Richard’s Selected Correspondence
RESPONDENT: I have been meditating, reading and investigating for about 10 years.
RICHARD: Okay ... do you mean ‘meditating’ as in the inapt translation of the Eastern Spiritual practice (as epitomised by the word ‘dhyana’) or as in the Western meaning: ‘think upon; consider’? There is a vast difference. In the West to meditate means to be thoughtful; to engage in contemplation about, to exercise the mental faculties, contemplate, think about, think over, muse upon, ponder upon, reflect on, deliberate about, mull over, have in mind, plan by turning over in the mind, fix one’s attention on, observe intently or with interest, concentrate on, consider, ruminate, study, intend, project, design, devise, scheme or plot. And meditation is continuous thought on one subject; a period of serious and sustained reflection or mental contemplation, consideration, reflection, deliberation, rumination, mulling over or being in reverie, musing, pondering or brooding. (Some examples of this use of the word are given by ‘The Oxford Dictionary’:
Whereas in the East to meditate means to be thoughtless; meditation is the action or practice of a profound spiritual or religious state of consciousness for whose description words are considered to be totally inadequate. It is the highest state of consciousness, associated with direct mystic experience of reality and cannot be experienced until a condition of mindlessness has been created through the deliberate elimination of the objects of thought from consciousness. The organs of sense perception are so controlled that they no longer pass to the mind their reactions to what is perceived. The mind loses its identity by absorption into a higher state which precludes any awareness of duality, although a form of unitary awareness of the conventional world is retained. Entering into Eastern meditation, one experiences the heart as being wider than the universe and experiences infinite bliss and immeasurable power exceeding any occult power. It is a yogic state of formless ecstasy when there is absorption in divine reality and a loss of body sense ... and the ego has been transcended. In this state one rests in highest consciousness ... one has become lord and master of reality. Very few spiritual seekers have reached this level for one is manifesting God in every second, both consciously and perfectly. There is identification with the transcendent, radiant being in which all phenomena are seen as temporary, non-binding modifications of this all-inclusive divine being. The divine self is realised beyond the view point of the physical body, or the mind or the independent personal consciousness. When phenomena arise to notice from this formless and unqualified presence or love-bliss there is ecstasy of perfect spontaneity. (Some examples of this use of the word are given by ‘The Oxford Dictionary’:
RESPONDENT: Many have glorified living here-and-now but probably few implemented it into their everyday lives.
RICHARD: Some enterprising person did a head-count of the peoples who succeeded in living the metaphysical ‘here and now’ – the ‘Timeless and Spaceless’ void – and came up with the figure of 0.0000001 of the population ... and given that this solution has been around for more than three thousand years it is hardly a recipe for success. Peace-on-earth remains as remote as it was when the first narcissist transmogrified their ego into that massive delusion of grandeur called god (by whatever name ... ‘Higher Self’, ‘True Self’, ‘Real Self’, ‘The All’, ‘Existence Itself’, ‘Consciousness’, ‘The Void’, ‘Suchness’, ‘Isness’ and so on).
RESPONDENT: I am somewhat confused as far as the details of this self analysis go. There are several ways I have been approaching self analysis: 1. By paying attention to what happens inside me and outside me in ‘real time’ all the time. This stems from my former Vipassana meditations, I think. This state of alertness goes on sometimes for prolonged periods of time. It is difficult then to answer a question ‘what do I really want’ because the watching ‘I’ is satisfied by this watching activity. Everything happens in front of ‘me’. I am happy the way I am. Am I then in a dissociated state?
RICHARD: Quite possibly ... but only you can know that for sure as I will only ever have your description to go by and would not presume to know your moment-to-moment experience. However, in view of your involvement with the Buddhist ‘Vipassana Bhavana’, if you had been successful in cultivating ‘Mindfulness’ properly, you would have been regularly attaining to the dissociated state ... else you have been wasting your time, effort and (maybe) fees.
It is this simple: the word ‘mindfulness’ (which means more or less the same as ‘watchfulness’, ‘heedfulness’, ‘regardfulness’, ‘attentiveness’) has taken-on the Buddhist meaning of the word for most seekers (just like the word ‘meditation’ which used to mean ‘think over; ponder’), and no longer has the every-day meaning as per the dictionary. The Buddhist connotations come from the Pali ‘Bhavana’ (the English translation of the Pali ‘Vipassana Bhavana’ is ‘Insight Meditation’). ‘Bhavana’ means ‘to cultivate’, and, as the word is always used in reference to the mind, ‘Bhavana’ means ‘mental cultivation’. ‘Vipassana’ means ‘seeing’ or ‘perceiving’ something with meticulousness discernment, seeing each component as distinct and separate, and piercing all the way through so as to perceive the most fundamental reality of that thing and which leads to intuition into the basic reality of whatever is being inspected. Thus ‘Vipassana Bhavana’ means the cultivation of the mind, aimed at seeing in a special way that leads to intuitive discernment and to full understanding of Mr. Gotama the Sakyan’s basic precepts. In ‘Vipassana Bhavana’ , Buddhists cultivate this special way of seeing life. They train themselves to see reality exactly as it is described by Mr. Gotama the Sakyan, and in the English-speaking world they call this special mode of perception: ‘mindfulness’.
Consequently, when the Buddhist practitioner carefully cultivates ‘mindfulness’, it is a further withdrawal from this actual world than what ‘normal’ people currently experience in the illusionary ‘reality’ of their ‘real world’. All Buddhists (just like Mr. Gotama the Sakyan) do not want to be here at this place in space – now at this moment in time – as this flesh and blood form, walking and talking and eating and drinking and urinating and defecating and being the universes’ experience of its own infinitude as a reflective and sensate human being. They put immense effort into bringing ‘samsara’ (the Hindu endless round of birth and death and rebirth) to an end ... if they liked being here now they would welcome their rebirth and delight in being able to be here now again and again as a human being. They just don’t wanna be here (not only not being here now but never, ever again). Is it not so blatantly obvious that Mr. Gotama the Sakyan just did not like being here? Does one wonder why one never saw his anti-life stance before? How on earth can someone who dislikes being here so much ever be interested in bringing about peace-on-earth? In this respect he was just like all the Gurus and God-Men down through the ages ... the whole lot of them were/are anti-life to the core. For example:
It can be seen that he clearly and unambiguously states that he (Mr. Gotama the Sakyan) is ‘the eternally abiding, unchanging, fine and mysterious essential body’ even to the point of repeating it twice (‘the Tathagata is eternally abiding without any change’) and (‘the Tathagata eternally abides without any change’) so as to emphasise that ‘someone who is able to know that the Tathagata is eternally abiding without any change ... shall be born into the Heavens above’. And to drive the point home as to just what he means he emphasises that ‘the body that eats is not the essential body’ ... which ‘essential body’ can only be a dissociated state by any description and by any definition. Whereas I am this body that eats ... and nothing other than this.
RICHARD: [...] you have made it clear, both in your postings prior to that frontal leucotome/ transorbital lobotomy email and after it, that you want your path to be the short-cut path – not via a virtual freedom – which means you have no other option but to invoke destiny.
RESPONDENT: It’s not so much that I don’t want to do the necessary work it’s just that I cannot detect ‘me’ and thus I don’t have a grasp of this unreal being. It is like dealing with an invisible being. Thus how do I detect ‘me’? Can you give an example of what you did to detect ‘you’ on a regular basis before your ultimate demise?
RESPONDENT No. 5: I had posted earlier that for someone who doesn’t have meditation background, it will be very hard to follow Actualism.
RESPONDENT: I see what you mean.
RICHARD: As to [quote] ‘follow’ [endquote] actualism is to put what is nowadays known as the actualism method into practice – the way to an actual freedom first devised and put into practice in 1981 by the identity then inhabiting this flesh and blood body it is to your advantage to re-read the following exchange:
Now, as I am the only person thus far to have obtained the full benefit of the actualism method then how do you equate that with what you replied ‘I see what you mean’ to?
Furthermore, do you now comprehend how such discrediting tactics work?
More to the point, however, are you aware of just what type of meditation it is which your co-respondent is promoting?
RESPONDENT No. 5: [...] I would suggest that you read this book ‘Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life’ by Jon Kabat-Zinn. [...]
RESPONDENT: Thanks for that link to the book. I’ll be sure to check it out.
RICHARD: Not surprisingly, that book fits into the self-help/ personal growth genre (the province of pop-psychology or pop-therapy) and, having been around since 1993, has many online reviews. As one such review begins with ‘I read this book after listening to Jon Kabat-Zinn on Oprah’s radio program ...’ I wonder if you are familiar with the term ‘The Oprahfication of America’ (as in the ‘no-fault moral universe of non-judgmentalism’)?
For instance, an editorial review depicts the book as being about ‘... living fully in the present, observing ourselves, our feeling, others and our surroundings without judging them’. Indeed, on page 88 Mr. Jon Kabat-Zinn writes: ‘Meditation is a Way of being, a Way of living, a Way of listening, a Way of walking along the path of life and being in harmony with things as they are’. (As ‘things as they are’ of course includes wars, murders, rapes, tortures, domestic violence, child abuse, sadness, loneliness, grief, depression and suicide the lie of being non-judgmental is readily exposed for those with the eyes to see).
So, how is one to achieve this sleight-of-hand? Simple: retreat from it all by going within to find your ‘soul path, a path with heart’ (page xvi). Or, even more to the point, on page 96 he says ‘Dwelling inwardly for extended periods, we come to know something of the poverty of always looking outside ourselves for happiness, understanding, and wisdom’.
In regards to the ever-present problem of promoting a buddhistic mindfulness ‘dwelling inwardly for extended periods’ practice in a non-spiritual/ non-mystical way another editorial review says ‘The idea that meditation is ‘spiritual’ is often confusing to people, Kabat-Zinn writes; he prefers to think of it as what you might call a workout for your consciousness’. Regarding this ‘workout for your consciousness’ a customer reviewer writes ‘I read a lot of books on meditation, yoga, and buddhism, and this book doesn’t hold up to any of them’. Another one says ‘... because I have some familiarity with eastern thought I really didn’t connect with much in this book’.
I could go on, and on, but I will leave you with what Mr. Jon Kabat-Zinn has to say on that topic instead: on page 264 he opines that ‘meditation can be a profound path for developing oneself, for refining one’s perceptions, one’s views, one’s consciousness, but, to my mind, the vocabulary of spirituality creates more practical problems than it solves’. And thus do the dilettantes spread the sickness of the east.
RESPONDENT: What is the extra ingredient in the actualism method that is missing in meditation practices?
RICHARD: As the actualism method is not a meditation practice in the first place there is no [quote] ‘extra ingredient’ [endquote] that is missing in them.
RESPONDENT: I should have said what is the main difference.
RICHARD: This is what Peter wrote to you:
I am none-too-sure that I can put it all that differently but I will give it a go: put briefly, the main difference is that in meditation practices the aim is to bring about senselessness and thoughtlessness (as in become the witness) so that fancifulness and pretentiousness can reign supreme and ... !Hey Presto! ... a modishly much-aggrandised unearthly-like other-self manifests.
RESPONDENT: Awareness is a factor in both, but what you do with that awareness is different in actualism, right?
RICHARD: Yes ... it is, in fact, 180 degrees different as the actualism method is all about coming to one’s senses (both literally and metaphorically) whereas meditation practices are all about going away from same (both literally and metaphorically).
To explain: the word ‘meditate’ is the (inaccurate) English translation of what is known as ‘dhyana’ in Sanskrit (Hinduism) and as ‘jhana’ in Pali (Buddhism) wherein there is a complete withdrawal from sensory perception and a cessation of thought, thoughts, and thinking ... a totally senseless and thoughtless trance state which could only be described as catalepsy in the West.
Apart from Mr. Venkataraman Aiyer, in his early years, possibly the best-known example could be Mr. Gadadhar Chattopadhyay
(aka Ramakrishna): onlookers can see the body is totally inward-looking, totally self-absorbed, totally immobile, and totally functionless (the
body cannot and does not talk, walk, eat, drink, wake, sleep ... or type e-mails to mailing lists).
RESPONDENT: The idea that the spiritualist ‘be here now’ meant being in some mystical state never occurred to me.
RICHARD: Okay ... this is what a dictionary has to say about the word ‘spiritual’:
And this is what a dictionary has to say about the word ‘spirit’:
Thus the word ‘spiritual’ essentially means (a) of, pertaining to, or affecting the immaterial part of a corporeal being ... or (b) of, pertaining to, or affecting a disembodied and separate entity ... or (c) of, pertaining to, or affecting immaterial substance, as opposed to body or matter.
RESPONDENT: When J. Krishnamurti talked about being choicelessly aware of this moment I took it to mean that he was talking about this moment in this world.
RICHARD: Nope, not in the world but away from it ... for example:
RESPONDENT: Words like Truth, Beauty and the such did not occur to me to be spiritual words.
RICHARD: Spiritualists are prone to pinching spatial/ temporal words even when they have their own lexicon ... such as using the word intelligence, for instance, instead of god/ goddess and so on.
RESPONDENT: J. Krishnamurti also said something like ‘you are anger’. So it did not register with me that he meant that we were not our feelings ...
RICHARD: Oh, he meant it alright ... for instance:
And what is the word most apt for the love which is ‘a total feeling’ and ‘complete purity of feeling’? Vis.:
And where does that passion come from? Vis.:
And here again in a similar vein:
Then there is this:
And this one explains all:
As does this one:
In short: out of the passion of transformed sorrow comes compassion; passion also creates beauty; the feeling of beauty is the feeling of love; love is God/ love is not different from truth; I am God.
RESPONDENT: ... and so I did not try his choiceless awareness with that assumption nor the assumption that ‘this moment’ referred to a mystical state.
RICHARD: Ahh ... there is nothing that can be more a mystical state than being a timeless and spaceless and formless god/ truth.
RESPONDENT: It sounds like those spiritualists speaking above [now snipped] have the intent of being aware of this moment in the interest of peace and happiness.
RICHARD: There are more than a few spiritualists who do not comprehend just what the goal of meditation practices really is (more on this at the bottom of the page).
RESPONDENT: I read a little of those spiritual books but always with a naturalistic view.
RICHARD: You are not the first to do so ... and will not be the last.
RESPONDENT: If they said they were in some state I assumed they had tapped into something in the brain and just did not know what to call it other than God.
RICHARD: You are not the first to assume so ... and will not be the last.
RESPONDENT: I never thought I was practicing anything spiritual in meditation.
RICHARD: Back in 1968, when still in the military, I hired a black and white TV set for six months as, having been born and raised on a remote farm being carved out of a forest, television was a novelty and every now and again, whilst changing channels, I would come across a half-hour programme on something entirely new to me and called ‘Yoga’ which was conducted by a youngish women from India with, what I took to be, a large mole in the centre of her forehead (it was black-and-white television).
What puzzled me at the time was that she kept on assuring her viewers that it was not necessary to be religious in order to start doing, what I took to be, the exotic physical exercises she was introducing into this country (daily doses of regular physical exercises were mandatory in the military).
It was many, many years before the penny dropped ... and the Tai Chi introduced from China is another instance.
RESPONDENT: I guess that spiritual ideas are what the practice is based on so even with a secular humanist flavouring to the language it still takes one to the same place.
RICHARD: Aye ... if only the western religions could package their prayer-practice in a secular disguise they too may gain many more converts.
RESPONDENT: I am going to go back and read some of the commonly raised objections concerning this matter but anything you can offer would be appreciated.
RICHARD: Okay ... given that you agree the goal of the actualism method just seems contrived then here is a question for you: what is the difference between solipsism and nondualism (aka advaita)?
RESPONDENT: I am not familiar with advaita.
RICHARD: In which case ... essentially there is no difference between solipsism and nondualism as they are both totally, completely and utterly self-centred.
RESPONDENT: What does the question have to do with the actualism method being contrived?
RICHARD: It does not have anything to do with [quote] ‘the actualism method being contrived’ [endquote] ... it has to do with you agreeing that [quote] ‘the goal’ [endquote] of the actualism method just seems contrived. Vis.:
RESPONDENT: I am definitely trying to practice actualism, but I have not received one answer to any of my questions I have posed to you. You know I don’t expect you to be some sort of guru or anything, just would like some info. Earlier you asked ‘where have I ever been evasive in answering direct questions to me?’ and it seems to me that my direct questions have been evaded.
RICHARD: I have just now gone back through all twelve of the e-mails you have written to this mailing list and found the following three addressed specifically to me:
If all it takes is to not respond to each and every e-mail each and any person addresses to me in order to qualify as being evasive (synonyms: elusive, slippery, shifty, cagey, hard to pin down, equivocal, ambiguous, vague) in answering a direct question then all I can do is tug my forelock and say ‘guilty as charged, milord’ as there are an untold number of e-mails I have not responded to.
You asked what I thought of you still doing Vipassana Bhavana – aka ‘Insight Meditation’ – in the way Mr. Satya Goenka made popular in the west (as in your ‘I still sit now’ phrasing), and whether I saw any conflict with that and actualism, plus what I thought of your proposal that it is accelerating the process of you trying your damnedest to be the body and every sensation that is a part of it.
First of all, in regards to your query, here is what Mr. Ba Khin (Mr. Satya Goenka’s accredited Master) had to say:
Thus where you say you can ‘really experience the sensations’ whilst still sitting now (doing insight meditation the way Mr. Satya Goenka made popular in the west) then what you are experiencing – a stream of energy known as kalāpas – is impermanence or decay, and its corollary, suffering itself ... neither of which has anything to do with who you really are as you who are trying your damnedest to be the body, and every sensation that is a part of it (aka the kalāpas), are an illusion.
And I say this, not only out of my own experience, but also because of what the very goal of Vipassana Bhavana makes crystal clear:
Hence where you ask what is wrong with sitting by yourself, and thoroughly enjoying the changing sensations that show up in the body, you are not only committing the cardinal error of trying to identify with that which is impermanence or decay (which, according to Mr. Gotama the Sakyan, is ‘dukkha’) but you who are trying to so identify are not who you really are anyway (the perfected saint who, at the termination of your life, will pass into an after-death peace).
As to how all this conflicts with actualism: both who you currently are (an illusion) and who you really are (a delusion) can never be the flesh and blood body ... both the thinker (the ego) and the feeler (being itself) are forever locked-out of actuality.
In regards to your professor defining beauty as complexity harmonised and, if harmony is not a fact or is subjective, then how peace is not the same: all I can say is that I have never said that harmony is not actual/is subjective ... it is beauty itself – the very feeling of beauty – which has no existence in actuality.
RESPONDENT: I think Vineeto (and perhaps Richard) do not know what they are talking about when they speak of Vipassana: SC ‘body’.
RICHARD: As I can only presume that by ‘SC ‘body’’ you are referring me to my ‘Selected Questions’ topic labelled ‘Body’ I checked through both pages and cannot find ‘Vipassana’ mentioned at all: if you could provide the text where Richard ‘perhaps’ does not know what he is talking about I may be able to respond constructively to your thought.
And the reason why I suggest this is also because of this (in a recent post):
As you not provide the text, where Richard describes the Vipassana Bhavana (aka ‘Insight Meditation’) Mr. Satya Goenka made popular in the west in a way which is ‘not at all’ what the technique you were taught is, there is nothing of substance for me to respond to.
RESPONDENT: From what I have been taught, the teaching of Vipassana is to go beyond both body AND consciousness, or mind.
RICHARD: Indeed ... here is but one instance (among many) where Mr. Gotama the Sakyan makes it abundantly clear that full release is beyond both body and consciousness:
RESPONDENT: (...) Are you sure actualism is 180 degrees opposite?
RICHARD: Ha ... as I am this flesh and blood body only, and as this flesh and blood body being conscious – as in being alive, not dead, being awake, not asleep, being sensible, not insensible (comatose) – is what consciousness is (the suffix ‘-ness’ forms a noun expressing a state or condition), I am most assuredly not disenchanted with the body/disenchanted with consciousness ... let alone fully released from same (and thus) discerning there is nothing further for this world.
RESPONDENT: Maybe you guys just know Vipassana as taught by quacks.
RICHARD: As the only occasion I am cognisant of, wherein you have read anything of what I have written about the Vipassana Bhavana (aka ‘Insight Meditation’) Mr. Satya Goenka made popular in the west, is the e-mail I wrote to you on Tuesday 26/10/2004 AEST – wherein I quoted from what Mr. Ba Khin had to say – I can only assume that you are characterising him (Mr. Satya Goenka’s accredited Master) as being a quack.
Especially so as you specifically say that you [quote] ‘do not buy much of the theory handed down from tradition’ [endquote].
RESPONDENT: Ok –
RICHARD: If I may ask? Are you saying ‘Ok’ (as in an assent or acquiescence in response to a question or statement) to my assumption that it is Mr. Ba Khin – Mr. Satya Goenka’s accredited Master – whom you are characterising as being a quack?
RESPONDENT: Actually I was referring to your general description of Vipassana and the SC body from Vineeto.
RICHARD: If you could provide the ‘general description of Vipassana’ of mine you are referring to where you think Richard [quote] ‘perhaps’ [endquote] does not know what he is talking about I may be able to respond constructively to your thought.
Furthermore, as you do not provide the ‘general description of Vipassana’ of mine you are referring to, where Richard describes the Vipassana Bhavana (aka ‘Insight Meditation’) Mr. Satya Goenka made popular in the west in a way which is [quote] ‘not at all’ [endquote] what the technique you were taught is, there is nothing of substance for me to respond to.
RESPONDENT: I just figured you guys agree on most of the things you say about actualism.
RICHARD: Indeed we do ... however, as the Vipassana Bhavana (aka ‘Insight Meditation’) Mr. Satya Goenka made popular in the west is not, and never will be, actualism there is no reason to suppose that such concordance would extend to each and every detail of one of the multitudinous sub-sects of the multiplicity of sects which subsist in the religious denomination known as ‘Buddhism’.
RICHARD: Everything was already perfect, as it always had been and always would be. Yet I knew that I would revert back to being that entity – that ‘I’ – and work ‘my’ way through whatever stood in ‘my’ way to freedom. ‘I’ did not permanently ‘dissipate when seen through’ ... ‘I’ had to put in a lot of work before ‘my’ complete and final demise could eventuate. For ‘I’ was born out of the instinctual fear and aggression and nurture and desire that blind nature endows all sentient beings with at birth ... a rough and ready software package to give us all a start in life. There is nothing subjective about war and murder and rape and torture and domestic violence ... which is the inevitable outcome of blind nature’s gratuitous bestowal of the instinct for survival at any cost.
RESPONDENT: If by work you mean meditative life, seeing with full attention or apperception, yes. But when it is asserted that ‘I’ have arrived at a me-less state, there clearly is divisive self-image.
RICHARD: Not a meditative life, no ... I have never meditated. What I did was:
It was great fun and very, very rewarding along the way. ‘My’ life became cleaner and clearer and more and more pure as each habitual way of living life was consciously eliminated through constant exposure.
Thus ‘my’ days were numbered ... ‘I’ could hardly maintain ‘myself’ ... soon ‘my’ time would come to an end. An inevitability set in and a thrilling momentum took over ... ‘my’ demise became imminent. The moment of the death of ‘me’ was so real that it was experienced as being that one was going into the grave physically.
RICHARD: ... an ‘undivided consciousness’ means there is, literally, no observer and the observed (aka subject and object) – the observer is the observed (aka ‘Tat Tvam Asi’/ ‘Thou Art That’) – wherein there is only observation (aka witnessing). In a word: solipsism.
RESPONDENT: Would you please elaborate on the vital difference between such witnessing and the sensory ‘experience’ of the actualist? And is the mystical nature of the Witness, a la spirituality, its imputation of a non-material ‘essence’?
RICHARD: First of all, there is no ‘the Witness’ in the state of undivided consciousness ... there is only witnessing (aka observation) because the witness (aka the observer) is the witnessed (aka the observed).
Unless, of course, by ‘the Witness’ you mean God/Goddess or Truth or Being and so on ... in which case another way of saying that is ‘I am everything and everything is Me’ (not the ego-‘I’, though, but the second ‘I’ of Mr. Venkataraman Aiyer fame) or ‘I am That’.
The vital difference between that and the sensory experiencing here in this actual world – as evidenced in a pure consciousness experience (PCE) – is that, as this flesh and blood body only (sans identity in toto), one is not what is being sensorially experienced ... one is the experiencing of what is happening.
RESPONDENT: Meditation then, is ordinary living when that living is not entrapped in paralysing and debilitating self-centredness
RICHARD: As any ‘paralysing and debilitating self-centredness’ is caused by the presence of an identity, then when this identity self-immolates ordinary living is revealed to be always perfect. Nothing extra needs to be done as one is already doing what is happening ... no meditation is required at all.
RESPONDENT No. 12: If you understood Krishnamurti, you would not have conceived of an unfragmented observer. That is like saying that there is an unfragmented fragment.
RICHARD: I know it sounds strange ... that is because it is strange. Fragmented means nothing more than consisting of fragments. If the observer becomes the observed, the fragments come together ... they are an integrated whole. The observer experiences unitary perception of ‘centre-less seeing’. There is still an observer in existence ... now at one with everything.
RESPONDENT: Surely the observer cannot experience ‘centre-less seeing’ – for the observer is the centre.
RICHARD: Centre-less seeing is when the observer has become the observed ... it is an holistic vision. This whole observer – unfragmented – is god.
RICHARD: That is why I wrote ‘unfragmented observer’ . That is what wholeness means, when all is said and done.
RESPONDENT: Is it? Or can wholeness only take place when the observer is not? I don’t know what you mean by ‘unfragmented observer’. Isn’t the observer thought which has separated itself from other thoughts, which it calls the ‘observed’? The observer is therefore always a fragment.
RICHARD: Do you really see ‘the observed’ as referring to thought which has separated itself from other thoughts, which it calls the ‘observed’? You do not consider that Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti’s use of the word the ‘observed’ refers to the world of people, things and events? Things like trees and mountainous and so on? The ‘observer’ quite obviously refers to an entity – a little person – inside the head looking out through the eyes as if looking out through a window to the world outside the house ... but to understand that the ‘observed’ is ‘other thoughts’ is stretching credibility a bit too far, is it not?
Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti refers to the world of people, things and events ... for he said:
Or are you one of those persons who maintains that the objects of the world of people, things and events exist only in the brain? That an object has no substantial reality ... as in being actual of its own accord? Because if you do, this is bordering upon solipsism. That gives rise to pithy aphorisms like that hoary adage about a tree in the forest only falling if someone is there to see it fall. If we cannot understand that the physical world exists as an actuality independent of this body seeing it ... well then, we might as well all pack up our books and go home. Because then ... anything can be true, it is all a matter of thinking something to be and it is so being.
Thus a devout Hindu will see a blue-skinned Mr. Krishna playing a flute and a devout Christian will see a fair-skinned Mr. Yeshua the Nazarene hanging on a cross ... and the Hindu will not see Mr. Yeshua the Nazarene and the Christian will not see Mr. Krishna. As they are both thus so obviously culturally derived truths – and not actual and substantial realities – then your version of understanding life is extremely subjective ... as I said, bordering upon solipsism.
RICHARD: If Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti had meant that the observer becomes extinct he would have said so ... he had a good grasp of the language. But he talked of a state wherein the observer is the observed. He called that state ‘wholeness’ and being ‘holistic’ ... even to the point of explaining that ‘holistic’ means ‘holy’ ... as in ‘that which is sacred, holy ... that which is beyond thought ... timeless ... ineffable ... the absolute ... the supreme ... that which is the origin of everything ... of all nature ... of all humankind’.
RESPONDENT: Not correct, Richard. Krishnamurti repeatedly stated that when the observer is the observer, there is then neither the observer nor the observed: Krishnamurti: ‘Isn’t there – I am just suggesting, I am not saying it is, or it is not, it’s for you to look to find out – isn’t there a sense of observation without the observer? Right? Do you understand? Which means there is neither the observer nor the observed. I wonder if you get this ... meditation means that there is neither the observer nor the observed. So the observer is not, only ‘what is’.’
RICHARD: There are two ways of reading this:
Of course, could be – and probably is – a mixture of No. 1 and No. 2 for he spoke about the same thing in another passage, saying that this was ‘the highest form of a religious mind’:
Where he says ‘That total silence in which there is neither the observer nor the thing observed is the highest form of a religious mind’ is why both Buddhists and Vedantists claim him as being one of them. That ‘total silence’ that ‘cannot be put into words’ is the ineffable ‘Truth’ of all mystical endeavour. And as Hindus and Buddhists are either Cosmic Pantheists (‘God is everything and everything is God’) or Acosmic Pantheists (‘God is beyond everything and everything comes from God’), you then understand what the source of the ‘Teachings’ are.
RESPONDENT: I have tried ‘What am I’ and several other meditations. From your mails etc. I read you don’t need to meditate. If I don’t meditate my life gets clogged with intentions. The only ways to relieve myself are to sleep or to relax. Relaxation is a direct result from meditating. Another result is creative thought.
RICHARD: Be it far from me to advise you to stop meditating ... Konrad is trying this at this moment with some interesting results. If you do, it is essential that you replace it with something else ... something better. As you say that your life gets ‘clogged with intentions’ then channel this energy into one big intention: what I call pure intent.
Pure intent is derived from the pure consciousness experience (PCE) experienced during a peak experience, which all humans have had at some stage in their life. A peak experience is when ‘I’ spontaneously cease to ‘be’, temporarily, and this moment is. Everything is seen to be perfect as-it-is. One can bring about a benediction from that perfection and purity which is the essential character of the universe by contacting and cultivating one’s original state of naiveté. Naiveté is that intimate aspect of oneself that is the nearest approximation that one can have of actual innocence – there is no innocence so long as there is a self – and constant awareness of naive intimacy results in a continuing benediction. This blessing allows a connection to be made between oneself and the perfection and purity. This connection I call pure intent. Pure intent endows one with the ability to operate and function safely in society without the incumbent social identity with its ever-vigilant conscience. Thus reliably rendered virtually innocent and relatively harmless by the benefaction of the perfection and purity, one can begin to dismantle the now-redundant social identity.
Diligent attention paid to the peak experience ensures pure intent continuing to operate. With pure intent running as a ‘golden thread’ through one’s life, reflective contemplation – not meditation – rapidly becomes more and more fascinating. It is a matter of coming to one’s senses – both literally and figuratively – and one does this by understanding that only this moment is actual. When one is totally fascinated, reflective contemplation becomes pure awareness ... and then apperception happens of itself. With apperception operating more or less continuously in ‘my’ day-to-day life, ‘I’ find it harder and harder to maintain credibility. ‘I’ am increasingly seen as the usurper, an alien entity inhabiting this body and taking on an identity of its own. Mercilessly exposed in the bright light of awareness – apperception casts no shadows – ‘I’ can no longer find ‘my’ position tenable. ‘I’ can only live in obscuration, where ‘I’ lurk about, creating all sorts of mischief. ‘My’ time is speedily coming to an end, ‘I’ can barely maintain ‘myself’ any longer.
RESPONDENT: Since I meditate and sometimes experience actually what my reality is, be it for a brief moment, I am inclined to disregard those experiences altogether, for they are not beyond any enlightenment.
RICHARD: No, indeed not, for meditation can produce only versions of reality – not actuality – and as everyday reality is a grim and glum business, one strives to attain to a loving and compassionate Greater Reality in order to ameliorate one’s situation. It is all due to the intuitive faculties – powered by passionate thought – that activates those psychic adumbrations so beloved of the metaphysical fraternity. The mind can be a fertile breeding-ground for hallucinations, for emotional and passionate thought begets the esoteric world, the suprasensory domain of apparitions and shadows. The mind, held hostage by humanity’s ‘wisdom’, is indeed a productive spawning-ground for fanciful flights of imagination, giving rise to the fantasies and phantasms so loved and revered – and feared – by humankind. One can easily become bewitched by the bizarre beings that populate the Supernatural Realms; one becomes beguiled and enchanted by intuition’s covenant with clairvoyant states of extrasensory perception. The closest approximation to the actual that ‘I’ can attain via prescient means can only ever be visionary states produced from utopian ideals that manifest themselves as hallucinatory chimeras. And it all has to do with the persistence of identity. So, instead of meditation, what about apperception?
RESPONDENT: For example: You do not acknowledge meditation.
RICHARD: No indeed I do not. Why would I? Nor do I countenance prayer. Nor self-flagellation. Nor fasting. Nor chanting a mantra. Nor ... many, many things.
RESPONDENT: As I was saying before: ‘sometimes I realise my actual reality’.
RICHARD: If you did, in fact, experience the actuality of this moment in time and this place in space, you would not be objecting to what I write. So, obviously your ‘actual reality’ is not the same thing that I talk about. As ‘reality’ is a belief system, it can never, ever be actual.
RESPONDENT: Don’t you see, at such a moment every intent has gone. That’s because an attachment is dissolved. That is the functioning of meditation in actual perception.
RICHARD: But there are thousands of attachments to dissolve ... who is busy being attached? Dissolve ‘him’ and you are done with having to meditate and dissolve an attachment again and again in what you call ‘actual perception’. Normal perception is an illusion and metaphysical perception is a delusion. Neither is actual. Just by putting the word ‘actual’ in front of your normal metaphysical terminology does not, all of a sudden, change it into what I am talking about. I wrote about ‘apperception’, not ‘actual perception’.
RESPONDENT: Attention that is prior to thought (meditation) perceives a dimension that is empty of form.
RICHARD: Aye ... such attention is called imagination and such a dimension is called an hallucination. Speaking personally, I lived like this for twenty four hours a day for eleven years, so I know it intimately. Just as an experiment, try substituting some less exotic terms and see what your sentence looks like. For example: ‘Attention that is prior to thought (prayer) perceives a kingdom that is not of this earth’.
RESPONDENT: That [dimension] inter-penetrates what is perceived as the physical world.
RESPONDENT: You tend to be too pedantic, and, I think miss the essence of a discussion.
RICHARD: I am more than willing to discuss the issue of Richard being pedantic (synonyms: finicky, plodding, obscure, arcane, dull, doctrinaire, sophistic, hair-splitting, precise, precisionist, exact, scrupulous, overscrupulous, punctilious, meticulous, over-nice, perfectionist, formalist, dogmatic, literalist, literalistic, quibbling, hair-splitting, casuistic, casuistical, sophistical, pettifogging, nit-picking, intellectual, academic, scholastic, didactic, bookish, pedagogic, donnish, highbrow, pretentious, pompous, egghead, formal, stilted, stiff, stuffy, unimaginative, uninspired, rhetorical, bombastic, grandiloquent, high-flown, euphuistic, highfalutin) if you are interested enough to pursue the matter.
As for ‘missing the essence of a discussion’ – and please correct me if I am in error – the essence of what you are saying in this post (and a previous one where you talked reverently of ‘the silence between two thoughts’) is that you trust intuition to instinctually accept what is ‘true’ and instinctually reject what is ‘not true’ ... irregardless of facts. This way, what ‘me’ as soul (the ‘feeler’) wants, ‘me’ as soul (the ‘feeler’) gets ... and what ‘me’ as soul (the ‘feeler’) wants is for ‘I’ as ego (the ‘thinker’) to get out of the way so that ‘the silence that speaks louder than words’ (such as the silence between two thoughts) can reveal itself for ‘the truth’ that it is (irregardless of facts).
Which would be why you want for me to read what you have to say with a ‘meditative mind’ ... by which you would mean ‘meditative mind’ as in the inapt translation of the Eastern Spiritual practice (as epitomised by the word ‘dhyana’) rather than as in the Western meaning: ‘think upon; consider’. There is a vast difference: in the West to meditate means to be thoughtful; to engage in contemplation about, to exercise the mental faculties, contemplate, think about, think over, muse upon, ponder upon, reflect on, deliberate about, mull over, have in mind, plan by turning over in the mind, fix one’s attention on, observe intently or with interest, concentrate on, consider, ruminate, study, intend, project, design, devise, scheme or plot. And such meditation is continuous thought on one subject; a period of serious and sustained reflection or mental contemplation, consideration, reflection, deliberation, rumination, mulling over or being in reverie, musing, pondering or brooding.
Whereas in the East to meditate means to be thoughtless; meditation is the action or practice of a profound spiritual or religious state of consciousness for whose description words are considered to be totally inadequate. It is the highest state of consciousness, associated with direct mystic experience of reality and cannot be experienced until a condition of mindlessness has been created through the deliberate elimination of the objects of thought from consciousness. The organs of sense perception are so controlled that they no longer pass to the mind their reactions to what is perceived. The mind loses its identity by absorption into a higher state which precludes any awareness of duality, although a form of unitary awareness of the conventional world is retained. Entering into Eastern meditation, one experiences the heart as being wider than the universe and experiences infinite bliss and immeasurable power exceeding any occult power. It is a yogic state of formless ecstasy when there is absorption in divine reality and a loss of body sense ... and the ego has been transcended. In this state one rests in highest consciousness ... one has become lord and master of reality. Very few spiritual seekers have reached this level for one is manifesting God in every second, both consciously and perfectly. There is identification with the transcendent, radiant being in which all phenomena are seen as temporary, non-binding modifications of this all-inclusive divine being. The divine self is realised beyond the view point of the physical body, or the mind or the independent personal consciousness. When phenomena arise to notice from this formless and unqualified presence or love-bliss there is ecstasy of perfect spontaneity.
RESPONDENT: If you don’t mind my saying, reading your posts the expression that comes to my mind often is: ‘the operation was successful, but the patient died’.
RICHARD: That is my very intention ... only when ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul altruistically self-immolate does the already always existing peace-on-earth become apparent (which is the only ‘success’ worthy of the name).
RESPONDENT: Glimpsing from a structure is different than dropping the structure.
RICHARD: The immediate question that springs to mind is who is dropping the structure? And please ... do not tell me that it is the mind merely imputing a ‘me’ ... we have flogged that subject to death. It is male bovine faecal matter and you know it is.
RESPONDENT: No position to view from. No one to enter or leave. No one to land anywhere. Nothing to do and nowhere to go. Yet it is time to go make breakfast.
RICHARD: Ah, yes ... the ancient Japanese art of the Tanka (sort of). Not being a poet myself, I will build upon an associate’s lampooning, for how else can I respond in kind?
RESPONDENT: If they give you one injection of adrenaline, will you be able to control your angriness?
RICHARD: What ‘angriness’ are you talking off? There is neither anger nor anguish in this flesh and blood body ... do you really take an actual freedom from the human condition to be a suppression, or even a repression, of the affective feelings?
Just for the record, however, when I have a dental injection to anaesthetise the jaw I always make sure the dentist uses a procaine mixture which does not contain adrenaline, which most such mixtures do, because its effect is psychotropic (just as caffeine, a chemical cousin to cocaine, is).
RESPONDENT: Sometimes, I read that meditation is damaging the brain.
RICHARD: I do not, and never have, meditated.
RESPONDENT: Does not mean that somebody becomes crazy, but can alter the feelings functions.
RICHARD: As spiritual enlightenment is patently pathological it all depends on what the word ‘crazy’ means to you: as the word ‘meditate’ is the (inaccurate) English translation of what is known as ‘dhyana’ in Sanskrit (Hinduism) and as ‘jhana’ in Pali (Buddhism) wherein there is a total withdrawal from sensory perception and a cessation of thought, thoughts, and thinking – a totally senseless and thoughtless trance state which could only be described as catalepsy in the West – and, as the resultant state of being (sometimes known as ‘consciousness without an object’) is praised as being the summum bonum of human experience, it thus may very well pay to re-examine whatever it is that you take the word ‘crazy’ to mean.
This is because a never-ending ‘meditation’ (‘dhyana’ or ‘jhana’) – wherein the body is totally inward-looking, totally self-absorbed, totally immobile, and totally functionless (the body cannot and does not talk, walk, eat, drink, wake, sleep or type e-mails to mailing lists) – would result in the body wasting away until its inevitable physical death ... as a means of obtaining peace-on-earth it is completely useless.
RESPONDENT: Original link: www.bbc.co.uk/science/horizon/2003/godonbraintrans.shtml (snip)
NARRATOR: What is almost certainly true is that religious experience is far more complex than can be explained simply by activity in one area of the brain. Dr Persinger's work is only the beginning. Many scientists now suspect there must be far more to the relationship between the brain and belief. A research team has come up with a unique way of exploring this relationship. They examined what happened at the precise moment the brain had a genuine religious experience. It was the mind of Michael Baime that provided the moment of insight.
DR MICHAEL BAIME: You could describe this experience of meditation, of really deep meditation, as a kind of a oneness.
NARRATOR: Michael is a Buddhist, a faith that requires its followers to enter into the spiritual through medication.
BAIME: As you relax more and more and let go of the boundary between oneself and everything else begins to dissolve, so there's more and more of a feeling of identity with the rest of the world and less and less separateness.
NARRATOR: Researcher Dr Andrew Newberg set up a brain imaging system that could for the very first time track exactly what happened inside Michael's brain as he meditated.
DR ANDREW NEWBERG (Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania): When the subject first comes into our laboratory, what we normally do is bring them into a fairly quiet room. They would then begin the mediation. We were normally not even in the room so that we would actually minimise any kind of distractions to them. The only way that we had some kind of contact with them is that they had a little piece of string that would sit next to their side. They would tug on this string a little bit which meant that now they were beginning to head towards their peak of meditation.
RICHARD: What I find cute, in the above portion of the transcript you provided, is that in order to facilitate the ‘a kind of a oneness’ which the Buddhist Mr. Michael Baime says he can have via meditation – ‘a feeling of identity with the rest of the world’ – the only representatives from the rest of the world then actually present in the room absented themselves so as to not distract him from dissolving the boundaries he had in order for there to be less and less separateness from them ... so much so that his only contact was via a little piece of string.
It does give a whole new meaning to the word ‘intimacy’, eh? A married couple of many years, in a marriage which has waned to the point of separate bedrooms, could sit mediating on their individual beds at night – connected via a little piece of string across the hallway – and signal to each other, as they each head towards the peak of their meditation, to indicate when their respective moment of oneness is nigh (as their respective boundaries are dissolving and their respective separateness is becoming less and less) so the other can know that the other’s feeling of identity is about to expand and encompass the rest of the world ... string-tugging moments of conjugal bliss such as this might very well save many a marriage from its creeping ennui.
I am reminded of a photograph in the ‘National Geographic’ (page 84, September 1994) taken in Japan of four monks sitting in a row meditating: they were all seated, cross-legged with eyes cast down, before a blank wall and thus with their backs to the world, so to speak, as they sought their original face in the affective feelings.
The Third Alternative
(Peace On Earth In This Life Time As This Flesh And Blood Body)
Here is an actual freedom from the Human Condition, surpassing Spiritual Enlightenment and any other Altered State Of Consciousness, and challenging all philosophy, psychiatry, metaphysics (including quantum physics with its mystic cosmogony), anthropology, sociology ... and any religion along with its paranormal theology. Discarding all of the beliefs that have held humankind in thralldom for aeons, the way has now been discovered that cuts through the ‘Tried and True’ and enables anyone to be, for the first time, a fully free and autonomous individual living in utter peace and tranquillity, beholden to no-one.
Richard’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.