Richard’s Selected Correspondence
On Excellence Experiences
Re: The Intimate Ambiance Experiment Audio Recordings
Something caught my eye on a second read-through of your latest email:
Particularly, the mention of intimacy experience, as something distinct from an excellence experience, and yet being intimately related to that which is known as being out-from-control.
Yet a google search through the Actual Freedom Trust site shows only three distinct phrases where you mentioning intimacy experiences, besides the above, all of which incidentally appear on your Selected Correspondence page regarding the Dynamic, Destinal Virtual Freedom:
To compare, Google provides 13 (non-unique) results for both <site:actualfreedom.com.au ‘intimacy experience’> and <site:actualfreedom.com.au ‘intimacy experiences’>, while providing 90 (non-unique) results for the same with ‘intimacy’ replaced with ‘excellence’.
Could you go into more detail as to what intimacy experiences are, how they differ from excellence experiences, and what role they play in being out-from-control/in a different-way-of-being? Did they feature in feeling-being ‘Richard’s wide and wondrous path to an actual freedom?
Incidentally, this may be a good a time as any to publicly state that, based on re-evaluation derived from recent correspondences, as during the time I previously considered I may have been out-from-control, I was not consistently feeling excellent, come-what-may, I can now say I have never genuinely experienced being out-from-control... and, as such, nor can I say I have ever experienced a near-actual caring.
RICHARD: G’day Claudiu,
In the same way that excellence experiences (EE’s) were a notable feature of feeling-being ‘Richard’s virtual freedom experiencing circa March-September 1981, although of course not named as such back then, so too did intimacy experiences (IE’s) play a similarly significant role even though increasingly overshadowed by the insistent emergence of love – and, especially, Love Agapé – in the later months due to a marked lack of precedence and, thus, of any praxeological publications (nowadays made freely available on The Actual Freedom Trust web site) on the distinction betwixt the near-innocent intimacy of naïveté and the affectional intimacy of romance lore and legend.
Just as the term ‘excellence experience’ came from feeling-being ‘Grace’ – who was exacting in evaluating ‘her’ differing ways of being a ‘self’ so as to not illude herself that ‘she’ was more progressive than was really the case – so too did the expression ‘different-way-of-being’. What gradually became more and more apparent was that a prevailing feature of ‘her’ differing ways of being was the degree of intimacy involved.
The gradations of ‘her’ scale were, basically, good, very good, great, excellent, and perfect – whereby, in regards to intimacy, ‘good’ related to togetherness (which pertains to being and acting in concert with another); ‘very good’ related to closeness (where personal boundaries expand to include the other); ‘great’ related to sweetness (delighting in the pervasive proximity, or immanence, of the other); ‘excellent’ related to richness (a near-absence of agency; with the doer abeyant, and the beer ascendant, being the experiencing is inherently cornucopian); and ‘perfect’ related to magicality (neither beer nor doer extant; pristine purity abounds and immaculate perfection prevails) – all of which correlate to the range of naïveness from being sincere to becoming naïve and all the way through being naïveté itself to an actual innocence.
The term ‘intimacy experience’ became part of the actualism lingo after a particularly instructive event in late spring, 2007, when at anchor upriver whilst exhorting feeling-being ‘Grace’ to no longer reserve that specific ‘way-of-being’ for those memorable occasions when ‘she’ was alone with me and to extend such intimacy to also include ‘her’ potential shipmates in order to dynamically enable the then-tentative plans for a floating convivium – which were on an indefinite hold at that time – to move ahead expeditiously (this was in the heady context of feeling-being ‘Pamela’ having already entered into an on-going PCE a scant five days beforehand due to ‘her’ specifically expressed concerns to me over the lack of intimacy between actualists). At some stage during this intensive interaction feeling-being ‘Vineeto’, who had been intently following every nuance, every twist and turn of the interplay, had what ‘she’ described as a ‘shift’ taking place in ‘her’ whereupon the very intimacy being thus exigently importuned came about for ‘her’ instead.
To say ‘she’ was astounded with the degree of intimacy having ensued is to put it mildly as ‘her’ first descriptive words were about how ‘she’ would never have considered it possible to be as intimate as this particular way of being – an intimacy of such near-innocence as to have previously only ever been possible privately with ‘her’ sexual partner in very special moments – when in a social setting as one of a number of persons partaking of coffee and snacks in a sitting room situation. Intuitively seizing the vital opportunity such intimate experiencing offered ‘she’ took over from me and commenced interacting intensively in my stead – notably now a one-on-one feeling-being interchange – and within a relatively short while feeling-being ‘Grace’ was experiencing life in the same, or very similar, manner as feeling-being ‘Vineeto’ (hence that 4th of December 2009 report of mine about how these intimacy experiences are potentially contagious, so to speak, for other sincere actualists as the atmosphere generated affectively-psychically can propagate a flow-on effect).
As for your query regarding how the intimacy experience (IE) differs from an excellence experience (EE): qualitively they are much the same, or similar, insofar as with both experiences there is a near-absence of agency – the beer rather than the doer is the operant – whereupon naïveté has come to the fore, such as to effect the marked diminishment of separation, and the main distinction is that the IE is more people-oriented, while the EE tends to be environmental in its scope.
In other words, with an EE the ‘aesthetic experience’ feature, for instance, or its ‘nature experience’ aspect, for example, tends to be more prominent, whilst with an IE the ‘fellowship experience’ characteristic, for instance, or its ‘convivial experience’ quality, for example, comes to the fore. In either type of near-PCE – wherein the experiencing is of ‘my’ life living itself, with a surprising sumptuosity, rather than ‘me’ living ‘my’ life, quite frugally by comparison, and where this moment is living ‘me’ (instead of ‘me’ trying to live ‘in the moment’) – the diminishment of separation is so astonishing as to be as-if incomprehensible/ unbelievable yet it is the imminence of a fellow human’s immanence which, in and of itself, emphasises the distinction the most.
For instance, the degree of intimacy experienced with minera, flora and fauna upon strolling through some botanical gardens with either near-PCE occurring – as in, with rocks, trees and birds, for example – is to the same gradation as when in a social setting such as a typical sitting room situation (as in, with ashtrays, flowers and humans, for instance) yet it is the ‘fellow human being’ element which exemplifies the already astounding diminishment of separation which ensues upon the blessed onset of this near-innocent intimacy of naïveté.
And that latter point – the felicitous advent of naïve intimacy – is another way the IE differs from the EE inasmuch if a near-PCE is initiated via intensive interaction with a fellow human being/ with fellow human beings it takes on the properties of an intimacy experience (IE) whereas if the near-PCE is triggered via interacting intensively with the world at large (as in, an aesthetic experience, a nature experience, a contemplative experience, for example) it takes on the properties of an excellence experience (EE).
The role they play in an out-from-control/ different-way-of-being virtual freedom (entitled ‘The Dynamic, Destinal Virtual Freedom’ on that web page to distinguish it from the still-in-control/ same-way-of-being virtual freedom entitled ‘The Pragmatic, Methodological Virtual Freedom’) is, essentially, in enabling the actualism process to take over.
In effect, the actualism process is what ensues when one gets out from being under control, via having given oneself prior permission to have one’s life live itself (i.e., sans the controlling doer), and a different way of being comes about (i.e., where the beer is the operant) – whereupon a thrilling out-from-control momentum takes over and an inevitability sets in – whereafter there is no pulling back (hence the reluctance in having it set in motion) as once begun it is nigh-on unstoppable.
Re: Near Actual Caring
CLAUDIU: Hi Richard,
Another query, related to my previous one on how to go out-from-control. You wrote:
This answer leaves me uncertain as to what an excellence experience is as compared to an out-from-control virtual freedom. (Message 23301)
RICHARD: G’day Claudiu,
Yes, although the words [quote] “being... in full allowance of the benignity and benevolence inherent to pure intent to be dynamically operative” [endquote] are what distinguishes the ongoing excellence experience (EE) known as an out-from-control virtual freedom, from an EE itself, the way it is worded – and certainly when read as a standalone Q&A isolated from all the explanations to that effect which precede it – the words “...and thus...” do indeed make for uncertainty.
Thank you for pointing this out ... I will amend the paragraph accordingly.
But first, just to make it all clear upfront, an excellence experience (EE) – which, just like an intimacy experience (IE), is so close to a pure consciousness experience (PCE) as to be known as a near-PCE – can happen regardless of one’s modus vivendi.
In other words, just as it is possible for someone whose manner of living/ way of life is yet to have feeling good (i.e., a general feeling of well-being) established as a bottom-line of on-going experiencing, come-what-may, to have either an EE or IE (wherein the doer is abeyant and the beer ascendant), be they spontaneous or induced, from time-to-time – just as they can have a PCE itself (where identity in toto/the entire affective faculty is abeyant) – so too can a person yet to be able to describe their modus vivendi as either “feeling as happy and harmless (as free of sorrow and malice) as is humanly possible” or “feeling excellent/ perfect for 99% of the time” such as to be designated “a pragmatic, methodological virtual freedom” (a.k.a. “a still-in-control/ same-way-of-being virtual freedom”).
Indeed, anyone at all can have an IE or an EE – or even a PCE – at any time in their life (albeit totally ignorant of any such nomenclature and what they actually signify).
What sets the ongoing near-PCE known as “a dynamic, destinal virtual freedom” apart from ever other way of life/ manner of living is, as is expressed in that paragraph, by being in full allowance of the benignity and benevolence inherent to pure intent being dynamically operative – whereby the actualism method segues into the actualism process – such as to be pulling one evermore unto one’s destiny.
And here is why the actualism process is imperative:
CLAUDIU: Elsewhere you’ve written that an out-from-control virtual freedom is known as an ongoing EE:
You’ve also written (in an email to me) how an excellence experience is one with a near-absence of agency – with the doer abeyant and the beer ascendant (snipped for brevity):
Further, in your most recent email here you use these same descriptors to describe an out-from-control virtual freedom:
As the critical criterion of whether a feeling-being can experience near-actual caring is “being out-from-control", being out-from-control is described as a state “with the ‘doer’ abeyant and the ‘beer’ ascendant” and also as “an ongoing excellence experience", and an excellence experience is described as there being “a near-absence of agency – the beer rather than the doer is the operant” (and earlier ‘excellent’ on ‘Grace’s scale being described as relating to “a near-absence of agency; with the doer abeyant, and the beer ascendant"), would it not therefore be the case that a feeling-being having an excellence experience *is* automatically experiencing near-actual caring?
RICHARD: Again, although the above words [quote] “...the primary impetus of agency is the benevolence and benignity of pure intent being dynamically operative *via the full concurrence of the ‘beer’*...” [emphasis added] do indicate what distinguishes the ongoing EE known as an out-from-control virtual freedom, from an EE itself, the manner in which that Q&A is worded – and certainly when read as a standalone paragraph isolated from all the explanations to that effect which precede it – it does indeed make for uncertainty.
CLAUDIU: If not – and this would be the most interesting part – then what is the vital distinction between an EE and an out-from-control virtual freedom such that a near-actual caring features in the latter but not the former?
RICHARD: The vital distinction is the overarching benignity and benevolence inherent to infinitude – which has nothing to do with any affective felicity and innocuity – being dynamically operative due to the cheerful and thus willing concurrence of the beer.
For instance (from 2005):
CLAUDIU: If yes, then was it simply [No. 45’s] phrasing of someone “who is in an EE and not out-from-control” that led to the “No ...” reply? (i.e. in that case it is not the case that someone in an EE is “not out-from-control” as to be in an EE is to be out-from-control, albeit fleetingly?)
RICHARD: Given that it was a case of not being able to answer the question as-asked – to be having an EE (or an IE) is indeed to be out-from-control – then the word “No...” negates the entire query.
A minimally-tweaked version would look something like this:
It is more informative, though, to first set the query straight:
Again, I appreciate your feedback.
CLAUDIU: What a great time to be alive!
ALAN: Turning to the PCE, you wrote: [Vineeto]: ‘In the interest of having clear, definable terms, a pure consciousness experience is just that – an experience of pure consciousness, where the ‘self’ is temporarily absent, completely. This means that there is no affective experience in a PCE whatsoever, no ‘love, bliss, rapture’ or the imagination of being ‘the saviour of mankind’. Whenever there is any feeling or emotion experienced whatsoever, it is not a PCE. For most people, the experience may well start as a PCE, but invariably ‘I’ will step in and seize the experience as ‘mine’ and interpret and feel it to be a spiritual experience. One needs to understand and practice Actualism to be sufficiently aware of one’s beliefs, feelings and instinctual passions in order to avoid the trap of Enlightenment on the path to Actual Freedom’ [endquote]. This seems to contradict what Richard wrote to me: [Richard]: ‘A ‘difference in degree’ sounds like an apt description ... I cannot, of course, recall with 100% accuracy what happened twenty-odd years ago (plus there is too much other stuff that happened which blurs precise recall), so I would have to say there was an affective response which varied from experience to experience from virtually non-existent to full-blown grandiosity’ [endquote].
VINEETO: Yes, I think, Richard is in trouble here. Joking aside, I’m sure he’ll explain it to you.
RICHARD: Ha ... you sure know how to get me out of the innards of computers and back to writing, eh? However, it is this simple: back in 1981 I had umpteen number of peak experiences – sometimes two-three times a day varying from minutes to hours – and they were wild and woolly times. Somewhere along the line I had lost sight of the four hour pure consciousness experience that had triggered my whole incursion into becoming free of the human condition and there was certainly a ‘difference in degree’ of the affective element in each experience ... ranging from virtually non-existent to full-blown grandiosity for the ‘me’ that was inhabiting this body. The PCE stayed pristine in its own domain, however, and stood me in good stead some eleven years later ... as I have recorded in ‘A Brief Personal History’:
Alan, you and I have had discussions, over the past two years or so, regarding the PCE devolving into an ASC when ‘I’ and/or ‘me’ step in and possess the experience – the affective element in other words – and I would say that Vineeto has expressed it (above) and in other places such that I have little to add. I was, of course, responding to your observation: ‘I have said that perhaps then I have not had a PCE, if that is what a PCE involves. Well, in a way, that was correct. This is the first time that ‘I’ have experienced, as an actuality, the validity of the statement – and it’s a whammer! And, of course I can now see that I have had previous PCE’s – but perhaps they were all ‘tinged’ with an, however slight, affective element and I guess this one is too ... perhaps it is just a difference in degree’ . If the experience is ‘perhaps tinged’ with an affective element then it is not, or is no longer, a pure experience. Indisputably the PCE has no ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul – no affective element whatsoever – as a PCE is a pure consciousness experience.
In view of all that has been explored and written about, in the twenty-odd years since the ‘I’ that was inhabiting this body first had a PCE, nobody has to follow my experience and blunder along in the dark. It is pertinent to point out that I am putting the story together ‘after the event’, as it were, endeavouring to present as coherent a picture as possible. If anyone were to sit down with me and hear all that transpired (which cannot happen as I do not remember a lot of it) they would go away totally confused ... it was a mish-mash of experiences; a jumbled, bumbled, delirious, chaotic, bizarre, freaky and peculiar trip I went on. Vineeto and Peter get regaled with bits and pieces of it every now and again ... snippets of anecdotes when some discussion jogs my memory and another crazy morsel is added to the weird smorgasbord already presented. But the main thing I stress through all these sagas is the only danger inherent on the wide and wondrous path: because of the affective faculty one may lose the plot and become seduced by the glamour and glory and glitz of enlightenment.
I kid you not ... ‘Article 36’ of ‘Richard’s Journal’ spells this out in no uncertain terms.
It may well be that this is an opportune time to address what you phrased as being the difference between ‘PE’s, PCE’s and actual freedom (‘AF’)’ in another post: the term ‘peak experience’ is an all-encompassing phrase ... a ‘catch-all’ term for many and varied experiences. I have explained how I came about the term to this Mailing List before. Vis.:
I typed <peak experience> into the search function and sent it through my web page and came up with 157 entries. I see that I often mix and mingle the phrase with <pure consciousness experience> and this would lead to confusion only if one disregards the places where I clearly delineate what I mean. Vis.:
I have also asked Vineeto and Peter if they would include the phrases ‘nature experience’ and ‘jamais vu’ in their ‘180 Degrees Opposite’ schematic so as to help clarify the matter as that is how I first described what I would now call pure consciousness experiences back in 1980-1981. And I see that Vineeto has posted a paragraph (derived from page 226; ‘Richards Journal’ and an excerpt of which can be found on-line) wherein I describe the ‘nature experience’ unambiguously. As for jamais vu: while jamais vu (‘never seen’) is not so common as déjà vu (‘already seen’), it can be just as compelling. Jamais vu is the opposite of déjà vu: instead of being extra familiar, as in déjà vu, a familiar situation seems totally unfamiliar. The world of people, things and events are experienced as for the first time ... there is little or no connection between long-term memory and perceptions from this moment. When a person is in this state nothing they experience seems to have anything to do with the past; everything suddenly becomes novel, totally new.
The sense of knowing people or things or events – and knowing how to relate to them – simply vanishes. Details one has seen a thousand times suddenly become engaging; the background is as equally important as the figure that occupies centre-stage. Or, as someone wrote on a now-defunct mailing list some time ago: ‘jamais vu is a feeling that you have never seen anything around you; it seems like everything around you is new and you’ve never been there before – as opposed to déjà vu when everything seems like you’ve lived it before – and you feel that you’ve never done this particular thing before, even when you know you have’.
This odd, uncanny, surreal experience can happen to people who temporarily lose their memory or, more commonly, in an epileptic seizure (psychiatrically known as ‘temporal lobe epilepsy’ or TLE). For example, one such epilepsy sufferer wrote:
Incidentally, there are four types of déjà vu that clearly delineate between associated, but different, neurological experiences. These are déjà vecu (already experienced), déjà senti (already felt) and déjà visité (already visited) and déjà entendu (already heard). Déjà vecu is the most common déjà vu experience and involves the sensation of having done something or having been in an identical situation before and knowing what will happen next. These sensations are not only experienced as the outstanding sensations – seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching – but can also include the proprioceptive sensations.
So ‘jamais vu’ was my original nomenclature ... and yet another way of describing the pure consciousness experience is with the psychiatric terms ‘depersonalisation’, ‘derealisation’, alexithymia’ and ‘anhedonia’ ... which descriptions I have scattered throughout my correspondence. The article ‘Attentiveness And Sensuousness And Apperceptiveness’ may be well worth a visit in this regard. The characteristics already detailed (‘depersonalisation’, ‘alexithymia’, ‘derealisation’, ‘anhedonia’) are the result of expressing actual freedom in the psychiatric models of the human condition – which reflects the ‘human’ struggle to understand this fundamentally simple process called consciousness – and are inherently arbitrary in that they do not exist as separate items. The extinction of identity in its totality with its ensuing loss of reality coupled with the inability to affectively feel pleasure along with the ending of the feeling faculty all takes place in the space of a few glorious moments. Peace-on-earth is the certain result ... because it is already always just here right now.
Then one is this universe experiencing itself as an apperceptive human being.
I see that this naming dialogue was re-opened when Peter suggested introducing the phrase ‘excellence experience’ to describe the penultimate virtual freedom experience ... and all this discussion is well worthwhile, eh? My companion, who is exacting when it comes to grading herself/her experiences, has classifications ranging from good, very good, very, very good, excellent ... and the perfection peak experience (PCE). She is most particular to not confuse an excellence experience with a perfection experience ... and the most outstanding distinction in the excellence experience is the marked absence of what I call the ‘magical’ element. What I describe as ‘magical’ she prefers to call ‘entering into the fourth dimension’ (not to be confused with the Hindu fourth state known as ‘Turiya’).
This magical ‘other dimension’ is where time has no duration as the normal ‘now’ and ‘then’ and space has no distance as the normal ‘here’ and ‘there’ and form has no distinction as the normal ‘was’ and ‘will be’ ... there is only this moment in eternal time at this place in infinite space as this flesh and blood body being apperceptively aware (a three hundred and sixty degree awareness, as it were). Everything and everyone is transparently and sparklingly obvious, up-front and out-in-the open ... there is nowhere to hide and no reason to hide as there is no ‘me’ to hide. One is totally exposed and open to the universe: one is perennially just here right now ... actually in time and actually in space as actual form. This apperception (selfless awareness) is an unmediated perspicacity wherein one is this universe experiencing itself as a sensate and reflective human being; as such the universe is stunningly aware of its own infinitude.
It may or may not be a useful phrase to others ... which is what Peter was asking. I cannot definitively say one way or the other as I am not an expert on virtual freedom ... virtual freedom is derived from what the ‘I’ that was lived from March to September in 1981 and was first put into practice by my previous companion. When she dropped the baton, so as to pursue other avenues, Peter and Vineeto had already taken up the challenge to pioneer the wide and wondrous path. They are the first couple to live together in peace and harmony – by being as happy and harmless as is humanly possible for twenty three hours and fifty nine minutes a day – and both they and Grace intimately know far, far more about the intricacies of the daily living of it than I do.
GARY: Yesterday I had the first really clear and unequivocal PCE since starting with this ... previously, I had had what I call ‘mini-PCE’s’. They lasted only very brief periods of time, say an hour or so, and I wasn’t really sure it was a PCE. Yesterday, however, I had no doubt at all about the experience, as it accorded in all details with what I have read about PCE’s ... I had some trouble at work ... some old fears of mine concerning work, authority, success, etc. came up for me. I found myself in some turmoil about these issues and, investigating deeper into it, I once again saw the futility of a feeling-based life, a so-called ‘normal’ life of sorrow, malice, nurture, and desire ... I wrote in my journal to myself what I would do to bring about peace-on-earth, for myself and others. A little later, I sat in my chair and was still for quite awhile. The PCE experience started there and continued for the rest of the day, at times most vividly, at other times diminishing somewhat, but always lustrous, vibrant, and rich. One of the things I noticed most strongly was the intensity of sensation – the clearness and brilliance of colours, and the ability to hear every little sound around me ... at a gravel pit ... I saw a stone popping out of the ground that had some interesting features to it. I ran my hand along the exposed top of it and it felt to be alive. Similarly, the texture and surface of the stone appeared to be actually a living thing. It reminded me of psychedelic drug experiences I had when I was younger, except that it was natural and uncontaminated by any emotions of fright, fear, doubt, etc. Later on we went to the supermarket to do the week’s shopping. Another thing I noticed about the experience was how any object, even the most ordinary and mundane, instantly had become amazingly interesting and wonderful to look at. Everything I looked at had a life of its own. Everything appeared fresh and new. Everywhere I looked there were sensual delights to behold. Another thing was that there was some kind of very pleasurable sensation located near the solar plexus region. I find this difficult to convey but it was a very satisfying visceral sensation. I shall have to, in future, see what I can notice about it ... I found that I could refresh the experience by running the ‘How am I ...’. question and by increased attentiveness to the feelings that contaminated the experience. A couple of times, the experience would come back in full bloom in all its’ lustrousness. The PCE stands out in such dramatic contrast to ordinary, every-day perception and sensation ... another key feature of the experience – no affective element, no feelings, no disturbance whatsoever – there was nothing that could disturb the experience, take anything away from it, or detract from it. In other words, there was no feeling ‘me’ to spoil the experience. How amazing.
RICHARD: Yes ... ‘how amazing’ indeed, eh? I am particularly pleased to see you say that you had a ‘clear and unequivocal PCE’ as, of course, I have no way of ascertaining the intrinsic quality of what any body experiences other than what they describe – and I have no intention of setting myself up to be to arbiter of another’s experience anyway – so I cannot adjudge the exact nature of what you experienced. The rule of thumb is to ask oneself: is this it; is this the ultimate; is this the utter fulfilment and total contentment; is this my destiny; is this how I would want to live for the remainder of my life ... and so on. It is up to each and every person to decide for themselves what it is that they want ... as I oft-times say: it is your life you are living and only you get to reap the rewards and pay the consequences for any action or inaction you may or may not do.
When I first started writing on the internet I tended towards saying things like ‘I find your description to be an accurate portrayal of what I have been calling a peak experience’ and ‘going by what you have written I have no doubt that your experience is a PCE’ and so on, as it was important to both establish a common basis for discussion and to build up a data-base of differing people’s descriptions for others to read and draw affirmation and confirmation from. Yet herein lay a catch-22 that became increasingly obvious as more and more people reported their experience ... I was, by default, setting myself up to be to arbiter of another’s experience by (a) my words of corroboration or negation ... or (b) by the inclusion of their description in or the exclusion of their description from the data-base!
I am finding these things out as I go along and I am left with no alternative but to devise a stock-standard disclaimer such as this: I am simply reporting my experience and it is entirely up to the other to do with it what they will ... and I stress that it is the pure consciousness experience (PCE) that is one’s guiding light – one’s authority or one’s teacher – and not me or my description of a PCE. The evidence of human history demonstrates that there is a distinct possibility that things can go awry wherever the human psyche is being subjectively investigated. Yet there are some notable people (or notorious people) in this field of endeavour who have rashly promised that they will take care of everything if only the person investigating will believe them and/or have faith in them and/or trust them and/or surrender to them and/or obey them ... and so on. And there are more than a few of these gullible persons currently occupying places in psychiatric wards as a direct result ... and the person who promised to ‘take care of everything’ is remarkably unforthcoming (it is counsellors and therapists and psychologists and psychiatrists who have to pick up the pieces).
I cannot save anybody at all.
Having said that, and I am not inferring anything either way by what I am writing here, it may or may not be relevant to report that one must be most particular to not confuse an excellence experience with a perfection experience ... and the most outstanding distinction in the excellence experience is the marked absence of what I call the ‘magical’ element. This is where time has no duration as the normal ‘now’ and ‘then’ and space has no distance as the normal ‘here’ and ‘there’ and form has no distinction as the normal ‘was’ and ‘will be’ ... there is only this moment in eternal time at this place in infinite space as this flesh and blood body being apperceptively aware (a three hundred and sixty degree awareness, as it were). Everything and everyone is transparently and sparklingly obvious, up-front and out-in-the open ... there is nowhere to hide and no reason to hide as there is no ‘me’ to hide. One is totally exposed and open to the universe: already always just here right now ... actually in time and actually in space as actual form. This apperception (selfless awareness) is an unmediated perspicacity wherein one is this universe experiencing itself as a sensate and reflective human being; as such the universe is stunningly aware of its own infinitude.
In a PCE one is fully immersed in the infinitude of this fairy-tale-like actual world with its sensuous quality of magical perfection and purity where everything and everyone has a lustre, a brilliance, a vividness, an intensity and a marvellous, wondrous, scintillating vitality that makes everything alive and sparkling ... even the very earth beneath one’s feet. The rocks, the concrete buildings, a piece of paper ... literally everything is as if it were alive (a rock is not, of course, alive as humans are, or as animals are, or as trees are). This ‘aliveness’ is the very actuality of all existence – the actualness of everything and everyone – for one is not living in an inert universe.
RICHARD: When I first started writing on the internet I tended towards saying things like ‘I find your description to be an accurate portrayal of what I have been calling a peak experience’ and ‘going by what you have written I have no doubt that your experience is a PCE’ and so on, as it was important to both establish a common basis for discussion and to build up a data-base of differing people’s descriptions for others to read and draw affirmation and confirmation from. Yet herein lay a catch-22 that became increasingly obvious as more and more people reported their experience ... I was, by default, setting myself up to be to arbiter of another’s experience by (a) my words of corroboration or negation ... or (b) by the inclusion of their description in or the exclusion of their description from the data-base!
GARY: Yes, particularly since on my part there has been some confusion on account of the terminology, some lack of clarity about the difference between the so-called peak experience and the PCE and, now, what is described as an excellence experience ...
RICHARD: Writing on mailing lists has been beneficial for me in that feedback made me aware that I had to get my act together over precise terminology ... I was straddling two eras, as it were, and had never realised that the term ‘peak experience’, as made popular by Mr. Abraham Maslow, was so loaded with the metaphysical content it has (I had mixed and mingled the phrases). As for this term ‘excellence experience’, it is being suggested to represent the penultimate ... the best of what can be experienced, in what is termed ‘virtual freedom’, wherein ‘I’ am so thinly in existence ‘I’ am virtually not there.
I use the word ‘virtual’ deliberately (it has nothing to do with the virtual reality of cyber-space) as ‘virtual’ means ‘almost as good as’ or ‘nearly the same as’ or ‘in effect comparable to’ and so on. This is because it is humanly possible to thoroughly improve one’s lot in life, before the ultimate happens, wherein one lives in a well-earned happy and harmless way 99% of the time ... and which is streets ahead of normal human expectations.
GARY: ... it is good that you are not lending affirmance in order to establish the validity of these conditions. One needs to ‘see for themselves’ what is up by comparing the experience with what is written and by talking to others.
RICHARD: These words are music to my ears.
RICHARD: The most outstanding distinction in the excellence experience is the marked absence of what I call the ‘magical’ element ... in a PCE one is fully immersed in the infinitude of this fairy-tale-like actual world with its sensuous quality of magical perfection and purity where everything and everyone has a lustre, a brilliance, a vividness, an intensity and a marvellous, wondrous, scintillating vitality that makes everything alive and sparkling ... even the very earth beneath one’s feet. The rocks, the concrete buildings, a piece of paper ... literally everything is as if it were alive (a rock is not, of course, alive as humans are, or as animals are, or as trees are). This ‘aliveness’ is the very actuality of all existence – the actualness of everything and everyone – for one is not living in an inert universe.
GARY: In hindsight, the description of the PCE fits the bill, with the magical, fairy-tale like quality. The excellence experience may be more common to me lately that I hitherto thought. In the excellence experience, there is a commonness to it not found in the PCE.
RICHARD: Ahh ... good, I am pleased to have feedback that shows this to be a facet of experiencing that more than just a few people have so far reported. It all helps to clarify and aided communication.
GARY: In the PCE, there is a clear sense that something of momentous importance is happening, at least it seemed that way for me.
RICHARD: Excellent ... words conveying what ‘momentous importance’ conveys are words such as what I look for in a description, for it is no little thing what one does/what we are doing. What is conveyed is what impelled ‘me’, all those years ago, into proceeding with the utmost dispatch so as to enable peace-on-earth sooner rather than later ... so much so that when the going got rocky, from time to time, when ‘I’ put ‘my’ foot on the brake pedal in order to slow the process down the pedal went straight to the floor.
‘I’ was on the ride of a life-time.
GARY: The excellence experience, if not labelled such, might seem to be an experience of exceptional clarity and lucidity. With the PCE, words like bounteousness, bursting, pouring forth, vibrant, clear, alive, animate, come to mind.
RICHARD: The words ‘exceptional clarity and lucidity’ strikes me as being a very good description of the distinction when compared with ‘bounteousness, bursting, pouring forth’ and so on as I am swimming in largesse.
GARY: One of the things that was most striking about it was how uncommon everything appeared, how rich and variegated everything was.
RICHARD: Yes, I took particular note of your depiction of the stone in the gravel pit: sometimes peoples have looked at me in shock when I wax eloquent about actual intimacy with a stone, a brick, a glass ashtray, a polystyrene cup and so on, but I just tell them that I am officially mad and/or that I am a war veteran and they, presumably, go away content that all has been thus satisfactorily explained.
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.