Richard’s Selected Correspondence
On Affective Feelings
(Emotions, Passions, Calentures)
RESPONDENT: I guess, if at all I would be able to have experience like yours, I would be filled with gratitude, not towards anybody but just plain gratitude. But then, I can not predict the future. May be my thinking would change.
RICHARD: Gratitude is one of the many ploys designed, by those who expound on the merits of self-imposed suffering, to keep one in servile ignominy and creeping despair. As strange as it may initially seem, gratitude has the same deleterious effect upon one’s well-being as the resentment it seeks to reform. When gratitude is realised as being the panacea that it is, one will gladly renounce it along with the resentment it promises to replace. To successfully dispense with the despised resentment, its companion emotion, the extolled gratitude, must also go. It is a popular misconception that one can do away with a ‘bad’ emotion whilst hanging on to the ‘good’ one. In actualism the third alternative always applies. ‘Good’ and ‘Bad’, ‘Right’ and ‘Wrong’, ‘Virtue’ and ‘Sin’, ‘Hope’ and ‘Despair’, ‘Gratitude’ and ‘Resentment’, and so on, all disappear in the perfection of purity. Purity is the hall-mark of the stillness that is the essential character of the infinitude of the universe ... which is the life-giving foundation of all that is apparent. Unless the factuality of the existence of the third alternative is firmly grasped, one is forever fated to shuttle back and forth between the opposites. Gratitude simply does not work for it draws its energy from resentment itself ... and from nowhere else. Gratitude feeds off resentment – one cannot be grateful unless one is first resentful – and one cannot maintain any emotion without retaining its opposite. Neither does one adopt that other stratagem: transcendence. Transcendence is a form of sublimation ... to transcend is to confirm and endorse the reality of the opposites. One disposes of all these pathetic methods very simply: By being here now as this flesh and blood body.
Being here now is to put your money where your mouth is, as it were. All other actions are methods, devices, techniques ... which are, in effect, delaying tactics. The most sincere form of flattery is not, as is commonly practised, imitating all the other people’s performance of standing back and expressing a feeling. To feel an emotion or be passionate about life is nowhere near the same as actually being here now. In being here now one is completely involved. Being here now is total inclusion. One demonstrates one’s appreciation of life by partaking fully in existence ... by letting this moment live one so that one is doing what is happening. One dedicates oneself to the challenge of being here now as the universe’s experience of itself. When ‘I’ willingly and voluntarily sacrifice ‘myself’ – the psychological or psychic identity residing inside this body – ‘I’ am gladly making ‘my’ most supreme donation, for ‘I’ am what one holds most dear.
RESPONDENT: Richard, would it be correct to say that while you can experience physical pain, you still cannot suffer, as suffering requires a ‘sufferer’?
RICHARD: Yes ... and that observation goes someway towards explaining the query you report as having burnt within you 10 days ago:
The following may be of assistance:
RESPONDENT: Richard, before I hit the road again, I have a question that seems pretty important. Re-reading some of your selected writings, I rediscovered this:
If the activation of love, compassion, humility, goodness, moral purity, and a passionate faith in the Divine Order etc is not 180 degrees opposite from what you now recommend, it’s pretty damn close, no?
RICHARD: What I now recommend is essentially no different to what I have recommended ever since first becoming apparent on the thirtieth of October 1992 and which is basically the same as what the identity in residence recommended, to anyone prepared to listen at the time, when ‘he’ set about imitating the actual – as evidenced in a pure consciousness experience (PCE) in late July 1980 – on and after the first of January 1981 ... to wit: being relentlessly attentive to, each moment again, and scrupulously honest about, how that only moment of ever being alive was experienced so as to feel as happy and as harmless (as free of malice and sorrow) as was humanly possible inasmuch any deviation from such felicity/innocuity was attended to with the utmost dispatch in order to live as peacefully and as harmoniously as ‘he’ could with ‘his’ then wife and children, in particular, and with anyone and everyone who came into ‘his’ presence.
And all that came about – albeit nowhere nearly spelled-out so clearly and concisely – more or less spontaneously on that day as during the PCE, where identity in toto was in abeyance, the affections played no part at all and, moreover, there was such an utter intimacy as to render any trace of a separation needing to be affectively bridged simply risible.
Furthermore, that way of living was so successful, for the first three months or so of that year, that ‘he’ was wont to exclaim, to all and sundry, that ‘he’ had discovered the secret to life (for that is how far beyond normal human expectations the felicitous/innocuous state which has nowadays become known as being virtually free truly is) and ‘he’ was perplexed as to why, it being such a simple thing to do, no-one had ever done it before.
Then an event occurred of such impact as to be the turning-point, in regards no longer going directly to what numerous PCE’s evidenced (namely that what is now known as an actual freedom from the human condition was possible here on earth, in this lifetime, as this flesh and blood body), and relates back to the initial PCE which set in motion the whole process wherein, unbeknownst to the experiencing due to a total lack of any precedent, it had devolved into an altered state of consciousness (ASC) when a new identity had all-of-a-sudden come into existence ... a grand ‘Me’, a glorious ‘Me’, a fulfilled ‘Me’ who was none other than the long-awaited Saviour Of Humankind!
That impactive event took place whilst keenly watching the sunrise casting its brilliant rays earthward, one otherwise-experienced-as-perfect morning in mid-autumn, upon seeing an ornamental bush thus lit, in the garden alongside the ex-farmhouse, luminously aglow, fiercely afire from within as it were, wherefrom it was revealed to ‘Me’ that there was to be a death and a rebirth and, consequently, a catatonic state ensued that resulted in ‘Me’ being carted off to hospital, and kept under intensive care for four hours, until coming out of it in a state of Radiant Bliss (which quite overwhelmed the duty-nurse by the way). ‘He’ was never to be the same again, as Divinity had been working on ‘him’ whilst catatonic, and from that date forward ‘he’ was permanently in a state of human bliss and love ... ‘he’ could do no wrong.
As ‘he’ had surrendered to, and thus lived in, love and oneness ‘he’ moved in and out of sacred states of Heavenly Bliss, Love Agapé and Divine Compassion; ‘he’ immersed ‘himself’ in the entire process with dedication and resolution; ‘he’ adopted the principle of pacifism (‘turn the other cheek’) and developed a goodness of the highest order; ‘he’ cleansed and purified ‘himself’ of all impure thoughts and deeds; ‘he’ worked both hard and industriously in ‘his’ daily work; ‘he’ practised honesty and humility in all ‘his’ interactions; ‘he’ pondered the significance and ramifications of the Divine Order; ‘he’ totally believed in and had supreme faith in The Absolute – ‘he’ never doubted the ability of That to bring about the Peace On Earth so long promised – and that ‘he’ was to play the central role in that Divine Plan no longer came as a surprise to ‘him’ as ‘he’ realised that ‘he’ had long yearned to be part of the Salvation Process.
The following more or less sums it up:
RESPONDENT: The method you now recommend (minimising ‘good’/’bad’ feelings, activating felicity/ sensuousness) is what you used only after the ego had already dissolved.
RICHARD: The method I now recommend is essentially no different to the course of action I have recommended ever since first becoming apparent and which is basically the same as the way the identity in residence recommended a normal life be lived, when ‘he’ first devised and put into practice what has now become known as the actualism method, on and after the first of January 1981.
Incidentally, that way of living/that course of action did not ... um ... officially become a method until early 1998. And it only came about because of being told to either send more information or draw a clearer map to paradise, on a mailing list set-up under the auspices of the teachings Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti brought into the world, for no other reason than (despite the fact that they are rife throughout most, if not all, of those teachings) any and all methods, ways, paths, and so on, were anathema to his readers/listeners. Vis.:
RESPONDENT: It worked, but *only when you were in an Altered State Of Being*, having permanently dissolved your sense of personal identity in an oceanic feeling of oneness with all creation.
RICHARD: Just so that there is no misunderstanding: what really worked, when the identity was that ‘Altered State Of Being’, was
And it was that last-named – the wide-eyed wonder of naiveté – which resulted in apperceptiveness (unmediated perception).
RESPONDENT: To put it mildly, that [an altered state of being] is not my starting point ...
RICHARD: Neither was it ‘my’ starting point ... for instance:
And for another instance:
RESPONDENT: ... and neither is it the starting point of anyone else around here.
RICHARD: I have had on-line discussions with quite a few self-realised beings (albeit mostly of the just-add-water-and-stir-thoroughly variety) ... plus several face-to-face discussions over the years.
Quite simply: one starts wherever one is at.
RESPONDENT: I well understand that you reject enlightenment as a tried and failed solution to the ills of humankind, and I understand why. BUT, my question concerns the method, not the goal. In one of our early conversations, you said to me that when your ego ‘died’ you were only seconds away from an actual freedom, if only you had known at the time that such a thing was possible:
So ... you activated the process of self-immolation by activating powerful passions.
RICHARD: The identity inhabiting this body activated the process of *partial* ‘self’-immolation – the ego-dissolution, or death of the ego, referred to in the above exchange – by activating love and compassion (and rapture and euphoria and ecstasy and bliss and so on) ... whereas the process of ‘self’-immolation *in toto* involved the deactivation of those antidotal pacifiers for malice and sorrow (and all those others).
RESPONDENT: Not innocuous felicitous feelings but powerful, red-hot passions.
RICHARD: The felicitous/ innocuous feelings are in no way docile, lack-lustre affections ... in conjunction with sensuosity they make for an extremely forceful/ potent combination as, with all of the affective energy channelled into being as happy and harmless as is humanly possible (and no longer being frittered away on love and compassion/ malice and sorrow), the full effect of ‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being – which is ‘being’ itself – is dynamically enabled for one purpose and one purpose alone.
RESPONDENT: No wonder you were able to engage the whole of your being in this process.
RICHARD: So as to inject a modicum of commonsense into your train of thought: the identity inhabiting this body was able to engage the whole of ‘his’ being in the process which led to ‘self’-immolation in toto, via first undergoing an ego-death/ ego-dissolution, primarily and ultimately because of pure intent.
And the key to unlocking such naiveté is sincerity, pure and simple.
RESPONDENT: And from where I stand, there’s little wonder that no-one else has.
RICHARD: Where one stands does, of course, determine what one sees.
RESPONDENT: (9 months of intense ‘self’-immolation vs. 10 years of mere reconditioning is what it comes down to as I see it).
RICHARD: Ha ... there is much more to an entirely-new model than just ripping the engine of the ole hog apart and giving it a reco so that it will be good for another few hundred thou or so.
Much, much more ... do you realise that what you are saying, in effect, is that all what is required for any realised/ enlightened/ awakened being, to become actually free from the human condition, is but a re-working what remains of identity (the deeper and most fundament part) after partial ‘self’-immolation?
RESPONDENT: So why, if you were mere seconds away from ‘self’-immolation using the original method, do you now recommend an altogether different one (almost 180 degrees opposite) that only worked after your ego had dissolved?
And if that intense human love cannot immediately be felt (as in step No. 1 above) then the quickest way to activate it is to go deeply into personal sorrow (which can readily be done just by feeling sad about the whole sorry mess which is the human condition and empathy will take over) until it becomes universal sorrow – the essential pathos of all sentient creatures – whereupon it flips over and turns into compassion ... which passion, upon fully flowering in all its goodness and charity, becomes a radiant love for all suffering beings.
Then move on to step No. 2.
RESPONDENT: It seems to me that using the first method would be *heaps* more potent than second because it engages the passions instead of (trying to) systematically undermine them – which, in my personal experience, only takes the wind out of one’s sails.
RICHARD: The actualism method is not about undermining the passions ... on the contrary, it is about directing all of that affective energy into being the felicitous/ innocuous feelings (that is, ‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being, which is ‘being’ itself) in order to effect a deliberate imitation of the actual, as evidenced in a PCE, so as to feel as happy and as harmless (as free of malice and sorrow) as is humanly possible whilst remaining a ‘self’.
Such imitative felicity/ innocuity, in conjunction with sensuosity, readily evokes amazement, marvel, and delight – a state of wide-eyed wonder best expressed by the word naiveté (the nearest a ‘self’ can come to innocence whilst being a ‘self’) – and which allows the overarching benignity and benevolence inherent to the infinitude, which this infinite and eternal and perpetual universe actually is, to operate more and more freely. This intrinsic benignity and benevolence, which has nothing to do with the imitative affective happiness and harmlessness, will do the rest.
ALAN: Digressing for one moment, my own experience confirms your suggestion that ‘I’ is who I think I am and ‘me’ is who I feel I am.
RICHARD: I am pleased to hear this ... it is excellent that an accurate description of these matters can be both conveyed and corroborated by any discerning person. Especially with you, Alan, as you are responding only to words – having not met me personally – and I am very pleased by this because it means that I am not required for the process of understanding (as in a ‘personality cult’ that can grow around a ‘charismatic leader’). Common-sense can be conveyed by the written word. This means that the third alternative can be accessed by anyone discriminating enough long after I am physically dead.
ALAN: We have also discussed the ‘vibes’, which some people may have and whether it is possible for another to sense them. I presume you consider these to fall within the realm of psychic powers?
RICHARD: No, emotional ‘vibes’ are fairly obvious as in you can feel another’s fear, anger, love and so on when in physical proximity. Whereas psychic ‘currents’ span distance instantly. This is where the power play really happens between sentient beings ... vibe violence and verbal abuse and physical aggression are the outcome of psychic power-tripping and not the source. The same applies to the ‘good’ side ... loving vibes and affectionate words and physical caresses are control measures – power-play – and originate in the psyche as psychic currents.
ALAN: While not 100% convinced, my view is that these do not exist, other than in the form of subtle body language.
RICHARD: Body language plays a part, yes, and tone of voice and so on ... but there is an undercurrent as is evidenced when sitting in silence with another whilst not facing each other. There is an ‘atmosphere’ as is expressed in ‘the air was so thick that you could cut it with a knife’.
ALAN: It would be easy to prove, or disprove, by setting up an experiment with one person blindfolded, not able to hear and not able to smell (as pheromones could be involved) and introducing others radiating love, anger etc into their presence. I am not aware of any research which has been done on ‘vibes’ – are you?
RICHARD: I have not looked for any research as it has been so obvious from personal experience and in discussing with others. For example: returning from a walk abroad one is in good spirits ... yet as one goes to open the front door to one’s house a feeling of unease, of disquietude may be felt. Upon entering the supposed safety and sanctity of one’s own house one finds one’s husband and/or wife and/or mother and/or father and/or brother and/or sister fuming and ready and willing to give one a serve for either deserved or undeserved wrongs that one may or may not have committed. One felt it through a closed door.
RICHARD: I use the phrase ‘native intelligence’ in the meaning of ‘autochthonous acumen’ or ‘indigenous prudence’ or ‘congenital judicity’. I am meaning a down-to-earth and matter-of-fact practicality ... an innate sensibility. The term ‘Cosmic Intelligence’ is anthropomorphic and reveals a dearth of sensible reason ... intelligence exists only in the human brain.
ALAN: I think I get it (after consulting my dictionary) – it is non affective intelligence, intelligence without ‘self’ – ‘pure awareness’ as you have previously put it.
RICHARD: An observation ... then recognition ... then action. It is quite simple: the human brain likes to think – just as the eyes like to see and the ears like to hear and so on – and problem-solving is what it is very good at (when ‘I’ am no longer ‘in there’ with ‘my’ needs and shoulds and wants and desires and morals and ethics and values and principles it all happens of its own accord with remarkable sagacity). Thus in a PCE, when the ASC becomes attractive, a clouding of sensible reason can be observed and this dimming of intelligence will trigger alarm bells.
ALAN: As I have been discussing with Vineeto recently, I think the most obvious danger sign is the ‘Love’ which starts up in the ‘seat of being’.
RICHARD: Yes, the rudimentary and ancient animal self common to all sentient beings is the genesis of ‘being’ as an all-expansive and all-encompassing identity. That deep feeling of ‘me’ – that ‘being’ itself – is at the core of identity. It arises out of the basic instincts that blind nature endowed all human beings with as a rough and ready ‘soft-ware’ package to make a start in life. These instincts – mainly fear and aggression and nurture and desire – appear as a rudimentary self common to all sentient beings. This is why it is felt to be one’s ‘Original Face’ – to use the Zen terminology – when one accesses it in religious/spiritual/mystical meditation practices and disciplines. This is the source of ‘we are all one’, because ‘we’ are all the same-same blind instinctual self that stretches back beyond the dawn of human memory. It is a very, very ancient genetic memory.
IRENE to Vineeto: Feelings of affection, warmth, so essential for humour, playing music with pleasure and delightful human interactions is to me as valuable as sexual pleasure and orgasms.
RICHARD: As I am a person devoid of either latent or active enmity, I require no antidotal affection whatsoever to create the illusion of intimacy in my human interactions. Consequently, all my associations with others are always delightful and not dependent upon mood swings. As I have a vast capacity for humour, without a trace of a feeling whatsoever, then your opinion that feelings of affection are ‘so essential for humour’ is revealed to be just that ... an opinion. As I have not developed the talent for playing musical instruments I cannot personally report on feelings being essential for playing music with pleasure ... but as music is designed to tug on the heart-strings I would easily agree with your observation. Your remark to Vineeto [quote] ‘as valuable as sexual pleasure and orgasms’ [endquote] indicates a paucity of understanding how Vineeto experiences her life ... as is detailed in ‘Peter’s Journal’ under ‘A bit of Vineeto’ and is clear to anyone who wishes to read for themselves. Your remark reads like being one of those snide digs that women unfortunately indulge in with their peers in order to keep each other sexually repressed ... all the while blaming only men for woman’s frustration. – The chapter ‘A bit of Vineeto’ can be accessed on Peter’s and Vineeto’s Web page, ‘Wondrous Path’. It can also be found on page 171 of ‘Peter’s Journal’ © 1998 The Actual Freedom Trust.
IRENE to Vineeto: Why do you see feelings in such a negative way only? To me it sounds like nothing more than another ‘religiously’ followed tenet, like all other masters see sex as something to transcend or get rid of.
RICHARD: And again a reference to sex ... and coupled with ‘all other masters’. Who is a ‘master’ here? Certainly not me ... I set my sights further than being a mere master, all those years ago when I was determined to be free of the human condition, and I am not likely to fall back into that position now that I have succeeded. Human beings need something else than re-hashes of the ‘Tried and True’ if there is to be global peace-on-earth.
As for feelings being only negative ... they have brought wars and murders and rapes and tortures and domestic violence and child abuse and suicides ... I fail to see what there is positive in that lot. Feelings – emotions and passions and calentures – cripple the body’s native intelligence ... therefore emotions impair clear and clean functioning in the world of people, things and events. Perhaps you could detail which feelings are not negative, then.
IRENE to Vineeto: I am ... out to demolish ... [the] belief in the old spiritual man-made ‘ideal’ of getting rid of your self ... that Richard has augmented with getting rid of literally everything that you can possibly call human: the feelings, emotions, instincts, sense of humaneness towards other people around you, in short all that was a natural given to start of with. To be so anti-nature is called preposterous. Only a person who is deeply troubled by emotions will turn against them in anger and try to rid themselves of the whole plethora of emotional experiences (...) I don’t see Richard as free, but rather removed from being human.
RICHARD: Aye ... in fact I am so far removed from being human that I am out of sight. Indeed it is unnatural what I did and – given that it is natural to kill one’s fellow human being – I am well-pleased to be so preposterous (the word ‘preposterous’ literally means being 180 degrees in the opposite direction). However, a person ‘deeply troubled by emotions’ who will ‘turn against them in anger’ in an effort to rid themselves of the ‘whole plethora of emotional experiences’ will fail spectacularly. Speaking personally, the first thing I did in 1981 was to put an end to anger once and for all ... then I was freed enough to live in virtual freedom. It took me about three weeks and I have never experienced anger since then. The first step was to say ‘YES’ to being here on earth, for I located and identified that basic resentment that all people that I have spoken to have. To wit: ‘I didn’t ask to be born!’ This is why remembering a PCE is so important for success for it shows one, first hand, that freedom is already always here ... now. With the memory of that crystal-clear perfection held firmly in mind ... that basic resentment goes. Then it is a relatively easy task to eliminate anger forever. One does this by neither expressing or repressing anger when an event happens that would previously trigger an outbreak.
IRENE to Peter: Richard sees that feelings and intuitions are the main-cause for all misery and suffering in the world, and believes that women must be helped to get rid of these unfortunate and malicious tendencies ... and become like him.
RICHARD: Why this one-eyed view? Why do you turn these discussions into a woman versus man issue? What is your agenda? I talk equally to man and woman ... men have intuition too (popularly known as ‘gut-feelings’ or ‘hunches’). When tested exhaustively, male intuition was demonstrated to be as unreliable as female intuition ... 50/50 on average (which is the same as guessing). The male clairvoyants – now there is proof that intuition is not the exclusive domain of the female of the species – could not better a 53.4% accuracy. Also ... men have feelings too. It is just that they express them differently to women ... a man knows what another man is feeling. We have discussed these issues before – you and I – and you came to recognise the ‘code’ that men use to convey feelings to each other. It is surprising to see so much recidivism in such a short time.
IRENE to Peter: Life without feelings is indeed barren and sterile.
RICHARD: I am living such a rich, full, sparkling, vital and magical life for the twenty four hours of every day ... and all without the affective faculty. Where do you get your information from about the barrenness and sterility of life without feeling?
IRENE to Peter: Freeing myself from aggression and fear didn’t come about by covering them over (...) my aggression and fear that I had not wanted to look at yet, would come out in my attitude and sharp remarks from time to time (...) I am so pleased with what I’ve done (...) I couldn’t have envisaged this particular outcome ever.
RICHARD: You see, here you do some kind of sleight-of-hand ... you condemn me for not having these basic feelings whilst proclaiming to be free of them yourself. Perhaps the clue lies in your not mentioning the other basic feelings – nurture and desire – in the above sentence. Just get rid of the ‘bad’ feelings and hang onto the ‘good’ ones, eh?
IRENE to Peter: There is life after the basic feelings of aggression and fear, they don’t have to dominate forever!
RICHARD: Here is confusion with the word ‘dominate’ ... have you freed yourself from aggression and fear or not? If you have ... why condemn me for doing so? If you have not ... why do you give the impression that you have?
IRENE to Peter: By ‘authentic’ I do not mean the natural instincts we are all born with. They become only active in a physical or deeply emotional threat to your well-being.
RICHARD: Aye ... and thus all the wars and rapes and murders and tortures and domestic violence and child abuse and sadness and loneliness and grief and depression and suicide will continue for ever and a day. So, are you now saying that you are not free from these basic – these natural – instincts after all? What does ‘there is life after the basic feelings of fear and aggression’ mean then?
IRENE to Peter: Wherever I am I am at peace (...) I now find myself living what my very first peak-experience showed me to be my destiny (...) I am a fully human being with all my feeling-faculties and instincts intact.
RICHARD: Once again confusion ... all your ‘feeling-faculties and instincts intact’. Yet you are simultaneously ‘free from aggression and fear’ ... which are basic instincts. As they will become active in ‘a physical or deeply emotional threat to your well-being’ then what have you done towards achieving peace-on-earth?
Editor’s Note: They did indeed become active: only four days later Irene wrote the following to Vineeto: ‘No other person than you has been able to make me so livid and repulsed, for a long, long time, Vineeto.’
IRENE to Peter: As an authentic being I am not afraid of others, nor of myself, because I have nothing to hide or to cover up any more, or to be afraid or ashamed of (...) I certainly feel and have the capacity to feel intact.
RESPONDENT: Richard, sorry for jumping to this question before replying to our ongoing long correspondence. I want to know what does ‘happiness’ mean to you. To be honest, to me it still is a feeling. I ask this question in relation to your post to No. 3 in which you wrote: [Richard]: ‘A happy and harmless person has a much better chance of precipitating a PCE ... which is the essential pre-requisite for an actual freedom (otherwise this is all theory). It goes without saying, surely, that a grumpy person locks themselves out of being here ... now’. [endquote]. Which means that being ‘happy and harmless’ is a pre-requisite for actual freedom (at least it gives better chances). So it is very important to know what is this happiness which is required before one even attempts for actual freedom.
RICHARD: There is nothing mysterious going on here, it is only a matter of how the English language is structured ... try reading it this way:
Nevertheless, there is more to it than that: the phrase ‘He is an angry person’ or ‘She is an hysterical person’ refers to someone who is more prone to be angry or hysterical – and more extreme in their anger and hysteria – than the average person. Likewise: ‘He is a bully’ or ‘She is a bitch’ refers to a person who displays an attitude and behaviour that automatically classifies them as being more extreme than the average person. So when I write ‘a happy and harmless person’ I am indicating someone who is more extreme in their happiness and harmlessness than the average ... similarly ‘a grumpy person’ indicates someone more extreme in feeling grumpy than the average person (and please do not ask me to define ‘average’ ... because have you ever realised that half the people that you know are necessarily below average!).
Perhaps this is an excellent opportunity to clarify this whole issue about feelings. Often people who read about actual freedom gain the impression that I am asking people to stop feeling ... which I am not. My whole point is to cease ‘being’ – psychologically and psychically self-immolate – which means that the entire affective faculty is extirpated. That is, the biological instinctual package handed out by blind nature is deleted like a computer software programme (but with no ‘Recycle Bin’ to retrieve it from) so that the psyche itself is no more. Then – and only then – are there no feelings. It is impossible to be a ‘stripped-down’ self – divested of feelings – for ‘I’ am ‘my’ feelings and ‘my’ feelings are ‘me’. Anyone who attempts this absurdity would wind up being somewhat like what is known in psychiatric terminology as a ‘sociopathic personality’ (popularly know as ‘psychopath’). Such a person still has feelings – ‘cold’, ‘callous’, ‘indifferent’ – and has repressed the others (‘repressed’ not ‘suppressed’). In a PCE the feelings play no part at all – the self is in abeyance – but can come rushing in, if one is not alert, resulting in the PCE devolving into an ASC ... complete with a super-self. Indeed, this demonstrates that it is impossible for there to be no feelings whilst there is a self – in this case a Self – thus it is the ‘being’ that has to go first ... not the feelings. What actualism – the wide and wondrous path to actual freedom – is on about is a ‘virtual freedom’ (which is not to be confused with cyber-space’s ‘virtual reality’) wherein the ‘good’ feelings – the affectionate and desirable emotions and passions (those that are loving and trusting) are minimised along with the ‘bad’ feelings – the hostile and invidious emotions and passions (those that are hateful and fearful) – so that one is free to feel good, feel happy and feel perfect for 99% of the time. I make this very clear in my writing:
RICHARD: Indeed the feelings are oft-times praised as being the solution ... as is epitomised in the phrase: ‘Get out of your head and into your heart’.
RESPONDENT: Here I differ with you. To me, the phrase: ‘Get out of your head and into your heart’, is trying to convey that observe your feelings and understand what they are doing to you.
RICHARD: Given that you come from the sannyas-list; given that you practice Mr. Mohan ‘Rajneesh’ Jain’s meditations; given that you do Sikh exercises ... then I would hazard a guess that you have totally misunderstood the ‘Teachings’. The ‘Teachers’ want you to become your feelings (the ‘good’ one’s like Love and Compassion and so on) so much so that they will cease being feelings that ‘you’ have and instead ‘you’ become them so totally that they become a state of being wherein ‘you’ survive for all Eternity in a ‘Timeless State Of Being’.
RICHARD: Some people even try to stop thought – gullibly believing that thought creates ‘I’ – and allow the affective faculty to rule.
RESPONDENT: I do a few Osho’s and a few Sikh exercises which pretty much calms down the mind and brings the silence. For me this experiment has two purposes (for now): First, it makes things clear for me so I know clearly whatever is ‘bothering’ me. Which in turn helps me to live in present. Second, as a bonus, to see by myself that I am different than those thoughts and feelings I get.
RICHARD: Can you recall having an experience wherein ‘you’ ceased to be, temporarily? This experience is known as a pure consciousness experience (PCE) or a peak experience. If so, you may be able to understand that ‘you’ cannot be ‘different than those thoughts and feelings’ ... but that ‘those thoughts and feelings’ are all that ‘you’ are. To split off a part of your ‘being’, by proposing that it is different to the remainder, is to have fallen for that hoary spiritual practice of being the ‘watcher’ ... and thus ‘I’ survive to wreak ‘my’ havoc another day.
RESPONDENT: I am still often confused about feelings and sensations in my body. I can even create them, for example, when I turn lights off and it is dark in the room I feel some childhood fears still lurking inside my mind. A fear of a ‘boogie man, an alien visitor, death etc’ revisits my mind and ... makes me feel uncomfortable. It is nothing overwhelming – but these old feelings from the past are simply still there inside of me.
RICHARD: All sentient beings are endowed by blind nature with instincts ... mainly fear and aggression and nurture and desire. The dominant one is fear ... at base fear is both the barrier and the gateway to the actual world. There is nothing so thrilling as a trip through fear ... and then one comes out the other side. There is no fear here, in this actual world where I live. Not even disquietude, uneasiness, nervousness or apprehension ... let alone anxiety, angst, fear, terror, horror or dread.
It is not a case of ‘facing fear’ ... one can use it to swing through to this actual world ... leaving one’s ‘self’ behind, where it belongs, in the ‘real-world’.
RESPONDENT: Or, sometimes I feel like crying when I watch a movie, occasionally I get angry with a car driver, etc. It is interesting sometimes to just stop and experience my emotions, with curiosity.
RICHARD: Hmm ... ‘you’ are ‘your’ emotions and ‘your’ emotions are ‘you’. They are not a ‘clip-on’ that ‘you’ can shuck off and get on with your life.
RESPONDENT: Anyways, emotions are there in my body – unlike in yours who have no emotions. This is puzzling me a bit. How is it that the old fears and strong sensations do not arise in your body ... I thought that there is an emotional memory ... like, when you feel a scent of a woman’s perfume you might remember your first lover who used to wear it dating you.
RICHARD: I have no emotional memory whatsoever ... there are no child-hood hurts or loves extant anywhere in this body. The affective memory disappeared when the ‘walk-in’ that inhabited this body for all those years vanished ... they were ‘his’ memories. Even so, when I tell stories out of my past it is somewhat akin to reading another person’s story from a book ... without the passion. I could not be nostalgic or indulge in reverie if my life depended upon it.
RESPONDENT: At other times the feelings and emotions are so strong that they become a part of my core ‘I’ (I think) and they become very precious to me, hard to analyse or look at.
RICHARD: Yes, ‘very precious to me, hard to analyse or look at’ is well said (except that they do not ‘become a part of my core ‘I’’ as they already are) and it is excellent to be so honest with oneself (that these ‘feelings and emotions’ are ‘very precious’). This is what ‘I’ am at the core of ‘me’ ... and this what you are describing is an experiential ascertaining of the basic nature of ‘me’. Which leads back to the initial question: are you ‘paying close attention’ so as to ascertain the basic nature of ‘me’ with the pure intent to enable the already always existing peace-on-earth to become apparent?
RESPONDENT: Unlike you I experience feelings occasionally during each day – today I had a momentary patch of anger directed at my wife, one moment of exasperation with my PC deleting stuff I didn’t want deleted, and one or two of gratefulness and love. I don’t make those things a problem, and I don’t just ‘watch them’, I put myself into them and at that same time (or at least very soon after) in some way I ask myself how these feelings came to take me. The question how am I experiencing this moment of being alive is a powerful one. It works .
RICHARD: Okay ... anger and exasperation, for instance, are commonly seen to be ‘bad’ emotions/ passions and love and gratitude are seen to be ‘good’ emotions/passions. The path to enlightenment – the ‘Tried and True’ path – is predicated upon sublimating the ‘bad’ emotions/passions and enhancing to ‘good’ emotions/passions. In the magical perfection of the PCE it is experienced that the emotions/ passions play no part whatsoever; therefore, the question ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive’ initially means ‘What feeling am I experiencing this moment with’? Whatever is blocking the direct experiencing of this moment can thus eliminate itself through exposure to the bright light of the awareness of pure intent – born of the purity of the PCE – which is both relentless and remorseless. Then, by asking ‘how am I experiencing this moment of being alive’ with the emphasis on ‘this moment’, the reward is immediate; it is all about being here now at this moment in time and this place in space ... one starts to feel ‘alive’ for the first time in one’s life. Being ‘alive’ is to be paying attention – exclusive attention – to this moment in time and this place in space. This attention becomes fascination.
RESPONDENT: On the one hand you claim that you are not asking people to stop feeling and on the other you are claiming that to be free ‘I’ have to be annihilated, and ‘I’ am equivalent to ‘my’ feelings.
RICHARD: Aye ... the elimination of ‘me’ in ‘my’ totality is the ending of all feelings – emotions and passions and calenture – but the elimination of all feelings is impossible whilst there is an ‘I’ or ‘me’ extant. Therefore, how can ‘I’ coopt the feelings into aiding and assisting ‘me’ in ‘my’ self-immolation? How can ‘I’ gain ‘my’ willing participation in ‘my’ extirpation? I suggest most clearly that one examines every feeling each moment again (‘how am I experiencing this moment of being alive’?) so as to ascertain how ‘I’ tick. I simply make it a lot easier for you in that I have already done this examination starting eighteen years ago – therefore this is practical not theoretical – and I can recommend that one minimises the effect that both the ‘bad’ and the ‘good’ feelings have on you (the enhancement of the ‘good’ feelings has been tried and tried again and again and has failed and failed again and again). The affective energy previously channelled into the vain attempt to combat the ‘bad’ with the ‘good’ is now released to expand the felicitous/ innocuous feelings which, along with sensuousness (another no-no in spirituality) and naiveté‚ will result in a wide-eyed wonder which may very well eventuate in apperceptiveness ... given sufficient pure intent to bring about peace-on-earth by allowing the already always existing perfection to become apparent.
Voila! One has a PCE ... which is where the identity is in abeyance. Then one has the direct experience of experiencing life sans feelings ... and rapture, bliss, ecstasy, euphoria, love, compassion, expansive oneness and so on (the glorified and sanctified ‘good’ feelings) are nowhere to be found. Here lies the purity of the perfection of the infinitude of this material universe ... this is peace-on-earth in this life-time as this body.
RESPONDENT: Third thing: later in your post to No. 4 you seem to divide feelings into three categories: [Richard]: ‘If one minimises the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ feelings (as explained above) and activates the felicitous/ innocuous feelings – happiness, delight, joie de vivre/ bonhomie, friendliness, amiability and so on – in conjunction with sensuousness, then the ensuing sense of amazement, marvel and wonder can result in apperceptiveness’. [endquote]. There are ‘good’ feelings, ‘bad’ feelings’ and ‘felicitous’ feelings? I am confused about this categorisation. How do you define which feelings are appropriate and which are good or bad?
RICHARD: I have no intention of providing either a limited or an exhaustive list ... there are literally hundreds of feeling-words listed in the dictionary. For example, last year someone asked, on another list, what ‘malice’ was ... and I spent five minutes in the Oxford’s thesaurus and provided what they could have produced themselves if they had any nous:
RESPONDENT: Ego is expressed as ideas, and your ideas are extremely complex, and not only that, but conflicted. For example, you say you have no emotion, no love, no feeling, and yet you constantly bring up the plight of 6 billion sentient beings on this earth as if you had concern for them.
RICHARD: Not ‘as if’, I actually like my fellow human being and wish the best for each and every one ... and the best is already always here now.
RESPONDENT: A person with no feelings surely doesn’t care about anything, let alone ‘best wishes’ for his fellow humans.
RICHARD: Well, I do.
RESPONDENT: What is the concern for the plight of the people from a person who has no feeling, no emotion, no caring, no nurturing, no love?
RICHARD: Are you saying that the feelings – the emotions, passions and calentures – that are born out of the instinctual passions of fear and aggression and nurture and desire are the essential ingredients to care about one’s fellow human beings? Even though it is those very same feelings that are causing all the wars and murders and rapes and tortures and domestic violence and child abuse and suicides in the first place?
RESPONDENT: No, I’m not saying that at all because emotions are not born out of fear and aggression.
RICHARD: Okay, I will use your language then: Are you saying that the feelings – the emotions, passions and calentures – that are ‘learned traits as a result of responding to the environment via the central nervous system that humans are born with’ are the essential ingredients to care about one’s fellow human beings? Even though it is those very same feelings that are ‘learned traits as a result of responding to the environment via the central nervous system that humans are born with’ which are causing all the wars and murders and rapes and tortures and domestic violence and child abuse and suicides in the first place?
RESPONDENT: No, it is not the same feelings that are causing the wars and murders and rapes and tortures and domestic violence and child abuse and suicides in the first place – absolutely NOT!
RICHARD: Okay ... what feelings are causing the wars and murders and rapes and tortures and domestic violence and child abuse and suicides in the first place if it is not the feelings that are the ‘learned traits as a result of responding to the environment via the central nervous system that humans are born with’?
RESPONDENT: Why do you think one must to be void of feelings and emotions in order to not be abusive, a rapist, a murdered or suicidal.
RICHARD: Often people who do not read what I have to say with both eyes gain the impression that I am suggesting that people to stop feeling ... which I am not. My whole point is to cease ‘being’ – psychologically and psychically self-immolate – which means that the entire psyche itself is extirpated. That is, the biological instinctual package handed out by blind nature is deleted like a computer software programme (but with no ‘Recycle Bin’ to retrieve it from) so that the affective faculty is no more. Then – and only then – are there no feelings ... as in a pure consciousness experience (PCE) where, with the self in abeyance, the feelings play no part at all. However, in a PCE the feelings – passion and calenture – can come rushing in, if one is not alert, resulting in the PCE devolving into an altered state of consciousness (ASC) ... complete with a super-self. Indeed, this demonstrates that it is impossible for there to be no feelings whilst there is a self – in this case a Self – thus it is the ‘being’ that has to go first ... not the feelings.
It is impossible to be a ‘stripped-down’ self – divested of feelings – for ‘I’ am ‘my’ feelings and ‘my’ feelings are ‘me’. Anyone who attempts this absurdity would wind up being somewhat like what is known in psychiatric terminology as a ‘sociopathic personality’ (popularly know as ‘psychopath’). Such a person still has feelings – ‘cold’, ‘callous’, ‘indifferent’ – and has repressed the others. What the wide and wondrous path to an actual freedom is on about is a virtual freedom wherein the ‘good’ feelings – the affectionate and desirable emotions and passions (those that are loving and trusting) are minimised along with the ‘bad’ feelings – the hostile and invidious emotions and passions (those that are hateful and fearful) – so that one is free to be feeling good, feeling happy and harmless and feeling excellent/perfect for 99% of the time. If one deactivates the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ feelings and activates the felicitous/ innocuous feelings (happiness, delight, joie de vivre/ bonhomie, friendliness, amiability and so on) with this freed-up affective energy, in conjunction with sensuousness (delectation, enjoyment, appreciation, relish, zest, gusto and so on), then the ensuing sense of amazement, marvel and wonder can result in apperceptiveness (unmediated perception). If it does not ... then one is way ahead of normal human expectations anyway as the aim is to enjoy and appreciate being here now for as much as is possible.
RESPONDENT: With the cultural image of self, there is isolation but there is also the feeling of being part of a group consciousness and memory that is human thought. When there is no centring in thought, no ‘me’ experiencing, there is all-one-ness. In the absolute sense, there always was but it was lost in the dream of time, i.e.: ‘me’ becoming.
RICHARD: Once again, ‘I’ – lost, lonely, frightened and very, very cunning – desire an end to separation whilst staying in existence nevertheless. What we have talked about above on the divine level, is here being played out on the secular level. A communal – or community – feeling of oneness called ‘all-one-ness’. Much has been made of the word ‘alone’ and the ability to make it say ‘all one’. But this is not just a play on words, because for those desperately lonely peoples, who have made this secular leap of trust, the feeling of ‘aloneness’ has indeed become a feeling of ‘all-one-ness’.
Yet a feeling is just that: a feeling. A feeling is not a fact.
It is actually so easy to see why feelings – whilst being trusted implicitly – are not to be relied upon. The sense of belonging is a dangerous illusion built upon the shifting sands of emotions and passions. Losing oneself in the crowd renders one susceptible to not only group highs but to mass hysteria ... and mob riots. Just as marital disharmony can lead to domestic violence, so too can neighbourhood disputes lead to civil unrest and communal violence. International riots are called war. So much for being part of a group ... in fact, so much for belonging!
Quite rightly do you say ‘when there is no centring in thought ... there is all-one-ness’. What people fail to comprehend – because they trust feelings implicitly as being the final arbiter of truth – is that ‘I’ am now centred in feeling. That is: ‘I’ have transferred ‘my’ identity from the head to the heart. Floating on an oceanic feeling of oneness, ‘I’ can truly say: ‘I love everybody and everything’ ... and why? Because of the intense feeling that ‘I am everything and everything is Me’. Consequently, because feelings – emotions and passions – originate in the basic instincts that blind nature endowed humans with at birth, one has discovered one’s source of being (the Zen Masters’ ‘Original Face’).
However, this feeling of original ‘being’ is nothing but those original instinctual emotions and passions located in the ‘reptilian brain’ at the top of the brain-stem. It is where the rudimentary self we are all born with is situated. And all sentient beings have these exactly identical basic instincts of fear and aggression and nurture and desire ... stretching back into pre-history. That is: we are all the same (instinctually) and have always been so. One needs to understand this and reach beyond this primitive source to discover just exactly what I am. Otherwise, you will have no alternative but to say, as you so aptly did: ‘in the absolute sense, there always was [an all-one-ness] but it was lost in the dream of time’.
Seeing all this is the first step towards not only ridding the head of ‘I’ as ego, but emptying the heart of ‘me’ as soul into the bargain. Both these entities originate in the instinctual rudimentary self that all creatures are born with. By reaching beyond not only the ‘egoistic’ self but also the ‘being’ self as well enables one to finally be here at this moment in time and this place in space. Then one is what one actually is: this flesh-and-blood body simply brimming with sense organs, delighting in this very sensual world of actual experience.
The search for meaning amidst the debris of the much-vaunted human hopes and dreams and schemes has come to its timely end. With the end of both ‘I’ and ‘me’, the distance or separation between both ‘I’ and ‘me’ and these sense organs – and thus the external world – disappears. To be living as the senses is to live a clear awareness in operation ... which is known as apperception, a pure consciousness experience of the world as-it-is. Because there is no ‘I’ as a thinker – a little person inside one’s head, or a ‘me’ as a feeler – a little person in one’s heart – to have sensations happen to them, I am the sensations.
There is nothing except the series of sensations which happen ... not happening to an ‘I’ or a ‘me’ but just happening ... moment by moment ... one after another. To live life as these sensations, as distinct from having them, engenders the most astonishing sense of freedom and release. Consequently, I am living in peace and tranquillity; a meaningful peace and tranquillity. Life is intrinsically purposeful, the reason for existence lies openly all around. Being in this very air I live in, I am constantly aware of it; I breathe it in and out; I see it, I hear it, I taste it, I smell it, I touch it, all of the time. It never goes away – nor has it ever been away. ‘I’ – and ‘me’ – was standing in the way of the meaning of life being apparent.
RICHARD: So, another approach: literally, I have no feelings – emotions and passions – whatsoever ... and have not had for five years.
This is why I have been diagnosed as ‘alexithymic’ by two accredited psychiatrists ... which is not strictly correct for alexithymia means not able to feel feelings. Other people can see such a person being angry, for example, but he/she will not be aware of this. It is not a case of him/her denying their feelings – or not being in touch with their feelings – but is a morbid condition. It is most common in lobotomised patients.
This is all the result of finding the source of ‘myself’ ... I discovered that ‘I’ was born out of the instincts that blind nature endows all sentient beings with at birth. This rudimentary self is the root cause of all the malice and sorrow that besets humankind, and to eliminate malice and sorrow ‘I’ had to eliminate the fear and aggression and nurture and desire that this rudimentary self is made up of ... the instincts.
But as this rudimentary self was the instincts – there is no differentiation betwixt the two – then the elimination of one was the elimination of the other. One is the other and the other is one. In fact, with the elimination of the instincts, ‘I’ ceased to exist, period. Gone too is fear and aggression and nurture and desire. As I am devoid of calenture entirely, I can see and understand clearly what happens when one ‘surrenders one’s ego’, or ‘stops thought’, or ‘merges with the cosmos’ ... or whatever phrase is applicable. The questions no one seems to have successfully answered are: What is this ego? Where is it, precisely? What is its function? Where did it come from?
What if we were to say, in order to simplify matters for now, that the ego is nothing more – and nothing less – than the instinctual passionate will to survive codified by the very necessary conscience ... that socialised knowledge of Right and Wrong? What if we were to say that it is located in the forehead in line with the temples just above and between the eyes? What if we were to say that it is the little man/woman who pulls all the levers and presses all the controls ... and fondly considers itself to be vitally important in the scheme of things? What if we were to say that it is born out of the passionate instinct for survival that blind nature endows us with at conception: fear and aggression and nurture and desire? Would this help to clarify anything?
Thus its nature would be that of an emotional and passionate self. Therefore, no one can really ‘surrender their ego’ whilst the affective faculties are still extant ... they can only give up their will. Not for nothing do all scriptures have some equivalent saying to the Western biblical command: ‘Not my will but Thy will, Oh Lord’. This is why obedience, supplication, humility, penitence, entreaty and so on are the requisite demands to be met in order to relinquish the strangle-hold the wilful self has on the psyche. If successful, the wilful self dissolves and mysteriously re-appears as the compliant Self. One is pure spirit. The instinct for survival has triumphed over adversity and one is immortal at last. One views everyday reality through the eyes of beauty and love and beholds great mystery and majesty. This is ‘choiceless awareness’ ... divine obedience.
RESPONDENT: There is a sensitivity that is without cause, without motive. It is effortless.
RICHARD: Physical sensitivity as in tactile sensation ... yes. Sensitivity as in consideration for the other simply because the other is a fellow human being ... yes. Sensitivity as in pity, sympathy, empathy, compassion and love ... no. Such sensitivity is born out of mutual sorrow (etymologically the word ‘compassion’ means ‘suffer with’; ‘passio’ is Latin for the Greek ‘pathos’). Thus it has a cause ... it is not without motive and is thus not as effortless as it may seem to be.
I cannot relate to a person in sorrow for I do not have the faculties – or the capacity – for pathos. Just consider the fact that where one has the ability to be able to feel pity, sympathy, empathy, compassion and love, then it is a case of the blind leading the blind. One must be totally free of sorrow – and malice – in order to be of substantive assistance to those who are trapped within the Human Condition. Life is wonderful where one is bereft of both sorrow and malice. All the terror, all the horror and all the dread are expunged when ‘I’ and ‘me’ become extinct. The slate is wiped clean, as if nothing untoward has happened. A faint intellectual memory, like a distant dream, is all that remains of distress and destructiveness. In this time and place where one is genuine, no mental or emotional or psychic scars are carried. Stress, so vividly experienced in reality, has no substance here in actuality. One has to be completely free from the grip of reality – the Land of Lament – to actually be of benefit to the one who is suffering. A person who is actually free does not offer a palliative. Such a person extends the possibility of ultimate release.
RESPONDENT: Richard, I have been reading your correspondence on your website. The actual freedom issue has been on my mind. Sometimes on the back burner, sometimes on the front burner – but it has been there. I am investigating my life vigorously as some major changes seem to be lurking around the corner. I think that, amazing as it is (quite against the odds?), a feeling-less life could be actually perfect!
RICHARD: Excellent. It is initially difficult to comprehend living life sans feelings ... as a child, a youth and as a young man I was particularly sensitive in comparison with my then peers – I felt everything keenly, acutely – and always preferred the company of females to males anytime. I was easily hurt by others and had difficulty hurting anyone or anything – boys pulling wings off flies at grade school sickened me to the stomach – and all the killing I did as a farmer’s son was quick and efficient in that I ensured it was as painless as is possible (I have no objection to killing per se). The rough and tumble of typical manly pursuits such as competitive sports did not interest me at all ... and I felt like a fish out of water during my six years in the military. I felt life deeply, passionately and it is no wonder I fell for the summon bonum of human feelings: the altered state of consciousness known as ‘Spiritual Enlightenment’. After my break-through into actual freedom I went through thirty months of mental anguish thinking that I had lost the plot completely (although physically everything was perfect).
No one could help me as nobody had traversed this territory before.
RESPONDENT: It is a shame that we so often equal lack of feelings with depression, escapism, apathy, lack of: intensity of expression, vital energy and the zest for life. We fail to recognize these chronic, low-level negative states as feelings stemming from our identification as ‘miserable person’. During the time of high intensity when my life is happy (due to a breakthrough in the understanding of life) often a temptation arises to identify the smooth functioning of the system with being a happy being. I think it is important to remember it.
RICHARD: Yes ... it is ‘being’ itself that is the problem irregardless whether one is a happy being or an unhappy being. Of course, whilst one is still a ‘being’ it is preferable to be a happy being any day of the week ... it is simply silly to be unhappy. Also a glum and/or grumpy person locks themselves out of any chance of a pure consciousness experience (PCE) ... and a PCE is one’s best teacher by far. The PCE is indispensable in fully understanding an actual freedom from the human condition ... one needs to experientially know what one’s goal is.
RESPONDENT: By the way, when you replied to my (silly) Borg question with ‘no, I am unable to anthropomorphise’ I then realised you most probably don’t watch Star Trek, because neither do they.
RICHARD: I have not watched Star Trek but I have been made aware of the various personalities by some peoples likening me to this ‘Borg’ character. I have noticed that people, who do not read what I have to say with both eyes open, gain the impression that I am suggesting that people are to stop feeling ... which I am not. My whole point is to cease ‘being’ – psychologically and psychically self-immolate – which means that the entire psyche itself is extirpated. That is, the biological instinctual package handed out by blind nature is deleted like a computer software programme (but with no ‘Recycle Bin’ to retrieve it from) so that the affective faculty is no more. Then – and only then – are there no feelings ... as in a pure consciousness experience (PCE) where, with the self in abeyance, the feelings play no part at all. However, in a PCE the feelings – passion and calenture – can come rushing in, if one is not alert, resulting in the PCE devolving into an altered state of consciousness (ASC) ... complete with a super-self. Indeed, this demonstrates that it is impossible for there to be no feelings whilst there is a self – in this case a Self – thus it is the ‘being’ that has to go first ... not the feelings.
It is impossible to be a ‘stripped-down’ self – divested of feelings – for ‘I’ am ‘my’ feelings and ‘my’ feelings are ‘me’. Anyone who attempts this absurdity would wind up being somewhat like what is known in psychiatric terminology as a ‘sociopathic personality’ (popularly know as ‘psychopath’). Such a person still has feelings – ‘cold’, ‘callous’, ‘indifferent’ – and has repressed the others. What the wide and wondrous path to an actual freedom is on about is a virtual freedom wherein the ‘good’ feelings – the affectionate and desirable emotions and passions (those that are loving and trusting) are minimised along with the ‘bad’ feelings – the hostile and invidious emotions and passions (those that are hateful and fearful) – so that one is free to be feeling good, feeling happy and harmless and feeling excellent/perfect for 99% of the time. If one deactivates the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ feelings and activates the felicitous/ innocuous feelings (happiness, delight, joie de vivre/ bonhomie, friendliness, amiability and so on) with this freed-up affective energy, in conjunction with sensuousness (delectation, enjoyment, appreciation, relish, zest, gusto and so on), then the ensuing sense of amazement, marvel and wonder can result in apperceptiveness (unmediated perception).
RESPONDENT No. 42: When there is no self, how could there be anger and anguish?
RICHARD: Yes ... that was my very question all those years ago. The saints and sages and seers, who said there was no self, 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). The question I asked was: Just what is it that is going on in regards the supposed innocence of the saints and sages and seers?
RESPONDENT: Richard, in reading your recent contributions to this list, such as the example above, I am beginning to question whether you and I use certain words, such as ‘emotions’ in the same way. For it seems that perhaps I use that word in a more inclusive sense of which your use is a subset. Perhaps your use is more restrictive / precise. For example when you express that communicating via the internet is great ‘fun’ – I equate fun to have an emotional component. If joy and fun are non-emotional, they also are not machine like nor dead. What do you call that vivifying facet of each breathtaking moment if not emotional?
RICHARD: I appreciate that what you want to discuss is the ‘vivifying facet’ ... for it cuts straight to the nub of the issue. Put simply: sensuousness and its in-built apperceptive awareness is the vivifying facet (the sensate and cognitive faculties). It is the ability to fully enjoy and appreciate being just here – right now – at this moment in eternal time and at this place in infinite space as this flesh and blood body. In this full enjoyment and appreciation is an amazement that all this wondrous event called life is actually happening ... and a marvelling at the perfection of it all.
It is such fun and a delight to actually be here doing this business called being alive.
As for the words I use to describe the qualities of experiencing life, as this flesh and blood body only, it is sobering to come to understand that all of the 650,000 words in the English language were coined by peoples nursing malice and sorrow to their bosom ... hence most of the expressive words have an affective component. When I first began describing my on-going experience to my fellow human beings I chose words that had the least affective connotations ... coining too many new words would have been counter-productive.
Consequently, the etymology of words can be of assistance in most cases to locate a near-enough to being a non-affective base ... the word ‘enjoy’ for example, is linked with ‘rejoice’ which means ‘gladden’ (from ‘glad’ meaning ‘shining’, ‘bright’, ‘cheerful’, ‘merry’). Of course the word ‘joy’ (from ‘enjoy’, from ‘rejoice’, from ‘gladden’, from ‘shining’) is loaded with the affective feeling for most people ... hence I tend to use it in conjunction with ‘delight’ (as in ‘it is such a joy and a delight to be here’). The word ‘delight’, incidentally, comes from the Latin ‘delectare’ (hence ‘delectation’, ‘delectable’) meaning ‘charm’, allure’ ... and so on through all sub-sets of nuance.
It is pertinent to comprehend that dictionaries are descriptive (and not prescriptive as are scriptures) and reflect more about how words came about, how they have changed, and how they have expanded into other words, rather than what they should mean. I tend to provide dictionary definitions only so as to establish a starting-point for communication ... from this mutually agreed-upon base each co-respondent can apply their own specific nuance of meaning to words as are readily explainable and mutually understandable (such as I do with ‘real’ and ‘actual’ and with ‘truth’ and ‘fact’, for example). Generally I can suss out what the other means by a word via its context and both where they are coming from and what they are wanting to establish ... if not I ask what they are meaning to convey.
As for it being ‘great fun’ communicating via the internet ... it is simply marvellous that I can sit here in my lounge-room in a seaside village and have my words be available, and potentially accessible by all 6.0 billion peoples on this planet (‘potentially’ meaning, of course, being given access to computers – such as in internet cafes – and the ability to read and comprehend English), totally free of charge ... and with nary a tree being chopped down in order to do so.
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.