Actual Freedom – Selected Correspondence by Topic

Richard’s Selected Correspondence

On ‘Self’


RESPONDENT No. 20: Are you speaking about existing without self?

RICHARD: Yes, but not only without a self ... without a ‘Self’ as well. One is well-advised to pay attention to those basic instincts that give rise to what the Christians coyly call ‘Original Sin’. ‘I’ and ‘me’, in any way, shape or form, am rotten to the core ... this is the source of all guilt and its band-aid solutions like love and compassion. Zen’s ‘Original Face’ has its genesis in the rudimentary self of the instincts. Eliminate those survival instincts and not only does ‘Original Sin’ vanish ... even the ‘Original Face’ disappears. Then – and only then – is there peace-on-earth guaranteed. This is because it is already always here.

RESPONDENT: Obviously what disappears can not be original face, which is nothingness.

RICHARD: Oh, yes it can ... and does. At the risk of sounding like No. 22, ‘nothingness’ is a concept. People, seeing everything to be transient, seek permanence and posit an enduring ‘nothingness’ ... then yearn to live in it. It being a massive delusory hallucination, only a rare few succeed.

Yet all this while, this physical universe – being infinite and eternal – is permanent. Why do people look for something beyond it? Something metaphysical?

RESPONDENT: Nor does the ground in being drop away as it is the space that contains what is transient .

RICHARD: No, it is this physical universe that contains what is transient ... which transitoriness is only matter re-arranging itself, anyway. Why posit something immaterial?

RESPONDENT: What drops away is imagery.

RICHARD: Only to be replaced by a more subtle imagery born out of the affective faculties.

RESPONDENT: Whether it is called peace-on-earth that was already always there, or original face, or ground in being, the image is not what is pointed to .

RICHARD: Peace-on-earth is not ‘there’ ... it is here. It is not an image ... it is actual. It is not being pointed to ... it is being lived and described.

RESPONDENT: The image of being a flesh and blood body existing separately in time drops away.

RICHARD: Not so ... one is this flesh and blood body, as an actuality, being here at this moment in eternal time and this place in infinite space. There is no immortality, though.

RESPONDENT: No one ‘in’ a body, no one that ‘is’ a body, no one to get out of a body, etc.

RICHARD: Agreed ... no identity whatsoever. Not even an ‘Original face’ ... which is an enduring identity.


RESPONDENT: There is no argument on my part that there is any such thing as an independent, separated self that functions autonomously.

RESPONDENT No. 40: Just received this quote, which kind of links to what you said: ‘Two people have been living in you all your life. One is the ego, garrulous, demanding, hysterical, calculating; the other is the hidden spiritual being, whose still voice of wisdom you have only rarely heard or attended to’. (Soygal Rinpoche)

RICHARD: Somewhat optimistically, I have searched the written word throughout the world wondering if I will ever find, when the ‘self’ is referred to, that it is a reference to an identity in its totality, not just an ego. But apparently this is not to be the case. Just as it is generally agreed that there is no substantive ego, equally there is no argument on my part that there is any such fundamental thing as a ‘hidden spiritual being, whose still voice of wisdom you have only rarely heard or attended to’ , either.

In my experience I have found that the self is made up of two parts: the ego and the soul. In a valiant effort to right the wrongs that beset oneself and all of humankind, one can dissolve the ego and realise oneself as a ‘centre-less being’, in unity with that which is sacred and holy. However, upon closer inspection one finds that one has jumped out of the frying pan into the fire. ‘I’ still exist – now disguised as a timeless and eternal ‘being’ – and continue to wreak ‘my’ havoc upon an unsuspecting public ... albeit now a blissful ‘being’ emanating Love Agapé and Divine Compassion to all and sundry.

All the wars, murders, tortures, rapes and destruction that has eventually followed the emergence of any specially hallowed master attests to this. All the sadness, loneliness, grief, depression and suicide that has ensued as a result of following any specifically revered master’s teaching also testifies to this. All the Saints and the Sages; all the Masters and the Messiahs; all the Saviours and the Avatars have not been able to bring about their much-touted Peace On Earth. This has been the sorry lot of humankind since time immemorial.

The ‘Teachers’ – and their ‘Teachings’ – have been at fault all along, for they still had an identity. However, all is not lost: just as the ego can dissolve, so too can the soul disappear. ‘I’, as an ‘identity’, as a ‘being’, must become extinct. Then, and only then, is there a chance for global peace. With ‘I’ in ‘my’ entirety extinguished, the instinctual fear and aggression that blind nature endows all creatures with at birth vanishes ... along with the malice and sorrow engendered. One is then spontaneously happy and harmless; one is automatically blithe and benevolent; one is candidly carefree and considerate. Thus, for the one who dares to go all the way, individual peace on earth for the remainder of one’s life is immediate and actual.

This ongoing experience is ambrosial, to say the least.

*

RESPONDENT: Furthermore, it is almost exactly what the Buddha taught, as was Krishnamurti’s teaching. The Buddha and Krishnamurti were both emphatic that there is ‘NO SELF’ to be found (higher, lower or whatever) and that it is the holding on to this ‘illusion of self’ that is at the root of all suffering!

RICHARD: Yet Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti did urge ‘realisation of the self’, did he not ... and an ‘unconditioned realisation of the self’ at that? Vis.:

• ‘I have only one purpose: to make man free, to urge him towards freedom, to help him to break away from all limitations, for that alone will give him eternal happiness, will give him the unconditioned realisation of the self. Because I am free, unconditioned, whole – not the part, not the relative, but the whole Truth that is eternal – I desire those, who seek to understand me, to be free’. (Truth is a Pathless Land; August 2, 1929; The Dissolution of the Order of the Star).

He goes on to say that this self that one realises is ‘incorruptible’. Vis.:

• ‘As I said before, my purpose is to make men unconditionally free, for I maintain that the only spirituality is the incorruptibility of the self which is eternal’. (Truth is a Pathless Land; August 2, 1929; The Dissolution of the Order of the Star).

As for Mr. Gotama the Sakyan, there has been considerable dissention amongst Buddhists (of different schools) about Mr. Gotama the Sakyan’s doctrine of ‘Anatta’ (No-Self). However, if the Pali scriptures (held by some to be the most original) are examined, one will find that what Mr. Gotama the Sakyan expressly stated was that no ‘self’ was to be found in this physical world, in this physical body’s sensations, in this physical body’s feelings, in this physical body’s thoughts, in this physical body’s perceptions or in this physical body’s consciousness. He never stated that there was ‘NO SELF’ at all and, in fact, when expressly asked about the self in the after death state he declined to answer instead of giving an emphatic and unambiguous ‘No’. Then there is the hoary subject of re-incarnation which has kept Buddhists busy for centuries, discussing scripture after scripture and endeavouring to do the impossible: explain how reincarnation can happen if there is no ‘self’ to reincarnate. (And to say that it is a bundle of memories and desires reincarnating is rather disingenuous to say the least).

Because all Buddhists know that ‘Parinirvana’ (after-death) is the ‘Deathless State’ ... a cursory glance at Buddhist Scriptures will show you that ‘amata dhatu’ (the unconditioned, the deathless principle) is what Mr. Gotama the Sakyan enjoined his Bhikkhus and Bhikkhunis to strive for unceasingly. Vis.:

• [Mr. Gotama the Sakyan]: ‘Those who have not known, seen, penetrated, realized, or attained it by means of discernment would have to take it on conviction in others that the faculty of conviction (...) persistence (...) mindfulness (...) concentration (...) discernment, when developed and pursued, plunges into the Deathless, has the Deathless as its goal and consummation; whereas those who have known, seen, penetrated, realized and attained it by means of discernment would have no doubt or uncertainty that the faculty of conviction (...) persistence (...) mindfulness (...) concentration (...) discernment, when developed and pursued, plunges into the Deathless, has the Deathless as its goal and consummation’. (SN 48.44; PTS: SN v.220; Pubbakotthaka Sutta; ‘Eastern Gatehouse’).


RICHARD: The ‘self’ is established via the genetically encoded instinctual passions that all sentient beings are born with ... commonly known as the ‘survival instinct.

RESPONDENT: I don’t think that the ‘self’ is established via instincts. All animals have instincts, but only the human has a self. Isn’t ‘self’ really (and literally) an after-thought? For example, humans instinctively respond to certain situations and then the after-thought actually creates the self? For example, an instinctive response to avert a danger, and then after-thought: ‘I could have died’. The latter, I think, is what constitutes the self. Similarly with pleasurable activities: it is the desire to have more that creates the self.

RICHARD: If the origins of the ‘self’ are not acknowledged and understood then the ‘Tried and True’ band-aid solution will inevitably be applied again and again in an outmoded attempt to remedy the human condition from within the human condition. And so all the wars and murders and rapes and tortures and domestic violence and child abuse and sadness and loneliness and grief and depression and suicides will go on for ever and a day ... just as they always have been throughout 5,000 years of recorded history and maybe 50,000 years of pre-history.


RICHARD: Notwithstanding the cessation of a personal ego operating, they were unwilling to relinquish the ‘Self’ ... and an ego-less ‘Self’ is still an entity, nevertheless. In spite of the glamour and the glory of the Altered State Of Consciousness, closer examination reveals that these ‘Great’ persons had – and have – feet of clay. Bewitched and beguiled by the promise of majesty and mystery, they have led humankind astray. Preaching submission or supplication they keep a benighted humanity in appalling tribulation and distress. The death of the ego is not sufficient: the extinction of the self in its entirety is the essential ingredient for peace and prosperity to reign over all and everyone. My writing is both heretical and iconoclastic ... it is a fact that I make no apology for. The wars and rapes and murders and tortures and corruptions that curse this globe are far too serious a matter to deal with for me to spend time in mincing words. The Divine Beings have been peddling their snake oil for centuries to no avail. Their time has come to either put up or shut up ... how much longer than these thousands of years do peoples need to further test the efficaciousness of their failed Divine Message? If Love Agapé and Divine Compassion, for example, were the way to go, then there would already be global peace, as they have had two to three thousand years to demonstrate their effectiveness as being the ultimate solution.

RESPONDENT: The experience of God’s Love is being God’s Love for all God is. God is All. Agapé exists, but it is not received, it is realised. It does not come to you, it comes from you.

RICHARD: Which is why it fails again and again to deliver global peace. It comes from a lost and lonely and frightened and very, very cunning entity that has a parasitical existence within the human breast. God – any of the twelve hundred-odd gods throughout history – have all been a creation of the inner self projecting itself into being a grand Self that exists for all eternity. God’s love is – as you unwittingly reveal – self love. There is a name for it: Narcissism.

It is all about self-aggrandisement.


RESPONDENT: AND I still struggle, want, strive to understand this ‘illusory self’ that everybody says doesn’t exist but obscures that Reality which does exist, and if it (self) doesn’t exist, then how does it have such power over the physical? Nobody denies that the physical exists (with the exception of a few weirdos) and yet, this self that doesn’t exist can make the body do things like cry, smile, yell, cuss, get a sick stomach, muscles tie up in knots, get cancer, a headache, get horny, commit murder, rape, leave town, etc. (all in your list). For something that doesn’t exist, the self, the thinker, the ‘I’, the ego, can sure cause a lot of havoc in a physical world, which some on the list say doesn’t exists either or is a figment of one’s imagination, or if we believe that is what we have, then that is what we have.

RICHARD: There is a rather simple way to understand this. For many years I mistakenly assumed that words carried a definitive meaning that was common to all peoples speaking the same language ... for example ‘real’ and ‘truth’. But, as different person’s told me things like: ‘That is only your truth’, or: ‘God is real’, I realised that unambiguous words are required (to a child, Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy are ‘real’ and ‘true’). Correspondingly I abandoned ‘real’ and ‘true’ in favour of ‘actual’ and ‘fact’, as experience has demonstrated that no one has been able to tell me that their god is actual or that something is only my fact. Therefore this monitor screen is actual (these finger-tips feeling it substantiate this) and it is a fact that these printed letters are forming words (these eyes seeing it validate this). These things are indisputable and verifiable by any body with the requisite sense-organs.

Now, to a person who believes ardently in their god, then for them their god is real ... not actual, mind you, but real. Usually they tell me that their god is more real than we humans are ... that is how real their fervency makes of their belief (it is the same as the child with the Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy example I gave above). So too, is it with regards to this wretched ‘self’. The ‘self’, whilst not being actual, is real ... sometimes very, very real. The belief in a real ‘thinker’ and ‘feeler’ is not just another passing thought. It is emotion-backed imagination at work. ‘I’ passionately believe in ‘my’ existence ... and will defend ‘myself’ to the death if it is deemed necessary. All of ‘my’ instincts – the instinctive drive for biological survival – come to the fore when psychologically and psychically threatened, for ‘I’ am confused about ‘my’ presence, confounding ‘my’ survival and the body’s survival. However, ‘my’ survival being paramount could not be further from the truth, for ‘I’ need play no part any more in perpetuating physical existence (which is the primal purpose of the instinctual animal ‘self’). ‘I’ am no longer necessary at all. In fact, ‘I’ am nowadays a hindrance. With all of ‘my’ beliefs, values, creeds, ethics and other doctrinaire disabilities, ‘I’ am a menace to the body. ‘I’ am ready to die (to allow the body to be killed) for a cause and ‘I’ will willingly sacrifice physical existence for a ‘Noble Ideal’ ... and reap ‘my’ post-mortem reward: immortality.

That is how real ‘I’ am.

*

RICHARD: It is not enlightenment that I am speaking of ... it is all about going beyond enlightenment into the actuality of being here on this very physical planet that is meandering about in a very actual universe. Not only must the ego dissolve (like his did) but the soul must die as well (which his did not). Then one is here in this actual world – not the real world that five point eight billion people are living in – but the actual world that is accessible only when ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul become extinct.

RESPONDENT: Richard, I’m understanding what you are saying and I find little confusion with the exception of the ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul. The way I understand the self is that it is all that I am, and then you come along and divide the self into an ego and a soul.

RICHARD: It is the identity that has two parts to it, not the self. The ‘self’ equates with ego (which is one half of the identity) and the ‘Self’ equates with soul (which is the other half of the identity). They go by so many different names according the school one subscribes to or the culture one is born into or whose practices one adopts. I am merely using the standard English terminology that is generally accepted in the West.

The self (ego) is mortal; the Self (soul) is immortal.

RESPONDENT: This is the extra step that you have put in that one must take to be free, and then assign that assumption that others who did not take the final step of the ‘death of the soul’ were merely metaphysical because they did not solve the ‘problem’.

RICHARD: As the Self (soul) is immortal it is, by definition, metaphysical.

RESPONDENT: What is the problem, Richard? Is it not the self? Please don’t try to divide that self into ego and soul. It just doesn’t work for me – unless you can come up with some real concrete evidence that there is a soul to die.

RICHARD: That is just it ... because it is supposed to be immortal it cannot die. I challenged this passionate and fervently held belief ... and the Self (soul) died. It was not so immortal after all.


RESPONDENT: An integrated self is not a self at all, nor is it any of these thought projected pure ideals.

RICHARD: Oh yes it is ... otherwise why call it an ‘integrated self’ , for example? It is some airy-fairy far-removed from here affective dream-world conjured up through abstinence and sublimation ... the discipline that comes through order and negation. To project a fantasy and yearn to live in it until one becomes it is simply an insult to one’s native intelligence.

RESPONDENT: Integration implies that this ‘flesh and blood body here in actuality’ accurately corresponds to what is, and does not divide what we are into what is thought and what is not.

RICHARD: I am rather unsure as to where you obtain your peculiar meaning to the word ‘integrate’ (which means to form, coordinate, or blend into a functioning or unified whole or unite the various parts and make entire or complete as in join, combine, amalgamate, consolidate, blend, incorporate, coalesce, fuse, merge, intermix, mingle, commingle, assimilate, homogenise, harmonise, mesh or concatenate) despite your attempt to qualify it with an observation about thought being divisive. Is thought, in itself, divisive? Or is it more the case that there is an affective ‘I’ in there that is the spanner in the works? You see, as ‘I’ feel strongly that ‘I’ am charged – by blind nature – with keeping ‘myself’ alive at any cost, it is a simple matter for ‘me’ to turn upon some innocuous function of the brain-cells in an attempt to distract one’s innate intelligence from operating with clarity. To impugn the character of the one faculty that can lead one through this mess that is the Human Condition, is a very successful attempt to deter all but the most earnest and sincere individual from flushing out the villain of the play ... ‘me’ as an affective ‘being’.

‘I’ will even claim a grandiose status for this ‘me’ ... making it into an object of worship and adulation. And all this while, poor old thought cops a hammering. Reflective thought, freed of the constraints of self-aggrandisement, can become fascinated contemplative thought, leading to a bare awareness. Bare awareness – being bare of any entity – is pure consciousness. Pure consciousness is where this flesh and blood body can be apperceptively aware of this actual world ... the world as-it-is. And what-it-is is a rather magical play-ground full of pleasure and delight ... and nary a feeling to be found anywhere. Sorrow and malice cease to exist ... one is happy and harmless in character without any effort.

Needless to say, the word ‘integration’ is not at all applicable, here.

*

RESPONDENT: An integrated self is not a self at all, nor is it any of these thought projected pure ideals.

RICHARD: Oh yes it is ... otherwise why call it an ‘integrated self’ , for example? It is some airy-fairy far-removed from here affective dream-world conjured up through abstinence and sublimation ... the discipline that comes through order and negation. To project a fantasy and yearn to live in it until one becomes it is simply an insult to one’s native intelligence.

RESPONDENT: Integrated self is just a way of describing a shift between two states, one where thought is viewed as outsider, as alien, as problematic, and the other marked by an understanding and appreciation that thought is part of and integral to our lives. There is nothing fantastic about this.

RICHARD: ‘Integral’ yes, I agree ... ‘integrated’ no way can I agree.

RESPONDENT: In that the ‘self’ involves ‘separateness’ or ‘divisiveness’, the expression ‘integrated self’ needs qualification.

RICHARD: Indeed it does ... let us qualify it right out the window, please. Otherwise it starts to sound like that ‘healthy ego’ trip that was running for a while on this List.

*

RESPONDENT: Integration implies that this ‘flesh and blood body here in actuality’ accurately corresponds to what is, and does not divide what we are into what is thought and what is not.

RICHARD: I am rather unsure as to where you obtain your peculiar meaning to the word ‘integrate’ (which means to form, coordinate, or blend into a functioning or unified whole or unite the various parts and make entire or complete as in join, combine, amalgamate, consolidate, blend, incorporate, coalesce, fuse, merge, intermix, mingle, commingle, assimilate, homogenise, harmonise, mesh or concatenate) despite your attempt to qualify it with an observation about thought being divisive. Is thought, in itself, divisive? Or is it more the case that there is an affective ‘I’ in there that is the spanner in the works?

RESPONDENT: You seem here to be coming rather close to what I am getting at with the expression, ‘integrated self’, namely that thought is no longer taken to be problematic. The resistance to thought we both seem to be saying is an act of the ‘I’.

RICHARD: Yes ... and I am pleased that we are moving together on this issue. It is ‘I’ arrogating thought that is the problem, not thought in itself. In the same way, will is not the problem, either. ‘I’ is an emotional illusion conjured up out of the passionate instincts and those people who fondly think that they have ‘surrendered their ego’ to some guru have actually surrendered their will ... ‘I’ cunningly survive to wreak ‘my’ havoc once again. Usually, ‘I’ disappear into the heart and become as humble and as loving as all get-out in the hope that no one will notice that ‘I’ am still in existence.

But that is another story.

*

RICHARD: There is more to being a self than conditioning.

RESPONDENT: Are you saying that a not-self can also be conditioned?

RICHARD: When I wrote that there was more to a self than conditioning, I was merely staying with the start of this thread for consistency. For under Eastern Mysticism’s diagnosis the ‘self’ is a contraction or crystallisation of the eternal ‘Self’ ... and in Zen terminology ‘Eternal Self’ would – very loosely – translate as ‘Original Face’ or ‘Buddha Nature’. I say ‘loosely’ because Buddhists modestly disallow any enduring personal self at all. The basic premise being that the contracted or crystallised self can expand until it regains its original size and position: ‘I am Everything and Everything is Me’. Thus – and as far as I know – they did not make as big a thing out of conditioning as Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti did, but if asked I am sure they would say that the ‘not-self’ cannot be conditioned. (Of course Buddhists get into a logical dilemma with ‘self’ and ‘no-self’ and end up disallowing ‘no-self’ also).

Speaking personally, I do not subscribe to the Zen position – or any Eastern metaphysical position at all – for I have my own understanding born out of my own experience ... and the spiritual ‘not-self’ – by any name – is very conditioned indeed. An enlightened man and woman could raise a child on an isolated island – a tropical paradise of course – with all the love and compassion in existence and that child would still have an identity – no doubt a grandiose identity – born out of its rudimentary self.


RICHARD: It is not thought that imputes a thinker. It is the passion engendered by the instinctual self in the reptilian brain that remains the real culprit.

RESPONDENT: Well I guess that simplifies things. What does this instinctual self look like?

RICHARD: You have asked me a similar question before and I let it pass by. [Respondent]: ‘What does the soul look like?’ I might as well respond to both questions now ... as well as what the ego looks like, just to complete the description.

1. The instinctual self looks like fear and aggression and nurture and desire ... which are the only four instincts that researchers are generally able to agree on as being inborn in all sentient creatures. There are other impulses and urges and drives, but their inclusion in the list depends upon which school one subscribes to.
2. The soul looks like Universal Compassion, Love Agapé, Rapturous Bliss, Ineffable Ecstasy, Exalted Euphoria, The Truth, Timelessness, Spacelessness, Immortality, Aloneness, Oneness, Centre-less Being, Unitary Awareness ... and any other phantasmagoria one may care to add to the list ... also dependent upon which discipline one subscribes to.
3. The ego looks like vanity, avarice, arrogance, rapacity, cupidity, pretension, contumeliousness, narcissism, vainglory, haughtiness, contumaciousness ... and a host of other pejorative characteristics that anyone may care to add to the list.

*

RESPONDENT: It seems that passions or feelings are just changing phenomenon that seemingly arise and pass away in awareness just as thoughts. To label that ever-changing phenomenon as an instinctual self seems to be the addition of thought.

RICHARD: I did not just ‘label’ mindlessly ... my words accurately describe a reality that the ‘I’ that used to be in this body saw that I needed to be free from. Words in themselves are not a problem, for words are a description of something ... and it is that something that is being lived which is trapping you ... not the words. I know that some people (Post-Modernists, for example) re-arrange words and definitions to suit themselves, but the underlying reality remains the problem. Semantics is only a superficial problem, in spite of those who write profound tomes about it as if it were the problem in itself. People will go to extraordinary lengths to avoid facing facts and actuality.

RESPONDENT: You point to the affects of action based on the belief in some real self. That action (under the assumption of a separate self) is always in conflict. Pointing to the affects of misconception does not prove the existence of a real ongoing self.

RICHARD: Okay, you have used three very descriptive words here ... belief, assumption and misconception. I would be the last person to ascribe an actuality to the self; the belief in the real existence of an ego and soul is just that ... a belief. It is indeed a misconception; it is indeed an assumption; it is indeed these things (and there a lot more descriptions we can use ... a notion, an idea, an illusion, a mirage, an image and so on) but describing the cause of the existence of self does not end the self’s continued existence now, does it? We know it is still in existence because of the effects it has in the ‘outside’ world ... like all the wars, the murders, the tortures, the rapes, the domestic violence and the corruptions. And we know it is still in existence because of the effects it has in the ‘inner’ world ... like all the sadness, the loneliness, the sorrows, the depressions and the suicides. Although only appearing to be real, its effect is very, very actual.

I wish to be personal here, in order to elucidate this extremely pertinent point. Do you ever get sad? Do you ever get lonely? Do you ever get sorrowful? Do you ever get depressed? Do you ever get angry? Do you ever get spiteful? Do you ever get envious? Do you ever get hateful? Do you ever get bored? Do you ever get peeved? Do you ever get irritable? Do you ever get anxious? Do you ever get afraid? Do you ever get guilty? Do you ever get resentful? Do you ever get ashamed? Do you ever get apprehensive? Do you ever get embarrassed? Do you ever get distressed? Do you ever get jealous? Do you ever get self-conscious? Do you ever get fearful? Do you ever get aggressive? Do you ever get ... I could go on and on, but do you get the point?

And to make it absolutely clear, I will stress just what the point is: that unless all these effects – and many more – have vanished out of your life forever, then knowing that the self is a belief, an assumption, a misconception has done nothing to dislodge this product of belief, assumption and misconception called a self.

RESPONDENT: You say that there used to be an ‘I’ in this body, but somehow it is gone. Yes?

RICHARD: Yes, it is gone ... and not just ‘somehow’, but with full intent and knowledge of what to do and what was happening. Consequently, I know how to get rid of this very persistent self which you quite rightly say is not real (actual).

RESPONDENT: If, in fact, there was some real self in your body, where did it go and how did it end? Real things don’t just disappear.

RICHARD: How did it end? It was due to my intense conviction that it was imperative that someone evince a final and complete condition that would ‘deliver the goods’ so longed for by humanity for millennia. ‘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.

Apperception – a way of seeing that is arrived at by contemplative thought – is when ‘I’ cease thinking ... and thinking takes place of its own accord. Such a mind, being free of the thinker and the feeler – ‘I’ as ego and soul – is capable of immense clarity and purity. All this is born out of pure intent. Pure intent is derived from the PCE experienced during a peak experience, which all humans have had at some stage in their life. A peak experience is when ‘I’ spontaneously cease to ‘be’, temporarily, and this moment is. Everything is seen to be perfect as-it-is. Diligent attentiveness paid to the peak experience gives rise to pure intent. With pure intent running as a ‘golden thread’ through one’s life, contemplation rapidly becomes pure. Pure contemplation is bare awareness – bare of ‘me’ being aware. Apperception happens of itself.

With apperception operating more or less continuously in ‘my’ day-to-day life, ‘I’ find it harder and harder to maintain credibility. ‘I’ am increasingly seen as the usurper, an alien entity inhabiting this body and taking on an identity of its own. Mercilessly exposed in the bright light of awareness – apperception casts no shadows – ‘I’ can no longer find ‘my’ position tenable. ‘I’ can only live in obscuration, where ‘I’ lurk about, creating all sorts of mischief. ‘My’ time is speedily coming to an end, ‘I’ can barely maintain ‘myself’ any longer.

The day finally dawns where the definitive moment of being here, right now, conclusively arrives; something irrevocable takes place and every thing and every body and every event is different, somehow, although the same physically; something immutable occurs and every thing and every body and every event is all-of-a-sudden undeniably actual, in and of itself, as a fact; something irreversible happens and an immaculate perfection and a pristine purity permeates every thing and every body and every event; something has changed forever, although it is as if nothing has happened, except that the entire world is a magical fairytale-like playground full of incredible gladness and a delight which is never-ending.

What a marvellous difference this makes to being alive!

RESPONDENT: If I see a real lake and look closer and closer, there is still a lake. If however, I see a mirage of a lake, the closer I get, its lack of existence is clarified. Likewise, the existence of a real self would be clarified with close exposure. What happens, though, is that no substantial self can ever be found.

RICHARD: This is because you, as self, are the very self that is trying to see the self. Of course you will only find an ever-receding mirage. To put it into language you will be familiar with: You, the seer, are what is wished to be seen. You, the seeker, are that which is being sought.

RESPONDENT: Since there has never been a real ongoing self from the first (only action based on the assumption or belief in one) there is an appearance of something ending when in fact it is exposing and dropping of the beliefs and misconceptions concerning an ongoing self.

RICHARD: Unfortunately it is not such a simple matter as merely exposing and dropping beliefs and misconceptions. I would suggest asking who is doing the exposing and dropping. I would enquire into just who is holding the beliefs and misconceptions concerning an on-going self. ‘I’ cannot drop the belief that ‘I’ exist because ‘I’, the would-be ‘dropper’, am what is to be dropped. Like-wise, ‘I’ the would-be ‘exposer’, am what is to be exposed.

Only apperceptive awareness will do the trick.


RESPONDENT: I’d like to ask you two questions: when you speak about non-material awareness, are you saying that awareness is the physical brain? In what way is it the brain?

RICHARD: Awareness is what a human mind (consciousness) does ... and a human mind is a human brain in action in a human skull. Ergo: it is all a material process ... and what a wonderful, delightful process it is!

RESPONDENT: And secondly, is that pesky ontological being (which I believe means ‘self’) real prior to abdication, or just an illusion?

RICHARD: First, the word ‘self’ lends itself to numerous descriptions ... a catch-all sort of word. Therefore, it is important to be specific when there is a need to be precise: in this case, the total, complete and utter extinction of any trace of identity whatsoever ... particularly ‘being’ itself. This extinction is an irrevocable event inasmuch as it eliminates the psyche itself. Hence the usage of ‘ontological being’ rather than ‘self’ (which ‘self’ cunningly survives the ‘dissolution of the ego’ in the mystical process and transmogrifies itself into a (mostly capital ‘S’) Supreme Self or a (mostly capital ‘B’) Supreme Being ... Mr. Paul Tillich’s ‘ground of being’ by whatever name).

Secondly, this ontological ‘being’, prior to abdication, is real – at times so real as to be true – but it is not actual. To explain this real/actual distinction: for many years I mistakenly assumed that words carried a definitive meaning that was common to all peoples speaking the same language ... for example ‘real’ and ‘truth’. But, as different person’s told me things like: ‘That is only your truth’, or: ‘God is real’, I realised that unambiguous words are required (to a child, Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy are ‘real’ and ‘true’). Correspondingly I abandoned ‘real’ and ‘true’ in favour of ‘actual’ and ‘fact’, as experience has demonstrated that no one has been able to tell me that their god is actual or that something is only my fact. Therefore this monitor screen is actual (these finger-tips feeling it substantiate this) and it is a fact that these printed letters are forming words (these eyes seeing it validate this). These things are indisputable and verifiable by any body with the requisite sense-organs.

Now, to a person who believes ardently in their god, then for them their god is real ... not actual, mind you, but real. Usually they tell me that their god is more real than we humans are ... that is how real their fervency makes of their belief (it is the same as the child with the Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy example I gave above). So too, is it with regards to this wretched and pernicious ‘self’. The ‘self’, whilst not being actual, is real ... sometimes very, very real. The belief in a real ‘thinker’ (‘I’ as ego) and a real ‘feeler’ (‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being – ‘me’ as soul – which is ‘being’ itself) is not just another passing thought. It is emotion-backed feverish imagination at work (calenture). ‘I’ passionately believe in ‘my’ existence ... and will defend ‘myself’ to the death (of ‘my’ body) if it is deemed necessary. All of ‘my’ instincts – the instinctive drive for biological survival – come to the fore when psychologically and psychically threatened, for ‘I’ am confused about ‘my’ presence, confounding ‘my’ survival and the body’s survival. However, ‘my’ survival being paramount could not be further from the truth, for ‘I’ need play no part any more in perpetuating physical existence (which is the primal purpose of the instinctual animal ‘self’). ‘I’ am no longer necessary at all. In fact, ‘I’ am nowadays a hindrance. With all of ‘my’ beliefs, values, creeds, ethics and other doctrinaire disabilities, ‘I’ am a menace to the body. ‘I’ am ready to die (to allow the body to be killed) for a cause and ‘I’ will willingly sacrifice physical existence for a ‘Noble Ideal’ ... and reap ‘my’ post-mortem reward: immortality.

That is how real ‘I’ am ... which is why both ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul must die a real death (but not physically into the grave) to find out the actuality.

RESPONDENT: Yes, life is grand. Thanks for sharing.

RICHARD: This business called being alive is such fun, eh?


RESPONDENT: My view of this is that the mind directs the body and something behind the mind directs the mind.

RICHARD: Yes ... for 6.0 billion people this ‘something behind the mind’ is their genetic identity (‘being’) echoing through the millennia via the germ cells (the spermatozoa and the ova).

RESPONDENT: How can an identity be genetic? A body can be genetic ... not an identity.

RICHARD: Any metaphysical identity (a psychological, emotional, psychic or autological ‘being’) is an epiphenomenon of the rudimentary animal ‘self’ that forms itself, out of survival necessity, as the centre-point of the instinctual passions that blind nature genetically encodes in all sentient beings at conception in the genes ... ‘I’ am the current end-point of myriads of survivors passing on their genes. ‘I’ am the product of the ‘success story’ of blind nature’s instinctual passions such as fear and aggression and nurture and desire.

Being born of the biologically inherited instinctual passions genetically encoded in the germ cells of the spermatozoa and the ova, ‘I’ am – genetically speaking – umpteen tens of thousands of years old ... ‘my’ origins are lost in the mists of pre-history. ‘I’ am so anciently old that ‘I’ may well have always existed ... carried along on the reproductive cell-line, over countless millennia, from generation to generation. And ‘I’ am thus passed on into an inconceivably open-ended and hereditably transmissible future. In other words: ‘I’ am fear and fear is ‘me’; ‘I’ am aggression and aggression is ‘me’; ‘I’ am nurture and nurture is ‘me’; ‘I’ am desire and desire is ‘me’ and so on. This is one’s ‘Original Face’ (to use the Zen terminology); this is the source of the ‘we are all one’ feeling that is accessed in spiritual practices and mystical mediation.

Because, genetically speaking we are indeed ‘all one’ inasmuch as all carbon based life-forms – not just sentient life-forms – have a common hereditary ‘survival instincts’ origin.

*

RESPONDENT: Is there something directing your body that is not you?

RICHARD: No ... the situation and the circumstances dictate the appropriate response each moment again.

RESPONDENT: Something in you responds to the situation and the circumstances.

RICHARD: There is nothing ‘in’ this flesh and blood body except heart and lungs and liver and kidneys and so on. This brain, being apperceptive, is perfectly capable of responding to the situation and the circumstances of its own accord ... without any ‘I’/‘me’ in there stuffing things up.

RESPONDENT: To say that the situation and the circumstance dictate the response is to ignore this obvious fact.

RICHARD: What ‘obvious fact’? The obvious fact is that there is nothing ‘in’ this flesh and blood body except heart and lungs and liver and kidneys and so on. The ‘obvious fiction’ is that some entity, some ‘being’, has taken possession of these otherwise salubrious flesh and blood human bodies.

RESPONDENT: The stimulus hits your brain and your brain responds in a particular way to it. It could respond in many ways but it is inclined to respond as it does. What is responsible for this inclination?

RICHARD: Once again, it is not ‘my brain’ ... sensory data mostly caresses the eyes, ears, nostrils, tongue or skin and this stimulation elicits an appropriate response all of its own accord. If the sensory data impacts (as in someone bopping me on the nose) the appropriate response may very well be bopping them back ... or not.

There is no such thing as ‘free will’ ... the situation and the circumstances dictate the appropriate response each moment again.


RESPONDENT: The following is Ann Faraday’s account of no-self. Her partner is John-Wren Lewis (who is in a similar no-self state) – and from what I’ve read both reside in Sydney, Australia. [quote]: ‘All my thoughts, hopes and fears about the future have changed radically since I fell asleep one night in October 1985 and woke next morning without a self. I don’t know what happened to it, but it never returned. This should have been an occasion for some regret, since I quite liked myself – a self born long ago when I first discovered that other people didn’t automatically share my private inner space and couldn’t intrude upon it without my permission. Since then I’d worked hard on myself to make it a good one, mainly by praying to God to remove the bad thoughts and feelings surrounding it. I soon came to think in terms of my Higher self and lower self – and hoped that God would always love me and forgive me so long as I at least aspired towards the Higher and abjured the lower. The Higher Self, I decided, was probably my soul which would eventually unite with God and live happily ever after. So it came as somewhat of a surprise in later life to learn that the Soul is not to be sought in the heavens but in the depths of the psyche, especially in the lower or shadow part which I’d tried to disown. Through psychotherapy and dream-work, I discovered that far from diminishing myself, all those buried fears, guilts and weaknesses brought a welcome softness and subtlety to life. In fact they led me on to even deeper archetypal encounters which expanded the boundaries of self in to the greater collective psyche of humankind. What had begun as a journey of purification had become one of completion or individuation, and I looked forward to attaining what Jung called Wholeness, the Self or God before too long; all I needed, or so I thought, were just a few finishing touches. In the meantime, in true Human Potential fashion, I was furthering all this growth by ‘taking care of’ and ‘looking after’ whichever self I happened to be into at the time. I no longer berated myself for making mistakes and was usually able to say ‘no’ without feeling guilty. All things considered, including many years of meditation practice, I rated myself at around 3.5 on the Transpersonal Ladder of Enlightenment. It was at this point in my imagined psycho-spiritual development that I lost myself. To compound the irony, before going to sleep that night in October 1985, I’d actually done a ‘self-remembering’ exercise for precisely the opposite purpose – to centre my energies in such a firm and clear sense of self that it would continue into the dreaming process instead of getting lost in it, thereby giving me a lucid dream in which I was aware of dreaming. I went off dutifully repeating the words ‘I am, I am, I am, ...’, a la Sri Ramana Maharshi, and was more than a little astonished to awaken some hours later, laughing because the pundits had got it wrong: the truth was much more like ‘I am not’. I was emerging from a state of consciousness without any I or self at all, a state that can only be described as pure consciousness. I can’t even say I experienced it, because there was no experiencer and nothing to experience. And far from being a matter of regret, this loss of self came as a distinct relief. In fact when bits and pieces of my old identity – hopes, fears, goals, memories, spiritual aspirations and all the rest – began to recollect as I awoke, I tried to fight them off, in much the same way, perhaps, as the reluctant survivors of Near-Death Experiences resist the return to life’s little boxes. But unlike those survivors, I brought back no blissful sense of divine presence or of a mission to accomplish, nor even intimations of immortality – just a total inner and outer Empty-ness which has remained ever since. This may not sound like a happy state of affairs to a psychotherapist, who would probably see in it evidence of a mid-life crisis or incipient psychosis. But it is far more interesting than that. I experience this Empty-ness as a boundless arena in which life continually manifests and plays, rising and falling, constantly changing, always changing and therefore ever new. Sometimes I feel I could sit forever, knowing myself as not only a fluid manifestation of life within the arena, but also as the Empty-ness which holds it. If this is psychosis, everyone should have one, and the world would be a far more serene place for it. After all this, I see no special significance in the approach of a new millennium, but as a psychologist, my hopes are something like this: I would challenge the ancient creed that developing a strong self-sense is essential in rearing children with adequate strength for living. Surely it is possible to encourage them to find a fluid identity within the constantly-changing play of life, not seeking permanence of any kind, particularly that of self. Perhaps we could even teach them to see and enjoy themselves as unique ‘nonentities’, instead of separate hidebound selves obsessed with survival. In psychotherapy, I would hope for a radically new approach to those who suffer from inner emptiness. Instead of working towards filling that void with new purpose, direction and meaning, I would aim to assist sufferers to go even deeper into Empty-ness and discover its true nature. I would actively discourage all ideas of inner-journeying towards wholeness or paths to enlightenment. These serve merely to postpone happiness here and now, and they build up the self-illusion. In the spiritual domain, I would fire all gurus and transpersonal psychologists who use stage-by-stage models of self-development (explaining experiences like mine as fifth level transient Nirvikalpa samadhi – or whatever). And I would like to see the term Self with a capital S: Self-actualisation, Self-realisation, Self-transcendence – expunged from psychological and spiritual literature, reserving the word strictly for the empirical self of everyday life. It is the whole obfuscating concept of self which needs to be transcended, for in my experience there has never really been any self to transform, actualise, realize or transcend.’ [endquote]. A question specifically for Richard. It’s interesting to me that many who have this ‘no-self’ experience say that it’s not an ‘experience’ at all – like for example, Bernadette Roberts and U.G. Krishnamurti – and here I see that Ann says virtually the same thing. That is, no experiencer – therefore no experience. Any clue whether this is just a difference in terminology?

RICHARD: At first glance it may very well be rhetorical (expressed in terms to persuade or impress) ... you will notice that she more honestly describes it as being an experience in her seventh paragraph. Vis.:

• [quote]: ‘*I experience* this Empty-ness as a boundless arena in which life continually manifests and plays, rising and falling, constantly changing, always changing and therefore ever new’. [emphasis added].

And twice in her last paragraph:

• [quote]: ‘In the spiritual domain, I would fire all gurus and transpersonal psychologists who use stage-by-stage models of self-development (explaining *experiences like mine* as fifth level transient Nirvikalpa samadhi – or whatever)’ . [emphasis added].

And:

• [quote]: ‘It is the whole obfuscating concept of self which needs to be transcended, for in *my experience* there has never really been any self to transform, actualise, realize or transcend’. [emphasis added].

I would have to read more of her writings so as to ascertain whether it is indeed ‘just a difference in terminology’ or not.

RESPONDENT: Or rather whether there may be some actual, qualitative difference?

RICHARD: In the Buddhist tradition, which is where she apparently gained her understanding from going by her use of the capitalised word [quote] ‘Empty-ness’ [endquote] four times to describe the state of being she underwent, there is a qualitative difference ... I have already written before, on Jan 03 2001, about the state of being called ‘dhyana’ in Sanskrit (known as ‘jhana’ in Pali) so I will refer you to the following link: .

If the bookmark does not work to open the link at the required paragraph just type the word dhyana (or jhana) into the find function of the web-browser when the page has loaded ... suffice is it to say here that this state of being is otherwise known as ‘entering into samadhi’, a trance state – a state called catalepsy in the West – wherein ‘Form’ and ‘Feeling’ and ‘Perception’ and ‘Mental Fabrications’ and ‘Consciousness’ (all experiencing) cease to exist totally.

There is only Bliss.

RESPONDENT: Along the same lines, Bernadette Roberts and U.G. Krishnamurti say there is no such thing as ‘consciousness’, but they define consciousness as self-consciousness.

RICHARD: Hmm ... yet it is possible for consciousness itself to be absent (see the above URL).

RESPONDENT: Ann uses the term ‘pure consciousness’ which aligns better with your expression of Actual Freedom.

RICHARD: What she is talking of is not the same as an actual freedom from the human condition – as evidenced in a pure consciousness experience (PCE) – as what she is describing is an altered state of consciousness (ASC) ... which is a spiritual or mystical state of being. In the ASC ‘pure consciousness’ is otherwise known as ‘God’ or ‘Truth’ or ‘That’.

RESPONDENT: Somehow, it seems that this choice that U.G. and Bernadette make – that is, saying that the self is a necessary ingredient for ‘consciousness’ must somehow be related to the stipulation that when there is no-self – there is no ‘experience’.

RICHARD: The term ‘no-self’ (not to be confused with the extinction of self in toto which I report) is a Buddhist term (translated from the word ‘anatta’) used to point to a state of being wherein the ‘I’ as ego dissolves and instantaneously expands to become everything and/or nothing ... otherwise known as ‘Sunyata’ or ‘Void’ (‘Emptiness’).

RESPONDENT: Then again, Ann says here that there is no experience, yet she calls her ‘state’ pure consciousness. I suppose everybody gets to make up their own descriptions – whatever makes sense to them without any completely developed vocabulary??

RICHARD: It is obvious that she has, of course, discussed this matter of vocabulary with Mr. John Wren-Lewis who has written the following:

• [quote]: ‘My second warning is to mind your language, for the words we use are often hooks that catch us into time entrapment. For example, when we use the term ‘self’ with a small ‘s’ to describe individual personhood, and ‘Self’ with a capital ‘S’ for the fullness of God consciousness, the notion of the one gradually expanding into the other becomes almost inescapable, again concentrating attention along the time line. Mystical liberation, by contrast, is the sudden discovery that even the meanest self is already a focus of the Infinite Aliveness that is beyond any kind of selfhood’. (‘The Dazzling Dark’; www.geocities.com/jiji_muge/dazzdark.html).

He had ‘God-consciousness’ thrust upon him in 1983 and the account you quoted at the top of this page was written by Ms Ann Faraday in 1993 (in an article entitled ‘Towards a No-Self Psychology’ in the June issue of the Australian magazine ‘Consciousness’) ... there is that piece of writing and another article she wrote in the same magazine three years later (in an article entitled ‘Ann Faraday’s Summer Book Selection’ in the summer issue of 1996) at the following URL: http://www.globalideasbank.org/GIB/crespec/CS-175.html

What I found interesting in the second article is her recommendation to read the works of Ms. Antoinette Varner (popularly known as ‘Gangaji’) ... vis.:

• [quote]: ‘From her tapes and books, Gangaji comes over as a nice lady, her teaching intended to lead you to the space of absolute silence below all the comings and goings of life – a space where you do not find peace, but know yourself to be that peace in which everything arises. In her two volumes, entitled ‘You Are That!’ and ‘Satsang with Gangaji’, she urges us not to explore anything else – not thoughts, emotions, sensations or circumstances, which have already received too much attention – but only ‘That which is before, during and after all objects of awareness. THAT!’ Her tapes of satsang recorded live from boats on the Ganges, temple courtyards and gardens, along with all the natural sounds of surrounding life – birds, bells, chanting, children playing – communicate this sense of Samsara in Nirvana. I also recommend one of the most beautiful and appealing books I’ve come across for a long time ...’. [endquote].

I found it interesting inasmuch that three years after her first article she is finding that what ‘makes sense without any completely developed vocabulary’ to her is to be found in both the Buddhist tradition (‘Samsara in Nirvana’) and in the Advaita tradition (‘only ‘That which is before, during and after all objects of awareness. THAT!’’).

Oh well ... c’est la vie, I guess.


RESPONDENT: Richard, I came across this statement of yours while reading in the Actual Freedom Trust website – ‘It is this simple: eliminate the instinctual passions and you are free.’

RICHARD: You must be referring to this:

• [Richard]: ‘There is no ‘good’ and ‘evil’ in this actual physical world; ‘good’ and ‘evil’ exist only in the ‘real world’, where 6.0 billion peoples live and shed blood and tears, because all sentient beings have instinctual passions. There is no ‘good’ and ‘evil’ in a flower, a lettuce, a rock, a brick, or a ... um ... a cup and saucer, for example, for there is no instinctual passions. It is this simple: eliminate the instinctual passions and you are free.
Thus peace-on-earth is possible ... right now at this moment in eternal time just here at this place in infinite space.

Of course, as ‘I’ am the instinctual passions, and as the instinctual passions are ‘me’, then the elimination of the one is the elimination of the other – they are the one and the same thing – and, as ‘I’ cannot eliminate the instinctual passions and yet still stay in existence, any attempt to eliminate the one without eliminating the other can only result in (at best) detachment or (at worst) dissociation.

RESPONDENT: (Using pieced-together segments of sentences you’ve written): In order to bring about the possibility of ‘enabling the already always existing’ ‘peace-on-earth’ ‘into being apparent’ ‘for this body, that body, and everybody’ – it seems to me that I must reach the point of seeing myself in my entirety, all at once.

RICHARD: Many years ago the identity inhabiting this flesh and blood body was wont to say, after having had the memorable pure consciousness experience (PCE) which set what has nowadays become known as the actualism process in action, that it is normally impossible to see oneself, in one’s entirety, all at once because the part of oneself which would be doing the seeing was itself unable to be seen ... and would liken the various aspects of an identity to the wedges of a sliced pie, or a cake, wherein one could slice the wedges ever thinner and thinner and yet still not see that last remaining, and oh-so-thin, wedge.

And ‘he’ would say this because, at the very instant of that seminal PCE happening, ‘he’ did see himself, in ‘his’ entirety, all at once and that very seeing was the end of ‘him’ (albeit for the duration of the PCE).

In other words, and speaking generally, mostly people do not dare to see themselves, in their entirety, all at once and elect instead for the detached/dissociated way of seeing ... it being a whole lot safer, so to speak.

RESPONDENT: At that point, it seems everything will be clear.

RICHARD: Provided it be the end-of-oneself type of seeing ... yes.

RESPONDENT: And it seems, in order to ‘eliminate the instinctual passions’, I will have to reach the point of seeing them in their entirety, all at once. Seeing them in their entirety – is, it seems to me, seeing myself in my entirety.

RICHARD: As they are both one and the same thing ... indeed so.

RESPONDENT: I wonder if all of that is correct.

RICHARD: Yes ... and having said all this it must be pointed out that one does not actually ever see oneself, in one’s entirety, all at once because the identity who would do the seeing has to cease to exist for that seeing to occur (whereupon there is no identity to be seen, in its entirety, all at once).

And I am neither being tricky nor mystical in saying this ... it is factually so.


RESPONDENT: You have said the current software needs deleting and your method is the anti-virus software necessary to do the job, so to speak. I believe UGK said something along those lines of ‘genetically encoded’. Did you say that first or did he? Why not have it as part of the current widespread educational system to rewire the human being for peace on earth?

RICHARD: As a suggestion only: first find out what actualism is on about, and then test the actualism method for efficacy in your day-to-day life, before proffering advice as to how best it be promulgated as the third alternative to either materialism or spiritualism. ‘Tis only a suggestion, though.

RESPONDENT: ‘‘Tis only a suggestion, though’. Your typical rather condescending, smug ending. Kind of strange for a no self to be feeling ‘smugness’. Or is it? Can a no self feel smug? Just curious. I sure as hell wouldn’t know.

RICHARD: As the phrase ‘no self’ is a term used by some mystics (self-realised spiritualists), usually of a buddhistic persuasion, to refer to an ego-less state of being there is nothing strange about such a ‘being’ feeling something ... after all they are that affective being.

Whereas an actual freedom from the human condition only happens when that affective being – which is ‘being’ itself – altruistically ‘self’-immolates in toto ... hence any feeling of either condescension or smugness you are reading into my words can only be a projection of your own feelings.

RESPONDENT: Thanks for the reply. This is fun! In fact, I am rather having a ball here at my keyboard with you Richard. But the challenge is wearing off.

RICHARD: Hmm ... and what ‘challenge’ would that be? So far this mailing list has attracted cult-busters, guru-busters, disciple-busters, clone-busters, method-busters – and even a myth-destroyer (albeit a one-poster though) – so perhaps you could declare your hand and establish yourself in the anti-peace hall of fame as ... um ... a prose-buster, perhaps?

Be that as it may ... as whatever it is is ‘wearing off’ it would appear that yet another dump-and-run cynic is soon to be departing for more gullible pastures.

And thus does all the misery and mayhem continue unabated.


RESPONDENT: Does an animal need the power of abstraction to have ‘theory of mind’?

RICHARD: No ... being self-conscious (not to be confused with being embarrassed) is the essential requisite for ‘theory of mind’.

RESPONDENT: If a dog buries a bone, or a squirrel stores nuts or a chimp hides food to eat alone later, is all this due to a distinction of me/not me?

RICHARD: I have seen a documentary where squirrels storing nuts were put through exhaustive tests to determine that it was purely instinctual – thus it has nothing to do with ‘self and other’ (let alone ‘theory of mind’) – and the same applies to dogs burying bones ... of the three examples you give only the chimpanzee deceives (hides food so as to eat alone later) as only the chimpanzee is self-conscious (monkeys, for instance, are not self-conscious) and thus capable of ‘theory of mind’.

RESPONDENT: Do you need the power of abstraction to distinguish self/other?

RICHARD: No, all sentient beings (sentience means being capable of sensation or sensory perception) are able to distinguish ‘self and other’ (not to be confused with being self-conscious and thus ‘theory of mind’) ... all sentient beings are conscious as consciousness (the state or condition of being conscious) is what sentience means. Vis.:

• ‘sentience: the condition or quality of being sentient; consciousness, susceptibility to sensation’. (Oxford Dictionary).

Or, to put that another way, sentience is what consciousness is at its most basic ... perception means consciousness (aka awareness). Vis.:

• ‘perception: the state of being or process of becoming aware or conscious of a thing, spec. through any of the senses; the faculty of perceiving; an ability to perceive; [synonyms: (...) awareness, consciousness]. (Oxford Dictionary).

And to be [quote] ‘aware or conscious of a thing’ [endquote] is what being capable of distinguishing self and other is: a dog, for instance, lifting its leg on a tree is aware that, not only does what we call ‘tree’ stay where it is whilst she/he can come and go, but that it is different to, and thus distinguishable from, what we call ‘cat’, and so on.

Whereas a virus, for example, not being sentient cannot.


RESPONDENT: So to recapitulate, your statement is, that you or me is the universe experiencing it’s own self AS a human being not like a human being.

RICHARD: This is what I wrote in a previous discussion with you:

• [Richard]: ‘... as this flesh and blood body only I am the universe experiencing itself apperceptively; as such this infinite, eternal, and perpetual universe is stunningly aware of its own infinitude’.

RESPONDENT: Is this right?

RICHARD: No (although you have got the ‘as’ part right) ... you have changed ‘itself’ into ‘it’s own self’ when I do not mean that at all. Vis.:

• ‘itself: 1. reflexive: reflexive form (indirect, direct, and after prepositions) of ‘it’, pronominal, pronoun: (to, for, etc.) the thing in question; 2. emphatic: in apposition to a noun (subjective or objective) that particular thing, the very thing, that thing alone; it, not something else; 3. (not appositional): it; not something else’. (Oxford Dictionary).

Thus there is nary a ‘self’ to be found in the sentence I wrote ... I was simply referring to the thing in question.

RESPONDENT: So you and me and everybody else IS the universe.

RICHARD: No ... the universe is experiencing itself as this flesh and blood body, and as that flesh and blood body, and as any flesh and blood body (which includes as a cat and as a dog and so on).

RESPONDENT: Then you say after the death of this body there is oblivion, which to my logic is a contradiction, because you have said that the universe will continue, but the body will go to oblivion.

RICHARD: I have not said ‘the body will go into oblivion’ at all ... what I have said is that consciousness (the state or condition of the body being conscious) goes into oblivion and that the body breaks down into its constituent parts (just as it sheds bits of itself moment-to-moment all the while it is alive).

RESPONDENT: How is that possible the universe to continue, and the human being to go to oblivion?

RICHARD: Simply because the human being is not the universe ... to say that ‘you and me and everybody else IS the universe’ is what you have made of my words.


RESPONDENT: Maybe what you’ve experienced was what Jung referred to as ‘anima’ archetype which is something different from the Self archetype.

RICHARD: No ... I was most specific as to what I was referring to (‘The Absolute’ is ‘The Self’ by another name):

• [Richard]: ‘What I then called ‘The Absolute’ presented itself as being feminine – a Radiant Being initially seen to be Pure Love – which femininity I would nowadays consider to be a product of me being of masculine gender. Due to an intensity of purpose there was the capacity to penetrate into the nature of this ‘Radiant Being’ and I was able to see ‘Her’ other face: it was Pure Evil – the Diabolical underpins the Divine – and upon such exposure ‘She’ (aka Love Agapé) disappeared forever.

I was not even referring to the ‘Anima Mundi’ (the soul of the world or a power supposed to organise the whole universe and to coordinate its parts) let alone merely the ‘anima’ (the source of the feminine component of a personality).

RESPONDENT: [quote] ‘The anima is the female aspect present in the collective unconscious of men, and the animus is the male aspect present in the collective unconscious of women. Together, they are referred to as syzygy. The anima may be personified as a young girl, very spontaneous and intuitive, or as a witch, or as the earth mother. It is likely to be associated with deep emotionality and the force of life itself. The animus may be personified as a wise old man, a sorcerer, or often a number of males, and tends to be logical, often rationalistic, even argumentative. The anima or animus is the archetype through which you communicate with the collective unconscious generally, and it is important to get into touch with it. It is also the archetype that is responsible for much of our love life: We are, as an ancient Greek myth suggests, always looking for our other half, the half that the Gods took from us, in members of the opposite sex’. [endquote]. So, we might just speak of different things.

RICHARD: No ... this is what Mr. Carl Jung had to say in regards ‘the Self archetype’:

• ‘The self appears in dreams, myths, and fairytales in the figure of the ‘supraordinate personality’, such as a king, hero, prophet, saviour, etc., or in the form of a totality symbol, such as the circle, square, quadratura circuli, cross, etc. When it represents a complexio oppositorum, a union of opposites, it can also appear as a united duality, in the form, for instance, of tao as the interplay of yang and yin, or of the hostile brothers, or of the hero and his adversary (arch-enemy, dragon), Faust and Mephistopheles, etc. Empirically, therefore, *the self appears as a play of light and shadow, although conceived as a totality and unity in which the opposites are united*. [emphasis added]. (par. 790, Volume Six, ‘The Collected Works of C. G. Jung’; ©1953-1979 Princeton University Press, Princeton).

Mystical literature often mentions how the polar opposites continue to exist (as complimentary poles) in enlightenment. Indeed, one of the appellations used to describe the integration of the divine/diabolical divide upon transcendence, wherein the opposites unite without ceasing to be themselves, is the phrase ‘coincidentia oppositorum’ (coincidence of opposites).

My capacity to penetrate into the nature of ‘complexio oppositorum’/‘coincidentia oppositorum’ was due to an intensity of purpose arising out of being driven by some ‘energy’ for six years to spread ‘The Word’ (by whatever name) and that had never been my intention when I first had a pure consciousness experience (PCE). That peak experience initiated my incursion into all matters metaphysical, culminating in the ‘death’ of ego and catapulting me into the sacred ... imbuing me with/immersing me in love and compassion and beauty and truth.

My original intent had been to cleanse myself of all that is detrimental to personal happiness and interpersonal harmony ... in other words: peace on earth in our life-time. Instead of that rather simple ambition, I found that I was impelled on an odyssey to be the latest ‘Saviour of Humankind’ in a long list of enlightened ‘Beings’ ... and that imposition did not sit well with me as they had all failed with their ‘Teachings’. After something like five thousand years of recorded history humankind was nowhere nearer to peace and harmony than before. Indeed, because of the much-touted love and compassion, much hatred and bloodshed had followed in their wake. That abysmal fate was something I wish to avoid repeating, whatever the personal cost in terms of losing the much-prized state of ‘Being’. My diagnosis back then, which enabled me to be apparent today, was simple:

If I am driven by some ‘energy’ – no matter how ‘good’ that ‘energy’ be – then I am not actually free.

*

RESPONDENT: It is also the fact that after it ended no memory of it remained (no possible representation or residual taste), just a feeling of peace and perfection for the following days. Yes, and the Vortex, resembling a tornado ... swirling above and around. Who let the dogs out?

RICHARD: As the Self is the Vortex that is easily answered, non?

RESPONDENT: Is it that the instincts can escape our psychical body ...

RICHARD: No, the ‘psychical body’ is a product of the affective faculty’s epiphenomenal psychic facility ... the psyche, and all its other-worldly adumbrations, is the instinctual passions in action.

RESPONDENT: ... or is it this greater reality created, the last stand?

RICHARD: Ha ... the ‘last stand’ has been lasting, at the very least, over 3,000-5,000 years of recorded history.

RESPONDENT: And the same definite sensation: people are cut off from the felicitous World (these ideas are taken directly from the 2 poems I’ve wrote in order not to mix with what I’ve learned in the meantime). I’ve contemplated lately what would have happened if that big I vanished ... it would probably would have been the same.

RICHARD: No, not the same ... without ‘the big I’ it would have been a PCE.

*

RESPONDENT: ... the confusion arrises that not the Universe is infinite but that I am, or that I’m the one immortal, not the Universe, etc. I haven’t heard enlightened people say a word about the infinity of this Universe, but instead the same old spiritual refrain: Me, Me and Me.

RICHARD: The ‘Me, Me and Me’ refrain is narcissism (‘self’-admiration, ‘self’-love, ‘self’-conceit) writ large and in such a blatant way that it is a wonder the many and varied saints, sages, and seers have got way with it for so long ... ‘self’-aggrandisement, being for the benefit of the immortal soul, is an extreme act of selfism.

RESPONDENT: Including you for 11 years.

RICHARD: Aye ... which is not only how I know what I am speaking of but why I wrote the following in my very next paragraph (now snipped):

• [Respondent]: ‘I think the problem was how can you delete something which is infinite?
• [Richard]: ‘The way to delete the timeless and spaceless and formless ‘Consciousness’ which arose out of an extreme act of selfism for the benefit of the immortal soul *was* via an extreme act of altruism – altruistic ‘self’-immolation for the benefit of this body and that body and every body ... .’ [emphasis added].

Even though you had phrased your speculation generally I answered personally (rather than speculate about some un-named and un-referenced 4th way/Sufi teachers) as I already know what the way was to delete the timeless and spaceless and formless ‘Consciousness’ which arose out of an extreme act of selfism for the benefit of the immortal soul.

*

RICHARD: What I find to be of interest here is that now you say that you have not heard enlightened people saying a word about the infinitude of this universe despite stating (further above) that there are hints about achieving an actual freedom from the human condition in the 4th way system and/or esoteric Sufi teachings ... are there no hints about the properties of this universe also in those writings?

RESPONDENT: Yes, there are but they are viewed and conveyed from an ‘objective’ point of view, (that is experienced through the Absolute eyes and translated in ordinary language, my opinion) although it is stated that they are scientific facts yet to be discovered.

RICHARD: For the sake of clarity in communication: are you suggesting that these people experiencing the universe through ‘Absolute eyes’ have discerned the infinitude of this universe ... have discerned that it exists infinitely, eternally, and perpetually (which means it is not a creation)?


RESPONDENT: If we believe there is a rotten core we make efforts to chip away at it and remove it. If we see directly that in fact there is no core, there is no effort to sustain what is really illusion.

RICHARD: As one can only ‘see directly that in fact there is no core’ when that coreless condition is actually happening – else the word ‘directly’ is being misused – the remainder of your sentence is irrelevant ... because then there is no illusory identity in situ to either sustain itself or not sustain itself (be it with or without effort).

RESPONDENT: It is the other way around. If there were a core, there could be no direct seeing because a core has to first be removed. Looking into the matter directly, we find there never was a separate identity from the first. There was only fragmented consciousness which is a kind of confusion.

RICHARD: You are apparently now using the word ‘directly’ in another sense: to ‘see directly that in fact there is no core’ carries a different connotation to what ‘looking into the matter directly’ does ... wherein the former is to see experientially and the latter is to see diagnostically.

The problem with the diagnostic seeing is that the presence of the seer corrupts the seeing.


RESPONDENT: Ok, I think I understand what you are saying: The instinctual passions are genetically inherited and have a perception of self which becomes the feeling of self.

RICHARD: No, the genetically-inherited instinctual passions do not have a perception of self ... what they do is usurp the sensate perception of self and create the feeling of ‘self’.

RESPONDENT: Ok then, there is a sensate perception of self (consciousness?) which is usurped (seized/used) by the instinctual passions to create the feeling of ‘self’ and it is this feeling of self which is illusion.

RICHARD: Yes, another way of putting it is to say that the sensate perception of body (and other) – which perception is generally called consciousness of self and other – is appropriated (taken over, commandeered, expropriated, annexed, arrogated) by the affective faculty ... wherein the illusory feeling of ‘self’ (and ‘other’) is created.

The structural mechanics which this process uses is evidenced in the laboratory studies, by people such as Mr. Joseph LeDoux, whereupon it has been empirically demonstrated that the sensory signal gets to the affective faculty twice as fast as it gets to the cognitive faculty (in 12-14 milliseconds as contrasted to 24-26 milliseconds). Furthermore, the affective faculty imbues the cognitive faculty with its affective response, via a broadband shortcut, before the initial signal arrives there ... thus colouring the cognitive response affectively.

‘Tis no wonder that the affective feelings – the emotions and passions and calentures – reign supreme.

*

RESPONDENT: It is the feeling of self (‘me’/soul/core) which is illusory which gives rise to the ‘I’/ego or thinker. In other words, the instinctual passions are genetically inherited and they give rise to the illusion of the ‘me’ and the ‘I’.

RICHARD: Exactly, and what is vital to comprehend is that the feeler is primary and the thinker is secondary ... and that the thinker is but the tip of the iceberg.

RESPONDENT: Yes, I can verify that the feeler is primary from my own experience. It seems as if the feeler is controlling the thinker. That is not generally accepted on this list but I do see and experience it that way.

RICHARD: Good ... I am pleased that this is obvious as it makes investigation so much easier and distraction into flights of fancy much less likely.

*

RICHARD: I kid you not ... the feeler automatically creates its own feeling reality, usurping sensate actuality as already explained, which reality is so all-pervasive that it is only in a pure consciousness experience (PCE) that this actual world becomes apparent.

RESPONDENT: Yes, this is understandable.

RICHARD: There is an opportunity, each moment again, to experience pure consciousness – if one misses it this time around there is always another opportunity – and asking oneself how one is experiencing this moment of being alive expedites the possibility by eliciting exquisite attention to this moment.

After all ... this moment of being alive is the only time one is alive.

*

RESPONDENT: Are you saying then that in order to eliminate the ‘I’ and the ‘me’ that the instinctual passions themselves have to be eliminated ...

RICHARD: No ... and the reason why not is this simple: who would be doing the eliminating of the instinctual passions? As ‘I’ am ‘my’ feelings and ‘my’ feelings are ‘me’ it is an impossibility because the result of trying to do so would be a stripped-down rudimentary animal ‘self’ (seemingly) divested of feelings ... somewhat like what is known in psychiatric terminology as a ‘sociopathic personality’ (popularly known as ‘psychopath’). Such a person still has feelings – ‘cold’, ‘callous’, ‘indifferent’ and so on – and has repressed the others.

RESPONDENT: ... and in order to do that the layers of the ‘I’ and ‘me’ have to be peeled back in order to uncover the raw instinctual passions?

RICHARD: In the end, only altruistic ‘self’-immolation, for the benefit of this body and that body and every body, will release the flesh and blood body from its parasitical resident and, as ‘I’ am ‘my’ feelings and ‘my’ feelings are ‘me’, the end of ‘me’ is the end of ‘my’ feelings (aka the instinctual passions and all their cultivated derivations).

RESPONDENT: Isn’t it the ‘I’ and the ‘me’ investigating itself which brings one to the point of self-immolation and isn’t it the ‘I’/‘me’ that makes the decision to self-immolate?

RICHARD: Yes ... only ‘I’ can do it as it is all in ‘my’ hands and nobody else’s hands (nor is it in the hands of any god or goddess either, of course, despite some popular postulations to the contrary).

RESPONDENT: You said above that the ‘I’/‘me’ cannot eliminate the instinctual passions but then you next said that the body is released from them by self- immolation. I am just trying to get a clear picture of it.

RICHARD: Okay ... I was just making the point that, although it is hypothetically correct that the elimination of the instinctual passions would be the elimination of ‘I’/‘me’, it does not work that way in practice (for reasons such as already explained further above).

Not only is it dangerous it is an impossibility ... only altruistic ‘self’-immolation will do the trick.

Which is why I advise minimising both the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ feelings and maximising the felicitous feelings – as far as humanly possible – as a salubrious modus operandi in the meanwhile rather than trying to eliminate them. Not only does this approach have the immediate benefit of feeling happy and harmless as one goes about one’s normal everyday life but it has the ultimate benefit of assisting in the rewiring of the brain’s habitual circuitry before the once-in-a-lifetime event happens which wipes out the identity in toto.

To be more specific: what the wide and wondrous path to an actual freedom is on about is a virtual freedom wherein the ‘good’ feelings – the affectionate and desirable emotions and passions (those that are loving and trusting) are minimised along with the ‘bad’ feelings – the hostile and invidious emotions and passions (those that are hateful and fearful) – so that one is free to be feeling good, feeling happy and harmless and feeling excellent/perfect for 99% of the time. If one deactivates the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ feelings and activates the felicitous/ innocuous feelings (happiness, delight, joie de vivre/ bonhomie, friendliness, amiability and so on) with this freed-up affective energy, in conjunction with sensuousness (delectation, enjoyment, appreciation, relish, zest, gusto and so on), then the ensuing sense of amazement, marvel and wonder can result in apperceptiveness (unmediated perception).

To be even more specific: delight is what is humanly possible, given sufficient pure intent obtained from the felicity/ innocuity born of the pure consciousness experience, and from the position of delight, one can vitalise one’s joie de vivre by the amazement at the fun of it all ... and then one can – with sufficient abandon – become over-joyed and move into marvelling at being here and doing this business called being alive now. Then one is no longer intuitively making sense of life ... the delicious wonder of it all drives any such instinctive meaning away. Such luscious wonder fosters the innate condition of naiveté – the nourishing of which is essential if fascination in it all is to occur – and the charm of life itself easily engages dedication to peace-on-earth. Then, as one gazes intently at the world about by glancing lightly with sensuously caressing eyes, out of the corner of one’s eye comes – sweetly – the magical fairy-tale-like paradise that this verdant earth actually is ... and one is the experiencing of what is happening.

But refrain from possessing it and making it your own ... or else ‘twill vanish as softly as it appeared.

*

RESPONDENT: ... I can see that I am addicted to being me because that’s who I am and I don’t want to let go of that. I can also see that the essential ‘me’ is suffering when it is stripped bare. However, since ‘me’ is essentially suffering ‘I’ try to escape through various highs. Once these highs evaporate I am back to being ‘me’ suffering. Makes sense?

RICHARD: Yes ... and even though the highs inevitably evaporate ‘I’ still keep on trying to escape from being ‘me’ as ‘I’ really am via that path. Why do ‘I’ persist in re-treading a path, over and again, that just does not deliver the goods?

RESPONDENT: That is a good question. What comes to mind is I keep treading the same path over and over because that is what I know. That is what is familiar.

RICHARD: Indeed it is ... so in order to successfully escape one needs to abandon the known path, the familiar path, the path that does not deliver the goods, so that the energy one is frittering away fruitlessly is available for the unknown path, the unfamiliar path, the path that does deliver the goods.

RESPONDENT: Upon looking at it further it appears that I am addicted to ‘me’ (suffering) but that I am also addicted to the escapes from the ‘me’.

RICHARD: Okay ... is the addiction to being ‘me’ stronger than the addiction to escaping from being ‘me’?

I only ask because if the addiction to being ‘me’ is the more powerful addiction then successful escape is the last thing ‘I’ am looking for (and thus ‘I’ will keep on re-treading the known path, the familiar path, the path that does not deliver the goods).

Whereas if the addiction to escaping is the more powerful addiction then successful escape can (and will) happen.


RESPONDENT: When I speak of the ego ‘I’ as not being such a problem, I think it is a reaction to the eastern idea that ego is like the Christian devil, but rather than being a troublesome entity outside of a person, it’s a troublesome entity inside a person. I have the same problem with higher self, levels of self (whether positive or negative) and the whole spectrum of personalities and strata of being that so many people feel populate the inside of them. It seems like many people experience what they refer to as ‘myself’, the ego, the higher self, God – all apparently co-habiting inside the body. My experience just isn’t that complicated. I’m just here more or less alone, I guess.

RICHARD: I tease the identity apart, so as to communicate with anyone who understands different layers or levels of ‘self’, for it is the root feeling of identity that I am always referring to ... ‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being (which is ‘being’ itself). One’s feeling of being – the real ‘me’ – is what is evidenced when one says: ‘but what about me, nobody loves me for me!’ For a woman it may be: ‘you only want me for my body ... and not for me’. For a man it may be: ‘you only want me for my money ... and not for me’. For a child it may be: ‘you only want to be my friend because of my toys (or sweets or whatever)’. This innate feeling of ‘me’ – this being – arises out of the basic instincts that blind nature endowed us all with as a rough and ready ‘soft-ware’ package to make a start in life.

RESPONDENT: I’m just here more or less alone, I guess.

RICHARD: Each and every human being is on their own as a flesh and blood body ... dependent upon no one; autonomous. Being ‘alone’ or lonely is a feature of being a self: ‘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.


IRENE to Vineeto: I am ... out to demolish ... [the] belief in the old spiritual man-made ‘ideal’ of getting rid of your self.

RICHARD: If engaging in the thrilling activity of getting rid of your ‘self’ being nothing but a belief in an ‘old spiritual man-made ideal’ I would have to ask what is ‘man-made’ about a pure consciousness experience? Everybody that I have spoken to at length has experienced moments of perfection and purity in what is known as ‘PCE’. In such a peak experience everything is seen, with unparalleled clarity, to be already always perfect ... that humans are all living in purity ... if only one would act upon one’s seeing. With seeing that everything is already perfect – it always has been and always will be – it is seen that ‘I’, the self, have been standing in the way of this perfection being apparent. Normally the mind perceives through the senses and sorts the data received according to its predilection; but the mind itself remains unperceived ... it is taken to be unknowable. In a PCE there is apperception operating. Apperception happens when the ‘who’ inside abdicates its throne and a pure awareness occurs. The PCE is as if one has eyes in the back of one’s head; there is a three hundred and sixty degree awareness and all is self-evidently clear. This is knowing by direct experience, unmediated by any ‘who’ whatsoever. One is able to see that the ‘who’ of one has been standing in the way of the perfection and purity that is the essential nature of this moment of being here becoming apparent. Here a solid and irrefutable native intelligence can operate freely because the ‘thinker’ and the ‘feeler’ are extirpated.

Then what one is (‘what’ not ‘who’) is 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 world as-it-is (the actual world) by ‘my’ very presence.

In these moments, good and bad, love and hate, fear and trust, generosity and parsimony ... all these and more, are simply irrelevant. Gods and Goddesses, Devils and Demons, all the battles that have raged throughout the ages are but a nightmare of passionate ‘human’ fantasy. There is a marked absence of hierarchy; no Religious figure can match the matter-of-fact equality that pervades everything. A quality of kindly understanding prevails, dispensing forever with the need for Authority and Love and Truth and Power. And ... of course man and woman live together in peace and harmony.

I must ask again: What is ‘man-made’ about a PCE? Why does ridding oneself of the ‘self’ have to be a ‘belief in the old spiritual ‘ideal’ of getting rid of your self’ and not something spontaneously seen and understood without any prior spiritual knowledge whatsoever? Speaking personally, I had never heard the words ‘Enlightenment’ or ‘Nirvana’ and so on until 1982 when talking to a man about my breakthrough into freedom via the death of ‘myself’ in September 1981. He listened – he questioned me rigorously until well after midnight – and then declared me to be ‘Enlightened’. I had to ask him what that was, such was my ignorance of all things spiritual. He – being a nine-year spiritual seeker fresh from his latest trip to India – gave me a book to read by someone called Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti. That was to be the beginning of what was to become a long learning curve of all things religious, spiritual, mystical and metaphysical for me. I studied all this because I sought to understand what other peoples had made of such spontaneous experiences and to find out where human endeavour had been going wrong. I found out where I had been going wrong for eleven years ... self-aggrandisement is so seductive.

It has been – and still is – a great trip.


RESPONDENT No. 34: Each time we remember our true identity and see through the deceptions of ego, that is a liberation – negativity, emotions and thoughts are purified, and we become stronger in our wisdom nature.

RESPONDENT No. 20: It is not in the elimination of self that there is wholeness, or in the belief that there was never a self that must be eliminated, but in the integration within the totality. In that integration is the immediate transformation into something else. For the very nature of self is in that which is not integrated, which is separate.

RICHARD: Thought has arrogated the ardent survival mechanism into a fervent ‘will to survive’, creating an emotion-backed version of the self called ‘ego’ ... which is the ‘I’ that one believes one is. ‘I’ as ego am separated from ‘myself’ as ‘being’ and seek integration. Then, ‘I’ fondly imagine, ‘I’ will become ‘whole’. If successful, then ‘I’ will indeed be ‘something else’ ... pure ‘Being’ ... pure ‘Soul’ ... pure ‘Spirit’ ... pure ‘Thatness’ ... pure ‘Isness’ ... pure ‘Whatever’. It is all delusion born out of the illusion of self created by blind instincts. There is only this flesh and blood body here in actuality.

RESPONDENT: Is integration becoming whole or is it seeing from wholeness? There may be the delusion of a part seeking to join with an image of wholeness. Then ‘I’ in here want to join with that out there. This is identification with an image of a separate body/mind. That is indeed self-centred activity.

RICHARD: Even integration as ‘seeing from wholeness’ is self-centred ... any integration is self-serving. There is integrity ... which is not to be confused with integration. In this respect, integrity means: ‘uprightness, honesty, rectitude, righteousness, virtue, probity, morality, honour, goodness, decency, truthfulness, fairness, sincerity, candour; principles, ethics’.

RESPONDENT: When there is no image created of ‘me’ in here, there is no division between flesh and blood bodies containing separate ‘me’s’. When the delusion of self is seen through, there is freedom not for me but from ‘the me’.

RICHARD: ‘I’ am not only an image ... ‘I’ am also an emotional entity conjured up from the instinctual passions. When ‘I’ die a real psychological and psychic death then there is no separative entity to cause division between me as a flesh and blood body and other flesh and blood bodies. But they still are divided from me by the presence of their ‘me’ ... and can be loving or hateful, kind or cruel, generous or spiteful and so on as the mood strikes them.

When the delusion of self is seen through – and ‘I’ and ‘me’ die a real psychological and psychic death – then there is indeed freedom for me. I have been here all along, it is just that ‘I’ and ‘me’ were so dominating and demanding that I could not get a word in edgeways ... except in a peak experience when ‘I’ and ‘me’ temporarily vacated the premises.

And what an ambrosial freedom it is.


RICHARD: The Self: The self is what one is born with; it grew out of blind nature’s method of perpetuating the species via the instinct for survival. All sentient beings have an awareness of self ... all conscious beings know that they are separate from everything else. Unfortunately, with our ability to think, which animals do not have, we transformed this instinct for survival into a will to survive – a mental and emotional operation. This creates a psychological entity – the self – which takes up residence within this body and feeds off it like a parasite. What humans have done is to overlay a sense of identity on top of this self – the people who were already here when we were born considered it to be of vital importance that you have an identity, for in a social sense the self is considered wayward and in need of control. By the time one is approximately seven years of age one has a concept of Right and Wrong, Good and Bad. Thus is a conscience formed ... and it is vital that a wayward self has some measure of being controlled. Then comes all the moral injunctions and ethical codes of behaviour. This leads, inevitably to frustration and resentment.

The name of the game then is to first rid oneself of the identity which has been overlaid on top of the self. You will notice that this way of dismantling is different from the traditional Teachings of the Masters who dissolved their ego. The ego constitutes only one half of the self – the other half is the soul, if we are to use their language. They may have rid themselves of an ego, but they have blown their personal self (always with a lower-case ‘s’) up into an enormous impersonal Self (always with a capital ‘S’). This is what I did back in 1981 and I was without an ego for eleven years. In 1992 I dissolved the soul in a like manner and arrived in a condition I choose to call actual freedom. Actual freedom is not an altered state of consciousness as is Spiritual Enlightenment, Religious Illumination or Mystical Union. I am without a self or a Self. I have neither an ego nor a soul. I have no being whatsoever. There is no parasite living inside this body at all. Needless to say it is a most remarkable condition to be in! This enables me to be in such an extreme state of awareness that I describe it as apperception, which is the mind’s awareness of itself. It is as if I have eyes in the back of my head – which I do not – but it is a three-hundred-and-sixty-degree awareness.


RESPONDENT: Hello, I was given this link by someone I know and this is my first post.

RICHARD: Welcome to The Actual Freedom Trust mailing list ... as you have entitled this first post of yours [quote] ‘Transformation’ [endquote] what was the reason someone you know gave you this link?

RESPONDENT: Thank you for the welcome Richard. The reason I was given this link by someone was because of my interest in ‘freedom’. I’m guessing as I don’t really know what went on in the head of the person who gave it to me.

RICHARD: Okay ... so both the entitling of this e-mail and the referral to a web page with [quote] ‘selftransformation’ [endquote] as its domain name – as contrasted to ‘selfimmolation’ for example – was entirely of your initiation and not at all influenced by someone you know who gave you the link to The Actual Freedom Trust web site.

*

RICHARD: And why I ask is because actualism, as contrasted to spiritualism, is all about the extinction of ‘self’ (by whatever name) and not the transformation of same.

RESPONDENT: I have absolutely no idea what spiritualism, spirituality, spirit etc. is.

RICHARD: I am only too happy to rephrase my sentence so as to take your ignorance into account: why I ask is because actualism is all about the extinction of ‘self’ (by whatever name) and not the transformation of same.

RESPONDENT: These are overburdened words that appear to mean something different to everyone who uses them; and as such seem pretty useless to me.

RICHARD: I am only too happy to rephrase my sentence so as to exclude the word which seems pretty useless to you: why I ask is because actualism is all about the extinction of ‘self’ (by whatever name) and not the transformation of same.

RESPONDENT: I’m looking at the word transformation as well.

RICHARD: I am only too happy to rephrase my sentence so as to obviate you having to look at the word transformation: why I ask is because actualism is all about the extinction of ‘self’ (by whatever name) and not the metamorphosis/ transfiguration/ transmutation/ transmogrification of same.

RESPONDENT: Perhaps I’m using it to speak of the transition from a state of bondage to the ‘self’ into a state of freedom from this bondage.

RICHARD: I am only too happy to rephrase my entire sentence so as to take your unsurety into account: why I ask is because to be actually free from ‘self’ (by whatever name), as contrasted to a state of freedom from a state of bondage to the ‘self’, is all about the extinction of ‘self’ (by whatever name) and not about disidentification (aka detachment/ dissociation/ disconnection) from the ‘self’.

*

RESPONDENT: I have been reading your webpage and correspondence which is a lot to read.

RICHARD: The simplest way to comprehend it all is that, just as the ego-self (aka ‘the thinker’) has to die, for spiritual enlightenment/ mystical awakenment (aka transformation) to occur, so too does the spirit-self (aka ‘the feeler’) in order for the flesh and blood body to be actually free from the human condition. Put succinctly: an enlightened/ awakened/ transformed identity is still an identity, nevertheless.

RESPONDENT: Yes. When there is identification then there is identity.

RICHARD: For the sake of clarity in communication I will rephrase that succinctness: an enlightened/ awakened/ transformed self is still a self, nevertheless.

RESPONDENT: I’m looking at what you call the ‘human condition’ and what is condition but a set of beliefs and conditioned responses to events either external or internal?

RICHARD: The term ‘human condition’ refers to the situation which all human beings find themselves in when they emerge here as babies. The term refers to the contrary and perverse nature of all peoples of all races and all cultures. There is ‘good’ and ‘bad’ in everyone ... all humans have a ‘dark side’ to their nature and a ‘light side’. The battle betwixt ‘Good and Evil’ has raged down through the centuries and it requires constant vigilance lest evil gets the upper hand. Morals and ethics seek to control the wayward self that lurks deep within the human breast ... and some semblance of what is called ‘peace’ prevails for the main. Where morality and ethicality fails to curb the ‘savage beast’, law and order is maintained ... at the point of a gun.

The ending of malice and sorrow, and their antidotal pacifiers love and compassion, involves getting one’s head out of the clouds – and beyond – and coming down-to-earth where the flesh and blood bodies called human beings actually live. Obviously, the solution to all the ills of humankind can only be found here in space and now in time as this physical body. Then the question is: is it possible to be free of the human condition, here on earth, in this life-time, as a flesh and blood body? Which means: how on earth can one live happily and harmlessly in the world as-it-is with people as-they-are whilst one nurses malice and sorrow, and their antidotal pacifiers love and compassion, in one’s bosom.

RESPONDENT: The difficulty in discussing this seems to be that people develop a precise language to describe the event that happens when the ‘self’ dies.

RICHARD: If it be imprecision you want you are at the wrong address ... clarity in communication is my forté.

RESPONDENT: Years ago, when I was ‘trying’ to be free, I used the vocabulary of the Gurdjieff Fourth Way and a few other methods I looked into.

RICHARD: Obviously I cannot comment on those (unnamed) other methods but Mr. George Gurdjieff’s fourth way is a unification of three traditional ways which primarily utilise only one of what he describes as three brains or centres (the instinctive or moving centre, the emotional or feeling centre, and the intellectual or thinking centre) ... to wit: the way of the fakir (through chastisement of the body), the way of the yogi (through mental discipline) and the way of the monk (through prayer and belief).

He also is only concerned about ego-death/ re-birth. Vis.:

• [quote] ‘... all religions speak about death during this life on earth. Death must come before rebirth. But what must die? False confidence in one’s own knowledge, self-love and egoism. Our egoism must be broken. We must realize that we are very complicated machines, and so this process of breaking is bound to be a long and difficult task. Before real growth becomes possible, our personality must die’. (page 86; ‘Views From The Real World’; ©1973 by Triangle Editions, Inc.).

RESPONDENT: I have had the experience of feeling as if I were nothing; where the ‘self’ was there, but I wasn’t it. What I ‘was’ I don’t know, just an observational point. I do not know if this is what you are speaking about ...

RICHARD: I am not speaking of feeling as if being nothing/of not being the extant ‘self’ ... I am speaking of being this flesh and blood body only (sans the entire affective faculty/ identity in toto).

RESPONDENT: ... but I was free from the self I had known up to that point. Is this a stable experience? No. I seem to shift back and forth, if that makes any sense.

RICHARD: The very nature of disidentification (aka detachment/ dissociation/ disconnection) does lend itself to instability.

*

RESPONDENT: I also have a link to share with you and perhaps you will find it of some interest: www.selftransformation.org/purpose.html.

RICHARD: The following words, from the second paragraph on that page, speak for themselves: [quote] ‘Transformation is the birth of a new human being, and it begins with speaking the truth about self to yourself. This will open the door to yourself, and when this transformational event happens in the individual, the old and trained conditioned self can die, and a new self can be born’. [endquote].

RESPONDENT: I don’t know what you are illustrating with this quote.

RICHARD: Perhaps if I were to highlight the operative words this time around? Vis.:

• [quote] ‘Transformation is the birth of a new human being, and it begins with speaking the truth about self to yourself. This will open the door to yourself, and when this transformational event happens in the individual, the old and trained conditioned self can die, and *a new self* can be born’. [emphasis added].

Put succinctly: a new self is still a self, nevertheless.

RESPONDENT: This seems a great method of discovering the delusions of self.

RICHARD: As a new self is still a self then, as a method of discovering the delusions of same, any greatness is sorely lacking.

RESPONDENT: For instance, when I speak aloud one of my beliefs it loosens the bond because the sheer lunacy of the belief is made evident.

RICHARD: In which case ... try this on for size and see how it fits:

• [example only]: ‘Speaking the truth about self to yourself, so as to open the door to yourself/to bring about a transformational event (inasmuch a new self can be born), seems a great method of discovering the delusions of self’. [end example].

*

RICHARD: As do these (from www.selftransformation.org/story/9.html): [quote] ‘Since that day November 19, 1979, and as I write these words, I have been living what could be called an in-the-body life, a life of living each second and watching every movement and emotion as they happen’. [endquote].

RESPONDENT: I don’t believe this quote and I don’t believe I’m free from all beliefs either. :)

RICHARD: I am not asking you to believe that quote ... perhaps a recent example (Wednesday, February 15, 2006) will make it more clear:

• [quote]: ‘The leaving of self happens when the self sees the failure of its image, then the self dies and the self is born outside of time/ image. Do you see?
• [Co-Respondent]: ‘A lot of people who have studied Krishnamurti seem to think there is actually no ‘self’ or that the ‘self’ itself is of time and, therefore, ‘undesirable’. However, what I see you saying is that in time there is only image of a self and not our real self and outside of time there is our real self. In other words, ‘dead’ and ‘alive’.
• [quote]: ‘Yes the image ‘self’ needs to die, so the self not of thought can born itself’. (www.mail-archive.com/listening-l@zrz.tu-berlin.de/msg57474.html).

*

RESPONDENT: Free from all beliefs.

RICHARD: On the contrary ... here is the mother of all beliefs (also from that second paragraph on the page you provided a link to): [quote] ‘Transformation of self will birth a new consciousness on earth, and it is this consciousness that will ultimately save us from ourselves’. [endquote].

RESPONDENT: I haven’t anything to say about this, because I don’t know.

RICHARD: Here is a question to ponder: in what way will transformation of self, inasmuch it will birth a new consciousness (aka a new self/a timeless self/a thoughtless self) which watches every emotion (specifically grief, pain, anger, jealousy, and misery) as they happen, ultimately save 6.0 billion selves from themselves?

RESPONDENT: It seems highly speculative so I don’t believe it.

RICHARD: Just what is it, then, on that page you provided a link to, which you found to be of [quote] ‘some interest’ [endquote]? Vis.:

• [Respondent]: ‘I was given this link by someone I know (...) I also have a link to share with you and perhaps you will find it of some interest: www.selftransformation.org/purpose.html’. [endquote].


RETURN TO RICHARD’S SELECTED CORRESPONDENCE INDEX

RICHARD’S HOME PAGE

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.

Disclaimer and Use Restrictions and Guarantee of Authenticity