Actual Freedom – Selected Correspondence by Topic

Richard’s Selected Correspondence

On Mr. Mukunda Lal Gosh (aka Paramhansa Yogananda)


RESPONDENT: Have you heard of or read any books by a guy named Parmhansa Yogananda not sure if first name is spelt right but Yogananda is definitely correct.

RICHARD: Yes, I have heard of him and read some books many years ago. He was what could be described as a ‘Saint’ (‘God-Illumed’) as in fully surrendered to ‘God’ (as ‘Brahma’) ... somewhat analogous to, say, the Catholic Church’s ‘Saint Francis’ who was fully surrendered to ‘God’ (as ‘Jehovah’). An ‘Illuminated Saint’ (a devout and pious man or woman fully surrendered to ‘God’) is distinctly different to an ‘Enlightened Being’ (an embodiment of ‘God’ as according to their cultural belief). The Hindu religion allows for many ‘embodiments of ‘God’’ whereas the Christian religion (and ‘Jehovah’s Witness’) permits only one such ‘embodiment of ‘God’’. Mr. Mukunda Lal Gosh (aka Paramhansa) was not an ‘embodiment of ‘God’’ (aka ‘God-On-Earth’) whereas Mr. Mervin Irani (aka Meher Baba) was, for instance, as was Mr. Mohan ‘Rajneesh’ Jain and Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti (well-known examples of modern-day ‘God-Men’). Mr. Mohandas Gandhi is revered by some as being a ‘Saint’ ... as is Mr. Abhay Charan De (of ‘Hare Krishna’ fame).

Here is an excerpt (from his own book) which describes his moment of awakening:

• [quote] ‘My body became immovably rooted; breath was drawn out of my lungs as if by some huge magnet. Soul and mind instantly lost their physical bondage, and streamed out like a fluid piercing light from my every pore. The flesh was as though dead, yet in my intense awareness I knew that never before had I been fully alive. My sense of identity was no longer narrowly confined to a body, but embraced the circumambient atoms. People on distant streets seemed to be moving gently over my own remote periphery. The roots of plants and trees appeared through a dim transparency of the soil; I discerned the inward flow of their sap.
‘The whole vicinity lay bare before me. My ordinary frontal vision was now changed to a vast spherical sight, simultaneously all-perceptive. Through the back of my head I saw men strolling far down Rai Ghat Road, and noticed also a white cow who was leisurely approaching. When she reached the space in front of the open ashram gate, I observed her with my two physical eyes. As she passed by, behind the brick wall, I saw her clearly still.
‘All objects within my panoramic gaze trembled and vibrated like quick motion pictures. My body, Master’s [Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri], the pillared courtyard, the furniture and floor, the trees and sunshine, occasionally became violently agitated, until all melted into a luminescent sea; even as sugar crystals, thrown into a glass of water, dissolve after being shaken. The unifying light alternated with materializations of form, the metamorphoses revealing the law of cause and effect in creation.
‘An oceanic joy broke upon calm endless shores of my soul. The Spirit of God, I realized, is exhaustless Bliss; His body is countless tissues of light. A swelling glory within me began to envelop towns, continents, the earth, solar and stellar systems, tenuous nebulae, and floating universes. The entire cosmos, gently luminous, like a city seen afar at night, glimmered within the infinitude of my being. The sharply etched global outlines faded somewhat at the farthest edges; there I could see a mellow radiance, ever-undiminished. It was indescribably subtle; the planetary pictures were formed of a grosser light.
‘The divine dispersion of rays poured from an Eternal Source, blazing into galaxies, transfigured with ineffable auras. Again and again I saw the creative beams condense into constellations, then resolve into sheets of transparent flame. By rhythmic reversion, sextillion worlds passed into diaphanous luster; fire became firmament.
‘I cognized the center of the empyrean as a point of intuitive perception in my heart. Irradiating splendor issued from my nucleus to every part of the universal structure. Blissful amrita, the nectar of immortality, pulsed through me with a quicksilverlike fluidity. The creative voice of God I heard resounding as Aum, the vibration of the Cosmic Motor.
‘Suddenly the breath returned to my lungs. With a disappointment almost unbearable, I realized that my infinite immensity was lost. Once more I was limited to the humiliating cage of a body, not easily accommodative to the Spirit. Like a prodigal child, I had run away from my macrocosmic home and imprisoned myself in a narrow microcosm. <SNIP>
‘The soul must stretch over the cosmogonic abysses, while the body performs its daily duties. When we set out later for a stroll, I was still entranced in unspeakable rapture. I saw our bodies as two astral pictures, moving over a road by the river whose essence was sheer light. ‘It is the Spirit of God that actively sustains every form and force in the universe; yet He is transcendental and aloof in the blissful uncreated void beyond the worlds of vibratory phenomena’, Master explained. ‘Saints who realize their divinity even while in the flesh know a similar twofold existence. Conscientiously engaging in earthly work, they yet remain immersed in an inward beatitude. The Lord has created all men from the limitless joy of His being. Though they are painfully cramped by the body, God nevertheless expects that souls made in His image shall ultimately rise above all sense identifications and reunite with Him’. [endquote].
(Autobiography of a Yogi (The Original 1946 First Edition) by Paramhansa Yogananda; Chapter: 14: ‘An Experience in Cosmic Consciousness’: (www.crystalclarity.com/yogananda/chap14/chap14.html).

Here are some URL’s of web pages dedicated to him and his message:

Self-Realization Fellowship: (The organization founded in 1920 by Paramhansa Yogananda to teach scientific methods of meditation and principles of spiritual living that lead to direct, personal experience of God). www.yogananda-srf.org/
Yogananda: (Introduction to his life and links to other sites). www.meilach.com/spiritual/yogananda/yoga.html
A Different Light: (A different light on Paramhansa Yogananda and a different view on his organization Self-Realization Fellowship). http://yogananda-dif.org/
The Life of an Avatar: (Introduction to his life and excerpts from his writings). www.geocities.com/Athens/Olympus/9617/index.html
Crystal Clarity Publishers: (Crystal Clarity Publishers, publishing books on spiritual living and meditation by Swami Kriyananda and Paramhansa Yogananda). www.crystalclarity.com/
Autobiography of a Yogi: (Yogananda: Autobiography of a Yogi, the original 1946 first edition. Topics include: yoga, meditation, kriya yoga, self-realization, Mahavatar Babaji, Mahatma Gandhi, Paramhansa Yogananda, kriya, Swami Sri Yukteswar, Lahiri Mahasaya and more. Online Edition). www.crystalclarity.com/yogananda/
Ananda: (Ananda, sharing Paramhansa (Paramhansa) Yogananda’s Kriya Yoga and Meditation). www.ananda.org/

It is always fascinating to compare religions and religious messages ... and the gurus and god-men and the saints and prophets and so on who propagated these delusions of grandeur born out of their massive hallucinations (as I know only too well from personal experience).

Oh well ... c’est la vie, I guess.


RICHARD: Given that the population inhabiting this otherwise fair planet we all live on has reached an unprecedented and staggering 6,000,000,000 instinctually driven malicious and sorrowful and loving and compassionate human beings; given that technological expertise has multiplied exponentially in the last 100 years in a manner unprecedented in human history; given that 160,000,000 sane people were killed by their sane fellow human beings in wars alone in the last 100 years; given that 40,000,000 people committed suicide in the last 100 years; given that three weapons with an unprecedented mass destruction capacity – chemical, biological and nuclear – were developed in the last 100 years; given that the world-wide mass media and communication networks provide unprecedented access to information never before available to the average person; given that an unprecedented opportunity to carry out scholarly comparative religious studies has scotched the ‘wisdom’ myth ascribed to all the world’s scriptures; given that the Gurus and the God-Men, the Masters and the Messiahs, the Avatars and the Saviours and the Saints and the Sages have had at least 3,000 to 5,000 years to demonstrate the efficacy of their solution to all the ills of humankind ...

RESPONDENT: Ah, but millions have been saved by the self-realized. And they are being saved all the time, even as this is being written.

RICHARD: Mr. Ken Wilber (writing in Mr. Andrew Cohen’s ‘What is Enlightenment’ magazine) claimed that only about a thousand ‘Enlightened Ones’ had emerged from 2,500 years of devout effort by millions of Buddhist monks. His estimate was, therefore, 0.0000001 of the population. Will you provide some similar substance for your figure of the ‘millions’ who ‘have been saved by the self-realized’? How many Buddhists do you calculate? How many Christians do you calculate? How many Muslims do you calculate? How many Jews do you calculate? How many Hindus do you calculate? How many Jains do you calculate? How many Sikhs do you calculate? How many Taoists do you calculate? And how many of any other disciplines or faiths? I will be extremely interested to see the break-down of your figures.

RESPONDENT: This is one man’s estimation ...

RICHARD: Yes ... and Mr. Mukunda Lal Gosh’s (aka Paramhansa) estimation is another man’s estimation. Given that Mr. Ken Wilber provides a sensible basis for his estimation I will plunk for it over pure fantasy any day.

RESPONDENT: How long do you estimate existence has been going on?

RICHARD: This universe, being infinite and eternal, has always been here ... and always will be.

RICHARD: Given that the population inhabiting this otherwise fair planet we all live on has reached an unprecedented and staggering 6,000,000,000 instinctually driven malicious and sorrowful and loving and compassionate human beings; given that technological expertise has multiplied exponentially in the last 100 years in a manner unprecedented in human history; given that 160,000,000 sane people were killed by their sane fellow human beings in wars alone in the last 100 years; given that 40,000,000 people committed suicide in the last 100 years; given that three weapons with an unprecedented mass destruction capacity – chemical, biological and nuclear – were developed in the last 100 years; given that the world-wide mass media and communication networks provide unprecedented access to information never before available to the average person; given that an unprecedented opportunity to carry out scholarly comparative religious studies has scotched the ‘wisdom’ myth ascribed to all the world’s scriptures; given that the Gurus and the God-Men, the Masters and the Messiahs, the Avatars and the Saviours and the Saints and the Sages have had at least 3,000 to 5,000 years to demonstrate the efficacy of their solution to all the ills of humankind ...

RESPONDENT: Ah, but millions have been saved by the self-realized. And they are being saved all the time, even as this is being written.

RICHARD: Mr. Ken Wilber (writing in Mr. Andrew Cohen’s ‘What is Enlightenment’ magazine) claimed that only about a thousand ‘Enlightened Ones’ had emerged from 2,500 years of devout effort by millions of Buddhist monks. His estimate was, therefore, 0.0000001 of the population. Will you provide some similar substance for your figure of the ‘millions’ who ‘have been saved by the self-realized’? How many Buddhists do you calculate? How many Christians do you calculate? How many Muslims do you calculate? How many Jews do you calculate? How many Hindus do you calculate? How many Jains do you calculate? How many Sikhs do you calculate? How many Taoists do you calculate? And how many of any other disciplines or faiths? I will be extremely interested to see the break-down of your figures.

RESPONDENT: This is one man’s estimation ...

RICHARD: Yes ... and Mr. Mukunda Lal Gosh’s estimation is another man’s estimation. Given that Mr. Ken Wilber provides a sensible basis for his estimation I will plunk for it over pure fantasy any day.

RESPONDENT: How long do you estimate existence has been going on?

RICHARD: This universe, being infinite and eternal, has always been here ... and always will be.

RESPONDENT: How do you know that earth is the only planet that supports life?

RICHARD: As far as space exploration has been able to ascertain so far, this planet earth is the only known planet to evolve carbon-based life-forms.

RESPONDENT: How do you know that the material world is in its’ one and only cycle of existence?

RICHARD: As matter arranges and rearranges itself endlessly (through all eternity and infinity) the answer is obvious: infinite cycles with infinite variety of existence.

RESPONDENT: We don’t know this, can’t know this, so numbers are really unimportant ...

RICHARD: On this planet they are important ... this current configuration of matter known as planet earth is the first and last time that this particular configuration will happen (nothing is ever the same twice). Therefore, whatever has happened whose veracity can be reliably ascertained is a once in a life-time opportunity to ‘get it right’. Whatever has happened prior to this solar system and this planet becoming habitable to human beings, being no longer existent, is simply irrelevant. When this solar system burns out (and/or collapses and/or whatever latest theory becomes popular) then everything experienced and known to human beings so far will be obliterated as before.

It is what is happening in this cycle which is relevant and important ... not the wild fantasies of some dissociated self-realised ‘being’ so distraught at his master’s physical death that he conjures up a vision of his master in his master’s heaven.

RESPONDENT: And you can use this to say ‘aha! so you flip-flop, maybe it’s not millions!!!’.

RICHARD: I gain the distinct impression that you are leading up to saying that you will not be providing a break-down of the ‘millions’ who ‘have been saved by the self-realized’ and that you will not be detailing how many Buddhists, how many Christians, how many Muslims, how many Jews, how Hindus, how many Jains, how many Sikhs, how many Taoists, and how many of any other disciplines or faiths, eh?

RESPONDENT: My source for this is ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’ and all I can say is I believe it.

RICHARD: Yet this discussion is about ‘Spiritual Enlightenment’ (known in Mr. Mukunda Lal Gosh’s spirituality as ‘Nirbikalpa Samadhi’). And only ‘Enlightened Beings’ get to go to his ‘astral sun or heaven’ which he knows as being called ‘Hiranyaloka’ (‘Illumined Astral Planet’) ... the ‘millions’ who ‘have been saved by the self-realized’ that you are referring to are what Mr. Mukunda Lal Gosh called ‘the millions of astral beings’ and are not ‘Enlightened Beings’ at all ... and he clearly states that the ‘millions of astral beings’ go to the ordinary astral universe (along with myriads of fairies, mermaids, fishes, animals, goblins, gnomes, demigods and spirits) in accordance with karmic qualifications and not ‘Hiranyaloka’ (even those who attain ‘Sabikalpa Samadhi’ do not qualify).

Thus, as the millions of astral beings, fairies, mermaids, fishes, animals, goblins, gnomes, demigods and spirits with karmic qualifications are clearly not enlightened ... methinks I will stay with Mr. Ken Wilber’s estimate of 0.0000001 of the population.


RESPONDENT: In the book ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’, in the chapter ‘Resurrection of Yukteswar’, Yukteswar has died recently and appears to the author, Yogananda, and explains to him in telepathic mental pictures ‘and’ words, what the actual condition of life beyond the material world is like. He explains that once the physical form is discarded, then one lives in the astral/subtle and mental/ causal bodies. He lives on the astral realm and says that what happens there is that we reincarnate there again and again just like we do on earth, then transcend to the mental/causal realm and do the same there. How does that explanation coincide or differ from your understanding?

RICHARD: First, as Mr. Yukteswar Giri is dead then any ‘appearance’ of his for Mr. Mukunda Lal Gosh is ascertained in Mr. Mukunda Lal Gosh’s psyche (the imaginative/ intuitive psychic facility) and not in the physical world actuality (which is ascertained sensately). Which means that ‘life beyond the material world’ is not actual (existing in fact) and is accurately described as being ascertained by ‘telepathic mental pictures ‘and’ words’ (which is the clue that his vision is not a sensorial actuality but a prescient reality). Thus the entire explanation does not coincide with my experience at all: my actual experience (factual) clearly shows me that death is the end, finish; extinction (no reincarnation or after-life).

RESPONDENT: This is an assumption, one that I agree with you does not match the rest of your realization, but this doesn’t mean that it is not actual.

RICHARD: I am somewhat at a loss as to how you can be so certain that it is ‘an assumption’ of mine that ‘death is the end, finish; extinction’. As there is no identity (neither ‘I’ as ego nor ‘me’ as soul) there is no ‘being’ whatsoever extant in this flesh and blood body to survive the physical decomposition and/or combustion of this body upon death.

RESPONDENT: Goddamn it Richard you’re really starting to piss me off! Just kidding. Ok, forget about I or Richard but there is something inside of you right now reading this message that is sitting inside the location coordinates formerly known as Richard, right?

RICHARD: Not so ... there is only heart and lungs and liver and kidneys and so on ‘in’ this flesh and blood body. I explained this in my initial response to your query ‘Tell Us About Yourself Richard’ Vis.:

• [Richard]: ‘with the end of both ‘I’ and ‘me’, the distance or separation between both ‘I’ and ‘me’ and these sense organs – and thus the external world – disappears. To be living as the senses is to live a clear and clean awareness – apperception – a pure consciousness experience of the world as-it-is. Because there is no ‘I’ as a thinker (a little person inside one’s head) or a ‘me’ as a feeler (a little person in one’s heart) – to have sensations happen to them, I am the sensations. The entire affective faculty vanishes ... blind nature’s software package of instinctual passions is deleted. There is nothing except the series of sensations which happen ... not happening to an ‘I’ or a ‘me’ but just happening ... moment by moment ... one after another. To live life as these sensations, as distinct from having them, engenders the most astonishing sense of freedom and magic’. [endquote].

So as to read it in context you will find it towards the end of the article. I have also explained it towards the end of another post:

• [Richard]: ‘I am these sense organs in operation: this seeing is me, this hearing is me, this tasting is me, this touching is me, this smelling is me, and this thinking is me. Whereas ‘I’, the identity, am inside the body: looking out through ‘my’ eyes as if looking out through a window, listening through ‘my’ ears as if they were microphones, tasting through ‘my’ tongue, touching through ‘my’ skin, smelling through ‘my’ nose, and thinking through ‘my’ brain. Of course ‘I’ must feel isolated, alienated, alone and lonely, for ‘I’ am cut off from the magnificence of the actual world ... the world as-it-is ... by ‘my’ very presence. Thus there are three I’s altogether, but only one is actual ...and only the actual is amoral’. [endquote].

Where I say ‘I am the sensations’ and ‘I am these sense organs in operation’, I mean what I write ... because I write what I mean. As sensations cannot occur without senses, and as senses cannot exist without a flesh and blood body, then when this flesh and blood body physically decomposes or is burnt upon death so too do the senses, sensations ... and me.

RESPONDENT: There is an awareness there and this is what will go on.

RICHARD: Not so ... apperception (which is what awareness is sans identity) only occurs when this flesh and blood body is alive (not dead), awake (not asleep), conscious (not unconscious). The oblivion of concussion, anaesthesia and night-time sleep demonstrate this fact admirably.

RESPONDENT: That unique awareness that is what we think of as ourselves.

RICHARD: Ahh ... therein lies the rub: who ‘I’ think ‘I’ am, who ‘I’ feel ‘I’ am and who ‘I’ instinctively know ‘I’ am (the identity ‘in’ the flesh and blood body) mistakenly seeks immortality because of the self-aggrandising tendency of the narcissism born of the survival instincts.

*

RESPONDENT: I believe that Paramhansa’s experience is actual.

RICHARD: I am not suggesting that Mr. Mukunda Lal Gosh did not actually have an experience ... it is the contents of the experience that are not actual (Mr. Yukteswar Giri’s ‘appearance’ was not an actual appearance ... actual appearances only happen in the physical world).

RESPONDENT: As real as the experience you are having right now of reading these words. Watch it!

RICHARD: Not so ... visionary states only seem ‘as real’ (arguably more real) as everyday experience to the lost, lonely frightened and very, very cunning identity within who is forever cut-off from the magnificence of the actual world. All the identity normally sees is the grim and glum reality (the ‘real world’) that is pasted as a veneer over actuality ... hence visionary states are incredibly attractive.

*

RESPONDENT: But I do understand your belief system, but I think it’s based on assessment of your own experience, which ... it should be.

RICHARD: As I have no ‘belief system’ I am somewhat bemused in regards to what it is that you understand.

RESPONDENT: But that doesn’t mean it’s final, you too are in a condition of development, which will change.

RICHARD: Yet a fact is always final ... a fact never changes (otherwise it is not a fact). It is a fact that there is only heart and lungs and liver and kidneys and so on ‘within’ this flesh and blood body.

RESPONDENT: And you may in the future find yourself, as you have in the past, needing to revise your assumptions.

RICHARD: Indeed ... any and all assumptions I make are ever open to revision or discarding. Usually I preface my words with ‘I assume ...’ or ‘As an opinion ...’ or ‘Presumably ...’ or ‘Theoretically ...’ and so on. An hypothesis is always a ‘working model’ until the fact is ascertained. As for my past: a ‘truth’ is not a fact nor is ‘The Truth’ factual ... facts are pretty thin on the ground in the religious and/or spiritual and/or mystical and/or metaphysical world ... which is one of the many things that made me suss ’way back then.

RESPONDENT: We’ll just have to see whether death is in fact final, won’t we?

RICHARD: Maybe it would be best to only speak for yourself ... I already know for a fact that ‘death is final’. Incidentally, this stance (‘we’ll just have to see whether death is in fact final’) is sometimes known as being agnostic ... and the people I have met personally, over the many years that I have discussed these matters, who embrace this position have invariably been firmly convinced that this ‘I don’t know’ approach is the intelligent approach. Mostly they have been academics or mystics ... is it a variation on that hoary adage: ‘He who says he does not know, really knows’? I guess it makes them feel intellectually comfortable.

Do you want to know? Do you want to find out?

RESPONDENT: I tend to accept Yogananda’s version that death is in fact only relative to the physical body and that there is in fact a spiritual form (though not physical) that we continue on in.

RICHARD: This ‘a spiritual form (though not physical)’ phrasing indicates that there may very well be a psychological and/or psychic entity still inhabiting the body that is writing these words to me. Hence you presumably have no alternative but to see what I write as being ‘a belief system’ or ‘an assumption’ ... which process, if this is what is happening, is called egocentricity (viewing another through one’s own experience and/or standards).

*

RICHARD: Mr. Mukunda Lal Gosh’s visionary experience (non-factual) ...

RESPONDENT: You can’t be sure of this.

RICHARD: I beg to differ ... I can be sure of this. You accurately described his experience as being ascertained by ‘telepathic mental pictures ‘and’ words’ ... which is the clue that his experience is not a sensorial actuality but a visionary prescient reality. Only sensate actuality is factual.

RESPONDENT: ‘And words’ is the way you talk to physically manifesting individuals, such as the check-out person at the market. You probably don’t talk to him/her in telepathic imagery though, but you might, well not you, but some might.

RICHARD: It is well known that a person can have both visual and auditory hallucinations (voices in their head). There was a person some years ago in the USA (from memory called the ‘Son of Sam’ or some-such thing) who had his god telling him he must ‘kill all the whores’ (he was arrested for killing street prostitutes). And, although I have never had auditory hallucinations, I did have visual hallucinations back in 1981 ... visions in which ‘God’s Plan’ was revealed to me.

The entire esoteric realm with all its psychic adumbrations is fraught with danger.

*

RICHARD: ... [Mr. Mukunda Lal Gosh’s experience] shows him that ‘the physical form is discarded’ at death by the ‘astral/subtle and mental/causal body’ which then continues to incarnate and ‘reincarnate again and again’ in the ‘mental/causal realm’. Neither the ‘astral/subtle and mental/causal body’ nor the ‘mental/causal realm’ exist in this physical actuality ... they exist in a metaphysical reality.

RESPONDENT: Yes, and?

RICHARD: ... and thus ‘life beyond the material world’ is not actual (existing in fact) and is accurately described as being ascertained by ‘telepathic mental pictures ‘and’ words’ (which is the clue that his vision is not a sensorial actuality but a prescient reality). Thus the entire explanation does not coincide with my experience at all: my actual experience (factual) clearly shows me that death is the end, finish; extinction (no reincarnation or after-life).

I am simply explaining how my experience differs (in answer to your original query) and why.

*

RESPONDENT: It depends on what you term physical.

RICHARD: I term ‘physical’ that which is material, corporeal, substantial, concrete, tangible and palpable as ascertained sensately (or by extension to the senses such as telescopes, microscopes, x-rays and so on).

RESPONDENT: So don’t you ever feel sometimes in your dreams that your dream life is more real than your waking one?

RICHARD: No ... I sleep soundly (oblivion) and am unaware of any dreaming occurring whilst/if it is happening.

*

RESPONDENT: Perhaps the more subtle realms are indeed just as real as this one, only at a more subtle rate of vibration.

RICHARD: Have you never noticed that a Christian, when having a vision of God, typically sees a pale-skinned Mr. Yeshua the Nazarene hanging on a cross ... whilst a Hindu having a vision of God typically sees a blue-skinned Mr. Krishna playing on a flute ... and not vice versa? This and many, many other examples of comparative religious studies shows that what a believer sees (as being real) in visions is culturally determined. Before modern technology provided a world-wide communication network of newspapers, magazines, books, libraries, telegraph, radio, telephone, television and now the internet, such visions had an imperative force because isolation beggars comparison. Thus modern scholarly research has thoroughly scotched the ‘wisdom’ myth of the revered fables and legends of yore.

Although, speaking of ‘subtle realms’, I notice that Mr. Aristotle’s ‘aether’ is under-going a revival as Quantum Theory gets ever more frantic due to the mathematicians who, having taken over physics in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, are bemiring themselves more and more in their futile efforts to prove their god to be a mathematician.

RESPONDENT: All I can say is that you seem to have taken a totally empiricist’s materialism and somehow mixed it up with spiritual realization, which is a very odd combination, if you ask me.

RICHARD: Yet what I experience is neither materialism nor spiritualism; I experience actualism. I am neither materialistic nor spiritualistic; I am actualistic. I am neither a materialist nor a spiritualist; I am an actualist. An actualist is a person who, unlike a spiritualist, does not believe that matter is passive (as in inactive, inert, quiescent, stagnant, static, torpid, supine, idle, moribund or dormant) and, unlike a materialist, does not believe that nature and/or life is a random, futile event in an empty, aimless, universe. Actualism is the direct experiencing of the meaningful, vibrant, dynamic, effervescent, sparkling, pulsating, amazing, marvellous, wondrous and magical happening that is this very physical universe in action.

To be actualistic is to be living the infinitude of this fairy-tale-like actual world with its sensuous quality of magical perfection and purity: where everything and everyone has a lustre, a brilliance, a vividness, an intensity and a marvellous, wondrous, scintillating vitality that makes everything alive and sparkling ... even the very earth beneath one’s feet. The rocks, the concrete buildings, a piece of paper ... literally everything is as if it were alive (a rock is not, of course, alive as humans are, or as animals are, or as trees are). This ‘aliveness’ is the very actuality of all existence ... the actualness of everything and everyone. We do not live in an inert universe ... but one cannot experience this whilst clinging to immortality.

I am mortal.


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