Actual Freedom – Selected Correspondence by Topic

Richard’s Selected Correspondence

On Life


RICHARD: There is something precious in living itself. Something beyond compare. Something more valuable than any ‘King’s Ransom’. It is not rare gemstones; it is not singular works of art; it is not the much-prized bags of money; it is not the treasured loving relationships; it is not the highly esteemed blissful and rapturous ‘States Of Being’ ... it is not any of these things usually considered precious. There is something ultimately precious that makes the ‘sacred’ a mere bauble. It is the essential character of the infinitude of the universe – which is the life-giving foundation of all that is apparent – as a physical actuality. The limpid and lucid purity and perfection of actually being here at this place in infinite space now at this moment in eternal time is akin to the crystalline perfection and purity seen in a dew-drop hanging from the tip of a leaf in the early-morning sunshine; the sunrise strikes the transparent bead of moisture with its warming rays, highlighting the flawless correctness of the tear-drop shape with its bellied form. One is left almost breathless with wonder at the immaculate simplicity so exemplified ... and everyone I have spoken with at length has experienced this impeccable integrity and excellence in some way or another at varying stages in their life. This preciosity is me as-I-am – me as I actually am as distinct from ‘me’ as ‘I’ really am – for I am the universe’s experience of itself. Is it not impossible to conceive – and just too difficult to imagine – that this is one’s essential character? One has to be daring enough to live it – for it is both one’s audacious birth-right and adventurous destiny – thus the PCE is but the harbinger of the potential made actual. Richard’s Journal, 1997, Article Twenty-five


RESPONDENT: What do you suppose is the meaning to life?

RICHARD: I do not have to ‘suppose’ what the meaning to life is: it is a direct experience each moment again that, as this flesh and blood body only, I am this infinite and eternal and perpetual universe experiencing itself apperceptively ... as such it is stunningly aware of its own infinitude.

And this is wonderful.


RESPONDENT: Richard, are you saying that the ultimate meaning of the universe is to experience itself as a sentient creature? ... and do that by purposely creating reproductive organisms and then sentient creatures out of hard stone and energy? Else why say that life is not a random, chance event in an otherwise empty and meaningless universe?

RICHARD: The reason why I said that is because it is what materialism, as a generalisation, typically holds – that life is a chance, random event in an otherwise empty (meaningless) universe – in contrast to spiritualism (which, as a generalisation, typically holds that life is a purposeful manifestation by or of a supreme being who created or creates the universe) ... and, furthermore, because the extreme version of the materialist position is nihilism where, as a generalisation, it is typically held that life is whatever one makes of it and, as it is all pointless anyway, the only true philosophical question is whether to commit suicide, or not, and if so, then whether now or later.

I am not saying that the ultimate meaning of the universe is to experience itself as a sentient creature by purposely creating reproductive organisms and then sentient creatures out of hard stone and energy – such a teleological matter is something for teleologists to muse over in lieu of actually doing something about the human condition – as I make it abundantly clear on many an occasion elsewhere that it is the answer to the ubiquitous human quest for the meaning of life which is already always out-in-the-open here in this actual world.

And what I mean by the ‘quest for the meaning of life’ might perhaps be best summarised by the title of a large painting (5’ x 12’) Mr. Paul Gauguin executed in Tahiti – after vowing he would commit suicide following its completion – on sized burlap in 1897-98 ... to wit: ‘Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?’ (D’où venons-nous ? Que sommes-nous ? Où allons-nous ?).

For what it is worth ... the blue idol in the centre-left background apparently represents what he described as ‘The Beyond’.

RESPONDENT: What are the differences between ‘universe’ and ‘life’?

RICHARD: Here is what a dictionary has to say about the word ‘life’:

• ‘life: the condition, quality, or fact of being a living organism; the condition that characterises animals and plants (when alive) and distinguishes them from inanimate matter, being marked by a capacity for growth and development and by continued functional activity; the activities and phenomena by which this is manifested’. (Oxford Dictionary).

The word ‘universe’, of course, refers to all time and all space and all matter (aka mass and energy).


RESPONDENT: Mother nature has figured out that more complex beings are more likely to breed and bring to viability the young. Which, of course, is the only purpose/ meaning of life. If any find that last statement disturbing, prove to me otherwise pls.

RICHARD: It may very well be the only purpose, if that is the right word, of what you call ‘mother nature’ yet there is more to life than bringing to viability the young (for the young in turn similarly bring to viability another generation of young who in turn do likewise and so on and so on) ... much, much more.

Incidentally, the ‘being’ who possessed this flesh and blood body all those years ago found it quite disturbing when he realised, one fine afternoon after the birth of ‘his’ fourth and last child, that to be born, to learn to walk, talk, and so on, to go to school, to get a job/obtain a career, to get married/be in a relationship, to acquire a home, to have children, to teach them to walk, talk, and so on, to send them to school, to have them get a job/obtain a career, to ensure they get married/have a relationship, to have them acquire a home, to encourage them have children, to see them teach their children to walk, talk, and so on – and so on and so on almost ad infinitum – was nothing other than an instinctual treadmill, an inborn/ inherent conveyor belt which carried generation after generation inexorably from birth to death, stretching all the way back from an indeterminate inception and heading towards an open-ended conclusion ... and all for what?

If it were not for that ‘being’ having that realisation then the actual purpose/ meaning of life may quite possibly not be apparent today.


RESPONDENT: ... are you saying that ‘I’ don’t experience the actual meaning of life?

RICHARD: Any meaning other than the actual meaning is meaningless.

RESPONDENT: Okay, but I don’t take it you think that it is ‘pointless’ for a person who is still ‘human’ to live?

RICHARD: No, not at all ... but what is indeed pointless is to search for the meaning of life in the ‘real world’.

RESPONDENT: It may be that the ‘meanings’ that we ‘humans’ experience is only an illusion of meaning – not the actual meaning – it seems a pretty desperate state of affairs to assign all ‘human’ life to being ‘meaningless’.

RICHARD: I see that I wrote in short: you asked a question about the ‘meaning of life’ and I inadvertently answered using only the word ‘meaning’ ... it would have been better if I had written in full. Vis:

• Any meaning of life other than the actual meaning of life is meaningless.

Thus the meaning of life that ‘humans’ experience (either a philosophical or a spiritual meaning of life) is only an illusory meaning of life and not the actual meaning of life.

RESPONDENT: I suppose you would say that ‘humans’ experience ‘meaning,’ but only in the ‘real’ world?

RICHARD: This time around I will answer in full: I would say that ‘humans’ experience a meaning of life but only a ‘real world’ meaning of life.

*

RESPONDENT: Can we have meaningful experiences as long as we are still ‘human’?

RICHARD: No.

RESPONDENT: Isn’t a life lived in virtual freedom more ‘meaningful’ or beneficial than one that is not?

RICHARD: Indeed it is ... again this question/ answer is a result of shortening the phrase ‘meaning of life’ to just the word ‘meaning’: I was answering as if your question had read ‘can we have meaningful experiences [of the meaning of life] as long as we are still ‘human’ .

*

RESPONDENT: It almost seems to me that you are claiming that life cannot be ‘meaningful’ as long as there is an ‘I’ around – if ‘I’ stand in the way of meaning. Does the ‘I’ completely obliterate meaning?

RICHARD: Yes ... ‘I’ am forever locked-out of this actual world.

RESPONDENT: For one in virtual freedom – isn’t there more of the actual world ‘getting through?’

RICHARD: No ... the actual world is either apparent, in all its splendour and brilliance, or it is not (which is what I mean by saying that ‘I’ am forever locked out of this actual world).

Also, I answered ‘yes’ to your ‘completely obliterate’ query too quickly (of course ‘I’ am not capable of obliterating the meaning of life) ... it is better put if I were to say that ‘I’ completely block the meaning of life from being apparent.

*

RESPONDENT: The existence of virtual freedom would seem to mean that meaning is filtered through the body-’self’ somehow, since apparently according to you, meaning can be abundant even with a self?

RICHARD: From what I recall (which is going back twenty-plus years) the ‘reason for existence’ is not apparent in virtual freedom – although the memory of it from pure consciousness experience’s (PCE’s) can be piquant – as the answer is in the living of it.

RESPONDENT: How does that work, if the ‘I’ ‘stands in the way’ of meaning?

RICHARD: Perhaps it would have been clearer if I had written that ‘... ‘I’ was standing in the way of meaning being apparent’ (...). The ‘meaning of life’ – or the ‘secret to life’ or the ‘riddle of existence’ or the ‘purpose of the universe’ or whatever the goal of one’s quest may be called – is already always just here right now in this actual world ... it is that identity (‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul) is preventing that meaning from being open to view. (...) [What I recall is that] as every time a PCE occurred the ‘meaning of life’ became apparent it was increasingly obvious to ‘me’ that it was here all the time – that it already had been and always would be irregardless of ‘my’ presence or absence – and that all ‘I’ had to do for it to be apparent was to disappear. It is all rather magical.

RESPONDENT: It appears to me that you are using the term ‘meaning’ as basically interchangeable with ‘secret to life’ or the ‘riddle of existence’ or the ‘purpose of the universe’ or whatever the goal of one’s quest may be called’ ...

RICHARD: Yes ... that is what Article 17 of ‘Richard’s Journal’ was referring to. The paragraph which you quoted from in your initial e-mail reads as follows:

• [Richard]: ‘Life is intrinsically purposeful, the *reason for existence* lies openly all around. Being in this very air I live in, I am constantly aware of it; I breathe it in and out; I see it, I hear it, I taste it, I smell it, I touch it, all of the time. It never goes away ... nor has it ever been away. ‘I’ was standing in the way of meaning’. [emphasis added]. (page 116, ‘Richard’s Journal’).

Perhaps it would have been clearer still if I had written that ‘... ‘I’ was standing in the way of the meaning of life being apparent’.

RESPONDENT: ... but what about the meanings that we ‘humans’ experience on a daily basis? Like the ‘point’ of something – for example, the point of going to the grocery store is to get groceries to sustain oneself.

RICHARD: I can concur with what you say here ... sustaining oneself (and one’s family if there is one) is certainly not pointless. Furthermore there are many meaningful experiences in everyday life: providing shelter (building, buying or renting a home); being married (aka being in a relationship); raising a family (preparing children for adult life); having a career (job satisfaction); achieving something (successfully pursuing a hobby) and so on.

However, to rely upon transient experience to provide an enduring meaning to life is to invite disappointment.

RESPONDENT: I can see that the ‘meaning’ that ‘I’ experience would be only an illusion of ‘the secret to life’ – but when you say that any meaning other than the actual meaning is meaningless – does that mean our lives are ‘pointless’?

RICHARD: No ... but again what is certainly pointless is to expect to find the secret to life in the ‘real world’.

RESPONDENT: Isn’t there relative meaning (real)??

RICHARD: Such relative meaning as to be found in the everyday experiences (as discussed above) ... yes.

RESPONDENT: Why would you concern yourself or care about mere ‘humans’ living out their ‘meaningless’ lives??

RICHARD: The whole thrust of what I am reporting from my own experience is that the sooner the ‘human’ inhabiting the flesh and blood body ‘self’-immolates the better ... my concern or care in this instance is that the ‘human’ reading the actualism writings understands what such altruistic action means in regards to enabling the meaning of life into becoming apparent as an on-going experiencing.

RESPONDENT: Isn’t there a level where we can speak of meaning in our ‘human’ lives even though it is only ‘real?’

RICHARD: As far as I am concerned there is no ‘real’ meaning of life which is worth pursuing ... if there was the ‘I’ inhabiting this flesh and blood body all those years ago would not have ‘self’-immolated.

I am immensely pleased that ‘he’ would not settle for second best.


RESPONDENT: Richard, just a few follow-up questions to my previous post. First, it’s easy to interpret you as saying that since a ‘human’ only experiences an illusion of meaning that a ‘human’ life is not worth living. I know you don’t make this inference, but it’s not easy to resist – if a ‘human’ cannot experience anything ‘meaningful’ according to you.

RICHARD: As this post came before I had responded to your previous post the miscommunication about shortening the phrase ‘meaning of life’ to just the word ‘meaning’ had not been clarified. In view of the clarification in my response to your previous post I am presuming that this query is no longer relevant ... but on the off-chance my response to your previous post is still not clear I will put it this way:

Since a ‘human’ only experiences an illusory meaning of life then that ‘human’ meaning of life is not worth living ... a ‘human’ cannot experience any meaningful meaning of life.

RESPONDENT: Also, it seems that you are saying that even a life lived in virtual freedom would be ‘meaningless’. What’s the use, then?

RICHARD: A virtual freedom is not meaningless because, thanks to the pure consciousness experience (PCE), a person in virtual freedom knows where the meaning of life is located and is proceeding with all dispatch to enable that meaning of life into becoming apparent.

A person in virtual freedom is no longer searching for the meaning of life.

RESPONDENT: How could one begin to actually care and to have an actual intimacy with everyone and everything if there is no meaning seeping through somewhere??

RICHARD: By remembering the PCE one can then commence the journey upon what I call the wide and wondrous path to actual freedom (only in a PCE, and an actual freedom, is one able to be actually caring and to be living in an actual intimacy).

RESPONDENT: It seems as if there is no other possibility according to you than an illusion of actually caring or actual intimacy – even in virtual freedom.

RICHARD: Not an ‘illusion’, no ... a person in virtual freedom knows perfectly well that actually caring and an actual intimacy happens only in the PCE. They will listen to my reports of what an actual freedom is like to see if it tallies with what they experience in a PCE and thus they can have it affirmed that it is indeed possible to experience an actual caring and an actual intimacy twenty four hours of the day.

Such a person then consciously, and with knowledge aforethought, sets out to imitate the actual – all the while knowing that it is an imitation – until the actual happens ... if it does not happen immediately then they are way ahead of normal human expectations anyway as malice and sorrow – along with their antidotal pacifiers love and compassion – are minimised to the point of being virtually non-existent (hence the appellation ‘virtual’).

It is a win-win situation.

RESPONDENT: Now, this seems to go against much of what you have told me before, yet I can’t help but draw these conclusions from what you are currently telling me about the fact that ‘human’ existence is meaningless.

RICHARD: It should have become clear by now that I am not saying that ‘human’ existence is meaningless ... that rather I am saying that the meaning of life is not, never was and never will be, apparent to a ‘human’.

RESPONDENT: Now, Vineeto has just written a very nice response to an earlier post of mine – and says with respect to the journey toward virtual and actual freedom ... [quote] ‘Then a journey begins that is absolutely wondrous and sensuous, thrilling and scintillating. Then ‘my’ life has both purpose and meaning’. [endquote]. How does this fit with your statements that ‘my’ life cannot have either purpose or meaning – or at least only the illusion of meaning?

RICHARD: This is what she wrote immediately prior to the sentences you have quoted:

• [Vineeto]: ‘As an actualist you are utterly on your own … that’s why a pure consciousness experience is so important. The memory of a pure consciousness experience is your guiding light – it shows you what is possible when the ‘self’ disappears. A PCE makes it startlingly evident why normal every-day life within the human condition is not the be all and end all to living on this verdant planet. When one is haunted by the memory of the purity and perfection of this infinite and eternal physical universe, then settling for second best is impossible’. (Re: The Human Condition; 14 July 2002).

What I see that she is saying is that her life now has both purpose (to eventually live what is possible when the ‘self’ disappears) and meaning (to be being on a journey that is wondrous and sensuous, thrilling and scintillating).

RESPONDENT: Is Vineeto just wrong?

RICHARD: No ... I see that she is saying that it is a PCE which makes it startlingly evident why normal every-day life within the human condition is not the be all and end all to living on this verdant planet (and not the ‘some meaning seeping through somewhere’ making it evident as you were enquiring about).

RESPONDENT: Or is she perhaps speaking of some grand illusion of meaning?

RICHARD: I did not get that impression from what she wrote ... she specifically referred to the PCE as being her guiding light.

RESPONDENT: If it is the case that ‘I’ cannot experience meaning – then what’s the point in living at all?

RICHARD: Just because ‘I’ cannot experience the meaning of life it does not necessarily follow that there is no point in living at all ... on the contrary, the PCE experientially demonstrates that there is a point to life after all.

And a grand point to life at that!

RESPONDENT: Or pursuing a virtual or actual freedom?

RICHARD: The point of pursuing an actual freedom is to live the meaning of life each moment again (which is what Article 17 of ‘Richard’s Journal’, from whence you obtained the quote which started this thread, was all about) ... the point of pursuing a virtual freedom is to live in such a way as to expedite an actual freedom occurring (and if that does not immediately happen one is way ahead of normal human expectations anyway).

A valuable spin-off is peace on earth.

RESPONDENT: Or raising kids?

RICHARD: The point of raising children is, primarily, to perpetuate the species ... yet there are many advantages to being a parent: for just one example, children provide a vital opportunity to find out for oneself just what is going on vis-à-vis the human condition.

Speaking personally, I learnt so much from my intimate interactions with children that I doubt that I would be where I am today without that valuable experience

RESPONDENT: Or ... you get the picture.

RICHARD: Aye ... what I am also getting is that you may have overlooked, forgotten, or are not taking into account, what is evident in the PCE. Vis.:

• [Respondent]: ‘The ‘strongest’ part of the experience probably lasted only about 15 seconds – it seemed like I had been taken into another world, though it was obviously the same world, but yet it was in sharp detail that I hadn’t completely noticed before. And it did have a benevolence about it. I remember feeling a bit overwhelmed by the wonder of it all, which may be what brought the most intense part to an end – but the calm and ‘presentness’ lasted the rest of the evening and a bit into the morning. Right now, I’m somewhere in between, as there is obviously more self left to whittle away at. But it is so wonderful to finally get a taste of what a virtual freedom can be – it’s wonder, it’s ‘certainty’ which needs no prop of certainty. It’s obvious to me now that there is no other way for me to live. In the PCE – fulfilment is in every moment. Absolutely amazing’. (‘Getting The PCE’; 12 May 2002).

When I read the words ‘fulfilment is in every moment’ I can only take that as referring to meaning and/or purpose being consummated ... can you recall what you meant by it?


RICHARD: As for seeing that it could be difficult for one in the ‘real’ world to see their life as pathetic from within: from what I recall the entity inhabiting this flesh and blood body all those years ago could see – albeit dimly – that ‘his’ existence was indeed pathetic (as in emotional and passional and liable to suffer) and that, therefore, it was indeed pathetic (as in either miserably inadequate, feeble or useless) ... and my conversations with various peoples these days show that mostly they too can see it (even if also somewhat dimly to start off with) although there are those who decline to acknowledge it for whatever reason.

RESPONDENT: I think my confusion of your meaning here was a result of thinking you meant that the existence of a ‘self’ is ‘pathetic’ as in miserably inadequate, feeble, or useless – as in (my paraphrase) meaningless and pointless. Now you have clarified in a previous post regarding the ‘meaning of life’ that you are certainly not saying that a life as a ‘human’ is meaningless or pointless (which by the way I was having a predictably hard time reconciling with an ability to be ‘reasonably happy’). It is indeed quite easy for me to see that ‘my’ life is pathetic (as in emotional and passional and liable to suffer) – but it doesn’t seem to follow for me that it is then pointless or useless. (That sort of interpretation is what would be hard to see by a ‘human’.) Now your reference that you were seeing this inference only ‘dimly’ means to me that you must mean the conclusion was based on a dim glimpse of actual freedom and perfection. So you must be saying that ‘my’ existence is pathetic (as in miserably inadequate, feeble, or useless) merely because it is possible to be rid of the self and in fact ‘I’ am blocking the meaning of life from being apparent. So I take it that this second sense of pathetic would be virtually interchangeable with ‘superfluous, redundant, or unnecessary, or in the way’, and so forth. So you could say (spelled out) that ‘I’ am miserably inadequate for total fulfilment and peace-on-earth, a feeble excuse for perfection, and useless as in superfluous or ‘blocking’ the meaning of life. Is this fairly accurate?

RICHARD: Yes ... it is in regards to issues of an ultimate nature (such as total fulfilment, peace-on-earth, perfection, meaning of life) where it can be seen – if only dimly to start off with – that even ‘my’ best endeavours (via personal growth, social change, political reform and so on) are miserably inadequate or feeble or useless.

Seeing that the word ‘useless’ has joined the list of other ‘-less’ words this may be an opportune moment to re-visit an earlier e-mail:

• [Respondent]: ‘... I don’t take it you think that it is ‘pointless’ for a person who is still ‘human’ to live?
• [Richard]: ‘No, not at all ... but what is indeed pointless is to search for the meaning of life in the ‘real world’. (July 16 2002; listaf27b).

I could have as easily said that it is useless, worthless, meaningless, or any other word of that ilk, to try to find the meaning of life in the ‘real world’ ... just as I could have said that it is useless, worthless, meaningless, pointless, etcetera, to seek to establish peace on earth whilst remaining ‘human’.

In short: no ultimate solution to the human condition can be found in the ‘real world’.

*

RICHARD: As for your comment regarding comparison: whenever I discuss these matters with my fellow human beings there is indeed always a comparison with life in the ‘real’ world as contrasted to life in the actual world ... it is what I came onto the internet for.

RESPONDENT: Yes, I have no problem with comparison – it would be pointless not to compare the two. What would be pointless is render those in virtual and actual freedom as the only people on the planet who have a life worth living. And this is indeed what I was beginning to wonder if you were saying is the case. What is indeed difficult to swallow is that one’s life is useless – as in pointless or meaningless. It would hardly seem worthwhile to actualise an actual freedom amongst others whose lives are pointless or meaningless anyway. Writing this out makes this interpretation look pretty silly, but it also doesn’t seem so far-fetched when one’s life is called ‘pathetic’ or ‘useless’.

RICHARD: As an actual freedom is complete unto itself it would not matter that one was living ‘amongst others whose lives are pointless or meaningless’ (if that were to be the case which it is not) if only because an actual intimacy is not dependent upon either reciprocation or cooperation.

There is much that is meaningful or worthwhile in normal human life ... as I have already touched upon in an earlier e-mail:

• [Respondent]: ‘... what about the meanings that we ‘humans’ experience on a daily basis? Like the ‘point’ of something – for example, the point of going to the grocery store is to get groceries to sustain oneself.
• [Richard]: ‘I can concur with what you say here ... sustaining oneself (and one’s family if there is one) is certainly not pointless. Furthermore there are many meaningful experiences in everyday life: providing shelter (building, buying or renting a home); being married (aka being in a relationship); raising a family (preparing children for adult life); having a career (job satisfaction); achieving something (successfully pursuing a hobby) and so on. However, to rely upon transient experience to provide an enduring meaning to life is to invite disappointment.
• [Respondent]: ‘I can see that the ‘meaning’ that ‘I’ experience would be only an illusion of ‘the secret to life’ – but when you say that any meaning other than the actual meaning is meaningless – does that mean our lives are ‘pointless’?
• [Richard]: ‘No ... but again what is certainly pointless is to expect to find the secret to life in the ‘real world’.
• [Respondent]: ‘Isn’t there relative meaning (real)??
• [Richard]: ‘Such relative meaning as to be found in the everyday experiences (as discussed above) ... yes. (July 16 2002; listaf27b).

If this relative/ultimate issue is now clarified satisfactorily I will take this opportunity to point out that there is, however, one area where ‘I’ am not useless (in the ultimate sense) for it is only ‘me’ who can enable both the meaning of life and the already always existing peace-on-earth into becoming apparent ... by either going into abeyance (as in a pure consciousness experience) or by altruistic ‘self’-immolation (as in an actual freedom from the human condition).

The (future) quality of human life is all in ‘my’ hands.


RESPONDENT: So I cannot help concluding that I cannot trust your statements about Actual Freedom.

RICHARD: Indeed not ... that would be silly. I thoroughly recommend finding out for oneself ... it is the most stimulating adventure of a lifetime to embark upon a voyage into one’s own psyche. Discovering the source of the Nile or climbing Mount Everest – or whatever physical venture – pales into insignificance when compared to the thrill of finding out about life, the universe, and what it is to be a human being. I am having so much fun ... those middle-aged or elderly people who bemoan their ‘lost youth’ leave me astonished. Back then I was – basically – lost, lonely, frightened and confused. Accordingly, I set out on what was to become the most marvellous escapade possible. As soon as I understood that there was nobody stopping me but myself, I had the autonomy to inquire, to seek, to investigate and to explore. As soon as I realised nobody was standing in the way but myself, that realisation became an actualisation and I was free to encounter, to uncover, to discover and to find the ‘secret to life’ or the ‘meaning of life’ or the ‘riddle of existence’, or the ‘purpose of the universe’ or whatever one’s quest may be called. To dare to be me – to be what-I-am as an actuality – rather than the who ‘I’ was or the who ‘I’ am or the who ‘I’ will be, calls for an audacity unparalleled in the annals of history ... or one’s personal history, at least.

To seek and to find; to explore and uncover; to investigate and discover ... these actions are the very stuff of life!


RESPONDENT: What makes you enjoy ‘flowery’ use of language, if not its capacity to mesmerize?

RICHARD: My writing is flowery – which is a polite way of saying ‘convoluted and over-ornamental’ as an editor once explained to me – because it is an idiosyncrasy that brings me great delight. I make no apologies for an extravagant exuberance with words ... I am conveying the lavish exhilaration of life itself.

Yet in a way you are correct ... I am fascinated by being alive.


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

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

When it comes to the consumption of nutrients there are many and various beliefs one can hold dearly to. There are people who will not eat red meat at all ... only white meat and fish. Then there are people who will not eat any flesh of warm-blooded animals at all ... only fish and reptiles. Then there are people (vegetarians) who will not eat any meat at all, but will consume eggs and dairy products. Then there are people (vegans) who will eat only vegetables, grain and seed. Then there are people (fruitarians) who will only eat fruit. Then – as we go into myth and fantasy – there are those who live on water and air ... and finally those who live on air only.

Some vegetarians maintain that as a carrot (for example) does not scream audibly when it is pulled from the ground there is no distress caused by the consumption of vegetables. Yet the carrot indubitably dies slowly by being extracted from its life-support system – the ground is its home – and is this not distressing on some level of a living, growing organism? It all depends upon the level, or degree, of ‘aliveness’ that one ascribes to things. Vegans, for instance, will not consume eggs as this prevents an incipient life from being born. Fruitarians go one step further and say that, as the consumption of carrots prevents them from going to seed and sprouting new life, vegetables are to be eschewed entirely. Then, as the eating of grain and seeds also prevent potential life-forms from growing, they will eat only the flesh of the fruit that surrounds the kernel and plant out the embryo plant-form. (I have been a fruitarian so I know full well what I am speaking of.)

The obvious fact is clearly demonstrated by taking all this to its ultimate consideration. What will one do – as a fruitarian causing no pain or the taking of life of anyone or anything – about those pesky things like mosquitoes, sand-flies, cockroaches, rats, mice and other ‘vermin’ that invade my house? Put up screens? What about outside? Will I slap them dead ... or just shoo them away? What will one do if attacked by a snake, a crocodile, a shark, a lion and so on? Do as the Revered Scriptures say and turn the other cheek? Will I humbly submit to my fate and be mauled severely myself – or even killed – simply because of a religious injunction, a moral scruple, a noble ideal, a virtuous belief, a passionate opinion, a deeply held ethical theory? In other words, have animals and insects been given the right, by some inscrutable god, to do with me whatsoever they wish? Is my survival dependent upon the non-existent benevolence of all those sentient beings that I am not going to cause distress to?

What then about germs, bacteria, bacillus, microbes, pathogens, phages, viruses and so on? Are they not entitled to remain alive and pain free? If one takes medication for disease, one is – possibly painfully – killing off the microscopic creatures that one’s body is the host too. Some religions – the Jain religion in India, for example – has its devout members wearing gauze over their nose and mouths to prevent insects from flying in and they even carry small brooms to sweep the path as they walk so that they will not accidentally step on some creature. It can really get out of hand. For instance, small-pox has been eradicated from the world by scientists as a means of saving countless human lives ... is this somehow ‘Wrong’? What is ‘Right’ in regards to what I do in order to stay alive? If I do none of these things then I will be causing pain and suffering to myself – and I am a sentient being too. It is an impossible scenario, when pursued to its ultimate conclusion.

And then there is the matter of one’s fellow human beings. Some of them – in fact at times a lot of them – are desirous of invading the country that one is living peacefully in, with the avowed intent of killing, torturing, raping, pillaging and subjugating oneself and one’s fellow citizens. If one holds a strong and passionate belief in not causing any pain and suffering to other sentient beings then one must be more than a fruitarian ... one must be a pacifist as well. This amounts to hanging out a sign – if everybody else in the country one lives in adopts this specific belief – which says, in effect: ‘Please feel free to invade us, we will not fight back, for we hold firmly to the principle of not causing pain and suffering to any sentient being whatsoever’ (the Tibetan situation is a particular case in point.) Thus anarchy would rule the world – all because of a belief system handed down by the Saints and the Sages, the Messiahs and the Avatars, the Redeemers and the Saviours, the Prophets and the Priests, century after century.

All this is predicated upon there being an enduring ‘I’ that is going to survive the death of the body and go on into the paradisiacal After-Life that is ‘my’ post-mortem reward for being a ‘good’ person during ‘my’ sojourn on this planet earth. It is ‘I’ who is the ‘believer’, it is ‘I’ who will cause this flesh-and-blood body to go into all manner of contorted and convoluted emotion-backed thoughts as to what is ‘Right’ and what is ‘Wrong’, what is ‘Good’ and what is ‘Bad’. If it were not for the serious consequences of all this passionate dreaming it would be immensely humorous, for ‘I’ am not actual ... ‘I’ am an illusion. And any grand ‘I’ that supposedly survives death by being ‘Timeless and Spaceless’, ‘Unborn and Undying’, ‘Immortal and Eternal’ am but a delusion born out of that illusion. Thus any After-Life is a fantasy spun out of a delusion born out of an illusion ... as I am so fond of saying.

When ‘I’ am no longer extant there is no ‘believer’ inside the mind and heart to have any beliefs or disbeliefs. As there is no ‘believer’, there is no ‘I’ to be harmful ... and one is harmless only when one has eliminated malice – what is commonly called evil – from oneself in its entirety. That is, the ‘dark side’ of human nature which requires the maintenance of a ‘good side’ to eternally combat it. By doing the ‘impossible’ – everybody tells me that you can’t change human nature – then one is automatically harmless ... which does not mean abstaining from killing. It means that no act is malicious, spiteful, hateful, revengeful and so on. It is a most estimable condition to be in. One is then free to kill or not kill something or someone, as the circumstances require. Eating meat, for example, is an act of freedom, based upon purely practical considerations such as the taste bud’s predilection, or the body’s ability to digest the food eaten, or meeting the standards of hygiene necessary for the preservation of decaying flesh, or the availability of sufficient resources on this planet to provide the acreage necessary to support the conversion of vegetation into animal protein. It has nothing whatsoever with sparing sentient beings any distress.

Thus ‘Right and Wrong’ is nothing but a socially-conditioned affective and cognitive conscience instilled by well-meaning adults through reward and punishment (love and hate) in a fatally-flawed attempt to control the wayward self that all sentient beings are born with. The feeling of ‘Right and Wrong’ is born out of holding on to a belief system that is impossible to live ... as all belief systems are. I am not trying to persuade anyone to eat meat or not eat meat ... I leave it entirely up to the individual as to what they do regarding what they eat. It is the belief about being ‘Right or Wrong’ that is insidious, for this is how you are manipulated by those who seek to control you ... they are effectively beating you with a psychological stick. And the particularly crafty way they go about it is that they get you to do the beating to yourself. Such self-abasement is the hall-mark of any religious humility ... a brow-beaten soul earns its way into some god’s good graces by self-castigating acts of redemption. Holding fervently to any belief is a sure sign that there is a wayward ‘I’ that needs to be controlled.

Give me ‘silly’ and ‘sensible’ any day.


RESPONDENT: Which act is sillier, to risk limb by driving against the tradition or putting that child on a bike around the next blind corner at risk by driving at all?

RICHARD: Being alive is a risk ... that is what makes it thrilling. As for cycling ... knowing that there are some drivers who hate cyclists, and consider that they should not even be on ‘their’ road, I look out on blind corners. I passed this kind of information onto my children – and anyone else who wants to listen – so I would recommend that this child which you refer to be advised likewise. Somewhere along the line, each person has amenability for their own life and actions.


RESPONDENT: Life is very interesting.

RICHARD: Yes indeed, it is very interesting ... and when interest becomes fascination, one is irresistibly impelled to be totally here. Until then, one is standing back and feeling out what it is like to be here ... and feelings are the incorrect tool for apprehending actuality. And, as beliefs are nothing but emotion-backed thoughts, beliefs about actuality – being but a reality – keep one from being here now at this moment in eternal time and this place in infinite space.

With infinitude happening now, there is no need for a belief system here.


RESPONDENT: Are you the Dr. Kovorkian of the psyche? If so, please send more further instructions.

RICHARD: I like your analogy. I take particular note that Dr. Kovorkian only provided the way ... the recipient does the actual deed. Nobody, but nobody can set you free other than yourself. This fail-safe mechanism is an example of how perfect and pure this universe actually is. It is entirely up to you to seek and to find; to explore and uncover; to investigate and discover ... and these actions are the very stuff of life!

However, it is even more fun to go hand-in-hand with a fellow human being ... it is actual intimacy in action.


RESPONDENT: Thought falsely attributes the true existence of separate things, when, in fact, life is basically undivided.

RICHARD: Is life, basically, actually undivided? One must be careful not to fall into that religious and spiritual solution to separation: unity, union, oneness, etcetera. A self, being separate, desires closeness, then togetherness, then oneness. The ultimate game-plan of this oh-so-cunning ‘me’ is to be in a state of union with something metaphysical. This is called ‘Pure Being’, and one experiences oneself – and thus life – as being undivided.

Remember, the whole notion of an undivided life existing somewhere arises from a divided mind and heart. Any state hypothesised from an illusion can only be a delusion.

One must die to find out the actuality of what is.


RESPONDENT: Fortunately, life never fits into our preconceptions of it.

RICHARD: May I suggest? Whenever you write – or think or talk – substitute ‘I’ or ‘me’ or ‘my’ or ‘mine’ for ‘you’ or ‘us’ or ‘our’ or ‘ours’ in any sentence that has the context wherein you are duck-shoving the personal onto the collective (even if it be true that all humans are identically stupefied). Thus your sentence now reads: ‘Fortunately, life never fits into ‘my’ preconceptions of it’. This personalisation is called ‘taking responsibility’ for the perpetuation of all the anguish and animosity (you are not responsible for the cause of all the anguish and animosity).

Nobody – but nobody – can set you free but yourself.


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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.

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