Richard’s Selected Correspondence
RESPONDENT: I’m curious as to what Richard, Peter or Vineeto might have to say about this ‘Images In PCE’ thread.
RICHARD: Where imagination is operating in a peak experience – including forming images/ picturing in the mind’s eye – it is not, or is no longer, a pure consciousness experience (PCE) as the imaginative/ intuitive facility, intrinsic to the affective faculty, has no existence in actuality.
RESPONDENT: Is introspection/ creativity still possible in actual freedom?
RESPONDENT: How, given absence of the imaginative faculty?
RICHARD: As to be introspective is to be looking into/ closely inspecting/ intellectually examining, in detail, the perceptive process then the way it is done, sans the imaginative/ intuitive facility, is with the cognitive, ratiocinative/ conceptive, and insightful faculty operating freely under an overall apperceptive attentiveness/ awareness.
And as to be creative is to be innovative, inventive, initiative, resourceful, and so on, then the way it is done, sans the imaginative/ intuitive facility, is with apperceptive awareness giving free reign to whatever ingenuity/ novelty and talent/ aptitude, in conjunction with all the acquired knowledge/ understanding and expertise/ skills and proficiency/ ability and dexterity/ competence, may come up with.
It all operates a whole lot better, actually, as the difference between imagination and hallucination is a difference in degree and not of kind.
RESPONDENT: How can you have any project without imagining the desired outcome (goal) and the way to get there (means)?
RICHARD: Easily ... with pure intent the means become progressively apparent, after taking the initial step, and the appropriate process unfolds accordingly as a consequence.
RESPONDENT: Do you just execute what bubbles up – from wherever – spontaneously?
RICHARD: There is a marked distinction betwixt spontaneity and impetuosity (aka impulsiveness) ... acuity and/or perspicacity, in the applied form of discrimination, discernment (as in being expedient, provident, judicious, prudent) in conjunction with pragmatism, practicality, sensibility, simplicity, and so forth, gives ready access for any introspective/creative process to take place.
CO-RESPONDENT: Richard, if thinking is neural activity how does this activity transform into words?
RICHARD: As feelings are primal and primary then words, and thus thought, most likely developed ever-so-slowly out of intuitive cognitions as an extension of the growling, grunting, groaning, moaning, whimpering sounds which are so expressive of the feeling of what is happening ... most histrionic words have an affective etymological root. Thus the ‘first’ thoughts in proto-humans quite possibly would have been nascent expressions of the primal feelings patently evident in what is known as the higher order animals.
CO-RESPONDENT: The ongoing process of thinking appears mostly as words and words and more words and just like the mental pictures that are also a part of thinking I wonder how is it that we get this ‘internal-hearing’ and ‘seeing’ from nerve conduction. It seems metaphysical.
RICHARD: What you are referring to – the mental pictures and sounds, and so on, which are part and parcel of thought in most peoples – have no existence in this actual world ... thought occurs as words-only here.
RESPONDENT: When you are looking at something linear (like a shelf) and trying to gauge its length, or looking at something planar (like a cardboard box) and trying to gauge the proportion between its width and its length, or shading a drawing and determining how dark to make this bit or that bit, are you thinking? And are these thoughts word-only? If not thinking, what do you call the mental process that’s taking place?
RICHARD: What I am reporting above, as having no existence in this actual world, is the mental imagery – be it visual, audile, haptic, olfactory or kinaesthetic imagery – which is a feature of thought, thoughts and thinking in most normal human beings because of the intuitive/ imaginative facility ... hence my words-only characterisation of how thought operates here.
Furthermore, this non-imagic thought functions only as required (mostly things get done on automatic pilot, so to speak, due to habituation) and for the main a general awareness operates.
Thus specific to your examples, when estimating length, width, proportion, chiaroscuro, and so on, thought plays little part in the process.
RESPONDENT: Also, in another recent post, you referred to ‘intuitive cognition’ when someone asked you about thought.
RICHARD: Here is the exchange you are referring to:
RESPONDENT: What do you mean by this difference?
RICHARD: In that instance I am using the word intuitive as opposed to the word discursive – ‘proceeding by argument or reasoning; ratiocinative; not intuitive’(Oxford Dictionary) – for the very simple reason that dogs do not have thoughts, period (be they either of the rudimentary or possessive kind).
More generally, the word intuitive refers to the thoughtless sensing (as in an instinct or a feel for something) which is eloquently expressed in the colloquialism gut-instinct (aka gut-feeling/ gut-reaction). Vis.:
RESPONDENT: Richard, is it possible for you to ‘have a tune’ in your head or a melody?
RESPONDENT: What happens if you try to ‘think how a song goes’?
RICHARD: If it has words I can recall the way they go up and down the scale so as to provide a reasonable facsimile ... this is nothing like how there used to be the capacity to ‘have a tune’ in the head all those years ago (whereupon a snippet of a melody would often lodge and rerun itself over and again).
These days consciousness is epitomised as a vast silence and/or stillness.
RESPONDENT: Do you have to hum or sing it to remember?
RICHARD: Yes, though I rarely sing as I have a flat singing voice (music has never been my forté).
RESPONDENT: Is there no ‘rehearsing’ in your head first?
RICHARD: No ... I can ‘hum it under my breath’, as the saying goes, or go dum-de-dah-de-dum (or whatever) in a rather atonal manner.
RESPONDENT: Also, when I think – it’s as if I can hear myself talking in my head. Can you ‘hear’ your ‘talking’ in your head when you think?
RESPONDENT: So, it would seem that even my very own thinking process involves imagination? (If I pronounce each word in my head).
RICHARD: If so then it is not only imagination as there is a thinker (‘I’ as ego) who has taken up residence and is chattering and listening ... I can recall it having an on-going dialogue with itself, all those years ago, and other peoples’ comments on the subject reflect this tendency.
RESPONDENT: You talk about thoughts you have, are they ever ‘said’ or ‘pronounced’ in your head?
RICHARD: I can think of a particular word or a series of words – if memorising a phrase or verse – as in a silent pronouncing (if that is what you mean).
RESPONDENT: When you read text on the screen, are you scanning without ‘pronouncing the words in your head’ in any way?
RICHARD: There is a scanning of the words – chunks of words or sentences – such as to gain an overall impression.
RESPONDENT: Normally, I automatically say each word as I type it. If I understand correctly – that is not happening for you. Right?
RICHARD: When I start a sentence I have no means of knowing in advance what will transpire, let alone how it will end. All I need to know is the topic and the subject matter unfolds of its own accord. I do have a reliable and repeatable format and style, which has developed over the years, so it is not an ad hoc or chaotic meandering.
It is all very easy.
RESPONDENT: Also, in your Journal you give fairly vivid descriptions of what the sky looked like on a particular day, what the breeze was like. It’s amazing to me that can be done without imagination. It seems like I have to pull up a visual image of a memory to describe it ‘properly’.
RICHARD: Apparently most people do.
RESPONDENT: But you seem to have no problem with that. Truly amazing.
RICHARD: Ahh... what is even more ‘ truly amazing’ is an actual freedom from the human condition itself (neither a ‘thinker’ in the head nor a ‘feeler’ in the heart).
RESPONDENT: Perhaps all there is, is just the sensations themselves, nothing more, and organizing principles which guide their movement. Do you have any proof to the contrary?
RESPONDENT: I disagree again. Merely because you are a figment of my imagination does not mean I cannot discover anything interesting by talking to you.
RICHARD: I had an experience of solipsism back in 1984 (I did not know the word then and called it ‘extreme subjectivity’) which lasted for three days. In such an experience it is of no use to ask anyone something – or check anything against anything – because one is creating everything and anyone. Thus if you ask me something, I will only answer whatever you make me answer (as you are creating me and my answers) hence nothing is verifiable in any meaningful way. It is an alarming experience to have, by the way. Subsequently I discovered that other peoples have experienced and written about ‘extreme subjectivity’ and that it has a name (solipsism) ... Mr. Leo Tolstoy was one such person that I remember reading about.
Thus you would not ‘discover anything interesting by talking’ to either me or anyone else ... other than the experience itself is fascinating.
RESPONDENT: You are however free to not provide evidence, but I would ask you to simply state you have none, if indeed you do not.
RICHARD: I was not avoiding your question in any way whatsoever ... I was demonstrating the futility of asking for verification from someone who is your own creation. Therefore, if you fully acknowledge my factual existence (that there is a flesh and blood body that is not of your creation) that writes these E-Mails (traceable electronically to an address in Australia) then I am only too happy to answer any questions.
Therefore, as your original question was ‘do you have any proof to the contrary’ that ‘all there is, is just the sensations themselves, nothing more, and organizing principles which guide their movement’ then I would suggest that you:
Now, as you rip the plaster from your mouth and gulp in that oh-so-sweet and objectively actual air, I ask you: Do you still want proof that all this is ‘just the sensations themselves, nothing more, and organizing principles which guide their movement’?
RESPONDENT: I have many questions, but would like to start with one which I find most pressing. You wrote how the imagination is no longer active in your brain and that if you were to draw a picture of a cow you would not be able to imagine it, but would just start drawing and gradually it would take form on paper. But from my observations, thought requires mental visual imagery, i.e.; in order to write this letter I am graphically visualising mental concepts and visually recalling data relevant to what I wish to convey, before forming the sentences I type.
RICHARD: Okay ... when I start a sentence I have no means of knowing in advance what will transpire, let alone how it will end. All I need to know is the topic and the subject matter unfolds of its own accord. I do have a reliable and repeatable format and style, which has developed over the years, so it is not an ad hoc or chaotic meandering.
It is all very easy.
RESPONDENT: I am a designer by profession.
RICHARD: I used to make a living as a practising artist (as well as being a qualified art teacher) so I can relate to your profession more than just a little bit.
RESPONDENT: Could you please elaborate on how the brain can think without visually imaging, or perhaps I have misunderstood what you mean? Your time is most appreciated.
RICHARD: Oh, no ... you have not misunderstood at all. You must be referring to this passage:
The brain thinks perfectly well without ‘visually imaging’ ... much, much better than any ‘I’ can do. It all started over 20 years ago when the ‘I’ who was made a living as an artist ... ‘my’ greatest work came when ‘I’ disappeared and the painting painted itself in what is sometimes known as an ‘aesthetic experience’. This is the difference between art and craft – and ‘I’ was very good as a craftsman – but craft became art only when ‘I’ was not present. All art is initially a representation and, as such, is a reflection funnelled by the artist so that he/she can express what they are experiencing in order to see for themselves – and show to others – what is going on ‘behind the scenes’ as it were. However, when one is fully engrossed in the act of creating art – wherein the painting paints itself – the art-form takes on a life of its own and ceases to be a representation during the event. It is its own actuality. One can only stand in amazement and wonder – which is not to negate the very essential patiently acquired skills and expertise – and this marvelling is what was experienced back when I was a normal person.
It was this magical way of creativity that led ‘me’ into this whole investigation of life, the universe and what it is to be a human being. ‘I’ desired to live my whole life like these utter moments of artistic creation. ‘I’ wanted my life to live itself just like the paintings painted themselves and consequently here I am now ... and what I am (what not who) is the sense organs: this seeing is me, this hearing is me, this tasting is me, this touching is me, this smelling is me, and this thinking is me ... this is a direct experiencing of the actual in all its pristine freshness.
Whereas ‘I’, the identity, am inside the body: looking out through ‘my’ eyes as if looking out through a window, listening through ‘my’ ears as if they were microphones, tasting through ‘my’ tongue, touching through ‘my’ skin, smelling through ‘my’ nose, and thinking through ‘my’ brain ... which is an indirect experiencing of the actual (through a translucent veneer of what is called ‘reality’). As the perfection of the purity of the actual is inaccessible, the intuitive/imaginative facility is required to enhance experience ... an ersatz picture, in other words.
RICHARD: Whereas ‘I’, the identity, am inside the body: looking out through ‘my’ eyes as if looking out through a window, listening through ‘my’ ears as if they were microphones, tasting through ‘my’ tongue, touching through ‘my’ skin, smelling through ‘my’ nose, and thinking through ‘my’ brain ... which is an indirect experiencing of the actual (through a translucent veneer of what is called ‘reality’). As the perfection of the purity of the actual is inaccessible, the intuitive/imaginative facility is required to enhance experience ... an ersatz picture, in other words.
RESPONDENT: Yes exactly. At the moment I’m reading Joseph LeDoux’s book ‘The Emotional Brain’, very interesting, but it is Win Wenger’s book ‘The Einstein Factor’ which prompted my question on imagination, coupled with my interest in creative thought (Win Wenger is an advocate of Image Streaming as a method to increase ones intelligence). In his book he gives these examples; Tesla’s Gift. • [quote]: ‘1. The intensity of Tesla’s Image Stream appeared to stimulate his genius. Among his many talents, Tesla possessed the remarkable ability to visualize his inventions in minute detail before even beginning to write them down. He would mentally build a new device part by part and test-run it, all in his imagination. So accurate were Tesla’s mental blueprints that he could diagnose a problem with a machine by the way it ran in his mind. ‘It is absolutely immaterial to me whether I run my turbine in thought or test it in my shop’, he wrote. ‘I even note if it is out of balance. There is no difference whatever, By this means, Tesla developed all the basic mechanisms of today’s global electric power grid, including high-voltage transformers, long-distance transmission lines, hydroelectric generators, and alternating current’. • 2. ‘A Baseball Genius: Some years ago, I visited a friend in Chicago. My friend’s son was trying out for the high school baseball team but feared he wouldn’t make the cut because of his poor batting average. I worked with the boy for about an hour, employing many of the techniques that you will learn to use later in this book. In the course of our session, the boy discovered that he had the greatest success when he imagined a tiny flyspeck on the baseball and aimed his bat at that flyspeck rather than at the ball itself. This flyspeck gave him just the extra focus he needed to connect with the ball. It may seem a trivial insight, but its effect on the boy’s game was astonishing. In baseball, a .250 to .300 batting average is considered quite good. But during the first ten games of the season, this boy batted .800! He not only made the team but went on to be named Most Valuable Player for both the team and the league for that year. In a single one-hour session, we had succeeded in identifying a technique that made this boy a baseball genius’. • 3. ‘Genius does seem to be linked to the intensity of our subconscious imagery, but to be effective we must strike a balance. In striving to gain access on demand to intense and vivid imagery, we must also preserve the ability to squelch it at appropriate times. This balance is best achieved through a controlled process like Image Streaming, which allows us to choose the time and place of our imaging and to remain completely conscious and alert throughout the session’ [endquote].
RICHARD: If one is going to accept the status-quo for what it is and ‘make the best of a bad situation’ then such concentrated and focussed effort as described above would probably be the better way to go. However, the way freedom works, and the basic theory/ philosophy to formalise it, is this simple:
Back when I used to be able to visualise, what would happen is that it is all mapped out, planned in advance, and all that was left was a ‘colouring-in-by-numbers’ style of painting and/or drawing and/or whatever. All the creativity was confined to mental-emotional imagery department – a dream-like fantasy – which rarely, if ever, translated into pen and paper or paint and canvas ... with the resultant frustration in being unable to manifest the vision into actuality. The main reason was that the mental picture was not constrained by the physical medium and thus compromises inevitably creep in, even early in the piece. One is then left with trying to force actuality into fitting the fancy ... with less than desirable results. What I discovered, when the ‘painting painted itself’, was that actuality ruled the roost, as it were, and magically manifested perfection ... such as to leave me, as I remarked (further above) standing in amazement and wonder, marvelling at this magical creativity.
Modesty – especially false modesty – disappeared along with pride ... ‘I’ was not doing this.
I saw and understood that we humans were trying to make life fit our petty demands; our pathetic dreams; our desperate schemes ... and who am ‘I’ to know better than this infinite, eternal and perpetual universe how to do it. Because all the while, perfection was abounding all about ... magically unfolding, each moment again, if only one would give oneself permission to ‘let go the controls’ and allow it all to happen of its own accord. Again, none of this is to negate the very essential patiently acquired skills and expertise ... otherwise one is as a leaf blowing in the wind (‘think not of the morrow’ and all that nonsense). Initially I described it as ‘being like a child again but with adult sensibilities’. Of course, time would show me that being ‘child-like’ is not it ... but that was ‘my’ beginning explanation back then when seeking to understand.
Back in 1980 ‘I’ looked at the stars one night and temporarily came to my senses: there are galaxies exploding/imploding (or whatever) all throughout the physical infinitude where an immeasurable quantity of matter is perpetually arranging and rearranging itself in endless varieties of form all over the boundless reaches of infinite space throughout the limitless extent of eternal time and ‘I’ – puny, pathetic ‘I’ in an ant-like-in-comparison and very vulnerable 6’2’’ flesh and blood body – disapprove of all this? That is, ‘I’ call all this a ‘sick joke’, or whatever depreciative assessment? And further: so what if ‘I’ were to do an about-face and graciously approve? What difference would that make to the universe?
Ergo: ‘I’, with all my abysmal opinions, theories, concepts, values, principles, judgements and so on, am not required at all ... ‘I’ am a supernumerary. ‘I’ am redundant; ‘I’ can retire; fold ‘my’ hand; pack in the game, die, dissolve, disappear, disintegrate, depart, vamoose, vanish – whatever – and life would manage quite well, thank you, without ‘me’ ... a whole lot better, in fact, as ‘I’ am holding up the works from functioning smoothly ..
‘I’ am not needed ... ‘my’ services are no longer required.
RESPONDENT: As an aside, I also thought you might be interested in the following, which (after reading about your ‘thirtieth of October 1992 curious event’) perhaps helps me understand why the imaging faculty (so connected to feelings) is no longer active in your neo-cortex. • [quote]: ‘A Synesthetic World Neurologist Richard Cytowic has spent years studying synesthetes, people who are born fully synesthetic. Such people may see golden balls when hearing a vibraphone or a glass column when they taste spearmint. Some feel geometric shapes pressing against their skin on tasting certain foods or even twist their bodies involuntarily into characteristic shapes in response to hearing specific words. This condition brings to mind the splashes, lines, and colours the Russian journalist Shereshevesky (the man who remembered everything) saw when certain words were pronounced. Shereshevesky was, in fact, a classic synesthete. While conducting a radioactive brain scan on one synesthetic subject, Cytowic was shocked to see a wholesale diversion of blood flow from the cerebral cortex as the man entered a synesthetic experience. ‘We have never, never seen anything like it’, Cytowic later remarked. The cortex, or ‘grey matter’ is usually considered the most human part of the brain, responsible for higher intellectual thought. Because blood was diverted from the cortex during synesthesia, Cytowic hypothesized that commingling of the senses must occur deep in the limbic system, the instinctive portion of the brain that gives rise to primitive drives such as hunger, emotion, and sexual desire. In nonsynesthetic people, the cortex acts as a Squelcher, suppressing synesthesia and keeping it safely corralled in the limbic brain. On a conscious level, most of us therefore perceive sharp boundaries between the senses. But our unconscious minds apparently function in a fully synesthetic world’ [endquote]. I find it quite viable as you say, that ‘thought needs no ‘I’ to operate and function’, but I cannot help but wonder whether there isn’t a skerrick of imagination which also needs no ‘I’ to operate and function?
RICHARD: No ... if there is a ‘a skerrick of imagination’ then there is guaranteed to be a skerrick of ‘I’ lurking about somewhere cunningly disguised as ‘naturalness’ or ‘spontaneity’ or ‘unaffectedness’ or whatever.
RESPONDENT: Is all imagery connected to the limbic system, to feeling, as the synesthetes above?
RICHARD: All imagery is a product of the imaginative/intuitive facility contained within the psyche – the affective faculty – born of the instinctual passions. When the instinctual passions are deleted, the entire psyche itself ceases to exist ... thus the imaginative apparatus also disappears in toto.
RESPONDENT: Could it be that there are non feeling images, that we create an image of sorts, in our mind for each and every thought?
RICHARD: There is no such thing as ‘non-feeling images’ ... without the affective faculty there is no visualising, no forming images, no picturing, no ‘seeing in my mind’s eye’, no intuiting, no feeling, no envisioning, no falling into a reverie, no daydreaming, no conceptualising, no envisaging in any way, shape or form.
There is only the magical unfolding of the actual ... actuality is far, far better than anything ‘I’ could imagine, dream, contrive or concoct.
RESPONDENT: Still reading through your web site, most appreciated, and having a great laugh about the Konrad dialogue.
RICHARD: I thoroughly enjoyed my dialogues with Konrad (for all his preoccupation with logical principles) because he dared to have experiences that pushed the envelope more than a little (possibly dangerously) for him. Those conversations were about two years ago ... he still lobs an E-Mail into my mail box, every six months or so, which is a copy of an exchange he is having with someone else to whom he is giving his latest understanding/ explanation of the ‘Richard’s Metaphysics Of Actualism’ that he has invented. As nothing fundamental has changed I have not been inclined to respond.
RICHARD: Succinct means concise, pithy, to the point. I was amused by the use of the word ‘succinct’ when seen in the context of who made the request, that is all ... and I capitalised on it. I happen to like the English language, you see.
RESPONDENT: You may like to read the English language, but it is much more fun to read people. The English language is a tool which is used to ‘read’ others or things. Perhaps this is what you are not reading, whilst being ‘hung up’ on just reading the words. Her posts may be abstruse in the sense of ‘difficult to understand’ in the way she puts her words together, but in no way are they concealing her. I feel as though I know her from reading her posts because she has been very open, vulnerable, and has shared her ‘self’ with everyone.
RICHARD: Golly ... what can I say? Apparently I am ‘hung up’ on ‘just reading words’ ... yet that is all there is to read. I do not – and can not – ‘read’ people ... that is called forming an image about the other. The ‘image-maker’ has vanished out of me.
The humour was in the writing style – the words themselves as arranged together – and not in poking fun at the (unknown) person writing them. My style had just been accurately dubbed ‘compressed format’ – which I found humorous because it is – and I extended this humour to include another person’s style, which by no stretch of the imagination could be called ‘succinct’.
RESPONDENT: Is your imaginary peace so vulnerable to contamination?
RICHARD: It is not my peace-on-earth nor anybody else’s. It is freely available. And it is not ‘vulnerable to contamination’ because nothing dirty can get in ... therefore it is wide-open and unprotected. I have no imagination whatsoever ... the intuitive/imaginative faculty is not extant in this flesh and blood body.
RESPONDENT: Or so you would have us imagine.
RICHARD: No, I always advise against using imagination ... and idealising, visualising, believing, trusting, hoping and having faith and so on.
RESPONDENT: That is what I am asking you (to imagine).
RESPONDENT: Descriptions do not apply to the actual, actual world like they do to the actual conceived (by thought) world – do they?
RICHARD: May I suggest? Publish this rewrite of the dictionaries, that you are busy with, as soon as possible so that others can know what you mean? In the meanwhile, the word ‘actual’ means: ‘already occurring; existing as factually true; as in act; deed’ ... which means physically existing here on earth, visible to the senses.
RESPONDENT: But I do each time I write ... it is like a river though: always changing (which is very convenient for a sophistry wizard like myself. LOL). Do you believe in the little man up in the control room of the brain who receives all the incoming data from the senses and then plans, predicts/orchestrates his reactions to Life? If so, LOL).
RICHARD: I have no intuitive or imaginative faculties whatsoever ... that all disappeared in 1992. I am incapable of the activity of believing ... let alone believing in something.
RICHARD: Whereas the word ‘fantasy’, being derived from ‘phantasy’ means: ‘phantom made visible by imagination’ ... and etymologically, the word ‘believe’ means: ‘fervently wishing to be factually true’. I only mention this because a world ‘conceived (by thought)’ can never be actual.
RESPONDENT: Well it (the thought conceived world) is actual in the sense that it is superimposed onto the actual world and thus actually divides one (conceptually) from the actual world.
RICHARD: Given that a conceptual world is not the actual world (being a fantasy) to then superimpose a conceptual world onto the actual world cannot be actual in the sense that it ‘actually divides one (conceptually) from the actual world’ because the superimposition renders the actual world invisible. Thus you are being divided (conceptually) from a conceptualised actual world and not from the actual world itself. Therefore, it is not actually a separation from the actual world at all but a conception of being actually divided (conceptually) from the conceptually imposed superimposition.
Pray tell me ... do you practice detachment?
RESPONDENT: Do you really expect me to believe that you have not thought in images for a year or more? Having a hard time imagining that.
RICHARD: I am factually free the intuitive/imaginative faculty irrespective of whether person (A) believes my words to be true or whether person (B) believes my words to be false. My freedom from the intuitive/ imaginative faculty has nothing whatsoever to do with what other people believe or disbelieve. However, their own freedom from the human condition – which is what is of crucial importance here – is dependent upon their remembering at least one of their PCE’s accurately ... and herein I can play a part in affirming and confirming their personal experience of the perfection of the infinitude of this material universe.
I do not want any one to merely believe me. I stress to people how vital it is that they see for themselves. If they were so foolish as to believe me then the most they would end up in is living in a dream state and thus miss out on the actual. I do not wish this fate upon anyone ... I like my fellow human beings.
Of course, if they believe my words to be false they close the door on their own freedom from the human condition and have to invent a synthetic freedom ... be it a conceptual freedom or whatever substitute for the actual they manage to spin out of their intuitive/ imaginative faculty.
RESPONDENT: You are not a machine (computer) are you? Do you have a heart?
RICHARD: A physical heart that pumps blood, yes ... a ‘bleeding heart’ as in piteous sentimentality, no. You see, I actually care about my fellow human being ... not merely feel that I care.
RESPONDENT: I am afraid I do not take you seriously. First you claim to have no beliefs or images (‘I have no intuitive or imaginative faculties whatsoever ... that all disappeared in 1992’.), then you write: ‘And this freedom from the human condition would revolutionise the concept of humanity. It would be a free association of peoples world-wide; a utopian-like loose-knit affiliation of like-minded individuals (etc.)’ The above quote is your image of what ‘this freedom’ would be like (it is very much like the famous song John Lennon’s wrote: ‘Imagine’ (image-ine).
RICHARD: Hmm ... why do you write to a Mailing List, ostensibly set-up to explore ways to end all the appalling misery and mayhem that is the human condition, if this is the best you can come up with? Can you possibly move on from this ‘you have an image’ retort you keep applying? Can you not sincerely address yourself to the question?
RESPONDENT: So you obviously do have images. How do you explain (rationalise?) this discrepancy in the credibility of your claims?
RICHARD: Because by being this flesh and blood apperceptive brain I am/have full use of this apperceptive thinking brain’s capacity for rational (sensible) thought. It is obvious that if (‘if’) each and ever human being were to free themselves from the human condition then this unilateral action would result in a free association of peoples world-wide; a utopian-like loose-knit affiliation of like-minded individuals. One would be a citizen of the world, not of a sovereign state. Countries, with their artificial borders would vanish along with the need for the military. As nationalism would expire, so too would patriotism with all its heroic evils. No police force would be needed anywhere on earth; no locks on the doors, no bars on the windows. Gaols, judges and juries would become a thing of the dreadful past. People would live together in peace and harmony, happiness and delight. Pollution and its cause – over-population – would be set to rights without effort, as competition would be replaced by cooperation. No longer need people lament the futility of trying to escape from the folly of the ‘Human Condition’. Never again would fear rule the earth; terror would stalk its prey no more ... and another 160,000,000 human beings would not be killed in wars by their fellow human next century.
But even if global peace was a long time coming – as is most probable due to stubbornly recalcitrant identities – the most appealing aspect of actual freedom is its instant bestowal of universal peace upon the individual daring enough to go all the way.
RESPONDENT: See my statements above in which I request you to explain the contradiction between your claim that you are image free and your image of ‘peace on earth’.
RICHARD: Golly ... you do go on. Why are you doing this? Is this all too difficult to see as a simple cause and effect?
RESPONDENT: Cause and effect are images superimposed onto the perceived world to make ‘sense’ out of it, are they not?
RICHARD: Shall I put it this way?
Given that rain falling/ground wet and sun warming/seeds germinating and vegetation growing/animals eating and animals eating/animals flourishing is an already existing process, do you still maintain that what humans call ‘cause and effect’ are just ‘images superimposed onto the perceived world to make ‘sense’ out of it’ or a description of an actuality that happens whether you imagine it, conceptualise it, believe it or in any other way concoct it out of ‘No. 25 as Consciousness’? What I am getting at is that all this stuff that is happening – this body and that body and mountains and streams and planets and stars – is happening independent of your superimpositions or lack of superimpositions.
Plus I took the opportunity to slip in a little bit of much-needed patting-on-the-back for human intelligence.
RICHARD: I will attend to the second issue, regarding how a simple seeing of a certainty (that if each and every human being freed themselves from the human condition there would be a global peace on earth) can be a rational and sensible observation without such a reasonable and level-headed appraisal having to be an image (‘a mental picture of something not real or present’ – the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language) as both you and No. 14 seem to be insisting it must be.
RESPONDENT: You are now using the word image in a way that would not be common in a group of listeners familiar with Krishnamurti.
RICHARD: No ... it was No. 14 who posted the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language definition of the word ‘image’ (at the top of this post) and to which post you responded with self-congratulatory preening. To now say that I am ‘using the word image in a way that would not be common in a group of listeners familiar with Krishnamurti’ is you being disingenuous, to say the least.
RESPONDENT: You are mistaken (about everything but the preening). No. 14 posted the definition of image (in my opinion) because it is you who are fond of dictionaries and because there was a contradiction between what you were writing and your claim to be without images.
RICHARD: I always start a communication from an established agreement as to the meaning of a word – the general dictionary meaning – and then when we put a particular twist on a word (like I do with ‘actual’ and ‘real’ or ‘fact’ and ‘truth’ for example) we know where we started from. And I have no objection to the definition (as above) ... but I was responding to you saying that I was ‘using the word image in a way that would not be common in a group of listeners familiar with Krishnamurti’ where I was not doing that ... it was No. 14 who posted a definition to which you responded. As I have said, over and over again, that ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul (the ‘identity’ is the ‘image-maker’ in K-speak) is extinct and that the intuitive/imaginative faculty has vanished, I did not consider it necessary to say it again in the context that No. 14 and yourself were presenting.
But so we do not get bogged down in what is/was meant in a sentence (like the ‘peace is nowhere to be found’ shemozzle) allow me to explain that I could not form a ‘mental picture of something not real or present’ if my life depended upon it. I literally cannot visualise, cannot make images ... whereas for the first 34 years ‘I’ could get a picture in ‘my mind’s eye’ of ‘my’ absent mother, wife, children and so on or the painting ‘I’ was going to paint or the coffee-table ‘I’ was going to build or the route ‘I’ was going to take in ‘my’ car and so on and so on. If I were to close my eyes and ‘visualise’, what happens is the same velvety-smooth darkness – as looking into the infinite and eternal space of the universe at night – that has been the case for eighteen years now. I cannot visualise, imagine, conceptualise ... when I recall my childhood, my young manhood, my middle ages or yesterday it is as if it were a documentary on television but with the picture turned off: words only.
It is the affective content that makes memories ‘real’ ... and it is the self-same process that makes imagining a future ‘real’.
RESPONDENT: If ‘peace’ is a deduction (however reasonable and level-headed) you are making then it is an image (both in K-speak and in the source No. 14 cited). You are dancing, and yet claiming you’re feet are not moving – so you are either mesmerizing my perceptive ‘faculties’ with your brilliance, or, alas, once again my attention span is waning.
RICHARD: Shall I put it this way?
A practical example disposes of the need for images even if the image-maker is still extant.
RESPONDENT: What exactly then do you mean when you claim to be free of images? Are you (instead) claiming that you live completely ‘reasonably and level-headedly’?
RESPONDENT: Then why say you are ‘free of image-making?’
RICHARD: Mainly because I am free of ‘image-making’. It is an accurate self-report.
RESPONDENT: Don’t you see the false perception you cause in the listener who takes you at your word?
RICHARD: No ... I see instead the ‘false perception’ that ‘the listener’ causes by not reading with both eyes.
RESPONDENT: Why not simply say ‘I am completely reasonable and level-headed?’
RICHARD: Because there is much, much more to being free of ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul than being ‘completely reasonable and level-headed’ ... sensibility is a by-product, as it were.
RESPONDENT: Though you would probably be responded to with ‘lots of laughter’.
RICHARD: Aye ... if the ‘Richard’ that was for 33 years could have met me face-to-face (or read my words) ‘he’ would have dismissed me as being ‘off with the fairies’ or ‘up yourself’ ... ‘he’ was quite cynical and sarcastic. But ... one night ‘he’ had a PCE that made ‘him’ sit up and pay attention.
RESPONDENT: Forgive me sir for being inattentive, but please define exactly what you mean by ‘images’ once again. (I ask this because the above sentence reads somewhat like an oxymoron).
RICHARD: In the context being discussed, an image is any plan (a strategy contemplated for future activation with reflection on past experience so as to effect the optimum considered result) which is contaminated by an identity skulking about inside the body making it ‘real’ in imagination because of the influence of the entire affective faculty. In another context, an image is ‘who I think and feel I am’ as distinct from what I actually am. In another context, an image is a drawing, a painting, a photograph or any other pictorial representation of the world of people, things and events. In another context, an image is what is seen in a mirror, a sheet of still water, a burnished metal plate and so on. In another context, an image is an undesired radio signal whose frequency is as much above that of the local oscillator of a superheterodyne receiver as the signal sought is below it, and which therefore may cause interference.
RICHARD: It is no wonder that you say ‘I sense that something is not quite ‘right’’ when you read what I have to say ... I am a thorough-going atheist through and through; there is not the slightest trace of religiosity, spirituality or mysticality in me whatsoever. To be actually free of the human condition is to be sans ‘I’ as ego (the ‘thinker’) and ‘me’ as soul (the ‘feeler’) which is to be this flesh and blood body being apperceptively aware. And where there is no ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul (no psyche) there is no imaginative/intuitive faculty ... hence no ‘this other ‘mind’’ metaphysical projection. It is all so simple here in this actual world.
RESPONDENT: Why do you say that there is no imaginative faculty?
RICHARD: Because it is my on-going experience, night and day since 1992, that the entire imaginative/intuitive faculty has vanished. I literally cannot visualise, form images, envision, ‘see in my mind’s eye’, envisage, picture, intuit, feel, fall into a reverie, daydream or in any way, shape or form imaginatively access anything other than directly apprehending what is happening just here right now. I could not form a mental picture of something ‘other’ if my life depended upon it. I literally cannot make images ... whereas in my earlier years ‘I’ could get a picture in ‘my mind’s eye’ of ‘my’ absent mother, wife, children and so on ... or the painting ‘I’ was going to paint, or the coffee-table ‘I’ was going to build, or the route ‘I’ was going to take in ‘my’ car or whatever. If I were to close my eyes and ‘visualise’ now, what happens is the same velvety-smooth darkness – as looking into the infinite and eternal space of the universe at night – that has been the case for all these years now. I cannot visualise, imagine, conceptualise ... when I recall my childhood, my young manhood, my middle ages or yesterday it is as if it were a documentary on television but with the picture turned off (words only) or like reading a book of someone else’s life.
It is the affective content that makes memories ‘real’ – the entire psyche itself – and it is the self-same process that makes imagining a past or a future ‘real’ that makes an ‘otherness’ even more ‘real’ than everyday reality.
RESPONDENT: To ‘imagine’ is a sane faculty of this multi-media-brain-mind.
RICHARD: I have not been sane for many, many years. It is pertinent to acknowledge that sane people killed 160,000,000 of their sane fellow human beings in wars this century alone ... and then there is all the murders and rapes and tortures and domestic violence and child abuse and sadness and loneliness and grief and depression and suicides to further give pause to reconsider whether sanity is such a desirable state of being as sane peoples make out.
Sanity is personally insalubrious and socially reprehensible.
RESPONDENT: I can imagine a cow right now – with or without an I or ‘me’.
RICHARD: I cannot ... I can intellectually know what a cow is like in that I can draw a reasonable facsimile; yet as I am drawing I cannot visualise what the finished drawing will be like ... it becomes apparent as the drawing progresses.
RESPONDENT: And when I say ‘this other mind’, I mean that I am not referring to the brain function, but to this dimension here – the human dimension. Blood and flesh are just particular contents of this dimension, it is not correct to posit it the other way around – meaning that the human dimension is a product of the brain.
RICHARD: Why? Mystics are notorious for doing what you talk of ... fervently imagining something awesome, projected from the flesh and blood brain, that they then adoringly say is the source of the flesh and blood brain that is hallucinating the source’s ‘reality’. This material universe is the source of this flesh and blood brain – it is this flesh and blood brain itself – and this infinite and eternal universe is already always here ... now.
RESPONDENT: ‘Object estrangement’ is a prerequisite to the Unconditionality of Enlightenment.
RICHARD: Yes ... my point exactly.
RESPONDENT: The concept of objects, of ‘self’ and ‘other selfs’ is a condition that must be ‘trail-blazed’.
RICHARD: In other words: imagination?
RESPONDENT: No, not imagination. There Really is no self ... as ego has defined self that is. There are no ‘objects’.
RICHARD: Just so that it is crystal clear what you are saying (because this is the second time you have said ‘there are no objects’): do you not acknowledge this body and that body and every body are actually happening? Are you saying that one should deny the very existence of the flesh and blood bodies called ‘Richard’ and ‘Mary’ and ‘John’ and so on? Are you saying that the mountains and the streams; the trees and the flowers; the clouds in the sky by day and the stars in the firmament by night and so on and so on ad infinitum are not actual? Are you saying that the object, called a computer monitor, you are reading these words on is not actual?
If you reply to these questions – especially the last – you are acknowledging the actuality of the object called ‘computer monitor’.
RESPONDENT: Concepts arise when subject separates ‘self’ from objects, ‘other selfs’.
RICHARD: Conceptualising is only problematic as long as imagination operates.
RESPONDENT: Conceptualising is a product of ego. Its not problematic, because concepts are delusions of ego.
RICHARD: A flesh and blood body can conceptualise sans ‘I’ as ego ... mathematics, for example (2+2=4).
RESPONDENT: Its not problematic, because concepts are delusions of ego.
RICHARD: What I was referring to by conceptualising only being problematic as long as imagination is extant is this whole delusion which you call ‘Unconditional Light’. This which you say is ‘who we Are’ exists only in the psyche ... imagination running riot with concepts, in other words.
RESPONDENT: With regards to your statement that it is impossible to visualize images any more (if I have understood correctly): if you close your eyes and try and do some physical action, like turn on the TV, are there no mental images there to guide you?
RICHARD: None whatsoever ... the imaginative/intuitive faculty vanished when the affections ceased to exist (and thus their epiphenomenal psychic facility). I literally cannot imagine, visualise, envisage, envision, picture, intuit, see in the mind’s eye, feel-out, dream up, fall into a reverie, or in any other way, shape or manner imaginatively conceptualise anything whatsoever. I could not form a mental image of something if my life depended upon it ... whereas in earlier years ‘I’ could get a picture in ‘my’ mind’s eye of ‘my’ absent father, mother, wife, children and so on ... or the painting ‘I’ was going to paint, or the coffee-table ‘I’ was going to build, or the route ‘I’ was going to take by car or whatever. If I were to close the eyes now, and try to visualise, all what happens is the same velvety-smooth darkness – as looking into the infinite and eternal and perpetual universe at night – which has been the case for all these years now. I simply cannot have images ... when I recall childhood, adolescence, early adulthood, being middle-aged or yesterday it is as if it were a documentary on television but with the picture turned off (words only) or like reading a book of somebody’s life. There is only the direct experiencing of actuality.
RESPONDENT: If not, how do you guess where the buttons are?
RICHARD: By touch and memory (the on-off button on the TV remote control is the top-right button).
RESPONDENT: I don’t understand. Surely the idea of top-right must relate to some kind of visual image?
RICHARD: No, the memory of ‘top-right’ relates to (prior) visual sight – it refers to the actuality of visually seeing that is where it is located – and in day-to-day practice I very rarely look at the buttons on TV remote control anyway as through constant usage it has become automatic to go by touch (the mute button is top-left and the channel selector is bottom-right).
RESPONDENT: What is memory if not partly mental images (along with words, sounds etc)?
RICHARD: For me memory is intellectual – the referent words only – with neither images nor sounds.
RESPONDENT: If I say to you get me an egg, there must be some kind of visual image of an egg to compare it to the real thing?
RICHARD: No, there is sufficient familiarity with eggs to intellectually know what one is by now.
RESPONDENT: How else can you link the word egg to the actual object?
RICHARD: If no actual egg be present ... intellectually.
RESPONDENT: What is the exact mental/ physical process involved for one with no identity?
RICHARD: If the egg be present ... the direct (unmediated) perception; if the egg be absent ... the intellectual memory.
RESPONDENT: Sorry for being a bit slow here, but when you say intellectual memory what do you mean?
RICHARD: I mean the cerebral, or mental, recall of that which is not present.
RESPONDENT: It seems to me there are only three options:
I can’t see any other way of remembering an object. Presumably when you read the word egg, you know what I am talking about. How can you know if not through the visual memory of an actual egg?
RICHARD: It may help to recall something without a tangible shape or form such as an egg has – maybe helium for instance or some other colourless and odourless gaseous substance – and you might get an inkling of what an intellectual memory is.
RESPONDENT: Are you distinguishing between visual memory and active imagination?
RESPONDENT: (I suppose I am asking whether conceptualising is actual or just a feature of the identity).
RICHARD: I can intellectually conceptualise (formulate, configure, theorise, and so on) – as in 2+2=4, for instance, or ‘if this, then that’, for another – as it is the intuitive/imaginative conceptualising (visualising, idealising, romanticising, fantasising, and so on), which is a feature of identity.
RESPONDENT: Richard, I was wondering the other day, who gives you the right apart of your self to say that you was enlightened?
RICHARD: The Absolute (or God/Goddess, Truth, Being, and so on).
RESPONDENT: There are as many enlightened types as many teachers are.
RICHARD: Aye, the last time I looked up the subject there where 1200 gods/goddesses ... and that does not include the Hindu pantheon (said to comprise 33,000 by some accounts).
RESPONDENT: So first prove to me that you was enlightened ...
RICHARD: What kind of proof would you like (as in what manner of proof would satisfy you)?
RESPONDENT: ... and then we can speak about actuality, because if enlightened was in your imagination, so can be actual freedom as well.
RICHARD: This body has no imagination ... the imaginative/ intuitive faculty vanished when the affections ceased to exist (and thus their epiphenomenal psychic facility). I literally cannot imagine, visualise, envisage, envision, picture, intuit, see in the mind’s eye, feel-out, dream up, fall into a reverie, or in any other way, shape or manner imaginatively conceptualise anything whatsoever.
I could not form a mental picture of something if my life depended upon it ... whereas in earlier years ‘I’ could get a picture in ‘my’ mind’s eye of ‘my’ absent father, mother, wife, children and so on ... or the painting ‘I’ was going to paint, or the coffee-table ‘I’ was going to build, or the route ‘I’ was going to take by car or whatever.
If I were to close my eyes now, and try to visualise, all what happens is the same velvety-smooth darkness – as looking into the infinite and eternal and perpetual universe at night – which has been the case for all these years now. I simply cannot have images ... when I recall childhood, adolescence, early adulthood, being middle-aged or yesterday it is as if it were a documentary on television but with the picture turned off (words only) or like reading a book of somebody’s life.
RESPONDENT: But insight into the nature of thought and the psyche is not a matter of comparison of images of past experiences. For instance you say you lived a certain delusional mind state for 11 years so you know what is involved when another speaks of enlightenment or emptiness or wholeness or the ground in being etc. You are then interpreting from the authority of your own experience are you not? That is not listening without interpreting.
RICHARD: First of all, the ‘certain delusional mind state’ which you are referencing for the purpose of your example was indeed enlightenment (in case it has been taken as meaning being deluded enough to consider oneself enlightened when one was not).
Second, there is a distinct difference between the authority of experience (expertise) and the authority of law (rule) ... and listening to or reading another relating the very same experiencing with the expertise which comes from the intimate comprehension which lived understanding endows can in no way be described as interpreting if for no other reason than like recognises like.
Last, but not at all least, since you are specifically referring to me listening or reading at this very moment (where the delusion called spiritual enlightenment is no longer extant) it would be helpful to explain that it is impossible for this brain to form images as the entire imaginative/intuitive faculty has vanished. I literally cannot imagine, visualise, envisage, envision, picture, intuit, see in the mind’s eye, feel-out, dream up, fall into a reverie, or in any other way, shape or manner imaginatively conceptualise anything whatsoever.
I could not form a mental picture of something if my life depended upon it ... whereas in earlier years ‘I’ could get a picture in ‘my’ mind’s eye of ‘my’ absent father, mother, wife, children and so on ... or the painting ‘I’ was going to paint, or the coffee-table ‘I’ was going to build, or the route ‘I’ was going to take by car or whatever.
If I were to close my eyes now, and try to visualise, all what happens is the same velvety-smooth darkness – as looking into the infinite and eternal universe at night – which has been the case for all these years now. I simply cannot have images ... when I recall childhood, adolescence, early adulthood, being middle-aged or yesterday it is as if it were a documentary on television but with the picture turned off (words only) or like reading a book of somebody’s life.
RESPONDENT: Richard, I’ve recently been thinking about imagination. It seems to me that what I’ve learned on the AF site is that there may be 2 major types of imagination. There is ‘holding an image in the mind’s’ eye – which is gone for you. Then there is a kind of conceptual network that can be used for planning one’s day, drawing a picture, etc. without anything affective at all. Now you might not call the latter ‘imagination’.
RICHARD: No, I would not call a non-affective conceptualising imagination ... although there are many who do confuse conceptualising with imagining.
RESPONDENT: But, I don’t know what else to call it. I think that’s because we humans just haven’t come up with a term for what is beyond imagination – unless you have one.
RICHARD: How about considering, planning and proposing?
RESPONDENT: Anyway, it seems to me that I use imagination virtually all the time.
RICHARD: Most people do.
RESPONDENT: When I consider ‘possibilities’. When I go to the fridge for food, I’m considering what is possibly there. If I rearrange the furniture in my room – I’m ‘imagining’ what things would be like in new locations. I shudder to think what my life would be like if I tried to curb creative problem solving, ingenuity, etc. that imagination (in some form) brings.
RICHARD: I do not ‘shudder’ about my life at all – it is magnificent beyond any imagining – and ingenuity operates better than ever now that it is no longer side-tracked by imagination.
RESPONDENT: Now, I don’t think there is anyway for me to know definitively how much ‘imagining’ that I do comes from ‘holding an image in my mind’s eye’ or from pure conceptual thought (if any).
RICHARD: Basically imagining means forming mental pictures of objects that are not present or situations that are not happening ... whereas the actual is marvellous beyond one’s wildest dreams and schemes.
RESPONDENT: I had to wonder if you can say, play a game of charades, a game of chess, pretend with your grandchild that they are serving you tea, animate a cartoon, etc.
RICHARD: I could but I rarely, if ever, play games – life itself is far more engaging – other than the occasional game of ‘FreeCell’ that comes with the computer.
RESPONDENT: Then I realized that you must be saying that none of those abilities are gone – just HOW it works – nothing in the mind’s eye – just that it’s all done conceptually with no affective component.
RICHARD: Yes, though I would rather say ‘thoughtfully’ than ‘conceptually’ so as to be unambiguous as for many people the words ‘conceptually’ and ‘imaginatively’ are synonymous.
RESPONDENT: Then I ran across something you said archived on this site – ‘No, I always advise against using imagination ... and idealising, visualising, believing, trusting, hoping and having faith and so on’. I must say that one hit me pretty hard. After considering this for a while, I concluded what you must mean here is that ridding oneself of ‘imagination’ is the goal which happens in Actual Freedom, and not the method to get there.
RICHARD: No, it is part of the method to desist from imagining, idealising, believing, trusting, hoping having faith and so on ... the actual is already always just here right now for each and every person.
RESPONDENT: Otherwise, it would seems that you are discouraging ... 1) kids & adults from using their imagination for creative problem solving.
RICHARD: Yes ... pragmatism is far more practical.
RESPONDENT: 2) animators from doing animated movies.
RICHARD: No ... but the content would change.
RESPONDENT: 3) playing games that involve any ‘pretending’ – like charades, chess, or whatever.
RICHARD: No ... but the ‘game of life’ is far more engaging.
RESPONDENT: 4) using imagination to draw ‘blue-prints’ and build a house.
RICHARD: Yes (the initial schemata for the Sydney Opera House is a good example of imagination versus practicality).
RESPONDENT: 5) a graphic designer from doing their job.
RICHARD: No ... graphic design is oft-times quite straightforward.
RESPONDENT: 6) most (if not all) of the activities humankind is involved in.
RICHARD: This is too general to answer specifically so I will take this opportunity to point out that imagination has created in excess of 1200 gods and an unknown amount of ideologies and philosophies and so on over which many wars have been fought, much suffering has been caused and immense devastation to civilisation and the environment has ensued ... imagination is not as innocuous as the impression you convey with your somewhat capricious points numbered 1-5 (above).
A child is lied to almost from birth onward – in the west with Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny – and stuffed full of fables from the ancient past masquerading as wisdom ... their imagination runs riot with all kinds of nonsense about metaphysical super-heroes (gods or god-men) who are going to save the world.
Even though they do not, never have done and never will do does not seem to affect the hope that such imagination produces.
RESPONDENT: So, I take you as saying that we can transform what we currently use our imagination to do by removing the affective, leaving what is pure and pristine. Is that correct?
RICHARD: Sort of ... basically I am saying that using imagination keeps one away from, or oblivious to, the actual. To a person in the real world, the actual world is unimaginable, inconceivable, unbelievable and incomprehensible ... it has to be experienced in a pure consciousness experience (PCE) to be known in all its purity and perfection.
Or, to put it another way, the already existing peace-on-earth is always right here just now for the living of it.
RESPONDENT: Or are you really recommending ‘turning off’ or ‘not expressing’ our imagination somehow?
RICHARD: Primarily I am recommending ‘self’-immolation – the irrevocable extinction of the imaginer (both ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul) – then imagination disappears of its own accord.. Until that occurs I recommend the minimisation of the imaginer until it is virtually non-existent ... then imagination virtually disappears of its own accord.
RESPONDENT: I just don’t see that as being possible or even desirable to attempt. It seems that one must get at imagination indirectly, not by shutting off or not expressing imagination somehow, but that the method of ‘how am I experiencing this moment of living?’ eventually whittles away the imaging/affective component until one is left with all the same abilities intact (and the same fun), without the functioning of the imagination.
RICHARD: Yes ... although the main aim with all this is to whittle away at the identity via whittling away at its attributes.
RESPONDENT: Is it possible for you to ‘have a tune’ in your head or a melody?
RESPONDENT: Can you ‘imagine’ anything at all?
RESPONDENT: Can you imagine what an orange tastes like?
RESPONDENT: A cool breeze?
RESPONDENT: The smell of a rose?
RESPONDENT: Also, when I think – it’s as if I can hear myself talking in my head. Can you ‘hear’ your ‘talking’ in your head when you think?
RESPONDENT: Also, do you have the ability to compose a tune in your head?
RESPONDENT: Or would you have ‘compose’ it out loud?
RESPONDENT: I’m beginning to think that the distinction I was looking for earlier between the affective ‘imagination’ and the purely conceptual ‘imagination’ may be one of internal vs. external. You say you can draw a picture – but you don’t know how it will turn out until you’ve done it. I would guess the same holds true with a melody. Or even building a shelf or a house or planning your day. Imagination becomes externalised. The appropriate conceptualisation is done without images, then ‘creativity’ is done in action only, not image. No longer is there a screen in the mind that images are projected on to, rather the ‘screen’ for possibilities to play themselves out is the actual, sensory world.
RICHARD: Yes, although it is then no longer imagination but actuality. For example, last year I built a wooden decking at the rear of the house and, knowing its finished dimensions by having measured the area, I ordered the appropriate lengths of wood and laid them out on the ground in their appropriate places and started fastening them together ... no imagination or visualisation was required at all.
There was considering and planning as to the lengths and numbers required of course.
RESPONDENT: Take planning a picnic trip for example. You have conceptual information about what the weather will be like, what foods you have and want to take, who is coming with you, etc. which gives you the information about how to appropriately prepare. All done without imagining.
RICHARD: Yes (provided that by the use of the word ‘conceptual’ you do not mean any form of imagining) ... I would say that I simply have information about the weather, the food and so on.
RESPONDENT: I wonder though about a game like chess or checkers. It’s hard for me to see how you could play one of these games without picturing the various scenarios that open up at least 3 or 4 moves ahead – in your imagination. Can that all be done easily and better just with concepts alone?
RICHARD: Yes, but one does not need concepts ... it just requires considering the next possible moves (I do not play chess or checkers but my experience of ‘FreeCell’ shows that I can successfully plan ahead).
RESPONDENT: Or are you one of those annoying chess players who needs to move the piece and keep his hand on it for a while to see the various ‘possibilities?’ LOL.
RICHARD: Hmm ... people who do that are just making sure that they have not made a mistake, are they not (as in a trial run)? Although you make it into a joke do you really get annoyed by another’s method when it is not in accord with your own?
RESPONDENT: I’ve wondered about what appreciating a story would be like without imagination.
RICHARD: A lot better than with imagination ... the author’s expertise has to stand or fall on its own accord without any propping-up from me.
RESPONDENT: I’ve read that you watch television.
RICHARD: I mainly watch documentaries and comedies and travelogues and biographies and histories and some gardening and cooking programmes ... I tune into the news every now and then and some current affairs programs if there is something in the news that is of interest enough to cause me to hear what various commentators are making of it.
I discovered long ago that the human world gets along as it always does even when I do not keep abreast of current affairs!
RESPONDENT: I assume you read, listen to music, and possibly even watch movies occasionally.
RICHARD: I currently read computer magazines, so as to keep abreast of the latest technologies, and the occasional book; I rarely listen to music; I sometimes hire a video or watch a movie on TV (I have not been to the cinema in years).
RESPONDENT: What I’m curious about is whether these are enjoyed just on a sensate level and as merely a cultural artefact.
RICHARD: On the sensate level primarily (black and white TV held no interest for me all those years ago) and secondly for informational and recreational purposes.
RESPONDENT: Take two recent movies for example, ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘Harry Potter’. Do you think the author’s sole interest in those stories were to create a ‘fantasy world’?
RICHARD: I would presume so ... I have seen the promos of both those movies you mention and have no interest in watching them.
RESPONDENT: Now it’s obvious to me that fantasy can be an escape from the actual ...
RICHARD: An escape from the real ... the actual is magnificent beyond any fantasy.
RESPONDENT: ... but isn’t there also an element of just pure enjoyment of the story, visual display and audio involved?
RICHARD: I have watched some movies just for the graphic effects but, generally speaking, I am somewhat surprised at the paucity of imagination when it comes to the story-line.
RESPONDENT: I’m wondering how you experience that sort of thing.
RICHARD: Usually it reminds me of how pathetic life in the real world is such that it requires fantasy to make life bearable.
RESPONDENT: Also, take video games. There’s the element of visual delight as well as strategy.
RICHARD: I have toyed with several video games (like ‘Tomb Raider’ and ‘Indiana Jones’) and appreciate the 3D possibilities for artistic effect (the strategy part is rather tame). Games like ‘Quake’ and ‘Unreal Tournament’ hold no interest whatsoever (other than the rich rendering of the graphics).
RESPONDENT: On the other hand, there’s the tendency to escape the actual into a virtual world.
RICHARD: I take it that you mean escape from reality (the ‘real world’) ... and I can understand why: the real world’s reality is the pits.
RESPONDENT: Could video games even be created and enjoyed if everyone were enjoying actual freedom?
RICHARD: Sure. I installed some 3D editing software some time ago and toyed with creating some very, very basic 3D scenes and consider that the medium would be excellent for some sort of actualism presentation ... the learning curve required and the expense involved is another story, however.
RESPONDENT: Lastly, I wonder for various reasons whether your taste in TV, movies, entertainment in general may be for comedy, documentary, and biographies – since they are more directly related to the actual (happy and harmless) world. Is that accurate?
RICHARD: Yes ... presuming you mean ‘directly related to the physical world’.
RESPONDENT: Obviously, much of one’s ‘personal taste’ is made up of unique experiences and one’s own interests ...
RICHARD: Oh yes ... there is an element which is idiosyncratic.
RESPONDENT: ... but it also seems that there might be a way of determining just how the loss of imagination has affected your tastes.
RICHARD: I have oft-times said that I would be delighted to meet or hear about or read of somebody else in actual freedom ... so as to compare notes, as it were, and tease out what is idiosyncratic from what is generic.
RICHARD: ... since you are specifically referring to me listening or reading at this very moment (where the delusion called spiritual enlightenment is no longer extant) it would be helpful to explain that it is impossible for this brain to form images as the entire imaginative/intuitive faculty has vanished. I literally cannot imagine, visualise, envisage, envision, picture, intuit, see in the mind’s eye, feel-out, dream up, fall into a reverie, or in any other way, shape or manner imaginatively conceptualise anything whatsoever. I could not form a mental picture of something if my life depended upon it ... whereas in earlier years ‘I’ could get a picture in ‘my’ mind’s eye of ‘my’ absent father, mother, wife, children and so on ... or the painting ‘I’ was going to paint, or the coffee-table ‘I’ was going to build, or the route ‘I’ was going to take by car or whatever. If I were to close my eyes now, and try to visualise, all what happens is the same velvety-smooth darkness – as looking into the infinite and eternal universe at night – which has been the case for all these years now. I simply cannot have images ... when I recall childhood, adolescence, early adulthood, being middle-aged or yesterday it is as if it were a documentary on television but with the picture turned off (words only) or like reading a book of somebody’s life.
RESPONDENT: I doubt if what you are saying is true.
RICHARD: Sure ... all I am doing here, as has been the case ever since coming onto the internet, is to share my experience with my fellow human being for them to do with what they will.
RESPONDENT: To the extent that it is, I don’t know why you believe it is something of merit.
RICHARD: I do not have to ‘believe’ it to be anything – let alone ‘something of merit’ – as it is patently beneficial to operate and function sans the imaginative/intuitive faculty.
RESPONDENT: Ability to imagine creatively or intuit is not problematic.
RICHARD: As I have personally met umpteen number of people who ‘imagine creatively or intuit’ all manner of things which have no existence outside of the human psyche you are way out on your own with this observation.
RESPONDENT: The ability to remember through use of images is essential to effectively function.
RICHARD: Speaking from the on-going experiencing, for just on a decade now, of living life sans the ‘use of images’ you say are essential I can unequivocally testify that operating and functioning in the everyday world of people, things and events freed of the imaginative/intuitive faculty is a breeze.
RESPONDENT: For example, I can study a geographical map of an area and later picture and recollect where places, streets, cities, etc are in relationship to each other. It is almost like calling up a screen on the computer. Another common example – I am looking for an object used yesterday and can recall through images step by step what occurred the day before. By retracing steps, I can bring back the specific memory of where the object was left. When I find the information needed, no further energy is given to image-making.
RICHARD: Whereas my experience is that both navigation and the locating of misplaced objects do not require an imaginative/intuitive faculty.
RESPONDENT: We all do variations of this very quickly for all sorts of purposes.
RICHARD: That there is one person not doing this puts a dent in your ‘we all do’ theory.
RESPONDENT: The images occur on a subconscious level.
RICHARD: No such event occurs in this brain.
RESPONDENT: You don’t look directly at them like you would look at a physical object.
RICHARD: As there is no imaging occurring in this brain, to look at either directly or indirectly, you can only be speaking to an image you have of me.
RESPONDENT: An inability to perceive without images distorting perception is a much different question.
RESPONDENT: Experience is the past, memory and images.
RICHARD: As already discussed previously an intuitive/imaginative faculty is not required for memory to function ... in fact it functions far, far better without imaging interfering.
RESPONDENT: Image can distort perception.
RICHARD: Aye, but what distorts perception big-time is the intuitive ‘presence’ which the affective feelings form themselves into: to see the world whilst being the feeling of beauty, for example, is to miss the purity of the actual (rose-coloured glasses block the purity) ... just as seeing the world whilst being the feeling of love, for another instance, is to be missing out on the perfection of actual intimacy (no separative identity in the first place means no unification via love is required).
There is no inner and outer in actuality.
RESPONDENT: To attend without the centre is to dissolve images in a natural state of emptiness.
RICHARD: Now this is an interesting thing, as you explained to me only recently that the ability to imagine creatively or intuit is not only not problematic but that the ability to remember through use of images is essential to effectively function , yet when it comes to reading or listening to what another has to say it all-of-a-sudden does become problematic after all ... images can distort perception, you say, and the solution to this is to ‘attend without the centre’ so as to dissolve images.
Whereas when the image-maker ‘self’-immolates in toto, for the benefit of this body and that body and every body, the entire imaginative/intuitive faculty which the image-maker is ceases to be forever ... thus there is no need to attend without the centre of the image-maker when images are problematic (reading or listening to another) and to attend with the centre of the image-maker when images are essential for memory to effectively function again.
Especially so when memory functions far, far better sans the image-maker in toto, anyway.
RESPONDENT: The state of emptiness can not be imagined.
RICHARD: Put specifically: that the universe is expanding is inextricably part and parcel of Mr. Albert Einstein’s equations ... the big-bang theory came later and arose out of the implications of that mathematical artefact. Vis.: [snip quote].
RESPONDENT: I find some charm in the metaphor of the Big Bang, however as I already have stated I found one big bang a bit stingy and with the introduction of a ‘cosmological constant’ it is easy to conceive of an infinite number of Big bangs, as the value of the constant could infinitely be variable or even at time reoccur to have the same value. Thus each time the constant would change i.e. leap from 9 to 8 there would be a new big bang.
RICHARD: May I ask? Are you of that school of thought which holds that imagination is more important than knowledge?
RESPONDENT: The fact that that stuff (the grey matter in the skull) is not merely passive does not mean that it well can use some challenge to become a bit more active.
RICHARD: The direct experience that matter is not merely passive – such as in a PCE – relegates all such imaginings as you propose to the waste-bin of history where they belong.
RESPONDENT: Complacency seems to be the greatest danger that is a hindrance on the path of discovery of/exploration into self(es) and other things.
RICHARD: Hmm ... and your cure for that is to develop a hyperactive imagination?
RESPONDENT: The adagio for the matrix is It ain’t necessarily so (this way or that way).
RICHARD: As the ‘matrix’ (a place or medium in which something is bred, produced, or developed) you are referring to is an imaginative realm I will pass without making any further comment.
RICHARD: An expanding universe is neither spatially infinite nor temporally eternal.
RESPONDENT: I’d say too easy.
In order to define matter, space is required in order to define space matter is required yet as the universe is only material (in actualism) there can neither be contraction nor expansion of the universe
In hmm actuality.
RICHARD: Yes ... a universe (all time and all space and all form) which expands/contracts can only do so if there be that which is other than time and space and form (a non-material otherness which is timeless and spaceless and formless).
Such a non-physical otherness is sometimes referred to as a matrix.
RESPONDENT: Interestingly however there is movement of matter into an unknown and/or unknowable direction.
RICHARD: Only in imagination – nothing is coming from, or going to, anywhere or anywhen in actuality – as everything is already just here right now.
RESPONDENT: My comments about shopping also were in the same vein. The pleasure of shopping is not merely due to handling pieces of plastic and paper.
RICHARD: The *sensate* pleasure of shopping is ... here is what I previously wrote (only this time juxtaposed with your query/comments):
First of all, as I am incapable of imagining anything, let alone the future enjoyment of items purchased, it is impossible for me to obtain that kind of pleasure (hedonic pleasure) in any circumstance ... just as it is equally impossible to obtain its polar opposite (hedonic pain).
RESPONDENT: Imagination in this case meant anticipation.
RICHARD: Okay ... given that you (now) use the word ‘anticipation’ in a sentence stating that shopping (for example) is not really a sensate pleasure and that it is the anticipation, of how the purchases are going to be enjoyed at some other place than just here and at some other time than right now, which is what is pleasant at that very moment of handling pieces of paper and plastic bags (for instance), it would appear that what the following dictionaries have to say regarding that word could very well be appropriate. Vis.:
As I am incapable of having the feeling of excitedly or eagerly looking forward to and/or having an eager or pleasurable expectation of and/or looking forward with pleasure to anything, let alone the future enjoyment of items purchased, it is impossible for me to obtain that kind of pleasure (affective pleasure) in any circumstance ... just as it is equally impossible to obtain its polar opposite (affective pain).
RESPONDENT: If you say you are incapable of anticipation, it would be altogether remarkable.
RICHARD: Not only am I incapable of (affective) anticipation I am also incapable of (affective) expectation – or any other word of that ilk you may substitute the next time around – and this is indeed altogether remarkable for it means that one is free to enjoy and appreciate the sensate pleasure that shopping actually is ... the direct, immediate, sensuous experiencing (which happens just here, right now, and nowhere and nowhen else).
RICHARD: Secondly, where there is no identity whatsoever all conditioning – be it self-inflicted conditioning, familial conditioning, peer-group conditioning, or societal conditioning – has nothing to condition and falls by the wayside (hence choices made are freely made choices and not just habit-patterns).
RESPONDENT: This is similar to the Buddhist position.
RICHARD: Not so ... I specifically said [quote] ‘no identity whatsoever’ [endquote] whereas Mr. Gotama the Sakyan only extinguished the shallower part of the identity (the thinker) which allowed the deeper part (the feeler) to expand unchecked into the fullness of its being.
RESPONDENT: That conditioning leads to the feeling of a separated identity (dependant origination).
RICHARD: As I nowhere say that ‘conditioning leads to the feeling of a separated identity’ (for that feeling is what one is born with) there are now two reasons why it is not similar to the Buddhist position.
RESPONDENT: If conditioning is absent/transcended there is no identity.
RICHARD: As I specifically said where there is no identity all conditioning has nothing to condition (and falls by the wayside), and not the other way around (as you have it), there are now three reasons why it is not similar to the Buddhist position.
RESPONDENT: But let’s discuss this interrelationship of identity and conditioning in another thread.
RICHARD: Why? Mr. Gotama the Sakyan knew naught of these matters that I report, describe, explain.
RICHARD: Lastly, the pleasure of shopping here in this actual world is indeed due to handling pieces of plastic and paper (for instance) only there is more to such handling than just the tactile sensation ... much, much more.
RESPONDENT: Of course, tactile sensation is just one form of sensation. My point was that the PRESENT sensations (in all their glory) are not sufficient for the pleasure one gets from shopping/sex. There is a thought process anticipating/remembering future/past sensations which makes shopping/sex so pleasurable (in the normal realm).
I wanted to make a correlation with the sexual pleasure. I can well understand someone not enjoying shopping in the form of anticipating future pleasure. I myself do shopping in the present moment without thinking how I am going to use a certain product (though certainly I choose the product based on my conditioning/tastes).
RICHARD: Where I wrote ‘the pleasure of shopping here in this actual world’ (further above) I was not referring to an identity doing the shopping ‘in the present moment’ (be it either with or without thinking).
RESPONDENT: Thanks for your time and effort. In short, once again: If you get pleasure from sex which is based on mutualness, it is not merely sensate. It involves thought processes.
RICHARD: Perhaps this may help: in the perceptive process sensory perception is primary; affective perception is secondary; cognitive perception is tertiary.
RICHARD: Here is how I have described the anhedonic actualism experience:
RESPONDENT: It is more due to the mental process which assures one of a certain enjoyment of the things just bought.
RICHARD: No, not where identity is no more – as in a pure consciousness experience (PCE), where identity is in abeyance, or upon an actual freedom from the human condition (where identity is extinct) – as all pleasure is thus sensate-only ... the direct, immediate, experiencing which happens just here, right now, and nowhere and nowhen else.
RESPONDENT: Thanks for your comments, I really wish to learn.
RICHARD: You are very welcome ... and if all of the above is too much to grasp at once then, if nothing else, this is what is vital to comprehend:
RESPONDENT: (...) It takes imagination to come up with the ‘idea’ that the earth revolves around the sun, does it not?
RICHARD: (...) I do not know whether it took imagination for Mr. Aristarchus to extend the speculations of Mr. Philolaus and Mr. Hicetas two centuries earlier, that the earth was a sphere revolving daily around some mystical ‘central fire’ which regulated the universe, by proposing that the earth and other planets moved around a definite central object (the sun) ...
RESPONDENT: How could it be any other?
RICHARD: As a normal person, for nigh-on 34 years, ‘I’ came up with many ideas without recourse to imagination – simply by thinking something through to its obvious conclusion (as did/as do many other people) – which is why I answered your query truthfully ... to wit: I do not know whether it took imagination for Mr. Aristarchus to propose that the earth and other planets moved around a definite central object (the sun).
Besides which, Mr. Aristarchus’ original work on heliocentrism has not survived and is known only from others’ accounts – notably from Mr. Archimedes – hence there is uncertainty even as to his arguments on its behalf.
RESPONDENT: How can somebody come up with ‘some mystical ‘central fire’’ if he had not imagined that?
RICHARD: If you were to re-read what I wrote you might see, the second time around, that Mr. Aristarchus did not come up with [quote] ‘some mystical ‘central fire’’ [endquote] ... it was Mr. Philolaus and Mr. Hicetas two centuries earlier who speculated about that.
RICHARD: ... what I do know is that imagination is not required to have ideas ...
RESPONDENT: Where do the ideas come from if not from the affective, imaginative and intuitive faculty?
RICHARD: From the cognitive, ratiocinative and insightful faculty, of course.
RICHARD: ... [what I do know is that imagination is not required] to suppose (to presume/assume), to conceptualise, to formulate theories, to calculate mathematically ...
RESPONDENT: How do you come up with mathematical theorems in the first place?
RICHARD: Not being a mathematician I have not come up with mathematical theorems.
RESPONDENT: How do you come up with solutions to geometrical problems without the affective, imaginative and intuitive faculty?
RICHARD: By thinking them through rationally, practically, sensibly, judiciously, and so on.
RESPONDENT: Can you imagine a circle, a sphere, a triangle?
RICHARD: No ... and so as to forestall similar queries I will re-post the following:
RICHARD: ... [what I do know is that imagination is not required] as I have many years experience in doing so sans the imaginative/intuitive facility.
RESPONDENT: I don’t doubt that you are able to calculate mathematically; what I doubt is that we had mathematics without the affective, imaginative and intuitive faculty. The mathematicians that came up with the formulas that you use to calculate mathematically needed intuition and imagination to come up with these formulas and mathematical solutions in the first place.
RICHARD: I do not know whether the mathematicians who came up with the formulae I use to calculate mathematically needed intuition and imagination to come up with them in the first place ... what I do know is that imagination is not required to have ideas, to suppose (to presume/assume), to conceptualise, to formulate theories, and so on, as I have many years experience in doing so sans the imaginative/intuitive facility.
RESPONDENT: I am talking about coming up with an invention not about the application of the invention.
RICHARD: There is no reason why a person sans the entire affective faculty (which includes its imaginative/intuitive facility) could not come up with an invention ... even mathematical formulae, for that matter. Vis.:
RESPONDENT: You might be able to drive a car, but can you invent one without affective, imaginative and intuitive faculty.
RICHARD: As the automobile already exists there is no need to ... it is great not having to rediscover the wheel.
RESPONDENT: I doubt that.
RICHARD: Has it ever occurred to you that you may very well have a vested interest in doubting that? Perhaps a re-post of something I wrote a couple of months ago may throw some light upon something of import:
RESPONDENT: Kopernicus didn’t start out with ‘I know for fact that the earth revolves around the sun’?
RICHARD: What Mr. Nicolaus Copernicus started out with was ‘Disputations Against Divinatory Astrology’ by Mr. Giovanni Pico della Mirandola – a book which challenged the very basis of planetary divination (in particular the charge that, because astronomers could not agree on the actual order of the planets, astrologers could not be certain about the strengths of the powers issuing from them) – and the acquired knowledge of a thirteenth century mathematical device, formulated by a group of astronomers in Persia, which attempted to resolve a problem (planetary ‘wobbles’) caused by the equant in Mr. Claudius Ptolemy’s model.
RESPONDENT: No, he started out with ‘I have an idea … I have a hunch … I believe ... I am convinced that ... I have the feeling, … it could be, … imagine … my intuition tells me … I have a theory … my mathematical calculations show me … – that the earth revolves around the sun’.
RICHARD: May I ask? Does that precise amount of detail, about how Mr. Nicolaus Copernicus worked out his postulation (that if the sun is assumed to be at rest and if the earth is assumed to be in motion then the remaining planets fall into an orderly relationship whereby their sidereal periods increase from the sun) come from acquired historical knowledge or your imagination? If it be the former the provision of (suitably referenced and attributed) text to that effect would be appreciated.
RESPONDENT: Usually I would have thought Richard is arrogant or wants to bother me or something else with such a request.
RICHARD: Whereas all Richard ever wants with such a request is something of substance to be put on the table, so to speak, so as to save speculating about that which may not exist/might never have happened.
RESPONDENT: But today I know that he cannot imagine that it took Copernicus imagination (and intuition) to come up with the idea that the earth revolves around the sun.
RICHARD: As Mr. Nicolaus Copernicus did not come up with the idea that the earth revolves around the sun – the theory of heliocentricity had been around for centuries – then what you are so sure that you know was not even worth taking the time to type-out (let alone send) ... as was the remainder of your e-mail for that matter.
Do you not see, that in your efforts to argue for the retention of the affective faculty/the identity, you are effectively arguing against peace-on-earth, in this lifetime as that flesh and blood body, inasmuch the very root of same – the instinctual passions (such as fear and aggression and nurture and desire) – will ensure that all the wars and murders and rapes and tortures and domestic violence and child abuse and suicides, and so on, will continue on forever and a day?
Furthermore, is not the case you present (above and elsewhere in other e-mails) nothing other than a smokescreen to cover-up the real issue? For example:
Just so there is no misunderstanding: that is an example of the vested interest referred to further above.
I will repeat, for emphasis, the crux of that re-post: here in this actual world, where there is no psyche, the ability to imagine/ envision/ hallucinate is non-existent (the difference between imagination and hallucination is a difference in degree and not of kind) ... just as the facility of believing, of being delusional, is not extant either.
CO-RESPONDENT: People born blind have no capacity to form mental images (no imagination) in contrast to acquired blindness, where there still is an ability to imagine. Yet born-blinds have the psyche/ affective faculty still extant, which means that there is no cause and effect relationship between the psyche/ affective faculty and imagination, contradicting Richard’s claim to the contrary.
RESPONDENT: Basically a blind person has an affective faculty, but is missing one of its *normal* components – the imaginative faculty. I could ‘lose’ my imagination from a brain injury and still have feelings, however that by no means proves that imagination is not connected to feelings (as it obviously is).
RICHARD: Congenitally blind persons do have the capacity for mental imagery (typically audile, haptic, olfactory and kinaesthetic imagery) and only tend to lack the ability to form visual imagery – there are some apparent exceptions – thus imagination/the imaginative facility is indeed extant.
For instance: five examples of the art-work by a congenitally blind person can be viewed at the following URL: www.zoot.net/theviewfromhere/j_cadiz/index.htm
Just in case that page is inaccessible here is the accompanying text:
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.