Actual Freedom – Selected Correspondence by Topic

Richard’s Selected Correspondence

On How To Become Free of the Human Condition


RESPONDENT: Hi, I am from Poland(!), {and still learning English}.

RICHARD: Welcome to The Actual Freedom Trust mailing list.

RESPONDENT: Anyway it was relief to me to find AF [few months ago] because it was proove, confirmation of my interest in this topic. As a matter of fact, I felt already relief when I found U.G. Krishnamurti and others with similar [the same?] experience of No-Self like Bernadette Roberts, John Lewis. Yet Roberts was tinged with spirituality and Krishnamurti was inconsistent and in some way biased. Your mode of expression appeals to me the most. However, I have problem, I am not sure whether I ever had PCE [here one question you said somewhere that the self in PCE is in suspension [or declutched], is your state different from PCE at all?], but you probably mentioned of possibility of evoking it by hallucinogens e.g. LSD [again I’m not sure]. Anyway I have taken several times LSD in my life and don’t know whether it is useful in ‘the path’ [maybe it was just ASC]. I feel still sometimes swayed by some feelings and emotions [I am 23] because of many years of using them [let say these positive], and it is hard to me to find balance between doing things emotionlessly and not getting bored. Anyway I am working on this. Please of some suggestion although I know you probably said everything already in those matters.

RICHARD: First and foremost: the actualism method is not about doing things emotionlessly ... the following link explains this in some detail (half-way down the page):

In regards hallucinogens: I never advise or encourage anyone to use psychotropic substances (for obvious reasons). If, however, someone already has done so, and intends to do so again of their own accord and volition anyway, then I would counsel their very careful and considered use as it is all-too-easy for an altered state of consciousness (ASC) to emerge rather than a pure consciousness experience (PCE) ... there are many accounts available on the internet and 4 or 5 years ago I browsed through several web pages and never found any description that resembled a PCE.

The expression I use for what happens in a PCE is that identity is in abeyance – which means ‘a state of suspension or temporary disuse; a dormant condition liable to revival’ according to the Oxford Dictionary – and is the closest experience possible to what an actual freedom from the human condition itself is without actually becoming free ... and anybody I have been whilst they were having a PCE has indubitably been experiencing the same-same experience as is my on-going experiencing.

And it is neither the same nor similar to what the people you mention speak of.


RESPONDENT: Does investigating mean feeling a feeling, or questioning it? If I have to question a feeling, then the method can become extremely difficult because no matter how much I question myself, my mind won’t budge.

After I’ve deliberately felt myself as, say, sadness, do I then decide that it is an emotion (real) or a physical feeling (actual)? If I do, that would mean I’m dissociating from the feeling?

While investigating being sad, how do I know when I can actually get back to feeling good? Do I have to force myself to feel good again, or should the feeling be fading, or gone before I attempt to feel good again?

RICHARD: You may find the following to be of assistance:

• [Richard]: ‘Before applying the actualism method – the ongoing enjoyment and appreciation of this moment of being alive – it is essential for success to grasp the fact that this very moment which is happening now is your only moment of being alive. The past, although it did happen, is not actual now. The future, though it will happen, is not actual now. Only now is actual. Yesterday’s happiness and harmlessness does not mean a thing if one is miserable and malicious now and a hoped-for happiness and harmlessness tomorrow is to but waste this moment of being alive in waiting. All one gets by waiting is more waiting. Thus any ‘change’ can only happen now. The jumping in point is always here; it is at this moment in time and this place in space. Thus, if one misses it this time around, hey presto, one has another chance immediately. Life is excellent at providing opportunities like this.
What ‘I’ did, all those years ago, was to devise a remarkably effective way to be able to enjoy and appreciate this moment of being alive each moment again (I know that methods are to be actively discouraged, in some people’s eyes, but this one worked). It does take some doing to start off with but, as success after success starts to multiply exponentially, it becomes progressively easier to enjoy and appreciate being here each moment again. One begins by asking, each moment again, ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive’?
Note: asking how one is experiencing this moment of being alive is not the actualism method; consistently enjoying and appreciating this moment of being alive is what the actualism method is. And this is because the actualism method is all about consciously and knowingly imitating life in the actual world. Also, by virtue of proceeding in this manner the means to the end – an ongoing enjoyment and appreciation – are no different to the end itself.
This perpetual enjoyment and appreciation is facilitated by feeling as happy and as harmless as is humanly possible. And this (affective) felicity/ innocuity is potently enabled via minimisation of both the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ feelings. An affective awareness is the key to maximising felicity and innocuity over all those alternate feelings inasmuch the slightest diminishment of enjoyment and appreciation automatically activates attentiveness.
Attentiveness to the cause of diminished enjoyment and appreciation restores felicity and innocuity. The habituation of actualistic awareness and attentiveness requires a persistent initialisation; persistent initialisation segues into a wordless approach, a non-verbal attitude towards life. It delivers the goods just here, right now, and not off into some indeterminate future. Plus the successes are repeatable – virtually on demand – and thus satisfy the ‘scientific method’.
So, ‘I’ asked myself, each moment again: ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive’?
As one knows from the pure consciousness experiences (PCE’s), which are moments of perfection everybody has at some stage in their life, that it is possible to experience this moment in time and this place in space as perfection personified, ‘I’ set the minimum standard of experience for myself: feeling good. If ‘I’ am not feeling good then ‘I’ have something to look at to find out why. What has happened, between the last time ‘I’ felt good and now? When did ‘I’ feel good last? Five minutes ago? Five hours ago? What happened to end those felicitous feelings? Ahh ... yes: ‘He said that and I ...’. Or: ‘She didn’t do this and I ...’. Or: ‘What I wanted was ...’. Or: ‘I didn’t do ...’. And so on and so on ... one does not have to trace back into one’s childhood ... usually no more than yesterday afternoon at the most (‘feeling good’ is an unambiguous term – it is a general sense of well-being – and if anyone wants to argue about what feeling good means ... then do not even bother trying to do this at all).
Once the specific moment of ceasing to feel good is pin-pointed, and the silliness of having such an incident as that (no matter what it is) take away one’s enjoyment and appreciation of this only moment of being alive is seen for what it is – usually some habitual reactive response – one is once more feeling good ... but with a pin-pointed cue to watch out for next time so as to not have that trigger off yet another bout of the same-old same-old. This is called nipping it in the bud before it gets out of hand ... with application and diligence and patience and perseverance one soon gets the knack of this and more and more time is spent enjoying and appreciating this moment of being alive. And, of course, once one does get the knack of this, one up-levels ‘feeling good’, as a bottom line each moment again, to ‘feeling happy and harmless’ ... and after that to ‘feeling perfect’.
The more one enjoys and appreciates being just here right now – to the point of excellence being the norm – the greater the likelihood of a PCE happening ... a grim and/or glum person has no chance whatsoever of allowing the magical event, which indubitably shows where everyone has being going awry, to occur. Plus any analysing and/or psychologising and/or philosophising whilst one is in the grip of debilitating feelings usually does not achieve much (other than spiralling around and around in varying degrees of despair and despondency or whatever) anyway.
The wide and wondrous path to an actual freedom from the human condition is marked by enjoyment and appreciation – the sheer delight of being as happy and harmless as is humanly possible whilst remaining a ‘self’ – and the slightest diminishment of such felicity/ innocuity is a warning signal (a flashing red light as it were) that one has inadvertently wandered off the way.
One is thus soon back on track ... and all because of everyday events.
(...)
Thus, by asking ‘how am I experiencing this moment of being alive,’ the reward is immediate; by finding out what triggered off the loss of the felicitous feeling, one commences another period of enjoying and appreciating this moment of being alive. It is all about being here at this moment in time and this place in space ... and if you are not feeling happy and harmless you have no chance whatsoever of being here in this actual world (a glum and/or grumpy person locks themselves out of the perfect purity of this moment and place). And by having already established feeling good (a general sense of well-being) as the bottom line for moment-to-moment experiencing then if, or when, feeling happy and harmless fades there is that comfortable baseline from which to suss out where, when, how, why – and what for – the feeling of being happy and harmless ceased happening ... and all the while feeling good whilst going about it.
Furthermore if, or when, there is a sinking below the bottom line, and feeling bad (a general sense of ill-being) is the moment-to-moment experiencing then, rather than trying to suss out where, when, how, why – and what for – the general sense of well-being (feeling good) ceased occurring, it is far more useful to first get to a stage of being neutral, because, when in the feeling bad position, feeling good can appear to be so, so far away ... indeed, at times, feeling good can seem to be but a dream, a fancy, a chimera, a will-o’-the-wisp, from that position, and what’s the point anyway, that method didn’t work either (of course), it’s all stupid, life sucks, and ... and all the rest of those self-pitying, self-justifying, defeatist assertions.
As the step from being neutral to feeling good is not such a big step then one is soon back on track again.

*

RESPONDENT: How do I see something as silly?

RICHARD: It is essential to grasp the fact that this is one’s only moment of being alive. The past, although it did happen, is not actual now. The future, though it will happen, is not actual now. Only now is actual. To waste this moment, the only moment one is ever actually alive, by not being happy and harmless (free of malice and sorrow) and thus not enjoying and appreciating being alive probably could be described in any number of ways ... ‘silly’ was the way the identity who used to inhabit this flesh and blood body all those years ago described it.

RESPONDENT: For example, my little compulsiveness about being clean. It’s silly because: I’m not happy when I feel the compulsion to clean my hands. There’s nothing on my hands that anyone can see, or would harm anyone. No one else cares about cleanliness after touching whatever I’ve touched. The dirtiness is really just my opinion. My mum taught me to clean my hands, and before that I didn’t care at all. I didn’t care about being perfectly clean for most of my life. It’s impossible to be perfectly clean for more than a few minutes. I’m probably never perfectly clean anyway. I didn’t care that I was dirty when I didn’t know it was dirty. After all this I still hold onto my silly compulsion. What else can I do?

RICHARD: As a suggestion only: going by how you describe your ‘little compulsiveness’ (which is why this is only a suggestion) you could seek professional assistance ... the actualism method is not a cure for psychiatric disorders.

RESPONDENT: Not only can’t I eliminate this, I haven’t really been able to eliminate anything so far.

RICHARD: Here is another suggestion: first cure yourself of your ‘little compulsiveness’ (there is nothing like a confidence boost to set things in motion).


RESPONDENT: 4. Richard, was it HAIETMOBA that induced your first PCE ...

RICHARD: No, the four-hour pure consciousness experience (PCE) in 1980, which initiated the remembrance of many such moments of perfection stretching way back into my childhood, and which set in train the entire process eventually resulting in an actual freedom from the human condition, was inadvertently precipitated by psylocibin (given to me by a well-meaning but somewhat misguided associate at the time who told me it was similar in effect to tetrahydrocannabinol only much stronger) ... just as you have described in an earlier e-mail:

• [Respondent]: ‘... all of a sudden, literally in a moment, all traces of anxiety dropped away completely, and it was as if I had walked through an invisible membrane into a bubble of perfection. Absolutely nothing had changed. The fields, mountains, trees, sky, clouds, all stood before me in their sparkling, pristine glory. There was no ‘emotion’, but there was a pure sensation of joy that made me grin from ear to ear. (...) I knew that I was walking on a country road outside town, but when I tried to precisely locate myself in relation to the river and the town, found I could not. I could not hold an abstract map in my mind at all. But it didn’t matter in the slightest. Where am I? I’m here! The whole question of where ‘here’ is only makes sense in relation to where somewhere else is, and what’s the point of that? For the next couple of hours I strolled along, drifting in and out of this bubble of perfection, feeling absolutely fine and carefree. There was no trace of ‘mysticism’ or ‘spirituality’ about it; just enjoyment of being present in a perfect bubble of real time and real space and real things. (‘PCE / ASC / psilocybin’; Fri 7/11/03).

Only I would not say ‘... into a bubble of perfection’ but rather ‘out of a bubble of imperfection’ – as there is only perfection in actuality – nor ‘being present in a perfect bubble of real time and real space and real things’ but rather ‘being just here, right now, in actual space and actual time as actual form’ (and thus out of the bubble of real time, real space, and real things) ... but I can comprehend that from a real-world perspective it looks to be the other way around.

The ‘invisible membrane’ I can relate to ... as can some other people I have spoken to over the years.

RESPONDENT: ... or did you develop the HAIETMOBA method as a result of a spontaneous PCE?

RICHARD: RICHARD: Yes ... essentially ‘how am I experiencing this moment of being alive’ meant ‘what is preventing the PCE from happening at this very moment’ to me back in 1981 (six months after the initial PCE when I had thoroughly satisfied myself that the childhood PCE’s had, of course, nothing to do with any substance whatsoever).

Or, to put that another way, it meant ‘what is preventing the already always existing peace-on-earth (as evidenced in the PCE) from being apparent’ ... and it usually was either a feeling or a feeling-fed thought (as in a belief ... oft-times cunningly disguised as a truth).

The PCE demonstrates that the pristine perfection of the actual world is just here – right now – for the very asking.

RESPONDENT: Yes indeed. Thanks for this. It gives me confidence that the whole endeavour is both possible and extremely worthwhile.

RICHARD: In view of the continuing parlous state of both individual and world affairs it is most certainly worthwhile – I have oft-times said it is worth almost anything in terms of personal discomfort/private disturbance to have happen – and the distinct possibility of more and more outbreaks of individual peace-on-earth (be they virtual or actual) bodes well for humankind at large ... given the twentieth century’s unprecedented move towards the eventual democratisation of all sovereign states it only takes 51% of a population to be living in an actual or a virtual peace and harmony for groundswell changes to take effect.

What was previously only the stuff of pipe-dreams is now entirely possible.

*

RESPONDENT: A practical question: if what I’m doing happens to kick-start the physiological process (which hasn’t happened yet), is there anything you would recommend doing, or not doing, if it begins?

RICHARD: In brief: never, ever, overlook the pristine purity of this actual world (as evidenced in the PCE) ... and forsake each and every blandishment to be the latest Saviour of Humankind.

RESPONDENT: Not to pre-empt things too much, but it must be extremely hard not to ‘pike out’ when things start to get very intense.

RICHARD: Ha ... it is years since I have heard that expression.

RESPONDENT: There would be the fear of spinning out completely, physically dying, or worst of all, leaving oneself a neurological omelette (as U G Krishnamurti seems to me to be).

RICHARD: You do have an expressive way of putting it ... but, yes, there is a very real fear of spinning out, becoming a basket case, or whatever, and pulling back in urgent alarum to the (supposed) safety of the already-known.

RESPONDENT: I’d guess you’d favour the ‘boots and all’ approach, but just to be sure, is there anything one should be specially careful of?

RICHARD: Hesitancy (an opportunity is quite often a very rare thing).

RESPONDENT: Am I understanding you correctly that, once the process begins, you throw caution to the wind and just go all the way, come what may?

RICHARD: Provided there be pure intent (and that is no little proviso) ... yes.

*

RESPONDENT: Aside: I can imagine that these fears sound a tad ridiculous after the fact.

RICHARD: Oh, indeed so – there is no fear in actuality – but I am well aware that before the fact those fears are very, very real ... so real as to have kept humankind in thralldom for millennia.

I do not make light of them.

RESPONDENT: There have been times on acid trips when I’ve felt I was certain to be psychically blown apart completely; but I let go, let it happen, and within a few seconds I was laughing my guts out, feeling like a neurotic little drama queen for being so anxious.

RICHARD: Exactly.

RESPONDENT: A recurring theme in those trips: an immense and overwhelming rush of geometrical imagery interwoven with unimaginably rich mythological content is threatening to engulf or annihilate me. I can’t take it any more, I surrender – then, a moment later, the whole thing is shown to be a mirage; it’s dangling from the end of a puppeteer’s string; it’s nothing but the manipulations of some idiotic, leering, winking carnival illusionist, a pure con-artist. Perhaps that’s the brain showing ‘me’ an apt metaphor of my ‘self’ ;-)) (I know this is well and truly in the realm of the ASC, just mentioning it for interest’s sake).

RICHARD: Ah yes ... all manner of hallucinatory/ psychic manifestations can occur – I had many bizarre things happen such as electrical bolts of lightning dazzling on the eyeballs; pressure-pains in the base of the neck; surges of power travelling up the spine and up over the back and the top of the head down to the forehead; convulsive twitching of limbs; energy surges from the pit of the stomach up through the diaphragm into the chest cavity through to the throat producing intense nausea; a vivid blue light, an internal blue of rapturous bliss, behind the eyebrows; an all-knowing cyclopean eye in the sky watching my every move and many, many other weird things – none of which are important in themselves (some people get caught up in them, and manifest psychic powers, thus never proceeding to the final goal) as what is important is to take them only as a sign that a process is underway and thus proceed with all dispatch via one’s active consent.

*

RICHARD: ... essentially ‘how am I experiencing this moment of being alive’ meant ‘what is preventing the PCE from happening at this very moment’ to me back in 1981 ...

RESPONDENT: Ok, great. I’m working on the same thing now.

RICHARD: In effect it is a win-win situation: if the magical event which enables an actual freedom from the human condition does not immediately occur there is a truly remarkable virtual freedom that incrementally develops as a matter of course due to such exquisite awareness-cum-attentiveness  to this very moment ... the only moment one is ever alive.

RESPONDENT: And now I know precisely what you mean by ‘apperception’. This is encouraging.

RICHARD: Yes ... for it is your own experience which is your guiding light or lodestone, so to speak, and not me and/or my words: me and/or my words provide confirmation ... and affirmation in that a fellow human being has safely negotiated the wide and wondrous path to an actual freedom from the human condition.


RESPONDENT: I’m getting the point, that one has to ‘tidy up ones house’ first before self-immolating.

RICHARD: Provided it be not an excuse for continued procrastination (as in ‘I’m not ready yet’) it is entirely sensible to become as happy and harmless as is humanly possible before the magical event, which renders all such house-cleaning null and void, actually happens.

RESPONDENT: I think I’ve been trying to do it without really becoming a happy ‘being’ first.

RICHARD: As the general thrust of your e-mails has been that the ‘self’-immolation in toto, as described on The Actual Freedom Trust web site, is not [quote] ‘a new concept’ [endquote] it would appear that whatever it is you have been trying to do it has had nothing to do with what actualism is on about.

RESPONDENT: I have (big) issues to sort out first before I will be able to make the leap.

RICHARD: As there is no ‘leap’ – an actual freedom is not a spiritual freedom – it would indeed appear so.

RESPONDENT: I guess there are no shortcuts.

RICHARD: What I find telling – and this is a general observation – is just how much peoples object to being happy and harmless ... the vast majority of the correspondence in the archives is, in fact, a cutting indictment on the human condition itself.

Do you realise – and this is a personal observation – you have just said, in effect, that you guess you will have to become a happy ‘being’ before you can become actually free from the human condition (as if were there a way to be thus free without having to do so you would not)?

Whereas it is actually such a delight to finally be able to be happy (and harmless) ... and a relief.


RESPONDENT: By the way, I do read the actual freedom web site almost every day, including the introduction, its just taking a while to grasp what you are saying.

RICHARD: Okay ... if it can be comprehended that, just as it is essential for there to be an ego-death to become enlightened, it is essential there be soul-death (the extinction of ‘being’ itself) to go beyond enlightenment it will all fall into place.

RESPONDENT: I can’t just erase my current understanding of life.

RICHARD: I do not expect somebody – anybody – to grasp what I am saying overnight, as it were, as the implications and ramifications are enormous.

RESPONDENT: I have to somehow make sense of what you are saying through my own experience.

RICHARD: The only experience through which it all makes sense is, of course, your own pure consciousness experience (PCE) otherwise it reads/sounds like an altered state of consciousness (ASC) ... and any ASC is still a state of being no matter how sublime/profound/glorious it may be.

RESPONDENT: I also know I have not dived down to the depths of the human condition, I’m just choosing my swimming trunks.

RICHARD: Ha ... nudity is not optional (to be here, just here right now, is to be more naked than taking all your clothes off in the main street as to be actual is to be totally exposed).


RESPONDENT: As for me, I keep reading the AF site but seem to be kind of just treading water as far as making progress goes, I haven’t had any more PCEs. However, my days are really even, without the previous emotional highs and lows. Every day is very smoothed-out, so to speak. Things don’t bother me like they used to, and I am much less ‘involved’ in even my own problems. I have noticed I am not cursing like I used to, and I wasn’t even trying to fix that. I have not been being happy and felicitous and bon vivant like I need to be but things are going along so well I’m afraid to raise the bar as you advise. I am more interested in being honest with others how I feel about things and that seems to be a stumbling block, even though others seem to have less of a problem with me than ever before. Life really is different since I started with Actualism, I am different. But it’s time to raise the bar, so ... I’ll let you know how it goes.

RICHARD: If ‘smoothed-out’ days is the same as, or the equivalent to, a feeling good (a general sense of well-being) bottom-line of moment-to-moment experiencing then, as the name of the game is to enjoy and appreciate being just here, right now, on this planet as this body (as this gender, race, age, and of this era), simply enjoy and appreciate each ‘smoothed-out’ moment ... if for no other reason than the emotional highs and lows are not occurring.

This enjoyment and appreciation – in conjunction with the pure intent born out of sincerity (if not yet out of naïveté) – will surely occasion the felicity you speak of, even if only after a while and/or if only for a short while, and thus the bar has been raised almost without consciously doing so. Then if, or when, that felicity dissipates there is an event to locate and to look at, from the relative comfort of the fall-back baseline, so as to ascertain why such felicity/ innocuity is no more ... to find out what has happened, between the last time one felt felicitous/ innocuous and now. When did I last feel felicitous? Five minutes ago? Five hours ago? What happened to end those felicitous/ innocuous feelings? Ahh ... yes: ‘He said that and I ...’. Or: ‘She didn’t do this and I ...’. Or: ‘What I wanted was ...’. Or: ‘I didn’t do ...’. And so on and so on ... one does not have to trace back into one’s childhood ... usually no more than yesterday afternoon at the most.

Then one is back on track again ... and all because of everyday events.

In regards to your ‘I wasn’t even trying to fix that’ observation: you may very well find, as you proceed further along the wide and wondrous path to an actual freedom from the human condition, that most issues get fixed of their own accord – the brain rewires itself as it were – the more one is as happy and harmless as is humanly possible, enjoying and appreciating each moment again, as it is almost inevitable that, just as old habits die through disuse, non-felicitous synaptic connections wither away through lack of exercise.

This does not mean, of course, that one does not actively investigate moment-to-moment issues as it is such attentiveness which ensures the behind-the-scenes rewiring ... because that very attentiveness is the pure intent in action (and it is pure intent which does the trick of its own accord).

Also, the easier it becomes the more fun it is ... and the more fun it is the easier it becomes.


RESPONDENT: I just wanted to jump in and let you all know that I’m still around. I’ve been processing AF almost constantly and realizing just how upside down it looks from a ‘real world’ point of view. Reflecting on the many instances I’ve seen where Richard says that only a handful of the hundreds of visitors to the site actually ‘get it’ – I’m beginning to understand why. It takes persistence and stubborn will not to give up – no matter what. In other words, the 180 degree metaphor is no understatement – and it’s a bit like standing on one’s head until it ‘clicks in’.

RICHARD: Whenever the going gets tough it may be well to remember this what you say here ... many years ago, during my five years of an itinerant lifestyle, I would jot down various things in pencil in a notebook: some time later (maybe six weeks or six months) when looking back through the jottings I would quite often be taken by some of them and would wonder why I was not living them ... why they were not an actuality in my life.

In short: sometimes (or even quite often) it takes a while before a realisation becomes an actualisation.


RESPONDENT: O.K., on to the next issue. I can’t thank you enough for reiterating how to use HAIETMOBA?. I have read it fifty times, but this time it clicked. There is something to watch out for, which is the feeling of upset. I am just used to living with my upsetting feelings by ignoring them or repressing them, because I shouldn’t get upset ... you know? ... it’s not right to be upset, etc. So to go looking for the incident like you suggest wasn’t working because ... I’m always upset! due to repressing or analysing why I shouldn’t have the bad feeling. I mean, where would I start? When I saw this about myself I was happy and from there I was able to locate an upsetting incident that day.

RICHARD: Good ... and once one gets the knack of it (it does take diligence and application and patience and perseverance in the beginning) it all becomes such fun to find out, each moment again, how one ticks.

One thing I did, way back when I started doing that method, was to make sure I would never, ever, tell myself off for slipping back into the old ways – after all ‘I am only human’ and it is bound to happen from time-to-time – and instead I would pat myself on the back for being astute enough to notice that I had slipped back and thus get on with the business of being happy and harmless again ... and feeling good about myself for being able to do so.

It is important to be friends with oneself – only I get to live with myself twenty four hours of the day (other people can and do move away) – and if I am at war with myself, disciplining myself, telling myself off, I am alienating the only person who can truly help me in all this.

In short: be nice to yourself, not nasty ... there are already enough people doing that anyway.

RESPONDENT: By the way, the part of HAIETMOBA? that induced a PCE for me one day were the words ‘this moment’. They grabbed my attention, stopped me and ... presto changeo , actuality bloomed.

RICHARD: Yes, I noticed that the first time you wrote it and it particularly caught my attention as I have had more than a few people ask why the question cannot be shortened to ‘how am I experiencing’ ... the ‘this moment of being alive’ is vital to being here – just here – right now, at this moment, as this is the only moment of being alive.

In actuality it is, of course, never not this moment – this moment lasts forever, as it always has done and always will do, and is the arena in which all things happen – but in reality it is experienced as being but a fleeting moment as one is out of time.

To be in time is, to use your expression, such a gas!

*

RESPONDENT: But back to the post – something else that you said worked well for me, too, which is the silliness of letting anything take away one’s enjoyment and appreciation of this only moment of being alive. It is embarrassing to admit but once the distinctions are in place, letting anything interfere could be seen less as an habitual response and more like doing it on purpose.

RICHARD: Yes, self-sabotage, in other words, as if to prove the method does not work, its all too hard, life’s a bitch, what’s the point anyway, the man is a self-acknowledged madman anyway ... and so on and so on.

RESPONDENT: And then there was the part about virtual freedom. I have silently pooh-poohed virtual freedom but now with the success of locating an upsetting incident I can see raising the bottom line to excellence.

RICHARD: Ahh ... you are not the first person to scorn virtual freedom and you will not be the last: I had one person take me aside, one day, so as to tell me in confidence that it came across as being all so naïve and that if I wanted to be taken seriously I should change my vocabulary.

I was so pleased to hear that ... being naïve (not to be confused with being gullible) is essential if one is to ever be happy and harmless.

RESPONDENT: I’m amazed that someone as glum as me has had a PCE at all and it’s no wonder why they only last a minute or so when they do happen.

RICHARD: I do recall that in the early days they would only last a minute or so but as one becomes more familiar with them, more at home with them, they can start to last longer ... the day I had one last for ten or so minutes was the day I knew it was no longer possible to stop this process and that it would keep on keeping on until the end.

There were times when things would get quite alarming – bizarre mind-states for instance – and I would put my foot on the brake to slow it all down only to find, to my mounting alarm, that the pedal went all the way to the floor ... there were no brakes!

RESPONDENT: O.K. let’s forget the thought frequency thing. You answered my question about what the right thought was that caused AF in you. I’m saying because of the seminal question, you had to admit you had been fooling yourself when you realized your enlightened motivation (survive!) to plant trees was no different than your unenlightened motivation (survive!) to plant grass.

RICHARD: Oh no, planting grass really was the right thing to do all those years ago – it is only modern-day peoples who castigate the pioneers for doing what was right then – just as planting trees is the right thing to do nowadays ... what is the right thing to do, in any era, changes into another right thing to do as changes caused by doing the previous right thing happen.

What I really realised, at that moment and in that context, was that I no longer knew what the right thing to do was anymore ... and at that moment I was, finally, ripe and ready to be what I actually am.

RESPONDENT: But how did you see the fallacy of passionate, identity-driven survival? It had to have been all those PCE’s you had.

RICHARD: Yes, it was also all the PCE’s, but not only that (and not specifically that): it was the seminal question that did the trick and the situation and circumstances, peculiar to me and my context at that time, were but the trigger ... if I had been some other person in some other context I could have been washing the dishes, for example, or riding a bicycle.

And if I had been some other person in some other context the seminal question would have been different too ... meaning that only you can know what you must do – and you will not know what that is until it happens – and when you do know what to do it will be too late to stop the happening.

Hence all the procrastination – it means the end of ‘me’ – because it can, and will, happen now.

*

RESPONDENT: I had a work assignment today that in the past has always been upsetting, but today ... I wasn’t! I was too busy being happy and harmless!

RICHARD: Ahh ... those words are music to my ears.

RESPONDENT: HA! That’s amazing how that works!

RICHARD: It is indeed ... and yet so simple too. And, speaking of simplicity, this may be an apt moment to provide the reminder that, by having already established feeling good (a general sense of well-being) as the bottom line for moment-to-moment experiencing then if, or when, feeling happy and harmless fades there is that comfortable baseline from which to suss out where, when, how, why – and what for – the feeling of being happy and harmless ceased happening ... and all the while feeling good whilst going about it.

Furthermore if, or when, there is a sinking below the bottom line, and feeling bad (a general sense of ill-being) is the moment-to-moment experiencing then, rather than trying to suss out where, when, how, why – and what for – the general sense of well-being (feeling good) ceased occurring, it is far more useful to first get to a stage of being neutral, because, when in the feeling bad position, feeling good can appear to be so, so far away ... indeed, at times, feeling good can seem to be but a dream, a fancy, a chimera, a will-o’-the-wisp, from that position, and what’s the point anyway, that method didn’t work either (of course), it’s all stupid, life sucks, and ... and all the rest of those self-pitying, self-justifying, defeatist assertions.

Plus, as already mentioned previously, any analysing and/or psychologising and/or philosophising whilst one is in the grip of debilitating feelings usually does not achieve much (other than spiralling around and around in varying degrees of despair and despondency or whatever) anyway.

Needless is it to add that the step from being neutral to feeling good is not such a big step?

And then one is back on track again.


RESPONDENT: As a new member of the list I find the idea of Actual Freedom resonates with me a lot. Asking the question how I am experiencing this moment of being alive makes a lot of sense to me, and in itself doesn’t sound too difficult.

RICHARD: Welcome to The Actual Freedom Mailing List, ... and, no, it is not at all difficult to ask oneself, each moment again, how one is experiencing this moment of being alive as it soon becomes a non-verbal attitude towards life ... a wordless approach each moment again.

This moment is the only moment one is ever alive.

RESPONDENT: But the bit I have difficulty with is the subsequent investigation when I find I am not being happy and harmless. I haven’t found much guidance on the website about how to do this. That’s the sort of thing psychotherapists are supposed to be necessary for, isn’t it?

RICHARD: As I have never spoken to or heard about personally, seen or listened to on any media (such as television documentaries, videos, films, tapes and records), or have ever read about in any literature (such as in books, journals, theses, treatises, articles, magazines, newspapers, tracts, pamphlets or brochures and, latterly, on the internet), any psychotherapist who is happy and harmless twenty four hours of the day seven days of the week three hundred and sixty five days of the year then whatever it is that they are ‘supposed to be necessary for’ it is most certainly not felicitous/ innocuous living.

But to get to the point: any subsequent investigation necessary will happen of its own accord, each moment again, if that is what is required to get back to feeling happy and harmless as an ongoing experiencing.

This is because the main point of asking oneself, each moment again, how one is experiencing this moment of being alive is to be happy and harmless just here right now ... and if one is not being happy and harmless then one has something to look at to find out why. What has happened, between the last time one felt happy and harmless, and now? For example: when did I feel happy and harmless last? Five minutes ago? Five hours ago? What happened to end those felicitous feelings? Ahh ... yes: ‘He said that and ...’. Or: ‘She didn’t do this and I ...’. Or: ‘What I wanted was ...’. Or: ‘I didn’t do ...’. And so on and so on ... one does not have to trace back into one’s childhood ... usually no more than yesterday afternoon at the most.

And thus one is back to being happy and harmless again ... and it is much easier to suss out how one habitually strays off the wide and wondrous path to an actual freedom when one is not glum and grumpy.

RESPONDENT: To go back to the root cause of feeling unhappy and harmful doesn’t for me seem to be an easy process at all. So are there further questions I can ask myself during the investigation? or how does one go about it?

RICHARD: As actualism is all about enjoying and appreciating being here, each moment again as this flesh and blood body, then the normal events in one’s everyday life will soon enough bring up whatever ‘further questions’ need to be asked as they happen.

In a nutshell: anything other than feeling felicitous/ innocuous is a flashing red light, as it were, signalling that something is amiss.


RESPONDENT: Before one can investigate beliefs, morals, etc does there have to be a recalled memory of a PCE?

RICHARD: No, there is sufficient information presented on The Actual Freedom Trust Website to establish a prima facie case worthy of further investigation – rather than capricious dismissal – which examination may very well induce recall ... or a fresh pure consciousness experience (PCE).

The PCE enables one to know, for oneself, that actualism is not a philosophy.

*

RESPONDENT: What do you call the psychological principle that causes us to just stop believing in our beliefs, morals, values, & principles?

RICHARD: Quite possibly it could fit into the category known as ‘the will to freedom’ ... but by and large psychology/psychiatry aims at producing what is often called ‘a well-adjusted ego’ wherein the conflicting demands of self and society are balanced.

Incidentally, one cannot safely ‘stop believing in our beliefs, morals, values, & principles’ without coincidentally being happy and harmless as social conditioning is inculcated from a very early age for a very good reason – to control the wayward self born of the instinctual passions – and is more or less successful ... only a small percentage of a population wind up being behind bars.

However, it does not and will not produce peace-on-earth ... at best an uneasy truce.

RESPONDENT: I haven’t identified what makes the investigative process work, yet.

RICHARD: Put briefly: the pure intent to enable peace-on-earth sooner rather than later.

RESPONDENT: My mind is very stubborn.

RICHARD: Good ... stubbornness, when redirected into being a determination to succeed, is essential if one is not to settle for second best.

RESPONDENT: No matter how much logic I use, it still hangs on.

RICHARD: The most effective way to investigate all the beliefs, ideas, theories, concepts, maxims, dictums, truths, factoids, philosophies, values, principles, ideals, standards, credos, doctrines, tenets, canons, morals, ethics, customs, traditions, psittacisms, superstitions, myths, legends, folklores, imaginations, divinations, visions, fantasies, chimeras, illusions, delusions, hallucinations, phantasmagoria and any other of the schemes and dreams and mores which constitute social conditioning is the hands-on moment-to-moment approach – the on-the-job real-time experiencing where all the real-life people, things and events are currently occurring in a real-world context – rather than armchair philosophising.

If one asks oneself, each moment again, how one is experiencing this moment of being alive (which is the only moment one is ever alive) all will be revealed in due course, in the bright light of awareness, as one goes about one’s normal life. Moreover, all the instinctive drives, urges, impulses, compulsions, demands, pressures, cravings, yearnings, longings – all the instinctual passions which necessitate social conditioning in the first place – will be laid bare with the perspicacity born of pure intent and thus open for examination.

The human mind cops a lot of bad press ... but only because its native intelligence is crippled.

*

RICHARD: ... if one asks oneself, each moment again, how one is experiencing this moment of being alive (which is the only moment one is ever alive) all will be revealed in due course, in the bright light of awareness, as one goes about one’s normal life. Moreover, all the instinctive drives, urges, impulses, compulsions, demands, pressures, cravings, yearnings, longings – all the instinctual passions which necessitate social conditioning in the first place – will be laid bare with the perspicacity born of pure intent and thus open for examination. The human mind cops a lot of bad press ... but only because its native intelligence is crippled.

RESPONDENT: Am I correct in concluding that the decision for peace on earth (with pure intent) is the ‘mechanism’ that allows us to dissipate all our triggers that cause malice & sorrow?

RICHARD: Yes, this is because ‘the decision for peace on earth’ is to choose to dedicate oneself 100% to having that happen (which dedication makes peace on earth the overriding priority in life irregardless of whatever situations and circumstances may arise) and unequivocally deciding for peace on earth actualises the pure intent to enable such a condition just here right now: pure intent is the unwavering devotion to living life happily and harmlessly each moment again – being peaceful and harmonious is an ongoing commitment – and it is the very staunchness of pure intent which ensures continued success ... malice and sorrow (and thus their antidotal pacifiers love and compassion) have no room in which to manoeuvre where benignity and benevolence flourish.

It is a sincere decision ... and sincerity unlocks naiveté.

*

RESPONDENT: Is it far more important to be committed to being happy & harmless than it is to extensively investigate?

RICHARD: I would suggest a re-read of this e-mail:

RESPONDENT: The reason I ask this is because the one question method of Actualism is way too simplistic to be effective.

RICHARD: It is the only method, in all of human history, which has worked to deliver the goods ... there may be other methods, yet to be discovered, but this is the only one so far proven to be effective.

RESPONDENT: Everybody asks ‘why’. When something goes wrong ‘why’ is often the first thing that people ask. If asking ‘why’ worked, then plenty of people would have discovered that it works.

RICHARD: Yet the ‘way too simplistic’ question is a ‘how’ question ... not a ‘why’ question.

RESPONDENT: I’m not asking whether ‘why’ is actually a waste of time or not, I’m asking, well, my first question above.

RICHARD: Perhaps the following link will be of assistance:

You may have overlooked it the first time around as I sent it only 7 minutes before I sent the e-mail (as per the link further above) in response to your query.

In short: the wide and wondrous path to an actual freedom from the human condition is marked by enjoyment and appreciation – the sheer delight of being as happy and harmless as is humanly possible whilst remaining a ‘self’ – and the slightest diminishment of such felicity/ innocuity is a warning signal (a flashing red light as it were) that one has inadvertently wandered off the way.

One is thus soon back on track ... and all because of everyday events.


RESPONDENT: I just wrote this entry into a journal I keep of working through all these issues. This one issue I hit on this afternoon is very relevant to me, and I encounter it all the time. I discovered that I have a starving need for acceptance, love, belonging and since I do not get it I put up a rationalized defence of ‘I am better than these people anyways, so I do not need their acceptance’ and thus create malice towards almost every individual I encounter to cover up the lack of acceptance they give me. It is very widespread in all my human interactions. But every time I want to actually stand up for myself, or explore my sense of rights and wrongs experientially, my contrived system fails me and I feel immediate surges of fear of not belonging despite my facade of contempt towards anyone who would try to criticize me. My question is how can I best deal with this?

RICHARD: First and foremost, by getting back to feeling good (a general sense of well-being) as soon as possible ... if not sooner.

The actualism method is all about enjoying and appreciating this moment of being alive: this is your only moment of being alive; the past, which was actual when it was happening, is not longer actual; the future, which will be actual when it does happen, is not yet actual; only this moment is ever actual. Why waste this only moment of being alive feeling ‘a starving need for acceptance, love, belonging’ which necessitates a rationalised defence that creates malice towards your fellow human beings only to subsequently dissolve into fear?

The main point of asking oneself, each moment again, how one is experiencing this moment of being alive is to be happy and harmless just here right now ... and if one is not happy and harmless then one has something to look at to find out why. The situation you describe is the particular ‘something to look at to find out why’ this time around ... the generalised example I provide goes something like this: what has happened, between the last time I felt good and now? When did I feel good last? Five minutes ago? Five hours ago? What happened to end those felicitous feelings? Ahh ... yes: ‘He said that and I ...’. Or: ‘She didn’t do this and I ...’. Or: ‘What I wanted was ...’. Or: ‘I didn’t do ...’. And so on and so on ... one does not have to trace back into one’s childhood ... usually no more than yesterday afternoon at the most.

Once the specific moment of ceasing to feel good is pin-pointed, and the silliness of having such an incident as that (no matter what it is) take away one’s enjoyment and appreciation of this only moment of being alive is seen for what it is – usually some habitual reactive response – one is once more feeling good ... but with a pin-pointed cue to watch out for next time so as to not have that trigger off yet another bout of the same-old same-old. This is called nipping it in the bud before it gets out of hand ... with application and diligence and patience and perseverance one soon gets the knack of this and more and more time is spent enjoying and appreciating this moment of being alive.

The more one enjoys and appreciates being just here right now – to the point of excellence being the norm – the greater the likelihood of a pure consciousness experience (PCE) happening ... a grim and/or glum person has no chance whatsoever of allowing the magical event, which indubitably shows where everyone has being going awry, to occur.

Plus any analysing and/or psychologising and/or philosophising whilst one is in the grip of debilitating feelings usually does not achieve much (other than spiralling around and around in varying degrees of despair and despondency or whatever) anyway.

To be happy and harmless is a win-win situation irregardless of whatever happens.

RESPONDENT: It is hard to lay the facts straight every time it pops up, because this is so complex. I am going to try to just explore the ‘needing to belong’ part of it and feel that out completely and acknowledge it, and see it as a instinctual feeling that is unnecessary, and it should go away. My problem is that I have been struggling with it for so long, I don’t want to approach it wrong, because it has not yet gone away in any degree of intensity. After that I will look at my malice towards everyone, that I use to cover up the need to belong, and explore the malice as an instinctual defence mechanism. I’m going to keep working on it, but if anyone has particularly applicable experiences with what will work here, please explain. Thanks.

RICHARD: It is more than likely that ‘the need to belong’ arises from the herd instinct – gregariousness runs deep – with layer upon layer of socialisation compounding this primal urge. The very first thing to do is separate out needs from urges (desires): unless one is living as a hermit off nuts and berries deep in a remote forest one needs one’s fellow human beings for a whole raft of things (I need a shopkeeper to sell me goods as much as a shopkeeper needs me to sell goods to for example) and the most fundamental needs amount to five survival essentials ... air, water, food, shelter (if protection be necessary), and clothing (if the weather be inclement).

Thus a starving need for ‘acceptance, love, belonging’ would be better described as a starving desire for ‘acceptance, love, belonging’ as it does not take long to work out that one does not need the shopkeeper (for example) to dish out ‘acceptance, love, belonging’ along with the small change ... indeed a modern-day super-mart employee more often than not is obliged to chant the ubiquitous ‘thank you for shopping at x-mart’ dirge rather than it being a pleasantry arising out mutual regard.

Why then the desire for ‘acceptance, love, belonging’ (and thus the collapsing defence mechanisms)?

There is more to it than the hereditarily programmed gregarian urge, of course, as the basic instinctual passions in general, such as fear and aggression and nurture and desire, automatically form themselves into a feeling ‘being’ ... which is who ‘I’ am at root (‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being is ‘being’ itself). And any ‘me’ (a genetically encoded passionate inchoate ‘presence’ or rudimentary survival ‘self’ as it were) is an alien identity forever locked-out of paradise (the source of sorrow, by the way, but that is another story) desiring validation from all the other alien identities.

Put simply: ‘acceptance, love, belonging’ verifies, endorses, and consolidates ‘me’ ... and not only am ‘I’ thus authenticated, sanctioned, and substantiated but ‘my’ presence has meaning as well.

RESPONDENT: And here is my journal entry of when I discovered this complex, I was going to a site with pictures of beautiful, nude women in a place where people walking behind me would see what I was doing. It was a sort of intentional action, just to really explore my instinctual reactions right there and then. I just I just sat down at this computer and went to a site ‘Domai’ with nude photographs of women. I immediately left the site, and felt fear thinking, what else, ‘what will people think of me?’ The scenario I set up in my mind of someone (this time it was a guy named Charlie, the last person I emotionally connected with) coming up and saying something or thinking something of me. Of course the whole scene was acted out in my mind, with the accompanying fear, and the impulse to hit the ‘x’ and close. My problem is of course believing that the scene I imagined, or any scene that could happen would be ‘bad’ in any way. It would actually be exciting, or interesting, and of course in the end it would be defendable – even if I was a staunch orthodox Christian I could defend my visiting the site. Although I can defend myself and see how the situation I compose is unreal, there is something more there. A hesitancy to just drop it all and jump in. It is a doubt that I am right perhaps. A doubt that ‘how could there be nothing wrong if that happens’ I do not look at the facts of the situation. I cannot be autonomous in this action.

How about this: who is worried about being caught? The who the ‘me’ is all fear, so there is no chance to do it, as ‘me’ is still trying to do the action, but me is still all fear. Who is held accountable? Who receives the punishment the castigation? Who is ostracized? This is the fight or flight response ... it is amazing to experience this. Feels ancient. The fear is accompanied by a reinforcement of ‘me’ as a feeler, like I can establish that no one is there, no one to take blame, but when I move to go to the page again I suddenly reappear in full force. It’s like I am a child, wanting everyone to love me, and appreciate me ... very childlike. It’s like I’m reaching out to everyone to just ‘feed me’ emotional food, accept me, love me, appreciate me. It seems I want it all very badly.

I, like a child, refuse to stand up for myself, but would rather have people love me and accept me and thus be a slave to them and what they find acceptable, submission for protection is what this boils down to, submission in return for acceptance. Thus I am in a living contradiction in that I want people to fully accept me, and thus be what they see as acceptable, while at the same time being someone who is utterly opposed to what these people would accept. I stand for nothing. Standing up for myself is standing up for facts. This desire for love and acceptance is very primordial that I am feeling. I wonder if it is specific to me, as in my specifics being raised in the way I was, or if everyone has this feeling just toward different issues. This is nurture all the way, and fear. I feel like a damned baby. I have to battle facts with emotion, facts with powerful beliefs. Can these people really actually give me anything but sex, hugs and handshakes dammit? What emotional satisfaction do I suck out of thin air from around these people that I cannot live without?

This act of fear and isolation and submission and silence is my only defence mechanism ... I think I learned this in high school. I want every girl to be my mother or my lover. I want every guy to my dad or my buddy. If I could live without acceptance ... of course I can, but if I could get used to it, and experientially show myself so that I would have nothing to be scared of losing. Maybe I will step down from my highchair and just admit that all I really want is for everyone to love and accept and nurture me, hand me their tit. Stop trying to deny it. It is very possible that I am in the process of denying that I basically want acceptance from everyone, and that my whole facade of contempt and condescension is my denial of that. I counter my lack of receiving the nurture I get with my malicious attitude towards others a sort of ‘how could I need them? they are stupid and I am better than them’ approach that is a denial of the whole nurture thing. I must sit with nurture, look at it, learn it, be it, stop countering it. look at my condescension look at my malice, my contempt, learn about it, see why it is there. And that takes the layers of this fear process – I am better than everyone else because I think I have better views, but I want their acceptance so bad that I will not let them know I think they are lesser. I just need to admit, feel, and see how on the basic level I feel I want everyone to accept me.

RICHARD: Here is a notion to ponder upon: when one is happy and harmless one does not desire (aka need) acceptance or love or nurture or whatever ... quite the reverse, in fact, as happiness and harmlessness enables a benevolence and benignity which is not of ‘my’ doing.

In other words: an effortless and on-going munificence or generosity of character ensues.


RESPONDENT: The Actualists have trained themselves in the art of ‘entity hunting’ in which they ‘ruthlessly’ undo that which stands between them and their freedom. [snip] You might be able to whittle an identity down far enough to enjoy an actual freedom or something very delightful indeed but I wonder about the nature of the residue. I’d class the ‘residue’ as clever enough to evade simple adversarial probing and ‘ruthless’ exposure. I’d say it would be canny enough to call itself an Actualist and step aside far enough for a lovely virtual or actual freedom. [snip] The quality and character of self observation is as important as the subject of the observation. To pursue matters ‘ruthlessly’ may ‘do the trick’ but I think it produces a fanatic. [snip] In my personal experience I was taught by a therapist (who happened to be a Buddhist) to use the same method. Each session was spent reporting the results of my observations and exploring material as it emerged from my body in this moment. I learnt that every feeling I had could be observed in my body. We experimented with different ‘probes’ or intents if you will and turned up some primal material at times. I’d say that I explored some instinctual material but I don’t really know how to tell the difference from other material. My therapist recommended a gentle approach to observation. I used to get frustrated and want to ‘cut to the chase’ but I saw the results of my hard-headedness in a few interesting sessions. My gentle minded therapist was able to coax a trapped and extremely scared ‘child’ from the depths of my guts. The child was terrified of me and would only emerge when the therapist was around. Why was that? Because at the time I was a cold hearted brute to myself and my observational capacity was limited by that. My therapist believed that the quality and character of observation was as important as the content of the observation. There may well be a ‘cunning alien entity’ hijacking your bodily resources in a parasitical manner but it’s probably good to be aware that while you can smash the entity ruthlessly on the head, your goolies may be caught in its mandibles. :-) Ruthlessness is a good way to send material underground.

RICHARD: Here is what the word ‘ruthless’ means to me:

• ruthless [from ruth + -less.]: having no pity or compassion; pitiless, merciless. (Oxford Dictionary).

Where a Buddhist therapist recommends a ‘gentle approach to observation’ they would, more than likely, be advocating ‘metta’ (Pali for ‘loving-kindness’) and ‘karuna’ (Pali for ‘pity-compassion’) else they would not be in accord with the four fundamental Buddhist principles known as ‘brahma-vihara’ (divine-abidings) – the other two are ‘mudita’ (‘gladness at others’ success’) and ‘upekkha’ (‘onlooking equanimity’) – and needless is it to say that metta and/or karuna are as good a way as any for the cunning alien entity (an affective entity at root) to escape detection and survive to live yet another day in which to wreak its havoc in the world at large?

And in a similar vein here is what the words ‘pitiless’, ‘merciless’, and ‘relentless’ mean to me:

• pitiless [from pity + -less]: without compassion; showing no pity; merciless. (Oxford Dictionary).
• merciless [from mercy + -less]: without mercy; showing no mercy; pitiless, unrelenting. (Oxford Dictionary).
• relentless [from relent + -less]: incapable of relenting; pitiless; insistent and uncompromising. (Oxford Dictionary).

Anyone who asks themself, each moment again, how they are experiencing this moment of being alive – the only moment one is ever alive – whilst under the influence of ruth (compassion, pity; the feeling of sorrow for another) and/or pity (compassion, sympathy; clemency aroused by the suffering or misfortune of another) and/or mercy (disposition to forgive or show compassion) and/or relent (yield; give up a previous determination or obstinacy; become merciful/lenient, show mercy/pity; abate; slacken, relinquish, abandon) is surely just wasting their time ... frittering away the opportunity of a lifetime on but more of the ‘Tried and Failed’ in yet another guise.

‘Tis not for nothing that the alien entity is described as ‘cunning’.


RICK: Richard ... I have a question. How do I induce a PCE?

RICHARD: The most simple (and thus mnemonical) answer to your question is: by allowing it to happen.

RICK: I ask and ask myself how it is I’m experiencing this moment of being alive and still there is no pure consciousness experience. I haven’t had one yet. How can I go about bringing one up?

RICHARD: It takes the felicity and innocuity of naiveté to bring about a PCE: where one is happy and harmless a benevolence and benignity which is not of ‘my’ doing operates of its own accord ... and it is this beneficence and magnanimity which occasions the PCE.

The largesse of the universe (as in the largesse of life itself), in other words.

RICK: Should I try and focus on what my senses are experiencing (i.e. paying attention to colours, noises, smells, textures, and such) and ignore feelings?

RICHARD: As what you are asking is, in effect, whether a PCE can be induced by focussing on sensate experience with a bored, nervous, scared, regretful, and etcetera, attentiveness the answer is: no.

RICK: Because when I ask myself how it is I’m experiencing this moment of being alive, I am always experiencing this moment of being alive through some feeling, usually a strong feeling (i.e. being bored, nervous, scared, regretful, etc.) and so I pay full-attention to my internal state and what’s going on in my psyche and I get all caught up in what’s going on in there so much so that I am not able to ‘live as these senses’.

RICHARD: The essence of the actualism method is to minimise both the ‘good’ feelings – the affectionate and desirable emotions and passions (those that are loving and trusting) – and the ‘bad’ feelings – the hostile and invidious emotions and passions (those that are hateful and fearful) – by nipping them in the bud as soon as, if not before, they start to occur via the explanatory article I copy-pasted for you, in response to your very first e-mail to this mailing list, a little over ten months ago.

This enables one to (initially) feel good, to (then) feel happy and harmless, to (eventually) feel perfect for 99% of the time (a virtual freedom) ... and by thus deactivating both the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ feelings, and therefore activating the felicitous/ innocuous feelings (happiness, delight, joie de vivre, bonhomie and so on), then with this freed-up affective energy maximised, 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).

In short: it is the on-going felicitous/ innocuous sensuousness which ensures a win-win situation.

RICK: Thus, I wonder that maybe I should switch my focus from paying attention to my internal state of affairs when asking myself how I’m experiencing this moment of being alive, to exclusively focusing on what is happening externally (sensately).

RICHARD: As what you are wondering is, in effect, whether apperception (unmediated perception) can be brought about by focussing on sensate experience with a bored, nervous, scared, regretful, and etcetera, attentiveness your wonder is entirely misplaced.

RICK: Any thoughts on that approach?

RICHARD: Just this: the more one enjoys and appreciates simply being alive – to the point of excellence being the norm – the greater the likelihood of a PCE happening ... a bored, nervous, scared, regretful, and etcetera, person has no chance whatsoever of allowing the magical event, which indubitably shows where everyone has being going awry, to occur.

It really is as straightforward as that.


RICK: Richard ... I have a question. How do I induce a PCE?

RICHARD: The most simple (and thus mnemonical) answer to your question is: by allowing it to happen.

RICK: I ask and ask myself how it is I’m experiencing this moment of being alive and still there is no pure consciousness experience. I haven’t had one yet. How can I go about bringing one up?

RICHARD: It takes the felicity and innocuity of naiveté to bring about a PCE: where one is happy and harmless a benevolence and benignity which is not of ‘my’ doing operates of its own accord ... and it is this beneficence and magnanimity which occasions the PCE. The largesse of the universe (as in the largesse of life itself), in other words.

RICK: Should I try and focus on what my senses are experiencing (i.e. paying attention to colours, noises, smells, textures, and such) and ignore feelings?

RICHARD: As what you are asking is, in effect, whether a PCE can be induced by focussing on sensate experience with a bored, nervous, scared, regretful, and etcetera, attentiveness the answer is: no.

RICK: This is what occasioned me to wonder if exclusive attention should be payed to the senses ...

RICHARD: Just so there is no misunderstanding: that exclusive focus you were wondering about in your previous e-mail referred to ignoring strong feelings such as being bored, nervous, scared, regretful, and etcetera. Vis.:

• [Respondent]: ‘Should I try and focus on what my senses are experiencing (i.e. paying attention to colours, noises, smells, textures, and such) and ignore feelings? Because when I ask myself how it is I’m experiencing this moment of being alive, I am always experiencing this moment of being alive through some feeling, usually a strong feeling (i.e. being bored, nervous, scared, regretful, etc.) and so I pay full-attention to my internal state and what’s going on in my psyche and I get all caught up in what’s going on in there so much so that I am not able to ‘live as these senses’. Thus, I wonder that maybe I should switch my focus from paying attention to my internal state of affairs when asking myself how I’m experiencing this moment of being alive, to exclusively focusing on what is happening externally (sensately). Any thoughts on that approach?’ (Wednesday, 1/03/2006 7:57 AM AEDST).

By way of contrast I only ever use the term [quote] ‘exclusive attention’ [endquote] to refer to this moment of being alive (the only moment one is ever actually here). For example:

• [Richard]: ‘A pure consciousness experience (PCE) of the world as-it-is with people as-they-are happens when the mind becomes aware of itself ... such awareness is called apperceptive awareness. Apperception is an awareness of consciousness. It is not ‘I’ being aware of ‘me’ being conscious; it is the mind’s awareness of itself. Apperception – which is to be the senses as a naked awareness – is the outcome of the exclusive attention paid to being alive right here at this place in infinite space right now at this moment in eternal time ... which is one’s only moment of being alive’.

And that type of focus is best known as fascination (as in being irresistibly attractive/ an irresistible attractiveness). For instance:

• [Richard]: ‘... ‘I’ paid exclusive attention to being alive right here and now only. This type of attention is best known as fascination. Fascination leads to reflective contemplation. This potent combination produces apperception, which happens when the mind becomes aware of itself. Apperception is an awareness of consciousness. It is not ‘I’ being aware of ‘me’ being conscious; it is the mind’s awareness of itself’.

For more examples simply copy-paste the following, as-is, into the search-engine box at Google:

‘exclusive attention’ site:www.actualfreedom.com.au/richard/

Then press ‘enter’ (or left-click ‘search’) ... you should get about 69 hits (there are 109 instances altogether).

RICK: ... [This is what occasioned me to wonder if exclusive attention should be payed to the senses] in order to induce a PCE and to better appreciate life on this planet:

‘[Rick]: But I’m still feeling lost and I feel a well deserved PCE is what I need to put some focus, clarity and motivation in ridding the ‘parasitical entity inhabiting this flesh and blood body’. What to do?’
[Richard]: Again, and especially as you mention feeling lost, come to your senses – literally – as much as is possible so as to better enjoy and appreciate being alive on this verdant and azure planet ... .’ [endquote].

RICK: Here’s another question then. Will focusing on what my senses are experiencing bring about felicity and innocuity?

RICHARD: First of all, that response of mine (posted on Friday, 30/09/2005, at 6:49 PM ADST) was written in the context of you having just informed me about feeling [quote] ‘more at ease with life’ [endquote] ... whereas my latest response (sent at 4:55 AM on Saturday, 4/03/2006, AEDST) was written in the context of you having just informed me about strongly feeling [quote] ‘bored, nervous, scared, regretful, etc.’ [endquote].

Furthermore, the reason why I said [quote] ‘again’ [endquote], in that response of mine you have part-quoted from, is because I had already referred to sensuosity, in conjunction with the amazement, the marvelling and the wonderment just mentioned, as being an integral part of the process of being as happy and as harmless as is humanly possible.

Put succinctly: the actualism method will not work as advertised when treated as being a materialism method.

*

RICK: I think the main idea behind what I was enquiring in the last letter and your answer to it is this:

[Respondent]: ‘Will focusing on what my senses are experiencing bring about felicity and innocuity?’
[Richard]: ‘(...) I had already referred to sensuosity, in conjunction with the amazement, the marvelling and the wonderment just mentioned, as being an integral part of the process of being as happy and as harmless as is humanly possible’.

RICHARD: That part of my explanation, of what I wrote five months ago in the context of you having informed me about feeling [quote] ‘more at ease with life’ [endquote], is not my answer to what you were enquiring about, in the context of having informed me about strongly feeling [quote] ‘bored, nervous, scared, regretful, etc.’ [endquote], in your last e-mail ... this is:

• [Richard]: ‘I only ever use the term [quote] ‘exclusive attention’ [endquote] to refer to this moment of being alive (the only moment one is ever actually here)’.

For example:

• [Richard]: ‘... by asking ‘how am I experiencing this moment of being alive’ the reward is immediate; by finding out what triggered off the loss of the felicitous and innocuous feelings, one commences another period of enjoying and appreciating this moment of being alive. It is all about being here at this moment in time and this place in space ... and if you are not feeling happy and harmless you have no chance whatsoever of being here in this actual world (a glum and/or grumpy person locks themselves out of the perfect purity of this moment and place). And by having already established feeling good (a general sense of well-being) as the bottom line for moment-to-moment experiencing then if, or when, feeling happy and harmless fades there is that comfortable baseline from which to suss out where, when, how, why – and what for – the feeling of being happy and harmless ceased happening ... and all the while feeling good whilst going about it. (...) These are all feelings, this is not perfection personified yet ... but then again, feeling perfect for twenty three hours and fifty nine minutes a day (a virtual freedom) is way beyond normal human expectations anyway. Also, it is a very tricky way of both getting men fully into their feelings for the first time in their life and getting women to examine their feelings one by one instead of being run by a basketful of them all at once. One starts to feel ‘alive’. Being ‘alive’ is to be paying attention – exclusive attention – to this moment in time and this place in space (...)’.

RICK: Let me get this straight: paying *exclusive* attention to what one’s senses are experiencing is NOT the way in which one will induce happy and harmless feelings on oneself (and therefore a PCE)?

RICHARD: I only ever use the term [quote] ‘exclusive attention’ [endquote] to refer to this moment of being alive (the only moment one is ever actually here) ... the past, although it did happen, is not actual now; the future, though it will happen, is not actual now; only now is actual.

RICK: Does this mean that one has to ALSO pay attention to what is happening internally (feelings, emotions, thoughts, and such)?

RICHARD: There are, essentially, three ways of experiencing:

1. sensate (senses).
2. affective (feelings).
3. cerebral (thoughts).

There is no way that the question ‘how am I experiencing this moment of being alive’ can be construed as (exclusively) meaning ‘how am I sensately experiencing this moment of being alive’.

RICK: So, when you say ‘you’ payed exclusive attention to this moment of being alive and that that exclusive attention brought about apperception ... you mean that ‘you’ were paying exclusive attention to the sum total of what was being experienced at that moment (both in the psyche and sensately)?

RICHARD: I only ever use the term [quote] ‘exclusive attention’ [endquote] to refer to this moment of being alive (the only moment one is ever actually here) ... copy-paste the following, as-is, into the search-engine box at Google:

‘exclusive attention’ site:www.actualfreedom.com.au/richard/

Then press ‘enter’ (or left-click ‘search’) ... you should get about 69 hits (there are 109 instances altogether).


SELECTED CORRESPONDENCE ON HOW TO BECOME FREE (Part Five)

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