Richard’s Selected Correspondence
RESPONDENT: I thought I’d tell you the way things look to me right now: lately, I am glimpsing the possibility more clearly that I am passional-instinct. Before, when I was trying to move toward virtual freedom, I think I was unwittingly, in large part, moving in an instinctual direction – and therefore heading away from virtual freedom and increasing myself. So far, it’s as if I’m seeing the tip of an iceberg.
I came to this when I realized that I wasn’t steering directly for felicity a lot of the time; and that when I was steering for it, there was a limit to how much I could find. While looking for more of it, I became increasingly aware that seriousness and aching seemed to characterize a good deal of my experience. I had read many of your statements about being serious, such as how seriousness ‘actively works against peace-on-earth’ – and thought I was applying them, but I didn’t realize how much seriousness was there(*).
RICHARD: As the process of becoming serious occurs during puberty – when the biological imperative kicks in big-time – it thus runs very deep and is fundamental to the make-up of ‘my’ adulthood.
RESPONDENT: Looking closer, it seemed that the very thing that I’d been looking-for-felicity-with was that seriousness, aching, and desperateness. At that point, for the first time it looked to me as if I was those feelings (among others yet unseen). It was as if a big burden was lifted – I wasn’t being those feelings, and I was more felicitous than I could ever remember being. It seemed I was in a little bit deeper place in myself – that I had been unaware of. It started out as being filled with sadness that wasn’t about anything specific. Then it felt like sorrow (maybe universal). Again, it seemed clearly to be me rather than ‘my’ feelings. It was a wonderful experience because it wasn’t a new sorrow, but rather seemed to be the revealing of something big that had been there all along. I got excited and grasping, and the experience ended.
RICHARD: If it were universal sorrow then in all probability the ‘something big’ may very well have been universal compassion (out of which comes universal love).
RESPONDENT: It seemed clear that there is also more beneath sorrow.
RICHARD: Aye ... in a word: doom (as in ‘doom and gloom’).
RESPONDENT: After that, I ended up being seriousness, etc. again to some degree, and am easing (backing?) out of being it as I notice it. I’m enjoying things more than ever! Apparently there is only so much felicity you can have in desperateness! Go figure!
(*) I am beside myself in astonishment right now because I just saw that all seriousness, no matter how plain and regular it seems, is really, all-the-while, pure full-on desperateness in operation in a kind of translated(?) form. Is that correct?
RICHARD: Yes ... inasmuch there is no escaping the fact that ‘I’ am doomed to die (to cease to exist).
RESPONDENT: It sure seems to be. Also, it seems that this kind of seeing can take me all the way through the rest of what I am. It’s almost unbelievable to see this because it looks like all of a person’s feeling, all-of-the-time, is really full-on suffering – which is a burden that is fully felt all-of-the-time, yet totally unrecognized as such – and is in fact, continuously sought after and perpetuated! Wow! I wonder if this is correct?
RICHARD: It is indeed correct.
RESPONDENT: Wow, wow, wow. I am very, very interested in anything you might have to say.
RICHARD: The following may be of interest:
RESPONDENT: Richard, you say [quote] ‘If it were not for physical death one could not be happy ... let alone harmless’ [endquote]. How is that possible?
RICHARD: I have sometimes asked peoples of a ‘Jehovah’s Witness’ persuasion, when they come knocking on my door and showing me paintings of their imaginary paradise on earth after their god has annihilated 5,993,000,000 of the 6,000,000,000 human beings currently alive by treading them in a winepress, whether they have ever considered what it would be like in fact, rather than fancy, to be the flesh and blood body they are for ever and a day (locked into being a specific body-type, a female, for instance, endlessly giving birth to baby after baby for all eternity).
Which means for billions upon billions of years ... and still more billions to come.
RESPONDENT: I can understand that being locked as ‘identity’ (with all the sorrow and malice implied) for eternity as not desirable ... but I don’t quite understand that the scenario to be the same for a person who is actually free from the human condition.
RICHARD: Only an identity, being forever locked-out of actuality, desires immortality ... the very stuff of a flesh and blood body, being the same-same stuff as the stuff of the universe, is as old as the universe (which is eternal).
RESPONDENT: If he were (!) to exist for eternity, doesn’t the life hold endless variety to be fun for eternity?
RICHARD: There is nothing endlessly variable about giving birth to baby after baby for billions upon billions of years ... and still more billions to come.
RESPONDENT: I can’t quite comprehend it ...
RICHARD: Neither can the peoples of a ‘Jehovah’s Witness’ persuasion, when they come knocking on my door and showing me paintings of their imaginary paradise on earth, either ... for such is the grip imagination has that actuality is nowhere to be seen.
RESPONDENT: ... but maybe you can answer that one.
RICHARD: That which an identity is seeking – that which is permanent (as in unborn and undying) – is what its host (the flesh and blood body) is comprised of.
RESPONDENT: You haven’t experienced physical death.
RICHARD: As the word ‘experience’ refers to a sentient creature participating personally in events or activities then nobody experiences physical death – physical death means the cessation of sentience (aka consciousness) – thus all that can be experienced is what immediately precedes that instant of cessation.
I had a general anaesthesia once (at age nineteen) for the surgical removal of a thyroid gland: I was wheeled into an operating theatre mid-afternoon and prepared; the anaesthetist asked me to count backwards from ten; obligingly I said ‘ten’, ‘nine’, ‘eight’, ‘se ...’ (literally cut off mid-word); upon coming-to I was lying in my allocated bed in the ward; the lights were on/it was dark outside the windows; there was a throbbing pain in the left front-side of the neck; there was no remembrance whatsoever of what had transpired after the truncated count-down; there was no awareness even of the passage of time (as is the case upon waking from sleep); there was nothing at all, not even a blankness or a nothingness, to re-call.
To this day it is as if 4-5 hours have been excised from my life.
RESPONDENT: I understand what you are saying. But I still fail to grasp why (and how you can say) that ‘physical death’ is essential for being happy and harmless (as you haven’t died but still are happy and harmless).
RICHARD: It is the very fact of physical death – everybody alive today on this planet will eventually be dead – which ensures happiness and harmlessness ... if everything alive today were to all-of-a-sudden endure forever then everything would matter in the long-term (everything would be of enduring importance (in this ultimate sense) and, therefore, life would be a serious business.
RESPONDENT: How does it have anything to do with being happy and harmless?
RICHARD: It basically has to do with endurance and, therefore, seriousness.
RESPONDENT: Can you please elaborate on this point?
RICHARD: Sure ... this planet, indeed the entire solar system, is going to cease to exist in its current form about 4.5 billion years from now (or some-such figure). All these words – yours, mine, and others (all the dictionaries, encyclopaedias, scholarly tomes and so on) – will perish and all the monuments, all the statues, all the tombstones, all the sacred sites, all the carefully conserved/carefully restored memorabilia, will vanish as if they had never existed ... nothing will remain of any human endeavour (including yours truly).
Nothing at all ... nil, zero, zilch.
Which means that nothing really matters in the long-term and, as nothing actually is of enduring importance (in this ultimate sense), it means that life can in no way be a serious business.
RICHARD: As no body endures ...
RESPONDENT: What do you mean by ‘no body endures’?
RICHARD: I mean it in this sense:
RESPONDENT: Endures what?
RICHARD: Endures forever.
As no body is perdurable – ‘enduring continuously, permanent; everlasting, eternal’ (Oxford Dictionary) – no body endures forever ... the very stuff bodies are comprised of, however, being the same-same stuff as the stuff of the universe, does endure, is perdurable.
Put simply: this infinite and eternal and perdurable universe is a veritable mobilis perpetuum.
RICHARD: [As no body endures] it means that nothing really matters in the long-term and, as nothing actually is of enduring importance (in this ultimate sense), it is simply not possible to take life seriously ... sincerely, yes, but seriously? No way ... life is much too much fun to be serious!
RESPONDENT: Wouldn’t that be so for eternity if that were possible (by say, medical advancements?).
RICHARD: Again, only an identity, being forever locked-out of actuality, desires immortality – the very stuff of a flesh and blood body, being the same-same stuff as the stuff of the universe, is already always existent – and, as this flesh and blood body only (sans identity in toto), one is that eternal stuff ... directly (apperceptively) experiencing its own perpetuity.
RESPONDENT: The essence of my question is in a response to Respondent No. 60:
This question is not pertinent to a real actualist ...
RICHARD: You may find the following to be of interest:
RESPONDENT: If I could move on to the question of being ‘Happy and Harmless’; I guess that the main difficulty I am having is in understanding that one can be happy without ‘feeling’ happy but I will persevere with the actual freedom web site, which I am finding fascinating, until this becomes clear to me.
RICHARD: Okay ... it may be worthwhile bearing in mind that it is impossible to be happy (be happy as in being carefree), as distinct from feeling happy, without being harmless (being harmless as in being innocuous), as distinct from feeling harmless, and to be happy *and* harmless is to be unable to induce suffering – etymologically the word ‘harmless’ (harm + less) comes from the Old Norse ‘harmr’ (meaning grief, sorrow) – either in oneself or another.
Thus the means of comprehending the distinction lies in understanding the nature of innocence – something entirely new to human experience – and the nearest one can come to being innocent whilst being an identity is to be naïve (not to be confused with being gullible).
And the key to naïveté (usually locked away in childhood) is sincerity.
RESPONDENT: What I will say is that I am more of a thinking person than a feeling person, and that feelings don’t seem to drive my actions in the same way that I observe in others. I seem to be mainly happy in the current moment but am finding the HAIETMOBA very useful when other feelings try to take control.
RICHARD: The other aspect of the actualism method – other than felicity/ innocuity – is sensuosity: feeling felicitous/ innocuous, each moment again, brings one closer to one’s senses and the resultant wonder at the brilliance of the sensate world can enable apperception ... the direct experience of the world as-it-is.
RESPONDENT: As you have probably gathered I am currently just fact finding and thoroughly enjoying the Actual Freedom web site without having the ‘pure intent’ or indeed the bravery to literally move down the path to actual freedom.
RICHARD: Ahh ... courage (and pusillanimity) is another topic: suffice to say for now that daring comes from caring.
RESPONDENT: I’m getting the point, that one has to ‘tidy up ones house’ first before self-immolating.
RICHARD: Provided it be not an excuse for continued procrastination (as in ‘I’m not ready yet’) it is entirely sensible to become as happy and harmless as is humanly possible before the magical event, which renders all such house-cleaning null and void, actually happens.
RESPONDENT: I think I’ve been trying to do it without really becoming a happy ‘being’ first.
RICHARD: As the general thrust of your e-mails has been that the ‘self’-immolation in toto, as described on The Actual Freedom Trust web site, is not [quote] ‘a new concept’ [endquote] it would appear that whatever it is you have been trying to do it has had nothing to do with what actualism is on about.
RESPONDENT: I have (big) issues to sort out first before I will be able to make the leap.
RICHARD: As there is no ‘leap’ – an actual freedom is not a spiritual freedom – it would indeed appear so.
RESPONDENT: I guess there are no shortcuts.
RICHARD: What I find telling – and this is a general observation – is just how much peoples object to being happy and harmless ... the vast majority of the correspondence in the archives is, in fact, a cutting indictment on the human condition itself.
Do you realise – and this is a personal observation – you have just said, in effect, that you guess you will have to become a happy ‘being’ before you can become actually free from the human condition (as if were there a way to be thus free without having to do so you would not)?
RESPONDENT: For you, it [happiness] definitely is not [a feeling]. So what is it? Can it be sensed by physical senses? Do you see, smell, hear or touch happiness?
RICHARD: I have not felt happy for years and years ... here lies perfection. Living here in this actual world there is a seeing, smelling, touching, tasting and hearing of the purity of the infinitude of this material universe for the twenty four hours of the day. It is a sensate experiencing – apperceptive awareness – and cannot be felt affectively. 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. 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.
It is a win/win situation.
RESPONDENT: Richard, I have been thinking about virtual freedom in last days. I have some logical problem. You have clearly said that feeling happy and harmless most of the time is helpful for one to have actual freedom becoming apparent.
RESPONDENT No. 50: I had a work assignment today that in the past has always been upsetting, but today ... I wasn’t! I was too busy being happy and harmless!
RICHARD: Ahh ... those words are music to my ears.
RESPONDENT: So you have feelings Richard? Because the above of yours show an emotional state.
RICHARD: I am cognisant of the fact that English is not your first language, thus idiomatic expressions can be misconstrued, yet I am also cognisant of the fact that your wife was born and raised in the country where I reside and that therefore you must have at least some passing familiarity with such expressions as the one I used above. Nevertheless, for the sake of clarity in communication, I will refer you to the following:
And maybe this will be of assistance in comprehending any future such expressions on my part as well:
Of course I am pleased when someone reports being happy and harmless all day – especially in a situation which previously had *always* been upsetting – as that is the whole point of The Actual Freedom Trust web site, and The Actual Freedom Trust mailing list, being made available in the first place.
Similarly, and as you have publicly said you take medication (SSRI’s) for anxiety (Agoraphobia), I would also be delighted to hear that you no longer need to.
One does not have to have affective feelings in order to be chuffed upon hearing of another’s successes – the affections are not the be-all and end-all of life – as there is, as I have already said to you in another context on July 10 2003, life after feelings.
RESPONDENT: Richard, I have been considering what you mean by the following statement – (located at listb37): [Richard] ‘I was normal for 34 years ... and it is the pits; and because (b) I was abnormal for 11 years ... and it sucks’. [endquote]. I have a lot of experience being normal – so I have a general idea of why you say being normal is ‘the pits’, but I’m perplexed why you say that your period of enlightenment ‘sucks’.
Taking a stab at it – being ‘normal’ is ‘the pits’ because of the human condition – bickering, arguing, fighting, unreasonableness, debilitating feelings and so forth. Yet it’s possible that humans find a reasonable amount of happiness even within the human condition – evidenced by the fact that people don’t walk around in ‘the pits’ (emotionally) all the time. Most people in the ‘real’ world that are ‘normal’ would not say their life is ‘the pits’. Why is there a discrepancy between how ‘normal’ people evaluate being ‘normal’ (mostly pretty good, but sometimes ‘the pits’) and how you evaluate being ‘normal?’ Thinking about this myself, I’m wondering if the discrepancy is due to the fact that ‘normal’ people feel out the meaning and value of their lives – that is, they get a sense of it’s value via feeling – which can feel wonderful at times – though certainly not unmixed with feelings of sorrow and malice, and that your statement about being ‘normal’ as ‘the pits’ is based upon factual evaluation – that much of human life consists in bickering, arguing, fighting, fear and aggression – and that peace on earth is nowhere to be found? So that when you say that being ‘normal’ is ‘the pits’ – you don’t mean that each ‘normal’ person feels their life to be ‘the pits’, but if they were only to look at it accurately and factually, they would see it as ‘the pits’ and look for something much better? In other words, it appears you are not using the term ‘the pits’ in an affective or emotional connotation, but as a factual evaluation (non-affective). Is this basically correct? I would appreciate if you would explain further.
Also, since you say that being enlightened ‘sucks’, precisely what do you mean by that? Are you referring specifically to the quality of enlightenment – which I understand is supposed to be quite wonderful, even glorious I think you’ve called it – or are you referring specifically to the ‘inflated’ and ‘vain-gloriousness’ of it? Precisely, what sucks about being enlightened?
My current investigation consists in unravelling many of my misconceptions I originally had about actualism. Hanging around for the last almost two years has given me ample opportunity to reflect on the kinds of conversations that happen on this mailing list and why there is such a ‘divide’ and often an inability to understand what is being written as a factual report – what is said is so often taken quite personally or different from the intention behind the words (the current discussion about the uniqueness of an actual freedom being a case in point). There were many things that I encountered that gave me trouble, personally. Most of those have been cleared up now, but one of those that has given me trouble is this evaluation of being ‘normal’ as ‘the pits’. My trouble has taken a few different forms:
1) I have two children and am concerned for their well-being – so I have to come to terms with both the importance of actualism for myself and them, as well as be ok with them doing whatever they want with it – which means that I have to willing raise my kids in a world where there is a good possibility that they will spend most or all their years in the ‘normal’ world which you call ‘the pits’. The best I can do is give them an opportunity to be free.
2) Living in the world with other ‘normal’ humans and seeing their lives as ‘the pits’ can be gut-wrenching at times.
3) The term ‘the pits’ can be taken as an affective term – meaning that every ‘normal’ person walks around basically miserable and depressed all the time – which conflicts with my own experience – so this can create a sort of cognitive dissonance. If the phrase ‘the pits’ is taken as evaluative only, it can be seen that being ‘normal’ can be ‘the pits’ – yet one can feel one’s life to be pretty good, in spite of it.
RICHARD: When I reviewed the exchange where the quote of mine comes from I see it was in response to a question about sanity/ insanity and why I was looking to go beyond being both a normal being and an abnormal being in the context of a discussion about the extent and range of other human beings’ experience and solutions (specifically psychology/psychiatry and philosophy/spirituality) and the failure of such fields of human endeavour to deliver an actual freedom from the human condition.
I generally use modern-day expressive colloquialisms, such as ‘the pits’ and ‘it sucks’, so as to emphasise that there is something far, far better right under everybody’s nose, as it were, by thus vividly drawing attention to the fact that the habituated settling for second-best – as in the ‘you can’t change human nature’ factoid for instance – has desensitised people to the suffering which epitomises the human condition ... to the extent that wisdom such as ‘suffering is good for you’ is oft-times sagely proffered (whereas in my experience the only good thing about suffering is when it comes to an end, permanently).
Now, being normal is the pits only in comparison with being actually free from the human condition (just as being abnormal sucks only in contrast to an actual freedom from the human condition) and when I was a normal being, for 34 years, I lived what I then called a great life – it was not the pits by any description back then as I lived such a life to the full (with quite an adventurous lifestyle) – and when I was an abnormal being, for 11 years, I lived what I then called a glorious life ... and neither did it suck at the time as I lived that life to the full as well (with an even more adventurous lifestyle).
Yet I could not deny that all the while there must be/surely was something better, far better, than either the great life or the glorious life – thus I would not, could not, and did not, settle for second best – and that is precisely what I am conveying to my fellow human beings: whatever you do, do not ever settle for second best.
For the best is just here, right now, where it already has been, all along, and always will be.
P.S.: It is the pits to nurse malice and sorrow to one’s bosom, period, and it sucks to keep on nursing malice and sorrow to one’s bosom, so as to activate their antidotal pacifiers love and compassion, and pretend they are not still there whilst proclaiming the pacifistic antidotes to be the solution to all the ills of humankind.
RICHARD: ... being normal is the pits only in comparison with being actually free from the human condition (just as being abnormal sucks only in contrast to an actual freedom from the human condition) and when I was a normal being, for 34 years, I lived what I then called a great life – it was not the pits by any description back then as I lived such a life to the full (with quite an adventurous lifestyle) – and when I was an abnormal being, for 11 years, I lived what I then called a glorious life ... and neither did it suck at the time as I lived that life to the full as well (with an even more adventurous lifestyle).
RESPONDENT: I gather from this statement that it would be important when I encounter some of the negative words denoting life as ‘normal’ that they are normally to be taken in contrast to being actually free from the human condition?
RICHARD: Yes ... this is essentially no different from what we discussed on July 14 2002 (relative meaning/actual meaning), July 16 2002 (relative meaning/meaning of life), July 16 2002 (follow-up), July 28 2002 (real world meaning/meaning of life), August 17 2002 (real world/actual world), September 06 2002 (relative/ultimate), November 18 2002, December 06 2002, January 23 2003, January 24 2003, January 23 2003 (feeling caring/actually caring), and April 05 2003 (relative meaning/actual meaning).
This passage is particularly apt:
I might add, though, that I first took note of the modern-day ‘it’s the pits’ colloquialism one particularly fine day some years ago, when discussing life, the universe, and what it is to be a human being living in the world as-it-is with people as-they-are, with a psychologist about the same age as me, and a veteran of the same war I was engaged in when but a youth of 19, whose son had committed suicide at age 20 ... this is what the note he left for his parents to read when they found his dangling body said:
Incidentally, I recall reading somewhere that the highest rate of suicide is from about age 70-75 onwards.
RESPONDENT: I once stated that I thought that actualism had a ‘dark underbelly’. This was largely due to a host of negative adjectives applied to being ‘normal’. For example, ‘the pits’, ‘abysmal state of affairs’, ‘petty life’, ‘pathetic’, ‘miserable’, ‘bad situation’, and so on. It is obvious to me that most ‘normal’ people don’t see it that way – which is why I thought you to be displaying the ‘dark underbelly’ that I spoke of.
RICHARD: It is life in the real-world (being normal) which has the dark underbelly – and thus, albeit sublimated and transcended, so too has life in the unreal-world (being abnormal) – not life here in this actual world ... the pristine perfection of the peerless purity the infinitude this universe actually is ensures nothing dirty (‘being’ or ‘presence’) can get in.
RESPONDENT: It is helpful to take this all in context – and the context in this case is ‘compared to an actual freedom from the human condition’. My misunderstanding appears to have been based upon the fact that I didn’t notice the shifted standard.
RICHARD: There is only one standard (to use your terminology) here in this actual world: perfection.
RESPONDENT: That is, ‘normal’ people usually have quite a different standard of what constitutes a good life than an actualist does. Is this a correct assessment?
RICHARD: Indeed it is ... an actualist settles for nothing less than the perfection evidenced in a pure consciousness experience (PCE). Hence my report, in the previous e-mail, that I could not deny that all the while I was both normal and abnormal there must be/surely was something better, far better, than either the ‘great life’ or the ‘glorious life’ – and thus I would not, could not, and did not, settle for second best – and that this is precisely what I am conveying to my fellow human beings: whatever you do, do not ever settle for second best.
For the best is just here, right now, where it already has been, all along, and always will be.
RESPONDENT: [follow-up] Being that you called your 34 years of being normal a ‘great life’, (at least then) would you say (then or now) that you ‘enjoyed’ your life back then?
RICHARD: I would say (then) I enjoyed my life the best I could given that the human condition was endemic – as expressed in real-world phrases such as ‘make the best of a bad situation’ and ‘look on the bright side’ and ‘life is what you make of it’ and so on – as I was mostly optimistic, occasionally pessimistic, mostly cheerful, occasionally melancholy and so on and so on through all the moods ... and I would say (now), as I do say now on many an occasion in prior e-mails, I have been having a ball all along.
I have never not been here ... ‘twas all an illusion/delusion.
RESPONDENT: I ask you this to determine whether you, like Vineeto, limit the words ‘enjoy life’ to being only applicable to how an actualist ‘enjoys life’. If you recall, she recently made the claim that animals and people do not ‘enjoy’ their lives.
RICHARD: You would be better off asking Vineeto as I can only make a guess as to what she was referring to (presumably she meant it in the sense that an illusory enjoyment is not actual enjoyment as she has had enough PCE’s to be acutely aware that the real-world does not exist in actuality).
RESPONDENT: It seems to me that living a ‘great life’ would indicate enjoyment of life, wouldn’t you agree?
RICHARD: If you asking me whether I agree that a ‘great life’ in an illusory real-world is an enjoyment of that illusory life then I would say yes, it most definitely is ... just as a ‘glorious life’ in the delusory unreal-world most certainly is an enjoyment of that delusory life.
After all, as the real-world saying goes, ‘life is what you *make* of it’. [emphasis added].
RESPONDENT: If so, this would indicate either that Vineeto was wrong, or using the words ‘enjoy life’ in a stipulated manner that I personally don’t understand.
RICHARD: Perhaps a review of this exchange may throw some light upon the matter this time around:
In a pure consciousness experience (PCE) it is patently evident that there is no such thing as the real-world (‘tis but an illusion) – plus it is just as obvious that an altered state of consciousness (ASC) is an un-real world born out of dissociation from the real-world (‘tis but a delusion arising from the illusion) – and, also indubitably, that an illusory/ delusory enjoyment is but a pathetic imitation of the actual.
RESPONDENT: If you restrict the usage of ‘enjoy life’ to pertain to actualists, then do you also recognize the ‘normal usage’ of those words?
RICHARD: I do indeed ... which is why I suggest, that whatever you do, do not ever settle for second best because the best is just here, right now, where it already has been, all along, and always will be.
RESPONDENT: Since you have told me in the past that it is possible for a ‘normal’ person to be reasonably happy, to live a valuable life, and so forth – would you also say it’s possible for a ‘normal’ person to ‘enjoy life’? Just curious.
RICHARD: A curious thing I have noticed, ever since I started writing on the internet, is that my writing has become increasingly peppered with qualifiers, conditioners, caveats, codicils, and footnotes ... so much so that, as there are only a few paper-back versions of ‘Richard’s Journal’ left in stock, and it is about due to have another print-run, I am contemplating editing it before doing so (editing, not revising) as at the time of writing it never occurred to me that some, if not many, people would want/need to have everything spelled-out in full each time it was written.
Thus where I used to say ‘contrary to popular belief it is possible to be happy and harmless all the time’ (for example) nowadays it looks something like this (for instance):
My guess is that when Vineeto wrote the following it never occurred to her to add qualifiers and conditioners and caveats and codicils and footnotes:
RESPONDENT: About two years ago, maybe a little bit more or less, I wrote one
email to Richard and I was discussing something about anhedonia.
As you never replied to my response that was the end of the matter (until now).
RESPONDENT: This is a Greek word which means incapacity for pleasure.
RICHARD: If I may ask? Is that the [quote] ‘scientific definition’ [endquote] of the word, then, from the Greek medical texts?
RESPONDENT: But this is not important.
RICHARD: Au contraire ... the [quote] ‘scientific definition’ [endquote] of the word is central to your question.
RESPONDENT: The important thing is this: I spelled it wrong, because we still use this word in everyday vocabulary and I spelled it with the Greek sound, the Greek pronunciation.
RICHARD: As I am only literate in the English language I had, and still have, no way of knowing how Greek words are spelt (hence, of course, my search for ‘unhidonia’ on the internet).
RESPONDENT: I think I wrote anidonia. This is the original pronunciation, that made me sideslip. With both ‘i’ in the word pronounced like the ‘i’ in ‘inbox’. I think, that because of the subject I was discussing, about doctors that said to him, (as he wrote for himself in his journal), that he suffers from anhedonia, it should be easy for him to understand what I was meaning. He must have understood it from the direction of the discussion, from the line of the discussion. From the frame of what was told.
RICHARD: Indeed I did understand that you were referring to the psychiatric diagnosis of anhedonia that features often on my portion of The Actual Freedom Trust web site ... which is why I asked for the [quote] ‘scientific definition’ [endquote], from the Greek medical texts, so that the nature of your question might become clear.
You may find the following reply of mine to be food for thought:
You see, to just say that anhedonia means the incapacity for pleasure (as you did further above) is not at all scientific ... in the above exchange I am referring to sensate pleasure – such as the warming rays of the sun on the skin on a cold day, for instance, or the cooling currents of a breeze on the skin on a hot day, for another – and not to affective pleasure (as in the pleasure/pain principle which spiritualism makes quite an issue out of yet never does eliminate).
Here is my first question: does the [quote] ‘scientific definition’ [endquote] of the mental disorder, which you were asking your friends to accept and use, specify that it pertains to the absence of affective pleasure ... and not to an absence of sensate pleasure?
Further to this point .... the following passage is how I have described the (affectless) experience of sensate pleasure:
Moreover, coupled with the inability to affectively feel pleasure is, of course, the inability to affectively feel pain (as in childhood hurts, for example, or as in grief, for another) – even though most, if not all, definitions of anhedonia only say ‘the inability to feel pleasure’ – which means that life is fun ... not at all serious. Vis.:
Here is my second question: does the [quote] ‘scientific definition’ [endquote] of the mental disorder, which you were asking your friends to accept and use, specify that it pertains to the absence of affective pain, as distinct from sensate pain, as well ... and not just to the absence of (affective) pleasure?
RESPONDENT: His answer was like this. ‘I searched all over the internet and I could not find any word like this. I suppose you as a Greek, you know your language. Spell it well and then your question might be answered’. (The words might be slightly different, but the meaning is 100% exact).
RICHARD: You may have gathered, by now, that my response was not at all like that ... let alone 100% exact. Here it is again (so that you need not scroll up to re-read what I actually wrote):
RESPONDENT: Now there is something subtly hidden in what he said.
RICHARD: As a suggestion only ... try taking my words at face value, rather than looking for hidden subtleties, as I always say what I mean and mean what I say.
RESPONDENT: I am asking him, in the moment he was dealing with one unknown word that does not even exist in the internet, so unknown word that he tried to find out by searching the internet, how he knew that this unknown word, is a Greek one?
RICHARD: As I was not dealing with an unknown medical term I knew, of course, that it was derived from the Greek language per favour a dictionary. Vis.:
Also, the pronunciation guide has the ‘an-’ pronounced as an unstressed ‘un-’ (with the ‘u’ as in success) and has the ‘ë’ pronounced as the ‘i’ in the word sit ... or, in other words, precisely the the way you spelt it.
Here is another instance (showing that it came from the Greek language):
RESPONDENT: And he referred in my native language?
RICHARD: Given that you had entitled your e-mail ‘One Question From Greece’ – and had previously said you live on the Greek island of Corfu – it was reasonable to assume that Greek was your native language ... and that, therefore, you could provide the [quote] ‘scientific definition’ [endquote] of the word, from the Greek medical texts, which you were asking your friends to accept and use.
This is, after all, a discussion list ... and clarity in communication is vital to meaningful dialogue, is it not?
RESPONDENT: ‘I suppose you as a Greek, you know your language’.
RICHARD: I had no way of knowing that you [quote] ‘still use this word in everyday vocabulary’ [endquote] in Greece ... I assumed, because you specifically referred to the scientific definition of the word (four times in only three sentences), that you were making reference to the medical usage of the term.
For your information, it is not a word in everyday use in the country where I currently reside.
RESPONDENT: Conclusion: when he said that he did not understood the word, he was LYING.
RICHARD: If you could point me to the text where I said I did not understand the word it would be most appreciated. Here it is again:
RESPONDENT: Is obvious and brighter than the sun.
RICHARD: On the contrary ... your conclusion is inevident and darker than pitchstone.
RESPONDENT: Many people also on the list understood the word, and that became a subject.
RICHARD: I am only too happy to copy-paste the following:
As my co-respondent never replied to my response that too was the end of the matter ... discussion, it would appear, is the last thing some peoples want.
RESPONDENT: Question: Is a liar FREE from the human condition?
RICHARD: As your question is based upon an erroneous conclusion (as in your ‘he was LYING’ deduction) that you drew from a faulty premise – ‘when he said that he did not understood the word’ – which you predicated from a (non-existent) hidden subtlety, in a fabricated reply to your two year-old question you never followed-up on at the time, any query of that nature is a non-sequitur.
RESPONDENT: The lie is the biggest human condition.
RICHARD: Oh? And do wars and murders and rapes and tortures and domestic violence and child abuse and suicides, and so on, pale into insignificance when it comes to mendacity (according to you)?
You will take little comfort from the following, then:
RESPONDENT: I provoke him to put on the list the whole dialogue of this email.
RICHARD: Presuming you meant that you invite me to do so – ‘provoke: invoke; summon, invite’ (Oxford Dictionary) – I have had no hesitation in acceding to your invitation ... two years later is not too late to have the nature of your question become clear, eh?
RESPONDENT: He is very good in finding in his archives all the discussions.
RICHARD: Of course ... if someone is concerned enough to spend their most precious asset – their time – by writing to me about a lingering issue it behoves me to ascertain just what has been said, by whom and when and how, if I am to respond meaningfully.
RESPONDENT: Is a matter of morality and honesty to put it on the list.
RICHARD: Whereas for me it is a matter of clarity in communication ... and, perchance, a furtherance of human knowledge.
Speaking of which ... you posted the following extract, apropos of nothing, over five months later:
Given that you were asking your friends to accept and use not only the [quote] ‘scientific definition’ [endquote] of the mental disorder anhedonia but of alexithymia as well (as indicated by your etcetera) did the penny not drop, when you read through the above before posting it, that the way it is defined there – by the very psychiatrist who coined the term – is not the same as what Richard has to report in regards feelings, emotions, and passions?
I had even spelled it out for you only nine days prior ... with an abbreviated official definition, in parenthesis, preceding the manner in which I define my condition:
As you never replied to my response that was the end of the matter ... nevertheless do you now comprehend why your friends do not accept and use the [quote] ‘scientific definition’ [endquote] of the mental disorders Richard has been diagnosed as suffering from?
RESPONDENT: So I repeat because human thought by nature flies and forgets, I repeat, IS A LIAR FREE FROM THE HUMAN CONDITION?
RICHARD: So I also repeat, for similar reasons, that as your question is based upon an erroneous conclusion which you drew from a faulty premise, that you predicated from a (non-existent) hidden subtlety in a fabricated reply to your two year-old question you never followed-up on at the time, then any query of that nature is a non-sequitur.
At this point in writing this response of mine to your current e-mail I took a short break so as to type <logic> into a search engine and send it through all of your 372 e-mails to this mailing list ... and it returned 478 hits (which includes ‘logically’ and ‘logical’): as this indicates that you might have more than a passing regard for logic, that you rate it quite highly, is it impertinent of me to ask if you have ever received formal training in that field?
RESPONDENT: CAN SOMEBODY TRUST A LIAR?
RICHARD: I always advise to throw trust out the window (along with faith, hope, belief, and certitude) and ascertain experientially that what is being reported/described/explained is actual and, thus, factual.
RESPONDENT: He claims that he is the first FREE person from the human condition for 12 years and still he is lying.
RICHARD: If you could point out, in the text, where I lied it would be most appreciated. Here it is once more:
RESPONDENT: Has this AF any value?
RICHARD: Not to you, obviously ... so much so that I wonder why you keep on subscribing to The Actual Freedom Trust mailing list (this is the third time now)
RESPONDENT: Is up to anybody to think for himself about the above.
RICHARD: Let me see if I comprehend just what it is you advise anybody to think for themselves about:
Have I understood you correctly?
RESPONDENT: P.S.: The above is something very big and serious, not something to be bypassed.
RICHARD: Not so ... the above of yours is, being but a flight of fancy from beginning to end, of no consequence at all.
RESPONDENT: If one person claiming to be free for the first time in humanity from the human condition is lying, then bye-bye AF.
RICHARD: As this person could cheerfully, and thus convincingly, lie through his back teeth – if the situation and circumstances were such as to render it an eminently sensible course of action – then it would appear that a final farewell is in order.
RESPONDENT: Happiness is what results – as sensual pleasure – when there is no emotion, no identity.
RICHARD: Where there are no affections/ no identity this actual world is experienced directly: what one is, as a flesh and blood body only, is this physical universe experiencing itself apperceptively ... as such it is stunningly aware of its own infinitude/ absoluteness.
And this is truly wonderful.
RESPONDENT: This happiness is sourced in the brain since without the brain’s pleasure faculties, the universe would be experienced anhedonically.
RICHARD: This universe can only be experienced anhedonically when the hedonic identity parasitically inhabiting the flesh and blood body is either abeyant (in a PCE) or extinct (upon an actual freedom from the human condition).
RESPONDENT: I’m talking about sensual pleasure not the affective faculties.
If (note ‘if’) there were no sensation at all – no cutaneal, olfactory, aural, ocular, gustatory, or proprioceptive sensing whatsoever – how on earth can any experiencing happen?
RESPONDENT: Sensual pleasure results from the brain’s pleasure faculties.
RICHARD: Are you referring to what is known as the sensorium? Vis.: ‘sensorium: the seat of sensation in the brain of humans and animals; the percipient centre to which sensory impulses are transmitted by the nerves; the whole sensory apparatus (including the sensory nerves); formerly also, the brain regarded as centre of consciousness and nervous energy’. (Oxford Dictionary).
RESPONDENT: If that part of the brain was damaged there would be no pleasure in the actual world – regardless of its perfection or infinitude.
RICHARD: If (note ‘if’) the sensorium completely ceased to function there would be no experiencing, period (just as when in a coma, anaesthetised, knocked unconscious, or in any other way rendered comatose) ... yet the universe would keep on keeping on all the while.
RESPONDENT: You claim happiness is inherent to perfection ...
RICHARD: I do not [quote] ‘claim’ [endquote] happiness is inherent to perfection ... it is a report of my direct experiencing (which can be verified in a PCE), night and day, for the last 13+ years.
RESPONDENT: ... though you haven’t said why.
RICHARD: Au contraire ... I have provided an explanation many times over.
RESPONDENT: Do perfection and infinitude lead to sensual pleasure?
RICHARD: I am none too sure just what to make of that query ... if anything leads to sensual pleasure it is, of course, sentience.
RESPONDENT: Sensation is inherently happy, due to the perfection.
RICHARD: As sensation is, according to the circumstances, alternatively pleasurable or painful it is patently obvious you are barking up the wrong tree.
RESPONDENT: Not ‘sensation’ then. Is the act of sensing one that is inherently happy ...
RICHARD: If I might interject? As sensation – ‘perception by the senses’ (Oxford Dictionary) – is the very act of sensing then what you are saying (just above) is that the act of sensing is inherently happy ... therefore, because the very act of sensing is alternatively pleasurable or painful (according to the circumstances), it is patently obvious you are still barking up the wrong tree.
RESPONDENT: ... [Is the act of sensing one that is inherently happy] when there is no emotion seemingly taking away from the perfection of the universe?
RICHARD: No, apperceptive awareness is what is inherently happy/ felicitous (and harmless/ innocuous) ...
RESPONDENT: ... as that’s where the perfection becomes evident?
RESPONDENT: Is felicity an inevitable human reaction to the perfection?
RICHARD: No, felicity is the universe’s inevitable experience of its own perfection.
RESPONDENT: Is the felicity inherent to apperception caused by chemicals in the brain?
RESPONDENT: Without an affective faculty, surely there would remain only sensate pleasure and sensate pain?
RESPONDENT: So why is there also felicity in one’s experience, rather than just sensate pleasure and pain?
RICHARD: Because the felicity inherent to perfection is a feature of apperceptive awareness (and not sensation per se).
RESPONDENT: If one is the senses only, how can the senses experience felicity?
RESPONDENT: A *feature* of apperceptive awareness?
RICHARD: Here is what a dictionary has to say:
I have made no secret of the fact that felicity is a distinctive and/or characteristic part of apperceptive awareness and not sensation (aka the act of sensing). Vis.:
RESPONDENT: Yet the felicity is not the brain’s reaction to the unmediated self-awareness of the universe’s perfection?
RICHARD: No, felicity is the universe’s inevitable experience of its own perfection.
RESPONDENT: To explain more what I mean by asking ‘where’: There are just the senses and self-aware thoughts – where is there room for felicity?
RICHARD: As it is a feature of apperceptive awareness then, of course, that is where there is room for it (to use your phraseology) ... and infinite room to boot.
RESPONDENT: Where can this happiness occur in one’s experience?
RICHARD: It occurs in apperceptive awareness.
RESPONDENT: How is the felicity perceived or experienced by the human organism?
RICHARD: As the universe’s experiencing of itself. Vis.:
RESPONDENT: Could you explain the difference between affective felicity (which the identity can experience) and actual felicity?
RICHARD: Sure ... affective felicity, being conditional, is dependent upon felicitous events; actual felicity (aka uncaused happiness), being unconditional, occurs all the while regardless of infelicitous events.
RESPONDENT: Is that the only difference between them?
RICHARD: Essentially ... yes.
RESPONDENT: They feel exactly the same, but one is unconditional and another is temporary.
RICHARD: As the actual felicity you are enquiring about – the felicity inherent to perfection – is a feature of apperceptive awareness, and not the affective faculty, perhaps you might be inclined to rephrase your [quote] ‘they *feel* exactly the same’ [emphasis added] statement?
RESPONDENT: Is it a coincidence that a feeling – affective felicity – evolved in humans to be exactly the same as actual felicity?
The Third Alternative
(Peace On Earth In This Life Time As This Flesh And Blood Body)
Here is an actual freedom from the Human Condition, surpassing Spiritual Enlightenment and any other Altered State Of Consciousness, and challenging all philosophy, psychiatry, metaphysics (including quantum physics with its mystic cosmogony), anthropology, sociology ... and any religion along with its paranormal theology. Discarding all of the beliefs that have held humankind in thralldom for aeons, the way has now been discovered that cuts through the ‘Tried and True’ and enables anyone to be, for the first time, a fully free and autonomous individual living in utter peace and tranquillity, beholden to no-one.
Richard’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.