Richard’s Selected Correspondence
On Affective Feelings
(Emotions, Passions, Calentures)
RESPONDENT: Does a dog have a ‘who’ it feels it is or does it just feel?
RICHARD: Dogs just feel ... there is some evidence that chimpanzees are ‘self’-conscious (but not monkeys) and, possibly, dolphins.
RESPONDENT: If thought continues to operate even more sensibly without a thinker then why not emotions?
RICHARD: Thought can only operate sensibly without both the thinker (the ego-self) and the feeler (the soul-self/ spirit-self) – as evidenced by the nonsensical thought spiritual enlightenment/ mystical awakenment generates by the bucket-load – and, as ‘I’ am ‘my’ feelings and ‘my’ feelings are ‘me’, then the extirpation of the one is, simultaneously, the ending of the other.
Incidentally, as all babies are born feeling (but not thinking), the thinker essentially arises out of the feeler (aka ‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being ... which is ‘being’ itself) and is not just a product of thought.
RESPONDENT: Are there instinctual thoughts just as there are instinctual emotions?
RESPONDENT: One thing that puzzled me though – I could understand the objections to all the content (as I was going through all that), but why the respondents objected to the style and coherent presentation and inquiry into the issues involved? why did they cop-out in between? of course the answer can be found within me: the various beliefs and opinions one has is not interested in total and coherent inquiry; it is far, far difficult to substantiate all the emotionally felt ‘truths’ etc. which are ‘previously acquired images/ideas that reflect neither autonomous reasoning nor apperception’.
RICHARD: Yes ... the term ‘cognitive dissonance’ would be better described as a ‘feeling-fed cognitive dissonance’ as it is not just a mental blockage which causes people to be unable to grasp innovative things that are to their own advantage and to fight so hard to retain the existing belief systems which are inimical to their welfare.
It is the strangest of incongruities in regards to human pertinacity that peoples will invent reasons and struggle to maintain a state of affairs that is detrimental to their own advancement ... even those conditions which enslave them.
RESPONDENT: I really liked this one Richard: [quote]: ‘Hmm ... if I were so foolish as to arrange live dialogues would I have to brush my hair another way, wear a collar and tie, sit up straight and look right into the camera, enunciate each syllable without slurring and not pick my nose/ scratch my ear/ whatever?’ [endquote]. …/clear your throat/ scratch your balls/ etc/etc. That’s good Richard! I thought you had lost your sense of humour together with your feelings?
RICHARD: Life in this actual world is not the same as science fiction (such as ‘Star Trek’ for example) as the authors/ script writers are imagining what it would be like to be an identity sans feelings ... and not a flesh and blood body sans identity in toto (‘I’ am ‘my’ feelings and ‘my’ feelings are ‘me’).
This is because imagination is such a poor substitute for the actual.
RESPONDENT: Aren’t you being just a tinny little malicious here?
RICHARD: No, I am being droll.
RESPONDENT: Sorry, I am the one who is being malicious!
RESPONDENT: But if you are afraid [apprehensive, embarrassed, concerned, have aversion] of using a video camera ...
RICHARD: If I may point out? There is no fear here in this actual world ... nor any disquiet, disquietude, inquietude, uneasiness, nervousness, nervous tension, apprehension, apprehensiveness, sheepishness, shyness, timidity, timidness, timorousness, butterflies in the stomach, embarrassment, anxiousness, fretfulness, funk, jitters, blue funk, quailing, quaking, quavering, heebie-jeebies, appalment, worry, worriment, insecurity, anxiety, angst, alarm, agitation, palpitation, perturbation, trepidation, fright, affright, being scared, being frightened, being afraid, being spooked, fearfulness, awe, foreboding, panic, terror, horror, horrification, petrifaction or dread.
RESPONDENT: ... why don’t you continue using your audio recorder and make the files available, as you do with the zip files?
RICHARD: Because it is the content of the words which is important and not the sound of them as produced by this voice box.
RESPONDENT: Wouldn’t it be easier than transcribing them?
RICHARD: The only conversations I have ever recorded are the ones already transcribed – and which are available on The Actual Freedom Trust web site – and I have never recorded any more since then (May – July 1997).
RESPONDENT: If you have any valid insights, then get on with discussing them.
RICHARD: I have much to say ... and I have said it and still do say it. You, however, arbitrarily dismissed some of it in one and a half sentences when writing to another. Vis.:
Now, there are those who hold the ‘Tabular Rasa’ philosophy – only at the expense of ignoring biology and denying that the human animal is an animal – and maintain that all the ills of humankind are the result of conditioning. Yet they cannot successfully answer the conundrum they thus create: who conditioned the first sentient beings to emerge on this planet? (There was even one woman who told me recently that girl-babies are born without aggression ... and that men put aggression into them). Yet I ask people to not only look at emotions ... I stress the entire affective faculty. That is: emotion, passion and calenture. What does No. 4 have to say about passion? Vis.:
Now, the word ‘calenture’ is an incredibly useful word as it describes the delirious passion needed to manifest the delusion that:
Calenture is a name formerly given to various fevers occurring in tropics, among sailors, which sometimes led the affected person to imagine the sea to be a green field, and to throw himself into it. Vis.: ‘calenture; n.: [1593; ka-len-chur]: a form of furious delirium accompanied by fever; calenturally; adv.: to see as in the delirium of one affected with calenture: [poetic]: ‘Hath fed on pageants floating through the air. Or calentures in depths of limpid flood’. (Wordsworth). [etymology: from Spanish: calentura, calenture: heat, fever; from calentar: to heat; from Latin: calent, calens, calere: to be warm]. Synonyms: delirium, passion, ardour, fervour, fire, zeal, rapture, ecstasy’.
And what does No. 4 have to say about his experience when he brings passion into his life so as to manifest the ‘energy of love which is what I AM’? The ‘god-words’ like ‘sacred’ are used. Vis.:
This is a prime example of the affective faculty – endowed by blind nature as instinctual passion – at work. One simply stops the only intelligence there is – human thought – and allows passion to rule, eh? Coincidentally, Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti recommends the same course of action ... as do all the Saints and Sages, Gurus and God-men, Messiahs and Masters, Avatars and Saviours down through the ages. This is the ‘Tried and True’ ... it has had thousands of years to demonstrate its efficacy for bringing about peace-on-earth and it has failed again and again. The time-honoured methods of living a life happily and harmoniously have failed miserably, yet peoples persist in travelling the hoary path, again and again, thinking it is they who are doing something wrong by not applying ‘The Teachings’ correctly. Nobody has the temerity to question the ‘wisdom’ of the ages.
I did ... and I do. How many times must a person trek, eagerly or tiredly, along a path that is well-worn with the countless feet that have trodden it previously, before they will become suspicious enough to relinquish their fascination with such spurious solutions? It is so much fun finding an alternative way of living ... and the rewards are immensely gratifying. Each day one’s life becomes better and better, as one becomes clearer and cleaner ... and more pure. One sets this all in motion by discovering ‘what I am’. One of the many ‘truths’ that one has accepted, with no suspicion, is that ‘we are all emotional beings’. Feelings – emotions and passions and calentures – are accepted, without question, as being the touch-stone of actuality. Thus ‘who I really am’ is an affective ‘being’ ... a psychological or psychic entity residing inside this body. This may be real, but it is not actual. ‘I’, as an affective ‘being’ am not a fact ... ‘I’ am a belief. A belief is an emotion-backed thought, generally supported by the ‘outside’ world. The people who were already here when one was born impressed upon one that ‘I’ am real ... implying that ‘I’ am actual. By actual I mean tangible, substantial. ‘I’ am not tangible: ‘I’ am a fiction, not a fact.
By discovering what I actually am, I realise that who ‘I’ was, an affective-backed thought, was a usurper ... an alien entity having only psychological or psychic existence. ‘I’ am a ‘being’, and if by chance ‘I’ happen to ‘find myself’, then ‘I’ become a divine ‘Being’. The shift from being ‘human’ to being ‘divine’ is a move from the real-world normal reality to Divine-World abnormal Greater Reality. It is all a play in a super-charged imagination and has nothing to do with fact. It all stems from being ‘open’ and ‘humble’ and desiring to know ‘who’ one really is ... which is an invitation to ‘that which is sacred’ to enter and take over one’s ‘being’. The result is to be graced with being Love Agapé and Divine Compassion ... and being charged with a sacred mission to spread the hallowed ‘Teachings’ throughout the world. This has all been done before, from the ancient to the modern, for ages unto ages, with disastrous results. Instead of bringing peace and harmony into the world, they have brought war and hate.
RESPONDENT: I hope this doesn’t offend you but your mental gymnastics do not lead me to explore myself or life ...
RICHARD: I am not offended at all ... because it has nothing to do with ‘mental gymnastics’ whatsoever. My success is all about examining those beloved feelings and revealing them in the bright light of awareness for once and for all. Of course, you are free to do whatever you please with your life.
RESPONDENT: ... only to feel sad that you are so in love with yourself that you cannot allow others to explore without superimposing your egotistical opinions and conclusions on them.
RICHARD: There is no need to feel sad, because I have no love whatsoever. And as this is the second time that you have used the word ‘explore’ I must ask: How far have you proceeded? Have you succeeded yet? Because – a word of warning here – if you do, then be well aware that some sourpuss somewhere will pop up and tell you that you are ... [ insert whatever gripe here ] ... in order to make themselves feel better. It is called ‘The Tall Poppy Syndrome’.
RICHARD: Do you see what I mean when I repeatedly write about morals being those ‘unliveable edicts handed down by bodiless entities’?
RESPONDENT: I see your point and elect to focus instead on right living in the moment rather than considering your version of ‘ain’t it awful’.
RICHARD: If I may point out? Your ‘right living’ is based upon re-hashed pithy aphorisms (which may or may not include ‘right’ views, ‘right’ intention, ‘right’ speech, ‘right’ action, ‘right’ livelihood, ‘right’ effort, ‘right’ awareness and ‘right’ concentration). Thus you are ‘electing to focus’ upon ‘Ancient Wisdom’ instead of thinking for yourself.
RESPONDENT: Excuse me if this sound rude. What do I know? Nothing to speak of.
RICHARD: You can be as rude as you wish ... I never take offence. As for your query ‘What do I know?’ and your NDA answer ‘Nothing to speak of’ ... for one who professes to know nothing to speak of, you spoke plenty already. Vis.:
Thus by agreeing to ‘love’s success; compassion’s effectiveness and beauty’s encouragement’ you make out that you know that the ‘Tried and True’ is effective in curing all the ills of humankind. You say this despite the fact that the Gurus and the God-Men; the Avatars and the Saviours; the Masters and the Messiahs; the Saints and the Sages have had 3,000 to 5,000 years to demonstrate the effectiveness of ‘love’s success; compassion’s effectiveness and beauty’s encouragement’ ... and peace on earth is nowhere to be found.
Therefore I ask, just how much longer will a ‘Tried and Failed’ system continue to be so highly revered despite its abject failure to produce the goods? Is it because these attitudes and attributes form a ‘web’ of solace and succour wherein ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul can be comforted, stroked, endorsed and perpetuated? Is this why nobody will put love and compassion and beauty under a microscope?
If thought can get such rigorous scrutiny as the Mailing List gives it ... why not feelings?
RESPONDENT: If all of you will I need feed back from each of you. I have posted many messages to you and with each I ‘Hold Back’ given I do not care to ‘touch your ego’ (hurt you ). If permission is given me to speak as needed with no concern as to feeling it would be perfect.
RICHARD: If you see that ‘concern as to feeling’ is a factor to take into consideration in your dealings with others ... then why can you not see that feelings are the root cause of mayhem and misery?
Other people’s precious feelings do not rule me.
RESPONDENT: Richard, With a Huge Smile I say I see it.
RICHARD: I think not. If you do see that feelings are the root cause, then why do you advocate Love and Compassion as the cure? It is like throwing petrol on a fire to put it out.
RESPONDENT: If another’s feelings are not taken into consideration, you will be speaking with and to yourself only.
RICHARD: There speaks he who says that he has been failing for nineteen years. There are people here where I live – and at other places in the world – who both listen and speak with me with more than a passing interest. There are some who are fascinated with life, the universe and what it is to be a human being living in this world as it is with people as they are. There are, in fact, some people in this world who have not lost the plot so completely as to turn away when someone points out that feelings are the bane of humankind.
RICHARD: Therefore I ask, just how much longer will a ‘Tried and Failed’ system continue to be so highly revered despite its abject failure to produce the goods? Is it because these attitudes and attributes form a ‘web’ of solace and succour wherein ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul can be comforted, stroked, endorsed and perpetuated? Is this why nobody will put love and compassion and beauty under a microscope? If thought can get such rigorous scrutiny as the Mailing List gives it ... why not feelings? Are feelings sacrosanct?
RESPONDENT: Hum Richard, what does ‘sacrosanct’ mean?
RICHARD: Off-limits. (Oxford Dictionary: sacrosanct: exempt from criticism; inviolable, sacred; secured from violation or infringement (as) by religious sanction).
RESPONDENT: As long as you ‘show’ your knowledge your ‘Intelligence’ cannot show through (if there is any).
RICHARD: As you are on record as defining ‘Intelligence’ as being ‘love in action’ then am I to take it that you, too, are not going to put it under the microscope? I guess not ... given that you have oft-times proudly explained how you are an ‘empty vessel’ for Love and/or Truth to come through, eh?
RESPONDENT: Feelings are not real, they are like knowledge, a lie! (No. 10, being non knowledgeable).
RICHARD: Aye ... and to think that all this while you have been busily being an ‘empty vessel’ for something that is ‘not real’ to come through.
Is this because Love and/or Truth is sacrosanct?
RESPONDENT: Hum. Please tell me anew, what does sacrosanct mean to you, Richard, perhaps using one word? No. 10, an empty vessel, for something that is ‘not real’ (or real) to pass through, unencumbered!
RICHARD: Is it because ‘off-limits’ is hyphenated that it does not constitute one word for you? Why is it important that it be a single word? But, okay then ... how about these: ‘unchallengeable’, ‘untouchable’, ‘unalterable’, ‘interdicted’, ‘exempt’, ‘precluded’, ‘taboo’, ‘forbidden’, ‘prohibited’, ‘banned’, ‘proscribed’, ‘vetoed’, ‘outlawed’, ‘embargoed’, ‘excluded’, and/or ‘inalienable’?
How about that, eh ... not a hyphen in sight? Now, what about two words? Vis.: ‘sacred cows’, ‘ruled out’, ‘not permitted’, ‘not acceptable’, ‘frowned on’, ‘beyond the pale’ and/or ‘it is not the done thing’ (oops, more than two words).
So, to re-run the question: ‘Why will nobody put love and compassion and beauty under a microscope? If thought can get such rigorous scrutiny as the Mailing List gives it ... why not feelings? Are feelings ‘off-limits’ as in being unchallengeable and untouchable and unalterable and interdicted and exempt and precluded and tabooed and forbidden and prohibited and banned and proscribed and vetoed and outlawed and embargoed and excluded and inalienable ‘sacred cows’? Are feelings ‘ruled out’ of scrutiny as in being not permitted and not acceptable and frowned on and beyond the pale to examine because it is not the done thing to be iconoclastic?’
RICHARD: Why will nobody put love and compassion and beauty under a microscope? If thought can get such rigorous scrutiny as the Mailing List gives it ... why not feelings? Are feelings sacrosanct?
RESPONDENT: No, feelings are not sacrosanct.
RICHARD: Good. What have you discovered in regards to the original question that prompted you to ask ‘Hum Richard, what does ‘sacrosanct’ mean?’ and tell me that ‘As long as you ‘show’ your knowledge your ‘Intelligence’ cannot show through (if there is any)’? Now, I only ask this because you are on record as defining ‘Intelligence’ as being ‘love in action’ and I took it that you, too, were not going to put it under the microscope (given that you have oft-times proudly explained how you are an ‘empty vessel’ for Love and/or Truth to come through) because you then thought that ‘Feelings are not real, they are like knowledge, a lie’. So, now that you have unambiguously told me that feelings are not sacrosanct (even to the point of examining the word twice) I am very interested to hear of your examination of, say, love and compassion and beauty?
RESPONDENT: Okay Richard, here it is: Love: has no feelings; is eternal; cannot be ‘perfectly’ described.
RICHARD: If Love ‘has no feelings’, as you say, is it because it ‘cannot be ‘perfectly’ described’ that it cannot be perfectly examined? If you cannot put it into words satisfactorily (cannot think about it thoroughly) then how can you understand it ... let alone examine it for its feeling content? To put it another way: if Love is not affective ... what is its disposition? If Love is not cognitive ... what is its constitution? If Love is not sensate ... what is its nature?
Because, if Love ‘is eternal’ as you say (and flesh and blood bodies are not), then is Love not immaterial (non-physical)?
RESPONDENT: Compassion: something a person needs for themself to themself 100% of the day.
RICHARD: If Compassion is ‘something a person needs for themself to themselves’ then it is obviously essential ... especially as you explicitly state ‘100% of the day’ . If it is that crucial, then does it stand scrutiny for being impeccable? Is Compassion affective in its nature ... or sensate (surely it is not cognitive)?
RESPONDENT: Beauty: I don’t know, it is of thought that beauty is born.
RICHARD: Ahh ... but is beauty solely the product of thought? Does it not have an affective component (as in ‘it was so beautiful it took my breath away’)? And where is Truth to be found if not in beauty? Is Truth a product of thought?
RESPONDENT: (No. 10, who lives under a 2000 power microscope of himself 100% of the time).
RESPONDENT: Huge Smile Richard, while your answer was long and ever repeating your other messages, I thank you for the intent.
RICHARD: Seeing that my intent is to have feelings (like love and compassion and beauty) receive the self-same scrutiny as this Mailing List gives to thought and that seeing that you have adroitly avoided the issue entirely, whilst proclaiming that ‘feelings are not real, they are like knowledge, a lie’ , by trying to convince me (like you have convinced yourself) that by saying ‘Love: has no feelings; is eternal; cannot be ‘perfectly’ described’ and that ‘Compassion: something a person needs for themself to themself 100% of the day’ and that ‘ Beauty: I don’t know, it is of thought that beauty is born’ that it constitutes an exploration, then I would say that you have good reason to have a ‘Huge Smile’ ... albeit a smug, self-satisfied smile.
If my answer was indeed ‘long and ever repeating my other messages’ ... what has that to do with your avowal that ‘No [feelings are not sacrosanct]’ yet all the while trying to duck-shove the issue with a bland ‘I thank you for the intent’ response? Why not address the question? Given that you have oft-times proudly explained how you are an ‘empty vessel’ for Love and/or Truth to come through, why do you wish to remain ignorant of the constitution, disposition or nature of this miraculous cure-all that you are channelling through to a benighted humanity? Do you actually care about your fellow human?
You may think that you are fooling me, but you are only fooling yourself, when all is said and done.
RESPONDENT: There was no anger.
RICHARD: Why would you feel prompted to say this? As we were talking about love and compassion and beauty and not anger, then what has anger – or no anger – got to do with the issue under discussion? Is this another red-herring ... or ... or mayhap there was some anger, eh? Otherwise, why mention it?
RICHARD: Mr. Bhanthe Henepola Gunaratana says: ‘We defend ourselves saying, ‘I have every right to defend my feelings when somebody hurts my feelings’. When you universalise your feelings you become more mindful about not saying anything to hurt anybody’ . Is this a healthy approach?
RESPONDENT: It is not clear what he meant by universalising feelings.
RICHARD: He meant that scriptural adage about doing unto others as you would have them do unto you ... thus the affective feelings rule the world.
RESPONDENT: Feelings or reactions are factual and have an effect and as such are treated with due respect.
RICHARD: Yea verily ... and therein lies the problem. This ‘respect’ ultimately means respect for physical force, for if one upsets another’s feelings sufficiently, they will become violent. Thus, through violence, people’s precious feelings rule the world ... and look at the mess it is in.
RICHARD: He teaches: ‘Pay total attention to your own feeling and begin to notice the pleasant feeling behind your unpleasant feeling’ . This is in contradiction to his point above.
RESPONDENT: Paying full attention is not grasping after. There is a difference between trying to avoid or alter the unpleasant, and seeing what is pleasant, interesting, or instructive in what is superficially an unpleasant feeling.
RICHARD: But ... do you not see that his advice about ‘neither clinging to the pleasant nor rejecting the unpleasant’ is only skin-deep? He actually wants to get past the superficial and cling to the deeper feelings (affective feelings). In fact, if he were to go all the way, he would become those deepest (affective) feelings ... he would ‘be’ them’ (and we all know what they are ... Love and Compassion). He would ‘be’ Love. He would ‘be’ Compassion. Then he would say that Love and Compassion are not feelings at all ... he would say that they are a state of being.
Golly gosh ... he would be a Buddha!
RICHARD: He finishes with: ‘If you mindfully watch your own mind and feelings, you can see very clearly and unequivocally that what you feel is your own creation and that you are totally responsible for it’. As all sentient beings are born with the instinctual passions of fear and aggression and nurture and desire – bestowed by blind nature – how do you think he could say that ‘what you feel is your own creation and that you are totally responsible for it’?
RESPONDENT: What is brought about mechanically or blindly continues unless there is awareness and understanding of how it is these energies, compulsions, habits, etc are actually operating. They operate through identifications and attachments. It is our responsibility to bring about a natural order which means to understand what is disordered.
RICHARD: But the ‘natural order’ is these instinctive passions ... or do you say that what blind nature endows all sentient beings with at birth is un-natural? Is this understanding of yours not back-to-front? Why not do something un-natural? Why not dispense with what is the ‘natural order’? After all, it has bought nothing but mayhem and misery thus far in human history.
RICHARD: He finishes with: ‘Mindfully watching the continuous change of your own feelings can make you abstain from emotional reactions and make you see the truth of your own feelings. Mindfulness of feelings will not cause you to think obsessive thoughts or abusive thoughts or harmful thoughts. By unmindful thinking you abuse your mind. The abused mind always generates abusive feelings, which always is painful’. Do you think that it is the mind that generates feelings – be they pleasant or unpleasant – as he says?
RESPONDENT: Yes, it seems that egoistic feelings stem from what he calls an abused mind.
RICHARD: You say ‘it seems’ ... do feelings, in fact, originate in the mind?
(Bearing in mind that he means, by the term ‘mind’ , thought and thinking ... and not the physical brain).
It has been demonstrated that the basic passions originate in the brain-stem (popularly called the ‘reptilian brain’) of all sentient beings ... even those without a cerebral cortex. As thinking and thought exist only in the human cerebral cortex, how can he say that ‘emotional reactions’ (which all animals have) are generated by the mind? Does he know what he is talking about?
Is his wisdom, in fact, nothing but psittacisms?
Did Mr. Gotama the Sakyan (if there ever was such a flesh and blood person anyway) know about the ‘reptilian brain’ being the seat of passion?
Is this why Buddhism has been ineffective in bringing about Peace On Earth despite two and a half thousand years in which to do so?
There is as much suffering now as back then.
RESPONDENT: The more mind is identified, not aware, not free to observe, the greater the suffering. The mind that is boundless, not entangled with transient thoughts, feelings and sensations is ecstatic.
RICHARD: Yeah ... and therein lies the enticement of those deeper feelings: ‘ecstatic’, eh? Ecstasy is affective.
RESPONDENT: Well Richard, at least now I can read you message [Apramanas In Action] without all of the errors, now can you at least shorten them, so I will read them?
Thus even an encyclopaedia classifies compassion as being a function of the affective faculty.
RESPONDENT: So Richard given what you have printed, would you say that if a person is ‘perfect’ they would be perfect in every domain described?
RESPONDENT: I wonder Richard, why folks confuse ‘feelings’ which are not real and are removable with ‘emotions’ why are of the humanness, real and non removable?
RICHARD: The word <feeling> serves two faculties (sensate and affective) as in ‘I feel the sun on my face’ or ‘I feel the wind in my hair (sensate feeling) and ‘I feel hateful’ or ‘I feel loving’ (affective feeling). Thus when I write about the affective feelings I am meaning it as all the emotions and passions and calentures ... it is an all-inclusive term. The affective feelings include both the affectionate and desirable emotions and/or passions and/or calentures (those that are loving and trusting) and hostile and invidious emotions and/or passions and/or calentures (those that are hateful and fearful). This means the entire ‘software package’ of malice and sorrow along with its antidotal love and compassion in its totality ... all which are born of the instincts: the fear and aggression (savage) and nurture and desire (tender) genetically encoded by blind nature as a ‘rough and ready’ survival package. As it is ‘software’ and not ‘hardware’ it can be deleted in its totality when it is no longer needed. And as intelligence (the ability to think, to reflect and plan and implement considered action for beneficial reasons) has evolved in one carbon-based life-form – the human species – it is no longer needed. This ‘quick and dirty’ reactionary package is now a hindrance – a liability rather than an asset – and the 160,000,000 human beings killed in wars this century by their fellow human beings bears stark testimony to this observation.
In my experience the whole lot are ‘removable’ – but only when the rudimentary animal self lurking around in the centre of these feelings psychologically and psychically self-immolates – and not just the so-called ‘bad’ ones (the savage instincts). That is, both the ‘good’ feelings, the affectionate and desirable emotions and/or passions and/or calentures (those that are loving and trusting) and the ‘bad’ feelings, the hostile and invidious emotions and/or passions and/or calentures (those that are hateful and fearful) are no longer extant. The result is an individual peace-on-earth.
RESPONDENT: Your answer could be improved with a bit of humour – become a little more human, like?
RICHARD: Hokey-dokey ... but why just ‘a little’ more human, though? Would you like me to include a dash of anger, perhaps? A sprinkling of hate? Toss in a trifling of sadness? A measure of grief? Add a garnish of love? Wrap it in compassion and !Bingo! ... a lot more human.
RESPONDENT: Less robotic ...
RICHARD: Speaking personally, what I find ‘robotic’ is all the oh-so-predictable wars, murders, tortures, rapes and destruction that have eventually followed the emergence of any specially hallowed Messiah or Master, Guru or God-Man, Saint or Sage, Avatar or Saviour. Also, all the sadness, loneliness, grief, depression and suicide that has ensued as a result of following any specifically revered religious or spiritual teaching renders its mute testimony to ‘robotic’ behaviour ... for anyone with the eyes to see.
RESPONDENT: ... less staccato.
RICHARD: And less fortissimo as well? More pianissimo maybe?
RESPONDENT: While you reset the humour dial, the ‘claims’ dial could also do with a little going over.
RICHARD: It is the belief about ‘loving all creatures and the environment’ that is insidious, for this is how you are manipulated by those who seek to control you.
RESPONDENT: I agree with you that belief is insidious. We ARE the beliefs. We like the control of the belief, for then we can just ‘kick’ back and live by what we ‘believe’, think, and the most insidious of these beliefs is the belief in our own knowledge. It is on the soft, comforting pillow of knowledge that we lay our heads, hearts, feelings.
RICHARD: From the way you write the rest of your post, it does not sound all that comforting to me.
RESPONDENT: I have no belief in my feelings.
RICHARD: If you say so ... if I were you I would re-examine this statement, however.
RESPONDENT: These are ‘actual’. There are feelings of ‘sadness’; ‘pleasure’, the labels, but these are actually emotions, not feelings.
RICHARD: The word ‘feelings’ covers the whole gamut of the affective faculties: emotions, passions and calenture (and the word ‘calenture’ is deliberately used because it means a feverish, burning and zealous ardour that results in delirium and hallucinations).
RESPONDENT: By feelings I – mean something ‘deeper’ than thought, than emotion ... something connected to something more real ... like insight.
RICHARD: ‘More real’? Are there gradations of reality? It must be a hassle trying to determine what is more or less real ... I am glad that I stick to facts and actuality. A fact is obvious ... never ‘more or less’ a fact. Actuality is self-evident ... there is no need to ascertain if some thing is more or less actual.
And an insight is seeing the fact ... direct seeing. It is not a feeling ... be it ‘deep’ or otherwise. You are interchanging ‘insight’ (awareness, discernment, understanding, penetration, acumen, perspicacity, discrimination) with ‘intuition’ (sixth sense, divination, presentiment, clairvoyance, second sight, extrasensory perception, instinct). And intuition has a poor track record for veracity. The best that intuition has ever done when tested exactly is a 53.4% accuracy ... which is only marginally above guess-work anyway (and that was the best result ... the rest are 50/50).
RESPONDENT: By ‘no belief in them’, I mean that they do not offer security, do not offer something from which I derive comfort, are not something lasting.
RICHARD: Then why defend them so? The only thing that offers ‘security’ is ceasing to exist as an ego ‘I’ and a soul ‘me’; the only thing that offers ‘comfort’ is the utter safety of being here now; the only thing that is lasting is the infinitude of this physical universe ... and by ‘infinitude’ I am referring to being where this moment in eternal time and this place in infinite space intersect. In the jargon it is called: ‘being here now’ ... only I mean it as this flesh and blood body and not as some ‘Immortal Self’.
RESPONDENT: They are what they are, from moment to moment.
RICHARD: Just what does that mean: ‘they are what they are’? It sounds like a platitude to me. Anyway, feelings are downright destructive: 160,000,000 million people killed in wars this century alone, according to the most recent estimate I have heard.
RESPONDENT: They are never the same.
RICHARD: Oh, yes they are ... they are tediously repetitious.
RESPONDENT: Sometimes they are. Those are the emotions.
RICHARD: Not only the emotions ... also the passions and calenture. And from the way you are leaning toward having faith in intuition ... so to is the psychic. It is all the same-same stuff that human beings have fallen prey to for millennia ... with disastrous results.
RESPONDENT: They are always .
RICHARD: Oh, no they are not ... they are the same old same old.
RESPONDENT: These are the insights. They just come to one ‘out of the blue’. This is what I mean by ‘true feelings’, the sixth sense. You are a firm adherent to the five senses; haven’t you come in contact with the sixth one yet?
RICHARD: Yes ... many years ago. You are not talking to a beginner here ... I have already been down that path. The ‘sixth sense’ is where one enters into the psychic world of prescience and clairvoyance and all that stuff. Also notoriously unreliable ... and down-right dangerous into the bargain.
RESPONDENT: Don’t you ever just ‘know things’ without any reason or rhyme? Do you listen to this sixth sense?
RICHARD: No ... I no longer have it. Intuition (and the imaginative faculty that it is born of) disappeared completely in 1992 when the soul ‘me’ vanished entirely from this body. Thus I know as a fact that it is all born of the affective faculties, as I have had no feelings at all since then.
RESPONDENT: For instance, a couple of years ago some numbers came to me, in my ‘feelings’. I knew they were ‘magic’ numbers, but I didn’t know what to do with them ... we don’t have a lottery in Arkansas, and I have no idea how a lottery works anyway ... something to do with numbers. Anyway, we were driving through a state where gambling was legal, and when we sat down to eat, the waitress brought us a card to play keno on. I had a certificate to play the game, but I didn’t know how. It was worth a two dollar bet, so I used all of my numbers, and they came up sequentially on the game board and I won a hundred dollars. (Now I know that if I had played only my numbers, I would have won about $50,000). I knew I was wasting the numbers because I just knew (felt) they were worth a lot of money, but I had been carrying them around in my head for a long time, and I was ready to get rid of them. This is not the only instance of ‘feelings’ I have had ... when you just know things that have happened or are going to happen.
RICHARD: This is a subject that I have examined with great interest over the years ... it is not something that I have discarded capriciously. These days, when someone sits in my living room and makes these kind of statements – detailing their case-history – I always ask them to remember when their much-treasured intuition did not work ... and eventually they come to see that it works out at about 50/50. As this equals guess-work, they invariably leave much more soberly – and wiser – than when they came in. Intuition cannot survive scrutiny.
RESPONDENT: Over the years I learned not to listen to this sixth sense. It was always uncomfortable for me being around people because I could ‘feel’ what they were feeling. That was no fun, and when I was younger I couldn’t differentiate between who was feeling what. I thought the feelings were mine, and they weren’t.
RICHARD: Yes ... this is the psychic connection between normal human beings and it is born of the affective faculties. In particular: fear. Hence group highs can turn into mob riots, as fear is an unstable affective state.
RESPONDENT: So by feelings, Richard, I mean something more than the feelings that cause wars and hunger and great disparities, emotions.
RICHARD: Not so ... these are the very feelings that ‘cause wars and hunger and great disparities’ . Maybe a case may be made that they are not emotions ... but they are certainly passions and calenture. Added to the psychic dimension, they are a volatile mixture.
RESPONDENT: It takes a lot of patience; a lot of love and care; and an absence of judgement to live through the feelings. I don’t mean living ‘through’ feelings, but without attachment to the feelings.
RICHARD: Who is the person that is ‘without attachment to the feelings’?
RESPONDENT: And who would be the one to dispense with them?
RICHARD: You are not Jewish, by any chance, are you ... answering a question with a counter-question? Yet I find it easy to answer, nevertheless: The ego ‘I’ can self-immolate psychologically. The soul ‘me’ can self-immolate psychically. Psychological and psychic self-immolation is the only sensible sacrifice that ‘I’ and ‘me’ can make in order to reveal perfection. Life is bursting with meaning when ‘I’ and ‘me’ are no longer present to mess things up. ‘I’ and ‘me’ stand in the way of that purity being apparent. ‘My’ presence prohibits perfection being evident. ‘I’ and ‘me’ prevent the very meaning to life, which ‘I’ and ‘me’ are searching for, from coming into plain view. The main trouble is that ‘I’ and ‘me’ wish to remain in existence to savour the meaning; ‘I’ and ‘me’ mistakenly think that meaning is the product of the mind and the heart. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Apperceptive awareness makes self-immolation possible.
Then 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 ‘I’ and ‘me’, the distance or separation between ‘I’ and ‘me’ and ‘my’ senses – and thus the external world – disappears. To be the senses as a bare awareness is apperception, a pure consciousness experience (PCE) of the world as-it-is. Because there is no ‘I’ as an observer – a little person inside one’s head – or ‘me’ as a feeler – a little person inside one’s heart – to have sensations, I am the sensations. There is nothing except the series of sensations which happen ... not to ‘I’ or ‘me’ but just happening ... moment by moment ... one after another. To be 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’ were standing in the way of meaning.
RESPONDENT: One is separate from reality because in reality there is no psychological time. ‘I’ do not exist in reality. In actuality, we function in time. Verbalisation is time. Thought is time. In reality, verbalisation, the word, naming, does not exist unless it is necessary for it to function. The truth is ‘what is’, and whatever one thinks will not change that. If one is deceiving oneself about what is truth, the truth of the matter is that one is deceiving oneself, but that fact does not make the deceit truth. That deceit is totally thought. Let’s not enter into word games but try to get to the reality behind the words.
RICHARD: Sure can ... the ‘reality behind the words’ is that ‘I’ will do anything to stay in existence. After all, ‘I’ have been charged by blind nature to survive at any cost with the powerful instinct for survival. Thus ‘I’ will blame thought so as to distract attention away from the real culprit ... ‘I’ the ‘thinker’. When the attention becomes too great I the ‘thinker – ego ‘I’ – can disappear ... only to reappear as ‘me’ in the heart. Of course ‘I’ will be as humble as all get-out in the hope that no one will notice that ‘I’ am still in existence. A loving self is still a self, nevertheless. This is why no one will examine their feelings with the scrutiny they apply to their thoughts.
RESPONDENT: If one sees the seriously lacking nature of ‘humanity’ then it must at least be questioned.
RICHARD: In order to call it ‘the seriously lacking nature of humanity’ then one must already be seeing it ... unless it is a platitude. Therefore, if one is already seeing it one is already questioning it – and as ‘I’ am ‘humanity’ and ‘humanity’ is ‘me’ and a journey into your own psyche is a journey into humanity’s psyche – how far have you proceeded in your questioning?
RESPONDENT: I am currently discovering some of the deep parts of my emotional weakness and entanglement. Not just pretending that what someone says doesn’t hurt but finding out why it does. There is freedom that comes from that, to act towards resolving other issues, but first things first.
RICHARD: So your questioning of ‘the seriously lacking nature of humanity’ so far amounts to finding out why you feel offended ... is that it?
RESPONDENT: Not what it amounts to, what it amounts to is freedom to look at these things.
RICHARD: Yes ... but what are ‘these things’ that you called ‘the seriously lacking nature of humanity’? And how far have you proceeded in your questioning?
RICHARD: And when there is freedom from that you can act towards resolving ... what other issues?
RESPONDENT: For example the problem of someone giving you a hard time.
RICHARD: There is no need to be concerned about someone giving me a hard time ... their best efforts are but futile fulminations which leave me totally untouched. We were talking about you and your ‘freedom to act towards resolving other issues’. Speaking generally, people will continue give you a hard time way off into the foreseeable future ... the question is: what are you doing about this in reference to yourself? Is this a stumbling block to further investigation? I endeavoured to address the other question that arose out of you saying ‘there is freedom that comes from that, to act towards resolving other issues, but first things first’ (the first thing being you getting hurt) and what you came back with was what other people do to you. Therefore, could it be that – for you – being hurt by someone is the epitome of ‘the seriously lacking nature of humanity’? Because, if not, then is this issue not a trifle trivial? There are wars and rapes and murders and tortures and domestic violence and child abuse and suicide going on all about you as you read these words ... and what I get from you is that you are concerned about is finding out why your feelings are being hurt. Is this issue central to the ‘other issues?’ (I am attempting to find out just what it is that you experience as the ‘seriously lacking nature of humanity’, you see).
RICHARD: These ‘breaks in the investigation’ where you ‘couldn’t care less’ about your plight – and your plight is the plight of humanity – stem from what? Why is your investigation not top priority in your life? Do you, in fact, really see ‘the seriously lacking nature of humanity’? If you did ... would there be ‘breaks in your investigation’? Would it not be a twenty four hour a day investigation? Why do you not care about the plight of humanity ... which is your plight?
RESPONDENT: I guess it is when one does not sense anything wrong investigation ceases.
RICHARD: Do you mean by ‘not sense anything wrong’ not ‘feeling anything wrong’ ? Sensing, after all, literally means looking with the eyes, hearing with the ears, smelling with the nose, tasting with the tongue and feeling with the skin. I am aware that – just like the word ‘feeling’ – the word ‘sensing’ has to serve two purposes ... it also means ‘feeling out’ as in ‘intuiting’ and so on. These activities are affective, of course, not sensate. Do you see that feelings – emotions and passions – are being used as the arbiters of right and wrong?
RESPONDENT: Now there could be various levels of this. I could think myself into believing there is nothing wrong in which case I might even feel there is nothing wrong. The statement: ‘Everything is as it should be’, is a famous one for inducing sleep.
RICHARD: Hmm ... so thought – normally perspicacious – can be lulled into a false sense of security by believing that all is well when it is patently not. Then, as you say, one feels there is nothing wrong. Again feelings are the arbiter of right and wrong ... and believing is emotion-backed thought and not thought per se.
RESPONDENT: For me personally I fail to see the need for this investigation when I feel good.
RICHARD: Aye ... I have been pushing the line in these discussions that a person has become so de-sensitised to suffering that they do not realise that they are suffering even when ‘feeling good’. To be human is to suffer ... twenty four hours a day. This suffering is called ‘The Human Condition’ ... and everyone tells me that you cannot change human nature.
RESPONDENT: Perhaps it is a welcome break from the turmoil of investigation. Many times I have felt completely lost while inquiring, which was not pleasant.
RICHARD: I have remarked that it requires nerves of steel to delve into the stygian depths of the human psyche ... it is not for the faint of heart or the weak of knee. However, awareness as to 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 that is endemic to the human condition provides the necessary impetus when one’s intent weakens. As for being ‘lost’, this is why the remembrance of one of your PCE’s is imperative ... it provides a clear goal to guide one through the thickets and quagmires of the conditioning that has been overlaid on top of the human condition.
RESPONDENT: It [my investigation] stops because I feel satisfied.
RICHARD: Ahh ... would you say that you are a person who is easily satisfied? What does the word ‘excellence’ convey to you?
RESPONDENT: Those time when I feel satisfied everything is in its correct place and I feel an abundance of well being.
RICHARD: Do you see that feelings are your arbiter of excellence? This is why remembering one of your PCE’s is important ... those peak experiences are a personal experience of what excellence actually is. The perfection of this moment – as experienced in a PCE – has nothing to do with feelings.
RESPONDENT: I agree that emotions, passions and beliefs can be described as feelings, and that such feelings divide and can lead to killing people.
RICHARD: I am pleased that we can agree on something.
RESPONDENT: Feelings can also be used as a description for what the brain senses at any moment. You look at a beautiful face, the brain senses. That is what I describe as feeling. If you have a better word, let me know.
RICHARD: The heart goes ‘flip-flop’? If it is beauty then it is an affective response ... not a sensate response, as you try to make out.
RESPONDENT: When you say you have no feelings, are you saying you do not interpret others, and have opinions about them?
RICHARD: Being devoid of feelings I have the freedom to appraise without prejudice. If there is insufficient information, I can certainly form an opinion and make an interpretation ... but then I will clearly state that this or that is only an opinion or an interpretation when I speak about it.
When I point out a fact ... the fact speaks for itself.
RESPONDENT: When you look at snow capped mountains, does your brain sense beauty at that moment?
RICHARD: No, I never feel beauty. The eyes delight in colour, light and shade and so on, just as the taste buds enjoy flavours ... these are pure physical sensations. In other words: Pleasure ... perfect sensual pleasure.
RESPONDENT: When you read a post that considers your interpretations to be distorted, what does your brain sense at that moment?
RICHARD: That there is a person trapped within the Human Condition telling me that I have got it wrong. However, as they are not free of malice and sorrow, then their words carry no weight at all. I call it ‘empty rhetoric’ ... if I am being polite.
RICHARD: 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.
RESPONDENT: When you say ‘know’ that is just a Clayton’s feeling. Another distortion of the actual, which you interpret as a fact. Your brain senses something and describes it as a fact, my brain senses and describes it as a feeling.
RICHARD: And is your description of your brain sensing as a feeling accurate? Can feelings be trusted absolutely? If not, what then do you rely on to make valid appraisals?
RESPONDENT: You place your description at the lofty level of ‘knowing’ while considering ‘feelings’ as wishy washy.
RICHARD: Not only ‘wishy-washy’ ... downright unreliable and dangerous into the bargain. 160,000,000 people have been killed in wars this century alone because of feelings – emotions and passions – being the ruling force.
RESPONDENT: The difference is that I don’t mistake my feelings as facts.
RICHARD: Are you still so sure about that after what was discussed above?
RESPONDENT: Whereas your descriptions have become the facts for you.
RESPONDENT: Ever since I have been on this list, and I suspect even in posts to you earlier this year, I have made comments that I use this list as a means of expressing my feelings, whatever they may be at the time.
RICHARD: Yea verily ... and just look what happened when you expressed those feelings to me, eh? Vis.:
Methinks you are pretty well hooked into feelings, eh? I am reminded of Mr. Samuel Johnson’s comment (‘patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel’) and Mr. Ambrose Bierce’s addendum: ‘With all due respect I beg to submit that it is the first’.
Whereas I am inclined to substitute ‘feelings’ for ‘patriotism’.
RESPONDENT: Apparently, those feelings do not impress you.
RICHARD: Hmm ... you have noticed, eh? Nor also was I impressed by the feelings expressed in a book called ‘Mein Kampf’ that I read many, many years ago. You see, it is a freed intelligence that enables the already always existing peace-on-earth to become apparent ... freed from both the affective ‘me’ and ‘my’ feelings.
RESPONDENT: Having already heard your thoughts about feelings, I’d only be surprised if they did.
RICHARD: You did not just ‘hear’ them ... you ‘felt’ them. And they ‘felt wrong’. Therefore, you still have not actually heard what I have to say.
RESPONDENT: The trouble is that on listening to you, what another hears as feelings, beliefs, interpretations, you call something else.
RICHARD: Never mind about those people you call ‘another’ ... let us stay with you. My guess is that because you value feelings so highly, you cannot contemplate that it is possible to live – and live well – without them. It is simply inconceivable to you. Therefore, Richard must have feelings ... only he calls them ‘something else’ . So ... what does he call them?
And – when you can successfully answer that conundrum you have created – will you please demonstrate that this is so in order that I too can see this foolish mistake that I am making (and do not tell me that it is a ‘feeling’ that you have about me).
RESPONDENT: My purpose in writing is to express my feelings, not to justify or even prove that they are not distorted.
RICHARD: Oh, they are more than just distorted ... they are pernicious.
RESPONDENT: As you do, you respond to what I feel, and on hearing that response, I tend to write another post, expressing what I feel about it.
RICHARD: Not so ... this is called ‘projecting’. I do not respond this way – ‘what I feel about it’ – at all. It is you who relies upon notoriously unreliable feelings to be the arbiter of what is so and what is not so ... not me. Your ‘interpretations’ are predicated upon feelings being reliable – your interpretations are your feelings – and the resultant posts show that you are just outrageously way off the mark.
RESPONDENT: Does investigating mean feeling a feeling, or questioning it? If I have to question a feeling, then the method can become extremely difficult because no matter how much I question myself, my mind won’t budge. After I’ve deliberately felt myself as, say, sadness, do I then decide that it is an emotion (real) or a physical feeling (actual)? If I do, that would mean I’m dissociating from the feeling? While investigating being sad, how do I know when I can actually get back to feeling good? Do I have to force myself to feel good again, or should the feeling be fading, or gone before I attempt to feel good again?
RICHARD: You may find the following to be of assistance:
RESPONDENT: How do I see something as silly?
RICHARD: It is essential to grasp the fact that this is one’s only moment of being alive. The past, although it did happen, is not actual now. The future, though it will happen, is not actual now. Only now is actual. To waste this moment, the only moment one is ever actually alive, by not being happy and harmless (free of malice and sorrow) and thus not enjoying and appreciating being alive probably could be described in any number of ways ... ‘silly’ was the way the identity who used to inhabit this flesh and blood body all those years ago described it.
RESPONDENT: For example, my little compulsiveness about being clean. It’s silly because: I’m not happy when I feel the compulsion to clean my hands. There’s nothing on my hands that anyone can see, or would harm anyone. No one else cares about cleanliness after touching whatever I’ve touched. The dirtiness is really just my opinion. My mum taught me to clean my hands, and before that I didn’t care at all. I didn’t care about being perfectly clean for most of my life. It’s impossible to be perfectly clean for more than a few minutes. I’m probably never perfectly clean anyway. I didn’t care that I was dirty when I didn’t know it was dirty. After all this I still hold onto my silly compulsion. What else can I do?
RICHARD: As a suggestion only: going by how you describe your ‘little compulsiveness’ (which is why this is only a suggestion) you could seek professional assistance ... the actualism method is not a cure for psychiatric disorders.
RESPONDENT: Not only can’t I eliminate this, I haven’t really been able to eliminate anything so far.
RESPONDENT: Humans are the means by which the universe can know itself. It seems to have taken a long time for a nothing but tiny percentage of people to relinquish the main impediment to the fullness of this experience.
RICHARD: Except that the [quote] ‘tiny percentage of people’ [endquote] you are referring to have not relinquished the main impediment to this infinite and eternal and perpetual universe being able to experience itself apperceptively ... to wit: the affective faculty/identity in toto.
RESPONDENT: Why didn’t the universe design itself more efficiently?
RICHARD: What is inefficient about your freedom, or lack thereof, being in your hands and your hands alone?
RESPONDENT: Why the necessity for so much pain?
RICHARD: There is no such pain in actuality.
RESPONDENT: Pain might be in some deep sense holy and actual ...
RICHARD: Such pain is not, in some deep sense, actual.
RESPONDENT:... but it is still very painful.
RICHARD: Your pain, or lack thereof, is in your hands and your hands alone.
RESPONDENT: I’m not suggesting that the universe should be or somehow imperfectly is ‘moral’, but ...
RICHARD: If I may interject? As you are not suggesting that then why say it in the first place?
RESPONDENT: [but] if it’s mission is to experience itself, it seems to have buggered about quite a lot to fully get there ...
RICHARD: Ha ... so you were suggesting that the universe should be, or somehow imperfectly is, moral after all, eh?
RESPONDENT: ... can I trust such a clumsy entity?
RICHARD: I always advise throwing trust out the window ... right along with hope, faith, belief and certitude.
RESPONDENT: Or is it my clumsy reasoning and vision?
RESPONDENT: ‘Feeling being’ means what? (according to your use).
RICHARD: The same as it means in normal usage of course:
RESPONDENT: I reflected on the nature of emotions, feelings, sensations, thoughts, and even consciousness attempting to clearly define what set of events or experiences were which. But as I did so, and continued to examine and analyse my definitions and experiences, it became clear that I could not, that such definitions are always fuzzy, the clear bright line moving and wavering upon examination. It seems that all such terms are convenient categories, but are not ‘actual’, while each experience is ‘actual’.
RICHARD: First of all, as you include your affective experiences (as per your ‘emotions, feelings’ phraseology) in amongst those experiences, upon which you are reflecting on the nature of, it is reasonable to assume that you are neither having a pure consciousness experience (PCE) nor actually free from the human condition ... therefore, it is further reasonable to assume that, by putting the word actual in scare quotes, you mean the same thing as what the word real means when it is used in a specific way on The Actual Freedom Trust web site, and its associated forum The Actual Freedom Trust mailing list, so as to draw a sharp distinction between the experiencing of 6.0+ billion peoples and the experiencing of persons either currently having a PCE or actually free from the human condition.
Thus what you are most likely wanting to convey is, in effect, that whilst each experience is real all such terms referring to them are not.
If so, then essentially what you are saying is that the word bread, for example, and any definition of that word is not real but that the very object which both the word and its definitions refer to is.
In other words, all the above is but a variation on that hoary adage ‘the word is not the thing’ (or ‘the map is not the territory’).
Having said that, one can now turn to the experiences themselves, bearing in mind that it is demonstrable both experientially and scientifically that, in the perceptive process, sensory perception is primary; affective perception is secondary; cognitive perception is tertiary.
It is all quite simple: if you were to reach a finger forward and rest its tip against the glass/ plastic which is a scant millimetre or so in front of these pixels that you are reading the very first experience is (cutaneous) sensation ... pure and simple.
That sensation will probably be a sensation of smoothness (as contrasted to touching emery cloth for instance) ... even so it is still sensation.
Furthermore, it may be a warm sensation or it may be a cool one ... even so it is still sensation.
Now, as touching the screen of a computer monitor is not likely to noticeably stir the affections (aka the affective feelings) a more dramatic example, such as touching a hot-plate, would show that there is quite a range of emotional/ passional feelings to be evoked in the secondary part of the perceptive process ... and that, because of the dominance of those affective reactions to cutaneous pain, the primary experience (sensory perception) will probably not have been as dispassionately noticed as when touching the screen.
In either example (touching the screen/ touching a hot-plate) cognition may or may not occur ... there might be thought as recognition in the former (that it is glass/ plastic for instance) or there may be thought as remonstration in the latter (that it is silly thing to do for instance) and so on and so forth.
Lastly, regarding consciousness: the suffix ‘-ness’ forms a noun expressing a state or condition – as in the smoothness already mentioned above (where the sensation of the smooth glass/ plastic is expressed as a state or condition) – and thus the word consciousness properly refers to the state or condition of a flesh and blood body being conscious ... as in alive, not dead; awake, not asleep; and sensible, not insensible (comatose).
Howsoever, there are more than a few peoples who use that word to refer to identity (the ego-self and/or the soul/spirit-self) – as in the expression ‘consciousness has left the body’ at physical death – and that is possibly what is complicating the matter for you.
RICHARD: ... when I was first catapulted into an actual freedom from the human condition I was astonished to discover that beauty had disappeared (I had trained as an art teacher and had made a living as a practising artist). Howsoever I was to discover that beauty is but a pale imitation of the purity of the actual.
Even so, it was initially disconcerting (to say the least).
RESPONDENT: If I may interject here? By the time you became actually free you had experienced numerous PCE’s, some of which had come while painting and/or listening to music. If I am not mistaken, you had even produced some of your best work when ‘you’ were absent. Why, then, would it be disconcerting, or even surprising, to find yourself experiencing on a permanent basis something which you had experienced many times before and had actively sought to make permanent?
RICHARD: First and foremost: there was absolutely no precedent – the identity inhabiting this flesh and blood body all those years ago did not have the millions of words now available on The Actual Freedom Trust web site to refer to – and, whilst it is true that ‘his’ best work was produced when ‘he’ was absent (and thus beauty played no part at all), when ‘he’ came out of abeyance and reviewed that art ‘he’, of course, automatically imbued it with beauty ... as did the viewers who bought ‘his’ work (reinforcement).
Second, when a pure consciousness experience (PCE) occurs the contrast with what was immediately prior (everyday normality) is so startling, plus there is so much going on (the !Wow! effect), that it never struck ‘him’ afterwards, when ‘he’ came out of abeyance, that there was no beauty in actuality.
Third, although a PCE is so close to what this flesh and blood body experiences 24/7 as to be virtually identical in every respect it must be borne in mind that it is a temporary experience wherein identity is in abeyance and not extinct and thus, by being latent, can cast an ever-so-slight influence upon what is being experienced ... which influence, and once again through lack of precedence, that identity all those years ago was not aware of.
Last, but not least, as the main focus during ‘his’ eleven years of spiritual enlightenment/ mystical awakenment lay in questioning love and compassion, pacifism and appeasement, timelessness, spacelessness and formlessness, immortality and ‘being’ itself, it simply never occurred to ‘him’ to question beauty ... ‘he’ (unknowingly) took the pristine purity of the actual, which beauty is but a pathetic imitation of, to be beauty itself.
RESPONDENT: Also, if I may ask, how did you experience being disconcerted without the affective faculty?
RICHARD: Just because there are no affections whatsoever it does not mean it is not possible to be (mentally) astonished, astounded, surprised, uncertain, baffled, puzzled, perplexed, nonplussed, and so on, on occasion.
Here is an in-context example:
RESPONDENT: I understand that, but I do not yet understand how such perplexity can be experienced as suffering when there is neither physical pain nor affective distress.
RICHARD: I did not experience such perplexity as suffering ... I specifically say it was [quote] ‘disconcerting’ [endquote] in that above passage which I provided as an in-context example, in response to your query about being disconcerted when first freed from the human condition, and in no way mean by that what the word ‘suffering’ can mean. Here is what being disconcerted means to me:
Thus that last sentence could have been written like this:
As for that intense brain agitation – the neuronal excitation – I have elsewhere described it as [quote] ‘altogether unpleasant’ [endquote]. Vis.:
RESPONDENT: You seem to have suffered a lot during that period, yet you also say that actual freedom is the end of all suffering.
RICHARD: Perhaps if I were to take the liberty of replacing one word in your sentence with what I wrote, in response to your query about being disconcerted, it may become more clear? For example:
RESPONDENT: Is there any real-world analogues that would convey the nature of that suffering?
RICHARD: There are no real-world analogues that could convey the nature of that disconcerting perplexity as it was only cerebral (as evidenced by no sweaty palms, no increased heartbeat, no rapid breathing, no palpations in the solar plexus ... none of those things connected with ‘being’).
The intense brain agitation – the neuronal excitation – is akin to having what is colloquially known as a bad trip on acid (lysergic acid diethylamide).
RESPONDENT: Had you experienced anything like it before?
RICHARD: I had experienced the neuronal excitation before, during some of the many PCE’s, but never to that extent (let alone duration).
RESPONDENT: Are you still able to suffer in that way?
RICHARD: As I now have 13+ years experience, of being a flesh and blood body only, there is no foreseeable reason why such disconcerting perplexity would ever come about again.
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: Can someone please give me an example of this?
RICHARD: Here is the way the actualism method works in practice:
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 ... and you will no longer be reduced to penning truisms (such as feelings not being able to tell you anything actual) instead.
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.