Richard’s Selected Correspondence
On Pride and Humility
Re: important correction
RESPONDENT: On the last day, we talked a about pride.
RICHARD: G’day No. 39, On the last day we talked about pride in the context of your [quote] ‘... pride (at progressing nicely) ...’ [endquote] words from your Day 15 post (on Aug 2, 2013, in #15023) to this forum.
I suggested it would be far more fruitful to be pleased, about ‘progressing nicely’, than proud as the obverse of pride is being humble (i.e., humility is but pride standing on its head).
Words such as humiliate, humiliative, and so on, are derived from the same etymological roots as the words humble, humility, and so forth, stem from.
RESPONDENT: We had a useful theological and semantic discussion ...
RICHARD: The semantic part of the discussion pertained to you saying the opposite of pride was embarrassment – whereupon I pointed out that being humble (aka humility) is the more usual antonym – but given that humiliation and embarrassment are more or less synonymous it required what you characterise as a theological discussion to tease out differing connotations ... to wit: the difference betwixt shame and guilt.
As a broad generalisation the feeling of shame (as in ignominy, disgrace, mortification, &c.) is more a public affair than private – whereas the feeling of guilt is more a private matter than public – and features mostly in eastern cultures (quite prominently, for instance, in China and Japan) rather than in western cultures where the feeling of guilt, being private, is conducive to the west’s emphasis on individuality over familiality (i.e., ‘the quality of being familial’ where familial means ‘of or relating to family’) ... which is particularly obvious in Christian-based societies such as inhabit what is known as the Anglosphere.
RESPONDENT: ... but it his [Richard’s] point about patting yourself on the back which is most pertinent here.
RICHARD: The following is a quote which will serve to illustrate just what it is you are referring to.
RESPONDENT: He [Richard] said that feeling beings inner dialogue is quite self-critical.
RICHARD: The following is a quote which will serve to illustrate just what it is you are referring to.
The following (quite lengthy) quote is particularly informative vis-a-vis both this and related issues.
RESPONDENT: So it is a very good idea to pat yourself on the back whenever it will promote felicity or get you feeling excellent so you can move on to wide eyed wonder.
RICHARD: No, what is a very good idea (to use your phrasing) is to pat yourself on the back whenever you succeed in finding out just what it is which is preventing this moment of being alive – the only moment you are ever actually alive – from being lived at its optimum.
In doing so you get to find out how you operate and function (just what it is that makes you ‘tick’ as it were) each moment again.
RESPONDENT: So if you are a salesman and just made a big sale, pat yourself on the back with the aim of increasing your current happiness so you can on move to feeling excellent and then to wide eyed wonder.
RICHARD: No, I neither said that nor anything of that nature (I am clearly talking of success, no matter how slight it may be, regarding consciousness and not in regards to materialistic success).
RESPONDENT: That is what I took from his comments though I have a history of not understanding his words all that well.
RICHARD: This is as good an opportunity as any to drive home the point I made to [No. 25], on May 25th (in #13582), inasmuch the words I spoke to you were, essentially, a verbal reiteration of what is already freely available on The Actual Freedom Trust website.
One of the advantages the printed or digitalised word has over the spoken word is that it can be revisited again and again until comprehension is complete ... something not understood, or misconstrued, the first time around can always be examined and re-examined at a later convenience.
RESPONDENT: In trying to research the site, I find that Peter has a chapter on pride in which he admonishes the feeling.
RICHARD: Maybe, just maybe, feeling-being ‘Peter’ took note of what Richard had to say about pride and examined it for ‘himself’ so as to ascertain whether it be true or not, eh?
RESPONDENT: Yet Richard highly recommends ‘patting yourself on the back.’
RICHARD: What Richard highly recommends is being pleased (aka ‘patting oneself on the back’) whenever you succeed in finding out just what it is which is preventing this moment of being alive – the only moment you are ever actually alive – from being lived at its optimum.
RESPONDENT: This isn’t a contradiction.
RICHARD: Oh, yes it is.
RESPONDENT: They both agree.
RICHARD: They both agree about being pleased (aka ‘patting oneself on the back’) – not about feeling proud – at success, no matter how slight it may be, regarding consciousness.
RESPONDENT: In fact, Peter’s last words to me were ‘pat yourself on the back once in a while.’
RICHARD: Aye, but those last words of his were not in regards to feeling proud.
RESPONDENT: So ferreting out how the two ideas do not contradict each other is an excellent spot to learn more about the site.
RICHARD: In which case I will leave you with the following quote to mull over as it is but one example of what I have to say about pride (and its companion-in-arms humility).
RESPONDENT: But I don’t understand what makes Richard so confident that his method will work. The statement ‘I am under no illusion that global peace and tranquillity will eventuate before I am on my death-bed; I do not suffer from the delusion that I can effect a sweeping change to the lot of all human beings’ looks like another messianic chore. On a re-thought, I take back this allegation. This may be genuine humility.
RICHARD: All humility is nothing but the ego being very, very clever ... it is but a product of a lost, lonely, frightened and very, very cunning entity called ego. One of the chief attributes of a freedom from a ‘self’ or a ‘Self’ and from believing in a ‘God’ and a ‘Greater Reality’, is a completeness ... an absence of the need to control a wayward ‘I’ with moralistic injunctions. Personally I have no humility whatsoever and, of course, neither am I proud. In order to be free of the Human Condition one needs to see the place pride and humility plays in one’s life. ‘I’ am proud of ‘my’ major achievement – which is maintaining ‘myself’ as an identity – and ‘I’ will do anything but relinquish ‘my’ grip on this flesh-and-blood body ... including humbling ‘myself’ before some God in order to ameliorate the pernicious effects of pride. However, humility is merely the antidote to pride ... and they feed off each other, continuously. For example, one cannot but feel proud of one’s accomplishment of self-abasing humility ... it is in the nature of the entity to do so. A humbled self is still a self, nonetheless, leaving one proud of one’s performance. When one realises how silly all this is; when one sees that pride and humility are standing in the way of freedom from all self-centred activity, something astounding occurs. The opposites vanish. I am simply here where I have always been ... and pride, with its companion in arms, humility, has disappeared along with all the other feelings. I am free to be here now in the world as-it-is. Unadorned and unencumbered, I can stand on my own two feet, owing allegiance to no-one.
RESPONDENT: To me humility is a virtue and proud is not.
RICHARD: Humility is merely the antidote to pride ... you cannot have one without the other. Where is the need to be humble unless you are first proud? Therefore, being humble is merely pride standing on its head ... and one is proud of being virtuous.
RESPONDENT: I understand what you say. Humility is definitely a form of pride. But till I can give up both pride and humility, I will rather stick with humility.
RESPONDENT: But I have absolutely no problem if you are proud of your achievement.
RICHARD: Yet I have already written (above) that I have neither pride nor humility. Besides, I can freely say that I, as I am today, did nothing to become free of the Human Condition. It was ‘I’ that did all the work ... ‘I’ self-immolated. And I am very pleased that ‘I’ did that. I am not proud because I did nothing to earn commendation ... it was ‘I’ that made this possible.
RESPONDENT: Sorry for confusing myself. I thought, you told that you are proud of your achievements, but I was wrong.
RESPONDENT: Also Richard, something about the wording of your following statement disconnects my comprehension: ‘it is ‘I’ who stands in the way ... pride and modesty are but attributes of ‘me’’. So ‘me’s’ have ‘but’ attributes (and its the ‘but’ that also stumps me, not only the I’s and me’s and ‘I’s’ do not – and – are not an attribute either?
RICHARD: I could also have said ‘aspects’ instead of ‘attributes’ ... meaning they are but indications, signs, clues, that there is an ‘I’ and/or ‘me’ in there trying to divest itself of some undesirable aspects of itself. It is impossible to be a ‘stripped-down’ self – divested of feelings such as pride and modesty – for ‘I’ am ‘my’ feelings and ‘my’ feelings are ‘me’ (hence my comment about ‘false modesty’ as it is analogous to ‘spiritual humility’).
KONRAD: Nobody who thinks that he has accomplished something, whether this is factual or not, is willing to be taught. This is part and parcel of the pride that goes with this. If you want to talk with them, you must at least acknowledge what they have if they have something. But in the next step you must be careful, and prevent them for jumping all over you. For your acknowledging that what they have can be taken as proof that they have found a willing victim who now can become their student, and in this way satisfy their desire to be considered superior.
RESPONDENT No. 21: There is a place in the bible where the world is described as a globe. If I find it, I will post it. Maybe someone knows it. I believe it is in Isaiah if I remember correctly. It is definitely in there (...) Here it is, written between 745 and 680 B. C. Isaiah 40:22: ‘It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in’.
RICHARD: Hmm ... a circle is hardly a globe, now is it? ...<SNIP> ... Do you really want to get into a discussion about the veracity of ‘God’s Word’?
RESPONDENT: Now Richard, why do you have to confuse No. 21 with the facts? He’s fixin’ to sit on the right hand of God and you’re going to mess him up big time!
RICHARD: I think not. For most, seeing a fact means betraying one’s belief ... thus one is rendered incapable of seeing it. Then the biggest problem – even after overcoming such loyalty – is one’s intellectual pride ... one has to come to terms with having been silly for all of one’s life. Usually, believers have become so accustomed to being spiritually humble that they are not at all prepared for the genuine humility engendered ... it is too humiliating.
RICHARD: If all human beings took Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti’s ‘non-authoritarian’ advice about rejecting authority – yet all the while he gave firm instructions about ‘interpreting’ that needs must leave the power-backed ‘Teachings’ to be considered inviolate – and did not share their discoveries, we would all still be living in a cave, dressed in animal skins, and gnawing on a raw brontosaurus bone.
RESPONDENT: You seem to want others to debunk Mr. Jiddu K’s teachings for YOUR teachings.
RICHARD: Not everyone is so vain as to humbly call their words to one’s fellow human beings ‘Teachings’ ... having no pride or humility whatsoever I do not presume to call my writing ‘Teachings’.
RESPONDENT: No. You just call yourself an ‘authority’ who’s expertise ‘sits nicely with him’. And you question K’s vanity? LOL.
RICHARD: Yes indeed I do ... false modesty plays no part in my life. If I know something ... I say so. I am straight-forward ... up-front and honest.
RESPONDENT: Now let’s be honest. The man did not say HE was an authority.
RICHARD: Indeed he did not ... he dissimulated.
RESPONDENT: He referred to his works as teachings.
RICHARD: Yea verily ... thus the ‘teachings’ are the authority. This way he takes no responsibility for what he says ... it comes from that ‘supreme intelligence’ that is ‘neither yours nor mine’. He is ‘merely a pointer’. This has all been done before ... are you familiar with the phrase: ‘I am but a finger pointing to the moon ... look at what I am pointing to and not the finger’? This duck-shoving of amenability is not for me ... I stand behind what I say.
RICHARD: Given that what one is, fundamentally, is a fearful and aggressive yet nurturing and desiring self it is no wonder that there is a ‘drive to be other than what is’. Given that what one is creates a grim and glum ‘reality’ that is the current ‘what is’ for 6.0 billion peoples ... then ‘what is’ sucks.
RESPONDENT: I think I understand. It is a crazy and senseless life to be lived ... and I’m quite stupid.
RICHARD: No, not ‘stupid’ ... ‘stupefied’. Self-castigation only makes one ripe for humility ... and humility is but pride standing on its head. How can one have dignity when one is humiliating oneself? How will this bring about clarity?
RESPONDENT: And this possibility of a possible change is attributed to an imaginary centred entity.
RICHARD: Aye ... and, as the ‘imaginary centred entity’ has the backing of the full range of instinctually-generated passions (with their concomitant hormones) to keep itself intact, then any change so far in human history has been but a modification of what is.
RESPONDENT: Human history ... yes, it’s collective madness.
RICHARD: If one is going to accept the status-quo for what it is and ‘make the best of a bad situation’ then such concentrated and focussed effort as described above would probably be the better way to go. However, the way freedom works, and the basic theory/ philosophy to formalise it, is this simple:
Back when I used to be able to visualise, what would happen is that it is all mapped out, planned in advance, and all that was left was a ‘colouring-in-by-numbers’ style of painting and/or drawing and/or whatever. All the creativity was confined to mental-emotional imagery department – a dream-like fantasy – which rarely, if ever, translated into pen and paper or paint and canvas ... with the resultant frustration in being unable to manifest the vision into actuality. The main reason was that the mental picture was not constrained by the physical medium and thus compromises inevitably creep in, even early in the piece. One is then left with trying to force actuality into fitting the fancy ... with less than desirable results. What I discovered, when the ‘painting painted itself’, was that actuality ruled the roost, as it were, and magically manifested perfection ... such as to leave me, as I remarked (further above) standing in amazement and wonder, marvelling at this magical creativity.
Modesty – especially false modesty – disappeared along with pride ... ‘I’ was not doing this.
I saw and understood that we humans were trying to make life fit our petty demands; our pathetic dreams; our desperate schemes ... and who am ‘I’ to know better than this infinite, eternal and perpetual universe how to do it. Because all the while, perfection was abounding all about ... magically unfolding, each moment again, if only one would give oneself permission to ‘let go the controls’ and allow it all to happen of its own accord. Again, none of this is to negate the very essential patiently acquired skills and expertise ... otherwise one is as a leaf blowing in the wind (‘think not of the morrow’ and all that nonsense). Initially I described it as ‘being like a child again but with adult sensibilities’. Of course, time would show me that being ‘child-like’ is not it ... but that was ‘my’ beginning explanation back then when seeking to understand.
Back in 1980 ‘I’ looked at the stars one night and temporarily came to my senses: there are galaxies exploding/imploding (or whatever) all throughout the physical infinitude where an immeasurable quantity of matter is perpetually arranging and rearranging itself in endless varieties of form all over the boundless reaches of infinite space throughout the limitless extent of eternal time and ‘I’ – puny, pathetic ‘I’ in an ant-like-in-comparison and very vulnerable 6’2’’ flesh and blood body – disapprove of all this? That is, ‘I’ call all this a ‘sick joke’, or whatever depreciative assessment? And further: so what if ‘I’ were to do an about-face and graciously approve? What difference would that make to the universe?
Ergo: ‘I’, with all my abysmal opinions, theories, concepts, values, principles, judgements and so on, am not required at all ... ‘I’ am a supernumerary. ‘I’ am redundant; ‘I’ can retire; fold ‘my’ hand; pack in the game, die, dissolve, disappear, disintegrate, depart, vamoose, vanish – whatever – and life would manage quite well, thank you, without ‘me’ ... a whole lot better, in fact, as ‘I’ am holding up the works from functioning smoothly ..
RESPONDENT: This is most interesting, I have always told anyone who asks me ‘how did I do that’ that I am not doing it, it is as much a mystery to me as them.
RICHARD: Again this explanation is at odds with the question you ‘find most pressing’ in your initial E-Mail. Am I to take it that you no longer ‘graphically visualise mental concepts and visually recall data relevant to what [you] wish to convey’?
If so, why is it still ‘as much a mystery to [you] as them’?
RESPONDENT: In fact pride or modesty only hinders free flowing creativity.
RICHARD: The only time when self-congratulatory mutual back-slapping is experientially deserved there is no ‘the thinker’ extant to take credit.
RESPONDENT: Where there is self-congratulatory back-slapping, there is duality, the framework of time is back again.
RICHARD: As the ‘self-congratulatory mutual back-slapping’ being discussed (above) is applicable only to where it is experientially deserved – to where there is no ‘the thinker’ extant – there is, of course, no duality.
RESPONDENT: Hmm ... so being that does not exist is proud ...
RICHARD: If I may interject? This is a nonsensical statement because something that does not exist cannot be – or say – anything (let alone be ‘proud’). It is simply absurd ... and an absurd premise will give a meaningless conclusion any day of the week.
RESPONDENT: [so being that does not exist is proud] of the being that did once exist because it choose to end its existence?
RICHARD: Except that I never said ‘proud’ ... in the remainder of the post, which you snipped off, I wrote that I am pleased and full of admiration for the audacity of that ‘being’ who used to inhabit this body (for daring to do what Those With Feet Of Clay never do). And I will likewise salute anyone – anyone at all – who is intrepid enough to face the opprobrium of their peers and likewise disappear ... thus further paving the way for the ingress of a global peace-on-earth.
RESPONDENT: Sounds a bit like riding a Bentley wondering how people can party while there is suffering in the world.
RICHARD: As this entire scenario is your invention I guess you can make it ‘sound a bit like’ whatever you want it too. Speaking personally, I do not own any car at all – I ceased using a private gas-guzzler twenty-odd years ago – and enjoy a pleasant stroll to the village centre instead. And if whilst ambling along I were to hazard a guess as to the state of their mind, I would probably consider that the reason why they do ‘party while there is suffering in the world’ is because you and your ilk sagely tell them, for just one example, that the root cause of fear is separation from ‘the otherness’. Which is just what Christianity does, to instance but one religion, who also say that the root cause of all human suffering is separation from God.
RESPONDENT: The feeler seems to be a thinking-dependent process in the first case and independent of conscious thinking in the second.
RICHARD: The ‘thinking-dependent process in the first case’ is all-too-common and leads to the notion that thought creates feelings. They do not ... thought can only trigger off the prior existing feelings.
RESPONDENT: Many feelings as shame are triggered off by thought when remembering past lived experiences stored as memory and the thinker lives them anew, giving rise to the feeling of shame anew, so that the rising of the sensation of discomfort called ‘shame’ seems to be just a process dependent of the thinker and of memory. The instinctive bodily sensation named ‘shame’ seems to be a natural reaction when the thinker is making a situation of insecurity through his interpretations. In this way, it seems that thought as thinker is not the primordial creator of instinctive bodily sensations, but also there’s not the rising of the instinctive discomfort named as ‘shame’ without the action of the thinker.
RICHARD: Indeed it is so that ‘thought as thinker is not the primordial creator of instinctive bodily sensations’ if by ‘bodily sensations’ you mean bodily feelings (affective feelings) ... and there is no ‘natural reaction’ called ‘shame’. Shame, and all its variations (such as embarrassment, humiliation, mortification, disgrace, dishonour, ignominy,) are cultivated feelings, socialised feelings, cultural feelings.
Speaking personally, I have no shame whatsoever (hence no pride nor its antidotal humility).
RESPONDENT: So that thought as thinker is not the primordial creator of bodily sensations but the thinker is what can trigger off them, what can create a response of fear or sorrow when it is indeed unnecessary.
RICHARD: It is emotional memory ... a non-verbal memory located in what is popularly called the ‘lizard brain’ or ‘reptilian brain’ at the top of the brain-stem/ base of the skull.
RESPONDENT: This points me that the instinctive bodily responses and sensations can exists by themselves without a so called ‘feeler’ at their root, they are an essence of the body, they seem to be natural and it is not necessary to extinct them, it seems only necessary to extinct the thinker, who makes false interpretations of reality and creates unnecessary situations of insecurity and threat, triggering off then these prior existing bodily responses and sensations. Do you consider the above correct? If not, why?
RICHARD: No, because they not only ‘seem to be natural’ ... they are indeed natural. It is natural to feel fear and aggression and nature and desire ... these feelings are blind nature’s instinctual survival passions. However, now that a thinking, reflective brain has developed sensible thought, thoughts and thinking these instinctual survival passions can be safely eliminated.
RESPONDENT: By bodily sensations I don’t mean affective feelings, I mean bodily physical responses of discomfort to a threat (rubor, tachycardia, sweating ...). When the threat is to our self image then, this physical discomfort associated to a thinking process on self image, is named ‘shame’. The threat is an illusory thinking process but it is a threat, so that the bodily physical response also arises. The thinker seems to be again the problem, making an illusory self image and later a threat to this self image, triggering a natural physical response to the illusory threat, and naming all it as ‘shame’.
RICHARD: I will put it this way: the ‘natural responses’ (such as the heart pumping furiously; the palms sweaty; the face ruddy; knuckles gripped; body tensed and so on) never occur where the instinctual passions are not.
The Third Alternative
(Peace On Earth In This Life Time As This Flesh And Blood Body)
Here is an actual freedom from the Human Condition, surpassing Spiritual Enlightenment and any other Altered State Of Consciousness, and challenging all philosophy, psychiatry, metaphysics (including quantum physics with its mystic cosmogony), anthropology, sociology ... and any religion along with its paranormal theology. Discarding all of the beliefs that have held humankind in thralldom for aeons, the way has now been discovered that cuts through the ‘Tried and True’ and enables anyone to be, for the first time, a fully free and autonomous individual living in utter peace and tranquillity, beholden to no-one.
Richard’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.