Actual Freedom – Selected Correspondence by Topic

Richard’s Selected Correspondence

On Facts


RESPONDENT (to Peter): You simply and continuously confuse facts with hypotheses (= explanations of facts). Just to make sure that we agree on that: 1. There are facts, or are there not? (I assume for a moment that you agree there are facts). Example for a fact: ‘People are getting angry’.

RICHARD: How do you know that is a fact (that people are getting angry)?

RESPONDENT: To be precise, my statement ‘people are getting angry’ is actually not a fact but a generalisation based on observations of facts. A factual statement would be: ‘A friend of mine got angry.’

RICHARD: How do you know that is a fact (that a friend of yours got angry)?

RESPONDENT: By means of sense data (hearing him shout, seeing him getting red in his face), which I then subsequently interpreted as signs of ‘anger’ and by means of communication (asking him of he was angry and he confirmed).

RICHARD: Have you ever got angry (at any time at all including childhood)?

RESPONDENT: Yes, I have got angry in the past. I can recall various occasions in which I felt anger. Now how do I know anger? I know it by experience. I experienced ‘anger’.

RICHARD: So you know from first-hand experience that it is a fact you got angry; that friend of yours knows from first-hand experience it is a fact he got angry; each and every one of those people getting angry knows from first-hand experience it is a fact they are angry?

RESPONDENT: Now here it becomes tricky.

RICHARD: It is not tricky at all ... I asked you whether you have ever got angry and you replied in the affirmative: therefore you know from first-hand experience, do you not, that it is a fact you got angry?

You asked that friend of yours if he was angry and he replied in the affirmative: therefore he knows from first-hand experience, does he not, that it is a fact he got angry?

And the same applies to each and every one of those people getting angry: provided they too report being angry they too know, do they not, from first-hand experience it is a fact they are angry?

Perhaps if I were to put it this way (in case that still appears tricky to you): by the very fact of having got angry on various occasions you report first-hand experiences (you are not expounding theory or hypotheses); by the very fact of having got angry that friend of yours also reports a first-hand experience (he too is not expounding theory or hypotheses); by the very fact of getting angry each and every one of those people getting angry can report first-hand experiences as well (they too would not be expounding theory or hypotheses)?


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

RESPONDENT: I see. That is a basic, simple, common sense, matter of fact way of seeing it. And yet I barely was able to discern that that was what you were getting at. Interesting.

RICHARD: The word ‘loser’ does not have anywhere near the same connotations in this neck of the woods (at least not for my generation anyway) as it does in your part of the world ... whereas the word ‘failure’ (as in ‘I am a failure’) does.

Speaking personally, and by any objective criteria, I am a failure big-time: I was a high-school dropout; I was a wartime coward/a peacetime pacifist; I was still a teenager when first married/my first marriage was a shotgun wedding; I had a mental breakdown/identity crisis in my early thirties; I lost my sanity, my wife, my family, my house, my car, my business, my career; I was a homeless person for five years/a bare-footed vagrant sleeping rough; I remarried only to lose my second wife, after the loss of insanity, of identity, of feelings, of reality, of truth, due to the total and permanent incapacity to be loving/compassionate and/or affectionate/ empathetic; I am classified as suffering from a chronic and incurable psychotic disorder/I am derealised, depersonalised, alexithymic, anhedonic; I have no ambition whatsoever/no aim in life at all; I often sit around doing nothing/ quite thoughtless; I am a teetotaller/I rarely socialise; I neither belong to any public organisation, club, guild, or fraternity/ sorority by whatever description, nor go to parties, bars, dances, discos or any other similar social venue; neither do I play competitive sports, support any team or player, or even attend any such sporting events; my main hobbies, apart from boating/ swimming on occasion, are watching television/ pottering about the internet; by going public with my life story I am quite often the recipient of derision, disparagement, scorn, mockery, disdain, belittlement, vilification, denigration, contempt, castigation, disapprobation, denunciation, and condemnation (and discrimination as evidenced by bad-mouthing, backbiting, slander, libel, defamation and a whole range of slurs, smears, censures, admonishments, reproaches, reprovals, and so on) and ... and, to cut a long story short, I am currently living in what some call sin (a life of fornication with a live-in divorcée whilst still married to another).

What a failure (a loser) I am, eh?


RICHARD: The solution to all the ills of humankind requires one to step out of the grim and glum ‘real world’ (the everyday ‘reality’ for 6.0 billion peoples pasted as a veneer over the pristine and consummate actual world by the affective faculty) into the actual world of the sensate faculty as is evidenced in a pure consciousness experience (PCE) ... and leave ‘yourself’ behind in that blood-soaked ‘Land Of Lament’ where ‘you’ belong.

RESPONDENT: I don’t really know much about the ‘human condition’ or the 6 billion – be more down-to-earth.

RICHARD: The last time I checked it out all the 6.0 billion people were still on earth (complete with their human condition intact) ... how much more ‘down-to-earth’ can I be than discussing the animal instinctual passions?

RESPONDENT: Just exactly how did you enquire into the condition of 6 billion people when you haven’t left Byron Bay?

RICHARD: The same way that I ascertain anything about anybody and everybody ... I ask and I listen. Plus I read about other people’s experiences in books, journals, magazines, newspapers and on the internet. I watch TV, videos, films ... whatever media is available. I travelled the country – and overseas – talking with many and varied peoples from all walks of life and have been scouring the books for nineteen years now for information on an actual freedom from the human condition ... but to no avail.

This is because, despite of the fact that every single human being has had at least one pure consciousness experience (PCE) – and usually more – in their lifetime, they somehow can not differentiate between that peak experience of apperception (wherein ‘I’ and ‘me’, the thought and felt ‘being’, temporarily quits the scene and the actual world becomes apparent) and their pre-conceived notions that everyday reality is an illusion disguising some metaphysical ‘Greater Reality’. The Glamour and the Glory and the Glitz of the Altered State Of Consciousness has a tenacious grip upon the minds and hearts of a benighted humanity. It is indeed strange, to the point of being bizarre, that so many persons will turn their backs on the purity of the perfection of being here – of being fully alive – at this moment in time. Here in this actual world, which is where this flesh and blood body is living anyway, is the peace that everyone says they are searching for. All that is required is that one comes to one’s senses – both literally and metaphorically – and spend the rest of one’s life without malice and sorrow.

One will then be blithe and benign, gay and carefree.


RESPONDENT: Where is the proof?

RICHARD: I invite anyone to make a critical examination of all the words I advance so as to ascertain if they be intrinsically self-explanatory ... and if they are all seen to be inherently consistent with what is being spoken about, then the facts speak for themselves. Then one will have reason to remember a pure conscious experience (PCE), which all peoples I have spoken to at length have had, and thus verify by direct experience the facticity of what is written (which subjective experiencing is the only proof worthy of the name). The PCE occurs globally ... across cultures and down through the ages irregardless of gender, race or age. However, it is usually interpreted according to cultural beliefs – created and reinforced by the persistence of identity – and devolves into an altered state of consciousness (ASC). Then ‘I’ as ego – sublimated and transcended as ‘me’ as soul – manifest as a god or a goddess (‘The Truth’ by any name) and preach unliveable doctrines based upon their belief that they are ‘not the body’. Doctrines like pacifism, for example.

RESPONDENT: All of the words? There are too many!

RICHARD: Maybe it is because I am arraigning the trillions and trillions and trillions of words contained in the Sacred Scriptures of all cultures ... now there is verbosity for you!

RESPONDENT: As I said: ‘All of the words? There are too many!’ And why should that constitute a proof?

RICHARD: Because it is then your own experiential understanding born of your own direct experience. I do not want any one to merely believe me. I stress to people how vital it is that they see and experience for themselves. If they were so foolish as to believe me then the most they would end up in is living in a dream state and thus miss out on the actual. I do not wish this fate upon anyone ... I like my fellow human beings.

It is as uncomplicated as this: I am factually free of sorrow and malice irrespective of whether person (A) believes my words to be true. Also, conversely, I am factually free of sorrow and malice irrespective of whether person (B) believes my words to be false. My freedom from the human condition has nothing whatsoever to do with what other people believe or disbelieve. Of course, if they believe my words to be false they close the door on their own freedom from the human condition and have to invent a synthetic freedom ... be it a freedom from human conditioning or whatever substitute for the actual they manage to spin out of dreams and visions.

Which means that their own freedom from the human condition – which is what is of crucial importance here – is dependent upon their remembering at least one of their PCE’s accurately ... and herein my words can play a part in affirming and confirming their personal experience of the perfection of the infinitude of this material universe.


RESPONDENT: Richard, while reading www.actualfreedom.com.au/richard/selectedcorrespondence/sc-benevolence.htm I was bemused by your use of the term ‘semi autobiographical novel’ to describe your journal ... I was under the impression that it (being a journal) was a factual account.

RICHARD: It is indeed a factual account ... although Articles 1 to 8, being pieced together from recollection and undated jotted notes and scraps of writings from over the years so as to add some measure of sequence to the story, would not be a strictly accurate rendition.

The remainder was written as it happened though ... hence the word ‘journal’.

Nor is it always depicting other persons faithfully – for reasons of anonymity – as not only are a lot of my face-to-face conversations held in confidence but the coastal village where I reside is small enough for a literal depiction to be recognisable (for example an older woman may very well be described as an older man, a young woman, a young man, or even an older woman, and vice versa, and an older man may very well be described as being an older woman, a young man, a young woman or even an older man ... and in some cases may even be a composite).

RESPONDENT: Could you explain which portions of Richard’s Journal are fictional?

RICHARD: None of it is fictional ... I used word ‘semi’ because the journal is only partly autobiographical as the earlier articles were co-written, and not just edited, by my previous companion and, although I revised them when she moved out, they still contain – and reflect – what she had to say about human conditioning rather than the human condition itself (which is more my topic).

The later articles however, apart from the italicised sections, are both my writing and my editing and nobody else’s.

RESPONDENT: The American Heritage dictionary defines autobiographical as: ‘adjective: of, relating to, or being a work that falls between fiction and autobiography’ [endquote] and fiction, ironically (in this context) as; ‘an imaginative creation or a pretence that does not represent actuality but has been invented’. [endquote].

RICHARD: I presume you meant to write that The American Heritage Dictionary defines ‘semiautobiographical’ as being that because it describes ‘autobiographical’ as [quote] ‘the biography of a person written by that person’ [endquote] ... and, apart from the Merriam-Webster’s dictionary which defines ‘semiautobiographical’ as [quote] ‘partly autobiographical’ [endquote], I have been unable to find that word (coined in 1939) in any other dictionary.

If nothing else I have learned a new word today and, in view of that definition, I see that I could have phrased it better to convey that I meant the journal was not to be taken as a typical autobiography with names and dates and places complete with anecdotes about childhood, schooling, career, marriage, parentage, and so on ... nor is it meant to be a scholarly dissertation or a treatise either but rather a medium to convey what happened over a selected period of specific interest and how and why. The whole life-story/plenary disquisition complete with where and when and who are incidental to such a depiction and neither add to nor detract from the import of what is being presented.

An unabridged and chronologically accurate account could only be of peripheral interest.


RESPONDENT: Richard, you remind me of my neighbour’s son, a 9 year old boy who ‘knows everything’.

RICHARD: You may find the following of interest then:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘It really requires a lot of knowledge to know how little one knows, don’t you agree?
• [Richard]: ‘No ... it became strikingly obvious the very first time I walked into a public library about half a century ago.

Most of my life I was an avid reader, devouring maybe two-three books a day, because I wanted to know, I wanted to find out, for myself, all I could about life, the universe, and what it is to be a human being living in the world as-it-is with people as-they are, and have always appreciated the wealth of information available ... even as a child I would read encyclopaedias.

And now, about half a century after having first availed myself of the bounty of the public library system, I am able to assess the fruits of all that research in the following manner:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘Is there anything you don’t know?
• [Richard]: ‘Yes ... I know a lot about some things; a little about many things; and nothing about a lot of things.

RESPONDENT: He is keen in detecting what he sees as contradictory ...

RICHARD: Then I am sure his keenness will be well-served – hypocrisy, double-standards, two-facedness, and so on, abound in the adult world – because it is as if there are two parts to the average adult brain: one part where all the ideals, principles, and standards lie (‘do as I say ...’) and another part where pretence, duplicity, and deceit lie (‘... not as I do’) and it would appear that never the twain do meet for them ... so much so that, generally speaking, by about age 15-16 or thereabouts, the average child is as screwed-up as all the adults she or he came into contact with in their formative years.

RESPONDENT: ... and never leaves any comment unobserved, regardless if he is making any sense or not.

RICHARD: There is another adage, other than the ‘do as I say not as I do’ one already mentioned, which you may or may not have come across:

• ‘Those who can, do; those who cannot, teach; those who cannot either do or teach, criticise’.


CO-RESPONDENT: Can’t I take the bare facts? I think I can. If I clearly see that what [people] are saying is not factual, would it produce so much bitterness in me? etc.

RESPONDENT: Yes, I see no reason why not. <specific example snipped, will revisit if necessary>

Richard, would you say that if Fred feels bitter about what Joan is saying, it must be because Joan is speaking the truth, and Fred doesn’t like it? Yes? No?

RICHARD: No (simply because a fact just sits there, as it were, effectively rendering any feelings about it null and void): a quite plausible reason why there is dislike could very well be because of much-repeated instances of same ... nothing quite galls the way being virtually forever offside does (especially when it is somehow known that it is the indefensible which is being defended anyway).

That particular insight, by the way, into one of the more wackier workings of ‘me’ comes per favour my previous companion.


RESPONDENT: Richard, I have been considering what people mean by ‘free-will’ or ‘freedom of choice’, etc.

RICHARD: You may find the following to be of interest:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘You think you have free will?
• [Richard]: ‘No.
• [Co-Respondent]: ‘What determines your actions?
• [Richard]: ‘The situation and the circumstances in the world of people, things and events’.

And:

• [Richard]: ‘The ego – or even the soul as pure spirit – is not to be confused with will. The bodily needs are what motivates will – and will is nothing more grand than the nerve-organising data-correlating ability of the body – and it is will that is essential in order to operate and function ... not an identity. Will is an organising process, an activity of the brain that correlates all the information and data that streams through the bodily senses. Will is not a ‘thing’, a subjectively substantial passionate ‘object’, like the identity is. Will, freed of the encumbrance of the ego and soul – which are born out of instinctual fear and aggression and nurture and desire – can operate smoothly, with actual sagacity. The operation of this freed will, is called intelligence. This intelligence is the body’s native intelligence ... and has naught to do with any disembodied ‘Intelligence behind the Universe’ It is a joy to be me going about my business with freed-will in this wonderful physical world’. (page 76, Article 10; ‘Richard’s Journal’; Second Edition ©2004 The Actual Freedom Trust).

RESPONDENT: I had a vague recollection of you saying something about the subject – so I dug up the following quote:

[Richard]: ‘One can argue about a belief, an opinion, a theory, an ideal and so on ... but a fact: never. One can deny a fact – pretend that it is not there – but once seen, a fact brings freedom from choice and decision. Most people think and feel that choice implies freedom – having the freedom to choose – but this is not the case. Freedom lies in seeing the obvious, and *in seeing the obvious there is no choice, no deliberation, no agonising over the ‘Right’ and ‘Wrong’ judgment. In the freedom of seeing the fact there is only action*. [My emphasis].

The context isn’t relevant for my question, so I will leave off a link to the text, especially since it can be easily located in many places on the actualism website. My question for you is whether, being actually free from the human condition, you experience making a ‘choice’ at all or ‘deliberating?’

RICHARD: Yes ... mainly based upon preference (ease of living, creature comforts, life-style options, and so on) and on being pragmatic/ practical (as contrasted to being principled/ logical) as in utility/ serviceability and effectivity/ efficacy.

To be able to safely be pragmatic/ practical does, of course, depend upon being happy and harmless (and thus having no hidden agenda/no ulterior motive).

RESPONDENT: I know a few places where you have talked about the existence of options or making a choice – so I’m wondering whether you would say that when one is actually free ... do choice and deliberation disappear completely – or is it possibly only ‘affectively influenced’ choices and deliberation that disappear.

RICHARD: As the choice and deliberation in the quoted text was specifically about ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ judgments as opposed to seeing the fact – and as it is the fact (the situation and the circumstances) which determines the appropriate response – there is really no need of affectively influenced choices and deliberation for anyone ... for anyone who sees that (that very factuality/ facticity), that is.

For to be in accord with the fact (being aligned with factuality/ staying true to facticity) is what being sincere is ... being authentic/ guileless, genuine/ artless, straightforward/ingenuous.

RESPONDENT: From my own experience, it appears that deliberation by an affective being is often accompanied by at minimum mild anxiety and doubt – yet at the same time, there is a kind of deliberation that is more straightforward and matter of fact, where one simply ‘chooses’ the most sensible of several possible avenues – not turning the choice into anything even mildly anxiety provoking. I can only guess that the choices made by a flesh and blood body – sans identity – would be of the latter kind.

RICHARD: Yes, of the matter-of-fact (of what pertains to the realm of fact) and of the sensible (of the down-to earth) kind – in conjunction with being of the practical, judicious, prudent, provident, and so forth, kind as well – all of which are greatly facilitated by a sense of humour.

Life is way too much fun to take it seriously.


RICHARD: ... I am only too happy to rephrase what I originally wrote so that it be in accordance with your own nomenclature:

• [Co-Respondent]: ‘No. 53, No. 87 & the Nos.60+98, if you stay and inform the occasional newbie what this is about fast – maybe pointing to some of the earlier correspondence – you would certainly do some people a great service in saving them a lot of what is most precious in their lives – their time.
• [Richard]: ‘As your [quote] ‘this’ [endquote] refers back to what a metaphysician wrote at the three URL’s you provided – and given that your e-mail title refers to their [quote] ‘legacy’ [endquote] – then what you are exhorting four co-respondents to do (as in your ‘you would certainly do some people a great service’ phrasing) fast is to inform peoples writing to this mailing list for the first time about metaphysics, and maybe pointing to some of the earlier correspondence, so as to save them wasting their time on empiricism ... ‘the doctrine or theory that all knowledge is derived from sense-experience; that concepts and statements have meaning only in relation to sense-experience’ (Oxford Dictionary).

RESPONDENT: I think No. 97 basically wants you to inform people that what this (‘actualism’) is about is ‘superstition of facts’.

RICHARD: It does look to be more like something that you would want to inform me about ... be that as it may: when Mr. Henry Thoreau used that term in ‘The Spirit of the Times’ (15 February 1848), nearly forty years before Mr. Rene Guenon was born (1886), he had the following to say:

• ‘There is not only a return to the study of nature, but to a natural method in the study. A return to nature from the superstition of facts. The people had been excluded. Science was costly, collegiate, with academies and laboratories; worst of all, there was no relation between its facts and the spirit in man’. [endquote].

I mention this because actualism, being experiential, is not a matter for science ... nor are my reports/ descriptions/ explanations scientifical. For an unambiguous explication of this:

• [Richard]: ‘... as I am an actualist, and not a scientist, my reports/ descriptions/ explanations are experiential, not scientifical, and any reference I may make to matters scientific on occasion are secondary’.

RESPONDENT: It is, to quote Rene Guenon, a ‘peculiar delusion, typical of modern ‘experimentalism’, to suppose that a theory can be proved by facts whereas really the same facts can always be equally well explained by a variety of different theories’.

RICHARD: As actualism – the direct experience that matter is not merely passive – is experiential, not theoretical, there is no theory to be proved.

RESPONDENT: Your facts might be right ...

RICHARD: If I may interject? As there are no such things as ‘your facts’ (or ‘my facts’ or ‘his facts’ or ‘her facts’, and so on) and neither is a fact either ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ – a fact is nothing other than that (a fact) – might it be possible that you are really referring to ‘truths’?

RESPONDENT: ... but your theories about what these facts mean, and your conclusions regards the ‘ultimate questions’ still can be utterly wrong.

RICHARD: Perhaps if you were to specify what those [quote] ‘ultimate questions’ [endquote] are then whatever it is you are wanting to convey might be more comprehensible.

*

RESPONDENT: Richard believes in ‘scientific facts’ as long as they don’t conflict with his ‘direct experiences’ of ‘actual facts’; therefore, he rejects quantum physics (‘the observation incarnates the observed’), the Big Bang theory (‘finitude of the universe’), and Einstein’s relativity theory (‘space/time are relative’).

RICHARD: First of all, after nearly 6 months of being subscribed to the mailing list, and after having posted 280+ e-mails receiving extensive feedback, it is just silliness masquerading as sensible discussion to say that Richard [quote] ‘believes’ [endquote] in anything ... let alone in facts.

Second, I copy-pasted <actual fact> into the search-engine of this computer and sent it through every e-mail I have ever written, to this and other mailing lists, only to return nil hits ... your distinction between ‘scientific facts’ and ‘actual facts’ is obviously just that (your distinction).

Third, quantum theory is not a fact (mathematical models do not describe the universe/do not exist outside of the ratiocinative process).

Fourth, the ‘Big Bang’ theory is not a fact (mathematical models do not describe the universe/do not exist outside of the ratiocinative process).

Fifth, Mr. Albert Einstein’s relativity theories are not facts (mathematical models do not describe the universe/do not exist outside of the ratiocinative process).

Lastly, direct experience (aka apperceptive awareness) is the unmediated perception of the actual world ... the physical world sans the veneer identity imposes over it (there is no ‘inner world’/‘outer world’ in actuality).

RESPONDENT: In this regard Richard is not different from a spiritual person ...

RICHARD: As your [quote] ‘in this regard’ [endquote] does not refer to anything even remotely relating to what Richard has to report/ describe/ explain it is not at all surprising that you do not see any difference.

It has got me beat why you are still persisting with the following:

• [Respondent]: ‘I SEE that Richard’s Third Alternative gives a completely new perspective altogether BUT I THINK (actually HOPE) that his experience can be *explained and reduced to fit into a spiritual framework*’. [emphasis added]. (Friday 1/04/2005 7:19 AM AEST).

*

RESPONDENT: Richard believes in ‘scientific facts’ as long as they don’t conflict with his ‘direct experiences’ of ‘actual facts’; therefore, he rejects quantum physics (‘the observation incarnates the observed’), the Big Bang theory (‘finitude of the universe’), and Einstein’s relativity theory (‘space/time are relative’).

RICHARD: First of all, after nearly 6 months of being subscribed to the mailing list, and after having posted 280+ e-mails receiving extensive feedback, it is just silliness masquerading as sensible discussion to say that Richard [quote] ‘believes’ [endquote] in anything ... let alone in facts.

RESPONDENT: My usage of the word *believes* is mis-understandable. I beg for pardon, English is not my mother-tongue; what I meant and better had said and say is the following: ‘Richard uses ‘scientific facts’ to support his case as long as they don’t conflict with his ‘direct experiences’ of ‘actual facts’ ...’.

RICHARD: I will first draw your attention to the following:

• [Respondent]: ‘Your facts might be right ...
• [Richard]: ‘If I may interject? As there are no such things as ‘your facts’ (or ‘my facts’ or ‘his facts’ or ‘her facts’, and so on) and neither is a fact either ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ – a fact is nothing other than that (a fact) – might it be possible that you are really referring to ‘truths’?
• [Respondent]: ‘No I mean ‘facts’ ... ‘facts you talk about’ if you like this more than just ‘your facts’.
• [Richard]: ‘Okay, then the facts which I report/ describe/ explain are neither ‘right’ nor ‘wrong’ ... they are nothing other than that (facts)’.

In a similar fashion to there being no ‘right’ versus ‘wrong’ facts there are no ‘actual facts’ as opposed to ‘scientific facts’ – a fact is nothing other than that (a fact) – and, moreover, as you modify ‘scientific facts’ into meaning ‘scientific theories’, further below in this e-mail being responded to, then by taking out the word ‘actual’, and by replacing ‘scientific facts’ with ‘scientific theories’ (as per your amendment), what you are saying looks something like this:

• [example only]: ‘Richard uses scientific theories to support his case as long as they don’t conflict with his ‘direct experiences’ of facts ...’. [end example].

And as ‘direct’, in this context, is another way of referring to apperception then what you are saying, in effect, looks something like this:

• [example only]: ‘Richard uses scientific theories to support his case as long as they don’t conflict with facts experienced apperceptively ...’. [end example].

If you could provide an instance of a scientific theory being used, by the flesh and blood body writing these words, as support for the facts experienced apperceptively – as reported/ described/ explained by this flesh and blood body – it might throw some light upon what it is you are wanting to convey.

Otherwise the impression remains that you are still equating a flesh and blood body sans the entire affective faculty/ identity in toto with a flesh and blood body inhabited by a realised/ enlightened/ awakened identity. Vis.:

• [Respondent]: ‘In this regard Richard is not different from a spiritual person who will believe in ‘scientific facts’ as long as they don’t conflict with his/her mediated experiences of ‘spiritual truths’. (Monday 19/09/2005 6:57 PM AEST).

Incidentally, as there is no such thing as an affective faculty sans identity – a self-realised identity (aka the Self, the Absolute, and so on) is still an identity no matter how realised it may be – such mediation simultaneously includes same.

(...)

RICHARD: ... here is the relevant part of the original request: [Richard]: ‘If you could provide an instance of a *scientific theory* being used ...’. [emphasis added].

RESPONDENT: Ok. I cannot.

RICHARD: In which case I invite you to scroll back up to the top of this page and re-read the original based-on-nothing-at-all-statement of yours which initiated all this to-ing and fro-ing of e-mails.

What a load of codswallop that was, eh?

RESPONDENT: Only because I cannot doesn’t mean you do not ...

RICHARD: Whoa-up right there, Mr. Don Quixote, and be prepared to listen with both ears for at least one time.

According to an ‘ancient and honourable’ story, Mr. Lyndon Johnson (a now-deceased ex-president of USA), whilst running for Congress in 1948, when his opponent was a wealthy and politically favoured pig farmer, was about ten points behind in the polls, with only nine days to go, and was sunk in despair, desperate, so he called his equally depressed campaign manager and instructed him to call a press conference at two or two-thirty (just after lunch on a slow news day) and accuse his high-riding opponent (the pig farmer) of having routine carnal knowledge, of his barnyard sows, despite the pleas of his wife and children. His campaign manager was shocked. ‘We can’t say that, Lyndon’, he said, ‘it’s not true’. ‘Of course it’s not’, Johnson barked at him, ‘but let’s make the bastard deny it’.

Now, the whole point of such tactics is not just so as to get one’s opponent on a back-foot, by putting them into a defensive position, but mostly to get them to use-up their limited amount of ten-second media bytes on other issues than the main event – which is what they have to offer to the general well-being of individuals in particular and the populace at large – and the corollary here is that the sheer volume of traffic generated on this mailing list precludes me from responding to each and every point/ issue/ topic/ objection/ quibble each and every person may choose to type-out and send.

So what I do, when it becomes patently obvious that a co-respondent has no intention of actually finding out about what is on offer on The Actual Freedom Trust web site, is to make sure that their credibility/ integrity rating has reached zero by answering enough of their commentitious allegations to establish that the word ‘sincerity’ is nowhere to be found in their dictionaries. Then I set-up my e-mail client to automatically direct all of their e-mails into a folder titled ‘Actual Freedom Mailing List – Silly’ (instead of into ‘Actual Freedom Mailing List – Sensible’) and days, sometimes weeks, can pass by before I get around to briefly scanning them.

Put succinctly: the only way your ‘because-I-cannot-doesn’t-mean-you-do-not’ insinuation can be refuted is to post the entire contents, of my portion of The Actual Freedom Trust web site, to this mailing list ... and that is something that just ain’t going to happen.

‘Nuff said?


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

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

RESPONDENT: What is the fact?

RICHARD: What is the belief?

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

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

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

Or:

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

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

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

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

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

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

RICHARD: I have located the following text:

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

And this:

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

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

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

• armchair site:www.actualfreedom.com.au

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

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

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

• experiential site:www.actualfreedom.com.au

There are at least 617 hits to peruse.


RICHARD: Just as a matter of interest: as I did not say that the ‘Big Bang’ theory ‘implies that consciousness gives rise to matter’ what makes you say that I think that?

RESPONDENT No 60: In the context of discussing the Big Bang theory, you said that it is the ASC which informs that consciousness gives rise to matter. By contrast, the PCE informs that matter gives rise to consciousness. The fact that you juxtaposed the Big Bang theory with both the ASC and the idea that consciousness gives rise to matter suggests that you think they are, in fact, linked. If that isn’t what you meant, what did you mean?

RESPONDENT: Being that I know personally what it is like to be somewhat baffled by responses given by Richard and other actualists, I’d like to input a clarification at this point that could save some confusion.

What Richard actually said was [quote] ‘It is the PCE which informs that matter gives rise to consciousness’. [endquote]. The only substantial difference between how you reported what Richard said and what he actually said was the word ‘implies’ versus ‘informs’. There is a marked difference between the two. What is important to see here is that Richard is saying that the PCE ‘informs’, not ‘implies’ – as an implication means that an additional inference must be made.

[Addendum] After rereading this paragraph, I see that I made an error. It isn’t the case that ‘The only substantial difference between how you reported what Richard said and what he actually said was the word ‘implies’ versus ‘informs’. Actually, it was the ASC that Richard said ‘informs that consciousness gives rise to matter’. So the misunderstanding doesn’t hinge on the words ‘implies’ versus ‘informs’ after all as I thought, but apparently your replacing ‘ASC’ with ‘the big-bang theory’ in Richard’s statement that ‘It is the ASC which informs that consciousness gives rise to matter’.

RICHARD: I like the way your mind works, No 27 (such as observing that an implication does mean an additional inference must be made), and appreciate that you do not hesitate to provide input from time-to-time based upon, not only your experience of being somewhat baffled on occasion, but your presumably extensive research of what is on offer on The Actual Freedom Trust web site ... as evidenced by knowing where to find an appropriate quote that will throw some light upon what is at that time currently under dispute over a lack of information/a misunderstanding/a misrepresentation/or whatever.

I also see you as consistently able to be impartial (you will say ‘this is what Richard actually says’ and not ‘Richard says this thus it is so’) and leave it up to the other to sort it all out for themselves based upon being more fully informed ... as no doubt you do, for yourself, also. I also recall, for example, you pointing out an error I made – an oversight – very early in the piece about what Mr. Uppaluri Krishnamurti had said in another context which negated a point I was making.

In short: your clarifications lift the level of discussion.

It occurs to me, and I write this as it is occurring, that whilst I do not know what academic qualifications you have I do recall you mentioning having studied philosophy (along with a broad knowledge of the more mystical aspects of consciousness studies) so if you were to ever entertain the notion of putting together an article/thesis/book/whatever on actualism, as it is presented in the publicly available word (a researched and annotated scholarly piece as opposed to a personal account), then I would not only be appreciative – being the boy from the farm I have no formal training – but supportive in whatever way appropriate ... such as supplying all the actualism writings on disc, for instance, to enable quick and easy word or phrase searches.

But I digress ... what I am writing to say is your contribution on this mailing list is very welcome.


KONRAD: I have thought about your use of the word ‘fact’. The meaning of this word is not as clear cut as you think. To understand the meaning of the word ‘fact’ you must be aware of the distinction between two uses of the word. As you know, my position is that Man has two worlds to conquer, if he wants to achieve happiness. The outer world and the inner world. Existence and consciousness. The word ‘fact’ has therefore two meanings, one applying to the outer world, and one applying to the inner world. The outer world cannot be known directly, but only indirectly by the instrument of thought, of thinking. The understanding of the outer world is based on something, that is called a paradigm.

The world of Aristotle is composed of totally different facts than that of Newton. And the world of Einstein differs considerably with that of both Aristotle and Newton. Where Aristotle sees only one fact, Newton sees several. And where Newton sees several facts, Einstein sees only one.

The awareness of a difference of an understanding how Aristotle and Newton understands the world made Kant proclaim, that it is unmistakably so that all knowledge of the world BEGINS by the senses. But this does NOT imply that all knowledge ARISES OUT OF the senses. In understanding the world around you there is also an assumption made of how the most basic structure of the world looks like. The world is then understood in terms of this most basic structure. Kant thought that this most basic structure is innate. He called it therefore Categorical Imperatives. He assumed, that chronological time, Euclidean space and Aristotelian logic are such categorical imperatives, in terms of which we understand the world. But in the centuries following him it became more and more clear, that these structures were not innate, but assumptions. Assumptions that could be modified. And if these assumptions are modified, they cause a change in the understanding, and therefore the observation of facts.

These most basic assumptions are called Paradigms. Most people are not aware of having such assumptions and the role they play in simple observation. They think that these assumptions are parts of the actual facts they see. But every physicist, and many mathematicians are aware of the role played by these paradigms in understanding the outside world. Especially physicist understand, that EVERY understanding of facts involves not just observation, but also the acceptance of the mind of assumptions about the world, that are not originated from the senses, but that have their origin in fantasies. Fantasies, that subsequently are not contradicted by the world. Every physicist is therefore aware that some new sensual data can cause confusion, that can only be eliminated by making a better assumption, that are not in contradiction with these new sensual data and also not by the old ones. In other words, such confusion is not eliminated by the senses, but by thought in the form of a better paradigm.

All this can be summarised by the statement, that the outside world cannot be known directly by the senses, but only indirectly. The sensual data have to be ordered first by a paradigm, before they can make sense to our consciousness. This paradigm is not originated by the senses, but finds its origin, ultimately, in our fantasy, and our creativity. It is therefore a product of our inner, and not of the outside world.

Knowledge about the world is called exoteric knowledge. Knowledge about our consciousness, and its functioning is called esoteric knowledge. Exoteric knowledge is always indirect. It therefore always runs the risk of somebody having better fantasies to build his understanding on than yours. But esoteric knowledge is direct, because it consists of the entities that build up our consciousness. It consists of seeing what is taking place inside of you, acknowledging it, or avoiding it. Esoteric knowledge is the kind of knowledge that J. Krishnamurti puts forward. Esoteric knowledge is a product of observing our consciousness by introspection. In short, of meditation.

If Buddha says, that the ‘I’ is an illusion, then this statement is a form of esoteric knowledge. It forms a challenge to meditators, to see whether he is right. To give another example of esoteric knowledge: J. Krishnamurti says that when we are angry we are not persons who have anger as an attribute. No, if we are angry we ARE our anger. Our complete personalities, our persons, consist COMPLETELY of anger. This means, that we cannot free ourselves from our anger AND remaining in existence as persons. He asserts that if you can see this, this understanding causes the anger to stop completely.

And to give yet another example of esoteric knowledge. I assert, that the I always consists of a certain thought, that can only be distinguished from other thoughts present in us because it is allowed to control our body. Such a thought is allowed to control our body by a process of decision. I express this fact by: ‘that what is willing is that what is willed’.

These kinds of esoteric insights are very difficult to obtain. However, these insights all imply something very important, that is totally in contradiction with everything you put forward. There is no ‘I’ to transcend, and there is also no Self to transcend. The highest form of esoteric knowledge does not consist of a transcendence, of a going beyond, but of an understanding. To understand the contents of ‘I’ or Self at the moment it functions, THAT is the challenge of enlightenment. In this understanding it becomes automatically clear, that the whole concept of transcendence, of going beyond, is complete nonsense. Therefore I consider these attempts to understand a better approach than yours. Understanding is the way, not transcendence.

RICHARD: For many years I mistakenly assumed that words carried a definitive meaning that was common to all peoples speaking the same language ... for example ‘real’ and ‘truth’. But, as different person’s told me things like: ‘That is only your truth’, or: ‘God is real’, I realised that unambiguous words are required (to a child, Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy are ‘real’ and ‘true’). Correspondingly I abandoned ‘real’ and ‘true’ in favour of ‘actual’ and ‘fact’, as experience has demonstrated that no one has been able to tell me that their god is actual or that something is only my fact. Therefore this monitor screen is actual (these finger-tips feeling it substantiate this) and it is a fact that these printed letters are forming words (these eyes seeing it validate this). These things are indisputable and verifiable by any body with the requisite sense-organs.

Now, to a person who believes ardently in their god, then for them their god is real ... not actual, mind you, but real. Usually they tell me that their god is more real than we humans are ... that is how real their fervency makes of their belief (it is the same as the child with the Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy example I gave above). So too, is it with regards to this wretched and pernicious ‘self’. The ‘self’, whilst not being actual, is real ... sometimes very, very real. The belief in a real ‘thinker’ (‘I’ as ego) and a real ‘feeler’ (‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being – ‘me’ as soul – which is ‘being’ itself) is not just another passing thought. It is emotion-backed feverish imagination at work (calenture). ‘I’ passionately believe in ‘my’ existence ... and will defend ‘myself’ to the death (of ‘my’ body) if it is deemed necessary. All of ‘my’ instincts – the instinctive drive for biological survival – come to the fore when psychologically and psychically threatened, for ‘I’ am confused about ‘my’ presence, confounding ‘my’ survival and the body’s survival. However, ‘my’ survival being paramount could not be further from the truth, for ‘I’ need play no part any more in perpetuating physical existence (which is the primal purpose of the instinctual animal ‘self’). ‘I’ am no longer necessary at all. In fact, ‘I’ am nowadays a hindrance. With all of ‘my’ beliefs, values, creeds, ethics and other doctrinaire disabilities, ‘I’ am a menace to the body. ‘I’ am ready to die (to allow the body to be killed) for a cause and ‘I’ will willingly sacrifice physical existence for a ‘Noble Ideal’ ... and reap ‘my’ post-mortem reward: immortality. That is how real ‘I’ am ... which is why both ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul must die a real death (but not physically into the grave) to find out the actuality.

So much for the validity of esoteric ‘facts’.

Exoteric facts do not start from a premise at all; they start from an obvious facticity. The outside world can be known directly by the senses. The sensual data do not have to be ordered first by a paradigm, before they can make sense to our consciousness ... unless there is an ‘I’ inside the head (then there is indeed this paradigm, which you say, ‘is not originated by the senses, but finds its origin, ultimately, in our fantasy, and our creativity’). With an ‘I’ intact it is therefore indeed a product of our inner, and not of the outside world. However, there is no need for thought to always create a paradigm to fantasise an objective world. No fantasising at all is required to determine objective reality’s self-evident factuality when you get down to the nitty-gritty of it all. There is a simple experiment that will demonstrate the actuality of objective reality in a way that a thousand words would not:

1. Place a large spring-clip upon your nose.

2. Place a large piece of sticking plaster over your mouth.

3. Wait two minutes.

Now, as you rip the plaster from your mouth and gulp in that oh-so-sweet and actual air, I ask you: Do you still believe in Mr. Gotama the Sakyan’s revered ‘wisdom’; Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti’s hallowed ‘sagacity’; Mr. Einstein’s mystical ‘genius’ ... or any other of these identity-bound ‘Great Thinkers’?

Exit: fantasy and paradigms

Enter: facts and actuality.

Seeing the fact will set you free to live in actuality without any ‘I’ or ‘me’ whatsoever. Then I am me as I actually am – this flesh and blood body just brimming with sense organs. When ‘what’ one is (‘what’ not ‘who’) is these sense organs in operation ... this is what does the direct perceiving which is called apperception: this seeing is me, this hearing is me, this tasting is me, this touching is me, this smelling is me, and this thinking is me. Whereas ‘I’, the identity, am inside the body: looking out through ‘my’ eyes as if looking out through a window, listening through ‘my’ ears as if they were microphones, tasting through ‘my’ tongue, touching through ‘my’ skin, smelling through ‘my’ nose, and thinking through ‘my’ brain. Of course ‘I’ must feel isolated, alienated, alone and lonely, for ‘I’ am cut off from the magnificence of the world as-it-is (the actual world) by ‘my’ very presence.

No wonder ‘I’ have to create fantasies and paradigms and whatever.


RESPONDENT: You yourself give a particular meaning to the word ‘affective’.

RICHARD: No ... I use the dictionary meaning, actually. The only words I give a particular meaning to are ‘actual’ and ‘real’ (because people have made the word ‘real’ mean pretty well anything metaphysical at all) and the words ‘fact’ and ‘true’ (because people have made the word ‘true’ mean pretty well anything at all). When people stop using ‘real’ and ‘true’ to mean metaphysical things I will go back to using them.


RESPONDENT: I am not doubting what you say: all that I am saying is that your Truth is, ultimately, your own.

RICHARD: I do not have a ‘Truth’ to call my own ... I am talking of directly experiencing physical-world actuality.

RESPONDENT: If I see it as you say, it is my Truth also.

RICHARD: Not so ... it would mean you are directly experiencing physical-world actuality.

RESPONDENT: That is about all by way of objectivity that is to it. If you notice, Krishnamurti says the same thing: ‘Sir, this is a fact. Don’t you see it?’ That is, the only proof of the pudding is in the eating. And that has to be the final answer. :-)

RICHARD: If the word ‘objectivity’ has to mean seeing the metaphysical as a fact ... then what does the word ‘subjectivity’ come to mean?

RESPONDENT: When Krishnamurti talked about something being a fact, he implied that he was not imagining it.

RICHARD: Of course ... otherwise he would not be so emphatic that it be a fact for him.

RESPONDENT: His factual is like your actual – something that exists by itself and is not imagined.

RICHARD: Have you noticed that what you call ‘his factual’ is timeless and spaceless and formless ... whilst I speak only of eternal time, infinite space and perpetual form?

Just curious.

RESPONDENT: He distinguished between reality and imagination: reality (fact, or truth) is what sets a person free, while imagination is a conditioned response.

RICHARD: However, the saints and sages and seers, who said there was a ‘reality (fact, or truth) ... what sets a person free’, all displayed varying degrees of those emotions grouped under the ‘catch-all’ words malice and sorrow. Most commonly they were subject to anger and anguish (disguised/designated as being ‘Divine Anger’ and ‘Divine Sorrow’ by themselves and their devotees/ followers/ readers).

Therefore, even though they said there was a ‘reality (fact, or truth) ... what sets a person free’, seeing that they can still get irritated and sorrowful in the freedom of their ‘reality’, it speaks volumes regarding the illusory nature of the freedom their ‘reality’ bestows ... only I prefer to call it a ‘delusory’ freedom as there is all manner of delusions of grandeur subjectively happening for them.

RESPONDENT: Re-incarnation is not a powerful theme in Krishnamurti but ‘here and now’, the factual is.

RICHARD: First, far from reincarnation being ‘not a powerful theme in Krishnamurti’ the ‘stepping out of the stream’ (of birth, death and rebirth ad infinitum) theme was central to the ‘Teachings’ he brought into the world ... just as it is in most, if not all, Eastern religions. Second, his ‘here and now’ (what you call ‘the factual’) is neither here in space nor now in time ... is it? Therefore it is not an objective ‘here and now’ ... which is why I asked that if the word ‘objectivity’ has to mean seeing the metaphysical (the non-physical; the not-form; the not-in-time; the not-in-space) as a fact ... then what does the word ‘subjectivity’ come to mean?

As you seem to be suggesting that you (‘a /you/ is necessary for time and space and form to happen’) are required, in order that there be time and space and form, it would appear that you are heading in the direction of saying (if not already saying) that the physical-world is subjective and the metaphysical-world is ... um ... objective?

RESPONDENT: Your world view may not be all that different from Krishnamurti’s (as his is not all that different from that of a few other thinkers preceding him).

RICHARD: I am in full agreement that the ‘Teachings’ which Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti brought into the world were essentially no different to what many of the saints and sages and seers had been saying for some thousands of years prior to the twentieth century (if this is what you are conveying).

Whereas what I am sharing with my fellow human beings is 180 degrees in the other direction.


RESPONDENT: Hello to all – I always like to introduce myself before I slip quietly into the corner, giving myself time to absorb the shapes and scents of others as they discuss and expand thoughts on a mailing list. So there I was, thoughts wandering in the gentleness of another late Thursday night in Sydney. Straying from the path I thought I had laid for myself, the strangest things can happen. I met a wonderful gentle soul (the sort you can’t search for, but only find – when/where you least expect it!) who told me of actualfreedom.com.au and of the writings of Richard et al. Well thankyou to them for directing me here, and of course to all for the excellent discussions going on here. It’s been over 20 years, since I’ve seen the human condition in a negative light, I find it more a source of inspiration. (Sometimes very challenging nonetheless). So its quite a belief shift for me (and an eye opener) to make the most of the content here. It’s terrific.

RICHARD: Welcome to The Actual Freedom Mailing List ... before you do ‘slip quietly into the corner’ I will take the opportunity to point out that the writings on The Actual Freedom Trust website are a presentation of fact regarding the human condition, with the invitation to find out for oneself that it be so, and not the presentation of the human condition ‘in a negative light’ (which would imply that ignoring or being oblivious to fact regarding the human condition is to see the human condition in a positive light).

Any fact is, of itself, value-free: seeing the fact does not entail a ‘belief shift’ – no matter how eye-opening, challenging, or inspiring that shift may be – rather a suspension of belief is required in order for factuality to become apparent. Moreover, the fact renders belief, and all its attendant fervours (such as faith, trust, hope, and certitude) redundant ... factuality is, by its very nature, liberating.

Put succinctly: being positive depends on the negative for its very existence.


RESPONDENT: I wanted to say thanks to all you guys involved in this – I am enjoying life, very simply, whereas before I was not. These last few months I have dived into the processes of learning for myself what it means to be a human being. I started out doing this actualism work, and still do, because I am serious and want to do some real changing for once, but now I’m finding gradually that the whole thing is just too enjoyable, and funny. For example, I am an eighteen year old freshman at a catholic, conservative, liberal arts school (University of Dallas) near Dallas, Texas. Imagine the difference in understanding this universe between me and my fellow students. Being divested of those big-shot beliefs characteristic of the homogeneous crowd around me makes this process ironic and humorous. The school is accompanied by the phrase ‘the catholic college for independent thinkers’ and I find that I could possibly be the only one here living up to the second part – as for Catholic, I was raised so, but that conditioning has not been hard to shed strangely – I suppose I never made a good catholic. Finally thinking through things on my own, and resurfacing with facts as opposed to hand-me-down slippery beliefs, results in a confidence that my upbringing and even this hard-core liberal arts institution could never attempt to give me. I realize that I have never had an actual opinion that was my own, and see that when I finally now think through something the result is no longer an opinion on any matter, but a fact – opinions are no longer important to me when replaced with the confidence of a fact.

RICHARD: Welcome to The Actual Freedom Mailing List ... your phrasing ‘the confidence of a fact’ is well put: facts are liberating, not only of opinions, but of choice and decision: the marvellous thing about a fact is that one can not argue with it. One can argue about a belief, an opinion, a theory, an ideal and so on ... but a fact: never. One can deny a fact – pretend that it is not there – but once seen, a fact brings freedom from choice and decision. Most people feel, and thus think, that choice implies freedom – having the freedom to choose – but this is not the case. Freedom lies in seeing the obvious, and in seeing the obvious there is no choice, no deliberation, no agonising over the ‘Right’ and ‘Wrong’ judgement.

In the freedom of seeing the fact there is only action.


RESPONDENT: Some questions that arose which I am posing to actualists (while I am still working on the previous threads/ self-observation/ actualism): 1. Is a feeling real or actual? 2. Is a thought real or actual? 3. Is apperception, PCE etc. real or actual? 4. Do the existence of instinctual self/psychological self follow from LeDoux studies (amygdala, neo-cortex and their functions do, but ...)? Are they actual or real? 5. Related question: LeDoux seems to say that his research is particularly for fear; does it follow for other feelings too?

RICHARD: The answer to most of your queries are ascertained experientially: in a pure consciousness experience (PCE), apperceptive awareness reveals that there is neither self, of any nature whatsoever including an instinctual self, nor any feelings – else it is not a PCE – and thought operates unimpeded as required by the circumstances. If there is a self (Supreme Self, True Self, Higher Self and so on) or any feelings (Love, Compassion, Rapture, Bliss and so on) it is not a PCE but an altered state of consciousness (ASC) and in the ASC such a self and such feelings are said to be, in the mystical literature of both East and West, as being more real than anything else ... which was what my own experience back in the early ‘eighties had already informed me.

The queries regarding Mr. Joseph LeDoux’s findings relate to scientific investigations carried out under laboratory conditions and I would hazard a guess that someone, somewhere, has scientifically investigated feelings other than the feeling of fear which he focussed his research upon ... it is just that I have not personally come across such studies. And it may very well come to pass that the existence of the instinctual self/psychological self will indeed follow from Mr. Joseph LeDoux’s studies – and other people’s studies – but it is pertinent to realise that no scientist has been able to locate the self by whatever name despite all their RI scans (Radio Isotope), CAT scans (Computerised Axial Tomography), CT scans (Computed Tomography), NMR scans (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance), PET scans (Positron Emission Tomography), MRA scans (Magnetic Resonance Angiography), MRI scans (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), and fMRI scans (functioning Magnetic Resonance Imaging).

Incidentally, there is an informative article, starting on page 46, of last week’s issue of the ‘Time’ magazine (June 10 2002/No. 22) which includes a diagram of the relevant brain circuitry which may help you to work out for yourself from what is implied therein what you are wanting to know (I cannot reproduce it here because of copyright reasons).

However I would like to point out that I never came across these scientific studies until a few years ago – I sussed out the things I know regarding self and feelings experientially – and the only reason that any reference is made to them on The Actual Freedom Web Page is so that other people do not have to take my word for it that the feelings arise before thought in the reactionary process (albeit a split-second first). And although it is pleasing to have some of one’s own discoveries verified independently by scientists using the scientific method an actual freedom is basically a do-it-yourself freedom wherein these matters are ascertained experientially.

Put simply: it is the PCE wherein one finds out for oneself what one is looking for.


RESPONDENT: I certainly do not argue with your freedom. I have met you in person and I enjoy your company. I also respect highly your autonomy. I have absolutely no reason to doubt that you live in Actual Freedom. I just affirm with your correspondent that from that freedom you communicate with others in a way that would suggest you hold your viewpoint as correct and thus definitive; and that therefore all other viewpoints are valid to the extent they agree with yours.

RICHARD: Just so that there is no misunderstanding: I do not have a ‘viewpoint’ at all ... let alone ‘correct’ or ‘definitive’ . Nothing I write or say about an actual freedom from the human condition is either a viewpoint or a mindset or a world-view or a philosophy or a metaphysics or a thesis and so on as all that I write is a description which comes out of my direct and spontaneous experiencing at this moment in time at this place in space ... my words are an ‘after the event’ report, as it were.

Thus, loosely rephrasing your words, the actual freedom which I communicate with others is expressed in a way that clearly describes the actual and direct experiencing of being this flesh and blood body sans ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul ... and this description is a factual account. That which is actual is neither ‘correct’ or ‘incorrect’ : it is evident. A fact cannot be argued with ... it can only be reported. For example, if I were to say ‘this is a computer monitor’ I am reporting a fact which cannot be argued with (without being silly). And when I say ‘this is a computer monitor’ no one tells me I am being ‘spiteful, presumptuous, condescending, reductive, etc.’ . No way ... Richard is only ‘spiteful, presumptuous, condescending, reductive, etc. ’ when he points out a fact that pulls the rug from under another’s elaborate belief system slyly dressed up as truth and masquerading as being genuine, authentic and valid.

It is the fact which pulls the rug ... not me.


RICHARD: Is not ‘understanding’ something the same thing as ‘analysing’ something? To understand something is to intellectually grasp a concept successfully. This may be the activity of ‘I’ thinking as clearly as ‘I’ can possibly think, yet it is not the same clarity as the clear seeing obtained in an insight ... and an insight is seeing the fact.

When one sees the fact there is action ... and this action is the actualising of the insight so that one’s personality is changed, irrevocably. This change is the beginning of the ending of the ‘self’ one was born with. ‘I’ can not stand exposure to the bright light of awareness for too long without crumpling like a leaky balloon. ‘I’ survive only by being able to lurk around in the shadows of inattention and obfuscation.

‘I’ was born with the instinct to survive, and ‘I’ will do anything to stay in existence, for it is in ‘my’ nature to do so. Intellectually grasping a concept and calling it an insight is part ‘my’ game plan. The seeing of this fact is a direct experience of the actuality of the Human Condition. ... this is actual wisdom. And out of that wisdom there is the essential intensity for the actualisation.

This actualisation is the ending of ‘me’ in ‘my’ entirety.


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

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

RESPONDENT: At any rate, was there something simple you would like to start with and discuss? (Remember I have a short attention span).

RICHARD: Yes, there is indeed something simple to discuss: why does the truth need pseudo-science (misinformation and disinformation) to establish its veracity?


RICHARD: Yes, that is indeed what I said, because there is a difference between ‘knowing’ as a certainty – seeing a satellite photograph is factual knowing – and ‘knowing’ as a certitude – observing various phenomenon is theoretical knowing.

(The word ‘certainty’ means a state of being free from doubt whereas the word ‘certitude’ means a state of being with some doubt. Merriam-Webster Dictionary states: ‘whilst ‘certainty’ and ‘certitude’ are very close in meaning, ‘certainty’ stresses the existence of objective proof; e.g.: that which can be confirmed with scientific certainty, while ‘certitude’ emphasises a faith in something not capable of proof. e.g.: to believe with certitude in an afterlife’).

RESPONDENT: In what earthly way does a satellite photograph provide ‘knowing as a certainty’ that the earth is not flat. Are you trying to imply that when the first satellite photographs were shown, there was anyone who said, ‘ah!!! now I know with certainty that the earth is a globe, while before I only knew it with certitude’.

RICHARD: Yes, I was around in the late fifties and early sixties when it was all happening, and I remember well the atmosphere generated by this conclusive proof. I was in High School at the time and it became part of the lessons.

The same thing happened with the moon landings; people were saying (jokingly) ‘well we now know for sure that the moon is not made of cheese’. But, more importantly, they were saying: ‘We (humans) now know – with a certainty – that the Biblical Heaven is not above the clouds wherein Mr. Yeshua the Nazarene supposedly resurrected bodily to sit on the right hand of The Father’.

As I said at the beginning of this thread: ‘It is well-known that Mr. Yeshua the Nazarene was a flat-earth god’ ... even though his ‘Father Who Art In Heaven’ was omniscient and all that. Space exploration has poked a rather large hole in the veracity of ‘God’s Word’.


RESPONDENT: That which is alive can hardly breath without bringing harm or destruction to some aspect of the environment, yes? The whole exercise of personal existence must be a heavy measure on the side of silliness when a larger view is taken toward its effect. Does it not seem silly that this body should eat while another starves?

RICHARD: The very fact that one is alive means consuming nutrients ... and staying alive means that something, somewhere, must die in order to supply these nutrients. This is a fact of life ... and the marvellous thing about a fact is that one can not argue with it. One can argue about a belief, an opinion, a theory, an ideal and so on ... but a fact: never. One can deny a fact – pretend that it is not there – but once seen, a fact brings freedom from choice and decision. Most people think and feel that choice implies freedom – having the freedom to choose – but this is not the case. Freedom lies in seeing the obvious, and in seeing the obvious there is no choice, no deliberation, no agonising over the ‘Right’ and ‘Wrong’ judgement. In the freedom of seeing the fact there is only action.


RESPONDENT: By what others say, it seems to me that they consider transformation as just a change in the way we see ourselves – that the person inhabiting the body is an idea while the body is not. What you are saying is that every human being consists of a separate body with its own brain that generates a separate mind. Now, if this is true, then every individual mind has to be debugged of this false notion of a self-identity that possesses the body. This is like fixing Windows 98. At the end of each day, there are 180,000 more babies born and this means 180,000 more brains to debug. This is a nightmare that even mighty Microsoft can’t deal with unless we stop production immediately and junk all those copies still wrapped in swaddling clothes. Then, there are the six billion flawed copies floating out there creating havoc in the world and they too must be fixed. Converting a world to a belief or debugging it of an idea is the same deal – working on each individual one by one. This is most depressing. We would still be working with fragments, one by one.

RICHARD: Where you say ‘now if this is true’ (true as in actually happening) I must ask: Is it? Because otherwise your whole case is predicated upon a conditional premise ... and as such amounts to an intellectual exercise. For if it is true, then it is a fact. Be it initially depressing or not, a fact is actual. One cannot argue about a fact as one can about a belief or a truth ... one can only deny a fact and pretend that it is not there. So ... what is it?

Then the question to ask is: ‘Why depression? Because when I see the fact of something ... the fact sets me free of choice. Is it not choice that causes the affective reaction ... in this case: depression? Now, if I am feeling depressed, can I see clearly? Would not this affective reaction be colouring my seeing? Yes? No? If yes, then there is something I can do – now – about my depression. Then – and only then – I will be able to see the ‘problem’ of the six billion plus 180,000 clearly. When I see clearly ... then I can proceed ... for then there is action. Seeing the fact – which is seeing without choice – then there is action ... and this action is not of ‘my’ doing.

RESPONDENT: The drive behind my inquiry is human sorrow and its ending. I am not here to compare notes or to strike up a conversation. Krishnamurti had passed away for more than 18 years and we are still here talking about transformation. If I were concerned about the state of my life and the suffering that goes on out there in the world, I would be most interested in this total change that Krishnamurti talked about. Maybe there is no such thing but I would want to find out as a matter of urgency. If I don’t know what transformation is – the kind that takes the pain out of living completely not just for me but for all human beings – I would listen to what others have to say if they think they know.

RICHARD: Again this is a conditional enquiry because you say ‘if I were concerned’ instead of ‘I am concerned’. If I am not concerned then I know that I am indulging in an intellectual exercise. Then you go on to say ‘maybe there is no such thing but I would want to find out’. Do you? Actually? Are you vitally interested? Is this ‘matter of urgency’ of such an intensity that it consumes the whole of your being – without exception – for the twenty four hours of every day? Because you do say at the beginning of the paragraph that the drive behind your enquiry is ‘human sorrow’. Can you look unconditionally – which is what ‘choicelessly’ means – into the face of human sorrow? If so ... what do you see?

*

RESPONDENT: And unless we all cooperate, there is no getting out. To waste each other’s time and energy bantering over nothing is to commit a heinous crime against everybody in the cave.

RICHARD: This is intriguing ... why do you assume that the ending of sorrow is dependant upon the cooperation of the six billion plus 180,000? Does this not put you at the mercy of even just one person who is not going to cooperate? Look, the whole matter of the ending of sorrow appears to be a near-impossible endeavour anyway ... why unnecessarily complicate it by requiring the cooperation of everyone? Why not act unilaterally ... and then look back and see if the others will take notice of your results? Running around gingering up the laggard’s enthusiasm only serves to make it look like you are doing something about human sorrow ... it makes it appear that you really care. If you genuinely cared ... there would be action ... and now.

RESPONDENT: There is too much pain in our lives.

RICHARD: Not so ... if there was too much pain in your life you would have committed suicide already. The fact that you are still here, writing in detail about your hesitation in regards to evoking action, shows that there is not too much. And what is this ‘our’ business? Why do you presume to speak for others so knowledgeably? How can you know how much pain – if any – any or all the peoples on this planet have?

RESPONDENT: Where does it all lead us?

RICHARD: It does not lead anywhere ... despite popular opinion that suffering is good for you, there is nothing good about suffering. The only good thing about suffering is when it ends ... permanently

RESPONDENT: We are all broken up into pieces and incapable of coming together.

RICHARD: Who says ‘we’ have to come together? Once again, can you not act unilaterally? Can you not stand on your own two feet? If you do not start with autonomy, you are dooming yourself to fail again and again.

RESPONDENT: If there is just one person who does not cooperate, then there is no salvation for mankind.

RICHARD: Is this an opinion ... or a fact? If it is a fact, then there is the evidence for you that this universe is indeed just a sick joke ... because you will never get the cooperation of the six billion plus 180,000. Is this what you wish to believe? That there is no possibility of freedom whatsoever? Yes? No?

Therefore, is it not merely an opinion but – horror upon horrors – you discover that you are the victim of a belief? You see, where there is a belief then you are crazily putting impossible conditions upon what is necessary for freedom before you even start ... but thus you may justify your procrastination in a particularly self-indulgent manner. Look, you wrote recently about how you have seen through the Christian belief in an after-death reward (‘do you know that Christians believe that the good go to Heaven? It is a comforting thought. But the sad bug is no one ever gets to go to Heaven. Everyone just dies and disappears’ ) so why not apply some rigour in examining your statement above? What is stopping you? Is it the fear that you might actually have to personally do something about human suffering? That firing broadsides at others is revealed to be nothing but a pathetic cover-up for your own lack of contributing to the ingress of peace-on-earth?

By clearing the dross out of the way, one can begin to see clearly.


RESPONDENT: Out of curiosity, do you feel that your words alone will fundamentally change another?

RICHARD: There is that word ‘feel’ again. I do not ‘feel’ that my words will fundamentally change another ... I can know that they will for they are words of facts and actuality and seeing a fact can set you on the wide and wondrous path to an actual freedom. But when you say ‘words alone’ what are you implying? Words are all we have to communicate with each, is this not so? If words will not do anything, then what is the point in reading and writing and talking? Are we to sit and do nothing about the atrocious animosity and anguish that pervades every nook and cranny of the otherwise fair earth that we all live on? As there have been over 160,000,000 people killed in wars this century ... is this what you wish on the residents of the next century? Another 160,000,000 useless and unnecessary deaths? Not to mention all the destruction of what makes life comfortable?

I can know what my death-bed confession will be.


RESPONDENT: Okay, that is a description.

RICHARD: All words are a description ... it is what the words describe which is important: the root cause of 160,000,000 sane people being killed by their sane fellow human beings in wars alone in the last 100 years; the root cause of 40,000,000 killing themselves in the last 100 years; the root cause of the 34 wars occurring as you read this (wherein people are actually killing and wounding and being killed and wounded); the root cause of all the murders such as the someone, somewhere who is being murdered and the someone, somewhere who murdering as these words scroll past you; the root cause of all the tortures, as detailed by ‘Amnesty International’, which are going on right now; the root cause of all the domestic violence such as the someone, somewhere who is being beaten up at this very instant in some unsafe home; the root cause of all the child abuse wherein somewhere some child is being brutalised, frightened out of their wits at this very moment; the root cause of all the sadness, loneliness, grief, depression and suicide all over the world ... such suffering is going on in uncountable numbers of utterly miserable lives.

RESPONDENT: How are your words going to change that?

RICHARD: As facts and actuality can be commonsensically conveyed by the written word for those with the eyes to see, the third alternative to being either ‘human’ or ‘divine’ will be accessed by anyone discriminating enough long after I am physically dead. All I have ever wished for is for the words and writings of an actual freedom from the human condition to exist in the world so that they are available for anyone who comes across it, in any indeterminate future, to draw affirmation and confirmation from ... for anyone to avail themselves of if it be in accord with their own experience and/or aspirations. That is, it is an affirmation that their experience is not only valid but a confirmation in that a fellow human being has traversed this territory in an eminently satisfactory way.

I just happened to discover the already always existing peace-on-earth, the purity of which is so perfect that I am reporting my experience to my fellow human beings.

The ‘flow-on’ effect from reading actual freedom writings is that if one minimises the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ feelings (as explained further below) and activates the felicitous/ innocuous feelings in conjunction with sensuousness then the ensuing sense of amazement, marvel and wonder can result in apperceptiveness. If it does not ... then one is way ahead of normal human expectations anyway as the aim is to enjoy and appreciate being just here right now for as much as is possible.

It is a win/win situation.

*

RICHARD: It is important to comprehend that I am putting a story together ‘after the event’ so as to throw some light on what happened for me. My experiential sensate-feeling experience (sensation) tells me that it was the brain-stem (reptilian brain) where all the activity took place to free me from the human condition.

RESPONDENT: This speculation is unhelpful when you put it forward as fact.

RICHARD: Yet my experiential sensate-feeling experience (sensation) that tells me that it was the brain-stem (reptilian brain) where all the activity took place to free me from the human condition is not ‘speculation put forward as fact’ ... for the nape of the neck is indeed where all the activity took place.

I then simply conducted an ad hoc reading of all the research painstakingly done by all those researchers with PET scans and MRI scans and so on so as to provide an empirical basis for other people. As I am already free I have no personal need for an interest in biology at all. The mystics report of activity in the nape of the neck too – amongst a myriad of other things – and similarly I have no need for an interest in their story for my sake. Since I began reporting my experience to my fellow human beings I have needed to find out about all manner of things. My way of becoming free was simple:

I stepped out of the ‘real world’ into this actual world and left ‘myself’ behind where ‘I’ belonged.

*

RESPONDENT: How many have you taught successfully?

RICHARD: First, I do not teach anyone ... the PCE does that. I am not required for the process of understanding (as in a ‘personality cult’ that can grow around a ‘charismatic leader’) ... <SNIP> ... as far as I have been able to ascertain there is nobody else living an actual freedom from the human condition ...

RESPONDENT: How did you ascertain that?

RICHARD: The same way that I ascertain anything about anybody and everybody ... I ask and I listen. Plus I read about other people’s experiences in books, journals, magazines, newspapers and on the internet. I watch TV, videos, films ... whatever media is available. I have been scouring the books and talking with many and varied peoples from all walks of life for nineteen years now for information on an actual freedom from the human condition ... but to no avail.

RESPONDENT: So you are the only one? You need more than one case to prove your claims.

RICHARD: Not so ... when I go to bed at night I have had a perfect day ... and I know that I will wake up to yet another day of perfection. This has been going on, day-after-day, for years now ... it is so ‘normal’ that I take it for granted that there is only perfection.

Such a remarkable consistency of pristine purity is the only proof I need.


CO-RESPONDENT: (...) but of course we wouldn’t want facts to get in the way of your unscientific, unprovable, take my word for it, metafacts.

RESPONDENT: I don’t think metafacts is the correct term ... factoids is probably better, or to paraphrase Colbert, factiness.

RICHARD: Bearing in mind that what your co-respondent is referring to is the actualism method’s track record are you now saying that the following was not factual after all? Vis.:

• [Respondent]: ‘I’ve been at this actualist business for about a year now, and have been reviewing where I was, and where I am now (typical New Year’s process). The short story is that there is discernable change, many layers of conditioning have been stripped, to the point that there remains only the most subtle. I know those can be devilish, but I see the processes in play quite clearly, can trace their causes fairly easily, and am confident in time those will be reduced if not eliminated. While the subtle emotions require real determination to dig out, in some sense it’s actually an easier process as I have these most effective tools at my disposal. It also is a great benefit not to have the whole self-judgement beast reigning any more as it simplifies ferreting out the emotions without the whole ‘good/bad’ layer in effect. So, I am convinced that actualism does work, and is likely the only method that does. My determination is continually being reinforced by the results. In fact, I realized that if someone were to ask me what I ‘am’, I wouldn’t hesitate to say ‘a practicing actualist’ (yes, it’s a redundant expression). That isn’t a labelling exercise, rather just a simple fact stating how I choose to live my life’. (Monday, 20/01/2003 6:18 AM AEDST).

Just so there is no misunderstanding about what you meant by the word method:

• [Respondent]: ‘(...) The method is incredibly simple: I am not happy now; I was happy a minute/ hour/ year ago; Ascertain what caused me to stop being happy; Get back to being happy as quickly as possible. No wonder this is so radical – it has none of the trappings and dogma that humans seem to need to create around such an elemental concept. Of course, sometimes simple things are the hardest to understand. (...) There is no place in the prevalent worldviews/ religions/etc. for something so simple and straightforward as this process’. (Tuesday, 6/05/2003 11:22 PM ADST).

Specifically, are you now saying that the actualism method/process did *not* produce [quote] ‘discernable change’ [endquote] after all ... inasmuch those [quote] ‘many layers of conditioning’ [endquote] were *not* stripped away?

In other words (and paraphrasing how Mr. Steven Colbert put it five weeks ago): did you emotionally _feel_ it to be fact that [quote] ‘there is discernable change’ [endquote] ... inasmuch _you_ selfishly felt that [quote] ‘many layers of conditioning have been stripped’ [endquote]?

RESPONDENT: No.

RICHARD: Okay ... and I appreciate that you acknowledge this.

I have no further questions.


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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.

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