Richard’s Selected Correspondence
On How To Become Free of the Human Condition
Re: It is Fun to be Attentive to Feelings!
CLAUDIU: Hello folks,
As a result of recent events I have discovered that it is actually a lot of fun to be attentive to feelings! I now experientially get the importance - and the aim - and the effectiveness - of asking myself, each moment again, ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ The possibility of consistently feeling good - as in, actually applying the actualism method, for days, weeks, months at a time - is now apparent, and how it is entirely in ‘my’ hands, and how I can actually do it! It had never been quite so clear before recent events.
Here is the combination of things that led up to this point:
1. Alan’s Experiment. This experiment was an excellent demonstration of how much fun it is to have fun, and how it feels good to feel good. Although the ambiance created was not of an actualist variety – for one example, Richard’s email made clear we had a current-time lack of awareness as to how we were experiencing this moment of being alive - and as such did not achieve any of its stated goals, it still was a lot of fun. As such this was a great motivation to continue to have a lot of fun... and the best way of doing that is, of course, by actually applying what is on offer on the Actual Freedom Trust website, as being what work in terms of facilitating the actualism method (consistently enjoying and appreciating this moment of being alive).
2. Vineeto’s Personal Email to Alan. This email (see #21797, first footnote) got me to recognize that I had been blaming other people, via my knowledge of vibes and currents, for how I felt. Shortly after I read her email (the one I included in my post to Alan), I stopped doing that. Life is much easier now, haha.
Also, reading her email got me to take a closer look at what Alan was experiencing, and to no longer ignore the warning signs that had been cropping up, particularly the ones regarding a near-actual caring. I looked up everything I could on the Actual Freedom Trust website about a near-actual caring and I found the following:
I had read this before but it sunk in this time. Specifically, it was not harmless for me to continue the experiment as-is without challenging Alan. And, generally, it was not harmless for me to not take into consideration how my actions affect others, even if my intent is harmless.
3. Richard’s Public Email to me. First, Richard’s email made it clear Alan was not out-from-control and never had been. As I wrote, this dispelled the ‘image’ I had of ‘Alan’ and allowed me to take a closer look at what we were doing. In retrospect, of course Alan’s experiment was unsustainable for a group of actualists, given the lack of sincerity and harmlessness involved in sustaining it. (Note: It may be beneficial to point out that I do consider the experiment was worthwhile, and have no bad feelings or regrets about it or anything of the sort... quite the contrary!)
But, more than that, it delivered home a really basic point which is so obvious that I wonder if I’m not the only one that has missed it entirely. To wit:
In case you missed it, here is what is now blindingly obvious:
Or to put it in other way... if I ask myself, ‘how am I feeling?’, and I don’t immediately know the answer, but have to do some digging... that means I am lacking that current-time awareness! I could immediately go ‘oh something bad’ or ‘oh something is in the background’, but what about being specific - precisely the feeling I am feeling - and whether I am feeling ok or good?
For example, as I wrote that, I recognized I am feeling a feeling, but couldn’t say right-off what it is. Ok, now I am investigating... it has a quality of me wanting to get something out... almost like resentment but not quite... heavy feeling tones in the center ... ahh yes, I know this well now - ‘apprehension’! As in, ‘anxiety or fear that something bad or unpleasant will happen.’ I did not know, before I asked and investigated, that the feeling I am feeling was apprehension. (I had a similar paragraph when I first wrote this, which was a bit longer, but re-wrote this one now and I noticed it was much shorter - I am getting better at spotting apprehension).
Oh and before I go on, am I feeling ok, good? Where on the scale? Hmm... I would say, more than ok, but less than good. I’ll call it ‘ok’ to be simple about it, since it is not good, and not bad. Ahh just a tricky way for me to avoid having to admit I am feeling ok, haha.
So when did this feeling start? Tracing back... ah it was when I started writing this email. Hmm... ah I am worried that I won’t be able to live up to what I am writing! That I will fail yet again (the feeling talking)...
Ahh yes, this is nothing but another trick ‘I’ am trying to pull, to not be attentive to ‘my’ feelings (aka to ‘me’). Looking back I recognize it was fun to be attentive, and see no reason it won’t continue to be. It’s all a matter of intent at this point, for how often I ask myself, how am I experiencing this moment of being alive?
But I find I’m still not feeling good... still ok... ah now I recognize a tiredness. I do feel mentally tired. But that’s no reason to feel bad. Ah there we go! Feeling much better now! Now I am back to feeling good. Excellent!
The other thing Richard’s email made obvious, is that it is actually a very simple matter, to figure out how ‘I’ am feeling, and with proper record keeping (as in a recording, then transcribed), it’s really quite easy to pinpoint how someone was feeling and when. Something about the matter-of-factness of it dispelled a long-held belief...
And the belief - left-over from my meditative days - was that being attentive to my feelings was inherently painful! That feelings were somehow bad, and being attentive to them only made it worse, so the best approach was to try to ignore them and feel good despite not looking at anything. Now I see how silly this is, as being attentive to my feelings, and being very precise, searching until I find the proper label, and then just being able to apply that label, makes it so much easier to feel good! The process itself is fun!
Very quickly I discovered - quite obvious in retrospect - that there is a difference between experiencing a feeling, and knowing what that feeling is. Since then, I’ve been cataloguing my feelings quite thoroughly. Previously I would stop at ‘i’m feeling uneasy’, and just have a sort of general sense of what a ‘bad’ feeling was, and wouldn’t know what particular feeling it was. I’d think oh, probably resentment of some sort, or some fear. I am pleased to say that since then I have learned to distinguish between the following feelings and shades of feelings:
• annoyance, irritation, being pissed, anger, impatient, restless, rushed, anxiety, resentment, nervousness, apprehension (that was a fun one to find a label to), trepidation, feeling loath, dejected.
It would appear I am becoming quite the connoisseur of the ‘bad’ feelings ... and it’s about time, given they have featured very prominently in my life! Certainly more fun than leaving them unexamined. I have in mind to make a ‘Claudiu’s Gourmet Menu of Feelings’ post, laying them all out and what the differences are between my experiencing of them.
It’s a wonderful time to be alive!
RICHARD: Claudiu, as I was about to post this email I noticed that your most recent email (Message № 21920) renders it redundant. However, as I had already composed it I am posting it, anyway, as a verification your latest understanding regarding attentiveness is correct.
Whilst reading your above email online it occurred to me to post a brief note, there and then, and simply reiterate how ‘being attentive to my feelings’ only takes place, of course, on those occasions when/ where an otherwise ongoing enjoyment and appreciation diminishes.
Plus, how the very act of thus ‘being attentive to my feelings’ is initiated by that diminishment of enjoyment and appreciation.
In other words, being (cognitively) attentive to one’s (affective) feelings – instigated by the diminution in the quality of affectively enjoying and appreciating being alive/ being here, each moment again, come-what-may – happens less and less once one gets the knack of thus affectively monitoring one’s moment-to-moment (affective) mood and/or temperament via the increasingly subtle variations in one’s (affective) enjoyment and appreciation.
Essentially, ‘feeling good’ as a bottom-line each moment again for the remainder of one’s life means rarely, if ever, needing to (cognitively) be ‘attentive to my feelings’ due to that habituation of the actualism method (such as to result in a still-in-control/ same-way-of-being virtual freedom).
Howsoever, upon re-reading your email with the notion of just a brief note in mind, the very detail and thus expansive length of it persuaded me to expand somewhat upon the subject myself and especially so in view of your observations regarding a particular hangover from your earlier buddhistic practice.
As you referred to ‘being attentive to my feelings’ half-a-dozen times, all told, it further occurred to me to anecdotally illustrate what is conveyed by the [quote] ‘current-time awareness’ [endquote] term, in that email of mine, so as to spell out in some detail how that awareness comes about such that it soon becomes possible, at any given moment, to ‘instantly answer the question’ you articulated as follows.
As what is conveyed by that term is already provided in the ‘This Moment of Being Alive’ article – and specifically referred to elsewhere via words such as ‘diminishment’ or ‘diminution’ and ‘flashing red light’ or ‘a warning buzzer’ on more than fifty occasions on my portion of the website – then this expanded post is more about drawing attention to it, even to the extent of belabouring the point, than anything else.
So, first the anecdote. Early on in my six-month visit to India in 2010 the person anonymised as Respondent № 04 on The Actual Freedom Trust mailing list – whose first post is date-stamped 09 Jan 1999 on my portion of the web site – arranged to meet with me. Arriving after an early-hour inter-city train trip he spent around four or five hours with me and about an hour or so into the conversation he happened to mention, en passant, how he was not able to put the actualism method into practice at work as he could not be attentive to how he was experiencing this moment of being alive, each moment again, during his workaday hours as the job-description required that a large percentage of his time be spent at a computer station being attentive to the myriad manoeuvres on the computer screen virtually every moment of the day.
Although somewhat taken aback by the implications and ramifications of such obvious ignorement/ ignoration of my specific responses and explanations, online, it was a simple matter to point out how the moment-to-moment monitoring of the affections is, of course, an affective monitoring – along with reminding him how the identity inhabiting this flesh-and-blood body all those years ago was a family man working 12-14 hours a day for 6-7 days a week in order to feed, clothe and house everyone (mortgage commitments, hire-purchase payments, and etcetera) – and to thereafter verbalise what is freely available for perusal and edification on The Actual Freedom Trust web site.
The following excerpt – from an online exchange five years previously – should demonstrate why that en passant comment of his has remained with me to the present day.
The above words ‘it speaks for itself’ quite obviously refer to how it is via (affectively) feeling the ‘felicity/ innocuity’ to be diminishing that something is amiss becomes noticeable – in regards to the quality of one’s enjoyment and appreciation – and not by being (cognitively) attentive, each moment again, to each and every aspect of such affective experiencing.
Put succinctly: as moment-to-moment monitoring of (affective) mood is, of course, an affective monitoring there is no reason why the oh-so-common requirement to be (cognitively) attentive, to whatever a job-description requires, would mean the actualism method cannot be practiced during workaday hours.
The same moment-to-moment affective monitoring of mood applies, of course, in any situation (reading, writing, chatting, listening to or watching media, driving, cycling, shopping, cooking, cleaning, and so on and so forth).
Variations on the theme highlighted above appear in more than fifty places on my portion of the website – all of which convey the same or similar observation regarding moment-to-moment affective monitoring of how one is experiencing this moment of being alive – and the following is one of 40 hits which the search-string <flashing red light> returned.
Again, the above highlighted words expressly refer to how it is via (affectively) feeling that ‘felicity and innocuity’ to be diminishing – and not by being (cognitively) attentive, each moment again, to each and every aspect of such felicitous and innocuous experiencing – that it becomes noticeable how one has inadvertently wandered off the way.
Furthermore, the footnotes – those two after the words ‘to start off with’ and ‘simple in practice’, above, plus one supplementary to the first – expand upon both the non-cognitive nature of this ongoing affective awareness (i.e., ‘a non-verbal attitude’ and ‘a wordless approach’) and the simplicity/ easiness (a.k.a. effortlessness) of this non-cognitive monitoring whereby, via affectively feeling any diminution of one’s ongoing affective enjoyment and appreciation, cognitive attention is automatically engendered. Viz.:
I added the word ‘affectively’ in squared brackets, in the middle footnote, so as to emphasise how the words ‘non-verbal attitude’, and ‘wordless approach’, are indicative of that awareness of those instinctual impulses/ affective feelings – and thus self-centred thought – being an affective awareness.
As to how simple, easy and thus effortless this way of living/ this course of action is, when sincerely put into practice, it may be handy to also anecdotally reference how the identity inhabiting this flesh-and-blood body all those years ago took the first step, on what has become known as the wide and wondrous path to an actual freedom from the human condition, as the new year dawned in 1981 and as the grandmother of ‘his’ four children was driving them all down the driveway of ‘his’ ex-farmhouse after having heroically elected to have all of her grandchildren stay with her in the city for a three week holiday (which had left ‘him’ and ‘his’ wife on their own together for the first time since the birth of the first child around fourteen years previously) so as to give her daughter and son-in-law a break from parentage and, hopefully in her mind, to be of assistance in the resurrection of their failing marriage.
It was an opportunity ‘he’ grasped with both hands to not only regain the honeymoon intimacy, of 1966, as ‘his’ wife was spontaneously proposing while they waved them goodbye as they drove away down the driveway – specifically, a twenty-hour mutual peak experience, which both of them remembered well, wherein naïveté featured prominently – but also by so doing to thereby enable the actual intimacy each had experienced, some months prior, during their respective perfection experiences which had indubitably evidenced to both of them that peace-on-earth was already always here (a much-discussed issue over those preceding months). What they both set about doing thereafter, consciously and with knowledge aforethought, was to deliberately imitate the actual each moment again – as magically manifested in their respective perfection experiences – simply because the imitative course of action had been demonstrably successful in the area of the fine arts (as per my oft-mentioned ‘enabling the painting to paint itself’ theme).
When their children were duly returned by an exhausted grandmother, after their three-week exposure to the big-city lifestyle had run its course, ‘he’ was particularly determined not to lose what ‘he’ dubbed the ‘honeymoon atmosphere’ by reverting to type – although ‘his’ wife fared badly in this respect (as per Message № 12901 for instance) – and four weeks later as the official school year was due to commence ‘he’ was similarly set on not losing, as the minimal or bottom line of moment-to-moment experiencing, what ‘he’ dubbed the ‘holiday atmosphere’ (engendered via interacting with ‘his’ children as if a child again, albeit with adult sensibilities, due to an irrepressible re-emergence of ‘his’ hidden-away-during-puberty childhood naïveté).
For what ‘he’ had twigged to, in the beginning stages of their joint venture (and particularly exemplified by ‘his’ wife’s predilection for venting over voicing), was how it was far, far easier and simpler to stay in a good mood come-what-may – preferably a happy mood of course – than claw ‘his’ way back up to feeling good, again and again, after having habitually reverted to type.
Hence being (affectively) aware, each moment again, of more and more subtle variations in the quality of one’s moment-to-moment enjoyment and appreciation of being alive/ of being here so as to earlier and earlier pre-empt any potential reversion to type.
Also, repeated experience had shown ‘him’ that minor dips in that quality presaged each major diminution – indeed miniscule blips soon became evident even earlier than those minor dips as ‘his’ ability to (affectively) detect subtle variations in the affective tone of mood and temperament became evermore fine-tuned – and the earlier such habituated silliness could be (affectively) discerned the sooner ‘he’ could thus nip these instinctual potentialities in the bud.
And all this while ‘he’ worked 12-14 hours a day for 6-7 days a week, as already mentioned, and yet all this while such work increasingly resembled the play it is in actuality.
What follows is one of the 46 hits for the <diminishment> search-term (as compared to the further above <diminution> search-term which returned 11 hits).
Once again, the above highlighted words explicitly refer to how it is via being (affectively) aware of the quality of one’s enjoyment and appreciation diminishing that it becomes ‘patently obvious’ – simply by virtue of this lessening in quality – such as to bring about being (cognitively) attentive to such attenuation of one’s enjoyment and appreciation.
The search-string <warning signal> returned 36 hits and a search for <warning buzzer> resulted in the following exchange.
This particular quote is included because it depicts the identity inhabiting this flesh-and-blood body all those years ago uncritically declaring how it was via the emotions (i.e., per favour the affections generally) – and not cognition (i.e., not per favour being cognitively attentive) – that it became noticeable ‘he’ had gone astray.
As an aside, it is worth mentioning that ‘feeling good’ each moment again over extended periods is thus not an emotion per se but, rather, an affective mood – as in, ‘I’m in a good mood today’ (and, conversely, ‘I’m in a bad mood today’) – just as ‘feeling happy’ moment-to-moment, for the remainder of one’s life, is also an affective mood (e.g., ‘I’m in a happy mood today’) as it would be simply impossible to sustain an emotional happiness day-after-day week-after-week, let alone being passionately happy, due to such being both emotionally draining and, usually, a conditional happiness anyway.
It is correspondingly worth noting that mood is to temperament as weather is to climate inasmuch a person who is predominantly in a good mood is generally described as having an agreeable temperament (a.k.a. as being of a generally cheerful disposition) – as contrasted to those usually depicted as bad-tempered by nature (a.k.a. as being a generally unpleasant character) – such that a prolonged ‘feeling good’ mood becomes a matter of temperament and disposition and, thereby, ultimately of character.
All of which brings me to the ‘This Moment of Being Alive’ article.
This paragraph has been sitting there in plain view for 18+ years, now, as well as having been copy-pasted into many, many emails through my detailing of how the actualism method works in practice to all those different persons asking me to explain the method to them via email forums (in lieu of reading it for themselves on the website).
Some time after returning from my six-month visit to India I tweaked the first half-a-dozen or so paragraphs of the ‘This Moment of Being Alive’ article in an endeavour to pre-empt ever more peoples becoming affers – as was exemplified at the time by the title [quote] ‘a nice way of framing haietmoba’ [endquote] to Message № 11700 which contained a link to web page where a pre-eminent pretermitter had hijacked that string of letters (by which means quite a few persons refer to the actualism method) via insisting it points to a watered-down and westernised ‘nibbāna’ (i.e., phenomenolically-derived) – and added-in the following paragraphs.
This paragraph is specifically worded to make it clear how it is an affective awareness (i.e., that moment-to-moment affective monitoring of mood already referred to much further above) which both maximises felicity/ innocuity and automatically activates conscious attention (as in, engendering cognitive attentiveness) whenever something is amiss in regards to enjoyment and appreciation.
The first sentence of this 12th paragraph includes, parenthetically, a specific reference to buddhistic practice because more than a few peoples – and not only those of a buddhistic inclination but those practising a secularised version thereof as well – perversely insist on making out that the actualism method entails the same or similar practice as that (misnamed) ‘mindfulness’ regimen, which has gained traction in large swathes of many and various societies and cultures around the world, despite my words unambiguously stating on several occasions how buddhistic ‘mindfulness’ is [quote] ‘another ball-game entirely’ [endquote].
And I say ‘perversely insist’ deliberatively because it is simply impossible for those [quote] ‘another ball-game entirely’ [endquote] words to be misread/ misheard, mistaken, misapprehended, misunderstood, misconstrued, miscomprehended, misinterpreted, misjudged – as in, get the wrong idea about and/or get an incorrect impression of, that is – or, to use a colloquialism, to get the wrong end of the stick regarding what those words mean.
‘Tis amazing the number of peoples who deceive themselves into believing they know better than me what my reports/ descriptions/ explanations refer to – via illuding themselves their book-learnt understanding over x-number of years trumps my experiential understanding over the last 35+ years – as if the words issuing forth from this keyboard come from somebody too dumb to know just what his moment-to-moment experiencing actually is (despite their tacit acknowledgement thereby of him having nevertheless been somehow smart enough to accomplish what they are yet to do).
The second sentence of this 12th paragraph has the word *feeling* made bold twice so as to emphasise how the ongoing awareness of all affective feelings, moods and states of being is, of course, affective in nature and thus leaving cognitive awareness free to be applied to whatever one is engaged in doing, in one’s moment-to-moment daily life, be it earning a living, reading/ watching various media, studying for examinations, and so on, and so forth.
And the follow-up sentence to this 12th paragraph simply summarises the above observation – how the awareness (in regards to how one is experiencing this moment of being alive) is an affective awareness – so that no-one can ever again say to me, even in passing, that they cannot practise the actualism method because they are fully occupied with being attentive to the myriad manoeuvres on a computer screen virtually every moment of the day!
ANDREW: I remember reading on the AFT, Richard mentions the general mood of the 1960’s and has good things to say about it. The focus on peace, adventure, challenging social order, an optimistic view that change was possible.
RICHARD: Yet what you remember reading on The Actual Freedom Trust web site is actually what feeling-being ‘Peter’ wrote – feeling-being ‘Richard’s focus in the 1960’s was, instead, on warfare, misadventure, upholding social order, an unenterprising view that change was impossible – which is neatly encapsulated in ‘Peter’s Journal’ via descriptions of then being a typically radicalised university student (per favour the subversive ‘Nouvelle Gauche’ socialistic-communistic propaganda, of Mr. Herbert Marcuse (a.k.a. ‘Father of the New Left’) and the ilk, which gripped the largely proto-revolutionary imagination of those socio-politically impressionable youths of the time).
Incidentally, your comment on the 17th of Feb, 2016, about not sharing the opinion that there was anything special about that era – viz.:
– could perhaps be said to typify a wholesale ignorement of just how successful that ‘Nouvelle Gauche’ propaganda against the then still-prevailing dextral individualism has been, as evidenced by the stranglehold sinistral statism has increasingly had on the ‘International Community’ in the decades since, insofar as the way in which politico-economic governance nowadays operates in developed nations is more or less in accord with what the sixties ‘student revolution’ was practicably on about.
Put the other way around: as what those gullible university students protested about so vociferously, and marched en-masse in the streets for, has largely come to pass in the technologically advanced nation-states, then your usage of ‘exactly’ – in the above “in exactly the same way” characterisation – may very well stem more from a blanket ignoration of how deprived the bulk of the populace comprising those laissez faire states were, before the resultant expansion of the corporative ‘Welfare State’ (which ever-expanding bureaucratisation of governance, were it not largely funded by its correspondingly ever-expanding indebtedness, would ultimately become all-encompassing), than from an even-handed appraisal of the outcome those ‘New Left’ propagandists were agitating for.
Ha ... it could even be a classic case of hoary adage “Be careful what is wished for [whilst the peasant-mentality prevails] lest it come true”, eh?
ANDREW: Is it possible that [No. 49] indeed did practice a proto-version of “actualism” before Richard discovered just how far it can go, and as such, is non-plussed about labels and terminology for that reason?
RICHARD: In a word: no.
In a couple of hundred words: as he has evidentially never practised what he recently dismissed as the “glibly produced” and thus “quite unhelpful” way, manner or means on offer on The Actual Freedom Trust web site – namely: the actualism method (as in, consciously and with knowledge aforethought imitating the actual by enjoying and appreciating being alive/ being here each moment again, for as much as is humanly possible, until the actualism process, per favour the ‘golden clew’ pure intent, invokes an out-from-control different-way-of-being momentum conducive to going blessedly into oblivion prior to physical death, that is) – then the 1986 vintage “proto-version” of his post-1999 ‘on-going mindful action’ (as per the half-dozen quotes in Footnote № 3, of Message № 21923, from the ‘ListBot’ archives of The Actual Freedom Trust mailing list) would surely be just as it is depicted therein ... to wit: a 1986 vintage ‘on-going mindful action’, promoted as working due to it having been in use for a full thirteen years prior to finding the actualism/ actual freedom writings in late 1999, and which he gradually came to refer to over the years with the same [quote] “haietmoba” [endquote] string of letters which quite a few persons were using back then to refer to the actualism method.
To summarise: as there is no textual evidence with which to substantially differentiate that 1986 vintage ‘on-going mindful action’ from any other regular mindful-of-the-moment practice – as per that (misnamed) ‘mindfulness’ regimen of buddhistic mispractice which has gained traction in large swathes of many and various societies and cultures around the world (with many and various secularised off-shoots) – this further “Is it possible...” speculation of yours is self-evidently demonstrative of the proliferative nature of speculation unrestrained by the anchored-in-fact effect all valid premises have.
ANDREW: Richard makes the point of how much research he did to find a precedent of “an actual freedom from the human condition”, but not so much the actualism method itself ...
RICHARD: As there is no such “precedent” (an actual freedom from the human condition is indeed entirely new to human experience/ human history) then it follows that the way, manner or means of having that unprecedented condition come about – consciously and with knowledge aforethought imitating the actual by enjoying and appreciating being alive/ being here each moment again, for as much as is humanly possible, until the actualism process, per favour the ‘golden clew’ pure intent, invokes an out-from-control different-way-of-being momentum conducive to going blessedly into oblivion prior to physical death – is equally unprecedented.
Otherwise – and given there are untold millions upon millions of malpractitioners of the many and various ways in which that mindful-of-the-moment buddhistic mispractice is practiced (plus equally innumerable practitioners practising a secularised version thereof as well) – how come none of them ever discovered Terra Actualis?
What was it, about that naïve boy from the farm, which enabled ‘him’ to find what untold billions upon billions of peoples of any description and persuasion, in any culture and every age, never ever found (including the person you are defending through the invocation and proliferation of abstract possibilities)?
Have you never wondered, for instance, why the near-innocent intimacy of naïveté does not feature in dictionary listings of various forms of intimacy/ ways of being intimate?
ANDREW: ...[the actualism method itself...] which when you separate it out, has many parallels with the types of naive optimism that spawned such phrases as “if it feels good, do it”, “make love, not war”, “give peace a chance”.
RICHARD: And therein lies the rub: more than a few otherwise intelligent peoples do indeed “separate it out” (from an actual freedom itself) such as to instead practice some already extant method or modification thereof – being either too stupid to realise that doing what untold millions upon millions of practitioners have already done, without even a single success, is a totally unproductive enterprise, or being so arrogant as to think they can succeed despite untold millions upon millions of practitioners, without exception, having abjectly failed thereby – despite the way, manner or means of having such an unprecedented condition come about indubitably needing to be as unprecedented as it is.
Is it just a case of that apocryphal ‘definition’ of insanity (i.e., doing the same thing over and again, ad infinitum, yet expecting a different result) or is it something else entirely?
A primary reason to “separate it out” (from an actual freedom itself) is, of course, the arrant failure to appreciate how ground-breaking the millions of actualism/ actual freedom words actually are – as evidenced, for instance, by that egotistically-fuelled you-cannot-know-you’re-the-first fixation, which afflicted more than a few peoples upon coming across the website or, for another example, the inordinate lengths the ‘Pragmatic Dumber’ participants went to/ go to in order to incorporate gross distortions of them into their massively watered-down and westernised version of the already watered-down traditional buddhistic mispractice – as well as likewise failing to appreciate how truly epoch-changing a female replication of the ground-breaking male break-through into Terra Actualis actually is inasmuch that, for the first time in human history/ human experience, it is now possible, and demonstrably so, for man and woman to live together in peace and harmony with gladness and delight.
And here is why that replication is truly epoch-changing:
As the implications and ramifications of this epoch-changing replication not only directly relate back to your “make love, not war” and “give peace a chance” allusions to the idealistic 1960’s generational shake-up of the prevailing cultural ethos, of the post-World War II era, but directly impinge upon your failure to “share the opinion that there was anything special about that era” then this is an apt moment to spell-out just what the “naïve optimism” of the sixties generation (disparagingly referred to as ‘the boomers’ and the suchlike, by succeeding generations, when not latterly being called ‘old farts’) has managed to spawn.
(In case it has escaped your notice: the first settlers to take up residence in Terra Actualis are all a product of that naïvely optimistic sixties generation, as contrasted to the cynically pessimistic generations who disenchantedly succeeded them, and it remains to be seen whether the latter can successfully retrieve their long-lost naïveté or not).
To spell-it-out then: All through the ages, and throughout all cultures, one basic predicament exemplified the problem of human relationship and, thus, civilisation itself: man and woman had never been able to live together in peace and harmony – let alone with mutual gladness and delight – for the twenty-four hours of every day for the duration of their respective lives.
Each and every person currently alive, and ever alive, on this otherwise verdant and azure paradise has or had entered this world of minera, flora and fauna via the only possible way – any and all peoples both alive and now dead are or were the progeny of man and woman – and the quality of the start of life is, to a considerable degree, dependent upon the quality of the relationship between each and every person’s progenitor and progenitrix.
Any and all children can and could but blindly follow the examples – and the precepts – bequeathed, at best, with the all-too-human love and compassion of their parental providers and carers (not to mention their extended families).
Obviously, what was required was an in-depth investigation and exploration, an existential uncovering and discovering, a salutary seeking and finding, of the pitfalls and problems which have beset and tormented both genders – difficulties which were, so had it been ordained, set in concrete and indisputable – as per the hoary “you can’t change human nature” maxim.
That appalling status-quo was simply not acceptable to a handful of persons of a sufficiently naïve sensitivity.
Thus the basic premise was, and is, as simplistic as this: if man and woman cannot or could not live together with nary a bicker or a squabble – let alone a quarrel or a wrangle – then forget about street-marches, assorted ‘love-ins’ and other public-demonstrations calling for world peace because man-woman sexuality and intimacy is the genesis of family and thus the very core of civilisation itself.
Is it not high time ‘grown-ups’ began living-up to the title “mature adults” else the next generation, and those thereafter ever anon, also settle for a best which is less than the superlative best?
ANDREW: This is only a possibility, [No. 49] though, seems to have implied such in the posts quoted by Richard.
RICHARD: Not only is it not even “only a possibility” there is also no way he “seems to have implied such” (i.e., that he practiced a “proto-version” of the actualism method) in those quoted snippets, either, as that [quote] ‘on-going mindful action’ [endquote], which he promoted in that post on Saturday the 25th of November, 2000, as working because he had been using it [quote] ‘since 1986’ [endquote] cannot possibly be him implying that he practiced a proto-version of the actualism method “before Richard discovered just how far it can go” as [No. 49] not only *did not recognise* the actualism method – when critiquing Claudiu’s ‘scrolling banners’ post to Srid (albeit the Wiki version) – but he also methought-it-was-therefore-it-was quite unhelpful to glibly produce, or pronounce, what is printed on those banners as a method and, further, that in his opinion those banner words were *not describing a method at all*.
Having now read those quotes – readily available for all forum subscribers to access in the ‘Yahoo Groups’ archives – do you still consider [No. 49] “seems to have implied” in those quoted snippets from Saturday the 25th of November, 2000, that he practiced a “proto-version” of the actualism method since 1986?
Yet there is more: due, no doubt, to [No. 49] having called them “your banner words”, in the above post, Claudiu informed him, in a follow-up email, that the words on the banners were not written by him but, presumably, by Richard because of the copyright notice to that effect. What is of interest in [No. 49]’s response is what he has to say about those words on the banners, which unambiguously spell-out what the actualism method is, now that he undeniably knows who wrote them.
As he opines how Richard wanted to emphasise that [quote] “the method” [endquote] – whatever that might be in [No. 49]’s mind – when properly applied should be enjoyable it is obvious that he still does not know what the actualism method is *despite* the scrolling banner words clearly and unambiguously stating that “consistently enjoying and appreciating this moment of being alive *is what the actualism method is*” sitting right there in front of his eyes, on his computer screen, as he types out his reply.
That last response of [No. 49]’s – agreeing that the phrase from the banners that he re-quotes right there as he types, and which clearly and unambiguously delineates just what the actualism method is, *“is indeed all quite new”* – is quite remarkable, in and of itself, given that he has purportedly been practicing precisely that for the last 30 years (since 1986).
How could you have possibly considered for even a moment – let alone typed it out and posted it online – that [No. 49] “seems to have implied” in those quoted snippets from Saturday the 25th of November, 2000, that he practiced a “proto-version” of the actualism method since 1986?
Moreover, do you see how not only is no third-party on-the-spot participant or witness needed – in order to attend to “a few possibilities that could do with the time and space to be answered” – but how no discussion between “those who were there” is required, either?
Whilst on the subject of those quoted snippets, in Footnote № 3, of Message № 21923 (and which came from the ‘ListBot’ archives of The Actual Freedom Trust mailing list), here are some more from those archives which will be of related interest.
First, these two extracts from my keyboard in the year 2000:
And then the following post, a mere 15 emails and 23 days later, containing several references to reading, and absorbing, what is on both the website and the mailing list (with the latter freely acknowledged as being a valuable source of clarification) such as to convey the impression that the import of the highlighted portions of the above two posts would not have been overlooked.
(Also, as there was so very little traffic on the mailing list, in these early days, it is hardly likely those two posts above would not be read through, anyway, as there was so very little else to read).
Yet a little over four weeks later there is the following oddity (an oddity inasmuch it disregards the guiding light/ authority/ teacher/ lodestone/ benchmark attributes of the PCE and, in lieu of that impeccably-sourced certainty, ascribes a judge-and-jury rôle to the rotten-to-the-core identity vis-à-vis assessment of *the words* of those with expertise in the area of felicity and innocuity).
And, less than two weeks later, the following email (already quoted twice before on this forum) encapsulates this self-ascribed ‘ultimate-fount’ rôle with unequivocal directness.
So, here are the two pertinent lines of text juxtaposed for ease of comparison:
And so it came to pass that it was still the case 14 years later as the following snippet evidences (with a superiority-aspiration feature highlighted as well).
Also, a curious coincidence becomes evident, per favour all these snippets, inasmuch it just so happens that the inclusion of *benchmark* in that much further above Tue 15/08/2000 post of mine was a singular event – never repeated nor copy-pasted anywhere in any of my consequent emails [until now] – yet that very word features in more than just one of [No. 49]’s posts.
Thus, rather than the PCE being lodestone and benchmark – delineated as being a point of reference upon which all terms of reference can be reliably and confidently sourced (as per that singular Tue 15/08/2000 post of mine much further above) – it is his (renamed) ‘on-going mindful action’ of 1986 vintage which either ups the benchmark (whatever that means) or reflectively benchmarks against life experiences (however that mayhap) for ascertaining mutual benefit.
ANDREW: Here’s the thing, until the discussion happens, between those who where there, the
facts are unclear.
RICHARD: Okay, for what it is worth then, my interactions with him at art-college (which, although a university in its own right, nowadays, was then but the lowly country college of a city university) were minimal at best – even though starting the three-year ‘Fine Arts’ course in the same year we majored in different subjects and thus our paths rarely crossed – as I was what was called a ‘mature-age student’ (in my mid-to-late twenties) and [No. 49] was either in his late-teens or early-twenties. Furthermore, I was a married man with a family and living in a family-household type setting whereas he was single and either living in the student’s quarters (at some stage) or rent-sharing regular accommodation with other students and the ilk. Moreover, my memory of the times is of him being a rather quiet, mild-mannered and/or reserved sort of youngster insofar as, on the few or scattered occasions of having a brief chat about matters relating to art, it was via him seeking me out rather than vice versa (as far as I recall).
Although we both graduated at the same ceremonial event – only 7 or so of the original 70+ first-year students successfully graduated at the end of the three-year full-time course – [No. 49] went on to a further year or so of ‘State School Teacher Training’ (so as to qualify to teach in Government Schools) whereas I became a practising artist, and took to living way out in the rural countryside (about an 80 kilometre or so round-trip from the Art College).
As for the enlightened years – not that I am about to provide extensive detail though – the main item of note was [No. 49] similarly illuding himself as having ‘arrived’ (i.e., to be enlightened when clearly not), circa 1990, such that I actually ceased speaking to him, literally, as yet more of my words, pointing out the incongruities, had only served to feed the illuding process as those words, too, were adjusted accordingly so as to be accommodated into the existing mind-set. Yet even such a drastic course of action as that was to no avail, either, and the wording of that further above ‘Fri 27/10/2000’ quote of his – viz.: [Respondent No. 49]: “I am my own highest authority until I am actually free *not enlightened*” [emphasis added] – is suggestive of still being illuded a decade later.
ANDREW: (Message № 22102). As far as I know/ remember this is the first time Richard has pointed out his concerns with [No. 49]’s way of going about actualism.
RICHARD: Well now, that is because it was the first time [No. 49] was openly dismissive of the actualism method – as depicted on the third and last scrolling banners in the ‘This Moment of Being Alive’ article – inasmuch he methought-it-was-therefore-it-was quite unhelpful to glibly produce, or pronounce, what is printed on those banners as being a method and, further, that in his opinion those banner words were not describing a method at all.
’Twas the step too far – which left me with no choice but to ‘head it off at the pass’, so to speak, lest it gather momentum through finding favour with any other entities instinctually more cunning than the norm running with it – but true to form he doubled-down, and then doubled-down again and then again, until finally being hoist with his own petard (e.g., his self-appointed ‘cult-buster’ rôle).
Just consider this for a moment: if (note ‘if’) his self-elevated “I am my own highest authority” status had not prevented him from backing-off, on that unsupportable methinks-it-is-therefore-it-is “glibly produced” & “quite unhelpful” reaction to the words on those “nifty banners scrolling across the screen” you reminded Srid of (vide: Message № 210xx), upon that reaction of his being queried by Claudiu, this particular Q&A email exchange would never have been written.
In finishing up, here is the salient point of this email: why did more than a few persons, upon reading the word ‘attentiveness’ and mentally substituting the word ‘mindfulness’ (as per the popular yet mistaken rendering of the Pāli ‘sati’/ the Vedic ‘smṛti’ as ‘mindful’ that is, not as in dictionaries, and thusly perpetuated throughout the secularised versions thereof), nevertheless still take that *tool for facilitating the actualism method* to be the actualism method in and of itself?
For instance (from a 2004 email exchange):
The reason for my ‘salient point’ query is because whether one is attentive to the fact, each moment again, that this moment of being alive/ of being here is the only moment of ever being alive/ of ever being here (and taking action accordingly), or mindful of the fact, each moment again, that this moment of being alive/ of being here is the only moment of ever being alive/ of ever being here (and taking action thereby) is largely irrelevant. What is relevant, however, is not taking that *tool for facilitating the actualism method* to be the actualism method in and of itself.
In my pre-internet days, due to it being largely irrelevant, I utilised either word – plus ‘conscious of the fact’ and ‘aware of the fact’ and ‘tuned-in to the fact’ and, maybe, even ‘awake to the fact’ and ‘alert to the fact’ as well – when explaining what helped in facilitating the way, manner or means (this is in the years before such formally became a method) whereby the resident identity enabled a paradisaical dimension to become apparent (nowadays known as the actual world). However during my early internet days (as explained in some detail, albeit in a different context, in Message № 20095), I gradually ceased using the word ‘mindful’ altogether as the all-pervasive nature of that (misnamed) buddhistic method became more and more apparent to me.
And thus was it that ‘attentiveness’ became actualism’s designator for a particular *tool for facilitating the actualism method* – as distinct from and contrasted to ‘mindfulness’ being the buddhistic method, in and of itself, even unto secularised versions – so as to further distinguish the fact of the actualism method being so totally different to anything else (or, put another way, that the buddhistic ‘mindfulness’ method is another ball-game entirely).
(Please note: once it becomes second-nature – a non-verbal attitude to life; a wordless approach to living – an intuitive awareness, as in an affective monitoring of mood and temperament, dispenses with that initial diligence and perseverance).
Now, and relating to the salient point of this Q&A exchange, there could be a possibility (as clearly distinct from a probability, let alone the likelihood, as the obverse is equally possible) that [No. 49] might have heard both me and my second wife interchangeably using either word circa 1986, when he first met Devika whilst a guest for a few weeks or so in the spare bedroom of our rented solid-brick apartment – or, more fittingly perhaps, circa 1990, when rent-sharing an old wooden house with the two of us, for more than a few months, along with <name withheld> (an occasional poster to this forum) and on the verandah of which he snapped that large colour photograph mentioned in Message № 21923 – and thus unthinkingly assumed, just as more than a few others have also mindlessly presumed, that this particular *tool for facilitating the actualism method* was, essentially, no different to his ‘on-going mindful action’ method of 1986 vintage, in and of itself, and thus adapted that particular *tool for facilitating the actualism method* into being that ‘on-going mindful action’ method, in and of itself, circa late-1999, which he gradually came to refer to thereafter by that [quote] “haietmoba” [endquote] string of letters.
Hence, then, that reactionary “glibly produced” & “quite unhelpful” declaration upon taking issue with the scrolling banner words which, thereby, evidenced that what he had mindlessly assumed to be the actualism method since, ostensively, late-1999 was in fact not the actualism method which has been sitting there in plain view, on The Actual Freedom Trust web site, all the while.
Lastly, the ‘Summary of the Entire Path’ which Claudiu posted on the 31st of October, 2013, in Message № 15710 is well worth reading (or re-reading if applicable) as it lays out how he came to realise just what the actualism method actually is – as distinct from the tools (i.e., ‘techniques’ a.k.a. ‘technics’ or ‘techs’) for facilitating the actualism method – in a fresh, newly-discovered kind of way.
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.