONDENT: I’m having a hard time drawing the line, so to speak. Your words imply a strong position of no-compromise, extinction of basic instinctual passions, period. Am I misunderstanding what you are saying?
RESPONDENT: How can immortality deserve to be in oblivion!
RICHARD: Because it is but a belief ... and it is a belief that prevents one from being here at this moment in time where purity and perfection abound. Being here – which can only happen when ‘I’, the psychological entity within, abdicates its throne – enables one to be happy and harmless for, along with the ‘I’ goes sorrow and malice. Without malice, there is no war, murder, torture, rape, domestic violence and corruption that is so endemic ... it is intrinsic to the human condition. Without sorrow there is no sadness, loneliness, grief, depression and suicide that is such a global incidence ... it is also inherent to the human condition.
Immortality is but a fantasy spun out of a delusion born out of an illusion. ‘I’ think and feel that ‘I’ am so important that ‘I’ must live forever. It is a pernicious belief with its roots buried deep in self-importance and self-aggrandisement. It is where conceit meets arrogance and become meekness and humility ... and seeks its post-mortem reward.
RESPONDENT: We’ll just have to see whether death is in fact final, won’t we?
RICHARD: Maybe it would be best to only speak for yourself ... I already know for a fact that ‘death is final’.
RESPONDENT: Yeah well will see what you tell me after you die. You won’t be so smug then will you?
RICHARD: Something that I have noticed, over the many years that I have discussed these matters, in the people I have met personally who have what may be described as a religious and/or spiritual and/or mystical and/or metaphysical point of view, is that as a last resort they invariably start threatening me with the dire consequences that ensue in the ‘after-death’ state because I not agree with their belief system. So that this exchange does not devolve into you endeavouring to put the ‘fear of God’ into me (and I am not implying that you were going to), it may be advantageous to comprehend why I have every reason to be ‘smug’ (complacent, pleased, satisfied, content).
RESPONDENT: Richard, for some reason I have been thinking of you lately.
RICHARD: Good to hear from you again ... how are your journalistic enterprises going? As I recall you were toying with writing an article tentatively entitled ‘Living happily and harmlessly in the world as-it-is with people as-they-are’ (or something similar)?
RESPONDENT: I think it is because Life is so Grand and to a large extent that is because I went into an encounter with my own death.
RICHARD: Ahh ... this ‘Life is so Grand because ...’ sentence stands out: the experiential comprehension of death’s necessity is the essential prerequisite for the actual understanding of life. Mostly people do not appreciate how fundamental death is to life (‘life’s a bitch with death at the end’) and either uneasily avoid the subject or agnostically say that it cannot be known until one physically dies.
Those that are not desperately believing the ancient scriptures, that is.
RESPONDENT: And out of that I am not believing or hoping or groping for Eternality anymore.
RICHARD: Excellent ... the fact of death means that, in an ultimate sense, nothing really matters: hence playfulness. Also, the universe, being infinite and eternal, means that eternity is already always here ... now.
RESPONDENT: But rather I can allow the knowledge that I Will Die, to free me each and every day; as I more and more delight in what there is to work and play with until I am no more and the universe goes on without me.
RICHARD: Yes, I oft-times say that if it were not for death I could not be happy ... let alone harmless. I could not be solemn if my life depended upon it.
Sincere ... yes; serious ... no way.
RESPONDENT: Actually; you are right; it is possible to free oneself from the human condition.
RESPONDENT: Isn’t it fear of Death which biases that whole view?
RICHARD: You do seem to be unaware as to whom you write this conceptualised picture of death and nature to. At age seventeen I volunteered for the military and was vigorously and rigorously trained, by the best-trained killers that this country could produce, to kill my fellow human being with nine different weapons (including rifle, pistol, machine pistol, machine gun, hand-grenades, booby-traps, bayonet and knife). I am a fully qualified state-trained killer ... and I served my time in a war that is infamous in twentieth-century western history. I know the nature of killing and death ... and I know the nature of human beings.
I was born and raised on a farm and had vast experience with killing and death from before I can consciously remember coming face-to-face with killing and death. A short list of animals would have to include the domesticated animals such as cattle, sheep, pigs, goats, geese, ducks, chickens and so on, all of which I have personally slaughtered and skinned and dressed with my own hands. The wild animals would include kangaroos, emus, dingoes, foxes, rabbits, eagles, crows, magpies, pigeons and quail ... all of which – with the exception of the dingoes, foxes, eagles, crows and magpies – I have personally slaughtered and skinned and dressed with my own hands (the dingoes, foxes, eagles and crows were killed for their bounty as they were considered pests). Stalking animals made me keenly aware of the human being’s primal animal nature, whilst raising livestock for a living necessitated an eye for the detail of animals’ basic nature on a daily basis. I have made a study of the differences between animals and humans – by reading countless scholarly studies made by enterprising people; by watching many a television program on animal life and by often visiting zoos – because I am vitally interested in life on earth with its death and killing all around.
Also, I observe animal action and behaviour and ascertain from research how an animal is likely to perceive itself and the world so as to throw some light onto conditioned human behaviour ... to ascertain the difference between ‘nature and nurture’. For example: I have seen a dog acting in a way that can only be called pining; I have seen a cat toying with a mouse in a manner that can only be dubbed cruel; I have seen cows ‘spooked’ and then stampede in what must be described as hysteria; I have seen stallions displaying what can only be labelled aggression; I have watched many animals exhibiting what must be specified as fear ... and so on. Only recently a television programme was aired here on chimpanzees about studies made over many, many years of them in their native habitat and I was able to see civil war, robbery, rage, infanticide, cannibalism, grief, group ostracism ... and so on. It is easily discerned by those with the eyes to see that animals do not have peace-on-earth by being natural. This insistence that the animal state being a natural state and therefore somehow desirable because human are ‘divided from nature’ that is held by many people is just nonsense ... I am glad that I am human and that we are living in a civilised society with all that technology can offer. We have already improved on nature so much in the areas of technology, animal breeding and plant cultivation, for instance.
There is no reason why we can not continue this fine work of overcoming the limitations imposed by blind nature and eliminate sorrow and malice from ourselves. Then – and only then – will we have global peace-on-earth.
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.