Richard’s Selected Correspondence
On the Metaphysical
RESPONDENT: I am not doubting what you say: all that I am saying is that your Truth is, ultimately, your own.
RICHARD: I do not have a ‘Truth’ to call my own ... I am talking of directly experiencing physical-world actuality.
RESPONDENT: If I see it as you say, it is my Truth also.
RICHARD: Not so ... it would mean you are directly experiencing physical-world actuality.
RESPONDENT: That is about all by way of objectivity that is to it. If you notice, Krishnamurti says the same thing: ‘Sir, this is a fact. Don’t you see it?’ That is, the only proof of the pudding is in the eating. And that has to be the final answer. :-)
RESPONDENT: One thing about actualism that has never been explained to my satisfaction is why thought is classified as actual, whereas feeling is not.
RICHARD: Put succinctly: thought operates here in this actual world – as evidenced in a pure consciousness experience (PCE) – whereas feelings do not.
RESPONDENT: Actualists say that thought is simply the human brain in operation.
RICHARD: They only say that to counter the religio-spiritual/ mystico-metaphysical notion, which some peoples espouse, that thought is not of the human brain.
RESPONDENT: Why shouldn’t feeling have the same ontological status?
RICHARD: Simply because actualism is experiential and not ontological ... ‘of or pertaining to ontology [the science or study of being; that part of metaphysics which relates to the nature or essence of being or existence]; metaphysical’(Oxford Dictionary).
RESPONDENT: Why should the thought of the number 42 be considered actual, while the feeling of hunger is not?
RICHARD: For no other reason than because the thought of the number 42 operates here in this actual world – as evidenced in a PCE – whereas the feeling of hunger does not.
RESPONDENT: In both cases, the only actuality is the human brain in operation.
RICHARD: Nope ... in the latter case the affective faculty in its entirety/the identity in toto is also in operation.
RESPONDENT: As I see it, the thought of the number 42 is in no way more substantial, physical or actual than the feeling of hunger (for example).
RICHARD: Even so, the thought of the number 42 operates here in this actual world – as evidenced in a PCE – whereas the feeling of hunger (for example) does not.
It is all quite prosaic.
RICHARD: Whereas these statements, about what exists and in what sense they exist, are actually reports/ descriptions/ explanations coming directly out of actuality.
RESPONDENT: Actualists do not agree [that they are metaphysical statements]; they insist it’s just the way things are.
RICHARD: This actualist will only [quote] ‘insist’ [endquote] when repeatedly told that his reports/ descriptions/ explanations, coming directly out of actuality, are metaphysical statements, for example, or any other way of dismissing and/or downgrading the validity of said reports/ descriptions/ explanations.
RESPONDENT: The fact that actualism is experiential from start to finish does NOT mean that the statements that arise from that experience are not metaphysical statements.
RICHARD: What issues forth from this keyboard, in regards life here in this actual world, comes immediately from the direct experience of this moment in eternal time at this place in infinite space as this form of perpetual matter ... there is this which is happening and the words write themselves in accord to the very thing being referred to as it is occurring – they are coming directly out of actuality – and are not some nebulous [quote] ‘metaphysical statements’ [endquote] such as you would have be the case.
Just so that there is no misunderstanding: nothing coming from here regarding life in this actual world is a standpoint either ... and neither is it an idea, an ideal, a belief, a concept, an opinion, a conjecture, a speculation, an assumption, a presumption, a supposition, a surmise, an inference, a judgement, an intellectualisation, an imagination, a posit, a postulation, an image, an analysis, a viewpoint, a view, a stance, a perspective, a world-view, a mind-set, a state-of-mind, a frame-of-mind, or any other of the 101 ways one may come up with of overlooking a direct report of what it is to be actually free from the human condition and living the utter peace of the perfection of the purity welling endlessly as the infinitude this eternal, infinite and perpetual universe actually is.
RESPONDENT: As I see it, they simply are ... whether they’re acknowledged as such or not.
RESPONDENT: I do understand after your explanation of Peter’s usage of the word ‘spiritual’ though that it would not necessarily be exclusive of being a ‘materialist’ – since his usage was a broader sense – more likely a synonym for ‘metaphysical’.
RICHARD: ... I could add, however, that because of ‘being’ itself an atheistic materialist cannot help but be, to some degree at least, metaphysical in outlook (to use the more likely synonym). Just as a matter of related interest: has all this thrown some more light upon the topic of atheistic and/or materialistic physicists and/or mathematicians and their cosmogonical and/or cosmological theories?
RESPONDENT: Yes, very much so. Mainly – by clarifying that ‘spiritual’ is sometimes used synonymously with ‘metaphysical’.
RICHARD: As the word ‘metaphysical’ can mean, for example, ‘of or relating to the transcendent or to a reality beyond what is perceptible to the senses’ (Merriam-Webster Dictionary) it is not all that remarkable it is sometimes used synonymously with the word ‘spiritual’.
RESPONDENT: Mostly, though it clarifies much of what Peter has written about what it is to be ‘spiritual’ – that I thought [at the time] would be better called ‘metaphysical’.
RICHARD: The word ‘metaphysical’ (of, belonging to, or of the nature of metaphysics) comes from the Greek phrase ‘ta meta ta phusika’ – literally ‘the (works) after the physical (works)’ – which is derived from the title of Mr. Aristotle’s treatise on the subject (from its position in his collected works) and refers to the fundamental nature of reality and being.
Here is what the Encyclopaedia Britannica has to say, in its article on metaphysics, on the origins of the term:
The use of the term ‘Being’ in metaphysics – popularly used to indicate any absolute or supreme being held to be the uncaused/uncreated source of everything/underlying reality – may also have its beginnings per favour of Mr. Parmenides, of the Eleatic School in the Greek colony of Elea in southern Italy in the fifth century BCE, as the Encyclopaedia Britannica has this to say:
Even though metaphysics has been spiritual from the very beginning, and in the long run it really does not matter which term is used to describe the instinctive/intuitive outlook of ‘me’ as soul (‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being ... which is ‘being’ itself), the usage of the word ‘spiritual’ as Peter means it – ‘of, pertaining to, or affecting the spirit or soul’ (Oxford Dictionary) – it is more direct and to the point.
RESPONDENT: It also goes a long way towards understanding how someone can be an atheist, yet ‘spiritual’ at the same time.
RICHARD: Yes ... which is why I have classified myself in the following way on many an occasion:
Here is another instance:
RICHARD: Here is the critical part of my response/e xplanation mentioned further above:
And again just recently:
RESPONDENT: It seems to me Richard as if you care not to make a clear discrimination between spiritual and metaphysical. And that seems to me to be the crux of the matter.
RICHARD: Here are the definitions I provided in the first instance:
Here is the definition I provided in the second instance:
I am none too sure how I can make a more ‘clear discrimination’ between the two words than that but I will give it a go: in the English language the suffix ‘-ual’ (and ‘-al’) is used to form adjectives from nouns with the sense ‘of the kind of, pertaining to’ ... hence the adjective (a word designating an attribute and added to a noun to describe it more fully) ‘spiritual’, when used in conjunction with the noun (a word used as the name or designation of a person, place, or thing) ‘outlook’ indicates a point of view which is of the kind of, or pertaining to, ‘me’ as spirit/‘me’ as soul – which is ‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being (aka ‘being’ itself) – and the adjective ‘metaphysical’, when used in conjunction with the noun ‘outlook’, indicates a point of view which is of the kind of, or pertaining to, a division of philosophy that is concerned with the fundamental nature of reality and being (which includes ontology, cosmology, and often epistemology).
Put simplistically (overly simplified): the former is personal (first-hand) and the latter is impersonal (ivory-tower).
RESPONDENT: Incidentally do you consider the term archetype to be an equally spiritual as metaphysical one?
RICHARD: Presuming you are meaning the word in its ‘an inherited idea or mode of thought’, in the psychology of Mr. Carl Jung, which he held to be ‘derived from the experience of the race and to be present in the unconscious of the individual’ (Merriam-Webster Dictionary) – ‘an inherited pattern of thought or symbolic imagery derived from the past collective experience and present in the individual unconscious’ (American Heritage Dictionary ) – it could just as well be religious, spiritual, mystical and/or metaphysical as it covers many aspects of the bizarre and haunting and fantastic world of myths and legends and suchlike which is contained within the human psyche.
RESPONDENT: The universe itself does not distinguish between the physical and the metaphysical.
RICHARD: As there is no ‘the metaphysical’ in actuality this is hardly surprising.
RESPONDENT: The universe contains physical things, and some of these physical things (eg. human bodies) give rise to metaphysical entities (eg. minds, souls, ‘selves’).
RICHARD: There is nothing metaphysical about minds ... a mind is a human brain in action in a human skull.
As for ‘souls’ and ‘selves’: each and every human being is genetically endowed, at conception, with instinctual passions (such as fear and aggression and nurture and desire) for rough and ready survival reasons ... which passions automatically form themselves, in a process somewhat analogous to an eddy or a vortex forming itself *as* swirling water or air, into an amorphous feeling being, an inchoate intuitive presence, popularly known as a ‘self’ or a ‘soul’ (or ‘spirit’) in the human animal, within the flesh and blood body.
More than a few human beings, taking themselves to truly be this eddying ‘being’, this vortical ‘presence’, rather than the flesh and blood body they actually are, imaginatively/intuitively manifest/realise all manner of destinies for that affective phantasm (the eddy or vortex, as it were, which is the instinctual passions in motion) in all manner of metaphysical dimensions inhabited by all manner of affective deities ... a deeply-felt divine and/or sacred being/presence of some description which/who is the timeless and spaceless and formless source or origin of the universe and/or universes.
Now that intelligence, which is the ability to think, reflect, compare, evaluate and implement considered action for beneficial reasons, has developed in the human animal those blind survival passions are no longer necessary – in fact they have become a hindrance in today’s world – and it is only by virtue of this intelligence that blind nature’s default software package can be safely deleted (via altruistic ‘self’-immolation).
No other animal can do this.
RESPONDENT: Hence, the universe generates metaphysical beings who are capable of creating metaphysical simulations of themselves and the universe.
RICHARD: It is the amorphous feeling being, the inchoate intuitive presence, who generates metaphysical beings/metaphysical simulations and not the universe per se ... ‘I’ as ego is born out of ‘me’ as soul (aka ‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being ... which is ‘being’ itself) or, to put that another way, ‘the feeler’ gives rise to ‘the thinker’ and, as ‘being’ itself has a vested interest in ‘self’-preservation, it readily sacrifices ‘the thinker’ upon the altar of survival-at-all-costs and transmogrifies into being the loving and compassionate ‘Being’ who (supposedly) is, or who (supposedly) creates/created, the universe for some enigmatic purpose that only such a ‘Presence’ can know.
RESPONDENT: This is what the actual universe does. Is the universe doing something wrong?
RESPONDENT: Implicit in actualism is the value judgement that the physical is superior to the metaphysical.
RICHARD: Ha ... implicit in actualism (the direct experience that matter is not merely passive) is that there is only the physical in actuality and, as an appraisal requires comparison, no such value judgement as you speak of can take place in this actual world.
RESPONDENT: ‘You’ (the metaphysical entity) decide this.
RICHARD: If I may point out? In the direct experience that matter is not merely passive there is no ‘you’ (no ‘metaphysical entity’ whatsoever) ... there is only this actual world (aka this actual universe).
RESPONDENT: And having decided this, the totality of the universe is then divided up into the ‘actual’ and the ‘real’.
RICHARD: I would hazard a guess that it is ‘you’ (the ‘metaphysical entity’ who decides) who has decided that ‘the ‘actual’’ and ‘the ‘real’’ together make up a whole ... otherwise known as ‘the totality of the universe’.
RESPONDENT: The ‘real’ is minimised to the point where only the ‘actual’ remains.
RICHARD: In the actualism process, as detailed on The Actual Freedom Trust web site, the ‘good’ feelings – the affectionate and desirable emotions and passions (those that are loving and trusting) – are minimised along with the ‘bad’ feelings – the hostile and invidious emotions and passions (those that are hateful and fearful) – so that one is free to be feeling good, feeling happy and harmless and feeling excellent/perfect for 99% of the time.
Hence, with the actualism method, when one deactivates the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ feelings and activates the felicitous/ innocuous feelings (happiness, delight, joie de vivre/ bonhomie, friendliness, amiability and so on) then with this freed-up affective energy, in conjunction with sensuousness (delectation, enjoyment, appreciation, relish, zest, gusto and so on), the ensuing sense of amazement, marvel and wonder can result in apperceptiveness (unmediated perception) ... and apperception reveals that there is only this actual world/universe.
In short: there is no ‘the ‘real’’ in actuality to minimise (let alone to the point that only ‘the ‘actual’’ remains).
RESPONDENT: So this (actually non-existent) division between the physical and the metaphysical becomes a concept in the mind of ‘you’, a metaphysical entity.
RICHARD: As there is no ‘the metaphysical’ in actuality, as evidenced in a pure consciousness experience (PCE), there is no division to be either existent or non-existent ... the entire argument being presented (above) is but a conceptual contention created in the feeling-fed mind of ‘you’ – ‘a metaphysical entity’ – for reasons as yet unstated but bearing at least some of the hall-marks of the ‘Tried and True’ (as in when the division is seen to be false there is only the totality/whole) as made popular by Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti.
RESPONDENT: The division only exists in the minds of metaphysical entities. The universe knows nothing of such divisions.
RICHARD: Possible translation: that which is the totality (the whole) knows nothing of such divisions.
RESPONDENT: From your place in the ‘real’, ‘you’ decide that there should be no metaphysical entity in the body ...
RICHARD: It could also be said that, from your place in the real-world, ‘you’ – ‘a metaphysical entity’ – decide there should be no division between the physical and the metaphysical.
RESPONDENT: ... and so you aim to strip away the naturally-occurring metaphysicality because you think it is ‘better’ that way.
RICHARD: May I ask? Are you of the school of thought which maintains that, just because something is natural, it is somehow better than that which is unnatural?
I only ask because it is natural, for example, to injure, maim, or kill one’s fellow human being in a fit of anger and I am somewhat nonplussed as to how that is better than, say, there not being any anger in the first place (nor any ‘self’ which is the anger in motion of course) such as to occasion that course of action.
RESPONDENT: The question is why?
RESPONDENT: I should like to ask you if you are interested for me to bring in the list a new subject, the so called, metaphysical? Is something that science can’t explain it, but they are overall phenomena. There are many frauds in this area, but this does not mean that there are not genuine ones. Science for example can not explain the reason of many illnesses, but this does not mean that the diseases does not exist. I am copying and paste a subject that I founded interesting. The first question that will arise to your brain is, what is there to be reincarnated?
RICHARD: You may find a review of the following exchange helpful:
RESPONDENT: I really DON’T KNOW, but because I don’t know I can’t reject the evidence altogether.
RESPONDENT: I should like to tell you, that the moment you are speaking about consciousness, PCE, etc., and that you perceive the infinity of the universe through apperceptive awareness, then you have already entered the field of metaphysics.
RICHARD: No, the unmediated experience of infinitude – the apperceptive awareness of boundless space, unlimited time, and perpetual matter (mass/energy) – is not a metaphysical experience ... the metaphysical experience, during the eleven years of spiritual enlightenment and called by some as being ‘choiceless awareness’, was of a timeless and spaceless and formless ‘infinitude’ known as god or truth or ground of being or implicate order and so on.
When I am speaking about consciousness I am referring to the condition of a flesh and blood body being conscious (the suffix ‘-ness’ forms a noun meaning a state or condition) as in being alive, not dead, awake, not asleep, and sensible, not insensible (comatose), and when I am talking about pure consciousness I am referring to the condition of a flesh and blood body being conscious sans identity in toto – both ego-self (the thinker) and the feeling-self (the feeler) – which means that perception is bare perception (unmediated perception) ... the term ‘apperceptive awareness’ is but another way of referring to this simple perception (aka naïve perception) and being thus direct it is non-separative (not separated from the physical).
Thus there is nothing metaphysical about being apperceptive ... indeed, if anything the normal way of perception – a mediated, or indirect and thus separative, perception – being once-removed from the physical, is arguably already well on the way to being beyond time and space and form.
RESPONDENT: I define metaphysics as ‘meta ta physsika’, a Greek word meaning beyond nature and physics.
RICHARD: As the word ‘physics’ – plural of ‘physic’ from the Latin ‘physica’ from the Greek ‘ta phusika’ (‘the natural’ understood as ‘things’) – is derived from the Greek ‘phusis’ (‘nature’) it properly refers to the science of the natural world (as in knowledge of the physical world of animal, vegetable and mineral) ... thus to say nature *and* physics is to separate it from the physical.
And I am not just nit-picking over the meaning of words here as it is glaringly obvious that the late nineteenth-century/ early twentieth-century physics departed from being a study of the natural world (the physical world) and entered into the realm of the mathematical world ... an abstract world which does not exist in nature.
Indeed the word ‘metaphysical’ also refers to that which is ‘based on abstract general reasoning or a priori principles’(Oxford Dictionary) as well as the more common meaning of that which transcends matter or the physical (as in immaterial, incorporeal, supersensible, supernatural and so on).
And quantum theory, for an instance of this, is most definitely based on a mathematical device (Mr. Max Planck’s ‘quanta’) initially designed to solve the hypothetical problem of infinite ultra-violet radiation from a non-existent perfect ‘black-box’ radiator and never intended to be taken as being real (until Mr. Albert Einstein took it up for his own purposes).
RESPONDENT: You have entered in a field beyond science.
RICHARD: As science is the state or fact of knowing – knowledge or cognisance of something physical – based upon observed facts, and/or with demonstrated truths, in that it is both an intellectual and practical activity encompassing those branches of study which apply objective observation (the scientific method) to the phenomena of the physical universe (the natural sciences), in what way is determining that the universe has boundless space, unlimited time, and perpetual matter (mass/energy), by both intellectual reasoning and direct observation entering into a field beyond science?
As you cannot be saying that all those people with the scientific training sufficient to qualify for the title ‘scientist’, who also say the universe is infinite, eternal, and perpetual, are not operating in the field of science (and only those people with the scientific training sufficient to qualify for the title ‘scientist’ who say that the universe is finite, temporary, and depletable are operating in the field of science) it would appear that, according to your rationale, only non-apperceptive observation (a mediated, or indirect and thus separative, perception) is within the field of science and apperceptive observation (an unmediated, or direct and thus non-separative, perception) is not.
In other words, for it to be scientific, observation must be done by an entity within the flesh and blood body, eh?
RESPONDENT: You are perceiving something with other means than body senses.
RICHARD: First of all, as I am ‘body senses’ I am unable to perceive ‘with’ them – I perceive *as* them – and as there is no identity in situ inside this flesh and blood body I would be most interested to hear your theory as to what ‘other means’ you say I perceive with.
Meaning that as there is no affective faculty whatsoever operating in this flesh and blood body – thus no epiphenomenal imaginative/ psychic facility – there are no other means than sensorially (and reasoning therehence).
And sensible reasoning at that.
RESPONDENT: ... and that you perceive the infinity of the universe through apperceptive awareness, then you have already entered the field of metaphysics. (...) You have entered in a field beyond science.
RICHARD: As science is the state or fact of knowing – knowledge or cognisance of something physical – based upon observed facts, and/or demonstrated truths, in that it is both an intellectual and practical activity encompassing those branches of study which apply objective observation (the scientific method) to the phenomena of the physical universe (the natural sciences), in what way is determining that the universe has boundless space, unlimited time, and perpetual matter (mass/energy), by both intellectual reasoning and direct observation entering into a field beyond science?
RESPONDENT: I accept the above of yours ...
RICHARD: Good ... I am pleased that this issue (that the apperceptive awareness of pure consciousness experiencing is not metaphysical) has finally been cleared up.
RESPONDENT: ... but why not to apply it also in the supernatural phenomena?
RICHARD: As it was the scientific method (such as applying objective observation and determining facts for example) which, amongst other things, enabled me to break free from the supernatural clutches of the massive delusion known as spiritual enlightenment, I can thoroughly endorse such a course of action being most definitely conducive to helping deliver the goods so longed-for by humankind for millennia.
RESPONDENT: Like ectoplasm mediums that communicate with dead persons, documented with scientific observation?
RICHARD: You may find a review of the following exchange helpful:
Put succinctly: there is nothing which survives physical death for ‘ectoplasm mediums’ to communicate with.
RESPONDENT: There are many frauds, yes, but are also documented phenomena.
RICHARD: The few times I have looked-up the subject of scientifically observed psychic phenomena – and there are plenty of instances to look at – it has always turned out to have been a fraud ... as I have no expertise on the subject, nor have any intention of gaining any, you may find the following to be of interest:
KONRAD: Let me tell you how I stand with respect to your Actualism. According to Objectivism, there are two so-called metaphysical axioms. One is the existence, and the second is consciousness.
RICHARD: Why the use of ‘metaphysical’ axioms ... even ‘so-called’ metaphysical axioms? Both existence (this material body and this material world about) and consciousness (this body being aware of being a material body in the material world about) are definitely physical ... not metaphysical at all. Religious, spiritual and mystical ‘States Of Being’ are indeed metaphysical ... as is the abstract world of logic. But please, not this physical body being here ... and its awareness of being here. This is all very obviously temporal.
KONRAD: Why are these two terms called ‘metaphysical axioms’? Because they are so basic that you cannot derive them from something more fundamental, but you also cannot deny them without using them. To give a simple example: if you deny the existence of existence, then this denial exists, and so uses exactly that what it denies. In the same way if you deny consciousness, then you must be aware, be conscious of this denial, and therefore this denial only makes sense when there is a consciousness that understands this denial.
RICHARD: Good ... this body physically being here on this physical planet and this body being aware that it is here is thus logically proved. Also, empirical observation shows that both existence and consciousness of existence is self-evidently factual. Therefore it is not all a dream as metaphysicians would have us believe. This is an excellent point to start from.
RESPONDENT: I have experienced some of the sensual delights, but I thought they were just hallucinations. Is this of which you speak?
RICHARD: Sensual delights are most definitely not hallucinations ... they are very, very, earthy. What are hallucinations are the chief characteristics of Enlightenment – ‘Union with the Divine’, ‘Universal Compassion’, ‘Love Agapé’, ‘Ineffable Bliss’, ‘The Truth’, ‘Timelessness’, ‘Spacelessness’, ‘Immortality’, ‘Aloneness’, ‘Oneness’, Goodness’ ... to name but a few.
RESPONDENT: Is this anything like ‘shamanism’ which seems to be making quite a come back in the alternative life styles community? I even heard Dr. Andrew Weil speak about this yesterday.
RICHARD: In that shamanism is concerned with altered states of consciousness – and spiritual enlightenment is a particular altered state of consciousness – yes, transmogrification is like that ... a massive delusion. Mr. Carlos Castaneda popularised shamanistic rituals some time ago ... I can not recall, at this moment, what he called it ... was it ‘non-ordinary reality’? Ms. Isabel Allende was another; she wrote in the style of magic realism, which incorporated fantastic and mythical elements into realistic fiction. It is all psychic in nature, however, and has nothing to do with actuality. A lot of it comes out of psychotropic substances, which unless handled appropriately, can take one into the mystical and miraculous dimensions of one’s super-charged imagination ... coupled with access to the ‘collective unconscious’ which Mr. Carl Jung spoke of (the bizarre and haunting and fantastic world of myths and legends that is contained in the human psyche).
RESPONDENT: That is why I say I see similarities in what you both are pointing to. In fact, reading all what you talk about, it is more metaphysical than anything I ever read Krishnamurti to say.
RICHARD: Okay ... but then again, I do not lie on a bed, with two women looking after ‘the body’ whilst ‘They’ work on me in some unknown dimension ... like he did. Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti not metaphysical? You’ve got to be kidding!
RESPONDENT: Working on the outer world is delusion. Working on the inner world is also delusion. This doesn’t mean that you do nothing and watch everything that comes and go.
RICHARD: I never said that what one does is just watch ... that was someone else’s observation.
RESPONDENT: And the body is not rid of anything either because even the body is illusory.
RICHARD: Okay – unless you are being disingenuous here or playing a petty little ‘I trapped you!’ game – then I start to understand what you are on about. If the body is illusory then it follows that this planet is illusory ... and even this universe. Right so far? If so, then this is oh-so-familiar ... it is the traditional Hindu/Buddhist line that all this actual stuff is not it. In other words: only the metaphysical is real.
This is why I use the word actual. One has to just try putting a spring clip upon one’s nose and a large piece of sticking plaster over one’s mouth for a few minutes to discover what actuality is. As one rips the plaster from one’s mouth and gulps in that sweet and actual air, one knows that one is certainly here on earth, living this life. Humans live only here, in this physical world ... it is a factual experience, a sensible experience. It is down-to-earth ... objectively verifiable. It is not some airy-fairy, far-removed-from-here affective dream-world conjured up out of abstinence and sublimation. To project a fantasy and then yearn to live in it is simply an insult to clear intelligence. Human beings eat corporeal food, drink physical water and breathe molecular air, in order to be here, to be alive at all. All this living is necessary in order to discuss these very matters.
RESPONDENT: Is there a ground from where any human mind arises?
RICHARD: If by ‘ground’ you mean the soil beneath one’s feet ... yes (in that the human mind is the human brain in action in a human skull and this body comes out of the ground in the form of carrots and lettuce and milk and cheese and whatever and the water that this body drinks).
If by ‘ground’ you mean the metaphysical ‘ground’ that Mr. Paul Tillich referred to as the ‘ground of being’ then ... no.
RESPONDENT: Is this ground collective? A whole?
RICHARD: If by ‘ground’ you mean what the metaphysical ‘ground of being’ was misconstrued upon then ... yes, the genetic ‘ground of being’ is ‘collective’ and ‘a whole’, inasmuch as all sentient beings have the same genetically inherited rudimentary animal ‘being’ – characterised by the instinctual passions of fear and aggression and nurture and desire – that stretches back to the dawn of the human species. Everything that ‘I’ am and all who ‘me’ is, is this ‘being’ ... and ‘being’ is what blind nature genetically encodes in all sentient beings at conception in the DNA ... ‘being’ is encoded in the germ cells of the spermatozoa and the ova and is – genetically – umpteen tens of thousands of years old ... the origins of ‘being’ are lost in the mists of pre-history. ‘Being’ is so anciently old that ‘being’ may well have always existed ... carried along on the reproductive cell-line, over countless millennia, from generation to generation. And ‘being’ thus passed on into an inconceivably open-ended and hereditably transmissible future.
If by ‘ground’ you mean the soil beneath one’s feet then, as the soil beneath one’s feet is the planet earth and as the planet earth is the same-same stuff as this very material and infinite and eternal universe is, then the human mind arises from everything everywhere and everywhen ... which is much, much more than merely the ‘collective human mind’ known by some people as the holistic ‘whole’ (who describe it as being ‘more than the sum of its parts’) and which is bandied about by more than a few peoples as being a profound truth.
RESPONDENT: So ... there is a flesh and blood brain. Mind is the function of this brain. This brain is aware of the world and is aware of itself being aware. So ... I must ask: is there any other means through which this brain gathers data, besides the senses?
RICHARD: Firstly, where there is no ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul as an entity inside the flesh and blood body, there is no experience of the senses as being a ‘means through which this brain gathers data’ because one is the senses ... thus this is a direct experiencing of the world as-it-is (no ‘through’). Secondly, what data is there other than sensate data that would need ‘other means’ ... metaphysical data? Where there is no ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul (no psyche) there is no imaginative/intuitive faculty ... hence no metaphysicality. It is all so simple here in this actual world.
RESPONDENT: Is the faculty of being aware of itself also a sensorial data input?
RICHARD: There are and have been people who are blind and deaf; people who have no smell and taste; people who have no touch (physical sensation) from the neck down ... but I have not come across or heard about anyone who is totally without sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch (not just ‘neck down’ ... no whole body physical sensation). I would have to be that corny ‘brain in a vat’ so beloved of epistemologists to ascertain experientially that apperceptive awareness is not sensate-oriented ... and then I would not be able to communicate the information you seek anyway. Speaking from a fully-functioning-senses experiencing, I always say – and definitively – that without the senses I would not know that I exist. Because I am the senses – which senses are the brain on stalks as it were – thus when I touch something I am that touching ... and that very touching is apperceptive awareness (in which there may be thinking as in remembering, considering and recognising or not). There is no ‘I’ in here touching ‘that’ out there ... no ‘inner’ and no ‘outer’ at all. As this body being apperceptively aware I am the direct experiencing of what is happening ... and it is this infinite and eternal universe that is happening everywhere and everywhen. And what a happening it is!
RESPONDENT: What you say, the way you say it, seems true. I agree basically with what you are expounding here. But I sense that something is not quite ‘right’. Sorry for saying this ... maybe I am not being fair. It’s just that somehow you seem to deny the ‘transcendentality’, the intangibility, that which is not touched by thought, by the senses. You say ‘what a happening it is!’ so I remain here wondering ... maybe you changed your view, maybe you are able to share the unknowable. After all, this what is happening is indeed beyond anything thought could touch ... it is beyond anything any concept could brush, grasp. Something is beyond the flesh and blood – the flesh and blood brain – which is after all just another sense object. And, somehow, I feel that the ‘mind’ as you define it – a function of the brain – does not encompass that, this other ‘mind’, from what the brain is just a partial ‘external’ manifestation.
RICHARD: I am somewhat nonplussed at the way you are proceeding here ... may I remind you of your first post to me that started this exchange? Vis.:
Yet it is you who is ‘positing a ‘mind’’ ... and an ‘other ‘mind’’ into the bargain from which all the flesh and blood human brains in all the flesh and blood human skulls are a ‘manifestation’ of.
RESPONDENT: So in this respect we seem to separate in our understanding ... but then, when you say that ‘this’ is the direct experiencing of what is happening – we meet again – there is not any mind after all. So what can I say? Something beyond understanding ... and without another ... is happening. It is absolutely real, actual, present, totally transcendental, totally incomprehensible and unknowable. To say that it is sacred may sound too ‘biblical’... but it is indeed ... inexpressible.
RICHARD: Where you say ‘totally transcendental’ and ‘the ‘transcendentality’’ (qualified with ‘the intangibility’ and ‘totally incomprehensible and unknowable’) you are conveying ‘transcendental’ in its ‘beyond the range or grasp of human experience, reason, belief, etc.’ meaning (Oxford Dictionary) and, in view of your use of ‘sacred’, in its ‘of, pertaining to, or belonging to, the divine as opposed to the natural world’ meaning’ (Oxford Dictionary). Now on a forum like this, the words ‘sacred’ or ‘divine’ do not mean the god of the temples, churches, synagogues, mosques, holy place, shrine, sanctuary or any place of worship whatsoever ... and this ‘non-biblical’ usage becomes more evident as you say ‘not touched by thought, by the senses’ and ‘beyond the flesh and blood brain’ and ‘beyond anything thought could touch’ and ‘beyond understanding ... and without another’ which indicates a non-temporal and non-spatial and non-material entirely other ‘otherness’ that is self-existent in its own right (Webster’s Dictionary: otherness: ‘the quality or state of being other or different; Oxford Dictionary: other: ‘existing distinct from that or those already specified or implied’) as is also evidenced by your use of ‘other’ in ‘this other ‘mind’, from what the brain is just a partial ‘external’ manifestation’ sentence. Then you go on to say that ‘this other ‘mind’’ is evident in my sentence (‘the direct experiencing of what is happening’) which, you say, is when ‘there is not any mind after all’ (presumably meaning the human mind which, on a forum like this, generally means ‘ego-mind’ as in thought and thinking).
It is no wonder that you say ‘I sense that something is not quite ‘right’’ when you read what I have to say ... I am a thorough-going atheist through and through; there is not the slightest trace of religiosity, spirituality or mysticality in me whatsoever. To be actually free of the human condition is to be sans ‘I’ as ego (the ‘thinker’) and ‘me’ as soul (the ‘feeler’) which is to be this flesh and blood body being apperceptively aware. And where there is no ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul (no psyche) there is no imaginative/intuitive faculty ... hence no ‘this other ‘mind’’ metaphysical projection.
RESPONDENT: But let’s see ... the expression ‘mind’ is used in several different manners, with different connotations. Mind may be – as you say – the brain’s function. That would be the most obvious meaning, it would be the effect of the material movement of the material brain, the dynamics of the brain. Now ... with a bit of meditative introspection into the nature of the brain, and the consequent perception, understanding, that all we see, all we perceive as humans – including the brain – is the ‘nature’ of the human ‘field’, the human ‘dimension’, we touch a ‘mind’ that is more encompassing then the ‘flesh and blood’ brain’s functions. For example, a person may act in the astral plane, and look at his own body, sleeping and snoring in bed. The flesh and blood brain is left with the body.
RICHARD: I would not deny that many, many peoples have had both spontaneous and self-induced ‘out of body experiences’ (OBE’s) and ‘near death experiences’ (NDE’s) as their reports have been painstakingly detailed and closely examined by many people ... the epiphenomenon of an emergent consciousness is a fascinating study that I followed closely for years. One obvious point stands out clearly:
OBE’s and NDE’s have been initiated by religionists, spiritualists and mystics over the centuries via meditative trances, sleep deprivation, fasting, self-flagellation (or any other stoic submission to a multitude of self-inflicted pain), mindless chanting of mantras (or any other form of self-hypnosis), tantric sexual ecstasy (the etymological root of ‘ecstasy’ is ‘put out of place’ as in ‘beside oneself’) and so on through every conceivable means in every culture in all eras. Today, the same effect can be initiated in ultra high-speed jet-fighter pilot’s brains when banking too swiftly (or in centrifugal force flight simulators), causing the brain to be drained of sustenance, and thus the OBE or NDE occurs as a result of the brain shutting down as the pilot goes ‘unconscious’ to observers. Surgeons have known of the emergent consciousness effect for some time ... a less commonly used anaesthesia these days is the dissociative drug ‘ketamine’ because of its OBE and NDE side-effect. Thus there has recently been the ability to make conclusive studies in controlled circumstances that shows the mechanisms involved at what may be loosely called the mind-brain interface ... OBE’s and NDE’s are due to what occurs in the brain receptors (the drug binding sites) for the neurotransmitter glutamate. These binding sites are called the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors. Conditions which precipitate OBE’s and NDE’s (and which can cause low oxygen, low blood flow, low blood sugar and so on) have been shown to release a flood of glutamate which over-activate the NMDA receptors in the process (and which can even kill brain cells in an event known as ‘excitotoxicity). The glutamate flood triggers an array of ketamine-like brain chemicals which bind to NMDA receptors, leading to an altered state of consciousness like that produced by ketamine.
There is a wealth of information on the subject ... if you are at all interested I would suggest www.lycaeum.org/drugs/Cyclohexamines/Ketamine/ as being a useful starting point. Vis.:
Thus the transcendental non-temporal and non-spatial and non-material entirely other ‘otherness’ (as is indicated by your ‘other ‘mind’’ and ‘without another’ description), that is self-existent in its own right (so beloved by mystics and others), is dependent upon the very material human brain-mind they scorn and the ‘materiality’ that they spurn.
RESPONDENT: In the book ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’, in the chapter ‘Resurrection of Yukteswar’, Yukteswar has died recently and appears to the author, Yogananda, and explains to him in telepathic mental pictures ‘and’ words, what the actual condition of life beyond the material world is like. He explains that once the physical form is discarded, then one lives in the astral/subtle and mental/causal bodies. He lives on the astral realm and says that what happens there is that we reincarnate there again and again just like we do on earth, then transcend to the mental/causal realm and do the same there. How does that explanation coincide or differ from your understanding?
RICHARD: First, as Mr. Yukteswar Giri is dead then any ‘appearance’ of his for Mr. Mukunda Lal Gosh is ascertained in Mr. Mukunda Lal Gosh’s psyche (the imaginative/ intuitive psychic facility) and not in the physical world actuality (which is ascertained sensately). Which means that ‘life beyond the material world’ is not actual (existing in fact) and is accurately described as being ascertained by ‘telepathic mental pictures ‘and’ words’ (which is the clue that his vision is not a sensorial actuality but a prescient reality). Thus the entire explanation does not coincide with my experience at all: my actual experience (factual) clearly shows me that death is the end, finish; extinction (no reincarnation or after-life). Mr. Mukunda Lal Gosh’s visionary experience (non-factual) shows him that ‘the physical form is discarded’ at death by the ‘astral/subtle and mental/causal body’ which then continues to incarnate and ‘reincarnate again and again’ in the ‘mental/causal realm’.
Neither the ‘astral/subtle and mental/causal body’ nor the ‘mental/causal realm’ exist in this physical actuality ... they exist in a metaphysical reality.
RESPONDENT: This is an assumption, one that I agree with you does not match the rest of your realization, but this doesn’t mean that it is not actual.
RICHARD: I am somewhat at a loss as to how you can be so certain that it is ‘an assumption’ of mine that ‘death is the end, finish; extinction’. As there is no identity (neither ‘I’ as ego nor ‘me’ as soul) there is no ‘being’ whatsoever extant in this flesh and blood body to survive the physical decomposition and/or combustion of this body upon death.
RESPONDENT: I believe that Paramhansa’s experience is actual.
RICHARD: I am not suggesting that Mr. Mukunda Lal Gosh did not actually have an experience ... it is the contents of the experience that are not actual (Mr. Yukteswar Giri’s ‘appearance’ was not an actual appearance ... actual appearances only happen in the physical world).
RESPONDENT: But I do understand your belief system, but I think it’s based on assessment of your own experience, which ... it should be.
RICHARD: As I have no ‘belief system’ I am somewhat bemused in regards to what it is that you understand.
RESPONDENT: But that doesn’t mean it’s final, you too are in a condition of development, which will change.
RICHARD: Yet a fact is always final ... a fact never changes (otherwise it is not a fact). It is a fact that there is only heart and lungs and liver and kidneys and so on ‘within’ this flesh and blood body.
RESPONDENT: And you may in the future find yourself, as you have in the past, needing to revise your assumptions.
RICHARD: Indeed ... any and all assumptions I make are ever open to revision or discarding. Usually I preface my words with ‘I assume ...’ or ‘As an opinion ...’ or ‘Presumably ...’ or ‘Theoretically ...’ and so on. An hypothesis is always a ‘working model’ until the fact is ascertained. As for my past: a ‘truth’ is not a fact nor is ‘The Truth’ factual ... facts are pretty thin on the ground in the religious and/or spiritual and/or mystical and/or metaphysical world ... which is one of the many things that made me suss’ way back then.
RESPONDENT: We’ll just have to see whether death is in fact final, won’t we?
RICHARD: Maybe it would be best to only speak for yourself ... I already know for a fact that ‘death is final’. Incidentally, this stance (‘we’ll just have to see whether death is in fact final’) is sometimes known as being agnostic ... and the people I have met personally, over the many years that I have discussed these matters, who embrace this position have invariably been firmly convinced that this ‘I don’t know’ approach is the intelligent approach. Mostly they have been academics or mystics ... is it a variation on that hoary adage: ‘He who says he does not know, really knows’? I guess it makes them feel intellectually comfortable.
Do you want to know? Do you want to find out?
RESPONDENT: I tend to accept Yogananda’s version that death is in fact only relative to the physical body and that there is in fact a spiritual form (though not physical) that we continue on in.
RICHARD: This ‘a spiritual form (though not physical)’ phrasing indicates that there may very well be a psychological and/or psychic entity still inhabiting the body that is writing these words to me. Hence you presumably have no alternative but to see what I write as being ‘a belief system’ or ‘an assumption’ ... which process, if this is what is happening, is called egocentricity (viewing another through one’s own experience and/or standards).
RESPONDENT: It seems, from my understanding, that ‘enlightenment’ has to do with freeing the awareness from being bound to the body ...
RICHARD: Yes ... you are understanding enlightenment correctly (in enlightenment consciousness is seen as being the source of matter and had become entangled in its own creation).
RESPONDENT: ... and that with the awakening of awareness, telepathy starts to develop ...
RICHARD: Yes ... prescience, clairvoyance, telepathy, divination and so on can become quite pronounced in enlightenment. For example, a Twentieth Century God-Man, Mr. Mohan ‘Rajneesh’ Jain had enough enlightened prescience to clairvoyantly know 18 years ago that:
RICHARD: ... [Mr. Mukunda Lal Gosh’s experience] shows him that ‘the physical form is discarded’ at death by the ‘astral/ subtle and mental/ causal body’ which then continues to incarnate and ‘reincarnate again and again’ in the ‘mental/causal realm’. Neither the ‘astral/subtle and mental/ causal body’ nor the ‘mental/ causal realm’ exist in this physical actuality ... they exist in a metaphysical reality.
RESPONDENT: It depends on what you term physical.
RICHARD: I term ‘physical’ that which is material, corporeal, substantial, concrete, tangible and palpable as ascertained sensately (or by extension to the senses such as telescopes, microscopes, x-rays and so on).
RESPONDENT: Perhaps the more subtle realms are indeed just as real as this one, only at a more subtle rate of vibration.
RICHARD: Have you never noticed that a Christian, when having a vision of God, typically sees a pale-skinned Mr. Yeshua the Nazarene hanging on a cross ... whilst a Hindu having a vision of God typically sees a blue-skinned Mr. Krishna playing on a flute ... and not vice versa? This and many, many other examples of comparative religious studies shows that what a believer sees (as being real) in visions is culturally determined. Before modern technology provided a world-wide communication network of newspapers, magazines, books, libraries, telegraph, radio, telephone, television and now the internet, such visions had an imperative force because isolation beggars comparison. Thus modern scholarly research has thoroughly scotched the ‘wisdom’ myth of the revered fables and legends of yore.
Although, speaking of ‘subtle realms’, I notice that Mr. Aristotle’s ‘aether’ is under-going a revival as Quantum Theory gets ever more frantic due to the mathematicians who, having taken over physics in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, are bemiring themselves more and more in their futile efforts to prove their god to be a mathematician.
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.